Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 05, 2021

Open Thread 2021-018

News & views ...

Posted by b on March 5, 2021 at 14:47 UTC | Permalink

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@ Posted by: snake | Mar 6 2021 6:03 utc | 83

You theory doesn't make any sense because the HK protesters are fighting to keep things as they were before (i.e. the maintenance of the old Basic Law) and for the hegemony of liberalism (an already existing world order) - not for something new. They are thus a reactionary force.

by: vk @ 94 I don't think its the HK protesters seeking to keep things as they were.. I think it is the UK protesters seeking to keep HK independent and outside of the control of the nation state leaders called the CCP.. and everywhere you look the governed are fighting the Hegemony enjoyed by nation states. These control systems called nation states are prisons..

Posted by: snake | Mar 6 2021 18:15 utc | 101

Thanks for the links. The Norton article was superb.
I should have bookmarked The Grayzone years ago. I have now. Thanks to you.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 6 2021 18:49 utc | 102

migueljose | Mar 6 2021 3:42 utc | 76.. ditto bevins words to you... aaron mate is great.. grey zone is doing great work..

Posted by: james | Mar 6 2021 20:28 utc | 103


Keep in mind that crude prices are up substantially recently and US frackers are so far sitting on the sidelines. An Indian newspaper quoted one source as saying if prices get too high, India will need to look at its best interests and consider Iranian oil. This is of course in addition to the drag high crude prices will be on any recovery.

As for the Iraq airstrike there are still widely divergent casualty estimates, but my feeling is that the report of one fatality might be correct and if so, that airstrike was a "check the box" event with little actual impact other than it might have led to another rocket strike that killed one US soldier (and perhaps another US "retaliation"). Some commentators said that Iran's reaction was a bit muted, but I stand to be corrected if that was not the case.

Posted by: schmoe | Mar 6 2021 21:49 utc | 104

Mr. Scheme

There is a picture of an attractive young man who was murdered by the Americans "as a message to Iran" on the Internet, Google it.

That young man embodied the holes of his family, relations, and friend. And his dead body was supposed to be a message to Iran?

I on!y see a thuggish message of moral turpitude and wanton criminality, informed with Hubris.

Thus the message of his corpse will not cowe the Iranians, or his friends and colleagues, it enrages them against the criminals who murdered him.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 6 2021 22:11 utc | 105

Mr. Schmoe

Apologies for typing your name incorrectly.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 6 2021 22:12 utc | 106

Fyi - 105

Point taken; I did not intend to sound like his life was irrelevant, but I do think it is relevant if "only" one person was killed, especially compared to Trump regime airstrikes on Iraqi militias fighting ISIS that I believe killed up to 30 soldiers. Another positive is this didn't the gleeful reaction from the MSM that Trump's attacks on Iraq did and some Ds (and Rand Paul) voiced concern about this.

Posted by: schmoe | Mar 6 2021 23:27 utc | 107

Mr. Schmoe

Without a doubt, had Mr. Trump been re-elected, we would be in another new war.

And as Russians move materiale to reinforce Iranians, any attempt by the United States to interdict them will have led to World War 3.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 7 2021 0:48 utc | 108

The jokers with a $1.2 trillion yearly budget somehow can't safe food for their troops in their very own capital.

Also, the "we can't afford $2000 checks for everyone" crowd somehow also has no problems spending $243 billion (which is larger than the entire current Chinese military budget) on their expired murderous mercenaries.

Posted by: J W | Mar 7 2021 1:48 utc | 109

I found the following summary quote from a ZH article about the Pope's visit to Iraq interesting

The significance of the meeting is sure to reverberate across borders, given "The 90-year-old al-Sistani has been a consistent counterweight to Iran’s influence. With the meeting, Francis is implicitly recognizing him as the chief interlocutor of Shiite Islam over his rival, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. News of the meeting heightened long-standing rivalries between the Shiite seminaries of Najaf and Iran’s city of Qom over which stands at the center of the Shiite world," an AP report previously explained.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 7 2021 4:07 utc | 110

I don't agree with everything US Senator Rand Paul says or stands for but I agree with him in the ZH posting quote below

And that's when the Republican Senator from Kentucky blasted President Biden on his Syria stance and general interventionist foreign policy:

"I hope that we'll be sane voices and I hope that you'll be one of those," he said addressing Sherman.

"But I don't have a great deal of confidence that we've actually gone away from John Bolton, I've think we've gone to a liberal form of John Bolton with your new boss, and that's something I'm very concerned with."

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 7 2021 4:14 utc | 111

Below is a quote from another ZH article with this one about the effects of automation

With demand for shipped products soaring during the COVID-19 pandemic and foreseeable future, the transition to warehouse automation is already underway - likely to displace warehouse workers and result in rising technological unemployment.

Supermarket chain Kroger opened its first automated warehouse in Bulter County, Ohio, last week, reported Hamilton JournalNews. The massive 335,000-square-foot customer fulfillment center is entirely run by robots and artificial intelligence that can put together an order of about 50 items in six minutes compared with 30 to 45 minutes it takes a Kroger employee to pick items from shelves.

The profit motive will drive this evolution instead of the unburdening of humanity of such chores. Given that context, making humans superfluous is a feature not a bug and attempts at unionization will only drive the evolution faster.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 7 2021 4:23 utc | 112

@ 77 jen... thanks for the personal story there... that was interesting! the situation in vancouver would be largely the same as san francisco up until the late 80's early 90's when the b.c and canuck gov't were telling the millionaires of hong kong they could come and live in canada with an investment of 250 grand or more.. it seemed like a lot at the time but it wasn't and sure isn't now! prior to this time, the chinese in vancouver were 3rd generation or more canadian... many of these hard working people built the canadian railway.. they were treated poorly, but they gave much more to canada then they would have received at the time... salt of the earth people basically... these people are very different then the newer arrivals from hong kong and the most recent arrivals from mainland china too... such is life!

@80/81 jason... thanks ... those were nice stories that support a positive impression of the chinese.. i am all for that..

Posted by: james | Mar 6 2021 17:38 utc | 100

yes, thanks, Jason. I particularly liked in your comment (80) - "My impression of China and the Chinese is largely positive, the extreme work ethic can be a bother given I am a pothead hippy slacker. There is a lot of optimism and energy there, it makes the USA feel like a barbaric backwater country whose best days are past."

Like james, I have been to India (now there's a s...hole country..) but not China. However, what you, Jason, wrote aligns with what I do know about China. I think myself to be a daoist with round eye big nose Kiwi characteristics. Jingqishen.

With regard to matters Chinese, in discussions at MOA and other sites I have never seen any mention of a very important difference between East Asia (China, Japan, Thailand ..) and other societies in the world. And that difference Chinese society has is a very deep respect for and valuing of harmony.

Wo ai zhongguo ren!

Posted by: tucenz | Mar 7 2021 12:22 utc | 113

What's going on in India? Who is organising farmers strikes and why?

Posted by: Martin | Mar 7 2021 19:14 utc | 114

Martin #114

Basically Modhi the evil President of India is handing over the entire farm sector to oligarchs. The farmers are responding.

From Peoples Dispatch

"For the past three months, Indian farmers and agricultural workers have been in the middle of a difficult struggle against the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Tens of thousands of them have gathered around the capital city of New Delhi; they say that they will not disband unless the government repeals three laws that negatively impact their ability to remain economically viable. The government has shown no sign that it will withdraw these laws, which provide immense advantages to the large corporate houses that are close to Prime Minister Modi. The government’s attempt to crack down on the farmers and agricultural workers has altered the mood in the country: those who grow the food for the country are hard to depict as “terrorists” and as “anti-national.”

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 7 2021 20:58 utc | 115

tucenz #113

Thank you for the Monty Python link. That was delightful note to start the day with. Totally unexpected.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 7 2021 21:06 utc | 116

Sputnik is reporting that the Saudi Aramco oil production facilities in Dhahran were targeted in a missile & drone attack. Things in the Middle East seem to be building to a crisis

Posted by: Kadath | Mar 7 2021 21:07 utc | 117

Sputnik is reporting that the Saudi Aramco oil production facilities in Dhahran were targeted in a missile & drone attack. Things in the Middle East seem to be building to a crisis

Posted by: Kadath | Mar 7 2021 21:07 utc | 117

Some spectacular stuff on twitter, waiting for better confimation. It looks like the Houthis reached the road S. of Marib too.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 7 2021 22:12 utc | 118

Posted by: Kadath | Mar 7 2021 21:07 utc | 117

Yep, they hit Ras Tanura, the Houthis are claiming it.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 7 2021 22:23 utc | 119

We´ll see oil at 100$/bbl soon

Posted by: DFC | Mar 7 2021 22:38 utc | 120

@Posted by: Martin | Mar 7 2021 19:14 utc | 114

This from a series of three articles re Indian farmers and peasants’ situation — an accelerated phase of the ongoing implementation of neoliberal policies. The covid crisis was opportunistically used to try force a contemporary enclosure on the people.

“...the kisans [peasants] are right. What is at stake, ultimately, is their land. The three Acts are an integral part of a larger policy, the result of which will be to part peasants from their land.
“Indeed, just a few months ago, the rulers themselves were keen to advertise this fact to corporate investors. In his speech of May 12, announcing the “Corona package”, Modi said: “In order to prove the resolve of a self-reliant India, Land, Labor, Liquidity and Laws all have been emphasized in this package.” What “Land” was he referring to?
“Two days later, the Chief Economic Advisor, Krishnamurthy Subramanian, spelled out what the Prime Minister meant:

Land and labour are really factor market reforms [in textbook economics, Land, Labour and Capital are the three ‘factors of production’–RUPE] because these are factor inputs that really affect the cost of doing business and you have seen a lot of changes on these recently at state level. Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat have announced fundamental labour reforms and other states are also in line to follow up…. Karnataka had just gone ahead and changed the regulation on acquisition of land for business. Land can now be directly bought from farmers in the state and other states will also imbibe the model.

“The old land reform law in Karnataka prevented direct acquisition of land by private business, in order to protect peasants from force and fraud. The removal of this protection [1] in December 2020 was immediately welcomed by big business.

“In line with this, at the height of the Corona crisis, the Modi government initiated two measures: drone-based mapping of all residential areas in the rural areas; and a model legislation for states to implement ‘conclusive’ land titling. Before we discuss these steps, let us briefly state the argument of this article.”

The Kisans land is at stake

Posted by: suzan | Mar 7 2021 22:54 utc | 121

@ suzan | Mar 7 2021 22:54 utc | 121... that is a fascinating link and read that you share.. thank you! i pray the farmers succeed in their quest for the benefit of all..

Posted by: james | Mar 7 2021 23:52 utc | 122

Thank you for the Monty Python link. That was delightful note to start the day with. Totally unexpected.
Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 7 2021 21:06 utc | 116

"No-one expects the ..."
The comments at the MP link are as witty as one might expect.

Posted by: tucenz | Mar 8 2021 2:15 utc | 123

I do not think the Indian situation is such simple as bad Modi against poor peasants.

The rich state of Punjab belongs to Congress and that oligarchic party is organising protests.

Posted by: Kol | Mar 8 2021 4:35 utc | 124

Kol #124

Modi put the legislation through as his party has the majority. Congress is a weakling in the parliament these years.

So regardless of the supporters what does the legislation do? It removes farmers rights.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 8 2021 9:15 utc | 125

Meanwhile the Kurd patriarchy have common ground with the Taliban.

"Since the 1991 uprising of the Kurdish region, which spans a number of different internationally-recognised countries, including Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq, more than 20,000 Kurdish women have been killed in so-called “honour crimes...

"There are many women in political positions in the KRG. The head of the Kurdistan Regional Parliament and Ministry of Social Affairs are women, as well as the entire Council of Women’s Affairs. There is a 30-percent quota for female members of parliament, and numerous women’s rights organisations and NGOs are supported by the government.

"But Houzan Mahmoud, a Kurdish feminist who grew up during the rule of Saddam Hussein and now lives between Germany and the UK, believes: “The problem is that many of these women are tokens, and their roles are largely symbolic.”

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 8 2021 9:30 utc | 126

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