Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 02, 2021

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2021-033

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

> Correction: An earlier version of this story, published Thursday, incorrectly reported that One America News was warned by the FBI that it was the target of a Russian influence operation. That version also said the FBI had provided a similar warning to Rudolph W. Giuliani, which he has since disputed. This version has been corrected to remove assertions that OAN and Giuliani received the warnings. <
> The research also shows that poverty is highest among the least educated: people with a high school education, at most, had a poverty rate of 22.2% in March. During the same month, Black Americans saw a poverty rate of 21.2% and child poverty reached a pandemic high of 17.4%. <

Other issues:

Civil War:



Must see:

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on May 2, 2021 at 13:13 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

An excellent example of the damage done by Neoliberalism within the Outlaw US Empire is reported on by Strategic-Culture's excerpt of an assessment on its infrastructure:

"Every four years the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) measures the conditions of bridge, water and transportation infrastructure within the US and publishes its findings through the Infrastructure Report Card. In 2021, America’s Cumulative Infrastructure Grade is C-, that is worse than 'mediocre'. Schools got a D+ grade."

Upon clicking the link, you'll face an expandable infographic whose bottom line totals what ought to be invested annually in capital but omits what needs to be invested in human capital as well. I put the total at $100 Billion annually. But that's all publicly owned assets, not privatized Charter, Religious and traditional private Prep schools Neoliberals favor. This is the quick and easy answer as to why the USA's falling behind. Do also note that such capital financing isn't a Federal responsibility; rather, states control most allocations. The full report can be found here.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 3 2021 22:08 utc | 101

If barflies have yet to read the interview of Lavrov by Dmitry Kiselev, I suggest they do so soon. Recently, Putin issued an executive order to compile a list of unfriendly states, which is general reaction to all the anti-Russian actions since the Ukraine coup. Here's what Lavrov/Kiselev said on that topic, although readers might want to consult the prior discussion for context:

"Dmitry Kiselev: Is there any certainty as to who will definitely join the list of unfriendly states?

"Sergey Lavrov: The Government of Russia is attending to this on instructions from President of Russia Vladimir Putin. We are participating in this work, as are other respective agencies. I would not like to jump the gun right now. We are reluctant to be indiscriminate and put on that list just any country that will say somewhere 'something wrong' about Russia. Our decision will be based, of course, on a deep-going analysis of the situation and on whether we see opportunities to have a dialogue with that country in a different way. If we come to the conclusion that there is no chance of this, then, I think, the list will, of course, be periodically extended. But this is not a 'dead' paper. As is only natural, it will be revised in tune with how our relations develop with this or that state.

"Dmitry Kiselev: When will the public be able to read this list?

"Sergey Lavrov: Soon, I think. The Russian Government has concrete assignments. We understand the criteria that are guiding us in this work. So, I think, the wait will not be very long now.

"Dmitry Kiselev: Will the unfriendly states be banned from hiring local workforce?

"Sergey Lavrov: There will be a ban on hiring any physical persons whether Russian or foreign.

"Dmitry Kiselev: Is this the only measure with regard to unfriendly states or some others are in the offing?

"Sergey Lavrov: At this stage, this is the concrete aim set in the executive order signed by President of Russia Vladimir Putin."

When the list is published, you can bet the national debt it will be taken out of context by the usual players. The discussion over Donbass is very lengthy and detailed, with new facts also revealed in the related discussion over Georgia that needs to be carefully read. And the concluding discussion on dedollarization and sanctions are also important.

Over the past month much has happened yet nothing has happened. Perhaps May will provide a different story.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 3 2021 23:17 utc | 102

Oooooooooh.....scary! The ever hawkish neocon rag Washington Free Beacon has informed us that Iran teased an attack on the US Capitol Building.

You gotta wonder - Why would IRGC bother making such a video? Who's the intended audience? Why now with many sanctions about to be lifted? Could this be CIA psyops posing as (or having hacked) "official" Iranian Twitter accounts?

Posted by: K_C_ | May 3 2021 23:27 utc | 103

Lots of fine words about strategic issues of us confronting russia. But I think it comes down to us does not want to risk humiliation and expense.

Posted by: jared | May 4 2021 0:25 utc | 104

"Why now with many sanctions about to be lifted?"

Because there are no sanctions "about to be lifted". The IRGC knows that and is reassuring the Iranian common folk that they know it. They are letting the Iranian public know they are not fooled and they remember that the American empire is not agreement capable.

The liberals are going to get smashed in the coming elections in Iran.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 4 2021 0:46 utc | 105

So the stuff with Zarif is real, interesting.

Seems like Iran house still needs a bit cleaning.

Posted by: Smith | May 4 2021 0:53 utc | 106

@ smith, must be cause not a peep from fars news agency...

Posted by: james | May 4 2021 1:09 utc | 107

Karlof1 @ 77, 99:

I saw in your comments that you had visited the coal-mining regions in West Virginia. Are you interested in the history of Blair Mountain, the wars fought by the coal miners and their communities against their employers and the US Army in the 1920s, and the ongoing struggle since then to have Blair Mountain listed as a historical site and prevent it from being literally erased from memory as well as physically by coal mining companies?

Posted by: Jen | May 4 2021 1:10 utc | 108

James #107

Use tiny url it works a treat.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 4 2021 3:05 utc | 109

Colombia: protests are growing, demands are increasing, another general strike will happen Wed. May 5th. Seems to me like a tipping point is close but i'm not sure.

"The demands are, in addition to the withdrawal of the tax reform, which has already been achieved, the withdrawal of bill 010 of the health reform, and the strengthening of the national vaccination plan.

Also, the creation of a basic income; defense of national agricultural production; support for small businesses; zero university tuition; rejection of in-person classes; and stopping forced eradication and spraying with glyphosate."

Remember that Colombia is a sortof NATO member (, not full blown, but a "partner". It's the only NATO "partner" in Latin America. Problem is it's collapsing and instead of helping to strengthen the Empire's grip on Latin America it is going to need more help to keep the puppet governing cult from getting their throats cut.

Posted by: migueljose | May 4 2021 4:03 utc | 110

Vijay Prashaad digs deeper into Xin Xiang region and, together with a Chinese colleague gives some informative history and stories from people there. Details Chinese government's concern 20 years ago and then their plan to improve. Now, Xin Xiang has achieved impressive growth but is the unfortunate target of U.S./UK imperial subversion.

Posted by: migueljose | May 4 2021 4:15 utc | 111

Below from The Register
China has again moved to ensure its web giants don’t prove too disruptive to its economy, hauling 13 of them in for “supervision interviews” with a panel of regulators.

As announced by the Peoples’ Bank of China (PBOC), it and the nation’s Banking Regulatory Commission, Securities Regulatory Commission, State Administration of Foreign Exchange, plus “other financial management departments” all gathered to give the web giants an earful.

Tencent, TikTok developer ByteDance, the finance operation of super-giant e-tailer, and China’s Uber clone Didi, which now also offers vehicle fleet leasing services, were among the companies required to attend.

The bank and other regulators called on the web giants to carry on innovating with financial services, but to do so while obeying all laws that apply to more conventional finance companies.

“The development of financial business must be based on serving the real economy and preventing financial risks,” the bank said.

All companies that attended, the bank says, heartily agreed to regulators’ suggestions, funnily enough, and left having agreed to “attach great importance to self-inspection and rectification work, under the guidance of financial management departments, fully benchmark financial regulatory requirements, formulate rectification plans, and earnestly implement them.”

The interviews-without-coffee follow China’s sudden cancellation of the float of Ant Group, Alibaba’s finance arm, over fears that its peer-to-peer lending practices would not be good for the economy. Alibaba was then hauled over the coals for restricting access to its e-commerce platforms for brands that had the temerity to sell on rival sites.

The thirteen companies summoned for interview will be well aware of Alibaba’s troubles, and almost certainly keen to avoid similar worries. ®

You don't see this sort of regulation of the financial industry in the West, do you? This is the civilization war we are in....who runs finance and for what result? Barbarism or "socialism" was the question on the table at MoA for a while....

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 4 2021 4:30 utc | 112

I was wondering what Melinda Gates thought about her husband Bill being a friend of Epstein and I guess now we know.

It is quite clear that Bill is enjoying being a tool of empire and it will be interesting to see what Melinda Gates does with her money coming out of the divorce. I keep hoping for one or more of the rich folk to get the QEEG/neuromodulation mental health technique bug like I have because of my success with it/those techniques. I want to blow the Big Pharma lock on mental health therapy off the planet with the non-invasive, non-drug related neuromodulation techniques.

Are you listening Melinda?

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 4 2021 4:46 utc | 113

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 4 2021 4:46 utc | 113
(Bill and Melinda call it a day)

Melinda reminds me of the Exceptionally Durable UK Actress, Charlotte Rampling, whose wiki entry on her Career says "1960 to present".

There's a certain irony to the Bill & Melinda split. Bill & Paul Allen outsmarted IBM in the Personal Computer game by realising that computers are software, not machines. And now Bill's marriage software has decided that it's tired of spending time with a machine:-)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 4 2021 6:10 utc | 114

Posted by: karlof1 | May 3 2021 23:17 utc | 102

Good to have you back, in one piece and with fully charged batteries. A bit of envy, 8k miles that's a good distance to cover.

Probably is better that not much happens with so many things happening, since changes in our time are mostly for the worse, or maybe not all of them for the worse, I just found out that Pearly Harbor Gates day of infamy is upon the philanthropist in chief, maybe that pierced barrel will leak some really toxic stuff.

The last Zakharova briefing is posted in English, it covers a lot of things. Glad to have you back.

Posted by: Paco | May 4 2021 6:49 utc | 115


There is no percussion* but I think it will remind you of good times in Oaxaca, Los Panchos dedicate this song to the philanthroper in chief, "Don't love me so much, darling"

Actually there's a nice play of maracas.

Posted by: Paco | May 4 2021 8:23 utc | 116

The greens are coming. That's visible since some time.
Now the big German publications are giving them a "happy end".... "new" "fresh" "she is going to change politics"
Baerbocks face all over the cover
Funny how they all took lessons in the "London school of economics"

Re Mercouries Vid.

Is it just me who is suffering from this massive monitarisation?
I mean 8-10 20sec spots in this 25m clip... Is this standard? Not used to watch directly

Posted by: Kartoschka | May 4 2021 10:26 utc | 117

Another win for the indefatigable Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa [NZ] see PSNA.

22 April 2021

Tēnā koe

Thank you for your email.

In recent days, I have received a large number of similar emails regarding the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.

The Human Rights Commission has not adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism, and it has no plans to do so.

The Commission undertakes a lot of work against racism, Islamophobia, and other very serious forms of intolerance in Aotearoa, including antisemitism. As you may know, the Race Relations Commissioner is leading work alongside the Government’s plan to develop a National Action Plan against Racism.

It is possible to be critical of the actions of the Israeli government, and supportive of Palestinian human rights, without being antisemitic. But this requires some understanding of antisemitic tropes, so that they can be avoided. The Commission is preparing a short paper advising on antisemitic tropes, and this will be published on the Commission’s website within the next few weeks. I will let you know when this short note is published. I hope you will find it useful. The Race Relations Commissioner and I will be very pleased to discuss the note with you, if you might find this useful.

I appreciate you taking the time to write to me.

Paul Hunt

The NZ Prime Minister has also declined to poke China in the eye over 'internal matters.'

The NZ PM and the NZ government know all too well what gratuitous China bashing will lead to.

Pragmatism trumps hostility.

The minor right wing ACT party is attempting to bring on a motion condemning China for 'genocide' in the NZ parliament. Sadly the Green party appears to support this motion. 'Once were warriors' to say the least.

Some genocides are greater than others.

Posted by: Paul | May 4 2021 10:39 utc | 118

Since Jen @108 brought up the history of the coal miners' battles with the capitalists in West Virginia that people might be unfamiliar with, is anyone familiar with the old children's rhyme:

It's raining, it's pouring

The old man is snoring

He went to bed with a hole in his head

And he didn't get up in the morning

Way back when I was little it was known that this rhyme was about one of the miners who was killed by scabrous Pinkerton scum in West Virginia. "...hole in his head" obviously refers to a bullet hole. "He went to bed..."? He was carried there by his fellow strikers who didn't know what else to do after the shooting. "The old man is snoring" is of course a reference to gasping and choking breathing someone with severe head trauma does when barely clinging to life. Mom likely tried to reassure the children with "Don't fret. Daddy's just snoring." Finally, "And he didn't get up in the morning" is the obvious conclusion because he died.

Of additional interest would be the efforts that Google and other establishment tools have invested in burying the original words and meaning of this rhyme and dismissing it as just meaningless children's gibberish. Search for it yourselves and see. Makes me wonder how much other American working class history and culture has been scrubbed away and buried by those who control the narratives.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 4 2021 11:51 utc | 119

@Posted by: Paul | May 4 2021 10:39 utc | 117

"Antisemitism" is the Swiss Army Knife of words.

It is adaptable and useful, it can be used opportunistically in so many diverse situations.

Posted by: librul | May 4 2021 12:03 utc | 120

Fun break-down of U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, (32nd ?) annual World Threat Assessment before the Senate Armed Forces Committee - appropriate it would follow the Oscars. (actually from AntiWar and yet reasonable)

Somewhat ironic that it is referred to as the World Threat Assessment as that might be deemed a self-reference.

Posted by: jared | May 4 2021 12:19 utc | 121

Sorry for this "drive-by" comment made when I haven't had the chance to keep up with all the threads and comments.

To me the fall and death of the Swiss embassy employee from an 18th floor in Iran looks like murder, more specifically it looks like Mossad murder because they have a penchant for going after soft targets tangential to whoever they want to punish (possibly Switzerland in this case but it could be more specific).

I predict an elaborate explanation for how it wasn't and perhaps also how it was supposedly a tangential death to something entirely different like "a family squabble" (that's bs they've used successfully before).

Let see if it blows up in their faces.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | May 4 2021 12:52 utc | 122

Posted by: librul | May 4 2021 12:03 utc | 119

Thanks librul, you have a way with words too.

Apparently, like some alleged 'genocides,' some alleged 'Semites' are greater than the other real Semites.

On China bashing, a full court campaign against the NZ government via stink tank pundits, MSM and social media will flop because the NZ public can see the confected concern for Chinese muslims is totally fake.

Since when have Australia and the US cared about any muslims? They like bombing them. Hardly the moral high ground there.

Besides, the NZ public is simply sick of being lectured to by Australian and US hypocrites.

NZ has had to remind the very butch Australian foreign minister, Marese Payne, that the five eyes is an intelligence sharing network, not an alliance where buffoons like Trump can bluff and blunder, huff and puff, then all that is required is for NZ to follow subsequent orders.

That doesn't work any more. This time Australia and the US have wedged themselves, by their own obvious hypocrisy.

Posted by: Paul | May 4 2021 13:36 utc | 123

It seems that leaked video is all the rage:

Stop the World, I Want to Get Off.

Posted by: jared | May 4 2021 14:02 utc | 124

William Gruff @May4 11:51 #118

I remember the rhyme as: "bumped his head".


Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 4 2021 14:13 utc | 125

Open Thread? Great!

I was shouted out of the virutal room at another web site for posting Tweets from the Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional (Mexico's Ministry of Defence)... along with a few suggestive added comments. It's so irritating, the most sacred of sacred cows, that Mexicans must be the eternal repressed underclass of the US. Or maybe it's because Cinco de Mayo is almost here, and people are stirred up. No talk of Mexico defending itself!

Anyway, another poster suggested that a color revolution might be under construction in Mexico. There was a derailment of a subway car (@MetroCDMX) in the early AM of May 4. The following Tweet shows the military response, and I think, suggests that Mexico's Ministry of Defence is aware of possible uprising/revolt, and plans to aggressively defend against it. That's my read - see for yourself.

I made further speculative comments about the Canadian Army possibly training in Mexico (due to photos of tanks in the dust and so on from their Twitter account; exercise Maple Resolve is way too far north for heaps of dust in early May -- @CanadianArmy) and wondered about a Royal Air Force jet leaving New Orleans and RAF Pumas flying over Pasadena

Some British and French troops have been in Texas for Exercise Warfighter.

Prince Harry received an ovation at an event in LA recently.

And according to Canadian PM Trudeau's itinerary, he is speaking with His Majesty the Prince of Wales today (May 4th).

In conclusion, no potential national security concerns anywhere on the North American continent, nothing to see here, move along please.

The Bundeswehr flew over Nevada recently too, while their top brass met with some from the UK.

They discussed 'future opportunities'.

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | May 4 2021 14:14 utc | 126

lysias @May3 20:12 #91

There's plenty of other strangeness, such as:

  • ARAMCO IPO, which was delayed for years, finally happened just before the pandemic - just a coincidence?
  • The strange departure of John Bolton in September 2019.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 4 2021 14:17 utc | 127

Interesting - the people are becoming irrelevant to government.
The people need to regain control of their government.

Posted by: jared | May 4 2021 14:46 utc | 128

Japan feared U.S. military would take control of Fukushima response in 2011

If you're a province, you're a province. No other way to put that.


Biden’s Plan Promises Permanent Decline

So, that means Biden is, best case scenario, the American Brezhnev. A fair judgement, in my opinion.


Tell the truth, America… the G7 meeting is all about trying to contain the rise of China

I'm more surprised the G7 still exists than it has degenerated into an anti-China club.


India’s reported infections surge past 20 million, though the number is likely higher.

What problem?! India is the Largest Democracy in the World! It is just like China, but better! All those COVID-19 data are fake news, India is fine! It's all a pro-China communist conspiracy!

Western MSM are trying to put the blame on India's pandemic fiasco on Modi. But really, the problem with India is India. Modi is merely a symptom of the degeneracy of the Indian people & system.

Posted by: vk | May 4 2021 14:56 utc | 129

On thieving Asians. Protecting intellectual properties is a major concerned. Recent news:

South Korean battery manufacturers LG and SK Innovation have reached a settlement that will allow SK to complete its $2.6 billion factory in Georgia that had been threatened by a federal intellectual property theft ruling.

The deal means President Joe Biden and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai will not have to decide whether to overturn the International Trade Commission ruling that led SK to threaten to abandon the plant and its 2,600 jobs. Sunday was the deadline for the Biden administration to have its say.

The $1.8 billion agreement will enable SK to complete the Commerce, Ga., facility that will supply batteries for a suite of Volkswagen vehicles and the electric Ford F-150, advancing the White House’s goal of building an American electric vehicle manufacturing sector. Biden hailed the deal in a statement from the White House on Sunday.
So Americans stole trade secret from Koreans, and in response to ITC ruling, lobbyists were unleashed and out "rule based lords" were readying to overrule it. In a rule based world we have some hierarchy of concepts that provide order. There is Law. Above, there are Rules. And above, Overrules. Overruling trumps law an treaties, but its use is sometime tempered. But if it was a theft from Chinese or Russians, overrules could be used with overdrive.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 4 2021 15:41 utc | 130

Jen @108--

Yes, I'm familiar with that history and it's very much alive and well in that region as my daughter and I discussed. Locals still observe anniversaries. The exhibition mine and museum in Beckley is very much a "Company Display," although it sells books about the wars against miners. On the mine tour itself, I limited myself to questions about the process and technology employed prior to mechanization. But perhaps the most revealing part of the exhibit was my look at the guidelines for teachers provided in the one-room schoolhouse that was once part of a Company Town and the degree of Puritanical Harshness demanded prior to the advent of universal publicly funded education. I wish I'd taken a picture of them so I could relate some of the rules. That many still choose to work the mines despite knowing such work leads to an early death from health complications IMO is the real tragedy as few jobs match the pay. The intense poverty breeds the nation's highest rates of opioid and meth addiction, and my daughter gets exposed to it all at her hospital job. Next time I visit I hope to have more time to spend.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 4 2021 15:45 utc | 131

[[[five liars]]] has been driving a coordinated smear campaign against China for decades.
Thats why they all seem to be reading from the same script...Tibet, HK, Xinijang, covid, SCSystem, SCSea...

One of the oft repeated accusation is 'PLA hackers'.
Typical of all charges against China, there's Zero evidence provided, all we had are suggestion, inuendos, claims from the usual suspects, ..CIA./MI6..,/ASIO./ASPI etc etc.

'just take our works for it...'

say those certified serial lying pos.

The only certified global evasdroppers and cyber criminals turn out to be [[[flive liars]]] themselves, hence the [[[five eyes]]]/

Even those are just the tip of an iceberg.

Many are aware how ASIO bugged E Timor delegates room to get an advantage on Timor Lese OIL right negotiation..
Not many know China caught a Rio Tinto spy who cost them astrological loss in iron ore deals, the chicoms became suspicious cuz Rio Tinto seem to know their bottom line during every price negotiation,

'we feel like completely naked in that

Even less remembered the case of bugged Chinese embassy in Canberra, the bugs were so deeply embedded in the entire building, the chicoms had to built themselves an entire new
embassy, dunno if they were compensated for the expense either.

These are by no means exhaustive.

Moral of the story,
Whether its unsubstantiated 'uighurs genocide', 'Chinese hackers'.'HK brutality' all amounts to classic bandit crying robbery, a fukus tm,

pot kettle doesnt cut it, suggesting equal culpability.
this is another inadequacy of the english language.

Posted by: denk | May 4 2021 16:08 utc | 132

Paco @115--

Thanks for your welcome! Yes, it was a fine tour that omitted much, for there is so much to explore! Here's the link to Zakharova's interview. IMO, the initial Q&A show how closely knit the Russian government is in its assessment and response as the words could easily be Putin's, Lavrov's, Peskov's, or hundreds of others:

"Question: What impact have the sanctions had on the state of relations between Russia and the West?

"Maria Zakharova: Unfortunately, the growing use of politically motivated, unilateral restrictive measures by a number of Western countries, primarily the United States, has become a reality of our time. We increasingly view the sanctions against Russia as a “gesture of despair” and a manifestation of the local elites’ inability to accept the new reality, abandon the stereotypes of their bloc-based thinking, and recognise Russia's right to independently determine its path of development and build relationships with its partners. Apparently, they find it difficult to handle the obvious successes of the Russian economy, which is growing more competitive, internationally, and the greater presence of high-quality Russian goods and services in world markets.

"The vicious practice of imposing unilateral political and economic restrictions, especially the extraterritorial application of such measures, is an infringement on the sovereignty of states and interference in their internal affairs aimed at keeping, at any cost, their dominant position in the global economy and international politics, which they are gradually losing. Diplomacy is being replaced by sanctions; sanctions help mask trade protectionism and attempts to divert attention from internal problems as well.

"Indicatively enough, the West has ignored the calls of the UN Secretary-General and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to suspend unilateral, illegitimate sanctions on the supply of medicines, food and equipment necessary to fight the coronavirus during the pandemic. We also have not seen any interest from our partners in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s initiative proposed during the G20 summit to create green corridors in international trade, free from sanctions or other artificial barriers.

"The restrictions introduced against our country undoubtedly have had a negative impact on our relations with the collective West. They are undermining mutual trust, and darkening the prospects for normalising relations. Although we do not at all support pushing the sanctions spiral upward, we nevertheless accept the challenge and respond promptly and in a targeted manner. Given the obvious fact that anti-Russia sanctions are a double-edged weapon that inflicts no less damage on the one wielding it, we do hope that common sense will prevail, and our partners will return to building ties with us, relying on the principles of justice and equality and relinquishing the “right of the strongest” and the invasion of sovereign affairs of other states. We have repeatedly made it clear that we did not start this sanctions war, but we are ready, at any point, to do our part in order to end this pointless confrontation, in which there will not be and cannot be any winners."

Her very detailed answers about sanctions and dedollarization show she's just as smart as Putin and Lavrov. Maria deserves to become more than a Spokeswoman as she's clearly superior to any Western diplomat. Her answer to the last question, "Can Russia ever truly insulate its economy from a hostile foreign policy?" I found very well formulated:

"Only a small group of countries – to their own detriment – are pursuing a hostile policy towards Russia. In response, Russia will continue to use external challenges as additional incentives to increase the stability of its economy, mobilise the creativity of national business, modernise production, and diversify economic ties....

"Even today, we can see that the initiators of the sanctions are starting to realise, albeit slowly, that any unilateral steps cause unacceptable damage to those taking them, and are pointless and counterproductive."

And of course, the same could be said of China's responses. What's clear is the ongoing attempts by all nations to dedollarize is having an impact of the Outlaw US Empire's ability to have the world pay for its military crimes--the cessation of nations buying USG debt is having the same affect on it as a vampire unable to find new victims.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 4 2021 16:19 utc | 133

on the bill and melinda break up - "Bill Gates asking for space and privacy is some serious irony."

@ 116 paco... thanks! its a very pretty melody when it kicks in.. very nice! you know just this past week i was thinking about what a fantastic song 'south of the border down mexico way' is... i was thinking how someone could have fun with that song rearranging it in a different context.. regardless, it is a song with such a strong evocative melody that match the words.. i am a little partial to patsy cline so here is her version..

paco, are you familiar with lila downs? we were fortunate in getting to she her perform in oaxaca... she is really great.. here is a cd that i have from seeing her perform.. her music is quite beautiful.. we saw her perform this music and it was exceptional..

Posted by: james | May 4 2021 16:25 utc | 134

Upon my first visit to Shadowstats in over a month, I must admit I'm not at all surprised to read his latest reports. Here're my selections:

"First-Quarter and March 2021 Real Merchandise Trade Deficits set record shortfalls, sapping Real GDP Growth for the third consecutive quarter."

"Annualized First-Quarter 2021 Construction Spending slowed sharply in Real Terms, net of inflation, as used with the GDP, from a Fourth-Quarter 2020 annualized boom of 19.8% to 2.4% in First-Quarter 2021, that trend was directly opposite that of the just released First-Quarter 2021 GDP."

"Still shy by an annualized quarterly 3.53% gain of recovering the Pre-Pandemic Peak Gross Domestic Product Activity of Fourth-Quarter 2019, annualized First-Quarter 2021 Real GDP Growth surged 6.39%, effectively matching market expectations, picking up from the 4.33% growth pace of Fourth-Quarter 2020."

Perhaps the most important message is this one:

"Continued Depression in Payroll Activity Belies Some of the Headline Boom in the Heavily Gimmicked, Overstated Real GDP Numbers. [Emphasis Original] Seasonally adjusted First-Quarter 2021 Payroll Employment declined year-to-year by 5.6% (-5.6%), following an annual decline of 6.0% (-6.0%) in Fourth-Quarter 2020. Outside of the current Pandemic-collapsed economy, that 1q2021 annual Payroll decline was the deepest since the 1946 realignment of the post-World War II U.S. economy to a peacetime footing. In contrast to collapsed annual Payrolls, 1q2021 Real GDP gained a headline 0.4% year-to-year. Year-to-year change in Employment is a broad, direct measure of underlying economic reality, suggestive at present of a much weaker headline GDP circumstance than is being proffered to the U.S. Public and to the Equity and Currency Markets." [My Emphasis]

Clearly, the continuing decline of the Outlaw US Empire relative to the expansion of the Russian and Chinese economies is the key story not being reported. I note the 95% copper cent is now worth over 300% of its face value and almost 40% of the dollar coin's value, which now stands at 7.66 cents. During the last two decades of the USSR's existence, the economy was famous for its black/grey "unofficial" sector in which the vast majority of transactions occurred. I suspect something similar is present within the Outlaw US Empire but have yet to see reliable data on its size/extent.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 4 2021 17:03 utc | 135

Welcome back Karlof1
You have been missed

Posted by: ld | May 4 2021 17:06 utc | 136

The EU is on a march to irrelevance. They left Iran, they sanctioned Russia and now, want to get rid of free trade with China.
The Greens are ascending in Germany - who apparently hate China.

How far are export economies such as Germany willing to go in dropping foreign markets? Or is the EU Parliament stuff just bluster?

Posted by: Eighthman | May 4 2021 18:00 utc | 137


Try listening to vocalist/violinist Iva Bittova. Try a couple. Appears with orchestras, does Slavic pop songs, made full production Euro movies, most recently as duo with Hamid Drake. Major vocal instrument. The night I was lucky enough to catch her show she figured out in first two minutes how great the acoustics of Preston Bradley Hall are, walked away from microphone, sang a capella and self accompanied for an hour and a half, no break, while walking through the audience. Audience in rapture. Too stunned to give the standing O until she stepped back out a minute after leaving stage.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 4 2021 18:12 utc | 138

Thanks ld @136!

I see several items dealing with Wokeism have recently been published. Here's one I encountered today, and it should be added to Escobar and Crooke's. As you read it, fit the content into the current manifestation of Russophobia that began about 15 years ago with the Litvinenko affair and followed five years later by the initial bout of Wokeism aimed at Russia via the CIA's Pussy Riot Op. Also note the link between Neoliberalism and its use of Wokeism to exploit the newer generations its undermining in both the EU and Five Eyes. And most certainly do add Obama's 2008 campaign since he was clearly the CIA's Manchurian Candidate that provided the basis for the Woke Era and what now appears as a planned Culture War well beyond the earlier, smaller Machiavellian actions aimed at creating societal divisions.

I see Crooke has referenced the late Christopher Lasche's book, The Revolt of the Elites several times in his recent articles and provided the following summation here:

"Christopher Lasch’s prescient 1994 The Revolt of the Élites, was distilling into reality. Lasch had predicted a social revolution that would be pushed forward by the radical children of the bourgeoisie. Their demands would be centred on utopian ideals – diversity and racial justice. One of Lasch’s key insights was how future young American Marxisants would substitute culture war for class war. This culture war would become the Big Divide."

I must now find my heavily annotated copy and reread it. And if you need a copy, you'll find one here.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 4 2021 18:21 utc | 139

You can also see Wokeism being invoked by the EU and France in this news item.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 4 2021 18:47 utc | 140

@ Posted by: karlof1 | May 4 2021 17:03 utc | 135

re. Shadow Stats Commentary

Wow. That is some ominous commentary.
I am all in on Gold myself - beyond what might be considered prudent.

Of course crypto would have been the "smart' play.

The FED is monetizing the debt while propping the economy.
A Hail Mary play.

Posted by: jared | May 4 2021 19:09 utc | 141

@ 138 oldhippie.. thanks! i have seen some of the videos with her and hamid before! she is quite good... i have a friend who runs a festival in hamilton ontario ( cem is his name- he used to live on the west coast) and is doing more outside type music, so this is right up his alley.. i love hamid drakes drumming and have seen him perform live a few different times.. i also have a saxophonist friend in toronto who plays with him from time to time... my friend brodie is from vancouver island here, but has been in toronto for many years.. we occasionally do gigs together.. here is him and hamid at the same festival in hamilton ontario..

Posted by: james | May 4 2021 19:24 utc | 142

Posted by: james | May 4 2021 16:25 utc | 134

I discovered Patsy Cline just recently after Dylan put out that long list of Americana with his Murder Most Foul, saw the movie about her life and I liked it a lot, usually I do not watch Hollywood movies but that one I enjoyed. She sounds with the aplom of Amerian cars from the 50's, exuberant.

Lila Downs has a bit of a Frida taste to her, those eye brows are so suggestive. Excellent music.

Posted by: Paco | May 4 2021 20:27 utc | 144

Must provide a very hearty Thanks to Andrei Martyanov for highlighting at his blog this Global Times op/ed by retired US Marine officer Franz Gayl on the subject of Taiwan and other Chinese interests the Outlaw US Empire insists on provoking that I otherwise would surely have missed. Here's the thesis:

"Considering the congestion of hostile forces in, above, and below the Taiwan Straits and South China Sea, conflict could explode by accident or design. Once blood is drawn, the US will have few options. If the US elects to fight China over the island of Taiwan, then it will lose."

Gayl then details why in a refreshing no-nonsense manner, although his conclusion doesn't produce much confidence despite its correctness:

"In the end, the prosperous Taiwan people will make every effort to wag the American dog. But Taiwan's fate poses no existential threat to the US, and the US should not fall into the trap of paying for their hubris with American blood. However, in view of the violent political polarization of the US at home, an ill-advised foreign war with no path to victory would only serve to accelerate America's decline."

Posted by: karlof1 | May 4 2021 20:31 utc | 145

@ paco.. if i am not mistaken lila downs has some zapotec indian in her.. maybe fully zapotec! can't remember... i have played a lot of patsy cline music and down a few long running theatre shows focused on her - 'a closer walk with patsy cline' is a musical i have performed many times.. yes - i dig her music too.. that is my kinda country music - the old kind.. i am not much for the newer stuff..

Posted by: james | May 4 2021 21:08 utc | 146


Immediately liked Brodie West. If you play with him you’ve got chops.

In that genre of out music longtime fave is Gebhard Ullman. As the years go by he looks more and more like Silver Surfer as drawn by Kirby. The shadows under the brow are more and more Kirby. And the soundtrack would work for the Surfer.

A funny personal one about Iva. When she was in Chicago I was dating a young woman from Carlsbad and Praha, that was the reason I became aware. They had been immediate neighbors, saw each other daily a couple years. Iva was a steady customer at my friends’ old shop and lived two doors away from shop. And they were formal. It was
Iike there was a proscenium arch between the two ladies even when they were face to face. I was more relaxed around the star of the evening than my companion who did know her, had a real connection.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 4 2021 23:04 utc | 147

Russian MFA observed yesterday's Press Freedom Day by issuing the following statement in Russian, which I've machine translated:

"May 3 marks World Press Freedom Day, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 to draw attention to the issue of free media and the issue of journalists' safety. This year' traditional conference, timed to coincide with this day, will be organized by UNESCO in conjunction with Namibia. Its central theme, Information as a Public Good, is devoted to the problem of misinformation and discrimination, which is most relevant in the current conditions of the coroncrisis.

"In this context, the politically motivated restrictive activities of Internet platforms, which carry out arbitrary censorship using opaque content moderation tools, are of great concern. There is a situation in which American IT giants are able to shape the image of modern communications infrastructure for the benefit of their corporations, often ignoring fundamental democratic and ethical norms. Such illegal monopolization of the information space provides a wide field for the dissemination of misinformation and manipulation of public opinion. This, in turn, increases mistrust of the media and communications and calls into question journalistic activity in general.

"The situation with freedom of speech and access to information in Ukraine, where journalists are systematically persecuted for their professional activities, and the law enshrines media discrimination and censorship, remains extremely tense. The situation in the information space in the Baltic countries, where media employees face persistent harassment by law enforcement agencies, is also rapidly deteriorating.

"We are convinced that such a cynical violation of fundamental democratic principles and a blatant attack on the human right to seek, receive and disseminate information in the 21st century are simply unacceptable."

Posted by: karlof1 | May 4 2021 23:23 utc | 148

William Gruff @ 119, Jackrabbit @ 125:

Yes I remember that rhyme too with "... bumped his head ...". And I don't even live in the US.

The pejorative term "redneck" also dates back to that period and context. Members of coal mining unions wore red bandanas around their necks.

Karlof1 @ 131:

Good to see the communities you visited still remember that history of Blair Mountain and are still fighting to save the site from destruction. Not so good that poverty still exists with the problems it helps engender and which your daughter and the other hospital staff have to mop up after.

Posted by: Jen | May 5 2021 0:20 utc | 149

uncle tungsten @52

Thanks for posting this!

Alexander Mercouris did an even more interesting follow up analysis on the Lavrov-Kisoyev interview. Mercouris gives a good brief history of the Ukraine conflict but more interestingly gives a analysis of the British role and how Russia has called this out:

Lavrov Calls Out "Perfidious Albion". London Aiming For Dialogue With Moscow Behind Germany's Back

This is all the more interesting because it is evidence that supports the views of Mathew Ehrett (who has been running a long series of articles about the pernicious influence on Britain), James Corbett, and The Larouche Organistaion (and, I would guess, the associate Schiller Institute). [Sidebar: There are obvious issues with Larouche and Schiller but I am not concerned with the allegations of past cult-like behaviour but the message they have been heavily promoting in the recent period].

It is really hard for any British person to believe that Britain has such an influence so it is welcome to see some homegrown conservative analysis coming to the same conclusion.


ps. Try not to post YouTube links if there is an alternative. Alexander Mercouris and The Duran post their videos to Odysee. Links to YouTube are in danger of being removed at any time and YouTube is plagued with the most appalling, manipulative "get rich quick" ads. I recently watched an advert on YouTube that advocated you cash in your pension and invest it all in commercial property - the type of advert that would never be allowed on the main British terestial TV channels (I imagine this is still the case?).


(And now I go and post a video from YouYube!)

This is the most recent "Danser Encore" video posted on YouTube 7 minutes ago:

😃"Danser encore" par des artistes et des citoyens - La Rochelle, 21 mars 2021 ["Dance again" ...]

A total of 36 "Danser Encore" videos have been posted to youTube in the past 24 hours! This song is a phenomenon!

Posted by: ADKC | May 5 2021 1:15 utc | 150

While some in the UK are facing a third shot of vaccine, meanwhile, from the behind the paywall Australian Financial Review:

"Pfizer forecasts billions in vaccine sales for years to come
Pfizer has raised its forecast for COVID-19 vaccine sales by more than 70 per cent to $US26 billion."

So the phrase, 'for years to come' is hardly a vote of confidence in their own product.

No wonder the Russian vaccine is prohibited to many people within the crumbling US empire.

Posted by: Paul | May 5 2021 1:42 utc | 151

Follow up to my comment at 126

Here's the readout from Canadian PM Trudeau's call with His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales:

Interesting quote: 'The Prime Minister and The Prince of Wales also exchanged views on the role the private sector can play to mobilize financing and best practices in support of more prosperous, resilient, and inclusive economies and societies.' Hmm. Wonder what Prince Charles has in mind there.

'The Prince of Wales conveyed his best wishes to Canadians during these challenging times.'

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | May 5 2021 2:25 utc | 152

ADKC #150

Thank you. On utoob ~ I will attempt to post alternatives as you suggest. My configuration never plays an ad so I was blissfully unaware of their dominance.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 5 2021 4:12 utc | 153

Fortunately the Armenians know exactly what to do with NATO rats: "Under article 3 of the local criminal law, sub-articles 389 (international terrorism) & 390-34 (serious violation of international humanitarian law), #Armenia sentences captive Syrian mercenaries from the NATO backed "Free Syrian Army" to life imprisonment.
2:09 AM · May 5, 2021·Twitter for Android"

Geroman reports.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 5 2021 4:29 utc | 154

Borrel has a brain fart. Forgets that illegal sanctions might be part of the formula and leaves that to others to talk about.

Borrel is a laughing stock and is among friends with von der Leyen -

The EU foreign policy chief has stressed the necessity of seizing the existing diplomatic opportunity to make the United States return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and pave the way for the full implementation of the landmark agreement.

In a post on his Twitter account on Tuesday, Josep Borrell said he had raised the issue of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the Iran deal is officially known, during a meeting of foreign ministers from the G7 group of the world’s most developed nations in Britain.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 5 2021 4:41 utc | 155

Bruised Northerner @May5 2021 2:25 #152

Wonder what Prince Charles has in mind there.

Introducing the 'Great Reset,' world leaders' radical plan to transform the economy
Joining Schwab at the WEF event was Prince Charles, one of the primary proponents of the Great Reset ...

“We have a golden opportunity to seize something good from this crisis — its unprecedented shockwaves may well make people more receptive to big visions of change [**],” said Prince Charles at the meeting, adding later, “It is an opportunity we have never had before and may never have again.”

... if Al Gore, Prince Charles and the rest of the World Economic Forum can convince enough people that attempting to stop climate change is also worth dramatically pushing humanity toward greater government control, then radical – and catastrophic – change is exactly what we’re going to get.

Prince Charles and corporate interests are not likely to be offering something that is good for the average bloke. This initiative is likely to come at a cost. That cost is likely to include less democracy and much greater government control (even less privacy and even more crackdown on dissent).

<> <> <> <> <> <>

** Shades of PNAC's call for a "new Pearl Harbor" prior to 9-11.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 5 2021 4:44 utc | 156

South Korea demonstrates its capitulation to the USAi global coercion complex.

Nevertheless, on April 12, a US State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, repeated in an interview with the Ryonhap news agency that the US position on sanctions against Iran remains unchanged. Until Iran goes back on the JCPOA, it won’t get its money back.

Thus, on the one hand, the story of the tanker hijack ended well enough, and the notion that the action had not an environmental but a political purpose was safely confirmed. On the other, Iran’s attempt to push for the return of the blocked funds in this way did not end with anything. Iran received some vaccines and other medical resources, but it was more of a handout than a victory. Finally, this situation shows well the level of independence of South Korean foreign policy on certain issues. Despite the fact that the South Korean leadership did not seem to mind solving the problem, at the first shout from the US in Seoul they stood at attention, not even trying to show displeasure about it. For the author, this is a rather important story that explains both why some countries periodically claim a “lack of sovereignty” in South Korea and the difference in South Korean foreign policy between the populist statements of Moon Jae-in and Co. and Seoul’s actual actions.

What a cowardly pack of fools is the south korean client state.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 5 2021 5:03 utc | 157

uncle tungsten | May 3 2021 10:21 utc | 52 Thanks your link . You and Karlof1 etc refer to Mercouris but it is first vid I listen to. Most impressed.

Re dealing with the Russians...
Bismark: "If you deal with the Russians, it's better to deal straight or not at all."

I was just given a history lesson which adds significantly to my views yet, unusually so, does not contradict or invalidate them.

Posted by: chu teh | May 5 2021 6:53 utc | 158

re Posted by: jared | May 4 2021 14:46 utc | 128

please don't be linking to sites behind spam walls

Posted by: Debsisdead | May 5 2021 7:06 utc | 159

re Posted by: vk | May 4 2021 14:56 utc | 129
who spewed forth the following claptrap:

Western MSM are trying to put the blame on India's pandemic fiasco on Modi. But really, the problem with India is India. Modi is merely a symptom of the degeneracy of the Indian people & system".

Despite your penchant for colour by numbers pedantry VK, I didn't expect you to resort to racist bulldust merely to attempt to prove a point.

The masses in india are far from degenerate VK, that assertion sounds like the sort of nonsense an amerikan redneck who shot a turbanned Sikh in error, would spout.
If you had spent any time in India you would know that the masses there are probably the most heavily propagandised billion plus humans on this planet, a propaganda which has been expertly tailored to reinforce a millennia old class system.
I have meet hundreds of humans born in India in my life both here and other bolt-holes for the fortunate in other nations as well as those who are still stuck in that fantastic construct called India and I have never met an indigenous human inside or outside the nation who could remotely be described as 'degenerate'. I guess the closest would be a half bottle of whisky a day restauranteur I used to know who would throw a massive party at his restaurant every Australia day where everything was free cos migrants from where ever needed to be celebrated and locals particularly indigenous locals needed to be thanked. And yes he was well aware of the hypocrisy of celebrating an invasion, but as he said "What else can I do to celebrate escaping India and thank others on this lifeboat. Gimme another day, but until then this is it".
In some eyes his whisky habit could class him as 'degenerate' except the bulk of those who did class him as such were precisely those who still lapped up the nonsense that both Congress & BJP have pumped out to the masses (always backed by street thugs) since *independence*.

Posted by: Debsisdead | May 5 2021 7:42 utc | 160

Sassoli the sanctioned European Parliament president:

The Russian political system is technically trespassed upon by a dictatorship of the majority, as Tocqueville explained, while democracy is founded on the rights of minorities. This makes the difference between us, between Europe and Putin's Russia.

The action of the European institutions to protect human rights counts to the point of provoking heavy reactions like this. That is why we will continue to strongly argue that Alexsey Navalny must be released.

This one got away quoting only two cultural celebrities, Dostoevsky and Tocqueville, I imagine he has a nice house with books bought by the meter to cover the walls. I wonder how long Europe can afford to maintain these expensive functionaries.

Posted by: Paco | May 5 2021 9:11 utc | 161

vk @ 129

Modi is merely a symptom of the degeneracy of the Indian people & system

Kerala (and West Bengal) is perhaps the most successful marxist experiment yet on this undeserving planet. It's a real trip to wander around tea country where the social cohesion is wonderfully reflected in perfectly groomed, vast ribbons of tea plants. Images of Che are ubiquitous, as are the hammer and sickle.

They enjoy a 97% literacy rate and high levels of political participation and activism among ordinary fact, it's known as the Kerala model.

Posted by: john | May 5 2021 11:10 utc | 162

Jen @149

Yes, the "...bumped his head..." version of the child's rhyme is the liberal "sanitized" version that has been deemed acceptable to document, record, and allow parents to pass on to their children. The original version that was created by the children themselves in response to the reality of the events was and still is considered too morbid for children. Could you imagine your American middle class friends in their half million dollar cookie-cutter McMansions teaching their children the original version in today's societal environment where Millennials get Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from imaginary "microaggressions" and emotionally melt down like snowflakes in the Sahara? Someone would definitely call Child Services on them to intervene! Cannot expose children to that sort of imagery even if it is real and still relevant today!

And generations of that is, dear Readers, part and parcel of why America today is mired in deep delusion.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 5 2021 11:33 utc | 163

Thanks for the link, Jackrabbit @156

'For those of us who support free markets, the Great Reset is nothing short of terrifying.'

This is what confuses me. Why would the profiteers be terrified? I thought they were spearheading this? Is the Great Reset one of those billionaires + TNCs vs. those other billionaires + TNCs situations? Or is Prince Charles desiring to introduce some social welfare/social safety nets into society? As a monarch, (not a CEO, venture capitalist or elected representative) His Royal Highness might benefit from that.

From the article: 'Our current crony capitalist system has many flaws, to be sure, but granting more power to the government agents who created that crony system and eroding property rights is not the best way forward.'

The crony capitalists created the current crony capitalist system in the US through their bought-and-paid-for government agents. (I say with complete authority as a Canadian!) Are we witnessing the Battle of the Cronies?? This could get messy. Or nasty and ugly. Or messy, nasty and ugly all at the same time.

No wonder he's sending Canadians his best wishes during these challenging times. Almost an admission that he's f**king with the elite over here.

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | May 5 2021 14:22 utc | 164

The U.S. Birthrate Has Dropped Again. The Pandemic May Be Accelerating the Decline.

It was already negative before the pandemic (1.79 children per woman, 2019). Where are the apocalyptic articles about the USA's impending doom due to shrinking population?

Oh, I forgot. The USA still enjoys great population growth thanks to yearly mass immigration from Latin America. That's why Biden quickly dropped immigration cap for the country, after heavy pressure and opposition from members of his own party.

The USA has come to a point where it needs constant and generous flux of fresh Latin American blood to keep its economy afloat. Don't complain about the Vandal invasion 100 years from now.


As Covid Ravages Poorer Countries, Rich Nations Spring Back to Life

As the old saying goes: it's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

The Western MSM knew - both by insider information in the White House and by logical inference from Operation Warp Speed - that the USA would gobble up all the available vaccines and left the rest of its provinces to dry. But they didn't warn it at the time (i.e. censored it) because, let's be real, they don't care about it. Private newspaper only cares about its bottom line, and this bottom line was directly linked to the USA - and not any other country - reopening.


The Side of Wall Street That Matters Most Is Begging for Infrastructure

Not a specialist, but some say one of the five stages of grief is bargaining.


‘Red tourism’ in China ahead of Communist Party centenary appears rampant … but with borders shut, where else is there to go? by Mercedes Hutton

Her only mention of "falsification" in her titanic journalistic op-ed is this:

“Of all the incidents during the Long March [ …] perhaps none is better known than the battle at the Luding Bridge,” reports party-owned English-language newspaper China Daily. “The Long Marchers arrived at Luding to find that the local warlord’s forces had pulled up the bridge’s planking, leaving just the chains intact. But the Red Army soldiers were toughened from their months on the road, besides well-armed with modern weapons [ …] it look just 22 Red Army soldiers to climb hand-over-hand along the chains and defeat the pro-Nationalist forces on the far side, despite coming under heavy rifle and machine-gun fire.”

Inspiring stuff, indeed. Even if it’s not all true. China’s late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping reportedly admitted to a US national security adviser that the battle had been “a very easy military operation […] but we felt we had to dramatise it”. So dramatise it they did.

Oh, so a little bit of dramatization is falsification?

Western historians like to highlight the Long March was just a pathetic and desperate fall back by the Red Army (future People's Liberation Army) in face of the Nationalist unstoppable onslaught. That doesn't diminish its historical importance: the CPC really was in danger of extinction and the success of the March gave the CPC time to recoup and to the famous Yan'an Experiment. It was because of the Yan'an Experiment that the CPC gained the know-how about how to fight properly in China and became a peasant party.

If dramatization was a problem, then we would have to play down essentially all the Roman stories, all the Ancient Greek stories, the vaunted American Revolution (which was a minor, insignificant war for the British Empire), among many others. Essentially, every war not called WWI and WWII could be called over-dramatized.


This is what the vaunted European Left has come down to:

2021 elections - live: Starmer says Labour 'climbing mountain' as SNP rule out ‘wildcat’ independence vote

After Madrid vote, Podemos' Pablo Iglesias resigns from politics

The good news is: this is 2021, not 1918. Western Europe is not at the vanguard of the world anymore, so whatever happens to those countries is irrelevant to World History.


Yeltsin, the gift that keeps on giving:

Former Deputy Prime Minister said that Yeltsin refused to annex Crimea

According to the politician, Moscow planned to conclude a deal with Kiev , as a result of which Russia would take the peninsula, and in exchange Ukraine would receive gas for free for ten years. At the same time, the region would become an autonomy open to both countries, he said.

“It was a good deal. <…> Yeltsin didn’t want to. He says:“ Why don't we care about this Crimea, this Sevastopol. We have free piers in St. Petersburg, we will transfer the fleet there, "Poltoranin said in an interview with Dmitry Gordon.

Earlier, the former head of the presidential administration of Yeltsin, Sergei Filatov, said that representatives of Donetsk , Lugansk and Crimea, on the eve of the signing of the Belovezhskaya agreements, asked to keep them as part of Russia. According to the politician, Moscow at that time did not listen to the requests of these regions, since the Yeltsin administration "did not have time" to negotiate with Ukraine, and the authorities were concerned about "how Russia would survive in general."

Now we know why Putin doesn't blame Lenin for that one...


Bundestag considers failure to implement Nord Stream 2 over ecologists’ claim unrealistic

Unless, of course, the Greens win the next elections and form the government.


European politicians are killing China-EU CAI to appease Americans

The random (and, by now, very rare) traditional European center-leftist (social-democrat) may use an argument that this free trade deal is bad for European interests because European capital cannot compete with Chinese capital, so it would be wiped out and then job losses would occur etc. etc.

But let's be real: Europe is now bidding its time to side with the winner of the USA-China conflict. It has now realized it will be part of the periphery of the system in the incoming multipolar world and, as such, it knows it will have to choose the winning side after all of this is over.

Economically, the EU is finished. There's no prospect of any kind of revival. Complete failure of a project in terms of the original goals and the optimism it carried, during the 1990s.


There's a literal neoliberal genocide going on right now in Colombia. Some have noticed that one of the main Western bourgeois newspaper (don't remember if the FT or the Economist; it is British) Latin America correspondent lives in Colombia and, so far, has not published one thing about the daily massacres occurring on its streets. Not only I'm not surprised by that, but I would also not be surprised if this "correspondent" is actually in the Government's facilities, consulting/communicating with the Colombian President on how to best massacre those protesters.


Chinese companies grow globally despite West's anxiety


Today's the birthday of the greatest philosopher of all time. Cuba remembers:

A Marx nadie nunca podrá enterrarlo (reposted on the Granma's homepage today)

Posted by: vk | May 5 2021 14:57 utc | 165

@ 147 oldhippie... i don't know Gebhard Ullman.. i am listening to him now.. is he another chicago musician? i wonder if he was a big influence on ken vandermark? yes - brodie west is very talented.. his folks live here where i am so he comes back to visit and when he does we sometimes get to play with one another.. i met him when he was young before he moved back east.. you can listen to more of his music on his website - i played some with one of the piano players he plays with regularly too... playing more outside kind of music, there is a pretty small scene and although i am not associated with that scene, i am friends with some of the players in that scene.. i am more of a heinz 57 type player who plays across a lot of different styles of music, although my preference is for improvised music... this gebhard ullman is fairly verboise, lol!

thanks for sharing that personal story on your connection to Iva Bittova... i sent a link to my friend andrew who has 2 daughters who play violin professionally - one in los angeles and the other in toronto... he said this is how violinists used to play a long time ago - they would sing and play... he thought it was refreshing to see!

Posted by: james | May 5 2021 16:10 utc | 166

Latest Kory interview
from 13' he discusses the bias in the WHO report.

I said mistakenly that Raoult though some green monkeys were a possible intermediary, but he was talking about one of the strain which was not too lethal and has since then got extinct. In fact, he says that the majority strain in the world now comes from France, July 2020, in mink farms.

Posted by: Mina | May 5 2021 18:57 utc | 167

James @ 166

Gebhard is a Berliner. Was here a lot in early 2000s, was fascinated by the Chicago scene. He was a houseguest a couple times and we caught some shows. We did see some of the new cats, and he played with some, he was more interested in the old old crew. The lasting connection he made from his forays here was to Steve Swell. Is Steve New York? Maybe, or maybe he is from everywhere, but not Chicago. Even before covid travel to States had become difficult.

No, not a Vandermark team player. Ken was still playing out more often then and G was not interested in catching that act. Ken did a lot for quite a while and I always liked him, he was a good player and good for the music. But basically a rich kid and it is not rich kid music. He was always looking in from outside.

Our comedy violinist was the great Johnny Frigo. Gone and no replacing him. He did not sing, not really. His Devil Went Down to Georgia routine used all the lyrics and then some but it was shtick, not vocal music. On his own Detour Ahead he might sing but he could always make the violin sing.

57 varieties is the way to go. First time I heard Jodie Christian he was backing up a forgettable lounge singer. First time I saw Ari Brown he was on a little stand up electric keyboard making background music for a room of people eating dinner. It was plain how great they were even in those circumstances. Then I saw George Freeman at a brunch spot, basically doing a minstrel show with three old guys who were not musicians at all, just old men from the block. And George was still good. His career path finally has him where can can pass up those gigs but he was 90 before he had some form of success.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 5 2021 20:07 utc | 169

When I get depressed about how messed up people are « in the outside world » I find it comforting to come here and be with folks that have both intelligence and positive values. ;1

Thank you everybody, and thank you B.

Posted by: Featherless | May 6 2021 0:53 utc | 170

@ 170 featherless.. that is a nice comment and i compliment you for making it...

@ 169 oldhippie... so gebhard is a german like peter brotzman

i was thinking of him while listening to gebhard... but there is an age difference of 30 odd years.. i wonder if they know one another well?? it says gebhard studied with dave liebman in hamburg.. liebman is a coltrane nut so that is his connection to outside playing.. late coltrane.. brotzman played with han bennink a bunch.. i saw him with hans a few times, a long time ago...

you'd be surprised at how many rich kids get involved in music - all styles.. who is going to afford going into music anyway? especially if they play free type jazz music!! they better have steady access to gov't financial support or rich parents! i thought vandermark was quite good too.. i saw him with a norwegian drummer - paal neillson love..

i could see some aspiring jazz, or free jazz musician gravitating towards chicago... this is the home of the aacm which has been running for a very long time and seems to play such an important role on the jazz scene in chicago with an emphasis on free improv as i read it.. william parker and hamid drake are only a few of the many bigger name players associated with chicago.. anthony braxton, henry treadgill and art ensemble of chicago are all bigger names and all doing a very original and off the beaten path, or mainstream thing.. it seems the commercial or conservative elements of jazz never got a stranglehold on chicago in the same was as it did the music industry or new york and los angeles.. and new orleans is another place with its own thing too, but again - different... i find the music scene in chicago very fascinating, but i have never gone to chicago, or had a chance to be their... the vancouver jazz festival would invite a lot of these players to it's festival... vancouver jaz fest tried to be off the beaten path too, but in a more eclectic way.. thanks for educating me on some of the scene!

on a slightly related note, have you ever heard of art hodes?? born in russia and grew up in chicago in the early 1900's... he played with a wide variety of people in and out of chicago in the earlier days... he has a book out called notes from the gutter about his fascinating experiences in chicago that you would really enjoy.. it is an off the cuff type of writing style that i have found really fun to read.. might be called selections from the gutter..

Posted by: james | May 6 2021 4:22 utc | 171

some aspiring jazz 'musician'... missing the word musician in my notes.. i think faster then i type and forget to re-read..

Posted by: james | May 6 2021 4:23 utc | 172

Below is a link to the latest Wall Street on Parade posting about the Money-For-Nothing folks getting their own trading exchange MEMX

Shhh! Don’t Tell Congress that the Cabal It’s Investigating Over GameStop and Archegos Quietly Got SEC Approval to Jointly Run their Own Stock Exchange

The take away quote
Accentuating the reality that trading in U.S. markets has morphed from stock exchanges charged with creating a level playing field for all comers to a concentrated cabal of dubious actors was the quiet announcement on May 5, 2020 that the SEC had approved the application to become a stock exchange by the Members Exchange (MEMX).

Investors in MEMX include both Citadel and Virtu along with 5-count felon JPMorgan, serially-charged Citigroup, as well as Morgan Stanley, UBS, and Goldman Sachs, who were intimately involved in providing the leverage that blew up Archegos. Other investors in MEMX include TD Ameritrade, Bank of America Securities, BlackRock, Charles Schwab, Fidelity Investments, Flow Traders, Jane Street, Manikay Partners, Wells Fargo, and Williams Trading.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 6 2021 5:44 utc | 173

Don't know if this has been posted, but it is certainly interesting.

"Where we are so far. Neither the natural emergence nor the lab escape hypothesis can yet be ruled out. There is still no direct evidence for either. So no definitive conclusion can be reached.

That said, the available evidence leans more strongly in one direction than the other. Readers will form their own opinion. But it seems to me that proponents of lab escape can explain all the available facts about SARS2 considerably more easily than can those who favor natural emergence."

Posted by: Bluedotterel | May 6 2021 9:23 utc | 174

in other news...
'A member of the Jersey Militia reenactment group was seen firing on the French boats with a musket from Elizabeth Castle this morning.' (ITV News channel)

For a very British play-by-play of the French/English Brexit fishing dispute in Jersey, may I recommend the Twitter feed of Sierra Alpha @skywatcherintel

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | May 6 2021 13:59 utc | 175

This, my friends, is the face of capitalism's defeat:

India’s Covid Crisis Could Happen Anywhere: The country’s coronavirus disaster is the world’s problem.

Two points: 1) that "India's problem is the world's problem" blackmail again and 2) what happened to "Xi Jinping's Chernobyl Moment" narrative? Now that the whole thing is ravaging capitalism's Third World "Crown's Jewel" (India), it "could've happened anywhere. No, it couldn't: China, Vietnam and Cuba demonstrated that.

On a side note: the authors of this op-ed are Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, last winners of the Rijksbank Prize ("Economics Nobel Prize"). They won the prize on the alleged work they did in India, and their major conclusion was that "economists shouldn't be theoreticians, but plumbers". It seems they're not even useful as plumbers, too.


Very important to read this if you're an American. Explains why you shouldn't trust the 6.4% Q1 growth (why Shadowstats is a thing, how the USG manipulates data etc. etc.):

US GDP 1st Quarter 2021: RECOVERY or Just Another REBOUND

Jack Rasmus is an American and is not a Marxist, so he's beyond suspicion among American readers.

Posted by: vk | May 6 2021 14:14 utc | 176

Less entertaining than Sierra Alpha's Twitter report, and in full paragraphs, naval analyst, Nat South writes for The Saker website about Russian Navy escorting Iranian shipping from the Suez Canal to Syria.

She comments on the attack (by drone?) on an Iranian tanker moored off Baniyas.

'This would have ruffled a few military feathers in Russia and Damascus, given the proximity to the Russian naval base at Tartus. What with the deployment of air defense ashore and the deployment of the designated anti-saboteur ‘Grachanok’ class and the fast Raptor boats for port protection. Even more, the Russian Navy has conducted exercises repelling an attack by saboteurs, (undersea and afloat), hinting at concern over covert operations.'

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | May 6 2021 14:50 utc | 177

"Simple and reliable like a Kalashnikov" A couple of paragraphs machine translated, Putin video conference with vice premier Golikova:

Today, we see that, unfortunately, the struggle between various manufacturers of pharmaceuticals is intensifying in the world markets. As far as I understand, the world markets decided to support the American vaccine Moderna, which another American-European company, Pfizer, is fighting against, and it is fighting and behaving quite aggressively in the market. But these are their matters.

As far as I can imagine, including from the reports of our specialists, colleagues abroad, in the United States, they said that it would be a completely innovative drug, very modern, and, God forbid, I hope that it will be so. Whether this is really so - it will be clear only in ten years, after many years of application and analysis of the results.

Today our preparations are well known, now "Sputnik Light" has appeared, it will appear today. Our products are based on technologies and platforms that have been used for decades. They are also very modern and today, without any doubt, are the most reliable and safest. As one of the European experts said, reliable as a Kalashnikov assault rifle. We didn't say it, it was said by one of the European experts. I think that he is certainly right: simple and reliable, like a Kalashnikov assault rifle.

Posted by: Paco | May 6 2021 15:37 utc | 178

Paco @178--

Thanks for that posting. This article, based on remarks by Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami, commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps:

"'The Zionist system is breaking apart, faltering and crumbling from within. Over the past year and a half, they tried to project a powerful image of themselves, to inflate themselves like a balloon,' the commander said, speaking in a televised interview cited by Tasnim [Link at Original].

"The reality, Salami suggested, was more sobering, with a string of security incidents in recent weeks involving Israeli commercial shipping demonstrating Tel Aviv’s vulnerabilities and showing that it is 'very easy' for the country’s maritime trade to 'suffer serious obstruction'.

"This proof that the security bubble has burst has also been shown via last month’s explosion at an Israeli rocket factory, the recent Haifa oil refinery fire, the reported attack on a Mossad safehouse in Iraq, a string of cyberattacks targeting Israeli firms and the Syrian missile explosion just 40 km from Israel’s sensitive Dimona nuclear facility, Salami claimed. The commander derisively dismissed Israeli claims that the rocket factory blast was a ‘deliberate, controlled’ trial, suggesting such claims were an attempt at damage control. At the same time, he avoided claiming Iranian responsibility for any of these incidents."

His other remarks are also sensible.

In addition to Putin's remarks you provided, he made an additional statement made to play-off the hue and cry over the fantastical profits being made by Big Pharma:

"Russia ready to back waiving intellectual property rights for Covid vaccines, as Putin says now ‘not the time to maximize profits’." [My Emphasis]

Putin is very sly and smart. I'm going to compose an essay arguing the Outlaw US Empire/NATO didn't win the Cold War, since to do so is akin to saying Hitler won WW2 because he decimated the USSR so badly despite Germany being ruined even worse.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 6 2021 17:14 utc | 179

Global Times editorial published after G-7 says the outcome "demonstrates that the US efforts to rally allies against China don't have much energy, but are like an arrow at the end of its flight."

Four years of Trump and his Trade War has radically altered the rhetoric used by this and other Chinese publications when addressing the Outlaw US Empire--no more pulling of punches. Read this paragraph closely:

"Hegemony is the lifeblood of the US. The US is still the world's most powerful country in terms of comprehensive strength and has super-dominance over the world. The problem with Washington is that it is too greedy. Its demands for hegemony have far gone beyond its capabilities, and the US has fallen into an unprecedented sense of crisis and confusion. As such, the strength of the world's strongest country seems to be not enough to meet its demands, and a large deficit in mobilization capability appears."

US Outlawry is its "lifeblood," but its greed has rendered it incapable of fulfilling its Outlaw goals and has plunged its Elite "into an unprecedented sense of crisis and confusion." It is thus not as strong as it appears--another sly way of calling it a Paper Tiger. The editor makes the following judgement in light of that reality:

"It's much easier for China and Russia to disintegrate the US alliance system and make it invalid than for the US to strengthen the system to unleash new lethal energy."

Cracks in the 5-Eyes are opening with what appears to be the refusal of New Zealand to become a Woke, Neoliberal stooge along with a similar struggle in Australia as it must trade with its neighbors to provide for its citizenry. However, I do strongly disagree with the editor's concluding remark:

"Although Washington won the Cold War, in the 21st century, there is no way it can replicate that unexpected victory."

IMO, the competition that was the Cold War was never concluded as the Outlaw US Empire was unable to completely subdue and partition Russia as it planned, nor was it able to direct China's rise for its own interests and now finds itself faced with two peer competitors who, as the editor observes:

"There is still a lot of room for China-Russia cooperation. Our sponge has just been fully soaked with water. China and Russia could make more diplomatic coordination in opposing hegemony and take counteractions against US attempts to strengthen alliances. The two can also tap the huge potential for economic complementarity. In addition, the two countries have just begun in moving closer to each other militarily, if necessary, there could be a lot of cooperation that can cause shocks."

The last sentence ought to be a shocker, that Russia/China military cooperation is in its infancy, as indeed are so many other projects that will strengthen both nations and their region.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 6 2021 18:31 utc | 180

179 Cont'd--

Putins meeting with Golikova produced the context for the RT news item I linked. Here are Putin's words:

"We hear there is an idea in Europe, which I believe deserves consideration, to lift the patent protection from COVID-19 vaccines altogether. As far as I know, this would not contravene but actually comply with certain WTO rules which envision lifting such patent protection in emergencies; and the pandemic is certainly an emergency.

"This is why I am asking you, Ms Golikova, to look into this and work it out. Russia would support this approach given that, as I have said many times, under these conditions we should worry less about profits and more about ensuring people’s security. And health security is only possible if the vaccines are used in the overwhelming majority of nations. This will lead to herd immunity, a common immunity in the broadest sense of the word. This concerns everyone, including our country." [My Emphasis]

IMO, China would second such an initiative. Apparently nothing of the sort was discussed at the G-7 or it would be in the news. Efforts are already underway within the Outlaw US Empire by Big Pharma to keep Biden from doing any such thing, but the issue has now become public, Biden's apparently backing it, and I seriously hope this will be a falling domino that causes others to fall that will finally advance the advent of universal healthcare within the Outlaw US Empire that will then become a global reality--no further profiting from people's miseries, illnesses and deaths.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 6 2021 18:52 utc | 181

James @ 171

I never saw Art Hodes. He is definitely someone still talked about.

Well Gebhard does collect a salary from BRD simply for being himself. Sometimes he has to do this or that, play some gig he could do without, the money is quite good.

In covid time it has been hard and who knows if old or new normal will ever happen. Even in covid time some players keep a pretty busy schedule. Pre-covid lots did twenty gigs a week. More than that is possible but a bit ambitious.

For guys who simply cannot do anything but make music and cannot stop making music there’s no question of doing anything else. YouTube still has a couple of vids of Ron Cooper (somewhat common name but he’s the only black jazz singer) and if you tried you could find the documentary. Even when he became a down and out homeless alcoholic he sang, he taught lots of our singers. A great teacher. A great singer.

Others do better on the financial side. Life is weird in a lot of ways. My Uncle Fred (Fred Rundquist) played his guitar professionally until age 92, left an estate (I didn’t get any) of 5mil. Lived about same as most musicians. It wasn’t until he died and my sister in law started getting royalties that ‘anyone’ knew he had done thousands of sessions at Chess studios. He was the guitar on Etta James doing At Last. Which is the only famous one I can talk about. He was gifted at mimicking those he had played with and covered just lots of artists who had a recording date and a problem. When Fred passed musicians and families who had been quietly forwarding Fred’s share of the royalties to him sent nice cards and nice checks. But he lived so quietly and cheaply no one thought much could be going on. He only stopped the three gigs a day routine when maybe 87 or 88 and the driving was too hard. When he wasn’t playing constantly did not know what to do with himself.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 6 2021 22:31 utc | 182

So I was a little bit out in my assertion that bidencorp's seeming approval of patent scrapping for covid vaccines was a scam because Poland or Hungary would stop the necessary EU approval at the WTO. Germany is the country blocking approval (EU decisions such as this have to be unanimous).
I wonder why? Could it be that pfizer vaccine developer Bio-N-Tech is a german corporation?
Pfizer's stock has copped the big downgrade since bidencorp's announcement - which is why the amerikan patent busting seemed so unlikely - still it isn't likely that it will actually happen as long as germany opposes it. Bein a kiwi familiar with Aoteraroa's hire wire act trying to stay onside with China & amerika simultaneously, it all makes me wonder if setting the german govt up to take the flak for this nastiness is a part payback for going ahead with nord stream 2, that is staying onside with amerika while doing verboten (see ancient war comic german) bizness with Russia. If the germans stick to their guns on patent blocking & nord stream continues that would be likely.

Posted by: Debsisdead | May 7 2021 1:02 utc | 183

@ 182 oldhippie.. that is a fascinating story on your uncle... it sounds like the royalty checks were for his involvement in writing, but maybe it was for being on the session and getting royalties from sales off the songs... the 2nd part i have never been on the receiving end of and i don't know anyone who has.. the writing part i have gotten some revenue from, but it hasn't been a lot... if i had written a song covered by the Beatles it would have been different! maybe those folks at chess weren't so bad after all.. i read willie dixons autobiography - 'i am the blues' and they really did take advantage of him.. the music and way of making money off music changed radically from the era of your uncle and art hodes..

i have played the song 'at last' too many times to count... great song.. i don't seem to get tired of the tune.. that is a cool memory for you to hold of your uncle and i am amazed at how much he amassed via playing music in his time.. i have a close friend - also in toronto, who has written a lot of music.. i think he does okay with the royalty checks off his songs, but i don't know how much can be gotten today unless you get a really big hit on youtube, or spotify that has millions of views or downloads.. that is generally all commercial music and not open to those playing jazz, with the exception of a kenny g type.. maybe metheny does okay that way, but i don't know..

here in canada the music performance schedule has been completely shut down for all intensive purposes... some solo busking and such, but no live music with 'bands' that i know of in my circle... one restaurant in victoria was allowed to have the music and indoors, but i don't think they are right now.. covid has been a real challenge for musicians here in canada.. good for spending time working on songs though... the gov't has continued to support most with 1800 a month via a program called cerb, and then crb but it will end fairly soon - as i understand it.. good talking with you..

Posted by: james | May 7 2021 1:14 utc | 184

i think the whole concept of ''patents and copyright laws'' are a gift from heaven for capitalists.. i have a lot of uneasy questions around these concepts..

Posted by: james | May 7 2021 1:16 utc | 185

James @ 166, 171:

If it's still available in physical format, I suggest you get a copy of the Iva Bittova / Bang On A Can release "Elida". It may be available as a digital download from Bandcamp if you don't mind listening to digital recordings.

Paal Nilssen-Love runs his own label PNL Records which has its own Bandcamp page. I confess to not being very familiar with the free jazz scene generally though I am sort of familiar with some people (like Lasse Marhaug and Jim O'Rourke) who have crossed paths with PNL (the man) in the past because of shared interests in music improvisation. I think the free jazz scene in Norway is quite small and people like PNL in that scene are happy to work with other musicians who also work outside the mainstream, like fellow Norwegian Marhaug.

Posted by: Jen | May 7 2021 1:37 utc | 186

@ jen... thanks.. of course all we are ever listening to now is digital recordings! of course i don't mind.. i don't frequent bandcamp much.. i am mostly on youtube when i listen to music online.. the jazz scene is quite small in norway given the size of the country, but it seems surprisingly strong either way.. avant garde will always be a small scene as not many people are into free jazz... i am listening of iva bittova's elida right now on youtube.. it is kind of a hybrid mix of eastern european ethnicity with jazz-rock type vibes.. this tune is quite structured and while it has improvisational elements to it, there is an important underlying structure they are all following.. in that sense it is more like structured music then free jazz... the harmonies are eastern european in flavour - certain scales that give that sound i associate with coming from a particular area of the world....

thanks for sharing! i don't know these names you mention - lasse marhaug and jim o'rourke.... listening to a o'rourke track now.. is this the guy? some nice contrasts in the music that i like.. otherwise steeped in your basic rock and roll! maybe i need to listen to it more.. some rolling stone type background vocals at this point.. nothing wrong with it, but my favourite parts are when it drops down to the acoustic guitar with some keys - dreamy stuff.. little bit of punk vibe in it too..

this Lasse Marhaug guy sounds like a take off from terje rypdal... i used to listen to him a long time ago... this guy might be darker, lol... terje has mellowed with age..

Posted by: james | May 7 2021 2:22 utc | 187

james @ 184

if i had written a song covered by the Beatles it would have been different

As told by Jack Bruce:

If you’ve been in a band like Cream, sometimes you do cover songs by blues singers like Robert Johnson [Crossroads]. We also did I’m So Glad, a great song by Skip James. When I was playing with West, Bruce and Laing in the ‘70s, at Philadelphia’s Spectrum I think, I went into the dressing room and there was this little old lady sitting very uncomfortably with all the really loud music. It was Ms. Skip James. She’d come along to thank me for recording that song. She said her family made more money from the version Cream did than in her late husband’s whole life as a musician. The money enabled him to have decent medical care at the end of his life. So you have to put it all into perspective

I guess Skip saw it coming...

Look down the road
'Fer as my eyes could see
Hey-hey, yeah
'Fer as my eyes could see
And I couldn't see nothin'
Looked like mine, to me

(from Look Down The Road, 1930 something)

Posted by: john | May 7 2021 8:51 utc | 188

James, Jen

Yes, Jim O’Rourke. Yes, he does rock. Also once had a chair with Chicago Symphony. In recent years has worked a lot with Keiji Haino, which is still rock, or rock-derived. Haino worked with Lee Konitz and Peter Brotzman, are they rockers now? O’Rourke is is also a gifted physical comedian, subtle stuff that can’t be videoed. When the noise music gets unbearably intense a little joke goes well.

So yes, Chess exploited their musicians to extremes. Also recorded huge swathes of music that otherwise would not have existed. And all the ripples of that music would not exist. When Uncle Fred played there his job was to cover for no-shows. No-shows made Leonard Chess nuts. But he was recording poor people, and being poor messes up schedule. Fred did save a lot of sessions that otherwise would have been scrubbed with all present walking away angry and future sessions imperiled. He also was usually making more money than the entire band while quietly playing rhythm. Because he was white. And he was still making less than Union scale and he always could have been making scale at another gig. When he did step up and play lead he was not playing generic blues guitar, he was the artist he was covering for. He could be Eddie Taylor so well it gave Eddie the chills. Black magic was suspected. But he was a copyist, he could never create like Eddie. Jazz comes from blues and Fred was there to drink from the source. The money part was what it was.

Across town at Delmark Records/Jazz Record Mart Bob Koester was as Afrophile as he could be. He treated the artists better but paid the same and did not promote them as well. But he did promote them and save the music. Eventually, after fifty years of selling steadily Hoodoo Man Blues went platinum. My copy was cut as a onesie. You would walk in the store, ask for a record. Bob pulled the master off the shelf and put a vinyl blank in the machine, cut the record on the spot. Usually he had label stickers and usually he had good sleeves with good art. Not Always. You can’t make money that way. You can make friends and you can make music. We are grateful for that.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 7 2021 9:42 utc | 189

James @ 187, Oldhippie @ 189:

Yes, that's Jim O'Rourke: as Oldhippie says, he comes from a rock background as does also Keiji Haino. O'Rourke, Haino and Australian musician Oren Ambarchi play noisy improv rock together every so often and release recordings of their jam sessions.

I used to buy CDs from Oren when he used to work at Red Eye Records in Sydney - I'd look at Aquarius Records' website when they put out their fortnightly reviews of new stuff. Now of course AQ are gone - a real shame. I don't keep much in contact with Oren now - he always has a project or something on the boil. He runs his own label Black Truffle Records as well.

Posted by: Jen | May 7 2021 11:02 utc | 190

Re my comment @ 190:

".. I used to buy CDs from Oren when he used to work at Red Eye Records in Sydney - I'd look at Aquarius Records' website when they put out their fortnightly reviews of new stuff ..."

I should have said that I'd look at Aquarius Records' website when they put out their fortnightly reviews of new albums they got in their shop, make up a shopping list of what looked most interesting and take the list to Red Eye Records for Oren to order the items. After Oren moved to Melbourne, I ended up ordering direct from AQ myself.

Posted by: Jen | May 7 2021 11:06 utc | 191

@ john, old hippie and jen...

thanks for the new revelations and insights!

john - i know the song well, but didn't know the background story that you shared... i looked up the original and the melody is sort of different.. i think the cream made the melody more interesting! regardless at least they gave the credit to skip james and made his wife happy too!

oldhippie.. thanks... i find the stories on your uncle quite fascinating... the guy was white in a mostly black world..he would have had to have crossed paths with willie dixon at some point, even if only in passing.. that leonard used him like that makes total sense.. and i strongly agree with your comment jazz came out of the blues...most young jazz musicians don't seem to know or appreciate this.. i listened to Keiji Haino for a bit, but again was unfamiliar with him... it is a lot of electronic gizmos running and more what i think of electro-acoustic music.. i think of it mostly as solitary stuff where it is one person on their own - which funny enough is quite popular these days in the era of covid too... something about solo music leaves me cold as it misses the human interaction that i think is such an integral part of music... but i am biased! i love playing piano on my own, but don't generally ever play with others as my piano skills are fairly rudimentary... the truth is it is hard to play music with others as it requires a lot of give and take and sometimes the chemistry isn't their.. when it is, there is nothing that beats playing music with others.. i suppose i limit the music and myself by having all these categories! i could have been a music industry rep, lolol! in fact, i hate categories as there is something undefinable about music and the best kind is the kind that takes you somewhere.. it doesn't matter who or what or how it is done..

jen - thanks for your stories too! i am listening to oren ambarchi right now for the past 5 minutes... again, a bit like the bit i just listened to from keiji haino but he has a guitar in his hand along with all the electronic gizmos... and he has a leslie speaker with him too for a certain sound one gets from the leslie speaker.. i like it - mostly meditative music about 20 minutes into this video.. all of it is people being creative.. i guess that is the part i like.. playing with sounds.. sometimes more or less structured, but sometimes not.. i haven't ventured into the realm of electronics any.. i remember when bill bruford started playing with the electronic pads - 80's maybe? it didn't really engage me.. i guess i have a more primitive approach to playing music - skip the electronics.. let me play on a hill outside where no electricity is required... goes with my highland roots maybe... i just hit things mostly and the keyboard is yet another percussion instrument, especially in the hands of players like cecil taylor and such...

Posted by: james | May 7 2021 16:01 utc | 192

James @ 192

Of course Fred knew Willie. I did not know how regular Fred had been at Chess until after he passed, Willie was someone he did talk about. Yes, Willie had a legitimate beef with Chess. He was as stalwart and reliable as it was possible to be. And prodigiously productive. A genius by any measure. Someone who did damn well change the world. Treated like anyone else. He kept on recording. How else would the world know him?

I was not a regular at blues bars by any means. Was not escorted into the real joints until much later. Still saw Willie Dixon quite a few times. Once sat and talked to him a few minutes before realizing who he was. A prince.

Keiji Haino played Chicago a few times, I was only in the loop once. He had female drum and bass with him who wore matching outfits, matching hairdos, looked underage. Opened with straight bubblegum. Alternated brutal noise numbers with bubblegum numbers. A few in the audience either could not survive the noise or just couldn’t hear what he was doing. But for most he was a crowd pleaser. Making noise into pop was a feat.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 7 2021 16:53 utc | 193

@ oldhippie... in art hodes book he discusses going to various different venues in the chicago area including blues venues which he also played... the scene in chicago sounds fascinating for a music lover no matter what the genre.. i suppose when the 60's rolled around certain areas might have been off limits without an escort..

willie dixon tells the story in a fairly detached manner with regard to chess records where he did so much recording work.. 'i am the blues' book is a good insight into his personality which seems immediately likeable... that is cool you met him and the stories on your uncle are very cool.. too bad you never got to know him better during the time, but i guess you would have been pretty young too..the idea of your uncle doing 3 gigs a week into your 80's is very cool.. i know this happens in new orleans with the old timers who play their.. not sure about other places though... i started playing music full time in 1980 and was working 6 nights a week on the road with a day off to travel to the next town.. these were mor gigs - middle of the road- type music.. a little bit of this and a little bit of that.. those kinds of gigs are all gone - long gone.. i am lucky when things are happening here where i live if i can get 2 gigs a week in! some of the theatre runs i have done are 8 gigs a week, but i haven't done one of those since 2017... 3-4 month runs, 8 shows a week.. it is tedious work as they want you to play the same way every night and don't change anything.. it is kind of the opposite of improv music!

i liked what little i heard of keiji hanio.. a bit of an oddball by the sounds of it and going for the theatre vibe on some level with the dress up thing...thanks for the conversation here..

Posted by: james | May 8 2021 1:09 utc | 194

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