Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 20, 2023

Open (Not Ukraine) Thread 2023-95

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

Posted by b on April 20, 2023 at 15:22 UTC | Permalink

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China and Russia planning to take military alliance to a whole new level.


Posted by: Dave Oneil | Apr 20 2023 15:28 utc | 1

As long as they are f*cking the West, this is a good thing, right?

Posted by: Noam A. Larkey | Apr 20 2023 15:44 utc | 2

The Musk rocket: TH;DF : Too Heavy; Didn't Fly

Too bad we don't have Gordog to explain what failed, but he predicted it. With 33 single point of failure engines, it was a very low probability of success.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 20 2023 15:50 utc | 3

From Sputnik:

NATO Says Aiding Ukraine Cost $165Bln in Military Funding Since Early 2022

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg estimates that the price of military assistance to Ukraine has topped 150 billion euros ($165 billion) since February 2022, the alliance said on Thursday.

"The Secretary General underlined that NATO Allies have delivered more than 150 billion euros of support to Ukraine since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022," the NATO statement read.
NATO countries have trained tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and are delivering "more jets, tanks, and armoured vehicles" to Ukraine as it prepares for a counteroffensive, Stoltenberg, who arrived in Kiev on Thursday for talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said.

Stoltenberg reiterated that Ukraine’s place was in NATO but gave no timeline for its accession. He said this would be made possible "over time" and assured Zelenskyy that the alliance was with Ukraine for the long haul to help it transition to NATO standards and ensure its full interoperability with allies.

Well, I look at this figure, then I look around my nation and see medical staff striking for a decent pay rise to catch up on their losses to inflation, I see potholed roads, I see 5-year-old trains on my main railway route to London falling apart already and I wonder “What exactly NATO are supposed to be fighting for with all this money?” I’m not impressed by the return on investment so far.

As for Ukraine having a place in NATO, Mr. Stoltenberg should book himself onto the next SpaceX flight.

Posted by: West of England Andy | Apr 20 2023 16:02 utc | 4

Comets bring bad luck

There is much speculation about the celestial event above Kiev last night at 21:57. Ukrainians claimed that it was a NASA research satellite, evidently RHESSI, which was scheduled to enter the Earth's atmosphere on Wednesday. We now know it was not RHESSI.

NASA Retired Solar Energy Imager Spacecraft to Reenter Atmosphere - April 20, 2023

NASA’s retired Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) spacecraft re-entered Earth’s atmosphere at 8:21 p.m. EST on Wednesday, April 19, almost 21 years after its launch. From 2002 to its decommissioning in 2018, RHESSI observed solar flares from its low-Earth orbit, helping scientists understand the underlying physics of how such powerful bursts of energy are created.

The Department of Defense confirmed that the 660-pound spacecraft re-entered the atmosphere over the Sahara Desert region, at approximately 26 degrees longitude and 21.3 degrees latitude. NASA expected most of the spacecraft to burn up as it traveled through the atmosphere, but for some components to survive re-entry.

I do not think the object was a satellite, but a meteor. It caused a bolide, a flash of light brighter than the full moon. The dashcam video are very similar to the ones of the Chelyabinsk bolide of 2013. (My playlist)

Although the event has nothing to do with the war, it may effect its outcome. In medieval times comets were seen as harbingers of catastrophes and bad luck. Maybe religious people will see the Kiev Meteor as an omen and a warning. Something perhaps related to the Bandera worshippers attack on the Orthodox Christian Church?

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Apr 20 2023 16:10 utc | 5

As if the flight test was not exciting enough, Starship experienced a rapid unscheduled disassembly before stage separation

"rapid unscheduled disassembly" 😀 - a euphemism for the whole West.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 20 2023 16:11 utc | 6

It is 420 day here in the states, where we celebrate the usage of "Lucky Strike Green".

Smoke 'em if you got 'em.

Posted by: BroncoBilly | Apr 20 2023 16:18 utc | 7


Protesters have invaded Euronext, the Paris Stock Exchange at La Défense against pension reform 🚨 🚨 🚨

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 20 2023 16:50 utc | 8

@6, Petrie Krohn, ala the red comet in Game of Thrones?

Posted by: Immaculate deception | Apr 20 2023 17:11 utc | 9

RFK Jr’s announcement to stand for potus.

Will it do to the Dems what Trump did to the Republican Party?

There is some whiff that only a cleansing fire will save the USA.

Listening to the delayed launch and typical roaring and whooping as the launch faltered, then eventually took off, after Elon gave the go ahead for its destructive flight - non of that Mission Control was broadcast on the link I saw.

It seems that only the dissolution of the ‘States’ will stop the self destructive nature of a ‘United North America’. For their own future generations, they should really consider mutual conscious de-coupling instead of a fiery end to the doomed Exceptionalist Superiority Complex they seem to live in.

Posted by: DunGroanin | Apr 20 2023 17:15 utc | 10

In the last half of their most recent discussion, Hudson and Desai exchange views on how the dedollarized international system might function that IMO is very useful of which the following is only a small part:

MICHAEL HUDSON: Well I think you’re quite right about capital controls.

When I went to work in international finance in the 1960s, there were dual exchange rates. The IMF every month would publish the exchange rate for normal trade in goods and services, and a different exchange rate for capital transactions, for debt and investments.

So you had two exchange rates. And that’s because there were capital controls.

The United States, via the IMF, got rid of capital controls so that other countries could not protect themselves. Only the United States could protect itself. That’s the double standard.

Also, as we discussed before, Keynes wanted to solve this by something that is very interesting that the US fought like anything not to accept.

Keynes said, “How do you make an international financial system that is not going to be dominated by the strongest currency, by one currency swamping the others? In other words, how do we avoid the disaster and world depression that the United States has brought on?”

He said, “If one country continues to run a balance of payment surplus and has enormous claims on other countries, and other countries accumulate a deficit, we can’t let them just be painted into a corner or we’re going to be back to the position of Germany and France in the 1920s.”

The country that has the major currency has it because it’s refusing to import from other countries. It’s refusing to help create an international, equitable world order, and so the dominant currency’s claims will be written down.

Well of course the United States knew that Keynes was talking about the dollar that was going to grow.

But just imagine today if China could say, — We thought about the discussions that took place at the end of World War II shaping how the world financial system developed and, yes, I know that the US and NATO say, — Well China’s going to dominate the whole area and end up being another America.

Well, China can say, — We’re in agreement with Keynes’s principle. If we really get so many export surpluses and so many claims on the rest of the country that they can’t pay, of course we’re going to write it down in order to maintain stability.

Imagine if the United States had done this in 1945 and accepted what Keynes did. Imagine how the whole world’s development would have been different for the last 75 years.

That, I think, would be a great ploy by China.

The title of their discussion doesn't reflect its actual contents, but if you haven't read the transcript or listed to the podcast, it's well worth it as what's discussed you won't see or hear anywhere else.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 20 2023 17:27 utc | 11

TypePad's having one of its fits again and blocking comments with perfectly fine URLs it's always allowed, which is sure to compromise many.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 20 2023 17:30 utc | 12

@ Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 20 2023 16:11 utc | 7

I watched the video replay.

5 of 28 rocket motors did not work. That is an 18% reduction in power. From the video, it was obvious that the pattern for the failed motors wasn't symmetrical. Meaning unequal thrust, and additional guidance needed. In the 3 hr run up (I skipped most of it) I did catch a comment that the motors can pivot somewhat, using them for directional control as well as thrust. So software was trying to steer an unbalanced array of thrust. Despite that, all was good until...

Max Q. Maximum aerodynamic forces as it went through the sound barrier. To me it looked like it never successfully got into supersonic flight, meaning the forces stayed at a maximum for longer than anticipated. This is also a time of max drag, so less thrust, more drag, lots of vibration, control loops unbalanced...

Caused spiraling out of control, (sometimes pointing to the ground) and hence the destruct signal.

Posted by: BroncoBilly | Apr 20 2023 17:37 utc | 13

For those who thought RFKjr was going to be better, I have some bad news. This quote is from a speech he recently gave as reported by The Daily Mail paper whose link is being blocked:

'We are in Ukraine for the right reasons,' Kennedy also said. 'We are there because of our compassion for the Ukrainian people who've been brutalized, who've been illegally invaded.'

So, he's furthering the BigLie which would be a prerequisite for running as the D-party candidate. There appears to be more as some are reporting he also said this:

My own son Connor, I am very proud of him, joined the Foreign Legion and fought in Ukraine during the Kharkov offensive as a machine gunner in a special forces group.

I'll cross-post this to the Ukie thread to inform the greatest number of barflies.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 20 2023 17:50 utc | 14

Many thanks, karlof1. I know a number of people who still believe that JFK jr. would be one of the good guys. Good to know, and good to have the quotes.

Posted by: Konami | Apr 20 2023 17:59 utc | 15

@BroncoBilly | Apr 20 2023 17:37 utc | 13

Confirmed, I saw the same thing. I even told my son before the launch that the 33 engines (33 single points of failure) would likely lead to an unsuccessful launch. Little did I know they redefined failure to be successful and cheered it on. Clown world.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 20 2023 18:00 utc | 16

Yesterday, Putin held a meeting with the government that covered a very wide range of topics beginning with things occurring within the New Regions. I suggest for those interested to plug the URL into your favorite translation device, pour a beverage, and read--even the Kamchatka volcano's discussed. Perhaps of even greater interest is today's meeting of the Council for the Development of Local Self-Government, which is another very long two hour discussion where much can be learned about Russia's internal condition, where of course there's always room for improvement.

Today, Lavrov's in Cuba. Yesterday he was in Nicaragua and held a presser where he expanded on his remarks made in Caracas:

The parliaments and political parties of our countries are cooperating. Recently, at the initiative of Russia, an international conference was held - the first meeting of the international organizing committee of the Forum of Supporters of the Struggle against Modern Practices of Neocolonialism. It was attended by the party leaders of Nicaragua. In the autumn, the State Duma has scheduled to hold the first inter-parliamentary conference "Russia-Latin America". Nicaraguan parliamentarians will definitely take part in it. Today we have received such assurances.

We highly appreciate our Nicaraguan friends' active assistance in strengthening relations between the Russian Federation and integration structures in the region, primarily CELAC and CAIS. The activities of these organizations actively contribute to Latin America becoming an effective, influential center of the emerging multipolar world order.

Multipolarity is the imperative of the times, an objective historical process. There is no way to stop it. Although the "collective West", rallied under the umbrella of American "exceptionalism", is trying to do this. Attempts to assert their hegemony, to dictate to everyone and everything anywhere in the world are observed both in what is happening around Ukraine and in NATO's claims to the role of a global guarantor of security, including in the Asia-Pacific and a number of other regions of the world.

Together with Nicaragua and our other like-minded people, we will actively oppose this, draw attention to the inadmissibility of such behavior in the modern world, including within the framework of the Group of Friends in Defense of the UN Charter operating in New York, the very principles that the "collective West" grossly violates.

The Forum mentioned in the first cited paragraph was chaired by Dmitri Medvedev and is tailored to mesh with the joint initiatives of China and Russia.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 20 2023 18:38 utc | 17

@BroncoBilly | Apr 20 2023 17:37 utc | 13

FAA grounds SpaceX's Starship craft after explosion minutes into launch

The Federal Aviation Administration grounded SpaceX’s Starship rocket Thursday after it exploded minutes into lift off on its first test flight and crashed into the Gulf of Mexico.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 20 2023 18:44 utc | 18

President Steinmeier’s coming to Canada from April 23 to 26 with his wife. They will visit Ottawa, Ontario, Vancouver, BC, and Yellowknife and Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. Topics to address include democracies, economies, environment and Ukraine. Supposedly.

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Apr 20 2023 18:59 utc | 19

@Bruised Northerner | Apr 20 2023 18:59 utc | 19

So they will address these topics like blind men talk about colours...

Posted by: Roland | Apr 20 2023 19:20 utc | 20

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 20 2023 16:50 utc | 9

Despite the protests and calls for resignation wherever he goes in France,thisis Macron today:
"I am for democracy, that's why I participated in the elections. But I will not resign. I assure you, this will not happen. We will have to wait until 2027," the president said in a video broadcast by BFMTV.

Posted by: JB | Apr 20 2023 19:37 utc | 21

Interesting developments about the 9-11 terrorist attacks. It appears that the CIA was either duped by the terrorists or incited and orchestrated the attacks. If either is true, the American Deep State is in Deep Shit.

Posted by: Elmer Fudd | Apr 20 2023 19:48 utc | 22

Norwegian #4

There was no problem with the rocket being overweight. It obviously had enough thrust to lift off fully loaded. The rocket became lighter as it consumed propellent.

The multitude of engines should not present a risk of single point of failure. Multiple engines results in redundancy. The failure of one or two engines would not jeopardize the launch. The Raptor engine is well tested and proven in many previous launches. It was unlikely that even one engine would fail. The failure of six or more engines independently was extremely improbable to almost impossible.
I'll wait for the results of an investigation before offering an opinion. .

Posted by: Elmer Fudd | Apr 20 2023 19:58 utc | 23

Watching the news on the launch.

The multiple engine failures might not have been catostraphic. However; the Starship failed to separate from the booster.

To many things went wrong. I suspect sabotage.

Posted by: Elmer Fudd | Apr 20 2023 20:12 utc | 24

U.S. continues its Lawfare against China

Here is the DOJ indictment against two people for 'operating an illegal police station in NYC for the CCP'
1. The only activity they call it is the doxing of one dissident. There is no mention of an attempt to detain anyone.
2. The search warrant found phones, not jail cells or guns.

When someone says they are 'operating a police station', the first thing I think of is grabbing someone off the street and locking them in a room. The use of this phrase is designed to create an emotional response but is entirely false.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Apr 20 2023 20:17 utc | 25

@karlof1 14
@Konami 15

From that same Daily Mail article:

But Kennedy questioned the cost of supporting Kyiv.

'We have money for wars and we have money to bail [out] bankers,' he said. 'But what happens to American people who hit hard times?' he mused.

Not saying anything for certain and don't have feelings about him one way or the other, but I wouldn't take any quote at face value. Given how fragile his public image is already, adding a current taboo (critique of NATO support of Ukr) to his talking points would just be shooting himself in the foot. Even the slight "nuance" of bringing up foreign aid v domestic funds is probably enough for someone to call him a Russian Agent a la [NAME HETERODOX DEM]

Posted by: AlarmHz | Apr 20 2023 20:20 utc | 26

@Elmer Fudd | Apr 20 2023 19:58 utc | 23

The failure of six or more engines independently was extremely improbable to almost impossible.
It happened.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 20 2023 20:21 utc | 27

There was a lot of media hype in the Netherlands last fall about alleged "illegal Chinese police stations" in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The claims had a lot of attention in the main western news outlets. The German authorities also were looking into "illegal Chinese police stations".

Looks like these "police stations" appear only in the West.
Here is a Reuters piece as a sort of overview from last year:

Posted by: JB | Apr 20 2023 20:29 utc | 28

In medieval times comets were seen as harbingers of catastrophes and bad luck.
Posted by: Petri Krohn | Apr 20 2023 16:10 utc | 6

so were plagues.
so was the weather.

the most common practice of fortune-telling in the West today is called 'belomancy': shoot at stuff and see what happens. (from wiki):

Belomancy, also bolomancy, is the ancient art of divination by use of arrows. The word is built upon Ancient Greek: βέλος, romanized: belos, lit. 'arrow, dart', and μαντεία, manteia, 'divination'. Belomancy was anciently practised at least by Babylonians, Greeks, Arabs and Scythians.

in speech, belomancy means slander, which means throwing as much of any and all kinds of shit imaginable up against the wall, and see what sticks. e.g., file criminal charges against the enemy for kidnapping children. war balloons, etc., etc.

what one slings around in hurling accusations against the enemy largely consists of self-projection, so in the west, there is a cloaca straight from hell's filthiest outhouse in the hearts of almost every western leader. they reach their hand in, grab something, and hurl. E.g., since the west has its Gitmos, China *must* have its torture camps...and enter the Uighurs.

and policy-wise, the answer is usually, "Well, what if we shoot at it? bomb it?"

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Apr 20 2023 20:41 utc | 29

By CURT ANDERSONApril 18, 2023
US charges 4 Americans, 3 Russians in election discord case
I guess somewhere in USA's body of laws it says that elections should be held in the spirit of Concordia, so election-related discord is illegal. Or AP editor got confused, given how nonsensical the situation is.

“Russia’s foreign intelligence service allegedly weaponized our First Amendment rights — freedoms Russia denies to its own citizens — to divide Americans and interfere in elections in the United States,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division." Some members of a tiny organization, most notable for an unsuccesful candidacy to the post of city council member in St. Petersburg, FL, made a trip to Moscow and back home, I guess both before and after, publically complained about police killings of Black people. Punishments up to 10 years of incarceration are considered.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 20 2023 21:53 utc | 30

The "New Axis of Evil": Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Iran, N. Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and most of Latin America, including Mexico and Honduras, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and possibly Turkey, Pakistan. I'm sure I left some out. I think that Antarctica is still neutral. That's a lot of enemies for anyone.

Posted by: Immaculate deception | Apr 20 2023 21:58 utc | 31

continuing quotes

"Hess, Yeshitela and Nevel [Americans] are also charged with impersonating agents of a foreign government. Ionov and the other two Russians, who remain in their country, face the fraud conspiracy charge."

Mind boggles. We know that an "unregistered foreign agent" can be sentenced to at least 2 years in penitentiary. But what does it mean "impersonating agents of a foreign government"? "Fraud conspiracy" charge suggested that there is no proof, as yet, of a fraud.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 20 2023 21:59 utc | 32

Today's Headline --

"EU state bans WW2 victory celebration
Marking the triumph over Nazi Germany would 'undermine our values,' Latvian lawmakers said"

Nothing as startling as truth.
(yes, I'm pro-horrible-tsunami disaster but I can explain that).

Posted by: Elmagnostic | Apr 20 2023 22:15 utc | 33

# 31
Losing “friends” quickly
makes one think, is it them or me?

Posted by: Dingo | Apr 20 2023 22:17 utc | 34

@34, Dingo, it's obviously them. How could it possibly be US? Like your poems. Been working on an economic paper. Looks like it will be long. Encompassing all the economics of the world and how they interconnect. I'd use chatgpt if I thought it was factual. You know, gigo. Otherwise, I've heard about the "Chinese police stations" here in the belly of the beast for some time. Never thought it was worthy of comment. Cheers everyone!

Posted by: Immaculate deception | Apr 20 2023 22:39 utc | 35

"Us and Them", Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon.

Posted by: Immaculate deception | Apr 20 2023 22:42 utc | 36

A little trivia: Not sure if any of you like the Alan Parsons Project, but he was the sound engineer on Pink Floyd, "Dark Side of the Moon", and assistant engineer on The Beatles, "Abbey Road". Cheers!

Posted by: Immaculate deception | Apr 20 2023 22:55 utc | 37

The US State of Florida has been passing some bills lately aimed at putting the male and female sexes back in their traditional two places.

Florida attorney Jeff Childers - whose daily news roundups (Coffee & Covid) are both massively entertaining and useful - reported today on the latest one that forbids "gender-affirming care" for minors. The bill's author said this about mixing drag shows with children:

But lawmaker Randy Fine (R-Brevard), who introduced the bill, did not mince words on the House floor: “The right question is not: Why do I want to stop children from going to these kinds of events?” he said. “The question is: Why are THEY so determined to do it to children?

Fine's closing speech prior to the house vote (which passed his bill) is 6 minutes and VERY uplifting. If you like sanity and traditional views on protecting the innocence of children, you will admire his speech:


ps..if you're not a God person, you will have to brush past his few remarks in that direction, which I found easy enough to do, since his whole speech was so superb - utterly sane simply from a secular view.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 20 2023 23:16 utc | 38


Hemeti [UAE? Russia?] vs Burhan [Egypt]

Haftar's 'support' for Sudan's RSF reveals new alliance with Libyan commander
WSJ reports Libyan commander sent Hemeti's paramilitary one plane full of military supplies, with sources telling MEE at least one more has departed

Posted by: Don Firineach | Apr 21 2023 0:28 utc | 39

Putin weaponized...

...the First Amendment.

Biden White House, out of control w/ Mike Adams (Live) - The Duran

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Apr 21 2023 0:32 utc | 40

I’d like to beg your indulgence for some speculation.

May is going to get hot on another front. I don’t see Erdogan going down without a fight. He’s too feisty, brass balled and wily. He either wins the elections in Turkey outright, or if he loses in a close one, declares fraud due to Foreign influence and shitfuckery.

He’ll have plausibility on his side given the history of the CIA in Georgia and Syria.

The US will react and provoke another crisis. Buckle up!

Posted by: Chris | Apr 21 2023 0:38 utc | 41

@ Posted by: Elmer Fudd | Apr 20 2023 19:58 utc | 23

Well, the nearly impossible happened. It was missing 4 then 5 motors from the start. A few seconds with 6 missing) Note that it sat for 4 seconds before lifting off. Actual liftoff was hard to determine visually because of the exhaust clouds.

The starship (hate that name) didn't separate due to the softwrae not lighting the engines. That was "probably" caused by low thrust, meaning not enough velocity. And during the nose over maneuver where the separation is supposed to happen, the combo was rotating too fast.

Anything after that point was simply on board software trying to compensate for an attached starship that was not supposed to be there.

check the video out.

Posted by: BroncoBilly | Apr 21 2023 0:56 utc | 42

Elmer Fudd @23

The Raptor engine is well tested and proven in many previous launches. It was unlikely that even one engine would fail. The failure of six or more engines independently was extremely improbable to almost impossible.

The original Raptor 1 engine suffered a failure on the SN9 test launch, resulting in a spectacular green flame as the engine's copper components burned. The same issue occurred in later ground tests of the Raptor 2 engine, which had not been flight tested before today's launch.

The Raptor operates on a 'staged combustion' cycle that the US was slow to master. The first US staged combustion engine flew on the Space Shuttle in 1981 while the USSR had been flying them for 20 years by that point. The Raptor also operates on the bleeding edge in terms of pressure and cooling capacity, with most early Raptor 2s melting on the test stand from inadequate cooling. The Raptor 2s for today's flight were limited to 90% thrust as a result.

It seems that 3 engines failed within the first 15 seconds (possibly resulting in the 'power slide' observed as it lifted off the pad) followed by 2 more and a 6th that dropped out and re-lit. Stage separation was supposed to take place at 2min 49sec at an altitude of 65km but Starship's electronic brain found itself much lower and slower as that point in the flight due to the engine failures, reaching only ~40km before turning somersaults and being destroyed by flight controllers.

It's likely that Starship's brain was unabled to cope with the myriad of 'off-nominal' conditions at stage separation and went haywire, possibly commanding the booster to 'flip' in order to return to earth with the second stage still attached!

Posted by: S.P. Korolev | Apr 21 2023 1:44 utc | 43

All Western media are now covering up the cozy relationship between Mossad and Sudanese war criminal generals. (Not to mention US relationship). This is a year ago

Posted by: Menz | Apr 21 2023 2:24 utc | 44

Why the Saudis have called off their Israeli wedding

Posted by: Menz | Apr 21 2023 3:05 utc | 45

Washington and its vassals would consider near-total ban on exports to Russia.

Posted by: Krimeï | Apr 21 2023 3:31 utc | 46

@40 Petri Krohn | Apr 21 2023 0:32 utc

Thank you for that link. The part of the discussion I've been listening to is amazing.

At around 19:45, Mercouris relates how, uniquely among nations, the USA has its founding document as part of its constitution, rather than as two separate events or documents. What this means is that if you tamper with the constitution too much - e.g. destroy the First Amendment - then it's effectually, and perhaps even juridically, not the same country anymore.

This is true viscerally for its inhabitants also, I would say, and probably still as a majority sentiment. If those rights go, the USA doesn't exist anymore, and rather like the Donbass in Ukraine, the inhabitants are no longer bound to its regime.

Mike Adams then joins in to note that in Texas where he is, he talks with serious people who at the state level are very seriously preparing for the possibility of a USSR-style breakup of the USA, and if this should happen, then Texas is preparing to become its own nation. Other states in the Union are also thinking in these terms, he says, and I can believe it.

So that's 10-15 minutes or so that's worth anyone's time to check out, I suggest.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 21 2023 3:34 utc | 47

@Bronco Billy; #8:

I've ditched my camel. I'll walk a mile to smoke Lucky Strike Green.

Walking back is gonna be hard.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Apr 21 2023 3:59 utc | 48

S.P. Korolev # 43 & #42.

Both of you make excellent points. Korolev demonstrates knowledge of rocket engine design. However; those engines have been subjected to extensive testing and proven themselves on the smaller Space X rockets. Something unique to the Starship booster or more likely to this flight caused the multiple failures of already proven rocket engines. One possibility might be moisture in the propellent which then froze to clog coolant passages.

Posted by: Elmer Fudd | Apr 21 2023 4:15 utc | 49

Well crap! I was wrong. SoaceX doesn't use the Raptor engine on the smaller Falcon rockets. The design is similar and has been extensively tested.

Posted by: Elmer Fudd | Apr 21 2023 4:19 utc | 50

I have to eat more crow.
The Merlin engine uses Kerosene rather than Methane for fuel. Liquid Methane is a cryogenic liquid similar to liquid Oxygen but it isn't deep cryogenic like Liquid Hydrogen. The point that the engines have been extensively tested remains. Multiple failures suggest problems with the LOX or Liquid Methane feed system.

Posted by: Elmer Fudd | Apr 21 2023 4:25 utc | 51

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 21 2023 3:34 utc | 47

Thanks, Grieved! I found almost the entire discussion worthwhile, so also thanks to Petri Krohn for providing the link. I was also very moved by Mercouris's assertion of the uniqueness of the fusion between the US as a country and the Constitution. As someone who compared my own NZ citizenship to what the US has for some time before I became a citizen here I agree with him completely on that. And I remember GW Bush saying something to the effect that the Constitution is just a piece of paper, which shocked me at the time he said it. So I agree with you that was a highlight of the program.

Also, as karlof1 brought up earlier today the problem of Robert Kennedy Jr's position on Ukraine, it helped to have nuanced opinions on that, reminding me that when I watched Kennedy talking about his son I realized at that time that he as a father would have to be nuanced, seeing his son's motivation and need for support. That I think would more influence his stance than any consideration of what one 'needs to say' to be acceptable to the ptb. It is more a position which even a Russian Orthodox priest would and does express, that the suffering of ordinary Ukrainians on both sides is terrible and one can pray for both.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 21 2023 4:52 utc | 52

I'll just add to my comment above that what Mike Adams also was saying was that an economic collapse for the US is already being considered in states like Texas, in that they would move if the dollar is no longer viable to have a state economy brought into play - as an interim to whatever comes next.

I actually didn't find the discussion of what young people were prepared for or not in terms of industrial ability very fair -- it hasn't been the young people who took away the industrial backbone of the country or the educational and vocational opportunities. Nor are they to be blamed for not wanting to be in the army as it currently functions. We had that way back at the bloody stages of Vietnam madness.

But overall, very good discussion.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 21 2023 5:06 utc | 53

“We’re seeing that the [democracy] paint of Europe and America has peeled off,” Soylu stated.

Posted by: Kfeto | Apr 21 2023 5:06 utc | 54

As a kid at school
Whenever someone tripped in the schoolyard
or fell walking to class.
Some kids showed concern, some just moved along,
and some laughed.
Noticing the one’s who laughed, made me realize the capacity
for cruelty that humans possess.

Posted by: Dingo | Apr 21 2023 5:45 utc | 55

“The Quiet American”

Browsing through the bookshops of Hong Kong a couple of weeks ago — they still have English sections — I was delighted to spot The Quiet American by Graham Greene, which I had read decades ago, and was intrigued to revisit Greene’s take on the activities of the US agencies abroad. It was set in Vietnam where Greene lived for some time, during the French occupation. Some extracts.

‘...Sometimes the Viets have a better success with a megaphone than a bazooka. I don’t blame them. They don’t believe anything either. You and your like are trying to make a war with the help of people who aren’t interested.’
‘They don’t want Communism.’
‘They want enough rice,’ I said. ‘They don’t want to be shot at. They want one day to be much as another. They don’t want our white skins telling them what they want.’
‘If Indo-China goes…’
‘I know the record... Siam goes. Malaya goes. Indonesia goes. What does “go” mean?’...

‘He was talking about the old colonial powers—England and France, and how you two couldn't expect to win the confidence of the Asiatics. That was where America came in now with clean hands.’
‘Hawaii, Puerto Rico,’ I said, ‘New Mexico.’
‘Then someone asked him some stock question about the chances of the Government here ever beating the Vietminh and he said a Third Force could do it. There was always a Third Force to be found free of Communism and the taint of colonialism — national democracy he called it; you only had to find a leader and keep him safe from the old colonial powers.’

‘What did you say in your cable?’ I asked?
He replied seriously and literally, ’ “Grieved to report your son died a soldier’s death in the cause of Democracy”. The Minister signed it.’
‘A soldier’s death,’ I said. ‘Mightn’t that prove a bit confusing? I mean to the folks at home. The Economic Aid Commission doesn’t sound like the army. Do you get Purple Hearts?’
He said in a low voice, tense with ambiguity, ‘He had special duties.’
‘Oh yes, we all guessed that.’

(Regarding filing a report to an English newspaper).
It wouldn’t have done to cable the details of his true career, that before he died he had been responsible for at least fifty deaths, for it would have damaged Anglo-American relations, the Minister would have been upset. The Minister had a great respect for Pyle – Pyle had taken a good degree in – well, one of those subjects Americans can take degrees in: perhaps public relations or theatrecraft, perhaps even Far Eastern Studies (he had read a lot of books).

And that’s a glimpse of how Greene set out the US coup/proxy war strategy as long ago as 1955, while some still can’t figure out how the world has been run almost 70 years later. There’s more I could show you but I don’t want to risk more spoilers (Pyle’s death occurs right at the beginning of the novel anyway), and I hope you may be intrigued enough to seek it out or perhaps read again.

Currently travelling in the Occupied Philippines, I am in the Sulu Sea one day away from Palawan island, where one of the four new US military bases is to be set up. I have now seen a report which says that it will be on Balabac Island in the far south west. This is convenient for the Spratlys, and curiously also is just 50 km north of the Sabah province of Malaysia on Borneo. From what I have been able to discover, Malaysia (with Indonesia) seems so far to have resisted US pressure to accommodate their military, so this could be seen as a threat to it as well as to China. I had previously suggested that some of the exercises that are now in play would be aimed at the Spratlys, but it seems they are much further north (ie, much nearer to China) in the Scarborough Shoal.

Posted by: Walt | Apr 21 2023 6:07 utc | 56

The article does not mention the provenance of the gold.

Could it be the treasures from confiscated Orthodox Church property in Ukraine?

Posted by: willie | Apr 21 2023 6:34 utc | 57

the french are showing some spirit
macron gets splattered with an egg to the forehead
protesters bum-rush the paris stock exchange
turning into a spoof, of a luis bunuel film.

Posted by: Dingo | Apr 21 2023 7:00 utc | 58

A german news website:

The Ukrainian armed forces have apparently launched a counteroffensive in the Donbass. According to Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar, the attacks are to be launched in four directions. The Ukrainian army is also currently conducting "active offensive operations" in Bachmut, she said Wednesday evening. Other targets of offensive operations are the small towns of Lyman, Avdiivka and Marjinka in the Donbass, she added.
Translated with (free version)

Any comments?

Posted by: br64 | Apr 21 2023 7:29 utc | 59

Upps sorry, wrong thread ....

Posted by: br64 | Apr 21 2023 7:33 utc | 60

#30 Piotr Berman

2 posts yesterday about African Socialist Peoples Party -- Uhuru in UKR thread, mine I stated best moved here.

Hey, it worked so well to fill up Guantanamo, offer up large sums of money for terrorists and ... And so the FBI offers up $10 million to implicate some Russian and the African Socialist Peoples Party. After the big FBI raid in Oakland and St. Petersburg, right in the middle of a training session for doulas - midwives.

Talking about the simulataneous raids with flashbang grenades, automatic weapons and drones.

The gloves are going to be coming off the FBI even more so in the future. VPNs might be the next thing made illegal in the usOfa.

Posted by: paxmark1 | Apr 21 2023 7:34 utc | 61

wagner has taken control of bakhmut road , maybe a small section so ukies essentially cut off. if they can keep it the cauldron is shut. fiece fighting ongoing because of sthe significance of this positiin.

Posted by: hankster | Apr 21 2023 8:20 utc | 62

59, from TG vids , the big offensive was more a general probe that was mercilessly destroyed as it came into range. arty duels etc ongoing , but lots of vids of the usual exploding machines and groups of soldiers moving in open fields eating well placed artillery hits. considering my post above , wagner shuts bakhmut supply road, id say just desperation and if there was reserves they would be going there to help unblock the forces now trapped. but who knows.

Posted by: hankster | Apr 21 2023 8:27 utc | 63

Et tu, Christine?

These developments do not point to any imminent loss of dominance for the U.S. dollar or the euro.So far, the data do not show substantial changes in the use of international currencies."

But they do suggest that international currency status should no longer be taken for granted

Reuters April 17, 20235:57 PM GMT+1

Posted by: António Ferrão | Apr 21 2023 9:49 utc | 64

Posted by: António Ferrão | Apr 21 2023 9:49 utc | 64

broken link.

Posted by: António Ferrão | Apr 21 2023 9:50 utc | 65

Eid Mubarak, fellow barflies, assuming the moon sighting committee is on song, this evening.
Will Team USA use this joyous occasion to execute a false flag attack on Saudi Aramco?
Presumably the Bureaucracy will disdain $1000 oil if this can be blamed on the Houthi...

Posted by: necromancer | Apr 21 2023 11:12 utc | 66


Hemeti [UAE? Russia?] vs Burhan [Egypt]

Posted by: Don Firineach | Apr 21 2023 0:28 utc | 39

It is not that simple. Both the army and the RSF were cosying up to Russia and other sources and they have now fallen out big time because Hemedti wanted to be in control. He has taken a page of Zelensky's notebook by building up a deceptive image beforehand.

If we have to choose between the two I would back the Sudanes army anytime over this very ruthless and corrupt warlord.

Posted by: Orage | Apr 21 2023 12:01 utc | 67

Norwegian | Apr 20 2023 18:00 utc said:

"… they redefined FAILURE to be successful and cheered it on. Clown world."

It's more than CLOWN world. It's LIARS' WORLD!!

Posted by: LongCovid | Apr 21 2023 12:05 utc | 68

What is the mindset of the dogshit that feels the need for tats. So many Australian coppers now have their arms covered in tats. Wannabe tough guys? neanderthal mindset? Some idiot boy came around to see me yesterday. An arrogant piece of shit but a total fuckwit. Troopers dredged up from the dregs of western society.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 21 2023 12:56 utc | 69

Those murders, so long ago. The official police narrative put out to the media is bullshit.

The QLD police at that time were exceptionally corrupt. The unit that took up the cold case - supposedly anti corruption and cyber crime unit, I have no reason to believe are any less corrupt. That person I saw was obviously well connected.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 21 2023 13:15 utc | 70

In the Week in Review @180, I posted Canadian PM Trudeau’s itinerary for April 20th. It included virtually attending a gathering hosted by US President Biden and talking with Brazil’s President Lula.

No readout from Trudeau on the Lula call. He did post on the Major Economies Forum.

Lula posted a Tweet on his convo with Trudeau.

Lots of moving pieces.

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Apr 21 2023 13:18 utc | 71

Posted by: Walt | Apr 21 2023 6:07 utc | 56

Thank you, Walt! It is back to the library for me, so I appreciate your recommendation. I grew up appreciating books and libraries as soon as I learned to read for the independence this gave me - actual independence in the long walk to our local library and back, plus choices on offer even though the library was a small one.

And you are ranging far afield. Be safe!

Posted by: juliania | Apr 21 2023 13:49 utc | 72

Posted by: Dingo | Apr 21 2023 5:45 utc | 55

Dingo, here's a thought from Alan Paton, he of "Cry the Beloved Country" - this from his (I think) remarkable autobiography:

"There is only one way in which one can endure man's inhumanity to man and that is to try, in one's own life, to exemplify man's humanity to man."

He did that.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 21 2023 13:58 utc | 73

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 20 2023 18:38 utc | 17

Thanks, karlof1. From Putin, this comment following on a conversation about agricultural progress reminds me of early days hearing from regions of Russia beginning to cope with needed changes in these areas -- so much progress. And the newly assimilated areas will benefit enormously from those earlier projects, all being undertaken for the good of both land and people. It puts the Special Operation of the military in context: this is a salvatory acquisition of territory which ought peacefully be obtained by the whole of the former Ukraine. It would and hopefully will be good for the entire world, the entire planet.

We need to always keep in mind that this ought to have been achieved peacefully. We need to keep in mind how that peaceful operation was thwarted. It was not Russia that made that decision. I see that first entrance of the troops and the long pause as they waited above Kiev as an historic moment. It could have happened right then.

"...You spoke about my trip to both the Kherson and Lugansk regions, what did you pay attention to? I have not seen so many old cars, Lad and Zhiguli, for a long time. What does it say? This suggests that the incomes of people are quite modest. The car park immediately leads to certain thoughts. At the same time, it’s probably different everywhere, but what I saw, and we traveled quite long distances, so what I saw, I repeat, everything is removed, everything is neat, clean. That is, it means that people who live here are disciplined, hardworking, but they, of course, need real help.

When I spoke now about incomes, and this is obvious, even outwardly it catches the eye, the incomes are modest, and the level, say, of prices is even higher than in the Rostov region. This imbalance - I draw the attention of both Deputy Prime Minister [Marat] Khusnullin and Prime Minister Mishustin Mikhail Vladimirovich to this, we need to think at what pace ... It is clear that you cannot do this in one day, it is clear that the level of income is related to the level of economic development and the corresponding income from the level of economic development - this is the general path, this path must be followed. But there are some things that can definitely be done fairly quickly, and first of all or including through your line: to support agricultural producers, to expand the possibilities for processing agricultural products on the spot..."

Posted by: juliania | Apr 21 2023 14:36 utc | 74

@ walt 56

thanks for the update…. good observations and update. i too am travelling and enjoying the experience..

Posted by: james | Apr 21 2023 14:43 utc | 75

While I agree supporting the Ukraine War is a major red flag, it is also too early to dismiss Kennedy based on his position in Ukraine, which could be strategic communication meant too placate the many beasts he will need to overcome. There are only 2 candidates with the fortitude and motivation to push back on our puppet masters at the CIA and that is Kennedy and Trump in that order. DeSantis while a highly competent Governor was also a willing participant at Guantanamo.

Posted by: Turk 152 | Apr 21 2023 15:12 utc | 76

Compared to the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the San Francisco Chronicle, the NY Post is an unpretentious tabloid. But this newspaper also publishes articles others can't:

Ex-CIA chief spills on how he got spies to write false Hunter Biden laptop letter to ‘help Biden’

The impression I get is that Biden was seen as a safe pair of hands, while Trump was seen as a danger to American hegemony. Well, they got what they wanted: Trump out of the White House, and Biden president. But it's ironical that Biden has done more to damage US interests than Trump.

Posted by: Passerby | Apr 21 2023 15:28 utc | 77

My latest: US: Current Strategic Culture & International Political Economy

Why the "Deep State" will never stop trying to pull down RFK Jr. (if he is a sincere change agent) and Trump, and never stop trying to undermine Russia and China. It will need at least a mini-revolution in the US to overcome their assumptions of superiority and their right to rule. For the British elites it took Suez to slam them up the side of the head and still they dream of "global Britain", even as they rule over a disintegrating decrepit little island off the coast of Europe. Northern Ireland is already majority Catholic so their joining with Eire is coming, and at some point a real leader will emerge to rescue the Scots from the Union.

Maybe we will get a break up of the US, hardly anyone saw the break up of the Soviet Union coming. I can't see it being good for the average citizen though, more a move to even more brutal capitalism - a replay of Russia in the 1990s?

Posted by: Roger | Apr 21 2023 15:36 utc | 78

Roger @ 78. What sort of breakup would you imagine for the US? I'm guessing it would break up along racial/cultural/political lines....regions for Hispanics (New Mexico Texas) BLM regions (Louisiana, Alabama), woke regions (California, Oregon, Washington), redneck regions (Idaho, Montana) etc.

Posted by: dh | Apr 21 2023 15:53 utc | 79

ZH RumorMill says the Feds may be about to charge Hunter, the Posterboy for US corruption

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | Apr 21 2023 15:55 utc | 80

@ Roger | Apr 21 2023 15:36 utc | 78

America has been "Russia in the 1990s" since 1979 at latest--the Volcker interest-hike, followed by "deindustrialization"/"financialization."

Note how the beneficiary groups and regions sneer at "the Rust Belt"/"Flyover."

Posted by: John Kennard | Apr 21 2023 15:59 utc | 81

juliania | Apr 21 2023 14:36 utc | 74--

Thanks for providing that excerpt and for your earlier comment regarding RFKjr.

Today Global Times has published an excellent essay aimed at educating readers about the basic aspects of dedollarization, which I see as preparatory for a deeper, more technical discussion on the issue, "De-dollarization is general trend, but ‘de-weaponization of the dollar’ is more urgent". There are several other recent discussions about this issue that IMO are very helpful. The first is this 19 minute interview of Pepe Escobar by Danny Haiphong that covers more than the currency issue but provides insight into what's happening now that's not being disclosed. The second is the entire second half of the most recent Hudson/Desai discussion that describes what was put into place and what Keynes's alternatives were and how they would've negated the current situation, which IMO is very important to know. Altogether, they amount to about an hour's worth of study that will leave those who take the time much better prepared to discuss the coming alterations to the international trading system that will impact everyone on the planet.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 21 2023 16:16 utc | 82

Roger and others thinking the Outlaw US Empire will break up: I agree that its overseas components will eventually become independent; but as with the problems related to secession I've written about here previously, the disintegration of the nation into sections would be very difficult to accomplish. A study of the first attempt at secession reveals the multitude of difficulties and the process is far more complex now than then. Just looking into the situation in Charlestown harbor provides one vivid example of the complexity.

IMO, a better solution is reforming the federal government by returning to the initial Confederation with considerable modifications, the main one being the vast diminution of power wielded by the central executive--recall the Articles didn't have an executive--which is where all the corruption and abuse of power within the current system's located.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 21 2023 16:30 utc | 83

In China today, the Lanting Forum on Chinese Modernization and the World kicked off in Shanghai:

China has once again shown the world with its own successful practice of exploring Chinese modernization that there is more than one path to modernization, and every country has the right to embark on a modernization road that suits its own national conditions based on its own reality. This will help break the monopoly position of the West in modernization practice and theory, broaden the vision of developing countries and enhance their determination and confidence in taking the road of independent development, analysts said.

Further down the article we reach what is a major point:

The myth of "modernization equals Westernization"

Foreign representatives spoke highly of China's peaceful and inclusive path of modernization. Observers pointed out that for a long time some Western countries have monopolized the right to speak about modernization, holding the Western-centered theory and constantly amplifying the illusion that "Westernization equals modernization." This forum, focusing on the significance of China's path to modernization to the world, has provided the other countries, especially the vast number of developing countries, with inspirations over how to explore their own paths of modernization. [My Emphasis]

There are other articles related to the Forum in Chinese media, and when I find them speeches and messages given by Xi and FM Qin Gang, excerpts of both are cited in the GT articles.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 21 2023 16:45 utc | 84

Posted by: dh | Apr 21 2023 15:53 utc | 79

Chuck Palahnuik wrote a book, Adjustment Day. USA is split into divided states: “Blacktopia,” “Gaysia,” and “Caucasia.”
It's an okay read. It kind of falls apart at the end, but the ideas are interesting.

Posted by: John Kennard | Apr 21 2023 15:59 utc | 81

Deindustrialization. Yeah. The U.S.A. used to make stuff. I believe in autarky!

Posted by: lex talionis | Apr 21 2023 16:46 utc | 85

Chile Nationalizes it's Lithium reserves.

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | Apr 21 2023 16:53 utc | 86

@83 karlof1 | Apr 21 2023 16:30 utc et al

As you know, but for the general record:

The only lawful way for the Union to dissolve in my opinion is by amendment to the Constitution, and the most likely way for this to happen will be through a convention of the states.

A constitutional convention would have the lawful power either to dissolve the Union - which is the ultimate threat that quickens the mind - or, much more likely, to limit the federal apparatus in all ways it could craft into amendment form. There would be plenty of skilled legal drafters available, sitting on top of years of well considered grievance.

It will take 34 states in agreement to convene the convention, and so far 19 state legislatures are ready:
Progress Map: States that have passed the Convention of States Article V application


It will take, presumably, further abuse from the federal apparatus for more states to join. The nation, in my view, is essentially frozen until this happens. The beatings will simply have to continue until morale improves /s

But if the USA breaks, it will break into states rather than through popular uprising, I think - or at least, I hope. The states are the natural fault lines of the Union - and actually a much softer landing than what usually happens when a monolithic nation devolves into chaos and ungovernability.

I can imagine massive unrest throughout the country followed by the equivalent of martial law from the federal power. But with a suspension of the Constitution necessary for this to occur, would the states then accept this, or would they finally summon the courage to act on behalf of their citizens? This is the crucial question, I suppose.

If Texas really were able to create a gold-backed currency, I can only imagine the wealth that would flow to that state for sanctuary, from the country and the world. Having a viable alternative as an example to follow is often the greatest prerogative for change. How many states would look at Texas, in such a case, and not begin to dream?

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 21 2023 16:53 utc | 87

In response to
Chile Nationalizes it's Lithium reserves.

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | Apr 21 2023 16:53 utc | 86

Thanks and it fits with this ZH posting title

Zoltan Interview: "You basically see a commodity supercycle in embryonic form"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 21 2023 17:00 utc | 88

In response to myself wanting say more
psychohistorian | Apr 21 2023 17:00 utc | 87

I see a return to economic geography by sovereign nations. Stop being ripped off by empire for your raw materials and develop your own capabilities to process the raw materials to the "right level" for export.

I don't have a link but have read about China fostering this mentality and economic geography review by sovereign countries to best serve their people.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 21 2023 17:06 utc | 89

To me, a Hunter Biden federal indictment would signal the Deep State wanting to push his father out of office. Perhaps, Joe might decide if that's the case, to pardon his family members participating in the corruption. The threat to do so might push the dems to offer good terms fo his early departure.

Posted by: morongobill | Apr 21 2023 17:08 utc | 90

Richard Wolff lays bare the scam of Treasuries:

Ask Prof Wolff: How Treasury Bonds Help Corporations and the Rich

Posted by: LightYearsFromHome | Apr 21 2023 17:40 utc | 91

morongobill @ 91

To me, a Hunter Biden federal indictment would signal the Deep State wanting to push his father out of office.

Or the exact opposite and they're holding his son hostage to force dad to do their bidding and go amok, amok, amok!

Take your pick, in our dystopia one bad option is as good as any other.

For myself I don't think Biden needed any coercion to go amok. The evolution of US presidents goes something akin to: Vito Corleone (1776-1981) -> Michael Corleone (1981-2021)-> Tony Montana (2021-)

Say Hello To My Little Friend

Posted by: LightYearsFromHome | Apr 21 2023 17:57 utc | 92

@ Grieved | Apr 21 2023 16:53 utc | 88

I've thought about this before, since like you and Putin I am legalistically- and above all Constitutionally-minded, and concluded that the present regime would game a Convention to give it even greater advantage over the populace.

I therefore worked out a list of likely reform Amendments, to submit to Congress and hold their feet to the fire until they submitted them to the States, but that grew not so long but complex that I finally settled on one to serve as "icebreaker," one version of which might read

"This Constitution may be amended by State referenda in two-thirds of the States each approved by two-thirds of that State's eligible voters."

Wouldn't something like that be a glorious fight?


for a sort of blog-history of what passed for my thinking.

(Note the OWS-era datings.)

Posted by: John Kennard | Apr 21 2023 20:22 utc | 93

The USA will not be broken up; rather it will simply ingest Canada .
Along the way several events will likely occur: expulsion of migrants; elimination of dual citizen; mandatory employment ( either voluntary or by compulsion - no free riders); integration of manufacturing and service sector economies; and with Canada complete material , energy and agricultural independence.

The real issue will be what to do about transhumanism. The resolution of that will be most likely worse than conventional revolution.

Posted by: Jerr | Apr 21 2023 21:07 utc | 94

Kinda disappointing about RFKjr being Pro-Ukraine. Mind you, no big surprise, the last time I believed a president was Obama, and boy was I wrong about that one.

At this point, I’d vote for a third party featuring Hunter Biden and Donald Trump jr as co-presidents. What difference would it make ?

Posted by: Featherless | Apr 21 2023 22:01 utc | 95

Grieved | Apr 21 2023 16:53 utc | 88 &
John Kennard | Apr 21 2023 20:22 utc | 94--

Thanks for your thoughts on this topic. Grieved and I have discussed this issue off and on many times over the years, since 2014 if I recall correctly, about how to improve the USA's national government. Some of the assumptions made then no longer fit today as the environment has changed plus we are wiser and have more knowledge. Unfortunately, we are also almost ten years older. For me, the International Context has captured my attention and thus I don't pay nearly as much attention to what's happening nationally because I see the International Context having more leverage on the Outlaw US Empire's destiny than what's happening domestically. Yet, at the same time, I don't want to abandon thinking about how to go about domestic change. Another election cycle is upon us which makes dialog possible to deal with he many Why? questions people have going unanswered by media and politicos. That's it for now, but I know we'll continue later.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 21 2023 22:25 utc | 96

All this talk about the breakup of the USA is annoying, not least of all because it rests on two entirely untenable assumptions:

1. That states are and would continue to be viable integal units. Okay, Vermont maybe. But the eastern parts of Washington state and Oregon would rather be part if Idaho than remain with their woke coastal counties. My state, Colorado, divides into three parts: from west to east a southern extension of Montana, a woke sliver hugging the eastern Rockies foothills, and a western extension of Kansas.

2. That the the hated woke parts would be able to form viable entities. Nope, you’d have coastal slivers, the the sliver from Fort Collins to Albuquerque, and Chicagoland. None if these areas can provide for their own food. Islands like Jackson MS would of necessity be absorbed into conservative entities.

No, in the event of chaos, the conservative forces would triumph nationwide, and probably after some spectacular bloodletting—after all, that’s the side with the guns.

Posted by: malenkov | Apr 21 2023 22:31 utc | 97

malenkov @98 " the event of chaos, the conservative forces would triumph nationwide, and probably after some spectacular bloodletting—after all, that’s the side with the guns."

I think you're right. The wokies wouldn't stand a chance. I bet some people would just love to start gunning them down.

Posted by: dh | Apr 21 2023 22:56 utc | 98

But if the USA breaks, it will break into states rather than through popular uprising, I think - or at least, I hope. The states are the natural fault lines of the Union - and actually a much softer landing than what usually happens when a monolithic nation devolves into chaos and ungovernability.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 21 2023 16:53 utc | 88

Very good point. It is so obvious that it is rarely pointed out.

I don't think you will get 30+ States to agree on anything in a convention unless it's to break the Union in which case things will be so bad that it almost won't matter.

However, I think the simplest place to start is to ensure by whatever constitutional means possible that each State is sovereignt and therefore has the right to break away from the Union agreement at any time for any reason. This should already be the case in principle; surrendering that sovereignty - assuming that is what has happened long ago - was an error in both principle and practice.

Take the Russia-China non-alliance alliance: neither signs away their sovereignty to a larger Union entity rather each retains their own independent sovereignty. It seems that their other allies in SCO and BRICS follow the same template. The States should enjoy sovereignty even within the Union - that is where it all went wrong and that is what has to be fixed. I think you (grieved) have identified the key fault line in the system which is also the saving grace if invoked fortuitously and resolutely.

Hopefully, in any post-current-Union future, a better way of doing it could be fashioned, but again I would suggest that holding to the sovereignty principle would go a long way to ensuring things end up in a better configuration than the republic's badly designed first try, though some things it got right (like the First and Second Amendments etc.).

In any case, if there is no constitutional way or, more likely, if there are procedural laws on the books seemingly prohibiting it, in Common Law one or more States must make a Common Law Claim of Right to unilaterally withdraw from the agreement without any other States or Federal entities being involved.

They could qualify this by something reasonable in Law such as:
whereas in the event the State has proof that the United States has broken the terms of the original Union agreement or
whereas the State has verifiable proof that the Federal Union has treated the State in a fraudulent manner, either by misleading the State as to key policies effecting it or misappropriating funds or any sort of obvious fraud which causes harm to our State's citizens, thereby following the Maxim 'fraud vitiates everything,' or
whereas 65% or more of our citizens vote in a referendum to that effect,
following established principles in both Common and Contract Law,
Our State(s) claims the right to declare the Agreement which governed our participation in the United States Federation null and void and
reclaim our full sovereignty and independence as per the original founding charter of our State.

Something like that.

To deny this Claim of Right the Federal Union would have to show that citizens in State or States X have no remedy even when clearly harmed. That violates basic principles of Law.

But SCOTUS is Federal and should not have sole jurisdiction in this matter.

This brings us back to: A State has to have the right to claim and then exercise sovereignty otherwise the notion of State is rendered meaningless. (Germany faces this same situation, I believe.) That principle is the first brick to prize loose from the prison wall. It might be a cornerstone, removing which will cause the entire fraudulent edifice to crumble.

Doing so will also move the focus away from what list people will be wrangling over to the fundamental, bedrock issue that the Founding Fathers got wrong. The whole debate and discussion will be about what constitutes true sovereignty, what Law really matters and whether or not a free people has both the right and the gumption to claim such sovereignty.

Posted by: Scorpion | Apr 21 2023 23:29 utc | 99

@Posted by: dh | Apr 21 2023 15:53 utc | 80

@Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 21 2023 16:30 utc | 84

The possibility of a rearrangement of the state/federal relationship may be possible, as if I remember correctly there does seem to be a creeping process by the Republicans of gaining enough states for a constitutional convention. Perhaps a reversal of the "framer's coup" which centralized power after Independence, removing the much looser Articles of Confederation?

The US still matches quite well to the old colonies - New England + New Amsterdam in the North East, Jamestown in the South East, then the newer territories taken from Mexico in the South West, the Mississippi Purchase in the middle and then the North West. The North East and North West have more in common with Canada than the rest of the US.

Posted by: Roger | Apr 21 2023 23:32 utc | 100

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