Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 07, 2021

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2021-019

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

> [Steven Adair, president of Volexity,] said his firm tracked the malicious activity back to early January, though researchers in Taiwan identified Exchange software bugs as far back as December.

For much of January and February, the Chinese theft of email seemed stealthy and targeted, Adair said. Then suddenly about a week ago, shortly before Microsoft issued its patch, the activity exploded. The hackers seemed to be dropping webshells on anyone running an Exchange server, he said. It was, he said, almost as if they suspected a patch was forthcoming. <

Other issues:

Fukushima Dai-Ichi - 10 years on:


Syria / Turkey:


Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on March 7, 2021 at 14:03 UTC | Permalink

« previous page | next page »

Since this is an open thread, please allow me to thank Piotr Berman for his comments.

Piotr, thank you for your spot-on commentary, the jest is rare and welcome. You've had me go from what? to oh, funny over and over.

Much appreciated.

Posted by: jonku | Mar 8 2021 4:01 utc | 101

Bitcoin has a Xinjiang problem

Posted by: Antonym | Mar 8 2021 4:04 utc | 102

The Shia of islam continue to be slaughtered by the Sunni religious civil war makers.

Pakistan-Afghan Hazara Shias become prime target of Sunni extremists.
Read more here.

Greed is a primary driver of this civil war which has become most overt and lethal in the last 50+ years.

It has nothing to do with religion.

It has to do with yellow gold and black gold and control of global trade = POWER.

Certainly the middle east puppet kingdoms and governments established by UK and France as vassal states at the end of WWI were designed to implement a sunni supremacy and, yes, that lasted almost a century. This assumed control or supremacy was imagined to be firmly under the mandate of the western interfering states. Whenever there was a need there would be a contrivance of a false flag or attack against one or the other group and immediately blamed on the other. Perhaps the Iran-Iraq war being one example.

Until that day in early 1979, when Iran asserted its independence and appears to be today's champion protector of shia worldwide PLUS the protector of the righteous. Perhaps it will succeed, perhaps not.

From the new statesman report: "Yet the Islamic Revolution had a major effect outside Iran. Its revolutionaries set out to overturn the accepted idea of the time: that the future for the developing world in general – and the Middle East in particular – was progress on a Western model.

Some Sunnis in the wider Islamic world, discontented with their own secular-minded, materialistic, Western-inclined rulers, took in that message. They were not open to Iranian leadership but may have been shamed by the Iranian example. Sunni Islam was for them the correct, rightful form of Islam, yet it had been the incorrect Shia tradition that had stood up against impiety and Western cultural encroachment."

We have seen it all before and no amount of circumlocution will rewrite history. Power is the driver, religion, its handmaiden, being just one of the divisive tools to delude the gullible. Meanwhile this wretched pope and the breathless scribblers with him, gives comfort to the forces of delusion - as usual. A power maneuver from Rome. I doubt the good shia will fall for this.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 8 2021 4:26 utc | 103

Can some bitcoin guru or vizier please advise me who is the recipient of this:

In cryptocurrency mining, people use enormous power-hungry computers to solve algorithmic puzzles and in return get rewarded with new bitcoin.

Who owns these 'solved algorithmic puzzles' and what are they doing with their side of the ledger?
Are the solution published and public property?
Are they useful to war making artificial intelligence?
Are they useful in hacking or some form of computational power accumulation?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 8 2021 4:33 utc | 104

Grieved #102

IMO the plan for Yemen is the clearance of the shia and therefore the ultimate unchallenged dominance of the saudi and oman. The red sea waterway is a critical infrastructure element to global trade and so therefore must be made a safe passage. Without that open passage Israel could be snuffed out.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 8 2021 4:40 utc | 105

james @ 89, thanks for these views. I think it is more advantageous to be given some inkling of the depths of the great religions than merely to attack what one doesn't really know. In that vein it is better for the ones who practise them to speak, if indeed they are present here, and they ought to be as courteously treated as I have been. For the most part, the practitioners of faith are a peaceful lot, and most would not want to be confrontational.

For the Orthodox Christian, today, Sunday, is the second to last Sunday before Lent begins, these paired Sundays being named Meat-fare Sunday and Cheese-fare Sunday, which have appropriate readings from the letters of Paul concerning fasting. I'll mention that today's Gospel reading is Matthew 25; 31-46. You all know this reading - it's the one about separation of the sheep and the goats at the Judgment who ask: "When did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison...?" A powerful reading. (And by the way - nothing about it says 'empire'.)

"...As you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me."

Posted by: juliania | Mar 8 2021 5:15 utc | 106

As to the mask burners in Idaho; First, who gives a flying f***, second, guess it's cheaper than books.

Posted by: vetinLA | Mar 8 2021 5:24 utc | 107

Two sharp-eyed young sisters were hailed as change agents and champions of equality by the Carmel City Council Monday.

While passing Carmel construction zones on their school bus, Blair Babione, 11, and Brienne Babione, 9, saw something that seemed wrong: signs that read “Men Working.”

The girls and their mother, Leslie, did some online sleuthing and discovered that the federal government, states and cities put the signs out of use decades ago in favor of gender-neutral signs, like a shovel, flag or a description of the work.

The girls wrote a letter to City Council President Sue Finkham.

"Why is this sign here? Why does it say, 'Men working' when we've seen plenty of women doing construction?'" the girls wrote.

They quickly got results.

Finkham introduced a resolution to enforce the gender neutral guidelines on Carmel construction projects. It passed unanimously.

“’Men Working” or ‘Men At Work’ signage communicates the false and unacceptable message that women cannot or should not work in the construction trades or other related fields,” the resolution reads. "Having been alerted to gender bias in this community by the thoughtful letters of two of the City’s youngest residents, Blair Babione and Brienne Babione, the Common Council chooses to take official action to promote equality and inclusivity."

Finkham said she wanted to reward the girls for their civic responsibility and promotion of equality, especially at the start of Women’s History Month.

“It is about empowering young people,” she said. “Instead of going on social media they wrote a letter to their city council. I’ve never seen that in 10 years on the council.”

Posted by: Mao | Mar 8 2021 6:06 utc | 108

Mao @110--

I read about that. The verbiage ought to merely read on all signs: Human. And let it just be that for one and all that are simply human--nothing special except perhaps, Handicapped Human(s). No gender markers, just Human.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 8 2021 6:14 utc | 109

vetinLA #109

Less polluting,
easier to burn as books tend to smoulder,
eliminates accumulated virus on BOTH surfaces,
one day we will have mask burning parties to celebrate the end of virus or end of fear according to our prejudices,
There will be a giant mask to ignite at the burning man festival.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 8 2021 6:24 utc | 110

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 8 2021 6:14 utc | 111

No gender markers, just Human.

I find this distinction speciest.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Mar 8 2021 7:24 utc | 111

re @99 Fyi - "Where is the money to be made in Yemen for US?"

I doubt there is any great belief in Yemen being a part of the empire's grand strategy.
The butchery in Yemen is for amerika, which chiefly propelled by a need for the empire to allow its supporters, enablers and murderers for hire, aka major allies, to get their snouts in a suitable trough somewhere on this planet and Yemen has won/lost the raffle.
england france & germany are kept onside by massive contracts with the wahabbists to 'win the war' not that the eurowhores are in much of a hurry for that to occur.

The longer the genocide of the Yemeni people continues, the longer the eurowhores get to sell 'em bombs, missiles, airplanes 'n shit but most of all has contracts to staff Saudi command and control sites at HQ. The Saudi airforce and army is run by 'retired' nato operatives. These are privateers, so not only are each of these mercenaries pulling down a fat check for war-controlling in air conditioned comfort well behind the lines, their bosses which are inevitably some shonky firm with friends in high places in London, Paris or Berlin are absolutely coining it.

Why what about the Saudis - why do they want to keep this unwinnable conflict bubbling?

The big one is of course that this war against infidels serves as a great uniter among the wahabbist majority, the ultimate goal is insisting that as part of any peace negotiation Yemen surrender its oil fields

Posted by: Debsisdead | Mar 8 2021 7:34 utc | 112

vetinLA masks

Karen's don't wear masks, they are losers.

5 minute video for comic relief.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 8 2021 7:48 utc | 113

Does anyone know more about this?. The person who found it cannot link to the original source. Curious if true. No guarantee of its veracity though.

"Pfizer is demanding countries put up sovereign assets, including bank reserves, military bases and embassy buildings, as collateral for expected vaccine injury lawsuits resulting from its COVID-19 inoculation"

Posted by: Stonebird | Mar 8 2021 8:02 utc | 114

Mao | Mar 8 2021 6:06 utc | 110

So they changed the sign to "is anyone still working?"

Posted by: Stonebird | Mar 8 2021 8:10 utc | 115

Here is a link. for my post 116.

Seems it could be true. Argentina and Brazil are mentioned.

So Pfizer now wants to take over country assets, particularly if the vaccine doesn't work as promised?

Posted by: Stonebird | Mar 8 2021 8:21 utc | 116
"In regards to liability clauses in the EU contract with Pfizer and BioNTech, the official said conditions were different from those that the bloc had signed with other drugmakers, adding there was “no copy-paste” on liability terms from previous contracts. The official also indicated that the liability terms were different to what Pfizer had agreed to with the US government."
"Sue Middleton, President of the Executive Board of Vaccines Europe which represents top vaccine makers, told a European Parliament hearing that in case of unexpected adverse events, which could include unpredicted side-effects, she understood that there was indemnification.

“The Commission or the member states would essentially indemnify the companies against the cost of legal action that followed those claims,” she said, adding that these events were rare and that she had not seen all contracts signed so far." (...) "The United States also offer a full liability coverage to vaccine makers because widespread inoculation against disease is considered a benefit to society.

Middleton also called for no-fault compensation in all 27 EU states for COVID-19 vaccines which would speed up resolution of legal disputes. Such a system is in place in 11 countries, but its application to COVID-19 vaccine cases is not always clear, she said."
"The European pharmaceutical industry’s vaccines lobby has pushed the EU for exemptions that would protect its members from lawsuits if there are problems with any new coronavirus vaccines, according to people with knowledge of the discussions and an internal memo seen by the Financial Times."

Posted by: Mina | Mar 8 2021 9:20 utc | 117

Mr. Bemildred
I do not understands the mechanism of US politics and cannot therefore explain how the fragmented schismatic Christian churches are exercising political influence in the United States.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 8 2021 3:14 utc | 100

Yes, that is quite clear. The question was whether you are interested to know more or you think you know enough about us already? If not, I won’t bother you any more.

There are also some language issues, but they are not that bad.

In any case I appreciate the conversation.

To be clear I am not a practicing protestant, or any other religion, but those are my people, I know quite a bit about them.


IMO the plan for Yemen is the clearance of the shia and therefore the ultimate unchallenged dominance of the saudi and oman. The red sea waterway is a critical infrastructure element to global trade and so therefore must be made a safe passage. Without that open passage Israel could be snuffed out.
Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 8 2021 4:40 utc | 107

Yes, it’s about that strait, and it is done from need, not desire. Take a look at Djibouti on the other side, a veritable food court of military bases.

Who owns these 'solved algorithmic puzzles' and what are they doing with their side of the ledger?
Are the solution published and public property?
Are they useful to war making artificial intelligence?
Are they useful in hacking or some form of computational power accumulation?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 8 2021 4:33 utc | 106

The crypto-mining, if I understand it right, is a mechanism to enforce scarcity, it takes time and energy to make coins, this is “work”. It’s a fatuous way to do that, but it “works”. Any kind of “gold” has to be scarce, limited supply. That is the function the mining (I think.)

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 8 2021 9:42 utc | 118

Yemen has been eyed for its touristic potential for at least two decades. It is one of the few, accessible place (no forests making landing complicate as in Africa) that have been preserved and not betonized/polluted entirely, plus the magnificent Red Sea. It created some competition between the EU and the US/UK+traditional Gulf allies.
(the order is from 2007, in 2014 still, Yemen had more than 80 percent of its population living on less than 5 dollars a day:

Back then, while the EU was trying to invest in Yemen for tourism the Gulfies were accused to pay tribal guys to kidnap tourists. The US was following its own touristic development path, much closer to the strategical Straight of Aden.
"Last year, the Ministry of Tourism hosted 13 publicity fairs in cities across Europe and Asia to raise awareness about Yemen’s tourism potential, and in 2006 it launched — in partnership with the European Commission — the National Hotel and Tourism Institute in Sana’a to train new tour guides and hotel owners in the business of mass tourism."

Posted by: Mina | Mar 8 2021 9:56 utc | 119

Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine Was Designed In Just Few Hours Says BioNTech Co-founder Dr Ugur Sahin

According to the co-founder of BioNTech Dr Ugur Sahin, the COVID-19 vaccine he designed for Pfizer was designed in just few hours in a single day on January 25, 2020. No other vaccine in history has been created and manufactured so quickly. Previously, the fastest vaccine ever developed took more than four years.

BioNTech co-founder Dr Ugur Sahin designed the COVID-19 vaccine in just a few hours in mid-January, according to The Journal, a podcast from Gimlet and The Wall Street Journal.

A BioNTech spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider that Sahin – who founded the company with his wife, Özlem Türeci – made a “rough design over one weekend.”

Even, Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine also took just two days to design.

The reason both vaccines were designed so quickly was because of the technology they rely on: messenger RNA, or mRNA.

Posted by: Mao | Mar 8 2021 10:19 utc | 120

COVID-19 Vaccine Developers Oxford-AstraZeneca Linked To British Eugenics Movement

The developers of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine have previously undisclosed ties to the re-named British Eugenics Society as well as other Eugenics-linked institutions like the Wellcome Trust.

Posted by: Mao | Mar 8 2021 10:24 utc | 121

Big oil is really scared

A 30 minute discussion between Steven Ronziger and Lee Camp.

Steven Ronziger is a political prisoner in the USA courtesy of the mendacity of Chevron Oil and the USA.

"Steven Donziger beat Chevron Oil in court in a case over poisoning the Ecuadorean Amazon and its people. Then Chevron went after Donziger. He's currently one of the US's many political prisoners."

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 8 2021 10:43 utc | 122

Puhhh, this Asia Times article is hard to read. No matter how accurate the overall reporting on the backgrounds of the missile/drone attack on the Ain Al-Assad base is, the desperate attempt to portray the Ansar Allah Alliance as Iran-backed or Iran proxies is an insult and exposes itself as nothing less than a propaganda piece.

Posted by: v | Mar 8 2021 10:48 utc | 123

rewriting and whitewashing history by th e wall street urinal

It was the US that destroyed much of Mosul in Iraq... as well as its destruction of Fallujah (2004) in Iraq, and later Raqqa (2016-2017) in Syria

"....The pope’s visit culminated on Sunday with messages of support for Christians. In Mosul, he spoke against a backdrop of ruins in a section of the city where Islamic State had destroyed churches and used one church as a prison...".

Posted by: michaelj72 | Mar 8 2021 10:52 utc | 124

Mao, from the website you quote
this is misleading. They seem to say that people stayed paralyzed while it is usually just a few hours. Apparently, older people don't have these effects because of their immunity being already reduced.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 8 2021 10:58 utc | 125

michaelj72 126"

Indeed,in the numerous articles about Pope's courageous voyage to Iraq,I never found even one indication that it was USA and other western armies that made rubble out of what once was a shining bright city.

Thank you uncle Tungsten for not letting you be charmed. by this Jesuit Pope.Ever since Athanasius Kircher the jesuits have been living up to their ultimate goal which is the achieving of the power to judge each and every one of us on our thoughts deeds and opinions so as to do the job of the Last Judgement and direct us to hell or to heaven by means of 24h/24h surveillance and computerized data processing initiated by Kircher.Like the freemasons they are everywhere .

Posted by: willie | Mar 8 2021 11:05 utc | 126

willie #128

Ah yes, the Jesuits. Lest we never forget that Isis was originated and managed by the UKUSAi and the jesuit pope is the pontius pilot of innocence.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 8 2021 11:41 utc | 127

2 Contrasting styles.

USA: "We are going to cyber attack Russia" (Message targeted to US population)

Russia: "our patience is running out..." (Message targeted to Nato counterparts)

Then bombed the daylights out of Centcom's 'unguarded' oil stealing operation.

Gotta love that effective communication style.

Posted by: Et Tu | Mar 8 2021 11:48 utc | 128

Imagine the sheeple dream
sheeple live in
if their reality is shaped by Reuters.

The Saudis are the good guys protecting global civilization
from the evildoers of Yemen.

Another day, more shit.

Yemen's Houthis attack Saudi oil heartland with drones, missiles

The Houthis recently stepped up cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia at a time when the United States and the United Nations are pushing for a ceasefire to revive stalled political negotiations to end the war.
The military alliance intervened in Yemen in March 2015 after the Houthis ousted the Saudi-backed government from power in the capital, Sanaa. The conflict is widely seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
In February, Biden declared a halt to U.S. support for offensive operations by the coalition but said the United States would continue to help Saudi Arabia defend itself.

( a brief reminder that the Saudis have been attacking Yemen since at least 2009 )
( Obama slaughtered dozens of women and children using cruise missiles packed with cluster bombs 10 days after he had accepted
the Nobel Peace Prize - December 2009)
Reframing the GWOT ("Gee, what?")
Global War on Terror
The War for Global Energy Security

That, at least, has more truthiness to it.

Now, the MSM has the Houthi guilty of an "assault on global energy security"

SANAA (Reuters) - Yemen’s Houthi forces fired drones and missiles at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry on Sunday, including a Saudi Aramco facility at Ras Tanura vital to petroleum exports, in what Riyadh called a failed assault on global energy security.

Posted by: librul | Mar 8 2021 13:25 utc | 129

Any idea what that means?
"SARS CoV 2 tends to mutate slowly in comparison to HIV and Influenza viruses. However, immune escape variants seem to be emerging due to the repeated and indiscriminate use of convalescent plasma and because of the prolonged COVID infection among people who are immuno-compromised (survival of the virus might be longer in these patients, giving more opportunities for it to mutate)

It is essential to curb the use of convalescent plasma therapy and to reduce the transmission or the number of cases to stop the emergence of virus variants, Dr. Gangakhedkar said."

Posted by: Mina | Mar 8 2021 13:33 utc | 130

Bitcoin has a Xinjiang problem
I'm happy if I can remember my passwords so Bitcoin cryptocurrency is like advanced math to me even though i am trying to understand it. The core of your linked article is the "Uighur genocide" accusation, without proof. Comes from the same imperial fairy tale factory that gave us Skirpal, Navalny, Asaad's chemical attacks, blah blah blah.
Countries are like big families. Find the member who whines, wants more, is willing to take money and get even and you have a model for the classical "regime change" or family breakup.
China's "Uighur problem" is like France's "muslim problem", Russia's Chechnia,U.S.'s Native Americans (genocide, anyone?) any country that has a minority. The issue, to me, is respect. Chinese prison guards or people in positions of power might be mistreating Uighurs. My guess is that, compared to the U.S. prisons, not as bad but I don't know. I will not, however, believe stories that come from Pompeo, Blinken, CIA etc. Especially given that Uighurs are in Syria-- that's a red flag to me.

Posted by: migueljose | Mar 8 2021 13:36 utc | 131

Grieved @102
Thank you for your insight and hope: powerful, you are one of the many posters who feed my soul.

Posted by: migueljose | Mar 8 2021 13:41 utc | 132

The gains from weapons sales are not solely to the manufacturers of the weapons. The current balance of trade has effects for domestic finance in general, even for an economy as large and deeply developed as the US economy. Weapons sales can weigh heavily there.

But the weapons sales are not one time deals, like buying a five pound bag of sugar at the supermarket. Weapons systems are ongoing relationships between militaries of different nations. In addition to the provision of spare parts in themselves, there is the training for installing the systems and for the ongoing maintenance of the systems. The doctrine for use of the weapons systems is teacher/pupil relation between the military installing the system and the one accepting it. It is in short a way of putting hooks into the officer corps of the target nation.

The question then really is, is the point of the weapons sales the money or the military alliance between officer corps?

Posted by: steven t johnson | Mar 8 2021 13:54 utc | 133

Posted by: Mina | Mar 8 2021 13:33 utc | 132

If you give a virus the opportunity to replicate "a lot" in the presence of immunity providing chemicals, the virus has much better chances of evolving around the immunity (immunity escape).

When you use immune serum widely, that is what you have.

With viruses that have long adapted to living with us, you don't have that problem since they don't need to escape. They are already happy where they are.

This scientifically speaking is mush, but the right sort of idea.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 8 2021 14:06 utc | 134

Thanks! sorry for my ignorance but what is "immune serum" and when is it used?

Posted by: Mina | Mar 8 2021 14:12 utc | 135

Uncle Tungsten@124
Thank you for the link to Stephen Donziger's interview with Lee Camp. I will sign up to support him. Donziger was the lead lawyer who represented Ecuadorian tribes who were poisoned by Texaco, now Chevron. They won after 20 years but Chevron is destroying Donziger and refusing to pay the Ecuadorians in a classical "lawfare" action: capturing judical systems. Same thing in Brazil/Lula, a mafia strategy.
Good work as always, Tungsten.

Posted by: migueljose | Mar 8 2021 14:22 utc | 136

Mina @137

Immune serum is a blood product from the blood of individuals who have recovered from the disease. It contains antibodies to the disease and is thought to accelerate recovery for people with active cases of the disease.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 8 2021 14:33 utc | 137

A show of good-will?

"The United States has agreed to the release of $3 billion in Iranian funds that have been frozen in Iraq, Oman and South Korea due to Washington’s sanctions, Iranian trade official Hamid Hosseini told the semi-official Fars news agency on Sunday."


Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Mar 8 2021 15:20 utc | 138

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Mar 8 2021 15:20 utc | 140

Yes, there are some things going on under the table like that. It's hard to tell if it means anything. Iran, last I looked, says they haven't seen any cash yet.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 8 2021 15:25 utc | 139

Fake news:

Nomadland Film censored in China over critical comments by Chloé Zhao

The film wasn't censored. One social media in China - Weibo - removed all of its promotional content from its website after Chinese netizens unearthed 10-year old comments by Chloé Zhao openly denigrating China and praising the USA. The mass backlash prompted the social media giant to remove marketing material for the film.

But the Chinese people know about the film, many of them probably have already watched it and the film probably will hit the Chinese market. It's not like the Chinese don't even know about the existence of the film.

By those standards, I could write a headline affirming "X was censored in the USA after Y" every time Facebook takes something down for PR reasons.

Here's the true version of the story:

Nomadland fracas a chance to test China’s resilience


Pathetic attempt of false equivalence:

Coronavirus: third person dies in Hong Kong days after receiving Sinovac vaccine, sources say; city records nine new cases

The article starts with two paragraphs stating that "sources" (don't mention which) "confirmed" (with what authority?) that a 71-year-old man died "days" after receiving the vaccine. It then spends the rest of the long article simply talking about the HK government's vaccination program.

He went into an ER already without pulse, and was probably already dead by the moment he was sent to the hospital; there are no sources that state he died due to the vaccine. The priority group in HK are the ones 60-year and above, therefore the dead man received the vaccine. That's the only connection between his death and the vaccine. The very article mentions that "An autopsy will be done to ascertain an exact cause of death."

This man's death isn't even mentioned by the official sources, which only talk about the expansion of the vaccination program. The writer of the article induces the reader to think the HK authorities are hiding mass deaths from the people, in some kind of dystopian extermination.

The Coronavac uses the human adenovirus technology. It is the most commonly used technology today, and is time tested and known to work. It is not a live vaccine. It's a completely different case from the mRNA and chimpanzee adenovirus vaccines, which are relatively new and untested technologies.

Already more than 54 million Mainland Chinese were inoculated with the Coronavac. I very much doubt the CPC is willing to sacrifice gratuitously a large chunk of its own people against a pandemic it has already crushed.


Dispelling Western paranoia:

‘Two sessions’ 2021: China is ‘30 years off being a top-tier industrial powerhouse’

China never considered itself a superpower or a developed country. Its goal is to become a moderately prosperous society by 2049 (the PRC's centenary). It knows its limitations.

People crying against a fantastic "Chinese imperialism" are delusional and acting in bad faith.


How are China's economic, social development goals for 2021 determined?

Posted by: vk | Mar 8 2021 15:58 utc | 140

@Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Mar 8 2021 15:20 utc | 140

A show of good-will?

"The United States has agreed to the release of $3 billion in Iranian funds that have been frozen in Iraq, Oman and South Korea due to Washington’s sanctions, Iranian trade official Hamid Hosseini told the semi-official Fars news agency on Sunday."

Let us hope that it is a good sign.
But the cynic in me says watch out. Fake President Biden puts the US in a good light just before something is blamed on Iran:
"See what happens when we make peace jestures (sic), Iran then shows it's true self and bites our hand."

Somehow this brings to mind when Donald Rumsfeld held a news conference saying he was
about to do a major audit on the Pentagon to find out where the missing trillions went to - a good thing (everybody duck).
That was on a Monday, the next day, Tuesday, the auditor section of the Pentagon was dynamited.

Posted by: librul | Mar 8 2021 16:13 utc | 141

Mr. Bemildred


Posted by: fyi | Mar 8 2021 16:27 utc | 142

uncle tungsten | Mar 8 2021 10:43 utc | 124

Thanks the data and film link to Steve Donziger re Ecuador v Chevron/Texico oil contamination... using the law to destroy he law. It is classic class warfare in n world of injustice and run-amok wealth/power accumulation.

Posted by: chu teh | Mar 8 2021 16:31 utc | 143

Correction to my post @131, it was 7 days not 10 days. Obama accepted his Nobel Peace Prize
on December 10, 2009. On December 17, 2009 he then slaughtered dozens of women and children in Yemen
with cruise missiles packed with cluster bombs. Rather indiscriminate weapon choice, what?
On December 18th the cover up of a war crime began. Obama hadn't done the paper work, or rather
his Sec of State Hillary Clinton, (intentionally?) neglected to designate the presumed target
a terrorist organization *before* Obama attacked. The designation of a organization as a FTO
(Foreign Terrorist Organization)is a legal nicety that is best observed before murder.
Yemen leaders (our guys) agreed to facilitate the cover up and say that it was their own
military that had made a mistake. Thank goodness for Wikileaks who exposed the cover up of this
war crime.

Here is how Obama ended his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize:

Obama in Oslo, December 10, 2009:

"Somewhere today, a mother facing punishing poverty
still takes the time to teach her child, scrapes together what
few coins she has to send that child to school -- because she
believes that a cruel world still has a place for that child's

Let us live by their example. We can acknowledge that oppression will
always be with us, and still strive for justice. We can admit the
intractability of deprivation, and still strive for dignity. Clear-eyed,
we can understand that there will be war, and still strive for peace.
We can do that -- for that is the story of human progress; that's the


of all the world; and at this moment of challenge,
that must be our work here on Earth.

Posted by: librul | Mar 8 2021 16:35 utc | 144

oops, @146 I left off the last few words of Obama's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech:

Thank you very much.

Posted by: librul | Mar 8 2021 16:58 utc | 145

Posted by: fyi | Mar 8 2021 16:27 utc | 144


Good. This probably works best as a conversation. You seem well-informed in general, so I don't think "starting at the beginning" will be useful. If you have a question or two, we could start there.

The main problem I see, as several others have mentioned is your use of the word "Protestant". The Protestants are a variety of groups who were dissatisfied with the Roman Catholic Church and went off in their own direction, sectarians. The main thing they share is that rejection. Most have small or no institutional heirarchy, and there are a few big ones. Religion is in general in decline here. The two groups with the most power at the moment are the Jews and the Catholics as one can easily see from the makeup of the government. That is a change from when I was young (1950s). The evangelicals make up twenty something percent of the population, last time I looked, perhas someone will correct me. They are very political. They have been growing since the 1970s, but now seem to stable of decining. Those are the groups interested in going overseas to proselytize.

We also have lots of immigrants who are not from protestant areas, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East.

With regard to your situation, most of us here (at Moon, and just my view) think that while religion is a part of it, in the west the driving forces are not religious, but economic and political.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 8 2021 17:06 utc | 147

Global Times on War of Words between Outlaw Empire and China:

"From a long-term perspective, this opinion war is a rivalry between lies and hard evidence."

Just as it is between the Outlaw Empire and Russia.

The vast majority of nations still suffer from their Colonial past and will side with their Global South Comrade over the Outlaw Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 8 2021 17:11 utc | 148

Mr Cooke has a new one up at Strategic Culture:

Biden and the ‘Yellow Brick Road’

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 8 2021 17:14 utc | 149

Scumbag Biden no better or worse than Scumbag far.

This "envoy" sounds like a real asshole.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Mar 8 2021 17:50 utc | 150

The war on Yemen has been going on for about seventy years. Originally it was a British campaign waged by the RAF from its base and airfield in Khormaksar. It was largely, I believe, waged by Meteors, early jet fighters and lumbering bombers of the prop era.
The British ran Aden, the Crown Colony and the surrounding Protectorate which covered the lower third of Yemen. Yemen was run by an old royal government-the Imamate which was founded, as a Zaidiyyah shi'ite institution in the late C9th.
It was eleven hundred years old, that is to say, when the RAF was bombing it in the 1950s, far older than either the British, the Saud or the Hashemite royal houses.
Aden was one of the few military bases run by the Air Force which specialised in punitive bombing raids designed to keep opponents of the British-such as the Yemeni tribes- in check. It was a strategy which can be traced back to Winston Churchill and the young Wing Commander Harris in Iraq. It was no coincidence that TE Lawrence (of Arabia) began his second life as Aircraftsman Shaw in the RAF.
The seven battalions of the Aden Protectorate Levies, with British officers and, for the most part, NCOs from Pakistan, carried out their work in bases scattered throughout the Protectorate. The military in Aden, which became a mini-Algiers in the sixties, consisted of British units including conscripts who detested the posting for a variety of reasons including the intense heat and the isolation.
When the Yemen Civil War broke out in 1962 the British swapped sides- from opponents of the Imamate they became its supporters against a secular socialist government inspired and supported by Nasser and the Egyptian army, then at the peak of their power and prestige in the Arab world.
Kicked out of Sa'ana the Zaidi Imam/King's forces became sponsored by the same powers that are fighting against the Houthis today- the Saudis, the British, the US and the Israelis. It was a war waged by Royalist/British guerrilla forces, carrying out ambushes, mining roads and using terrorism against Republican Yemeni forces and a large Egyptian Army, including some of the best fighting units thereof, with the support not only of most Yemeni but particularly of the those living in the Crown Colony of Aden where Arab nationalism and socialism thrived among a working class centred on the Shell refinery, the busy docks and the prosperous commercial centre.
It is one of the clearest pieces of evidence that the 1967 war, from which the current Occupation of Palestine's West Bank and east Jerusalem date, was not an attack on Israel by Egypt (as claimed) but a carefully planned attack by Israel, that Egypt's best forces and leading generals were in Yemen when the war began.
Nothing has changed except that the Yemeni factions have swapped sides: it is now the Zaidi who are fighting the Imperialists, while what is left of the Republicans, including the exiled government, are now allied with al qaida, the US imperialists, the Saudis, the UAE and Israel. And Britain's arms industry, most notably its semi privatised armed forces are making a killing doing what they enjoy most.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 8 2021 17:54 utc | 151

Another one who thinks the US government is having trouble "negotiating reality":

Twilight of the American empire

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 8 2021 18:04 utc | 152

Bemildred @149--

Don't forget the Mormons; their "lesson" is very instructive.

The 4,000+ year long Class War is all about money and political control. The Kings from the Southwest Asian area were those that promoted the Jubilee to reset the socio-political arrangement to maintain stability and they promoted the idea of the connection between Divinity and Regal. They were overthrown and replaced by an Oligarchical structure that also would claim the mantel of Divinity. Both the Greeks and Romans were Pagan as were the plethora of "Mystery Religions;" but farther East in the older, more stable regions centered on Persia, there was greater gravitation toward Monotheism. Central and Eastern Asian religious development didn't penetrate to the West thanks to geography, although there is Vedic influence in Zoroastrianism. As for Christianity, the sole reason for it being "universal" is due to Constantine's need for a more coherent state ideology and ally as the 300+ year old Roman Church had grown into a wealthy and powerful quasi-state institution. It's true nature is revealed in the Church's own documents as shown in Acharya S's The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold, which can be freely downloaded at the link. Recall the sole reason for the popularity of the historical Jesus--the return to Mosaic Law and its God ordained Jubilee--and compare that with what the Roman Church actually did with that repute. The key for the student being the absolute requirement to study the major "Mystery Religions" and the evolution of the political world from a collective basis favoring the wellbeing of the masses to an individual basis favoring those with accumulated wealth, all of which sets the stage for Jesus of Nazareth's failed revolt wherein he's Martyred and thus becomes worshiped.

One last point to consider is that of the Gnostics. They were suppressed by the nascent Christian Church and their credo deemed heresy--The Seed of God resides within all life--which we know to be true since DNA is surely that seed. Why there isn't a Gnostic Church is a very good question. But it's easy to see why the Catholics would view such an institution as a major threat to theirs. And that forms the basis for the competition between science and religion today.

Aside from Hinduism, I see what are called the Eastern Religions as Systems of Philosophy aimed at ordering society wherein the Divine is spread throughout Nature with the aim to keep it in harmony with human society. Hinduism is similar to Western religions in that it aims to perpetuate a class system and is currently experiencing yet another wave of revolt from the lower castes.

I became a Gnostic long ago and adopted this credo: Gnosos=Logos. I was therefore very pleased to see George Lucas explain within the Phantom Menace story how the "Virgin Birth" was arranged by the "Miticlorians," although that very small sequence seems to have flown over the heads of millions of the film's viewers.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 8 2021 18:23 utc | 153

bevin @153--

Thanks for that historical review! IMO, there's much to be gleaned from the first Outlaw Empire's actions in the Persian Gulf. I linked to this important Iranian historical POV essay posted at Saker's earlier and do so again as there's a clear connection with the Empire's Geostrategy then and now.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 8 2021 18:36 utc | 154

ut @ 115; Thanks for the video, LOL.

Posted by: vetinLA | Mar 8 2021 18:46 utc | 155

Mr. Bemildred

Thank you for your response although it leaves me unconvinced.

I did not intend any disrespect towards Protestantism in general or the the Anglo-American variety in particular.

But the way things look to me is that we are in a multi-religious war that dates back from the declared aim of the Anglo-American Protestants in 1919 to gain control of Palestine and give it to the Chosen People - per a certain stream of thought in Anglo-American Protestantism dating back to late 17-th century.

There is nothing in Palestine that warrant expenditure of blood and treasure - the land is only marginally productive and is notoriously low on capital formation. There is no treasure there to be obtained.

I understand the framework that many commentators on this forum assume in order to comprehend the world. The Ottomans, for example, hid behind Islam in their campaigns of rapine and plunder against the Christian kingdoms of Eastern Europe. Or the Ghaznavid Empire which, whenever the Sultan ran out of money, he would invade India, kill Hindu men, give their women as booty to his soldiers, and collect all the gold and jewlery for himself. There were 2 seasons in that empire - Winter & Jihad.

I think that framework be wrong in this case of recent history - both in Palestine and in the Persian Gulf area. I think one reason I disagree is that I believe that the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and UK would have been able to sell a lot more to Iranians and Iraqis had they normalized their relationship with Iran and Iraq back in 1995 than weapons they have sold to UAE and Saudi Arabia. What they did, however, was to implement a policy of dual containment - to weaken the two enemies of Israel.

Mr. Zarif, in a conference in New Zealand in 2016, asked the largely Anglican audience: "What did you gain by these sanctions?" There were no answers since there was never a "gain" intended to be obtained from sanctions against Iran, they were meant to hurt Iranians - since they opposed the fantasies of Anglo-American Protestants in Palestine. Sanctioning the only vaccine manufacturer in Iran is not an act of geo-strategic statesmanship, but rather one of pure religious hatred - in my opinion.

Posted by: fyi | Mar 8 2021 19:09 utc | 156

Since the Floyd murder, I'm seeing many more black faces in commercials on TV. That, I suppose, is due, in part, to BLM, and their movement.

Damn shame, we can't seem to make any headway on doing something really telling, like raising the minimum wage for all the marginalized minorities who makeup the majority of the working poor.

Guess that's an example of America today. No substantial change, but shower us with commercial non-reality.

Maybe more employed minority actors is a step forward?

And the class war continues....

Posted by: vetinLA | Mar 8 2021 19:19 utc | 157

@ 108 juliania.. thanks.. that appears to be now happening here at moa...

Posted by: james | Mar 8 2021 19:29 utc | 158

Mike Whitney on the MRNA vaccine quandary.

When I get around to getting a vaccine, I will probably have to get Sinovac, though I would prefer Sputnik V. But I definitely will refuse the mRNA ones. From Whitney:

"Do you realize that the mRNA vaccine is a purely synthetic PEG-coated lipid nanoparticle that spreads throughout the body and brain creating conditions for debilitating ailments 3 or 4 years down the road? (More on this below) Do you realize that these dubious vaccines have not been thoroughly tested, did not undergo critical animal trials, did not complete Phase 3 trials, and were waved through the regulatory process under the “Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)” provision?
Why are they doing this? Why have they quashed all debate and silenced their critics? Why are they taking advantage of public hysteria to intensify their mass-vaccination campaign? Why have they obfuscated the truth on so many issues related to Covid including masks, asymptomatic transmission, school closures, lockdowns etc? Is there even one part of the official Covid narrative that “rings true” or that can withstand the scrutiny of critical analysis? Does it all have to be lies? Can’t we at least mix some truth in with the vast mountain of flagrant fabrications and disinformation?"

Well, I guess Biden told us: ıt is all about US competitiveness. The US oligarchs have to lie, cheat, steal and fabricate evidence to get to the top. Fraud is US

Posted by: Bluedotterel | Mar 8 2021 19:34 utc | 159

Bluedotterel @161--

Thanks for posting Whitney. IMO you'll find Crooke's essay linked @151 most curious.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 8 2021 19:48 utc | 160

fyi@158 thank you for your thoughts & perspective. palestine is not a wasteland, it contains vast gas reserves, & o/c location. britain has for years viewed persia as british persia, & its oil as british, or rather the city of london's. that iran is bountiful in dates, pomegranates as well as gold & other treasure/ resources is a for a tepid island deliriously tempting. israel as you know desires syria, her oil, gas & water, iraq & lebanon, for the all of the above. the money made selling arms to any of the gov's is nothing compared to the wealth of their combined resources & location. o/c you are exactly right on the sanctions. undeniably an act of war.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Mar 8 2021 19:52 utc | 161

Posted by: fyi | Mar 8 2021 19:09 utc | 158

Thanks for your candid response. I see you are well-informed, as I thought. I'm going to have to consider a bit how to respond, but I can say I do not deny any part of your argument. In particular I can say that your war with Israel is certainly a religious war, and also about those religious figures you mention, that is certainly part of it. Let's say there is a strong religious part to the vendetta against you. Certainly in the beginning. But these things take on a life of their own. And certainly your Sunni enemies use religion against you. They fear Iran. Fear leads to hate. Their fear is well-founded too.

I would ask you to read a bit about the history of Cuba and Haiti after they threw us out in the meantime. The Haitians threw the French out 200+ years ago and are still being punished. The Cubans threw us out in 1959. I would ask you if you think that is about religion?

And I would point out that given the behavior of these people (the Christians), they cannot be but a corrupt form of the religion.

I'm not selling anything, I'm interested in the conversation, you can quit when you like. I will too.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 8 2021 20:18 utc | 162

just finished gray zone's post on nephew & his 'art of sanctions'. a sickening but brilliant review.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Mar 8 2021 20:19 utc | 163

"Don't forget the Mormons; their "lesson" is very instructive."

I had thought that we might get to them eventually. I am not much of an expert on them really. They do like to go abroad. But mostly I want to flesh out his view of religion in "the West". The idea being to point him towards a more precise understanding of who his real enemies are. Since there many good people of all major religions I think that is a good idea.

I grew up (teens) with a lot of Mormons and Jews. I am married to a Jew (27 years). My friends were Jews in high school because they were unpopular too. In my family such religious choices were questionable, and Catholics. Other mainstream Protestant variants were OK, as long as not too "high church". Much has changed since then. If you want to discuss Mormom history go ahead.

I'm going to think over what fyi said and read a bit more.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 8 2021 21:03 utc | 164

Mr. Bemildred

I was not suggesting that all or many earlier actions of the United States in the international arena were inspired by religious sentiment. I am suggesting the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and subsequent action were.

Sunni Muslims have been using religion against the Shia for many centuries. There is nothing new there. What was new was the adoption - in part or in whole - of the European ideas of religious coexistence, mono-lingual nations, representative governments, citizenship etc. by Middle Eastern reformers. The Wars over Palestine and the events subsequent to the invasion of Iraq by Anglo-Americans have damaged ideals of ecumenism - even within Islam.

I want to make it clear that I am not going to make a moral equivalency between Shia and Sunni: in Afghanistan or in Pakistan or in Iraq or in Syria or in Spain or in France or in Belgium or in England or in Russia the terrorists that have targeted civilians (Mosques, Churches, Shops, Schools, Buses, etc.) have not been Shia Muslims, or Baha'is, or Christians, or Jews, or Hindus, or Sikhs, or Druze, or Bektashis, or Alawites, or Yazidis, or Ta'voosis.

Posted by: fyi | Mar 8 2021 21:13 utc | 165

Mr. Bemildred

I was not suggesting that all or many earlier actions of the United States in the international arena were inspired by religious sentiment. I am suggesting the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and subsequent action were.

That's what I disagree with, not that religion was not part of it, but that it explains why it happened and why we do not give up.

Your other two paragraphs: #1: Right, we imposed our rule. That's still what we want. #2 I hope you don't think I'm defending that.

I'm done for now.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 8 2021 21:35 utc | 166

Mr. Bemildred

Yes, it is hard for people raised in a secularist environment to accept that they are in a religious war - that have been in it for decades - and cannot extricate themselves since doing so would mean that the initial decision to engage in a religious project was wrong on multiple levels.

Tell me please when the War over Palestine would end?

Posted by: fyi | Mar 8 2021 21:40 utc | 167

Bemildred @166--

My Mormon reference is to their history within the USA and its supposed guarantee of Religious Freedom. The experience of the Branch Dravidians also comes to mind, and of course the initial anti-Catholic, anti-Jewish, anti-Quaker biases of the rather rigid Protestantism of the Puritans and Church of England. The elites of both Outlaw Empires have used religion to divide and rule as shown by Henry the 8th's behavior and that of Cromwell during the English Civil War. There may have been no religious qualification for POTUS, but there were for voting in all the original 13 states. When it comes to Islam, my favorite "sect" are the Sufis and favorite historical personage is Imam Shamil. The Ottomans IMO were heretics, yet they proclaimed themselves to be the Guardians of Islam. For me, the apparent human need for mysticism is somewhat mystifying, although it does serve a purpose for beings that so need to know the cause to an effect and has created very elaborate stories as a result.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 8 2021 21:53 utc | 168

This is now pretty much a dead thread and no one has responded to b’s interest in Fukushima. I am going to try.

My father, deceased, was chief safety officer for the Commonwealth Edison nuclear fleet. That is the largest nuclear fleet in US. During his tenure there was no question the safety officer was the final authority. This is ‘75-‘82. It is still the same nukes, there are no new ones. Back then the plants had, shall we say, teething problems. As supplied by General Electric they basically did not work. They shut down often and were re-engineered before restarting. Many people could order a plant shut down. My father was the unique and only person who could order a restart. He had no idea what he was doing.

Commenter Malooga and his cult of expertise would have it that doing much at a nuke involves more training than a brain surgeon has, 20-30 years experience and study. When my father got the top job he had perhaps ten years part time on the job training. He loved the job that had him spending the day with laboratory glassware. That job was obsolete. He had tenure and he had good temperament so he was chosen. Or they thought he had good temperament, few at work knew of his alcoholism. For other qualifications he had a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. A GI Bill three year quickie from Purdue. All the rest of his staff had similar bachelors degrees.

They were nice guys and they took the job seriously. They knew how to use a slide rule. Sitting in our family kitchen they rebuilt and reconfigured the Com Ed fleet until it sort of worked. The AEC/NRC was short staffed and did little. General Electric had the money in their pocket and was no help at all.

One consequence of doing it all on the fly with slide rules and scraps of paper was that much never got documented. Twenty years after he took retirement Com Ed was still phoning father hoping for some institutional memory when they found odd stuff. There was lots of odd stuff.

As for plant operators, the guys in the control room. All of them learned the job in the Navy. On totally different reactors. In the Navy it was a series of written exams to qualify. Walking into the exam room each candidate was given a crib sheet. Nothing to do but match the crib to the multiple choice test. On the job they became good old boys. The only thing that could get them fired was being drunk and asleep in the control room. My father fired two for that. And got huge amounts of pushback. He was stubborn and the dismissals stood. His successor did not do so well. Father took early retirement after he succeeded in hiring a second in command who had some notion what he was doing and who proved that over three years working on the team. He had the PhD and he could do the math. Really, no one else on the team had good math skills. He was also a Sikh. Or as everybody put it at the time, a dot head. When he fired an operator for drunk and asleep in the control room it did not stand. Much later when NRC finally closed the failed Zion plant the last straw was drunk and asleep in the control room. And every good old boy on site gathered in control room to scream at NRC inspectors.

I could go on like this a long time. It is already a TLDR. Short version: Cult of expertise is bullshit.

Posted by: oldhippie | Mar 8 2021 21:54 utc | 169

Mr. karlof1

Sufis are not a sect; there are Shia sufis and there are Sunni sufis.

In Kurdistan, in Iran, some of the Sunni followers of the local Sufi order would sacrifice a captured Revolutionary Guardsman - often a Shia - during the wedding of their relations - substituting a Shia for a sheep or a goat.

5000 soldiers were lost until order was restored in Kurdistan.

Posted by: fyi | Mar 8 2021 22:03 utc | 170

Mr. fyi @172--

That's the reason I placed sect in "quotes." My studies of the Caucuses revealed Tribal loyalty took precedence over sect, and historically that's true elsewhere. We have the British to thank for the rise of Sunni Extremism and the related heated escalation of the Sunni/Shia divide, and for the general rise in the use of terror to control populations. Given the current Outlaw US Empire overtook/adopted the already existing Outlaw British Empire, it now perpetuates the same anti-human policies of its British predecessor.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 8 2021 22:29 utc | 171

USA staggers toward a stimulus and not one repugnant voted for it.

Some analysis of the details here at the Damage Report.

NO, USA workers are not allowed to have a $15 minimum wage.
NO, USA people cannot have Medicare for All.
YES, USA people continue to war across the planet.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 8 2021 23:13 utc | 172

uncle tungsten @174--

We decided to use Hudson's term for the legislation: Disaster Relief as it's clearly not any sort of actual stimulus.

On a related matter, I suggest reading Crooke's recent which is linked above @151. When finished, read this to see that the Outlaw US Empire Neoliberal Parasites's Reset is already in motion. That it's an instance of "unlawful federal overreach" ought to be clearly seen and opposed by more than just the initial coalition.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 8 2021 23:28 utc | 173

karlof1 @ 155, what a strange post you have put here on the subject of Christianity! I have forgiven Michael Hudson because he really does understand economics and the link back to Mosaic Law, and because he simply doesn't know the history of Christianity very well; so I must do the same for you. But really, to say that Jesus as an historic figure was similarly devoted to that one important jubilee 'cause' and therefore crucified because he threatened the economy of the day is a huge stretch of the imagination and a distortion of what we do actually know of the life of Jesus and his followers, which is the historical record of his and their lives.

You mayn't begin with Constantine - you must begin with the early church, the martyrs who were already being fed to the lions under the earlier Roman emperors. These were not economists, I'm sorry; surely you can see that?

Moses was wise in many respects, not just in writing about the Jubilee! Stephen, after whom I named one of my sons, was stoned for telling the Jews about Christ's relationsip to Moses, God's prophet who wrote the book of creation after conversations with God, the book of Genesis. They didn't stone Stephen because he wanted debts forgiven! He was one of the first deacons of the church. Blasphemy was the charge, saying Jesus was God was the charge!

Were those first followers, then, fabricators? Was Athanasius or Iranaeus a liar? Polycarp? There was already a crowd of witnesses before Paul was taken to Rome -- what of all of these?

That is the historic record, not the work of someone with an axe to grind against Christianity as a faith, nor the examples of dissolute kings like Henry Eighth who tore down England's faith because of his own lechery --- of course there are examples like these as there were in Paul's own time. Already there were different 'takes' in some of the churches, and Paul takes note of that, saying it isn't this or that person's, not Pauls nor Appolonius's, ideas they are following, but the message of Christ, him crucified and risen from the dead. You don't have to believe it or to believe the testimony which began in earliest times. But you should not malign it either. Christianity began with Christ, not with Constantine!

Well, I'll end with a question ...what does it mean that gnosis = logos? They are different abstract concepts, and nascent Christianity didn't destroy the gnostic philosophy; it simply said that is not Christianity, and so excluded the writings for that reason. The arguments are searchable; councils were convened to discuss these issues; the arguments make sense to me, and to many. We are not gullible fools, who believe in Christ. Nor are they who follow other religions all fanatics or warmongers or fools. They have their reasons too, and mostly it is the beauty of their faiths, which speaks to them.

Moses was wise in many respects, not just in writing about the Jubilee! Stephen, after whom I named one of my sons, was stoned for telling the Jews about Christ's relationsip to Moses, God's prophet who wrote the book of creation after conversations with God, Genesis. They didn't stone him because he wanted debts forgiven! Blasphemy was the charge, saying Jesus was God was the charge!

You are wise about many things, dear karlof1. You are not wise about Christianity. Forgive me for saying this at least, if I do not, as I fear I won't, convince you.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 8 2021 23:38 utc | 174

@175 Cont'd--

Citation from linked article:

"​The 'Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis' was issued by the Biden administration on 20 January. It described 'social cost' as 'the monetized damages associated with incremental increases in greenhouse gas emissions', which will be used in agency legislation and to "accurately determine the social benefits' of the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

"According to reports, the interim cost for carbon dioxide is expected to be some $51 per metric ton. At the time of the Obama administration, the social cost of carbon was said to be $50 per metric ton, while the Trump Cabinet dropped that estimate to $7 per metric ton." [Several links at original]

The attempt to monetize CO2 is an integral component of the Neoliberal Parasite's plan. There's far too much of Crooke's essay devoted to explaining it all to try and cite. I'll provide just a touch to provide the gravity of the situation. First we have Crooke citing Jonathan Tennembaum in the first paragraph followed by Crooke's assessment:

"'Thereby, climate policy becomes a powerful instrument for [America to] shape global investment patterns and financial flows … In the meantime BlackRock, several of whose executives have been named to high positions in the Biden Administration, has announced that it is making climate change central to its investment strategy for 2021'.

"The wizard, [and #1 Parasite] Blackrock’s own Larry Fink, demands that companies provide him with visions for long term value creation which include a calculation of societal impact. The import of this cannot be overstated. BlackRock does have the weight to ‘swing’ this....

"It is not hard to see what is going on here, behind the Wizard’s curtain – America’s financial and banking oligarchy are pulling and tugging at the levers and twiddling the dials to re-invent themselves as a tech-savvy, expert élite. [My Emphasis]

Just so you're not confused, the Neoliberal's proposed social credit system isn't at all like China's. It's also possible to see how such a policy scheme can be used to target Russia and China.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 8 2021 23:53 utc | 175

I'm sorry, the repetition of the third paragraph in my rant was obviously unnecessary.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 8 2021 23:53 utc | 176

Mr. Karof1

The late Shah Abbas the Great would have the Uzbek prisoners of war executed while exchanging those of Ottomans with his own prisoners of war.

His ancestor, the late Shah Ismail, had a gilded goblet made of the skull of the Uzbek king who was captured on the field of battle and beheaded together with a large number of Sunni Muslim scholars from Central Asia.

British had nothing to do with it.

It is true, however, that the English rule in India produce the Deobandis, who believe all Shia be heretics and deserving of death.

There are very good reasons for the Shia Republic to be a nuclear armed state.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 9 2021 0:01 utc | 177

I'm in constant wonder why people believe the religion they've selected, or, why they refuse to live the one they've selected.

Creating a dogma, then, basing salvation on belief in that dogma, seems fairly popular around the globe. Here in the U$A it's almost impossible to run for office if you don't select one of the more popular dogmas in vogue.
Personally, I think MOST don't believe, and they use the trappings and rituals just to fit a niche somewhere.

Posted by: vetinLA | Mar 9 2021 0:02 utc | 178

An excellent article on how to fight back against Big Data and online monitoring: MIT Tech Review on fighting back against Big Data
As I noted before - data poisoning is the best bet. The source data is the hardest to clean up. Data poisoning means having multiple people using the same account, or switching between multiple parallel devices or similar means. Ad Nauseam is a good idea but trivially detected (the pattern of clicks would stand out like a spotlight).

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 9 2021 0:07 utc | 179

Some good news:"In Shocking Reversal, Brazil Supreme Court Annuls Lula Carwash Conviction, Setting Stage For His Return As President"

This presumably clears the way for Lula to run for president next year ...

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Mar 9 2021 0:52 utc | 180

Mr. fyi @179--

Within and throughout Oceania for well over a millennia it was considered correct to consume the body/brain of one you admired in order to gain what was called its Mana--its strength, power, wisdom, etc. Important captives were buried alive in a standing position at the corners of religious platforms/monuments for similar reasons. Then there're the Aztec rituals and those from Southwest Asia of the Fertility Kings and Queens who were deemed as being privileged to be sacrificed so the harvests would succeed. All those were deemed acceptable religious practices by those societies. Many thousands of innocents died to appease an unknown number of Gods and Goddesses and for the benefit of their cultures/societies. Thankfully, humans have evolved somewhat, and religions aren't as harsh as they were just several hundred years ago; or in the case of Oceania, until the 1950s. What replaced religions in bloodthirstiness were political ideologies, and that's where humanity stands today.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9 2021 1:03 utc | 181

Cynthia Chung's latest essay, confirms the hypothesis of the Cold War starting during WW2, and the Outlaw US Empire's guilt of being in continuous violation of the UN Charter since 22 October 1945. Along with David Talbot's Devil’s Chessboard, she also cites J. Fletcher Prouty's The CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy. This page also contains links to the site's collection of Prouty's writings and interviews when you scroll down from page top. I'd provided these links several years ago and do so again for those to whom they're new or didn't bookmark them the first time. And to be complete, here's the official Prouty website.

Chung still needs an editor, but her effort is much better than the one I heavily critiqued about 6 weeks ago. There are a few places where I'd like to know her sources, but I do look forward to her next two installments.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9 2021 1:20 utc | 182

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 8 2021 21:53 utc | 170

Your point about the experience of the Mormons here is a good one, although they were pretty good at that sort of thing themselves. Tough cookies.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 9 2021 1:25 utc | 183

Bemildred @185--

Thanks for your reply! I got involved with History of Religions because it's part of human history; so, I look at them from a cultural anthropological POV, which in turn allowed me to discover much more about human nature. The overbearing need to have an explanation for the unexplainable is the basic driving force behind belief systems, thus my concluding sentence @170. I do suggest Acharya S's book as she uses the Catholic Churches own writings against it. It also appears the key Hebrew sect to examine are known as the Essenes. Here's Hudson:

"Some of the Qumran [Dead Sea] scrolls really proved that what was at issue was debt. The most important scroll is 11q melchizedek. 'Q' is for the Qumran cave where they were found, cave number 11. And in this scroll collects everywhere in the Bible that talks about debt cancellation: deror.

"Leviticus 25 is about the year of the jubilee: “Each of you will return to his possession.” In Deuteronomy 15: 'Let every creditor release that which he’s lent to his neighbor.' In Isaiah 61: 'Release the captives, release the bond servants.' In Psalm 82, the Psalms of David: 'God stands in the divine assembly, he’s going to give his judgment. God will judge his people and punish the wicked.' There’s a whole collection and there’s no question that this is what is meant by the idea of debt and sin and obligation.

Well, you can imagine how upset most religions were when they found these scrolls. They said they must be by this sectarian group, the Essenes. They must be a radical group, sort of like the Trotskyists. We can just sort of ignore them. But it turns out now that biblical scholars have found that the Qumran caves seem to be the library of the Temple of Jerusalem. During the wars with Rome they moved the library to the caves of Qumran in order to keep them from being destroyed when the Temple was sacked and burned down. So these scrolls were the very core of Judaic religion.

The fight of Jesus against the Pharisees was about this. At first Jesus said: 'Good to be back in Nazareth, let me read to you about Isaiah.' In Luke 4 says it that this was all very good, and they liked him. But then he began talking about debt cancellation, and they tried to push him off a cliff.

So basically you have the whole origin of Christianity was a last gasp, a last fight, to try to reimpose this idea of the economic renewal – of a Clean Slate – that goes back at least to the 3rd millennium BC and probably all the way to the Neolithic." [My Emphasis]

I really enjoy his description of the Essenes and how the scholarly world initially reacted to the discovery of the Dead Seas Scrolls. Why didn't the Christian Church try to continue his Crusade? There wasn't any money in it.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9 2021 1:51 utc | 184


I do remember the Essenes, though it was quite a while back, and I expect much progress has been made. What I remember is they were very pragmatic and on the quietist side. I'm thinking of the Quakers, which I've attended meeting with my wife several times. I was on a foundation board for one of their schools for a few years too, my son was attending.

And I know that they are subjects of dispute for the sort of reasons you mention, just like the Quakers.

I think history is full of that sort of re-branding of uncomfortable ideas or unpleasant facts. But I suppose that is not telling you anything.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 9 2021 2:17 utc | 185

@karlof1: Temple of Jerusalem:

That does seem rather ironic. I had not heard that. Somehow it fits. Everything good gets co-opted.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 9 2021 2:24 utc | 186

Mr. Karlof1

Those religions were not of the Revealed kind. I hope that the victims of those benighted lost souls are indeed redemeed and rewarded by the Almighty.

The Aztec Religion was truly and thoroughly inspired by the Devil, or in less religious terms, by the demond of the human soul, just barely balanced on the edge of madness.

Men have not evolved, it is quite evident, as the world continues to teether on the edge of nuclear annihilation.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 9 2021 2:41 utc | 187

karlof1 #177

Just so you're not confused, the Neoliberal's proposed social credit system isn't at all like China's. It's also possible to see how such a policy scheme can be used to target Russia and China.

Agreed, it is nothing other than a cheap con embroidered with slick rhetoric, implying good intentions but delivering sanctimonious aggression. Word spin BS from transparently obvious highway robbers. Meanwhile China relentlessly moves to electric vehicles and major (energy efficient) infrastructure for Eurasia wide shipment of goods.

Who is the big environment destroyer through warfare?
Who has utterly polluted their nations waterways and underground watertables and urban water supplies with exotic deadly poisons from manufacturing?
Who has zero focus on the welfare of its people?
Who runs the most repressive gulag system in the world?

Ah yes, the accuser, the USAi.

This from Alastair Crooke

Haven’t we forgotten something, the Davos speaker suggested? Aren’t the ends supposed to be about people?

Perhaps here we should pause, and recall that the Democratic “hold on Congress and the Senate is tenuous: A titular, razor-thin margin.

The American electorate wants Covid relief, economic recovery, and a return to a measure of ‘normality to life’, before any radical change be contemplated, especially since they have observed how over-investment in tech renewables brought California and Texas to the brink of collapse during the recent freeze-up.

Which is how the Dimratss like it as they can sow forests of cover to hide behind for the interim two years then claim that 'if only they had a majority. Well NOW they have a majority but...

NO $15 minimum wage
NO Medicare for ALL

NO champions to demand it as the #Fraudsquad and Sanders have cowardly caved in.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 9 2021 3:59 utc | 188

Aren’t the ends supposed to be about people?

That slogan-truism ought to be printed in the local language on every placard at every demo within Neoliberal-land. Most nations continue to develop while an interesting few are in a phase of retro-development because they eschew the slogan's direction and instead follow the doctrine of Development for the Privileged at the Expense of the Many.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9 2021 4:15 utc | 189

Mr. fyi @189--

What proof do you have that they're not "revealed"? All cultures have Shamen. Do you have any understanding of what the reasoning was for the Aztec sacrifice or the many others performed by different societies globally? Did you know that the Spanish immediately recognized its significance and parallel meaning to Christianity?

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9 2021 4:20 utc | 190

karlof1 @ l86, indeed Luke does describe Jesus preaching in Nazareth about the Jubilee year - that is not in contention, and I thank Michael Hudson for pointing this out because I hadn't seen that. I think it is wonderful. But Luke doesn't ascribe the people's anger to the jubilee year text from Isaiah - up to that point the people thought he had spoken well. It was only when using other texts he explained why he was not going to show them any miracles that they became angry.

If you have anything from the Dead Sea Scrolls which have to do with the Gospel texts themselves, I would be interested to know it. But that seems unlikely. I haven't read or seen anything other than that they are temple writings from early periods of pre-Christian authors, indeed some of them dealing with the jubilee year. There is an Orthodox Christian site that has studied these scrolls that I visited some time ago - I am sure you could do a search and find it. Our church uses many OT prophetic texts in services, more than most I would think. So some of those texts are used by us as well because they are considered to be part of the prophetic legacy. There is no question of their authenticity as far as I know in Christian circles, and I haven't heard of any attempts to suppress them, far from it.

But don't lose sleep over this. It's just a fine distinction between what is genuine and the corrupt practises of purported Christians. It's a terrible record, I will certainly agree. I can only think, with Putin, that they really don't understand what they have done. As Christ on the cross said: 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.'

What you see in Putin that is good, or in Martin Luther King, to bring it home, is because he is a follower of Christ's teaching. All of it. And admittedly, there are not many like.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 9 2021 4:54 utc | 191

This has just come to me -- I hope it helps:

Some years back I lived in Santa Fe, and I was taking a short cut home on a path that cut through behind the cathedral. Down the far end of the otherwise empty cathedral grounds I saw a Catholic priest coming toward me. It took a while. As he got close, he looked down at my feet (I was wearing sandals) then back up, and said:

"Pink socks!"

Cracked me up.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 9 2021 5:18 utc | 192


I’ve joked in the past about the air being free since the capitalists could not devise a mechanism to charge for it, well it seems some sinister minds have done it, trading with CO2, they’ll put a counter right under our noses and trade away our air just like they did with our water and land. Dark times indeed. Thanks for your links and posts, I read Stone introduction to Prouty’s book, I’ll try to read the whole book.

Posted by: Paco | Mar 9 2021 5:29 utc | 193

Mr. karlof1

You be wrong. Shamans became extinct on the Iraian plateau before Rome had been founded.

There are shamans still in Japan and Korea. Shamanism is their true religion, and that is another manifestation of them living in the Age of Jahiliya, Darkness.

I am familiar with the long thread of madness running through Mesoamerican Civilization & Culture, from Olmecs, to Mayans, to Aztecs. A madness which was stopped by the Spaniards and later by the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe which percipitated the rapid conversion of Mexicans to Christianity.

It was indeed unfortunate that other sane sea-faring people had not discovered and conquered Mexico centuries earlier and thus had put an end to all that evil sooner.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 9 2021 5:46 utc | 194

Interesting news over at Global Times:

Companies, individuals in Xinjiang to sue rumormongering Adrian Zenz for causing reputation damage, economic losses

A number of enterprises and individuals in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have directed lawyers to sue German national Adrian Zenz (who calls himself Zheng Guoen in Chinese), Xinjiang media outlet Tianshannet reported.

Local people said that Zenz spread "forced labor" and other rumors related to Xinjiang, which damaged their reputation and caused them to suffer economic losses.

They have filed a civil lawsuit with a local court in Xinjiang, demanding that Zenz apologize, restore their reputation and compensate them for their losses.

Adrian Zenz, born in 1974, ,b>is an infamous anti-China pseudo-scholar. He is a German far-right fundamentalist Christian who believes he is "led by God" on a "mission" against China, member of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, a far-right organization established by the US government in 1993, and senior fellow in a research group set up by the US intelligence community against the vocational education and training centers in Xinjiang.

In 2018 when he was still a faculty member of the European School of Culture and Theology at Columbia International University, Korntal, he has gone almost overnight from an unknown researcher into a go-to pundit on Xinjiang, as the US steps up its disinformation campaign against China.

In recent years, Zenz has produced multiple sensational "reports" on Xinjiang on social media platforms like Twitter, and fabricated false academic research on Xinjiang, in which he spread rumors such as large-scale monitoring of local ethnic minorities and forced labor of the Uygurs.

These false claims have been pursued by Western media. Misled by such rumors on Xinjiang, some countries and companies have reduced or even halted imports of cotton and cotton products from Xinjiang, causing some cotton farmers and cotton processing enterprises in Xinjiang to suffer great economic losses.

The plaintiffs should also be going after the BBC and John Sudworth for their recent dreadful effort using three or four-year-old China Central Television footage and claiming it as their own, and for cherry-picking and twisting statements made by young women and government officials in Pishan county, Hotan prefecture, in southwest Xinjiang province.

Xinjiang girls seeking a better living and life of dignity is now BBC's 'evidence of coercion'

Posted by: Jen | Mar 9 2021 5:51 utc | 195

@Posted by: vetinLA | Mar 9 2021 0:02 utc | 180

You posed the question:

I'm in constant wonder why people believe the religion they've selected

You came real close to the answer:

they use the trappings and rituals just to fit a niche somewhere.

Identity and identification - take a dive into psychology.
People identify with groups and get their beliefs from their group(s).
They *do not* figure things out for themselves and then find a group with common beliefs,
it works the other way around. People get their beliefs from their group
and then, depending upon their skill level and willingness, engage their intelligence to
rationalize the beliefs *they already hold*.

You saw this in action "in spades" during Russiagate. Intelligent people
bought into that nonsense - I found it simply incredible and it was an epiphany
for me. If you engaged them in intelligent conversation almost unerringly
they would mimic the same talking points. They got their beliefs from the
group they identified with - Democrats - and *then* activated (or not) their intelligence
to rationalize the beliefs they already held.

You addressed the question of religion. Most people are born and raised into
a familial religion. They grow and mature and use role models, all the while
developing an identity. My favorite word here is mimic. People mimic the groups
they identify with, their beliefs come from their group and not from earnest
objective intelligent search. They *rationalize* their beliefs after the fact,
some are quite intelligent and thus skillful at rationalization.

People are mimics.

Posted by: librul | Mar 9 2021 5:54 utc | 196

FYI @ 196:

What the Aztecs and other Mesoamericans did was not madness. They believed that their gods sacrificed themselves to bring sunlight to humanity. By sacrificing prisoners of war to their gods, the Aztecs were offering gratitude to their gods' sacrifice. The Spanish themselves saw in the Aztecs' religion parallels with the sacrifice of Jesus whom all Christians regard as the Son of God. Catholic priests were quick to capitalise on this and the conversion of the indigenous Mexicans to Christianity was fast.

The Spanish also spread stories about Aztec religious fanaticism and bloodthirstiness to justify destroying Aztec and other Mesoamerican cultures. This took place at a time when the Spanish themselves were persecuting Jewish people and Christians suspected of practising Judaism secretly during the Inquisition which operated in all Spanish-held territories including colonies in North and South America and territories held in southern Italy, well into the 1830s.

If you want to discuss religious madness, the real madness was the witchcraft persecutions that took place in Europe from the late 1500s to the mid 1700s, the so-called Early Modern Age, during which thousands of people, most of them women and many of them widows with property, were tortured and executed. The "trials" that took place in areas that were then part of the Holy Roman Empire and which now make up Austria and southern Germany (traditionally Catholic lands) and Switzerland (Catholic, then Protestant) were the most severe.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 9 2021 6:13 utc | 197

If people choose to consider the method used by the west for centuries to disguise their greed inspired acts, acts whose ultimate result was to steal resources from other cultures under the guise of proselytizing xtianity, I have no problem as they are talking about beliefs & practises which they have some awareness of as most contributors come from nations which do or did profess to be xtian, however when people from amerika or europe profess to be informed about the beliefs of other cultures I find their conclusions equivalent sometimes, but usually much worse than FYI's misconceptions of xtianity's influence on its culture.

I refuse to accept a statement such as "Within and throughout Oceania for well over a millennia it was considered correct to consume the body/brain of one you admired in order to gain what was called its Mana--its strength, power, wisdom, etc. " as anything other than bullshit justification for boosting whitefella's manifest destiny myth by suborning compliant & complicit 'anthropologists' who were all graduates of the same institutions which trained the military leaders, mining engineers and administrators who were the sharp end of that imperialism.
Some Pacific/Oceania cultures used sacrifice many did not. Some Pacific/Oceania cultures were into eating the brains/livers of their vanquished enemies, most did not.

Just as with the current war against those uncooperative people on the planet which amerika is currently waging, religious difference & cultural differences are propagated by the empire's propagandists to swing the superstitious elements onside, whilst economic & cultural arguments (eg the falsehood that all muslims oppress all women) are used on those who favour those particular issues. It isn't about being correct, it is always about generating consent for the next invasion/war/theft.

But when the rubber meets the road, when the political elites are planning the empire's actions, it is always economic issues that are the prime motivator. The rest are merely excuses for a butchery designed to enrich the elites.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Mar 9 2021 7:16 utc | 198

There are shamans still in Australia and through the Pacific Islands. They don't talk about it, they are available when needed.

Likewise in South America where the shaman provides guidance in the Ayahuasca practice. That has been adulterated over the decades due to cultural interruption and financial opportunism. There are still authentic shamans in amongst the charlatans.

I am told that the dogong people retain their shamanistic traditions. I assume they remain in many cultures and have survived the colonisation by christian invaders. Some strive hard to reinvigorate those traditions. They are not based on evil or malign intentions but rather a mechanism to link to other dimensions, imagined or real.

Christians appear to have conceptual difficulty with the practice plus they have a history of murderous misogyny when it comes to spiritual and medicinal practitioners. Thankfully most of those malign christians have stepped back into the shadows.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 9 2021 7:33 utc | 199

Debsisdead #200

Thank you for that post as it was needed to clear the air. The noise and BSabout pacific cultures is simply crude and silly. The brain eaters were few and far between afaik as it was a short road to picking up disabling medical conditions. Prions are clever little buggers. Mad sheep and all that. While scrapie is considered non transmissable to humans, I would avoid the risk and leave the vanquished with their brains intact.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 9 2021 7:45 utc | 200

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