Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 19, 2023

Open Thread 2023-17

News & views (not related to the war in Ukraine) ...

Posted by b on January 19, 2023 at 18:21 UTC | Permalink

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Michael Hudson has a nice lecture on GDP and why it's a bad metric these days

Posted by: leaf | Jan 19 2023 18:25 utc | 1

For sure, a few bucks headed your way.

Posted by: qmess | Jan 19 2023 19:35 utc | 2

GDP was always a very poor metric, since it includes government spending on "plus" side. So if we have a govt which robs its population to poverty and then wastes everything on insane boondoggles GDP can still be great.

Murray Rothbard proposed mu h better metric - PPR (Private Product Remaining) which basically measures how much of what is produced is left to the people.

AFAIK no government agency collects that kind of data or publishes that macro metric. I wonder why.

Posted by: averros | Jan 19 2023 19:35 utc | 3

Here's another recent excellent Michael Hudson, he covers a lot of ground. He's on a roll lately, saving the world one YouTube at a time, pass them around. I send every Hudson vid to every zombie I know, they don't watch them but I continue to send them anyway, kind of a red pill suppository, maybe one day they'll insert it:

This is very good too, Jimmy Dore and Hedges, Hedges cleaned up his act on Ukraine he was a little slow out of the gate. Below is the article by Hedges Dore references if you don't dig Dore.

Posted by: LightYearsFromHome | Jan 19 2023 19:46 utc | 4

averros @ 3

Murray Rothbard proposed mu h better metric - PPR (Private Product Remaining) which basically measures how much of what is produced is left to the people.

I'd never heard of it, what a great metric, a refinement of purchasing power parity. Private Product Remaining, the kleptocracy metric!

Posted by: LightYearsFromHome | Jan 19 2023 19:51 utc | 5

Too easy! It is always zero over a lifetime.

Thus useless as a metric :)

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jan 19 2023 20:57 utc | 6

Explosive and utterly believable news. Anyone want to counter why the helicopter went down in Kiev?

Drugs. Mafia. European market as far as I can make out.

◾A Ukrainian fighter made a public appeal about the helicopter crash with the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine.
◾ According to him it was a planed operation from within the Ukrainian side
Bernadette on Twitter’

Posted by: [email protected] | Jan 19 2023 21:03 utc | 7

Something that may be of interest to other Australians. I had always wondered about the destruction Of Hanson and One Nation. When I researched it around 2013, I found that Abbott was front man for an anonymous group of wealthy donors who funded the operation. They had a very similar name to the group of wealthy donors Abbott is currently fronting for.
Tony Abbott advising controversial conservative lobby group Advance Australia

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 19 2023 21:11 utc | 8

« China is also trying to populate Russia's far east with Han-Chinese people. In fact, a Russian official, tasked with controlling the Russia-China border, told ABC News that more than a million Chinese people have illegally entered Russia's territory in the last eighteen months. »

This refers to an article from 2000. Over twenty years later, Chinese minority isn't even larger than Kyrgyz minority in Far East.
Xiaochen Su debunked Chinese 'invasion'.

Posted by: Malwen | Jan 19 2023 21:40 utc | 9

@ Posted by: [email protected] | Jan 19 2023 21:03 utc | 7

Seems like standard misdirection from whoever was really responsible.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jan 19 2023 21:50 utc | 10

Posted by: [email protected] | Jan 19 2023 21:03 utc | 7

When bad things happen to bad people, does it matter who is responsible?

Posted by: Vikichka | Jan 19 2023 22:09 utc | 11

In other Russian news, Mikhail Kalashnikov died this week at age 94.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jan 19 2023 22:58 utc | 12

Although the "existential crises" of nation-states since 1950 have generated a prospect of massive use of strategic nuclear weapons, the probability tends to zero.


1. The massive use of Strategic nuclear weapons has only one purpose: the sterilization of the humans inhabiting a territory. And not the other way around: the destroyed land is meaningless without its human inhabitants.

2. Sterilizing millions of humans in a territory is a human decision that has control protocols to avoid any undue action-response, even automatic ones: in the 50's of the last century, the USA, just when the USSR developed its first weapons of mass destruction, implemented a study (that was about to become a reality), about the consequences that a massive attack on the USSR would have. This study was not implemented (i.e. carried out), because the main conclusion was that it was impossible to ensure a total destruction of the USSR, avoiding a proportional retaliation.

3. In the 80's, when we lived under the fear of MAD (remember the movies about: "The Day After", "Bond's Octopussy, etc.), the same media was talking about the same end of the world: overpopulation, climate, western values, USRR threat over Europe, End of the Times, etc..

4. USA & RF have got tactical nuclear weapons (China, Germany, France, Japan, India, etc..), to make 2 x 2, 4 x 4, 16 x 16 km, 32 x 32 km^2 uninhabitable. What is the point in doing that?

Elaborate some

Thank you

Posted by: Epa | Jan 19 2023 23:04 utc | 13

There be much strange news today! Inciter of the January 6th capitol hill riots. DJT is now demanding the automatic arrest and jailing of all reporters involved in the exposure of stolen government docs.

In other news Government employees controlling 'wastebook' and 'parrot twatter'. Point blank refuse to relinquish any control over this social media period! Where 98% of the content consists of lies and pure fantasy fiction!

Is DJT becoming senile in his old age? Or, is he totally stressed out at facing his remaining years in a New York jail cell?

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | Jan 19 2023 23:11 utc | 14

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | Jan 19 2023 23:11 utc | 14

Honestly who really even cares about DJT anymore?

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jan 19 2023 23:25 utc | 15

Are the humans mad enough to destroy their tiny civilization by this inconsecuential passage in the Human Life?

Doubt it. Humans are always impressed by greed and whatever, but Humans remember the time when we, all, was under the cover of spirit, true, honestity, compassion for the pain of others.

If we are a bunch of mother fuckers, do not feel asthonized, remember who you are.

This war is our war because our morality is trembling...


Posted by: Epa | Jan 19 2023 23:28 utc | 16

That FTX fraud saga continues as little investors in cryptos lost everything in their wallets. Now we read attorneys were in conflict of ......

Sit well while you read the declaration filed in court,,,,,,attorney blowing the whistle on colleagues.

Jan. 19, 2023

FTX BOMBSHELL: Former FTX Lawyer Daniel Frieberg, Alleges Fraud by Sullivan & Cromwell

Daniel Friedberg, a former attorney at the collapsed crypto exchange, FTX, has filed a heart-stopping declaration today with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware. He is effectively accusing one of the oldest law firms in America, Sullivan & Cromwell (S&C), of engaging in a fraudulent scheme in the FTX bankruptcy case. Friedberg further alleges that this fraudulent conspiracy was helped from the inside of FTX by S&C’s former law partner, Ryne Miller.

AND FTX takes down other crypto companies: Genesis, one of the largest crypto lenders in the world....

Crypto giant Genesis is 'days away' from bankruptcy after suffering steep losses in wake of FTX collapse: Firm owes creditors $3 BILLION - including $900M to Winklevoss twins DailyMail,

UKCrypto broker Genesis is said to be in the final stage of its Chapter 11 paperwork

The company, which is owned by venture capital firm Digital Currency Group, had been considering filing for some time, as it reportedly owes creditors $3bn
Among those are customers of Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss's Gemini
The statuesque twins - perhaps best known for their protracted legal battle with fellow billionaire Mark Zuckerberg - recorded $900m in losses when FTX fell.
Cameron and his brother's exchange used Genesis as its main lending partner, leaving the brothers - and millions of their customers - the red as a result[.]

Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 19 2023 23:43 utc | 17

If this is an open topic free wheeling at the bar, then I'd like to repost this link regarding a Russian's ideas that I think have merit. I mean Kropotkin spent time outside of Russia, and of course he was fond of all the French socialists, but I think he was very impressed by the English folks who had a brigade ready to go if somebody was in need.....I suspect, the English brigades remain in place to help anybody gets involved in waves over their heads off the coast of England. But the Scottish folks must realized that to have a Scottish lassie making so many choices lately is not very advisable for the sake of the Scottish folk who presumably must hold onto idea long held?
Anyhow, I guess this means I am obligated to contribute and I'll do it if I can assuming I don't have to use PayPal, and then I'll consider this link from Kropotkin one that has merit deserved.
This is the 3rd link I've found that has the whole book in it, so it must be free of copyright claim, and really a good idea resonates does it not?
I pray for peace but I know Odessa beckons.

Posted by: Buffalo_Ken | Jan 19 2023 23:58 utc | 18

Buffalo Ken @18

Yes, Mutual Aid is a great book.

I have a great deal of sympathy for anarchist principles - freedom, mutual respect, mutual aid, community-based enterprise.
It's a pity that Marx and the anarchists did not get along as I think they have more in common than they all realised. Despite the brilliance of Marx, it might have been his animosity to those of different opinions that prevented development of any common ground.

I see the current Russia/China trade projects as having much in common with anarchist principles.

Posted by: Steve from Oz | Jan 20 2023 0:37 utc | 19

Reposting this from Week in Review given this is the new open thread:

The Chinese Vice-Premiers Speech At Davos 2023: A Comprehensive Investment Analysis

Davos 2023 is taking place amongst an increasingly insecure world with recessions imminent or expected. Regional conflicts and a global struggle for supremacy are unfolding as a scramble for energy resources, and climate warming problems appear at increasingly opposite ends of the political spectrum. China’s geopolitical position, as the world’s largest trading nation, the second largest global economy and with the world’s second largest population will have a huge impact on how the year will be shaped. At Davos 2023, China’s Vice-Premier, Liu He, had this to say as concerns Beijing’s perspective of Chinese and global development during the coming year and will be of great interest to academics, geopoliticians and investors alike. My own comments follow where appropriate.

Liu: Good morning! Let me begin by thanking Dr. Schwab for inviting me to Davos again. The last time I came here was 2018. Over the past five years, we have experienced all kinds of unexpected events, and witnessed profound changes in the world’s political and economic landscape. Therefore, the theme of this year’s Annual Meeting, “Cooperation in a Fragmented World”, cannot be more relevant.

Mutual understanding is an important prerequisite for cooperation. Online communication, no matter how frequent or how technologically advanced, is no substitute for in-person meetings. I had quite a number of very warm meetings with some old friends these two days. Hopefully, at this face-to-face meeting, I can help you understand the Chinese economy better.

In 2022, China completed its major political agenda. We held the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and elected the new central leadership with President Xi Jinping at its core. We drew up an ambitious blueprint for advancing Chinese modernization in the coming five years and beyond.

and much more of interest.


Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 20 2023 2:21 utc | 20

Likklemore #17

If you think the FTX problem is bad then I spotted this story by Wall Street on Parade further down.

Remember those Fed bailouts of the mega banks on Wall Street during and after the 2008 financial crisis that the Federal Reserve battled in court for years to keep secret from the American people? Those bailouts went to the same Wall Street mega banks that collapsed the U.S. economy with their unbridled greed and unchecked corruption. The banks were even allowed to pay big bonuses to their execs with the bailout funds.

When Senator Bernie Sanders forced the bailout details into the sunlight with a mandated government audit, the findings were so revolting that Senator Sanders had this to say:

“As a result of this audit, we now know that the Federal Reserve provided more than $16 trillion in total financial assistance to some of the largest financial institutions and corporations in the United States and throughout the world. This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else.”

Well, bailouts for wayward banks are back in style in a big way. According to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings made by crypto-friendly banks, Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLB) in San Francisco, Boston, New York and Pittsburgh have made large advances of money to banks facilitating crypto in various ways as bank depositors yanked their cash and/or the banks’ share prices tanked.

Among the crypto-friendly banks tapping into these FHLB advances are Silvergate Capital, parent of Silvergate Bank; Signature Bank; Provident Bancorp (owner of BankProv); and Ally Financial. This may, however, be just the tip of the iceberg because many crypto-engaged banks are not publicly traded and thus are not required to file SEC reports. S&P Global reports that as of October of last year, “the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was aware of about 80 financial institutions under its supervision that expressed interest in cryptocurrency-related activities, and about 24 of them were actively engaged.”

Let that sink in for a moment: 24 federally-insured banks in the U.S. are being allowed by their federal regulators to actively engage in crypto when it has been thoroughly discredited by those in the know.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 20 2023 2:40 utc | 21

In my post at #20 above I reiterated China’s Vice-Premier, Liu He report to the DAVOS attendees or supplicants if you prefer.

These are the key takeaways with Liu's remarks commented by CDE aka Chris Devonshire-Ellis of

Liu: The theme of this meeting, “Cooperation in a Fragmented World”, is highly relevant. As President Xi Jinping noted, changes of our world, of our times, and of history are unfolding in front of us in unprecedented ways. The world has once again come at a historical crossroad, and its future hinges on the choices we make. As for how to advance international cooperation, I would like to share with you the following three observations.

First, we need to uphold the right principles and maintain the effective international economic order. Under the new circumstances, the traditional way of thinking cannot provide the solution. That is why we have to abandon the cold war mentality, try to understand the nature of things from the perspective of material duality, endeavor to build a community with a shared future for mankind, and join hands to respond to global challenges. We believe that an equitable international economic order must be preserved by all. Equitable division of labor, encouragement of competition, anti-monopoly, protection of property rights and IPRs, promoting entrepreneurship and free flow of production factors, fair distribution, a strong social safety net, and ensuring macroeconomic stability are the well-proven economic principles that are still relevant today. Government has a key role to play on major issues, despite temporary resistance and some setbacks, we must have the courage to uphold truth and law of economics and address complex issues pragmatically with plain and simple solutions.

CDE: The key word that Liu used here is ‘equitable’. The use of this word in the context of his mentioning an ‘international economic order must be preserved by all’ therefore does not mean that China does not seek change. It does. This indicates that a number of highly significant global struggles can be expected to emerge in terms of global influence. China and its allies are pushing for reforms at the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation, the World Bank, and many other global institutions that are perceived to have become structured in a manner sympathetic to the United States and its allies rather than emerging economies. This is now being challenged. Davos itself has been downgraded – the key global issue today is what to do about Russia – yet it was not invited. Institutions are being diminished. The shift is geopolitics is occurring, what remains to be seen is whether one group of nations continues to keep its institutions while another grouping emerges with new ones – or whether there is room for compromise. If not, a divided world order will likely emerge – heightening, not diminishing the potential for conflict. Key to this are planned developments with the growth of BRICS, potential new regional blocs, and the emergence of new digital, asset-backed ‘tokens’ to replace the SWIFT banking network and the US dollar – increasing being seen as a risky currency to be using when potentially facing difficulties with Washington – as is now being built into many economies backup plans. The once US-friendly Saudi Arabia is now reported to be dropping the US Dollar as a preferred currency and intending to use the Chinese Yuan as just one example. India is another. These developments will take time to take shape – but Liu is correct in implying that change is coming.

Liu: Second, we need to strengthen international macro policy coordination and strike a good balance between inflation and growth. To tame inflation, some countries have chosen the policy that will likely result in the hike-recession-recovery loop. But it is important to note that inflation this time around is driven by multiple factors. Apart from the demand side, supply-side measures are also needed to repair the supply chains and preserve energy and food security.

A joint response to this challenge requires international cooperation and maintenance of peace. We call for more attention to the negative spill-over effect of major countries’ rate hikes on the emerging markets and developing countries so as not to add to more debt or financial risks. We stand ready to work with all parties to find solutions to the debt issues of some developing countries.

CDE: There is mild criticism of the Fed here, which is increasingly acting in shorter-term US interests than medium-term global problems. That may be deliberate, in order to ‘encourage’ China to take more risk. Alternatively it could indicate a US decline. Time will tell. Much has been written about Chinese debt traps in its dealing along the Belt and Road Initiative in particular, and will continue to be by the ill-informed or scandal-mongers, however a number of Western academic papers last year, including the Lowy Institute essentially de-bunked that. That’s not to say that some loans have gone awry and require refinancing. That’s not unusual (ask your local bank manager) and is no real surprise when projects designed to develop cash-flow revenues to help repay loans were delayed by Covid. By and large China though has been sympathetic to its creditors, and the level of stressed debt given the huge amounts Beijing has lent remains well within financial lending norms.

Liu: Third, we need a global response to climate change. Most countries in the world are keenly aware of the urgency of climate governance and the need for common actions. COVID-19 has revealed to us a possible connection between climate change and public health crisis. This is an area where effective international cooperation is needed.

China will honor its commitments to the international community, push for global cooperation on climate change, and work with other countries to tackle the serious challenges posed by climate change, and build a community with a shared future for mankind.

CDE: China was very active in 2022 as concerns greening industry sectors and announcing new regulatory structures and incentives to promote the use of green technologies and addressing climate change. It has to: China has a coastline of some 14,500km and numerous key cities lie in low-lying areas, including Shenzhen, Xiamen, Ningbo, Shanghai, and Dalian among many others. We discussed China’s 2022 green and low carbon plan, and the relevance to foreign investors here and discussed China’s new green compliance laws here.

Liu: How to strengthen cooperation in a fragmented world is a real problem we all face. We must dig deep into the causes of fragmentation, promote positive-sum games, identify the possible converging areas of cooperation, and explore the mechanisms for doing so. We must work together to firmly safeguard world peace. We should be grateful that this year’s Davos Forum presents us with an opportunity to do just that. I wish the Forum a full success, and hopefully, it can help us strengthen cooperation and preserve peace in a fragmented world.

Conclusion by Chris Devonshire-Ellis

Liu is a heavyweight politician and an economist – he studied the subject at China’s Remin University and also has a Master’s from Harvard. He is a former member of the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party and one of the Vice Premiers (along with Han Zheng, Sun Chunlan, and Hu Chunhua) of China. Liu is also a Director of the Central Financial and Economic Affairs Commission, was named vice-premier on 19 March 2018 and is heading the China Financial Stability and Development Committee. In short – there is no-one better placed than Liu to discuss the 2023 direction of China’s economy. Investors interested in the China market should take note.

The frauds in the UKUSA might take note but I bet the propaganda barely shifts.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 20 2023 4:26 utc | 22

So much effort and no response by anyone, "uncle tungsten"?

Let the life flow without ego.

Welcome to the space of you.

Christ is now with the breast of Maria, feeding.

Posted by: Epa | Jan 20 2023 5:15 utc | 23


responding to your Pepe Escobar report in Cradle post at Ukraine thread. I thought it better to avoid the thread guardian rage and respond here....

A new gold standard

In Golden Ruble 3.0 , his most recent paper, Glazyev makes a direct reference to two by now notorious reports by Credit Suisse strategist Zoltan Pozsar, formerly of the IMF, US Department of Treasury, and New York Federal Reserve: War and Commodity Encumbrance (December 27) and War and Currency Statecraft (December 29).

Pozsar is a staunch supporter of a Bretton Woods III – an idea that has been getting enormous traction among the Fed-skeptical crowd.

What’s quite intriguing is that the American Pozsar now directly quotes Russia’s Glazyev, and vice-versa, implying a fascinating convergence of their ideas.

That War and Currency Statecraft download link is a worthy read. It describes the shift in finance flows:

Among current and aspiring BRICS members, current account surpluses are at a record, but dollars aren’t being put into Treasuries but are used for geopolitical ends – China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia are becoming bankers to EM countries dealing with crushing dollar debts:

Russia is funding Turkey, China is funding Russia (see graph 5.4 here),
the Saudis and the GCC are providing more financing to Egypt than the IMF, and China and Saudi Arabia are providing funds to Pakistan as per Brad’s blog.

These are all new dynamics for the U.S. dollar system, so let’s pay attention: the flows that Brad highlights means that current account surplus countries are putting a greater distance between themselves and the U.S. Treasury and the western financial system.

By “deflecting” dollar inflows, they are weaponizing the U.S. dollar as well to secure foreign policy wins in the new “Great Game” at the expense of the G7. And “deflection” is the anteroom of de-dollarization: our starting point to understand de-dollarization should be a book by Zoe Liu and Mihaela Papa, Can the BRICS De-Dollarize the Global Financial System, which we discussed in our previous dispatch. The book was published just before the outbreak of the war in Ukraine and highlights the “plumbing” that’s been put in place by the BRICS countries to de-dollarize their trade relationships

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 20 2023 5:38 utc | 24

uncle tungsten @24--

Good I found your reply! Long ago I advocated using that sort of strategy to rescue nations from their dollarized debt so less tribute would flow to the hegemon. China could gain greater financial security be using all those T-Bills to get as many Global South nations out from the boot of dollarized debt. With the Rs saying NO to a higher debt ceiling, the Empire's in trouble. What that circus does will have consequences.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 20 2023 6:13 utc | 25

Dr. Jeffrey Sachs tells AcTVism Munich that the war in Ukraine did not start last year. Rather, it started in 2014, when the West helped to orchestrate the overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected President.

The War in Ukraine and the Missing Context & Perspective

Posted by: Irish | Jan 20 2023 6:20 utc | 26

In other news.

The GAO has uncovered yet another black funding program. Involving Lockheed skunkworks(A17/A21 Aurora?*), the CIA's secret armed forces division, and brand new star wars style toys for the new SPACE Command. The amount is said to be around 220 billion air dollars! NASA has declared all off-world resources floating in space are the property of the USSA. No trespassing allowed!

* End result of the rapid increase in sightings of UFOs in the USSA.

The CIA's other division "the surplus war toys for sale", will be announcing a post-Xmas sale. Only approved regime changing to a friend of the USSA/hate RF Latin American and African warlords. Must have both gold and oil resources may apply. Bargain basement, freshly diverted from arms shipped to defunct Country 404.

Posted by: Big Deal Motors On | Jan 20 2023 6:20 utc | 27

@ karlof1 | Jan 20 2023 6:13 utc | 25

My own theory and suggested procedure for most of that debt is to repudiate it as the predatory lending it is.

Posted by: John Kennard | Jan 20 2023 6:31 utc | 28

treasuries are defaulted on, which means they are worthless. It will be the 3rd or 4th (if you count 1971) default in US history, so not unprecedented.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jan 18 2023 0:41 utc | 126

(From a slightly earlier thread) Would you mind going into detail about those four defaults? Do you count the one mentioned here?:

Posted by: Gene Poole | Jan 20 2023 6:34 utc | 29

That is it! Tech Schmech
We've all seen the intrusions so called technology has made on our world after the past 3 decades but now the absolute arseholes have wrecked my favourite sport with their greedy, weak as piss attempt to turn it into a video game. Shame on them.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jan 20 2023 8:04 utc | 30

Re: nukes

Time to familiarize ourselves with the Neutron Bomb

Neutron Bomb is a weapon that is intended to be used on a battlefield and within-just-a-few-days-ten-at-most the radiation is gone. Pentagon loved Neutron Bombs in the 1980s - kills people not buildings.

Posted by: Exile | Jan 20 2023 9:00 utc | 31

The link in Post 24 by Uncle Tungsten is profound. The Credit Swiss Banker, Poznar, Reviews in 7 pages De-Dollarization. Reminder - with accelerated De-Dollarization Eurasia prevails.

Here is the link again:,*/1JH2v6NowS2B6Hv6qLYRgPXooO-ViSRAL?e=download&uuid=2403919e-e498-4bed-853f-1ab015ffe3c7

Posted by: Exile | Jan 20 2023 9:27 utc | 32

uncle tungsten | Jan 20 2023 5:38 utc | 24

Thanks for the Pozar article and the development of the two systems.

(The transformation of the Dollar into Doll-air is much more complicated than I would have ever imagined.)

However, I do have a question and that is the "Central Bank system", is controlled from the BIS in Basle. Even The Russian Central Bank is supposed to be an independent entity from the country it is placed in (and possibly dangerous to Russian interests by placing 300 billion of Russian assets abroad). In the article it is STILL central to the split into two major financial systems. Does this mean that the BIS is onboard with the demise (Reduction of) the US dollar?

Are they trying to rid the US of it's massive mis-use of dollar supremacy with it's overwhelming debt problems? OR are they trying to place themselves in "Controlling positions" of the new system before it gets completely independent?

I don't know if there is a clear answer yet.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 20 2023 9:46 utc | 33

Are they trying to rid the US of it's massive mis-use of dollar supremacy with it's overwhelming debt problems? OR are they trying to place themselves in "Controlling positions" of the new system before it gets completely independent?

I don't know if there is a clear answer yet.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 20 2023 9:46 utc | 33

I suspect the answer to your question will determine the overall trajectory of the global community for the coming century.

Posted by: Scorpion | Jan 20 2023 12:54 utc | 34

Posted by: Melaleuca | Jan 20 2023 4:06 utc | 301

Re your commendable efforts on ANZAC day ; maybe play these 2 songs at some point during the ceremonies

Green Fields of France ( Willie McBride )

And the Band played Waltzing Matilda

Posted by: Exile | Jan 20 2023 13:27 utc | 35

Chronicles of Democracy.

Innocent weather forecast on Polish TV. Ah, half of the neighboring country is shown as Polish territory? Pfft, not worth discussing a trifle.

The indignation of the "civilized countries", the headlines in the newspapers about the "Polish threat", "aggression", "outrageous behavior" and so on? You must be kiddin'.

Posted by: alaff | Jan 20 2023 13:30 utc | 36

An intelligent rumination about 'techno-primitive' dystopias in the current 'Great Narrative' matrix.

Posted by: Scorpion | Jan 20 2023 14:13 utc | 37

@ Posted by: Exile | Jan 20 2023 9:00 utc | 31

Like all nukes use one and two return. Or in the sad case of the USSA. The country that fired the first one in dumb&dumber anger. No residential center above 1000 residents would be left untouched. That is what is called "Mutual Assured Destruction". As outlined by one Robert McNamara.

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | Jan 20 2023 14:24 utc | 38

@Debs is Dead
Genital jousting. what's not to like about that?

for some reason google news offered up this unusual story of divers being rescued off the coast of Poland near a site where the Poles are to build a new liquefied gas port. We can be quite certain that their presence there in the middle of the night is completely innocuous and they really were looking for amber.

things that make me go hmmm

Posted by: dan of steele | Jan 20 2023 14:56 utc | 39

reply to 32

Access denied, dude.

Posted by: Eighthman | Jan 20 2023 15:02 utc | 40

"DPP’s ‘anti-mainland card’ fails, wider division expected as secessionist resigns as head of island’s ‘executive body’":

DPP's disintegration from the inside is escalating as article notes. I have some ideas as to why but lack the time at the moment to write about them. Yes, this does harm the Empire's gambit as the KMT party isn't amenable to it at all.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 20 2023 17:05 utc | 41

@ uncle tungsten

thanks for that downloadable link to the poznar article.. it is worth reading!

--- aussie folks... i got to see lloyd spiegel play last night.. he is doing a tour of canada.. he's amazing!

Lloyd Spiegel 'Walk On'

Posted by: james | Jan 20 2023 17:24 utc | 42

(from pressing for tanks thread which is now unwieldy)

@ KR | Jan 20 2023 9:00 utc | 357

You did not mention the very unpopular proposed rise in retirement age from 62 to 64 and the proposed increase of working years requirement to qualify for a pension in France.

Are you suggesting that these protests are not related to disquiet over proposed austerity social policies?

I may have missed it but I read your report-on-the-ground from France as implying the protests are primarily anti-war. Anyhoo, all resistance to injustice welcome.

Posted by: suzan | Jan 20 2023 17:49 utc | 43

the New Left Review's Sidecar has published an interesting article-The Death Gap- on life expectancy. The billionaires running the Tech sector are investing billions in research to bring them longer lives without those declining powers that afflict the poor.

"...the most important form of ‘social distance’ imposed by the pandemic was not spatial, not a matter of meters. It was the temporal distance between rich and poor, between those who could escape the worst effects of the virus and those whose lives were abbreviated by it. Modernity established a biopolitical chasm – a social distancing of death – that was widened and accentuated by the Covid-19 crisis. This was demonstrated by a litany of studies across various countries. For instance:

"In this retrospective analysis of 1,988,606 deaths in California during 2015 to 2021, life expectancy declined from 81.40 years in 2019 to 79.20 years in 2020 and 78.37 years in 2021. Life expectancy differences between the census tracts in the highest and lowest income percentiles increased from 11.52 years in 2019 to 14.67 years in 2020 and 15.51 years in 2021..."

Posted by: bevin | Jan 20 2023 19:29 utc | 44

I think fascists is a good word to describe them.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jan 20 2023 20:41 utc | 45

Posted by: Exile | Jan 20 2023 9:27 utc | 32

As stated previously, your Google doc or whatever is not open to public access. Nobody here can see it.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jan 20 2023 20:51 utc | 46

Posted by: alaff | Jan 20 2023 13:30 utc | 36

Hilarious. That map of Poland looks a lot bigger than the one I just pulled up on Google. One wonders whether it was a slip or if it was intended ala the "Thank you, USA!" tweet from Sikorski after the Nordstream sabotage.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jan 20 2023 21:02 utc | 47

Thought this would be of interest


Contrarian Thoughts on the Petro-Yuan and Gold-Backed Currencies


"Rather than cheer the concept of a new currency, we're better served to look at the velocity of that currency and the cycles of investing that currency in assets denominated in that currency for a low-risk return.

Longtime readers know not to expect me to rubber-stamp anything, be it the status quo or proposed alternatives. Our interests are best served by screening everything through the mesh of independent analysis, a.k.a. contrarianism. Which brings us to the two sources of alt-media excitement in the currency space, the petro-yuan and another wave of proposed gold-backed currencies.

I'm all for competing currencies. The more transparent and open the market for currencies, the better. In my view, everyone should be able to buy and trade whatever currencies they feel best suits their goals and purposes.

In all the excitement over de-dollarization, some basics tend to get overlooked.

1. The yuan remains pegged to the US dollar, so it remains a proxy for the USD. It will only become a true reserve currency when China lets the yuan float freely on the global FX market and yuan-denominated bonds also float freely on global bond markets. In other words, a currency can only be a reserve currency rather than a proxy if the price and risk of the currency is discovered by global markets, not centralized monetary/state authorities.

2. Most commentators stop on first base of the oil-currency cycle: China buys oil from exporting nations by exchanging yuan for oil. So far so good. But what can the oil exporters do with the yuan? That's the tricky part: the petro-yuan has to work not just for China but for the oil exporters who will be accumulating billions of yuan.

The oil exporters can hold some yuan as reserves, but the global market for yuan is not very large. What assets can they buy with yuan? Again, the global market of assets denominated in yuan is limited. The oil exporters can buy assets in China, of course, but with China's property bubble finally popping, deglobalization sapping its export sector and Xi's widespread disruption of private capital, the bloom is off the China Story in fundamental ways.

Why would oil exporters invest billions of yuan while Chinese wealth is leaving China?

3. The net result of these dynamics is that oil exporters' yuan will end up in China's central bank, exchanged for euros and US dollars which will then circulate in the global economy. The money velocity of the petro-yuan will be near-zero if there's limited markets for investing hundreds of billions of yuan in low-risk assets, with low-risk being defined as diversified.

The world isn't just multipolar; it's fragmented, and there are lots of places to invest. Being limited to places where the yuan can be exchanged for low-risk assets isn't low-risk because it isn't diversified.

4. The problem is never the issuance of currency, it's what to do with that currency once you've traded oil for it. Scale, ubiquity and transparency are what owners of capital value. China's financial system has neither the scale, ubiquity or transparency necessary to circulate hundreds of billions of yuan globally without exchanging them for euros, dollars or yen.

If that's the case, then what's actually changed, other than the introduction of an intermediary currency that's still pegged to the US dollar?

As for gold-backed currencies, there are two fundamentals that are often overlooked.

1. "Backed by gold" means nothing. It's the exchange rate of the currency to gold that counts. The problem here is the issuing central bank / state can change the exchange rate at their whim, i.e. by fiat. Should the issuing entity decide it needs more currency, it devalues the currency by increasing the number of units exchanged for an ounce of gold. This is entirely arbitrary and not within the control of those holding the currency.

So if the issuing entity starts out saying that 100 units of currency equal one ounce of gold, and then later changes that to 200 units of currency equal one ounce of gold, those who own the currency "backed by gold" have just lost half their purchasing power.

Central banks and states always seem to need more currency, and the temptation is always to devalue the currency by issuing more units. "Backed by gold" doesn't change this.

2. "Backed by gold" means nothing unless the currency can be converted to gold. If there is no conversion mechanism, "backed by gold" has no actual financial value. It's just nice-sounding verbiage.

3. "Backed by gold" means the currency isn't supported by bonds paying interest. Bonds paying interest provide income, which is attractive, and the interest paid acts as a governor on risk and other financial fundamentals of the economy that's ultimately supporting the currency.

If the nation issuing the "gold-backed currency" won't allow conversion of the currency to gold, the currency is actually a proxy for that nation's economy and governance. If the government arbitrarily intervenes in the private-capital economy as a matter of policy, if governance is opaque and shadow-banking dominates, then the currency will be at risk regardless of claims to the contrary.

Rather than cheer the concept of a new currency, we're better served to look at the velocity of that currency and the cycles of investing that currency in assets denominated in that currency for a low-risk return. The entire point of a currency is to circulate to the benefit of the owners of the currency. Currencies don't become useful simply by being issued. Creating an entire transparent ecosystem for the currency is trickier than introducing a currency with much fanfare.

Posted by: daffyDuct | Jan 20 2023 21:06 utc | 48

And with all the bullshit about Antifa...

A sampling of incidents shows how far Portland police will go to abet far-right violence. One important fact is that few right-wing extremists live in the city. The vast majority travel there, often on buses, solely to engage in mob violence against city residents. The police, more than 80 percent of whom live outside Portland and whose union president once called the city a “cesspool,” are in effect attacking the city they are paid to protect. Only in Portland did fascist gangs succeed in turning the city into their fight club; everywhere else they were shut down.

As if it wasn't 100% obvious that the "pro free speech" "protestors" aren't an externally funded (Kochs?) astroturf movement designed to bring on more fascist law enforcement practices.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jan 20 2023 21:35 utc | 49

OMFG Vlad the victorious is healthy.

Marylin Milley should do this.

From iEarlGrey telegram.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 20 2023 21:35 utc | 50

Thank you LightYearsFromHome for the Systemic Sponsors of Self-Interest Michael Hudson Link.

Yes, Michael is on a roll. I am enjoying it.

Posted by: K-Dog | Jan 20 2023 21:48 utc | 51

daffyDuct #48

The yuan remains pegged to the US dollar, so it remains a proxy for the USD. It will only become a true reserve currency when China lets the yuan float freely on the global FX market and yuan-denominated bonds also float freely on global bond markets. In other words, a currency can only be a reserve currency rather than a proxy if the price and risk of the currency is discovered by global markets, not centralized monetary/state authorities.

Perhaps the $US is actually a proxy for the yuan? assuming your concept of 'pegged' is firm.

Floating free on the Global FX and bond markets? I guess here is no chance/record of those markets being rigged eh?

Reserve currency status is when sufficient nations recognise a trustworthy relationship is to be had - I am not aware of some 'intelligence' directing global market 'discovery' let alone global markets being an impartial arbiter of value. I assume you are giving a free pass to the FOREX traders of the free market :)))

Nation states decide their trading arrangements while the free global market gambles to their disadvantage. IMO all FOREX trading should be taxed in each respective currency by each respective nation in the trade.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 20 2023 21:54 utc | 52

karlof1 #25

"With the Rs saying NO to a higher debt ceiling, the Empire's in trouble. What that circus does will have consequences."

Yes, immense consequences. Yet they quickly find a billion or two for war. Its just those so called human services that they cant fund.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 20 2023 22:03 utc | 53

Tom_Q_Collins #46

To Exile who referenced my #24 post: "As stated previously, your Google doc or whatever is not open to public access. Nobody here can see it."

I just opened the link fine from that #24 post. It takes time to download and open but it is there.

Odd that you get glitches from a google drive store and I am using conventional gear. Perhaps if you go back to the original Pepe Escobar report and link from there?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 20 2023 22:09 utc | 54

On Germany and its tanking reputation...


Since my last article on the delivery of heavy tanks and other weapons to Kiev a week ago, I have been waiting with another article to wait for the Ramstein meeting and then to show the chronology of events. I will do that now, although I must honestly say that I was surprised – also because of the developments of recent days – that, despite the enormous pressure, especially from the USA and Poland, there was no decision on the issue of supplying Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine...

...Germany will now examine exactly what it can deliver within which deadlines in order to be ready – should a decision be made for the delivery of battle tanks.

The reaction, especially from Poland, which had previously exerted so much pressure, was surprising, because instead of attacking Germany head-on, Poland turned around and announced the delivery of its remaining Soviet-made T-72 tanks from old Polish stocks.

Apparently, however, the disappointment of many was great, because NATO announced shortly afterwards that the decision to deliver heavy tanks to Ukraine was the "sovereign decision" of each NATO member.

On the question of the delivery of heavy tanks to Ukraine, it is now obvious that to be continued...

My emphasis re NATO. Has someone told the NATO Quisling to shove his totalitarian dialog up his rs. Is that whiff of fracture??

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 20 2023 22:18 utc | 55

Lavrov told the European Jewish Congress to report occasionally on the torchlight swastika parades regularly conducted in Ukraine.

The Russian Foreign Ministry responded to the proposal of the European Jewish Congress to "apologize" for comparing the actions of the West in Ukraine with the actions of Nazi Germany against the USSR.

"The opinion of the organization, which for many years ignored the catastrophic level of anti-Semitism in Ukraine, is not interesting. The European Jewish Congress managed to overlook the symbols of the SS, swastikas and the glorification of Nazi collaborators by the Kyiv regime. The structure discredited itself in this direction. (c) Russian Foreign Ministry

From Z comment in:

The EJC might generate some credibility through the regular practice of impartiality but I wont be expecting that.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 20 2023 22:35 utc | 56

Posted by: Exile | Jan 20 2023 13:27 utc | 35

These two songs by great songsmith Eric Bogle have moved me to tears more than once since 2014. Yes, I knew what the Maidan meant. The Pogues version of "And the Band Played Waltzing Mathilda" is perhaps Shane MacGowan's greatest achievement.

I play these songs to my kids so that they may never, ever fall for the lies. Here is a German version of "Green Fields of France":

Posted by: Cherrycoke | Jan 20 2023 22:58 utc | 57

For those interested in the Zoltan Pozsar essays that Escobar linked, they've been linked multiple times here over the weeks, and here they are again:

War and Commodity Encumbrance (December 27)

War and Currency Statecraft (December 29)

Note that the links have a download extension ("&export=download") tacked on the end, which queues them automatically to be downloaded by your browser - clicking on them should bring up a download dialog from your computer. You could remove those extensions and view the documents directly in Google Drive - and I think you would see a URL similar to the one exile gave @32.

But also note that this material is, at source, behind a paywall and I'm not so sure it's available to reproduce promiscuously - the several commentators on the essays have excerpted but never given direct links - or if it's even wise to send around the direct address:

This report may not be reproduced either in whole or in part, without the written permission of Credit Suisse. All trademarks, service marks and logos used in this document are trademarks or service marks or registered trademarks or service marks of Credit Suisse or its information providers. All material presented in this document, unless specifically indicated otherwise, is under copyright to Credit Suisse or its information providers. Copyright © 2022 Credit Suisse Group AG and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

I suppose a "fair use" download might be arguable, and perhaps this is why the links are presented as they are. Perhaps discretion is called for?

Ain't nobody looking for trouble here.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 20 2023 23:45 utc | 58

Curious item at The Cradle, "What prompted the urgent, secretive summit in Abu Dhabi?". It seems the best answer is the Egyptian economy, but another would be the crisis in Occupied Palestine. I leave it for barflies to ponder. China's FM just visited Egypt and all seemed well.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 21 2023 0:12 utc | 59

[In the absence of a recent non-Ukraine thread, I'm taking the liberty of posting an off-topic comment (linking to a parody about the US economy) at this superseded Ukraine thread.]

From MishTalk, Alice Debates the Mad Hatter and the Red Queen on Timing the Recession.

Posted by: David Levin | Jan 21 2023 0:27 utc | 60

Posted by: David Levin | Jan 21 2023 0:27 utc | 60

I just realized that the present thread is intended as non-Ukraine. I failed to field the unfamiliar syntax of its title.

Posted by: David Levin | Jan 21 2023 0:37 utc | 61

Globalists still busy beavering, geopolitical tectonics notwithstanding...

Posted by: Scorpion | Jan 21 2023 1:14 utc | 62

This was a discussion begun on the media thread b posted, suggested by some to be continued on the open thread:

Bevin suggested that points Boo has raised cannot properly be discussed on this forum.

Here is Boo:

The historical injustices of the Vatican and the rise of Protestantism completely shape the debate on Christianity in the West. Even an impartial observer would say that the Catholic church brought many its subsequent woes upon itself - but the Catholic church is not the sum total of Christianity. The Orthodox Christian church, i.e. all the rest of Christianity thrived in the East and played a very different historical role.

Posted by: Boo | Jan 20 2023 20:47 utc | 52

and here is Bevin:

These are very complex subjects which simply cannot be discussed properly in this forum. Your point of view is perfectly reasonable even though, in my opinion, it is wrong. Happily we are generally agreed on the immediate questions that arise here though I think that the view that atheism leads to license and the same sorts of excesses that arise from liberalism and ideologies of hierarchy is wrong.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 20 2023 23:01 utc | 56

I do think we can discuss, or should I say with b, provide analyses on these matters, complex though they may be. For instance, I would say to Boo that yes Catholicism is at fault in some areas, but so too has Orthodoxy been (I say as an Orthodox Christian). Just now I am reading how Catholic Poland was treated by an Orthodox State, Russia in terms of tsarist rule - those animosities don't rise in a onesided way. And it had been very late for Orthodox states to do away with slavery in their own civilizations. Plus many now considered saints underwent persecution on the Orthodox side as well. Excesses in devotion to icons led to iconoclasm early on, whih was brutal in the east, while the west gave succour to eastern artists. We lost many early icons because of that.

And I would say to bevin that the heart has its reasons which reason alone cannot fully grasp. But perhaps it takes a Frenchman to be able to say such a thing. For me, it is the human person who is a complexity, and reason is good, but not all. A good practice as I've said before is to stand with the mind in the heart before God. I wonder if one can do it sans God; one may think one is doing that, perhaps, and if so, all to the good.

Ivan Karamazov gave it his best shot.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 21 2023 2:43 utc | 63

re dan of steele | Jan 20 2023 14:56 utc | 39
Yeah I mean to say genital jousting pretty neatly describes war, or rather Genital Jousting by proxy does.

Those divers who knows who they really were. Given the LPG terminal hasn't even begun construction yet, I'd go with 'substance' smugglers but I bet we'll never know - sure they may blame it on Russians but all that will tell us is whoever they were, there were not Russian.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jan 21 2023 3:09 utc | 64

I don't know how many people around here read science fiction it has been an off and on indulgence with me most of my life altho I gave up it in favourite of other 'more literate' works of fiction in the 1970's.

I still picked up the occasional sci-fi novel but not as a specific type. By the early noughties most general fiction had begun to bore me, why? This is gonna sound sexist as - because increasingly novels came to be dominated by female writers and I don't care who writes a story if it is novel and stimulates my thinking but increasingly books written by women were about the characters thoughts rather than his/her actions and what actions which were covered were about stuff I find boring, gossip & soap opera mainly. yawn.

That is how I feel about that stuff for example crime fiction used to be about detectives who thought a bit outside the box and came up with off the wall solutions to weird problems, nowadays many detectives in such stories are mired in their domestic circumstances and the usual trite shit all of us have to deal with. Interesting for some maybe but hardly intellectually stimulating.

Anyway this is a long way of getting round to how I stumbled across Chinese sci-fi writer Liu Cixin, who happens to be a woman but cos the name didn't tell me that immediately when I picked up her book "The Three Body Problem" I discovered a story which began in China's cultural revolution and went on to contemporary society and the world now telling a great story with many interesting & credible characters which continued across two further novels.

Back in 2020 I heard talk of the story being turned into a TV show & I looked forward to it.
Then I saw articles like this Gizmodo one:

"Earlier this month, Netflix announced that Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss would partner with The Terror: Infamy’s Alexander Woo to adapt the beloved, Hugo-winning Chinese sci-fi epic The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin. But now, the company is facing calls from a cadre of Republicans demanding the show be scrapped.

Variety reports that earlier today five Republican members of the U.S. Senate, lead by Tennessee’s would-be Section 230 tinkerer Marsha Blackburn, sent a letter to Netflix’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos to complain about the company’s adaptation of Liu’s work—which the author will oversee alongside Three-Body Problem translator Ken Liu as consulting producers. The complaints largely stem from commentary made by Liu Cixin in a June 2019 New Yorker interview, as the full scope of international awareness over the Xinjiang region’s horrifying (sic -Debs) treatment of Uighur Muslims was beginning to become apparent."

I have no idea whether the alleged 'wunderkind' of that dragons & magic stuff are still working with netflix to make their series but a coupla days ago I discovered that an excellent version called "Three Body" has been made and released by a China TV station.

I'm not going to ruin an excellent and scientically accurate yarn by disclosing the plot. The show is set in Beijing and the dialog is Mandarin altho english captions subtitles are included for those of us who do not comprehend Mandarin.

I cannot recommend this show too highly, the production standard is high along with the acting & script.
Maybe netflix will go ahead with their version that is why there has been virtually no publicity about this release /sarc
Here are the 7 episodes of the first season in 1080p resolution tho sufficiently compressed for fast download or streaming.

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

Episode 6

Episode 7

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jan 21 2023 3:14 utc | 65

When garden rats openly canvass their plan to provoke WW3 ...

Rand... Ukraine is where we trap the Russkies, just like when we gave them their Vietnam in Afghan...

LIkewise, TW is where we nail the chicoms
Keep trampling on their 'red line' , keep poking their eyes, they will bite.
Arm the TW just enuff to keep the fight going but not enuff to beat off mainland strikes,
civie casualties would be a huge PR baonaza
for us. ;-)

UKraine is just the appetiser, wait till u see how we do TW

Fucker Carlson
Fuck LGBT AND gender equality, our military should be full of alpha men eager to sit on a pile of chicom skulls.

The one China policy aint set in stone
Bail us out like what u did in 2008 or we'll raise hell in TW straits

Regime change in China” should be “an important U.S. foreign policy goal.

Regime change in China is not only possible, it is imperative

Any crisis, calamities in China is a boon for our national interest.

That bonfire in HK, what a wonderful sight to behold..

When bombing civies in foreign land are routine daily affairs cavalierly alluded to in passing, as if its the most natural thing to do , such that BBC dont even bother to identify the bomber cuz everybody knows whodunit...**

When civies casualites of USAss bombings are rattled off like sport scores.[on the rare occasions they bothered to count collateral damages]

When 951 Afghan civies killed in a day didnt make the prime time..

When Nam, Fallujah , Mosul.., are already flushed down memory holes and the perps are baying for more....

When 30M civies killed since WW2 didnt evoke a murur,..

When tha gawd damned covid is in its nth iteration and the rats are warning for more to come...the biggies ,they wink at us.

Welcome to the new [old ?] normal.
Courtesy of USAss.

When The worlDs's sheeples, never mind the mushrooms in our own garden, are conditioned/mind fucked/desensitised/programmed....trained to accept/acquiesce to/condone/abet the new normal, our mission is complete.


Posted by: denk | Jan 21 2023 3:15 utc | 66

Multiple US National Guard units are in Taipei training military units.

US expands training of Taiwan’s troops
‘ROCK-SOLID’: A US National Guard-led program has been broadened, the ‘Nikkei Asia’ said, citing a source as saying that Taiwan has more options than other states

The U.S. has expanded training provided to the military of However, US law also allows it to be deployed by the US government.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in May last year unveiled plans for training programs under the National Guard, saying during a visit to Taipei by US Senator Tammy Duckworth that the US Department of Defense is “proactively planning cooperation between the US National Guard and Taiwan’s defense forces.”
Citing sources directly involved in the joint training program, the Nikkei reported that the National Guard started training Taiwanese forces before Tsai’s announcement, adding that some of the personnel had been dispatched to Taiwan from Hawaii.
The National Guard runs training programs involving military units from about 80 countries worldwide, mostly under the US State Partnership Program (SPP). The training differs from country to country and can include infantry tactics, air operations, cyberdefense, disaster response, counterterrorism and medical support. The training involving Taiwanese forces is not under the SPP.
Under the program, nations’ troops mostly cooperate with the National Guard from only one state, while the training in Taiwan involves personnel from multiple states, the Nikkei cited a source as saying. .
. . .The Wall Street Journal in October 2021 reported that US special operations forces had been deployed to Taiwan for at least a year to conduct small-unit tactics training with the Taiwanese military.
Separately, the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) on Jan. 3 reported that Taiwan expects to broaden its cooperation with the National Guard on training, tactics and individual combat skills, as the nation resumes one-year conscription, citing an anonymous source. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 21 2023 4:22 utc | 67

Nice little discussion at Duran today about the relevance of WEF and Davos. There is no relevance, they observe, and no one cares about their nonsense anymore.

How did this happen? Mercouris observes that the people who lead the many formerly important institutions of the world are far lesser people than their predecessors, while Christoforou notes that the world looks at IMF, EU, and even UN and sees no real need to deal with these anymore, because more realistic forces exist to get real things done.

These are milestone musings, I think, that portend much for the future (16 mins):

Real world leaders avoid Davos WEF


I think there's much more to unpack here, which is why it strikes me. And I may find thoughts to add over time but not tonight.

One sketch of a thought, among several, is that we don't appreciate how large and powerful the "alternative media" really is. And perhaps we never can, or it ceases to be alternative? And this is us, of course. We are crucially important and authentic, to ourselves and seemingly to others, and in the company of others everywhere we look nowadays, but we cannot determine how large we are as a force.

As external geopolitical and economic realities impinge on the west (the US in particular), when the population - in significant numbers, perhaps even the majority - knows a narrative vastly different from the official one, who will follow the panic prescriptions from the central authorities to save the existing institutions?

Perhaps we will let it fall, in contempt, and in its diminishment, walk over it without fear and build a different society?

I always remember the stories from eastern Europe, in perhaps the nineties, where the people simply cursed and ignored the guards and soldiers because the society was so defunct that there was no symbol that could hold power or command respect, except ordinary people.

I, alongside many other people, draw great hope from the failures of the scary narratives to move us anymore. Perhaps the regaining of sanity? Sanity, the real new normal?

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 21 2023 5:14 utc | 68

@65 Debsisdead | Jan 21 2023 3:14 utc

This looks good, from the first download - but no subtitles?? They're not embedded and I don't get an srt file in the zip.

I'll try the last one to see where subtitle files might be - but am adrift in an alien universe, can help?

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 21 2023 5:32 utc | 69

Grieved @68--

Thanks for your musings. I recall 1999's Battle of Seattle and how few knew about the WTO and what the issues were--and this was while I was at Northern Arizona University--the profs didn't even know! Books outing the despicable service to Empire of supposedly neutral international institutions--IMF, World Bank, etc.--and what the Russian's call the "privitization" of UN, OSCE, and other related institutions are relatively common. Same with good informative alt media. Investigators still investigate and researchers still research. One key point is the ongoing weakening of the Establishment Narrative as poll after poll show declining trust in print and electronic media--as with people living in USSR knew they were being lied to the same is now true for those within the EU/NATO/Outlaw US Empire sphere. Japan's PM wants to wage war on China if its Master says so, but ordinary Japanese aren't at all with that. They need peace and a job to pay down their 100 year mortgages.

You might recall an essay written about a year ago where the Russian author said all the current institutions would eventually be replaced. That's already happening. The paradigm change will see lots of turnover with some institutions staying the same in name and bylaws only like the UN--the Charter and other core tenets will be preserved but the institution will move to another location and be overhauled. But first humanity has a small problem to solve--the termination of Empire and the Age of Plunder.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 21 2023 6:00 utc | 70

Debs Is Dead - Thanks for that recommendation. I have somewhat the same relationship with sci-fi fiction as you do; offset by a decade or two, but very similar nonetheless. I'll check that Chinese series out for sure.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jan 21 2023 6:03 utc | 71

Below is a link to a Wall Street On Parade story and quote

FTX Bombshell: Former FTX Lawyer, Daniel Friedberg, Alleges Fraud by Sullivan & Cromwell in Court Filing Today

The quote

Daniel Friedberg, a former attorney at the collapsed crypto exchange, FTX, has filed a heart-stopping declaration today with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware. He is effectively accusing one of the oldest law firms in America, Sullivan & Cromwell (S&C), of engaging in a fraudulent scheme in the FTX bankruptcy case. Friedberg further alleges that this fraudulent conspiracy was helped from the inside of FTX by S&C’s former law partner, Ryne Miller.

A hearing is scheduled at the bankruptcy court tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to take testimony on Sullivan & Cromwell’s petition to become the lead counsel in the case. The U.S. Trustee in the case, which represents the Justice Department in bankruptcy matters, had already filed objections to Sullivan & Cromwell becoming lead counsel. Another objector, a former customer of FTX, Warren Winter, has said it would be like allowing the fox to guard the hen house if Sullivan & Cromwell is put in charge. Four sitting U.S. Senators were so alarmed about Sullivan & Cromwell’s conflicts that they took the unusual step of filing an objection with the Court.

This is part of the civilization war that humanity is in. The blatant immorality evidenced here is part of what needs to die along with empire and must be exposed as such for the world to see....and rejected along with the God Of Mammon cult it supports

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 21 2023 6:32 utc | 72

Three Body
@Posted by: Grieved | Jan 21 2023 5:32 utc | 69

Here's the official Tencent release, an episode a day.
Turn on closed captions.

Posted by: awaiting approval | Jan 21 2023 7:27 utc | 73

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jan 21 2023 3:14 utc | 65

Liu Cixin is a man.

Posted by: Another Brother Ma | Jan 21 2023 7:34 utc | 74

@ Debsisdead | Jan 21 2023 3:14 utc | 65

Oh thank you, thank you kindly, doubly so. Can also highly recommend Liu Cixin, excellent trilogy, a masterful writer.

Downloads queued. :) Cheers & Prost!


@ Grieved | Jan 21 2023 5:32 utc | 69

Can confirm embedded selectable subtitles for English, French & Italian with 'VLC Viewer'. Free, Open Source, ALL platforms. Portable version at PortableApps com.

Cheers :)

@ denk | Jan 21 2023 3:15 utc | 66

Words fail me.

Thank you for your posts.


Posted by: Outraged | Jan 21 2023 8:07 utc | 75

re Another Brother Ma | Jan 21 2023 7:34 utc | 74

Hmm that is interesting I just checked again and of course you are correct, I have read somewhere, IIRC the guardian that Liu Cixin is female.
I stand corrected.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jan 21 2023 8:43 utc | 76

re Grieved | Jan 21 2023 5:32 utc | 69

It is as Outraged has described, the subtitles/captions are embedded in the coding. I too always use VLC so I was unaware that some players may not find the subs. Follow Outraged's link for a high quality (all the way to 4k) free video viewer/audio player. Truly after using it nothing else is close to its quality, anything not immediately viewable which is rare or is not listenable, can be accessed by downloading the correct plugin from their site eg 265 encoded vids which is a high compression encoding that makes vid files much smaller. When that came out a plugin for VLC was available almost immediately.

I did not know 3 Bodies was on you tube a site I'm not keen on visiting unless there is no other way but the quality of video on these downloads is far higher than anything YT offers, so it is up to you - as it should be.

One last thing - english subs are on all, but other languages not. Do not despair go to subscene.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jan 21 2023 8:56 utc | 77

Denk, you do not need to hear from me that you have hit the nail on the head once more, but since I infrequently respond to your posts I decided it was time to tell you that. Thanks for your insight and perspicacity.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jan 21 2023 9:09 utc | 78

heh! where is everyone else? It is only 10:23 pm here in Aotearoa and given it's saturday night I may have put meself outside of an amount of scotch - shock horror.
Anyway I'm here in the non-war porn thread, and after reading psychohistorian's excellent post on recent developments in the FTX scam I have a question.

This bankruptcy court, is it a federal court and if it is, is it being convened in New York's southern district?

If the answer to both queries is yes I have no doubt Sullivan & Cromwell will get their way.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jan 21 2023 9:39 utc | 79

This bankruptcy court, is it a federal court and if it is, is it being convened in New York's southern district?

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jan 21 2023 9:39 utc | 79

According to the above-cited Wall Street on Parade article, this bankruptcy court is part of the federal district court for Delaware.

While doing web searches, I saw a quote from a Forbes article saying that the FTX attorneys had argued for the case to be heard at that very court. The judge presiding, John T. Dorsey, served as State Director for then U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. from 2000 to 2003 (from the law firm where Dorsey was a partner). (This last fact is noted only as one indication that Judge Dorsey would seem unlikely to be predisposed against FTX.)

Posted by: David Levin | Jan 21 2023 15:31 utc | 80

Well, looks like these two songs I started playing together almost three years ago are going to continue be appropriate for the times to play...

Empire Of The Sun - Alive
Bee Gees - Stayin' Alive

Happy Friday!

Posted by: nathan in WA US | Jan 21 2023 19:29 utc | 81

I read B’s articles and the posts here for hours a day but I’m finding it hard to find unfiltered general news about world events at all anymore. I tried to find out about anti NATO protests in Europe but the search brings Reuters etc. Reuters has become such a crock of shite , it’s lost all pretense of being legitimate , They group the koran burning wackos protest’s with the completely separate anti-NATO protest and the headline and article is all about Koran burning , Almost no mention of anti NATO sentiment.
Is there any daily news site in English anywhere in the world anymore that isn’t blocked by the powers tha be ? The search engines , and news services are all captured. I find NPR news particularly repugnant , about as grating as the the never ending ,droning evangelical radio stations in the rural area where I live.
There must be some “pirate” news sites in in the semi-free southern hemisphere that are not yet captured.
Any suggestions?

Posted by: Bartholomew Cubbins | Jan 21 2023 19:42 utc | 82

It’s getting harder and harder to find recent news about protests in general using duckduckgo etc. Mass protests could at least spread the truth and curb the widespread mindless ignorant support for military adventurism.

Posted by: Bartholomew Cubbins | Jan 21 2023 20:00 utc | 83

@nathan in WA US | Jan 21 2023 19:29 utc | 81

A handy thing to remember - Stayin' Alive is the rhythm for CPR:
Save a life

(From a Tumwater guy, 1950s :-)

Posted by: waynorinorway | Jan 21 2023 20:48 utc | 84

@77 Debsisdead | Jan 21 2023 8:56 utc ++ 75 Outraged | Jan 21 2023 8:07 utc

Thanks for the word. I do use VLC and agree it's the best thing there is. I checked every setting, I thought, before I asked for help but somehow I had subtitles disabled, which I just discovered - I don't know how that happened. Sorry for the false alarm, and I'm delighted I can watch this now.

Many thanks for the gift!

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 21 2023 20:55 utc | 85

It’s getting harder and harder to find recent news about protests in general using duckduckgo etc. Mass protests could at least spread the truth and curb the widespread mindless ignorant support for military adventurism.

Posted by: Bartholomew Cubbins | Jan 21 2023 20:00 utc | 83

Here are a couple ideas for trying to locate such coverage.

1. The publications listed in the "published writings" list at Eva Bartlett's website
2. Struggle for Socialism.

Posted by: David Levin | Jan 22 2023 0:05 utc | 86

Matt Ehret has written another thought provoking essay, "Mexico Pulled Between Bright Multipolar Future and Feudal North America Union". There's a slew of points brought forward I wish I had the time to pursue. Clearly, Mexico needs another AMLO to follow AMLO so the progress made can continue to be made.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 22 2023 0:52 utc | 87

Posted by: waynorinorway | Jan 21 2023 20:48 utc | 84

Thanks for posting that, it was a pleasant surprise! LOL!

Posted by: Bartholomew Cubbins | Jan 21 2023 20:00 utc | 83
"It’s getting harder and harder to find recent news about protests in general using duckduckgo etc. Mass protests could at least spread the truth and curb the widespread mindless ignorant support for military adventurism."

agreed, it's hard to find anything relevant outside the US barbwire geofence. Speaking of, it's amazing how the Dutch farmer protest 'evaporated' yet they're still out there least last I heard. Anything new on that front?

Posted by: nathan in WA US | Jan 22 2023 1:05 utc | 88

It's Sunday morning in Beijing and Happy New Year to China!

The Year of the Tiger yields to the Year of the Rabbit, and I loved the soft little representation of this from People's Daily (courtesy Global South):

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 22 2023 1:11 utc | 89

I listen to The Duran , Alexander Mercouris , Derizen Report , A Skeptic-substack , Scott Ritter , Jeffrey Sachs , MOA etc .
I wish there was a there was a website focusing on who was demonstrating where and in what numbers as this information seems to be deliberately filtered be youtube , google.

Posted by: Bartholomew Cubbins | Jan 22 2023 1:15 utc | 90 usually has good protest coverage but I haven't been visting them as much as I used to, seems like they're not as good as they used to be

Posted by: nathan in WA US | Jan 22 2023 1:20 utc | 91

Next two:

Episode 8

Episode 9

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jan 22 2023 1:40 utc | 92

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 21 2023 8:07 utc | 75



You would be interested in Chris Floyd's take on...
The banality of evil.

This state of unwitting confession to monstrous crime has been the default mode of the U.S. establishment for many years now. Government officials routinely detail policies that in a healthy atmosphere would shake the nation to its core, stand out like a gaping wound, a rank betrayal of every hope, ideal and sacrifice of generations past. Yet in the degraded sensibility of these times, such confessions go unnoticed, their evil unrecognized – or even lauded as savvy ploys or noble endeavors. Inured to moral horror by half a century of outrages committed by the "National Security" complex, the establishment, along with the media and vast swathes of the population, can no longer discern the poison in the air they breathe. It just seems normal.

Posted by: denk | Jan 22 2023 3:55 utc | 93

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jan 21 2023 9:09 utc | 78



Remember during the first stage of Libya destabilisation,many were saying its an organic uprising against Gaddafi's tyranny, Brian and me suggested CIA shenanigan and you'r the one who backed us up ?

I also plagiarised your FUKUS acronym until this day ;-)

On Ardern's ..
Actually the Ardern.,/.Mahuta team was intitially very reluctant to join the FUKUSA anti Chinese posse'
They eventually capitulate to relentless Washington/Canberra arm twisting to toe the line somewhat, but still is the least belligerent among the [five liars] outfit.

Mahuta's predecessor, Winston Peters was a
typical limey sinophobic !@#$%

Posted by: denk | Jan 22 2023 4:14 utc | 94

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 21 2023 5:14 utc | 68

I hope so but cant share your optimism,

The mushrooms have been thoroughly

Pew Poll 90% of U.S. believes China is threat.

Poll Majority Opposes US Defending Ukraine, But OK With Taiwan

Taiwan, most believe that Australia should help protect Taiwan [sic]

Pew Research Centre poll 66 percent of respondents expressed an “unfavourable” view of China

Tip of an iceberg

Sinophobia is prevalent in the garden, especially the [five liars] , FUKUSA in particular.

Posted by: denk | Jan 22 2023 4:26 utc | 95

re denk | Jan 22 2023 4:14 utc | 94
Yeah now that you prodded my memory I remember it, Muammar Ghadaffi was always a bit of a hero of mine and I mourn his loss along with the horrible way he was murdered to this day. If only Libya could find another like him who made sure that no clan let alone racial group had any more power than amy other. Looking back, that is how the foreign spooks did it, once they got their foot in the door they worked on the clan which operates outta Misrata and had been the traditional boss of a big chunk of the region that is Libya - essentially what fukus have been doing in one form or another for at least the last 200 years all around this world.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jan 22 2023 5:51 utc | 96

re denk | Jan 22 2023 4:14 utc | 94
Yeah now that you prodded my memory I remember it, Muammar Ghadaffi was always a bit of a hero of mine and I mourn his loss along with the horrible way he was murdered to this day. If only Libya could find another like him who made sure that no clan let alone racial group had any more power than amy other. Looking back, that is how the foreign spooks did it, once they got their foot in the door they worked on the clan which operates outta Misrata and had been the traditional boss of a big chunk of the region that is Libya - essentially what fukus have been doing in one form or another for at least the last 200 years all around this world.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jan 22 2023 5:51 utc | 97

@95 denk | Jan 22 2023 4:26 utc - "Pew Poll 90% of U.S. believes China is threat"

If Murdoch and a few others decided to go the other way, then in 2 years that 90% would regard China as a beautiful friend.

All this means is that the 90% don't matter, because they have no agency - in this issue - and they believe what they're told.

This doesn't mean they're compliant in other issues. It just means that propaganda works when the target population is not on its guard against lies. Try it on mothers, with child vaccinations - I don't think you'll get 90%. In fact, you may get something so large you can't even handle it.

All this says that the degree of control is a moving target. And it's really easy for the controllers to lose control of their controlled.

Fact is, no one is actually controlling things 100%. It can shift on a dime. You want to be on that dime when it happens.

So I take my optimism where I can find it. And sometimes just taking it can make it. There's a war on, and we are all in the struggle. As someone said, we have to fight, and we have to win.

my 2 cents, in solidarity...

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 22 2023 6:04 utc | 98

Oh Texas, you’ve gone and done it again.
Oh the lone star state, the land of the cowboys (er, ranch-hand is more appropriate term as there are no real cowboys), the state that creates text books for the whole country, the state where Af-Ams are dragged behind pick up trucks.
I just read about proposed Senate bill 147 which would prohibit citizens or business entities from China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran from purchasing land in the state of Texas.
My guess is Texans (really, Tejanos) want to keep all their stolen Mexican land just to themselves.

My question to Texas: Racist much?
To our lawyer barflies: Is this even constitutional?

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Jan 22 2023 6:10 utc | 99

denk | Jan 22 2023 4:26 utc | 95

Perhaps things will change but war with China is nearly inevitable at this point. When it comes to China, the mushrooms around me are thoroughly brainwashed. Japan is gearing up as is northern Australia. The joys of being a vassal state.
When the going gets tough the yanks will go home. Idiots about me have no understanding we have no more value to the yanks than all the other countries they have run away from.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 22 2023 6:46 utc | 100

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