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:

Media:

Conspiracies:

Use as open thread ...

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

Comments
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And the beat goes on, Israel's geocidal policies towards the Palestinian's;

herealnews.com/israels-vaccine-apartheid-is-killing-palestinians

Posted by: vetinLA | Feb 14 2021 15:10 utc | 1

https://therealnews.com/israels-vaccine-apartheid-is-killing-palestinians

Try this;

Posted by: vetinLA | Feb 14 2021 15:12 utc | 2

The Senate voted 57 to 43 to impeach Trump but they needed 67 votes for an impeachment so Trump has been acquitted.

Posted by: Down South | Feb 14 2021 15:13 utc | 3

@ 3; A foregone conclusion, more proof that some folks, if you serve the wealthy, are, in fact, above the law. Quite normal, here in this "exceptional" nation....

Posted by: vetinLA | Feb 14 2021 15:19 utc | 4

b, with regards to Yves not publishing your comment;

She seems rather cantankerous. While her commentary is often excellent, her disrespect to anyone that disagrees with her leads me to never bother to post there. She has her pet ideas that she's inherently hostile to criticism of, and seems all too willing to suspend her supposedly-treasured critical thinking when those subjects come up. One is always eating from the trashcan of ideology.

Case in point - she accuses you of genocide denial for your pointing out the flaws in the "China is wiping out the Uighurs!" narrative. I'd love for someone to highlight the holes in the bottom of that sinking ship, but what's the point when the best you can expect is a face full of venom in return?

Lambert and Jerri-Lynn seem pretty reasonable though. Either they're way more patient than I am or they cracked her code. But all I can see of Yves from my point of view is an overly self-righteous Karen with a knack for content aggregation, who nevertheless occasionally writes the odd gem. You're doing the right thing, and their website has been impoverished by their (her) idiotic attempts to freeze you out of the discussion.

Posted by: Anonymoose | Feb 14 2021 15:32 utc | 5

Ironic:

How Wall Street Is Devastating Our National Security

About fifteen minutes into the hearing, former Vice Admiral Joseph Dyer, with a respectful southern accent and peppering his speech with “sir,” spoke about his company, iRobot. While today iRobot makes a popular automated vacuum cleaner, the Roomba, much of its earlier robotic technology wasn’t designed just to hoover crumbs and navigate corners but to carry out missions in warzones and outer space.

iRobot used to be everything that is best about the American corporate, academic, and public sectors, but then it sold off its defense business, offshored manufacturing, and radically cut its research. Changes that were dictated by an American hedge fund in an effort to squeeze out more money for the shareholders.

In its whole history, what was good for capitalism was automatically good for the USA, for many factors that I won't write here. That era is gone: now even the USA is an obstacle to the infinite expansion of capitalism.

Now that the "free market" is nailing the US in the ass, its not funny anymore. They suddenly start to talk about transcendental concepts such as justice, human rights, fairness, national security, etc. etc.

--//--

Myanmar’s Army of Darkness: The military was never interested in peace or a democratic transition—and neither was Aung San Suu Kyi.

After decades and decades of "nation building", Myanmar is still this shitshow. And I'm not even going to bring Africa, Latin America and the Middle East to the discussion: the list of failures of capitalism is long.

But let's forget this and continue to talk about the "failures" of socialism, such as Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea...

--//--

No Way Nord Stream 2 Won’t be Used as Russia’s Partners in EU Need Project, Official Says

"It is simply a competition on the part of American partners who want to sell their liquefied natural gas [LNG] to Europe. So, in essence, we're witnessing non-market methods of competition [on their part]", Novak said.

Yeah, I'm not seeing any American complaining about this kind of "unfair competition". The concept only seems to apply to Russia and China.

--//--

Rich countries snap up 70% of global vaccines, challenging vaccine equity: report

And even the rich countries are faltering on their vaccination programs. The USA, which snagged all the available non-Russian, non-Chinese stock of vaccines through sheer imperial power, begun with guns blazing (33 million vaccinated with the first dose in less than one month) but now has stagnated (only 37 million vaccinated with the first dose). Its stocks have also dried up. So far, only 11 million Americans have been fully immunized (i.e. received the two necessary doses).

The WaPo put a cool graphic with real time count of Americans vaccinated. Soon it will have to take it out because it will be embarrassing to see the number stagnated for months.

Posted by: vk | Feb 14 2021 15:39 utc | 6

@Anonymoose #5
Yes, I've experienced the same thing. Any comment which is more than slightly deviant from the NC main message is removed (or never published).
Nonetheless, NC does good work in putting up a wide assortment of links to many fields of interest.
Nor is Yves completely bought into the mainstream limousine liberal views.
Ultimately, her site, her rules is how I look at it.
If anything, the heavy-handed comment "grooming" serves to reinforce the reality that every person, every site is biased in some way - and being aware of that is better than having the bias simply be concealed.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 14 2021 16:25 utc | 7

My comment on Dan Wang's letter: it's full of mistakes. Just to give two glaring ones right out of the bat, from the "part I":

It’s difficult to identify a great economic reason to practice socialism. Its historical results have ranged from catastrophic misallocation of talent at best to mass deaths at worst. But socialism still retains appeal to broad segments of many populations, which shows that it has considerable inspirational value. For better or for worse, there are still many advocates for the creation of some form of a more equal society.

Except that's not true. It is not "difficult to identify a great economic reason to practice socialism". Just look at the numbers: compare Cuba with the rest of the Caribbean; compare the Russian Empire with the USSR; compare the PRC with Qing dynasty China and KMT China; compare Vietnam with Indochina; compare Belarus with its neighbors post-1991.

And to state socialism patented the concept of misallocation of talent (???) and mass deaths is pure cowardice. First of all, there are no recorded mass deaths under any socialist regime because of the socialist system per se; second, because even if you consider those numbers as true (they're not, but let's pretend), you simply have to deal with the objective fact that capitalism killed much more, and the only reason we don't state feudalism and ancient slavery killed much more than capitalism is because we don't have the data for these two other systems.

Another one:

Propaganda might not matter to you, but it matters to the party. Anne-Marie Brady has pointed out that the leadership considers propaganda to be the “lifeblood” of the party state.

It's ironic the author criticizes the CPC's propaganda by quoting Anne-Marie Brady, which is one of the greatest surviving Cold Warriors nowadays.

If the author was talking about the USSR, I bet he would quote Wheatcroft...

It's simply not true that sloganeering is indigenous to the PRC. Americans keep quoting Lincoln, Churchill, Thatcher, Reagan and nobody bats an eye.

The main problem with Wang's letter is that he's talking about PRC's problems as if they were unique to the PRC, as if he never set foot outside of China - which is false, as he's from HK and contributes to Bloomberg. He also clearly lack the erudition necessary to analyze the CPC's documents and doctrines and takes them out of context (he randomly mix speeches from Deng Xiaoping's era with Xi's era only to try to picture a fictitious "History of Slogans" - that's not how you do proper History).

That the CPC and the PRC will cease to exist someday we all know - the very fluidity of the CPC is statement that even they know that -, but I disagree with his arguments and notice there are a lot of known lies there. We don't need a letter to understand the concept of Memento Mori, we need to know how and when - that's the scientific importance of historical analysis.

To sum it up, this letter may be valuable as a sincere testimony of a pro-West Hongkonger, but the author fabricates a lot of lies there. It must be read and interpreted as a piece of propaganda from an author who's taken a side.

Posted by: vk | Feb 14 2021 16:50 utc | 8

Bruh this blog way more informative than 98 percent of the media.

Thanks

Posted by: Dogon Priest | Feb 14 2021 16:55 utc | 9

I don't understand why it's so hard to get the name of China's ruling party right?! It's the Chinese Communist Party (CPC).

Posted by: v | Feb 14 2021 16:58 utc | 10

Hi Dogon Priest,
Thank you for sharing the writings of Torrance Stephans in you previous posts! I hadn't heard about him until you began to share here. I really enjoy and agree with your perspective on things.

Posted by: lex talionis | Feb 14 2021 17:19 utc | 12

Anonymouse @ %, I join with you in your comments vis a vis NC. It is a better place to visit, and the comments, unfortunately reflect the heavy handed approach. Still very readable as to articles presented, especially the Michael Hudson ones, which come in earlier than most places and on which he himself often comments, so there's that. I do still scroll through comments when they are available, as there are some worthy of note, but the strange dedication to TINA came to be during their Greece analysis, so it's been there a while. Back then, though, more push back was allowed in comments, so it was a site worth reading in full.

I'm just glad it's still there, and I thank Yves for that. She has a heavy row to hoe these days.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 14 2021 17:42 utc | 13

Sorry, my post was in support of Anonymouse @ 5.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 14 2021 17:46 utc | 14

thanks b... always a treat and a plethora of articles to consider... thanks...

regarding the link to Godfree Roberts new book, i took the time to open it and read his bio... i encourage others, especially the people who live in the usa and read here, to read his bio and why he is where he is now.. it was a treat to read.. i am sure his book is a good read too..

Posted by: james | Feb 14 2021 17:56 utc | 15

Larry Summers states USD 1.9 trillion package is too much, will cause "overheating" of the US economy:

Deflation, inflation or stagflation?

Summers argued that the size of the spending package, about 9 per cent of pre-pandemic national income, would be much larger than the estimate of the shortfall in economic output from its ‘potential’ by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). That, combined with loose monetary policy, the accumulated savings of consumers who have been unable to spend and already-falling unemployment could contribute to mounting inflationary pressure. ‘Pent-up demand’ would explode, leading to 1970s-type inflation. “There is a chance that macroeconomic stimulus on a scale closer to World War II levels than normal recession levels will set off inflationary pressures of a kind we have not seen in a generation,” said Summers.

Change "Summers" to "Li" (or any other common Chinese surname), and "CBO" to "CPC" and you would swear with your life this is a paramount example of "socialist misallocation" due to "too much complexity of the economy for a central government to plan".

Posted by: vk | Feb 14 2021 18:05 utc | 16

Resumen Latinoamericano: The first of January 2021 was known as “Day Zero” in Cuba. After almost three decades of operating with a dual currency, Cuba’s national peso (CUP) and its convertible peso (CUC) were unified as part of a broader process of “monetary ordering” that also involves major price adjustments, the elimination of “excessive [state] subsidies and undue gratuities”, and significant changes in salaries, pensions, and social assistance benefits.

Colombia Reports: Human Rights Watch slammed Colombia’s government on Wednesday for failing to act against deadly violence that has killed more than 420 human rights defenders since 2016.

Guyana Oil Now: U.S. oilfield service company Halliburton aims to have 100 percent of its operations serviced from Guyana in 2021. The company expects this move to result in a major increase in its in-country purchases, by at least 50 percent, and expand regional opportunities for local businesses.

Mercopress: Chile's President Sebastian Piñera received on Friday the first dose of the Sinovac vaccine against the virus caused by Covid-19. The president is eligible to receive the inoculation with the Chinese vaccine along with those Chileans and residents aged 71 and over.

Caribbean News Now: The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) expressed its deep appreciation to the Republic of Cuba for the medical support provided to six (6) member countries of the Organisation to assist with efforts to combat the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the OECS and wider Caribbean region.

Posted by: Maracatu | Feb 14 2021 18:15 utc | 17

Thanks,b, for posting the full linke to the Solovyov - Lavrov conversation. It was worthwhile reading to the end, which we previously hadn't had. And lots to savor as well as more humour -- I'm sure there's even more visible in the actual Russian, but here's one more tidbit:

Vladimir Solovyov: Do you ever make friends with your international colleagues when you feel like you get each other?

Sergey Lavrov: There are quite a few of them. I am afraid to list them.

Vladimir Solovyov: So they won’t be hounded?

Sergey Lavrov: Many of them hold very high posts in the European Union. They are good guys. I don’t want to give them up.

Vladimir Solovyov: Has it really become that bad?

Sergey Lavrov: I think so. We are “toxic” after all. I mean for them.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 14 2021 18:20 utc | 18

How the hell does that review of the book about Gottlieb and LSD get by without mentioning Ewen Cameron?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Ewen_Cameron

Posted by: Rowan | Feb 14 2021 18:24 utc | 19

In addition to my post at 18, here are some other phrases from Lavrov that are worth thinking about. After some comments from Solovyov pushing the meme that diplomacy ought to be giving way to action, particularly with respect to Ukraine, Lavrov replies negatively with the phrase "...the discrediting of the Ukrainian leadership is in full swing." This causes me to remind myself that it is not only to accomplish some rational result with the perpetrators of injustice, but in order to reveal to other nations who is pursuing justice in this instance, and what patience is requisite to achieve a result when alternatives are bull in the china shop alternatives.

Another phrase he throws out (and I'm certain perceptive readers can find a multitude more) is "...the international division of labor..." Wonderful phrase!

Also, further down in the discussion, Lavrov gives a very positive answer when asked of his opinion of Trump. He calls him "... an outstanding person..." and "...a remarkable politician".

I will leave to others to interpret why he may have this perception. It is worth a thread on its own behalf, given that of course the Senate voted not to impeach.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 14 2021 18:32 utc | 20

@ 11; Liberal Capitalists, LOL!! Does that mean we'll have Medi-care for all, and a minimum wage increase soon from the Biden/Harris admin., I doubt it.

https://search.yahoo.com/search?p=liberal+definition&fr=yfp-t-s&fp=1&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&_guc_consent_skip=1613327500

How many Capitalists fit the above definition? None I suspect..

Posted by: vetinLA | Feb 14 2021 18:34 utc | 21

Recommend reading it if you're a beginner:

Understanding the “middle class”

Posted by: vk | Feb 14 2021 18:42 utc | 22

80% reduction in the need for ICU and a 60% reduction in deaths simply by treating COVID-19 patients with calcifediol or activated Vitamin D.

Findings: ICU assistance was required by 110 (11.8%) participants. Out of 551 patients treated with calcifediol at admission, 30 (5.4%) required ICU, compared to 80 out of 379 controls (21.1%; p<0.0001). Logistic regression of calcifediol treatment on ICU admission, adjusted by age, gender, linearized 25(OH)D levels at baseline, and comorbidities showed that treated patients had a reduced risk to require ICU (RR 0.18 [95% CI 0.11;0.29]). Baseline 25(OH)D levels inversely correlated with the risk of ICU admission (RR 0.53 [95% CI 0.35;0.80]). Overall mortality was 10%. In the Intention-to-treat analysis, 36 (6.5%) out of 551 patients treated with calcifediol at admission died compared to 57 patients (15%) out of 379 controls (p=0.001). Adjusted results showed a reduced mortality for more of 60%. Higher baseline 25(OH)D levels were significantly associated with decreased mortality (RR 0.40 [95% CI 0.24;0.67]). Age and obesity were also predictors of mortality.

Interpretation: In patients hospitalized with COVID-19, calcifediol treatment at the time of hospitalization significantly reduced ICU admission and mortality.


Calcifediol Treatment and COVID-19-Related Outcomes

Posted by: Down South | Feb 14 2021 18:44 utc | 23

Larry Summers is a RAT who deserves to be in prison and certainly has zero credibility when it comes to providing economic advice. The $10 Trillion given to Wall Street ought to be clawed back and given to Main Street if the Real Economy is to be stabilized and massive numbers of jobs and businesses restored instead of being laid-off and going out of business--which isn't merely closing and awaiting for the pandemic to ease and then reopen. Here's most recent publicly available commentary:

"Fourth-Quarter 2020 Annualized Real GDP Growth of 4.0% Was as Expected, Slowing from the Record 33.4% Third-Quarter Pandemic Rebound • Full-Year 2020 Annual GDP Decline of 3.5% (-3.5%) Was the Deepest Since the 1946 Post-World War II Economic Reset • Current U.S. Economy Remains Far from a Full Recovery • First-Quarter 2021 GDP Increasingly Is Set for a Relapsing Quarterly Contraction • Deepening Deficits in Fourth-Quarter and Annual 2020 Real Net-Exports (GDP) and the Related Real Merchandise Trade Deficit Were the Worst Ever in Modern U.S. Reporting • Real Annual Growth in New Orders for Durable Goods Turned Negative, Amidst Renewed Slowing in Commercial Aircraft Orders • Full-Year 2020 Existing- and New-Home Sales Were Highest Since 2006 • Yet, Fourth-Quarter 2020 New-Home Sales Contracted, as Did Real Retail Sales, Suggestive of Consumers Facing Intensifying Pandemic and Liquidity Issues • Financial Market Turmoil Is Just Beginning."

On inflation, here's the current discussion that will become part of an upcoming update:

"The January 2021 ShadowStats Alternate CPI (1980 Base) increased 9.1% year-to-year, up from 9.0% in December 2020, 8.8% in November and against 8.9% in October. The ShadowStats Alternate CPI-U estimate restates current headline inflation so as to reverse the government’s inflation-reducing gimmicks of the last four decades, which were designed specifically to reduce/ understate COLAs. Related graphs and methodology are available to all on the updated ALTERNATE DATA tab above. Subscriber-only data downloads and an Inflation Calculator also are available there, with expanded detail pending in No. 1457."

Until Neoliberal policies get reversed, the Outlaw US Empire's economy will continue to shrink while prices rise and real unemployment remains over 25%. Looking at M1 Money Supply, the chart at page bottom, the vast disconnect between monetary policy and Real Economy performance is easily seen where it went from $1.5 Trillion at the beginning of Obama's Great Recession to $5.5 Trillion today as the Recession becomes Great Depression 2.0. If that $4 Trillion had gone into the Real Economy instead of Wall Street, the situation wouldn't be nearly as dire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 14 2021 18:44 utc | 24

@ juliania | Feb 14 2021 18:20 utc | 18

i read the lavrov interview that b linked to as well... it is well worth the read.. thanks b and karlof1 as always for making these links available.. i was able to open it!

Posted by: james | Feb 14 2021 18:51 utc | 25

Juliania @18--

Thanks for providing that snippet! I never had time to do so. Yes, there's a trove of excellent info in that interview. Lavrov clearly enjoyed the repartee. One thing's certain, the Impeachment/Trial Circus pushed lots of valuable news under the rug, although I doubt we'll see a return to competent governance anytime soon as the players chosen aren't capable of that task.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 14 2021 18:56 utc | 26

I wouldn`t read "disconcerted" as diplomacy-speak for "I shit my pants".

It is quiet well possible that Lavrov has just killed Nord Stream 2. After all, who wants to do business with a mad man?

Posted by: m | Feb 14 2021 19:01 utc | 27

I think Naked Capitalism has a particular agenda (original content and curated links) and the blog is secondary. They shut down the blog rather than spend time moderating. So anything that detracts or distracts from the agenda they remove. I think that's OK and I respect it. I posted there once or twice but decided it was not for me. They provide a useful service too, filling in for the failure of our "News" media. So I'm inclined to let them be.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 14 2021 19:05 utc | 28

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s Foreign Ministry on Friday described as “disconcerting” comments from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Moscow was ready to sever ties with the European Union if the bloc hits it with new economic sanctions.
“These statements are really disconcerting and incomprehensible,” a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said. She pointed to remarks by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who did not rule out new sanctions.

"The beatings will continue until moral improves."

Posted by: Michael Weddington | Feb 14 2021 19:08 utc | 29

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 14 2021 18:56 utc | 26

At first it was supposed to be a closed talk between VVPutin and the editors of Russian MSM, Venediktov of Ekho Moskvy leaked a comment, supposedly authorized and after that Russia 24 TV channel published a video with excerpts, but a long enough one to have a gook peak into the talks. Kremlin.ru has not published anything yet, probably it won't, but there are a lot of interesting snippets that will be analyzed by media. To have a preview do an auto-translation, not as good as a polished one but you'll get the idea, in advance..

https://smotrim.ru/article/2523686

Posted by: Paco | Feb 14 2021 19:11 utc | 30

james & karlof1 @ 25, 26, you are welcome! james, I followed up on your Godfree Robeerts comment above, found the following, which I haven't fully read as yet - it would comport with his book, I imagine:

https://www.unz.com/article/poverty-and-inequality-in-china/

Amazing article, well worth a read.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 14 2021 19:17 utc | 31

"Lambert and Jerri-Lynn seem pretty reasonable though..." #5

Not so much. I made the mistake of pushing back on Lambert during the "Force the Vote" debacle; I was told to 'cut it out' and comments were suspended for over 10? days. Now when I go to comment, I'm always rendered to moderation.

Very disappointing there can be no honest discourse.

Posted by: katuysha | Feb 14 2021 19:32 utc | 32

Saw some interesting news today - residents in the capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui, took to the rally in gratitude for the help of Russian instructors to the government army in freeing the highway connecting the country with Cameroon from the militants. According to the Russian ambassador, about 3 thousand people took part in the rally in Bangui (according to other estimates, over 20 thousand people). Among them were mainly students and schoolchildren.

Posted by: alaff | Feb 14 2021 19:39 utc | 33

Down South @ 23

Yes. There are many of these studies now.

Of course it works even better if the patient has good levels of D before meeting the virus. There is no imaginable reason not to ensure good levels.

Posted by: oldhippie | Feb 14 2021 19:40 utc | 34

Anonymoose | Feb 14 2021 15:32 utc | 5

I gave up on Naked Capitalism five years ago. What finished me was its position that it was right to crash Trump rallies and shout down the speakers. At the time, it reminded me of what the Brown Shirts were doing in 1932 Germany - breaking up the peaceful rallies of the political opposition. Now I see that what NC was advocating for was a combo of political correctness and cancel culture. The ultimate goal to silence those one disagrees with. It's certainly become the rallying cry for the war on domestic terrorism that will soon tear the USA apart.

Posted by: EoinW | Feb 14 2021 19:49 utc | 35

Forgot to quote the interesting part in the article I linked @ 22:

Small business owners, the petty bourgeoisie in Marxist terms, is seen as a “middle” class, torn in their loyalty to the working class, which is closest to it in material conditions, or to the ruling class, to which it improbably aspires. Owners of small businesses and independent professionals may employ a handful of individual workers, whom they exploit by appropriating the surplus value of their labor in the same way that big corporations exploit workers.

In the U.S., this sector is very engaged politically; one study found that 98% of small business owners were registered to vote and 62% have contributed to campaigns. A survey from before the pandemic showed that a majority of small business owners benefited from the 2017 tax cuts and believed that their businesses would be better off if Trump were re-elected. Some members of this group endorse the extreme right. As C. J. Atkins pointed out, the Atlantic documented that the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol on January 6 were “a cavalry made up of ‘business owners, CEOs, state legislators, police officers, active and retired members of the military, real-estate brokers,’ and others.” An article in the Washington Post revealed that almost 60% of those charged in the Capitol insurrection “showed signs of prior money troubles, including bankruptcies, notices of eviction or foreclosure, bad debts, or unpaid taxes over the past two decades.” Downward mobility no doubt fueled their anger.

Trumpism, thy name is petty bourgeoisie.

Posted by: vk | Feb 14 2021 19:56 utc | 36

EoinW, Anonymoose, Belmildred and other about Almost nakedcapitalism

I was an early supporter of Yves web site but was called Crazypants by Yves in a comment for my continued writing about public versus private finance.

Almost nakedcapitalism is the same sort of sheep dog that Bernie Sanders has been accused of.......TINA private finance.....it reminds me of the Shakespeare line..."a hairs breath from thieves."

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 14 2021 20:04 utc | 37

Paco @30--

Thanks!! I just caught some of then at RT and TASS. A snippet from the first, which also provides a 5 minute video report in English:

"The Russian leader argued that 'ambitious, power-hungry' people like Navalny are being cultivated and used by foreign powers to undermine and contain Russia. 'We have had a lot of success, and it annoys them. That’s where the containment policy, including in the economy, comes from.'"

From the second, and there are a few more brief items I didn't link:

"'As soon as we began to stabilize, to get back to our feet - the policy of deterrence followed immediately,' he said in a fragment of the meeting, aired by the Rossiya-24 TV channel

"'And as we grew stronger, this policy of deterrence was being conducted more and more intensely,' Putin added.

"Putin is convinced that Russia’s potential adversaries are becoming more and more irked by its successes.

"'We have lots of achievements. And this is starting to annoy them,' the Russian leader said, speaking about Russia’s opponents and potential adversaries.

"In his words, Russia’s influence in the post-Soviet space is growing, and the West will use ambitious and power-hungry people to counter it.

"'Our influence in the post-Soviet space has been growing no matter what, despite all difficulties,' Putin said. 'This causes concern [among Western powers]. And this is where they will try to pull us back.'"

TASS also reports on an interview given by Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak and Rossiya-1 TV channel about Nord Stream 2:

"The Nord Stream 2 pipeline will not stand idle after its construction is completed, as European partners are interested in pumping gas through it, Novak added.

"'I don't think there are such risks, because, again, our European partners are interested in it,' he said, answering a question whether there was any chance that Russia would not be able to use the gas pipeline due to the pressure on the project.

"According to Novak, Nord Stream 2 is 95% complete to date and is absolutely in compliance with European legislation."

Seems like the carrot & stick are being employed along with the Western-style Leak Gambit.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 14 2021 20:12 utc | 38

@ karlof1 with his ongoing contribution to the comments section of b's web site.

Thank you!

The Russian history that came out of you the other day in another thread was really good. I am sorry I can't keep up with all your links and such but please know that you are appreciated.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 14 2021 20:17 utc | 39

Vk @36

The Atlantic and Washington Post as a source for anything? They would be the ones to do a class analysis?

And now that we are being open and linking cpusa.org would remind one and all that CPUSA was an FBI/intelligence operation from very beginning. They don’t even bother with hiding that anymore

Posted by: oldhippie | Feb 14 2021 20:17 utc | 40

@31 juliania

Godfree Roberts is the commentator I turn to when I want irrefutably hard statistics and nuts-&-bolts facts about China. Since you're over at Unz, check out his whole archive there.

In one of his articles that I often post here, Roberts describes precisely how the CPC works: how it inducts its members, how the nation forwards tests and ideas from the outlying to the central, and how the Party mechanisms evaluate, rank and pass up the chain the ideas based on proven merit and success - in short, how a very fluid and egalitarian meritocracy works, not only with people but also with policy. It's a system that I don't believe can be beaten by any other form of national teamwork in this world. Xi as you probably know applied 10 times to join the Party before being accepted.

Roberts also has a piece on the poorly understood and much maligned social credit system of China, which is still being evaluated and implemented, and hugely commented upon by Chinese citizens across the country. It's a work in progress, but once you know the metrics and parameters it works by, and understand the Chinese notion of governance, and also see how completely transparent - by its very working definition - it has to be, the comparison with the western system of secrecy, hypocrisy and privilege leaves the west looking very shabby, and dangerous.

I recommend his new book sight unseen and have it bookmarked already to buy.

Many thanks to b for the announcement.

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 14 2021 20:19 utc | 41

@Bemildred #28
I personally see it as a subconscious bias as opposed to an overt agenda.
Don't forget - NC is a income-producing property at this point. It is a full time money earner for Yves and likely at least a couple other people.
Whether this is a primary driver or not, there are financial interests at play pushing them towards a consistent "product".

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 14 2021 20:26 utc | 42

Last Wednesday, China and India disengaged at their face-off in Ladakh. A retired Indian Army general in command of the area where the face-off occurred claimed that India is the weaker power and China has won by getting the claim line that it wanted. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sw08JPjnHGg&ab_channel=ThePrint

Posted by: crowbar | Feb 14 2021 20:31 utc | 43

@ Grieved | Feb 14 2021 20:19 utc | 41 with the writing about China policy workings

That is evidently one of your links that I didn't follow but would now if reposted. My fascination with China is the 5 year planning process that they have used/evolved. Do any have details about the inner workings of that "methodology"?

I suspect there is some sort of "future planning" in the West but it is not public driven nor transparent at all. In the early 1970's I participated in a number of state, international and educational future planning events and if you notice, nobody in public looks at the future in the West anymore because the same questions come up about private finance jackboot control over investment.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 14 2021 20:45 utc | 44

Many thanks for posting the link to the Lavrov interview; zingers galore. My personal favorites are Lavrov's,

On several occasions, some EU member states have told us in private that they are against sanctions and that they do not believe that Russia should be “punished” with sanctions. They know this is futile, but they act out of “solidarity,” or the consensus principle. I have said several times that as far as I understand it, the principle of consensus means that if someone disagrees, that means there’s no consensus.

and Solovyov's (on the the RF being 'toxic' for the EU),
Us? I think it’s the other way round: we are the only ones who follow their principles.

Once again, Lavrov demonstrates why he is the consummate diplomat of this era.
Thanks again, b.

Posted by: robjira | Feb 14 2021 20:48 utc | 45

Posted by: m | Feb 14 2021 19:01 utc | 27

What became mad is an euro-puppet born in slavery who started to think that just because he is a puppet then others should be puppets like himself too.

You were told very clearly that you don't get to attack Russia, hate Russia, and have business with Russia at the same time.

You failed to understand that the EU is on a long term decline and it can no longer dream of telling the planet what to do.

Russia is having good relations with the rest of the world, the growing non-western world, it is expanding them, so who cares about an euro-puppet going mad because he sees his beloved "order" (he can not live without a master and without an order) - which is western hegemony, collapsing?

In connection with this - Iran to join the Eurasian Union.

https://en.irna.ir/news/84225508/Iran-to-permanently-join-EAEU-in-two-weeks-Parliament-speaker

Asian Countries Now Have More Diplomatic Missions In Russia Than The EU

https://www.russia-briefing.com/news/asian-countries-now-have-more-diplomatic-missions-in-russia-than-the-eu.html/

Top russian foreign tourist destinations are now non-western - Turkey, China and Thailand

https://www.rbth.com/travel/330881-there-are-places-youll-never-see-russian-tourists

Chinese tourists in Russia reach near 30 %

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/russias-arctic-winter-is-now-missing-its-biggest-fans-chinese-tourists/2020/02/20/a75b97b0-53de-11ea-80ce-37a8d4266c09_story.html
https://www.ft.com/content/e02f5218-2344-11ea-b8a1-584213ee7b2b

Russian and asian cars now dominate Russia's car market

"The sights of Volkswagen Golfs and Ford Fiestas on the road is actually quite rare "

https://www.allcarleasing.co.uk/blog/russia-most-popular-cars-2017/

New pipeline for Russia, Mongolia and China in the works

https://thediplomat.com/2020/07/mongolia-securing-an-energy-alliance-with-russia-and-china/

Posted by: Passer by | Feb 14 2021 20:59 utc | 46

I am loving the Lavrov - Solovyov interview. The two share such a dry wit:

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.

Forget about the NYT and give us more delights from sane media sources.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 14 2021 21:02 utc | 47

Posted by: vk | Feb 14 2021 16:50 utc | 8
"It's ironic the author criticizes the CPC's propaganda by quoting Anne-Marie Brady, which is one of the greatest surviving Cold Warriors nowadays."

Yeah, she seems like a true believer. I imagine NZ Prime Minister/Government is very careful in their interactions with her. Several years ago I read about one of the mysterious break-ins she had experienced (sorry can't provide link to article). Anne-Marie, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne-Marie_Brady, said she was at a restaurant with a US official at the time. Seemed to me to be the ideal opportunity for the forces of evil (US Inc, probably utilising kiwi minions) to to do a break-in. The break-ins insure she has genuine concern and anxiety in her flailing against communist totalitarian forces, as part of her career.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 14 2021 18:32 utc | 20
"Lavrov gives a very positive answer when asked of his opinion of Trump. He calls him "... an outstanding person..." and "...a remarkable politician"."

Well, if Sergey says so, it must be so! ...

Posted by: tucenz | Feb 14 2021 21:05 utc | 48

I'm fairly sure that Yves is a man's name, so some of you may have offended him, as everyone here seems to think it a woman's name. I made the same mistake at Naked Capitalism and corrected it with good results.

Posted by: Sam F | Feb 14 2021 21:19 utc | 49

Yves Smith is an alias for Susan Weber. So no, Yves is female. Sorry.

Yes, def a revenuing outfit, that I've actually given money to. Too bad the commenters that add so much to the site aren't able to share in the bounty.

Posted by: katyusha | Feb 14 2021 21:42 utc | 50

@Bemildred #28
I personally see it as a subconscious bias as opposed to an overt agenda.
Don't forget - NC is a income-producing property at this point. It is a full time money earner for Yves and likely at least a couple other people.
Whether this is a primary driver or not, there are financial interests at play pushing them towards a consistent "product".

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 14 2021 20:26 utc | 42

Arguable of course, and hard to prove. I don't agree with her agenda particularly, she wants to reform Capitalism, make it work right, etc.

I think private enterprise has it's place, we all deserve a chance to be enterprising, but I don't think it's place is being the boss, ever. We have much better things to worry about than grubbing for more money.

But I think that means we disagree, not she is biased, I'd probably kick her off of my site too. I don't really fault them for self-interest, and they are not nearly as obnoxious as many sites I habituate.

They are very disciplined about the money-grubbing, like B here, too. You can argue "not open to debate", but there is no obligation to do that.

Some private money seems likely, and job protection, but so? I've got better things to do than worry about what they are up to, and I like the product, useful links, useful commentary.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 14 2021 21:44 utc | 51

Sam F #48

"He" has cute lipstick

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 14 2021 21:45 utc | 52

The #FraudSquad is still avoiding #ForceTheVote.

Now turning invisible on the $15minimum wage story as Biden sinks the people's hopes.

Dimratss are detestable especially the squad traitors.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 14 2021 21:50 utc | 53

Posted by: tucenz | Feb 14 2021 21:05

I love that Russian sarcasm.

@tungsten:

Yep, looks female to me. Thanks, my curiosity is now satisfied.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 14 2021 21:54 utc | 54

@ Sam 48

"Yves Smith" at NakedCapitalism blog is the online name, nom de plume of one named Susan Webber - widely known across the web,hence the act of stating so here is not doxing.

The site has, alas, lost the wind from its sails and and the metrics are in decline from their heyday.

https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/nakedcapitalism.com#section_traffic

comparitive to MofA, for example :

https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/moonofalabama.org#section_traffic

Posted by: Fíréan | Feb 14 2021 21:55 utc | 55

She's always had a short fuse with regards to banning people, but i think its grown shorter since they were listed on Propornot after the 2016 election. Funny she moved out of NYC right before SHTF in 2020. She is the PMC and like a poster said above a herder of sheep like Bernie.

Posted by: Mr. House | Feb 14 2021 22:07 utc | 56

On NC and Yves - the problem is, the heading states "fearless," but lately, the site is anything but... There is a strong anti-China bias, and she does not tolerate disagreement on that point. Try to disagree with them on Uighurs! They do great work, but I've also given up on commenting, and will no longer financially contribute. The many links are great, but they also consume time, as does commenting. The site does seem to have lots of retired, older people there. By treating commenters disrespectfully, Yves is hurting the site - can she not see this?

Posted by: GoraKoshka | Feb 14 2021 22:17 utc | 57

psychohistorian @39--

Thanks for your feedback! Actually, the real key to the answer lies in British History and how British elites elevated themselves into the ranks of the Exceptional, for that's where the USA's Exceptionalism, City on the Hill and Manifest Destiny all were born from. The religious struggle with Rome and its Spanish Popes from the late 15th into the 16th Centuries is quite key for that's where Catholic intolerance arose from. Then there's the very famous but now almost forgotten factor the destroyed the Spanish Armada in 1588--The Protestant Wind. Then one must closely examine the extremely brutal British Class System, which is why I continually recommend The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic, and the free preview read provided at the link shows the reader why. The book is also freely available if you're an Archive member. When one understands the terroristic severity by which the British elite treated their own people and why they did so, it becomes easier to understand why the views of today's elite aren't much different, which is why their methods don't differ much--particularly when it comes to people living outside its domestic sphere whose lives are essentially worthless--just ask a Yemeni or a Palestinian. What Russia did with its Gulag system under the Tsars then the Bolsheviks is nothing when compared to what the British, French, Belgians, Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch did, who collectively slaughtered and starved tens of millions. The Truth must continue to be hidden, so Russia and China are smeared and accused of the very crimes committed by the Imperialist nations. Western elites see the emerging Eastern Bloc as the latest manifestation of their conception of the Hydra, while to everyone else on the planet, those entities are the Hydra personified. The Argonautica and numerous other ancient Greek epics must be consulted to try and unravel the numerous whys and how selected bits were chosen to support the Mythos constructed by the British elites.

But there's no question that the Neoliberal system was spawned by the British so they could continue to enjoy their Free Lunch, and that system was transplanted into the USA prior to 1880. What awaits is the definitive documentation of that and how its worshipers gained control of the USA's Federal government and are turning the nation into a dysfunctional land shackled with debt and littered with emptying sky-scrappers.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 14 2021 22:30 utc | 58

@44 psychohistorian

I'm not sure if one article will answer your queries, but here are some to pick through.

This is where policy comes from:
China’s Congresses in Action - Data-Driven Democracy

This is how the CPC works:
The Chinese Communist Party

I assume you'll enjoy this one:
China's Financial Debt: Everything You Know Is Wrong

How China invests for the future:
A San Francisco Every Month - How China’s Urbanization Pays for Itself

And perhaps this may be of interest:
Eight Principles of a Socialist Political Economy with Chinese Characteristics

I don't see the five-year plans dealt with directly, but he always gives lots of links. He's a data guy, which is not to diminish his poetic sensibility at all, but he stands on fact when talking about China. You should browse his archive, he's written a lot at Unz.

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 14 2021 22:56 utc | 59

@ Grieved | Feb 14 2021 22:56 utc | 58 with the links for me....thanks

What, are you trying to drown me with a firehose...grin

I am having to move away from more active physical activity for a bit so this looks like a good rabbit hole of time sink.....thanks again

I am off to read up on China.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 14 2021 23:04 utc | 60

@ 31 juliania... thanks.. i enjoyed the article! i guess it is one of the chapters from his book..

Posted by: james | Feb 14 2021 23:17 utc | 61

Wow! An essay about many of the issues myself and Grieved have touched upon that deserves a deep reading: "New American Regime = Exact Same Challenges for Russia: The next 8 years will be a time for Russia to look inwards in order to project outwards" by Tim Kirby. Here's the overall premise:

"The key thing for Russia to understand about Joe Biden’s Obama Era 2.0 is that the clock has turned back to the point when they were enemy #1 in the Beltway’s eyes. They have a powerful enemy that will again be attacking them on all fronts, traditionally via proxy war, economically via sanctions and other financial trickery, and culturally via Hollywood + the NGO/grant-industrial complex. There is no hope for a 'reset'. Russia has to either thrive or capitulate.

"So what must Russia do in order to thrive during the next 8 years of Obama 2.0?" [Emphasis Original]

Kirby then goes through thirteen points he deems necessary for Russia to accomplish for it to survive and emerge stronger after the Putin Transition, with some of those points having been discussed here on several occasions. Those living within Russia should read this with seriousness and provide some sort of response for Kirby asks very probing questions that will be sensitive to the point of being offensive, although it must be recalled he's actually on your side just as myself, Grieved, and many others are here at MoA. Some like two, three and four, aren't at all easy and will take awhile for the formulation of answers; so, take your time and present them when ready. I'm in a similar boat trying to decide the validity of Kirby's suggestions about rather complex aspects of Russia and Russianness.

I applaud Kirby for his essay as it also wasn't easy to write.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 15 2021 0:17 utc | 62

@ karlof1

I'm reading that and it's mostly culture war and ideological complex, which is completely useless. Really, the russian Hollywood? Do the russians need that?

What about more infrastructure project in the Far East and everywhere not Moscow and St. Petersburg, guaranteed jobs and higher wages for russians and reduction of immigration to project job security in Russia?

Any focus on the East vs West culture war is complete distraction.

Posted by: Smith | Feb 15 2021 0:29 utc | 63

Smith @62--

Any focus on the East vs West culture war is complete distraction.

No. It's precisely the fundamental question at issue and boils down to First Principles.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 15 2021 0:37 utc | 64

Escobar's latest is available at The Saker's:

"Once upon a time, in the Lunar New Year…"

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 15 2021 0:40 utc | 65

@ 31 j; Yes the article is worth the read, thanks!!

Posted by: vetinLA | Feb 15 2021 0:50 utc | 66

@ karlof1

Ah, so much for all that materialism analytics. I used to be a culture warrior myself, but the focus on culture above the job security/welfare for the people is completely useless.

Culture will naturally arise within a strong and healthy society, and a strong and healthy society needs job, food and welfare. By investing in culture (specifically in this case, the movie industry) while neglecting society's needs is actually bad for society. No soft power can supplant hard power, see Japan vs China.

If an ideology doesn't fill your people's belly, it's a trash ideology, it's that simple.

On the soft power front, I'd sooner tell Putin to invest in the video game industry (and nationalizing 1C Company) than any movie venture. Video games are more played by the youth and can be used to advance software and AI while the movie industry breeds a parasitical class of actors that contribute jackshit to society.

Posted by: Smith | Feb 15 2021 0:51 utc | 67

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 14 2021 22:56 utc | 58

I second your recommendation of Godfree Roberts. And I suggest Jeff Brown as well.

We all need the humility to read up on the CPC and China before we talk about XinJiang, Tibet, HongKong, Taiwan, OBOR, freedom navigation in other's backyards.

Some peeps here castigate B for talking about Amedika while being German, but think they can talk about China while being uneducated.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Feb 15 2021 1:03 utc | 68

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 15 2021 0:17 utc | 61

Thanks for recommending an excellent thought-provoking article. I've saved it for study.

You remain in top form, continuing to introduce educational resources together with others here, despite child-like attempts to disrupt, interdict, divert, obstruct, hamper, stymie, block, frustrate, avert, nullify, invalidate the excellent conversations of enquiring minds here at MOA.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Feb 15 2021 1:20 utc | 69

Smith @ 66 said "If an ideology doesn't fill your people's belly, it's a trash ideology, it's that simple."

Like that, think I'll plagiarize it..

Posted by: vetinLA | Feb 15 2021 1:24 utc | 70

Rolling Stone rolls out more on the anti-Trump conspiracy:

Meet the Undercover Anti-Fascists

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 15 2021 2:01 utc | 71

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 14 2021 20:19 utc | 41 --

".... Roberts describes precisely how the CPC works...."

Someone (Godfree Roberts?) has called the CPC one huge learning machine, a concept that the West will never understand until they discard their arrogant assumption of racial superiority. Which means never. The West would sooner destroy than to admit error.


".... how a very fluid and egalitarian meritocracy works...."

This huge chinese learning machine selects, tests, proofs their leadership material so that excellence rises to the top, not only in intelligence, but in character. Looking at maxine water's insane eyes, into lightfoot's zombie eyes, into cuomo's cruel eyes, I can only shake my head, and suggest to young americans to please think for themselves, go make their lives, raise their kids elsewhere while amedika sinks into the mud of human history.

".... the poorly understood and much maligned social credit system of China...."

Again, this is "poorly understood" by condescending minds, even if it is clearly grasped by one billion other minds.


".... the Chinese notion of governance...."

As karlof1 says, it is about first principles. It is less about chinese notions of governance than about governance per se. When a government seeks to govern FOR the people, then even its mistakes are learning moments, soon to be corrected FOR the people's benefit. Which is so unlike the West today, governed by the rich for the rich.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Feb 15 2021 2:09 utc | 72

I haven't been able to access M. K. Bhadrakumar's site https://indianpunchline.com/ for about 10 days now. The browser gives me:

"Secure Connection Failed

An error occurred during a connection to indianpunchline.com. Peer’s Certificate has been revoked.

Error code: SEC_ERROR_REVOKED_CERTIFICATE"

Is that the same for everyone, or is the site accessible to some?

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Feb 15 2021 2:20 utc | 73

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Feb 15 2021 2:20 utc | 72

Same problem for me:

You cannot visit indianpunchline.com right now because its certificate has been revoked. Network errors and attacks are usually temporary, so this page will probably work later.

Posted by: dynkyd | Feb 15 2021 2:26 utc | 74

I just pulled it up and the URL says "https://indianpunchline.com/".

Try changing it to say "http://" instead of "https://".

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 15 2021 2:29 utc | 75

Thanks dynkyd @73 and Bemildred @74. I tried with "http://" and it gave me the same result as with "https://", unfortunately ... Tried in 3 different browsers.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Feb 15 2021 2:36 utc | 76

@ Canadian Cents | Feb 15 2021 2:36 utc | 75 with the international browsing problems

I am in Oregon and can get to it. Maybe check with ISP or other folks in your area.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 15 2021 2:49 utc | 77

@61 karlof1

I saw that article and gave it a miss, then went back to read it after your post. That's some interesting stuff from Kirby. I tend to see the glass slightly more full than his sense of half empty - but I've been accused before of optimism.

The point is that Kirby lays out a decent matrix of concerns that are certainly grounded in the real, and that one hopes the Kremlin at least has been gaming through.

I feel Russia stands a little better on some of the points than he thinks - for example, the inferiority complex is more gone than he indicates, but on the other hand, we all know how this kind of conditioning can linger subtly for a long time. And his point about Ukraine in this respect is a good one.

I was very struck by Kirby's point #7. This had not occurred to me, that US conservatives could find soul brothers in the natural conservatism of the Russians - and actually move to Russia. Kirby, I surmise, is pretty conservative himself, and maybe he's wired into circles I'm not. His suggestion that Russia could actually play to this group is actually breathtaking for me - it actually does seem feasible, if Russia actually wished to pursue such a thing, which I don't think she would contemplate. I wonder how all that would parse in the Kremlin's supercomputers?

I like the thought that Russia should make a movie that the west would watch, but maybe she has her priorities turned elsewhere. Here's Maria Zakharova wishing someone a wonderful Chinese New Year, in lovely Mandarin (the first few seconds has poor sound but it lifts up - and lilts up - around 8 seconds in):
Maria Zakharova Chinese New Years Greeting in Mandarin

~~

And for those barflies who celebrate the Lunar New Year (as opposed to the western insanity of celebrating the dead of winter) - welcome to the Year of the Metal Ox, said to be a year that "is going to be lucky and also perfect to focus on relationships, whether we are talking about friendships or love."

So there you are, Russia - perfect your relationships with those you love, and let the hindmost follow along as they can.

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 15 2021 2:53 utc | 78

karlov1 @ 57, I do think there is a difference between the exceptionalism you rightly condemn as having arisen from the US concept of Manifest Destiny and the history of Europe, savage and barbarian as that history is and was. As a British subject myself in my younger years, that history was no secret - it was the only history we studied in school, New Zealand not having been as well represented then in having its own interesting tale to tell.

I don't think the comparison is apt as far as identity pursuing its goal. Separate evil intention arose in each area, just as they did in Greece, in Rome, and even in Asian corruptions of national governments. We ought not, as you seem to do in this particular post, ascribe the tendency to a race or particular tribe of people. Evil has no race; it is what it is. Greed has no race; it is what it is. Empire has no race; it is what it is. If anyone is to be responsible for such things it is mankind in general, and it is mankind that must correct such wrongs. That is how we children were taught those histories; that is what Shakespeare is all about. There were, and are, no secrets.

If I have misunderstood what you say here, please forgive me. I don't mean to be argumentative; it is just that my education in these matters helps me see them differently. There was a time when, unlike today, the truth did matter and the truth was told. So that, even in earlier days, education meant discovery and not propaganda.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 15 2021 3:14 utc | 79

On Conspiracy Theories

It's not just that the Intel Agencies/Government doesn't like citizens attempting to understand what they are doing behind the scenes. Intel Agencies purposely obfuscate, distract, and mislead by promoting their own conspiracy theories and/or narratives based on conspiracy theories.

Some are mainstream/widespread (Russiagate);

Some are tailored to specific audiences/events (Assange as rapist, Skripal's "Novichok" poisoning, MH-17: Russian Bulk Missile, etc.);

And some are bat-shit crazy and meant to discredit unwary critics/groups (Qanon).

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 15 2021 3:30 utc | 80

@b - many thanks for everything else, and the Caitlin Johnstone article on The Real World and the Narrative World.

God, that woman can write.

I recommend the article highly. It's a short and superbly lucid description of the forces that move us all. I would pair this with the recent article by Lary Romanoff, which goes more precisely into the Narrative part of the two worlds, and shows exactly how it is achieved that one can do a thing in a person's real world and create a successful cognitive dissonance from that thing in that person's narrative world:

American Dystopia – The Propaganda Mask and the Utopia Syndrome

Romanoff illustrates the mechanism used in the US, and shows very clearly how the false narrative is maintained despite the changing reality, which the victims experience but which they have no reinforcing words for. And how the victims choose the better of the two narratives for comfort. It's the best description I've ever encountered of the state of the US culture-mind.

The two articles I think complement each other and belong together on the same top shelf.

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 15 2021 3:43 utc | 81

psychohistorian @76, thanks! Will probably check with my ISP tomorrow ...

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Feb 15 2021 3:45 utc | 82

ditto and thank you @ 78 juliania..

"Evil has no race; it is what it is. Greed has no race; it is what it is. Empire has no race; it is what it is. If anyone is to be responsible for such things it is mankind in general, and it is mankind that must correct such wrongs. "

@81 canadian cents... i get it here... indeed it seems it is your isp...

Posted by: james | Feb 15 2021 4:15 utc | 83

Laugh on me

Circle Back - Songify Jen Psaki & Michael Knowles

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ik7F71acDLs

Posted by: Dogon Priest | Feb 15 2021 4:18 utc | 84

Thanks james, and thanks b for bringing us the world.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 15 2021 4:49 utc | 85

Canadian Cents | Feb 15 2021 3:45 utc | 81

I doubt the problem lies with your ISP. I did some checking here and only Firefox will not let me connect. Gives me a certificate error. other browsers work just fine..Edge, Chrome, and Brave. When I check the cert in those browsers it all looks good.

dunno what to say, either Firefox is screwy or this is something not quite right with the cert that the other browsers don't detect.

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 15 2021 5:00 utc | 86

@canadiancents, re:website

I tried on opera and Firefox nightly both ok.

Posted by: Blisscloud | Feb 15 2021 5:09 utc | 87

Canadian Cents | Feb 15 2021 3:45 utc | 81

did a bit of looking and you can overcome the problem opening the site with Firefox. If you are faint of heart then you might want to stop here.

In a pinch you can disable OCSP:
in the Firefox browser location bar type "about:config"
in the filter box, type "security"
edit the entry "security.OCSP.enabled" and change the 1 to a 0

this does work, I do not know what danger it exposes you to however.

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 15 2021 5:12 utc | 88

james @82, dan of steele @86, thanks for trying and letting me know! Chrome gives me the same thing as Firefox, NET::ERR_CERT_REVOKED.

dan of steele @88, thanks for that suggestion! I just tried that and at first thought it didn't work, but after I started a new instance of Firefox, I was indeed able to get to the site. Not sure I want that setting most of the time, though. Maybe there's some issue with Indian Punchline's certificate ...

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Feb 15 2021 5:28 utc | 89

I wonder what goes through Sergei Lavrov's head when he holds talks with his American counterpart Mike Pompeo:

" I'll get Vlad for this, 2 hour talks with this moron. Vlad is is going to owe me a bottle of Starka 18 years and a carton of Lucky Strike or maybe a couple of Habanero's, he still mates with fidels brother...
God, I despise this self-righteous piece of crap, I wonder if he wipes his bum himself?
Ok now he starts his boring and insulting tirades, there is nothing new here...
And even the meals they provide are crap, Burgers!! they simply have no culture, these people!"

Posted by: Den lille Abe | Feb 15 2021 5:42 utc | 90

Blisscloud @87, thanks!

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Feb 15 2021 5:47 utc | 91

I do not think that Russia need to worry much about being culturally "conquered" by fake western values, true Europe was at a point prisoners of American cultural Imperalism, but it is certainly waning (Sweden), traditional values are on a forward march (the rise of the "Right" movement is an indicator of this) and the Right movement advocates a return to traditional values. That is the similarity between Europe and Russia.
Let me just point out, that by Right, I absolutely do not mean "Far Right", the fascists or the outright Nazis.

Posted by: Den lille Abe | Feb 15 2021 6:11 utc | 92

Grieved @77--

Yes, it's about First Principles as I wrote earlier, otherwise known as Values. Who is to be uplifted and freed: The self-proclaimed Chosen, or the Masses. It ought to be easy to see which each side values.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 15 2021 6:17 utc | 93

@Jackrabbit | 79

And some are bat-shit crazy and meant to discredit unwary critics/groups (Qanon).

9/11 - Energy beams from satellites, Mini-nukes in the basements, Planes were holograms, planes were CGI, dancing Israeli's were not provocations.

Posted by: satig | Feb 15 2021 6:43 utc | 94

An interesting take on Trump's "victory" over the Democrats.
https://www.unz.com/mwhitney/trump-just-thumped-the-democrats-and-thats-a-win-for-the-country/

He gives reasons why the Dems have shot themselves in the foot:

"The Democrats have made it perfectly clear that they despise Americans who work for a living, who go to church on Sunday, who own guns, and who put out the flag on the 4th of July. They despise us. They call us “deplorables” because we scrimp to get by from paycheck to paycheck, and because we pay our bills on time and because we try to raise our kids with real values. We are not “enlightened” like our Democrat friends who cry “equity” as they tear down statues of our founders and war heroes. We don’t think that wearing a mask is a sign of moral superiority. We don’t think that slashing funding for police departments will improve security for ordinary people, shopkeepers or the elderly. We don’t seek to erase our borders in order to abandon our sovereignty so that we can be subsumed into their globalist “reset” plan in which the biggest “stakeholders” (the global monopolies and multi-nationals) will control all the levers of state power. We don’t want any of that, which is why we are glad that Trump defeated the Democrats once again, giving us hope that the Republic will eventually be restored and we can get back to business."

"Trump’s stature as a candidate gradually grew–not because he was the best president ever or because everyone loved him– but because the country was under siege by anarchist throng that were wreaking havoc and destruction everywhere they went. ... the one thin-reed the American people could cling to, was Donald J. Trump"

Well, I wouldn't have voted for Trump as Whitney did, but certainly can understand why the Corporate Dems fixed the election. These are the same people who fixed their own primaries, so it is pretty hypocritical for people to claim that they did not also fix the presidential election to deflate the deplorables. The deplorables are the real enemy of the Corporate Dems. Trump is just their symbolic "leader".

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Feb 15 2021 6:44 utc | 95

Interesting from Jimmy Dore and AP through US News

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kKpFf71zBQ

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/nevada-bill-would-allow-tech-companies-to-create-governments/ar-BB1dtzab

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

The marriage of corporate capitalism and feudalism is almost complete. Get ready for pay with company digital scrip redeemed only at company stores. The corporatocracy comes out of the shadows.

This has been done before!

https://archive.org/details/Matewan.JohnSayles.V.O.S.Castellano.DVDRip.XviD

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Feb 15 2021 9:06 utc | 96

security.OCSP.enabled
"security.OCSP.enabled" is a configuration option for the Firefox web browser; it accepts an integer. Determines behavior of OCSP-based certificate verification/validation. 0 (default in Firefox 2 and below): Do not use OCSP for certificate validation 1 (default in Firefox 3 and above): Use OCSP to validate only certificates that specify an OCSP service URL (see bug 110161). 2: Enable and use values in security.OCSP.URL and security.OCSP.signingCA

What it means is they have some new security protocol and if you set back to '0' what you get is the old behavior you have been relying on all along. So leave it at '1' if you want to be a guinea pig, or set it to '0' if you don't.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 15 2021 11:27 utc | 97

Grieved @ 77

And for those barflies who celebrate the Lunar New Year (as opposed to the western insanity of celebrating the dead of winter) - welcome to the Year of the Metal Ox, said to be a year that "is going to be lucky and also perfect to focus on relationships, whether we are talking about friendships or love."

This is the kind of fawning tripe you get from someone who's trying to accede to a culture completely foreign to his own. But then, the level of obsequiousness towards anything and everything Chinese around here is getting pretty nauseating in general.

***

From a country that has more virtuoso violin players than we have violin players, I'm still waiting for an original voice to sally forth from the hutongs and break the chains of pragmatism. Of course, in a country that pretty much squelched its ethnic musical traditions only to revive them much later as a tourist attraction, it's probably gonna be a long wait.

Posted by: john | Feb 15 2021 12:09 utc | 98

Blue Dotterel | Feb 15 2021 6:44 utc | 95

I've missed Mike Whitney while he's been on a break. But how often can one write about the Covid "pandemic" or warn about dangerous vaccines? People either get it or they don't want to know about it. A large and not very silent minority can't handle the truth. Their faith is in the system and that's their comfort zone. They even have blind trust for the political class any time there is a crisis. Doesn't seem to matter that any crisis - war or pandemic - is created by the politicians.

Tbh I feel sorry for them. Many will permanently damage their own health when they get their precious vaccinations. And when the social/economic collapse hits they'll be in total shock and unable to help themselves in any way. We've seen 11 months of that kind of shock already. A pandemic that's been 90% fearmongering and their reaction has been: "put me in lock down and don't let me out until it's safe again!"

Anyway thanks for sharing the Whitney piece. Good to see he's writing regularly again.

Posted by: EoinW | Feb 15 2021 12:43 utc | 99

Reposting with context:

Bitcoin Breaks All-Time Record Shooting Past $49,000

Why is that happening right now? The answer can be found here:

Deflation, inflation or stagflation?

But are the inflationists’ warnings valid? First, they are really based on a quick and significant ‘Cape Cod’ economic recovery. But the pandemic is not over yet and the vaccines have not been rolled out to any level to suppress the virus sufficiently yet. What if the new variants that are beginning to circulate are resistant to existing vaccines so that a new ‘wave’ emerges? A summer recovery could be delayed indefinitely.

Moreover, these inflation forecasts are based on two important theoretical errors, in my view. The first is that the huge injections of credit money by the Fed and other central banks that we have seen since the global financial crash in 2008-9 have not led to an inflation of consumer prices in any major economy even during the period of recovery from 2010 onwards – on the contrary (see the US inflation graph above), US inflation rates have been no more than 2% a year and they have been even lower in the Eurozone and Japan, where credit injections have also been huge.

Instead, what has happened has been a surge in the prices of financial assets. Banks and financial institutions, flooded with the generosity of the Fed and other central banks, have not lent these funds onwards (either because the big companies did not need to borrow or the small ones were to risky to lend to). Instead, corporations and banks have speculated in the stock and bond markets, and even borrowed more (through corporate bond issuance) given low interest rates, paying out increased shareholder dividends and buying back their own shares to boost prices. And now with the expectation of economic recovery, investors poured a record $58bn into stock funds, slashing their cash holdings and also piled $13.1bn into global bond funds while pulling $10.6bn from their cash piles.

So Fed and central bank money has not caused in inflation in the ’real economy’ which continued to crawl along at 2% a year or lower in real GDP growth, while the ‘fictitious’ economy exploded. It is there that inflation has taken place.

--//--

Navalny Was Under Protection of German Special Forces Throughout His Staying

Confirms my early suspicion that the BND must be directly involved in the Navalny fiasco. Yes, I know the special services are not BND, but a false flag operation like that must've involved the BND for coordination.

My rationale at the time was that Germany was a too powerful nation to be directly under control of the CIA (a "privilege" usually reserved to the weaker, Third World countries).

Curiously, the cabinet also admitted Navalny wasn't poisoned:

"No, if they [Navalny's wife and secretary] had been exposed to it, they should have had similar symptoms of poisoning by the moment when we received irrefutable evidence that Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group," the cabinet continued.

[...]

The government said it did not know whether employees of Charite clinic in Berlin, where Navalny was treated, wore clothes that could protect against the effects of an alleged chemical agent.

Posted by: vk | Feb 15 2021 13:16 utc | 100

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