Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 13, 2021

Open Thread 2021-79

News & views ...

Posted by b on October 13, 2021 at 16:00 UTC | Permalink

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"The New American Leadership: Biden Tells the World What He Wants It to Know" looks more into the creeping totalitarianism within the Outlaw US Empire than Biden's lies. Indeed, Giraldi writes a softer version of observations I noted Tuesday:

"Many would argue that it is time for a reboot, to return to constitutionalism, small government and an end to pointless foreign wars and interventions. But to do that would pit individuals and small groups against some very powerful interests, i.e. the defense industry, big pharma, and government itself, which sees its natural role as one of growth. It is an unbalanced struggle, but it must be won if the United States of America is to survive with some basic freedoms intact into the 22nd century." [My Emphasis]

Unfortunately, Giraldi's silent on how to conduct the struggle he insists must be waged if we want "some basic freedoms" to remain. We've discussed how that might occur, and I just wrote a proposal at my VK Space I hope barflies will give at least the once over, "Developing an Equitable Political-Economy".

IMO, once you've read Giraldi's entire article, my proposal really isn't at all radical. One crucial aspect that already exists is the already present national consensus formulated by Sanders's two campaigns and the similar rebellion fostered by Trump. Despite all the yammering about a Blue versus Red Civil War, the political reality is both sides are far closer than apart, and the Establishment recognizes that thus their attempts to further Divide and Rule via Woke and whatever else they can conjure. The formation of a Critical Mass IMO remains very much alive, but the pandemic hampers safe gatherings of all sorts, which means covid discipline must be invoked onto what is mostly an undisciplined public. The amount of resistance currently present across the nation ought to be capitalized upon. Reds and Blues both know they're getting shafted, and they know where their enemy's located--Washington DC.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 14 2021 16:44 utc | 101

ASEAN discusses AUKUS and will have difficulty reaching a consensus on the issue which this important article explores.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 14 2021 17:13 utc | 102

they are both subserviant to power but it pays to play one constituency against the other for blaming purposes.

Posted by: ld | Oct 14 2021 17:42 utc | 103

Posted by: ld | Oct 14 2021 15:34 utc | 94

You make a valid point. Those sort of neighbours are usually noisy troublemakers, there goes the neighbourhood.

Posted by: Paul | Oct 14 2021 17:42 utc | 104

Paul @104
and they don't even need anythging to absorb us the rest of the way... just walk across the border.
eezy peezy

Posted by: ld | Oct 14 2021 17:48 utc | 105

Posted by c1ue @ 95

It's very hard to say when the bubble will pop. Meanwhile Australian critical minerals are on a gigantic roll. All the public money being thrown at EV's and green energy. Some graphite miners are up % hundreds. These days modern technology regularly finds bonanza grade platinum group elements deposits, Platinum, palladium, copper and nickel is common.

Tin is the next big commodity, the world has between 6 to 17 years of supply at current usage. The Australian government forgot to put tin on their list:

Critical_Minerals_Projects_in_Australia-6.pdf [published 2020] This 60 + page book is highly recommended.

Posted by: Paul | Oct 14 2021 18:13 utc | 106

@Paul #106
Agreed - the precise timing is pretty much always caused by some scandal: Worldcom/Enron, AIG/Lehman etc.
However, the conditions of "avalanche imminent" are unquestionably tightening of money. And after 2020-2021 record emittance of money by the US Fed, the ECB, etc etc - how can anything other policy be anything but tightening?
In my view, it is the tightening which prompts the scrutiny which finally outs the bezzle.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 14 2021 18:27 utc | 107

This is an interesting exercise: comparing the forces of retail and commercial land ownership to long term negative effects

The Housing Theory of Everything

Landlords favor lax zoning rules, because the market will value a home not just on how much rent can be extracted from it today, but also on how much the same land could generate if it sported an apartment building.

Whereas owner-occupiers tend to be NIMBYs, with an inchoate but near-religious certainty that allowing more homes to be built in their neighborhoods will "change its character" and "lower property values."

Taken together, this results in a perfect storm of terribleness. By the time the owner-occupier's kids are ready to find their own place, they enter a market of vastly overpriced housing, sky-high rents, and shocking undersupply of new homes.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 14 2021 18:29 utc | 108

@rjb1.5 #90
Have you ever observed the workings of an actual modern(ish) port?
c1ue | Oct 14 2021 16:06 utc | 98

i've observed you. i've observed that much of this world i know about i learned from what i read, not 1st hand observation or experience.

but it just so happens there's a port up the street.

i guess workers being forced into massive overtime is just part of the efficiency of the overall operation. so let's put Bezos in charge. that way at least somebody will get Christmas this year.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Oct 14 2021 18:33 utc | 109

"Mr. LeMaire made it crystal clear that the disagreement over submarines is symptomatic of deeper differences in world view that have emerged not only in France but in the EU as a consequence of China’s rise. The NYT article states:

"'The United States wants to confront China. The European Union wants to engage China,' Mr. Le Maire, a close ally of President Emmanuel Macron of France, said in a wide-ranging interview ahead of the (IMF) meetings. This was natural, he added, because the United States is the world’s leading power and does not ‘want China to become in a few years or in a few decades the first superpower in the world.

"Europe’s strategic priority, by contrast, is independence, ‘which means to be able to build more capacities on defense, to defend its own view on the fight against climate change, to defend its own economic interest, to have access to key technologies and not be too dependent on American technologies,’ he said."

Posted by: arby | Oct 14 2021 18:58 utc | 110

I like the way Putin put it--

"Russia is still accepting dollars in energy trade, and – for now – has no plans to ditch the US currency entirely, Putin noted, but “if the policy of the American authorities continues… then we will not have to do anything, the US will itself undermine confidence in the dollar.”

Posted by: arby | Oct 14 2021 19:02 utc | 111

karlof1 | Oct 14 2021 16:44 utc | 101

Just read your VK essay Developing an Equitable Political-Economy.

Excellent work, thank you. As promised you are offering not only a diagnosis of your country's ills, but a prescription as well.

We need to gain as large a consensus as possible, so keeping our aims silent won't do. It seems the best ploy is likely to be overt yet anonymous. It might be couched as a proposed Constitutional Amendment to circumvent the laws. Three Acts at minimum would need to be cited for removal: The Federal Reserve Act, the National Security Act, and what's known as the Patriot Act.
There's a lot of thought condensed into this pithy work, just highlighting this one concrete example.
pithy: (adj.) Precisely meaningful; forceful and brief
I hope fellow patrons take the time to read and ponder the ideas espoused, and perhaps we can use this open thread to continue the discussion.

Posted by: jonku | Oct 14 2021 19:27 utc | 112

re #71 My cover is blown! #71 is right, it was about saving the Union. As the earlier Mr. Seward did in 1863, when he arranged for Russia to send naval squadrons to New York and San Fransisco; thereby deterring the British from intervening before Gettysburg on the side of the Confederates. Also for buying Alaska from Russia for a modest sum; thereby preventing Britain, the other bidder, from acquiring it. Many posters here still consider Britain our enemy.

[Personal note: At IBM I once worked for a Mr. Kimber Seward, an actual descendent of W.H. Seward, the Secretary of State. He was also a descendent of another Seward, who went down on the Titanic. Every April 15, he and other Titanic descendants gathered together to toast the brave men that gave up their places on lifeboats, so that the women and children could be saved.]

Posted by: Seward | Oct 14 2021 20:01 utc | 113

Biden quote of the day:

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 14 2021 21:14 utc | 114

jonku @112--

Thanks for your gracious reply! Listing the ills and their potential remedies is easy; it's getting people to listen to/read the list that's the problem, for that's the prerequisite required for action to be taken.

Seward @113--

IMO, the primary problem confronting our "house divided against itself" is that the part doing the dividing is that which controls the Federal government and ceased listening to We the People long ago, as soon as WW2 ended. The basis of our current dilemma was noted 70 years ago as detailed in John K. Galbraith's American Capitalism: The Concept of Countervailing Power, but the remedy--Public Countervailing Power--never materialized thanks to Divide and Rule and limited readership.

If typical Reds and Blues were asked this yes/no question--Would the nation improve if the federal government was removed from the equation?--I'm willing to wager 60-70% would say yes. But you'll notice that question and its kin are never put to the public, although we are asked about our level of trust in Congress, POTUS, USSC, etc.

The Confederated States of America was a fine concept that never had a chance to be properly modified, was overthrown, and the few people allowed to vote barely gave the coup result life. The potential tyranny feared by the Founders has materialized and must be sent packing. Over the past two presidential elections, we've discussed how such a replacement might be constructed but no conclusion's been made. Please do stick your oar in when that discussion returns.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 14 2021 21:47 utc | 115

Seward @Oct14 20:01 #113

I'm glad you have a sense of humor. The Union does need to be saved, I think. But we may disagree about who it is being saved from.

What did you think of my comment @Oct14 16:25 #100?


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 14 2021 21:55 utc | 116

We often compare the collapse of the US Empire ("we're an empire now") with the collapse of the Roman Empire.

Being poorly-educated, I don't know much about the Roman Empire. But as a Canadian of a certain age I remember when this country was a proud member of the Commonwealth, with much culture including education and books originating from ("the sun never sets on") the British Empire.

Things have changed since then and the seemingly inevitable process of US culture displacing music, television and literature from the "mother country" has done the same worldwide.

As the decline of the British Empire took place in the previous century and not some tens of centuries ago, perhaps those more recent events, and their causes and ramifications might be worth comparing to today's decline of the US.

It seems that Britain still holds strong cultural sway in the English-speaking world through its mastery of propaganda, not the least by the BBC. The UK has a fraction of the population and wealth of the US, yet still dominates the narrative with respect to badmouthing Russia for example.

The outsourcing by the US of various international projects such including Chrystia Freeland's lead of the Lima Group's attacks on Venezuela is an obvious imperial strategy. This is yet another example of imperial domination.

But the fall of the UK, and the parallel rise of the US during the twentieth century still left Britain with a certain amount of power, and behind-the-scenes participation in Empire via the "special relationship" and the close familial and collegial connections between long-standing groups such as the Round Table and Council on Foreign Relations.

Perhaps there will be a similar role for the US in a restructured world, where the creativity and innovation brought during the 1900s will once again be its most important export.

Posted by: jonku | Oct 14 2021 22:51 utc | 117

Here's another curious development not being discussed, Coup attempt fails to oust IMF Director:

"Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz accused World Bank executives of attempting a 'hatchet job' against Georgieva, while fellow economist Mark Weisbrot suggested that Congress should investigate World Bank President David Malpass's alleged attempts to smear the Bulgarian economist, and called the WilmerHale report a 'politically motivated coup attempt.'"

She clearly wasn't Neoliberal enough--too humanitarian apparently.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 14 2021 23:15 utc | 118

c1ue @93: "The shipping container issue isn't because of lack of containers - the issue is because turnaround time has soared due to a number of reasons."

"`Cuz... reasons..."

Yup, reasons. And a big reason is because American businesses are using containers as ad hoc warehouses, just like I said.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 15 2021 0:11 utc | 119

Below are two links to recent postings at Wall Street on Parade that seem to say the shit show is in crisis like similar to 30's Depression

Quietly, the Fed Releases the Names of Banks that Got Billions in Emergency Repo Loans in 2019

The take away quote
This first release of data from the Fed covers only the emergency loan operations from September 17 through September 30, 2019. Even more interesting will be the next release of data for the fourth quarter of 2019, when the sums borrowed from the New York Fed under its repo loan operations had grown exponentially. By March 14, 2020, we reported that the Fed had pumped more than $9 trillion cumulatively in repo loans to unnamed banks.

The U.S. Banking System Is More Dangerous Today than in 1929, Thanks to the Fed’s Reg U and Swaps – Two Well-Kept Secrets from the Senate Banking Committee

The take away quote
On September 23 the Federal Reserve released its Z.1 statistical release on the Financial Accounts of the United States. The section on “Corporate Equities” shows that at the end of 2019, the market value of all publicly-traded equities (stocks) in the U.S. stood at $38.47 trillion. By the end of the second quarter of 2021, in the midst of an ongoing National Emergency and the worst health crisis in more than a century, the market value of all publicly-traded equities had surged to $54.768 trillion, an increase of 42 percent in a year and a half. (See page 130, Line 29 at this link.)

The U.S. stock market, at $54.768 trillion, is larger than the combined GDP of the United States, China, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. according to GDP data from the World Bank.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 15 2021 3:52 utc | 120

I have friends sending me links to stories about the imminent economic crash and as much as I would like to see it happen, as the story above shows, when you control the money supply behind the scenes, you can make shit smell like ongoing success.

That said, if Reuters is any indicator of present/future memes to cover for a crash, this current headline beats the imminent drum.

Price pinch: global economy caught in perfect storm

Like the Dark Sides of groups there is also Hand, The Invisible causing Perfect Storms........./snark

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 15 2021 5:04 utc | 121

Ever wonder if the world is fair?

Posted by: snake | Oct 15 2021 5:50 utc | 122

psychohistorian | Oct 15 2021 3:52 utc | 121

From link 2.

"Another, as yet unexamined, threat to the U.S. banking system is the undefined dollar amount of margin loans that are masquerading as total return swaps – effectively loaning out the balance sheets of the federally-insured banks to hedge funds.
Just how much of the life savings of moms and pops across America, that were deposited into federally-insured banks for safety, not to finance hedge funds insatiable greed, have been diverted away from the real economy into some manner of margin loans? No bank regulator actually knows, or if they do, they’re not talking."

Re; the imminent crash; This is one reason that the Fed is being obliged to continue funneling cash to Banks, that the savings of the masses have already been jeopardized, and many will find themselves bankrupt, when they assumed that their savings were guaranteed by the State.

AS Schwab said "You will have nothing, and be happy" - so, how many people already have nothing? Most people who "want" a crash think that it will happen to others. They have taken steps to mitigate the coming disaster. But....

("Once a liar always a liar" - and the Fed has always lied.)

Posted by: Stonebird | Oct 15 2021 9:04 utc | 123

French speaking barflies may appreciate this article sent to me by a perceptive French friend I met when we were both on our travels to distant foreign lands:

The subject line of the email, 'Très Important'.

I get the gist, I think it was adapted from an Off Guardian article linked in the body of the article. My French-English paperback dictionary has seen better days.

Posted by: Paul | Oct 15 2021 11:04 utc | 124

Global shift towards greater equality shows China’s ‘common prosperity’ goals are not unique

Kishida administration to start discussions on 'New Capitalism' soon

Correction: China's rise is putting pressure on the capitalist powers to be gentle to their respective peoples. The same phenomenon happened in the post-war period, with the USSR (that's why social-democracy only flourished in countries that bordered it).

However, this time the capitalists will fail. They key here is the profit rate: during the post-war, profit rates went sky-high, to historical levels. This time, profit rates are lower than ever.

Meanwhile, the Second Cold War rages on:

1,000 USD per fake news report -- U.S. plot to discredit Chinese investments exposed by Zimbabwean daily

Posted by: vk | Oct 15 2021 11:52 utc | 125

King Lear @Oct14 23:10 #118

I think you have a naive view of China/Russia as the “good guys”, that causes you to ignore the fact that both countries are highly complicit in the crimes of the U$ Empire, due to their mutual integration into the U$-led Global Imperialist-Capitalist System they purport to “oppose”

I don't see China/Russia as the "good guys" but as a necessary counter to distopic global governance by a corrupt, craven elite.

I think you're attempting to extrapolate the fakery of domestic politics to the international sphere. IMO this is not warranted, as I explain below.

... Trump and his Right-wing “Populist” minions are not the enemy of the so-called “Deep State” ... [they are] engaged in a Kabuki theatre with the controlled opposition Democrats

This is essentially how I see it.

But the subterfuge in domestic politics doesn't reflect what is happening internationally. IMO you (and some others) overstate the working relationship between Russia and Chinese 'elites' and Western 'elites'. The new Cold War is real. China's social model is an existential threat to Western oligarchs and China's alliance with a revitalized Russia compounds that threat.

Sure, there are trade relations and Russia and China have adopted market economies that have similarities to Western economies, but those were done as practical matters. At a fundamental level, Western and Eastern social systems are in conflict. The struggle over NordStream2, Taiwan, the 'Shia Cresant', etc. are the front lines of this conflict. This is not fakery.
What shocked me was that Trump lost last year, as I thought the Deep State was planning on him getting reelected ...

I made a prediction, months before the election, that Trump would win and become a 'glorious leader' that revitalizes USA and credibly threatens military action. I was only half right. I didn't foresee the advantages of a Biden Presidency both domestically and internationally: ally's were pleased and energized at the return of a less America-centric face on the Empire and the Left is now blamed for all of America's woes.

... a scripted collapse and give way to big Republican comebacks in 2022 and 2024 (with Trump at the helm), leading to all the same events I fear would already be occurring.

It may not be Trump himself that is elected in 2024. But if not it seems likely to be a Trump-anointed candidate.

Trump became a martyr to his flock when he lost the election. His following has gained strength via Democratic Party failings (real and imagined) such as the "stolen election", retribution against Jan 6 participants, the Afghanistan pull-out failures, border chaos, and more.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 15 2021 12:27 utc | 126


Canberra May Reportedly Use Ageing Fleet Until 2050 as New Submarines Delivery Date Not Fixed

Australia intends to kill China... with tediousness.

Posted by: vk | Oct 15 2021 12:36 utc | 127

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 15 2021 0:11 utc | 120

Yes, there has also been container hoarding.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 15 2021 12:51 utc | 128

ph @121

Thanks for the update. There’s definitely a lot of virtual money that’s going to go poof. Disappearing bank accounts (negative interest rates, ‘breaking the buck’) will come as a surprise to many.


financial matters
July 10, 2014 at 2:38 pm
This seems like a good proposal for money market fund reform. Basic money market funds would keep their standard 1 dollar share price (not be allowed to break the buck). And they could only invest in Treasuries and other government securities.

‘Prime’ money market funds could offer more interest but investors could also lose money (break the buck). These funds would be allowed to enter the tri-party repo market and invest in short-term corporate debt and other securities.


“”How we got here

In the fall of 2008, Lehman Brothers collapsed, and one money market mutual fund suffered heavy losses due to its investments in the company’s short-term debt. The fund’s shares fell below the fixed price of $1 per share, which is known as “breaking the buck.”

That triggered a run on the fund, which spread to other money market funds. The Treasury Department stepped in with a temporary guarantee program, which stopped the run and stabilized money market funds. “”

Posted by: financial matters | Oct 15 2021 13:27 utc | 129

money markets (

Posted by: financial matters | Oct 15 2021 13:34 utc | 130

money markets

Posted by: financial matters | Oct 15 2021 13:49 utc | 131

psychohistorian @122

You cannot just print dollars without driving inflation. But then there are some things that some people want the prices inflated on, like equities and other financial investment instruments. Whatever you spend excessively printed dollars on will see its price increase. This is why it seems safe, at least at first, to print up dollars and give them to the rich. The rich won't use their windfall to go out and buy extra milk and ground beef and such, so those regular commodities' prices should stay stable. Instead the rich will buy equities, which then powers a bull market. GDP magically increases even though nothing new has been manufactured.

But the problem is that those printed dollars eventually "leak" into the real economy. Maybe a company uses the sale of its inflated stock values to pay employees, or someone cashes in a mutual fund to pay for their mom's operation. It doesn't matter how the leak occurs, but eventually some of the printed dollars end up out in the real world chasing after real commodities, and then you have inflation. That's where we are right now after that 2019-2020 printing spree.

I am astonished that "real" economists are expressing surprise at the current inflation, or worse that they are predicting it is just a temporary blip. This is just the most basic economics that even capitalists should understand, so it shocks me that they are acting all confused.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 15 2021 14:04 utc | 132

WG @ 132

Good point. They could get surprised if they all try and take it at once.

Inflation also depends on resource availability and production capacity. Things like a $15 minimum wage would get people buying more and put more people to work as long as we have unemployment and resources.

Posted by: financial matters | Oct 15 2021 14:54 utc | 133

re #100 I’m inclined to agree with you in general (but I’m usually wrong). IMHO the parties reflect different grouping of voters: right now the D’s represent limousine liberals, BLM, Antifa, and their adherents; the R’s Wall Street, Main Street, and the "basket of deplorable” (to coin a phrase); which changes over time. The Deep State, more properly the Military-Industrial Complex (MCI), in President Eisenhower’s prescient warning, lets them strut and fret their hour upon the stage, in the nature of blood and circuses. But if the MCI's revenue is affected, if peace threatens to break out, however, the MCI comes down hard on the incumbent, replacing whomever it is ASAP one way or another.

Posted by: Seward | Oct 15 2021 15:30 utc | 134

vk linked to this earlier but didn't expound on its contents: "Chinese FM urges US to treat African people with respect, responding US scheme targeting Chinese business in Zimbabwe." Sounds sorta benign when just reading the headline, which ought to be something like this: Uncovered! "US plot to smear Chinese businesses in Zimbabwe at the cost of $1,000 per fake news report".

Yes, you read that right $1G to write a fake news item that smears China and generates FUD about BRI.

"The US plot undermining Chinese investment in Zimbabwe by smearing Chinese businesses was exposed in an article published on September 21 by Zimbabwe's largest daily newspaper The Herald. Each story, which portrays Chinese business as 'unethical, reckless, without values' attracted an $1,000 fee paid by the US, the report said.

"In Zimbabwe, $1,000 can help fund a poor student or buy 100 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. This is a serious matter if the US government is indeed hiring an 'army' to spread rumors, as reported by local media, Zhao said during a regular press conference on Friday."

As I wrote on the three item thread, the Outlaw US Empire desperately opposes China's effort to attain a prosperous shared future for all humanity, such that it will stoop to new lows to accomplish that goal.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 15 2021 15:50 utc | 135


May I suggest you look into the thorium-fuelled molten salt reactor. One iteration is the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR). You might not think this has a strategic importance, as it is not a reactor that can easily provide bomb-grade material. But it has great economic and self-sufficiency importance for nations that will use it.


Posted by: jp straley | Oct 15 2021 16:03 utc | 136

@rjb1.5 #105
You clearly haven't actually watched the port of the road. They don't work 9 to 5 even in pre-COVID times.
The notion that magically Bezos will fix the problem is idiotic as is the fact that you clearly don't have any idea just how containerization has immensely accelerated port productivity just in the last couple decades.
But hey, magically new productivity can just appear with app-based worker repression, right?

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 15 2021 17:03 utc | 137

@William Gruff #119
You can believe anything you want; the people who are actually in the shipping business are saying different.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 15 2021 17:05 utc | 138

South China Sea seems not be enough to look for trouble, up north in the Sea of Japan the Russian vessel Admiral Tributs stopped the USS Chafee intruding Russian waters, the vessels came to sixty meters distance.

Nuland visit to Moscow has been kept very quiet, Ischenko suggests that Ukraine is in trouble since the US is tired of carrying that suitcase without a handle, Nuland went to see if she can get anything in exchange for damaged goods, like seducing Russia away from China, good luck with that.

Posted by: Paco | Oct 15 2021 17:07 utc | 139

Thanks to jonku, Seward, and finally karlof1, whose article jonk links to @112. From that:

"...Somehow hierarchies need to be made humble so the latent power they're vested with remains latent--unexercised. For that to become reality, humans must be rigorously trained--indoctrinated--very much like what's required to become a complete Party member--almost like a Quaker. All development is to benefit all the people all the time. And for that to properly work, any sort of parasite cannot be abided in any position. And the only way I know of to get that sort of result is via Culture/Education/Mores/Taboos in such a manner that Culture becomes a self-enforcing mechanism for society with all imbalances called out for rectification..."

Others besides me were fortunate in the late '50's to have this experience. I attended a college which exemplified precisely this - a humble hierarchy. That is, first, it was small. 300 students. Second, the administration was even smaller, not much more than a half dozen officials, many of whom also taught. Thirdly, salaries were low. And last, the program as it was called was the same for each level of students, and often the teachers were students themselves as far as newly approaching the material offered.

We had sports on occasion, but they were extraneous to our studies, and mostly within our own student body. Sports, dances, bike rides. To help us blow off steam. And, I'll emphasize -- there was drinking,(nothing is perfect) but it was before drugs! And lots and lots of reading. Reading reading reading. Then talk, lots of that too.
No tv, and it was before computers or cellphones -- yay! Freedom!

Posted by: juliania | Oct 15 2021 17:10 utc | 140

juliania @140--

Thanks very much for your highlight! You should join VK and apply to become a friend so you'll never miss another one of my articles published there.

Meanwhile, Pepe Escobar fetes us with another of his Silk Road historical travelogues that we've come to like so much, "When the West was itchin’ to go to China". The picture of Uzbekistan's Khiva at the header reminds me of something out of an Indiana Jones film backdrop--it's spectacular! His intro, complete with a link to the latest Anti-China propaganda, invites the reader to enter the Wayback Machine with Francis and Mr. Peabody for a trip:

"Forget about the incessant drumming of Cold War 2.0 against China. Forget about think-tank simpletons projecting their wishful thinking on the perpetual 'end of China’s rise.' [Link at Original]

"Forget even about a few sound minds in Brussels – yes, they do exist – saying Europe does not want containment of China; it wants engagement, which means business.

"Let’s time travel to nearly two millennia ago, when the Roman Empire was fascinated by the business opportunities offered by those 'mysterious' lands in the East."

I'll leave it to the reader to click and continue, but I will say you won't be disappointed. And of course, Pepe provides us with some literary sources, one linked the other for us to discover, History of the Later Han. In a few clicks, I discovered an entire series on Chinese history I wasn't aware of; and since it consists of 153 volumes with more on the way, I'm somewhat ashamed to admit never hearing of them. Those knowing Chinese or willing to patiently attempt to understand the machine translation can access some of that history here. Someone has provided links to several volumes, which are in English, of the "Sinica Leidensia" series here.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 15 2021 19:09 utc | 141

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 15 2021 19:09 utc | 141

“Let’s time travel to nearly two millennia ago, when the Roman Empire was fascinated by the business opportunities offered by those 'mysterious' lands in the East.”

If nothing really serious happens, like a big war, I envy future generations, they'll travel the huge Eurasian landmass and along the way meet a myriad different cultures, landscapes, cuisine, music, to be short, peoples. If I resent something about the outlaw US empire as you accurately call it is the many barriers, borders and obstacles faced by my generation when facing east, now compounded with the pandemic, but somehow things are changing fast, it is nor far fetched to think that soon all roads will be open, and the Marco Polo dream of childhood will come true for many.

I checked last night your article, what stayed with me is your bet for education and enlightenment instead of the cheap celebrity culture that we are constantly fed.

Posted by: Paco | Oct 15 2021 19:30 utc | 142

Paco @142--

Thanks for your reply and feedback! Personally, I hope to visit my ancestral land of Iberia before I turn 70, go to Madrid, Lisbon, Porto, Salamanca (my roots), and from there take in Europe's Imperial cities ending in Moscow. Hopefully my wife can arrange to take a sabbatical from work and covidcraziness will have subsided. I'm curious about the thoughts of the DDG captains when they get ordered to create a provocation like that of USS Chaffey?

Posted by: Karl Sanchez | Oct 15 2021 20:10 utc | 143

Yesterday, Putin held a meeting with The Supreme Eurasian Economic Council where much was discussed. Here's an example:

"We believe such unfavourable external conditions [caused by illegal sanctions] should drive closer cooperation within our union. The importance of close interaction is becoming even more important as we are getting ready to switch to national currencies and cut the use of the dollar and euro in mutual settlements, to make arrangements for import substitution and development of advanced high-tech industries, and to provide people with food.

"Incidentally, Russia has gained vast experience in supporting economic growth under Western restrictions, and we are willing to share it with our EAEU partners.

"Implementing major economic projects is easier and faster if done as a collaborative effort. I cannot but agree with our chairman [Kassym-Jomart Tokayev] that there is a shortage of such projects. Of course, we need to look for them and implement them, to introduce innovative technologies and to meet the growing demand for high-quality goods and services and thus effectively resist outside pressure."

Putin noted the Eurasian Bloc continues to consolidate:

"I cannot but note that the ongoing integration of the EAEU is getting the attention of a number of foreign countries, which you have already mentioned.

"Importantly, observer states are increasingly involved in EAEU operations. They can participate in the integration bodies’ activities at all levels and get familiar with the process of drafting integration documents and implementing adopted decisions.

"A flexible system of relations between the EAEU and other states, as well as integration entities such as the SCO or ASEAN, is being effectively implemented in practice.

"In July, a free trade agreement with Serbia came into force, and similar agreements are being negotiated with Egypt and Iran. Talks with India have been given the green light. Research groups are studying the feasibility of creating free trade areas with Indonesia and Mongolia."

Putin also took part in the Third Eurasian Women’s Forum. And I'm sure many will be interested to read what Putin had to say at today's meeting of the CIS Heads of State Council, which covered a wide range of topics.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 15 2021 21:15 utc | 144

pretty good overview - who owns the world? 1 hour and 3 minutes..

Who Owns the World?

Posted by: james | Oct 15 2021 22:10 utc | 145

The Final Solution of the 'peace process' finally revealed:

Posted by: Paul | Oct 16 2021 0:20 utc | 146

Paul 146
such charming people

Posted by: ld | Oct 16 2021 1:11 utc | 147

Posted by: ld | Oct 16 2021 1:11 utc | 147

enough charm to open an educational Charm School, tax deductible of course.

Posted by: Paul | Oct 16 2021 2:21 utc | 148

Posted by James @ 145

Kudos to you for posting the amazing 1 hour and 3 minutes documentary 'Who Owns the World.'

I can verify a number of facts revealed in this doco. I hope barflies have time to watch it and take the time to pass it on.

I watched it from beginning to end. It is at once depressing and didactic.

I copied the link to over twenty people in a number of countries who would be smart enough to appreciate the knowledge it reveals and have a spare hour to watch it.

Related to the doco is a new book on Larry Fink and the origins of Blackrock for you, 'Trillions':

Thanks again James.

Posted by: Paul | Oct 16 2021 4:24 utc | 149

juliania | Oct 15 2021 17:10 utc | 140

Juliania, thanks for your reminder of how strong our culture once was.

My father lived in a small coal mining town in the Rockies, and his memories of high school years are about his friends singing together the songs of the day, and his sister tells me she met with friends who taught each other their songs from the old country, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia.

I knew an ex-monk who lived in a brownstone in Greenwich Village with a beautiful walled back rose garden, with a piano that a young man from the neighborhood practiced and played upon.

This man had grown up in the American South in the 1920s, he said that by grade seven, or seventh grade, students had learned world history, the history of their country, mathematics and Latin and Greek.

Imagine the teachers!

It is with wonder and admiration that I learn how our culture was and is profound, with access to so much knowledge, and hopefully wisdom.

I appreciate your constant optimism and reminders of our contact with the land.

Those values are sometimes hard to find in the suburban and urban lifestyle, yet key to the necessary renaissance.

Posted by: jonku | Oct 16 2021 7:57 utc | 150

Would Obama have killed Richard Jewell?

Remember Richard Jewell? Of course you do. He was the hapless hero who saved dozens of people from injury/death when he discovered a package with pipe bombs and risked
his own life by clearing people from the area. He didn't skedaddle (nonchalantly).

Speculation about his motives set the bureaucratic machinery wheels in motion . He was crucified in the press and by the government.

On NBC, Tom Brokaw said, "The speculation is that the FBI is close to 'making the case,' in their language.
They probably have enough on him to arrest him right now . . . but you always want to have enough to convict him as well."

That was twenty years ago, and, as you know, the world changed and it isn't the same US anymore.

Today the FBI would not take their time with a possible "terrorist". Richard Jewell would have been off to Gitmo faster than you can bake
a cake.

Hooded, hustled into a van and off to the airport at 3 am in the morning.

Once those bureaucratic wheels started turning bureaucratic reputations and careers would be at stake. NO ONE would undo the mistaken arrest of Richard Jewell, no one. Certainly not Hope and Change Barack Obama.

Richard Jewell would have sat in Gitmo for years and years with an on-again off-again military tribunal.


This week (Thursday) marked the 10th anniversary of the drone killing of Abdulrahman Al-Aulaqi, a 16 year old born in Colorado and killed in Yemen. He perished as part of Obama’s crackdown on terrorist suspects around the world. His father, who was also an American citizen, was killed two weeks earlier by another drone strike ordered by Obama.

Thanks to Obama The Government is allowed to kill **YOU** without judicial process.

"But of course, when this memo refers to "a Senior Operational Leader of al-Qaida", what it actually means is this:
someone whom the President - in total secrecy and with no due process - has accused of being that. Indeed, the memo
itself makes this clear, as it baldly states that presidential assassinations are justified when "an informed,
high-level official of the US government has determined that the targeted individual poses an
imminent threat of violent attack against the US".

This is the crucial point: the memo isn't justifying the due-process-free execution of senior al-Qaida leaders
who pose an imminent threat to the US. It is justifying the due-process-free execution of people secretly
accused by the president and his underlings, with no due process, of being that.
The distinction between (a) government accusations and (b) proof of guilt is central to every free society,
by definition, yet this memo - and those who defend Obama's assassination power - willfully ignore it."

- article source: "Chilling legal memo from Obama DOJ justifies assassination of US citizens"
by Glenn Greenwald

They do have that right now, and you don't have YOUR rights.

You knew that didn't you?

They have **already** killed American citizens with no due process!

Next time you see a suspicious package in a crowd you have a decision to make. Possibly save lives by informing authorities or instead nonchalantly leave the scene so you don't get a cruise missile up your behind.

Why would a drone or cruise missile be heat-seeking you?

Remember Richard Jewell? Of course you do. He was the hapless hero who saved dozens of people from injury/death when he discovered a package with pipe bombs and risked his own life by clearing people from the area. He didn't skedaddle (nonchalantly).

Speculation about his motives set the bureaucratic machinery wheels in motion . He was crucified in the press and by the government.

On NBC, Tom Brokaw said, "The speculation is that the FBI is close to 'making the case,' in their language.
They probably have enough on him to arrest him right now . . . but you always want to have enough to convict him as well."

That was twenty years ago, and, as you know, the world changed and it isn't the same US anymore.

Today the FBI would not take their time with a possible "terrorist". Richard Jewell would have been off to Gitmo faster than you can make a milk shake.
Hooded, hustled into a van and off to the airport at 3 am in the morning.

Once those bureaucratic wheels started turning bureaucratic reputations and careers would be at stake. NO ONE would undo the mistaken arrest of Richard Jewell, no one. Richard Jewell would have sat in Gitmo for years and years with an on-again off-again military tribunal.

Sure, he would have had a lawyer.

[Where would **your** free lawyer likely come from today? You guessed it. Eric Holder's old law firm. A whole bunch of the pro bono lawyers for the Gitmo inmates came from there. Other lawyers did it JUST BEFORE joining Eric Holder's "Justice" Department. A good way for the "Justice" Department to get insider information about the inmates at Gitmo, don't you think? (There is no attorney-client protection for foreign Gitmo inmates. The lawyer can blab anything he wants to the Justice Department. Hope your lawyer remembers
that you are not a foreigner when he is applying for a job at the "Justice" Department.)]

[Did you know that Attorney General Eric Holder came from a law firm whose name is synonymous with protecting fat cat banksters?
They are the go-to firm if you are a Wall Street bankster. And under Eric Holder's Justice Department nobody went to jail after the 2008 economic melt down that was c/o Wall Street greed and corruption. Nobody. And when Eric Holder resigned as Attorney General he RETURNED to the same bankster-protecting law firm!!]

************** But if you had any sense ************

After risking your life to save people and then getting caught up in the wheels of "justice" like Richard Jewell...

You would NOT sit still waiting for someone to put a hood over your head. Are you Cracked?!
You would take off and run until that drone found you and turned you into a bug splat.

Look up, Listen and Run!

Don't duck and cover. Don't wait for that bag to be put over your head
in the false Hope that it will all work out when you receive American Justice.

Posted by: librul | Oct 16 2021 12:52 utc | 151

Thanks, jonku @ 150, yes, it doesn't take much really - it only takes less! Our economists here have filled in the blanks concerning how largesse came to the US and other western countries through rules put in place after WW2. It wasn't any thoughts about superior intellect or superior armies or superior statehood - we got perks!! And as karlof1 states so well, we need a huge dose of humility because even with all the advantages, we've done terribly awfully awful!

I am noticing now that the number of strikes that are happening in various workplaces are gathering momentum. It might be too soon to call it any more than a stirring, but on naked capitalism comments were noting that the AP has set up a Strike category link. At my college there were students like me who worked to pay our way through college - that is not possible today in this country. Either you are in the upper upper class of wealth or you go into huge life-killing debt. And that debt I say is life-killing because it kills your enjoyment of education which is natural to all human beings, and it prevents you from thinking of having a family because as well it is no longer possible to do other than remember you have that debt.

But strikes! There's solidarity there. A foundation to build on, maybe? I'll light my votive, and hope.

Posted by: juliania | Oct 16 2021 13:10 utc | 152

Best docu till date on SARS-COV2 origin:

Why the US is not interested in a solid investigation: it would expose Fausti, Daszak & co.
Why PR China is not interested in a solid investigation: it would expose Shi Zhengli, supposingly under CPC supervision, plus Wuhan does happens to be in central China.

Again the 0.01 % global Elite against the rest, oblivious of national boundaries or responsabilities to Humankind.

Posted by: Antonym | Oct 16 2021 13:33 utc | 153

karlof1 @ 141 thanks for the invitation and links! I'll have to hold off a bit as we here are without power at present, so I'm having to be careful - we're the single yellow lightning icon in upper New Mexico as I duckduck went this morning. Five hundred plus folk affected. The marvels of technology - the good ones - I'm not completely in the dark! (I hope it wasn't something I said.)

I am reading "Sacred Horses" which is about visiting Turkmenistan in the perestroika era. I duckduck'd for info on that as well, or at least did so on 'Turkmenistan' - not much there - the book is very entertaining though, up close and amazing. (Just entering the Kara Kum.) And the horses, Akhal-Teke - plenty of them in this country now, not so much back then. Very hard to get there back in the day, but Albuquerque, funnily enough was made a sister city to the capital, so the author got into a group from hereabouts travelling over. Small world!

Posted by: juliania | Oct 16 2021 13:34 utc | 154

Show Craig Murray some love on his birthday:

Celebrating Craig’s birthday: Sunday, 17th October


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 16 2021 13:59 utc | 155

Here's something rather odd: War Criminal John Bolton interviewed by RT trying to make the argument that Russia's making a big mistake allying with China. The man clearly has a terminal case of Can'tfigureitoutitis and should probably just drink a bottle of Everclear and leave life.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 16 2021 21:42 utc | 156

Posted by karlof1 @ 102

Sadly Australia has now joined at the hip to the major troublemaker in the region, the US.

This hasn't gone unnoticed in France, UK, the EU, ASEAN or China:

"Since US foreign policy is now blinded by ideological hang-ups and panic over its decline, there is absolutely no reason for the UK to play along with it any longer, and it should cut its losses."

This stab in the back has had repercussions for UK / French relations as France no longer impedes refugees from crossing the English channel.

Cop that perfidious Albion. It is a multi level catastrophe and an ideologically driven perfect storm.

Posted by: Paul | Oct 16 2021 23:40 utc | 157

Paul @157--

Thanks for your reply and info provided! The Refuge Blowback is related to the West's harping about Human Rights as it finds its hands tied while China advertises its aim is globally shared prosperity--Freedom from both Want and Fear. The Collective West has never articulated such a goal and is thus wrongfooted. It tries desperately to salvage its Narrative, but its deeds make that impossible.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 17 2021 0:30 utc | 158

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