Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 14, 2021

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2021-013

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Yves Smith at her well regarded Naked Capitalism blog also had a piece on the chip issue: The Chip Shortage: Brought to You By American Neoliberalism. However, she makes no mention of Taiwan's extensive political maneuvering which is behind the current shortage. I commented to that but that comment was not published.

> US elites have abandoned the idea that China would liberalize nicely. They should put another idea to bed: that this authoritarian system, riddled with weaknesses, is on the brink of collapse. The country’s strengths are real and improving while the government becomes more nasty towards its critics and the rest of the world. <
> The Taliban control 52 percent of Afghanistan’s territory — at the time of the survey. The government has control on 46 percent territory, where 59 percent of population of the country have been living. Nearly three percent is controlled by no side. <

I love Lavrov's dry humor. Consider this banter with the journalist. Could anything like that happen on a U.S. channel?

Sergey Lavrov: I have heard debates on this issue on the Rossiya channel.
Vladimir Solovyov: Thanks for watching us.
Sergey Lavrov: I can’t go to sleep otherwise.
Vladimir Solovyov: So much for the secret of ratings: dropping off with your TV set on.

Other issues:



Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on February 14, 2021 at 15:00 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

@ vk

What's your take on non-govt issued cryptos? Do you think they should be legal and regulated or completely banned?

I think there is some good about them but they can serve as loopholes for gangsters and money laundering.

Posted by: Smith | Feb 15 2021 13:56 utc | 101

@ Posted by: Smith | Feb 15 2021 13:56 utc | 101

I don't have any opinion on crypto.

My only warning to the enthusiasts is that crypto is not money.

Posted by: vk | Feb 15 2021 14:04 utc | 102

Hello b. People are starting to notice. Is this OK?

Posted by: John Cleary | Feb 15 2021 14:10 utc | 103

@ vk

That's a weird opinion, can you provide your definition of money?

Posted by: Smith | Feb 15 2021 14:13 utc | 105

Were it not for crypto, USD would be fleeing into silver, gold, etc and yuan. Thereby broadcasting “inflation is out of control!” and making the enemy stronger.

So, it’s really exceptionally good timing that some unknown person invented crypto only a few years ago and that banking institutions are reluctantly embracing it, so that the people get what they want (a place to store value) without it impacting prices of any real-world goods.


Posted by: oglalla | Feb 15 2021 14:33 utc | 106

@ Posted by: Smith | Feb 15 2021 14:13 utc | 106

In the capitalist system, money has to fulfill three functions:

1) unit of account;

2) means of payment; and

3) reserve of value.

Crypto, as is evident, serves only as means of payment in some very restricted commerce (usually, online - mostly deep web) and certainly doesn't serve as unit of account: we only know Bitcoin is valuable because we can attribute a number in USDs to them.

It's only function, one could argue, is reserve of value, i.e. something you can hoard your money (true money) on to weather it from instabilities of the capitalist system. But even here it only acts as such as a financial asset (the same function gold stored in Fort Knox has).

In socialist countries such as the old USSR, money only fulfilled the function of unit of account and maybe sometimes as means of payment - it was not reserve of value. This is what many "State Capitalism" theorists don't understand: money isn't an invention of capitalism - it exists since well before Antiquity; the innovation of capitalism was to turn money into this triple headed social actor.

Posted by: vk | Feb 15 2021 14:36 utc | 107

I don't recall commenting on the 'Naked Capitalism' website. I immediately recognized them as part of a giant cult of impotence. They are simply leading their flock of sheep into vast barren intellectual swamp. As you may discern, I am not a fan of them.

Posted by: blues | Feb 15 2021 15:14 utc | 108

@ vk

So cryptos are basically digital gold for you, I take it.

Posted by: Smith | Feb 15 2021 15:31 utc | 109

Covid-19 Live Updates: Vaccine Supplies Falling Short as States Expand Access

The Empire can loot, but it can't produce.

Posted by: vk | Feb 15 2021 15:31 utc | 110

@ Posted by: Smith | Feb 15 2021 15:31 utc | 109

No. Gold can be used in industry and jewelry. It has useful applications. Only gold stocked in forts are financial assets.

Cryptocurrencies are purely fictitious. State-backed crypto has its usefulness (e.g. the Venezuelan government using the Petro to avoid American aggression), but non-State backed are purely financial assets.

Posted by: vk | Feb 15 2021 15:34 utc | 111

@ 100 vk
The poisoning of Navalny took place two days before his arrival in Germany and he had received a non-lethal dose, possibly by swallowing it.

Nobody has ever claimed that Novichok is that potent that two days after you have swallowed a tiny amount of it still deadly miasmas escape your mouth.

Posted by: m | Feb 15 2021 15:42 utc | 112

@ vk

So cryptos has its use, but only to evade mainstream payment processor, and also for good or bad.

Posted by: Smith | Feb 15 2021 15:46 utc | 113

Beijing Led Global COVID-19 Disinformation, Atlantic Council Claims Amid Ongoing Wuhan Investigation

"State-directed efforts by Russia, China, and Iran to undermine the United States using the bioweapons narrative were to varying degrees less centralized than they initially appeared. There was no single actor – state-based or otherwise – controlling the narrative," the report read.

Look at your webcams and smile, Barflies, as many of you are now considered agents of Russia, China and Iran by the glorious Atlantic Council!

Posted by: vk | Feb 15 2021 15:47 utc | 114

Elon Musk waves white flag, admits he's a fraud, bow to Russian superiority in the space area:

Kremlin ‘interested’ in conversation with Elon Musk, after SpaceX founder invites Putin for chat on audio-only Clubhouse app

My guess is Musk is planning to do a partnership with Roscosmos only to steal Russian IP.

Posted by: vk | Feb 15 2021 15:54 utc | 115

Parler is back online

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 15 2021 16:16 utc | 116

vk @100 re: Huge injections of credit money have not inflated consumer commodities but have inflated equities and other financial assets.

This is the point I made a few weeks ago, which is that the government can indeed print unlimited monies without inflation of consumer commodities, à la MMT. The key is simply that those monies must not be spent on consumer commodities. Whatever the printed monies get spent on will have their prices inflated. Inflated prices for stocks? Good! Inflated prices for consumer goods? Bad! Very bad!!!

To keep what remains of the real economy from self-immolation the output of the MMT printing presses must be directed solely to those entities that will spend it on intangible financial "assets". That MMT generosity must not end up in the hands of those who would spend it on consumer goods and other tangible items like food. It is one of those weird contradictions of late-stage capitalism that bailout monies can only be given to the wealthy who absolutely don't need it and must be kept away from the poor who desperately do need it. It is yet another symptom of dying empire.

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 15 2021 16:21 utc | 117

vk @114

Sign me up for Team China!

Anyway, the bioweapon narrative about the Covid has legs because it is obvious. Scientists for whom it is most obvious are keeping their distance from the bioweapon narrative because they want to keep their research funding and don't want to be "cancelled"

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 15 2021 16:39 utc | 118

@ Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 15 2021 16:16 utc | 116

You're not fooling and recruiting anyone here, Norwegian. Stop pretending to be the apolitical-and-sensible middle class man here.

Posted by: vk | Feb 15 2021 16:40 utc | 119

@ Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 15 2021 16:21 utc | 117

There's no contradiction. Printing money to balloon financial assets' prices works in capitalism because financial assets are immediately profit (profit by convention, legal profit). Fictitious capital is, at the same time and immediately, a revenue and a profit (actually, there's no distinction between them in finance). That's why MMT gives the American people the illusion it works: the USA issues the world fiat currency and the money printing of USDs is being directed to its financial sector.

If you print the money and give it directly to the people, inflation will happen. That's because fiat money will be given immediately to the "end users" of the monetary system. It is only when printed money is distributed unevenly that it doesn't immediately cause inflation (because the ones who receive the fiat money first will buy stuff at the old prices, inflation exploding at the hands of the last receiver of the money).

Money isn't wealth. It is an illusion created by the capitalist system that money creates things. It doesn't and will never do, by definition. An example we can observe today is America's lack of vaccines: why doesn't it simply print the money equivalent to the 640 million doses it needs to vaccinate its entire population? Answer: because those 640 million doses don't exist to meet the printed USDs. X USDs don't automatically generate Y doses of vaccines.

The exception to the rule is wages. Rising wages don't create inflation because they come from a portion of value produced, not money available. The worker produces value, so its wage is equivalent to a portion of the value objectively produced. Since the worker produces all the wealth existent in the world, that means his/her wages going up merely means a larger portion of the social wealth being redirected to him/her. What higher wages hurt are profits of the capitalist, but they don't rise inflation.

Posted by: vk | Feb 15 2021 16:58 utc | 120

Posted by: vk | Feb 15 2021 16:58 utc | 120

What is the point then in creating "castrated" money that goes to finance and not the real economy?

Posted by: Paco | Feb 15 2021 17:11 utc | 121

William Gruff | Feb 15 2021 16:21 utc | 117

I must plead a certain amount of ignorance on this matter. I have never had to live from paycheque to paycheque so I really don't know what many people are going through economically. I agree that if the money is spent on consumer goods then you get inflation. Therefore it's important to keep that money away from 99% of the population for as long as possible.

Isn't everything relative? If people are given money to spend on consumer goods then is it not also true that they must do without those goods if they are not given money? What leads to social breakdown faster, inflation or starvation? That's what I don't know, how many people are doing without basic necessities for lack of money. How bad is poverty now and how much of it is covered up by excessive debt?

The sense that I get is that our economic system broke in 2020. It's normal operation was certainly ended by lockdowns. Many parts of the economy have been 100% shutdown for 11 months. Were such lockdowns intended to cover up the fact it had broken? Naturally our ruling class also wished to control everyone they fear, thus we're now living in a permanent lockdown. Or until they completely lose control of everything.

Returning to the original issue, isn't the endless money to the financial class a case of the 1% looting what little there is left to loot because they know time is up? Whether they throw a few crumbs to the 99% to keep us from rebelling or simply because the 1% has so much extras wealth they are running out of things to spend it on. The price of Oil, of all things is surging now. Sort of like the way it shot to $150 in 2008.

I have a feeling this Lockdown calm before the storm is about to end in a very nasty way. Yes we're all guilty of normalcy bias because we can't imagine what a total collapse would be like. Simply because one, on this scale has never happened before. Our rulers are also guilty of normalcy bias. Just because we obey their stupid rules they figure they can always keep us under control. Sit on a hornet's nest you eventually get stung. In the end, I don't think it will matter if bread is $2 a loaf or $3. What will matter is if there's any bread to be found.

Posted by: EoinW | Feb 15 2021 17:19 utc | 122

@ m | Feb 15 2021 15:42 utc | 112

read the lavrov interview that b linked to above - Lavrov's interview with the Rossiya channel is now available as English language transcript... learn something for a change and quit being a doofus...

Posted by: james | Feb 15 2021 17:25 utc | 123

@vk | Feb 15 2021 16:40 utc | 119

You're not fooling and recruiting anyone here, Norwegian. Stop pretending to be the apolitical-and-sensible middle class man here.

It's a news item, get over it. I am not recruiting and I don't have an account there.

Thanks for noticing me being apolitical and sensible.

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 15 2021 17:26 utc | 124

@ Posted by: Paco | Feb 15 2021 17:11 utc | 121

Because, by the time inflation kicks in (when it goes to the hands of the last receivers), a new process of concentration of wealth has already taken place (centralization of capital). Centralization depresses wages and can decelerate the tendency of the profit rate to fall (even though, in the very long term, it actually accelerates it).

Posted by: vk | Feb 15 2021 17:29 utc | 125

well the financial money went into real estate and explains why many more people today are being cut off from having a chance at home ownership... homes are considered a financial asset now, much more then they ever were... this is why house prices are so inflated... inflation is hitting the little people via rents or no chance at owning a home... the financial system as it presently stands is not working for the vast majority of people in the west anyway.. i say this living on the westcoast of canada where this is what it looks like to me... super inflated real estate.. real estate is a financial asset and ponzi scheme at present.. it hurts everyone..

Posted by: james | Feb 15 2021 17:33 utc | 126

Posted by: james | Feb 15 2021 17:33 utc | 126

There were times when 40K Cad$ could buy you a house in EastVanc, and the Barret government would give you 5K for the purchase, with a not too bad job that was about 3 years salary, ¿how many years of labor are needed now to purchase a home?. Lotus Land, it was a fantastic place, so long ago...

Posted by: Paco | Feb 15 2021 17:39 utc | 127

More fake news uncovered from the NYT

The New York Times Retracts Sicknick Story

The paper continued to revise its story within the body of the original January 8 story: “Law enforcement officials initially said Mr. Sicknick was struck with a fire extinguisher, but weeks later, police sources and investigators were at odds over whether he was hit. Medical experts have said he did not die of blunt force trauma, according to one law enforcement official.”

Nothing is real, just a sick nick?

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 15 2021 17:47 utc | 128

@ paco.... those days are long gone.. now it is little people who were lucky enough to get in on the ground level that also are playing the speculator game... it is making it bad for everyone... this house we own has gone up 6x the price we paid for it in 2002... wages haven't kept up.... it is unfortunate and doesn't bode well for the future..

Posted by: james | Feb 15 2021 17:51 utc | 129

@ Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 15 2021 16:16 utc | 116

Thank You for posting the Parler link and notification.
Unfortunately i receive this message when clicking on the link which You included : -

Secure Connection Failed

An error occurred during a connection to Cannot communicate securely with peer: no common encryption algorithm(s). (Error code: ssl_error_no_cypher_overlap).

Posted by: Fíréan | Feb 15 2021 17:56 utc | 130

Posted by: james | Feb 15 2021 17:51 utc | 129

I guess I met the Lotus Lady when she was at her prime.

Reading the Lavrov conference with the Finish prime minister, here goes another jewel: "Do not confuse the European Union with Europe". Of course Sergey, like Limonov said Europe is Russia, the biggest country with the biggest city and a sovereign one at that.

Posted by: Paco | Feb 15 2021 18:07 utc | 131

@Fíréan | Feb 15 2021 17:56 utc | 130

Thank You for posting the Parler link and notification.
Unfortunately i receive this message when clicking on the link which You included : -

I just tried the link again, and it works fine here. They are obviously using a new web hosting service, so it could be the DNS definitions need to propagate for a while before it works everywhere.

a ping to resolves to IP address

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 15 2021 18:08 utc | 132

@ Grieved | Feb 14 2021 22:56 utc | 59 with the links about China by Godfree Roberts at UNZ

Thanks again. Those (one link is broke but you can find it) really didn't take all that long to read and were very educational.

Below is a Trump quote that is in one of the articles that made me smile
Questioner: People say you don’t like China.
Trump: No, I love them. But their leaders are much smarter than our leaders. And we can’t sustain ourselves with that. It’s like taking the New England Patriots and Tom Brady and have them play your high school football team.

The global elite know quite clearly about the civilization war that is going on and they intend to string out their side of it for as long as possible in the hopes that the other side will stumble and fail or external events will obviate the focus on their perfidy is the form of social organization.

The shit show continues until it doesn't.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 15 2021 18:16 utc | 133

Thanks b.
I fully completely concur w Psycho at 39.
Kudos to karlof1

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Feb 15 2021 19:18 utc | 134

Canadian Cents
I am near Toronto and was able to reach the site.

Posted by: ld | Feb 15 2021 19:23 utc | 135

M @ 112:

Novichoks are nerve agents. They kill even in tiny amounts if breathed in or through skin contact. They kill by disrupting the enzyme processes that control the muscles involved in breathing. No way Julia Navalnaya or Navalny's Secretary Kira Yarmysh could have accompanied him on the plane to Berlin without wearing HAZMAT protection from top to toe. This is why all official narratives about Navalny's poisoning, the Skripals' poisoning and Dawn Sturgess's death are not to be trusted.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 15 2021 19:23 utc | 136

Brilliant interview on CBS with Trump's lawyer (in fact the interview is terrible, but the response is brilliant):

You don’t often see a lawyer commit a murder live on national TV. I couldn’t look away:

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 15 2021 19:24 utc | 137

I'm just outside D.C. and I could not get through to

Posted by: lysias | Feb 15 2021 20:14 utc | 138

@137 Norwegian... thanks.. trumps lawyer nailed it by addressing it to the whole msm - media - not just the lady asking him questions for her audience... the short view from him was 'when are you actually going to do some reporting and examination of what has already been discovered here?? no response from the news lady, as there is none she can give!

Posted by: james | Feb 15 2021 20:40 utc | 139

Aaron Mate has an interview up with two Russian leftists on Navalny : . I like the angle. They look at Navalny as having a legitimate but bad agenda. Alexey Sakhnin is not impressed by the 'treason' angle and argues that getting foreign help is not that unusual and not wrong in principle. I think Navalny has gone pretty far in working with foreign secret services but I accept the ambiguity. That means there is room for looking at it in multiple conflicting ways.
Earlier I also have pointed out that the criticism of Navalny's video of his revalidation in Germany focused too much on the renderings being false. They are questionable but common journalistic practice. I found the images they were based on a leak from 2011 here with some extrapolations of the type 'then what is on these plans probably got implemented as such as well'. So the renderings are a credible guess about the situation in 2011 or at least before 2014. Criticism of the videos should start from the information it presents as being true: the thing was at least in part already looking like the renderings.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Feb 15 2021 20:53 utc | 140

Norwegian @137

Thank you. That was brutal, and with a literal mic drop at the end no less!

At least 80+ million American adults will fully agree with the interviewee, but then there are also millions like the interviewer who think it is OK to falsify evidence if it is to convict someone you don't like. She couldn't understand why falsified evidence was such a big deal. "But it's OK to falsify evidence against Trump! I've been involved in that for years! It's for a good cause, I swear!"

I think the divide in America might be too much to bridge.

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 15 2021 20:55 utc | 141

james | Feb 15 2021 17:51 utc | 129

It's all about the Baby Boomers. They didn't just grab all the government jobs 40-50 years ago, rewarded themselves golden pensions, then made sure their kids got the new jobs as the civil service grew and grew. They also saw to it that the house they bought for 100k is now worth 500k. $400,000 in their pocket without doing anything productive for the economy. Plus they locked up all the banking jobs and saw to it that the banks got into everything. Forget sales taxes, the real tax on the economy has been finance getting it's cut on every transaction. Once again Baby Boomers getting wealthy while producing little of real meaning.

If I had any doubts about this, 2020 settled the issue. A virus that mainly threatened Baby Boomers+ and the response has been to shut down everyone's life! They are so self centred that they don't even care about their own children and grandchildren. I hate to think how bad the generational backlash is going to be.

Posted by: EoinW | Feb 15 2021 22:13 utc | 142

@ Paco | Feb 15 2021 17:39 utc | 127

This information from about a quarter century ago. Santa Fe New Mexico had been discovered by Hollywood a long time ago and grew a colony of California stars, the colony rapidly grew in the 1970's and 1980's, buying up property at a prodigious rate, raising prices to unaffordable levels for most. One of the last places in the city was Agua Fria Road, homes of indigenous Chicano labouring families who found the value of their property skyrocketing bringing the property tax burden to unaffordable levels (even though the property remained unimproved). Eventually most of the original residents decided to sell their family's homes. The road was gentrified. The Santa Fe airport had registered the most privately owned jets in the country while Santa Fe was being cleansed of its native Hispanic working population. I have no idea what has developed since as I removed from the area about then as well.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Feb 15 2021 22:16 utc | 143

@ EoinW | Feb 15 2021 22:13 utc | 142 who is blaming problems on the Boomers

I am a Boomer and can only conjecture from your writing that you are as brainwashed as many of my fellow Boomers. In case you haven't noticed, we have a structural social organization problem here, not a Boomers, Jews, Russians....problem.

The social organization problem is that the various forms of money in the West are controlled in all fashion of international ways by a group of people that own the City of London, The 12 banks of the US Fed, BIS, other Central Banks, SWIFT, World Bank, IMF.....and lots of this stuff called property which includes corporations. I continually refer to this in comments here as global private finance and most old barflies understand that concept by now.

You going off on the Boomers is counterproductive to humanity evolving along the lines of China's public finance system.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 15 2021 23:10 utc | 144

Why hasn't Biden contacted Netanyahu yet?

Do folks really think the US/Israel relationship will change under Biden, or be threatened in any way?

The world needs more geo-political intrigue so that focus never falls on the underlying structure of the players

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 15 2021 23:19 utc | 145

Putin received Rosneft CEO report today, and the results were excellent. Besides the discovery of three new fields holding about 4 Billion BBls of oil, there was this bit demonstrating the failure of sanctions:

"As I said, we are reducing unit operating costs; in production, they came down 9.7 percent compared to 2019, to $2.8 per barrel of oil equivalent as of now. This is one of the best indicators in the global industry. As for general and administrative expenses, those have gone down by almost a third, and interest expenses, by 15 percent." [My Emphasis]

That unit cost is now lower than Aramco's and likely lower than Iraq's. And as you'll discover when you read the report, Rosneft's ecological initiatives are doing better than planned. For Russia, all energy costs will continue to remain lower than almost every other nation's. Thus one of the hardest to estimate costs of production for many nations will remain very low and easily predictable for Russian agribusiness and all other sectors for at least the remainder of this decade. China will also benefit from this too. And the entire Eurasian Bloc will also benefit.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 16 2021 0:14 utc | 146

To Grieved @ 78, and apologies to whomever had posted Pepe Escobar's latest - "Once Upon a Time in the Lunar New Year" ...I'm unable to discover the original post, sorry, but I've just enjoyed reading that essay and travelling to the two links within, first to the Coleridge poem and then to an essay by Jorge Luis Borges. First, the first lines of the poem are familiar, the rest of it cryptic to say the least. But it was enjoyable to read the 'take' from Pepe and then the essay from Borges, a couple of extracts I'll post to whet the appetite and to develop the theme that runs through Pepe's own essay, very enjoyable time travel indeed!

...A Mughal emperor, in the 13th century, dreams of a palace and builds it according to the vision; In the 18th century, an English poet who could not have known that this enterprise was derived from a dream, dreams a poem about the palace...

...The first dream added a palace to reality; the second, which was produced five centuries later, a poem (or beginning of poem) suggested by the palace; the similarity of dreams suggests a plan; the huge period reveals a superhuman executor. Investigating the purpose of that immortal or that long-lived would be, perhaps, no less daring than useless, but it is legitimate to suspect that he has not succeeded..,,

....Already written the above, I glimpse or think I glimpse another explanation. Perhaps an archetype not yet revealed to men, an eternal object (to use Whitehead's nomenclature), is gradually entering the world; its first manifestation was the palace; the second the poem. Whoever had compared them would have seen that they were essentially the same.

Both Pepe's conclusion and that of Borges are lovely to contemplate. I've got to apologize for putting the latter here and truncating his essay, but I found it hard to follow and do suspect the fault is in the translation. These were the parts I could understand, so I'm just putting them here. And for Pepe, you can find his essay at the Saker site.

And back to Grieved, my question on all of this - why is it called 'the metal Ox'?

Posted by: juliania | Feb 16 2021 1:33 utc | 147

@ juliania | Feb 16 2021 1:33 utc | 147 who asked Grieved why it is called the metal Ox

quick search got me this far down the rabbit hole
Since this is a Metal year, for the second successive year, the color of 2021 is going to be white.

Perhaps we will get an education from someone in the complexity of the Chinese calendar

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 16 2021 1:42 utc | 148

juliania | Feb 16 2021 1:33 utc | 147,

I may be wrong but my guess it may be Gold Ox (金牛). 金 can mean gold (黃金) or metal (金屬). If it is gold, which can also mean fortune/wealth. If it is metal, it is generally refer to a kind of material.

Posted by: LuRenJia | Feb 16 2021 1:49 utc | 149

@137 norwegian

I sure like the cut of that one's jib. His sneering at the end, "Yeah, yeah...citizen..."

He is poor at articulating his point however, though it wasn't lost.

The media has already "come together": to screw the deplorables.

And his comment that corporate news should be more like PBS was a touch silly, considering PBS is just for middle-brow dems who think they are getting an unbiased take.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Feb 16 2021 1:49 utc | 150

@ EoinW | Feb 15 2021 22:13 utc | 142..

i agree with much of what you say.. however, i would say that this problem of exploitation began long before the baby boomers... i suppose i am a baby boomer too.. my luck was to receive an inheritance which was just enough to pay for the other 1/2 of the house my wife inherited 1/2 of in the same year 2002.. otherwise, it wouldn't happen for me.. while i think it is easy to blame the baby boomers, i think it misses the point, that being - exploitation hasn't just started with the bb's... however it has gotten much worse and now, at least in canada, i am not sure how things will be corrected... the financial system needs to come down is my position... it is corrupt to the core and we are seeing the worst of it on display now, with more to come as i also see it..

Posted by: james | Feb 16 2021 2:03 utc | 151

juliania | Feb 16 2021 1:33 utc | 147,

Sorry, my guess is indeed wrong. Grieved and psychohistorian are both right. Chinese has a system to count years by two set of characters. One set TianGan has 10 and the other DiZhi has 12. And a cycle is 60 years and called JiaZi. For 2021, it is XinChou so the TianGan is Xīn (辛) and DiZhi is Chǒu (丑). And Xin corresponds to Metal in another Chinese theory- 5 Elements. If it refers to Chinese 5 elements, that is indeed Metal.

5 elements are Gold, Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth.

Apologize for the confusion.

Posted by: LuRenJia | Feb 16 2021 2:04 utc | 152

@ juliania | Feb 16 2021 1:33 utc | 147 who asked Grieved why it is called the metal Ox

My rabbit hole journey ended up at the link below

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 16 2021 2:05 utc | 153

Correction to my post @ Feb 16 2021 2:04 utc | 152,

Chinese 5 elements should be Metal (not gold), Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth.

Sorry for the typo.

Posted by: LuRenJia | Feb 16 2021 2:06 utc | 154

regarding the chinese calendar and chinese astrology....

year of the ox - there are 12 animals, just like the 12 zodiac signs... jupiter is on a 12 year cycle...that is one obvious tie in... the ox equivalent in tropical or sidereal zodiac is the sign capricorn...

now regarding metal ox... there are 5 elements in chinese astrology - Jin (metal), Mu (wood), Shui (water), Huo (fire), and Tu (earth). they each get a different turn each 12 year cycle... here is some info on the 5 elements of chinese astrology -

this link covers the animals and elements..

Posted by: james | Feb 16 2021 2:09 utc | 155

5 elements x 12 animals = 60, or what psycho shares - Sexagenary cycle

this is all astro symbolism stuff, from a chinese angle..

Posted by: james | Feb 16 2021 2:12 utc | 156

So what is the Commonwealth Of Nations [from data abt 7 years old]...

Commonwealth Of Nations was started by Britain abt 1926.
The island nation of Great Britain eventually created a loose federation of 53 "independent" countries, calling itself the Commonwealth of Nations
Compare the European Union to Commonwealth Of Nations:

Land mass EU:--------1,670,000 Sq Miles (abt 28 countries)
Land Mass C of N:-- 11,567,000 Sq Miles (abt 53 countries)
Population EU::-------510,000,000
Population C of N:--2,328,000,000

The head of the Commonwealth is Queen Elizabeth II and she is also the Head Of State of 16 of the members.

Great Britain has excelled at long-range planning since late 1500s.
That planning includes vital world surveys of all resources, from the Hakluyt compendia [Do not confuse the 1500s Hakluyts with a the modern Hakluyt & Co started-up abt 20 years ago.]

There is also Hakluyt Society founded 1846 that archives etc. in the tradition of the 2 Richard Hakluyts who received, compiled and distributed the data starting late 1590s and allegedly ongoing to present time. [Why would they stop?]

Posted by: chu teh | Feb 16 2021 2:15 utc | 157

New JCPOA Developments:

"The Iranian government will block the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) snap inspections next week if other parties to the 2015 nuclear deal do not fulfill their commitments under the agreement before February 21, IRNA reported Monday....

"The spokesman also expressed his hope that the European signatories to the treaty will strictly comply with their obligations under it.

"'The three European countries have a simple path ahead to end tensions; they can return to compliance with their commitments in the JCPOA. This is easier than their current path. JCPOA is in critical condition and these tensions don’t help,' Khatibzadeh said."

Yet another example of EU being unreliable in fulfilling its commitments in a crucial treaty related to global security. Will this additional pressure cause EU to awaken? I doubt it and expect the EU to come up with some nonsensical response.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 16 2021 2:29 utc | 158

thanks for the link about Nathan Robinson getting fired at the Guardian. I forwarded the story to a good friend who is addicted to it, as is my wife, as is yours Observer. It's a big deal for me because they don't see how they are influenced by the more subtle-- but not that subtle-- slants which overall support the woke version of being a "progressive". They fixate on Trump, the Uighurs, the Hong Kongers, meanwhile, they don't hear much about Ecuador, etc. anyway, thank you.

Posted by: migueljose | Feb 16 2021 3:18 utc | 159

Thanks to all explaining the metal ox!

Posted by: juliania | Feb 16 2021 3:33 utc | 160

The EU has fulfilled it's obligations under the JCPOA, all nuclear related EU sanctions have been liftet. Just because the Iranian government claims the EU to also having an obligation to actively fight the sanctions regime of the USA on behalf of Iran doesn't mean that it's true. There is no such clause in the JCPOA.

Posted by: m | Feb 16 2021 8:02 utc | 161

James @ 155:

The 60-year cycle created by the intersection of five elements and twelve animals is equivalent to five cycles of Jupiter intersecting with two cycles of Saturn. Jupiter takes 12 years to complete a full trip through the Western zodiac (or around the Sun) and Saturn takes 29.5 years to complete its cycle around the zodiac (or Sun).

During this 60-year period Jupiter and Saturn are in conjunction three times, 20 years apart. After last year, when Jupiter and Saturn were conjunct in Capricorn, in the future Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions will take place in Air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius). This will carry on for about 200 years.

Significantly, starting in 1840 when Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions began occurring in Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn), US Presidents elected in those years died in office. Ronald Reagan had the good fortune to be elected in 1980 when the conjunction occurred in Libra. In 2000, the conjunction took place in Taurus but George W Bush escaped dying in office.

After 60 years a person is considered mature in Chinese and Chinese-influenced cultures, and is entitled to special treatment on his/her 60th birthday from his/her family.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 16 2021 10:42 utc | 162

Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa admits they hid nursing home data so feds wouldn’t find out

Cuomo is actually a Chinese surname. Melissa DeRosa is also a Chinese name... err... an Old Chinese name! Also, New York is a Chinese city - just besides Tianjin, look it up!

Seriously now, who was lying about their COVID-19 deaths? Those guys look like Americans to me.

Posted by: vk | Feb 16 2021 11:20 utc | 163

Ancient Rome Has an Urgent Warning for Us

And then people here mock me for doing Roman Empire jokes when talking about the American Empire.

The USA inherited this very bad habit from the British Empire of comparing itself with the Roman Empire. I did not invent the rules.

Posted by: vk | Feb 16 2021 11:35 utc | 164

psychohistorian | Feb 15 2021 23:10 utc | 144
james | Feb 16 2021 2:03 utc | 151

Granted that I am guilty of generalizing. I was throwing muck at the Baby Boomers to see what would stick. Naturally our problems are more complex. Certainly the ruling elite of oligarchs are a safer target to go after. Nevertheless, a fair percentage of these oligarchs are Baby Boomers. Yes I know that every generation will have a number of psychopaths. However all Baby Boomers have fully supported the system which empowers these elites. They've benefited greatly from that system too. I realize the problems are too big for individuals to fix. Yet there is a big difference between remaining neutral and supporting the system to enrich oneself. Baby Boomers have not stood back from the fire, they've thrown gasoline on it and warmed themselves in the process.

We seen this in the rise of corporations, especially since the 1990s. The Baby Boomers have given the entire process their moral blessing. They should have been the ones to recognize how dangerous these changes would be to society. Instead they took the easy way and went along with it all, also profiting from the process.

The Covid "pandemic" really is the final lowlight. The first real crisis in a Baby Boomers life. Did they act like wise elders or frightened 2 year olds? Naturally they went along and supported everything the establishment said to do because that's what they've been doing their entire lives!

Societies do not collapse because of a few greedy people at the top. The corruption is systematic. Such corruption is made possible when the leading generation in society exchanges morality for materialism. The Baby Boomers are cowardly, spoiled and selfish. Consequently the generations which followed have been raised to be even more cowardly, spoiled and selfish. Blaming the 1% and pretending everyone else is an innocent victim doesn't cut it with me. We all bear responsibility for the destruction of our society. The older the person, the more responsible they are. Though in the end it doesn't matter who was to blame. We'll all get to share the terrible fallout together.

I'm in agreement with James that it all needs to collapse sooner rather than later. We're into permanent lockdown. There will always be some version of lockdown rules. Governments just are not going to give up all these new powers we've granted them. Therefore the longer the system lasts then the worse it will get. Worst of all is the mental damage done to people. The thinking being encouraged is incredibly cancerous. In the 1930s Germans were told Jews were diseased people who must be avoided. Today we're told that ALL citizens are diseased individuals to be avoided. Even stay away from family members! That is so sick. We've now fallen too far. If nothing else, we need a total social/economic collapse to save humans from this poisonous anti-social, anti-human ideology.

Posted by: EoinW | Feb 16 2021 12:28 utc | 165

Read this article while you are standing in line and waiting for your Covid vaccine.

In new research published in Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, immunologist J. Bart Classen warns the mRNA technology used in the Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines could create “new potential mechanisms” of adverse events that may take years to come to light.

How soon will informed consent make your doctor a Domestic Terrorist?

Posted by: librul | Feb 16 2021 13:08 utc | 166

@Posted by: EoinW | Feb 16 2021 12:28 utc | 165

Divide and conquer. The elites want us divided, fighting amongst ourselves while
they continue to vampirize all the power and money. Instead of facing off against
each other, they fear the day we join forces and pivot towards them, our overlords.

Posted by: librul | Feb 16 2021 13:13 utc | 167

How come there's no interactive map of the most serious active clusters in Europe? Can't European journalists read local papers in addition to the ones published in the neighbouring countries? Or is it because most of these clusters are pretty close from military bases? (in France: Moselle, Dunkerque, Oise... to mention the serious ones at the moment, but one could trace other alerts in the previous months to similar neighbouring)

Posted by: Mina | Feb 16 2021 13:34 utc | 168

Boomer here. Age 69. Not rich. No Social Security, no Medicare, no investments, about $1000 to my name at the moment. Survive by wit, always.

So yesterday we had 30cm of snow. On top of a base of 15cm. And last night another 40-50cm. Did some early morning shoveling already. Neighbors begging me to help. We live amongst rich people, tiny corner apartment in an 1885 mansion. “Our service says they can’t even get here.” People who have never in their lives done one thing for themselves. Found out what one of them pays his service. If I had ever charged that kind of cash for labor I’d be rich, at least by my standards. Told him I would do the job for three times what his service gets. Confirmed that service will extract a bonus for showing up. Said he didn’t keep that kind of cash around. Told him I would take his watch. “Someone like you couldn’t even sell a watch like this.”

Shall we say that neighbor, who hasn’t spoken to us the twelve years we have been here, got a dressing down? Fool pissed and crapped in his pants. These people have no possibility of surviving if their playground is slightly disrupted. Afraid of covid because they do not have and have never experienced the presence of health. Masters of the Universe as long as they make the rules in the sandbox.

Please, stop looking at immutable inexorable “systems”. Start looking at people. Your rulers are weak and pathetic. Only smart enough to pull the wool over your eyes.

Posted by: oldhippie | Feb 16 2021 13:56 utc | 169

EoinW @165: "The older the person, the more responsible they are."

I too have noticed that, along with its corollary "The younger the person, the more irresponsible they are." I initially tended to dismiss that thought as I assumed it was just a symptom of my turning into a cranky old goat. Unfortunately the evidence for it keeps mounting. It has become something like a rite of passage among younger people today to identify how they have been victimized so that their personal failings can be attributed to that victimhood. Of course, Black people and women have a ready-made victim identity to adopt. For white middle class males things are much more difficult, and it becomes almost an epic quest to discover their personal victim status. Indeed, some are victimized by their own lack of victim status! Some are left with no option but to self-identify as a marginalized fictional gender or an endangered species of animal. I, for instance, have no alternative but to self-identify as a mountain panda since being a simple worker exploited by capitalists is a forbidden identity. Ah, the tragedy of it all!

Naturally, I am sure the reader understands that if "exploited worker" were allowed as an identity then it would apply to practically the entire population and they might develop class consciousness and unite. It is so much better for the status quo if people competitively pursue diverse and divisive victim identities. Furthermore, how could anyone strive to attain greater and more unique victim status if everyone adopts the same victimhood? That would hardly be any status at all anymore.

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 16 2021 14:56 utc | 170

@ 162 sounds like you know a bit more about astrology then you are letting on, lol.. the jupiter-saturn conjunction of 1980-81 happened in air as well... but overall you are mostly correct.. i believe the movement thru the different elements is 240 year each, but going on memory... it is thus an approx 960 years before it returns for a new cycle.. i have it in a book somewhere.. benjamin dykes has translated some of the arabic authors - masha'allah and etc who paid attention to all these details.. they were working with the sidereal zodiac and most people are talking tropical zodiac today, although this is changing too.. the conjunct of last year was in air or earth depending on which zodiac you are using..

yes - one could put a couple of saturn cycles and 5 jupiter cycles together into an approx 60 year cycle too.. i believe saturns cycle is 29.45 years - but close enough.. how much do you know about astrology? thanks for your comments..

@ 165 EoinW... thanks for your comments.. i take it you are not a ''baby boomer'' based on your comments, although you haven't said yet! regardless of your age, do you think you are going along with what is happening now?? personally i have never felt like i was going along with the bullshit being served by those in power.. but according to your post " all Baby Boomers have fully supported the system which empowers these elites. " so i ask you - are you supporting the system which empowers these elites at the moment, or what are you doing different?? i am truly curious... are you giving these gov'ts the power at the moment, or did you as a ''non boomer'' somehow escape this label or tag you are so determined to give baby boomers?? i am truly curious!

on a related note, i am reading a book on the highland clearances by eric richards.... i am curious if that was the baby boomers fault as well? lol... the way i see it this labeling only goes so far and runs into a lot of obstacles along the way... perhaps your comment and william gruffs ("The older the person, the more responsible they are." "The older the person, the more responsible they are.") is another way of addressing all of this... just remember not everyone abides or falls into these handy stereotypes..... i am going to guess based on your comments though, that you are a younger person!! stick around! i enjoy your comments!

@ 169 oldhippie... thanks for that! it is quite the story... you would have given him a seizure if you had helped him... or a seizure for what you said! i helped snow my neighbours driveway yesterday.. he is 75, but had some back problems the last few months... i saw him out and went over and did it for him... this is our first snowfall of the year - we got about 8 inches, but it is going to go away fairly soon.. it pays to be on good terms with your neighbours and the same goes for here at moa!!

Posted by: james | Feb 16 2021 17:01 utc | 171

typo - gruffs comment to balance -"The younger the person, the more irresponsible they are."

i think it was bob dylan who said don't trust anyone over 30... my friend andrew has flipped it around.. don't trust anyone under 30!

Posted by: james | Feb 16 2021 17:07 utc | 172

A tour de force comparison of the Democratic Party (as well as some Republicans) to the Thirty Tyrants of Athens - only the American tyrants are doing it for China...
Lee Smith, Thirty Tyrants

What he[Trump] called “The Swamp” appeared at first just to be a random assortment of industries, institutions, and personalities that seemed to have nothing in common, outside of the fact they were excoriated by the newly elected president. But Trump’s incessant attacks on that elite gave them collective self-awareness as well as a powerful motive for solidarity. Together, they saw that they represented a nexus of public and private sector interests that shared not only the same prejudices and hatreds, cultural tastes and consumer habits but also the same center of gravity—the U.S.-China relationship. And so, the China Class was born.


Connections that might have once seemed tenuous or nonexistent now became lucid under the light of Trump’s scorn, and the reciprocal scorn of the elite that loathed him.

A decade ago, no one would’ve put NBA superstar LeBron James and Apple CEO Tim Cook in the same family album, but here they are now, linked by their fantastic wealth owing to cheap Chinese manufacturing (Nike sneakers, iPhones, etc.) and a growing Chinese consumer market. The NBA’s $1.5 billion contract with digital service provider Tencent made the Chinese firm the league’s biggest partner outside America. In gratitude, these two-way ambassadors shared the wisdom of the Chinese Communist Party with their ignorant countrymen. After an an NBA executive tweeted in defense of Hong Kong dissidents, social justice activist King LeBron told Americans to watch their tongues. “Even though yes, we do have freedom of speech,” said James, “it can be a lot of negative that comes with it.”

Because of Trump’s pressure on the Americans who benefited extravagantly from the U.S.-China relationship, these strange bedfellows acquired what Marxists call class consciousness—and joined together to fight back, further cementing their relationships with their Chinese patrons. United now, these disparate American institutions lost any sense of circumspection or shame about cashing checks from the Chinese Communist Party, no matter what horrors the CCP visited on the prisoners of its slave labor camps and no matter what threat China’s spy services and the People’s Liberation Army might pose to national security. Think tanks and research institutions like the Atlantic Council, the Center for American Progress, the EastWest Institute, the Carter Center, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and others gorged themselves on Chinese money. The world-famous Brookings Institution had no scruples about publishing a report funded by Chinese telecom company Huawei that praised Huawei technology.


And because it was true that China was the source of the China Class’ power, the novel coronavirus coming out of Wuhan became the platform for its coup de grace. So Americans became prey to an anti-democratic elite that used the coronavirus to demoralize them; lay waste to small businesses; leave them vulnerable to rioters who are free to steal, burn, and kill; keep their children from school and the dying from the last embrace of their loved ones; and desecrate American history, culture, and society; and defame the country as systemically racist in order to furnish the predicate for why ordinary Americans in fact deserved the hell that the elite’s private and public sector proxies had already prepared for them.


Tech became the anchor of the U.S.-China relationship, with CCP funding driving Silicon Valley startups, thanks largely to the efforts of Dianne Feinstein, who, after Kissinger, became the second-most influential official driving the U.S.-CCP relationship for the next 20 years.


That’s not to say establishment Republicans are cut out of the pro-China oligarchy—Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell’s shipbuilder billionaire father-in-law James Chao has benefited greatly from his relationship with the CCP, including college classmate Jiang Zemin. Gifts from the Chao family have catapulted McConnell to only a few slots below Feinstein in the list of wealthiest senators.


But the resumes of Biden’s picks for top national security posts tell a different story. Incoming Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and Secretary of State Antony Blinken worked at a Beltway firm called WestExec, which scrubbed its work on behalf of the CCP from its website shortly before the election.

Longtime Biden security aide Colin Kahl, tapped for the No. 3 spot at the Pentagon, worked at an institute at Stanford University that is twinned with Peking University, a school run by a former CCP spy chief and long seen as a security risk by Western intelligence services.

As head of the Center for American Progress think tank, Biden’s pick for director of the Office of Management and Budget, Neera Tanden, teamed up with a U.S.-China exchange organization created as a front “to co-opt and neutralize sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority” of the CCP and “influence overseas Chinese communities, foreign governments, and other actors to take actions or adopt positions supportive of Beijing.”

Biden’s special assistant for presidential personnel, Thomas Zimmerman, was a fellow at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, flagged by Western intelligence agencies for its ties to China’s Ministry of State Security.

U.N. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield gave a 2019 speech at a Chinese-government-funded Confucius Institute in Savannah, Georgia, where she praised China’s role in promoting good governance, gender equity, and the rule of law in Africa. “I see no reason why China cannot share in those values,” she said. “In fact, China is in a unique position to spread these ideals given its strong footprint on the continent.”

Certainly at least a few wrong notes, but the overall picture painted is interesting. Less clear that it is China per se so much as American politician monetary greed, but the outcome is the same, regardless.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 16 2021 17:14 utc | 173

Naturally, I am sure the reader understands that if "exploited worker" were allowed as an identity then it would apply to practically the entire population and they might develop class consciousness and unite. It is so much better for the status quo if people competitively pursue diverse and divisive victim identities. Furthermore, how could anyone strive to attain greater and more unique victim status if everyone adopts the same victimhood? That would hardly be any status at all anymore.

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 16 2021 14:56 utc | 170


Portland Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America condems "class reductionism"

    Ⓐ Local Area Newsie ☭
    Oh hey did the Portland DSA affirm the existence of racial capitalism & condemn class reductionism? Fuck yes we did.
    2:31 am · 15 Feb 2021·Twitter for iPhone

(Twitter for iPhone -LOL)

The DSA are the loveable morons who brought us the following gems of utter idiocy from their 2019 party conference:
"Quick point of privilege!!"

Recent resolution:

    Be it further resolved that we reject the class reductionism which has perpetuated the oppression of peoples of color and damaged the American socialist movement by prioritising the privilege and sensibilities of the white supremacists of the working class

Posted by: Triden | Feb 16 2021 18:43 utc | 174

ditto this comment too.. thanks librul.. this is definitely a part of the bigger picture as well..

@Posted by: EoinW | Feb 16 2021 12:28 utc | 165

Divide and conquer. The elites want us divided, fighting amongst ourselves while
they continue to vampirize all the power and money. Instead of facing off against
each other, they fear the day we join forces and pivot towards them, our overlords.

Posted by: librul | Feb 16 2021 13:13 utc | 167

Posted by: james | Feb 16 2021 20:50 utc | 175

@EoinW | Feb 15 2021 17:19 utc | 122

I agree that if the money is spent on consumer goods then you get inflation. Therefore it's important to keep that money away from 99% of the population for as long as possible.

Spending money into the actual economy -- as opposed to the virtual economy of stocks, et cetera -- does not cause inflation if some extra goods become available to match the extra money. However, if your country has been misdirecting its economy towards financial engineering (likely what vk means by "late stage capitalism") rather than production of real things, the extra goods will not become available, and you will have inflation.

The US government's noticeable reluctance to help its poorest people is an implicit acknowledgement by American elites that their manufacturers are in poor health.

Posted by: Cyril | Feb 16 2021 20:55 utc | 176

Eoin W @ 165 I would like to put in a good word here for the 'Baby Boomers' ( I'm not one, being pre-WW2 myself). That generation witnessed as teens and early '20s in the US three assassinations in close order, then were shunted into a war they mostly did not agree with and could not win. That was genocide not only for the Vietnamese but also for that generation of young people. I can't say how that would have affected me, were I one of their ranks. I just know it was a time of young people shipped home in body bags, or defecting to Canada, or fragging their officers... and then that after many of those young people put themselves on the line in Chicago during the Democratic Convention only to see Hubert Humphrey refuse to disavow the war his predecessor had charged into.

Those were harrowing times. And then to have Nixon take over, with all that entailed, prolonging the war, ending it only when 'the barbarians' were at the gate -- all of that was only a prelude to disaffection to come.

The baby boomers didn't do all that. Someone else did it. To them. You might say that was the first of the neo's crimes against humanity, both for Vietnam and for its own young people.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 16 2021 21:22 utc | 177

james @ 171, I did reveal great ignorance not knowing those two counterpoint Chinese astronomical sequences - well it was enough for me to have known that I was born in the year of the dragon, which gives me an 'out' with my Chinese relatives. Oh and I have a fortune cookie strip glued to my fridge that says " You will attain to the highest level of intelligence." ;)

Think I passed that level on the way down quite some time ago.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 16 2021 21:44 utc | 178

James @ 171:

I read a couple of books on astrology back in the 1980s but was never motivated to seriously study the subject. Lots of other things going on in my life at the time. My knowledge only extends as far as knowing beginner stuff like rising signs, moon signs, the astrological houses and that planets form aspects which have significance in an individual's horoscope depending on the planets involved and their positions in the horoscope.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 16 2021 22:14 utc | 179

karlof1 #146

Putin received Rosneft CEO report today, and the results were excellent. Besides the discovery of three new fields holding about 4 Billion BBls of oil, there was this bit demonstrating the failure of sanctions:

"As I said, we are reducing unit operating costs; in production, they came down 9.7 percent compared to 2019, to $2.8 per barrel of oil equivalent as of now. This is one of the best indicators in the global industry. As for general and administrative expenses, those have gone down by almost a third, and interest expenses, by 15 percent." [My Emphasis]

.... China will also benefit from this too. And the entire Eurasian Bloc will also benefit.

But not the French as they, being pure of mind and clear thinking, will demand that Germany stop NS2.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 17 2021 0:43 utc | 180

Reported by Indian Marxists: Chinese troops withdrawing from Pangong Tso

Posted by: Antonym | Feb 17 2021 1:42 utc | 181

@Bemildred #51
The product is the readers.
Nor do I agree with NC’s views on many thing.
But I do respect that they at least try to be objective about many hot button Libera issues. It is just tough to identify and remove both subconscious and conscious biases, even if desired.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 17 2021 2:31 utc | 182

Rt. Hon. John Smith QC MP

Some of you will have read my claims about the death of John Smith, that the death was not natural, but an assassination.

There will have been one of three reactions:

Those that will believe, because they are so predisposed
Those that will disbelieve, because they are so predisposed
Those in the middle, who will say that my claims are extraordinary, and so require extraordinary evidence.

This is aimed at that third group.
This is extraordinary.

You will agree that the critical point is that I can demonstrate a "criminal conspiracy" which John Smith was likely to oppose.
That I will now proceed to do.

Liz Lloyd is the person who is being protected by the royal prerogative, and who is in turn protecting Nicola Sturgeon and the other eight perjurors, who told the lies about Alex Salmond under oath and in the criminal court.

Nobody in Scotland is allowed to mention her name!

I wrote this reply on another website. It's about the concept of the human shield in breaking the law.

Yes. In principle this is exactly the same as they did to Anglia Television plc.

The role played here by Ms Sturgeon’s special advisor/chief of staff (LIZ LLOYD) is identical to the role played there by the Managing Director.

There, they installed a new Managing Director, Malcolm Wall, who was a phony, who’d never been appointed by the Board.

He did all of the “butcher and bolt” that was required.

THEN they appointed him legally, after all the dirty work had got done, and made him a Director.

That way the Board of Directors was not responsible in law for what the phony director had done PRIOR to the appointment.

BUT surely his acts are not valid, and so can be reversed by law? you say.

Then you don’t know about the Companies Act 1985

285. Validity of acts of directors. The acts of a director or manager are valid notwithstanding any defect that may afterwards be discovered in his appointment or qualification; and this provision is not excluded by section 292(2) (void resolution to appoint).

Bingo! They Butchered us and bolted, and the people that opened the gate, and accepted legally binding commitments on our behalves, were not legally responsible for any of it. Trebles all round!

Except they got caught.

Queens Bench 1994-c-2024
J P Cleary v Anglia Television

The phony director was Malcolm Wall. I was dismissed by Mr Wall on 24 May 1994.

Totally Ultra Vires, of course.

He was appointed at the Board meeting on 22 July 1994.

On that Board were Their Wonderfulnesses Lord Hollick and Lady Archer.

Seems like John Smith didn’t go along with it. But by then he was dead.

And by obvious coincidence, the DTI investigation into Lord and Lady Archer was closed, "with no further action", on 22 July 1994.

Do you understand the magnitude of this crime?

Why on earth would they do something so stupid, so reckless, so dangerous?

For the same reason they went after Alex. Because they believed they were bulletproof.

Posted by: John Cleary | Feb 17 2021 2:57 utc | 183

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 17 2021 2:31 utc | 182

It is just tough to identify and remove both subconscious and conscious biases, even if desired.

Indeed. I myself have been known to get a little obsessive about some things. Some of those biases I don't really want to give up.

I'm glad I caught your response.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 17 2021 3:44 utc | 185

@ 178 juliania... i read a nice line a few hours ago in a classic astrology book from india - brihat jakata - b suryanarain rao translation.. i am going to quote it for you and jen... page 74-75 "Readers have to be careful in differentiating between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge may be proud that it knows so much while wisdom is humble that it knows so little." lol... you might be wondering why a line like that is in an astrology book and i am especially getting a laugh out of the idea that dear debs is reading this given his attitude towards astrology! anyway - no one knows everything and since we are talking chinese astrology, one of my favourite quotes is from lao tzu - those who know do not speak and those we speak do not know... so many great insights, if only we could all apply them! i know very little about chinese astrology.. it is a completely different system of things and i have not really looked into it very much..

@ 179 jen... i am scorpio rising with moon close to ascendant - either zodiac... tropical zodica sun in aries - sidereal it is in pisces... i am curious what your chart looks like.. share if you are into it..

Posted by: james | Feb 17 2021 4:24 utc | 186

juliania | Feb 16 2021 21:22 utc | 177

Good points. The answer to any problem is never simple.

Posted by: EoinW | Feb 17 2021 12:47 utc | 187

For people here still cherry-picking on China's alleged "repressive State":

‘There’s no anonymity anymore – don’t kid yourself’: InfoWatch head Natalya Kaspersky to RT

There's something called "development of the productive forces", which bourgeois ideologues call "technological advancement". As communications technology developed and became more widespread, so did the means for mass surveillance. This is an inevitable side effect of the internet technology. It's dishonest to call mass surveillance a communist invention - much like many liberal-bourgeois historians in the West insist not only to fabricate numbers, but also to use them to affirm that genocide was a communist invention in 1917.

Posted by: vk | Feb 17 2021 14:45 utc | 188

So foreign politics expert Joe Biden is deemed unable to make the serious contacts with the foreign placekeepers.Mrs.Harris talked a long time with Macron.
Weighing the fact that she has no international experience at all in that domain I safely will assume that with her in charge of the USA monsieur Macron is playing the role of instructor ,and that the coaches of both world-stage actors feel no pain in making believe the french president that it is him Jupiter Macron (Le Grand Monarc in several quatrains Nostradamus' Centuries,for those who like to talk astrology,haha) who is showing the guidelines for the USA under this presidency to develop.Once a Jesuit always a Jesuit It'll stick forever your life especially in the spheres where Hùbris is an easy manipulator.

Macron got some critics for talking english to Harris,in stead of french and both sides translating.

Posted by: willie | Feb 17 2021 20:33 utc | 189

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