Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 05, 2023

The MoA Week In Review - (Not Ukraine) OT 2023-30

Last week's post on Moon of Alabama:

Moon of Alabama @MoonofA - 7:49 UTC · Feb 5, 2023

Then premier of Israel Bennet (2:47h):
"I told Zelensky: 'Putin will not kill you. He promised that.' Two hours later Zelensky publishes selfie saying 'I am not afraid!'"

"There was a good chance of ceasefire but (the West) curbed it."

Bennett speaks out (Video, English subs)

Other issues:




Use as open (not Ukraine related) thread ...

Posted by b on February 5, 2023 at 15:08 UTC | Permalink

next page »

In the Naked Capitalism pieec linked to ("Chinese Spy Balloon Over the US: An Aerospace Expert Explains How the Balloons Work and What They Can See") the following paragraph is not strictly accurate:

There is an internationally accepted boundary called the Kármán Line at 62 miles (100 kilometers) altitude. This balloon is well below that, so it is absolutely, definitely in U.S. airspace.

The Kármán line is a physical concept, not a legal one. The upper limit of sovereign airspace is not defined by international law. In fact there are proposals to treat the 18-160km zone as a transitional region of reduced sovereignty akin to EEZs.

> Legally however, it is an indistinct region where it is not clear whether the operations that take place are covered by aviation or space conventions and treaties, in particular with reference to the freedom of overflight that applies to space orbital operations


> Although outer space is free, if states are allowed to claim vertical sovereignty up to the point where orbital dynamics are possible, other states will be precluded from having free access to space

> John A. Johnson, General Counsel of [NASA] and [of USAF], said in 1964 "there should therefore be no legal basis for protesting, merely on grounds of unpermitted presence, the overflight of national territory by ascending and descending spacecraft, regardless of altitude."

Also see:

Posted by: JMW Turner | Feb 5 2023 15:29 utc | 1


The Republicans are all Chinese assets as they wanted to destroy Chinese equipment before we could recover and analizye it. The Biden Admin played it right by waiting for it to be over shallow water to optimize salvage.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Feb 5 2023 16:01 utc | 2

Re: EI's piece on British Govt spied on Palestinian refugees.

DW Conflict Zone's Tim Sebastion recorded an interview on January 31 with Husam Zomlot, Head of the Palestinian Mission to the UK. Leaving aside the issue of why Palestine would send a emissary to the country which cooked up the Balfour Declaration which threw Palestine to the wolves (diplomacy?), Tim S badgers HZ all the way through the interview. can no longer afford to put subtitles on DW News broadcasts due to harsh budget cuts imposed by the neoliberal Liberal Party and continued by the almost-as-sleazy neoliberal Labor Party.

Anyway, I recorded it to see if any mention was made of why that champion of Freedom, Democracy and Sovereignty, NATO, hasn't lifted a finger to help Palestine in its struggle with the Jewish state? Huh?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 5 2023 16:03 utc | 3

My take on the link
- The Arsenal of Democracy Isn't - Will Schryver

Schyver discusses if US arms industry represents an "arsenal", a stock of weapons AND production capabilities prepared for the eventuality of a large war.

It is more interesting to me if it is connected in any way to democracy. Post-2014 government of Ukraine started from anti-democratic measures, removing Russian from official and administrative use even though it was a majority language in multiple regions (and contrary to Ukrainian constitution) and banning of political parties and various form of political expression, and a series of murders, attacks on civilians and scores of "suspicious deaths". Since that, "exceptions from democratic ideal" were growing, and literally exploded after the start of the current large scale military conflict.

Under no reasonable interpretation is Russia less democratic than Ukraine (of course, there are plenty of UNREASONABLE interpretation which is problematic in itself). So was the case with Georgia in 2008. One may also consider allies that receive copious military assistance like Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 5 2023 16:13 utc | 4

An excellent set of articles.

Last week showed things are changing fast. I still have a feeling the Russian people, not that I can speak for all of them. Expect certain things especially after what has happened, from any peace that will be thrashed out. It will depend how it is marketed to them by the Kremlin and if they accept it. We are quickly approaching the horizon that many Russians might be let down and wanted to go a lot further than what the Kremlin offers them. As I'm starting to believe this will be over this year if NATO decides not to go toe to toe with Russia.

Posted by: Derek Henry | Feb 5 2023 16:18 utc | 5

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Feb 5 2023 16:01 utc | 2

Baltic Sea "shallow"?
or Carolina continental margin shallow?
LOL with speshul op klieg ligting!

Posted by: sln2002 | Feb 5 2023 16:53 utc | 6

Call me crazy (and I know you will), but I reckon, the Raptor pilot didn't stay around to see if the wreckage landed on teh shelf.
USNI News | 3 Navy Warships, FBI Now Hunting for Wreckage of Chinese Spy Balloon off South Carolina

...The remains of the surveillance balloon, about the size of three school buses, is spread over a seven-mile debris field in shallow water in the Atlantic, a senior military official told reporters.

Guided-missile destroyer USS Oscar Austin (DDG-79), guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) and amphibious warship USS Carter Hall (LSD-50) are on station near the crash site. Coast Guard cutters and boats are also on the scene to assist in the recovery, a message left with a Coast Guard Atlantic Area spokesman was not immediately returned....

not anyone on the Hill cares.

Posted by: sln2002 | Feb 5 2023 16:58 utc | 7

In re: Spy Balloons:

It is a long way from China to Montana. If the Chinese want to use a balloon to spy on some facility in Montana, it won't do just to send a balloon up and let the prevailing winds take it to where you want it to go. They would have to have some means of directing, or steering it to the target location.

So, how does one steer a balloon?

Antoinetta III

Posted by: Antoinetta III | Feb 5 2023 17:00 utc | 8

@ Posted by: sln2002 | Feb 5 2023 16:58 utc | 7

Looking at the close ups in the link, it appears the missile struck and exploded the balloon from the bottom where the harness containing the electronics was located.

So the chance of recovering anything useful are between slim and none.

One has to conclude this was deliberate and that the US military knew it really was just a weather balloon.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Feb 5 2023 17:06 utc | 9

From Sputnik, a piece reflecting on Iraq 2003 with relevance for today:

Making the Case for War: 20 Years Ago, Colin Powell Lied to the UN

On February 5, 2003, US Secretary of State Colin Powell addressed the UN Security Council that would go down in infamy. Over the course of a 76-minute briefing that was broadcast to millions across the world, Powell asserted that the US had ironclad evidence that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was covertly developing weapons of mass destruction.

“My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by solid sources,” he confidently declared. “These are not assertions. What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence.”
To bolster his case, Powell presented satellite photos, audio recordings of intercepted conversations between Iraqi soldiers, testimonies from high-level defectors, and even a tiny vial of white powder that was meant to serve as a symbol for Baghdad’s supposed anthrax program. At first glance, the evidence seemed both robust and dramatic.

There was only one glaring problem: None of it was true. The satellite images did not show what Powell claimed they did, while the audio recordings and testimonies were deliberately manipulated. More than 70 UN site inspections in Iraq over the preceding years had found absolutely no evidence that the country was developing chemical, nuclear, or biological weapons. Following the US invasion in March 2003, even the Bush administration was forced to admit that Iraq did not possess WMDs.

Although the truth eventually prevailed, it came at an extraordinarily high price. The Iraq War resulted in hundreds of thousands Iraqis dead and more than 9 million displaced, according to data from Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. Nearly twenty years after the US invasion, Iraq is still grappling with the sectarian and political violence unleashed by Washington’s military debacle.

How was the Bush administration able to sell a war based on dubious intelligence not only to the American people, but also to much of the international community? Perhaps even more importantly, did the US political and military leadership learn any lessons from its disastrous invasion?

To answer these questions, Sputnik spoke to former Pentagon and State Department officials who witnessed firsthand the Bush administration’s drift to war and spoke out against it.

Anatomy of a Lie

The push for the US to invade Iraq began not long after President George W. Bush took office in January 2001, according to retired Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, who served as a senior Middle East analyst for the Pentagon in the months leading up to the war.

She explained that shortly after Bush's inauguration, Vice President Dick Cheney began to staff the Pentagon, National Security Council, and the key US intelligence agencies with a large number of political appointees, most of whom came from neoconservative think tanks. These hawkish officials were longtime advocates of regime change in Iraq, arguing that such a move would allow the US to strengthen its control over the Middle East and “militarily” encircle neighboring Iran.

“The US also did not want to see any oil country go off the petrodollar, as Saddam had announced he was doing in late 2000,” she said. “When you are looking for any justification, truth and accurate intelligence really becomes a barrier, instead of an asset to the politicians.”

It was not long before the neoconservatives in the Bush administration launched a concerted campaign to lay the informational foundation for an invasion of Iraq. Kwiatkowski told Sputnik that beginning in August 2002, Middle East analysts such as herself were instructed not to contradict intelligence notices and briefings which suggested that Iraq was developing WMDs. Dissenters who expressed concerns about the veracity of these claims were fired.

These dubious reports ended up not only on Bush's desk, but also on the front pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post.

“Classified bits and pieces -- cherry picked, unreliable, and often outrageously false -- were given to the contacts at these newspapers, and to the President's speechwriters, and incorporated into their domestic and global propaganda,” Kwiatkowski said. “This made it all seem believable to the 95% of the US population who in the early 2000's still trusted the US government.”

Even amid this formidable propaganda push, there were many in the highest echelons of Washington who had information contradicting the official narrative on Iraq. One of them was none other than Colin Powell.

In the months leading up to the invasion, Powell privately expressed his doubts about the Bush administration’s drift towards war to British Foreign Minister Jack Straw and his own chief of staff, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson. Just days before Powell’s infamous UN speech, the US Secretary of State received two memos from his intelligence staff that directly refuted many of the claims made in the presentation.

“I think Powell, as the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had reason to know the intelligence was fabricated at the time he gave the speech and I think he actually suspected that it was manufactured at the time he gave it but decided to give the speech anyway out of mostly political considerations,” said David T. Pyne, who served as the Middle East desk officer at the US Army headquarters staff from 2000-2003.

At the same time, Pyne stressed that even if Powell had genuinely believed that Iraq possessed WMDs, that still was not strong enough of a reason to invade the country. He explained that Iraq was too weakened after losing sixty percent of its military equipment and personnel in the First Gulf War of 1991 to pose much of a threat to its neighbors, let alone the US.

Pyne noted that many in the intelligence community shared his assessment of Iraq’s capabilities. “Having personally toured the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia and interviewed the then Director of the National Intelligence Council, John C. Gannon, in October 1999, I can tell you that Iraq was not even on their top five list of major threats at that time,” he said.

Although Powell decided to brush his reservations about Iraq aside, some lower ranking officials in the Pentagon and State Department chose not to remain silent. Both Kwiatkowski and Pyne published articles in the lead up to the Iraq War warning about the potential consequences of the invasion.

Another dissident was Ann Wright, a US diplomat who also served 29 years in the US army as a colonel. On March 19, 2003, just one day before the US sent troops into Iraq, Wright submitted her letter of resignation to Powell.

“It was just gnawing at me that here we go again: The U.S. is going to go to war,” she told Sputnik. “We're going to kill lots of civilians. I mean, everybody knows what's the result of the U.S. interventions in anything.”

Lessons Learned?

Wright warned that there were many concerning parallels between the lead-up to the US invasion of Iraq and the Biden administration’s growing military involvement in Ukraine. She explained that just as opponents of the Iraq War were browbeat into silence, Ukraine skeptics are likewise being intimidated into towing the hawkish party line.

“There's a lot of controversy within the government itself on whether continuing to ratchet up the war by giving lots of weaponry to Ukraine or putting a great emphasis on ceasefire negotiations to stop the killing. Behind the scenes, there's a lot of dissent,” she said.

Wright expressed skepticism that the proponents of diplomacy would ultimately prevail in Washington since the US “always needs an enemy in order to keep the military industrial complex going,” noting that major campaign donors are involved in arms production.

Similar concerns were voiced by Kwiatkowski, who noted that Washington had undertaken no major reforms of the intelligence bureaucracies in the two decades following the Iraq invasion. At the same time, US human intelligence gathering resources are actually weaker today than they were in 2003. Finally, the US government’s growing control over news reporting and social media means that it is becoming even more difficult for Americans to access objective information about international developments.

“There is a vast difference between the reporting from the Pentagon via Defense Intelligence Agency and presumably other US intelligence agencies and the actual events and progress of the war on the ground in Ukraine,” Kwiatkowski said. “Where are the dissenters, and where is the human intelligence on the ground -- and how is what they are observing reaching US political leadership?”

“Empire of Lies” indeed.

Posted by: West of England Andy | Feb 5 2023 17:22 utc | 10

So, how does one steer a balloon?

Antoinetta III

Posted by: Antoinetta III | Feb 5 2023 17:00 utc | 8

As I understand it, such steering as is possible is done by raising or lowering the balloon's altitude to get a push from differering wind directions.

The raising and lowering business would be crude in the absence of a hot air source.

Perhaps Aleph_null's wind direction maps would help.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 5 2023 17:49 utc | 11

lol i see a "news" story titled "Pentagon reveals how Chinese spy balloon was taken down with a single shot!"

what a momentous military accomplishment. I guess the proxy war in Ukraine isn't going well, gotta distract.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Feb 5 2023 17:55 utc | 12

Why is America really wetting its panties over this balloon?

Is it really because the USA's precious "national sovereignty" has been cruelly violated by China's balloon? After all, this is the same America that loves to bomb, invade, regime change, and yes, spy on many, many nations around the world.

Gonzalo Lira breaks down what is really behind this America meltdown and, most importantly, the political agenda that is driving America's latest national security hissy fit:

About That Chinese Balloon

Posted by: ak74 | Feb 5 2023 17:56 utc | 13

thanks b..

the interview with Naftali Bennett is very interesting..

everyone is going gaga over balloons, lol... i love how the intel agencies are driving the conversation...

Posted by: james | Feb 5 2023 18:13 utc | 14

Missing from the US government statement was the following:

Having safely concluded its mission, the F-22 safely landed, whereupon it was safely towed into a maintenance hangar where it will safely spend the next 6 months recovering from its strenuous exertions, having safely destroyed a monstrous, helium-filled threat to freedom, democracy and chocolate cupcakes*

(*An obscure “Not The Nine O’Clock News” reference...)

Posted by: West of England Andy | Feb 5 2023 18:16 utc | 15

@Christian Chuba | Feb 5 2023 16:01 utc | 2

Perhaps the opposite is true. If the military wanted to recover the instrument package as intact as possible they would not have used a highly kinetic weapon with an explosive warhead ie sidewinder missle. They could have used flares (eg thermal decoy rockets for confusing heat seeking missles)to destroy just the balloon casing and having only water impact damage. The large debris field which occurred may actually be the result of the warhead explosion on the instrument package and not impact. It's even conceivable a controlled crash of the balloon could be achieved where ever they wanted.

Posted by: Jerr | Feb 5 2023 18:19 utc | 16

big bad china boogie man is coming to get you! did you get the memo already?? lololol...

Posted by: james | Feb 5 2023 18:21 utc | 17

i love how the intel agencies are driving the conversation

Posted by: james | Feb 5 2023 18:13 utc | 14

I think I get where you’re coming from, but it’s such fertile ground for memes and general mockery of the psychopathic narcissists that I genuinely don’t think the intel agencies are driving the conversation.

Some of the memes have been funny to the point of tears of laughter, at least to my weird sense of humour!

Posted by: West of England Andy | Feb 5 2023 18:35 utc | 18

To use a playful phrase often used by the Chinese to comment on the ridiculous behavior of the United States: have Americans lost their confidence power?

Posted by: JAYWANG | Feb 5 2023 18:38 utc | 19

Baloney balloonies :P

Steering of weather-balloons defeats their purpose and isn't done as far as I know.

These are extremely lightweight contraptions and anything you add in weight makes them perform worse.

I have the impression that many weather-balloons are (or used to be) nothing but a balloon with a retroreflector on a string, but clearly this one was more advanced than that (as are most amateur projects these days).

The whole "change of altitude" thing is for entirely different kinds of balloons such as hot air balloons and crewed balloons which fly at much lower altitudes.

Due to the extreme differences between measurement systems at the scales involved please only use metric. Stuff like "60k feet" is awful and easily causes highly misleading impressions and is probably why so many posts nonsense about satellites etc.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Feb 5 2023 18:47 utc | 20

Good day all and thanks for another great WiR from b.

RE: The balloon, I finally had a chance to watch Gonzalo Lira's take on the matter (as it was recommended multiple times in comments yesterday) and I mostly agree with him. The shootdown should have been done much earlier for the simple sake of commercial aviation safety. However the neocons in charge decided to let it continue flying so they could milk some heavy propaganda from the moment. The corporo-governmental mainstream media more than obliged. It's just one step in the process of priming the people for eventual shooting war with China. Sad.

Also wanted to say I stumbled out of bed this AM into a steaming pile of shit from David Corn at Mother Jones that I found in a link in the Naked Capitalism comments section. The funny thing is I never visit MJ since it became complete trash during Trump, but when I did, this article is nowhere to be found on the front page, scrolling top to bottom. Interesting they'd want it to be semi-hidden:

David Corn is such a fucking douchebag nowadays.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Feb 5 2023 19:05 utc | 21

If there is any trace of intelligence left in the so-called intelligence agencies they should do anything in their power to stop people from talking about the balloon because most people don't (yet) truly understand how extremely stupid it really is and the more is said the more might in the end figure it out.

It's worse than taking down a party balloon from your neighbor's 4yo girls backyard birthday party with a fully automatic shotgun and emptying it completely, all as soon as the party balloon was about to leave your own front yard and move across the street.

Pure insanity followed up with pure bullshit by Uncle Samantha.

I hope we get many more balloons and many more US attacks on balloons. I wish it would happen every single day. If it did it might be enough to reach through to enough people in the US how god damned stupid their government is that something might change.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Feb 5 2023 19:07 utc | 22

Tom_Q_Collins/Gonzalo Lira:
No, just no.

"The shootdown should have been done much earlier for the simple sake of commercial aviation safety.
No, this is pure nonsense. Weather-balloons have been around for something close to a century and they always fly willy-nilly all over the place because that's the whole point: they make air movement visible.

What you're saying is similar to someone claiming spiderwebs are a leading cause of death for blue wales.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Feb 5 2023 19:13 utc | 23

RE: The balloon posing a danger to civilian/commercial aviation:

7-6-5: Avoid Flight Beneath Unmanned Balloons

a. The majority of unmanned free balloons currently being operated have, extending below them, either a suspension device to which the payload or instrument package is attached, or a trailing wire antenna, or both. In many instances these balloon subsystems may be invisible to the pilot until the aircraft is close to the balloon, thereby creating a potentially dangerous situation. Therefore, good judgment on the part of the pilot dictates that aircraft should remain well clear of all unmanned free balloons and flight below them should be avoided at all times.

b. Pilots are urged to report any unmanned free balloons sighted to the nearest FAA ground facility with which communication is established. Such information will assist FAA ATC facilities to identify and flight follow unmanned free balloons operating in the airspace.

That the neocon US government allowed the balloon to traverse as much US airspace as they did is pretty irresponsible from a completely non-military, non-surveillance angle, despite the contraption's alleged operating altitude. It could have begun to descend or change course at any time due to weather (wind, temperature, etc.) and yet they waited until it had already passed South Carolina's coastline to do anything about it. A cynical propaganda exercise and nothing more.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Feb 5 2023 19:14 utc | 24

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Feb 5 2023 19:13 utc | 23

Sorry, but that's just wrong when referring to an "airship" of the size of this particular Chinese weather balloon. It's even more hazardous to commercial aviation than the types of devices described above from the FAA's AIM procedure manual.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Feb 5 2023 19:17 utc | 25

Weather balloon related incident (and again, nowhere near the same size as the Chinese one):


The release of balloons create a risk of collision with aircraft as the trajectory of unmanned balloons can not be controlled and may enter areas of intense air traffic. Although balloons are generally objects of low intensity, the high speed and energy of aircraft pose the danger of a catastrophic outcome. Even though the collision with a balloon has been (partly) considered in aircraft design, the impact of the fire source or accessories of the balloon with the aircraft's engines or gear may create a fire hazard, cause engine failures and take out air data reference systems. In this case a balloon of 10kg caused an impact force of 2.26 tons, a balloon of 50kg an impact force of 100 tons due to the aircraft moving at more than 250 KIAS. The balloon caused all air data references to be obstructed and could have caused a catastrophic outcome to 101 occupants of the aircraft.

In general there have been 143 sightings of balloons by aircrews in 2012, several of which required partly extreme evasive maneouvers to prevent a collision. The balloons such pose a significant danger to Brazilian Aviation.

Then followed by pictures of damage to the aircraft including broken Pitot tubes (a big no-no as we learned from the crash of the flight between Brazil and France a few years ago)

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Feb 5 2023 19:20 utc | 26

Sunny Runny Burger,

Don't get me wrong, under normal circumstances and 'regular' sized weather balloons you're absolutely right. In fact your second comment reminded me of this silly 'cold open' from Saturday Night Live last night.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Feb 5 2023 19:24 utc | 27

I suppose the balloon had to be shot down eventually. There’s no way it would have been allowed to drift around until it was able to conduct surveillance of Epstein Island...

Posted by: West of England Andy | Feb 5 2023 19:30 utc | 28

I hope we get many more balloons and many more US attacks on balloons. I wish it would happen every single day. If it did it might be enough to reach through to enough people in the US how god damned stupid their government is that something might change.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Feb 5 2023 19:07 utc | 22


Why change established traditions? :D

The Battle of Los Angeles, also known as the Great Los Angeles Air Raid, is the name given by contemporary sources to a rumored attack on the continental United States by Imperial Japan and the subsequent anti-aircraft artillery barrage which took place from late 24 February to early 25 February 1942, over Los Angeles, California. The incident occurred less than three months after the U.S. entered World War II in response to the Imperial Japanese Navy's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, and one day after the bombardment of Ellwood near Santa Barbara on 23 February. Initially, the target of the aerial barrage was thought to be an attacking force from Japan, but speaking at a press conference shortly afterward, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox called the purported attack a "false alarm". Newspapers of the time published a number of reports and speculations of a cover-up to conceal an actual invasion by enemy airplanes.

When documenting the incident in 1949, the United States Coast Artillery Association identified a meteorological balloon sent aloft at 1:00 am as having "started all the shooting" and concluded that "once the firing started, imagination created all kinds of targets in the sky and everyone joined in". In 1983, the U.S. Office of Air Force History attributed the event to a case of "war nerves" triggered by a lost weather balloon and exacerbated by stray flares and shell bursts from adjoining batteries.

Btw, nothing beats Capt. Wild Bill Kelso in a fancy Raptor.

Posted by: Nobody | Feb 5 2023 19:37 utc | 29

A Google translation of this: observes that Blinken wasn’t wanted.

1) US just signed up the Philippines for China Encirclement Duty this week.
2) Biden has a whole new batch of severe sanctions on Huawei.
3) Blinky wants to give a lecture on China/Russia cooperation.

So, if these balloons have been transiting the USA for years (Trump, etc), offer no great advantage for spying, this is inflated (pun) by the US to cancel the non-existent China visit as a presumed US initiative.

There are 3 balloons apparently. Is there anywhere in the USA that isn’t “near” US military installations, or anywhere in the world (beside inside China/Russia) that isn’t “near” US bases?

Posted by: daffyDuct | Feb 5 2023 19:54 utc | 30

@ West of England Andy | Feb 5 2023 18:35 utc | 18

humour is always welcome... here is what my friend sent me -

join in the fun!

Posted by: james | Feb 5 2023 20:05 utc | 31

Today and tomorrow, Lavrov will visit Iraq as per this media message to discuss a very wide spectrum of issues. Iraq is still a very destabilized nation and needs to finish making itself sovereign again, which will not be an easy task given Outlaw US Empire interference. I imagine a presser will be held tomorrow.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 5 2023 20:12 utc | 32

Couple of things come to mind wrt the balloon incident:

1. Future historians will note the event as a sign of American soft power becoming open farce.

2. Their nukes must be confiscated.

Posted by: Rae | Feb 5 2023 20:32 utc | 33

The Outlaw Empire Projects Again: It is the U.S. that is attempting balloon surveillance of China and Russia.

Posted by: Colin | Feb 5 2023 20:33 utc | 34

in that interview with naftali bennett, at about 2 hours 37 minutes in he basically says the idea of denazification means killing zelensky, or the leader... this is bennetts interpretation of the russian smo with regard to denazification.. i find that odd...

Posted by: james | Feb 5 2023 20:51 utc | 35

As might be imagined, China's not at all pleased with the Outlaw US Empire's behavior over the balloon incident, "China expresses dissatisfaction and protest over US shooting down civilian airship; US sets bad precedent":

"China expressed strong dissatisfaction and protest on Sunday against the US' move to shoot down a non-threatening Chinese airship for civilian use, calling the US' move an overreaction and vowing to reserve the right to take necessary actions. By turning an unintentional accident into an incident that has been hyped by the US officials and media, Washington is adding new uncertainties into the already-intense relations with China, creating a bad precedent for blurring the line between civilian and military uses, experts said."

But as a type of recon, IMO the balloon incident provided clear info about the depth of idiocy within the Empire's views of China. I remarked to my wife that this had all the hallmarks of a CIA Psyop to further raise Sinophobia to a higher pitch, which was clearly one result.

China's in a difficult position holding far too much dollarized debt which affects its ability to maneuver diplomatically. Similarly, the Empire showed extreme stupidity by shooting down the balloon of one of its top creditors. This incident plus on top of the nixing of the Grand Forks corn mill project shows Chinese there's no reason to invest within the Empire or buy dollarized securities.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 5 2023 21:26 utc | 36

Tom_Q_Collins | Feb 5 2023 19:05 utc | 21
“…David Corn is such a fucking douchebag nowadays.”
He was a huge asset gateway in the early dissemination of the Steele Dossier.
Which of course is why he’s come out swinging at Columbia Journalism Review.
Another example is corporate/controlled media incandescent when its self appropriated prestige and authority is challenged.

Posted by: Melaleuca | Feb 5 2023 21:29 utc | 37


It's odd alright, But its par for the course for fascists like Bennett. Its what Israelis do with opponents. cf Arafat.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 5 2023 21:31 utc | 38

And the balloon incident just so happened to coincide with one of China's major cultural events--the Lantern Festival--as this photo shows quite well. The symbolism will not be lost on 1.4 billion Chinese while utterly ignorant westerners will continue to have no clue as to the great mistake they just made.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 5 2023 21:41 utc | 39

Microplastics found in human veins
Published: 5 Feb 2023 | 18:50 GMT

Five distinct types of microplastic were discovered in samples taken from the saphenous (leg) veins of patients undergoing heart bypass surgery.

“We already know microplastics are in blood…but it was not clear whether they could cross blood vessels into vascular tissue and this work would suggest they can do just that.”

researchers found an average concentration of 15 particles of plastic per gram of vein tissue, similar to or higher than the levels found in lung and colon tissue

The most common types of plastic found in the samples include alkyd resin, which is found in synthetic paints and varnishes; polyvinyl acetate, an adhesive used in food packaging and shipping; nylon, and EVOH-EVA, used for food packaging and watertight lamination.

By some estimates, 15 tons of plastic waste enters Earth’s oceans every minute, breaking down into smaller particles and entering the body through the food chain and through the air people breathe.


Posted by: Vikichka | Feb 5 2023 21:43 utc | 40

@james | Feb 5 2023 20:51 utc | 35

"he basically says the idea of denazification means killing zelensky, or the leader... this is bennetts interpretation of the russian smo with regard to denazification.. i find that odd..."

Killing Zelensky would just make him a martyr for Ukrainian Nationalists. Especially with time and some quality fantasy based history. (Check some of the comments on topics here to see the results of that.) If Russia is successful letting him live just makes him a sad, inaffectual, loser (with a big pile of money). Putin knows that as well as anybody, IMO. The real danger to his life is from 'friends of the West' with Western media blaming Putin for his death in any case.

Posted by: Another James | Feb 5 2023 21:47 utc | 41

Rumor has it, and this is just a rumor, but apparently this shows what is at the bottom of the balloons.
Sorry that is such a long link, but I suspect there is some truth to it.

Posted by: Buffalo_Ken | Feb 5 2023 22:09 utc | 42

james #35

I find Bennett to be a lying, scheming fascist. He would say anything anytime without any truth in it. Oddity evaporates with that understanding.

Why would Russia want to prematurely kill the person who will ultimately capitulate and be the representative of the lost nazi cause or be murdered by his own clan the day prior.

The optics are extraordinary - Zelensky grovels for peace on behalf of bandera nazis in Ukraine! Now that is too good an outcome to spoil and I can't wait to see the smile on Lavrov.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 5 2023 22:10 utc | 43

Buffalo_Ken #42


At first I thought it was Hunter B or even Epstein but then I read the comments.

Good one.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 5 2023 22:13 utc | 44

This is the thing I respect about Russia and China. Their diplomats, when they say something, it is something with merit.
Contrast that with the dimwit diplomats from the west - tis all a shame.
I'd rather share a drink with a diplomat wise, then hang out with a dimwit blinking fool knows not the number to toes on their own foot.

Posted by: Buffalo_Ken | Feb 5 2023 22:14 utc | 45

I meant to say number "of" toes....if you didn't get that.
I got 5 on each foot and total number of toes is 10.
I got 8 fingers and two thumbs.
I swear the dimwit diplomats from the west, are so clueless they can't even read the writing on the wall, and I'm concerned that that spells trouble for me and my kin, but I'm ready.
I hope you are.
I put faith in those who speak with dignity and who have merit. I trust they will make good choices, but the future is uncertain and just like a balloon in the wind......the fate of the west must be in the hands of others and I hope they realize not everybody ascribes to bad ideas and we know the difference.
I pray for Peace but I know about Odessa. I know and I know I'm not alone.
Take that for what you will, but the balloon flew over my head real close and I wished it well, but it got shot down by dimwits, so clueless, but not all of us are.
Better times beckon one way or the other.
Justified Retribution is called upon, and I say that with no ill will.
Justice must be served.

Posted by: Buffalo_Ken | Feb 5 2023 22:18 utc | 46

bevin | Feb 5 2023 21:31 utc | 38 and @ uncle tungsten | Feb 5 2023 22:10 utc | 43

thanks guys.. you're both right.. i figured it out on the ukraine open thread.. here is what i said @91 - ''it makes no sense, but after watching and listening to much of the naftali bennett interview, i realize this is also bennetts thinking - you take out leaders you don't like or want in power... bennetts thinking is the same boneheaded thinking that seems to drive usa thinking... it is really f@king dumb... so that is why bennett in the video is kind of surprised with putins response on not taking out zelensky.."

now for something more fun...
brad mehldau playing i am the walrus..

Posted by: james | Feb 5 2023 22:20 utc | 47

In response to uncle tungsten
I think I have seen you around, but I think it was hunter in his diaper at the bottom of the balloons....cause I think I've seen that image elsewhere from the data taken off the laptop that he callously dropped off at a place where the proprietor actually had some principle.
Whatever, it is just a meme, but the whole balloon situation is so telling - it is so pathetic. Makes me embarrassed to live here, but I can live with embarrassment because it is easier to live with than indignity. Indignity does not go away. It only gets stronger day by day until justice is served.

Posted by: Buffalo_Ken | Feb 5 2023 22:26 utc | 48

@ Another James | Feb 5 2023 21:47 utc | 41

thanks.. i agree with you fully..

Posted by: james | Feb 5 2023 22:29 utc | 49

RE: The balloon posing a danger to civilian/commercial aviation:

Commercial flight typically at FL 33 to FL 40

Not many, if any, commercial grade hardware certified at higher altitudes.

Balloon at ~ 66,000ft as reported by US Government sources

Where was the alleged anticipated conflict??

What flights are/were endangered with a 26000 foot vertical separation???

Note that the 'highways in the sky' are directional and vertical separation between east moving and west moving is 1000 vertical feet... one 26th of the separation existing with a ballon at 66,000 feet

The assertion that air space at that balloon altitude is sovereign territory is balderdash and not supported by ANY treaty or internationally established convention.

Posted by: DoesItReallyMatter | Feb 5 2023 23:16 utc | 50

Patrick Lawrence just dropped his piece on BalloonGate and agreed it is a psyop to justify new military occupations in the Philippines, a newly militarized Japan, and coming war with China.

Everyday I see dwindling hope for the human species, as these stupid people seem intent on nuclear annihilation. They are incapable of seeing outside their little box, as they are paid so well not to do so.

Posted by: Michael.j | Feb 5 2023 23:19 utc | 51

The 2024 US presidential election campaign could be graced with nice balloons.

And much laughter.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 5 2023 23:21 utc | 52

I find Bennett to be a lying, scheming fascist. He would say anything anytime without any truth in it. Oddity evaporates with that understanding.

Why would Russia want to prematurely kill the person who will ultimately capitulate and be the representative of the lost nazi cause or be murdered by his own clan the day prior.

The optics are extraordinary - Zelensky grovels for peace on behalf of bandera nazis in Ukraine! Now that is too good an outcome to spoil and I can't wait to see the smile on Lavrov.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 5 2023 22:10 utc | 43

Bennet is a hyper-militaristic and hyper-nationalistic, fascist is a fair label. He would definitely not give an interview without an agenda, and he has two plausible motivations here: (a) Israel First, by crossing the Rubicon of arms to Ukraine he endangers Israel by further increasing military cooperation of Iran and Russia, with possible acceleration of buildup of air defences both in Iran and Syria etc. To a militarist like Bennet -- and he actually has military experience and a brain -- this is a nightmare, (b) personal hatred of Netanyahu, like Lieberman he started political life under Netanyahu tutelage, and judging of the number of Likud alumni, Netanyahu husband and wife are very disagreeable, former followers tend to hate him.

While repulsive, I have no reason to think that he lies more than a usual Western politician, or that he is a compulsive liar. He would need to have agenda to lie that the West pressured Ukraine to abandon possible peaceful resolution, and that Boris was the focus of that effort, Biden himself rather undecided (until Blinken and other helpers explained him 50 times what to do).

The tidbit about NOT ASSASSINATING Zelensky is actually a joke, IMHO, one can have plausible speculations on that.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 5 2023 23:28 utc | 53

@ uncle tungsten | Feb 5 2023 23:21 utc | 52

i can now see the next usa election rallies having them a slew of them being released with all the unintended consequences...

Posted by: james | Feb 5 2023 23:28 utc | 54

DoesItReallyMatter #50

Thank you. Precisely that. There is no hiding place for these philistines.

May the Philippine revolution start asap. Another Marcos to chuck out, boots and all.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 5 2023 23:36 utc | 55

@9 Opport Knocks

Of course they knew it was a weather balloon. Or else they would not have waited till it had finished its mission and presumably beamed all its collected data to whoever was waiting to receive it before shooting it down. They'd have eliminated it on sight, no matter what the risk to anybody on the ground.

That they shot it down with a missile argues strongly that they didn't want anyone to be able to prove that it was a weather balloon, as well.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Feb 5 2023 23:39 utc | 56

Weather balloons are cheap and mass produced. If the electronics onboard is for weather monitoring only, the missile used to shoot it down would cost over 1000 times more than the entire thing, that's not even counting the cost of scrambling the planes.

If it's indeed a weather balloon, it's a self-correcting problem.

Posted by: Sid Victor Cattoni | Feb 5 2023 23:46 utc | 57

@DoesItReallyMatter -

Yes, I understand that the balloon was at about 60K feet in altitude, but because there was nobody controlling or closely monitoring it, it could have been subject to conditions that caused it to drop down significantly, including into range of commercial aviation. That said, I agree with your username/handle: Does it really matter? Nah, in the end it didn't matter where they shot it down, just that they used it as a huge propaganda exercise.

For the rest of the thread -

Which begins thusly:

So a few days ago the U.S. House of Representatives, in a very bipartisan vote, approved a resolution denouncing the horrors of socialism — the resolution being just a list of said horrors that included among them an impressive bodycount of 100,000,000. That’s a hundred million, if by chance you got tripped up by all the zeroes. In the concluding paragraph the resolution boldly stated: “Congress denounces socialism in all its forms, and opposes the implementation of socialist policies in the United States of America.”

Yeah, in all its forms. Including, I guess, things like Medicare, Social Security, the U.S. Armed Forces.

It’s funny how this resolution played out. It appears that the incoming Republican majority tried to play “gotcha” with the hardcore far-leftists of the Democratic Party, with people like Adam Schiff. They thought: “We’ll put out a resolution denouncing the evils of socialism. And because these depraved communists will never vote to denounce their own depraved socialist beliefs, they’ll be forced to reveal themselves to the American people, showing just how un-American they are! It’s genius!”

Well, it didn’t really work.

A majority of Democrats voted for the resolution — they voted for it even though the final text was, as I pointed out above, totally maximalist. Republicans refused to include denunciation carve-outs for popular programs like Social Security and Medicare and the Veterans Administration. And they also refused to add any language denouncing Nazis. The Nazis had nationalist or whatever before the socialist part, so National Socialism is a-ok!

A slight Democratic majority voted for thing, anyway: 109 YAYS vs 86 NEYS.

I didn’t go through the list methodically. But for me one of the funniest votes came from Ro Khanna, a Congressman repping a chunk of Silicon Valley. He voted yes to condemn socialism in “all its forms” — despite endorsing Bernie Sanders, a Democratic Socialist, for President and despite being an early proponent of Medicare For All.


Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Feb 5 2023 23:57 utc | 58

Last thing about the stupid balloon: It wasn't a typical 'weather balloon' as it was supposedly the size of "three school buses"....FWIW

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Feb 6 2023 0:00 utc | 59

I haven’t searched but does anyone know who owns this China balloon? Mainland China or Taiwan China? State-owned or private?

I probably shouldn’t ask this but - Montana is kind of close to the Canadian border. Could the Canadian side have picked up intelligence from this thing? (Where there’s smoke, sometimes there is something, even if it’s an innocuous laughable Canadian something.)

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Feb 6 2023 0:34 utc | 60

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Feb 5 2023 23:39 utc | 56:

That they shot it down with a missile argues strongly that they didn't want anyone to be able to prove that it was a weather balloon, as well.

Nah! They shot it down because they know that's what their citizenry wants. Empire's citizenry has become so insecure and jealous of China that they need this kind of silly theatrics to fool themselves that the Empire is still numero uno. It's a symptom of the head being in the sand, or another one of such ghastly episode of playing who'll chicken out first.

The Empire's handlers, and its citizenry, are yelling loud: "this is what we do. What you gonna do???" One of these days, their call will be answered.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Feb 6 2023 0:38 utc | 61

IMO the fact that even barflies are still discussing the balloon more than two days past it's use by/best before demonstrates that this was a successful distraction- disinfo exercise.
So much more has happened this weekend, not just the bennet fired attempt at distracting corporate media away from occupied Palestine's 100% selfish moves vis a vis ukraine/Russia but also revelations concerning the inevitable collapse of Artyomovsk and obscuring Matt Taibbi's pushback following the release of the CJR report highlighted here earlier in the week. Taibbi featured in several podcasts over the weekend culminating in he and Walter Kirn discussing it in All the President's Mice an excellent listen.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Feb 6 2023 0:46 utc | 62

IMO the fact that even barflies are still discussing the balloon more than two days past it's use by/best before demonstrates that this was a successful distraction- disinfo exercise.
So much more has happened this weekend, not just the bennet fired attempt at distracting corporate media away from occupied Palestine's 100% selfish moves vis a vis ukraine/Russia but also revelations concerning the inevitable collapse of Artyomovsk and obscuring Matt Taibbi's pushback following the release of the CJR report highlighted here earlier in the week. Taibbi featured in several podcasts over the weekend culminating in he and Walter Kirn discussing it in All the President's Mice an excellent listen.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Feb 6 2023 0:46 utc | 63

@karlof1, #36:

I disagree that China would be concerned about its large dollar nominated foreign debt being used against it in diplomacy. It's not up to the Empire to acknowledge unilaterally whether China owns $XXX of US treasury bills. China too has an entry in its accounting books.

The thing about foreign reserve is whether there is an immediate need for using it. If so, then cash in and use it. If not, then invest it in instrument that's safe and high yielding. The reason China hasn't held a large amount of Ruble as reserve is because of Ruble's unattractiveness as an investment: high inflation in Russia and low economic growth. But now, China will divert much more into Ruble, not due to economic reasons but because of geopolitics. They are willing to pay such price now.

As for the Empire forsaking its debt, if it has the biggest pat militarily, sure it can go rogue at its own whims. But if the debtor is in possession of equal might, the Empire won't be able to get away with it. This actually applies to the Russian reserve funds that the west has unilaterally declared voided. It's not up to them to say so and have it stick. It will be returned, plus interest and perhaps penalties, as the dusts settle. I'm sure of it.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Feb 6 2023 0:55 utc | 64

@ #64, I meant bat, not pat.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Feb 6 2023 0:56 utc | 65

Posted by: Buffalo_Ken | Feb 5 2023 22:09 utc | 42

This direct link itself works:

A URL is made up of these parts: scheme :// domain / path ? query-parameters

In the long link Buffalo Ken posted, scheme = https, domain =, path = NikkiSomething/status/bunchofnumbers, and the query parameters are ref=...

Query parameters provide additional information to the website serving the URL. For sites like Twitter, Facebook and "news" outlets, query parameters are invariably used to track who saw what, forwarded to whom, who else the recipients forwarded the links to and so on.

Posted by: Another Brother Ma | Feb 6 2023 1:47 utc | 66

LMAO, 3 USN warships searching for the balloon wreckage now.

US is really owning Chairman Xi will all that $$$ and effort spent to cover their fake spy claim built around a $300 weather balloon.

Posted by: JW | Feb 6 2023 1:51 utc | 67

Posted by: Debsisdead | Feb 6 2023 0:46 utc | 63

Unfortunately that particular Taibbi link is for paid subscribers only. He was mentioned in the CJR report in a positive light. What do you mean by pushing back on it?

Could you tell us a little more about what they say in that podcast or whatever it's called episode?

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Feb 6 2023 2:04 utc | 68

[Note: frequent line breaks inserted to avoid the reader's having to scroll horizontally.]

So a few days ago the U.S. House of Representatives, in a very bipartisan vote, approved a resolution
denouncing the horrors of socialism

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Feb 5 2023 23:57 utc | 58

I took a peek at the text of House Concurrent Resolution 9
to see whether "socialism" was even defined. No surprise to me that it isn't, although
copious examples (of whatever accuracy) are given.

With no apparent acknowledgement of the irony, the bill included the following passages:

Whereas the author of the Declaration of Independence, President Thomas Jefferson, wrote,
“To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has
acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised
equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the
guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.”;

Whereas the “Father of the Constitution”, President James Madison, wrote that it “is not
a just government, nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has in his
personal safety and personal liberty, is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of
citizens for the service of the rest”;

Posted by: David Levin | Feb 6 2023 2:04 utc | 69

Posted by: David Levin | Feb 6 2023 2:04 utc | 69

Yeah they didn't even define it, just went down a long list of atrocities and body counts that they decided to attribute to it.
Pretty fucking silly, TBH.

Yasha Levine also went on to say that the text of the bill (other than what you quoted I guess) was pulled directly from this group that calls
themselves "Victims of Communism Society" or something like that. He writes of having attended one of their events.

It's pretty funny.


For the past two days I’ve been sitting through various similar panels exploring similar themes. There was one talking about the need for countries to truly and honestly account for their communist crimes. There was another where various experts talked about the dire need to educate today’s American youth about the horrors of communism. The panel’s moderator — who, according his bio, was the chairman of the Russian Ball, where a bunch of Americans cosplay aristocratic White Russian emigres — was horrified at recent polls showing that young people in America hate capitalism more than communism. On that same panel, a Russian human rights activist, speaking through an interpreter, talked about how much worse the Soviets were than the Nazis. “At least the Nazis didn’t kill their own,” she said. They didn’t? I scratched my head at that one. Guess she agreed with the Nazis that German Jews weren’t really German. I mean, come on? Who thinks Jews are anything but Jews? And I guess all the other Germans that the Nazis murdered wholesale — the queer, the handicapped — weren’t German, either?

But what was I complaining about? A Russian woman whitewashing Nazi genocide to a bunch of Americans — that’s exactly the kind of premium content I expected to see at an event put on by the Victims of Communism Foundation. It’s why I made the long trip to DC from the capitalist kommunalka my wife and I were sharing with two other people in Brooklyn at the time.

What is the Victims of Communism Foundation? A fascism appreciation society — that’s about as well as I could describe it. It was conjured out of the void by a unanimous, bipartisan act of Congress and signed into existence by President Bill Clinton. It’s backed and funded by a bunch of American oligarchs and their various foundations — Charles Koch is the biggest name, but there are others. There’s a big reactionary and fascist Eastern European and Balkan emigre presence, not to mention some straight up Nazi symps. And it’s all tied very closely into America’s spooky imperial influence apparatus.

Since being set up in 1993, it’s main function has been to praise capitalism, promote reactionary immigrants from around the world, gloat about the vanquishing of the Soviet state, and spread propaganda about communism being the most evil ideology known to man — much more more evil than even the most evil, the Nazis. Communism racked up the biggest body count in human history. It’s killed approximately 100 trillion people. That’s what the all the capitalist-funded fellows at Victims of Communism say!

Honestly it wouldn't surprise me to learn there are literal Azov among that bunch.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Feb 6 2023 2:27 utc | 70

David, I think once the thread has expanded due to the first comment that stretches the screen, it doesn't do any good to insert line breaks thereafter. At least on my phone and PC. Maybe others have different experiences.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Feb 6 2023 2:30 utc | 71

re Debsisdead | Feb 6 2023 0:46 utc | 63
Yeah sure altho I'm pretty certain that the audio podcast is still listenable to non-subs though the video is non-viewable to non-subs. I just tested it finding that to be the case.
I didn't go into too much detail because right at the start Taibbi says how angry he is at the media's reaction to the CJR p[iece in particular David Korn at Mother Jones' description of Gert's work being a fail.
Try and listen by clicking the play arrow if it still doesn't work I'll upload it somewhere so you can listen.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Feb 6 2023 2:49 utc | 72

re :Tom_Q_Collins | Feb 6 2023 2:04 utc | 68
is what should kick off the last post.
The entire podcast is more than an hour and is very entertaining which is why I'm reluctant to try and recap it. I'm also reluctant to post the vid as Taibbi has been cast on the outer since he rejected russiagate and isn't a huge corporation worthy of the "yarr me hearties" treatment.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Feb 6 2023 2:54 utc | 73

Posted by: Debsisdead | Feb 6 2023 2:54 utc | 73

No worries and thanks. I'll try it again w/ the link you posted from a different browser when I'm back at home.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Feb 6 2023 3:00 utc | 74

Vikichka | Feb 5 2023 21:43 utc | 40
like that rain forest thing, they are working on it. stop being such a negative nellie, major bringdown, and subcommandante mood kill, all in one post! isn't tom brady back in the superbowl???

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Feb 6 2023 3:25 utc | 75

Nobody | Feb 5 2023 19:37 utc | 29
jesus, nothing new under the sun, not even in the history of balloons threatening the US?

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Feb 6 2023 3:40 utc | 76

I’m curious, can earthquakes be generated by humans? I’m wondering about Turkey, and the 7.8 quake this morning. The Western embassies last week were recommending their citizens to leave Turkey as it was not safe. Could they have had foreknowledge?

Posted by: Moses22 | Feb 6 2023 3:46 utc | 77

Oh no, the diversionary balloon in the sky, but, ‘Don’t Look Up,’ because the meteor of nuclear annihilation might hit you.

Balloon, Squirrel

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Feb 6 2023 3:54 utc | 78

thanks debs... i can listen to the audio file on the link..

Posted by: james | Feb 6 2023 4:17 utc | 79

Moses22 @ 77:

Turkey happens to sit on a geologically active part of the planet. Three major tectonic plates (African, Arabian, Eurasian) and two minor plates (Aegean, Anatolian) converge in the area where Turkey sits. Istanbul in particular is at risk of a big earthquake because of its high population density. While some human activities like fracking could cause or contribute to minor earthquakes in some parts of the world, an earthquake registering 7.8 Richter is more likely to be caused by active tectonic forces.

The recent Quran-burning incidents in Denmark and Sweden, and Turkey's refusal to go along with US and EU sanctions on Russia are more likely to be the reason for Western embassies issuing travel warnings to tourists. In the case of Turkey thumbing its nose at the West, the security warnings could be a form of psychological warfare to disrupt the tourism industry in the country.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 6 2023 4:18 utc | 80

The republicans?
I hope you’re being sarcastic.
Cuz every single one of them, republicans or democrats,
Are in bed with global corporations and MIC.

Just in case you’ve missed it (for shits and giggles):
Republicans no rikey Chyna. Chyna Bad. Taking all our jobs.
Democrats ruv China. Makey big boom boom with Asia.

That’s the message, if you want to play that game.
Or you can be contrarian. You do you.

Posted by: Boba Fett | Feb 6 2023 4:22 utc | 81

@ Jen | Feb 6 2023 4:18 utc | 80

my take.. that is definitely to disrupt the tourism industry in turkey... hands down.. they are trying to put the screws on turkey..

Posted by: james | Feb 6 2023 4:25 utc | 82


I don’t like your posts.
To esoteric, passive aggressive and depressing
Could you stop, please?

Posted by: Bad baby | Feb 6 2023 4:32 utc | 83

Posted by: Debsisdead | Feb 6 2023 2:54 utc | 73

Welp, I checked and only the first ~30 minutes are free to listen to. Skimmed through and don't think they got to the David Corn part yet.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Feb 6 2023 4:53 utc | 84

you know... at one point in my life i thought mother jones was hip... my how my perspective has changed over the years..

Posted by: james | Feb 6 2023 4:53 utc | 85

Below is a link to a posting about Covid so don't know if it will show or get stuck in limbo

Evidently Scott Adams of Dilbert fame is changing his mind about Covid and will likely influence others

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 6 2023 5:20 utc | 86

Posted by: james | Feb 6 2023 4:17 utc | 79

james, are you sure you can access the whole length of the podcast episode from that link? I am only allowed to listen to about 30 min as a non-paying subscriber.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Feb 6 2023 2:54 utc | 73

No need for you to upload it anywhere if you can confirm that it's worth $5 and a month sub to Taibbi's TK News or Racket or whatever it's called now. I'll just cancel after the first month if so.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Feb 6 2023 5:31 utc | 87

@ Tom_Q_Collins | Feb 6 2023 5:31 utc | 87

tom.. i am the same as you.. i can only access the first 30 minutes.. cheers..

Posted by: james | Feb 6 2023 5:33 utc | 88

@86 psychohistorian | Feb 6 2023 5:20 utc

Thank you. That's a very compelling history, showing many of the lies concerning the pandemic, and showing many of the truths.

The mainstream will not publish it, but I don't care. This is the tree that falls in the forest, and no one in the straight world hears it, but those of us attuned to reality hear it anyway, even if we weren't there.

The evidence is so much more overwhelming than the lies, I don't know what it will take to overturn the lying narratives, diminishingly flimsy as they are.

But we are in a conversation happening among the survivors. It will be a survivor culture that eventuates. And that's a whole new world that hasn't even been described yet, so I don't want to be the first to draw its outline.

We are entering into a survivor culture...

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 6 2023 6:28 utc | 89

My take on the "Spy Balloon is. It was tracked identified and classified long before it hit the Alaska shores. They have advanced radar installations and Air force bases all over up there in the north. With plenty of f22 Raptors to shoot darts at floaty things way up high.
Russia is just a few miles across the Bering straight. Tensions are a little high these days between Us and them. If the so called "Spy Balloon was a threat. It would have been taken out over the Pacific. But instead it was allowed to continue along its merry way south until it crossed the US border Where it entered into an place we call Clown World.
So I will tighten up the chin strap on my tin foil ,helmet and say that the instrument package dandling down. Was a ground penetrating radar looking for underground UFO bases.

Posted by: Golddiggr | Feb 6 2023 6:47 utc | 90

Posted by: james | Feb 6 2023 5:33 utc | 88

Thanks james for confirming. Always good to know whether different users in different places have the same experience. Cheers as well...

As alluded to in my reply to debsisdead, I may just bite the bullet and subscribe for a month to Taibbi's substack to hear it. It's only $5 for one month. Which makes me think - in addition to being a major wuss on the #MeToo thing, the dude is banking big time (he conveniently deleted the reference to "I Can't Breathe" from his profile once he started getting rightie subscribers). He hasn't really written anything of substantial length on Wall Street or policing in a long time and he's utterly silent on Julian Assange, not to mention the Israeli settler colonialists. Matt knows he isn't welcome on MSDNC and CNN anymore so he's definitely trying to keep the right hand side open.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Feb 6 2023 6:50 utc | 91

I want to know why the balloon was shot down by an expensive missile when I am told a bullet or two would have done it?

I posit it is all a Wag The Dog story filler to stoke hate against China and take focus off empire disintegration crazy.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 6 2023 6:57 utc | 92

Posted by: james | Feb 6 2023 4:25 utc | 82

Had not seen this post but I definitely agree. Totally about putting the screws to that dog Erdogan and Turkey in any way they can so that there are no objections to Finland-Sweden joining NATO....among other desired outcomes.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Feb 6 2023 7:02 utc | 93

re Tom_Q_Collins | Feb 6 2023 5:31 utc | 87
I cannot stress too much that Taibbi is worth the $5 per month substack subscription mind you I was almost on the verge of complaining to him about not having heard from him or Kirn for 10 days when as per usual they hit in outta the park with this. The vid is even better than the pod as we see their expressions.
Since the twitter files thing Taibbi has only been posting once or twice a week rather than the usual 2 or 3 posts but they are worth it. Twitter files makes it so really.

Last year when I whinged in here about Greenwald and Taibbi calling the Dims leftish I was close to cancelling, I cancelled Greenwald who has been unrepentant but Taibbi has explained the difference on occasion.
I have ditched Jacobin and now Counterpunch for their crimes against us all but unfortunately theirs are annual subscriptions still running down which is why in the unlikely event if either do have anything worth knowing behind their paywalls before they run out I will post them.

I completely understand the shit Taibbi has been wearing from arseholes he once called his friends my interaction with Paul Street and even Chris Floyd of Counterpunch leaves me in no doubt about what lying hypocritical pieces of shit so many of those self-described 'marxist' journalists are. They are bourgeois to the tips of their $300 sandals and will happily publically screw over anyone in order to stay onside with the ptb.
That conversation between Matt Taibbi and Chris Hedges (posted by someone in the last open thread) describes some of the shit Taibbi went through when he decided he couldn't support russiagate. He was forced outta Rolling Stone judging by what he intimated. Hedges said "Don't worry happens to the best of us lookit Seymour Hersh who cannot get published in amerika any more" Matt blanched a bit at that - you can't blame him for wanting to feed his family & I doubt he'll do a Street or Floyd so please sign up if you can.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Feb 6 2023 7:02 utc | 94

Posted by: Debsisdead | Feb 6 2023 7:02 utc | 94

Thanks for the long and detailed response. I'm with you on Greenwald, although he's been good on Ukraine and Brazil, but he's totally gone down that American right wing culture wars path (and I've got very good beefs with him on withholding some leaked docs that would have proven American involvement in Syrian headchopping much earlier). It's all about the Benjamins.

I'll go ahead and subscribe to Taibbi again on your recommendation. I happen to think polemicists like Paul Street can have value, but he's off the deep end on Trump still. Was also VERY disappointed in the (I think?) Chris Floyd piece on Counterpunch+ that was so pathetic it makes me think the guy's now on life support.

The article says nothing and circles slowly down the drain. Like you, I'm extremely disappointed with CF after years of reading Empire Burlesque. Maybe CP is paying him by the word, but why put THAT behind the CP+ paywall (my membership was canceled last year but is still good through March so if you want me to I can post the entirety of it here).

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Feb 6 2023 7:13 utc | 95

@ psychohistorian | Feb 6 2023 6:57 utc | 92
"I want to know why the balloon was shot down by an expensive missile when I am told a bullet or two would have done it?"

Its called Shock and Awe.

Posted by: Golddiggr | Feb 6 2023 7:13 utc | 96

OK I found The Consortium News vid posted by a discerning poster (H/T) a coupla days back, it features Matt Taibbi John Kiriakou ( I have a concern about him but he is fine here) Chris Hedges plus the consortium team. Well worth a watch for those interested in the way mass media is unconcerned about deceiving their customers.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Feb 6 2023 7:18 utc | 97

"I want to know why the balloon was shot down by an expensive missile when I am told a bullet or two would have done it?"

Its called Shock and Awe.
Posted by: Golddiggr | Feb 6 2023 7:13 utc | 96

Well, good luck getting a shot with a cheap bullet or two at 60,000 feet, but whatever I guess. Frankly I'm surprised the US military has any missile inventory left after shipping everything else off to the Ukraine bloodpump/moneyhole.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Feb 6 2023 7:23 utc | 98

Did someone (or b) post this earlier?

Again, the Chinese are able to bail them out by getting a remarkably forgiving American government to persuade the Baja Californians to implement another ceasefire, and again negotiate in the same format as before.

Another agreement, similar to the first one, is reached. Both sides are to de-militarize their borders, removing heavy weapons. A detailed process to negotiate autonomy for Baja, but still within the Mexican state, is set out.

The Mexicans almost immediately violate this agreement.

They not only fail to remove heavy weapons, they commence shelling of the main Baja city of Tijuana. The attacks are brutal, random, and clearly terroristic, with no military value whatsoever.

They also do nothing to implement the agreements to move towards Baja’s autonomy within Mexico. If anything, they appear to have only made the agreements to pull their army’s chestnuts out of the fire, negotiating in complete bad faith. Later, it is revealed that their Chinese and Russian supporters knew this, and similarly were negotiating in bad faith, in the hope that the Mexicans would have time to become militarily strong enough to solve the problem brutally, with force.

For eight years, this situation drags on. Mexican shelling kills thousands in Baja, the vast majority civilians- men, women, and children. The Chinese and Russians do nothing to stop this, and instead pump Mexico full of weapons, spies, and military instructors. There are rumors that they even set up biological weapon labs to develop pathogens to be used against the United States.

And the objective of the Chinese clearly has little or anything to do with guaranteeing Mexican territorial sovereignty, or the good of the Mexican people, but is instead to threaten, weaken and destabilize the United States (or even better- break it up), and build military infrastructure to support attacks on the US proper.

In this scenario, does anyone in their right mind think the United States would have tolerated this for eight years? Or that they would not have been justified, after years of trying to peacefully resolve the situation, in choosing a military solution?

From a new-ish Substack account that my browser will not allow me to find again.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Feb 6 2023 7:25 utc | 99

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Feb 6 2023 3:25 utc | 75

1. You make no sense.
2. You are arrogant.

Posted by: Vikichka | Feb 6 2023 7:39 utc | 100

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