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December 15, 2021

Open Thread 2021-98

News & views ...

Posted by b on December 15, 2021 at 17:53 UTC | Permalink

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Stick a fork in it. The US is toast.


Summary article by
David P. Goldman

Harvard Professor Graham Allison and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt have warned that China may lead the world in decisive technologies in a new report for Harvard University’s Belfer Center.

The authors warn “China has become a serious competitor in the foundational technologies of the 21st century: artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, quantum information science (QIS), semiconductors, biotechnology and green energy.

“In some races, it has already become No 1. In others, on current trajectories, it will overtake the US within the next decade.”

The report appeared under the imprint of the Avoiding Great Power War Project. In 2018, Allison advanced the “Thucydides Trap” thesis, warning that a challenge to an established power by a rising power too often leads to war.


But the weight of the evidence they have compiled is impressive. They conclude with a citation of a 2020 report by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences: “Given the enormous scale and rate of progress of Asia, particularly China, the United States will find that reversing its own downward slide will be very difficult … If we ignore this issue, declines in the economic well-being of our citizenry and our ability to influence world affairs will be inevitable.”


America’s 5G infrastructure rollout is years behind China’s, giving China a first-mover advantage in developing the 5G era’s platforms … Qualcomm’s Economic Strategy Team estimates that over the next 15 years, 5G will “add an economy the size of India” to the world, the lion’s share of which is on track to be in China.
China has already surpassed the US in quantum communication and has rapidly narrowed America’s lead in quantum computing.
China’s AI surge is so recent that anyone not watching closely has likely missed it. Indeed, in many races, China has already overtaken the US to become the world’s undisputed No 1. Consumers’ choices of AI products in markets speak for themselves. In speech technology, Chinese firms are beating American firms in every language, including English.
China graduates four times as many bachelor’s students with STEM degrees and is on track to graduate twice as many STEM PhDs by 2025.
Despite the Trump administration’s effort to, as a former NSC staffer described it, “kill Huawei,” the tech giant still deployed more than 300,000 5G base stations in China last year.
China’s potential to become a semiconductor leader can no longer be discounted; and, on the current trajectory, it is more likely than not that President Xi will accomplish his goal of China becoming a top-tier player in the semiconductor industry by 2030.
Advantages along every link of the green energy supply chain position China as the global leader [in green energy] for the foreseeable future.
Because a primary asset in applying AI is the quantity of quality data, China has emerged as the Saudi Arabia of the 21st century’s most valuable commodity.
Notably, Allison and Schmidt concede that Open Radio Access Networks, or O-RAN, the much-vaunted “software-eats-hardware” alternative to Huawei’s 5G, won’t be a competitive factor.

“Widespread 5G networks with real 5G capabilities are still one to two years away in the US, while mainstream adoption of new infrastructure solutions like ORAN (which some have proposed as America’s answer to Huawei) will come too late for the US 5G rollout,” they write.

The distinguished physicist and venture capital investor Henry Kressel warned in several commentaries for Asia Times that O-RAN would take too long, cost too much and present too many security problems to challenge integrated producers like Huawei and Ericsson.

Can America catch up? Education is a stumbling block.

They say: “By total number of undergraduate university degrees in science and engineering, America was the global leader in 2000 with over 500,000, while China stood at just under 360,000. Today, China graduates four times as many STEM students as the United States (1.3 million vs 300,000) and three times as many computer scientists (185,000 vs 65,000). In international science and technology rankings for K-12 students, China consistently outscores the United States in math and science – in 2018, China’s PISA scores, which assesses math, science and reading, were ranked number one while the US ranked 25th.”

One advantage that the authors put in America’s column is that “America can recruit from all the world’s 7.9 billion people, while inherent insularity restricts China to its own population.”

That isn’t quite true. Huawei employs 50,000 foreigners, roughly a quarter of its global workforce, and they do a disproportionate share of Huawei’s R&D. Huawei is less a Chinese company than a true multinational.

Contrary to some Western views, China will not reach a point of stagnation as did Japan, the authors warn. “Japan’s technological ambitions were hampered by ‘Galápagos syndrome’: its innovative technologies were developed in isolation and highly-specialized for the domestic market but struggled to compete overseas.

By contrast, China’s technological growth has been deeply integrated throughout the world, as evidenced by its worldwide rollout of 5G. According to Andy Grove, its capacity to “scale up” the innovations of others has allowed China to rise in the tech value chain from manufacturing to R&D to standards-setting."

Posted by: daffyDuct | Dec 15 2021 18:18 utc | 1

The same guys who said 2 planes destroyed 3 skyscrapers are telling you the Rona-Jab is "safe and effective".

Posted by: mvlazysusan | Dec 15 2021 18:20 utc | 2

Announcement of new Iraqi political/religious party:

"Prominent Iraqi Shia scholar Sayyed Hashem al-Haidari has announced the formation of a new religious, cultural, and political party named the Ahdullah Islamic Movement.

"Al-Haidari is strong proponent and advocate of the theory of Wilayat al-Faqih (The Guardianship of the Jurist), the core political theory upon which the Islamic Republic of Iran is based."

I wonder if this party is meant to compete with al-Sadr's party or to complement it. We shall soon see.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 15 2021 18:20 utc | 3

b, hope you're steadily getting better. Thanks for your recent sharing to us of the link:

A revealing quote from that:

"We [the US] have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population. This disparity is particularly great as between ourselves and the peoples of Asia. [..] Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity [over the peoples of Asia] [..]"

- George Kennan, key architect of US foreign policy, in a 1948 top secret memo

I interpret Kennan's call to focus on "devising a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity" to principally mean the constant application of divide-and-conquer tactics against the "peoples of Asia".

Ex. Pakistan vs India, Japan vs China, Russia vs China, Japan vs Russia, China vs USSR, India vs China, South Vietnam vs North Vietnam, South Korea vs North Korea, Afghanistan vs Soviet Union, KMT vs CPC, Taiwan vs China, Tibetan vs Han, Uighurs vs Han, Hong Kong vs Mainland, deliberately stirring up the South China Seas pot, Vietnam vs China, Balochs vs Punjabis, Rohingya vs Burman, etc.

Of course, part of that devised "pattern of relationships" also means seducing unwitting peoples of Asia into temporarily-useful alliances such as the "Quad", to ultimately divide-and-conquer all the peoples of Asia to keep them poorer and servile to the plutocratic US-led West.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Dec 15 2021 18:23 utc | 4

By Robin Emmott and Sabine Siebold

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -The leaders of France, Germany and Ukraine sought on Wednesday to revive talks with Russia while keeping up pressure on Moscow to deter what the West says may be preparations for a new attack on Ukrainian territory.

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy met on the sidelines of an EU summit in Brussels to find ways to restart negotiations in the “Normandy format” that also includes Russia, Macron’s office said.

“The three leaders reaffirmed their commitment to this format of negotiations in order to find a lasting solution for the conflict and to preserve Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” his office added.

France, Germany and Ukraine seek fresh peace talks with Russia

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 15 2021 18:27 utc | 5

daffyDuct | Dec 15 2021 18:18 utc | 1

More on that subject

Posted by: jo6pac | Dec 15 2021 18:35 utc | 6

RIP Bell Hooks

Bell Hooks from the Independent

Posted by: lex talionis | Dec 15 2021 18:36 utc | 7

@1 One thing that hasn’t gotten nearly attention that I believe it should is the recent banning of video games by China. They’re forcing kids out of mindless screen addiction and back into the real world, where they use their minds (and bodies). They also recently banned people showing off wealthy and excessive lifestyles on social media. We know that social media harms children, and we know video games lead to health problems. And both probably stunt real learning.

So on the one side of the ledger you have a country with 1.3 billion people with a cultural belief in learning and study, reducing distractions and mental “toxins” from their children. On the other side a nation of 320 million with a cultural belief in celebrity and magical thinking, little support for education, and youth drowning in social media, video games and even substance abuse. The game is over. The US could never hope to compete and shouldn’t be surprised by the outcome having allowed it’s culture to degenerate and actively pushing mental trash on everyone.

Another point I haven’t seen anyone make about the video game ban in China is that it necessarily takes them out of the Metaverse/Great Reset madness (even as I see various alt right commentators claiming China is paving the way for this). American kids in a generation will be strapped into VR headsets 24/7 consuming virtual products almost certainly created by Chinese programmers (who will then be enjoying the real world with real money and not virtual currency).

Posted by: Krungle | Dec 15 2021 18:37 utc | 8

daffyDuct @1--

Thanks for that report! Again, China's #1 goal of uplifting its human capital is allowing it to easily win the overall development competition with the Outlaw US Empire as the different trajectories of the two are starkly different--China's is rising swiftly while the Outlaw US Empire's is declining swiftly. A comparison of the two starting in 1980 when they embarked on two very different policy directions would be very useful, although the results we currently see are very telling in themselves. The major difference at the moment is the clear unwillingness of those running the Duopoly to change its policy direction to actually compete with China and Russia, while China is constantly tinkering, modifying and thus improving its policy toward attaining its stated goals--and there we see the real difference: China has explicit long term goals while the Outlaw US Empire has none and is thus drowning in ambitionless ennui.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 15 2021 18:40 utc | 9

Canadian Cents @4--

You omitted the most important device employed by the Outlaw US Empire--the War Against Asians that continued after WW2 was supposedly over that was covered up by the Cold War. As I noted yesterday, the Outlaw US Empire had a free hand in the Asia-Pacific after the war it didn't enjoy in Europe, although it did employ much of the same policy--reinstating the Fascists that the resistance movements had defeated which were the actual causes of what's known as the Korean War and the Vietnam War. These seemingly disconnected wars are actually interconnected with each other and the larger Cold War cover story for the Outlaw US Empire's Imperial depredations and genocide of Southeast Asians. More than enough information now exists to link them all together in a new narrative that overthrows the mass of previous propaganda.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 15 2021 18:55 utc | 10

Central America: Honduras & Nicaragua rapidly moving toward China/BRI

Honduras: It took 12 years for the Hondurans to take power back from the narco-Empire coddled mafia. This article gives a good historical summary of what happened. Even a year ago no one imagined Honduras would break the narco-imperial death grip. Kamala, Blinken and Biden are boxed in a corner as they need incoming president Xiomara Castro to convince people to "not come!" to the border. Expect Castro to accomplish this by boosting public sector projects aimed at the poor, in line with Nicaragua (a country with few refugees)and accelerating ties with China.

Nicaragua is embracing China and unplugging from Taiwan, giving the Empire both middle fingers.
"Nicaragua’s recognition of China also negates the US government’s boycott of loans from the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank or support from the IMF, whose resources pale beside the massive financial power of China’s state-controlled banking system."
Remember John Negroponte? Robert Callahan? ( Central Americans--and Iraqis-- do. Lots of history in this piece.
Bottom line, the Empire is exposed and losing fast in central America. They looking east and south.

Posted by: migueljose | Dec 15 2021 19:08 utc | 11

The new German government is out of touch completely. “While Germans are freezing and paying energy rates that are shocking, their new leadership is showing just how much it despises the people who voted for it by playing games with the one thing that could help solve their current problems: NordStream 2.”

In Greece the war on unvaccinated ppl has completely destroyed small businesses and the hospitality sector.

In Austria they are going full 4th Reich.

A perfect storm is coming and we are totally unprepared and highly divided.

The COVID idiocy will kill us all and we are doing nothing to resist. Not even the Russians will be able to save us this time.

Btw what a mess Mutti has left behind.

EU and Ursula have declared war on its ppl. Ursula must go. She is highly incompetent, compromised and totally corrupt.

Speedy recovery to our host

Posted by: DG | Dec 15 2021 19:20 utc | 12

@ migueljose | Dec 15 2021 19:08 utc | 11 with the report on Central America...thanks

I think the time is coming when the China/Russia aligned countries will form an alternative to the Western system of finance.

Gone will be the FOREX manipulation of the BIS
Gone/renegotiated will be the World Bank/IMF debt load on the nations of the world
Gone will be the threat of sanctions by private finance against sovereign nations

The Western private system of finance/property/inheritance will be exposed as the social parasite it has been for the past centuries.

I am dreaming but I am not the only one.....

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 15 2021 19:23 utc | 13

Posted by: DG | Dec 15 2021 19:20 utc | 12

Germany facing a possible recession this winter. Its actually good thing that they are that stupid. This way, they harm themselves due to their own hatreds against others. Let them cry even more about "imminent russian invasions" and see their prices go through the roof.

Posted by: Passer by | Dec 15 2021 19:29 utc | 14

Eva Bartlett on Syria's continuing war to free itself from the West where the title tells us what to expect, "The NY Times reports US forces ‘killed dozens in Syria.’ The reality is far worse." Yes, it's much worse:

"Referring to the New York Times reports, RT reported recently that former Pentagon and State Department adviser Larry Lewis, who co-authored a 2018 DoD report on civilian harm based on classified casualty data, said the rate was '10 times that of similar operations he tracked in Afghanistan.' … and that, when interviewed by the New York Times, Gen. Townsend blamed any civilian casualties on 'the misfortunes of war.'

"Funny how that works. When Syria is actually fighting terrorism, they are condemned. When the US is fake fighting terrorism and slaughtering civilians, it's just a 'misfortune of war.'

"It should be no surprise to any thinking person that the US has committed untold war crimes in Syria (and many other countries) during its illegal presence in the country. Still, even with ample documentation of these crimes, the US is not held accountable. Completing this unjust scenario, the US and allies have repeatedly hurled unfounded accusations of chemical weapons attacks and Russian war crimes, providing no evidence and generally relying on unnamed sources or the al-Qaeda-affiliated White Helmets." [My Emphasis]

As noted yesterday and on previous occasions, China has vowed to hold the Outlaw US Empire accountable for its crimes. I expect that vow to escalate into a Crusade. It was possible to speak out against the Anglo Empires during the Cold War with the USSR's backing but silence has mostly reigned ever since the USSR's demise. That has slowly changed since NATO's Rapes of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria along with the ongoing slow genocide in Occupied Palestine. The Trade and other Hybrid Wars waged against China has forced it to become more aggressively defensive, with the result that China has fastened upon the Outlaw US Empires many crimes as its major point of vulnerability when it comes to public support as opposed to the support by its vassals. The method is similar to the USSR's highlighting the gross injustices dealt to African-Americans where its domestic viciousness is transferred to its international behavior--Savages at home; savages abroad. Now with both China, Russia, Cuba, and a few other nations openly attacking the Outlaw US Empire's record of criminality, more nations are willing to stand up for themselves and give the Empire the finger.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 15 2021 19:37 utc | 15

Covid: Just finished listening to the Joe Rogan interview with Dr Peter A. McCullough.
Really interesting interview. He raises an interesting point where a factory was torched (in Taiwan if I recall correctly) where they produced Hydroxychloroquine. Also the part about the planned part will require some further exploration (Johns Hopkins in 2017 where they talked about what was coming).

Posted by: Gehennah | Dec 15 2021 19:51 utc | 16

Remedies for mass hysteria perhaps?

Carragelose® is a sulfated polymer from red seaweed and is a unique, broadly active anti-viral compound. It is known as a gentle yet effective and safe prevention and treatment against respiratory infections. Several clinical and preclinical studies have shown that Carragelose® forms a layer on the mucosa wrapping entering viruses, thereby inactivating them, and preventing them from infecting cells. Increasing clinical evidence indicates that Carragelose® can also inactivate SARS-CoV-2.[1],[2]

Marinomed is holder of the IP rights and has licensed Carragelose® for marketing in Europe, parts of Asia, Canada, and Australia.

I can see covid karens steaming at any one of these simple solutions.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 15 2021 19:56 utc | 17

migueljose @13--

So it looks like the sardine is seeking revenge for the shark's depredations. Guatemala's first genuine democratic president Juan José Arévalo Bermejo wrote The Shark and the Sardines which was first published in 1961 and is now available in a reprint that has a free preview at the link. (Make sure to use the directional arrows to go to the book's beginning instead of the first chapter, which is where the link will take you.) In particular, the introductory section, "To the American Reader," is vastly important and is clearly why the link takes the unsuspecting person past that section for it tells a tale rather different than US History texts. I'd very much like to copy/paste parts of that section, but alas you'll need to explore for yourself. Sixty years later, not much has changed.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 15 2021 20:01 utc | 18

Dearest "h": every day without Your comments I miss them,
A desideratum:
I should wish You would launch an accurate description of the four or six various "social credit systems" in China -- and which no-one in the Atlantis propaganda do describe accurately, but adopt as good ideas for their contro -- without the democratic controls that exist in the People's Reblic of China.
I stand ready to provide additional input information.
Yours sincerly, ¨
TOLLEF ÅS (sinologist & interpreter)
+47 97894988
[email protected]
Skolestien 9 (Vinderen/Riis)
N 0374 Oslo NORWEGEN

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐/טלפ וש | Dec 15 2021 20:13 utc | 19

For those that bothered to write up disparaging hypotheticals during VK's banning:

1) It's despicably petty and underhanded to attack those who can no longer speak up for themselves.

2) In pseudonymous media, conjectures regarding the identity of posters are pretty much your own masturbatory fantasy.

3) Check your fucking classism at the door. According to some arsehole, only upper-class brazilians are capable of learning english.

No, I can't be arsed to look up who said what. You know who you are.

And no, it doesn't matter whether VK was legit or not.

Posted by: Misotheist | Dec 15 2021 20:24 utc | 20

@Krungle @8

i second your highlighting of china’s gaming policies!

there are many other policies in the same vein but that one is just plain game over for the competitiveness of western education

Posted by: Rae | Dec 15 2021 20:32 utc | 21

Passer by | Dec 15 2021 19:29 utc | 14

If only It was only the Germans who would suffer from their follies. Unfortunately the rest of the Europeans will suffer too. Again.

Greece and the rest of the EU have suffered enormously already and now we are seeing the same madness re-enacted.

What can I say …

Posted by: DG | Dec 15 2021 20:32 utc | 22

migueljose #11

Viv south america libre! or something like that and thank you for your post.

Perhaps south american people's democracies could initiate a 'peoples democracies' summit marathon online. Like a 24 hour celebration discussing all the services and cooperative responses to the yankee stifling and interference. Global invitations can be a part of a 'peoples platform' so contributors from all the yankee free zones and even occupied zones can speak about the positive rebuilding of their countries and fair trade alternatives to currency.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 15 2021 21:00 utc | 23

The same guys who said 2 planes destroyed 3 skyscrapers are telling you the Rona-Jab is "safe and effective".

Posted by: mvlazysusan | Dec 15 2021 18:20 utc | 2

Nonsensical. To my knowledge none of the profiteers or promoters of the Coronavirus mRNA (or other) vaccines have anything whatsoever to do with the (admittedly very Warren Commission-esque) 9/11 reports. One could literally implicate anyone or anything with that loose level of guilt by association argument.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Dec 15 2021 21:04 utc | 24

@Gehennah, 16
If you are looking for more detail on the pandemic dress rehearsals in the first twenty years of this century, read Chapter 12 of Robert F Kennedy Jr's book " The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health". For example, the following text is from paperwork connected to the 2010 [my bold] Lockstep Simulation funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. It is describing action taken to counter a pandemic that, according to the organisers, "the world had been anticipating for years".

"the pandemic also had a deadly effect on economics: international mobility of both people and goods screeched to a halt, debilitating industries like tourism and breaking global supply chains. Even locally, normally bustling shops and office buildings sat empty for months , devoid of both employees and customers.
During the pandemic, national leaders around the world flexed their authority and imposed airtight rules and restrictions, from the mandatory wearing of face masks to body-temperature checks at the entries to communal spaces like train stations and supermarkets. Even after the pandemic faded, this more authoritarian control and oversight of citizens and their activities stuck and even intensified."

The whole situation makes me think of this statement from Dr Josef Mengele “the more we do to you, the less you seem to believe we are doing it”.

Posted by: cirsium | Dec 15 2021 21:09 utc | 25

Posted by: daffyDuct | Dec 15 2021 18:18 utc | 1

American tech development has gone full-on adolescent-focused and of course dedicated to maximizing profits for increasingly meaningless-in-the-real-world software-as-services. While China is producing engineers and scientists in amazing numbers, the USSA is turning out Twitch warriors and coders for products like those Adobe, Microsoft and others put out that used to be a simple one-time purchase with occasional voluntary paid upgrades but are now mainly (if not only) available on a month-by-month subscription model. Then you have this ridiculous, farcical (but unfortunately bound to catch on in America) 'metaverse' shit that Mark Fuckerberg is hyping and which will - eventually - make China's "social credit" system look positively libertarian.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Dec 15 2021 21:09 utc | 26

News reports that Donetsk People's Republic will supply flour to Syria.

The unconquered regions of Ukraine not only reflect the aggression of the Kiev junta for the 8th year, but are gradually entering the international arena. It could be [another] serious signal to think and change for the Kiev regime, but for these degenerates it is already too late.

Posted by: alaff | Dec 15 2021 21:20 utc | 27

agree with Misotheist @20

Posted by: mastameta | Dec 15 2021 21:33 utc | 28

cirsium | Dec 15 2021 21:09 utc | 25
not being able to go to work and shop like a good capitalist and being forced to wear a mask is the end of civilization.

how did humans ever survive the long struggle to become more than an amoeba, we'll never know. crybabies don't want the routine interrupted by reality and they search for every excuse imaginable to take the shortest path back to the retarded "normal", purely for the sake of their own lazy convenience.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Dec 15 2021 21:48 utc | 29

The Putative Prez of the US of A, Joe Biden,
gets everything wrong.

Without even trying hard.

Giving up your freedoms is "Patriotic", said Crash-Test-Dummy.

His prompter cards haven't been updated for months:
“This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. Not the vaccinated, the unvaccinated. That’s the problem,” Biden responded.

His frozen-in-time rhetoric doesn't just get the pandemic wrong,
but they must have covered up all the mirrors in the Oval Office.

====> Biden
That's the problem.

This is no joke, folks. You wish he were joking, but Joe insists he is not, and is not.

“Not a joke. It’s patriotic to get it done,” he repeated.

Posted by: librul | Dec 15 2021 22:08 utc | 30

William S Burrough's 'Twilight's Last Gleaming' spells it out with his acid with and blistering social insights. Throw in McNamara's Folly, a book about how the US military seeks out and enlists people with very low IQ's aka retards.

Posted by: FiveGunsWest | Dec 15 2021 22:31 utc | 31

@Krungle (8)
Isn't China's "video game ban" more specifically a prohibion of online video gaming services for children outside of the alotted three hours during the weekend? What does the law say about offline games?
All I know is, the newly-introduced video game age rating system has the minimum age rating be 8+, so I can't see it as a blanket ban on video games in general.

Posted by: joey_n | Dec 15 2021 22:35 utc | 32

Russia sending record number of bullets to US

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 15 2021 22:46 utc | 33

Posted by: mastameta | Dec 15 2021 21:33 utc | 28


Posted by: Misotheist | Dec 15 2021 23:10 utc | 34

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Dec 15 2021 21:48 utc | 29

Capitalists and, er, capital control the media, even the "alternative" media like OAN and whatever its equivalent is in AUS/UK and The Intercept, etc.

Hence, while lockdowns do cause small businesses and those employees without savings to go bankrupt, what's never discussed is that it needn't necessarily be that way if the social safety net hadn't been cut away and neoliberal capitalist austerity measures enacted since Thatcher in the UK and basically as soon as FDR left office in the US (minus a few things Kennedy was planning and the stuff LBJ did).

Furthermore, with the near complete adoption of the just-in-time approach by virtually every industry, inventories are already naturally kept low and any small disruption (not to mention the large disruptions currently occurring) is enough to throw the whole thing into an inflationary mess (but with "employment" at an all time high ha!). So rather than hearing rational arguments against lockdowns we have a cottage industry of 'fake news' about the pandemic designed to further shatter societal unity, what little still exists depending on the country, and keep the working classes simultaneously at war with one another and carrying water for the private capital/ists responsible for their predicament in the first place.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Dec 15 2021 23:15 utc | 35

Ya know, while I can - as I mentioned in my previous post - see the arguments against lockdowns from an economic (capitalist) perspective, and I understand (but don't agree with) the anti-vaxxers, I'll never understand the vitriolic anti-mask 'movement' in as far as how little evidence they have brought to bear if their point is to prove that 1) Masks don't prevent COVID spread and 2) There's some grave threat to one's liberties in governments (AND businesses) attempting to enforce what amounts to a fuckin' dress code. Most - if not all - of the anti-maskers have absolutely no problem complying with the requirements like "No shirt, no shoes, no service" at restaurants, workplaces and stores, but ask them to wear a (n effective) mask and suddenly it's a cause for mass protests, primarily on the right - at least in the USA.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Dec 15 2021 23:24 utc | 36

karlof1 @10, yes, those are good points to add, thanks.

Speaking of the US "depredations and genocide of Southeast Asians", I'm currently reading "Imperial Cruise" by James Bradley, a book that describes the start of the US imperial expansion into Asia - a continuation of a US westward campaign of depredation and genocide. Bradley shows that the US pattern of betraying resistance movements started even before WWII.

In 1898 the Americans used the Filipino freedom fighters that had long been fighting to liberate their country from the Spanish colonialists as their ground troops:

"Conquering territory required land troops, and the U.S. Army was on the other side of the world. Aguinaldo’s soldiers had proven themselves against Spanish forces, and now Dewey imagined he could use them as a temporary rent-an-army."

"[..] American and Filipino military forces complemented each other: the U.S. Navy held the sea, and the Philippines Revolutionary Army beat Spanish forces into a humiliating retreat behind Manila’s walls. But while Filipinos perceived the U.S. Navy as a benevolent force providing a protective canopy under which they fought for independence, Washington saw things differently. In his residence, President McKinley wrote a note to himself: “While we are conducting a war and until its conclusion we must keep all we get; when the war is over we must keep what we want."

"On August 13, the Americans and Spanish “fought” the sham Battle of Manila. Filipino troops tried to join their U.S. Army allies, but the Americans shot at them to prevent any but White troops from passing through Manila’s thick walls.

For almost four months Aguinaldo’s forces had beaten back the Spanish until they were huddled in the capital eating horse meat and rats. The U.S. Army waltzed into Manila with little wear and tear. And since the Americans had been careful to commit nothing in writing, Aguindalo had no documentation to support his story."

123 years later, the US military is still there, having never left ... and the US is again trying to use the Filipinos, this time against China instead of Spain ...

(No wonder Russia continues to ask for assurances in writing, and no wonder the Americans continue refuse to do so, knowing they will never stop in their expansion.)

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Dec 15 2021 23:30 utc | 37

Canadian Cents @37--

Thanks for your reply! Good that you've discovered Imperial Cruise as that will lead you to another book by Bradley, The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia.

As for books, I just finished the open preview of American Kleptocracy: How the U.S. Created the World's Greatest Money Laundering Scheme in History and it's extremely revealing as it fills in many holes while revealing just how criminal the Outlaw US Empire genuinely is--it's far worse than most can imagine. I suggested this book once before, but that was prior to reading the preview; now I must insist it be read, particularly by those outside the USA so they can learn what it truly is--it's the planet's largest grouping of criminal organizations by far, all seen as legitimate by what stands for government.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 15 2021 23:49 utc | 38

Two videos, Thanks uncle tungsten for putting me on to the search engine. Safari and US Big Tech doesn't want me to watch RT TV in English:

Posted by: Paul | Dec 15 2021 23:53 utc | 39

@Tom_Q_Collins #36
The anti-maskers are extreme, but then again, they are reacting against the vax mandates by the ruling elites which are just as extreme.
It is 100% clear that vaccination does not stop the vaxxed from getting COVID or spreading it, or even measurably reduces the rates of infection/spread.
It is not even very clear just how much being vaxxed reduces death rates.
Thus the anti-maskers are fighting what they perceive as unreason with equally fanatical unreason.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 16 2021 0:35 utc | 40

karlof1 @38, "The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia" is actually the James Bradley book that I first read. Came across it in 2018 and found it fascinating. I highly, highly recommend it as well.

Thanks for recommending "American Kleptocracy", I'll add it to my list. Completely agree with the view of the US as a crime organization. UKUSA as in yakuza. It's organized crime, intimidation, extortion, corruption, thuggery, kidnapping, murder/hits, "protection" racketry, drugs, etc.

From what I see on YouTube, Noam Chomsky also sees the US as a mafia and acting as if it's the Godfather - and I agree with that characterization as well: the US is constantly making threats and carrying them out through its various henchmen, basically considering itself to be above the law and untouchable.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Dec 16 2021 0:36 utc | 41

Donetsk People's Republic will supply flour to Syria.
alaff | 27

Meanwhile the US steals Syrian wheat.

This^ search term will yield (pun) a convincing number of various sources

Posted by: Melaleuca | Dec 16 2021 0:39 utc | 42

here's me doing an hour and 20 performance in my home town for anyone interested.. i have been too busy to keep up at moa.. cheers
Impressions of Lightfoot, Port Theatre, Nov 1st 2021 Nanaimo B.C.

Posted by: james | Dec 16 2021 0:46 utc | 43

A discussion on the conflict in Ethiopia between Ann Garrison of Black Agenda Report and Ann Fitz-Gerald, Director of the Balsillie School of International Relations at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. She has extensive experience in Ethiopia:

Posted by: Menz | Dec 16 2021 0:47 utc | 44

Posted by: Melaleuca | Dec 16 2021 0:39 utc | 42

Donetsk People's Republic will supply flour to Syria.

I suspect all the new-looking T-62 tanks that Russia delivered to Syria were upgraded in Donbass.

Lugansk has been a major producer of ammo used in the Syrian civil war.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Dec 16 2021 0:51 utc | 45

Nicaragua cancels Taiwan, embraces China
The link below is long and loaded if you want to see what's going to happen in Nicaragua, Central America and the Caribbean. Hint imagine a BRI hub... a canal through Nicaragua in 5 years.

"Nicaragua is destined to become the most important axis [SIC!] of the 'Belt and Road' (Initiative) across the Pacific and Atlantic, an emerging center promoting economy, trade, technology and culture between East and West, a beacon representing the great friendship between peoples and symbolizing the pursuit of freedom, prosperity and civilization on behalf of the peoples of the world, and will make an indelible contribution to the future development of human society", wrote Wang Jing, Executive Chairman of HKND Group, the company in charge of building the Interoceanic Canal, in a congratulatory note to the Government of Nicaragua on December 10."

Nicaragua is solid, politically strong and prepared to link up with China. The canal will be a game changer-- and a dagger in the Empire's underbelly-- and will have major economic benefits to Venezuela, Honduras, Cuba and other countries who will likely follow.

Nicaragua and now Honduras are recognizing PRC, leaving only Belize and Guatemala officially supporting/recognizing Taiwan. Guatemala is now wavering.

I've never seen changes happen this fast: Nicaragua and Honduras. My guess is that the results of both elections gave leaders the capital to ramp up their plans, especially in Nicaragua. As in Bolivia, they fought the imperial traitors BEFORE the election, put most color revolution lackeys in prison and were rewarded with a huge uptick in native support.But give credit to them and the people: they have been preparing and strengthening their relations with China, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran and others.

If Honduras holds, watch Guatemala. Those migrant caravans could turn around in a couple of years.

Posted by: migueljose | Dec 16 2021 1:14 utc | 46

@ Canadian Cents & karlof1

I  really enjoyed your conversation. Here is another related book. Alfred W McCoy has written a number of books on the Philippines. I have one of his out of print books that is mostly unmentioned on the net, "Drug Traffic, Narcotics and Organized Crime in Australia."

I'll forward some of the conversation to some friends in the Philippines who will appreciate the perspective.

The Philippines was the testing laboratory for the surveillance state before they introduced it to the US and then re-exported it the the other Captive Nations, lackeys and stooges. The Bandit State refined it and manufactures much of the hardware and software. There is something pathological and Talmudic in craving for that much control of other human beings.

By the way Karlof, my friend inspected the El Karim yesterday and sent me a distant photo. 

She is full of osmosis and leaky, but she is stunningly beautiful below deck, she really is fit for a king. That type of triple laminated timber hull is unpopular in Australia, but is very popular in NZ for fast and light racing boats. The rudder is unsupported and unprotected, which is a hazard.

Posted by: Paul | Dec 16 2021 1:19 utc | 47

Paul @47, thanks for the Alfred McCoy book link.

"The Philippines was the testing laboratory for the surveillance state" - perhaps also the testing laboratory for US torture techniques ...

Going by the book's title "Policing America's Empire: The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State", I wonder whether it might mention waterboarding, because I just read in James Bradley's "The Imperial Cruise" that 120 years ago:

"Typically, when the U.S. Army arrived, soldiers rounded up the mayor, town officials, priests, and any other potential sources of information. “Water detail!” an officer would bark, and up came the torturers with their black tools. In the Philippines conflict, waterboarding was known as the “water cure.”"

A black and white photo shows "U.S. soldiers torturing a Filipino, 1901. When the U.S. military waterboarded Filipinos, the practice was accepted. When the Japanese later waterboarded U.S. personnel in World War II, America tried them for war crimes."

Reading Bradley's account of the US war against the Philippines I was struck by me how similar it all sounds to the US wars against Iraq and Afghanistan. Of course, our Western establishment media, over all these years of coverage - two decades, in fact - have never pointed out to us the many parallels to what the Americans had been doing in another part of the world a hundred years before.

As b suggested recently, and to add to the mafia/Godfather view of the US, there is an omerta in the UKUSA organized crime syndicate's establishment news media.

james @43, very cool! Mellow harmoniousness.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Dec 16 2021 2:20 utc | 48


Omicron found to grow 70 times faster than Delta in bronchial tissue

The Omicron Covid variant has been found to multiply about 70 times quicker than the original and Delta versions of coronavirus in tissue samples taken from the bronchus, the main tubes from the windpipe to the lungs, in laboratory experiments that could help explain its rapid transmission.

The study, by a team from the University of Hong Kong, also found that the new variant grew 10 times slower in lung tissue, which the authors said could be an indicator of lower disease severity.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Dec 16 2021 2:24 utc | 49

Rewording mistake @48: "it struck me" was meant to become "I was struck by" not "I was struck by me" ;)

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Dec 16 2021 2:30 utc | 50

@8 Kunkle
Excellent point, which as you say is almost always ignored. Yet the pure fantasy world of social media leads only to massive self-delusion- which in 25 years will render the society irrelevant in the world scene.

No amount of corporate manipulation of its work force, no amount of elite funded AI, can make up for a reality grounded, sensibly educated population

Social engineering in the west creates/relies on a historically & technically illiterate population, neutered of value, dependent on media narrative and social media reinforcement for finding direction, purpose and value in life.

Such a community will, if given time inevitably self-destruct.

Posted by: Les7 | Dec 16 2021 3:15 utc | 51

Coming soon to a restaurant or bar near you - waterboarding [joke, thanks, Canadian Cents] the NZ government 'traffic lights system, Hospitality

The historic old hotel near me has closed its doors because the owners don't want the jab or to become the government's [unpaid] bully at their doors. The staff will become unemployed. I liked their food and drinks.

Various people live in the hotel on a permanent basis, what will become of them?

As Bjorn Andreas Bull-Hansen points out, it will only get worse.

The small shop is considering doing the same for the same reasons. They sell takeaway food and basic food and drinks. Their staff will also become unemployed.

Posted by: Paul | Dec 16 2021 3:28 utc | 52

"reinstating the Fascists that the resistance movements had defeated which were the actual causes of what's known as the Korean War and the Vietnam War..."
[email protected]

True also of the Malayan 'Emergency' 1948-1956. And the war against the 'Huq' in The Phillipines. Largely true too of the Dutch attempt to prevent Indonesian independence.
The British, Dutch and US acted in concert in the region.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 16 2021 3:51 utc | 53

I think I'll start wearing My Palestinian Kaffiyeh or Kufiya as a mask. That's the way they are supposed to be worn, for good reasons. If it was to become too popular they would be banned!  I'll start by walking into my bank. It would be a problem for facial recognition surveillance systems. 

In Australia you can buy them from;

In New Zealand you can buy them from the lovely un jabbed lady at:

Posted by: Paul | Dec 16 2021 4:04 utc | 54

From Zinhuanet

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- Global debt rose to a record 226 trillion U.S. dollars in 2020 as the world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and a deep recession, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Wednesday.

Global debt rose by 28 percentage points to 256 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020, the largest one-year debt surge since World War II, Vitor Gaspar, director of the IMF's Fiscal Affairs Department, wrote in a blog with his colleagues, citing figures from the IMF's latest Global Debt Database.

Debt increases are particularly striking in advanced economies, where public debt rose from around 70 percent of GDP in 2007 to 124 percent of GDP in 2020. Meanwhile, private debt rose at a more moderate pace from 164 to 178 percent of GDP in the same period, according to the IMF.

The IMF officials noted that a crucial challenge for policymakers is to "strike the right mix of fiscal and monetary policies in an environment of high debt and rising inflation," as the debt surge amplifies vulnerabilities.

"The risks will be magnified if global interest rates rise faster than expected and growth falters. A significant tightening of financial conditions would heighten the pressure on the most highly indebted governments, households, and firms," they said.

The IMF officials suggested that some countries, especially those with high gross financing needs or exposure to exchange rate volatility, may need to adjust faster to preserve market confidence and prevent more disruptive fiscal distress.

In addition, the pandemic and the global financing divide demand strong, effective international cooperation and support to developing countries, they noted.

The IMF officials' warning came as the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to announce later Wednesday that the central bank will accelerate tapering asset purchases and start raising interest rates in 2022, which could push up global borrowing costs in the years to come.

The Fed began last month to reduce its monthly asset purchase program of 120 billion U.S. dollars by 15 billion dollars. At this pace, the Fed would end its asset purchases by June next year. But some Fed officials and economists have urged the central bank to accelerate the pace of tapering to give more leeway to raise rates sooner amid inflation pressures.

More than half of the economists in a Bloomberg survey released Monday expected the Fed to double the pace of tapering to 30 billion dollars a month, starting in January and wrapping up in March.

The shit show continues until it doesn't and the numbers above show how out of reality we are spinning.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 16 2021 5:47 utc | 55


More detail on Nicaragua's moves toward China, Russia and away from the Empire.
Ben Norton gives more detail on Nicaragua's relationship with Taiwan which they just severed, along with more info on the canal. Max Blumenthal also talks.
bottom line, Central America is now leaning much more toward China than they were a month ago.

Posted by: migueljose | Dec 16 2021 5:48 utc | 56

@16 Gehennah

Thanks for the heads-up on Dr. Peter McCullough on Joe Rogan. There are many heroic doctors and other professionals trying to save our lives through this pandemic, and a good case can be made for calling McCullough as standing at the very head of them.

Here's the Spotify link to the discussion of December 13: Joe Rogan #1747 - Dr. Peter A. McCullough

I don't quite know what to do with Spotify. I like to watch Rogan, if I consume his show at all, and I can't listen without joining Spotify, so I suppose I'll wait until pieces of this drift out to YouTube or other visual media.

But if others can share ways to experience this discussion, I would be grateful. It's going to be a very pivotal interview I think.


I just finished watching McCullough's interview with Bret Weinstein at Dark Horse, from about a week ago, and this was something I wanted to recommend here.

McCullough is completely leading edge and also authoritative, perhaps the most highly credentialed doctor in the entire world when it comes to having a voice regarding COVID and the pandemic. And he uses those credentials and his facts to beat down fact-checkers and narrative-mongers consistently.

And Weinstein can put things into words like few others can. If you want a 75-minute review of where we are with the pandemic, and the vaccine - particularly in the US - this is about the highest-level view you can find today:
Covid: The Path not Taken - DarkHorse Podcast with Dr. Peter McCullough

The discussion is especially acute as it illustrates the crime that is being perpetrated against the children.

I don't know if it's the kind of thing you can share with those brainwashed by Pharma - don't know if there's anything for those poor souls - but I'm sharing it with those in my team, purely for the moral backbone and the sheer factual basis that it reestablishes and updates.

Highly recommend this video.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 16 2021 6:05 utc | 57

Honduras is half a revolution so far.

Here is a New Left Review report by Dana Frank to mull over. It is a long haul ahead for real change and I wish them the best and more strength to their arm.

Whatever her goals, Castro will have to try to govern without a majority in Congress. Even in coalition with Vice-President-elect Salvador Nasralla and his allies, Castro will have a hard time repealing multiple laws that have passed since the coup, which guarantee state secrecy, expand surveillance, repress dissent and grant impunity to drug traffickers and government officials. Other key reforms will be even harder to achieve. Castro intends to abolish the ‘ZEDES’ – special economic zones in which the Constitution doesn’t apply – yet this may have to wait until at least 2023 when the next Supreme Court is elected, by the same Congress. Any anticorruption agenda will depend on the cooperation of the attorney general, whose term also expires in 2023 and is also elected by the Congress.

She will also have to contend with whatever further machinations President Hernández might employ to protect himself. In October 2019, his brother Tony was convicted in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) and sentenced to life for money laundering, arms sales, drug trafficking and other crimes. Tony’s trial and subsequent cases are replete with evidence against the president, who allegedly took a $1 million bribe from El Chapo Guzman, the famous Mexican cartel leader; appointed a known death squad leader as National Director of Police and instructed him to commit murders; and vowed, memorably, to ‘shove the drugs up the gringos’ noses’. It is widely assumed that the New York prosecutors will charge Juan Orlando once he has left office. But the current attorney general – Oscar Chinchilla, who has been named in New York courts as working with drug traffickers, and is close to both Hernández and top US officials – could refuse to extradite him.

Sounds so familiar that you could even come to the conclusion that the USA is a narco-mafia state.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 16 2021 6:31 utc | 58

oooops apologies for the crappy html buggerup.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 16 2021 6:32 utc | 59

On COVID vaccines: why they cannot work, and irrefutable evidence of their causative role in deaths after vaccination

"Histopathologic analysis show clear evidence of vaccine-induced autoimmune-like pathology in multiple organs. That myriad adverse events deriving from such auto-attack processes must be expected to very frequently occur in all individuals, particularly following booster injections, is self- evident.

Beyond any doubt, injection of gene-based COVID-19 vaccines places lives under threat of illness and death. We note that both mRNA and vector-based vaccines are represented among these cases, as are all four major manufacturers."

Posted by: Perimetr | Dec 16 2021 7:26 utc | 60

@ Grieved

"I don't quite know what to do with Spotify. I like to watch Rogan, if I consume his show at all, and I can't listen without joining Spotify, so I suppose I'll wait until pieces of this drift out to YouTube or other visual media."
--> I watched it yesterday it's quite long 2h 55min
--> here you go: rumble[DOT]com/vqv99d-joe-rogan-video-dr.-peter-mccullough-full-interveiw-a-very-experienced-doct.html

Posted by: oneman | Dec 16 2021 8:29 utc | 61

librul | Dec 15 2021 22:08 utc | 30: Compliance require devotion and loyalty which there is none.

joey_n | Dec 15 2021 22:35 utc | 32: It's not a blanket ban. There's no way offline gaming can be controlled.

migueljose | Dec 16 2021 1:14 utc | 46:

IIRC, the Nicaragua canal project is dead as the Hong Kong investor group is now defunct. Apparently the project was pursued by a HK billionaire who dropped the project after losing over 80% of his wealth after the 2008 GFC. Dumping Taiwan could just be a ploy to restart the project this time with Beijing's backing.

Posted by: Ian2 | Dec 16 2021 8:36 utc | 62

I appreciate people with courage. Unlike our host, who has censored people like Ryan Christian on these pages, McCullough is leading by example. Make a decision, Bernhard. Are you with the sociopaths or humanity?

Posted by: lizard | Dec 16 2021 8:39 utc | 63

Does the CCP control Extinction Rebellion?

"What was remarkable about this meeting, though, was the surprising presence of an external delegation: joining the CCP apparatchiks on a collection of screens dotted around the room were a number of enthusiastic Britons and other Westerners."

Posted by: Antonym | Dec 16 2021 9:10 utc | 64

lizard @63

Who or what is Ryan Christian?

Posted by: Idiocrates | Dec 16 2021 9:55 utc | 65

VK got banned? That's a bummer. Does anyone know if he has a blog or anything to keep up with?

Posted by: Peltast | Dec 16 2021 9:59 utc | 66

posted by grieved @ 57

thanks again for your valuable contribution. I will post it again for the benefit of barflies with an hour to spare and a commensurate attention span:

There is an agenda in play. There are many quotes worth mentioning.

Posted by: Paul | Dec 16 2021 10:33 utc | 67

Does the CCP control Extinction Rebellion?

Posted by: Antonym | Dec 16 2021 9:10 utc | 64

Well, that would be a definite improvement.

On one hand, maybe the chinese authorities could instill some sense in what would otherwise be a useless herd of arm-flailing radlibs.

On the other hand, if it's only about further destabilization of Perfidious Albion, that's also jolly good!

Posted by: Misotheist | Dec 16 2021 11:13 utc | 68

Brandon nominates Caroline Kennedy to be the US ambassador to Australia:

She must have passed 'the Israel test.'

Posted by: Paul | Dec 16 2021 11:17 utc | 69

So the Germans are waiting for Russia to invade Ukraine then.

Posted by: Surferket | Dec 16 2021 11:37 utc | 70

Posted by: james | Dec 16 2021 0:46 utc | 43

Out of my window a Nanaimo air is blowing
jazzy lightfoot from folksy heavy winds
the sun will be back and stay for long
so let me enjoy this grey wavy day
while my souvenirs take me far away
to the land of the lotus
since I might just pass THAT way again…

Posted by: Paco | Dec 16 2021 12:11 utc | 71

Hi,here are some interesting articles:
- "Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Moscow has presented the US with security proposals in a bid to ease tensions in the region surrounding Ukraine.” (
- Reuters: ”Russia wants the United States and NATO to offer legally binding security guarantees that the Western military alliance will not expand further eastwards or deploy certain weapons systems in Ukraine and other countries that border Russia.” ( )
- ”Putin said Tuesday that he wants "immediate" talks with the United States and NATO over security guarantees”. (

Posted by: Mikkado | Dec 16 2021 12:48 utc | 72

Hi,here are some interesting articles:
- "Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Moscow has presented the US with security proposals in a bid to ease tensions in the region surrounding Ukraine.” (
- Reuters: ”Russia wants the United States and NATO to offer legally binding security guarantees that the Western military alliance will not expand further eastwards or deploy certain weapons systems in Ukraine and other countries that border Russia.” ( )
- ”Putin said Tuesday that he wants "immediate" talks with the United States and NATO over security guarantees”. (

Posted by: Mikkado | Dec 16 2021 12:48 utc | 73

Thank you Grieved @ 57 for posting that link.
Thank you Paul @ 67 for re-posting that link.
I watched it once this morning, I'm watching it again this afternoon and
evening taking notes, and I'll watch it a 3rd time tomorrow to parse and transcribe much of it.
There is incompetence. There is an agenda.
Karlof1 and other historians here, you better get your other projects wrapped up or set aside
because very shortly you will be needed to write the history of this Covid 19 episode
before it is given the Jimmy Hoffa treatment.

Posted by: waynorinorway | Dec 16 2021 13:52 utc | 74

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 16 2021 6:05 utc | 57

thank you for the posting on Dr. McCullough. I'll watch the video. I was visiting a neighbor, doing a little carpentry job for her; she mentioned her two grandkids, 2 & 4, said she couldn't wait till the 4 year old turned 5 so he could get the vaccine. The mom is a veterinarian, should know better but the issue isn't about being "smart".

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 16 2021 6:31 utc | 58

Thank you for the Honduras link. Dana Frank is a good source. She's an academic out of San Francisco, CA., and went down to Honduras after the 2009 coup numerous times, then put together a book that chronicled the nightmare and her work, titled "The Long Honduran Night".
The latest article you linked digs into how dangerous and fraught her position is. She is tasked with taking out a mafia which is interconnected and supported by the Empire. They kill their enemies and she must know that. As Frank puts it,
"The military and police present Castro’s most serious, and potentially deadly domestic challenge. They remain loyal to Hernández, who has spent eight years promoting his cronies into top positions."
The U.S. has many military bases in both Honduras and Guatemala which also house intelligence operations. They will, IMO, fight hard to keep them which means they will use lethal force and assassin teams. Here's a map:

If the people are ready to mobilize as they were in Bolivia, Cuba and Venezuela, her government has a chance to prevail. Xiomara Castro knows she must move fast on building her inner security circle. Cuba and Venezuela could help; maybe Nicaragua.
Thanks again for the link. Here it is again.

Posted by: migueljose | Dec 16 2021 14:07 utc | 75

Posted by: migueljose | Dec 16 2021 14:07 utc | 75

The Negroponte boys won't let that prey escape that easily so Xiomara better watch her back. A huge event that Honduras the "banana republic" per antonomasia is on its way out after so many years being the unsinkable battle ship in the heart of Central America, let us dream that Colombia and Guatemala will follow suit, Monroe will be dead and buried then.

Posted by: Paco | Dec 16 2021 14:16 utc | 76

James, thank you for the link on your music! I'm a hick, including my musical ability. Full disclosure, I play guitar and sing but not even close to the level you guys do!
very impressive! Shows your positive, strong spirit. We need that.

Posted by: migueljose | Dec 16 2021 14:17 utc | 77

@62 Beijing is already heavily committed to the Panama Canal. Unlikely they would see the Nicaraguan project as feasible. It has many environmental problems to overcome.

Posted by: dh | Dec 16 2021 14:24 utc | 78

Paul @ 52 Sorry to hear about the historic hotel! I think we’ve entered the era of Air Bnb now, haven’t we? What a burden carried by the ultra-sophisticated crowd to bring new converts to the high tech reality. As for food, here in North America I think it’s soy-based creations and cicadas on the menu, with the occasional greenhouse veg. Although - full disclosure - I have eaten insects (ants mostly) back when it was a very low-tech way to fend off hunger.

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Dec 16 2021 15:05 utc | 79

England continues to drain Scotland of its assets, time for the Scots to exit the union.

"The effect of all this. Scotland, the top exporter in the UK is forced to trade with the World via ENGLAND. This can lead to some staggering anomalies. For instance ENGLAND exports more whisky than Scotland. The most popular route to export Scottish salmon is via London Heathrow."

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Dec 16 2021 15:18 utc | 80

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Dec 16 2021 15:18 utc | 80

According to Stoltenberg countries are free to join military alliances, so the Republic of Scotland will be able to host a base of Russian and/or Chinese subs. Their actions and words will come back to haunt them.

Posted by: Paco | Dec 16 2021 15:24 utc | 81

[email protected]

Thanks for the link. I haven't watched it all but what I've had time to watch is quite interesting. Do I recall correctly that you play piano and guitar? If so, any links to your guitar playing?

Posted by: spudski | Dec 16 2021 15:35 utc | 82

There’s a new interview on BNN Bloomberg with Amanda Lang interviewing political insiders Peter Donolo and John Capobianco. I usually post these because, although they speak of Canadian political matters, frequently the interviews highlight broader political activity in the US/UK/Canada Anglosphere.

This one is about fall fiscal updates and responses to Omicron, while touching on Ontario’s upcoming provincial election and international travel through Toronto. Donolo’s closing comment is interesting. He’s asked by Lang if this government will have to make some fiscal choices due to the response to Omicron— will they have to cut back on other expenditures in order to find funds for the response to Omicron? Donolo replies (roughly) that this government hasn’t had to make many choices so far but may need to take money from other envelopes. Money from envelopes - a very evocative metaphor!

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Dec 16 2021 16:08 utc | 83

Paco (80)

First off its the UK via Westminster that has the Nato membership, Scotland leaving the union would need to reapply to join Nato, something I and many Scots would oppose. Nato is nothing more now than a bully boy gun for hire, it original remit long gone.

Scotland is a small country but asset rich, rejoining the EU (we didn't vote to leave England dragged us out) would as in Ireland's case (The Good Friday Agreement and borders after Brexit debacle) afford Scotland some protection.

England and the USA definitely don't want Scotland to leave the union, Scotland has one of the very few deepwater ports in the UK that houses English missiles and nuclear subs with US warheads attached to them, Scotland leaving the union would means the subs would need to move as would the warheads the warheads could go back to the US or to French waters.

On top of this English pride would be dented as they would be the only P5 country at the top table without nuclear weapons if that scenario unfolded, Mi5, GCHQ and the 77th Brigade based at Denison barracks spy on and run propaganda campaigns against Scotland regularly.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Dec 16 2021 16:12 utc | 84

@c1ue - "Thus the anti-maskers are fighting what they perceive as unreason with equally fanatical unreason"

I would, I guess, be called an anti-masker. My reasoning is as follows:

--You cannot prevent the spread of covid, our domestic pets and local wildlife have it, it is endemic. We need a population that is immune, not a population that is avoidant. Immunity can come in doses (the vaccines) or at a large and longer scale (via infection). We don't know how many people are naturally immune to covid (never get infected) but it may be as high as 40%, which I think is based on the ship where everyone was exposed but not everyone caught covid.

--You can mitigate the effects of covid for those vulnerable by using medications of various types. In additon to this, by avoiding intimate social contact as far as possible (and this includes wearing a good quality mask) those who are or feel at risk can mitigate their personal exposure.

--For those who are not vulnerable, the mask has many serious negative psychological side effects. We have a mental illness epidemic growing across our societies as we have responded in an overly fearful way to a virus that targets its victims very specifically - the elderly, the obese, the diabetic, the hypertense, the immuno-compromised. I believe our response should have been targeted accordingly once this data was in.

--The mask is the most visible signal that things are wrong, life is not OK. The idea is that the mask either protects you or people in your vicinity. However, most people need no more protection from covid than they do the flu, or many other viral infections. Our immune systems are there to work and for that they need stimulating. It is, I think, medium and long term unhealthy for humans to attempt to cocoon themselves from the world. Specific negatives of masks: lack of expression, vocalisation, restriction across a part of the body that expects to be open, etc. etc.

Therefore, masks should only be worn by the vulnerable when they feel the various medications available (the new vaccines, ivermectin, hydroxichloroquine, vitamin D, etc...etc... edit as legally available in your country) will not protect them sufficiently. For everyone else, I think they are a negative except maybe in very specific settings and then only for a short while.

Posted by: ahji | Dec 16 2021 16:47 utc | 85

@66 Peltast
he occasionally posts on Michael Roberts' Marxist economic analysis blog:
The personal website he had in his signature looks like it hasn't been touched in years.

Posted by: ptb | Dec 16 2021 16:54 utc | 86

YouTube Censors Bombshell Joe Rogan Interview With Cardiologist Peter McCullough

The official narrative must not be challenged!

The US is now in the final stages of evolving into a complete police state. Forget the Bill of Rights and freedom of speech.
Dr. McCullough is the highest quality doctor and he is speaking out because he stands by his Hippocratic oath, to "first do no harm".

Posted by: Perimetr | Dec 16 2021 17:06 utc | 87

wearing a mask and physical distancing can and will reduce the payload of the virus and allow people to gain immunity without dying.
If masks did not work operating rooms would be beare faced.

Posted by: ld | Dec 16 2021 17:09 utc | 88

sorry for any undue psychological harm my spelling mistake may have cause.

Posted by: ld | Dec 16 2021 17:11 utc | 89

The SCF podcast on Austria today
Citizens are prisoners. Coming Soon

Posted by: ld | Dec 16 2021 17:21 utc | 90

WOW!Very talented.
How y'all must have missed live performance.
Loved it.
THank you for sharing

Posted by: ld | Dec 16 2021 17:23 utc | 91

Although there's not much to go by, Escobar breaks down the Putin-Xi meeting:

"These are the highlights of the call:

1. Moscow will inform Beijing about the progress, or lack thereof, in negotiations with the US/NATO on security guarantees for Russia.

2. Beijing supports Moscow’s demands on US/NATO for these security guarantees.

3. Putin and Xi agreed to create an 'independent financial structure for trade operations that could not be influenced by other countries.' Diplomatic sources, off the record, say the structure may be announced by a joint summit in late 2022.

4. They discussed the Biden-hosted 'Summit for Democracy,' concluding it was counterproductive and imposed new dividing lines.

"Of all of the above, the third point is the real game-changer – already in the works for a few years now, and gaining definitive momentum after Washington hawks of the Victoria 'F**k the EU' Nuland kind recently floated the idea of expelling Russia from SWIFT – the vast messaging network used by banks and other financial institutions to make money transfer instructions – as the ultimate sanctions package for the non-invasion of Ukraine."

The important IMF info provided by psychohistorian @55 must be included when thinking about Russia and China exiting that system for they are the two most solvent nations on the planet. The IMF & Fed statements would benefit from a Michael Hudson interpretation for it's what's unsaid and the spin that matters--the Neoliberal world is ailing mightily. One might say it's caught Covid and can't get rid of it except the problems long predates Covid's arrival.

Russia wasn't kidding about "immediacy" being crucial regarding the discussion of its proposed security guarantees. I'm sure more on that will be written later.

As for the depredations of Colonialism/Imperialism, they're close to universal when examined over the centuries, but they're never examined closely enough within the education systems of the nations that brutalized so many millions and stole their wealth. Over the years, those same nations have designed methods of obscuring the brutalization and theft so it can continue--The Spice Must Flow. It pleases me to see barflies taking an interest in learning what was deliberately obscured during their schooling and sharing with others. The brief comment by bevin @53 is extremely important as it shows how the looting was both shared and systematic, and continues.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 16 2021 17:32 utc | 92

Cuban Missile Crisis Redux


"Ryabkov says that if Washington’s ears remain blocked, one consequence will be Russian nuclear missiles in Cuba and Venezuela. The consequences for US security will be dire. “Lack of progress towards a political and diplomatic solution to this problem [Ukraine] will lead to our response being military and technological.” Washington’s “irresponsible behavior creates grave military risks for all parties involved, up to and including a large-scale conflict in Europe. . . . it is necessary to officially disavow the decision taken at the 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest about Ukraine and Georgia becoming NATO members. . . . We insist that serious long-term legal guarantees are provided, which would exclude NATO’s further advancement to the east and deployment of weapons on Russia’s western borders which are a threat to Russia. This must be done within a specific time frame.” Ruabkov adds: “We insist on receiving a concrete response,” otherwise the next round “will be a confrontation.”

Posted by: Perimetr | Dec 16 2021 17:42 utc | 93

Andrei Martyanov is as knowledgeable about music as he is about weapons, war and life in the universe. Here is Andrei, identified as AM in the interview saying Screw Politics, ABBA Is Forever!

Inside: U2 cover Dancing Queen

AM take it away: AM: "U2 do not have a fraction of musical talent ABBA have. If not for (fvcking) genius Brian Eno this shitty band wouldn't ever made it big. Eno had an issue with McLaren and decided that he can promote mediocrities to a star status, in the times when it was fashionable to take shitty punk bands and turn them into big pop stars."

Posted by: FiveGunsWest | Dec 16 2021 17:48 utc | 94

At the least when we run out or can't afford our meds, we can jack a Tesla battery for our lithium and ECT.

Man of the Year!

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Dec 16 2021 17:51 utc | 95

@ Paco | Dec 16 2021 12:11 utc | 71 - very nice and reminds me of another poet who i can't put my finger on!

@ spudski | Dec 16 2021 15:35 utc | 82.. thanks spudski! i play drums in the video, but i also play piano - but not anywhere near the same level.. playing piano is super fun, but i mostly use it for my own therapy and happiness and as an important vehicle for compositional ideas that i can't do on the drums..

@ ld | Dec 16 2021 17:23 utc | 91... thanks so much Id.. i am glad you enjoyed it! happy trails! it is rare that we get to put a face to a poster here isn't it?

Posted by: james | Dec 16 2021 18:33 utc | 96

ld @ 88

If masks did not work operating rooms would be beare faced

Then there's this from Clinical Infectious Diseases:

We wear surgical masks in the operating room and have been doing so for nearly 100 years [13]. Perhaps this is simply because it’s the way “we’ve always done it” [35]. In 2002, a Cochrane review did not show a significant difference in postoperative surgical wound infection between masked and unmasked providers [16, 36]. In fact, the nonsignificant difference favored not wearing a mask. Deep down, surgical masks protect the wearer, and perhaps for that reason, no one is rushing to remove them. However, masks have never been shown to be helpful in reducing SSIs

Posted by: john | Dec 16 2021 18:48 utc | 97

I see the English-language page at Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is still showing 404 status, which might be an internal move related to the Ministry's new ap that's discussed in the briefing. On the Russian language portion, there are several important things to read, the first IMO being the Briefing by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, December 15, 2021 and its first item, the upcoming briefing to be performed by Ryabkov:

"Today, during a meeting between Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and US Deputy Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Konstantin Donfried, Russian security initiatives were handed over to the American side. They were repeatedly voiced by President of our country Vladimir Putin, were also formulated in the Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia of December 10 this year. We are in contact with them.

"Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov plans to tell in detail about the details of the ongoing work at a special briefing to be organized for Russian and foreign correspondents and journalists. It is scheduled for this Friday, December 17 at 14:00."

The 10 December statement is here and deserves to be completely read.

There are many more important points discussed at Zakharova's briefing, some of them having a surprising, provocative nature like the monument to Dzhokhar Dudayev in Istanbul.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 16 2021 18:48 utc | 98

FiveGunsWest | Dec 16 2021 17:48 utc | 94
"Andrei Martyanov is as knowledgeable about music as he is about weapons, war and life in the universe."
Agreed. A few month’s ago Andei posted what he called ‘the song that wouldn’t die’. It’s by the Russian composer Yevgeny Krylatov and titled Wonderful Far-Away. Numerous versions - and lyrics - are available if you search, but my favorite is from a young Japanese singer Ichiko Tanuki.
Wonderful Far-away 1

Apparently she also sings under the name of Natsuki Sugawara. Same song 2 years later. Seems she had some voice training.
Wonderful Far-away 2

Posted by: waynorinorway | Dec 16 2021 19:09 utc | 99

Dear John
I stand corrected and appreciate you taking the time to inform me. I also read another study that corroborated this one.

Posted by: ld | Dec 16 2021 19:14 utc | 100

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