Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 10, 2023

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2023-298

Last week's post on Moon of Alabama:



Other issues:





The Bidens:


Use as open (not related to the wars in Ukraine and Gaza) thread ...

Posted by b on December 10, 2023 at 13:14 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Even on the Russo-phobic OilPrice site, the truth sometimes leaks out

Posted by: Eighthman | Dec 10 2023 14:06 utc | 1

The expenses for Hunter Biden's guardian angel(s) didn't make it into his tax evasion indictment.

Its hard to believe he took an harmless years long walk on the wild side without a chaperone.

Posted by: too scents | Dec 10 2023 14:44 utc | 2

I’m stepping in here to declare one thing: the “Biden Administration” is led by a bunch of unelected women who have convinced themselves that they are, via their vaginas, more intelligent, moral, ethical, and wise than anyone who lacks a vagina, even if that vagina was surgically constructed.

The fundamental failure of the Biden “administration” is the same problem the Wilson Preznitcy suffered: he’s a zombie being directed by politically inexperienced women who have convinced themselves that their bureaucratic domination of certain key positions (Jake Sullivan, Anthony Blinken, Lloyd Austin, etc) demonstrates their intellectual, moral, and biological superiority.

In short: the US is currently led by a shadow government composed of female chauvinists of the lowest order.

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | Dec 10 2023 14:52 utc | 3

Vis-a-vis Huawei 5nm rumors, recent reports of China's locally developed new process technologies.

Tsinghua dual wafer stage ==>

SSMB light source ==>

Press "c" for auto-translated captions.

Posted by: too scents | Dec 10 2023 15:02 utc | 4

About Huawei shipping devices with domestically produced 5nm node chips, this isn't China "catching up", this is China sailing over the heads of the West halfway through an amazing leapfrog maneuver. As I said years ago, 2025 will be the year when China exceeds the West in ALL positive and progressive (the historic kind, not the faggy liberal kind of "progressive") metrics. The trajectories of both China and the West have been obvious for decades, but painfully and undeniably so since the middle of last decade. The West is doing a manic 737 MAX style power dive into terrain, while China is calmly and methodically uplifting into a bright future that portion of humanity which chooses to tag along with them.

I'd recommend those in the West get their heads out of the delusion and start making a Plan B, because the inevitable conclusion of your culture's "power dive" is going to be messy.

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 10 2023 15:04 utc | 5

thanks so much b! so many fascinating links, and i doubt i can read them all.. i appreciate the posters input here too..thanks everyone..

@ Pacifica Advocate | Dec 10 2023 14:52 utc | 3

thanks is an interesting way to frame it!

i am up early, because i am away til monday night.. any other posts with my name/approach are fake james..

Posted by: james | Dec 10 2023 15:04 utc | 6

Lol. Carnegie Endowment: Russia's FULL-SCALE invasion. Guess UNPROVOKED comes later on in the article.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Dec 10 2023 15:23 utc | 7

The Modi regime in India just expelled a prominent anti Modi politician, Mohua Moitra, from Parliament on transparently cooked up charges of taking money from a corporate competitor of Modi's financier Adani to ask questions in said Parliament.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Dec 10 2023 15:27 utc | 8

US military runs drills with Guyanese armed forces. I've read that there are 55 wars going on right now. What's one more?

Posted by: Immaculate deception | Dec 10 2023 16:48 utc | 9

America’s undoing - Samuel Moyn (Historian, Yale) / Prospect Mag

"When the Ukraine War began in 2022, and the US responded with enormous military aid, the credibility of that promise had been briefly revived after the nightmare of Donald Trump’s presidency."

Hard to get past this early paragraph. Typical Yale ruling class psuedo scholar, imperial propagandist.

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Dec 10 2023 16:52 utc | 10

Posted by: too scents | Dec 10 2023 15:02 utc | 4

SSMB light source ==>


I appreciate seeing that video, but it is hard to follow. You have to read the translation of the spoken Chinese over a background of constantly changing, moving, zooming graphics and photos. I think the average time any bit of background stays still is less than a second. The guy talks at light speed, without a letup.

For those interested:

The video is 28 minutes long, and it is an entire history of DUV and EUV fabrication technology, with back references to the invention of the laser, the synchrotron, the free electron laser, etc. They finally get to SSMB at about the 23 minute mark. I was interested in the SSMB tech, but I did not learn anything I had already seen in, for example, this SCMP story

Once again, I appreciate your posting the video. But, anyone unfamiliar with this technology area will be overwhelmed by the flood of information, while anyone familiar with it will learn very little that is new, although the graphics are a "2001 - a space odyssey" level light show.

Posted by: john brewster | Dec 10 2023 17:07 utc | 11

Coincidentally, Jonestown was located in the Essequibo area. Or maybe not?

Posted by: Immaculate deception | Dec 10 2023 17:17 utc | 12

Immaculate deception | Dec 10 2023 17:17 utc | 12
Not. The region is vast and, generally speaking inhabited by indigenous villages and the descendants of maroons. Most Guyanese live close to the coast, the old Dutch and British settled plantation areas.
Jonestown was isolated enough to suit all parties.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 10 2023 17:31 utc | 13

Biswapriya Purkayast | Dec 10 2023 15:27 utc | 8
Is this account useful?

Posted by: bevin | Dec 10 2023 17:35 utc | 14

Immaculate deception @12

Supposedly the CIA launched a major covert attack on a "secret" Soviet base in Guyana back in 1978. Rumors are the Jonestown massacre was actually cover for the CIA's death squads sustaining massive losses in their attack.

The Jonestown massacre probably was just a bunch stupid/delusional California dreamers drinking the Kool-Aid, but the CIA covert action rumor is believable, possible, in-character; the sort of thing the CIA does... It's their bread-and-butter.

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 10 2023 17:38 utc | 15

Posted by: john brewster | Dec 10 2023 17:07 utc | 11

An actual installation that pumps out wafers at required hourly rate is one thing, a youtube video that makes tall claims is another.

If you are interested in the topic, IEEE Spectrum's Sept. '23 issue has an article by Jan Van Schoot. Per IEEE "Van Schoot is the director of system engineering at the only company on the planet that makes EUV lithography systems: ASML ..."

This article has good technical meat:

podcast with Van Schoot:

More power to China if they manage to make this alleged jump but youtube and asiatimes articles are not going to cut it. Cut a wafers at the required precision and hourly production rate.

Posted by: robinthehood | Dec 10 2023 18:30 utc | 16

correction: podcast is with an editor at IEEE. Somewhat more technical details than the article.

Posted by: robinthehood | Dec 10 2023 18:52 utc | 17

Gut wrenching article on wages in the U.S. from a billionaire investor’s perspective :

The Destruction of the American Middle Class

…..It turns out that the above cited median annual wage for 2022 was just slightly above $40,000, and that by definition half of the nation’s 172 million workers with wage records earned less than that amount. To be exact, 84.5 million workers posted annual earnings of $40,000 per year or less in 2022, with an average annual earnings level of just $17,900.

That’s right. The average worker in the bottom half of the wage distribution generated earnings that do not even remotely support a middle-class living standard. In fact, this figure amounts to only 65% of the Federal poverty line for a household of 4 persons ($27,750) and is barely above the $14,580 poverty level for a single person household.

In other words, the overwhelming bulk of the 84.5 million workers in the bottom half of the wage distribution pulled in paychecks over the course of 2022 which were below or just above the Federal poverty lin…….

Posted by: Exile | Dec 10 2023 19:01 utc | 18

Posted by: robinthehood | Dec 10 2023 18:30 utc | 16

Thank you for the IEEE link. I will give it a look.

Please note that I merely commented on the technical quality of the video, and did not say that I believed that SSMB was working at scale.

Posted by: john brewster | Dec 10 2023 19:01 utc | 19

Posted by: robinthehood | Dec 10 2023 18:30 utc | 16
Posted by: john brewster | Dec 10 2023 19:01 utc | 19


Xiujie Deng's book "Theoretical and Experimental Studies on Steady-State Microbunching" is available as a free pre-print download.

Posted by: too scents | Dec 10 2023 19:24 utc | 20

Gruff@15 There was the death of Leo Ryan. We'll probably never know the real story.

Posted by: Immaculate deception | Dec 10 2023 19:28 utc | 21

Moyn's piece is a disappointment. His argument is that a well-meaning USA led by a well-meaning Democratic Party and a well-meaning Joe Biden have dropped the ball. Sad but failed promise.

What a crock. Boomer libtards really do live in a bubble.

US foreign policy is resource and finance imperialism. Israel and Ukraine are long-term proxies: the former is a base of operations to secure the resource-rich ME run by a clique of far-right nationalists, the latter was a very convenient black site for money laundering, gun/drug/prostitution-running and anti-Russia provocation, 'governed' by mafia fiefdoms wielding far-right nationalists as muscle.

Nothing about US policy internally or abroad is democratic under any available definition of the word. If history can tell us anything (and it can tell us everything) it is that warfare in phases of historical capitalism are about markets. War and Capital operate together. If one wants to understand America's decision-making one begins there.

After the collapse of the USSR making the world a better place was not on the USA's agenda. It's priority was the reorganisation of the world so that America's shareholders could receive larger dividends.

Certain countries have resisted this policy in various ways since 1990: populist Arab leaders attempted to rise above Islamism (a destabilising movement fanned by the CIA in Afghanistan) by daring to run their countries for their populations; the EU thought solidarity and unity might propel them out of long-term occupation and dependence; Russia redivivus; China—well, China is resisting on multiple fronts not least by keeping Wall St away from 1.6B potential debt slaves.

Michael Hudson is to be preferred to Moyn's hand-wringing: America's 10% want a helotised world, rent-farmed in perpetuity.

Posted by: Patroklos | Dec 10 2023 19:47 utc | 22

Posted by: too scents | Dec 10 2023 19:24 utc | 20

Thanks for that! Just skimming his SSMB Proof-of-Principle Experiments. I'd recommend listening that podcast (or read the article) as it discusses the 3 fundamental knobs they have for making very tiny things. One is the light source which SSMB is (potentially) addressing.

From his thesis:

"A promising accelerator light source mechanism called steady-state microbunching (SSMB) has been actively studied in recent years. The idea of SSMB is to scale the longitudinal focusing of the electron beam in a storage ring from the conven- tional radiofrequency range to optical laser wavelengths. The combination of microbunching-enabled coherent radiation and the high repetition rate of electron beam circulating in a storage ring makes SSMB a high-average-power high-flux narrowband photon source, with wavelength extendable to soft X-ray. Such a high- flux narrowband light source allows sub-meV energy resolution in angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, which could provide new opportunities for fundamental physics research, for example, to probe the energy gap distribution and electronic states of superconducting materials. An SSMB-based kW-level extreme ultraviolet (EUV) source is also appealing for the semiconductor industry to be used in EUV lithography for high-volume chip manufacturing."

So this tech can potentially replace the (wacko wild!) ASML's method of zapping drops of molten tin and (maybe, not an expert) reduce some of the complexity of the optics. But if you listen to the podcast, the next story is NVIDIA's breakthrough in a *computation* part of the process.

So the optics are so strange that to project rectilinear shadows all sorts of geometric hacks have to be applied (at corners, for example) so that after the tangle of strange beams lighting it up, the resultant shadow on the wafer can nice, crisp, 90 degree angles and lines. NVIDIA apparently has found a way to shrink the compute time for the masks from multiple weeks (!) to 24 hours. This is the "k1" factor of the formula bounding the performance envelope of the lithographic process.

And finally process is the key word here. Taking an experimental set up (SSMB per my skims) from lab to production is not always a walk in the park. Actually, most of the complexity of machines we see is precisely all the additions to make a conceptual working model production ready. And this is where a lot of smart groups fall short. Recall that both USA and USSR had to grab German scientists to continue their research. A jet engine, a rocket engine, these are conceptually (lab models) pretty simple stuff. But apparently taking it to the production was something that only German's had figured out effectively. This fact of industrial product vs conceptual model is one of the reasons that it is so difficult for some countries to catch up. Every has the diagrams. But to build the damn things, that seems to involve 'tacit knowledge' that can only come from prior experience.

Posted by: robinthehood | Dec 10 2023 19:47 utc | 23

Posted by: too scents | Dec 10 2023 19:24 utc | 20

Re: Xiujie Deng

He is an author of a 2022 paper in Nature Methods for enhancing the steady-state microbunching in storage rings

Probably shorter than a book.

Posted by: john brewster | Dec 10 2023 19:57 utc | 24

Posted by: Patroklos | Dec 10 2023 19:47 utc | 22

Good comment. Agree and well put.

Re: Jonestown, I'm sure you all are aware of the Covert Action Magazine articles, but in case anyone missed them:

And since this past week was the "anniversary" of John Lennon's assassination with JFK's being last month:

Honestly all three are worth a read.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Dec 10 2023 20:19 utc | 25

Michael Hudson is to be preferred to Moyn's hand-wringing: America's 10% want a helotised world, rent-farmed in perpetuity.

Posted by: Patroklos | Dec 10 2023 19:47 utc | 22

P.S. which is the Moyn article? After reading your comment, I decided to look for it, but I can't find it in b's list of links.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Dec 10 2023 20:44 utc | 26

^^^ Sorry, Patroklos - I was looking in the wrong place. Didn't think that subject matter would be listed under Israel/Palestine. Found it.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Dec 10 2023 20:45 utc | 27

December 10 is UN-mandated Human Rights Day.

Posted by: Pundita | Dec 10 2023 20:52 utc | 28

Can anyone else access this Consortium News page?

I get the following error:

The site connection pool has been exhausted.
Please refresh or try visiting again later.

If this is your site, it may be misconfigured or an active plugin may have caused this connection error. Please visit for tips on troubleshooting your Managed WordPress site.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Dec 10 2023 21:04 utc | 29

@ Tom_Q_Collins | Dec 10 2023 21:04 utc | 29

No problem on my ancient laptop, with that Caitlin column. On another note...

Alongside Zelensky's apparent evaporation and Gaza's incineration, the most incredibly absurd "climate summit" in history, so-called COP28, has been flopping unnoticed like a dying moth in the heater vent. Just as well, making it perfectly clear to all sides of the table that the whole IPCC process has been designed to "fail" -- if you call it failure when the folks in charge get exactly what they want.

A cursory look at global atmospheric and oceanic temperatures in 2023 can lead one to wonder what the heck is going on (just offstage, on planet Earth, as WW III festers centerstage). After scouring the literature, the most likely explanation I find is from the dean of methane, Euen Nisbet. This Economist write-up does an excellent job of carefully describing the ominousness of the research Nisbet has been presenting. The question in the headline could be rephrased: "How long until feedback emissions (such as swamps) dwarf human emissions?"

Do rising methane levels herald a climate feedback loop?

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Dec 10 2023 21:34 utc | 30

Only by recognizing & understanding the causes of the most pressing world issues, will we find viable solutions. The practice of endlessly discussing the sad effects of the cancerous tumor (AKA: western world leaders under AIPAC), is surely not the approach that any competent doctor would take. Surely a good doctor would aim to 1) recognize & 2) annihilate the cause of the affliction.

Are the two most powerful & trusted western institutions (church & state), in fact the least trustworthy & most corrupt of all?

It may pay to remember that ~2,000 years ago the majority of humans were illiterate, emotional creatures, much more like unthinking herds of animals than now. Most people were controlled by shepherds/chieftans who worked thru/the church & state. Humanity needed shepherds, but that need has evaporated with time.

A few "ruling elites" have held the reins of power in the west over the chieftans/shepherds for centuries.
With their clever Big Lies, dirty tricks, & extensive use of the old "Divide & Conquer" strategy, they have managed thus far to evade the significant threats to their hold on power. But obviously the situation has changed in 2000 + years.

Any builder knows that structures built on corrupt foundations eventually collapse. We are seeing the primitive political & religious institutions collapse, as they must to make way for a new era.

It is essential that all thinking people should give time and thought to the consideration of the major world problems with which we are now faced... It must be recognized that the cause of all world unrest, of the world wars which have wrecked humanity, and the widespread misery upon our planet, can largely be attributed to a selfish group with materialistic purposes, who have for centuries exploited the masses and used the labour of mankind for their selfish ends... This group of capitalists has cornered and exploited the world's resources and the staples required for civilised living; they have been able to do this because they have owned and controlled the world's wealth through their interlocking directorates, and have retained it in their hands. They have made possible the vast differences existing between the very rich and the very poor; they love money and the power which money gives; they have stood behind governments and politicians; they have controlled the electorate; they have made possible the narrow nationalistic aims of selfish politics; they have financed the world businesses and controlled oil, coal, power, light and transportation; they control publicly or sub rosa the world's banking accounts.
The responsibility for the widespread misery to be found today in every country in the world, lies predominantly at the door of certain major interrelated groups of businessmen, bankers, executives of international cartels, monopolies, trusts and organisations, and directors of huge corporations, who work for corporate or personal gain. p. 70/1
Alice Bailey, The Problems Of Humanity (1944)

The peoples of the world... are divided into four groups... This is of course a wide generalization... First, the ignorant masses... They can be easily... swept into a collective activity by leaders of any school of thought which is clever enough, and emotional enough, to appeal to material desires, to love of country... They can be controlled by fear, and thus aroused to action by emotional appeal... Their conditions must be bettered, but not through bloodshed and exploitation. Secondly, the middle classes... the bulk of the nations, the bourgeoisie - intelligent, diligent, enquiring, narrow-minded... They are...without exception, the most powerful element in any nation... the most fruitful field from which the new leaders and organizers are being drawn... they are the determining factor in world affairs... Because of their intelligence... they provide the most powerful group in the world in each nation... Thirdly, the thinkers...the intelligent and highly educated men and women, who sense ideas and formulate them into ideals. These people speak the words, write the articles and books, and utilise all the known methods to reach and educate the general public... sometimes for good, and sometimes for selfish ends. They play upon the human mind, as a musician plays upon his instrument... Some few, more perhaps than might appear, are working selflessly under the inspiration of the new era... dedicated to the amelioration of human conditions, and the betterment of world affairs along certain lines... They are found in every government, party, society, and organization... p.174-175
Alice Bailey, Esoteric Philosophy Vol II (1942)

"Apocalypse... is a Greek word meaning "revelation", "an unveiling or unfolding of things not previously known and which could not be known apart from the unveiling". [because 2,000 years humanity was simply not ready to know some things]

"Every space scientist will agree that, as the earth undergoes its various cycles of rotation, orbit and precession, these cycles simultaneously define the time of the day, of the year, and of the age, respectively. They will further agree that, by virtue of the present position of the earth’s precession with the sun to the distant constellations of the Zodiac, the earth-sun system is now in a transition period, moving from the Age of Pisces into the Age of Aquarius. Within the science of astronomy, as well as within esoteric astrology, there is little attention paid to the process by which the astronomical transition to the New/Aquarian Age is occurring. In light of events now unfolding in the world by virtue of this transition, this subject will undoubtedly become more interesting to scientists and laymen alike in the coming years. -Rick Roark From Pisces to Aquarius: The precession of the equinoxes

"We are now five years into the age of Aquarius, which seen from the astronomical point of view is almost no time at all. Since 1675 the energies of Aquarius have gradually been making an impact on our lives. Now they are bringing more and more young people into incarnation who are essentially Aquarian in their disposition and energetic make-up.
However, we are in a time in which all the structures – political, economic, religious, cultural, educational, etc – are still dominated by Piscean energy, and the world is led by people who hold them dear. The terrible and dangerous gulf between the poor and the rich, for example, threatens the very existence of this world. So there is still much to do but the ordinary people of the world are waking up to their responsibilities, and their power. --Benjamin Creme, Share International magazine (March 2014)

"I want to remind you about the absolute inevitability of the New Era. The fiery energies are in their greatest tension attracted toward Earth, and if not accepted, realized and assimilated they will cause terrific earthquakes and other cosmic perturbations, and also revolutions, wars and new epidemics. We are now at the very entrance of a New Era, a New Race, and therefore our time may be compared with the times of Atlantis, the existence of which becomes more and more evident to our science. --Helena Roerich Letters I, (26 December 1931)

Posted by: Toby C | Dec 10 2023 21:53 utc | 31


Another myth destroyed in real time

Posted by: Echo Chamber | Dec 10 2023 21:57 utc | 32

Do rising methane levels herald a climate feedback loop?

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Dec 10 2023 21:34 utc | 30

No. Next question...

Posted by: Phil R | Dec 10 2023 22:14 utc | 33

Posted by: Patroklos | Dec 10 2023 19:47 utc | 22

Excellent comment. Couldn't have said better myself.

Peace to you, brother Patroklos!

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Dec 10 2023 22:42 utc | 34

Russia readies for a brave new world - Indian Punchline

This one provides a concise summation of Russia's successes this year and geopolitical overview of the coming years.

Nothing new to the bar, but well written.

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Dec 10 2023 22:52 utc | 35

"Ready to change the name of the S. China Sea? Do you prefer W. Philippine Sea? Or Sea pf Asia? I'm surprised the US Congress has not done this before!

Posted by: lester | Dec 10 2023 22:59 utc | 36

From a forgotten post to another thread:

“”US “Christianity” has been entirely consumed by the Satan-worshipping “Evangelical” strain, both Catholic and Protestant.

Evangelicalism will usher in an era of unrestrained religious murder, all based on cruelly invented religious myths such as “There was once a Kingdom of Israel” and “The Book of Revelations is predictive, not historical”.

Or, in other words: the US (and almost certainly the collective West—not including East Europe, nor any of what is currently allied the ‘global south’) is going to collapse into an era of utterly abysmal, totally necrotic, and entirely untreatable flesh-eating infections.

This immolation of the collective West will be entirely caused by the Evangelicals, who—and I say this without shame—are entirely the product of that which they have always hoped to combat.

I do wish I wasn’t raised among them, because I honestly do not think, now, any one of them deserves the slightest pity.

And yet…””

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | Dec 10 2023 23:01 utc | 37

After the Philippines were genocide victims of both Spain and the US, they still want to align with the west?

Posted by: Thurl | Dec 10 2023 23:20 utc | 38

My previous post re: Keurig Dr. Pepper seems to have disappeared. Was it something I said?

Posted by: joey_n | Dec 10 2023 23:28 utc | 39

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | Dec 10 2023 23:01 utc | 37

Good post, Pacifica Advocate. Back, way back, in the day, Catholicism,at least in the Catholic highschool I went to, and later in my small Orthodox church surroundings, blended in quite well, almost seamlessly, with the eastern church traditions I was learning to love.

I became aware of the changes only when the PBS program 'Now' aired, first show hosted by Bill Moyers took the audience straight into the 'last days' interpretation of the evangelicals and the then cohabitation they had with Zionism. Bless Bill Moyers, he pulled no punches on that one, though at first I, being indoctrinated in better times, found it hard to believe. It wasn't so, I felt, where I lived anyway - after all our choir had sung in the Catholic cathedral at Christmas time, and it was packed with folk listening to beautiful Orthodox hymns.

That was then; this is now. Some of us are still out there, out here, a remnant. I hope it is enough.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 10 2023 23:39 utc | 40

these things, spin off reports from russiagate crimes,

CTI Files #4: The Hamilton 68 Connection - The Racket
and the report before that

Really make me sick to the stomach. While people on sites like this may be aware, the world as a whole is not and never will be. and that is the scariest thing of all. Every other horrible thing confronting us eg gaza rests upon this disinfo networks and the lies spinning arind the globe 24/7 -- and I believe it is unstoppable, no matter how many people know now or in a year, it's self-fulfilling and getting worse with AI chatgpt google search manipulations and all that.

When the internet first began, and yahoo was up and running and netscape had launched I was one of maybe 250 million other online - it all looked so hopeful in the mid-late 90s.

Now it's just sad. So very very sad.

Posted by: Lavrov's Dog | Dec 10 2023 23:46 utc | 41

After the Philippines were genocide victims of both Spain and the US, they still want to align with the west?
Posted by: Thurl | Dec 10 2023 23:20 utc | 38

Of course. because those who own and control the country (who are the only people you will ever get hear or see) are the direct descendants of the Spanish colonialists (mixed in with some American blood) and not the native peoples.

They are for intents and purposes, western Spaniards .... so of course they align with the West.

Posted by: Lavrov's Dog | Dec 10 2023 23:52 utc | 42

"After the collapse of the USSR making the world a better place was not on the USA's agenda. It's priority was the reorganisation of the world so that America's shareholders could receive larger dividends..." Patroklos@22

Of course "making the world a better place" never had been on the agenda. Although with the USSR commted to just that it was necessary for the US ruling class to pretend that it wanted the same things (education, healthcare, housing, decent wages, opportunities for all) without the inconveniences of getting rid of capitalism.

"After the Philippines were genocide victims of both Spain and the US, they still want to align with the west?" Thurl@38

They got the message: "Do as you are told or genocide will ensue."

Posted by: bevin | Dec 10 2023 23:58 utc | 43

Thank you, b, for your coverage here. It has been a trying week on many fronts.

I have been posting my thoughts on an essay titled "Plato: User's Guide", which can be found at the site because I feel, as does the author, Bernard Suzanne, our times are in need of such a discussion as the one he engages in.

Partly I've been working through the earliest stages of the essay with my own understanding of some passages I have found difficult, but I want to conclude my introductionary journey on these open threads with a paragraph that I feel explains itself, so it will be my last extract along these lines. Further on, Suzanne takes us on a journeuy through the dialogues themselves, and that will be my and your own personal journey-- whenever time permits. I might have things to say when I'm older(!) and hopefully wiser, but that's looking a long way ahead. So, coming up next will be my last extract for now.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 11 2023 0:05 utc | 44

Has anyone a link to the article by Naryshikin mentioned in Badrakumar´s article?

Posted by: Ghost of Mozgovoy | Dec 11 2023 0:08 utc | 45

Here is the paragraph I described at Posted by: juliania | Dec 11 2023 0:05 utc | 44, along with part of the preceding paragraph in order to help with the context.(I had ended with it on my last Plato post.

... the goal of a true philosopher should be to seek not what “is”, but what is “good” and the foundation of philosophy properly understood is not an “ontology” (a discourse on “being” asking the question devoid of meaning of what “exists” and what “doesn’t exist”), but an “agathology” 7 (common quest through dialogue of what is “good” and what isn’t). And it should become obvious by now why those who have gone the farthest in this quest are the most apt to lead their fellow human beings.

Read in that perspective rather than with the goal of reconstructing (vainly if my hypotheses are on the mark), what could have been the “theories” of Plato, which is much more comfortable because less personally involving, the dialogues of Plato remain of foremost relevance for us today, since the problems they deal with are the same as ours despite considerable progress in the sciences that he would have called “physical”, about which he wants us to understand that they can only answer “how?” questions, “how to do this or that?”, and not “why?” questions, “why, to what end, good or bad, should we do this rather than that?”, which are the questions we should be most concerned with, all the more so as his time shared many similarities with ours: considerable progress in scientific knowledge, – Hippocrates, the founder of “rational” rather than “magical” medicine, was a contemporary of Socrates –materialism, atheism, relativism, democracy in the hands of fine talkers and public relations specialists, confiscation of power by a handful of wealthy families, and so on, and he questions and invites us to question precisely the value of all these features of his time...

I will just add that Plato is not going to give answers to the question "Why?" but rather to stimulate the reader or pupil into searching out his/her own answers, through questions and answers within the dialogues themselves.

A prime example of this technique occurs in the dialogue Meno where Socrates takes a slave boy through a series of questions by means of which, from an incorrect solution to a geometrical problem, he is led to discover for himself what the correct answer must be. In other places, such as in the dialogue The Republic, we are left to find our own way, if we are able, to our own conclusions. That is, we should! (I am hoping Suzanne's essay will help direct our paths; it already has done so so far for me.)

Posted by: juliania | Dec 11 2023 0:34 utc | 46

Apparently & sadly, question/comments such as the following, if put to the western leaders, would go way over their heads. Apparently they would rather count their money than think about ethics, truth, the purpose of life & such.

"Are you not ashamed that you give your attention to acquiring as much money as possible, and similarly with reputation and honor, and give no attention or thought to truth and understanding and the perfection of your soul?"
* False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.


Sergey Lavrov, Dec 10, 2023 said:
"...the multipolar world which is emerging after five hundred years of domination of what we call the “collective West”. It’s domination was based on a diverse history including ruthless exploitation of peoples and territories of other countries. In any case, on the basis of this five hundred years, the United States and its allies built the model of globalization, which they believed would serve them well to continue to be number one in economy, in military exercises, in culture, politics, and so on and so forth. And they thought that they would be using this globalization scheme to continue their domination.

"However, other countries, using exactly the principles and instruments of the western globalization, managed to beat the West on its own turf, building the economies on the basis of national sovereignty, on the basis of balance of interests with other countries. And as this process continued, the new centers of economic growth, of financial power, and of political influence started to emerge.

"We see this process very much underway, which is clearly changing the balance of power in the world, and not to the West liking. And in order to suppress this kind of development, any dissent, our western colleagues decided to sacrifice all the principles of globalization, which they have been selling to everybody for decades and decades, including free market, fair competition, inviolability of property, presumption of innocence. All this was sacrificed for the sake of rules-based world order. The rules were never published, were never even announced by anyone to anyone, and they are being applied depending on what exactly the West needs at a particular moment of modern history.

"This is especially seen in various conflicts which the West ignites all over the world. Everything goes to keep the hegemony. Intervention in domestic affairs, sanctions against all the principles of competition, regime change, and of course direct military interventions, like we have seen in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and elsewhere.

10 December 2023 17:46
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions following the 21th Doha Forum, 10 December 2023

Posted by: Toby C | Dec 11 2023 1:01 utc | 47

Samuel Moyn is a smart guy, but his article contains a lot of breathless and weird Liberal claims about Ukraine, including the one that Putin invaded Ukraine for territory. He also seems shocked, shocked about Russia's battlefield behavior.

Posted by: Lukacs | Dec 11 2023 1:35 utc | 48

Those screaming recession since the last quarter of 2020. You know, the Monetarists on the right and ALL of the big names and talking heads on your corporate TV sets. Who still live in a gold standard, fixed exchange rate world.

3 years they have been peddling their bull shit from their pulpits. Wouldn't recognise money from mud pie. With their government spending is the devil religion and sacred texts. Bank lending is god.

Just saying ↑

Can we now declare right wing neoclassical economics dead ? Is 3 years of nonsense, enough to finally kill it once and for all ?

Or does the ideologue and idiot still want to keep it alive?

Posted by: Echo Chamber | Dec 11 2023 1:36 utc | 49

@49 Echo

I would be appreciative if you could dispel that theory in greater detail.

I hear your reasoning when you say that chicken little will keep crying chicken little, and I realize that doom-purveyors make their living on impending doom, but from my vantage point, it does look like we are careening over an abyss.

And you are parroting U.S. BLS? I thought that these captured agencies were all garbage at this point. These figures are so doctored as to be meaningless. Or did you believe in all the covid stats, too?

At a certain point, you can feel the fabric fraying. You can pick up a pattern. Are you saying my intuition is crap? Always seeking and ready for refutation.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Dec 11 2023 2:01 utc | 50

I take a swipe at one of our problems as residents of the West, "Sunday Sermon: Outlaw US Empire Imbecility"

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 11 2023 3:28 utc | 51

@ karlof1 | Dec 11 2023 3:28 utc | 51 with the link to his latest missive....thanks

I read it and my response to you from Issac Asimov is/was

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 11 2023 4:00 utc | 52

psychohistorian | Dec 11 2023 4:00 utc | 52--

Thanks for your reply. I do recall that citation. Attempts were made to get beyond that problem, most impressively by those who were essentially self-taught. Both of us overcame our educational system's roadblocks as have others. IMO, that's because we and others were unafraid of what we'd find as we sought Truth. Within a citizen's duties is the quest for Truth, for that's the only proper platform on which to formulate & evaluate policy. The Senator I profiled fails as both citizen and lawmaker for he has no idea whatsoever what the Truth is. He'll pony up that $5 quicker than anyone since he's certifiable as he's proven.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 11 2023 4:39 utc | 53

karlof1 | Dec 11 2023 4:39 utc | 53

The imbecility of 'educated' group think. Geo-politically, racism runs rampant here in the so called west.
But that imbecility of educated group think runs through all walks of life in the so called west. The best term I have run onto to describe it was classifying assorted professionals in any particular area into ex spurts and experts. Experts are few and hard to find. A tiny minority. They are the people that use their education as a foundation rather than a cage. The vast majority the ex spurt class feel safer living within the cage of their education and group think.
It is a system that truly deserves to go down.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Dec 11 2023 6:15 utc | 54

Have just returned from the pharmacist. A new young wannabe westerner has now taken the position of pharmacist there. an import. The old pharmacist has apparently left/retired or whatever.

At the start of this round of illness back around 2007, I began getting histamine headaches. Similar to migraines but it is only anti histamines that prevent them. Befor I learnt that, those headaches would put me out of action for up to 48 hours. 24 hours of blinding pain, and then another 24 hours of weakness with at the worst, my right cheek the next day would feel like it had been hit by a baseball bat.

Although now I have isolated an allergy to a chemical compound found in most seeds and nuts, alfa-gal/mammal meat allergy, citric acid intolerance, but have not yet found the trigger for the histamine headaches.
Citric acid intolerance appears to be the underlying factor that I have had throughout life. Until I found that just a couple of months ago, my digestive system had completely ceased to function.
Citric acid intolerance rules out all fruit and veg, not just citrus. By eliminating that back to trace amounts, a bit of gut function has returned.
Alfa-gal is a sugar in mammal meats. Have just started tests using lactic acid bacteria available as starter cultures for salami making - basically fermenting lamb to convert the meat sugar to lactic acid and appear to be having some success.

Breaking down meat into ready to absorb smaller components - amino acids and so forth gives a big boost. Pineapple turned into puree in the blender, mixed with chopped chicken or lamb and left for up to a week works well but that is out due to pineapple having large amounts of citric acid. Trial batches of various enzymes from India also worked, but after buying a large batch of enzymes from India, all meat treated with this batch was inedible. Running a few test lots now to see if it is something I did wrong or the problem is with Indian quality control.

The hardest parts of this latest illness is trying to work it out while at the limits of exhaustion and blocked at every turn by the imbecilic ex-spurts of the medical industry.

This is just my personal experiance with the fuckwittery of western medical 'scientific' group think.
But that now covers all areas in the so called west, to such an extent that is is simply the accepted norm for most peasants/cannon fodder educated or not.

Due to my experience throughout life with autoimmune conditions, lack of any understanding of the immune system shows up starkly in so called scientific medicine here in the so called west. Pentagon mRNA jabs... a GMO population with very high excess deaths not to mention injury...
... so pissed off now, not having access to antihistamines before I have been able to isolate the trigger for the headaches...

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Dec 11 2023 7:33 utc | 55

Current ABC headlines in oz.

"New COVID vaccines targeting Omicron subvariant XBB 1.5 are now available in Australia
New COVID booster shots are now available in Australia.

And as cases rise ahead of the holiday period yet again, experts say the latest vaccine will help protect against the subvariants currently spreading around the country.

Here's what you need to know."

Oz government tabloid is constantly pumping that crap. Boosters boosters boosters. Fuck me, those that have bought this crap and accepted all the boosters should be bypassing Venus by now.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Dec 11 2023 7:55 utc | 56

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 11 2023 3:28 utc | 51

A long wound way of exclaiming 'I am with stupid'.

Excuse the snide, i share your feeling and appreciate a nice little rant as much as a well sourced essay.

Also, it rather should be 'I am with ignorants', shouldn't it and isn't ignorance bliss?
It surely isn't what the office of citizen requires.
Then again i am of the pessimistic type and as a german i wittnessed how Büchners 'Woyzeck' is analysed and discussed on rails and how my fellow class mates for the most part never came near the idea that they all are indeed Woyzeck.

Posted by: kspr | Dec 11 2023 9:24 utc | 57

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Dec 11 2023 2:01 utc | 50

It is very simple what they describe applies to either

a) A gold standard environment


b) A fixed exchange rate environment

That no longer applies.

They caused and then missed the financial crises which was started by Clinton's budget surpluses. A gold standard, fixed exchange rate belief.

If you switch off your TV and take a walk around, then that feeling of standing on the precipice vanishes. We all know that Eventually, those who benefit from the interest rate increases, who typically have a lower marginal propensity to consume (how much they spend out of every extra $ received), run out of things to buy and pocket the bonuses.

And that eventually, the spending cuts from the debtors, particularly lower income mortgage holders, begins to dominate.

But we are not there yet. If they don't change course then they will have crashed the economy using their gold standard, fixed exchange rate textbooks. It will be their fault again.

God only knows what the appeal of Monetarism is. It's like a fetish with some people. Replacing the Inflation Tax with the Mortgage Tax isn't the answer.

Any idiot can bring inflation under control if maintaining full employment isn't a requirement. You just stop all government spending, push taxes up and watch the sky fall in.

The challenge is maintaining stable prices *and* full employment.

Learning standards in economics 3 part series.

Posted by: Echo Chamber | Dec 11 2023 11:28 utc | 58

The reason they have been screaming recession since the last quarter of 2020 is

a) Political/ ideological purposes.

b) Their gold standard, fixed exchange rate thinking.

c) Their Monetarism belief system.

Surely now we can put these in the dustbin of history were they belong ?

Posted by: Echo Chamber | Dec 11 2023 11:36 utc | 59

The two comments on Moyn's article at succinctly deal with it -

13 hours ago
The US has never advanced democracy anywhere, including at home. The US is a plutocratic republic masquerading as a democracy (serious academic work has proven this fact time and time again) and everywhere abroad has only strived to install and create a compradror elite, beholden to Washington. The US is the ultimate defender of the freedom and liberty of the rich to stay rich, to get richer, and to subordinate the population in the tightest grip possible, especially of the "mind control" variety, sprinkled with panem et circenses.

15 hours ago
"The American dream of advancing democracy through force of arms is obsolete..." that was NEVER the "dream." rather, the dream was the liberalization of markets, control of trade routes, expurgation and privatization of sovereign commodities and dominance of world finance--all by hook or crook. Gaza simply finally presents on YouTube and telegram for all the world to see the Conradian/Kurtzian "horror" of Atlanticist colonialism spearheaded by the very NATO extortionist bloc Putin had the cojones to resist in brazen fashion. not too complicated. once you dispel with poor premises and mythologies about what America actually is, long-winded pieces like this by Moyn become chaff and filler.

Posted by: Ново з | Dec 11 2023 11:43 utc | 60


After the Philippines were genocide victims of both Spain and the US, they still want to align with the west?

From anecdotal experience the people in the Philippines hate the Japanese the most, then the Chinese. US culture is very popular, consumerism is popular. There is very little critical theory anywhere to be found in the Philippines media landscape. And as always and everywhere the majority hates whoever Big Brother tells them to hate.

Posted by: Hamburger | Dec 11 2023 12:21 utc | 61

Two interesting subjects missing in the review:
85 Attacks on US bases in Iraq & Syria since Oct. 17th - this is less than I expected, especially since they are all low intensity, but still will make the US presence more stressfull.
Venezuela has named a gouverner for the Essequibo province - difficult to understand where this might lead. There are upcoming talks between Guyana and Venezuela, but those will only reflect the state of assumed leverage. In the case of Guyana that leverage will be the promise of US support. Still. some diplomatic solution might be possible?

Posted by: Hamburger | Dec 11 2023 13:25 utc | 62

TASS, 11 December, 2023:

". . .the Wall Street Journal cites data showing that the military arsenal of the United Kingdom, considered Europe's top defense spender, currently has only 150 tanks and about a dozen serviceable long-range artillery pieces."
clarifying note--
"The Lilliputians are men six inches in height but possessing all the pretension and self-importance of full-sized men. They are mean, vicious, and hypocritical"

The mighty didnlt have far to fall. Inches, it seems.

Posted by: Elmagnostic | Dec 11 2023 13:36 utc | 63

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Dec 10 2023 20:19 utc | 25

Yes, good articles. Also this latest on Pearl Harbour (which bevin might enjoy):

Posted by: Scorpion | Dec 11 2023 14:03 utc | 64

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Dec 11 2023 7:33 utc | 55

You seem to have gone deep into allergies etc. I came into auto-immune system issues by combination of serious mid-life crises on multiple fronts and tick bites containing US biolab spawned 'Lyme Disease'.

Although it occasionally gets bad, most of the time am passed it. I tried all sorts of medicines (though not that many compared to most, I gather) and ended up favouring a personally derived meditation technique along with strict 'anti-inflammation diet. This helped greatly but a Daoist Japanese acupuncturist in Mexico, using an ancient method revealed to his mentor in a dream (!), and which shoots lightning bolts of intense pain through the body made great progress though the doctor, who had become a friend, died before the course of treatment ended. He was a bit if a Saint and worked himself to death. A Japanese thing!

Then I moved to the ocean, sea-bathing twice a day. And then covid struck and having read an article about the French epidemiologist who used HCQ I used it. Both I and my wife recovered from a truly nasty flu, within 12 hours. 3 weeks later we got dengue and HCQ was no longer available so we took older Chloroquine and in a few days were better. Later ivermectina was tested.

I noticed after the covid and HCQ that Lyme was pretty much gone, though I suspect being by the ocean also helped greatly. Variables! After a doctor-induced health issue six months later I took ivermectin as regular bi-monthly prophylactic.

Long and short: I find both HCQ and ivermectin help greatly with auto immune. They have little to no side effects. Not expensive. You might want to try them out. There are acute doses to take when ill and preventative maintenance doses. Ivermectin was developed from soil microbes.

Posted by: Scorpion | Dec 11 2023 14:25 utc | 65

@Lavrov's Dog | Dec 10 2023 23:52 utc | 42

Of course. because those who own and control the country (who are the only people you will ever get hear or see) are the direct descendants of the Spanish colonialists (mixed in with some American blood) and not the native peoples.

They are for intents and purposes, western Spaniards .... so of course they align with the West.

Not at all. I met a good number of Philippines and I can tell you that the average Philippine is a Hollywood brainwashed bot, like the average Latin American. Go to Europe, enter Mac Donald's or Burger King and you will find loads of Asians and Latin Americans, enter a traditional restaurant and you will find none. Enter a cinema when there is the latest Hollywood film and you will find loads of Asians and Latin Americans, enter the same cinema when there is a European film and you will find none. Same thing for music, comics etc. Those peoples are the jannissaries of American neo-liberalism/neo-conservatism.

Posted by: SG | Dec 11 2023 14:27 utc | 66

@ EchoChamber
“God only knows what the appeal of Monetarism is.”

Well there’s along answer and a short answer.
I made a mistake of trying to write a short one that got longer and then a slip of the thumb closed my browser and so, here is another attempt at a short one.

It’s a creation just as every other ‘theory’ of economics is , which is just another religion.

Monetarism is the shiny new turd, latest religion, that was ushered in by the end of the Breton Woods order with the Jamaica Accords in the mid 70’s.

It led to Regans Spring in America bs and Thatchers Big Bang in the U.K.

It was the antidote to the forced provision of the Trente Glorious that kept western populations under control after the unexpected victory by Stalins Red Army. Having survived tens of millions of casualties!

These thirty years kept us in the mindset that we were better than the Commies - our allies who beat fascism- who were demonised into enemies to be killed and conquered. The Red Scare etc Tried recently with yet another proxy fascists backed and supported by the same ones as Hitlers German Nazis were.

Keynesianism was the pseudo religion formed to explain how public services were paid for through fiscalism.
More gobbledygook as you of all people know.
Monetarism was the antidote, that told the ‘common folk’ that their Taxes paid for the Public Service.
It told them that a Housewife’s purse was the same as the Government’s treasure chest.
It brainwashed the masses into believing that privatisation of public services - which handed masses of wealth to the great investors the ancient Financiers - was a good thing.
It lied about the Unions who demanded decent conditions and wages for the 30 odd years , which were no longer needed as a sop now that the USSR had been extended into collapse.
Monetarism was a complete fabrication about Money supply , interest rates - just further religious gobbledygook.
It was implemented as soon as there was no further danger that the western masses might go the same way as the Russians and could now be returned to the prewar serf status.
A return if their MENTAL slavery.
By their own hands and minds with the myth of TINA
There Is No Alternative!

And here we are - monetarists - the latest fad religion. That demanded we slay our children’s future in its worship.

Posted by: DunGroanin | Dec 11 2023 14:35 utc | 67

one week ago. Javier exorcizes communism possessing the pope.

two days ago. The U.S. offers IMF support to Argentina

yesterday. JAVIER MILEI INAUGURATION SPEECH, run time 00:34:00

...after the macro-economic re-arrangement that we are going to push, which will be less painful, the greater the lower country risk and the better our country risk containment is from the Ministry of Human Capital, the situation will improve....
I bet that's what Macri said, when he hoovered that $60B loan from IMF.


Posted by: sln2002 | Dec 11 2023 14:41 utc | 68

This is the latest on winning sanctions and the gas station that we can’t own and absolutely can’t do without.

‘ 🇷🇺 ⛽️🇪🇺 About LNG supplies from Russia to the European energy market

Despite the significant decrease in pipeline gas supplies, Russia plays a crucial role in the European energy market. Russian LNG makes up nearly 20% of the total supplies.

Russia's influence, as recently highlighted by the Financial Times, extends beyond direct shipments. It includes intricate transshipment schemes involving tankers operating in Belgium, France, and Spain. This highly efficient logistics network allows for LNG to be exported to different destinations, such as Bangladesh, China, and Japan.

A significant portion of the LNG comes from NOVATEK's Yamal LNG project, underscoring Russia's vital role in European energy supplies. Predictably, experts from the Financial Times, the voice of Anglo-Saxon multinationals, have advocated for halting LNG supplies from Russia. However, given Europe's considerable dependence on Russian LNG, especially during the winter months, EU representatives may find it challenging to oppose transshipment schemes.

Current European Union sanctions do not currently impact Russian LNG, except for a ban on transshipment in the UK and the Netherlands. NOVATEK continues to deliver long-term LNG supply contracts to many European countries, demonstrating Russia's enduring presence in European energy markets. As consumption is expected to increase, EU countries are preparing to receive record volumes of LNG from Russia this upcoming winter.

🔻This trend of strengthening partnerships with Russia was confirmed today. Dutch energy companies have resumed purchasing Russian LNG after a three-month pause. This move could potentially enhance partnerships with Russian companies, providing them with another incentive to boost production and supplies.

Naturally, this situation does not sit well with representatives of TNCs claiming a monopoly position in the energy market. That is why the United States openly declared their intention to focus on choking the Russian Arctic LNG-2 project. Simultaneously, they will concentrate on searching for and pressuring suppliers of relevant technologies to Russia.
#Russia #USA #economy
@rybar in collaboration with @econopocalypse’

Posted by: DunGroanin | Dec 11 2023 14:47 utc | 69

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Dec 11 2023 7:33 utc | 55

@ Peter

Sorry to hear about your suffering. I'll make 3 suggestions, each of which may or may not be of any relevance whatsoever, but made in the hope of being useful.

1) On the allergy: have you looked into aflatoxin, produced by the aspergillus mold. It is highly widespread, and the important implication is freshness vs spoiling.

2) On the citric intolerance: does this include citrates (i.e. non-acidic form)? If not, you could try neutralising the acidity with magnesium oxide powder, which converts the citric acid into magnesium citrate, which is easy to absorb - and very beneficial/harmless IF citrate is not also a problem. Obviously only works in liquid, eg the liquidised pineapple mixture.

3) On the headaches. Try a dried fruit you can probably find in local Chinese markets called luo han guo (or Buddha fruit; look it up in wikipedia). For a different type of headache I am susceptible to it is in a class of its own, absolutely exceptional. Hope you are lucky.

I DO NOT like the sound of cutting out vegetables entirely, that sounds like a black hole to me. I hope you can find an alternative. Also bear in mind that if you cannot absorb adequate nutrients, the cells of the stomach lining get very unhealthy, which then makes it very difficult to absorb any nutrients. That puts you in a catch-22 rut that is VERY difficult to get out of. The only way to get out of that rut is to get adequate nutrition to the cells of the stomach lining. (Actually the whole gut, not just the stomach).

Posted by: BM | Dec 11 2023 14:47 utc | 70

Posted by: juliania | Dec 11 2023 0:34 utc | 46

Iain McGilchrist on Value(s) as a fundamental of 'reality' / existence. From the materialist point of view all nonphysical phenomena are not true or not real, but if you don't start with that premise, many other avenues open up, including that of understanding that, in what I like to call this our 'experiential continuum', appreciation of goodness ('value') is the quintessential element in the Art of Leading a Meaningful Life along with developing Good Human Societies and Civilizations, the materialists' notions of which latter being to replace humans with machines whilst labelling this progress, not mental illness which of course it actually is.

(We get the elites we deserve and then blame them for manifesting our own collective shortcomings writ large.)

Posted by: Scorpion | Dec 11 2023 14:57 utc | 71

@Posted by: Scorpion | Dec 11 2023 14:57 utc | 71

I attended a workshop with McGilchrist a few years back on his book "The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World" and it was extremely interesting. He is an excellent speaker about highly complex connections between the brain and society.

I think that you will find that Gramsci overcame this material/non-material issue in his prison notebooks. Marx was certainly not a pure materialist, and the criticism of him as being purely "economistic" is either misinformed or consciously misrepresentative (which many critics are). For example, Gramsci discussing Marx:

a popular conviction often has the same energy as a material force … material forces are the content and ideologies are the form, though this distinction between form and content had purely didactic value, since the material forces would be inconceivable historically without form and the ideologies would be individual fancies without the material forces (Gramsci 1971c - Hoare & Govett Prison Notebooks, p. 377).

When you say "We get the elites we deserve and then blame them for manifesting our own collective shortcomings writ large" who is we? Do slaves deserve the masters they get? Do serfs? Do we really live within a "democracy" or are we (i.e. the non-rulers) in many ways slaves? Gramsci understood that in a time of greater physical and occupational freedom (wage-labour vs. serfdom) and general literacy (required for the industrial revolution and a market economy) organs of psychological/cultural control are required by the rulers to imprison the population within an elite-serving ideology backed up by compulsion and state violence. Its not materialism or non-materialism, its both that interplay in complex ways, as Gramsci noted.

There is much research to point to a predominance of sociopathy within elite groups (which include the mafia, organized crime etc.), and the psychological impact of great wealth and power on individuals (less levels of empathy, greater focus on wealth and power). As has been discovered many times by research, less unequal societies tend to have greater social welfare and less social/psychological problems.

Society is also heavily path dependent as Marx so eloquently stated:

Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living. And just as they seem to be occupied revolutionizing themselves and things, creating something that did not exist before, precisely in such epochs of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service, borrowing from them names, battle slogans, and costumes in order to present this new sense in world history in time-honored disguise and borrowed language. (Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte Third Edition 1885 - available at )

McGilchrist has many excellent insights, but as with other bourgeois philosophers he tends to ignore political economy and therefore greatly under-represents the power of a ruling class to control society for the love of the left-brain concepts that he identifies as a defining aspect of modern society (i.e. material wealth and conceptual logic). We don't get to select our elites to a very significant degree, and the phrase you use (that I quoted) is a classic part of bourgeois ideology meant to blame the victim for their own material, social and psychological subjugation and attempt disarm their attempts to overthrow those elites by rendering the processes of social and economic domination invisible.

I also find in many of the authors in this area a fetishizing of indigenous societies, celebrating limited world views, superstition and even ignorance as "better" than modernity. The theories of the "noble savage" are deeply flawed when opened up to less rose-tinted glasses analyses.

Machines are not "good" or "bad", they are implemented within a given social and economic context - with the vast majority of people having no say in how they are implemented and what they are implemented for. Without modern medicine, including its machines, I would be both blind and crippled in one leg and many people would lead much worse lives. We should not be looking to throw the proverbial baby out the the bath water. Again, the analysis is void of political economic insight, using generalizations ("we", "society") that obfuscate the nature and role of power within society. Prior to fossil fuels, societies without machines used to crash and burn on a regular basis, as Morris (Why The West Rules - For Now 2011) and many other historians and archeologists have noted. Many of those societies were more brutal than the current ones we exist within.

Posted by: Roger | Dec 11 2023 15:58 utc | 72

@Posted by: sln2002 | Dec 11 2023 14:41 utc | 68

I find it very sad watching Milei, another population suckered by an oligarch-created personality that will only serve the interests of the elite and foreign capital. The sad result of the Kirchnerism that didn't squash the landed elites and financial oligarchs in 2002 when it had the chance. So then after 15 years they got the oligarch-hooligan Macri to F things up so badly that the oh-so socially-democratic milk-toast lefty Kirchnerites couldn't fix it (rejecting the illegal IMF debt and jailing the functionaries responsible would have fixed things, just as in 2002).

Its like the Bolsheviks won the Russian Civil War and then just continued on with the NEP without properly flushing the previous elites and petit-bourgeoisie (kulaks), sooner or later they would have been overthrown. Stalin did what was necessary (that's why Western bourgeois scholars and Trotskyists hate and slander him so much) and flushed the previous elite and their buddies (with some overkill yes, although much less than slandered once the Soviet archives were opened [Solzhenitsyn was a fabulist and liar], but such things are never clean and clinical). Russia was successfully industrialized in a decade, people's living standards escalated to undreamt of levels for them (Imperial Russia had incredible poverty), and the Soviet Union defeated Hitler. Then the mediocrities took over after his death and slowly flushed his achievements down the toilet. Few people know that Stalin believed in better pay for more output, he understood human incentives and that you need to rotate/replace functionaries to stop the buildup of inbred corrupt sub-groups. It was Khrushchev that threw both of those away.

So the history of South America will continue, probably until the US is much less capable of stopping any real revolution or cordoning off and undermining the revolutionaries - as in Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Bolivia.

Posted by: Roger | Dec 11 2023 17:17 utc | 73

Re Huawei, the idea that Chinese people can't make what they need if they US companies do not sell chip A or widget X is ludicrous. I'm reminded of British colonialists telling each other that Japanese soldiers could not shoot straight because they were all near-sighted! They found out differently! Huawei is showing Biden et al. differently, too.

Posted by: lester | Dec 11 2023 18:28 utc | 74

Posted by: Roger | Dec 11 2023 15:58 utc | 72

Thank you for your interesting, and provocative, post. I'll not try to answer all the many fine points and will try to read a little Gramsci.

Saying 'we get the elites we deserve' does not mean to imply that they shouldn't be overthrown - though perhaps it does suggest that being unlikely given karlof’s 'imbecility' of We the Sheeple.

That said, the revolutionary dynamic of workers overthrowing masters can rarely lead to good ends. Best for both to work together to restore that which is good and eliminate that which is bad/corrupt. Moreover, violent revolution posits destruction as the foundation of any new system which cannot long last if its guiding ethos is tearing down those above. [Exhibit 1: 1920s-40s Russia.]

Any viable system needs both lower class gut-level wisdom with its bedrock local community culture and also well developed higher level upper class aspects such as spirituality, governance systems, inspiring leadership and so forth both of which require multi-generational continuity which in turn depends upon a significant degree of mutual harmony.

Perhaps it comes down to two realities: one believes in a permanent, objective, mechanical Reality whereas another that civilizational cultures, along with individual life journeys, are a collectively subjective art form wherein beauty, truth, compassion and wisdom are quintessential, a point with far-reaching ramifications. It's not that the materialist view is entirely deluded; it's just that it occludes and denies too many valuable aspects of experience and thus comes to too many oversimplistic, and often seriously harmful, dead ends.

Posted by: Scorpion | Dec 11 2023 18:36 utc | 75

@Posted by: Scorpion | Dec 11 2023 18:36 utc | 75

Perhaps it comes down to two realities: one believes in a permanent, objective, mechanical Reality whereas another that civilizational cultures, along with individual life journeys, are a collectively subjective art form wherein beauty, truth, compassion and wisdom are quintessential, a point with far-reaching ramifications. It's not that the materialist view is entirely deluded; it's just that it occludes and denies too many valuable aspects of experience and thus comes to too many oversimplistic, and often seriously harmful, dead ends.

A conclusion we can both very much agree on! If you want to read Gramsci, just read his own words in his prison notebooks. So much of academia is about over-analyzing and over-complicating an author's work, as are so many "this is what Gramsci meant" books. His own words are very clear and eloquently written, much better than much of what passes as philosophic writing these days. I use "Selections from the Prison Notebooks" edited by Hoare and Smith 1971 and "The Antonio Gramsci Reader" edited by Forgacs 2000.

Posted by: Roger | Dec 11 2023 19:27 utc | 76

@Posted by: lester | Dec 11 2023 18:28 utc | 74

When they realized that the Japanese cars were better than the Western ones in terms of quality (and the VHS players, Walkmans etc.) the media started calling it the Yellow Peril in good racist terms! In the North East of England where I grew up, Nissan built a manufacturing plant where English people work for Japanese people. Quite the comedown after WW2! Then the US used its power to crush the Japanese development model, and the Yellow Peril faded.

The US cant crush the Chinese development model the same way (they don't have an occupying force stationed in China!) and so the Yellow Peril is back. The Western capitalist elite had thought that they had crushed Huawei, but it was just biding its time and working away diligently to rid itself of Western technology domination; as is China in general. When the likes of Nvidia and Apple start to get crushed there will be a huge political-economic crisis in the US elite.

Posted by: Roger | Dec 11 2023 19:34 utc | 77

I find it very sad watching Milei ....
Comment by Roger | December 11, 2023 at 17:17 | Permalink

He might have redeemed that lunatic private-sector rally, if he had mentioned once, just ONCE, the liberales' revolutionary plan to domesticate international bond vultures tunneling through the defunct central bank toward La Casa Rosa.

Posted by: sln2002 | Dec 11 2023 21:42 utc | 78

It is certainly starting to look as if the Ukrainian front line is starting to significantly buckle under the increasing Russian pressure, with the Ukrainians unable to replenish their losses unless they launch a new destabilizing wave of conscription targeting a wider group. With serious issues with US military recruitment even in peacetime, and Taiwan seeming not to want to fight the Chinese to the last Taiwanese is the US running out of willing people to die for it? Comfortable European soy boys and small professional armies are in no position to pickup the load of dying for Empire. Will this result in greater totalitarianism at home as in WW1 or some level of acceptance of defeat by the Western elites?

I put my thoughts down in this paper When the Young Refuse to Die Needlessly for "Country" and "Empire"

Posted by: Roger | Dec 11 2023 21:44 utc | 79

Oldie but goody:

US-linked Chinese military scientist filed patent for COVID vaccine just after contagion emerged: report by Lee Brown, Published June 4, 2021

A Chinese Communist Party military scientist who got funding from the National Institutes of Health filed a patent for a COVID-19 vaccine in February last year — raising fears the shot was being studied even before the pandemic became public, according to a new report.

Zhou Yusen, a decorated military scientist for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) who worked alongside the Wuhan Institute of Virology as well as US scientists, filed a patent on Feb. 24 2020, according to documents obtained by The Australian.

The patent — lodged by the “Institute of Military Medicine, Academy of Military Sciences of the PLA” — was filed just five weeks after China admitted there was human-to-human transmission of the virus, and months before Zhou died under mysterious circumstances, the report noted.

“This is something we have never seen achieved before, raising the question of whether this work may have started much ­earlier,” Prof. Nikolai Petrovsky from Flinders University told the paper.

Posted by: Antonym | Dec 12 2023 5:30 utc | 80

US-linked Chinese military scientist filed patent for COVID vaccine just after contagion emerged: report by Lee Brown, Published June 4, 2021

Posted by: Antonym | Dec 12 2023 5:30 utc | 80

Smart people, those Chinese.

I wonder if we'll ever see the same volume and quality of patents from the Hindutva crowd of good old "Bharat" ... ?

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Dec 12 2023 5:50 utc | 81

Ray McGovern:

"Russia has sent (given ??) new russian ICBMs to North Korea".

GOOGLE found this:

Posted by: Mr. Market | Dec 12 2023 7:01 utc | 82

Merely wondering - What's the difference between a dictatorship where you can only vote for the ruling dictator, and a European democracy where your vote doesn't count if it's for the only party that isn't in government?

Posted by: Passerby | Dec 12 2023 19:14 utc | 83

Not something I know much about but interesting claims about the economic significance of Tether.

💰 New Tether security measures have appeared, aimed at establishing total control in the cryptocurrency ecosystem

Last weekend, Tether, a leader in the cryptocurrency industry, unveiled its new initiative. Formally, Tether representatives decided to fight for the security of their platform. And as expected, they began by blocking the wallets of individuals included by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in the SDN-list of especially dangerous citizens. The blocking of their wallets is voluntary (on the part of Tether) and continues the policy of freezing wallets that began on December 1, 2023.

📌 All of this is being done ostensibly to create a “safe and secure environment for Tether’s global user base.” The company plans to extend the sanctions imposed on wallets to the P2P market. Moreover, the work will be carried out jointly with financial regulators and law enforcement agencies.

The process of consolidating the crypto market and placing all significant projects under the control of the Federal Reserve and US intelligence services has been actively going on for about two years. In 2023 alone, large projects such as FTX and Binance were brought under the control of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

❗️Now, in the crypt Tether actually takes over some of the functions of the Federal Reserve System and the SEC. The current decision of Tether management will have very serious consequences for the crypto market. The fact is that Tether is actually the main monetary unit in Argentina, Brazil, Nigeria and other countries whose economies were virtually destroyed by large investment funds together with the IMF.

With a critical increase in the share of settlements in Tether, the economy of entire regions will in fact come under the control of American regulators. Moreover, unlike classical banking, the costs of developing banking infrastructure were minimal, and the degree of penetration of the service was limited only by the presence of the Internet.

🔻But this is only the first step. Inclusion in the SDN-list leads to blocking of individual wallets. While the ultimate goal is to introduce a social credit system, where the transactions of all citizens without exception will be constantly monitored. Control of financial transactions will be part of a total control system.

Against this background, politicians such as Javier Miley, Lula da Silva and many others, who are actively promoting Tether in their countries, look like just managers who are conducting a final sale of the assets entrusted to them.
#crypto #USA #economy
@rybar in collaboration with @econopocalypse

Posted by: anon2020 | Dec 12 2023 19:43 utc | 84

- Russia gave North Korea one or more ICBMs rockets called "Topol-M". North Korea re-named it "Hwasong-18".

Posted by: Mr. Market | Dec 12 2023 22:05 utc | 85

Scorpion and BM

I posted quite a long reply earlier but it has disappeared into the ether and I won't try and write it up again. Thanks for your suggestions/experiences.

I was quite angry the other day and took it out on a few here. Have now returned to my usual disgust at both the medical and political professional quackery we have here in this Westphalian world.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Dec 13 2023 1:09 utc | 86

Arch Bungle | Dec 12 2023 5:50 utc | 81

"Smart people, those Chinese."

Smart? Developing a bio WMD in a 10 million big city like Wuhan, which the US Cabal didn't want on their resident soil?

I hope Indian scientists never become such (smart) aSSes!

Posted by: Antonym | Dec 13 2023 5:19 utc | 87

Late stage empire Caesar- geriatric demented Biden - being ever more gaga. Refers to Vietnam as Third World, tries to correct himself , but ends up repeating ‘Third World’ before stumbling into the now Multipolarly correct formulation - ‘Global South’ - it doesn’t trip of the tongues of the hegemonic self declared First Worlders as easily as the given slave name Third World.

His handlers cut off his mic and then we get him stumbling off stage as if he has pooped himself and can barely walk.

Anyhoooow, in the meantime Xi gets a full on State Visit to Vietnam and signs multiple treaties!

The shapeshifters loss of control accelerates.

Posted by: DunGroanin | Dec 13 2023 9:00 utc | 88

Posted by: DunGroanin | Dec 11 2023 14:35 utc | 67

Excellent ! Bravo !

Now if more people knew that, I would never need to post about money again.

If only they just dealt with facts.

Posted by: Echo Chamber | Dec 13 2023 13:44 utc | 89

To be sensational, I could say this an update on the battle of the North Atlantic.

How ‘bout that storm a few days back, clouds from Portugal to Atlantic Canada

On close to the anniversary of the Gander plane crash, a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit is forced to land at the Goose Bay airport in Newfoundland. Passengers spent the night in Canadian armed forces barracks.

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Dec 13 2023 13:48 utc | 90

Further to my @ 90, just because I like to see what satirical Canadian news site, The Beaverton, has to say when sensational events happen, I’ll add this:

From three days back, a list of most popular Christmas gifts by province. It starts at the east coast, with the province of Newfoundland: “Trunk with hidden compartment to hide from the Mummers”

David Vigneault, head of Canada’s spy agency, gave a speech at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights on Monday. I caught the end of it. Aside from alarming statements about Russia’s unprovoked aggression, I really noticed the extent to which he seemed to be seeking connections with individual Canadians. Human-to-human intel, or whatever you call it, he says it’s irreplaceable.

(Just for reference, a link to the talk is here)

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Dec 13 2023 14:06 utc | 91

Hunter Biden defies Senate subpoena.

Hunter Biden, Defying Deposition Subpoena, Again Offers Public Testimony

The president’s son appeared at a news conference at the Capitol as House investigators awaited him at a private session he declined to attend.


The younger Mr. Biden, who has been served a subpoena to testify, spoke to reporters in a hastily called news conference outside the Capitol near the Senate, across the complex from a House office building where Republican lawmakers were waiting to question him behind closed doors.


“This is about public corruption at the highest levels,” Representative James R. Comer, Republican of Kentucky and the chairman of the Oversight Committee, said. Mr. Comer called Hunter Biden’s refusal to testify in private “unacceptable,” adding that “the president’s son does not get to set the rules.”


The NYTimes article, unlike the law, is strongly pro-Biden.

Posted by: too scents | Dec 13 2023 17:09 utc | 92

" US Technology Policy Amid Rivalry With China - Valdai Club
Huawei lists 5nm processor presumably built with SMIC tech, defying U.S. sanctions - Tom's Hardware
Unlocked! The Philippines Marches to the Brink in the Whatever Sea (Oct 23) - Peter Lee"

The Bidenistas assumption that Chinese people are stupid and can't invent anything, only copy US inventions, is itself stupid. The US has always had to import it's engineers and scientists. (Einstein and Tesla were only two of many!) Over the last generation, many of the immigrant engineers have been from PR China! Or India. Stop the immigrants, and the US will have to rely on Creation Scientists, Flat Earthers, etc. :-(

Posted by: lester | Dec 13 2023 17:49 utc | 93

#25 dec 13 ukraine. Oh yeah right, real important a theoretical possibility that Brussels might, maybe get control of UK subs. Men and maintenance for ""Royal"" navy dictate it can not get sub/boat out of dock without a major system going fubar or a fire.

Posted by: paxmark1 | Dec 13 2023 18:15 utc | 94

Helmer etc. Neutron weaponry.

I do like Busby. Rokke and Duracovich were always worth the read.

From my memory of the Canadian GW1 vets urine after years back home, the presence of Americium, Polonium, etc. etc. there was a belief- possibility that some of the "DU" tank sabots had naval waste added to - sub and carrier fuel that is blended with a higher content of UR 235 and run for a much longer time with quite a soup of transuranics and daughter isotopes. No, it would not have been all reactor waste.

I can think of one place for the medium and high end tests. China. And actually the ICP-MS inductively coupled plasma then fed to mass spectroscope is not super high end and gave good results for the Canadian urine back. It was a geology lab.

ICP was quite standard for SDWA (Safe Drinking Water Act) analysis for metals back in 1983 in numerous state testing labs. I can personally attest to that. Mass spec has been around even longer, the marriage between the two requires good techs and maintenance, but it not inordinate.

Posted by: paxmark1 | Dec 13 2023 19:07 utc | 95

I must re-write post #85:

- Russia gave North Korea one or more ICBMs rockets called "Topol-M". North Korea re-named it "Hwasong-18".

The news of Russia giving this rocket to North Korea was brought forward by Ray McGovern a former CIA analyst who worked in the Soviet division, who is fluent in russian and still has good connections with the intelligence community. However, in the link above there is a discussion whether or not this is a genuine russian Topol-M rocket or that it's a rocket developed by North Korea (with russian help ? russian blueprints ?).

Posted by: Mr. Market | Dec 13 2023 19:26 utc | 96

Finally, some good news.

" Putin aide reveals huge increase in number of Russian mosques

The last three decades have seen a record rise in the number of Muslim places of worship, a top official has said.

Putin aide reveals huge increase in number of Russian mosques

Russia has witnessed a record surge in the number of mosques in recent decades, a deputy head of the presidential administration said on Tuesday. "

Posted by: Moonie | Dec 13 2023 19:32 utc | 97

"Turkey is leaving NATO" ???????

"Russia attack US near Israel" ???????????????????

There were a number of videos on YouTube that had these 2 headlines.

Posted by: Mr. Market | Dec 13 2023 20:23 utc | 98

Several videos posted on YouTube are clearly showing that Biden is losing support from people in the US and it becomes more and more clear that the chances of Biden winning the next presidential election in 2024 are shrinking and shrinking.

Posted by: Mr. Market | Dec 13 2023 20:39 utc | 99

Mr. Market | Dec 13 2023 20:39 utc | 99
more likely his funeral

cried the angry god
get out of my house
you putrid fraud
the pulpit shook
the walls swayed
at G.I. Joe's last parade
the floor opened
on a lake of fire
and took the leader
of the old empire
ole joe froze
in shock and awe
as they took him down
to meet his pa

Posted by: ld | Dec 13 2023 22:43 utc | 100

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