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Casino Capitalism: Neoliberalism in Western countries

"When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done" ~ John Maynard Keynes

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[Sep 29, 2020] The USA can probably be energy independent but it requires $4 or higher price at the pump

Sep 29, 2020 | www.unz.com

JoaoAlfaiate , says: September 29, 2020 at 3:37 pm GMT

Trump said "I like being energy independent, don't you? I'm sure that most of you noticed when you go to fill up your tank in your car, oftentimes it's below two dollars "

But energy "independence" has got little to do with price at the pump. The marginal barrel sets the price. If the world price for crude goes to $100/barrel, West Texas Intermediate is going to the same level and gasoline will rise to $4.00.

Oil is at $40/barrel because the Gulf producers and Saudi Arabia want to insure a long term market for their one export product while making a lot of high cost production unsustainable and alternate energy sources less attractive.

[Sep 28, 2020] Will Biden 'Corruption' Be Off-Limits In First Debate- -

Sep 28, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Will Biden 'Corruption' Be Off-Limits In First Debate?


by Tyler Durden Mon, 09/28/2020 - 21:00 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Frank Miele via RealClearPolitics.com,

Chris Wallace, America is watching!

When the "Fox News Sunday" host takes the stage on Tuesday to moderate the first presidential debate of 2020, he will for 90 minutes be the most important person in the world.

His questions, his demeanor, his raised eyebrow will signal to millions of voters how they are to assess the two candidates -- President Donald John Trump and former Vice President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.

If his questions are piercing for both, if his skepticism is applied equally to both the Republican and Democrat, then all is well in this corner of the world of journalism. But if instead Wallace accuses Trump and coddles Biden, we will have one more instance of media bias, which has become so rampant that President Trump had to christen it with a pet name -- Fake News.

Every day, the supposedly professional press corps cozies up to Biden with softball questions ("Why aren't you more angry at President Trump?" has to be my favorite!) while accusing Trump of being a mass murderer, a racist and a Putin puppet. So conservatives are entirely justified in having low expectations for the debate and for Wallace, who has exhibited symptoms of Trump Derangement Syndrome more than once.

Wallace can ask anything he wants of Trump. I am confident the president will acquit himself admirably, but the litmus test for Wallace playing fair in the debate will be whether or not he asks any hard-hitting questions of Biden -- especially about the new Senate report on the corrupt activities of his son Hunter in Ukraine and elsewhere.

If you have heard anything about the Biden report on CNN and MSNBC, or read about it in your newspapers, chances are you came away thinking that Republicans had made up a series of fake charges against the Bidens. "Nothing to see here. Move along."

The Washington Post , as usual, was at the front of the pack for Fake News coverage. The Post used its headline to focus entirely on Hunter's position on the board of the corrupt Ukrainian energy company Burisma, and claimed that the report doesn't show that the cozy arrangement "changed U.S. policy" -- as if that were the only reason you would not want a vice president's son enriching himself at the trough of foreign oligarchs.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=890

The story then spent most of its 35 paragraphs excusing Hunter's behavior either directly or through surrogates such as Democrat senators, and most nauseatingly by quoting Hunter Biden's daughter, Naomi, who "offered a personal tribute to her father" in the form of a series of tweets, including the following:

"Though the whole world knows his name, no one knows who he is. Here's a thread on my dad, Hunter Biden -- free of charge to the taxpayers and free of the corrosive influence of power-at-all-costs politics. The truth of a man filled with love, integrity, and human struggles." Oh my, that's convincing evidence of innocence of wrongdoing. I imagine she also endorses her grandfather for president, for what it's worth.

The three reporters who wrote the Post piece also spin the facts like whirling dervishes. They say that the report by Sens. Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley "rehashes" known details of the matter. They quote Democrats to say without evidence that the report's key findings are "rooted in a known Russian disinformation effort."

The following passage in particular shows how one-sided the story is:

"Democrats argue that Johnson has 'repeatedly impugned' Biden, and they pointed to his recent comments hinting that the report would shed light on Biden's 'unfitness for office,' as reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, to argue that the entire investigation was orchestrated as a smear campaign to benefit Trump."

Using the "shoe on the other foot" test, can you ever imagine a similar statement being made in the Washington Post about the Trump impeachment investigation? Let's see. How would that go?

"Republicans argue that Rep. Adam Schiff has 'repeatedly impugned' Trump, and they pointed to his recent comments hinting that the report would shed light on Trump's 'unfitness for office' to argue that the entire investigation was orchestrated as a smear campaign to benefit Biden."

Oh yeah, sure! The chance of reading that paragraph in the Washington Post news pages would have been absolutely zero.

Perhaps even more insidious was the decision by the editors to push the most significant news in the report to the bottom of the Post's story. That is the lucrative relationship that Hunter Biden established in 2017 with a Chinese oil tycoon named Ye Jianming. Biden was apparently paid $1 million to represent Ye's assistant while he was facing bribery charges in the United States.

Even more disturbing, "In August 2017, a subsidiary of Ye's company wired $5 million into the bank account of a U.S. company called Hudson West III, which over the next 13 months sent $4.79 million marked as consulting fees to Hunter Biden's firm, the report said. Over the same period, Hunter Biden's firm wired some $1.4 million to a firm associated with his uncle and aunt, James and Sara Biden, according to the report."

Then, in late 2017, "Hunter Biden and a financier associated with Ye also opened a line of credit for Hudson West III that authorized credit cards for Hunter Biden, James Biden and Sara Biden, according to the report, which says the Bidens used the credit cards to purchase more than $100,000 worth of items, including airline tickets and purchases at hotels and restaurants."

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The Post also glossed over payments received by Hunter Biden from Yelena Baturina, who the story acknowledges "is the widow of former Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov and is a member of Kazakhstan's political elite." What the story doesn't say is that the payments received by Hunter Biden's companies while Joe Biden was vice president totaled close to $4 million. Does anyone have even the slightest curiosity why Hunter's companies received these payments from a Russian oligarch? As Donald Trump Jr. noted, if he had the same record of taking money from foreign nationals, he "would be in jail right now."

In other words, the headline and the lede of the Washington Post story were entirely misleading. What readers should have been told is that there is a pattern of corruption and inexplicable enrichment in the Biden family that has continued for years and that Joe Biden has turned his back on it.

Seems worthy of the attention of the voters who will determine the nation's leadership for the next four years. So the most important question at the debate Tuesday night is the following: Will Chris Wallace take the same cowardly path as the Washington Post, or will he demand an answer from candidate Biden as to why influence peddling, conflicts of interest and virtual money laundering are acceptable?

Based on Wallace's track record, I'm not holding my breath that we will get either the question or the answer, but if we do, I will happily applaud him as the tough-as-nails journalist he is supposed to be.
play_arrow chubbar , 1 hour ago

Wallace is co-opted, he's a plant. NO way does he ask about corruption or go after Joe.

CosmoJoe , 1 hour ago

All Trump needs to do is jab Biden every time his brain locks up; toss in phrases like "Its OK Joe, take your time". Keep doing that until Biden gets angry and its all over. (Well, its over anyhow, but....)

Karl Malden's Nose , 1 hour ago

He knew how to push Hillary's buttons and even though she's a spaz she's lightyears smarter than Joe. Biden is going to fume and crap his depends because Trump is about to knock him flat on his ***. He'll be stammering to answer while Trump has already moved on to the next gut punch. There's no gotcha's on Trump, only Biden. Trump is plugged in to everything and sharp as a knife. Biden will be struggling to remember his instructions and I'm sure they'll have an ear piece on him he won't hear too clearly.

Hoax Fatigue , 25 minutes ago

Nobody is expecting (((Wallace))) to be fair.

High Vigilante , 1 hour ago

Trump should bring it up, as soon as possible.

There is no guarantee Biden won't skip other debates.

Plus it would make Biden angry and negate the effect of drugs he will be loaded with.

True Historian , 1 hour ago

I have watched Wallace and he is a pretentious pile of excrement. FOX with its "Fair and Balanced" left the station when they were bought out by Disney.

Wallace sample questions:

Trump : When did you stop being a corrupt NAZI/Russian bitch?

Biden : Are you feeling OK today? If not, how can I make you more comfortable.

CosmoJoe , 1 hour ago

Trump had some fairly hostile moderators in the 2016 debates and he held his own. He has to be just as merciless with Biden as he was with Hillary. The news doesn't want to talk about Hunter and his wire transfers from Russia. This is Trump's chance to throw that crap right into the spotlight.

alexcojones , 1 hour ago

Quote : "Every day, the supposedly professional press corps cozies up to Biden with softball questions... while accusing Trump of being a mass murderer, a racist and a Putin puppet."

Why? That's because the so-called "Legacy" media is now the Enemy of The American People.

Soloamber , 1 hour ago

The question is how long can Wallace hide his anti-Trimp bias ?

Mr. Biden ...what is your favorite color ?

President Trump why do you pay no tax ?

Mr. Biden Isn't China our greatest ally ?

President Trump have you heard from Stormy lately ?

Mr . Biden Please provide your wife's first name .

President Trump.... You appear over weight have you had your blood pressure checked ?

Would you agree to do it now ?

Mr . Biden what are some of your greats political achievements in your distinguished political legacy ?

President Trump why have you caused global warming ?

DeplorableGlobalConflictWatch , 1 hour ago

Chris Wallace is a joke. Make sure he's sick and replaced by Tucker Carlson.

RealEstateArbitrage , 1 hour ago

Wally is a plant by the deep state. He is a liar and a fool.

Migao , 1 hour ago

Wallace, like his dad, pretentious snob. Yeah, Trump's a jerk, but he's a lovable jerk. Wallace is a pretentious snob.

JUICE E SMALL IT EMPIRE , 2 hours ago

No, Ukraine and China should be front and center. It is an election year. And the Dems have screwed us royally.

[Sep 28, 2020] I wonder if anybody here have considered a possibility that the neoliberal cabal now in power in the US wants to destroy the standard of living of common people and eliminate all social protections of the New Deal, living in place for the police state and oversized the military

Recruiting for military is much easier if there is no jobs.
Notable quotes:
"... They want to eliminate the EPA, vacate the State Dept and many other Depts, except for a few high-placed cronies, wipe all financial, labour, consumer and environmental regulations off the books; eliminate or reduce to a bare minimum federal health insurance, medicaid, medicare and Social Security, crush public education, privatize everything they can sell, and so on. They are not in power to "govern" but to destroy government. This is all being done with a fairly unified agenda: to free "the market" from any restrictions whatsoever, so that they -- global elites -- can make as much money as possible. It's a cabal of global corporations, militarists, Christian sovereign white supremacists, fossil fuel giants and bankers ..."
Sep 28, 2020 | peterturchin.com

Shaun Bartone February 27, 2017 at 3:47 pm

I wonder if any of the commentators here have considered that the [neoliberal] cabal now in power in the US (not elsewhere) are not in power to "take power" except for a temporary period. They don't want to run the federal government, they want to destroy it, except for the police state and the military.

They want to eliminate the EPA, vacate the State Dept and many other Depts, except for a few high-placed cronies, wipe all financial, labour, consumer and environmental regulations off the books; eliminate or reduce to a bare minimum federal health insurance, medicaid, medicare and Social Security, crush public education, privatize everything they can sell, and so on. They are not in power to "govern" but to destroy government. This is all being done with a fairly unified agenda: to free "the market" from any restrictions whatsoever, so that they -- global elites -- can make as much money as possible. It's a cabal of global corporations, militarists, Christian sovereign white supremacists, fossil fuel giants and bankers , and I think there's a high degree of cooperation for the agenda. The revolution is the cabal run by Trump/Bannon who are more extreme and ideological than any previous faction, who have no tolerance for compromise. They have an apocalyptic vision of grinding it all down to a bare minimum police state.

[Sep 28, 2020] Ruling class consists of two strata: (a) the highest stratum; and (b) second stratum. The highest stratum is the core of the ruling class but it could not sufficiently lead and direct the society unless the second stratum helps.

Sep 28, 2020 | dergipark.org.tr

Formation of the ruling classes has a close relation with the level of civilization and the type of society. Ruling class under every condition try to reproduce itself particularly by domination on political forces like power, wealth and the ruling class tends to be come hereditary. In fact, descents of ruling class members have a high life chances to have the traits necessary to be a ruling class member (Mosca 1939, pp. 60-61). In general, prior to democracy, membership of ruling class was not only de facto but also de jure. In democracy, de jure transfer of political possession to descendants of ruling class members impossible and not legitimized but it is now de facto.

According to Mosca, historically, ruling class try to justify its existence and policies by using some universal moral principles, superiority etc., lately, scientific theory and knowledge like Social Darwinism, division of labor is also employed for the same purposes. Mosca particularly rejects these two theses to use in political purposes. To Mosca, at a certain level of civilization, ruling classes do not justify their power exclusively by de facto possession of it, but try to find a moral and legal basis for it. This legal and moral basis or principles on which the power of the political class rests is called "political formula" by Mosca. The formula has a unique structure in all societies.

"lTjhe political formula must be based on the special beliefs and the strongest sentiments of the current social group or at least upon the beliefs and sentiments of the particular portion of that group which hold political preeminence"(Mosca 1939, p.71,72).

In fact ruling class like Pareto's elite strata consist of two strata: (a) the highest stratum; and (b) second stratum. The highest stratum is the core of the ruling class but it could not sufficiently lead and direct the society unless the second stratum helps. Second stratum is the larger than the higher stratum in number and has all the capacities of leadership in the country. Even autocratic systems do have it. Not only political but also any type of social organization needs the second stratum in order to be possible (Mosca 1939, p.404, 430).

The members of the ruling class are recruited almost entirely from the dominant, majority group in the society. If the society has a number of minorities and if this rule is not followed due to weaknesses of dominant group, political system can meet serious political crisis. The same thing occurs when there are considerable differences between in the culture, and in customs of the ruling class and subject classes (Mosca 1939, p.l05,106-7).

Weaknesses of dominant group in society and isolation of lower classes from the ruling classes can lead to political upheaval in the country and as a result of this upheaval subject classes' representatives can have places in the ruling class. Because when isolation takes place, another ruling class emerges among the subject classes that often hostile to the old ruling class (Mosca 1939, pp. 107- 8). Furthermore, due to reciprocal isolation of classes, the character of upper classes change, they become weak in bold and aggressiveness and richer in "soft" remissive individuals. On the same track, when there is fragmentation in the society, new groups form and each one of them makes up of its own leaders and followers. In fact, revolutions are another source of replacement of ruling class (Mosca 1939, p.163, 199).

When Mosca compares the political systems, he says that communist and socialist societies would beyond any doubt managed by officials and he sees these regimes as utopia. On democracy, he says, although gradual increase of universal suffrage, actual power has remained partly in wealthiest and the middle classes. At the same time, for Mosca, middle class is necessary for democracy, and when middle class declines, politic regimes in democratic countries turns to a plutocratic dictatorship, or bureaucratic dictatorship. (Mosca 1939, p.391).

According to Mosca, ruling class has a responsive character to social change in the society and there is a close relation between level of civilization and character of ruling classes. According to these two complementary proposition, it can be said that ruling class is subject of social change rather than actor of it. For example, change in division of labor from lower to higher and change in political force from military to wealth have changed the type of state from federal to bureaucratic state (Mosca 1939, p. 81, 83 ). There it seems that Mosca admits a linear social change in history, as opposite to Pareto.

As seen, Mosca's theory is basically based on organized minorities' superiority over unorganized majority. This organized minority consists of ruling class, but for Mosca it is not necessarily mean that always interest of ruling class and subject classes are different. To him ,in contrast they coincide many times. He saw the future of socialist system by saying that it will be governed by officials.

This feature of socialist system is well documented by Milovon Dijilas in his work: New Classes. But Mosca failed to see that one day, majority will also be able to organize. As C. W. Mills pointed put, democratic western societies have experienced important transformations: (1) from the organized minority and unorganized majority to relatively unorganized minority and organized majority, and (2) from the elite state to an organized state.( Mills 1965, pp. 161-162).

Therefore minorities and elites in today's society are less powerful than majorities. Elites have relatively lost their privileges, and more importantly, their monopoly over society.

[Sep 28, 2020] Peter Turchin Intra-Elite Competition- A Key Concept for Understanding the Dynamics of Complex Societies by Peter Turchin

Pictures removes. See the original for full text.
Notable quotes:
"... Elites are a small proportion of the population (on the order of 1 percent) who concentrate social power in their hands (see my previous post and especially its discussion in the comments that reveal the complex dimensions of this concept). In the United States, for example, they include (but are not limited to) elected politicians, top civil service bureaucrats, and the owners and managers of Fortune 500 companies (see Who Rules America? ). ..."
"... As individual elites retire, they are replaced from the pool of elite aspirants . There are always more elite aspirants than positions for them to occupy. Intra-elite competition is the process that sorts aspirants into successful elites and aspirants whose ambition to enter the elite ranks is frustrated. Competition among the elites occurs on multiple levels. ..."
"... Excessive elite competition, on the other hand, results in increasing social and political instability. The supply of power positions in a society is relatively, or even absolutely, inelastic. For example, there are only 435 U.S. Representatives, 100 Senators, and one President. A great expansion in the numbers of elite aspirants means that increasingly large numbers of them are frustrated, and some of those, the more ambitious and ruthless ones, turn into counter-elites . In other words, masses of frustrated elite aspirants become breeding grounds for radical groups and revolutionary movements. ..."
"... Intense intra-elite competition, however, leads to the rise of rival power networks, which increasingly subvert the rules of political engagement to get ahead of the opposition. Instead of competing on their own merits, or the merits of their political platforms, candidates increasingly rely on "dirty tricks" such as character assassination (and, in historical cases, literal assassination). As a result, excessive competition results in the unraveling of prosocial, cooperative norms (this is a general phenomenon that is not limited to political life). ..."
"... Because the supply of power positions is relatively inelastic, most of the action is on the demand side. Simply put, it is the excessive expansion of elite aspirant numbers (or "elite overproduction") that drives up intra-elite competition ..."
"... There are two main "pumps" producing aspirants for elite positions in America: education and wealth. On the education side, of particular importance are the law degree (for a political career) and the MBA (to climb the corporate ladder). Over the past four decades, according to the American Bar Association, the number of lawyers tripled from 400,000 to 1.2 million. The number of MBAs conferred by business schools over the same period grew six-fold (details in Ages of Discord ). ..."
"... It's contradictory to bemoan the spread of the 'neoliberal' ethos, and simultaneously talk about elite fragmentation. The evidence Turchin marshalls for elite fragmentation is basically the bimodal distribution of lawyers' incomes, and the degree of legislative polarisation. He ignores the much wider evidence of capitalist unity and concentration in support of 'neoliberal' policies. ..."
"... while elites have colluded to capture the political process we might not expect them to all agree on what to do with the political process once it has been captured. ..."
"... There is no intra-capitalist unity. Some elites shouldn't even be called capitalists because the monopoly power they seek completely eliminates the free market. Other elites who want to control the political process do want a free market. They are in conflict. ..."
"... The concept of "ecological overshoot and collapse" applies to human ecology too. We're certainly in overshoot, so some form of collapse is coming (even if a technological miracle occurred, like cheap energy from nuclear fusion, it would only postpone the day of reckoning). ..."
"... As to "intra-elite competition", it is well underway in much of the upper middle class and the 1%, according to the statistics documented by Peter Turchin above. But it is just revving up among the super-elites – the billionaire class, with Trump being the first really visible eruption. ..."
"... When an imperial economy can longer expand easily, all of Peter's dynamics come into play with greater force, not just the elite competition, but the increasing exploitation of the common people in order to maintain elite expansion. The latter has been going on since Reagan in the form of escalating economic inequality. = popular immiseration. ..."
"... I liked the intra-elite discussions in "Ages of Discord" and it made me an even more strident believer in term limits. At least moving people out of the Congress after eight years will "free up" some space for other elite aspirants. ..."
"... Political elites are the proxies PT uses as evidence for his theory, but as he himself says, "American power holders are wealth holders". And I believe the definition I have effectively used here, "owners of capital", is consistent with his concept of elites or magnates in Secular Cycles -- a book I admire tremendously. ..."
"... Your average Congressman is not as powerful today as he was 100 years ago. Cabinet members used to do something of substance and now act more like front men, while policy making is centralized in the White House. You have more and more aspirants for fewer and fewer positions of substance. That ramps up intensity of competition even more than just over-production of JDs and MBAs. ..."
"... Agreed, the overproduction of elites developed in parallel with the change in social norms that extolled competition and downplayed cooperation. But these two dynamics may be causally related -- it's not a pure coincidence that the two trends developed in parallel. ..."
"... It seems to me that one of the most important factors in intra-elite competition, is the degree of skill of the frustrated aspirants. If there are lots of people who want to be elite but can't crack the system to get in, that may not be a problem if those frustrated aspirants aren't particularly good at organization, motivation, leadership, etc. ..."
"... If, on the other hand, the frustrated aspirants are nearly as good at this sort of thing as those actually in power, and especially if they are better at it than the incumbents (who somehow through tradition or family connections or what-have-you remain on top), then you have a much better chance of the frustrated aspirants being able to kick up trouble. ..."
"... I wonder if any of the commentators here have considered that the [neoliberal] cabal now in power in the US (not elsewhere) are not in power to "take power" except for a temporary period. They don't want to run the federal government, they want to destroy it, except for the police state and the military. ..."
Dec 30, 2016 | peterturchin.com

elites , norms , social change , structural-demographic 72 Comments

Intra-elite competition is one of the most important factors explaining massive waves of social and political instability, which periodically afflict complex, state-level societies. This idea was proposed by Jack Goldstone nearly 30 years ago . Goldstone tested it empirically by analyzing the structural precursors of the English Civil War, the French Revolution, and seventeenth century's crises in Turkey and China. Other researchers (including Sergey Nefedov, Andrey Korotayev, and myself) extended Goldstone's theory and tested it in such different societies as Ancient Rome, Egypt, and Mesopotamia; medieval England, France, and China; the European revolutions of 1848 and the Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917; and the Arab Spring uprisings. Closer to home, recent research indicates that the stability of modern democratic societies is also undermined by excessive competition among the elites (see Ages of Discord for a structural-demographic analysis of American history). Why is intra-elite competition such an important driver of instability?

Elites are a small proportion of the population (on the order of 1 percent) who concentrate social power in their hands (see my previous post and especially its discussion in the comments that reveal the complex dimensions of this concept). In the United States, for example, they include (but are not limited to) elected politicians, top civil service bureaucrats, and the owners and managers of Fortune 500 companies (see Who Rules America? ).

As individual elites retire, they are replaced from the pool of elite aspirants . There are always more elite aspirants than positions for them to occupy. Intra-elite competition is the process that sorts aspirants into successful elites and aspirants whose ambition to enter the elite ranks is frustrated. Competition among the elites occurs on multiple levels. Thus, lower-ranked elites (for example, state representatives) may also be aspirants for the next level (e.g., U.S. Congress), and so on, all the way up to POTUS.

Moderate intra-elite competition need not be harmful to an orderly and efficient functioning of the society; in fact, it's usually beneficial because it results in better-qualified candidates being selected. Additionally, competition can help weed out incompetent or corrupt office-holders. However, it is important to keep in mind that the social effects of elite competition depend critically on the norms and institutions that regulate it and channel it into such societally productive forms.

Excessive elite competition, on the other hand, results in increasing social and political instability. The supply of power positions in a society is relatively, or even absolutely, inelastic. For example, there are only 435 U.S. Representatives, 100 Senators, and one President. A great expansion in the numbers of elite aspirants means that increasingly large numbers of them are frustrated, and some of those, the more ambitious and ruthless ones, turn into counter-elites . In other words, masses of frustrated elite aspirants become breeding grounds for radical groups and revolutionary movements.

Another consequence of excessive competition among elite aspirants is its effect on the social norms regulating politically acceptable conduct. Norms are effective only as long as the majority follows them, and violators are punished. Maintaining such norms is the job for the elites themselves.

Intense intra-elite competition, however, leads to the rise of rival power networks, which increasingly subvert the rules of political engagement to get ahead of the opposition. Instead of competing on their own merits, or the merits of their political platforms, candidates increasingly rely on "dirty tricks" such as character assassination (and, in historical cases, literal assassination). As a result, excessive competition results in the unraveling of prosocial, cooperative norms (this is a general phenomenon that is not limited to political life).

Death of Gaius Gracchus (François Topino-Lebrun) Source

Intra-elite competition, thus, has a nonlinear effect on social function: moderate levels are good, excessive levels are bad. What are the social forces leading to excessive competition?

Because the supply of power positions is relatively inelastic, most of the action is on the demand side. Simply put, it is the excessive expansion of elite aspirant numbers (or "elite overproduction") that drives up intra-elite competition. Let's again use the contemporary America as an example to illustrate this idea (although, I emphasize, similar social processes have operated in all complex large-scale human societies since they arose some 5,000 years ago).

There are two main "pumps" producing aspirants for elite positions in America: education and wealth. On the education side, of particular importance are the law degree (for a political career) and the MBA (to climb the corporate ladder). Over the past four decades, according to the American Bar Association, the number of lawyers tripled from 400,000 to 1.2 million. The number of MBAs conferred by business schools over the same period grew six-fold (details in Ages of Discord ).

On the wealth side we see a similar expansion of numbers, driven by growing inequality of income and wealth over the last 40 years. The proverbial "1 percent" becomes "2 percent", then "3 percent" For example, today there are five times as many households with wealth exceeding $10 million (in 1995 dollars), compared to 1980. Some of these wealth-holders give money to candidates, but others choose to run for political office themselves.

Elite overproduction in the US has already driven up the intensity of intra-elite competition. A reasonable proxy for escalating political competition here is the total cost of election for congressional races, which has grown (in inflation-adjusted dollars) from $2.4 billion in 1998 to $4.3 billion in 2016 ( Center for Responsive Politics ). Another clear sign is the unraveling of social norms regulating political discourse and process that has become glaringly obvious during the 2016 presidential election.

Analysis of past societies indicates that, if intra-elite competition is allowed to escalate, it will increasingly take more violent forms. A typical outcome of this process is a massive outbreak of political violence, often ending in a state collapse, a revolution, or a civil war (or all of the above).

... .. ..

72 Comments
  1. Gene Anderson December 30, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    Works for China too. One can see two main sources: The Imperial family, which with vast-scale polygyny grew inordinately in a short time; and the examination system, producing more and more successful candidates over time (this was a problem mainly after Song greatly expanded the exams). The poor Imperial family deserves some pity–toward the end of a dynasty you had all these 13th cousins 10 times removed starving to death on the Russian frontier. (I exaggerate only slightly. By the end of the empire in 1911, there were tens of thousands of Imperial relatives.) Naturally the competition got pretty fierce late in the dynasties. When the empire thrived, the system could blot all these people up, and find places for them. When the empire was going down hill, or conflicted, it meant trouble.

  2. pseudoerasmus December 30, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    I believe Peter Turchin is deeply mistaken about elite competition in modern societies. I repeat my comment on intra-elite competition from a previous post:

    In an agrarian society, elite wealth was based on land, more specifically, on extracting a fraction of the output of the commoners working the land. When there was a demographic crisis (land-labour ratio fell and immiseration set in), elite incomes fell, and elites sought to maintain their lifestyles by increasing the rate of extraction. But squeezing peasants even more when there's already a demographic crisis only exacerbates popular immiseration. At some point the only way for elites to increase, or even just preserve, their incomes was at the expense of other elites. Thus you have elite fragmentation and internecine competition. And thus sociopolitical instability. Makes a lot of sense. It fits a lot of historical cases.

    However, this theory makes no sense in modern industrial societies.

    (1) Wealth is no longer fixed in the long run. Modern economies reliably grow at 1-2% rates. Much of that growth is concentrated at the top, even when measured income inequality is relatively low. So the competitive pressure within elites is much less than in any agrarian society governed by Malthusian-Ricardian-Brennerian-Goldstone-Turchin cycles.

    (2) Besides, in a modern society, you need *more*, not less, intra-elite cooperation (a) in order to increase economic inequality; (b) in order for the elites to capture a greater share of the economic growth; (c) in order for capitalists reduce the bargaining power of labour; and (d) in order for elites to capture the state.

    In fact, politics in a modern society is a pretty small part of the field in which elites can play compared with anti-competitive practices -- i.e., collusion, mergers, monopolies, trusts, and other ways of reducing competition and concentrating power in the supply of goods and the demand for labour. These are all acts of elite cooperation. Capitalists are, right now, in unprecedented unity. They agree on unions, immigration, wages, trade, regulations, etc. That unity is necessary to generate the inequality in the first place.

    Therefore, state capture and rent-seeking are now *cooperative*: conspiracies to rig the rules and increase markups against the public interest require collusion. Owners of one mobile telephony operator don't have to clash with the owners of another mobile telephony operator: they can band together to lobby the government. Compared with the rise of monopoly concentration, elites wrangling over Trump or Brexit is a sideshow.

    Almost everybody who is concerned about rising inequality implicitly recognises this: from Krugman to Stiglitz to Milanovic to even Turchin's friends at Evonomics, they have argued that inequality stems in great measure from anti-competitive practises.

    It's contradictory to bemoan the spread of the 'neoliberal' ethos, and simultaneously talk about elite fragmentation. The evidence Turchin marshalls for elite fragmentation is basically the bimodal distribution of lawyers' incomes, and the degree of legislative polarisation. He ignores the much wider evidence of capitalist unity and concentration in support of 'neoliberal' policies.

    • Fernando E.Mora December 31, 2016 at 4:05 am

      I think you must read Fred Hirsch's "Social Limits to Growth" to understand the difference between the always possible growth in MATERIALl wealth and the (no-)growth of POSITIONAL wealth in which Peter's point can also be solidly (and perhaps more accurately) based.

      • pseudoerasmus December 31, 2016 at 8:16 am

        I would certainly agree that if economic growth were zero or negative, PT's elite competition theory might make more sense. Which is why I think SD theory is still quite applicable to many contemporary developing countries, such as those in the Arab world. Also, the collapse into civil wars in many African countries in the 1980s and 1990s was preceded by a large expansion of educated people at the same time economic growth more or less came to a halt.

    • Peter Turchin January 1, 2017 at 7:17 pm

      This comment requires a lengthier rebuttal, but for now just two points:

      1. In the blog post I specifically used the political elites to illustrate my major point. Your response, unfortunately, is a standard economic one that measures everything in money. As I said, I will probably have to write another post to explain why this is wrong-headed.

      2. Why do you assume that the "capitalist class" will be automatically able to cooperate to impose their will on the rest of the society? There is, after all, the problem of collective action.

      • Stephen Morris January 1, 2017 at 8:04 pm

        Speaking as a former investment banker involved in the privatisation of public assets – who has seen at first hand generations of politicians captured by business interests – I suggest that anyone with direct experience of this matter would realise that any collective action problem faced by the capitalist class in negligible in comparison which the collective action problem faced by citizens under the non-democratic system of purely "elective" goverrnment (i.e. "government-by-politicians').

      • pseudoerasmus January 1, 2017 at 8:04 pm

        Re #1 -- No, I do not measure everything in money, so please do not write a whole post as though that's what I argued. I said that elites now *collude* to capture the political process, which they do. They don't need to compete for political positions because they cooperate in capturing it. Goldman Sachs has access to the Treasury department whether the party in power is Republican or Democratic. (Besides, you also use some money proxies for intra-elite competition/cooperation: the distribution of lawyers' salaries, or the Great Merger Movement.)

        Re #2 -- I do not assume it. The evidence is overwhelming that concentration is increasing, markups are rising, monopoly power is expanding. All of that is evidence of intra-capitalist cooperation and unity.

      • pseudoerasmus January 1, 2017 at 8:11 pm

        Peter Turchin frequently cites the work of Martin Gilens, who has repeatedly shown that public policy largely reflects the preferences of the very richest of US society. That's not elite competition. That's elite cooperation in capturing of the political process. The problem with Turchin's framework is that he sees even modern societies through the Roman framework of Optimates v. Populares.

        • edwardturner January 2, 2017 at 11:52 am

          pseudoerasmus, I pretty much agree with what you say. However, while elites have colluded to capture the political process we might not expect them to all agree on what to do with the political process once it has been captured.

          There is no intra-capitalist unity. Some elites shouldn't even be called capitalists because the monopoly power they seek completely eliminates the free market. Other elites who want to control the political process do want a free market. They are in conflict.

          The common thread here is the presence of powerful elites who cooperate. Historically the monopoly power elites have cooperated without much resistence but the free market elites have begun to cooperate against them and have had success in the election of Donald Trump.

          If it is people power we want then the general trend will look like cooperation as whoever wins the conflict will be cooperating economic elites.

    • Steve Roth January 2, 2017 at 9:41 am

      I question whether there is a qualitative difference today. It's still about the claims embodied by "wealth," and the power those claims impart to wealthholders. The mechanisms are different, but the wealth/power relationships are pretty much the same.

      The crux, in my view, is concentration of wealth (hence power). Which has the virtue of being nicely quantifiable, in concept if not necessarily in practice.

      My favorite graph of this:

      http://www.asymptosis.com/household-net-worth-by-quintile-62-09-be-prepared-to-scroll.html

      As concentration increases and the "elite" gets smaller, the rope-ladder hanging down from the elite gets shorter and rattier. eg: The 90% were always excluded. Now the 2%-10% are. That change could result in a different type or intensity of social conflict.

      On the other hand that intra-"elite" competition might just be a by-product and analytical distraction. The elite vs "the rest" is the issue, and all we need to look at is the size of the elite. That could be nicely encapsulated in a "wealth concentration" metric.

      Problem is getting a consistent measure of that wealth concentration. Hell, the U.S. national accounts didn't even tally wealth until 2006, and still don't even touch on wealth distribution.

      http://evonomics.com/economists-dont-know-think-wealth-profits/

      Assembling such a (validly consistent) measure across historical societies would be tough. Atkinson, Wolff, Piketty&Co, etc. have managed over recent decades to assemble data on richer countries going back a century or so. Perhaps one could do similar for the Roman Empire, at least roughly? But across many societies and millennia? Tough.

      • pseudoerasmus January 2, 2017 at 10:39 am

        In agrarian societies, the wealth that conferred status -- land and state offices -- were fixed in the long run. In modern societies, the supply of status positions is not fixed and is in fact highly elastic.

        • Steve Roth January 2, 2017 at 11:10 am

          Yes the quantity of wealth was fixed. But I'm talking about the concentration of wealth and power. Compare a society in which the 1% has all the wealth and (real) power, compared to one where it's more broadly distributed among the 10%.

          IOW, whaddaya mean by "elite," buster?

          • >the supply of status positions is not fixed and is in fact highly elastic

          Totally agree. Increasing wealth does not mean that the quantity of status positions is increasing. The absolute or percentage count of "the elite" could shrink (wealth could concentrate) even as wealth increases.

          Increasing wealth might be presumed to give more entree to aspirants than a fixed-wealth scenario, but I just have no idea whether that is actually the case.

  3. Dick Burkhart December 30, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    You claim that "wealth is no longer fixed in the long run", yet that claim is the most fundamental fallacy of contemporary economics. "Limits-to-growth" is not a choice but a fact of science. Already the global economy is stagnating, mostly for this reason, and it is headed toward contraction sometime during the coming generation, despite all the hype about new technologies.

    The concept of "ecological overshoot and collapse" applies to human ecology too. We're certainly in overshoot, so some form of collapse is coming (even if a technological miracle occurred, like cheap energy from nuclear fusion, it would only postpone the day of reckoning).

    As to "intra-elite competition", it is well underway in much of the upper middle class and the 1%, according to the statistics documented by Peter Turchin above. But it is just revving up among the super-elites – the billionaire class, with Trump being the first really visible eruption. In fact, Donald Trump's election is the perfect example of how this competition plays out once it hits the main stage. So don't confuse tactical cooperation among increasingly greedy factions of the elites with the kind of yawning political fractures that are now opening up as unscrupulous opportunists like Trump discover that they can exploit a disgruntled part of the populace to "trump" the more conventional elites. And as "limits-to-growth" blocks the customary relief valve of expansion, then elite exploitation and popular revolt will increase until something there is some kind of show stopper.

      • Dick Burkhart December 30, 2016 at 8:29 pm

        Like most economists, you've got it totally backward: The non-material part is completely dependent on cheap resources, especially cheap, and compatible ecosystem conditions. Those resources only seem to disappear from the economy, because they are so cheap. But, as in the rest of nature, all that complexity comes from the surplus of energy and other resources.

        After all, we could not live without good air. Yet it costs nothing most of the time, so doesn't even enter into conventional economics.

        • pseudoerasmus December 30, 2016 at 9:04 pm

          Well, Dick Burkhart, as I said earlier, even if ecological exhaustion and collapse were coming, (a) that is not related to current economic problems; and (b) it's also not part of Peter Turchin's diagnosis.

          • Dick Burkhart December 31, 2016 at 9:19 pm

            In fact climate change is already taking an increasing economic toll – from extreme weather events, ocean acidification, desertification in some areas, etc. These costs could increase rapidly if certain tipping points are reached.

            But, yes, the larger immediate effects are coming from resource depletion, especially the peaking of conventional oil in 2006. Unconventional oil, like tar sands and fracked oil, is much more expensive, hence produces less wealth, less economic growth. Even much of the newer conventional oil is less productive, as it is often harder to find or requires tertiary methods of recovery. Similar dynamics apply to coal, natural gas, and many other resources, except that depletion may not be as far advanced as for oil. Economic growth has slowed dramatically even in China, despite their phony growth numbers, and I expect increasing political turmoil there, too, over the next decade or two.

            When an imperial economy can longer expand easily, all of Peter's dynamics come into play with greater force, not just the elite competition, but the increasing exploitation of the common people in order to maintain elite expansion. The latter has been going on since Reagan in the form of escalating economic inequality. = popular immiseration.

      • Paolo Ghirri December 31, 2016 at 2:34 pm

        "current problems have nothing to do with anything ecological or resource constraints."

        yes they have: for a pre industrial civilization what is vital is energy surplus, energy surplus that came from agriculture production. so as an example 18 have to work to produce food and 2 can live as soldier, priest and so on.

        for a industrial civilization energy surplus came from oil. from 1973 to 2016 the energy surplus pro-capita is falling: in a developed country the pro capita surplus now is 75% lower than in 1973.

        the gap is covered with debt. so in the short run we have: 1) energy price escalation (in real term the 2016 average oil price is the double of 2000) 2) agricultural stress: more frequent spike in food price, combined with food shortfall in the most vulnerable country (arab spring: food price in 2011 are 229% higher than the 2000-2004 average) 3) energy sprawl: investment in energy infrascructure will absorb rising proportion 4) economic stagnation: fail to recover from setbacks as robustly as it has in the past 5) inflation
        with the single exception of inflation (but if we check only necessary to live item i'm not so sure) all of the above features has already become firnly established in recent years, wich underlines the point that energy-surplus economy has reached its tipping point

  4. Terry Lowman December 30, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    The reason the elites cooperate is to get a leg up in the competition. It recently occurred to me that the Forbes 400 list of America's wealthiest families gives people a rank, a competitor. Without the list, one might be complacent with a mere $3 billion, but knowing others have tens of billions, makes you a "just ran". Better tune up your capitalist machine so you can outshine everyone else, right?

    • Peter Turchin January 1, 2017 at 7:19 pm

      The supply of "status" is by its nature inelastic. There is only one top person in anything, and only ten in the Top 10.

      • edwardturner January 2, 2017 at 11:57 am

        True but people who cannot be the king of general things will be happy to be known as the king of their specialism.

        The more specialisms that exist for people to get to the top of the more stable a society will be.

      • edwardturner January 2, 2017 at 12:02 pm

        you could say that the king of the military is the king of kings but in the age of nuclear buttons it's simply boring. you can't blow anything up without getting blown up yourself. you can use non-nuclear military power but non-nuclear power in the age we are living in only wins you the war, it doesn't win you the war and the peace. to win the peace today you need to be king of something other than the military.

  5. Rick Derris December 30, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    I liked the intra-elite discussions in "Ages of Discord" and it made me an even more strident believer in term limits. At least moving people out of the Congress after eight years will "free up" some space for other elite aspirants. I don't care if your politics are on the side of Strom Thurmond or Ted Kennedy – both were in the Congress for far too long.

    Of course, term limits did nothing to keep a 2nd Cuomo out of the NY Governor's mansion, but at least it means we only have to watch one Cuomo on CNN.

  6. Rich December 31, 2016 at 1:09 am

    Pseudoerasmus, good arguments. The consolidation of money, as well as markets, is very large right now and it does seem like that would take coordination of an ownership class or at least similar lines of thinking among those elites. But, are we talking about a different set of elites? There may be different populations of elites: capitalist and political. Personally, I think the proxies Peter use describe a political elite population rather than a capitalist elite population. The two combine for many, but there may be distinct capitalist and political populations with each having distinct behavior patterns. The worrisome insight for me is that it's the political elites that end up bringing us to our knees.

    • pseudoerasmus December 31, 2016 at 7:43 am

      "Personally, I think the proxies Peter use describe a political elite population rather than a capitalist elite population.

      Political elites are the proxies PT uses as evidence for his theory, but as he himself says, "American power holders are wealth holders". And I believe the definition I have effectively used here, "owners of capital", is consistent with his concept of elites or magnates in Secular Cycles -- a book I admire tremendously.

      Note also that PT uses the Great Merger Movement in US history (1895-1905) as evidence of the beginnings of elite cooperation. Well, another wave of capital concentration has existed now for decades, since the 1980s.

      • Rich Howard December 31, 2016 at 4:40 pm

        Political elites may be more likely to be rich, but the rich is a larger population with only a fraction politically aspirant. PT'S model relates political aspirants to political breakdown. And because it works so well, in so many cases, it suggests there is a more universal social process at work than rich/poor, unemployment rates, too many weapons, resource depletion etc.

  7. Jason December 31, 2016 at 7:42 am

    I like the theory but isn't there more to the story. On one side you have elite aspirant overproduction. On the other side, you have increasing concentration of power -- the iron law of oligarchy (in the sense of this wikipedia link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_law_of_oligarchy )

    Your average Congressman is not as powerful today as he was 100 years ago. Cabinet members used to do something of substance and now act more like front men, while policy making is centralized in the White House. You have more and more aspirants for fewer and fewer positions of substance. That ramps up intensity of competition even more than just over-production of JDs and MBAs.

    Plus the barriers to entry for competition has lowered too. Now celebrities fight with JDs for political positions. Rap stars compete with MBAs for business tycoon success.

    At all levels of society, you have greater and greater competition for fewer and fewer rewards. Hyper-competition all around. Now perhaps the competition at the gateway to the elite is particularly important because elites are important, and failure to get in makes them the aspirants powerful disgruntled people, but I think the mechanism is more than just over-production of JDs and MBAs.

    I think it might have started as a well intentioned project to increase the quality of our elites by introducing competition and lowering barriers to entry. And at the the same time, increasing the rewards to winners (incentivizing max effort). Result though is brutal intra-elite fighting. Particularly in times of overall lowered growth.

    • Peter Turchin January 1, 2017 at 7:24 pm

      Agreed, the overproduction of elites developed in parallel with the change in social norms that extolled competition and downplayed cooperation. But these two dynamics may be causally related -- it's not a pure coincidence that the two trends developed in parallel.

  8. Ross Hartshorn December 31, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    One point I haven't seen discussed much is that the number of "powerful" positions is fixed, by law, but not unchangeable. For example, in the 19th century it was arguably more important to be a city councilman or state legislator than a Congressmen, because more actual decisions were being made at the city and state level and the percentage of the economy under the control of the federal government was smaller. If there is less federal largesse to distribute, then there is less power in helping to decide how it is distributed. It is somewhat analogous to why being a U.S. Senator now is more important than being a U.N. functionary; the United Nations may represent a larger domain, but it has a lot less control over that domain than a national government.

    Thus, one would expect that the more centralized control of a region is, the more intra-elite competition there will be, because there are fewer positions which really matter. A modern example of this might be that the transfer of power from national to European Union administration would result in more intra-elite competition. On the other hand, devolving power back down to a lower level would result in more positions that have some power, and less competition for each.

    • Jason January 1, 2017 at 12:49 am

      That's exactly what I was getting at too, Ross. The number of good positions available depends on the power gradient of the society. How much power is centralized vs distributed. The whole Iron Law of Oligarchy developed in recognition that over time, power tends to centralize, so it's not fixed by law and unchangeable for all time. It's not so much inequality between ordinary people and the elite, but among elites.

      Plus it ossifies, in that these enhanced elite positions are then passed out patrilineally, which results in fewer actual positions being open to aspirants.

      The net result is heightened competition for entry and promotion within the elite, with more and more of the victories happening by methods outside the norm, e.g. dirty tricks, patronage, fake news etc.

      This probably happens in all societies, but growth (creating more opportunities), wars (resetting the table), inefficiency (placating the failed aspirants with consolation prizes) keep internal collapse at bay. It's when you have a dynamic of High Inequality, Low Growth, High Efficiency / Lean, No Wars that Elite Competition starts getting out of hand.

      (I say this despite hating wars, but you can't argue with their effect on resetting the table. Hate bribes/corruption too, but things like congressional pork barrels kept congressman feeling important and in-line. Efficiency is also a self evident good, but that means no consolation prizes for failure. Growth may eventually run into limits due to carrying capacity of ecosystem .).

      To me, it resembles a game of musical chairs with too few chairs, and when the music is playing much too fast. As Chuck Prince famously said in the Global Financial Crisis: "As long as the music is playing, you've got to get up and dance." Whether or not dancing is destructive, elites have to keep dancing to keep their chair.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Prince

      • Ross Hartshorn January 1, 2017 at 6:00 pm

        I also hate wars, but I am reminded of Mancur Olson's theory that nations recovering from a major disaster or a major military defeat usually have above-average growth for a few decades. The idea is that when, as with the South in the U.S. after the Civil War or with Germany and Japan after WWII, the elite in society have suffered a setback so severe that their hold on society is disrupted, there will be a period during which they are less able to set government policy in their favor rather than the collective welfare.

        SDT would have a somewhat different explanation of this. I agree with you that rapid growth would be another way to reduce the intra-elite competition; it seems the most likely explanation for the "missing" peak in non-governmental violence in the U.S. in the 1820's that Peter Turchin pointed out earlier.

        • Peter Turchin January 1, 2017 at 7:32 pm

          Historically, rapid growth coupled with equitable redistribution of its gains is typically associated with peaceful and internally stable periods. But you need both (growth and equity).

  9. Ross Hartshorn December 31, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    This idea is kind of half-formed, but I'll put it out there. It seems to me that one of the most important factors in intra-elite competition, is the degree of skill of the frustrated aspirants. If there are lots of people who want to be elite but can't crack the system to get in, that may not be a problem if those frustrated aspirants aren't particularly good at organization, motivation, leadership, etc.

    If, on the other hand, the frustrated aspirants are nearly as good at this sort of thing as those actually in power, and especially if they are better at it than the incumbents (who somehow through tradition or family connections or what-have-you remain on top), then you have a much better chance of the frustrated aspirants being able to kick up trouble.

    Of course, part of being good at leadership is getting the opportunity to practice, and a post-secondary education almost always includes some practice at a more professional set of social skills. But if the people getting spots in power remain better at political organization than the people who don't, it is less likely to result in disruption, I think. It seems that trouble would come when the ruling elite is either not especially good at leading (e.g. they inherited their position or bought their way in with somebody else's money), or they were good at leading in a previous time, and changes in society or technology have changed what skills are necessary for leadership.

    In all these cases, I think "good at leadership" would be a relative term, which is to say the current elite relative to the frustrated aspirants. How you could measure such skill, of course, is the key question about which I have as of yet nothing to say (I did say the idea was half-formed).

  10. steven t johnson January 1, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Although intra-elite competition and inter-elite competition are conceptually distinct, is that true in practice? Is Carlos Slim an intraelite competitor with Jeff Bezos, in the form of rivalry between the New York Times and the Washington Post? If this is interelite competition, how does structural-demographic theory address the issues of how external factors impinge on the cycle? (I'm a little shaky on how interior and exterior are defined in the first place. As for example, was there a cycle for Burgundy?)

    • Peter Turchin January 1, 2017 at 7:34 pm

      Unlike "intra-elite competition", "inter-elite competition" is not a concept in SDT (and like you I would be hard put to think what it could refer to).

  11. edwardturner January 1, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    The supply of power positions in a society is relatively, or even absolutely, inelastic. For example, there are only 435 U.S. Representatives, 100 Senators, and one President.

    This is not quite true. The supply of power positions can be elastic to a point.

    How about the growth in number of CEOs and NGOs and the heads of INGOs over the last 50 years? So-called non-state actors have become powerful as they influence the law-making processes in a variety of ways.

    These big chiefs are positions of power and influence. In many cases, they call the shots and Presidents and Prime Ministers are only the PR guys.

    The US President is not the most powerful person in the world. He doesn't have the highest security clearance in the United States. He is not allowed to know everything.

    The idea the US President is the most powerful man is a claim based on a theory of how the US political system works in idealised sense, and on simple US nationalism.

    The fact that the supply of power positions is elastic – that there has been a flouresence of alternative power structures to the state hierarchy – suggests that wealth can to a degree put off or delay elite competition.

    It is only when the rug is pulled from under the alternative prestigious hierarchies and the state tries to dominate all on its own – that is when problems will begin. Keep the funding going, maintain non-state avenues for prestige and create even more, the fluoresence will continue.

    • edwardturner January 1, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      interested readers might like to read my report for Cliodynamics: Why Has the Number of International Non-Governmental Organizations Exploded since 1960?

      http://escholarship.org/uc/item/97p470sx

  12. Nikhil ns January 1, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    A point made in arthashastra, that fight among princes is more dangerous than fight among commoners. However, I wud like to ask what predictions are u unable to do. There is no real knowledge which doesnt admit what its limitations are, or admits inability to explain something. Even in physics, where humans have gained incredible knowledge, there is much to know. Also, on issue of religion, could one argue that but for christianity & islam world wud have devekped faster as information in math/science wud have gathered pace, exchanged between different lands easily.Thank you.

  13. Peter Turchin January 1, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    Interesting that Arthashastra foresees a major message of the SDT.

    On the role of religion there are a lot of recent books from the cultural evolutionary perspective, including David Wilson, Ara Norenzayan, and Dominic Johnson (I might also mention my own Ultrasociety).

    • Dick Burkhart January 1, 2017 at 11:16 pm

      Even direct democracy is not a cure-all. Here in Washington State, our initiative and referendum process has been corrupted at times by big money interests: First put together a sophisticated campaign around some catch phrases that will have popular support on a topic where the opposition, even if widespread, is likely to be diffuse. Then sneak in some coded language that privileges a wealthy special interest. Then use paid signature gatherers. Then assemble a massive advertising campaign, one that will outspend the likely opposition, maybe even by 10 to 1.

      Certain people get very good at this and quickly learn to sell their services to the highest bidder. The current master of such campaign here is a guy named Tim Eyman, and he has been quite successful. But some companies, like Costco, have done the same thing all by themselves.

      Moral: You need to get "money out of politics" in all ways, and it's a never ending battle until you've eliminated concentrated wealth and power itself.

    • Peter Turchin January 2, 2017 at 10:01 pm

      Stephen Morris: you will find my response in an old post:

      http://peterturchin.com/cliodynamica/the-pipe-dream-of-anarcho-populism/

  14. Jason January 2, 2017 at 9:35 am

    Prof Turchin, is there any data on the Supply of Elite Positions in Historic Societies?

    It doesn't feel instinctively right that it's inelastic, but perhaps there's really the case. It feels slightly more likely to be right to say that it's capped somehow (inelastic as to upside, more elastic as to downside).

    But it seems like the sort of thing you should be able to answer with a History Database. Has there been any attempts to measure this?

    • Peter Turchin January 2, 2017 at 10:06 pm

      In fact, your are in luck, because we provide such statistics for a number of historical societies in Secular Cycles
      http://peterturchin.com/secular-cycles/

      Note, I didn't say it was inelastic. In most cases, it's relatively inelastic, so that the growth in the number of aspirants greatly overmatches the growth in the supply of the positions. Only in few instances the supply is absolutely inelastic (only one POTUS).

  15. Jonathan January 6, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Deficiencies in the concept of elite competition
    Let's start with the definition of elite: "small proportion of the population that concentrates power in their hands"
    His theory lacks an aspect that must be fundamental before even proceeding in a discussion on the "dynamics" of the elites and is that it is not able to explain in a satisfactory way the origin of the so-called "elites". According to its definition it seems that the elites are rather the manifestation of a particular phenomenon that is "concentration of power"; A phenomenon that manifests itself socially in the form of the so-called "elite", which hereafter I call the ruling class (I think it is a terminology in which we can all agree).
    But if we assume that the dominant classes are only a manifestation of the phenomenon of the concentration of power, our attention must first be fixed in that aspect so we try to break it down into its fundamental parts
    . Apparently the concept of power gives to understand the concept of dominion (some will have other words in mind but as surely they closely resemble the concept of domain I think that it suffices to refer us to this one) and we do not refer to any type of domain but to a domain Of social nature, a social domain. We will now say that this social domain manifests itself in the form of economic and political dominion, I think we will agree on this point.
    Now let us collect the fruits of these arguments. We have a different and more precise definition, which in no way invalidates the original, and we say: The ruling class is that small proportion of the population that concentrates economic and political dominion in their hands. I believe that we will agree that economic dominance is nothing but greater possession of capital and that political dominance is but a major influence on a state structure (the word "state" is used in a modern sense).
    Now we have: the ruling class is that small proportion of the population that concentrates the greatest possession of capital and the greatest influence within a state structure in their hands. The last part of " in your hands" is understood by what we can eliminate it and we have the following:
    The ruling class is that small proportion of the population that concentrates the greatest possession of capital and the greatest influence on a state structure.
    Now the possession of capital depends on its production or of the association with someone who produces capital. And it is revealed to us that the ruling class, apart from having influence in a state structure, needs to produce capital or be associated with someone who produces capital directly or indirectly.
    Thanks to this we see clearly that competition between elites is a competition for economic benefits and influence. Obviously the economic aspect is more significant than the aspect of influence. It follows that a fall in economic profits, ie a fall in capital production (a crisis), would directly or indirectly exacerbate the competition for greater economic benefits, that is, increase the number of aspirants to elitist . The competition of elites is not the cause of the crisis is one of the consequences of the crisis.

    • Jonathan January 6, 2017 at 2:40 pm

      I must make a small correction in my analysis. By capital I wanted to let you understand profit, so the use of that term in this argument is actually inappropriate because I wanted to use the word capital in a Marxist sense.

  16. Federico January 8, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    Hello Dr Turchin, I was wondering if you are familiar with Richard Lachmann's "elite conflict theory". It is a verbal theory, but one that he has successfully used to explain fiscal crises, hegemonic cycles, and the rise of modern capitalist economies. What do you think about it?
    Best,
    Federico

  17. Shaun Bartone February 27, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    I wonder if any of the commentators here have considered that the [neoliberal] cabal now in power in the US (not elsewhere) are not in power to "take power" except for a temporary period. They don't want to run the federal government, they want to destroy it, except for the police state and the military.

    They want to eliminate the EPA, vacate the State Dept and many other Depts, except for a few high-placed cronies, wipe all financial, labour, consumer and environmental regulations off the books; eliminate or reduce to a bare minimum federal health insurance, medicaid, medicare and Social Security, crush public education, privatize everything they can sell, and so on. They are not in power to "govern" but to destroy government. This is all being done with a fairly unified agenda: to free "the market" from any restrictions whatsoever, so that they -- global elites -- can make as much money as possible. It's a cabal of global corporations, militarists, Christian sovereign white supremacists, fossil fuel giants and bankers, and I think there's a high degree of cooperation for the agenda. The revolution is the cabal run by Trump/Bannon who are more extreme and ideological than any previous faction, who have no tolerance for compromise. They have an apocalyptic vision of grinding it all down to a bare minimum police state.

[Sep 28, 2020] May Non-OPEC Oil Production drops to 2013 levels by Ovi

Images deleted: see the original for images
Sep 28, 2020 | peakoilbarrel.com

A post by Ovi on peakoilbarrel

Below are a number of oil (C + C ) production charts for Non-OPEC countries created from data provided by the EIA's International Energy Statistics and updated to May 2020. Information from other sources such as the OPEC and country specific sites is used to provide a short term outlook for future output and direction.

Non-OPEC production dropped slowly from a high of 52,638 kb/d in December 2019 to 52,396 kb/d in March 2020. In April that changed when we saw the first big drop in output from the Non-OPEC countries associated with Covid and with the drop in world oil prices. May output collapsed to 45,340 kb/d, which is close to the production level in September 2013.

The projection to September (red square) was made using the September STEO report. It projects that after the low of 45,350 kb/d in May, production will increase by close to 3,500 kb/d to just under 49,000 kb/d in September.

Above are listed the worldʼs 15th largest Non-OPEC producers. They produced 83.6% of the Non-OPEC output in May. On a YoY basis, Non-OPEC production was down by 5,011 kb/d. On a MoM basis, production was down by 5,282 kb/d. World oil production was down by 11,418 kb/d, MoM and 10,318 kb/d YoY.

May saw a drop in output to 2,765 kb/d but rebounded in June to 3,013 kb/d according to this source . Maintenance and extensive turnarounds planned between September and November could shave around 200,000 b/d from Brazil's output.

The EIA shows Canadian production was down in May by 658 kb/d by 248 kb/d to 3,694 kb/d. The CER data is higher because it includes NGPLs in their estimates and is close to 6% of total output.

Canadian oil exports by rail to the US fell from a high of 411,991 b/d in February to a new low of 48,820 kb/d in June.

April 156,242 kb/d May 58,048 kb/d June 48,820 kb/d

At the same time, according to this source , "The Trans Mountain pipeline carried a record-breaking amount of oil to British Columbia from Alberta in August, despite persistent price and demand woes gripping the energy sector as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on".

"We have been full every day during the COVID period. Demand for the pipeline has not softened at all," he told The Globe and Mail in an interview Tuesday.

Chinaʼs production peaked in June-15 at 4,408 kb/d and has been in a steady decline up to September 2018 where it reached an output low of 3,694 kb/d. According to this source, Chinaʼs August production increased by 2.6% over last August. Output increased by 59 kb/d to 3,899 kb/d (Red square). However August's output is still slightly lower than the June 2019 output of 3,918 kb/d even though Chinese oil companies have increased their spending to reduce the decline rate.

Kazakhstan production hit a new output high in February, 1,976 kb/d. For May, production dropped by 203 kb/d to 1,738 kb/d. OPEC expects their output to drop by an average 15 kb/d this year.

Mexicoʼs production decreased in May by 85 kb/d to 1,686 kb/d, according to the EIA. Data from Pemex shows that production dropped to 1,647 kb/d in July (red square). Under the OPEC + Declaration of Cooperation, Mexico committed to reduce output by 100 kb/d in May. Their target was almost met.

The EIA reported that Norway's May production was 1,775 kb/d, a decrease of 14 kb/d from April.

According to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, "average daily liquids production in July was: 1 739 000 barrels of oil, 296 000 barrels of NGL and 27 000 barrels of condensate. (Red lines)

On 29 April 2020, the Government decided to implement a cut in Norwegian oil production. The production figures for oil in July include this cut of 134 000 barrels per day in the second half of 2020."

In other words, if Norway hadn't made their commitment to reduce production, May's oil output would have been (1,739 + 134) 1,873 kb/d. This output level would have been very close to some earlier highs.

According to the Russian Ministry of energy, Russian production increased by 479 kb/d in August to 9,860 kb/d. July was revised up by 11 kb/d from 9,371 kb/d to 9,382 kb/d.

UKʼs production decreased by 63 kb/d in May to 1,004 kb/d. According to OPEC, crude production is expected to increase to 1,010 kb/d in June (Red square).

June's production rebounded from May's low by adding 420 kb/d according to the the EIA's August report. May's output was revised up by 15 kb/d in the EIA's September report.

US and Permian oil rigs decreased by 1 to 179 and 121 respectively in the week of September 18. As a percentage, Permian oil rigs represented 67.5% of the total for the week of Aug 21.

According to the September DPR, the 121 rigs operating in the Permian in September will be sufficient to raise production in September by 42 kb/d to 4,150 kb/d.

While WTI has remained close to $40/bbbl, there has been essentially no change in drilling activity since the week of July 17 in the US. There were 180 oil rigs in operation that week vs 179 for the week of September 18.

These five countries complete the list of Non-OPEC countries with annual production between 500 kb/d and 1,000 kb/d. All five are in overall decline. Their combined May production was 3,263 kb/d down 232 kb/d from April's output of 3,495 kb/d. Azerbaijan, Indonesia and India appear to be in a slow steady decline phase. Columbia's production began to drop in March as Brent prices began to drop.

According to Colombia's minister of energy, Maria Fernanda Suarez, ANH president Armando Zamora said if Brent oil prices hit around $35 a barrel national oil output could average around 850,000 barrels a day, down from a previous forecast of 900,000 barrels.

Guyana is a new oil producing country that started production in December 2019. According to this s ource , production was supposed to reach 120 kb/d by June. However gas re-injection issues have delayed its planned production rise. Output in June is expected to be close to 80 kb/d (red square). This new source for oil will offset some of the decline in other countries, which currently is close to 400 kb/d/yr.

NON OPEC W/O US PRODUCTION

This chart shows that oil production in Non-OPEC countries has only increased by 541 kb/d from December 2014 t0 December 2019. It is an indication that these countries as a whole are approaching an output plateau. April is the first month in which the large production drop associated with CV-19 and the plunge in oil prices shows up in this chart. In May 0utput from these countries dropped by 3,293 kb/d to 35,348 kb/d.

Using information from the September STEO, output from the Non OPEC countries W/O the US, is expected to rebound to 37,054 kb/d in September (red square). Looking further out to October 2021, output is predicted to reach 39,692 kb/d. (Blue graph). Note that the October 2021 high is currently expected to be 143 kb/d lower than the December 2019 peak. The 143 kb/d difference is probably well within the margin of error in making these projections.

World Oil Production

World oil production in May decreased by 11,417 kb/d to 71,374 kb/d. This chart also projects world production out to October 2020. It uses the September STEO along with the International Energy Statistics to make the projection. It projects that world production will recover by close to 5,000 kb/d in October 20202 to 76,019 kb/d.

This chart presents world oil production without the US. Note that the November 2016 peak is two years prior to all the worldʼs peak shown in the previous chart. May production was 61,372 kb/d, a decrease of 9,429 kb/d from April.

Using the STEO and the EIA international Energy Statistics, output for September is projected to be 63,768 kb/d, an increase of 2,396 kb/d higher than May.

[Sep 28, 2020] The apparent problems with the the US "management elite": the hired managerial class is both very stupid and very self-serving

Sep 28, 2020 | www.unz.com

Beckow says: September 26, 2020 at 6:58 pm GMT 200 Words ↑ @PetrOldSack

If it is about ' surplus populations ' – and I agree that is a strong motivation for the elites – why are they super-charging import of the additional surplus population from the Third World?

The corona panic is not helping, unless this is only Phase 1. Tanking the economy will most likely result in a much weaker control of the population – the draconian new rules won't make much difference because they can never be draconian enough. Tens of millions without work is a prescription for chaos – it has always been.

One explanation that I find possible is ' inertia ' – the rulers are stuck, the hired managerial class is both very stupid and very self-serving. What we see is helpless inertia and a slow slide, but no plan or even coherent thought.

The members of the ruling class seem lost and helpless (' tear it down so we can rebuilt it better ' is a weird refrain used by Macron, Trudeau and now Biden). The real story could be that there is nobody behind the curtain, no ideas, and inertia rules.


PetrOldSack , says: September 26, 2020 at 7:14 pm GMT

@The Alarmist hat we need to get the global population back below one billion, because every action they have taken lately seems designed to lead to means to achieve that end.

To keep with the Saker, "the elites have gone mad", at government level, the public puppets mostly do not know what they are doing. A level deeper, the few bet on chaos, improvise, but at the least have some sort of quality goal: induce chaos to mask the causes of the necessary culling of the surplus populations. At the level of the middle class, and populus, the former are suicidal, the latter as always in the history of mankind, do not even grasp the situation they are in.

, JasonT , says: September 26, 2020 at 9:44 pm GMT
@Beckow much difference because they can never be draconian enough."

Corona panic leads to mandatory vaccinations.
Mandatory vaccinations leads to implantation of biochip.
Biochip sends and receives signals to/from 5G network.
Signals between biochips and AI through 5G network track everyone who has the chip, does not allow troublemakers to buy/sell thereby starving them, and in extreme cases, signals from 5G network to biochips kills/disables troublemakers.

The rules do not need to be draconian. In fact, no overt 'rules' are needed at all because people will learn through pain what they are allowed to do.

[Sep 28, 2020] Washington's Hybrid War On Russian Energy Targets Germany, Belarus, And Bulgaria -

Sep 28, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Washington's Hybrid War On Russian Energy Targets Germany, Belarus, And Bulgaria


by Tyler Durden Sun, 09/27/2020 - 08:10 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Andrew Korybko via OneWorld.press,

The US is ruthlessly waging an intense Hybrid War on Russian energy interests in Europe by targeting the Eurasian Great Power's relevant projects in Germany, Belarus, and Bulgaria, banking on the fact that even the partial success of this strategy would greatly advance the scenario of an externally provoked "decoupling" between Moscow and Washington's transatlantic allies.

The Newest Front In The New Cold War

The New Cold War is heating up in Europe after the US intensified its Hybrid War on Russian interests there over the past two months. This proxy conflict is being simultaneously waged in Germany, Belarus, and Bulgaria, all three of which are key transit states for Russian energy exports to the continent, which enable it to maintain at least some influence there even during the worst of times. The US, however, wants to greatly advance the scenario of an externally provoked "decoupling" between Moscow and Washington's transatlantic allies which would allow America to reassert its unipolar hegemony there even if this campaign is only partially successful. This article aims to explore the broad contours of the US' contemporary Hybrid War strategy on Russian energy in Europe, pointing out how recent events in those three previously mentioned transit states are all part of this larger plan.

Germany

From north to south, the first and largest of these targets is Germany, which is nowadays treating Russian anti-corruption blogger Navalny. The author accurately predicted in late August that "intense pressure might be put upon the authorities by domestic politicians and their American patrons to politicize the final leg of Nord Stream II's construction by potentially delaying it as 'punishment to Putin'", which is exactly what's happening after Berlin signaled that it might rethink its commitment to this energy project. America isn't all to blame, however, since Germany ultimately takes responsibility for its provocative statements to this effect. Dmitri Trenin, Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, published a thought-provoking piece titled " Russian-German Relations: Back To The Future " about how bilateral relations will drastically change in the aftermath of this incident. It's concise and well worth the read for those who are interested in this topic.

Belarus

The next Hybrid War target is Belarus , which the author has been tracking for half a decade already. After failing to convince Lukashenko to break off ties with Russia after this summer's Wagner incident, a Color Revolution was then hatched to overthrow him so that his replacements can turn the country into another Ukraine insofar as it relates to holding Russian energy exports to Europe hostage. The end goal is to increase the costs of Russian resources so that the US' own become more competitive by comparison. Ultimately, it's planned that Russian pipelines will be phased out in the worst-case scenario, though this would happen gradually since Europe can't immediately replace such imports with American and other ones. "Losing" Belarus, whether on its own or together with Nord Stream II, would deal a heavy blow to Russia's geopolitical interests. Countries like Germany wouldn't have a need to maintain cordial relations with it, thus facilitating a possible "decoupling".

Bulgaria

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That's where Bulgaria could become the proverbial "icing on the cake". Turkish Stream is expected to transit through this Balkan country en route to Europe, but the latest anti-government protests there threaten to topple the government, leading to worries that its replacement might either politicize or suspend this project. Azerbaijan's TANAP and the Eastern Mediterranean's GRISCY pipelines might help Southeastern Europe compensate for the loss of Russian resources, though the latter has yet to be constructed and is only in the planning stages right now. Nevertheless, eliminating Turkish Stream from the energy equation (or at the very least hamstringing the project prior to replacing/scrapping it) would deal a death blow to Russia's already very limited Balkan influence. Russia would then be practically pushed out of the region, becoming nothing more than a distant cultural-historical memory with close to no remaining political influence to speak of.

Economic Warfare

The overarching goal connecting these three Hybrid War fronts isn't just to weaken Russia's energy interests, but to replace its current role with American and other industry competitors. The US-backed and Polish-led " Three Seas Initiative " is vying to become a serious player in the strategic Central & Eastern European space, and it can achieve a lot of its ambitions through the construction of new LNG and oil terminals for facilitating America's plans. In addition, artificially increasing the costs of Russian energy imports through political means related to these Hybrid Wars could also reduce Russia's revenue from these sources, which presently account for 40% of its budget . Considering that Russia's in the midst of a systemic economic transition away from its disproportionate budgetary dependence on energy, this could hit Moscow where it hurts at a sensitive time.

The Ball's In Berlin's Court

The linchpin of Russia's defensive strategy is Germany, without whose support all of Moscow's energy plans stand zero chance of succeeding. If Germany submits to the US on one, some, or all three of these Hybrid War fronts in contravention of its natural economic interests, then it'll be much easier for America to provoke a comprehensive "decoupling" between Russia and Europe. It's only energy geopolitics that allows for both sides to maintain some sense of cooperation despite the US-encouraged sanctions regime against Russia after its reunification with Crimea and thus provides an opportunity for improving their relations sometime in the future. Sabotaging Russia's energy interests there would thus doom any realistic prospects for a rapprochement between them, but the ball's in Berlin's court since it has the chance to say no to the US and ensure that the German-Russian Strategic Partnership upholds Europe's strategic autonomy across the present century.

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Concluding Thoughts

For as much as cautiously optimistic as many in the Alt-Media Community might be that the US' Hybrid War on Russian energy in Europe will fail, the facts paint a much more sobering picture which suggests that at least one of these plots will succeed. Should that happen, then the era of energy geopolitics laying the foundation for Russian-European relations will soon draw to a close, thereby facilitating the US' hoped-for "decoupling" between them, causing budgetary difficulties for Moscow at the moment when it can least afford to experience such, and pushing the Eurasian Great Power's strategic attention even further towards Asia. The last-mentioned consequence will put more pressure on Russia to perfect its "balancing" act between China and India , which could potentially be a double-edged sword that makes it more relevant in Asian geopolitical affairs but also means that one wrong move might seriously complicate its 21st-century grand strategy .

Vegetius , 4 hours ago

If you look at the three countries mentioned Belarus will likely be absorbed by Russia sooner rather than later. The push for this is underway looking at meetings taking place. For Bulgaria the US is far away and has no power to stop the Turks. It is the Turks the Bulgarians fear, with a lot of reasons, their surest way of keeping out of the Turks clutches is to look to Russia for support. Unfortunately the USA has an appalling track record of betraying countries, ask Libya.

The Germans have no choice but take the Russian gas, economically, socially and for strategic reasons. The truly big fear for the US is a German/Russian bloc. German and Russian technology with unrivaled resources. That is the future super power if they are pushed together, something that is very likely if we see a major economic contraction in the next few years.

Mustahattu , 4 hours ago

The US fear of an Eurasian alliance. The US fear Europe will create a Silicon Valley of the future. The US fear the Euro will replace the dollar as a reserve currency. The US fear Russia will become a superpower. The US fear China. There's a lot to fear yankee dear...cos it's all gonna happen.

Hope Copy , 1 hour ago

RUSSIA is content with 45 and 25nm as it can be hardened.. 14 and especially 7nm is so that the **** will wear out..

Ace006 , 2 hours ago

Instead of fretting about how this or that country or bloc will become a/an _________ superpower the US could focus on regaining its former pre-eminence.

It's a crazy thought, I know, but

  1. moving a massive amount of industrial capacity to China and fueling the rise of a communist country just might have been a bad idea and
  2. thrashing about in the international arena like a rutting rhinoceros at huge expense makes us look foolish and, in the case of Syria, petty and vindictive.

Repairing the damage from the former and stopping the hemorrhage of money and reputation respectively would be a far better objective than playing Frankenstein in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, Georgia, Serbia, Iran, Poland, N. Korea, and Venezuela, inter alia . Mexico is a failed state right on our border that contributes mightily to our immigration, cultural, and political problems. But, no, the puffed up, prancing morons who make US policy can summon the imagination to figure out how to help our very own neighbors deal with their hideous problems. No. Let's engage in regime change and "nation building" in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine, and Belarus.

The words of the great Marcus Aurelius are on point: "Within ten days thou wilt seem a god to those to whom thou art now a beast and an ape, if thou wilt return to thy principles and the worship of reason."

Herodotus , 1 hour ago

Bulgaria must return to the protection of the Ottoman Empire.

yerfej , 4 hours ago

Easy solution, end NATO. Just have all US forces told to leave the EU and let them determine their own destiny. Then do the same with US forces in the ME, Japan, Korea, etc. EVERYONE would be better off, including US taxpayers which get nothing out of the useless overseas deployment of resources which could be better spent at home.

yojimbo , 3 hours ago

5% budget deficit, 5% military spending. Leave the world, drop 4.5% of the spending and either save money, or build infrastructure. It's so simple, I am disappointed Trump doesn't at least state it. I get he is limited by the system, and can't be a Cincinnatus, even if he wanted to, but he has his First Amendment.. though I grant him a personal fear of being Kennedied!

Bac Si , 2 hours ago

Howdy Yerfej. It sounds like you are all for Isolationism.

But Isolationism means different things to different people. Pre WW2, Isolationism in the US meant selling our products to hostile countries. In the case of Japan, oil to help them kill Chinese people. In the case of Germany and Italy, food and vehicles to help them conquer all of Europe.

Considering the ridiculous education that the US gives its children, it's no wonder that most Americans don't know much about history (I say that in general terms, not to you specifically). Henry Ford senior not only received the 'Grand Cross of the German Eagle' from Adolf Hitler in 1938, he also received a 'Congressional Medal' from the US Congress shortly after WW2 – and for the same reason. Selling trucks to help the war effort.

Even after Pearl Harbor, there were politically powerful Isolationists that did not want the US to get involved in WW2. Why? Because a lot of money was at stake. It still is. These same people will continue to argue for Isolationism even after we are attacked.

Two months AFTER Pearl Harbor, FDR made a speech that included this:

"Those Americans who believed that we could live under the illusion of isolationism wanted the American eagle to imitate the tactics of the ostrich. Now, many of those same people, afraid that we may be sticking our necks out, want our national bird to be turned into a turtle. But we prefer to retain the eagle as it is – flying high and striking hard. I know that I speak for the mass of the American people when I say that we reject the turtle policy and will continue increasingly the policy of carrying the war to the enemy in distant lands and distant waters – as far away as possible from our own home grounds." – FDR

This radical change in our foreign policy has never been explained or even referred to in US history books. Powerful economic forces will always love the idea of "Open Trade Isolationism". But if Isolationism is ever suddenly defined by not doing business with any hostile government – those powerful forces will go ballistic. They will strongly lobby against 'Economic Warfare'. In other words, they will always want to make lots of money by selling their products to hostile governments, no matter how many people die.

Want a great example?

Right after Loral Corporation CEO Bernard L. Schwartz donated a million dollars to the DNC, President Clinton authorized the release of ballistic missile technology to China so Loral could get their satellites into space fast and at low cost. Those same missiles, and their nuclear warheads, are now pointed at the US.

The argument has always been that if we trade with hostile governments, they will grow to like us. Does anyone out there believe that if the UK and France gave pre WW2 Germany an extra $20 billion in trade, Germany wouldn't have started WW2? Anyone with a brain would tell you that Germany would have put those resources into their military (like China has been doing) and WW2 would have started earlier.

Yerfej, if we brought back the Cold War organization called the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM), I would be all for Isolationism. President Clinton got rid of it in his first year, and Western weapons technology has been threatening us ever since.

BaNNeD oN THe RuN , 5 hours ago

You have to love the dynamic duo of "lie, cheat and steal" Pompeo and his "mob boss" Trump. There is absolutely no subtlety in their obvious shakedown tactics.

PrivetHedge , 4 hours ago

The mob had far more honor, and better morals.

PrivetHedge , 4 hours ago

Washington's transatlantic allies...

Hahahah, occupied vassals.
Washington has cost Germany a massive slice of GDP.

you_do , 4 hours ago

Yankee has plenty of problems at home.

Rest of the world can decide their own energy policy.

They do not suffer from the 'Russia' propaganda.

geno-econ , 5 hours ago

Let Russia, the lowest cost energy producer win energy competition in Europe as China, the lowest cost manufacturing producer is winning in America. Only difference is retailers, shippers, assembly part importers such as auto, electronics and appliance makers are making a profit and consumer gets lower prices. We should let others decide for themselves and stop meddling----only result will be a bloody nose

you_do , 4 hours ago

Yankee has plenty of problems at home.

Rest of the world can decide their own energy policy.

They do not suffer from the 'Russia' propaganda.

geno-econ , 5 hours ago

Let Russia, the lowest cost energy producer win energy competition in Europe as China, the lowest cost manufacturing producer is winning in America. Only difference is retailers, shippers, assembly part importers such as auto, electronics and appliance makers are making a profit and consumer gets lower prices. We should let others decide for themselves and stop meddling----only result will be a bloody nose

free-energy , 4 hours ago

Notice how everything the US does around the world is a WAR. War on Energy, War on Drugs, War on Birth Control, War War War... America will fall after 2020 if nothing changes for the better. Every year the world grows more and more tired of the US bs and moves further away from it. Its so bad that they choose to deal with a communist country over us.

You reap what you've sowed.

Bobby Farrell Can Dance , 3 hours ago

The Anglo American parasite pirate gangsters keep barking on about Russia bad, China bad, but I look around and I see nothing but these trouble makers waging war on anything they cannot control. The US and UK are devil nations. They will deserve all the rot they have coming their way.

Unknown User , 5 hours ago

Trump wants a trade balance with all major economies like Germany and China. If they don't buy from us, he will have to raise tariffs. In case of Germany, they need nothing from us so he wants them to buy US LNG. Merkel's position is that "there is a cheap Russian gas", while Trump is telling her "no there isn't one".

Pumpinfe , 4 hours ago

So trump loves to deep throat Russia but give Germany a hard time to Nordstream 2? Wake up fanboys, your hero is a ******. I got so much money invested in gazprom. LNG is junk and gazprom (Russian owned) is gona crush LNG and trump and his idiot following can't do a damn thing. You trump idiots will believe anything. Let me enlighten you...gazprom is the lowest cost producer of natural gas in the world...go look at the difference between gazprom and LNG and then you will realize that orange dump is an idiot along with his army of empty heads. Oh and if you think China and Russia are not friendly, go look up the Power of Siberia pipeline. That will give you a good sense of the relationship between Russia and China. America is rotting from the inside and Russia and China are eating their popcorn watching it happen.

Dabooda , 3 hours ago

I don't see Trump deep-throating anyone but Netanyahu. Sans gratuitous insults, your comment about Gazprom is spot on

Lokiban , 5 hours ago

I doubt Merkel will give in. She would commit political suicide if she did that. She knows Navalny is a US effort to stop Nordstream 2.
What is the alternative? Buying gas from the US or US-controlled oilfields in Iraq and Syria? Putin might have a say in that.

Lokiban , 5 hours ago

I doubt Merkel will give in. She would commit political suicide if she did that. She knows Navalny is a US effort to stop Nordstream 2.
What is the alternative? Buying gas from the US or US-controlled oilfields in Iraq and Syria? Putin might have a say in that.

thurstjo63 , 3 hours ago

The main fault in Mr Korybko's thinking is that he believes that European countries will not just shoot themselves in the foot but in the head to appease the US. At a european and local level, those who wanted Nord Stream 2 to be suspended or killed have failed. The costs are way too high. For that we can thank, perversely, the agreements associated with protecting investments from political decisions pushed by the US itself!!! Given that there is no proof of Navalny being poisoned, Germany knows that there is no way that they could hope to win their case for stopping Nord Stream 2 in a tribunal with persons capable of rational thought. That is why they made the deal to buy some US liquified gas for a couple of billion dollars. Because that is the cheapest way of extricating themselves from this situation. Otherwise, they are looking at orders of magnitude more compensation to russian and european firms for stopping the pipeline.

As for Belarus, barring Lukashenko doing something profoundly stupid like reacting violently to protests, that ship has already sailed. Protests are smaller every week and mainly on the weekend as now the "opposition" has been publishing people's profiles accusing them of collaborating with the government without any proof, leading to innocent people and their families to be threatened. There will be a transition from Lukashenko over the next couple of years but you can be sure that the present "opposition" given their desire to break away from Russia will not be part of the group that comes to power in the future since their base of support diminishes every week.

Finally Bulgaria already shot themselves in the foot when they backed out of South Stream and had major problems securing energy resources to meet its needs during the intervening period. Radev as any politician wanting to stay in office knows, if he doesn't go through with connecting Turk Stream to the rest of Europe that he might as well resign. So unless the US has compromising information on him that can force him from office or the Radev's administration doesn't control the US attempts to create the conditions for a colour revolution in Bulgaria, it is definitely not going to happen.

I'm sorry but Mr. Korybko is wrong on all counts!

Savvy , 4 hours ago

When the US backed Georgia's violent incursion into S Ossetia it took Russia one day to send them back.

Russians are slow to saddle but ride fast.

Joiningupthedots , 2 hours ago

That was with the remnants of the old Soviet Army too.

The new Russian Army is an entirely different beast in both organisation, training, experience and equipment.

This guy has his finger on the pulse;

http://thesaker.is/the-world-has-gone-absolutely-insane/

JeanTrejean , 5 hours ago

Are the USA really at war with Russia...and EU?

Decoupling Russia from EU, is re-enforcing the Eurasia bloc...where is the future of the world.

Russia belongs to Europa...not the USA.

BaNNeD oN THe RuN , 4 hours ago

Geographically Europe and Asia are one continent. It was "European exceptionalism" (the precursor to American Exceptionalism) that divided it as an ethno-cultural construct.

researchfix , 5 hours ago

Cancelling NS2 will chase the German industry into Russia. Cheap energy, moderate wages, Eurasian market at the front steps.

The sheep and their ex working places and Mutti will stay in Germany.

Bobby Farrell Can Dance , 3 hours ago

Do Germans want to be slaves of these abject Brits and Americans? Pffffft....gas from Russia is a NO BRAINER.

Only British and Americans rats do not like that idea. How un-selfish then, it is for these jealous, insecure morons to dictate to Germany how she should trade. That's called outright meddling. These imperialists are like entitled Karens, they think the world owes them favours at the snap of a finger.

Sandmann , 4 hours ago

Nordstream 2 has an add-on leg to UK. Germany is largest gas importer on earth and cannot run its industry without gas imports from Russia. LNG is simply too expensive unless US taxpayers subsidise it.

If US wants to destabilise Europe it will reap the consequences. Southern Europe depends on gas from North Africa - Portugal generates electricity from Maghreb Pipeline to Spain from Algeria via Morocco. Erdogan hopes to put Turkey in position of supplying gas to Europe.

Germany will not abandon Nordstream 2 but might abandon USA first.

Max21c , 3 hours ago

The US is ruthlessly waging an intense Hybrid War on Russian energy interests in Europe by targeting the Eurasian Great Power's relevant projects in Germany, Belarus, and Bulgaria, banking on the fact that even the partial success of this strategy would greatly advance the scenario of an externally provoked "decoupling" between Moscow and Washington's transatlantic allies.

It's a petty game and when it fails then the Washingtonians credibility and legitimacy just further erodes. The EU needs the energy supplies and the Russian Federation has the supplies. It's all just short term & small gain silliness by a pack of freaks in Washington DC and their freaks in the CIA, Thunk Tank freaks and freaks in the foreign policy establishment. It's just more of the Carnival sideshow/freakshow put on by Washingtonians. As usual if it's a Washingtonian (post Cold War) policy then there's little or no substance behind it and you can be sure it hasn't be thought through thoroughly and it'll eventually turn and boomerang back on the circus people in Washington, Ivy League circus people, and JudeoWASP elite circus people, CIA circus clowns and circus clowns in the Thunk Tonks and elites Fareign Poolicy ***-tablishment.

John Hansen , 3 hours ago

If all it takes is a Navaly hoax to cause this Europe isn't really worth dealing with.

propaganda_reaper , 3 hours ago

Once upon a time, a revolution occurred in a country through which passed a gas pipeline. The bad guys were vanquished. And the very good foreign guys who helped the local good guys defeat the tyrant said: "We got the same stuff, but liquid."

Any similarity with fictitious events or characters was purely coincidental.

_ConanTheLibertarian_ , 4 hours ago

Germany needs the gaz.

https://www.politico.eu/article/why-germany-cant-say-no-to-nord-stream/

Obamanism666 , 49 minutes ago

Remember the Gas to Europe still flows through the Ukraine. Russia just needs to reduce the gas Pressure and blame the Ukraine and Europe goes cold and Dark.

German People will beg for Nordstream 2 to be switched on.

lucitanian , 31 minutes ago

That's not the way Russia works. But it's the kind of blackmail that the US uses. And that's why Russia is a more dependable partner for Europe for energy.

Hope Copy , 1 hour ago

This **** goes right back to the 'DeepState' pseudo-revolution that got the Nicky-the-weak killed ,because he financed his railroads and wanted to be rich as hell as he perceived the ENGLISH monarchy to be, with a parliamentary DUMA that he could over rule if need be. I have looked 'DeepState' right in the eyes when I was young and dumb and was told that I would never go to their masion.. Nicky had family enemies. and the Czech fighting force was never going to save him.. Stalin was also double-crossed, but was well informed.. it was in his sector if one reads and believes. Cunning fox Stalin was, always playing those under him to do his bidding.. and that lesson has been well learned by a couple of the world's leaders in this day-in-age...

Herodotus , 1 hour ago

German manufacturing costs must be driven higher to take the heat off of the UK as they emerge from the EU and attempt to become competitive.

novictim , 1 hour ago

When "War" is actually not war but trade policy and financial incentives then you know you are engaged in dangerous bloviations and hyperbole.

When the shooting starts, then you can talk of War.

SuperareDolo , 2 hours ago

Russia might not want to fight these attempts to isolate it from the western economy. The collateral damage will be that much less, once Babylon the great finally falls.

LoveTruth , 2 hours ago

And US claims to be a "Fair Player," caring for freedom and democracy, while twisting arms and supporting corrupted officials.

IronForge , 3 hours ago

PetroUSD, MIC, Colonial Control of Vassals. World Domination Play by the Hegemony.

Just like the Policies of NATO: Russians Out, Germans Down, Anglo-American-ZioMasons and Vatican_Vassals In.

Policies were like this - Sponsored by Anglo-ZioMasons from Pre-WWI, continued through WWII and the First Cold War, and onwards after the Collapse of the SUN and the ensuing NeoCon Wolfowitz Doctrine and PNAC7/Bush-Cheney PetroUSD Plans.

The Hegemony Control MENA Energy Producers. The IRQ-KWT War were mishandled; and KSA demanded for the USA to Smite IRQ. The Initial War and Occupation prompted Hussein to opt the EUR for Petroleum, which Brought about the End of Hussein through the 9-11/PNAC7 Long War.

LBY opted for the Au-Dinar for Petroleum; and were Fail-Stated. IRN and RUS remain the only Major Energy Producers not Controlled by the Hegemony.

IRN were Sanctioned since removing the Shackles of Hegemonic Occupancy via Shah Par Levi; and attempts for Energy Diversification via Nuclear means raised suspicions of Nuclear Weapons Development - prompting for heavier Sanctions and 5thColumn Regime Change Operations by the Hegemony. IRN circumvented Sanctions in part by selling their Petroleum via Major Currencies and Barter. Though many Countries have reduced or maintained their purchase of IRN Petroleum via Sanctions Protocols, CHN are involved in Purchasing IRN's Output.

RUS, another Target of Ruin, Plunder, and Occupational Exploitation by the Hegemony, were Too Large a Country with Standing Armed Forces for Direct Military Invasion by the Hegemony. After the Collapse of the SUN, The Harvard/Chicago led Economic Reforms ended in Plunder - which prompted the Selection and Rise of Putin, who drove out the Plunderers. The Hegemony continue their Geopolitical War of Influence Peddling around RUS while attempting Soft War NATO Membership Recruitment and Regime Change Coups within RUS, Ex-SUN Nation-States, and Trading Partners.

RUS have endured, became Militarily mightier, have become the Major Energy Producer for North/Western Europe and CHN. In addition to the Production, RUS now have begun Trading Petroleum+NatGas outside of the PetroUSD Exchange Mechanism, opting for Customer Currencies or RUB.

RUS and IRN are expected to be Key Providers of the PetroCNY-Au Exchange Mechanism.

The Hegemony and MENA Vassals can't Compete in Combined Petroleum+NatGas Volume and Price; and DEU - by Directly Importing from RUS - will most likely become more Independent from the Hegemon.

CHN, RUS, and DEU - Major Energy, Industrial, Natural Resource, and Military Powers Decoupling from the Influences of the Hegemony, with IND Slowly coming to their Own (IND are simply Too Large to remain Vassals to the Hegemon; and Vassal GBR did so much to Oppress them in the past).

Funny that the Anglo-American-ZioMasons and VAT have brought each of these 3 Powers to Ruin and Occupation in the Past 2 Centuries.

The Ironies being Played Out are that:

1) GBR Lost their Prime Colonies - America/USA, IND, and now Trade City Colony HKG - by their Oppressive and Exploitative Occupancy; and

2) USA, after Fighting Wars for Independence from such Occupations by GBR - Once Becoming a Major Military Power, Followed in the Anglo-ZioMason Tradition of Geopolitical Conquest and Control to the Scale of pursing not only in World Domination - but in Absolute Global Rule.

Maghreb2 , 2 hours ago

Problem is demographic shift . The previous modern system dominated by Zio-Masonry was GNP and GDP where currencies were measured against global output and floated against gold and each other. Now with high inflation and demographic decline knocking out the economy is easier leading to fights between zones of influence. Petro Ruble, Euro or dollar. Dangerous commodities like kilos of heroin, trafficked humans or weapons. Zio-Masonic system has fallen to gangsterism. Hybrid Warfare is the kind of thing we saw in Afghanistan or 80s Columbia . Militarized Russian mafia vs NATO backed militarized police forces.

Once the population reaches a certain age and consumption drops there isn't much to fight over besides social control systems of the young minority. Color revolutions in Central Europe are really only effecting the long term economy of the young . Hope would be Left wing Radicals stood up to the system and aligned with right wing groups to eliminate masonic and Zionist factions and take back the command and control systems before the continet is shut down permanently.

Precision strikes and hunting down their descendents . Easy to find because Hitler and Stalin had their ancestors massacred for loyalty to Rothschild. They won't bite the hands that feed.The Vatican vassal systems was built on knowing that a Zionist is Zionist and Masons is a Mason. They are cults simply teaching them the correct way to behave can avert these political problems.

In terms of Belarus and Russia they should consider the fact the birth rate rate rose after the Soviet collapse and exodus west means many of them shouldn't have even been born in Rothschilds plan. In their " system " economic planning starts at birth because color revolutions effect long term bond issuances they control.

Stalin and Hitler both knew this and used money linked to raw marterials and goods to beat the British gold standard system. If you knew what the Western Central banks were worth you would kill people for using their money.

[Sep 27, 2020] After almost 30 years in power Lykashenko proved to be vulnatable to color revolutioon technologies: Belarusian police make almost 200 arrests as Minsk other cities stage large anti-Lukashenko rallies

www.moonofalabama.org
The tragedy of this situation the most of people who constitute fifth column will be royally fleeced if this color revolution succeeds. As Ukrainian experience had shown the immediate result will be the drop (2-3 times) of national currency against the dollar, mass sellout of assets to the West at bargain process (for pennies on the dollar) as well as continuation of the destruction of Soviet infrastructure. Western powers want 90% of Byelorussian people to live on the level slightly above starvation and they have numerous methods of achieving this goal directly and indirectly.
In two to three year Belorussia will be a regular debt slave of the West.
27 Sep, 2020 Around 200 have been detained as the Belarusian capital, Minsk and other cities host rallies, during which the opposition plans to hold a "people's inauguration" of former presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.

The action was called in response to the secret inauguration staged by long-time President Alexander Lukashenko for himself earlier this week. Tikhanovskaya won't be attending the protest, as she fled Belarus for Lithuania after the August 9 election, which the opposition insists was rigged.

Thousands marched along Independence Avenue in Minsk, despite security forces thoroughly preparing for the unsanctioned event and urging people to stay at home. Mobile internet speed has been reduced in the capital. A local mobile operator said it has been ordered to do so by the government. It may have been done to complicate communication among demonstrators.

The city's largest squares were blocked off, with seven subway stations in the center also shut down. A convoy of armored vehicles has also been spotted outside Lukashenko's heavily guarded residence.

Music was played from loudspeakers along the route of the march to drown out the chants of the demonstrators, calling for Lukashenko's immediate resignation and a new, fair election.

Police say that almost 200 people have been arrested in Minsk and other cities where protests took place on Sunday.

The protests in Belarus have been marred by mass arrests from the very start, with thousands of anti-government demonstrators detained in the weeks since the election. Police have also been accused of using excessive force against demonstrators and mistreating detainees. Three protesters have been killed during the unrest, according to official data, with hundreds, including many officers, wounded.

ALSO ON RT.COM WATCH Belarusian police use tear gas & flashbang devices against anti-Lukashenko protesters in Gomel

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

[Sep 27, 2020] Looks like Washington is simply playing for time

Sep 27, 2020 | www.unz.com

Beckow , says: September 27, 2020 at 12:39 am GMT

@vot tak – Russia could stop transit through Ukraine tomorrow and switch to LNG and existing underwater pipelines. The fact that they have not done it and signed a limited 5-year deal for 2020-2024 suggests that either Russia doesn't want to do it or it is a political concession to its customers (Germany)

You are right that NS2 theatre by Washington is simply playing for time – they know that they can't really prevail. But it is larger than that: their whole strategy is to delay and postpone. They are trying to delay the inevitable or are hoping for a miracle. But strategically they have lost. Water flows downstream, it is only a question of how fast.

TG , says: September 26, 2020 at 3:01 pm GMT

A very interesting post. I might quibble with some of the finer points, but yes, the world has gone stark raving bonkers.

The Russians are NOT ten feet tall, and the Americans – for all of the idiocy of the ruling elites – still have many strengths, and no matter how badly employed, these strengths will not disappear in a day. Russia might yet get pulled down, if they are unlucky or the elites are corrupted by money.

But there is one difference between the Americans and the Russians that, long term, may be the single biggest factor: more than hypersonic missiles or all of that. It's that, for now at least, the Russian elites can learn from experience, and the Americans, can not (or will not, but same thing).

Consider: after the Soviet Union fell, Russian forces got their tails whipped by the Chechens. The Russians rethought their approach, and in a rematch Russia scored not just a military victory, but an enduring strategic victory: they accomplished their policy goals! A goal that was not just spreading chaos and instability! When was the last time the United States did something like that? Maybe Korea in the 1950's.

Realist , says: September 26, 2020 at 3:09 pm GMT
@Ann Nonny Mouse

I'm waiting impatiently for the collapse of the US dollar, hope to live to see it.

Me too the price of gold will go through the roof.

The Spirit of Enoch Powell , says: September 26, 2020 at 3:13 pm GMT
@Mustapha Mond

The Taliban in Afghanistan and the 'rag-tag' North Vietnamese who successfully fought the Vietnam War might disagree with you .

You can't really use those examples as a way of finalising the inferiority of the Western armed forces vis-à-vis Russia as the latter also did not manage to defeat the Afghans and would likely have been made a mincemeat of by the VC as well.

Russia's performance in Chechnya was also not that great considering the power differential.

[Sep 26, 2020] From Conflict to Crisis - The Danger of U.S. Actions by Jeanne M. Haskin

A brilliant book !
Sep 26, 2020 | www.amazon.com

The rich understand that capitalism is a game of musical chairs. It's systemic class warfare conducted on a grand scale to discourage solidarity across lines that might otherwise threaten the system, and with each market re-set arranged by the Federal Reserve, more of the country's resources fall into wealthy hands.

Examining what happens when a society favors old money over new and breaks all the rules to make the world safe for finance, author Jeanne Haskin predicts increasing volatility and violence in the United States if we do not significantly change course.

For a preview of what lies ahead for the U.S., the author takes us for a quick exemplary trip through Central America.

A society that is reared on competition will face unsettling challenges to authority if it doesn't set certain functions outside the arena of battle, via systematic enrichment of the affluent minority that has always had the power to topple and ruin the system.

Today's preoccupation with America's revolutionary history is not just a piece of theater. At the heart of America's outrage is an inability to lash out and demand redemption from the source of its distress because the pain is inflicted, not by hatred, but by the fundamental lack of stability built into our way of life.

Now that a fifth of the population is suffering job loss, foreclosures, or exclusion from employment due to prejudice, poor credit, a lack of skills or education, a glut of competition and insufficient opportunity, the failure to provide for the helpless majority means the system is at an impasse. Because the system can't or won't perform, the Tea Party's rise was preemptive with all its implied violence and 'real' American theater as the means to channel our anger into voting out Obama so reform can proceed unimpeded...with all its inherent dangers.

After reviewing some foreign examples that erupted in the environments of colonialism and post-colonialism, neoliberalism, militarism and oligarchies, the author filters through the head-spinning social and political noise that stands in for responsible debate in America today. Ms. Haskin's richly documented essay sees a bonfire prepared as social tensions are increased and inter-group pressures are encouraged to mount. So much for "One nation..."

Title Pagev
Table of Contentsxi
Introduction1
Chapter One- Unearthing the Bones7
Chapter Two- Instilling the Illusion of Choice19
Chapter Three- Political Strategizing23
Chapter Four- Behavioral Economics27
Chapter Five- Favoring Old Money over New33
Chapter Six- Making the World Safe for Finance39
Chapter Seven- The Colonial History of Belize51
Chapter Eight- Belize -- Party Politics and Debt65
Chapter Nine- Belize -- Recommendations of the IMF83
Chapter Ten- Nicaragua 1522–193991
Chapter Eleven- Nicaragua -- The Somoza Dynasty107
Chapter Twelve- Nicaragua -- Opposition to the Sandinistas119
Chapter Thirteen- Nicaragua -- Implementing Neoliberalism133
Chapter Fourteen- El Salvador -- The Military and the Oligarchy151
Chapter Fifteen- El Salvador -- The War and Its Aftermath165
Chapter Sixteen- Honduras -- Land of Instability179
Chapter Seventeen- Honduras -- The Impact of the Contras191
Chapter Eighteen- Fast-Forward to a Volatile USA205
Bibliography227
Index25

[Sep 26, 2020] Black Lives Matter is a Modern Totalitarian Revolution by Douglas V. Gibbs

Jun 19, 2020 | canadafreepress.com

If we allow the Black Lives Matter movement to become America's Bolshevik Revolution, we will lose our liberty, and many of us will likely lose our lives, as well, for daring to question them. This was never about racism. It has been about power an Black Lives Matter is a Modern Totalitarian Revolution

Classic totalitarian regimes share a number of common characteristics. The rise of these regimes began with a cultural revolution, aimed at angering the citizens against the current system. During that period domestic enemies are designated, and the people in the radical movement aiming at overthrowing the old system rally together against those common enemies, calling it a common struggle, as they adopt a new official ideology that stands significantly apart from the old one. They seek to control every aspect of the lives of their people, enlisting everyone they can to participate in the struggle. Even persons who may belong to enemy classes or groups join up, hoping to receive mercy when the new regime gains control. In Stalin's Russia and Mao's China the enemies were anyone who reminded them of the old system, and anyone who could challenge them if left with enough power. The state enemies were the capitalists, landlords, richer peasants and foreign agents of all kinds. Nazi Germany included those outside the national community, which included socialists (even though Nazism was a form of socialism) and communists, Jews, Christians, and any ethnic minorities that did not fit into the German model of a loyal elite specimen.

The goal of each of the totalitarian regimes of the past were to eliminate the old system, eradicate any history or remnant of the old regimes, and create a dominant single party that stood as a rebellious alternative of the traditional State. Then, once in power, the perceived enemies were murdered or imprisoned, as were many of their allies for the crime of knowing too much. The younger generation was used as a controlling mechanism, taught to tattle on their older counterparts for not being one hundred percent in favor of the new party in charge. The youngsters were uniformed and organized into militias to turn their energies towards advancing the party line, and improving upon the power of the new political elite.

In each case anything that even resembled the free market was eliminated, and the new government controlled the economy. They took over the means of production either by taking control of it and nationalizing it, or through heavy regulations (as we saw in Italy and Germany). The immigration structure was altered, they orchestrated a break-down of morality and what were considered moral norms in their culture, they worked on the destruction of the nuclear family, they forcibly reallocated farmland, they formed a socialist economy that was designed to redistribute the wealth away from the designated domestic enemies into the hands of those revolutionaries who deserved some kind of reparations for what was allegedly lost at the hands of the domestic enemies, and early on looting and rioting was encouraged and championed. Interestingly, the list I just gave you was not just something the NAZIs and communists did, but is also a list of demands currently being voiced by Black Lives Matter.

Public expression was also controlled by past dictatorial regimes so that no dissent could emerge. If dissent was spotted, the party members acted as a mob, actively mobilized to quell the dissent in the name of the "people's struggle" against a constant list of enemies. Again, Black Lives Matter fits the bill on this one, too.

These regimes exaggerated real problems, and real aspects of human nature, and created an on-going revolution against their enemies. It was a common struggle to liberate the people from whomever the leadership designated as an enemy. To not pull the party line was to be socially asleep, or an agent of the enemy, which then would place the person under great scrutiny, and if they remained uncorrected, they would be ridiculed, shamed, and eventually jailed, or murdered.

The fuel was passion, and anger, and a common demand for answers.

Sound familiar?

Black Lives Matter is an embodiment of everything that the 20th Century dictatorships were

Black Lives Matter is an embodiment of everything that the 20th Century dictatorships were. The designated enemies may be different, and some of the alleged struggles may go by slightly different names, but underneath it all, Black Lives Matter is no different than fascism, communism, and any other dictatorial regime one can think of. And the bad part about it is that at this very moment the popularity of Black Lives Matter in the United States is greater, according to polls, than any political party, and any religious organization or sect . The Brown Shirts, Black Shirts, and Bolsheviks are all rolled into one, and they are here to overthrow our U.S. Constitution.

Eventually, Black Lives Matter will lose its appeal, and the players will grow weary of the struggle. The regime will weaken, and when they try to invigorate their revolutionaries for a new fight in order to strengthen the resolve of the regime and its followers, they will find that all of their enemies are dead or in exile, and the problem can no longer be blamed on others. However, it could take half a century, or more, before that happens, and in a Black Lives Matter America the damage will already have been done. The death of liberty and the annihilation of the free market will have left a long path of sorrow and misery following it. By then, the enemy will only be themselves, and as all regimes in history, the struggle will turn inward, and the murders will be against their own. Through the paranoia imaginary enemies will be concocted, where nobody is safe from the suspicions of one's neighbors or children. People begin to vanish, and the party begins to struggle to hold on to control.

Black Lives Matter, like all past dictatorial regimes, has successfully unleashed the passions of many members of the public. The campaigns of terror are in full swing, in the name of protesting, in the name of social justice, and in the name of standing against racism. They claim that science and reason are in their corner, when, like Stalin and Mao of the Soviet Union and Communist China, it is all a great big lie. They claim whites have unfair privilege and must be forced to kneel to their true overlords, as Hitler did with the Jews when he believed it would allow him to create a better Germany. In the end, as with all violent totalitarian regimes, violence will bring them down just as violence brought them into power.

Tucker on the incredible popularity of Black Lives Matter

https://www.youtube.com/embed/22j_OhbnW20

Islamic totalitarianism solidifies in the Middle East, and works to spread across the nations of Europe

As Islamic totalitarianism solidifies in the Middle East, and works to spread across the nations of Europe, Black Lives Matter totalitarianism is working its way through its birthing canal in the United States. Both bear all of the markers of totalitarianism. They work to control the lives, speech, and actions of those below them. They terrorize and murder, committing themselves to endless struggles against a long list of designated enemies. They pose as more than an ideological challenge. They are poised to bring down Western Civilization, which has prospered due to America's Liberty, and free market capitalistic system.

Should we fall, to where may one escape? There is no other place to go. Black Lives Matter is a real threat, an enemy who desires to overthrow America and control this country. There is no criticizing Black Lives Matter. The mobs threaten anyone who holds dissent. It is already happening. People are losing their jobs for criticizing Black Lives Matter, and they are still only a political movement. Black Lives Matter is enjoying complete immunity from criticism while they are not in power. Imagine what will happen if they ever gain a hold on the reins of our system.

It has gone beyond a demand for equality. Equality is no longer acceptable. If one were to say "All Lives Matter," for example, that is now unacceptable, and racist. Only "Black Lives Matter" we are told. White lives don't matter because of what your ancestors allegedly did a couple hundred years ago. Christianity and the American System is based on the idea of equality in the eyes of God, and equality in opportunity (or at least the attempt to create a system that accomplishes such), but now if you say that out loud, you are called a racist, and your very life could be at risk. Dissent is hate speech. You could be fired from your job, or in some cases, fined and jailed for daring to speak out against the rising totalitarian regime known as Black Lives Matter because such murmurings could be considered "hate speech".

The latest demand by Black Lives Matter is ridiculous, yet it is happening. It began with a chant, "defund the police," and now has advanced to cries to abolish the police. The City of Minneapolis is in the process of doing exactly that. When asked on CNN who, then, if the police were gone, should we call in the middle of the night while our house is being burglarized, a member of the Minneapolis city council said that the question "comes from a place of privilege." In other words, if some feel like law enforcement is not on their side, everyone should feel that way, otherwise, you have an unfair privilege, and you are racist.

Black Lives Matter is enjoying a rise to power largely because of the liberal media

Black Lives Matter is enjoying a rise to power largely because of the liberal media. Any counter-arguments against their claims are going unheard. CNN, MSNBC, NPR, the alphabet networks, and any of the other liberal outlets aren't going to report any criticism of Black Lives Matter. And as Hitler's team explained, if you tell a lie often enough, it becomes the truth. In this case, if you tell one side of the story, and the other side is never heard, it becomes true.

Unchallenged claims must be true, therefore, Black Lives Matter must be on to something. The polls say so.

Black Lives Matter is achieving their power in the same way past revolutionaries did. Through force. They break things, they burn things, and they hurt anyone who gets in the way. They believe they deserve whatever they want, and if you don't give it to them, they will take it. Then, on the way out, they will set your business on fire. They occupy, they terrorize, and nobody is willing to stop them, because if you do, you are a racist. They know this. They know you are paralyzed by your fear of them, and fear of being considered racist. They have a message. Step out of line and we will hurt you, your family, or your business. That is the strategy of Black Lives Matter, and it is becoming the strategy of the Democrat Party. If you are afraid to defy the mob, the mob rules.

The Framers of the U.S. Constitution created this system to protect us from the mob. That is why they created a constitutional republic, not a democracy (as some people like to say). Democracy is historically a transitional type of government. When the mobs of democracy begin to take control, which usually accompanies a continuous vote for benefits from the treasury, liberty breaks down and dictators begin to take control.

If we allow the Black Lives Matter movement to become America's Bolshevik Revolution, we will lose our liberty, and many of us will likely lose our lives, as well, for daring to question them. This was never about racism. It has been about power and control since the very beginning. Black Lives Matter seeks to overthrow the U.S. Constitution, and replace our system with a Marxist-based government that destroys liberty and the free market, and places their radical leaders in control of the country. If we don't stop it, and recognize the revolutionary nature of what is going on, America will disappear forever. And, if there is no America, Liberty dies worldwide.

SHOW DISQUS COMMENTS

Douglas V. Gibbs -- Bio and Archives

Douglas V. Gibbs of Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary, has been featured on "Hannity" and "Fox and Friends" on Fox News Channel, and other television shows and networks. Doug is a Radio Host on KMET 1490-AM on Saturdays with his Constitution Radio program, as well as a longtime podcaster, conservative political activist, writ

[Sep 26, 2020] As for the 'rules-based international order,' at best it is a euphemism for privately-controlled financial capitalism on a global scale

Sep 26, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Sep 23 2020 15:56 utc | 84

Escobar reviews the UNGA's first day that revealed Trump's desperation a few alluded to above. Psychohistorian will be pleased to read Pepe's channeling his #1 premise:

" As for the 'rules-based international order,' at best it is a euphemism for privately-controlled financial capitalism on a global scale ." [My Emphasis]

As I wrote yesterday, every national leader I read backed a Multilateral UN and its Charter while including various degrees of reproach for the illegalities of the Outlaw US Empire and its vassals, even the Emir of Qatar :

"The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has reminded us that we live on the same planet, and that multilateral cooperation is the only way to address the challenges of epidemics, climate and the environment in general, and it's also preferable to remember this when dealing with the issues of poverty, war and peace, and realizing our common goals for security and stability....

"And during the unjust and unlawful blockade it is going through it also has securely established its policy founded on respecting the rules and principles of international law and the United Nations Charter, especially, the principle of respecting the sovereignty of states and rejecting intervention in their internal affairs.

"And based on our moral and legal responsibilities towards our peoples, we have affirmed, and we will continue to reaffirm, that unconditional dialogue based on common interests and respect for the sovereignty of states is the way to solve this crisis which had started with an illegal blockade, and whose solution starts with lifting this blockade."

If the Saudi blockade is "unjust and unlawful," then all those imposed by the Outlaw US Empire are also.

Pepe apparently doesn't agree with Lieven's essay and writes:

"Sinophobia is the perfect tool for shifting blame -- for the abysmal response to Covid-19, the extinction of small businesses and the looming New Great Depression -- to the Chinese 'existential threat.'

"The whole process has nothing to do with 'moral defeat' [Lieven] and complaints that 'we risk losing the competition and endangering the world.'

"The world is not 'endangered' because at least vast swathes of the Global South are fully aware that the much-ballyhooed 'rules-based international order' is nothing but a quite appealing euphemism for Pax Americana -- or exceptionalism [Neocolonialism].

"What was designed by Washington for post-World War II, the Cold War and the 'unilateral moment' does not apply anymore."

As the dirty domestic underwear of the Outlaw US Empire becomes more visible to nations, they are emboldened to stand up for themselves and join the Strategic Partnership's Eurasian project.

[Sep 26, 2020] The Stockdale Paradox

Notable quotes:
"... You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end -- which you can never afford to lose -- with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be. ..."
Sep 26, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

grug-cave-head , 2 hours ago

Let me post something.

The Stockdale Paradox[ edit ]

James C. Collins related a conversation he had with Stockdale regarding his coping strategy during his period in the Vietnamese POW camp. [21] [ non-primary source needed ] When Collins asked which prisoners didn't make it out of Vietnam, Stockdale replied:

Oh, that's easy, the optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, 'We're going to be out by Christmas.' And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they'd say, 'We're going to be out by Easter.' And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart. This is a very important lesson.

You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end -- which you can never afford to lose -- with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be. [22]

Collins called this the Stockdale Paradox. [21]

[Sep 26, 2020] Criminalization of large banks and participation of money laundering as a new normal

Sep 26, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

The original title is Taibbi- Revenge Of The Money Launderers

Authored by Matt Taibbi via taibbi.substack.com,

On December 11, 2012, U.S. Justice Department officials called a press conference in Brooklyn. The key players were once and future bank lawyer Lanny Breuer (disguised at the time as Barack Obama's Assistant Attorney General in charge of the DOJ's Criminal Division), and Loretta Lynch, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and future Attorney General.

The duo revealed that HSBC, the largest bank in Europe, had agreed to a $ 1.9 billion settlement for years of money-laundering offenses.

An alphabet soup of regulatory agencies was represented that day, from the Justice Department, to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the U.S. Treasury, the New York County District Attorney, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, among others.

The regulators outlined a slew of admissions, with HSBC's headline offense being the laundering of $881 million for Central and South American drug outfits, including the infamous Sinaloa cartel.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ln3zY62kHi4

The laundering was so brazen, regulators said, the bank's Mexican subsidiary had developed "specially shaped boxes" for cartels to pack with cash and slide through teller windows. The seemingly massive fine reflected serious offenses, including violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Trading with the Enemy Act (TWEA).

The next years would follow up with a flurry of similar settlements extracting sizable-sounding fees from other transnational banks for laundering money on behalf of terrorists, sanctioned businesses, mobsters, drug dealers, and other malefactors. Firms like JP Morgan Chase ($1.7 billion), Standard Chartered ($300 million), and Deutsche Bank ($258 million) were soon announcing settlements either for laundering, sanctions violations, or both.

Even seasoned financial reporters accustomed to seeing soft-touch settlements scratched their heads at some of the deals. In the case of HSBC, the stiffest penalty doled out to any individual for the biggest drug-money-laundering case in history -- during which time HSBC had become the " preferred financial institution " of drug traffickers, according to the Justice Department -- involved an agreement to "partially defer bonus compensation for its most senior executives." If bankers can't get time for washing money for people who put torture videos on the internet , what can they get time for?

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Read the rest of the report here ...

[Sep 26, 2020] What is predatory capitalism

Highly recommended!
Sep 26, 2020 | www.amazon.com

Extracted from: From Conflict to Crisis- The Danger of U.S. Actions by Jeanne M. Haskin

CHAPTER TWO: INSTILLING THE ILLUSION OF CHOICE

Selfishness may be exalted as the root and branch of capitalism, but it doesn't make you look good to the party on the receiving end or those whose sympathy he earns. For that, you need a government prepared to do four things, which each have separate dictums based on study, theorization, and experience. Coercion: Force is illegitimate only if you can't sell it. Persuasion: How do I market thee? Let me count the ways. Bargaining: If you won't scratch my back, then how about a piece of the pie? Indoctrination: Because I said so. (And paid for the semantics.)

Predatory capitalism is the control and expropriation of land, labor, and natural resources by a foreign government via coercion, persuasion, bargaining, and indoctrination.

At the coercive stage, we can expect military and/or police intervention to repress the subject populace. The persuasive stage will be marked by clientelism, in which a small percentage of the populace will be rewarded for loyalty, often serving as the capitalists' administrators, tax collectors, and enforcers. At the bargaining stage, efforts will be made to include the populace, or a certain percentage of it, in the country's ruling system, and this is usually marked by steps toward democratic (or, more often, autocratic) governance.

At the fourth stage, the populace is educated by capitalists, such that they continue to maintain a relationship of dependency.

The Predatory Debt Link

In many cases, post-colonial states were forced to assume the debts of their colonizers. And where they did not, they were encouraged to become in debt to the West via loans that were issued through international institutions to ensure they did not fall prey to communism or pursue other economic policies that were inimical to the West. Debt is the tie that binds nation states to the geostrategic and economic interests of the West.

As such, the Cold War era was a time of easy credit, luring postcolonial states to undertake the construction of useless monoliths and monuments, and to even expropriate such loans through corruption and despotism, thereby making these independent rulers as predatory as colonizers. While some countries were wiser than others and did use the funds for infrastructural improvements, these were also things that benefited the West and particularly Western contractors. In his controversial work Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins reveals that he was a consultant for an American firm (MAIN), whose job was to ensure that states became indebted beyond their means so they would remain loyal to their creditors, buying them votes within United Nations organizations, among other things.

Predatory capitalists demand export-orientations as the means to generate foreign currency with which to pay back debt. In the process, the state must privatize and drastically slash or eliminate any domestic subsidies which are aimed at helping native industry compete in the marketplace. Domestic consumption and imports must be radically contained, as shown by the exchange rate policies recommended by the IMF. The costs of obtaining domestic capital will be pushed beyond the reach of most native producers, while wages must be depressed to an absolute bare minimum. In short, the country's land, labor, and natural resources must be sold at bargain basement prices in order to make these goods competitive, in what one author has called "a spiraling race to the bottom," as countries producing predominantly the same goods engage in cutthroat competition whose benefactor is the West.

Under these circumstances, foreign investment is encouraged, but this, too, represents a loaded situation for countries that open their markets to financial liberalization.

[Sep 26, 2020] I see that the German Parliament has NOT TAKEN its red pills these days and is reluctant to swallow the BS.

Notable quotes:
"... On rules based disorder and the capitulation of Merkel and her BND lapdogs to the 'hate Russia' fulminations of the UKUSA morons. I see that the German Parliament has NOT TAKEN its red pills these days and is reluctant to swallow the BS. ..."
Sep 26, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Sep 22 2020 22:53 utc | 36

On rules based disorder and the capitulation of Merkel and her BND lapdogs to the 'hate Russia' fulminations of the UKUSA morons. I see that the German Parliament has NOT TAKEN its red pills these days and is reluctant to swallow the BS. It would be satisfying to see the collective wisdom of the Parliament to exceed that of the BND. But then that is a low bar.

[Sep 25, 2020] Angry Bear " All My Children

Sep 25, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

Comments (1)

  1. Likbez , September 25, 2020 11:05 am

    That's pretty naive take on the subject.

    For example Microsoft success was by the large part determined its alliance with IBM in the creation of PC and then exploiting IBM ineptness to ride this via shred marketing and alliances and "natural monopoly" tendencies in IT. MS DOS was a clone of CP/M that was bought, extended and skillfully marketed. Zero innovation here.

    Both Microsoft and Apple rely of research labs in other companies to produce innovation which they then then produced and marketed. Even Steve Jobs smartphone was not an innovation per se: it was just a slick form factor that was the most successful in the market. All functionality existed in other products.

    Facebook was prelude to, has given the world a glimpse into, the future.

    From pure technical POV Facebook is mostly junk. It is a tremendous database of user information which users supply themselves due to cultivated exhibitionism. Kind of private intelligence company. The mere fact that software was written in PHP tells you something about real Zuckerberg level.

    Amazon created a usable interface for shopping via internet (creating comments infrastructure and a usable user account database ) but this is not innovation in any sense of the word. It prospered by stealing large part of Wall Mart logistic software (and people) and using Wall Mart tricks with suppliers. So Bezos model was Wall Mart clone on the Internet.

    Unless something is done, Bezos will soon be the most powerful man in the world.

    People like Bezos, Google founders, Zuckerberg to a certain extent are part of intelligence agencies infrastructure. Remember Prism. So implicitly we can assume that they all report to the head of CIA.

    Artificial Intelligence, AI, is another consequence of this era of innovation that demands our immediate attention.

    There is very little intelligence in artificial intelligence :-). Intelligent behavior of robots in mostly an illusion created by First Clark law:

    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarke%27s_three_laws

    Most of amazing things that we see are the net result of tremendous raise of computing power of Neumann architecture machines.

    At some point quantity turns into quality.

[Sep 25, 2020] Tucker -- The left's extreme reaction to Ginsburg's death

Tucker: This parading of Ginsburg death wish "is ridiculous and insulting"
Two neoliberal faction of the US elite ("hard neolibs" and "soft neolibs") struggle for power really entered a new phase. BTW control of Supreme Court was always a part of struggle for power.
And this "royal wish" think is just one episode of this entertaining fight. Great spectacle, but friends will unite when the time comes to approve the military budget.
Sep 25, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Sabastian Taylor , 23 hours ago

So they expect us to believe the woman who upheld the constitution now wants to break the constitution as her last dying wish. Lol. OKAY!!!

fristname lastname , 1 day ago

"Never let a tragedy go to waist" -every slimy politician

NotYourVictim 1 , 1 day ago

Who cares about her so called dying wish...this is a constitutional republic not the make a wish foundation.

Andryan Tassy , 1 day ago

most dangerous virus is stupidity, and their target mostly is young people

one voice , 3 days ago

First it was a whistleblower. Then it was a unnamed source. Now it's a Dying wish. What's next, a Ouija board?

iswc27 , 15 hours ago

AOC: "Mitch McConnell is playing with fire". Meanwhile, the leftist rioters who agree with her are destroying our cities with real fire!

Blacknight1812 , 1 day ago

AOC sounds like a whining student, complaining that all her entitlements are not enough.

Maria Mammarello , 1 day ago

If we honored every dying woman's wish, well... let's be real, huh?

Zerospacedude , 1 day ago

Why are people so upset about this "final wish" thing? Like it just seems convenient to me and made up; and even if wasn't made up, who gives her the right to dictate how the constitution works. It's obvious the Dems are using this to try and keep the GOP from getting an extra seat on the Supreme Court, and I don't really blame them, GOP would have probably done the same thing, they're both hypocrites.

Jason Redden , 23 hours ago

Lol, she doesn't get to pick. She's not a Queen, your President gets to pick so you Democrats should pipe it down and stop being so dramatic

[Sep 24, 2020] Antifa Conspiracy Theories and America's Unraveling by Nickolas Kristof

Antifa and BLM are just shows with stunts designed to distract people from the level they are fleeced by MIC and financial oligarchy. As well as restore the legitimacy of Clinton wing of neoliberal oligarchy which was badly shaken during 2016 election, when their candidate was send packing.
Nicholas Kristof is member of "Clinton gang of neoliberals" and a part of this effort to distract people. The number of people who pay attention to Nicholas Kristof bloviations is astounding. Few understand that we do not know the facts and the real issue if the tight grip of MIC and financial oligarchy on the society. What is interesting is that s in California, there are 8.5 million residents born outside the country and about 150,000 homeless. "The melting pot burned over. It is now a ... salad.
For example, if money spend on wars were used to manage thoseforests with difficult terrain and perioc drauts, would the outcome be different?
Can those fires and destruction be viewed as God punishment for war the USA unleashed? As Thomas Jefferson said "I tremble for my country when I consider that God is just."
BTW, the number of commenters with Russian paranoia symptom is frightening. Of course NYT attracts specific audience, but still. In this sense NYT columnists including Nickolas Kristof are just warmongering bottom feeders of MIC crumps. It is pathetic how he tries to hide the lack of money for forest management and mismanagement if this issue by Oregon Dem politician under the broad banner of "climate change" Existence of climate change does not mean that fire should burn uncontrollably.
MIC steals half trillion dollars and then financial oligarchy steals probably another half, if not more. What is left is not enough for proper maintenance of land, water and environment in general. Stupid situation, but this is neoliberalism my friend, where "greed is good". And people chose this mousetrap themselves in 1970th by electing first Carter and then Reagan and then Clinton , allowing financial oligarchy to dismantle New Deal Capitalism. Clinton presidency was especially destructive, In a way he should be views as the top villain in this story, a real criminal boss.
Below I selected only more or less sane comment (which constitute probably less 1% of the total)
Notable quotes:
"... How about a judicious Forrest management? ..."
"... So much for our useless 750 Billion dollar military budget. ..."
"... Amazing how ,close minded people become when, for them, everything is political. ..."
Sep 24, 2020 | www.nytimes.com


Dr B
San Diego Sept. 20

Wouldn't the conspiracy theories and concerns about antifa be lessened if progresses were as vitriolic about violence committed in the name of equity, diversity and inclusion as they are about violence committed in support of MAGA? Would the right have anything to crow about if the NYT was as critical of physical altercations caused by social justice warriors as they are of white supremacists? Wouldn't we all have more trust in MSM if they investigated the facts before accusing Nick Sandman of racism or claiming a garbage pull was a noose? One sided reporting and editorials like these fan the flames rather than squelch them.

Ralphie
CT Sept. 20
It's amazing. You can write a column in the NY Times full of conspiracy theories -- all fully believed by the left -- and accuse the right of being prone to believing conspiracy theories. From Russia - collusion to rubes in the red states --a majority of dems share a set of beliefs that are as delusional as anything a small group on the right might believe. But, that's Kristof and the Ny Times for you.

Richard
Vermont Sept. 20
People seemed to have lost a sense of what is plausible. While few of us know the news first hand, we have to both trust and evaluate what is reported. Nothing is absolute. Jurors are asked to decide cases beyond a reasonable doubt. That is how I feel taking in the news. But within that sliver of doubt, within the fact that nothing is absolute is where conspiracy theories begin to fester. It is where some have found solace to confirm what they want to choose to believe despite how much there might be to question that. Events like this create an opportunism to demonize those you hate and in doing so the essence of what we should be debating is lost. How to prevent these fires in the first place? We will probably continue to debate it despite the evidence on climate change, whether there is a deep state trying to discredit Trump, whether the seriousness of covid is a hoax. Yes there is no absolute certainty but there is taking an educated guess as opposed to an emotional response. I'll go with the educated guess. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, I will say it is a duck and accept that sliver of possibility I might be wrong.

Neel Krishnan
Brooklyn, NY Sept. 20
The social fabric has unraveled, y'all pundits need to catch up.
Steve Fankuchen Oakland, CA Sept. 20
Why do people attach themselves to "conspiracy theories?" It's actually quite simple. Take QAnon for example: it is functionally just another religion competing for adherents. As with any religion, it offers its believers an explanation of what they deem is wrong while offering a path to right those wrongs. Certainty and simplicity: those are the essential elements of cults/religion/bumpersticker politics. And the internet guarantees that whatever you believe will be "validated." "Conspiracy theories" are, for the most part, not theories, merely assertions. A theory is subject to proof and disproof by evidence. In a world where truth has no inherent monetary value, don't expect it. Why the rapid spread? To paraphrase Bill Clinton, "It's the internet, Stupid!" Follow the money: Agenda + Clickbaitability = Profit That is the business model of the internet, a medium where "news" is whatever will produce the most clicks. As in profit. Unless and until the youngest generation developes a means of communication that does not depend on megacorporations, nothing will change. In the Sixties, a generation which disbelieved and had no honest access to the traditional media, created its own, the "alternative press." Hopefully, today's teenagers will develope their own way to communicate that is reliable. It is 100% guaranteed that if their "opposition" becomes an actual threat to the profits of Facebook, Google, Apple, Twitter, and the rest of their ilk, they will be cut off.
RP NYC Sept. 20
The antifa movement has grown since the 2016 United States presidential election. As of August 2017, approximately 200 groups existed, of varying sizes and levels of activity.[73] It is particularly present in the Pacific Northwest.[74] Wikipedia
Mark Nuckols Moscow Sept. 20
Well, Americans are notoriously gullible.

Steve Griffith
Oakland, CA Sept. 20
In an age when the US Justice Department is anything but just, more closely resembling something akin to "just us," I call to mind Thomas Jefferson, in a somewhat different context: "I tremble for my country when I consider that God is just."
The Poet McTeagle California Sept. 20
We spend hundred of billions of dollars every year on the types of weapons that won WWII, while the real threat to our Republic and yes, our civilization, is ,,, It's funny and tragic, simultaneously.
Sigmond C. Monster Point Magu Sept. 20
Antifa has done a lot of things. They have chosen to step into the arena. Whether they did it or not, this is accusation is a result of wading into the fight. If Antifa doesnt like to be accused of things and cant handle it, then Antifa should step off. Or does Antifa only want praise? Because that isnt going to happen. Many people dont like Antifa nor trust Antifa. And rightfully so. Ask any career criminal how many times they've been wrongfully accused of something. If an individual or group doesnt want to be accused of things, then dont get involved from the start.
Larry Klein Walnut Creek Ca Sept. 20
When people are uneducated, they do not understand what is happening around them. So they make up explanations to calm their uncertainty...
JQGALT Philly Sept. 20
Except that about a dozen people have been arrested and charged with starting the forest fires. Shouting "without evidence!" doesn't make it so. Facts matter.

Andy
MD Sept. 20
@JQGALT There are always people who are setting fires whether accidentally or intentionally. Do you have any proof that these arsonists were politically motivated I any way ?
99percent downtown Sept. 20
Why does NYT bend over to support Antifa? Kristof's 2nd headline should be changed to: "Absolute Defense of Antifa is a symptom of a deeper unraveling, and a sign of danger ahead." We know for a fact: BLM/Antifa destroyed thousands of buildings across the country in the last 90 days. Literally thousands. Minneapolis alone lost 700: https://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2020/06/16/minneapolis-issues-map-showing-extent-of-buildings-damaged-in-unrest-over-george-floyds-death / We know for a fact: At least 6 arsonists set fires in Oregon - one of which was the largest outbreak: https://www.oregonlive.com/wildfires/2020/09/rash-of-oregon-arson-cases-fuel-fear-conspiracy-theories-during-devastating-wildfires.html We are justified to assume: Other fires were set by arsonists, but were not caught. One man all alone with a pack of matches is hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to be Antifa. But common sense supports what we believe in our own hearts: the individual radical arsonists are most likely Antifa. Why does NYT bend over to support Antifa? 9 Recommend Share
Thomas Shapley Washington State Sept. 20
Yet the Almeda fire in Oregon that destroyed more than 2,300 homes was, according to NYT reporting, caused by human activity and is subject of a "criminal investigation." Perhaps it would be wise to reserve total judgment until that investigation is completed.

Observer of the Zeitgeist
Middle America Sept. 20
Who needs rumors? The organization showed what it is made of when it created its free zone in downtown Seattle and had the highest crime and murder rate per capita in its short life in the country.

joe
atl Sept. 20
Rational people know that Antifa is not staring forest fires. However, burning and looting and using fireworks as weapons in the recent riots make even the dumbest claims of Trump supporters more believable.
LV USA Sept. 20
Leftwing activists have literally been arrested for starting some of these fires. There is video of arsonists being caught, yet the media ignores this, and actively denies it. Gee, why could that be?

Andy
MD Sept. 20
@LV Do you have any proof that these people were were left wing activist or just the kind of people who are always starting fires ad they have in the past ?

Cloudy
San Francisco Sept. 20
Oh, I guess all those videos of protesters in Portland burning down police stations were fake. Good to know.

me again
NYC- SF Sept. 20
The [neoliberal] left spends 24/7 preaching to their choir about Trump fascists dictatorship, an illegal government installed by a foreign power, destroying the constitution while preparing to seize power and ignore coming election results. There is a zero factual evidence for it, such as a refusal to follow judicial injunctions for example, but their well educated audiences are buying it whole day long. So what is so baffling that a rural audience after watching night after night Portland burning by arson and accompanied by "peaceful protest" graphics on TV would buy into arson speculations and rumors and ignore your disclaimers?

Socrates
Verona, N.J. Sept. 20
Facebook needs to be regulated since it has effectively organ-harvested the critical thinking skills of a significant portion of the population. It'd be better if thinking people simply deleted Facebook and let Facebook shrink and become the right-wing agit-prop tool that it truly is. Mark Zuckerberg is happy to to destabilize society with his little toy invention. You'd think with all that money, he could afford a conscience. What a wrecking ball Facebook is.

Reasonable
Orlando Sept. 20
"All this rumormongering leaves me feeling that the social fabric is unraveling, as if the shared understanding of reality that is the basis for any society is eroding." Ya think?

AU
San Diego, CA Sept. 20
@California Scientist Amen. We are more like an international terminal at this point. A bunch of people gathered by happenstance, heading in different directions, and often with very little in common.

Steve Bolger
New York City Sept. 20
@California Scientist: It is even worse than when Adlai Stevenson noted that there aren't enough educated people to elect a liberal government in the US.
MegWright Kansas City Sept. 20
@LV - The point is that "urbanites" aren't able to boss anyone around. It's the low population rural areas that have outsize political power thanks to the unfortunate design of our government. Every state gets two senators, regardless of population, and that also factors into the allocation of Electoral College votes, so that an EC vote from WY is worth 4 times as much as an EC vote from CA, for example. In 2016, Senate Democrats got 20 million more votes than Senate Republicans, yet Republicans kept control. In 2018, Senate Democrats got "only" 11.5 million more votes, and consequently lost seats. We're being governed by a minority in may areas of the country, and nationally, yet the "rural rubes" or whatever you want to call them, insist that they don't have nearly enough power.

M
CA Sept. 20
Six accused of starting Oregon blazes amid devastating wildfire season - NYPost
Robert Out west Sept. 20
Nice try at making it seem these loons started the big fires. https://www.oregonlive.com/wildfires/2020/09/rash-of-oregon-arson-cases-fuel-fear-conspiracy-theories-during-devastating-wildfires.html They're loons, okay? Just loons.

Rolfe
Shaker Heights Ohio Sept. 20
Strange that anyone living in or just knowing the west would NOT know that arsonists could not burn down huge chunks of forest if they where not so very dry.

Augury Unhappy
Bird Watcher, State of Grave Doubt Sept. 20
The ugly truth of Oregon's political past is asserting itself...we aren't in "Portlandia" anymore Nick.

Victor
Yokohama Sept. 20
The social fabric in the United States was never tightly knit and tolerance has always been in short supply...

Dang
Vermont Sept. 20
The adage "A sucker is born every day" has never rung truer. That people believe these rumors says a whole lot about how gullible many people are...

Schrodinger
Northern California Sept. 20
Ominous! There are two information ecosystems in this country and Americans increasingly live in different realities. Much of the media is in the business of massaging the egos of their readers by feeding them stories that confirm their biases and make them feel clever. There is less and less fact based news and more and more propaganda. A lot of people aren't really interested in facts. They just want to be told how right they are and how stupid and evil the people who disagree with them are. Media corporations are providing the market with what it desires, and what it desires is poisonous.
JRM Melbourne Sept. 20
The fires and storms, the pandemic, stupid conspiracy theories, Black Lives Matter, Trump and his sycophants...

Ilene Bilenky
Ridgway, CO Sept. 20
There is a reptilian brain need to believe this nonsense and to propagate it- because the believers are so terrified of the facts of the truth (and the lack of knowing what might be done to address those facts). The people who are true believers are pointless to discuss. They are too frightened. They need to believe this stuff. It is hopeless to address them. Dark times, indeed.

stormy
raleigh Sept. 20
With the natural buildup of combustible matter, combined with houses everywhere now and little land management, these fires will happen and will cause problems. Lots of things can start them and they will.
Len Arends California Sept. 20
You left out "a century of zero-tolerance policies toward wildland fires (creating precariously dense underbrush), and resistance to traditional controlled burning at the human/wilderness interface". It's not the whole story, but neither is climate change which, due to global technological leveling, is evermore the responsibility of China and India than Western civilization. Signed, a moderate progressive endlessly frustrated with breathless liberalism

Cenvalman
Fresno, CA Sept. 20
If only there were no arsonists. Here is a video of a woman who found a man on her property with matches in his hand (and no cigarettes, which was his excuse for having matches in his hand). She made a citizen's arrest. This happened in peaceful Oregon. Don't listen if you can't handle harsh language by a woman who is trying to save her property. Arson is real, and it is no joke. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJW_M4pBCnY A man was arrested for arson in Southern Oregon. His fire damaged or destroyed numerous homes. https://abcnews.go.com/US/man-charged-arson-connection-almeda-fire-southern-oregon/story?id=72960208 Rumors of antifa notwithstanding, people in Oregon were looking for arsonists because there are arsonists.
Steve Fankuchen Oakland, CA Sept. 20
"Conspiracy theories" are, for the most part, not theories, merely assertions. A theory is subject to proof and disproof by evidence. In a world where truth has no inherent monetary value, don't expect it. To paraphrase President Clinton, "It's the internet, Stupid!" Follow the money: Agenda + Clickbaitability = Prominence That is the business model of the internet, a medium where "news" is whatever will produce the most clicks. As in profit. Unless and until the youngest generation developes a means of communication that does not depend on megacorporations, nothing will change. In the Sixties, a generation which disbelieved and had no honest access to the traditional media, created its own, the "alternative press." Hopefully, today's teenagers will develope their own way to communicate that is reliable. It is 100% guaranteed that if their "opposition" becomes an actual threat to the profits of Facebook, Google, Apple, Twitter, and the rest of their ilk, they will be cut off. As to why people attach themselves to "conspiracy theories", it's actually quite simple. Take QAnon for example: it is functionally just another religion competing for adherents. As with any religion, it offers its believers an explanation of what they deem is wrong while offering a path to right those wrongs. Certainty and simplicity: those are the essential elements of cults/religion/bumpersticker politics. And the internet guarantees that whatever you believe will be "validated."

Steve Fankuchen
Oakland, CA Sept. 20
"Conspiracy theories" are, for the most part, not theories, merely assertions. A theory is subject to proof and disproof by evidence. In a world where truth has no inherent monetary value, don't expect it. To paraphrase President Clinton, "It's the internet, Stupid!" Follow the money: Agenda + Clickbaitability = Prominence That is the business model of the internet, a medium where "news" is whatever will produce the most clicks. As in profit. Unless and until the youngest generation developes a means of communication that does not depend on megacorporations, nothing will change. In the Sixties, a generation which disbelieved and had no honest access to the traditional media, created its own, the "alternative press." Hopefully, today's teenagers will develope their own way to communicate that is reliable. It is 100% guaranteed that if their "opposition" becomes an actual threat to the profits of Facebook, Google, Apple, Twitter, and the rest of their ilk, they will be cut off. As to why people attach themselves to "conspiracy theories", it's actually quite simple. Take QAnon for example: it is functionally just another religion competing for adherents. As with any religion, it offers its believers an explanation of what they deem is wrong while offering a path to right those wrongs. Certainty and simplicity: those are the essential elements of cults/religion/bumpersticker politics. And the internet guarantees that whatever you believe will be "validated."
AU San Diego, CA Sept. 20
" All this rumormongering leaves me feeling that the social fabric is unraveling, as if the shared understanding of reality that is the basis for any society is eroding." You betcha. (Palin doesn't look half bad compared to the current batch.) It's a simple formula: social media driven disinformation + extreme capitalism which leaves us with no real will to address it + legitimate grievances like racism and financial insecurity = craziness on all sides, fanned by a president whose personal agenda takes precedence over absolutely everything. All societies are constantly dealing with potentially destabilizing threats. Their institutions, media, leadership, and understanding of a common good are their immune system. Ours is compromised, we are destabilized.
Ludmilla Wightman Princeton NJ Sept. 20
How about a judicious Forrest management? We live in a period of global warming because of our planet axis precision, aggravated by the presence of an unprecedented population explosion needing more water, more food, the production of which needs more arable land, cutting trees, displacing wild animals, exhausting the aquifer. Cutting trees increases the CO2 in the atmosphere. More people in India, more cattle emitting methane, more old fashioned way of cooking food and producing more CO2 ... Permanent frost melting also sends more methane in the atmosphere ... The climate is extremely complex to permit exact modeling, but it is clear that if we want to stay healthy, it is vital to regularly clear our western forests of dead wood in order to prevent today's disaster of millions of people, particularly children with asthma and old people breathing the heavily polluted air. It is time to move to solar, wind power, electric trucks, cars etc. The technology is here. Let's hope that Biden will support clean air as means to better health. If all these years instead of using abstract terms like global warming or climate change, we have been appealing to people to keep the air clean in order to have better health, perhaps they would have stopped buying the behemoths cars, producing so much pollution?

Peter
Texas Sept. 20
As Nicholas and many readers on this page already know, this commentary is more evidence of how needlessly and recklessly polarized our country has become. When tribal instincts push people to look for anything - fact, fiction or fantasy - on social media or "rage commentary" that supports and validates their identities they will glom onto it faster than maggots on dead flesh. It is a sad state of affairs when so many people of all political persuasions will not take the time - even a few minutes - to question and investigate the latest "truth" being promoted. The new culture of low information consumers seems to be spreading as fast as a pandemic despite the heroic efforts of honest journalism. I wonder if low information consumption was so endemic to the citizens of Ancient Rome and Greece - long before Twitter, Facebook and Rage TV? People, please take a moment to "click" one step further to see if the latest conspiracy story is true. Why help propagate lies? It will only come back to haunt you, or your children.
ST New York, NY Sept. 20
Antifa or not, at least some of the big fires have been started by arsonists. Of this fact we have video proof. By downplaying or even denying it, the media are just as bad as the conspiracy theorists in promoting disinformation.

Bob Koelle
Livermore, CA Sept. 20
This reminds me of a time when people saw "Reds" behind anything that was going wrong in the country. Nothing new, but just as pathetically paranoid. I wonder how many people, or their parents, fit into both groups?

AT
Idaho Sept. 20
Here's another urban myth. Ok, more a lefty myth. That we can just keep adding people to this country (urban, suburban, rural, big city, anywhere and everywhere) and it won't have any effect. With the corollary that it's just a matter of "green new deal" or everybody getting a Prius or the dummies in the sticks realizing climate change is real and then we can just go on like this forever. We can't. Not only is our much hated lifestyle, which from what I can see, nobody really wants to give up, killing us, but believing 330 million Americans that add 2-3 million more a year is not a problem at all. Our entire way of life: endless population and economic growth is unsustainable. We don't need to wait until 2050 to see it. Just step outside.
Robert Out west Sept. 20
It is very difficult to teach people that "research," doesn't mean you go to some TV show or website you like and root around for stuff that tells you what you want to hear. One prob seems to be really simple: it takes actual work to do it right. Another is that research, done well, has an ugly habit of forcing you to think at least a little about whether your own ideas make any sense. And a third is that people really, really don't like it when their political views start getting contradicted by reality. It seems to be easier to change reality than to change views, even a little. Oh, and another prob? Too few Americans really read anything worth reading. I'm all for funsies (and I've probably read more crummy science fiction than all y'all put together) but one of the joys of walking around in Paris is seeing that the kiosks and bookstores still sell a ton of stuff on philosophy, lit, economics, and that everywhere, people actually read them. Books teach thought. Newsmax don't.
Steve Bolger New York City Sept. 20
@Beer Can Boyd: As a native-born American, I think the US fell down when the Congress put "under God" into the Pledge of Allegiance in 1953, ostensibly to preclude anyone thinking about Godless communism, and gave itself a stroke.

J. Park
Seattle Sept. 20
We, all of us, need to stop accepting assertions without a source of any sort identified.

Donald
Florida Sept. 20
... So much for our useless 750 Billion dollar military budget.

Joe Smith
Chicago Sept. 20
Societies are supposed to evolve. Instead, we are descending backwards into the age of witch hunts.

Pop
PA Sept. 20
Amazing how ,close minded people become when, for them, everything is political.

Toto
Looking for Dorothy Sept. 20
The melting pot burned over. It is now a word salad. But appears there is a method to the madness. It is hard for the world to tell the madness from the method
ARL Texas Sept. 20
@Carolyn then there are the lies and the demonization of China and Russia by both parties to top it off. How can voters believe anything and decide before they vote?

Harcourt
Florida Sept. 20 Times Pick
Supporting this atmosphere of potential violence are some of my republican friends. They are mostly educated and not stupid. Yet they continue to support a man whom I think holds the responsibility for most of the violence if it comes. Now I want to get down to my point about these supporters. I believe they have succumbed to a cult-like dynamic. I say this because no rational person could possibly support Trump. Religious cults create this same addiction and irrationality. When my friends disagree with me, they try to put our friendship hostage to no further discussion of politics. They are unwilling to even be confronted with objections to their support of Trump. I have decided that I can always make new friends. What I do not want to do is take on the task of building a new country because I stayed silent.
Robbie J. Miami Florida Sept. 20
@Harcourt "They are mostly educated and not stupid." In my opinion, educated persons who behave as you describe never benefited from their education. Even worse, to me it seems like persons who behave like that are of the opinion that what they learnt in school is only for the purpose of writing the exams they needed to pass to get out of school. It was all just noise to them.

CA
Vermont Sept. 20 Times Pick
You nailed it. There is no longer "a shared reality" in America. So we have wildly different views of who Joe Biden and Donald Trump are. And how serious climate change is. And whether it's important to wear a mask. And if left-wing anarchists set forest fires. Thank you, Internet. Thank you, social media barons who refuse to ban Russian propaganda and manipulated videos. Thank you FCC that does not rein in Fox News and their promotion of lies. Who will step in and stop this madness?
AU San Diego, CA Sept. 20
@CA I agree with you completely except for the refusal to stop Russian interference. We can't. We can't unless we stop US interference in the process. The problem is that US interference, and rumor mongering, are the business model of these platforms which happen to be some of our largest companies. Extreme capitalism is preventing us from addressing any and all issues propagated by these companies. Russia is just a speck.

Objectivist
Mass. Sept. 20
Antifa adherents and wildfires ? Seems pretty far-fetched. Even ridiculous. But setting fire to occupied apartment buildings in Portland ? Oh yes, definitely. It happened, and more is on the menu, as well as municipal and federal buildings. Don't believe it ? Read the news releases for yourself, on the Portland Police Bureau's website.

James Thurber
Mountain View, CA Sept. 20
An excellent discussion of the perils of social media. Although newspapers, TV, radio, magazines have a historical principal of "generally" telling the truth, social media has opened up the world to every single Tom, Dick and Harry who with to spread their message. I believe that how we, as a nation, as a species, handle social media will define what happens over the next decade.
vw pgh Sept. 20
The state of this country is absolutely terrifying. While the shift to ever more conservative, insular, xenophobic, coroporate-controlled government has been going on for years, with the faux election of trump democracy is what has become fake, while common sense, empathy, and both fiscal and environmental responsibility have virtually disappeared. The US has gone off the deep end...

Mike S.
Eugene, OR Sept. 20 Times Pick
One of my neighbors has a bumper sticker that Covid is a Scamdemic and Plandemic...

Andy Makar
Mason County WA Sept. 20
Years ago I read a science fiction short story that is unsettling in its analogy to this situation. I starts with aliens visiting the Earth and accidently leaving behind a device that can allow metal to be manipulated by softening it, then hardening it. The device gets copied and mass produced. When they returned a year later, they come back and cannot fathom how their device could have resulted in anarchy. THAT is the internet. 5 Recommend Share
GP Oakland Sept. 20
@Andy Makar One supposes that is a reference to the origins of metalworking? And the societal changes it produced? Not bad.

GP
Oakland Sept. 20
Let me ask you all a question. If your neighbor told you the fire in a nearby Oregon town was started by antifa, how would you disprove it? Since you cannot provide evidence for a negative statement, it's difficult. There is actually some evidence that antifa did start the fire: a voice said it on the radio, and tv showed them lighting fireworks in Portland. This isn't very good evidence, but it is evidence, and you can't produce any evidence that antifa did not do it (because there can't be any.) So you are in the position of asking your neighbor to look at the quality of the evidence. This is something very few outside the legal and scientific world are capable of. But that is all you have. Ultimately, it really does go back to belief. How many of us could independently prove that the earth turns around the sun? Those of us who aren't astronomers choose to accept this belief based on what we've been told, and that's how it is with antifa starting the fires.

Blaise Descartes
Seattle Sept. 20
Kristof is afraid that fires in the West represent the new normal. The evidence suggests that this fear is well-founded. He is concerned about the government's paralysis. That is partly due to Trump, who stands a good chance of being reelected on November 3. He is worried about ordinary citizens seeking oversimplified answers and finding them in the conspiracy theories presenting the fire as the work of antifa. I am more worried about the breakdown in credibility of news sources like the NY Times, which finds itself in competition with Fox News and a host of online sources. Indeed, you-tube and facebook will select news stories for you, confirming whatever bias you bring to your reading of the news. There is no guarantee that democracy will survive. One of the things that keeps me up at night is the realization that not only the right, but the left, is subject to oversimplified presentations of global warming. Global warming is a consequence of too much population growth. But as we argue over freedoms for LGBTQ minorities liberals have neglected the importance of freedom of speech. And voices which have warned about population growth have been simply ignored by the left. It isn't enough to shift from Fords using gasoline to Teslas running on electricity. We also need to control population growth. The population of earth will double again by 2072 if current rates continue. Population growth threatens to overwhelm the attempts to move to clean energy. 2 Recommend

secular socialist dem
Bettendorf, IA Sept. 20
The scientific consensus will also conclude that not allowing wildfires to burn compounds the problem. While what I am about to type is not science, continued development in fire prone areas amplifies and compounds every aspect of the problem. From my perspective the system has evolved to socializing cost and privatizing cost in every way. I don't see it getting better, until such time as individuals are held accountable this should be considered normal.
deb inWA Sept. 20
@secular socialist dem PG&E just paid billions in fines and PLEADED GUILTY in starting last year's Paradise fire. They also have already admitted fault in several fires started by their faulty, untended grid. "Individuals" don't need to be held accountable unless there are rules in place for them to follow regarding wildfire. There already are. Most already do. Why do folks act so proud about their 'anti-science' opinion? It's not like this conversation isn't ongoing; nobody argues that development in fire prone areas' carries risks. So does rebuilding in Oklahoma, Florida and Louisiana..... You're right (although confused) about socializing RISK and privatizing PROFIT. See PG&E above.
S Day Texas Sept. 20
Unsure how people lighting fires directly indicates climate change is corroborated. The fellow who was arrested in Tacoma, WA: https://thepostmillennial.com/antifa-activist-charged-for-fire-set-in-washington Looking to past wildfires, like the one's in Montana & Idaho in 2008, 5.5 million acres were burned and certain interest groups advocated for them to burn out because it's apart of the natural cycle. Federal government shouldn't send assistance unless it's possibly to communities in threat of burning, who are humans to say we ought to stop mother nature? It's natural to let these fires burn, if you try to hinder it's course you are stopping the cycle.
Doug Terry Maryland, Washington DC metro Sept. 20 Times Pick
Why do people believe wild stupid things more than actual facts? Partly it is because they like the wild stupid thing more, it gives them some weird comfort. It is also because people are busying with their lives and don't have time to gather enough information to counter the wild rumor that flies around faster than the speed of sound. The most important aspect of successful conspiracy theories is they impart to the person holding them the idea that they are smarter than other people and have "cracked the code" that explains everything or a lot of big things that people don't understand. Reading, thinking, considering and re-considering can seem like hard work, particularly if it is foreign to one's experience and life training. Why not just lock on to a cool idea that comes around, even if it is weird? .

.. ... ...

Murphy San Francisco Sept. 20 Times Pick
This story highlights for me an equally growing problem, the "selective framing" by media outlets on the left and right (NYT and Fox as just two examples). To read Mr Kristof's version, you may believe that arsonists are wild figments of the unhinged radical right imagination. To read the same story on Fox, Antifa arsonists are working their way up your street.

Kristin
Portland, OR Sept. 20 Times Pick
"...the shared understanding of reality that is the basis for any society is eroding." And yet reality still exist. Normally, if someone starts to exhibit the kind of behavior that these "vigilantes" are - screaming about boogeymen, thinking people are out to get them, engaging in aggressive behavior based on paranoid fantasies, creating self-reinforcing delusions, becoming obsessed with baseless conspiracy theories - we would rightly diagnose them as being mentally ill, and to the extent that they represent a danger to others, confine them. I don't think we can afford to see this as just a time of extreme differences of opinion. Facts, truth and reality are still actual, tangible things. And those who have become so disassociated from them that they are stopping vehicles and hunting down their fellow citizen need to be dealt with appropriately.

phornbein
Colorado Sept. 20
We have been witnessing the start of the Second Civil War in America. If we accept the definition of a civil war as a conflict between factions of citizens for either secession or control of the government--including organizations within the existing government--then we are in the beginning stages of a Second Civil War. The question is what the level of violence will be (not will there be violence, but how much violence). We are beginning to see indications of that level. When naturally or accidentally caused wildfires are attributed to one faction as a way to stoke the fires of civil violence, then physical violence between factions is a heartbeat away simply because of the falsity and extremity of the accusations. The era of peaceful protest has passed because of the intensity of feelings on both sides; the anger produced when a government begins denying civil rights, e.g., Freedom of Speech and the Right to Assemble, through legal actions where protest organizers could be charged with sedition (see Barr's comments, 9/16/2020, NYT), which then suggests that all protests become illegal, the fires of violence are stoked. With a heavily-armed populace on both sides, gunfire is a hair-trigger pull away. If Trump and the Republican's intention was to remake America in their image (I leave it to you to supply that image), they are succeeding. If Putin's intention was to bring down America, he is succeeding. If Xi's intention was to dominate the world, he is on that path. Vote 33 Recommend Share
Jumblegym Longmont CO Sept. 20
@phornbein They may have already done it. Keep your powder dry.

Mac
New York Sept. 20
The social fabric has unraveled. Aided and abetted by the world of the social networks....
Brooklyncowgirl USA. Sept. 20
... There's an old saying "Those who the gods would destroy they first make mad." I have come to the conclusion that America has gone qute a long way down that road.
Jontavious Atlanta Sept. 20
And yet, Mr. Kristoff, you never make mention of the real threat that groups like Antifa and other radical left rioters pose to this country (forgetting about attacks on federal buildings in Portland? Attempts to firebomb courthouses? Violence against law enforcement officers?). No, instead it's always Trump, or Trump supporters who are your focus. I do not know whether Antifa has been involved in any of these recent fires, but I do know that these violent elements on the left pose a massive danger to our democracy. You are correct about one thing, though: We should brace ourselves. It's just "what" we need to brace for that is off mark in your article...
Jean CA Sept. 19
It's heartbreaking to watch these three West Coast states burned. For days, the sky was red and the air was unbreathable. But the saddest part was the feeling of helplessness.

Aram Hollman
Arlington, MA Sept. 19
40 years ago, I hitchhiked around the Pacific Northwest during the summer after Mt. St. Helens blew up. Mt. Rainier was ash-coated, as were the wild blueberries I often ate. Epic and Biblical are words inadequate to describe that destruction near Mt. St. Helens, with millions of huge, old trees blown down, piles of mud, and rivers diverted. Yet I and others knew that eventually, that land would regrow, and it did.
Stephanie Wood Montclair NJ Sept. 20
I see a lot of egotism and self-love on both sides. The so-called progressives in our community are breeding at baby boom levels, driving SUVs, and, before the pandemic, you'd see a dozen school buses idling outside every school. Development is out of control as people flee from the city, and people flee from here, or downsize, and breed and breed and breed. Two years ago, we had a flash flood and our street was under water, and there was a lot of damage all over town. Hurricane Irene in 2011 left many with over a foot of water in their basements. And let's not even start on Sandy. My friend lives in Pensacola; their downtown area is under three or four feet of water from Hurricane Sally. It's not just fire, it's floods, and it's not just the GOP which is the problem...
Ted Magnuson Portland OR Sept. 19
That the fires have become a political football is well covered in this piece. As was the climate change crisis...

John Brown
Idaho Sept. 19
I don't blame anyone for guarding their roads if they think arsonists are about. The Tillamook Burn was larger and more devastating than these fires but are we to blame climate change ? Environmentalists and Liberals who do not even live out West, who did not rely upon Logging, placed their concerns about the Spotted Owl and Virgin Forests about the danger of Forest Fires and the livelihood of Loggers and the Towns and Peoples who depended upon Logging. Managed Logging of Forests is not an inherently evil act. Clearing the bush and dead trees is not bad in and of itself. Let Logging companies responsibly manage sections of the Forrests, let Towns clear fire breaks around their perimeters. Place large Water towers in strategic points throughout the Forests, huge mounds of dirt/sand/gravel next to them so that the Firefighters have what they need to fight the fires. Force developers to build houses 50 feet apart. Require fireproof roofs, require thinning of trees in housing developments. Require volunteer Fire Departments in every neighborhood so that if they do nothing else, they can cut a fire break, water down the grasses around their neighborhoods, chase and extinguish embers, something/anything versus fleeing their homes without putting up a fight.

Robert
Seattle Sept. 19
"... dry conditions exacerbated by climate change coupled with an unusual windstorm ..." May I add that a couple of other things have also contributed to making the fires worse or making them harder to manage? For a century or so, in California, Oregon and Washington we have not been letting the normal, periodic fires burn. Consequently, a great deal of fuel has built up on the forest floor. Second, folks have increasingly been building homes or even neighborhoods in places which have historically seen such normal, periodic fires.

Elizabeth
CA Sept. 20
@Robert Yes. But now controlled burns are a bit problematic, given the droughts, the heat, the massive fuel loads from all the dead trees. It's just so easy for the controlled burns to get out of control.

Carver
Oregon Sept. 19
Hi, I am from Clackamas County metro. Every time a FaceBook "Friend" (and I personally know all of mine) posted a rumor, I tried to find the footage from any of our 4 local news stations to depute their post but they just shared another one. One said she didn't trust KGW 8 the local NBC station and when I told her the same story was on KPTV 12, the local Fox station. She said, "I'm just stressed"
M.i. Estner Wayland, MA Sept. 19
@David Biesecker Remember that half the people are of below average intelligence. That may answer the existence of the small percentage of conspiracy theorists. One problem is social media provides free and outsized loudspeaker systems that enables them to find each other.

GreenSpirit
Pacific Northwest Sept. 19
@M.i. Estner First, let me identify myself as a liberal Democrat who has a masters degree. I find it more than disheartening when half of the country, or half of rural or not formally educated folks are said to have low intelligent quotas, critical thinking skills or analytical abilities. You better believe that when a highly trained Eastern Oregon firefighter is assessing how to save peoples lives, homes and land, has to quickly act with their many faceted skill set and are calling on abilities you or I would not be able to fathom. Same with farmers of large pieces of complicated crops and land. Same with city managers, librarians, and social workers for the elderly--all having low city budgets. What about the veterinarians, doctors and nurses in rural areas? This is exactly the same as calling Black or Hispanics people of lower intelligence. And, there are different types of intelligence. I know a literary critic, a liberal Democrat, who doesn't have the critical thinking skills to run her own home or raise her children. If you look, you can see these same differences in any group. It has to do with the way people are raised, what they are using their skill sets for, what information they are used to consuming, money, ideology, etc...And it has to do with being devalued for growing your food, producing your meat, chicken and eggs. I'm not excusing the violence, guns, racism and hatred. These divides have been with us for ages. Please don't stoke the fires.

Usok
Houston Sept. 19
If we have a selfish federal government, then we will have selfish states and people. Everyone is for himself or herself. No one will think about other people or public good. It all started from the top
Kathy Lollock Santa Rosa, CA Sept. 19
In 2017, 2018, and 2019 northern California's new phenomenon of forceful 40 to 60 miles per hour winds - in Fall, no less - caused old and aging electrical equipment to malfunction. As a consequence, too much of Santa Rosa burnt to the ground, and the entire town of Paradise ceased to exist. This year during the heat of a hotter than usual summer following yet another dry winter, we had dry lightning strikes from Sonoma County to Santa Clara County and beyond.

Stuck on a mountain
New England Sept. 19
Yes, the science is clear and you fail to mention it. The forest fires reach critical mass and spread because of the surplus of dead or dying trees. They are there because the federal government essentially no longer allows logging on its vast landholdings and also fails to allow controlled burns to clean out the tinderbox. I won't bother attaching a link because any Google search proves the point. Why focus on hysteria and rumermongering among the Deplorables? Come on, Mr. Kristof, you were a Deplorable once (when you were a kid growing up in the countryside) as was I. Please defend them sometimes, particularly when the actual causes are so well documented.

Jorn
Sagebrush Country Sept. 19
@Stuck on a mountain Western States are working to clear the brush from forests where, due to our previous incomplete understanding of forest ecology, fires were suppressed for a century. However, the cost is astronomical and there are millions of acres left to clear. Spending their entire forest management budgets fighting current wildfires doesn't help. We've been doing controlled burns for decades but in many areas, they're now too dangerous. Dry forests and a dense understory can quickly turn a "controlled burn" into a conflagration. Many ranchers and timber companies who profit from our state and national forests seem unwilling to pay to keep those forests healthy. People who live in or near forests mostly have incomes too low to pay for forest management. The National Forest Service, Department of the Interior and USDA have made some progress, but the problem is huge. Saying we can prevent forest fires by allowing larger timber harvests is an oversimplification. No solution to this complex issue will be simple, perfect or cheap.

Glenn Ribotsky
Queens Sept. 19
Wacky conspiracy theories to explain seemingly bizarre and unusual occurrences have been around since the dawn of human cognition. But in an electronic/social media age, these get spread even faster than a wind-blown fire climbs a canyon hillside. Previously, they were spread one set of ears at a time; now millions of eyes can read them every second. And that is a major part of the problem.

DeHypnotist
West Linn, Oregon Sept. 19
As a grad student in sociology, having lived through the 60s and participated in the counterculture, I was deeply intrigued by the social construction of reality - how we come to share a taken-for-granted world. This is a long-standing concern within sociological social psychology. We examined how language, interpersonal communications, media and social structure shaped ones perception of one's self, what is real, what's important. At the time, however, this was considered theoretical and academic. 40 years later, understanding how Americans' realities have come to diverge is no longer armchair social science. It's urgent and in our faces, as is the question of how can we heal this terrible fracturing of our world?

Alex B
Newton, MA Sept. 19
@DeHypnotist Yes. When studying for the degree in and then teaching sociology in my early years, I learned that, too. But, I have to admit, it's actually taken all the decades of life since then, and now the obvious confirmation of it by this current 'reality' to actually realize, deep down in my guts, that we 'make up' our so-called 'social reality' simply to serve the most basic of biological requirements: the need to dominate in the deadly completion with the other 'tribes' of our species just to survive. We are, after all, animals like all the others, no matter how much we blab about how much 'smarter' we are.

Metaecongary
Show Low, AZ Sept. 20
@Alex B The primal driver, deep in the core of our brain, is usefully thought of as "reptilian." Cold-blooded. Egoistic. Hedonistic. And, in extreme cases, narcissistic, and, heaven forbid when all three are present...

Linda
Anchorage Sept. 19
I lived for a few years in Brazil when it was a dictatorship. The similarities between Brazil and what is happening in the US is startling. The police were being used to quell peaceful protesters and the justice system co-opted by authorities, fear mongering were present, just as now in the US....

Lois Ruble
San Diego Sept. 19
I didn't live in the US from 1977-1999, only visiting on short trips. That enabled me to see changes in society that were slow and not seen by those residing here. And when I came back permanently I could feel immediately a deep change....

JD Athey
Oregon Sept. 20
@Thomas Murphy 'Pandering to the lowest common denominator is how they play their game, and always have:'
Agoldstein Pdx Sept. 19
Perhaps an apt metaphor for the "danger sign ahead" is the approach of a Category three hurricane and it's increasing in intensity. One of the stark disconnects is between the message in an article like this and the politicians and citizens who are little concerned about tempering rhetoric and elevating the importance of eschewing misinformation. We are in the Misinformation Age and the victims of a cyber war, evolving into a civil war.
Giogio Houston Sept. 20
@ML What is happening here? These are the beginnings of what happened in Germany in the 30s. Over there the reason was the loss of WWI. Here, is the obvious decline of the American lifestyle and we have not seen anything yet. The range of the economic decline is covered by 7 trillion dollars in phony money. I fervently hope and pray that is not too late to stop the process. All men and women of goodwill have to rally to restore a sane, and one, country . Stay safe! It is going to get worse before it gets better.

grennan
green bay Sept. 19
@FunkyIrishman Right on. Water is an enormous issue waiting to happen here -- and Wisconsin is estimated to have between 10 and 20 percent of the world's fresh water (depending on how it's calculated and whether that includes some of Lakes Michigan and Superior. A Dept. of Climate, Weather and Water would be a logical cabinet department.

poslug
Cambridge Sept. 20
@FunkyIrishman And polluting the potable water continues sometimes by the most resolvable modern approaches: sewers and water treatment plants. Reagan ended federal funding for sewers leaving septic systems (and now ancient sewers) where sewers would lead to protected fresh water. All the medicines, chemicals, and toxins seep unseen but very real into fresh and also salt water. We are not a modern nation any more.

[Sep 24, 2020] Washington using Navalny situation as excuse to block Russian-German Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, Russian intelligence chief says by Jonny Tickle

Notable quotes:
"... Discussion about ending Nord Stream 2 resumed last month, when EU politicians debated further sanctions, following the suspected poisoning of Navalny. Naryshkin believes that the US is using the accusations of poisoning as a pretext to sell more LNG to Europe. On Thursday, MEPs demanded that Germany cancel construction of the pipeline. ..."
Sep 22, 2020 | www.rt.com

The US is working hard to keep the spotlight on the case of Alexey Navalny as a way to help block construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, according to Sergey Naryshkin, head of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (the SVR).

Naryshkin believes that Washington wants to block Nord Stream 2 so it can prevent Moscow from efficiently providing gas to the continent, thereby increasing demand for American liquefied natural gas (LNG) in other European states. As things stand, Russia delivers a large percentage of the continent's gas, and the pipeline would connect the country's gas supply directly to Germany, under the Baltic Sea. The project is more than 90 percent complete.

READ MORE: German FM links Nord Stream 2 to Navalny, threatens sanctions as Moscow accuses Berlin of dragging feet on alleged poisoning probe

"It is extremely important for Washington to end this project," Naryshkin said, explaining that the alleged poisoning of opposition figure Navalny has become an excuse to stop Nord Stream 2's construction.

The United States has long been opposed to the project, somewhat incredibly claiming that it would "undermine Europe's overall energy security and stability," but many believe that Washington's true motivations are economic.

Discussion about ending Nord Stream 2 resumed last month, when EU politicians debated further sanctions, following the suspected poisoning of Navalny. Naryshkin believes that the US is using the accusations of poisoning as a pretext to sell more LNG to Europe. On Thursday, MEPs demanded that Germany cancel construction of the pipeline.

Despite US pressure, Naryshkin has expressed hope that the EU will rely on common sense before the "cold winter" and likened the proposed halting of Nord Stream 2 to "cutting off the nose to spite the face."

Late last month, Russian anti-corruption activist Navalny was hospitalized in the Siberian city of Omsk after he became ill on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow. Two days later, after a request from his family and associates, he was flown to Berlin for treatment at that city's Charité clinic. Following tests, German authorities announced that Navalny was poisoned with a substance from the Novichok group of nerve agents. After the diagnosis, Heiko Maas, the German Foreign Minister, told Berlin tabloid Bild that he hopes "the Russians don't force [the Germans] to change [their] stance on Nord Stream 2."

US aims for gas domination in Europe, Ukrainian MP says. Nord Stream 2 is 1st target, then existing European pipeline system

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[Sep 23, 2020] How Globalization Destroyed the Western Middle Class

Notable quotes:
"... "Another chasm opened between middle-class Westerners and their wealthy compatriots. Here, too, the middle class lost ground. It seemed that the wealthiest people in rich countries and almost everybody in Asia benefited from globalization, while only the middle class of the rich world lost out in relative terms. These facts supported the notion that the rise of "populist" political parties and leaders in the West stemmed from middle-class disenchantment. ..."
Sep 23, 2020 | www.blacklistednews.com

HOW GLOBALIZATION DESTROYED THE WESTERN MIDDLE CLASS Published: September 15, 2020
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SOURCE: INSIGHT HISTORY

The world is becoming more equal but largely at the expense of middle-class Westerners, according to a recent paper by Branko Milanovic , a Stone Center Senior Scholar and a Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics. Milanovic's paper was published in Foreign Affairs, the publication of the think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and was titled: The World Is Becoming More Equal, Even as Globalization Hurts Middle-Class Westerners . Broadly speaking, globalization is the process of increased " worldwide integration of the economic, cultural, political, religious, and social systems" of the globe, producing an increased flow of goods, capital, labour, and information, across national borders. It was a process that gained steam particularly in the mid-1980s, with globalization having the greatest transformative impact on life since the Industrial Revolution .

Milanovic's paper starts by arguing that the world became more equal between the end of the Cold War and 2007/08 financial crisis, a period of high globalization. During this period however, globalization weakened the middle class in the West. As Milanovic writes :

"The results highlighted two important cleavages [or divisions]: one between middle-class Asians and middle-class Westerners and one between middle-class Westerners and their richer compatriots. In both comparisons, the Western middle class was on the losing end. Middle-class Westerners saw less income growth than (comparatively poorer) Asians, providing further evidence of one of the defining dynamics of globalization: in the last 40 years, many jobs in Europe and North America were either outsourced to Asia or eliminated as a result of competition with Chinese industries. This was the first tension of globalization: Asian growth seems to take place on the backs of the Western middle class."

Milanovic continues :

"Another chasm opened between middle-class Westerners and their wealthy compatriots. Here, too, the middle class lost ground. It seemed that the wealthiest people in rich countries and almost everybody in Asia benefited from globalization, while only the middle class of the rich world lost out in relative terms. These facts supported the notion that the rise of "populist" political parties and leaders in the West stemmed from middle-class disenchantment. "

Milanovic goes on to note that in an updated paper that looks at incomes in 130 countries from 2008 to 2013-14, the first tension of globalization holds true: in that, the incomes of the non-Western middle class grew more than the incomes of the middle class in the West. The impact of globalization on the Western middle class is imperative to understand. Globalization is a process that has produced winners and losers , and the Western middle class has been the greatest loser.

In my opinion, any system that weakens the middle class in any country should be seen as counterproductive. Having a strong middle class is one of the most important tenets in building a strong, prosperous, and stable society. The middle class serves as the bedrock of any country: those who comprise the middle-class work hard, pay taxes, and buy goods. A true solution to poverty in underdeveloped countries would create more prosperity for everyone, not take prosperity from one region and redirect it into another. This so-called solution creates at least as many problems as it supposedly solves.

Globalization has produced, and will seemingly continue to produce, a global standardization of wealth in many ways. For those special interests who are in the process of creating a global system, an economic uniformity across the globe is advantageous for the creation of this one-world system.

Sources

Globalization Definition, Oxford Reference - https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803095855259

MÜNCHAU , W. (24 April, 2016) The revenge of globalisation's losers, Financial Times https://www.ft.com/content/a4bfb89a-0885-11e6-a623-b84d06a39ec2

Milanovic, B. (28 Aug. 2020) The World Is Becoming More Equal, Even as Globalization Hurts Middle-Class Westerners. Foreign Affairs https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/world/2020-08-28/world-economic-inequality

Milanovic, B. (13 May, 2016) Why the Global 1% and the Asian Middle Class Have Gained the Most from Globalization, Harvard Business Review https://hbr.org/2016/05/why-the-global-1-and-the-asian-middle-class-have-gained-the-most-from-globalization

Vanham, P. (17 Jan. 2019) A brief history of globalization, World Economic Forum https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/how-globalization-4-0-fits-into-the-history-of-globalization/

[Sep 23, 2020] Virgin Islands AG demands ENTIRETY of Epstein flight logs, 'sparking panic' among wealthy passengers

Notable quotes:
"... Passenger logs for Epstein's four helicopters and three planes have been subpoenaed by Virgin Islands AG Denise George, who recently sued the disgraced financier's estate for 22 counts including human trafficking, child abuse, neglect, prostitution, aggravated rape, and forced labor, according to a Sunday report by the UK Mirror. ..."
"... Epstein pilot David Rodgers previously provided a passenger log in 2009 tying dozens of politicians, actors, and other celebrities to the infamous sex offender – including former US President Bill Clinton, actor Kevin Spacey, and model Naomi Campbell. ..."
"... George has also subpoenaed more than 10 banks – including JPMorgan, Citibank, and Deutsche Bank – in her quest to get to the bottom of the financial edifice Epstein built up before he died. The financial institutions have been ordered to submit documents related to some 30 corporations, trusts, and nonprofit entities tied to the predatory playboy. ..."
Sep 23, 2020 | www.blacklistednews.com

VIRGIN ISLANDS AG DEMANDS ENTIRETY OF EPSTEIN FLIGHT LOGS, 'SPARKING PANIC' AMONG WEALTHY PASSENGERS Published: September 22, 2020
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SOURCE: RT

The US Virgin Islands Attorney General has subpoenaed 21 years' worth of deceased pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's flight logs, reportedly striking fear in the hearts of high-profile passengers not yet exposed as Lolita Express riders.

Passenger logs for Epstein's four helicopters and three planes have been subpoenaed by Virgin Islands AG Denise George, who recently sued the disgraced financier's estate for 22 counts including human trafficking, child abuse, neglect, prostitution, aggravated rape, and forced labor, according to a Sunday report by the UK Mirror.

In addition to the passenger lists, George has requisitioned " complaints or reports of potentially suspicious conduct " and any " personal notes " the pilots made while flying Epstein's alleged harem of underage girls around the world. She also wants the names and contact information of anyone who worked for the pilots – or who " integrated with or observed " Epstein and his passengers.

Epstein pilot David Rodgers previously provided a passenger log in 2009 tying dozens of politicians, actors, and other celebrities to the infamous sex offender – including former US President Bill Clinton, actor Kevin Spacey, and model Naomi Campbell.

However, lawyers for Epstein's alleged victims have argued that list did not include flights by Epstein's chief pilot, Larry Visoski, who allegedly worked for him for over 25 years.

" The records that have been subpoenaed will make the ones Rodgers provided look like a Post-It note ," a source told the Mirror over the weekend, claiming that George's subpoena had triggered a " panic among many of the rich and famous. "

Epstein's private plane, nicknamed the Lolita Express, counted among its passengers such luminaries as the UK's Prince Andrew, celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz, actor Chris Tucker, Harvard economist Larry Summers, Hyatt hotel mogul Tom Pritzker, and model agency manager Jean-Luc Brunel along with Campbell, Spacey, and Clinton (who the logs show flew with Epstein over two dozen times). However, the passengers who enjoyed his other aircraft have not been made public – yet.

George has also subpoenaed more than 10 banks – including JPMorgan, Citibank, and Deutsche Bank – in her quest to get to the bottom of the financial edifice Epstein built up before he died. The financial institutions have been ordered to submit documents related to some 30 corporations, trusts, and nonprofit entities tied to the predatory playboy.

Epstein supposedly committed suicide last year in a Manhattan jail facility, while his accused madam Ghislaine Maxwell remains imprisoned in a Brooklyn detention center awaiting trial on charges related to child trafficking and perjury after her arrest earlier this year. Maxwell's lawyers have struggled to keep documents introduced as part of a recent defamation suit by one of Epstein's alleged victims under seal, insisting the information would deny her a fair trial.

[Sep 22, 2020] Why does neoclassical economics produce ponzi schemes of inflated asset prices?

Sep 22, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Sound of the Suburbs , 54 minutes ago

Why does neoclassical economics produce ponzi schemes of inflated asset prices?

  1. It makes you think you are creating wealth by inflating asset prices
  2. Bank credit flows into inflating asset prices, debt rises faster than GDP and you eventually get a financial crisis.
  3. No one notices the private debt building up in the economy as neoclassical economics doesn't consider debt.

This economics still has its 1920s problems. What is the fundamental flaw in the free market theory of neoclassical economics? The University of Chicago worked that out in the 1930s after last time. Banks can inflate asset prices with the money they create from bank loans.

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf

Henry Simons and Irving Fisher supported the Chicago Plan to take away the bankers ability to create money.

"Simons envisioned banks that would have a choice of two types of holdings: long-term bonds and cash. Simultaneously, they would hold increased reserves, up to 100%. Simons saw this as beneficial in that its ultimate consequences would be the prevention of "bank-financed inflation of securities and real estate" through the leveraged creation of secondary forms of money."

https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Henry_Calvert_Simons

The IMF re-visited the Chicago plan after 2008.

https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2012/wp12202.pdf

It looks like they did have some idea what the problem was.At the end of the 1920s, the US was a ponzi scheme of inflated asset prices. The use of neoclassical economics and the belief in free markets, made them think that inflated asset prices represented real wealth accumulation.

1929 – Wakey, wakey time. Why did it cause the US financial system to collapse in 1929? Bankers get to create money out of nothing, through bank loans, and get to charge interest on it.

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf

What could possibly go wrong?

Bankers do need to ensure the vast majority of that money gets paid back, and this is where they get into serious trouble.

Banking requires prudent lending.

If someone can't repay a loan, they need to repossess that asset and sell it to recoup that money. If they use bank loans to inflate asset prices they get into a world of trouble when those asset prices collapse.

As the real estate and stock market collapsed the banks became insolvent as their assets didn't cover their liabilities.

They could no longer repossess and sell those assets to cover the outstanding loans and they do need to get most of the money they lend out back again to balance their books.

The banks become insolvent and collapsed, along with the US economy.

When banks have been lending to inflate asset prices the financial system is in a precarious state and can easily collapse.

What was the ponzi scheme of inflated asset prices that collapsed in Japan in 1991?

Japanese real estate.

They avoided a Great Depression by saving the banks.

They killed growth for the next 30 years by leaving the debt in place.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YTyJzmiHGk

Debt repayments to banks destroy money, this is the problem.

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf

What was the ponzi scheme of inflated asset prices that collapsed in 2008?

"It's nearly $14 trillion pyramid of super leveraged toxic assets was built on the back of $1.4 trillion of US sub-prime loans, and dispersed throughout the world" All the Presidents Bankers, Nomi Prins.

They avoided a Great Depression by saving the banks.

They left Western economies struggling by leaving the debt in place, just like Japan.

It's not as bad as Japan as we didn't let asset prices crash in the West, but it is this problem has made our economies so sluggish since 2008.

In 2020, the world is a ponzi scheme of inflated asset prices.

The use of neoclassical economics and the belief in free markets, made them think that inflated asset prices represented real wealth accumulation.

The central banks have to keep pumping in liquidity to stop all the ponzi schemes collapsing.

If the ponzi schemes collapse, this feeds back into the financial system when bankers have been lending to inflate asset prices.


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Sound of the Suburbs , 1 hour ago

Bankers make the most money when they are driving your economy towards a financial crisis.

You don't want to leave them to their own devices.

On a BBC documentary, comparing 1929 to 2008, it said the last time US bankers made as much money as they did before 2008 was in the 1920s.

Bankers make the most money when they are driving your economy into a financial crisis.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAStZJCKmbU&list=PLmtuEaMvhDZZQLxg24CAiFgZYldtoCR-R&index=6

At 18 mins.

The bankers loaded the US economy up with their debt products until they got financial crises in 1929 and 2008.

As you head towards the financial crisis, the economy booms due to the money creation of bank loans.

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf

The financial crisis appears to come out of a clear blue sky when you use an economics that doesn't consider debt.

The economics of globalisation has always had an Achilles' heel.

The 1920s roared with debt based consumption and speculation until it all tipped over into the debt deflation of the Great Depression. No one realised the problems that were building up in the economy as they used an economics that doesn't look at debt, neoclassical economics.

Not considering private debt is the Achilles' heel of neoclassical economics.

Sound of the Suburbs , 1 hour ago

Come on.

Wakey, wakey.

You are just repeating 1920s mistakes.

The Americans wrapped a new ideology, neoliberalism, around 1920s economics and repeated the economic mistakes of the 1920s.

Policymakers couldn't see what Glass-Steagall did, as they thought banks were financial intermediaries.

It separates the money creation side of banking from the investment side of banking, and stops bankers producing securities; they buy themselves with money they create out of nothing.

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf

(There are intermediaries involved so it's not obvious, but this is effectively what is happening)

The whole thing turns into a ponzi scheme and you get a 1929 or 2008 type event.

1929 and 2008 look so similar because they are.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAStZJCKmbU&list=PLmtuEaMvhDZZQLxg24CAiFgZYldtoCR-R&index=6

At 18 mins.

1929 and 2008 -- Minsky Moments, the financial crises where debt has over whelmed the economy.

They did save the banks this time, which avoided another Great Depression.

They left the debt in place, which caused a balance sheet recession.

As a CEO, I can use the company's money to do share buybacks, to boost the share price; get my bonus and top dollar for my shares.

Share buybacks were found to be a cause of the 1929 crash and made illegal in the 1930s.

What lifted US stocks to 1929 levels in 1929?

Margin lending and share buybacks.

What lifted US stocks to 1929 levels in 2019?

Margin lending and share buybacks.

A former US congressman has been looking at the data.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zu3SgXx3q4

"The Great Crash 1929" John Kenneth Galbraith

"By early 1929, loans from these non-banking sources were approximately equal to those from the banks. Later they became much greater. The Federal Reserve Authorities took it for granted that they had no influence over these funds"

He's talking about "shadow banking".

They thought leverage was great before 1929; they saw what happened when it worked in reverse after 1929.

Leverage acts like a multiplier.

It multiplies profits on the way up.

It multiplies losses on the way down.

Today's bankers seem to have learnt something from past mistakes.

They took the multiplied profits on the way up.

Taxpayers picked up the multiplied losses on the way down.

Mariner Eccles, FED chair 1934 -- 48, observed what the capital accumulation of neoclassical economics did to the US economy in the 1920s.

"a giant suction pump had by 1929 to 1930 drawn into a few hands an increasing proportion of currently produced wealth. This served then as capital accumulations. But by taking purchasing power out of the hands of mass consumers, the savers denied themselves the kind of effective demand for their products which would justify reinvestment of the capital accumulation in new plants. In consequence as in a poker game where the chips were concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing. When the credit ran out, the game stopped"

The problem; wealth concentrates until the system collapses.

"The other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing." Mariner Eccles, FED chair 1934 -- 48

Your wages aren't high enough, have a Payday loan.

You need a house, have a sub-prime mortgage.

You need a car, have a sub-prime auto loan.

You need a good education, have a student loan.

Still not getting by?

Load up on credit cards.

"When the credit ran out, the game stopped" Mariner Eccles, FED chair 1934 -- 48

...... etc .....

x_Maurizio , 1 hour ago

DISAGREE ON EVERY SINGLE WORD, in particular with this:

rules/regulations/capital requirements have infected the global banking system and rendered it a harvesting operation for retail and a derivatives rule/regulation/capital requirment evasion device for the pursuit of profit

absolutely false.

Banking system is in the 4th part of a cycle that they have created !

  1. The first part has been capital harvesting (1970-1980)
  2. The second part has been deregulation and hunt for stellar return on investment
  3. The third part is financialisation and plunder of real economy
  4. The fourth part is the destruction of real economy through debt, deflation, extreme financial activity seeking for Yields. The banks have been the fortresses of globalisation. Commercial banking has been absorbed by investment banking. In this deflationary environment Commercial Banking has practice NO ROI.

You want to see the Banks working again? Reintroduce the Glass Steagall and separate again investment and commercial banking. Repeal all what has been done between 1987 and 1999. THAT will stop globalisation, that will stop the slow bleeding-to-death of westerne economies, that will save commercial banking and our capitalistic societies.

Pumpkin , 1 hour ago

Fake money, fake banks. All lies die in the end.

[Sep 22, 2020] Why Do Americans Give Away So Much Control to Corporations by RALPH NADER

Neoliberalism is about redistribution of wealth up -- that's why. And the state under neoliberalism ensured this with the tax policy, wreaked anti-monopoly laws, deregulation, offshoring and other means
At the same time due to the Iron law of oligarchy organized minority (oligarchs) will always control unorganized majority ("despicables") so chances to reverse the neoliberal transformation of the society which was the result of Neoliberal Counterrevolutions of 1980th, currently are slim. Only some earthquake like evens, for example, another oil crisis or the loss by the dollar of the status of reserve currency might change that.
Sep 21, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

The American people own most of the wealth – private and public – and most of the information in the country. The top one percent do not.

The American people have most of the power in the country. The top one percent do not.

These assertions may surprise you, because the top one percent and the giant corporations work overtime to control what you own . This means they do not have to seize what you own so long as their control provides them with both riches and power over you.

Let's spell this out with specifics. Our Constitution starts with the words, "We the People "; it doesn't start with 'we the corporations' or 'we the Congress' or 'we the super-rich.' The sovereign authority under the Constitution is us ; we the people are the bosses. But we give our power away to the Big Boys who run the big companies that control most of our elected politicians. The politicians in turn proceed to corrupt our elections with campaign money, gerrymandering, deceitful ads, voter obstructions, and a totally dominant two-party duopoly. This corporate state destroys competitive democracy which would give our votes meaning, choices, and effectiveness.

Shouldn't we be discussing why, when we own the vast federal public land, one-third of America – and the vast public airwaves, do we give control of these resources to corporations every day of the year to profit from at our expense? We give the television and radio stations, that block our voices, free control and use of the airwaves, 24/7. We receive very little in royalties from the energy, mining, timber, and grazing companies extracting huge wealth from our federal lands.

We send our tax dollars to Washington, D.C., and the federal government gives trillions of these dollars to companies in the form of subsidies and bailouts.

Trillions of dollars are devoted to government research and development (R&D), which has built or expanded private companies. These include such industries as aerospace, pharmaceuticals, military weapons, computers, internet, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and containerization.

Our taxpayer-funded R&D is essentially given away free to these for-profit businesses. We the People receive no royalties nor profit-sharing returns on these public investments. Worse, we pay gouging prices for drugs and other products developed with our tax dollars.

We have trillions of dollars in savings and retirement money placed in giant mutual and pension funds. The managers of these institutions make big profits by investing your money in the stock and bond markets. If you controlled these trillions of dollars in stocks and bonds that you own, that is if there was real shareholder and bondholder power, you would control the ownership of all the big companies and turn the tables on the Big Bosses. Polls show a big majority of people think Big Business has too much power and control over us. Nonetheless, we regularly give these plutocrats control over what we own.

We own our personal information. Yet, we give it totally free to the likes of Facebook, Google, Instagram, and YouTube, etc. so they can make trillions of dollars selling data on what we buy, what we like, what we think, and what we're addicted to in the marketplace. The advertisers then pester us 24/7 and even betray our trust. Imagine Alexa eavesdropping in our homes and businesses. High-tech companies should not be privy to our personal information.

Unfortunately, giving companies our personal information, from which they profit immensely and gouge and penalize us profusely, started long ago. The moment we took out credit cards, for example, we began to lose control of our money and our privacy. With the internet, companies are generating new payment-system controls, with their dictatorial fine-print agreements and never-ending additional surcharges, driven by their greedy overreaches.

People spend lots of time just trying to get through to these companies for refunds, adjustments, corrections, and simple answers to their questions.

Why have we handed over the enormous assets we own to this expanding corporate state? Why have we surrendered to statism or corporate socialism? The corporate "Borg" is sucking the ready availability of the good life, decent, secure livelihoods assured by our collective self-reliance, and the freedom to shape our future out of our political economy.

Why are we allowing the United States – this rich land of ours – to have so many impoverished, powerless people, dominated by the few? With ever greater concentration or powers under corrupt Trumpism and its corporate supremacists, control of our lives is getting worse.

It starts with us being indoctrinated into being powerless (civic skills and practice are not taught in schools). This leads to the people not taking control of Congress (only 535 of them). We are allowing elections and debates to ignore raising these basic democratic issues of who owns what and who should control our commonwealth.

David Bollier and his colleagues are working to have adults and students learn about the commons – owned by all of us – and the few examples of people sharing in our commonwealth. Through the Alaska Permanent Fund, every Alaskan gets about $2000 a year from the royalties' oil companies pay for taking the people's oil from that state.

If you're interested in reading further about the "commons" we own but do not control go to bollier.org and breakingthroughpower.org . It's in our hands!

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!

[Sep 22, 2020] Stephen F. Cohen -- In Memoriam by Gilbert Doctorow

Unfortunately in his brilliant analysis of USA-Russia relations Stephen Cohen never pointed out that the USA policy toward Russia is dictated by the interests of maintaining global neoliberal empire and the concept of "Full Spectrum Dominance" which was adopted by the USA neoliberal elite after the collapse of the USSR.
Like British empire the USA neoliberal empire is now overextended, metropolia is in secular stagnation with deterioration standard of living of the bottom 80% of population, so the USA under Trump became more aggressive and dangerous on the international arena. Trump administration behaves behaves like a cornered rat on international arena.
Notable quotes:
"... On Friday, 18 September, professor Steve Cohen passed away in New York City and we, the "dissident" community of Americans standing for peace with Russia – and for peace with the world at large – lost a towering intellectual and skillful defender of our cause who enjoyed an audience of millions by his weekly broadcasts on the John Batchelor Show, WABC Radio. ..."
"... from the start of the Information Wars against Russia during the George W. Bush administration following Putin's speech at the Munich Security Conference in February 2007, no voice questioning the official propaganda line in America was tolerated. Steve Cohen, who in the 1990s had been a welcome guest on U.S. national television and a widely cited expert in print media suddenly found himself blacklisted and subjected to the worst of McCarthyite style, ad hominem attacks. ..."
"... the opposition to Steve was led by experts in the Ukrainian and other minority peoples sub-categories of the profession who were militantly opposed not just to him personally but to any purely objective, not to mention sympathetic treatment of Russian leadership in the territorial expanse of Eurasia. ..."
"... Almost no one outside our 'dissident' community is concerned about the possibility of Armageddon in say two years' time due to miscalculations and bad luck in our pursuing economic, informational and military confrontation with Russia and China. ..."
"... My point in this discussion is that in the last decade of his life Stephen Cohen became one of the nation's most fearless and persistent defenders of the right to Free Speech. ..."
"... It was forced upon him by The New York Times, The Washington Post and other major media who pilloried him or blacklisted him over his unorthodox, unsanctioned, nonconformist views on the "Putin regime." It was forced upon him by university colleagues who sought to deny his right to establish graduate school fellowships in Russian affairs bearing his name and that of his mentor at Indiana University, Professor Tucker. ..."
"... In the face of vicious personal attacks from these McCarthyite forces, in the face of hate mail and even threats to his life, Steve decided to set up The American Committee and to recruit to its governing board famous, patriotic Americans and the descendants of the most revered families in the country. In this he succeeded, and it is to his credit that a moral counter force to the stampeding bulls of repression was erected and has survived to this day. ..."
Sep 22, 2020 | gilbertdoctorow.com

On Friday, 18 September, professor Steve Cohen passed away in New York City and we, the "dissident" community of Americans standing for peace with Russia – and for peace with the world at large – lost a towering intellectual and skillful defender of our cause who enjoyed an audience of millions by his weekly broadcasts on the John Batchelor Show, WABC Radio.

A year ago, I reviewed his latest book, War With Russia? which drew upon the material of those programs and took this scholar turned journalist into a new and highly accessible genre of oral readings in print. The narrative style may have been more relaxed, with simplified syntax, but the reasoning remained razor sharp. I urge those who are today paying tribute to Steve, to buy and read the book, which is his best legacy.

From start to finish, Stephen F. Cohen was among America's best historians of his generation, putting aside the specific subject matter that he treated: Nikolai Bukharin, his dissertation topic and the material of his first and best known book; or, to put it more broadly, the history of Russia (USSR) in the 20 th century. He was one of the very rare cases of an historian deeply attentive to historiography, to causality and to logic. I understood this when I read a book of his from the mid-1980s in which he explained why Russian (Soviet) history was no longer attracting young students of quality: because there were no unanswered questions, because we smugly assumed that we knew about that country all that there was to know. That was when our expert community told us with one voice that the USSR was entrapped in totalitarianism without any prospect for the overthrow of its oppressive regime.

But my recollections of Steve also have a personal dimension going back six years or so when a casual email correspondence between us flowered into a joint project that became the launch of the American Committee for East West Accord (ACEWA). This was a revival of a pro-détente association of academics and business people that existed from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s, when, following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the removal of the Communist Party from power, the future of Russia in the family of nations we call the 'international community' seemed assured and there appeared to be no further need for such an association as ACEWA.

I hasten to add that in the original ACEWA Steve and I were two ships that passed in the night. With his base in Princeton, he was a protégé of the dean of diplomats then in residence there, George Kennan, who was the leading light on the academic side of the ACEWA. I was on the business side of the association, which was led by Don Kendall, chairman of Pepsico and also for much of the 1970s chairman of the US-USSR Trade and Economic Council of which I was also a member. I published pro-détente articles in their newsletter and published a lengthy piece on cooperation with the Soviet Union in agricultural and food processing domains, my specialty at that time, in their collection of essays by leaders in the U.S. business community entitled Common Sense in U.S.-Soviet Trade .

The academic contingent had, as one might assume, a 'progressive' coloration, while the business contingent had a Nixon Republican coloration. Indeed, in the mid-1980s these two sides split in their approach to the growing peace movement in the U.S. that was fed by opposition in the 'thinking community' on university campuses to Ronald Reagan's Star Wars agenda. Kendall shut the door at ACEWA to rabble rousing and the association did not rise to the occasion, so that its disbanding in the early '90s went unnoticed.

In the re-incorporated American Committee, I helped out by assuming the formal obligations of Treasurer and Secretary, and also became the group's European Coordinator from my base in Brussels. At this point my communications with Steve were almost daily and emotionally quite intense. This was a time when America's expert community on Russian affairs once again felt certain that it knew everything there was to know about the country, and most particularly about the nefarious "Putin regime." But whereas in the 1970s and 1980s, polite debate about the USSR/Russia was entirely possible both behind closed doors and in public space, from the start of the Information Wars against Russia during the George W. Bush administration following Putin's speech at the Munich Security Conference in February 2007, no voice questioning the official propaganda line in America was tolerated. Steve Cohen, who in the 1990s had been a welcome guest on U.S. national television and a widely cited expert in print media suddenly found himself blacklisted and subjected to the worst of McCarthyite style, ad hominem attacks.

From my correspondence and several meetings with Steve at this time both in his New York apartment and here in Brussels, when he and Katrina van der Heuvel came to participate in a Round Table dedicated to relations with Russia at the Brussels Press Club that I arranged, I knew that Steve was deeply hurt by these vitriolic attacks. He was at the time waging a difficult campaign to establish a fellowship in support of graduate studies in Russian affairs. It was touch and go, because of vicious opposition from some stalwarts of the profession to any fellowship that bore Steve's name. Allow me to put the 'i' on this dispute: the opposition to Steve was led by experts in the Ukrainian and other minority peoples sub-categories of the profession who were militantly opposed not just to him personally but to any purely objective, not to mention sympathetic treatment of Russian leadership in the territorial expanse of Eurasia. In the end, Steve and Katrina prevailed. The fellowships exist and, hopefully, will provide sustenance to future studies when American attitudes towards Russia become less politicized.

At all times and on all occasions, Steve Cohen was a voice of reason above all. The problem of our age is that we are now not only living in a post-factual world, but in a post-logic world. The public reads day after day the most outrageous and illogical assertions about alleged Russian misdeeds posted by our most respected mainstream media including The New York Times and The Washington Post . Almost no one dares to raise a hand and suggest that this reporting is propaganda and that the public is being brainwashed. Steve did exactly that in War With Russia? in a brilliant and restrained text.

Regrettably today we have no peace movement to speak of. Youth and our 'progressive' elites are totally concerned over the fate of humanity in 30 or 40 years' time as a consequence of Global Warming and rising seas. That is the essence of the Green Movement. Almost no one outside our 'dissident' community is concerned about the possibility of Armageddon in say two years' time due to miscalculations and bad luck in our pursuing economic, informational and military confrontation with Russia and China.

I fear it will take only some force majeure development such as we had in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis to awaken the broad public to the risks to our very survival that we are incurring by ignoring the issues that Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Princeton and New York University was bringing to the airwaves week after week on his radio program.

Postscript

In terms of action, the new ACEWA was even less effective than its predecessor, which had avoided linking up with the peace movement of the 1980s and sought to exert influence on policy through armchair talks with Senators and other statesmen in Washington behind closed doors of (essentially) men's clubs.

However, the importance of the new ACEWA, and the national importance of Stephen Cohen lay elsewhere.

This question of appraising Stephen Cohen's national importance is all the more timely given that on the day of his death, 18 September, the nation also lost Supreme Justice Ruth Ginsburg, about whose national importance no Americans, whether her fans or her opponents, had any doubt.

My point in this discussion is that in the last decade of his life Stephen Cohen became one of the nation's most fearless and persistent defenders of the right to Free Speech. It was not a role that he sought. It was thrust upon him by the expert community of international affairs, including the Council on Foreign Relations, from which he reluctantly resigned over this matter.

It was forced upon him by The New York Times, The Washington Post and other major media who pilloried him or blacklisted him over his unorthodox, unsanctioned, nonconformist views on the "Putin regime." It was forced upon him by university colleagues who sought to deny his right to establish graduate school fellowships in Russian affairs bearing his name and that of his mentor at Indiana University, Professor Tucker.

In the face of vicious personal attacks from these McCarthyite forces, in the face of hate mail and even threats to his life, Steve decided to set up The American Committee and to recruit to its governing board famous, patriotic Americans and the descendants of the most revered families in the country. In this he succeeded, and it is to his credit that a moral counter force to the stampeding bulls of repression was erected and has survived to this day.

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2020

[If you found value in this article, you should be interested to read my latest collection of essays entitled A Belgian Perspective on International Affairs, published in November 2019 and available in e-book, paperback and hardbound formats from amazon, barnes & noble, bol.com, fnac, Waterstones and other online retailers. Use the "View Inside" tab on the book's webpages to browse.]

[Sep 21, 2020] Trump's Attack on Social Security

Sep 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

AntiSpin , Sep 20 2020 17:10 utc | 14

Trump's Attack on Social Security
Has Started!

For eight-and-a-half decades, most Republican legislators (and some Democrats) have been trying to get rid of Social Security .

The first step in Trump's assault on Social Security's funding took effect Sept. 1st.

On Trump's orders, the IRS ordered corporations to stop withholding Social Security contributions from paychecks, through the end of the year.

Speaking on Fox Business recently, Trump advisor Larry Kudlow said that later this year Trump will order the IRS to continue the deferral indefinitely.

Social Security's chief actuary wrote that if Social Security is defunded, some benefits will be reduced next year, and that benefits will disappear entirely by the end of 2023.

If you are, or if you know someone on Social Security, please pass the word!

[Sep 21, 2020] Tucker: When do we get America back

Sep 21, 2020 | www.youtube.com


Fox News
6.2M subscribers SUBSCRIBE For Americans living under coronavirus restrictions, it's a question too rarely asked. In fact it's actively discouraged.

#FoxNews #Tucker

[Sep 21, 2020] Tucker: Democrats, fires and the climate misinformation campaign

Highly recommended!
Nice take on imbecilization of important and complex topics by the US MSM and politicians.
Money quote about neoliberal Dems like Obama and Biden " But there are others for whom altruism is an alien concept. Self-interest is all they know. These people never pause. They relentlessly press for any advantage, under any circumstances. They see human suffering as a means to increase their power."
Another money quote: "in the hands of Democratic politicians, climate change is like systemic racism in the sky: You can't see it, but it's everywhere and it's deadly."
Notable quotes:
"... But there are others for whom altruism is an alien concept. Self-interest is all they know. These people never pause. They relentlessly press for any advantage, under any circumstances. They see human suffering as a means to increase their power. ..."
"... Joe Biden's closest friend in the world, a prominent Martha's Vineyard kite-surfer called Barack Obama, echoed that message with his trademark restraint. Obama declawed that your "life" depends on voting for Joe Biden. ..."
"... One of the few Republicans who still hold elected office in California, state Assemblyman Heath Flora, last year called on using the state's $22 billion budget surplus to implement vegetation management. ..."
"... Fires don't spread as well without huge connected forests functioning as kindling. It's obvious, which is why it's unthinkable to mention it in some Democratic circles." ..."
Sep 11, 2020 | www.youtube.com

September 11. 2020

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: Massive wildfires continue to sweep across huge portions of the Pacific Northwest.

In Oregon, half a million residents have been forced to evacuate -- one out of every ten people in the state.

Dozens are dead tonight, including small children. But the fires still aren't close to contained. Watch this report from Fox's Jeff Paul:

Video report

And it continues as we speak, walls of flame consuming everything in their path: homes, animals, human beings. Tragedy on a massive scale.

When something this awful happens, decent people pause. They put aside their own interests for a moment. They consider how they can help. We've seen that kind of selflessness before.

This is, remember, the anniversary of 9-11. But there are others for whom altruism is an alien concept. Self-interest is all they know. These people never pause. They relentlessly press for any advantage, under any circumstances. They see human suffering as a means to increase their power.

These are the people who turn funerals into political rallies and feel no shame for doing it.

As Americans burned to death, people like this swung into action immediately. They went on television with a partisan talking point: Climate change caused these fires, they said. They didn't explain how that happened. They just kept saying it.

In the hands of Democratic politicians, climate change is like systemic racism in the sky: you can't see it, but it's everywhere, and it's deadly. And, like systemic racism, it's your fault: The American middle class did it. They ate too many hamburgers, drove too many SUVs, had too many children.

A lot of them wear T-shirts to work and didn't finish college. That causes climate change too. And, worst of all, some of them may vote for Donald Trump in November.

If there's anything that absolutely, definitively causes climate change -- and literally over a hundred percent of scientists agree with this established fact -- it's voting for Donald Trump. You might as well start a tire fire. You're destroying the ozone layer.

Joe Biden has checked the science, and he agrees. Yesterday, the people on Biden's staff who understand the internet tweeted out an image of the wildfires, along with the message, "Climate change is already here -- and we're witnessing its devastating effects every single day. We have to get President Trump out of the White House."

Again, by voting for Donald Trump, you've made hundreds of thousands of Oregonians homeless tonight. You've killed people.

Joe Biden's closest friend in the world, a prominent Martha's Vineyard kite-surfer called Barack Obama, echoed that message with his trademark restraint. Obama declawed that your "life" depends on voting for Joe Biden.

Hold on a minute, you might say. Doesn't this very same Barack Obama own a $12 million spread right on the ocean in Massachusetts?

At a time when sea levels are rising and we're about to see killer whales in the Rockies? Honestly, it doesn't seem like Obama is overly concerned about climate change? And by the way, didn't he go to law school? When he did become a climate expert?

Those seem like good questions. But lawyers pretending to be scientists are now everywhere in the Democratic Party.

Here's the governor of Washington, Jay Inslee, a proud graduate of Willamette University law school, explaining that he's already figured out the "cause" of the fires. Watch:

INSLEE: Fires are proof we need a stronger liberal agenda Sept 8 TRT: 18 Inslee: And these are conditions that are exacerbated by the changing climate that we are suffering. And I do not believe that we should surrender these subdivisions or these houses to climate change-exacerbated fires. We should fight the cause of these fires.

This is a crock. In fact, there is not a single scientist on earth who knows whether, or by how much, these fires may have been "exacerbated" by warmer temperatures caused by "climate change," whatever that means anymore.

All we have is conjecture from a handful of scientists, none of whom have reached any definitive conclusions.

Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA, for example, has admitted that it's, quote, "hard to determine whether climate change played a role in sparking the fires."

Meanwhile, investigators have determined that the massive El Dorado fire in California, which has torched nearly 14,000 acres, was caused by morons setting off some kind of fireworks. And then on Wednesday, police announced that a criminal investigation is underway into the massive Almeda fire in Ashland, Oregon.

The sheriff there said it's too early to say what caused the fire, but he's said human remains were found at the suspected origin point. Nothing is being ruled out, including arson.

The more you know, the more complicated it is, like everything. Serious people are just beginning to gather evidence to determine what happened to cause this disaster.

But at the same time, unserious people are now everywhere on the media right now, drowning out nuance. Don't worry about the facts, they say. Just trust us -- the sky orange is orange over San Francisco because households making $40,000 a year made the mistake of voting for a Republican.

Therefore you must hand us total control of the nation's economy. Watch amateur arson detective Nancy Pelosi explain:

PELOSI: Mother Earth is angry. She's telling us, whether she's telling us with hurricanes on the Gulf Coast, fires in the west, whatever it is, the climate crisis is real and has an impact.

Mother Nature is angry. Please. When was the last time Nancy Pelosi went outside? No one asked her. All we know is what she said: climate change caused this. Of course.

No matter the natural disaster -- hurricanes, tornadoes, whatever -- climate change did it. Keep in mind, Nancy Pelosi owns two sub-zero freezers. They cost $10,000 apiece.

We know because she showed them off on national television. Those use a lot of energy. Like Barack Obama, she constantly flies private between her multi-million dollar estates all over the country.

Obviously, she doesn't care about climate change. And neither do her supporters -- otherwise, they'd be trying to destroy the mansions she owns, not the hair salons that expose her hypocrisy.

For the left, this is really about blaming and ritually humiliating the middle-class for the election of Donald Trump. Joe Biden knows that the Pennsylvanians who would be financially ruined by his fracking ban are the same Pennsylvanians who flipped the state red in 2016 for the first time in a generation.

That's the whole point. One of the reasons Joe Biden is barely allowed outside is that he has no problem showing his contempt for the middle-class he supposedly cares so much about.

In 2019, he openly mocked coal miners and suggested they just get programming jobs once they're all fired. Watch:

BIDEN: I come from a family, an area where's coal mining – in Scranton. Anybody, that can go down 300 to 3,000 feet in a mine, sure as hell can learn how to program as well.

Learn to code! Hilarious. Joe Biden should try it. But there isn't time. The world is ending. Last summer, Sandy Cortez [AOC] did the math and calculated we only have 12 years left to live .

If that sounds bad, consider this -- Just four months after that warning, Sandy Cortez tweeted that we only have 10 years to "cut carbon emissions in half."

Think about the math here. We lost two years in just four months. At that rate, we could literally all die unless Joe Biden wins in November. Which is of course what they're saying.

On Tuesday, California Gavin Newsom pretty much said it Newsom abandoned science long ago. Science is too stringent, too western, too patriarchal.

Newsom is a man of faith now. He's decided climate change caused all of this , and that's final. He's not listening to any other arguments. Watch:

NEWSOM: I have no patience. And I say this lovingly, not as an ideologue, but as someone who prides himself on being open to argument, interested in evidence. But I quite literally have no patience for climate change deniers. It simply follows completely inconsistent, that point of view, with the reality on the ground.

People like Gavin Newsom don't want to listen to any "climate change deniers." What's a "climate change denier?" Anyone who thinks our ruling class has no idea how to run their states or protect their citizens.

Are we "climate change deniers" if we point out that California has failed to implement meaningful deforestation measures that would have dramatically slowed the spread of these wildfires?

In 2018, a state oversight agency in California found that years of poor or nonexistent forest management policies in the Sierra Nevada forests had contributed to wildfires.

One of the few Republicans who still hold elected office in California, state Assemblyman Heath Flora, last year called on using the state's $22 billion budget surplus to implement vegetation management.

Fires don't spread as well without huge connected forests functioning as kindling. It's obvious, which is why it's unthinkable to mention it in some Democratic circles."

Presumably, you're also a climate-change denier if you point out that six of the Oregon National Guard's wildfire-fighting helicopters are currently in Afghanistan.

Instead of dropping water to suppress blazes, the Chinook aircraft are busy supplying a war effort that's been going on for nearly 20 years. That seems significant. Has anyone asked Gavin Newsom or Jay Inslee about that? Do any of the Democrats who control these states even care?

The answer, of course, is probably not. It was just last week that Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti admitted on-the-record that his city has become completely third-world.

Of course, Garcetti didn't blame himself for this turn of events. He blamed you. Quote: "It's almost 3 p.m," Garcetti tweeted. "Time to turn off major appliances, set the thermostat to 78 degrees (or use a fan instead, turn off excess lights and unplug any appliances you're not using. We need every Californian to help conserve energy. Please do your part."

"Please do your part." Garcetti wants his constituents to suffer to try to solve a problem that Democrats in his state created. Even now, as residents in Northern California are facing sweeping power outages in addition to wildfires.

In the meantime, Gavin Newsom has vowed that 50 percent of California's energy grid will be based on quote "renewable" energy sources within a decade.

That means sources like wind and solar power -- which can't be dialed up to meet periods of extreme demand, like California is seeing right now during its heatwave.

Newsom was asked last month whether he would consider revising this stance given the blackouts that have left millions of Californians without power.

Newsom responded, quote, "We are going to radically change the way we produce and consume energy." In other words, The blackouts will continue until morale improves. So will the wildfires. Get used to it.


Fox News
6.2M subscribers SUBSCRIBE In the hands of Democratic politicians, climate change is like systemic racism in the sky: You can't see it, but it's everywhere and it's deadly. #FoxNews #Tucker


tintin3366
, 1 week ago

The fires we had here in Australia were lit by humans. They tried to say it was climate change.


Jadyyn Starlight
, 1 week ago

I think "Climate change" is exacerbated by the hot air coming out of these politicians

MAGA COUNTRY , 1 week ago (edited)

This is a direct result of Gavin Newsom eliminating forestation controls. Jerry Brown kept them in place, the only thing he did correctly. Democrats are to blame for all of this.


stelpa66
, 1 day ago

When environmentalists pushed through their "leave forests alone, allow nature to be undisturbed" bs, California and other states stopped clearing underbrush, also known as fire fuel and now we see a perfect example of cause and effect.

Don't get me wrong I am a conservatist , but with common sense , we can't conserve unless we protect and nurture nature to thrive. In fact extremism in environmentalism destroys as we see. People dead, animals dead, homes destroyed, forest destroyed because of extremism.

The narrative to leave forests alone happened long before Trump, believing otherwise makes you a useful idiot. Congratulations.

You could Google this old narrative but will you find it, well it's Google, you have to find the people who heard and lived the so called natural environmental push narrative, we remember and we remember the warnings. Congratulations, your ignorance has caused harm.

Quinten Belfor , 1 week ago (edited)

They were caused by "peaceful" arsonists


Lori Taylor
, 2 days ago

Tucker most always speaks the truth. I say "most" bc no one is perfect 😉 Everything he said here was the truth! Thank you Tucker!! 👏🏼

[Sep 21, 2020] Tucker: Democrats do nothing to discourage rage mobs

Notable quotes:
"... We are witnessing a political game of chess where the only pieces being moved are the pawns, while the king and queen sit safely on a different board. ..."
Sep 21, 2020 | www.youtube.com


Keegan Fuhs , 3 weeks ago

The 2020 presidential ticket is literally Americans vs domestic terrorists.


MasterOfThe Universe
, 2 weeks ago

Anybody find it ironic that it was a white "guy" yelling uncle tom to the black cop??

Jade Warrior , 2 weeks ago (edited)

"Every kingdom divided against itself comes to ruin, and every city and house divided against itself will not stand"....


Tyrone Shoelaces
, 23 hours ago

We are witnessing a political game of chess where the only pieces being moved are the pawns, while the king and queen sit safely on a different board.

Peter Brown , 2 weeks ago

@ 6:29 ""There needs to be unrest in the streets as there is unrest in our lives"" When the elite oligarchy ignore peaceful protests, you get aggressive uprisings. It's human nature and good ol' fashioned patriotism.

[Sep 21, 2020] Stephen Cohen Has Died. Remember His Urgent Warnings Against The New Cold War by Caitlin Johnstone

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God
"... In a world that is increasingly confusing and awash with propaganda, Cohen's death is a blow to humanity's desperate quest for clarity and understanding. ..."
Sep 19, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

Stephen F Cohen, the renowned American scholar on Russia and leading authority on US-Russian relations, has died of lung cancer at the age of 81.

As one of the precious few western voices of sanity on the subject of Russia while everyone else has been frantically flushing their brains down the toilet, this is a real loss. I myself have cited Cohen's expert analysis many times in my own work, and his perspective has played a formative role in my understanding of what's really going on with the monolithic cross-partisan manufacturing of consent for increased western aggressions against Moscow.

In a world that is increasingly confusing and awash with propaganda, Cohen's death is a blow to humanity's desperate quest for clarity and understanding.

I don't know how long Cohen had cancer. I don't know how long he was aware that he might not have much time left on this earth. What I do know is he spent much of his energy in his final years urgently trying to warn the world about the rapidly escalating danger of nuclear war, which in our strange new reality he saw as in many ways completely unprecedented.

The last of the many books Cohen authored was 2019's War with Russia? , detailing his ideas on how the complex multi-front nature of the post-2016 cold war escalations against Moscow combines with Russiagate and other factors to make it in some ways more dangerous even than the most dangerous point of the previous cold war.

"You know it's easy to joke about this, except that we're at maybe the most dangerous moment in US-Russian relations in my lifetime, and maybe ever," Cohen told The Young Turks in 2017. "And the reason is that we're in a new cold war, by whatever name. We have three cold war fronts that are fraught with the possibility of hot war, in the Baltic region where NATO is carrying out an unprecedented military buildup on Russia's border, in Ukraine where there is a civil and proxy war between Russia and the west, and of course in Syria, where Russian aircraft and American warplanes are flying in the same territory. Anything could happen."

Cohen repeatedly points to the most likely cause of a future nuclear war: not one that is planned but one which erupts in tense, complex situations where "anything could happen" in the chaos and confusion as a result of misfire, miscommunication or technical malfunction, as nearly happened many times during the last cold war.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/kqQbK_6meM8?feature=oembed

"I think this is the most dangerous moment in American-Russian relations, at least since the Cuban missile crisis," Cohen told Democracy Now in 2017. "And arguably, it's more dangerous, because it's more complex. Therefore, we -- and then, meanwhile, we have in Washington these -- and, in my judgment, factless accusations that Trump has somehow been compromised by the Kremlin. So, at this worst moment in American-Russian relations, we have an American president who's being politically crippled by the worst imaginable -- it's unprecedented. Let's stop and think. No American president has ever been accused, essentially, of treason. This is what we're talking about here, or that his associates have committed treason."

"Imagine, for example, John Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis," Cohen added. "Imagine if Kennedy had been accused of being a secret Soviet Kremlin agent. He would have been crippled. And the only way he could have proved he wasn't was to have launched a war against the Soviet Union. And at that time, the option was nuclear war."

"A recurring theme of my recently published book War with Russia? is that the new Cold War is more dangerous, more fraught with hot war, than the one we survived," Cohen wrote last year . "Histories of the 40-year US-Soviet Cold War tell us that both sides came to understand their mutual responsibility for the conflict, a recognition that created political space for the constant peace-keeping negotiations, including nuclear arms control agreements, often known as détente. But as I also chronicle in the book, today's American Cold Warriors blame only Russia, specifically 'Putin's Russia,' leaving no room or incentive for rethinking any US policy toward post-Soviet Russia since 1991."

"Finally, there continues to be no effective, organized American opposition to the new Cold War," Cohen added. "This too is a major theme of my book and another reason why this Cold War is more dangerous than was its predecessor. In the 1970s and 1980s, advocates of détente were well-organized, well-funded, and well-represented, from grassroots politics and universities to think tanks, mainstream media, Congress, the State Department, and even the White House. Today there is no such opposition anywhere."

"A major factor is, of course, 'Russiagate'," Cohen continued. "As evidenced in the sources I cite above, much of the extreme American Cold War advocacy we witness today is a mindless response to President Trump's pledge to find ways to 'cooperate with Russia' and to the still-unproven allegations generated by it. Certainly, the Democratic Party is not an opposition party in regard to the new Cold War."

"Détente with Russia has always been a fiercely opposed, crisis-ridden policy pursuit, but one manifestly in the interests of the United States and the world," Cohen wrote in another essay last year. "No American president can achieve it without substantial bipartisan support at home, which Trump manifestly lacks. What kind of catastrophe will it take -- in Ukraine, the Baltic region, Syria, or somewhere on Russia's electric grid -- to shock US Democrats and others out of what has been called, not unreasonably, their Trump Derangement Syndrome, particularly in the realm of American national security? Meanwhile, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has recently reset its Doomsday Clock to two minutes before midnight."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/owbMRxC382A?feature=oembed

And now Stephen Cohen is dead, and that clock is inching ever closer to midnight. The Russiagate psyop that he predicted would pressure Trump to advance dangerous cold war escalations with no opposition from the supposed opposition party has indeed done exactly that with nary a peep of criticism from either partisan faction of the political/media class. Cohen has for years been correctly predicting this chilling scenario which now threatens the life of every organism on earth, even while his own life was nearing its end.

And now the complex cold war escalations he kept urgently warning us about have become even more complex with the addition of nuclear-armed China to the multiple fronts the US-centralized empire has been plate-spinning its brinkmanship upon, and it is clear from the ramping up of anti-China propaganda since last year that we are being prepped for those aggressions to continue to increase.

We should heed the dire warnings that Cohen spent his last breaths issuing. We should demand a walk-back of these insane imperialist aggressions which benefit nobody and call for détente with Russia and China. We should begin creating an opposition to this world-threatening flirtation with armageddon before it is too late. Every life on this planet may well depend on our doing so.

Stephen Cohen is dead, and we are marching toward the death of everything. God help us all.

medium.com

lay_arrow

novictim , 55 minutes ago

People are just now starting to realize that possible alternate path. But the Demoncrats in the USA must first be put down, politically euthanized, along with their neocon never-Trump Republican partners. And that cleaning up is on the way. Trump's second term will be the advancement of the USA-Russia initiative that is so long overdue.

PerilouseTimes , 48 minutes ago

Putin won't let western billionaires rape Russia's enormous natural resources and on top of that Putin is against child molesters, that is what this Russia bashing is all about.

awesomepic4u , 1 hour ago

Sad to hear this.

What a good man. It is a real shame that we dont have others to stand up to this crazy pr that is going on right now. Making peace with the world at this point is important. We dont need or want another war and i am sure that both Europe and Russia dont want it on their turf but it seems we keep sticking our finger in their eye. If there is another war it will be the last war. As Einstein said, after the 3rd World War we will be using sticks and stones to fight it.

Clint Liquor , 44 minutes ago

Cohen truly was an island of reason in a sea of insanity. Ironic that those panicked over climate change are unconcerned about the increasing threat of Nuclear War.

thunderchief , 41 minutes ago

One of the very few level headed people on Russia.

All thats left are anti Russia-phobic nut jobs.

Send in the clowns.

Stephen Cohen isn't around to call them what they are anymore.

Eastern Whale , 55 minutes ago

cooperate with Russia

Has the US ever cooperated with anyone?

fucking truth , 3 minutes ago

That is the crux. All or nothing.

Mustafa Kemal , 49 minutes ago

Ive read several of his books. They are essential, imo, if you want to understand modern russian history.

Normal , 1 hour ago

The bankers created the new CCP cold war.

evoila , 19 minutes ago

Max Boot is an effing idiot. Tucker wiped him clean too. It was an insult to Stephen to even put them on the same panel.

RIP Stephen.

Gary Sick is the equivalent to Stephen, except for Iran. He too is of an era of competence which is and will be missed as their voices are drowned out by neocon warmongers

thebigunit , 17 minutes ago

I heard Stephen Cohen a number of time in John Bachelor's podcasts.

He seemed very lucid and made a lot of sense.

He made it very clear that he thought the Democrat's "Trump - Russia collusion schtick" was a bunch of crap.

He didn't sound like a leftie, but I'm sure he never told me the stuff he discussed with his wife who was editor of the left wing "The Nation" magazine.

Boogity , 9 minutes ago

Cohen was a traditional old school anti-war Liberal. They're essentially extinct now with the exception of a few such as Tulsi Gabbard and Dennis Kucinich who have both been ostracized from the Democrat Party and the political system.

[Sep 20, 2020] CJ Hopkins Exposes The Final Act In 'The War On Populism'

Highly recommended!
These sociopaths are messed up world again.
Sep 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored (mostly satirically) by CJ Hopkins via The Consent Factory,

So, it appears the War on Populism is building toward an exciting climax. All the proper pieces are in place for a Class-A GloboCap color revolution , and maybe even civil war. You got your unauthorized Putin-Nazi president, your imaginary apocalyptic pandemic, your violent identitarian civil unrest, your heavily-armed politically-polarized populace, your ominous rumblings from military quarters you couldn't really ask for much more.

OK, the plot is pretty obvious by now (as it is in all big-budget action spectacles, which is essentially what color revolutions are), but that won't spoil our viewing experience. The fun isn't in guessing what is going to happen. Everybody knows what's going to happen. The fun is in watching Bruce, or Sigourney, or "the moderate rebels," or the GloboCap "Resistance," take down the monster, or the terrorists, or Hitler, and save the world, or democracy, or whatever.

[Sep 20, 2020] Darren Beattie Tucker Carlson Discuss Color Revolutions The Plot To Oust President Trump

Trump represent new "national neoliberalism" platform and the large part of the US neoliberal elite (Clinton gang and large part of republicans) support the return to "classic neoliberalism" at all costs.
Highly recommended!
The essence of color revolution is the combination of engineered contested election and mass organized protest and civil disobedience via creation in neoliberal fifth column out of "professionals", especially students as well as mobilizing and put on payroll some useful disgruntled groups which can be used as a foot soldiers, such as football hooligans. Large and systematic injection of dollars into protest movement. All with the air cover via domination in a part or all nation's MSM.
Norm Eisen - Wikipedia quote "From 1985 to 1988, between college and law school, Eisen worked as the Assistant Director of the Los Angeles office of the Anti-Defamation League . He investigated antisemitism and other civil rights violations, promoted Holocaust education and advanced U.S.–Israel relations ."
He served as US ambassador in Chich Republic from 2011 to 2014. Based on his experience wrote that book Democracy's Defenders published by The Brookings Institution, a neoliberal think tank, about the role of US embassy in neoliberal revolution in Czechoslovakia (aka Velvet Revolution of 1989) which led to the dissolution of the country into two. BTW demonstrations against police brutality were an essential part of the Velvet Revolution
Notable quotes:
"... Same tactics - color revolutions they (Soros, Nuland/Kagan, Eisen, McCain when alive) used to overthrow Orthodox countries in Eastern Europe. Belarus the latest. Ukraine (Orange, Maidan) 2014. Georgia (Rose rev). Serbia, Montenegro. Use young people who have bad sense of history and are more sympathetic to the "West." ..."
Sep 16, 2020 | www.youtube.com

P McGill , 3 days ago

This is, without ANY question, one of Tucker's most important segments that he has ever done. IT IS EXTREMELY-RARE THAT """they""" ARE EXPOSED, BY-NAME, SO OPENLY AND DIRECTLY, BUT, IT HAPPENED, TONIGHT.

CJ Daly , 4 days ago

Please bring back Dr. Darren Beattie back. More info. on the color revolutions, Mr. Eisen, crew, and their relationship to mail in voting fraud and their impact on the 2020 election is needed. If Mr. Eisens methods are to be used in the 2020 election mass awareness is needed.

john doe , 2 days ago

This is not about Trump. The endgame of the deep state is to enslave people through social division. The election is a wrestling match for entertainment.

Chuck Emmorll , 2 days ago

Norm Eisen's loyalty? Israel?

viewoftheaskew , 3 days ago (edited)

Norm Eisen..., "Obama's Ethics Czar" wow that's a triple oxymoron lol.

Hapa Nice Day , 3 days ago (edited)

Purple is the color of this revolution. Remember the outfits Bill and Hillary wore when Hillary conceded to Trump.

Dave being , 2 days ago

Sounds like what's happening in Venezuela.

John Singer , 1 day ago

The deep state are plotting against the American people 24/7. Russia hoax was a coup, they will try it again.

sandra macey , 3 days ago

Sheesh, he looks scared. I hope he's being well protected now. Darren is a very brave man who is trying to tell the citizens of the US that there is malice aforethought towards the President and this election. It is now not a choice between Republicans or Democrats, it is a fight between good and evil. I'm sure Trump and his team are aware of the playbook and will do everything they can to sort this, with God's help. It may get hairy, but trust the plan.

Jordan Spackman , 2 hours ago

I have a feeling dems will "rig for red" to frame republicans for voter fraud, overlooking the overwhelming amount of voter fraud in favor of Biden Harris. Causing outrage and calls to remove the President from office and saying Biden actually won. When he really did not. Be prepared. Stay strong.

Peter Jones , 3 days ago

Same tactics - color revolutions they (Soros, Nuland/Kagan, Eisen, McCain when alive) used to overthrow Orthodox countries in Eastern Europe. Belarus the latest. Ukraine (Orange, Maidan) 2014. Georgia (Rose rev). Serbia, Montenegro. Use young people who have bad sense of history and are more sympathetic to the "West."

Nick Name , 2 days ago

american people still don't know and can't understand what's happening and what their government is doing, even right now it's happening in Belarus, it happened in Ukraine, Venezuela, Hong Kong and etc. and now it's happening in your own country, wake up people and don't forget who's behind all this - a NGO founded by CIA called NED (National endowment for democracy), Soros and his NGOs and the deep state.

[Sep 20, 2020] Norm Eisen And The Colour Revolution Playbook!

Highly recommended!
The narrative is based on Wikipedia article
Notable quotes:
"... Russian military leaders view the "colour revolutions" as a "new US and European approach to warfare that focuses on creating destabilizing revolutions in other states as a means of serving their security interests at low cost and with minimal casualties. ..."
"... the activities of radical public associations and groups using nationalist and religious extremist ideology, foreign and international nongovernmental organizations, and financial and economic structures, and also individuals, focused on destroying the unity and territorial integrity of the Russian Federation, destabilizing the domestic political and social situation -- including through inciting "color revolutions" -- and destroying traditional Russian religious and moral values ..."
Sep 16, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Wikipedia:

Worldwide media use the term Colour Revolution (sometimes Coloured Revolution ) to describe various related movements that developed in several countries of the former Soviet Union , in the People's Republic of China and in the Balkans during the early-21st century. The term has also been applied to a number of revolutions elsewhere, including in the Middle East and in the Asia-Pacific region, dating from the 1980s to the 2010s. Some observers (such as Justin Raimondo and Michael Lind ) have called the events a revolutionary wave , the origins of which can be traced back to the 1986 People Power Revolution (also known as the "Yellow Revolution") in the Philippines .

Participants in colour revolutions have mostly used nonviolent resistance , also called civil resistance . Such methods as demonstrations, strikes and interventions have aimed to protest against governments seen as corrupt and/or authoritarian and to advocate democracy , and they have built up strong pressure for change. Colour-revolution movements generally became associated with a specific colour or flower as their symbol. The colour revolutions are notable for the important role of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and particularly student activists in organising creative non-violent resistance .

Such movements have had a measure of success as for example in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 's Bulldozer Revolution (2000), in Georgia 's Rose Revolution (2003) and in Ukraine 's Orange Revolution (2004). In most but not all cases, massive street-protests followed disputed elections or requests for fair elections and led to the resignation or overthrow of leaders regarded by their opponents as authoritarian . Some events have been called "colour revolutions", but differ from the above cases in certain basic characteristics. Examples include Lebanon's Cedar Revolution (2005) and Kuwait 's Blue Revolution (2005).

Russia and China share nearly identical views that colour revolutions are the product of machinations by the United States and other Western powers and pose a vital threat to their public and national security.

Revolution Location Date started Date ended Description
Yellow Revolution Philippines 22 February 1986 25 February 1986 The 1986 People Power Revolution (also called the " EDSA " or the "Yellow" Revolution) in the Philippines was the first successful non-violent uprising in the contemporary period. It was the culmination of peaceful demonstrations against the rule of then-President Ferdinand Marcos – all of which increased after the 1983 assassination of opposition Senator Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. A contested snap election on 7 February 1986 and a call by the powerful Filipino Catholic Church sparked mass protests across Metro Manila from 22–25 February. The Revolution's iconic L-shaped Laban sign comes from the Filipino term for People Power, " Lakás ng Bayan ", whose acronym is " LABAN " ("fight"). The yellow-clad protesters, later joined by the Armed Forces , ousted Marcos and installed Aquino's widow Corazón as the country's eleventh President, ushering in the present Fifth Republic .
Coconut Revolution Papua New Guinea 1 December 1988 20 April 1998 Long-standing secessionist sentiment in Bougainville eventually led to conflict with Papua New Guinea. The inhabitants of Bougainville Island formed the Bougainville Revolutionary Army and fought against government troops. On 20 April 1998, Papua New Guinea ended the civil war. In 2005, Papua New Guinea gave autonomy to Bougainville.
Velvet Revolution (Czechoslovakia) Czechoslovakia 17 November 1989 29 December 1989 in 1989, a peaceful demonstration by students (mostly from Charles University ) was attacked by the police – and in time contributed to the collapse of the communist government in Czechoslovakia.
Bulldozer Revolution Yugoslavia 5 October 2000 The 'Bulldozer Revolution' in 2000, which led to the overthrow of Slobodan Milošević . These demonstrations are usually considered to be the first example of the peaceful revolutions which followed. However, the Serbians adopted an approach that had already been used in parliamentary elections in Bulgaria (1997) , Slovakia (1998) and Croatia (2000) , characterised by civic mobilisation through get-out-the-vote campaigns and unification of the political opposition. The nationwide protesters did not adopt a colour or a specific symbol; however, the slogan " Gotov je " (Serbian Cyrillic: Готов је , English: He is finished ) did become an aftermath symbol celebrating the completion of the task. Despite the commonalities, many others refer to Georgia as the most definite beginning of the series of "colour revolutions". The demonstrations were supported by the youth movement Otpor! , some of whose members were involved in the later revolutions in other countries.
Rose Revolution Georgia 3 November 2003 23 November 2003 The Rose Revolution in Georgia, following the disputed 2003 election , led to the overthrow of Eduard Shevardnadze and replacing him with Mikhail Saakashvili after new elections were held in March 2004. The Rose Revolution was supported by the Kmara civic resistance movement.
Second Rose Revolution Adjara (Georgia) 20 February 2004 May-July 2004 Following the Rose Revolution in Georgia, the Adjara crisis (sometimes called "Second Rose Revolution" or Mini-Rose Revolution ) led to the exit of Chairman of the Government Aslan Abashidze from office.
Orange Revolution Ukraine 22 November 2004 23 January 2005 The Orange Revolution in Ukraine followed the disputed second round of the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election , leading to the annulment of the result and the repeat of the round – Leader of the Opposition Viktor Yushchenko was declared President, defeating Viktor Yanukovych . The Orange Revolution was supported by PORA .
Purple Revolution Iraq January 2005 Purple Revolution was a name first used by some hopeful commentators and later picked up by United States President George W. Bush to describe the coming of democracy to Iraq following the 2005 Iraqi legislative election and was intentionally used to draw the parallel with the Orange and Rose revolutions. However, the name "purple revolution" has not achieved widespread use in Iraq, the United States or elsewhere. The name comes from the colour that voters' index fingers were stained to prevent fraudulent multiple voting. The term first appeared shortly after the January 2005 election in various weblogs and editorials of individuals supportive of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The term received its widest usage during a visit by U.S. President George W. Bush on 24 February 2005 to Bratislava , Slovak Republic, for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin . Bush stated: "In recent times, we have witnessed landmark events in the history of liberty: A Rose Revolution in Georgia, an Orange Revolution in Ukraine, and now, a Purple Revolution in Iraq."
Tulip Revolution Kyrgyzstan 27 February 2005 11 April 2005 The Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan (also sometimes called the "Pink Revolution") was more violent than its predecessors and followed the disputed 2005 Kyrgyz parliamentary election . At the same time, it was more fragmented than previous "colour" revolutions. The protesters in different areas adopted the colours pink and yellow for their protests. This revolution was supported by youth resistance movement KelKel .
Cedar Revolution Lebanon 14 February 2005 27 April 2005 The Cedar Revolution in Lebanon between February and April 2005 followed not a disputed election, but rather the assassination of opposition leader Rafik Hariri in 2005. Also, instead of the annulment of an election, the people demanded an end to the Syrian occupation of Lebanon . Nonetheless, some of its elements and some of the methods used in the protests have been similar enough that it is often considered and treated by the press and commentators as one of the series of "colour revolutions". The Cedar of Lebanon is the symbol of the country, and the revolution was named after it. The peaceful demonstrators used the colours white and red, which are found in the Lebanese flag. The protests led to the pullout of Syrian troops in April 2005, ending their nearly 30-year presence there, although Syria retains some influence in Lebanon.
Blue Revolution Kuwait March 2005 Blue Revolution was a term used by some Kuwaitis to refer to demonstrations in Kuwait in support of women's suffrage beginning in March 2005; it was named after the colour of the signs the protesters used. In May of that year the Kuwaiti government acceded to their demands, granting women the right to vote beginning in the 2007 parliamentary elections. Since there was no call for regime change, the so-called "blue revolution" cannot be categorised as a true colour revolution.
Jeans Revolution Belarus 19 March 2006 25 March 2006 In Belarus, there have been a number of protests against President Alexander Lukashenko , with participation from student group Zubr . One round of protests culminated on 25 March 2005; it was a self-declared attempt to emulate the Kyrgyzstan revolution, and involved over a thousand citizens. However, police severely suppressed it, arresting over 30 people and imprisoning opposition leader Mikhail Marinich .

A second, much larger, round of protests began almost a year later, on 19 March 2006, soon after the presidential election . Official results had Lukashenko winning with 83% of the vote; protesters claimed the results were achieved through fraud and voter intimidation, a charge echoed by many foreign governments. Protesters camped out in October Square in Minsk over the next week, calling variously for the resignation of Lukashenko, the installation of rival candidate Alaksandar Milinkievič , and new, fair elections.

The opposition originally used as a symbol the white-red-white former flag of Belarus ; the movement has had significant connections with that in neighbouring Ukraine, and during the Orange Revolution some white-red-white flags were seen being waved in Kiev. During the 2006 protests some called it the " Jeans Revolution " or "Denim Revolution", blue jeans being considered a symbol for freedom. Some protesters cut up jeans into ribbons and hung them in public places. It is claimed that Zubr was responsible for coining the phrase.

Lukashenko has said in the past: "In our country, there will be no pink or orange, or even banana revolution." More recently he's said "They [the West] think that Belarus is ready for some 'orange' or, what is a rather frightening option, 'blue' or ' cornflower blue ' revolution. Such 'blue' revolutions are the last thing we need". On 19 April 2005, he further commented: "All these coloured revolutions are pure and simple banditry."

Saffron Revolution Myanmar 15 August 2007 26 September 2007 In Myanmar (unofficially called Burma), a series of anti-government protests were referred to in the press as the Saffron Revolution after Buddhist monks ( Theravada Buddhist monks normally wear the colour saffron) took the vanguard of the protests. A previous, student-led revolution, the 8888 Uprising on 8 August 1988, had similarities to the colour revolutions, but was violently repressed.
Grape Revolution Moldova 6 April 2009 12 April 2009 The opposition is reported to have hoped for and urged some kind of Orange revolution, similar to that in Ukraine, in the follow-up of the 2005 Moldovan parliamentary elections , while the Christian Democratic People's Party adopted orange for its colour in a clear reference to the events of Ukraine.

A name hypothesised for such an event was "Grape Revolution" because of the abundance of vineyards in the country; however, such a revolution failed to materialise after the governmental victory in the elections. Many reasons have been given for this, including a fractured opposition and the fact that the government had already co-opted many of the political positions that might have united the opposition (such as a perceived pro-European and anti-Russian stance). Also the elections themselves were declared fairer in the OSCE election monitoring reports than had been the case in other countries where similar revolutions occurred, even though the CIS monitoring mission strongly condemned them.

There was civil unrest all over Moldova following the 2009 Parliamentary election due to the opposition claiming that the communists had fixed the election. Eventually, the Alliance for European Integration created a governing coalition that pushed the Communist party into opposition.

Green Movement Iran 13 June 2009 11 February 2010 Green Movement is a term widely used to describe the 2009–2010 Iranian election protests . The protests began in 2009, several years after the main wave of colour revolutions, although like them it began due to a disputed election, the 2009 Iranian presidential election . Protesters adopted the colour green as their symbol because it had been the campaign colour of presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi , whom many protesters thought had won the elections . However Mousavi and his wife went under house arrest without any trial issued by a court.
Melon Revolution Kyrgyzstan 6 April 2010 14 December 2010 The Kyrgyz Revolution of 2010 in Kyrgyzstan (also sometimes called the "Melon Revolution") led to the exit of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev from office. The total number of deaths should be 2,000.
Jasmine Revolution Tunisia 18 December 2010 14 January 2011 Jasmine Revolution was a widely used term for the Tunisian Revolution . The Jasmine Revolution led to the exit of President Ben Ali from office and the beginning of the Arab Spring .
Lotus Revolution Egypt 25 January 2011 11 February 2011 Lotus Revolution was a term used by various western news sources to describe the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 that forced President Mubarak to step down in 2011 as part of the Arab Spring , which followed the Jasmine Revolution of Tunisia. Lotus is known as the flower representing resurrection, life and the sun of ancient Egypt. It is uncertain who gave the name, while columnist of Arabic press, Asharq Alawsat, and prominent Egyptian opposition leader Saad Eddin Ibrahim claimed to name it the Lotus Revolution. Lotus Revolution later became common on western news source such as CNN. Other names, such as White Revolution and Nile Revolution, are used but are minor terms compare to Lotus Revolution. The term Lotus Revolution is rarely, if ever, used in the Arab world.
Pearl Revolution Bahrain 14 February 2011 22 November 2014 In February 2011, Bahrain was also affected by protests in Tunisia and Egypt. Bahrain has long been famous for its pearls and Bahrain's speciality. And there was the Pearl Square in Manama, where the demonstrations began. The people of Bahrain were also protesting around the square. At first, the government of Bahrain promised to reform the people. But when their promises were not followed, the people resisted again. And in the process, bloodshed took place (18 March 2011). After that, a small demonstration is taking place in Bahrain.
Coffee Revolution Yemen 27 January 2011 23 November 2011 An anti-government protest started in Yemen in 2011. The Yemeni people sought to resign Ali Abdullah Saleh as the ruler. On 24 November, Ali Abdullah Saleh decided to transfer the regime. In 2012, Ali Abdullah Saleh finally fled to the United States(27 February).
Jasmine Revolution China 20 February 2011 20 March 2011 A call which first appeared on 17 February 2011 on the Chinese language site Boxun.com in the United States for a "Jasmine revolution" in the People's Republic of China and repeated on social networking sites in China resulted in blocking of internet searches for "jasmine" and a heavy police presence at designated sites for protest such as the McDonald's in central Beijing, one of the 13 designated protest sites, on 20 February 2011. A crowd did gather there, but their motivations were ambiguous as a crowd tends to draw a crowd in that area. Boxun experienced a denial of service attack during this period and was inaccessible.
Snow Revolution Russia 4 December 2011 18 July 2013 Protests started on 4 December 2011 in the capital, Moscow against the results of the parliamentary elections, which led to the arrests of over 500 people. On 10 December, protests erupted in tens of cities across the country; a few months later, they spread to hundreds both inside the country and abroad. The name of the Snow Revolution derives from December - the month when the revolution had started - and from the white ribbons the protesters wore.
Colourful Revolution Macedonia 12 April 2016 20 July 2016 Many analysts and participants of the protests against President of Macedonia Gjorge Ivanov and the Macedonian government refer to them as a "colourful Revolution", due to the demonstrators throwing paint balls of different colours at government buildings in Skopje , the capital.
Velvet Revolution (Armenia) Armenia 31 March 2018 8 May 2018 In 2018, a peaceful revolution was led by member of parliament Nikol Pashinyan in opposition to the nomination of Serzh Sargsyan as Prime Minister of Armenia , who had previously served as both President of Armenia and prime minister, eliminating term limits which would have otherwise prevented his 2018 nomination. Concerned that Sargsyan's third consecutive term as the most powerful politician in the government of Armenia gave him too much political influence, protests occurred throughout the country, particularly in Yerevan , but demonstrations in solidarity with the protesters also occurred in other countries where Armenian diaspora live.

During the protests, Pashinyan was arrested and detained on 22 April, but he was released the following day. Sargsyan stepped down from the position of Prime Minister, and his Republican Party decided to not put forward a candidate. An interim Prime Minister was selected from Sargsyan's party until elections were held, and protests continued for over one month. Crowd sizes in Yerevan consisted of 115,000 to 250,000 people at a time throughout the revolution, and hundreds of protesters were arrested. Pashinyan referred to the event as a Velvet Revolution. A vote was held in parliament, and Pashinyan became the Prime Minister of Armenia.

Many have cited the influence of the series of revolutions which occurred in Central and Eastern Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s, particularly the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia in 1989. A peaceful demonstration by students (mostly from Charles University ) was attacked by the police – and in time contributed to the collapse of the communist government in Czechoslovakia. Yet the roots of the pacifist floral imagery may go even further back to the non-violent Carnation Revolution of Portugal in April 1974, which is associated with the colour carnation because carnations were worn, and the 1986 Yellow Revolution in the Philippines where demonstrators offered peace flowers to military personnel manning armoured tanks.

Student movements

The first of these was Otpor! ("Resistance!") in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which was founded at Belgrade University in October 1998 and began protesting against Miloševic' during the Kosovo War . Most of them were already veterans of anti-Milošević demonstrations such as the 1996–97 protests and the 9 March 1991 protest . Many of its members were arrested or beaten by the police. Despite this, during the presidential campaign in September 2000, Otpor launched its " Gotov je " (He's finished) campaign that galvanised Serbian discontent with Miloševic' and resulted in his defeat.

Members of Otpor have inspired and trained members of related student movements including Kmara in Georgia, Pora in Ukraine, Zubr in Belarus and MJAFT! in Albania. These groups have been explicit and scrupulous in their practice of non-violent resistance as advocated and explained in Gene Sharp 's writings. The massive protests that they have organised, which were essential to the successes in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Georgia and Ukraine, have been notable for their colourfulness and use of ridiculing humor in opposing authoritarian leaders.

Critical analysis

The analysis of international geopolitics scholars Paul J. Bolt and Sharyl N. Cross is that "Moscow and Beijing share almost indistinguishable views on the potential domestic and international security threats posed by colored revolutions, and both nations view these revolutionary movements as being orchestrated by the United States and its Western democratic partners to advance geopolitical ambitions."

Russian assessment

According to Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies , Russian military leaders view the "colour revolutions" as a "new US and European approach to warfare that focuses on creating destabilizing revolutions in other states as a means of serving their security interests at low cost and with minimal casualties."

Government figures in Russia , such as Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (in office from 2012) and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (in office from 2004), have characterised colour revolutions as externally-fuelled acts with a clear goal to influence the internal affairs that destabilise the economy, conflict with the law and represent a new form of warfare. Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that Russia must prevent colour revolutions: "We see what tragic consequences the wave of so-called colour revolutions led to. For us this is a lesson and a warning. We should do everything necessary so that nothing similar ever happens in Russia".

The 2015 presidential decree The Russian Federation's National Security Strategy ( О Стратегии Национальной Безопасности Российской Федерации ) cites "foreign sponsored regime change" among "main threats to public and national security," including

the activities of radical public associations and groups using nationalist and religious extremist ideology, foreign and international nongovernmental organizations, and financial and economic structures, and also individuals, focused on destroying the unity and territorial integrity of the Russian Federation, destabilizing the domestic political and social situation -- including through inciting "color revolutions" -- and destroying traditional Russian religious and moral values

Chinese view

Articles published by the Global Times , a state-run nationalist tabloid, indicate that Chinese leaders also anticipate the Western powers, such as the United States, using "color revolutions" as a means to undermine the one-party state. An article published on 8 May 2016 claims: "A variation of containment seeks to press China on human rights and democracy with the hope of creating a 'color revolution.'" A 13 August 2019 article declared that the 2019 Hong Kong extradition bill protests were a colour revolution that "aim[ed] to ruin HK 's future."

The 2015 policy white paper "China's Military Strategy" by the State Council Information Office said that "anti-China forces have never given up their attempt to instigate a 'color revolution' in this country."

Azerbaijan

A number of movements were created in Azerbaijan in mid-2005, inspired by the examples of both Georgia and Ukraine. A youth group, calling itself Yox! (which means No!), declared its opposition to governmental corruption. The leader of Yox! said that unlike Pora or Kmara , he wants to change not just the leadership, but the entire system of governance in Azerbaijan. The Yox movement chose green as its colour.

The spearhead of Azerbaijan's attempted colour revolution was Yeni Fikir ("New Idea"), a youth group closely aligned with the Azadlig (Freedom) Bloc of opposition political parties. Along with groups such as Magam ("It's Time") and Dalga ("Wave"), Yeni Fikir deliberately adopted many of the tactics of the Georgian and Ukrainian colour revolution groups, even borrowing the colour orange from the Ukrainian revolution.

In November 2005 protesters took to the streets, waving orange flags and banners, to protest what they considered government fraud in recent parliamentary elections. The Azerbaijani colour revolution finally fizzled out with the police riot on 26 November, during which dozens of protesters were injured and perhaps hundreds teargassed and sprayed with water cannons.

Bangladesh Main article: 2013 Shahbag protests

On 5 February 2013, protests began in Shahbag and later spread to other parts of Bangladesh following demands for capital punishment for Abdul Quader Mollah , who had been sentenced to life imprisonment, and for others convicted of war crimes by the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh . On that day, the International Crimes Tribunal had sentenced Mollah to life in prison after he was convicted on five of six counts of war crimes . Later demands included banning the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party from politics including election and a boycott of institutions supporting (or affiliated with) the party.

Protesters considered Mollah's sentence too lenient, given his crimes. Bloggers and online activists called for additional protests at Shahbag. Tens of thousands of people joined the demonstration, which gave rise to protests across the country.

The movement demanding trial of war criminals is a protest movement in Bangladesh, from 1972 to present.

Belarus

In Belarus , there have been a number of protests against President Alexander Lukashenko , with participation from student group Zubr . One round of protests culminated on 25 March 2005; it was a self-declared attempt to emulate the Kyrgyzstan revolution, and involved over a thousand citizens. However, police severely suppressed it, arresting over 30 people and imprisoning opposition leader Mikhail Marinich .

A second, much larger, round of protests began almost a year later, on 19 March 2006, soon after the presidential election . Official results had Lukashenko winning with 83% of the vote; protesters claimed the results were achieved through fraud and voter intimidation, a charge echoed by many foreign governments. Protesters camped out in October Square in Minsk over the next week, calling variously for the resignation of Lukashenko, the installation of rival candidate Alaksandar Milinkievič , and new, fair elections.

The opposition originally used as a symbol the white-red-white former flag of Belarus ; the movement has had significant connections with that in neighbouring Ukraine, and during the Orange Revolution some white-red-white flags were seen being waved in Kiev. During the 2006 protests some called it the " Jeans Revolution " or "Denim Revolution", blue jeans being considered a symbol for freedom. Some protesters cut up jeans into ribbons and hung them in public places. It is claimed that Zubr was responsible for coining the phrase.

Lukashenko has said in the past: "In our country, there will be no pink or orange, or even banana revolution." More recently he's said "They [the West] think that Belarus is ready for some 'orange' or, what is a rather frightening option, 'blue' or ' cornflower blue ' revolution. Such 'blue' revolutions are the last thing we need". On 19 April 2005, he further commented: "All these colored revolutions are pure and simple banditry."

Burma Main article: Saffron Revolution

In Burma (officially called Myanmar), a series of anti-government protests were referred to in the press as the Saffron Revolution after Buddhist monks ( Theravada Buddhist monks normally wear the colour saffron) took the vanguard of the protests. A previous, student-led revolution, the 8888 Uprising on 8 August 1988, had similarities to the colour revolutions, but was violently repressed.

China Main articles: Chinese democracy movement and 2011 Chinese pro-democracy protests

A call which first appeared on 17 February 2011 on the Chinese language site Boxun.com in the United States for a "Jasmine revolution" in the People's Republic of China and repeated on social networking sites in China resulted in blocking of internet searches for "jasmine" and a heavy police presence at designated sites for protest such as the McDonald's in central Beijing, one of the 13 designated protest sites, on 20 February 2011. A crowd did gather there, but their motivations were ambiguous as a crowd tends to draw a crowd in that area. Boxun experienced a denial of service attack during this period and was inaccessible.

Fiji Main articles: 2009 Fijian constitutional crisis and Fijian general election, 2014

In the 2000s, Fiji suffered numerous coups. But at the same time, many Fiji citizens resisted the military. In Fiji, there have been many human rights abuses by the military. Anti-government protesters in Fiji have fled to Australia and New Zealand. In 2011, Fijians conducted anti Fijian government protests in Australia. On 17 September 2014, the first democratic general election was held in Fiji.

Guatemala Main article: 2015 Guatemalan protests

In 2015, Otto Pérez Molina , President of Guatemala, was suspected of corruption. In Guatemala City, a large number of protests rallied. Demonstrations took place from April to September 2015. Otto Pérez Molina was eventually arrested on 3 September. The people of Guatemala called this event "Guatemalan Spring".

Moldova

The opposition is reported to have hoped for and urged some kind of Orange revolution, similar to that in Ukraine, in the follow-up of the 2005 Moldovan parliamentary elections , while the Christian Democratic People's Party adopted orange for its colour in a clear reference to the events of Ukraine.

A name hypothesised for such an event was "Grape Revolution" because of the abundance of vineyards in the country; however, such a revolution failed to materialise after the governmental victory in the elections. Many reasons have been given for this, including a fractured opposition and the fact that the government had already co-opted many of the political positions that might have united the opposition (such as a perceived pro-European and anti-Russian stance). Also the elections themselves were declared fairer in the OSCE election monitoring reports than had been the case in other countries where similar revolutions occurred, even though the CIS monitoring mission strongly condemned them.

There was civil unrest all over Moldova following the 2009 Parliamentary election due to the opposition claiming that the communists had fixed the election. Eventually, the Alliance for European Integration created a governing coalition that pushed the Communist party into opposition.

Mongolia

On 25 March 2005, activists wearing yellow scarves held protests in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar , disputing the results of the 2004 Mongolian parliamentary elections and calling for fresh elections. One of the chants heard in that protest was "Let's congratulate our Kyrgyz brothers for their revolutionary spirit. Let's free Mongolia of corruption."

An uprising commenced in Ulaanbaatar on 1 July 2008, with a peaceful meeting in protest of the election of 29 June. The results of these elections were (it was claimed by opposition political parties) corrupted by the Mongolian People's Party (MPRP). Approximately 30,000 people took part in the meeting. Afterwards, some of the protesters left the central square and moved to the HQ of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party – which they attacked and then burned down. A police station was also attacked. By the night rioters vandalised and then set fire to the Cultural Palace (which contained a theatre, museum and National art gallery). Cars torching, bank robberies and looting were reported. The organisations in the burning buildings were vandalised and looted. Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon against stone-throwing protesters. A 4-day state of emergency was installed, the capital has been placed under a 2200 to 0800 curfew, and alcohol sales banned, rioting not resumed. 5 people were shot dead by the police , dozens of teenagers were wounded from the police firearms and disabled and 800 people, including the leaders of the civil movements J. Batzandan, O. Magnai and B. Jargalsakhan, were arrested. International observers said 1 July general election was free and fair.

Pakistan Main articles: Lawyers' Movement and Movement to impeach Pervez Musharraf

In 2007, the Lawyers' Movement started in Pakistan with the aim of restoration of deposed judges. However, within a month the movement took a turn and started working towards the goal of removing Pervez Musharraf from power.

Russia Main articles: Russian opposition , Dissenters' March , Strategy-31 , and 2011–13 Russian protests

The liberal opposition in Russia is represented by several parties and movements.

An active part of the opposition is the Oborona youth movement. Oborona claims that its aim is to provide free and honest elections and to establish in Russia a system with democratic political competition. This movement under the leadership of Oleg Kozlovsky was one of the most active and radical ones and is represented in a number of Russian cities. During the elections of 8 September 2013, the movement contributed to the success of Navalny in Moscow and other opposition candidates in various regions and towns throughout Russia. The "oboronkis" also took part with other oppositional groups in protests against fraud in the Moscow mayoral elections.

Since the 2012 protests, Aleksei Navalny mobilised with support of the various and fractured opposition parties and masses of young people against the alleged repression and fraud of the Kremlin apparatus. After a strong campaign for the 8 September elections in Moscow and the regions, the opposition won remarkable successes. Navalny reached a second place in Moscow with surprising 27% behind Kremlin-backed Sergei Sobyanin finishing with 51% of the votes. In other regions, opposition candidates received remarkable successes. In the big industrial town of Yekaterinburg, opposition candidate Yevgeny Roizman received the majority of votes and became the mayor of that town. The slow but gradual sequence of opposition successes reached by mass protests, election campaigns and other peaceful strategies has been recently called by observers and analysts as of Radio Free Europe "Tortoise Revolution" in contrast to the radical "rose" or "orange" ones the Kremlin tried to prevent.

The opposition in the Republic of Bashkortostan has held protests demanding that the federal authorities intervene to dismiss Murtaza Rakhimov from his position as president of the republic, accusing him of leading an "arbitrary, corrupt, and violent" regime. Airat Dilmukhametov , one of the opposition leaders, and leader of the Bashkir National Front , has said that the opposition movement has been inspired from the mass protests of Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. Another opposition leader, Marat Khaiyirulin , has said that if an Orange Revolution were to happen in Russia, it would begin in Bashkortostan.

South Korea Main article: Candlelight Revolution

From 2016 to 2017, the candlelight protest was going on in South Korea with the aim to force the ousting of President Park Geun-hye . Park was impeached and removed from office, and new presidential elections were held.

Uzbekistan Main article: 2005 Andijan unrest

In Uzbekistan , there has been longstanding opposition to President Islam Karimov , from liberals and Islamists. Following protests in 2005, security forces in Uzbekistan carried out the Andijan massacre that successfully halted country-wide demonstrations. These protests otherwise could have turned into colour revolution, according to many analysts.

The revolution in neighbouring Kyrgyzstan began in the largely ethnic Uzbek south, and received early support in the city of Osh . Nigora Hidoyatova , leader of the Free Peasants opposition party, has referred to the idea of a peasant revolt or 'Cotton Revolution'. She also said that her party is collaborating with the youth organisation Shiddat , and that she hopes it can evolve to an organisation similar to Kmara or Pora. Other nascent youth organisations in and for Uzbekistan include Bolga and the freeuzbek group.

Uzbekistan has also had an active Islamist movement, led by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan , most notable for the 1999 Tashkent bombings , though the group was largely destroyed following the 2001 NATO invasion of Afghanistan .

Response in other countries

When groups of young people protested the closure of Venezuela's RCTV television station in June 2007, president Hugo Chávez said that he believed the protests were organised by the West in an attempt to promote a "soft coup" like the revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia. Similarly, Chinese authorities claimed repeatedly in the state-run media that both the 2014 Hong Kong protests – known as the Umbrella Revolution – as well as the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests , were organised and controlled by the United States.

In July 2007, Iranian state television released footage of two Iranian-American prisoners, both of whom work for western NGOs, as part of a documentary called "In the Name of Democracy." The documentary purportedly discusses the colour revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia and accuses the United States of attempting to foment a similar ouster in Iran.

Other examples and political movements around the world

The imagery of a colour revolution has been adopted by various non-revolutionary electoral campaigns. The 'Purple Revolution' social media campaign of Naheed Nenshi catapulted his platform from 8% to become Calgary's 36th Mayor. The platform advocated city sustainability and to inspire the high voter turn out of 56%, particularly among young voters.

In 2015, the NDP of Alberta earned a majority mandate and ended the 44-year-old dynasty of the Progressive Conservatives . During the campaign Rachel Notley 's popularity gained momentum, and the news and NDP supporters referred to this phenomenon as the "Orange Crush" per the party's colour. NDP parodies of Orange flavoured Crush soda logo became a popular meme on social media.

[Sep 20, 2020] THE TAKE-DOWN OF TRUMP ALA THE "COLOR REVOLUTION"- NORM EISEN'S REVOLUTIONARY PLAYBOOK A Deeply Embedded (Demster) Lawfare Operative; Regime Change Professionals More. What's Going On- Conservative Firing Line

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... yes, Norm Eisen was Obama's ethics Czar ..."
"... From Dictatorship to Democracy ..."
"... Washington Free Beacon ..."
"... One NGO called the Transatlantic Democracy Working Group (TDWG) was bold or reckless enough to draw the parallels between the Color Revolution in Belarus and the events playing out against Trump explicitly ..."
"... Now, would the reader care to take a guess as to who runs the Transatlantic Democracy Working Group? If you guessed Norm Eisen, you would be correct. ..."
Sep 20, 2020 | conservativefiringline.com

Revolver Exclusive -- Meet Norm Eisen: Legal Hatchet Man and Central Operative in the "Color Revolution" Against President Trump

In our report on Never Trump State Department official George Kent , Revolver News first drew attention to the ominous similarities between the strategies and tactics the United States government employs in so-called "Color Revolutions" and the coordinated efforts of government bureaucrats, NGOs, and the media to oust President Trump.

Trending: Tweet of the Day: Dem. Sen. Blumenthal Threatens -- 'Nothing' Off The Table If GOP Forces Vote on SCOTUS Pick

Our recent follow-up to this initial report focused specifically on a shadowy, George Soros linked group called the Transition Integrity Project (TIP), which convened "war games" exercises suggesting the likelihood of a "contested election scenario," and of ensuing chaos should President Trump refuse to leave office. We further showed how these "contested election" scenarios we are hearing so much about play perfectly into the Color Revolution framework sketched out Revolver News' first installment in the Color Revolution series.

This third installment of Revolver News ' series exposing the Color Revolution against Trump will focus on one quiet and indeed mostly overlooked participant in the Transition Integrity Project's biased election "war games" exercise -- a man by the name of Norm Eisen.

As the man who implemented the David Brock blueprint for suing the President into paralysis and his allies into bankruptcy , who helped mainstream and amplify the Russia Hoax, who drafted 10 articles of impeachment for the Democrats a full month before President Trump ever called the Ukraine President in 2018 , who personally served as special counsel litigating the Ukraine impeachment, who created a template for Internet censorship of world leaders and a handbook for mass mobilizing racial justice protesters to overturn democratic election results, there is perhaps no man alive with a more decorated resume for plots against President Trump.

Indeed, the story of Norm Eisen – a key architect of nearly every attempt to delegitimize, impeach, censor, sue and remove the democratically elected 45th President of the United States – is a tale that winds through nearly every facet of the color revolution playbook. There is no purer embodiment of Revolver's thesis that the very same regime change professionals who run Color Revolutions on behalf of the US Government in order to undermine or overthrow alleged "authoritarian" governments overseas, are running the very same playbook to overturn Trump's 2016 victory and to pre-empt a repeat in 2020. To put it simply, what you see is not just the same Color Revolution playbook run against Trump, but the same people using it against Trump who have employed it in a professional capacity against targets overseas -- same people same playbook.

In Norm Eisen's case, the "same people same playbook" refrain takes an arrestingly literal turn when one realizes that Norm Eisen wrote a classic Color Revolution regime change manual, and conveniently titled it "The Playbook."

Just what exactly is President Obama's former White House Ethics Czar ( yes, Norm Eisen was Obama's ethics Czar ), his longtime friend since Harvard Law School, who recently partook in war games to simulate overturning a Trump electoral victory, doing writing a detailed playbook on how to use a Color Revolution to overthrow governments? The story of Norm Eisen only gets more fascinating, outrageous, and indispensable to understanding the planned chaos unfolding before our eyes, leading up to what will perhaps be the most chaotic election in our nation's recent history.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -

"I'd Rather Have This Book Than The Atomic Bomb"

Before we can fully appreciate the significance of Norm Eisen's Color Revolution manual "The Playbook," we must contextualize this important book in relation to its place in Color Revolution literature.

As a bit of a refresher to the reader, it is important to emphasize that when we use the term "Color Revolution" we do not mean any general type of revolution -- indeed, one of the chief advantages of the Color Revolution framework we advance is that it offers a specific and concrete heuristic by which to understand the operations against Trump beyond the accurate but more vague term "coup." Unlike the overt, blunt, method of full scale military invasion as was the case in Iraq War, a Color Revolution employs the following strategies and tactics:

A "Color Revolution" in this context refers to a specific type of coordinated attack that the United States government has been known to deploy against foreign regimes, particularly in Eastern Europe deemed to be "authoritarian" and hostile to American interests. Rather than using a direct military intervention to effect regime change as in Iraq, Color Revolutions attack a foreign regime by contesting its electoral legitimacy, organizing mass protests and acts of civil disobedience, and leveraging media contacts to ensure favorable coverage to their agenda in the Western press. [Revolver]

This combination of tactics used in so-called Color Revolutions did not come from nowhere. Before Norm Eisen came Gene Sharp -- originator and Godfather of the Color Revolution model that has been a staple of US Government operations externally (and now internally) for decades. Before Norm Eisen's "Playbook" there was Gene Sharp's classic "From Dictatorship to Democracy," which might be justly described as the Bible of the Color Revolution. Such is the power of the strategies laid out by Sharp that a Lithuanian defense minister once said of Sharp's preceding book (upon which Dictatorship to Democracy builds) that "I would rather have this book than the nuclear bomb."

Gene Sharp

It would be impossible to do full justice to Gene Sharp within the scope of this specific article. Here are some choice excerpts about Sharp and his biography to give readers a taste of his significance and relevance to this discussion.

Gene Sharp, the "Machiavelli of nonviolence," has been fairly described as "the most influential American political figure you've never heard of." 1 Sharp, who passed away in January 2018, was a beloved yet "mysterious" intellectual giant of nonviolent protest movements , the "father of the whole field of the study of strategic nonviolent action." 2 Over his career, he wrote more than twenty books about nonviolent action and social movements. His how-to pamphlet on nonviolent revolution, From Dictatorship to Democracy , has been translated into over thirty languages and is cited by protest movements around the world . In the U.S., his ideas are widely promoted through activist training programs and by scholars of nonviolence, and have been used by nearly every major protest movement in the last forty years . 3 For these contributions, Sharp has been praised by progressive heavyweights like Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize four times, compared to Gandhi, and cast as a lonely prophet of peace, champion of the downtrodden, and friend of the left . 4

Gene Sharp's influence on the U.S. activist left and social movements abroad has been significant. But he is better understood as one of the most important U.S. defense intellectuals of the Cold War, an early neoliberal theorist concerned with the supposedly inherent violence of the "centralized State," and a quiet but vital counselor to anti-communist forces in the socialist world from the 1980s onward.

In the mid-1960s, Thomas Schelling, a Nobel Prize-winning nuclear theorist, recruited 29-year-old Sharp to join the Center for International Affairs at Harvard , bastion of the high Cold War defense, intelligence, and security establishment. Leading the so-called "CIA at Harvard" were Henry Kissinger, future National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy, and future CIA chief Robert Bowie. Sharp held this appointment for thirty years. There, with Department of Defense funds, he developed his core theory of nonviolent action: a method of warfare capable of collapsing states through theatrical social movements designed to dissolve the common will that buttresses governments, all without firing any shots. From his post at the CIA at Harvard, Sharp would urge U.S. and NATO defense leadership to use his methods against the Soviet Union. [Nonsite]

We invite the reader to reflect on the passages in bold, particularly their potential relevance to the current domestic situation in the United States. Sharp's book and strategy for "non violent revolution" AKA "peaceful protests" has been used to undermine or overthrow target governments all over the world, particularly in Eastern Europe.

Gene's color revolution playbook was of course especially effective in Eastern Bloc countries in Eastern Europe:

Finally, there is no shortage of analysis as to the applicability of Sharp's methods domestically within the USA in order to advance various left wing causes. This passage specifically mentions the applicability of Sharp's methods to counter act Trump.

Ominous stuff indeed. For readers who wish to read further, please consult the full Politico piece from which we have excerpted the above highlighted passages. There is also a fascinating documentary on Sharp instructively titled " How to Start a Revolution ."

This is all interesting and disturbing, to say the least. In its own right it would suggest a compelling nexus point between the operations run against Trump and the Color Revolution playbook. But what does this have to do with our subject Norm Eisen? It just so happens that Eisen explicitly places himself in the tradition of Gene Sharp, acknowledging his book "The Playbook" as a kind of update to Sharp's seminal "Dictatorship to Democracy."

Watch the Clip Here

And there we have it, folks -- Norm Eisen, former Obama Ethics Czar, Ambassador to Czechoslovakia during the "Velvet Revolution," key counsel in impeachment effort against Trump, and participant in the ostensibly bi-partisan election war games predicting a contested election scenario unfavorable to Trump -- just happens to be a Color Revolution expert who literally wrote the modern "Playbook" in the explicitly acknowledged tradition of Color Revolution Godfather Gene Sharp's "From Dictatorship to Democracy."

Before we turn to the contents of Norm Eisen's Color Revolution manual, full title "The Democracy Playbook: Preventing and Reversing Democratic Backsliding," it will be useful to make a brief point regarding the term "democracy" itself, which happens to appear in the title of Gene Sharp's book "From Dictatorship to Democracy" as well.

Just like the term "peaceful protestor," which, as we pointed out in our George Kent essay is used as a term of craft in the Color Revolution context, so is the term "democracy" itself. The US Government launches Color Revolutions against foreign targets irrespective of whether they actually enjoy the support of the people or were elected democratically. In the case of Trump, whatever one says about him, he is perhaps the most "democratically" elected President in America's history. Indeed, in 2016 Trump ran against the coordinated opposition of the establishments of both parties, the military industrial complex, the corporate media, Hollywood, and really every single powerful institution in the country. He won, however, because he was able to garner sufficient support of the people -- his true and decisive power base as a "populist." Precisely because of the ultra democratic "populist" character of Trump's victory, the operatives attempting to undermine him have focused specifically on attacking the democratic legitimacy of his victory.

In this vein we ought to note that the term "democratic backsliding," as seen in the subtitle of Norm Eisen's book, and its opposite "democratic breakthrough" are also terms of art in the Color Revolution lexicon. We leave the full exploration of how the term "democratic" is used deceptively in the Color Revolution context (and in names of decidedly anti-democratic/populist institutions) as an exercise to the interested reader. Michael McFaul, another Color Revolution expert and key anti-Trump operative somewhat gives the game away in the following tweet in which the term "democratic breakthrough" makes an appearance as a better sounding alternative to "Color Revolution:"

Most likely as a response to Revolver News' first Color Revolution article on State Department official George Kent, former Ambassador McFaul issued the following tweet as a matter of damage control:

What on earth then might Color Revolution expert and Obama's former ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, who has been a key player agitating for President Trump's impeachment, mean by "democratic breakthrough?"

Being a rather simple man from a simple background, McFaul perhaps gave too much of this answer away in the following explanation (now deleted).

Trump has lost the Intelligence Community. He has lost the State Department. He has lost the military. How can he continue to serve as our Commander in Chief ?

— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) September 5, 2020

With this now-deleted tweet we get a clearer picture of the power bases that must be satisfied for a "democratic breakthrough" to occur -- and conveniently enough, not one of them is subject to direct democratic control. McFaul, Like Eisen, George Kent, and so many others, perfectly embodies Revolver's thesis regarding the Color Revolution being the same people running the same playbook. Indeed, like most of the star never-Trump impeachment witnesses, McFaul has been an ambassador to an Eastern European country. He has supported operations against Trump, including impeachment. And, like Norm Eisen, he has actually written a book on Color Revolutions (more on that later).

Norm Eisen's The Democracy Playbook: A Brief Overview:

A deep dive into Eisen's book would exceed the scope of this relatively brief exposé. It is nonetheless important for us to draw attention to key passages of Eisen's book to underscore how closely the "Playbook" corresponds to events unfolding right here at home. Indeed, it would not be an exaggeration to say that regime change professionals such as Eisen simply decided to run the same playbook against Trump that they have done countless times when foreign leaders are elected overseas that they don't like and want to remove via extra-democratic means -- "peaceful protests," "democratic breakthroughs" and such.

First, consider the following passage from Eisen's Playbook:

If you study this passage closely, you will find direct confirmation of our earlier point that "democracy" in the Color Revolution context is a term of art -- it refers to anything they like that keeps the national security bureaucrats in power. Anything they don't like, even if elected democratically, is considered "anti-democratic," or, put another way, "democratic backsliding." Eisen even acknowledges that this scourge of populism he's so worried about actually was ushered in with "popular support," under "relatively democratic and electoral processes." The problem is precisely that the people have had enough of the corrupt ruling class ignoring their needs. Accordingly, the people voted first for Brexit and then for Donald Trump -- terrifying expressions of populism which the broader Western power structure did everything in its capacity to prevent. Once they failed, they viewed these twin populist victories as a kind of political 9/11 to be prevented by any means necessary from recurring. Make no mistake, the Color Revolution has nothing to do with democracy in any meaningful sense and everything to do with the ruling class ensuring that the people will never have the power to meddle in their own elections again.

The passage above can be insightfully compared to the passage in Gene Sharp's book noting ripe applications to the domestic situation.

It is instructive to compare the passage in Eisen's Color Revolution book to the passage in Michael McFaul's Color Revolution book

First off, it is absolutely imperative to look at every single one of the conditions for a Color Revolution that McFaul identifies. It is simply impossible not to be overcome with the ominous parallels to our current situation. Specifically, however, note condition 1 which refers to having a target leader who is not fully authoritarian, but semi-autocratic. This coincides perfectly well with Eisen's concession that the populist leaders he's so concerned about might be "illiberal" but enjoy "popular support" and have come to power via "relatively democratic electoral processes."

Consulting the above passage from McFaul's book, we note that McFaul has been perhaps the most explicit about the conditions which facilitate a Color Revolution. We invite the reader to supply the contemporary analogue to each point as a kind of exercise.

  1. A semi-autocratic regime rather than fully autocratic
  2. An unpopular incumbent (note blanket negative coverage of Trump, fake polls)
  3. A united and organized opposition (media, intel community, Hollywood, community groups, etc)
  4. An ability to quickly drive home the point that voting results were falsified -- See our piece on the Transition Integrity Project
  5. Enough independent media to inform citizens of falsified vote (see full court press in media pushing contested election narrative, social media censorship)
  6. A political opposition capable of mobilizing tens of thousands or more demonstrators to protest electoral fraud ( SEE BLACK LIVES MATTER AND ANTIFA )

On point number four, which is especially relevant to our present situation, Eisen has an interesting thing to say about the role of a contested election scenario in the Orange Revolution, arguably the most important Color Revolution of them all.

Finally, let's look at one last passage from Norm Eisen's Color Revolution "Democracy Playbook" and cross-reference it with McFaul's conditions for a Color Revolution as well as the situation playing out right now before our very eyes:

A few things immediately jump out at us. First, the ominous instruction: "prepare to use electoral abuse evidence as the basis for reform advocacy." Secondly, we note the passage suggesting that opposition to a target leader might avail itself of "extreme institutional measures" including impeachment processes, votes of no confidence, and, of course, the good old-fashioned "protests, strikes, and boycotts" (all more or less peaceful no doubt).

By now the Color Revolution agenda against Trump should be as plain as day. Regime change professionals like McFaul, Eisen, George Kent, and others, who have refined their craft conducting color revolutions overseas, have taken it upon themselves to use the same tools, the same tactics -- quite literally, the same playbook -- to overthrow President Trump. Yet again, same people, same playbook.

We conclude this study of key Color Revolution figure Norm Eisen by exploring his particularly proactive -- indeed central role -- in effecting one of the Color Revolution's components mentioned in the Eisen Playbook -- impeachment.

-- -- -- –

The Ghost of Democracy's Future

We mentioned at the outset of this piece that Norm Eisen is many things -- a former Obama Ethics Czar (but of course), Ambassador to Czechoslovakia, participant in the now notorious Transition Integrity Project, et cetera. But he earned his title as "legal hatchet man" of the Color Revolution for his tireless efforts in promoting the impeachment of President Trump.

The litany of Norm Eisen's legal activity cited at the beginning of this piece bears repeating.

As the man who implemented the David Brock blueprint for suing the President into paralysis and his allies into bankruptcy , who helped mainstream and amplify the Russia Hoax, who drafted 10 articles of impeachment for the Democrats a full month before President Trump ever called the Ukraine President in 2018 , who personally served as DNC co-counsel for litigating the Ukraine impeachment

If that resume doesn't warrant the title "legal hatchet man" we wonder what does? We encourage interested readers or journalists to explore those links for themselves. By way of conclusion, it simply suffices to note that much of Eisen's impeachment activity he conducted before there was any discussion or knowledge of President Trump's call to the Ukrainian President in 2018 -- indeed before the call even happened. Impeachment was very clearly a foregone conclusion -- a quite literal part of Norm Eisen's Color Revolution playbook -- and it was up to people like Eisen to find the pretext, any pretext.

Despite their constant invocation of "democracy" we ought to note that transferring the question of electoral outcomes to adversarial legal processes is in fact anti-Democratic -- in keeping with our observation that the Color Revolution playbook uses "democracy" as a term of art, often meaning the precise opposite of the usual meaning suggesting popular support.

Perhaps the most important entry in Eisen's entry is the first, that is, Eisen's participation in the infamous David Brock blueprint on how to undermine and overthrow the Trump presidency.

The Washington Free Beacon attended the retreat and obtained David Brock's private and confidential memorandum from the meeting. The memo, " Democracy Matters: Strategic Plan for Action ," outlines Brock's four-year agenda to attack Trump and Republicans using Media Matters, American Bridge, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) , and Shareblue.

The memo contains plans for defeating Trump through impeachment , expanding Media Matters' mission to combat " government misinformation ," ensuring Democratic control of the Senate in the 2018 midterm elections , filing lawsuits against the Trump administration, monetizing political advocacy , using a "digital attacker" to delegitimize Trump's presidency and damage Republicans, and partnering with Facebook to combat "fake news." [Washington Free Beacon]

This leaked memo was written before President Trump took office, further suggesting that all of the efforts to undermine Trump have not been good faith responses to his behavior, but a pre-ordained attack strategy designed to overturn the 2016 election by any means necessary. The Color Revolution expert who suggests impeachment as a tactic in his Color Revolution "playbook" was already in charge of impeachment before Trump even took office -- -Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is run by none other than Norm Eisen.

But the attempt to overturn the 2016 election using Color Revolution tactics failed. And so now the plan is to overthrow Trump in 2020, hence Norm Eisen's noted participation in the Transition Integrity Project. Looking around us, one is forced to ask the deeply uncomfortable question, "transition into what?"

To conclude, we would like to call back to a point we raised in the first piece in our color revolution series. In this piece, we noted that star Never Trump impeachment witness George Kent just happens to be running the Belarus desk at the State Department. Belarus, we argued, with its mass demonstrations egged on by US Government backed NGOS, its supposed "peaceful protests" and of course its contested election results all fit the Color Revolution mold curiously enough.

One NGO called the Transatlantic Democracy Working Group (TDWG) was bold or reckless enough to draw the parallels between the Color Revolution in Belarus and the events playing out against Trump explicitly. In response to a remark by a twitter user that the TDWG's remarks about Belarus suggested parallels to the United States, the TDWG ominously replied:

Now, would the reader care to take a guess as to who runs the Transatlantic Democracy Working Group? If you guessed Norm Eisen, you would be correct.

Stay tuned for more in Revolver.news' groundbreaking coverage of the Color Revolution against Trump. Be sure to check out the previous installments in this series.

[Sep 20, 2020] The Criminal Prosecution Of Boeing Executives Should Begin

Sep 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk,

Damning details of purposeful malfeasance by Boeing executives emerged in a Congressional investigation.

FAA, Boeing Blasted Over 737 MAX Failures

On Wednesday, the Transportation Committee Blasted FAA, Boeing Over 737 MAX Failures

The 238-page document, written by the majority staff of the House Transportation Committee, calls into question whether the plane maker or the Federal Aviation Administration has fully incorporated essential safety lessons, despite a global grounding of the MAX fleet since March 2019.

After an 18-month investigation, the report, released Wednesday, concludes that Boeing's travails stemmed partly from a reluctance to admit mistakes and "point to a company culture that is in serious need of a safety reset."

The report provides more specifics, in sometimes-blistering language, backing up preliminary findings the panel's Democrats released six months ago , which laid out a pattern of mistakes and missed opportunities to correct them.

In one section, the Democrats' report faults Boeing for what it calls "inconceivable and inexcusable" actions to withhold crucial information from airlines about one cockpit-warning system, related to but not part of MCAS, that didn't operate as required on 80% of MAX jets.

Other portions highlight instances when Boeing officials, acting in their capacity as designated FAA representatives, part of a widely used system of delegating oversight authority to company employees, failed to alert agency managers about various safety matters .

Boeing Purposely Hid Design Flaws

The Financial Times has an even more damning take in its report Boeing Hid Design Flaws in Max Jets from Pilots and Regulators .

Boeing concealed from regulators internal test data showing that if a pilot took longer than 10 seconds to recognise that the system had kicked in erroneously, the consequences would be "catastrophic" .

The report also detailed how an alert, which would have warned pilots of a potential problem with one of their anti-stall sensors, was not working on the vast majority of the Max fleet . It found that the company deliberately concealed this fact from both pilots and regulators as it continued to roll out the new aircraft around the world.

In Bed With the Regulators

Boeing's defense is the FAA signed off on the reviews. Lovely. Boeing coerced or bribed the FAA to sign off on the reviews now tries to hide behind the FAA.

There is only one way to stop executive criminals like those at Boeing. Charge them with manslaughter, convict them, send them to prison for life, then take all of their stock and options and hand the money out for restitution.

adr , 1 hour ago

Remember, Boeing spent enough on stock buybacks in the past ten years to fund the development of at least seven new airframes.

Instead of developing a new and better plane, they strapped engines that didn't belong on the 737 and called it safe.

SDShack , 21 minutes ago

What is really sad is they already had a perfectly functional and safe 737Max. It was the 757. Look at the specs between the 2 planes. Almost same size, capacity, range, etc. Only difference was the 757 requires longer runways, but I would think they could have adjusted the design to improve that and make it very similar to the 737Max without starting from scratch. Instead Boeing bean counters killed the 757 and gave the world this flying coffin. Now the world bean counters will kill Boeing.

Tristan Ludlow , 1 hour ago

Boeing is a critical defense contractor. They will not be held accountable and they will be rewarded with additional bailouts and contract awards.

MFL5591 , 1 hour ago

Can you imagine a congress of Criminals Like Schiff, Pelosi and Schumer prosecuting someone else for fraud? What a joke. Next up will be Bill Clinton testifying against a person on trial for Pedophilia!

RagaMuffin , 1 hour ago

Mish is half right. The FAA should join Boeing in jail. If they are not held responsible for their role, why have an FAA?

Manthong , 1 hour ago

"There is only one way to stop executive criminals like those at Boeing.

Charge them with manslaughter, convict them, send them to prison for life, then take all of their stock and options and hand the money out for restitution."

Correction:

There is only one way to stop regulator criminals like those in government.

Charge them with manslaughter, convict them, send them to prison for life, then take all of their pensions and ill gotten wealth a nd hand the money out for restitution.

Elliott Eldrich , 43 minutes ago

"There is only one way to stop executive criminals like those at Boeing.

Charge them with manslaughter, convict them, send them to prison for life, then take all of their stock and options and hand the money out for restitution."

Ha ha ha HA HA HA HA HA! Silly rabbit, jail is for poors...

Birdbob , 1 hour ago

Accountability of Elite Perps ended under Oblaba's reign of "Wall Street and Technocracy Architects" .White collar criminals were granted immunity from prosecution. This was put into play by Attorney Genital Eric Holder. This was the beginning of having an orificial Attorney Genital that facilitated the District of Criminals organized crime empire ending the 3 letter agencies' interference. https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/8310187817727287761/1843903631072834621

Dash8 , 1 hour ago

You don't seem to understand the basic principle of aircraft design...it must not require an extraordinary response for a KNOWN problem.

Think of it this way; Ford builds a car that works great most of the time, but occasionally a wheel will fall off at highway speeds...no problem, right? ....you just guide the car to the shoulder on the 3 remaining wheels and all good.

Now, put your wife and kids in that car, after a day at work and the kids screaming in the back.

Still feel good about your opinion?

canaanav , 1 hour ago

I wrote software on the 787. You are right. This was not a known problem and the Trim Runaway procedure was already established. The issue was that the MAX needed a larger horizontal stab and MCAS would have never been needed. The FAA doesnt have the knowledge to regulate things like this. Boeing lost talent too, and gets bailouts and tax breaks to the extent that they dont care.

Dash8 , 1 hour ago

But it was a known problem, Boeing admits this.

Argon1 , 41 minutes ago

LGBT & Ethnicity was a more important hiring criteria than Engineering talant.

gutta percha , 1 hour ago

Why is it so difficult to design and maintain reliable Angle Of Attack sensors? The engineers put in layers and layers of complicated tech to sense and react to AOA sensor failures. Why not make the sensors _themselves_ more reliable? They aren't nearly as complex as all the layers of tech BS on top of them.

Dash8 , 1 hour ago

It's not, but it costs $$....and there you have it.

Argon1 , 37 minutes ago

Its the Shuttle Rocketdyne problem, the upper management phones down to the safety committee and complains about the cost of the delay, take off your engineer hat and put on your management hat. All of a sudden your project launches on schedule and the board claps and cheers at their ability to defy physics and save $ millions by just shouting at someone for about 60 seconds..

canaanav , 1 hour ago

Each AOA sensor is already redundant internally. They have multiple channels. I believe they were hit with a maintenance stand and jammed. That said, AOA has never been a control system component. It just runs the low-speed cue on the EFIS and the stick shaker. It's an advisory-level system. Boeing tied it to Flight Controls thru MCAS. The FAA likely dictated to Boeing how they wanted the System Safety Analysis (SSA) to look, Boeing wrote it that way, the FAA bought off on it.

Winston Churchill , 43 minutes ago

More fundamental is why an aerodynamically stable aircraft wasn't designed in the first place,love of money.

HardlyZero , 13 minutes ago

Yes. In reality the changed CG (Center of Gravity) due to the larger fan engine really did setup as a "new" design, so the MAX should have been treated as "new" and completely evaluated and completely tested as a completly new design. As a new design it would probably double the development and test cost and schedule...so be it.

DisorderlyConduct , 1 hour ago

"Lovely. Boeing coerced or bribed the FAA to sign off on the reviews now tries to hide behind the FAA."

No - what a shoddy analysis.

The FAA conceded many of their oversight responsibilities to Boeing - who was basically given the green light to self-monitor. The FAA is the one that is in the wrong here.

Well, how the **** else was that supposed to end up? This is like the IRS letting people self-audit...

Astroboy , 1 hour ago

Just as the Boeing saga is unfolding, we should expect by the end of the year other similar situations, related to drug companies, pandemia and the rest.

https://thenewroads.com/2019/12/09/forecast-for-2020/

https://thenewroads.com/2020/07/21/great-conjunction-jupiter-and-saturn-next-to-the-solstice-of-december-2020/
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highwaytoserfdom , 1 hour ago

It is political economy...

8. The internet was invented by the US government, not Silicon Valley

Many people think that the US is ahead in the frontier technology sectors as a result of private sector entrepreneurship. It's not. The US federal government created all these sectors.

The Pentagon financed the development of the computer in the early days and the Internet came out of a Pentagon research project. The semiconductor - the foundation of the information economy - was initially developed with the funding of the US Navy. The US aircraft industry would not have become what it is today had the US Air Force not massively subsidized it indirectly by paying huge prices for its military aircraft, the profit of which was channeled into developing civilian aircraft.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-06-20/what-piketty-didnt-say-13-facts-they-dont-tell-you-about-economics

LoneStarHog , 1 hour ago

People believe that corporate executives are immune from prosecution and protected by the fact that they are within the corporation. This is false security. If true purposeful and intended criminal activities are conducted by any corporate executive, the courts can do what is called "Piercing The Corporate Veil" . It is looking beyond the corporation as a virtual person and looking at the actual individuals making and conducting the criminal activities.

Jamie Dimon should be first on this list.

[Sep 20, 2020] Newton, Physics, The Market Bubble -

Sep 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Newton, Physics, & The Market Bubble by Tyler Durden Sat, 09/19/2020 - 20:30 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

I have previously discussed the importance of understanding how "physics" plays a crucial role in the stock market. As Sir Issac Newton once discovered, "what goes up, must come down."

Andy Kessler, via the Wall Street Journa l, recently discussed a similar point with respect to the momentum in stock prices. To wit:

"Does this sound familiar: Smart guy owns stock in March at $200, sells it in June at around $600, but then buys it back in July and August for between $900 and $1,000. By September it's back at $200. Ouch. Tesla this year? Yahoo in 2000? Nope. That was Sir Isaac Newton getting pulled into the great momentum trade of the South Sea Co., which cratered 300 years ago this month. He lost the equivalent of more than $3 million today. Newton, whose second law of motion is about the momentum of a body equaling the force acting on it, didn't know that works for stocks too."

To understand what happened to the South Sea Corporation, you need a bit of history.

The South Sea History

In 1720, in return for a loan of £7 million to finance the war against France, the House of Lords passed the South Sea Bill, which allowed the South Sea Company a monopoly in trade with South America.

England was already a financial disaster and was struggling to finance its war with France. As debts mounted, England needed a solution to stay afloat. The scheme was that in exchange for exclusive trading rights, the South Sea Company would underwrite the English National Debt. At that time, the debt stood at £30 million and carried a 5% interest coupon from the Government. The South Sea company converted the Government debt into its own shares. They would collect the interest from the Government and then pass it on to their shareholders.

Interesting Absurdities

At the time, England was in the midst of rampant market speculation. As soon as the South Sea Company concluded its deal with Parliament, the shares surged to more than 10 times their value. As South Sea Company shares bubbled up to incredible new heights, numerous other joint-stock companies IPO'd to take advantage of the booming investor demand for speculative investments.

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Many of these new companies made outrageous, and often fraudulent, claims about their business ventures for the purpose of raising capital and boosting share prices. Here are some examples of these companies' business proposals (History House, 1997):

A Speculative Mania

However, in the midst of the "mania," things like valuation, revenue, or even viable business models didn't matter. It was the "Fear Of Missing Out," which sucked investors into the fray without regard for the underlying risk.

Though South Sea Company shares were skyrocketing, the company's profitability was mediocre at best, despite abundant promises of future growth by company directors.

The eventual selloff in Company shares was exacerbated by a previous plan of lending investors money to buy its shares. This "margin loan," meant that many shareholders had to sell their shares to cover the plan's first installment of payments.

As South Sea Company and other "bubble " company share prices imploded, speculators who had purchased shares on credit went bankrupt. The popping of the South Sea Bubble then resulted in a contagion that spread across Europe.

Newton's Folly

Sir Issac Newton, the brilliant mathematician, was an early investor in South Sea Corporation. Newton quickly made a lot of money and recognized the early stages of a speculative mania. Knowing that it would eventually end badly, he liquidated his stake at a large profit.

However, after he exited, South Sea stock experienced one of the most legendary rises in history. As the bubble kept inflating, Newton allowed his emotions to overtake his previous logic and he jumped back into the shares. Unfortunately, it was near the peak.

It is noteworthy that once Newton decided to go back into South Sea stock, he moved essentially all his financial assets into it. In general, Newton was intimately familiar with commodities and finance. As Master of the Mint, his post required him to make many decisions that depended on market prices and conditions.

The story of Newton's losses in the South Sea Bubble has become one of the most famous in popular finance literature. While surveying his losses, Newton allegedly said that he could "calculate the motions of the heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people."

For More On The History Of Speculative Bubbles: "Devil Take The Hindmost."

History Never Repeats, But It Rhymes

Throughout financial history, markets have evolved from one speculative "bubble," to bust, to the next with each one being believed "it was different this time."

The slides below are from a presentation I made to a large mutual fund company.

What we some common denominators between all previous bubbles and now.

The table below shows a listing of assets classes that have experienced bubbles throughout history, with the ones related to the current environment highlighted in yellow.

It is not hard to see the similarities between today and the previous market bubbles in history. Investors are currently chasing "new technology" stocks from Zoom to Tesla, piling into speculative call options, and piling into leverage. What could possibly go wrong?

Oh, by the way, the slides above are from a 2008 presentation just one month before the Lehman crisis.

The point here is that speculative cycles are always the same.

The Speculative Cycle

Charles Kindleberger suggested that speculative manias typically commence with a "displacement" which excites speculative interest. The displacement may come from either an entirely new object of investment (IPO) or from increased profitability of established investments.

The speculation is then reinforced by a "positive feedback" loop from rising prices. which ultimately induces "inexperienced investors" to enter the market. As the positive feedback loop continues, and the "euphoria" increases, retail investors then begin to "leverage" their risk in the market as "rationality" weakens.

The full cycle is shown below.

During the course of the mania, speculation becomes more diffused and spreads to different asset classes. New companies are floated to take advantage of the euphoria, and investors leverage their gains using derivatives, stock loans, and leveraged instruments.

As the mania leads to complacency, fraud and manipulation enter the market place. Eventually, the market crashes and speculators are wiped out. The Government and Regulators react by passing new laws and legislations to ensure the previous events never happen again.

The Latest Mania

Let's go back to Andy for a moment:

"When bull markets get going, investors come out of the woodwork to pile in. These momentum investors -- I call them momos -- figure if a stock is going up, it will keep going up. But usually, there is some source of hot air inflating stocks: either a structural anomaly that fools investors into thinking ever-rising stock prices are real or a source of capital that buys, buys, buys -- proverbial 'dumb money.' Think of it as a giant fireplace bellows, an accordion-like contraption that pumps in fresh oxygen to keep flames growing." – Andy Kessler

We have seen these manias repeated throughout history.

In 2020?

What about today? Look back at the chart of the South Sea Company above. Now, the one below.

See any similarities.

Yes, that's Tesla

However, you can't solely blame the Federal Reserve as noted by Andy:

"Most simply blame the Federal Reserve -- especially today, with its zero-interest-rate policy -- for pumping the hot air that gets the momos going. Fair enough, but that's only part of the story. Long market runs have always allured investors who figure they're smart to jump in, even if it's late.

Everyone forgets the adage, 'Don't mistake brains for a bull market.'"

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As stated, while no two financial manias are ever alike, the end results are always the same.

Are there any similarities in today's market? You decide.

"From SPACs, or special purpose acquisition companies, which are modern-day blind pools that often don't end well. Today's momos also chase stock splits, which mean nothing for a company's actual value. Same for a new listing in indexes like the S&P 500. Isaac Newton could explain the math." – Andy Kessler

You get the idea. But one of the tell-tale indications is the speculative chase of "zombie" companies which are only still alive primarily due to the Federal Reserve's interventions.

Fixing The Cause Of The Crash

Historically, all market crashes have been the result of things unrelated to valuation levels. Issues such as liquidity, government actions, monetary policy mistakes, recessions, or inflationary spikes are the culprits that trigger the "reversion in sentiment."

Importantly, the "bubbles" and "busts" are never the same.

I previously quoted Bob Bronson on this point:

"It can be most reasonably assumed that markets are efficient enough that every bubble is significantly different than the previous one. A new bubble will always be different from the previous one(s). Such is since investors will only bid prices to extreme overvaluation levels if they are sure it is not repeating what led to the previous bubbles. Comparing the current extreme overvaluation to the dotcom is intellectually silly.

I would argue that when comparisons to previous bubbles become most popular, it's a reliable timing marker of the top in a current bubble. As an analogy, no matter how thoroughly a fatal car crash is studied, there will still be other fatal car crashes. Such is true even if we avoid all previous accident-causing mistakes."

Comparing the current market to any previous period in the market is rather pointless. The current market is not like 1995, 1999, or 2007? Valuations, economics, drivers, etc. are all different from cycle to the next.

Most importantly, however, the financial markets always adapt to the cause of the previous "fatal crash."

Unfortunately, that adaptation won't prevent the next one.

Yes, this time is different.

"Like all bubbles, it ends when the money runs out." – Andy Kessler


[Sep 19, 2020] How Silicon Valley Broke the Economy by Adrian Chen

The review of the book
Oct 14, 2019 | www.thenation.com

THE CODE: SILICON VALLEY AND THE REMAKING OF AMERICA By Margaret O'Mara

Buy this book

The Apple Bill passed the House overwhelmingly but then died in the Senate after a bureaucratic snafu for which Jobs forever blamed Republican Senator Bob Dole of Kansas, then chair of the Finance Committee. Yet all was not lost: A similar bill passed in California, and Apple flooded its home state with almost 10,000 computers. Apple's success in California gave it a leg up in the lucrative education market as states around the country began to computerize their classrooms. But education was not radically transformed, unless you count a spike in The Oregon Trail –related deaths from dysentery. If anything, those who have studied the rapid introduction of computers into classrooms in the 1980s and '90s tend to conclude that it exacerbated inequities. Elite students and schools zoomed smoothly into cyberspace, while poorer schools fell further behind, bogged down by a lack of training and resources.

A young, charismatic geek hawks his wares using bold promises of social progress but actually makes things worse and gets extremely rich in the process -- today it is easy to see the story of the Apple Bill as a stand-in for the history of the digital revolution as a whole. The growing concern about the role that technology plays in our lives and society is fueled in no small part by a growing realization that we have been duped. We were told that computerizing everything would lead to greater prosperity, personal empowerment, collective understanding, even the ability to transcend the limits of the physical realm and create a big, beautiful global brain made out of electrons. Instead, our extreme dependence on technology seems to have mainly enriched and empowered a handful of tech companies at the expense of everyone else. The panic over Facebook's impact on democracy sparked by Donald Trump's election in a haze of fake news and Russian bots felt like the national version of the personal anxiety that seizes many of us when we find ourselves snapping away from our phone for what seems like the 1,000th time in an hour and contemplating how our lives are being stolen by a screen. We are stuck in a really bad system.

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This realization has led to a justifiable anger and derision aimed at the architects of this system. Silicon Valley executives and engineers are taken to task every week in the op-ed pages of our largest newspapers. We are told that their irresponsibility and greed have undermined our freedom and degraded our democratic institutions. While it is gratifying to see tech billionaires get a (very small) portion of their comeuppance, we often forget that until very recently, Silicon Valley was hailed by almost everyone as creating the path toward a brilliant future. Perhaps we should pause and contemplate how this situation came to be, lest we make the same mistakes again. The story of how Silicon Valley ended up at the center of the American dream in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, as well as the ambiguous reality behind its own techno-​utopian dreams, is the subject of Margaret O'Mara's sweeping new history, The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America . In it, she puts Silicon Valley into the context of a larger story about postwar America's economic and social transformations, highlighting its connections with the mainstream rather than the cultural quirks and business practices that set it apart. The Code urges us to consider Silicon Valley's shortcomings as America's shortcomings, even if it fails to interrogate them as deeply as our current crisis -- and the role that technology played in bringing it about -- seems to warrant.

S ilicon Valley entered the public consciousness in the 1970s as something of a charmed place. The first recorded mention of Silicon Valley was in a 1971 article by a writer for a technology newspaper reporting on the region's semiconductor industry, which was booming despite the economic doldrums that had descended on most of the country. As the Rust Belt foundered and Detroit crumbled, Silicon Valley soared to heights barely conveyed by the metrics that O'Mara rattles off in the opening pages of The Code : "Three billion smartphones. Two billion social media users. Two trillion-dollar companies" and "the richest people in the history of humanity." Many people have attempted to divine the secret of Silicon Valley's success. The consensus became that the Valley had pioneered a form of quicksilver entrepreneurialism perfectly suited to the Information Age. It was fast, flexible, meritocratic, and open to new ways of doing things. It allowed brilliant young people to turn crazy ideas into world-changing companies practically overnight. Silicon Valley came to represent the innovative power of capitalism freed from the clutches of uptight men in midcentury business suits, bestowed upon the masses by a new, appealing folk hero: the cherub-faced start-up founder hacking away in his dorm room.

The Code both bolsters and revises this story. On the one hand, O'Mara, a historian at the University of Washington, is clearly enamored with tales of entrepreneurial derring-do. From the "traitorous eight" who broke dramatically from the Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory in 1957 to start Fairchild Semiconductor and create the modern silicon transistor to the well-documented story of Facebook's founding, the major milestones of Silicon Valley history are told in heroic terms that can seem gratingly out of touch, given what we know about how it all turned out. In her portrayal of Silicon Valley's tech titans, O'Mara emphasizes virtuous qualities like determination, ingenuity, and humanistic concern, while hints of darker motives are studiously ignored. We learn that a "visionary and relentless" Jeff Bezos continued to drive a beat-up Honda Accord even as he became a billionaire, but his reported remark to an Amazon sales team that they ought to treat small publishers the way a lion treats a sickly gazelle is apparently not deemed worthy of the historical record. But at the same time, O'Mara helps us understand why Silicon Valley's economic dominance can't be chalked up solely to the grit and smarts of entrepreneurs battling it out in the free market. At every stage of its development, she shows how the booming tech industry was aided and abetted by a wide swath of American society both inside and outside the Valley. Marketing gurus shaped the tech companies' images, educators evangelized for technology in schools, best-selling futurists preached personalized tech as a means toward personal liberation. What emerges in The Code is less the story of a tribe of misfits working against the grain than the simultaneous alignment of the country's political, cultural, and technical elites around the view that Silicon Valley held the key to the future.

Above all, O'Mara highlights the profound role that the US government played in Silicon Valley's rise. At the end of World War II, the region was still the sleepy, sun-drenched Santa Clara Valley, home to farms and orchards, an upstart Stanford University, and a scattering of small electronics and aerospace firms. Then came the space and arms races, given new urgency in 1957 with the launch of Sputnik, which suggested a serious Soviet advantage. Millions of dollars in government funding flooded technology companies and universities around the country. An outsize portion went to Northern California's burgeoning tech industry, thanks in large part to Stanford's far-sighted provost Frederick Terman, who reshaped the university into a hub for engineering and the applied sciences.

Stanford and the surrounding area became a hive of government R&D during these years, as IBM and Lockheed Martin opened local outposts and the first native start-ups hit the ground. While these early companies relied on what O'Mara calls the Valley's "ecosystem" of fresh-faced engineers seeking freedom and sunshine in California, venture capitalists sniffing out a profitable new industry, and lawyers, construction companies, and real estate agents jumping to serve their somewhat quirky ways, she makes it clear that the lifeblood pumping through it all was government money. Fairchild Semiconductor's biggest clients for its new silicon chips were NASA, which put them in the Apollo rockets, and the Defense Department, which stuck them in Minuteman nuclear missiles. The brains of all of today's devices have their origin in the United States' drive to defeat the Soviet Union in the Cold War.

But the role of public funding in the creation of Silicon Valley is not the big government success story a good liberal might be tempted to consider it. As O'Mara points out, during the Cold War American leaders deliberately pushed public funds to private industry rather than government programs because they thought the market was the best way to spur technological progress while avoiding the specter of centralized planning, which had come to smack of communist tyranny. In the years that followed, this belief in the market as the means to achieve the goals of liberal democracy spread to nearly every aspect of life and society, from public education and health care to social justice, solidifying into the creed we now call neoliberalism. As the role of the state was eclipsed by the market, Silicon Valley -- full of brilliant entrepreneurs devising technologies that promised to revolutionize everything they touched -- was well positioned to step into the void.

The earliest start-up founders hardly seemed eager to assume the mantle of social visionary that their successors, today's flashy celebrity technologists, happily take up. They were buttoned-down engineers who reflected the cool practicality of their major government and corporate clients. As the 1960s wore on, they were increasingly out of touch. Amid the tumult of the civil rights movement and the protests against the Vietnam War, the major concern in Silicon Valley's manicured technology parks was a Johnson-era drop in military spending. The relatively few techies who were political at the time were conservative.

Things started to change in the 1970s. The '60s made a belated arrival in the Valley as a younger generation of geeks steeped in countercultural values began to apply them to the development of computer technology. The weight of Silicon Valley's culture shifted from the conservative suits to long-haired techno-utopians with dreams of radically reorganizing society through technology.

This shift was perhaps best embodied by Lee Felsenstein, a former self-described "child radical" who cut his teeth running communications operations for anti-war and civil rights protests before going on to develop the Tom Swift Terminal, one of the earliest personal computers.

Felsenstein believed that giving everyday people access to computers could liberate them from the crushing hierarchy of modern industrial society by breaking the monopoly on information held by corporations and government bureaucracies. "To change the rules, change the tools," he liked to say.

Whereas Silicon Valley had traditionally developed tools for the Man, these techies wanted to make tools to undermine him. They created a loose-knit network of hobbyist groups, drop-in computer centers, and DIY publications to share knowledge and work toward the ideal of personal liberation through technology. Their dreams seemed increasingly achievable as computers shrank from massive, room-filling mainframes to the smaller-room-filling minicomputers to, finally, in 1975, the first commercially viable personal computer, the Altair.

Yet as O'Mara shows, the techno-utopians did not ultimately constitute such a radical break from the past. While their calls to democratize computing may have echoed Marxist cries to seize the means of production, most were capitalists at heart. To advance the personal computer "revolution," they founded start-ups, trade magazines, and business forums, relying on funding from venture capital funds often with roots in the old money elite. Jobs became the most celebrated entrepreneur of the era by embodying the discordant figures of both the cowboy capitalist and the touchy-feely hippie, an image crafted in large part by the marketing guru Regis McKenna. Silicon Valley soon became an industry that looked a lot like those that had come before. It was nearly as white and male as they were. Its engineers worked soul-crushing hours and blew off steam with boozy pool parties. And its most successful company, Microsoft, clawed its way to the top through ruthless monopolistic tactics.

Perhaps the strongest case against the supposed subversiveness of the personal computer pioneers is how quickly they were embraced by those in power. As profits rose and spectacular IPOs seized headlines throughout the 1980s, Silicon Valley was championed by the rising stars of supply-side economics, who hitched their drive for tax cuts and deregulation to tech's venture-capital-fueled rocket ship. The groundwork was laid in 1978, when the Valley's venture capitalists formed an alliance with the Republicans to kill then-President Jimmy Carter's proposed increase in the capital gains tax. They beta-​tested Reaganomics by advancing the dubious argument that millionaires' making slightly less money on their investments might stifle technological innovation by limiting the supply of capital available to start-ups. And they carried the day.

As president, Ronald Reagan doubled down with tax cuts and wild technophilia. In a truly trippy speech to students at Moscow State University in 1988, he hailed the transcendent possibilities of the new economy epitomized by Silicon Valley, predicting a future in which "human innovation increasingly makes physical resources obsolete." Meanwhile, the market-friendly New Democrats embraced the tech industry so enthusiastically that they became known, to their chagrin, as Atari Democrats. The media turned Silicon Valley entrepreneurs into international celebrities with flattering profiles and cover stories -- living proof that the mix of technological innovation, risk taking, corporate social responsibility, and lack of regulation that defined Silicon Valley in the popular imagination was the template for unending growth and prosperity, even in an era of deindustrialization and globalization.

T he near-universal celebration of Silicon Valley as an avatar of free-market capitalism in the 1980s helped ensure that the market would guide the Internet's development in the 1990s, as it became the cutting-edge technology that promised to change everything. The Internet began as an academic resource, first as ARPANET, funded and overseen by the Department of Defense, and later as the National Science Foundation's NSFNET. And while Al Gore didn't invent the Internet, he did spearhead the push to privatize it: As the Clinton administration's "technology czar," he helped develop its landmark National Information Infrastructure (NII) plan, which emphasized the role of private industry and the importance of telecommunications deregulation in constructing America's "information superhighway." Not surprisingly, Gore would later do a little-known turn as a venture capitalist with the prestigious Valley firm Kleiner Perkins, becoming very wealthy in the process. In response to his NII plan, the advocacy group Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility warned of a possible corporate takeover of the Internet. "An imaginative view of the risks of an NII designed without sufficient attention to public-interest needs can be found in the modern genre of dystopian fiction known as 'cyberpunk,'" they wrote. "Cyberpunk novelists depict a world in which a handful of multinational corporations have seized control, not only of the physical world, but of the virtual world of cyberspace." Who can deny that today's commercial Internet has largely fulfilled this cyberpunk nightmare? Someone should ask Gore what he thinks.

Despite offering evidence to the contrary, O'Mara narrates her tale of Silicon Valley's rise as, ultimately, a success story. At the end of the book, we see it as the envy of other states around the country and other countries around the world, an "exuberantly capitalist, slightly anarchic tech ecosystem that had evolved over several generations." Throughout the book, she highlights the many issues that have sparked increasing public consternation with Big Tech of late, from its lack of diversity to its stupendous concentration of wealth, but these are framed in the end as unfortunate side effects of the headlong rush to create a new and brilliant future. She hardly mentions the revelations by the National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden of the US government's chilling capacity to siphon users' most intimate information from Silicon Valley's platforms and the voraciousness with which it has done so. Nor does she grapple with Uber, which built its multibillion-dollar leviathan on the backs of meagerly paid drivers. The fact that in order to carry out almost anything online we must subject ourselves to a hypercommodified hellscape of targeted advertising and algorithmic sorting does not appear to be a huge cause for concern. But these and many other aspects of our digital landscape have made me wonder if a technical complex born out of Cold War militarism and mainstreamed in a free-market frenzy might not be fundamentally always at odds with human flourishing. O'Mara suggests at the end of her book that Silicon Valley's flaws might be redeemed by a new, more enlightened, and more diverse generation of techies. But haven't we heard this story before?

If there is a larger lesson to learn from The Code , it is that technology cannot be separated from the social and political contexts in which it is created. The major currents in society shape and guide the creation of a system that appears to spring from the minds of its inventors alone. Militarism and unbridled capitalism remain among the most powerful forces in the United States, and to my mind, there is no reason to believe that a new generation of techies might resist them any more effectively than the previous ones. The question of fixing Silicon Valley is inseparable from the question of fixing the system of postwar American capitalism, of which it is perhaps the purest expression. Some believe that the problems we see are bugs that might be fixed with a patch. Others think the code is so bad at its core that a radical rewrite is the only answer. Although The Code was written for people in the first group, it offers an important lesson for those of us in the second: Silicon Valley is as much a symptom as it is a cause of our current crisis. Resisting its bad influence on society will ultimately prove meaningless if we cannot also formulate a vision of a better world -- one with a more humane relationship to technology -- to counteract it. And, alas, there is no app for that.

Adrian Chen Adrian Chen is a freelance writer. He is working on a book about Internet culture.

[Sep 19, 2020] Technocracy support of BLM and riots

Technocracy is a part of the neoliberal elite and they are interested in continuation of globalization. As such they are fierce opponents of Trump "national neoliberalism" project. Nothing personal, strictly business.
Sep 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Doc McGee , 34 minutes ago

A list of some companies too stupid to care about truth or justice.

22 COMPANIES THAT SUPPORT #BLACKLIVESMATTER

[Sep 19, 2020] Who organized this provocation? Is this a part of gas war?

Were Khodorkovsky or Browder among people involved? To what extent Trump administration and MI6 were involved? Looks more and more line a bad replay of Skripals poisoning
Notable quotes:
"... Germans and "the whole world", to quote Pompeo, know the truth: Russians simply deny the truth, and the more they deny, the more truthful the accusations appear. And the elephant in the room: Why isn't the poisoned by "Novichok" bullshitting bastard of a US agent dead? And the answer given by the Germans, that is ironic in the extreme: because Russian doctors saved his life in Omsk. ..."
"... There are undeniable advantages to accusations for which no substantiation is offered – as we saw with the Skripals, you can await public comment, identify where you went wrong from scornful rejections of the narrative, and then modify it so that it makes more sense. ..."
"... I hope Germany offers residency to the Navalnys, and that they accept. Russia can't really refuse to let him back in, he's a citizen. But as long as he is there he will cause trouble, and he'll be recharged with all the PR he has received from this latest caper. ..."
"... But it is suggested that Russia is bargaining for his return; the story also expands on Lavrov's recent statements, and introduces a villain in the woodpile I would not have personally suspected: Poland. ..."
"... I recall Lavrov querying the other day Pevchikh's presence in Germany, her refusal to be interviewed by investigators in Omsk and how come she managed to fly to Germany with Navalny? He also said that other supporters of Navalny had also turned up in Germany. ..."
"... I lay a pound to a pinch of shit that Pevchikh is a British agent. ..."
"... Looking good for almost a corpse. COVID-19, a flu virus, is a deadly killer, and Novichok, a deadly nerve agent, is not a killer. ..."
"... Dances with Bears: THE PEVCHIKH PLOT – NAVALNY BOTTLE, LONDON WITNESS FLEE THE SCENE OF THE CRIME, BERLIN TOO http://johnhelmer.net/the-pevchikh-plot-navalny-bottle-london-witness-flee-the-scene-of-the-crime-berlin-too/ ..."
"... I reckon Khordokovsky has a hand in this. He has the same moral compass as dead Berezovsky. None. And he has refused to stick to agreements (keep out of politics). If the British or someone else get fingered for this cunning plan , would they serve him up on a silver platter? Almost certainly so. ..."
"... We certainly did well to focus on Maria Pevchikh as soon as we discovered that in addition to being the one who evaded questioning by Russian authorities by flying out to Germany, she also had British residency. She certainly has become a "person of interest" and could well be the major individual in the plot to incapacitate Navalny and use him to pressure Germany over NSII and Russia over the Belarus unrest. ..."
"... It is still unknown whether Pevchikh is a British citizen. I think she is and probably must be, in fact, for if she is only a visa holder or an applicant for UK citizenship, she could be told by the Home Office to go take a hike if it is proven that she was instrumental in the poisoning plot. ..."
"... Ask Pevchikh! Only she is now probably undergoing debriefing in London at UK Secret Intelligence Services HQ, 85 Albert Embankment. ..."
"... There was considerable risk involved in the deception. I doubt that Navalny went into the deception willingly. There was a very real risk that he could have suffered some brain damage going into the first coma and that's sure to compromise his health in the long term in other ways. ..."
"... More likely it seems a lot of the deception was planned behind Navalny's back and people were waiting for an opportunity to carry it out. It may have been planned years ago for someone else and then switched to Navalny once he was in the Omsk hospital. Julia Navalnaya may have been pushed into demanding that Navalny be transferred to Berlin and while the Omsk hospital doctors were stabilising him for the transfer, the deception then started going into action in Germany. ..."
"... Lavrov smelt a rat several days ago -- last week, I'm sure -- when he stated that suspicions had been aroused by one of Navalny's gang refusing to answer investigators' questions in Omsk and then scarpering off to Germany. ..."
"... I'm quite sure the FSB already knew of Pevchikh's comings and goings between London and Moscow (over 60 flights there and back I read somewhere) and her activities with the Navalny organization. ..."
"... if Washington thinks it can actually halt Nord Stream II – with the understanding that the Russians would probably give up after such a stinging second rebuke – then the sky is the limit, and they will scornfully reject any other solution. The one who stands to get hurt the most is Europe. But I don't think they realize it. ..."
Sep 19, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MOSCOWEXILE September 14, 2020 at 11:07 pm

Russian librag Vedomosti reports NYT:

NYT сообщила о планах Навального вернуться в Россию
15 сентября 2020

NYT has announced Navalney's to return to Russia
15 September 2020

Founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, Alexei Navalny, who is undergoing treatment in Germany, has discussed his poisoning with the German prosecutor and announced that he plans to return to Russia, The New York Times has reported, citing a source in the German security forces.

According to the source, Navalny is fully aware of his condition, of what happened and where he is. In a conversation with the prosecutor, he refused that his case be jointly investigated by Germany and Russia. Navalny said he planned to return to Russia immediately after his recovery and continue his mission, the newspaper notes.

https://vedomosti-ru.turbopages.org/vedomosti.ru/s/society/news/2020/09/15/839918-o-planah-navalnogo?utm_source=yxnews&utm_medium=mobile

Mission accomplished.

I notice that the Navalny fake story has gone off the radar in the Western MSM.

Now there just remain the lies and innuendos fixed in the minds of the sheeple.

Only an investigation by the Germans.

No investigation by the Russians.

Germans and "the whole world", to quote Pompeo, know the truth: Russians simply deny the truth, and the more they deny, the more truthful the accusations appear. And the elephant in the room: Why isn't the poisoned by "Novichok" bullshitting bastard of a US agent dead? And the answer given by the Germans, that is ironic in the extreme: because Russian doctors saved his life in Omsk.

Other elephants lurking in the shadows:

Why hadn't everyone who had been in contact with the piece of shit, including fellow passengers on the Tomsk-Moscow flight died?

Where were the hazmat-suit-wearing specialists that should have detoxified the aeroplane on board of which the Bullshitter threw a wobbler?

So many elephants, all ignored.

Total fabrication.

When the liar returns here, how about arresting him for breach of his bail conditions?

Not technically but absolutely legally he was not allowed to leave the country.

How about arresting him for perverting the course of justice? You can get life for doing that in the UK!

He refuses to allow the Russian state to investigate his case but he and his controllers and supporters maintain that the Russian state attempted to murder him with the most deadly nerve agent known to man -- but it didn't work.

ET AL September 15, 2020 at 1:32 am

Jesus has Risen!

And on the plus side he can sell expensive 'blessed' trinkets to his hamsters help subsidize his interesting lifestyle. Think holy relics, think Medjigorje, Lourdes etc.

MARK CHAPMAN September 15, 2020 at 8:58 am

Having survived Novichok poisoning, is he now immune?

MOSCOWEXILE September 15, 2020 at 4:16 am

A long read:

VESTI RU

Навальный, "Новичок" и "белая коробка"
13 сентября 2020

Navalny, "Novichok" and the "White Box"
13 September 2020

Why is not a single Berlin doctor ready to personally confirm the announced poisoning of Navalny?

A Russian patient is recovering in the "White Box" of the Charité hospital. During the three weeks of Navalny's stay within these walls, no one shouted at the doctors that they were murderers, no one demanded from them hourly reports on the patient's state of health. At the beginning of the week, the hospital's press service informs the press that the personal guest of the Federal Chancellor has been withdrawn from an artificial coma and is reacting to other people. A couple of days later, "Spiegel" magazine publishes encouraging information: "More progress has been made. If his health continues to improve, Navalny will begin to receive more visitors". According to "Bellingcat" and "Der Spiegel", Navalny can already speak and can probably recall the events that happened before he lost consciousness on an aeroplane flying from Tomsk to Moscow.

In general, the latest Charité press releases are in clear contradiction to the horror that the German press had been gathering all week. The already poisoned underpants have been forgotten, the newspaper "Die Zeit" returns the reader to a famous photograph: morning in a café at the Tomsk airport, a passenger for the flight to Moscow flight peers into a cup that he has raised in order to drink out of it. In it,, according to a "Die " source, is not just a chemical warfare agent from the "Novichok" group: in there is a "Novichok" on steroids.

"Before this assassination attempt, the world did not know about this poison, which is said to be even more deadly and dangerous than all known substances from the Novichok group. Scientists found corresponding traces on the Navalny's hands and on the neck of a bottle from which he had drunk. This "modified Novichok" allegedly acts more slowly than previous versions. The Germans assume that one of the FSB agents monitoring Navalny, or an undercover agent, added drops of poison to his tea or applied a substance to the surface of a cup. Navalny was supposed to die on board the aircraft", writes "Die Zeit".

Everything is just fine and dandy here: for example, about agents who had to perform the necessary manipulations with a super-poison in a crowded place. A remarkable and suddenly appeared bottle -- no bottle was seen in Omsk at all. The story goes on about the fact that, apart from tea, Navalny did not drink anything. It turns out that those accompanying the blogger took the bottle out of the plane, hid it, and then transported it to Germany and handed it to Bundeswehr chemists Concealing evidence is pure criminality. But the most interesting thing is the super-"Novichok".

After the poisoning of the Skripals in Salisbury (let us recount the usual version of events that happened there), about 50 more people sought medical help. Houses were taken apart, pets were destroyed. But here no one except Navalny was hurt: neither the people at Tomsk airport, nor the fellow travellers with whom he, having the terrible poison in his hands, took a selfie on a bus, nor the passengers on board the aircraft, and he also touched things there. Symptoms of poisoning should have appeared amongst the passengers, but they did not. This should raise questions from the authors of the serious newspaper "Die Zeit", but it does not. A weapon of mass destruction by any reasoning, but the longer the German press examines the Navalny case, the more mediaeval and grotesque it becomes. And it works -- you can see it even from the reaction of quite moderate politicians.

Already a week and a half ago, Merkel announced the results of a toxicological examination, allegedly carried out in a secret laboratory of the Bundeswehr (yes, Navalny was poisoned), opponents of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline have intensified their onslaught against the federal government in order to stop the construction, they say, this is the only way to punish Russia. At the head of the column are the party leaders of the Greens and those associates of Merkel who are friendly with Washington and have plans for higher party or administrative posts after the Chancellor leaves.

These voices were at least heard. In an evening talk show on ZDF, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas made it clear that the shutdown of Nord Stream 2 could be one response.

"We cannot say that since the sanctions do not work, then there is no need to introduce any. Sometimes we have to put up with the risk of the consequences, thereby saying that we do not want to live in a world without rules", Maas said.

Now Herr Maas, along with many members of the government and administration and the Chancellor, lives in a world of very strange rules. Merkel's press secretary Seibert reiterated that Germany will interact with Russia exclusively at the site of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), where all the documents allegedly have already been sent.

The OPCW Technical Secretariat informed our permanent representative, Alexander Shulgin, that Berlin had only sent a notification about Navalny's poisoning, a sheet of A4 paper, but there is still nothing that the experts could work on. But the Germans had to formulate a response to the proposal of the Russian Prosecutor General's Office on exchange of information: any information about the state of Navalny can be transferred to Russia only with his permission.

This was the case in 2004. The Charité clinic then diagnosed the presidential candidate of the Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko with dioxin poisoning -- no one ever saw documentary evidence. Yushchenko then for 4 years, while he was of interest he was to the public, promised to show everything, but he never did.

This trick can be repeated again, the main thing is to find the answer to an urgent task: to inflate the level of confrontation between Russia and Germany, and therefore the entire West, in order to force the Russian authorities to be as cautious as possible in their domestic and foreign policy, for example, in the Belarusian direction.

However, the fact that Nord Stream 2, for which the German federal government was ready to support unto death, suddenly became an instrument of blackmail -- admit the poisoning, otherwise we can close it down -- openly outraged German business and regional elites.

"It seems that the verdict has already been given -- there are demands that construction of the pipeline be stopped. I strongly oppose such measures", said Michael Kretschmer, Prime Minister of Saxony.

"We have had absolutely trusting cooperation with Russia in the energy sector for 50 years. And even in the most difficult political times, which were probably even more difficult during the Cold War, we managed to maintain this trust", emphasized Michael Harms, executive director of Eastern Committee of the German economy.

Even a true transatlantist, the president of the Munich Security Conference Wolfgang Ischinger, stood up for Nord Stream 2 (and Denmark had joined the renewed US incitement against it the day before).

Political games will not pass themselves of as force majeure. Investors will go to the German government for their money. Here you need to think ten times, because along with the demands of multibillion-dollar compensation, there will definitely be asked unpleasant questions about the reasons that made the German authorities abandon a project that was profitable to all sides. So you can go to Navalny's analyses. In a normal court, bureaucratic excuses will not work. And, by the way, in Germany there are politician-lawyers who can professionally draw up a claim and conduct a case.

"I want to investigate this. One of the developers of Novichok is in the US. It is known that many special services have this poison. Of course, the Russian have it as well, but if Putin did it, then why give Navalny to Germany? So that we can establish all this here? A crime must have some logic", says Bundestag deputy Gregor Gizi.

The logic that we now see is somehow not German. One gets the impression that the compassion and humanism of the German politician, brought up on the lessons of the past, are now being tried out by smart and cynical people who know how to competently fabricate, substitute and cover their tracks. And not too far away, we already had Britain.

At the end of May 2003, the BBC released material that Prime Minister Blair and his cabinet had made a decision to enter the war in Iraq based on falsified intelligence. The person who passed on this information to reporters was David Kelly, a leading chemical weapons specialist at the British Department of Defence. His speech at the parliamentary hearings threatened the prime minister, the military and the secret services with big problems, Hiwever, on July 18, 2003, Kelly was found dead in the woods near his home. Suicide, the investigation stated, but in 2007, a group of parliamentarians conducted an unofficial investigation -- there were no legal consequences, but now all British people know that Kelly was murdered in cold blood.

In 2015, Blair was forced to admit that he lied to citizens about Iraq, and escaped trial only because no one wanted to get involved with it. Nevertheless, Blair has gone down in history with this lie. And history is important to remember in order to do it right. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov calls on the Germans to leave emotions and turn on their brains.

"I hope that these absurd actions will be stopped and Germany, at least for the sake of the reputation of German punctuality, will fulfill its obligations under the agreement with the Russian Federation. Moreover, they are demanding an investigation from us, but it turns out that all those who accompanied Navalny are slowly moving to Germany too. this is very unpleasant and leads to serious thoughts. Therefore, it is in the interests of our German colleagues to protect their reputation and provide all the necessary information that would somehow shed light on their so far absolutely unfounded accusations", Lavrov said.

Another proposal has gone from Moscow to Berlin: to send a Russian investigation team to Germany in order to jointly study the circumstances of the case, the victim of which is a Russian citizen. So far, there is no reason to believe that Berlin will respond with consent.

Some German politicians and almost all the SMS likes to moralize against Russia, periodically recalling the Stalinist repressions and the GULAG. But now Germany itself behaves like an investigator during interrogation in the dungeons of the NKVD. Confession is the queen of proof.*

https://yandex.ru/turbo/vesti.ru/s/article/2457559?promo=navbar&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.com%2F%3Ffrom%3Dspecial&utm_source=YandexZenSpecial

Yeah, we got a confession in the end!

That's all the bastards demand of Russia: Confess and then we'll be pals.

*Признание -- царица доказательств

"Confession is the Queen of proof."

From Latin: Сonfessio regina probationum est)

Roman legal principle of criminal procedural law.

Слава России!

MARK CHAPMAN September 15, 2020 at 10:04 am

There are undeniable advantages to accusations for which no substantiation is offered – as we saw with the Skripals, you can await public comment, identify where you went wrong from scornful rejections of the narrative, and then modify it so that it makes more sense.

In this case, people wonder why such a potent nerve agent did not fell Navalny instantly like a poleaxed ox, before he ever left the terminal, instead of 40 minutes or so into the flight. Ahhh but this, we later learn, was a specially-modified Novichok, engineered to be slow-acting. Just what you want in a nerve agent. Hint – no, it isn't. Just like you don't want it specially engineered to be 'persistent', like that chemical-warfare expert tit for Bellingcat claimed was the reason the poison daubed on Skripal's doorknob did not wash away in the rain and was still deadly weeks afterward. You want a nerve agent to quickly and efficiently kill enemy troops caught in the open and unprotected, and then as quickly degrade and disperse so your own forces can move in and occupy the objective. The last thing you want is it hanging about for weeks, or being 'slow-acting' so those troops can come in and wax your ass and then later fall down dead. One of the first casualties of these silly stories must be that the agent is 'military grade'. The military would say, if you want to use that useless shite, spread it yourself – we want nothing to do with it.

MOSCOWEXILE September 15, 2020 at 4:46 am

Just appeared, posted from Charité -- Bullshitter with statuesque wife and kiddie acolytes:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CFJwV0Dly0Z/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=12&wp=822&rd=https%3A%2F%2Fthenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com&rp=%2F2020%2F07%2F31%2Fthe-ceaseless-lies-of-eva-bartlett-or-the-partisan-scrubbing-of-western-consciousness%2F#%7B%22ci%22%3A0%2C%22os%22%3A3146.465000000717%7D

Another bungled FSB wet job!

MOSCOWEXILE September 15, 2020 at 4:56 am

It reads:

navalny Hi, this is Navalny. I miss you all 😍. I still can hardly do anything, but yesterday I was able to breathe on my own all day. Generally myself. I did not use any outside help, not even the simplest valve in my throat. I liked it very much. An amazing, underestimated by many thing. Would totally recommend.

What, no tracheotomy scar?

Why aren't you dead, you wanker?

Thinking about thanking the Omsk doctors who "saved your life" after you had taken a dose of salts in the aircraft shithouse?

MARK CHAPMAN September 15, 2020 at 10:07 am

"I still can hardly do anything "

I'm still waiting for the difference to become evident. Navalny does perhaps less than any man in Russia who enjoys such a leisurely lifestyle.

MOSCOWEXILE September 15, 2020 at 10:05 am

I take it that the kiddie Navalnyites in the above Instagram are all Russian citizens and part of the Bullshitter's entourage that turned up in Berlin, hot on the heels of their comatose hero.

So how did they get the documentation that enabled them to leave the Mafia State and enter Germany, the coronavirus shamdemic notwithstanding?

Are they all guests of Frau Kanzelerin Merkel?

MARK CHAPMAN September 15, 2020 at 10:34 am

I thought they were the Bullshitter's kids.

MOSCOWEXILE September 15, 2020 at 10:49 am

Yes, they are his children. Navalnaya clearly got permission for their son to travel to Germany. His daughter has flown in from the USA.

However, the question still remains as regards those Navalnyites who rolled up in Germany following their leader's private flight there: how did they get the appropriate documentation to do so at such short notice, not to mention Pevchikh, who flew with the comatose Navalny to Berlin -- and then vanished?.

Seibert was asked about this and said he knew nothing about her.

MARK CHAPMAN September 15, 2020 at 11:22 am

Ah, yes; that's a good point. I just assumed the hamsters were blathering from a distance, as in Russia. I did not realize some of them had turned up in Germany, except for the mysterious Masha.

I hope Germany offers residency to the Navalnys, and that they accept. Russia can't really refuse to let him back in, he's a citizen. But as long as he is there he will cause trouble, and he'll be recharged with all the PR he has received from this latest caper.

But it is suggested that Russia is bargaining for his return; the story also expands on Lavrov's recent statements, and introduces a villain in the woodpile I would not have personally suspected: Poland.

https://www.stalkerzone.org/lavrov-offered-merkel-a-choice-between-russia-navalny/

MOSCOWEXILE September 15, 2020 at 11:54 am

And get this:

Does he want to end his political ambitions? Top Eurocrat Borrell calls for Navalny's name to be attached to EU 'Magnitsky List'

https://www.rt.com/russia/500766-borrell-navalny-sanctions-russia/

MOSCOWEXILE September 15, 2020 at 12:03 pm

I recall Lavrov querying the other day Pevchikh's presence in Germany, her refusal to be interviewed by investigators in Omsk and how come she managed to fly to Germany with Navalny? He also said that other supporters of Navalny had also turned up in Germany.

I lay a pound to a pinch of shit that Pevchikh is a British agent.

MOSCOWEXILE September 16, 2020 at 11:35 am

Note how the monitor in the Navalny Instagram above has been censored.

It's because, they say, it displays personal data about Putin's intended Novichok victim, such as body temperature, pulse, blood pressure etc.

Wouldn't like the world to know that there is nothing wrong with him, would they?

Source:

Эксперт объяснил ретушь прикроватного экрана на фото Навального
15 сентября 2020

An expert has explained the retouching of the bedside monitor in the Navalny photo
15 September 2020

https://vz-ru.turbopages.org/vz.ru/s/news/2020/9/15/1060574.html?promo=navbar&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.com

MARK CHAPMAN September 16, 2020 at 12:26 pm

Too late to get smart now.

MOSCOWEXILE September 16, 2020 at 10:51 pm

NAVALNY: HIDDEN AND OVERT SIGNALS
Stalker Zone
September 16, 2020

Staged???

Why on earth should one think that?

MOSCOWEXILE September 16, 2020 at 10:54 pm

Comment to the above C/Z article:

anymouse • 8 hours ago

Looking good for almost a corpse. COVID-19, a flu virus, is a deadly killer, and Novichok, a deadly nerve agent, is not a killer.

ET AL September 15, 2020 at 11:36 am

Dances with Bears: THE PEVCHIKH PLOT – NAVALNY BOTTLE, LONDON WITNESS FLEE THE SCENE OF THE CRIME, BERLIN TOO
http://johnhelmer.net/the-pevchikh-plot-navalny-bottle-london-witness-flee-the-scene-of-the-crime-berlin-too/

British and other international toxicological experts say that without technical reporting by the laboratory of the spectrometric composition of the chemical, and without identifying the compound by the international naming protocol there is no evidence at all;..

the US Army had recently manufactured its own Novichok types: "A230, A232 and A234 A232 has a CAS number of 2308498-31-7. A230 and A234 have no known CAS numbers."
####

A lot more at the link.

ET AL September 15, 2020 at 11:40 am

I reckon Khordokovsky has a hand in this. He has the same moral compass as dead Berezovsky. None. And he has refused to stick to agreements (keep out of politics). If the British or someone else get fingered for this cunning plan , would they serve him up on a silver platter? Almost certainly so.

MARK CHAPMAN September 15, 2020 at 3:29 pm

Helmer always delivers. It looks very much as if the Germans have stepped in the shit.

JEN September 15, 2020 at 7:10 pm

We certainly did well to focus on Maria Pevchikh as soon as we discovered that in addition to being the one who evaded questioning by Russian authorities by flying out to Germany, she also had British residency. She certainly has become a "person of interest" and could well be the major individual in the plot to incapacitate Navalny and use him to pressure Germany over NSII and Russia over the Belarus unrest.

MARK CHAPMAN September 15, 2020 at 7:17 pm

Agreed; she does indeed look to have played a far bigger part in the operation than she lets on.

MOSCOWEXILE September 15, 2020 at 9:44 pm

It is still unknown whether Pevchikh is a British citizen. I think she is and probably must be, in fact, for if she is only a visa holder or an applicant for UK citizenship, she could be told by the Home Office to go take a hike if it is proven that she was instrumental in the poisoning plot.

When Berezovsky got cocky in the UK after a judge there had prevented his being forced to leave Misty Albion because Berzovsky had persuaded him that were he to return to Mordor, he would face an unfair trial and his life would be in danger -- the erstwhile "Godfather of the Kremlin" had arrived in the with a 6-month visitor's visa -- he started bragging to the "Guardian" that he was organizing with his chums still in the Evil Empire the overthrow of the tyrant Putin.

The Home Secretary at the time was none other than "Jack" Straw -- another odious pile of ordure -- who promptly summonsed Berezovsky to the Home Office for an official bollocking. He was told that if, while resident in the UK, he continued to engage himself with the overthrow of a foreign head of state, he was out.

Be that as it may, I am quite sure he was working with British state security, as was his once favoured acolyte Litvinenko.

Litvinenko was poisoned. Berezovsky committed suicide -- they say.

Like

MOSCOWEXILE September 15, 2020 at 1:32 pm

Россия задала ЕС девять вопросов об обвинениях в ситуации с Навальным

Постоянное представительство России при Евросоюзе указало на ключевые нестыковки в версии об отравлении Алексея Навального
15 сентября 2020

Russia has asked the EU nine questions about accusations in the situation with Navalny

The Permanent Representative of Russia to the European Union has pointed out the key inconsistencies in the version about the poisoning of Alexei Navalny
15 September 2020

https://yandex.ru/turbo/tass.ru/s/politika/9466401?sign=80f97b564d197b55161b94400f4ff187026d184af0581f365926a5271a89189a%3A1600204510&utm_source=yxnews&utm_medium=mobile&trbsrc=neo-news

In the eighth question, Russian diplomats drew attention to a bottle of water, on which, according to Germany, traces of poison had been found: "Not a single surveillance camera recorded how Navalny drank from a similar bottle at the Tomsk airport [before departure]. from this bottle earlier or on board the plane, how did this bottle get to Berlin? "

Ask Pevchikh! Only she is now probably undergoing debriefing in London at UK Secret Intelligence Services HQ, 85 Albert Embankment.

PATIENT OBSERVER September 15, 2020 at 4:41 pm

Navalny, if indeed he was close to death, must now realize he was set up by one of his own benefactors. What would be his next move? Going back to Russia would make the most sense as the Russians may actually protect him from another show-assassination and he would have freedom to prance around to his heart's content.

MARK CHAPMAN September 15, 2020 at 6:54 pm

I don't believe he was ever 'close to death', rather that he was an active part of the deception. He is a grifting idiot who puffs up like a toad upon being flattered. He could never win power in Russia legitimately, as he is mostly a figure of contempt in Russia save for the perennially-discontented children of the liberal elite and the few Americaphiles who don't know enough to keep their heads down. I believe he played his role by taking something that would nauseate him but not seriously hurt him, rolling about and screaming, and that the introduction of the phony 'poison bottle' was with his full knowledge. I wish Russia would just disown him and tell the Germans they can have him.

However, I could be wrong. We will know from the tone of his remarks when he feels he is strong enough to once again assume his president-in-waiting role, and starts spouting off about what happened to him. He is the most likely candidate to be selected to get the water-bottle narrative back on track, so if he comes out with an explanation for how he drank from the bottle somewhere there were no surveillance cameras, and noticed a sketchy-looking guy in a leather jacket and a "Vote For Putin!" T-shirt standing nearby just before he drank, it will be a pretty good indication that he is as full of shit as ever.

JEN September 15, 2020 at 10:53 pm

There was considerable risk involved in the deception. I doubt that Navalny went into the deception willingly. There was a very real risk that he could have suffered some brain damage going into the first coma and that's sure to compromise his health in the long term in other ways.

More likely it seems a lot of the deception was planned behind Navalny's back and people were waiting for an opportunity to carry it out. It may have been planned years ago for someone else and then switched to Navalny once he was in the Omsk hospital. Julia Navalnaya may have been pushed into demanding that Navalny be transferred to Berlin and while the Omsk hospital doctors were stabilising him for the transfer, the deception then started going into action in Germany.

MOSCOWEXILE September 15, 2020 at 11:18 pm

Lavrov smelt a rat several days ago -- last week, I'm sure -- when he stated that suspicions had been aroused by one of Navalny's gang refusing to answer investigators' questions in Omsk and then scarpering off to Germany.

I'm quite sure the FSB already knew of Pevchikh's comings and goings between London and Moscow (over 60 flights there and back I read somewhere) and her activities with the Navalny organization.

Perhaps they allowed Navalny to leave for Germany -- with Pevchikh flying out with him, I may add -- because they knew what was afoot and would later expose the Germans for liars, or if not that, then for their falling to a sucker punch off the British secret service.

They certainly allowed Pevchikh to leave Russia: she didn't sneak on board Navalny's private flight.

Just Pevchikh, note, not Navalnaya, who is not a British agent, I'm sure.

MARK CHAPMAN September 16, 2020 at 8:49 am

Certainly possible – as I say, we will know more from his blabber once he starts giving interviews, which he lives to do. His tone will have changed considerably if he believes his erstwhile chums in politics intended to martyr him. Otherwise I read his expressed desire to return at once to Russia as simply remaining in character – the selfless hero risking all for freedom and democracy.

I wonder how he will thank the doctors in Omsk for saving his life, as it is generally acknowledged they did. He cannot go into transports of admiration for their professional skills, because they claimed to have found no trace of poisoning in his samples. He faces the choice, then, of simply passing over it without mention, or accusing the people who saved his life of 'being part of the machine'. Doing either will certainly not increase his popularity in Russia. And it makes no difference at all how popular he is in the west – something the west seemingly cannot be taught.

Like

MOSCOWEXILE September 16, 2020 at 4:41 am

Die Zeit сообщила о предложении США от ФРГ по "Северному потоку -- 2"
RT на русском, 16 сентября 2020

Die Zeit announced the proposal of the USA from Germany for the "Nord Stream – 2
RT in Russian, September 16, 2020

The German government has offered the United States a deal in exchange for Washington's waiver of sanctions against Nord Stream 2.

This is reported by the newspaper Die Zeit, citing sources

It is noted that Berlin has expressed its readiness to invest up to € 1 billion in the construction of two terminals in Germany for receiving liquefied natural gas from the United States.

"In response, the United States will allow the unhindered completion and operation of Nord Stream 2", TASS quotes the text of a letter from German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, which was sent on August 7 to the head of the US Treasury, Stephen Mnuchin.

In early August, US senators sent a letter to the operator of the German port of Sassnitz calling for an end to work to support the construction of Nord Stream 2.

https://russian-rt-com.turbopages.org/russian.rt.com/s/business/news/783868-predlozhenie-frg-ssha?utm_source=yxnews&utm_medium=mobile

PAULR September 16, 2020 at 5:07 am

This would suggest that the Germans are not planning to cancel North Stream 2 themselves in response to the Navalny case.

MOSCOWEXILE September 16, 2020 at 5:57 am

The USA won't like the offer. Zero-Win for them -- always.

Americans have to be winners -- expect to be winners: it's their birthright and what made America great. To be a loser is un-American.

In my experience, the worst thing ever for many US citizens is to be accused of being a "loser".

PATIENT OBSERVER September 16, 2020 at 9:05 am

Very true about the term "loser" being a harsh insult for Americans. The "loser" tag starts to be applied to kids in early grade school and only intensifies from that point. The glorification of success (defined by the level of conspicuous consumption) further sharpens the divide between losers and winners. Our "feel-good" stories are often about individuals who were able to transform themselves from "losers" to "winners". American culture is one-dimensional in that way.

PATIENT OBSERVER September 16, 2020 at 5:12 pm

Building an LNG terminal is one thing, buying US LNG is another thing. In addition, I believe that Russia could provide LNG to Germany as well and likely at a substantially lower price.

The US may settle for this gesture as it does hold the door open, however slightly, for future developments to be leveraged by the US to force Germany to reduce or stop gas purchases from Russia. Having the terminal in place could make a future change in suppliers more feasible and faster but nevertheless representing an economic disaster for Germany. Lets call it step 1 in Plan B.

MARK CHAPMAN September 16, 2020 at 10:49 pm

I'm pretty sure the Americans will not take this offer, but will instead – correctly – interpret it as weakness and increase their pressure.

ET AL September 16, 2020 at 11:56 pm

On the other hand any diplomatic/economic success plays well in this presidential erection year. So a) is it worth it?; b) can they reverse the decision the day after? I assume they can have their cake and eat it as Brussels is mostly spineless. Borrell can squeal about Russia, but that's because he can do f/k all about the USA's behavior, being spokeshole and all

MARK CHAPMAN September 17, 2020 at 8:51 am

That's what people seem not to get – the decision would not ever be 'reversible' once Nord Stream II is complete. That pipeline quad alone can carry all of Europe's gas supply that it receives from Russia. None through Ukraine, not a whiff, if that is Moscow's will, although the Russians have agreed to transit token amounts, which the Ukrainians say are not enough to make the system's continued operation viable – without the large volumes they are accustomed to handling, they will have to progressively begin shutting down, bypassing and dismantling sections they can no longer afford to maintain.

So long as the pipeline's future remains in doubt, Uncle Sam can sell the philosophical possibility of supplying Europe with large volumes of cheap LNG via tankers, made desirable – although it will cost a little more, no getting around that – for political reasons. Once Nord Stream II is complete, the reality of a reliable supply of cheap pipeline gas would have to be countered with a concrete offer from the USA; this many cubic meters times this many Euros. Any housewife can do a cost-benefit analysis at that level. Do you want to pay more for American gas just because it comes from America? Well, let me think about it – what are the benefits? Well, it comes from America! What, you mean, that's it? There would be no possibility the Americans would use their status as a major energy supplier as leverage to bring about economic or political changes in Europe that they desired, would there? Well I can't guarantee that.

You know what? I'm okay with Russian gas, thanks just the same. Maybe I'll use the money I save to buy a Ford – how's that?

MARK CHAPMAN September 16, 2020 at 9:20 am

Pathetic. After declaring forcefully that American extraterritorial sanctions are illegal – which, technically, they are, only America has a right to threaten to limit European trade in America if it wishes; although that, too is illegal under WTO rules – Germany is now cowering and trying to 'make a deal'. With Trump, in case anyone missed that, whose 'Art of the Deal' consists of destroying the opponent until he is happy to have escaped with his life, and will never publicly complain about a 'deal' which came out very much to his disadvantage. Put another way, offering America a 'deal' only highlights that you believe you are in a weak position, are looking for mercy, and are ripe for the plucking. Germany was already planning to build the heaviest concentration of LNG terminals in Europe; a far better strategy would have been to threaten to cancel them all if Uncle Sam did not back off. The Americans are certainly smart enough to figure out – in about 2.5 seconds – that more LNG terminals means diddly when Russia can also supply LNG far cheaper than the USA because it has teensy transport costs by comparison, being much closer. Two more LNG terminals buys America precisely zero advantage, but the willingness to 'deal' reveals vulnerability. The only American response to rolling on your back to expose your belly is to step on your head.

I swear, it is hard to recognize Germany as the country which once frightened the world.

A Trump counter-offer might be a commitment from Germany to buy X amount of American LNG at a locked-in price, said amount to be sufficient that extra Nord Stream capacity would not be utilized. It depends on whether the Americans really think they can actually stop Nord Stream II, because even that would ultimately be a loser strategy. Unless a term far into the future were specified, the Americans know that once the pipeline is finished, their product is no longer competitive and cannot ever be unless it is unprofitable to themselves. They could satisfy themselves with gutting the Germans for a year or two (if they accepted), but it would be short-term satisfaction at best. Might be enough to win Trump the election, though.

But if Washington thinks it can actually halt Nord Stream II – with the understanding that the Russians would probably give up after such a stinging second rebuke – then the sky is the limit, and they will scornfully reject any other solution. The one who stands to get hurt the most is Europe. But I don't think they realize it.

MOSCOWEXILE September 16, 2020 at 8:31 am

WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT TO KILL THE "OPPOSITION" TORCH-BEARER NAVALNY?
Stalker Zone
September 15, 2020

CORTES September 17, 2020 at 12:41 am

The Borgias are history. Well, obviously, they ARE history. But now they have been relegated to the Second Division/Championship (football joke) of Poisoners by Sergei Lavrov and his chef de cuisine:

Voici le mindfuck (pardon my French):

https://thesaker.is/us-deputy-secretary-of-state-was-afraid-to-eat-russian-soup-navalny-and-swift-ruslan-ostashko/

Contains a smidgeon of addled Navalny. Delish!

https://c0.pubmine.com/sf/0.0.3/html/safeframe.html REPORT THIS AD

MOSCOWEXILE September 17, 2020 at 12:53 am

Oh look! The Navalnyites have shown a video, shot in Tomsk, of Navalny drinking from the allegedly poisoned water bottle that earlier nobody had seen or made mention of before it turned up in Berlin and was sent to the Bundeswehr lab.

Recall that his loud-mouth spokeswoman had from the very start insisted that Navalny had been poisoned by laced-with-poison tea that he had drunk at Tomsk airport.

Change of story line -- as persistently happened in the Skripal fake.

Video Showing Water Bottle That 'Poisoned' Alexei Navalny Shared by His Team
17 September, 2020: 10:17

https://sputniknews.com/russia/202009171080484058-navalny-was-poisoned-by-water-bottle-in-his-hotel-room-his-team-claims/

MOSCOWEXILE September 17, 2020 at 12:56 am

That Sputnik headline should read, I think, "shared with his team".

And if that is the case, why didn't his team also start howling and screaming and rolling around on the deck some time later on board the Tomsk-Moscow flight?

MOSCOW EXILE September 17, 2020 at 3:15 am

gazeta.ru

Соратники Навального сообщили, что забрали бутылки из номера в Томске
17.09.2020 | 10:57

Navalny's companions have reported that they took bottles from a hotel room in Tomsk

Alexei Navalny's companions have said that a bottle of mineral water, on which German experts had allegedly found traces of poison from the Novichok group, had been brought from a hotel room in Tomsk.

On an Instagram, they have posted a video in which, according to them, an hour after news of Navalny's deteriorating condition, they examine the room and seize all the items which he had been able to touch.

On August 20, the aeroplane in which Navalny was flying urgently landed in Omsk, from where the blogger was taken to hospital. On August 21, doctors announced that the main diagnosis was metabolic disorders.

At the moment, Navalny is in Germany, where he has been taken out of an artificial coma. German doctors announced that he had been poisoned with substances from the Novichok group, but did not provide any relevant evidence.

So why didn't the Navalny hamsters, who dutifully sought out the poison bottle and most certainly handled it, throw wobblers as did Navalny when performing what he thought were the effects of nerve agent poisoning?

And whom did the hamsters hand the bottle to -- Navalnaya or Pevchikh? And who handled the bottle after its arrival in Berlin and before the obliging Bundeswehr said it had been dosed with the most lethal nerve agent (weapons grade) known to man?

Why isn't there a trail of stiffs from Tomsk to Berlin and beyond?

Who's going to believe this shite?

"Why, the whole world knows it's true!" will Imperial Plenipotentiary Pompeus Fattus Arsus surely say.

MOSCOW EXILE September 17, 2020 at 3:36 am

One of the developers of Novichok, Leonid Rink, commented on reports that a bottle in the Tomsk hotel where Alexei Navalny had stayed could [have been] Novichok [contaminated] .

"This is a situation where no one would have been allowed to touch the bottle -- you would have died if you had done so. If this had really been the case, then there would have basically been a deceased person, and everyone who had carried this bottle without gloves and protection would also have died", he told RIA Novosti.

Ah, but . . . Rink is forgetting that it was a special, delayed action Novichok made to take effect on "Putin's Fiercest Critic" when he was on board the Tomsk-Moscow flight.

Rink's an old Soviet has-been and knows nothing about the latest developments in diabolical weaponry that issues forth from secret Orc laboratories.

Эксперт прокомментировал сообщения о бутылке с "Новичком"
12:27

Expert comments on statements about the bottle with "Novichok"
12:27

CORTES September 17, 2020 at 6:20 am

Maybe the cunning developers have produced a Novichok variant safe to those who have sinned but fatal (or liable, at least, to provoke a severe tummy upset, occasionally) to the purest of heart?

JENNIFER HOR September 17, 2020 at 12:43 pm

I like this idea of the special edition of Novichok with the delayed kick. Maybe we could call it Brawndo and speculate that the poison only goes into action when it does because the added electrolytes take time to work to release the poison.

MOSCOWEXILE September 17, 2020 at 7:56 am

kp.ru

Alexei Navalny's team immediately after his departure from Tomsk airport, went to the hotel room in that city where he had spent the night, and packed all the items (including water bottles) so as to deliver them for analysis (of course, not in Russia). A video about this was posted on the oppositionist's Instagram.

Everything in this story is beautiful. Navalny's supporters were collecting "evidence" on a case that had not yet happened -- but it was already supposed to have happened? Together with them, there went a lawyer to the hotel -- he was also at the ready. But why were none of the "trackers" hurt if on the "evidence", as is said, they found traces of the "Novichok" military poison? And how did the "people of Navalny" end up in a room where cleaning up should have been done after the guest's departure? There are other questions as well. Some of them "KP" asked FSB reserve general Alexander Mikhailov .

MARK CHAPMAN September 17, 2020 at 9:06 am

And the person shown handling the bottle is wearing gloves – they made sure to show that. But as others have pointed out, this was well before anyone knew 'an attempt had been made on the Opposition Leader's life'. What, all Lyosha's shit was still in his hotel room, towels on the floor, the next day, after he checked out? Pretty crappy service in those Russian hotels. He didn't even leave Russia for several days, and the first suggestions he had been poisoned came from his 'press agent', who claimed he had been poisoned with tea at the airport.

Skripals II.

Like

MOSCOWEXILE September 17, 2020 at 7:26 am

Навального выдвинули на Нобелевскую премию мира

Navalny nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Sergei Yerofeyev, a professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA, has spoken about this.

According to Yerofeyev, Navalny has been nominated for the prize by "a number of professors from recognized universities who deal with Russia". He did not give specific names, but noted that there are "great people" amongst the scientists who have nominated Navalny.

A professor of any university in the world can nominate a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize: there are no specific requirements for a candidate. In addition, members of national governments and parliaments, heads of state and some other categories of persons can nominate candidates.

The oppositionist will have to fight for the main prize of the planet with venerable rivals.

This is, first of all, US President Donald Trump, who was nominated by Christian Tubring-Jedde, a member of the Norwegian parliament from the far-right Libertarian Progress Party. As the MP said in an interview with Fox News, Donald Trump should be awarded for his role in concluding an agreement on the full normalization of relations between Israel and the UAE.

And why not? O'Bummer was awarded the peace prize, wasn't he?

Same story in Yukie news:

Navalny nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Navalny nominated for Nobel Peace Prize – Kyiv Post

MOSCOWEXILE September 17, 2020 at 7:42 am

I wonder how the Kiev Post evaluates Navalny's position on the Crimea?

The status of the Crimea is a problem that a new democratic Russia will inherit from its former government. The Russian position on this problem will be determined by the recognition of the right of the citizens of the Crimea to determine their own destiny -- Navalny 20!8

TIMOTHY HAGIOS September 17, 2020 at 8:26 am

I say give it to him. Let him join the prestigious ranks of Obama, the OPCW, the EU.

I also propose starting a Nobel War Prize, to be awarded to whatever individual or organization is responsible for the highest body count in a given year. Although that may be redundant, considering that it would probably be given to the same people as the Peace Prize.

MARK CHAPMAN September 17, 2020 at 9:13 am

Ha, ha!! And it all descends into farce, again. Navalny has arrived – he has gone global, beyond his wildest dreams. The nothing from Wherever He Is From who could not even break 5% in presidential election polling is now a major star, glittering in the western firmament. As Saint Lily Tomlin once remarked, no matter how cynical you get, you can never keep up.

All the west is going to be able to get out of this is the satisfaction of showing its ass to the neo-Soviets, the way it does when it re-names the street the Russian Embassy is – or was – located on after some prominent Russian dissident. Beavis and Butthead level, at best.

MOSCOWEXILE September 18, 2020 at 9:17 am

On Navalny, a Russian blogger writes:

That's it! This is a farewell article. A real goodbye to the topic. More precisely, parting with Navalny as a topic. His political role has been played to the end. And even lethal doses of Novichok have not caused a mass movement. Furgal's arrest caused an explosion of civil consciousness in Khabarovsk. The poisoning of Navalny, sending him abroad, the discovery of Novichok, official accusations from Germany did not cause any rally, no procession, no movement. No excitement in civic consciousness has occurred and will never happen.

[Sep 18, 2020] The New Year Gift, by Israel Shamir

Israel raises an important question about the role on neoliberal MSM is spreading COVID-19 panic.
Notable quotes:
"... Sinaisky claims that they brought the pandemics upon us because of the high debt problem, or by their inability to continue colonial plunder. Alternatively, a notable commenter to his text suggests that it was done because of overproduction of capital. In other words, the bank-lending rate is so close to zero, or even negative, that the whole machinery of capitalism was deluged in a flood of capital, and needed a major war, or indeed a global pandemic, to use it up. ..."
"... Because of this freak combination of forces, Sweden left its health policy in the hands of local professionals and remained free, while its neighbouring countries transferred the responsibility to globalist politicians and embraced quarantine. ..."
"... Thus the liberal Blairite media (beginning with the NY Times and the Guardian) played a key part in the Corona crisis. They were the piper; but who ordered the piper? ..."
Sep 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

...Do the US plutocrats (that is, the American über-wealthy) control all that? I think they would be amazed to learn that, especially "for generations", bearing in mind that the US was not a very significant factor before the WWI. In my view, the rich are not that smart. But the network exists; I have called its obscure controllers The Masters of Discourse .

Sinaisky claims that they brought the pandemics upon us because of the high debt problem, or by their inability to continue colonial plunder. Alternatively, a notable commenter to his text suggests that it was done because of overproduction of capital. In other words, the bank-lending rate is so close to zero, or even negative, that the whole machinery of capitalism was deluged in a flood of capital, and needed a major war, or indeed a global pandemic, to use it up.

Finally, Sinaisky claims that "atomization of society, breaking up community solidarity, eroding all non-monetary connections between people, destroying family relations and weakening blood ties, is a long-standing plutocratic project. Now, using this fake pandemic, the plutocrats have gone even further, now they train us to see each other not as friend, not as brother, not even as a source of profit, but mainly as a source of mortal infection." I wonder what makes him think that is an object of plutocratic desire? Certainly rich people want to make money and have more power, agreed. Is it necessary for them to atomise society? Who will they and their kids socialize with in such a ruined world?

I am not sure that there is a human agency with such goals. A non-human factor is a much more suitable culprit. In the old days, such a culprit was called Satan, and there were mighty organisations aka churches that fought Satan. In a charming movie, Luc Besson's Fifth Element, 'Love' defeats 'the Shadow', the personified evil that was about to obliterate Earth. Call it Satan, call it Shadow, the thing surely has human collaborationists in the mainstream media. I wrote about it in a piece called The Shadow of Zog . Indeed media should be sorted out in order to deal with it.

Sweden, this lucky country that avoided lockdown and its consequences, was saved by a rare media misstep. (This story has never been published though it is known to many Swedes.) Corona propaganda was carried out by the same liberal Bonnier-owned newspaper, DN (Dagens Nyheter), that played up Greta Thunberg. (Sinaisky's senses served him right: indeed Covid is a new Greta multiplied by a factor of 50). The Greta campaign had as its favourite high horse flygskam , or flight-shaming. Stop taking flights to lower carbon emissions , was the idea. Now we have no flights at all, so this movement disappeared after achieving its goals.

In February 2020, the DN organised a week-long sleeper train culture trip to North Italy for the Greta-following liberal elite. A berth on this train was priced starting at ten thousand Euros. The group went up to the Italian Alps and down to the Carnival in Venice and finally returned home, full to the brim with interesting experiences and coronavirus infections. A few days after the train returned to Stockholm, the disease broke out at large. Many of the liberal journalists that travelled on the Corona Express (as the train became known) fell sick, and their close relatives suffered, too. This incident caused the death of many elderly Jews, parents or uncles of those liberal journalists. It was a media phenomenon, and the Jewish media reported that the death rate among Swedish Jews was 14 times higher than their share of the population (well, it is not as bad as it sounds; only nine very old Jews died, all over 80).

As the people in authority knew all about the Corona Express, the liberal lobby was too ashamed to call for quarantine against the disease they has carried to Sweden. (Or they did call, but in sotto voce.) Furthermore, the DN was their only significant liberal media outlet, as Bonnier had sold his TV channel to a state-owned company in December 2019, making heaps of money but losing his ability to influence people.

Because of this freak combination of forces, Sweden left its health policy in the hands of local professionals and remained free, while its neighbouring countries transferred the responsibility to globalist politicians and embraced quarantine.

Thus the liberal Blairite media (beginning with the NY Times and the Guardian) played a key part in the Corona crisis. They were the piper; but who ordered the piper?

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

[Sep 18, 2020] Saudi Prince Abdulaziz Warns Oil Short Sellers- -We Will Never Leave This Market Unattended

Paper oil sellers essentially dictate prices to real producers. So they are looting producers. That's hurt the process of replacement of old wells with new ones (and shale oil well live just several years, with only first two the most procductive) and as "paper oil" is Wall Street fiction, and at some point paper oil market might collapse and oil prices go to stratosphere.
Sep 18, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

As the price of oil begins to falter, Saudi Arabia has stepped up its rhetoric, even going as far as to warn short sellers not to bet against the price of the commodity.

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman gave "clear hints" on Thursday that there could be a change of direction in production policy forthcoming as the price of oil continues its slide, according to Bloomberg .

He said Thursday: "We will never leave this market unattended. I want the guys in the trading floors to be as jumpy as possible. I'm going to make sure whoever gambles on this market will be ouching like hell."

At the same time, Brent was falling below $40 per barrel and the market continues to show signs of waning demand. OPEC and its allies said they would be "proactive and preemptive" in addressing the diminishing price, recommending "participating counties take further necessary measures".

Abdulaziz started a meeting on Thursday with what Bloomberg called a "forceful condemnation" of members who are pumping out too much supply. His ire may have been directed to UAE Energy Minister Suhail al Mazrouei, who attended the meeting. The UAE has been "one of the worst quota breakers" in OPEC+, only making 10% of its pledged cuts for August.

Abdulaziz said: "Using tactics to over-produce and hide non-compliance have been tried many times in the past, and always end in failure. They achieve nothing and bring harm to our reputation and credibility."

"Attempts to outsmart the market will not succeed and are counterproductive when we have the eyes, and the technology, of the world upon us," Prince Abdulaziz continued.

UAE was overproducing by about 520,000 barrels per day in August and the country will try to make additional cuts in October and November to make up for past month shortcomings.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=890

Countries like Iraq and Nigeria have implemented more than 100% of their required cuts, helping give OPEC and Abdulaziz credibility.

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Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodities strategy at BNP Paribas SA, concluded: "You have to hand it to Prince Abdulaziz. Since he became Saudi oil minister, the kingdom has kept OPEC+ in line through his diplomatic and compelling powers of influence."


y_arrow Fabelhaft , 3 hours ago

If that were true, the energy world would be a lot better off. Producers want to contract; consumers, probably even China, like the market price. For it can be manipulated easier by consumers than by suppliers; because consumers control the intl banks and capitalist rules. Unless China is kept from the market table , then it might accept contracting. Tough racket, this sanctioning stuff is getting to be, eh?

[Sep 18, 2020] Continued German Support for Nord Stream 2 Completion -- Towards a Shift in Russia-Germany Relations by Stephen Lendman

Sep 17, 2020 | www.globalresearch.ca

https://apis.google.com/u/0/se/0/_/+1/fastbutton?usegapi=1&size=medium&count=true&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.globalresearch.ca&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.globalresearch.ca%2Fcontinued-german-support-nord-stream-2-completion%2F5724195&gsrc=3p&jsh=m%3B%2F_%2Fscs%2Fapps-static%2F_%2Fjs%2Fk%3Doz.gapi.en.myOGgYJo9ys.O%2Fam%3DwQE%2Fd%3D1%2Fct%3Dzgms%2Frs%3DAGLTcCMR2Cg_3Iqxcgmos-E9G6cjWQG_Kw%2Fm%3D__features__#_methods=onPlusOne%2C_ready%2C_close%2C_open%2C_resizeMe%2C_renderstart%2Concircled%2Cdrefresh%2Cerefresh&id=I0_1600401164093&_gfid=I0_1600401164093&parent=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.globalresearch.ca&pfname=&rpctoken=21838589 1

Construction of Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany is about 94% completed.

The project is all about supplying Germany and other European countries with readily available low-cost Russian natural gas -- around 30% cheaper than US liquified natural gas (LNG).

Both right wings of the US one-party state want the pipeline halted to benefit US producers at Russia's expense.

US sanctions on the project breach international law, Germany's Angela Merkel earlier saying "(w)e oppose extraterritorial sanctions (W)e don't accept" them.

"We haven't backed down (on wanting Nord Stream 2 completed) nor do we intend to back down."

Last December, German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass said "European energy policy is decided in Europe, not the United States. We reject any outside interventions and extraterritorial sanctions."

Did the novichok poisoning of Putin critic Alexey Navalny hoax change things?

During a September 24 – 25 summit of EU leaders, the future of Nord Stream 2 will be discussed. Ahead of the summit, Merkel's government offered to invest around one billion euros (about $1.2 billion) in construction of two terminals in Germany for US LNG.

According to the German broadsheet Die Zeit, by letter to Trump regime Treasury Secretary Mnunchin in August, German Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said the following:

"In exchange (for Berlin's proposed LNG investment), the US will allow unobstructed finalization and use of Nord Stream 2," adding:

"(E)xisting legal options for (challenging US) sanctions (on firms involved in the project) have not been exhausted yet."

The broadsheet added that Scholz first expressed Berlin's proposal verbally, confirming it by letter. Proposed German LNG terminals would be built in Brunsbuttel and Wilhelmshaven. Berlin's proposal also included a gas transit contract for Ukraine and financing of a terminal for Poland's use of US LNG.

Following the Navalny false flag, opinion on completing Nord Stream 2 in Germany is divided. Merkel still supports the project as evidenced by her government's offer to build two terminals for US LNG in exchange for dropping sanctions on the pipeline by the US.

Orchestrated Events Responsible for Alexey Navalny's Illness?

Last June, US Senate hardliners proposed legislation to expand Nord Stream 2 related sanctions.

It targets all nations and enterprises involved in the project, including underwriting, insurance and reinsurance companies.

At the time, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller said Russia will complete construction of the project on its own -- expected to be operational in January or shortly thereafter. Last month, German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass expressed "displeasure" to Pompeo about US sanctions on the project. Last week, Polish government spokesman Piotr Muller was quoted saying the following:

"Poland has from the very beginning emphasized that European solidarity (on Nord Stream 2) should be unambiguous."

"Therefore, if such a need is expressed by the German side, Poland is open to the idea of using the infrastructure which it is building for its own energy security."

His remark followed German media reports that Merkel said a decision by her government on Nord Stream 2 has not been made in light of the Navalny incident. German officials supporting the project stressed that the country will be the main beneficiary of its completion economically, environmentally and strategically. Construction on the proposed 800 – 950 km Baltic Pipe gas pipeline from Norwegian North Sea waters to Poland hasn't begun.

If completed in October 2022 as proposed, it'll be able to deliver about 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually -- less than 20% of Nord Stream 2's 55 billion annual cubic meter capacity.

Berlin earlier was skeptical about the project because of environmental concerns. Days earlier, Polish energy expert Jakub Wiech called it "pointless" to compare Baltic Pipe to Nord Stream 2, given the latter project's far greater capacity and ability to provide gas to other Western European countries. A day after the Navalny incident last month, Merkel said Nord Stream 2 will be completed regardless of threatened new US sanctions on firms involved in the project.

Separately on Wednesday, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Nord Stream 2's completion should not be raised in discussing the Navalny incident.

"It should stop being mentioned in the context of any politicization."

"This is a commercial project that is absolutely in line with the interests of both Russia and European Union countries, and primarily Germany."

No evidence links Russia to Navalny's illness. Whatever caused it wasn't from a novichok nerve agent, the deadliest know substance able to kill exposed individuals in minutes. Over three weeks after falling ill, Navalny is very much alive, recuperating in a Berlin hospital, and able to be ambulatory for short periods.

A Final Comment

On September 14, CNBC reported the following:

"Experts say Berlin is unlikely to (abandon Nord Stream 2 that's) over 94% completed after almost a decade's construction, involv(ing) major German and European companies, and is necessary for the region's current and future energy needs," adding:

"In this case, economic and commercial interests could trump political pressure" against Russia.

Chief eurozone economist Carsten Brzeski said he doesn't see "Germany pulling out of the project Many (in the country) are still in favor of it."

CNBC noted that

"Germany has been reluctant to link the fate of its involvement with Nord Stream 2 to the Navalny incident so far, and (FM Heiko) Maas conceded that stopping the building of the pipeline would hurt not only Russia but German and European firms."

"(O)ver 100 companies from 12 European countries" are involved in the project about half of them from Germany."

*

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net . He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com .

Featured image is from Asia Times

The original source of this article is Global Research Copyright © Stephen Lendman , Global Research, 2020

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[Sep 17, 2020] Lies in the Navalny case

Was it BZ toxin again: Lavrov- Swiss lab says 'BZ toxin' used in Salisbury, not produced in Russia, was in US & UK service
Notable quotes:
"... German Chancellor Angela Merkel personally announced at a press conference last week that a chemical weapons laboratory of the Bundeswehr (Armed Forces) had proved "beyond doubt" that Navalny was the victim of an attack using the Novichok nerve agent. She called on the Russian government to answer "very serious questions." ..."
"... At a special session of the Parliamentary Control Committee, which meets in secret, representatives of the German government and the secret services left no doubt, according to media reports, that the poisoning of Navalny had been carried out by Russian state authorities, with the approval of the Russian leadership. The poison was said to be a variant of the warfare agent -- one even more dangerous than that used in the Skripal case in Britain. It purportedly could enter the body simply through inhalation, and its production and use required skills possessed only by a state actor. ..."
"... Excerpt of an article by Peter Schwarz published by wsws.org ..."
Sep 10, 2020 | www.defenddemocracy.press

The relationship between Germany and Russia has reached its lowest point since Berlin supported the pro-Western coup in Ukraine six years ago and Russia subsequently annexed the Crimean Peninsula.

The German government is openly accusing the Russian state of poisoning opposition politician Alexei Navalny, who is currently in Berlin's Charité Clinic. He reportedly awoke from a coma on Monday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel personally announced at a press conference last week that a chemical weapons laboratory of the Bundeswehr (Armed Forces) had proved "beyond doubt" that Navalny was the victim of an attack using the Novichok nerve agent. She called on the Russian government to answer "very serious questions."

At a special session of the Parliamentary Control Committee, which meets in secret, representatives of the German government and the secret services left no doubt, according to media reports, that the poisoning of Navalny had been carried out by Russian state authorities, with the approval of the Russian leadership. The poison was said to be a variant of the warfare agent -- one even more dangerous than that used in the Skripal case in Britain. It purportedly could enter the body simply through inhalation, and its production and use required skills possessed only by a state actor.

Germany and the European Union are threatening Russia with sanctions. The German government has even questioned the completion of the almost finished Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, which it had categorically defended against pressure from the US and several Eastern European states.

The German media has gone into propaganda mode, repeating the accusations against Russian President Vladimir Putin with a thousand variations. Seventy-nine years after Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union, which claimed more than 25 million lives, German journalists and politicians, in editorials, commentaries and on talk shows, speak with the arrogance of people who are already planning the next military campaign against Moscow.

Anyone who expresses doubts or contradicts the official narrative is branded a "conspiracy theorist." This is what happened to Left Party parliamentarian Sevim Dagdelen, among others, on Sunday evening's "Anne Will" talk show. The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) foreign policy expert Norbert Röttgen, the head of the Munich Security Conference Wolfang Ischinger and former Green Party Environment Minister Jürgen Trittin sought to outstrip one another in their accusations against the Russian government. When Dagdelen gently pointed out that, so far, no evidence whatsoever has been presented identifying the perpetrators, she was accused of "playing games of confusion" and "encouraging unspeakable conspiracy theories."

Read also: Russian Defense Minister held talks with Iran's Chief of Staff

The Russian government denies any responsibility in the Navalny case. It questions whether Navalny was poisoned at all and has called on the German government to "show its cards" and present evidence. Berlin, according to Moscow, is bluffing for dirty political reasons.

Contradictory and implausible

Evidence of the involvement of the Russian state is as contradictory as it is implausible.

For example, the German authorities have so far published no information or handed evidence to Russian investigators identifying the chemical with which Navalny was poisoned. Novichok is merely a generic term for several families of warfare agents.

No explanation has been given as to why no one else showed signs of poisoning from a nerve agent that is fatal even in the tiniest amounts, if touched or inhaled. Navalny had had contact with numerous people between the time he boarded the airplane on which he fainted, his entering the clinic in Omsk where he was first treated, and his transfer to the Charité hospital in Berlin.

This is only one of many unexplained anomalies in the German government's official story. Career diplomat Frank Elbe, who headed the office of German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher for five years and negotiated the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons as head of the German delegation in Geneva from 1983 to 1986, wrote on Facebook on Friday: "I am surprised that the Federal Ministry of Defence concludes that the nerve agent Novichok was used against Navalny."

Novichok, he wrote, belongs "to the group of super-toxic lethal substances that cause immediate death." It made no sense, he argued, to modify a nerve poison that was supposed to kill instantly in such a way that it did not kill, but left traces behind allowing its identification as a nerve agent.

There was something strange about this case, Elbe said. "Either the perpetrators -- whoever they might be -- had a political interest in pointing to the use of nerve gas, or foreign laboratories were jumping to conclusions that are in line with the current general negative attitude towards Russia."

The assertion that only state actors can handle Novichok is also demonstrably false. The poison was sold in the 1990s for small sums of money to Western secret services and economic criminals, and the latter made use of it. For example, in 1995, the Russian banker Ivan Kiwelidi and his secretary were poisoned with it. The chemist Leonid Rink confessed at the time in court that he had sold quantities to criminals sufficient to kill hundreds of people. Since the binary poisons are very stable, they can last for decades.

Read also: UK psyops bigwig pushed plan to 'mine Sevastopol Bay' during 2014 Crimea crisis – leaked documents

The Navalny case is not the reason, but the pretext for a new stage in the escalation of German great power politics and militarism. The media hysteria over Navalny is reminiscent of the Ukrainian crisis of 2014, when the German press glorified a coup d'état carried out by armed fascist militias as a "democratic revolution."

Social Democrat Frank-Walter Steinmeier, then foreign minister and now German president, personally travelled to Kiev to persuade the pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, to resign.

He also met with the fascist politician Oleh Tyahnybok, whose Swoboda Party glorifies Nazi collaborators from World War II. Yanukovych's successor, Petro Poroshenko, one of the country's richest oligarchs, was even more corrupt than his predecessor. He terrorised his opponents with fascist militias, such as the infamous Azov regiment. But he brought Ukraine into NATO's sphere of influence, which was the real purpose of the coup.

In the weeks before the Ukrainian coup, leading German politicians (including then-President Joachim Gauck and Steinmeier) had announced a far-reaching reorientation of German foreign policy. The country was too big "to comment on world politics from the sidelines," they declared. Germany had to defend its global interests, including by military means.

NATO marched steadily eastward into Eastern Europe, breaking the agreements made at the time of German reunification in 1990. For the first time since 1945, German soldiers today patrol the border with Russia. With Ukraine's shift into the Western camp, Belarus is the only remaining buffer country between Russia and NATO.

Berlin now sees the protests against the Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko as an opportunity to remove this hurdle as well. Unlike in Ukraine, where anti-Russian nationalists exerted considerable influence, especially in the west of the country, such forces are weaker in Belarus, where the majority speaks Russian. The working class is playing a greater role in the resistance to the Lukashenko regime than it did in Ukraine. But Berlin is making targeted efforts to steer the movement in a pro-Western direction. Forces that appeal for Western support, such as the presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, are being promoted.

Read also: Europe - "Green" Alliance with Russia or experimental field for genetic Monsters? Dispute over Nord Stream 2

The dispute over the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, whose discontinuation is being demanded by more and more German politicians, must also be seen in this context. It was a strategic project from the very beginning.

The natural gas pipeline, which will double the capacity of Nord Stream 1, which began operations in 2011, will make Germany independent of the pipelines that run through Ukraine, Poland and Belarus. These countries not only earn transit fees from the pipelines but have also used then as a political lever.

With a total capacity of 110 billion cubic metres per year, Nord Stream 1 and 2 together would carry almost all of Germany's annual gas imports. However, the gas is also to be transported from the German Baltic Sea coast to other countries.

In addition to Russia's Gazprom, German, Austrian, French and Dutch energy companies are participating in the financing of the project, which will cost almost €10 billion. The chairman of the board of directors is former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (Social Democratic Party), who is a friend of President Putin.

Nord Stream 2 is meeting with fierce opposition in Eastern Europe and the US. These countries fear a strategic alliance between Berlin and Moscow. In December of last year, the US Congress passed a law imposing severe sanctions on companies involved in the construction of the pipeline -- an unprecedented move against nominal allies. The nearly completed construction came to a standstill because the company operating the special ship for laying the pipes withdrew. Berlin and Moscow protested vehemently against the US sanctions and agreed to continue construction with Russian ships, which, however, will not be available until next year at the earliest.

Excerpt of an article by Peter Schwarz published by wsws.org

[Sep 17, 2020] 'No evidence'- EU Parliament using Navalny's alleged poisoning to push for sanctions halt Nord Stream project German MEP

Germany in the past played important role is promoting Yushchenko's Poisoning false flag. Nothing new here.
If we ask "que bono?". it clearly looks like the USA ears protrude from the whole German part of Navalny poisoning saga.
Sep 17, 2020 | www.rt.com

That's according to Maximilian Krah, a member of the European Parliament from the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. The "obscure" case involving the alleged poisoning of Navalny has been used by the EU establishment to launch another round of Moscow-bashing, he says.

The lawmaker explained that his fellow MEPs had not, in fact, seen a single piece of evidence suggesting the Russian government might have had a hand in what happened to Navalny.

We don't have the evidence... none of the members of parliament who today voted in favor of sanctions has seen any evidence.

Krah said it was "unrealistic" to expect that Navalny's case would not be politicized, arguing that it was "absolutely clear" it was being used to push an anti-Moscow agenda.

On Thursday morning, the EU Parliament passed a resolution calling on member states to "isolate Russia in international forums," to "halt the Nord Stream 2 project" and to prioritize the approval of another round of sanctions against Moscow.

The MEP also expressed skepticism about the prospects of the broader public ever getting to see any evidence linking the opposition figure's sudden illness to Russian foul play.

"Evidence will only get published and provided to Russia if there is public pressure," he said, adding that he does not see any such pressure building anywhere in the EU. Until that changes, Berlin is likely to continue demanding "answers" from Moscow while holding off on requests by Russian for cooperation, Krah believes.

ALSO ON RT.COM European Parliament calls for international probe into alleged Navalny poisoning & suspension of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

The German MEP also weighed in on the fate of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, suggesting that the alleged poisoning could work to Washington's benefit, given that the White House has been seeking to undermine the project, liking Russian gas to Germany, for months. Krah said it was "clear from the beginning" that the US would try to use the situation to scupper the project, which he says would make Germany "more independent from American influence."

The EU resolution, which is not legally binding but acts as an advisory for the bloc's leaders, was supported by 532 MEPs and opposed by 84, while 72 abstained. Fresh sanctions against Russia have been mulled by both the EU and US since news about Navalny's alleged poisoning was made public.

ALSO ON RT.COM Berlin struggles to answer RT's question on fate of mysterious Navalny aide who left Russia for Germany without being questioned

Moscow has repeatedly expressed its readiness to cooperate with Germany in the probe into the incident, while stressing that the Russian medics who first treated Navalny when he fell ill found no traces of any poison in his body. The Kremlin has also repeatedly approached Berlin for data possessed by the German side, but has so far received none.

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Dachaguy 8 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 02:02 PM

Of course, the investigation is incomplete, but that doesn't stop the EU from levying "justice." We've seen this before in the Downing Street Memos, where the facts were, "being fixed around the policy. " Millions of innocent people died as a result. When will people learn?
Jeff_P 4 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 06:01 PM
There should be an international commission to look into this false flag. It should be comprised of Russia and Germany, of course, but no other NATO or European countries and no US vassal states other than Germany. Other members could be Cuba, China, Venezuela, and maybe India. And, of course, the US playbook of assignment of guilt without the benefit of evidence and the exacting of penalties without proving guilt won't fly. Russia might just tell Europe to go FO and leave PACE and the other organizations that it supports but which insist on abusing it.
perikleous 6 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 04:09 PM
If Russia was determined they would say you cannot delay NSII or we cut the Ukraine pipeline as well, its all or none! Tick Tock Tick Tok, winter is coming soon! Hopefully the Covid 19 won't delay the fuel ships your relying on or the workers who procure the fuel, you know a 2nd wave... is "Highly Likely" and its taking over in the rural areas where the fuel comes from! Present evidence to a poisoning directed by either the fuel company or the gov't and we will continue, or just tell your "handlers" go ***, because I do not recall the US severing weapons sales to Saudi Arabia after Admission to them Severing the head off of (J. Koshoggei) because the US profits/jobs are bigger than one WaPo Journalists life! Hypocracy in action!
Shelbouy 6 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 03:46 PM
Germany has offered to help pay for the construction of two LNG terminals in Germany to the tune of 1 billion plus to the US. to receive US LNG. The US in turn has said then they would not interfere with the completion of Nord Stream 2 if this were to take place. I am suggesting that Germany then would have 30% cheaper Russian gas than US LNG, blend these two prices, hi cost US LNG and low cost Russian gas of Nord Stream 2, and sell to the EU consumers at a price which would likely be higher than the current rate today, and who would be the wiser, and who would consumers blame when the price of gas goes up instead of down. This may, at least temporarily, appease the US while at the same time ensure the completion of the cheaper Russian supply line, and prevent the diversion of Russian gas to other customer nations like China, and Germany laughs all the way to the bank. This is only speculation on my part because I do not know if it would work that way or not. If it did then Germany would have their cake and eat it. The offer of Germany to the US is however, a fact. The reasons behind this offer are speculative. After all, it's really all about money anyway.
perikleous Shelbouy 5 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 04:16 PM
The US would demand a contract/commitment for the fuel based on your yearly usage currently, if you re neg, they still bill you for it! Then its handled in court while your bank accounts are frozen and none of the US debt to you is paid until this is resolved. You may win the hearing/court but the losses from not having access to that money will cost way more!
HimandI 4 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 05:47 PM
Just more proof that the EU rulers are bought and paid prostitutes.
Jayeshkumar 6 minutes ago 17 Sep, 2020 10:03 PM
May be EU is indirectly suggesting to use the 2nd Pipeline to be used Exclusively for Transporting the Hydrogen, in the Future!
Congozebilu 2 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 08:06 PM
From the first minute this Navalny story broke I knew it was aimed at Nordstream. Everyone who understands geopolitics and also US desperation to sell "freedom gas" knows that Nordstream was the intended target this Navalny clown show.
ivoivo 1 hour ago 17 Sep, 2020 09:00 PM
apparently there are evidence found in a trash can in his hotel room in omsk, they poisoned him with novichock in a water they gave it to him and discard a paper cup in a trash can, standard kremlins procedure, isn't it, what is happening to world intelligence, russians can't kill some dude that is actually not even important and americans can't stop russian hackers in meddling in us election

[Sep 16, 2020] Harvard And Yale Under Continued Fire For Discrimination Against White, Asian Applicants

Sep 16, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Harvard and Yale are set to respond this week to a series of legal challenges accusing them of racial bias against Asian and White applicants during the admissions process, according to Bloomberg .

Protesters at a media conference held by Harvard lawyers following closing arguments in the Harvard-admissions trial, in November 2018 in Boston (via chronicle.com )

The universities will respond to two of those challenges to 'race-conscious admissions,' while two more make their way through the legal system against other universities. The controversy could make it all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled over 40 years ago in its Bakke decision that race is a valid factor in creating a diverse student body.

While the decision has been reaffirmed over the years, it's possible that the 'conservative' majority Supreme Court will strike Bakke down .

"Sandra Day O'Connor basically opined that we could have another 20 years or 25 years of affirmative action programs, but that they would not go on forever," said conservative Linda Chavez, chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity. " And yet we do see them going on forever ," she added.

O'Connor speculated in 2003 that the race-based consideration wouldn't go on 'forever.' 17-years later, it's still happening.

" We're now talking about kids who are getting into college on the basis of some racial or ethnic preference who are the grandchildren of people who first got those preferences. "

The Justice Department has threatened to sue Yale unless it agrees to stop considering race . " Unlawfully dividing Americans into racial and ethnic blocs fosters stereotypes, bitterness, and division ," the government wrote to the university in August. Yale, which has vowed to "vigorously defend" a process "endorsed repeatedly by the Supreme Court," is due to respond this week.

On Wednesday, Harvard goes before a federal appeals court over a case that it engages in "racial balancing" by holding Asian-American applicants to a higher standard than other minority groups. Harvard denies discriminating and won the case in federal district court last fall. - Bloomberg

The Harvard suit and two other pending lawsuitsagainst the University of North Carolin and the University of Texas were brought by activist Edward Blum - a longtime foe of affirmative action and founder of Students for Fair Admissions. The Justice Department filed in the Harvard case in support of the group , claiming that the school's admissions process is " infected with racial bias ."

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Making a review by the Supreme Court even more likely is that there are now four challenges in four states against both public and private universities, meaning that conflicting rulings from different appeals courts would call for the higher court's opinion.

"That's what they want," said Audrey Anderson, former general counsel at Vanderbilt University. "They want it to go to the Supreme Court because the justices who upheld affirmative action are not on the court anymore."

Amid the flurry of court papers, a July study by the Education Trust , which advocates for educational opportunities for disadvantaged students, found that African Americans and Latinos continue to be underrepresented at 101 of the country's top public universities and that their representation has even regressed in many instances over the past two decades.

"I know that there's folks who are against affirmative action, of all backgrounds," who believe "that we are there, and it's not needed, and maybe there's even some over-representation or over-emphasis on race that we need to correct for," said Tiffany Jones , senior director of education policy at the Trust. That perception, she said, "is contradicted by the data and the research and the information about who has access to higher education." - Bloomberg

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Last year, US District Judge Allison Burroughs found that Harvard didn't set quotas or give undue consideration to race when reviewing applicants, and instead weighed race as one of over 200 factors which includes socioeconomic background, areas of study and letters of recommendation, according to the report.

Blum, on the other hand, says that the evidence in the Harvard case "compellingly proved Harvard's systematic discrimination against Asian-American applicants," and that "We assert the district court erred in its analysis of this evidence and, surprisingly, virtually ignored Harvard's own internal studies" that he says showed bias.

[Sep 16, 2020] Tunneling Under The Media's Berlin Wall Of Truth Suppression

Sep 16, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

The only other broad avenue for the people to get unbiased information is from a few news shows that don't toe the liberal line -- most notably "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on Fox News. Since the riots began at the end of May, Carlson has taken it upon himself to expose the corruption of not just the media but the liberal elected establishment that has implicitly endorsed violence, racism, and disorder in the name of what is perversely called social justice. I've called Carlson a modern-day Cassandra because his clear-eyed assessment of the danger America faces has been met with scorn, denial and derision. But name-calling, advertising boycotts, and continued threats of violence against him and his family have not deterred Carlson from his declared mission to be "the sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness and groupthink."

In that regard, Carlson has long used his show to ferret out information hidden in the bowels of government and get it to the people -- bypassing the media guards who increasingly see it as their sworn role to restrict the free exchange of ideas. On Carlson's Sept. 1 show, author Chris Rufo discussed his research into how critical race theory has infiltrated the federal government. I was shocked by just how bad the situation is, something we would never learn from CNN or MSNBC.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=890

"It's absolutely astonishing how critical race theory has pervaded every institution in the federal government," Rufo told Carlson.

"What I have discovered is that critical race theory has become, in essence, the default ideology of the federal bureaucracy and is now being weaponized against the American people."

He gave three examples of what he called "cult indoctrination." For instance, he told of a trainer who "told Treasury [Department] employees essentially that America was a fundamentally white supremacist country and 'virtually all white people uphold the system of racism and white superiority.'"

When Rufo explicitly urged Trump "to immediately issue an executive order abolishing critical-race-theory training from the federal government," I thought to myself how that was a smart move. It just might work. It's no secret that Trump watches Fox News. So why not make a direct appeal to the president while you are on one of those shows? It's the only way most guests would ever have a chance to get the president's attention. And in this case it worked.

Just three quick days later, Trump did exactly what Rufo proposed -- he issued an executive order through the director of the Office of Management and Budget to "cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund [the] divisive, un-American propaganda training sessions" where federal employees are told that "virtually all White people contribute to racism."

When Trump reacted to Rufo's revelations the same way that I and millions of people watching Tucker Carlson's show reacted - with outrage - I realized just how dangerous Carlson is to the hegemony of the far left. His show is metaphorically the tunnel under the Berlin Wall that allows direct communication between the pro-liberty, pro-American middle class and the freedom fighters in the White House , bypassing both the bureaucracy and the stunningly dishonest media that control the flow of information in and out of the Trump administration.

In order to keep our metaphor geographically, if not politically, correct, we should think of the mainstream media as the Stasi, the East German secret police who were notoriously brutal -- and effective -- in suppressing free thought and dissent from the party line. They were not just the "enemy of the people," as Trump has labeled the worst of the modern media; they were the "enemy of the truth."

That role has never been clearer than it was last week when Bob Woodward, the legacy commander of the media's Main Directorate for Reconnaissance, issued his report on what he found when he infiltrated the White House. Or at least what he purported to find.

According to Woodward, Trump perfidiously misled the American public about the scope and danger of the China virus because he called the virus "deadly stuff" in February before any Americans had died. Also because Trump knew "it goes through the air." I mean you have to be notoriously stupid, or just plain incurious, not to have figured out by February that COVID-19 was a deadly peril. Does Woodward think that Trump shut down air travel from China at the end of January just because he wanted to hurt the tourist industry?

Of course the new virus was deadly, but as Trump patiently explained to the thick-headed Woodward then, and still has to explain to the rest of the White House press corps virtually every day, there is no purpose served by terrifying the public. The president told Woodward that the virus was "more deadly than even your strenuous flus." That turned out to be true, but flus are also kept under control by widespread vaccination and therapeutics. Does Woodward need to be reminded that the much more deadly pandemic of 1918 was caused by the Spanish flu ?

Of course he does, because it's not helpful to the media's narrative that Donald Trump is a dangerous buffoon who must not be reelected. How could the country survive another four years with a president who insists on doing things his own way, who won't be cowed by the Stasi media, who considers it his duty to improve on conventional wisdom instead of surrendering to it.

Which brings us back to Chris Rufo and his pipeline -- or should I say tunnel access -- to the president. The obstinacy of Tucker Carlson, his unwillingness to take a knee to orthodoxy, has made him the most dangerous person in America (after Trump) to the far-left overlords. And when Trump acted on Rufo's entreaty regarding critical race theory, it led to near hysteria as the Stasi media realized that its Berlin Wall had been breached.

As Carlson himself reported on Tuesday, Sept. 8, "To the news media, all of this was a disaster. They claim to be journalists, but they despise actual reporting like Chris Rufo's. His coverage showed that they are complicit in an anti-American lie that is deeply unpopular with actual Americans, and they didn't take it well."

Among the many critics of Carlson for providing the president with accurate information about what is being done in his name in the federal bureaucracy, perhaps the loudest was CNN's Brian Stelter, the virtual communications director for the Stasi media.

[Sep 15, 2020] In 'War On Restaurants', Media Champion Lockdown Narrative -

Sep 15, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via The American Institute for Economic Research,

Just when the fear starts to subside, and growing public skepticism seems to push governors into opening, something predictable happens . The entire apparatus of mass media hops on some new, super-scary headline designed to instill more Coronaphobia and extend the lockdowns yet again.

It's a cycle that never stops. It comes back again and again.

A great example occurred this weekend. A poll appeared on Friday from the Kaiser Family Foundation. It showed that confidence in Anthony Fauci is evaporating along with support for lockdowns and mandatory Covid vaccines.

The news barely made the headlines, and very quickly this was overshadowed by a scary new claim: restaurants will give you Covid!

It's tailor-made for the mainstream press. The study is from the CDC, which means: credible. And the thesis is easily digestible: those who test positive for Covid are twice as likely as those who tested negative to have eaten at a restaurant.

"Eating and drinking on-site at locations that offer such options might be important risk factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection," the study says.

Very scary!

Thus the implied conclusion: don't allow indoor dining! Otherwise Covid will spread like wildfire!

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=606

After six months of this Corona Kabuki dance, driven by alarmist media and imposed by wacko, power-abusing governors and mayors, I've become rather cynical about the whole enterprise, so I mostly ignore the latest nonsense.

In this case, however, I decided to take a closer look simply because so many millions of owners, workers, and customers have been treated so brutally in the "War on Restaurants."

It turns out, of course, that this is not what the study said. What's more interesting is to consider exactly what's going on here. The study was based on interviews with 314 people who had been tested of their own volition. It included 154 patients with positive test results and 160 control participants with negative test results.

The interviews took place two weeks following the tests, and they concerned life activities two weeks prior to getting the test.

Before we go on here, remember that what alarmed people about Covid was the prospect of dying. The study says nothing about this subject, nor about hospitalization. It's a fair assumption that the positive cases being interviewed here got it (presumably, if the tests are accurate, which they are not ) and got over it.

This alone is interesting simply because it reveals how much the whole subject has been changed: the pandemic has become a casedemic.

Now, to the question of life activities. In the study, based on answers to a survey, the following were not correlated in any significant degree with positive cases of Covid:

Now one might suppose, if you think the study has any merit, that this would be the headline.

The massive power of the state has been deployed all over the United States and the world to force the closure of churches, gyms, offices, salons, and malls. This all happened and is still happening. Also mask mandates became the new normal. The public has been invited by health authorities to jeer at, denounce, and turn in anyone who doesn't have a cloth strapped to his or her face.

All of this happened in complete contradiction to every commercial right, property right, or normal human freedoms. We threw it all away in the name of virus control. Our lives have been completely upended and our assumptions about our rights and liberties have been overturned.

And yet here is a study that is unable to document any correlation between these life activities and catching the disease.

That's an amazing conclusion that could have generated headlines like:

And so on. But none of this was to be. Not one single story in the mainstream press said anything like this, even though this was all implied by the CDC study.

The one place that the study revealed a positive correlation between positive cases and life activities was going to restaurants.

So that's what got the alarmist headlines. Yes, these are all real.

And so on for thousands of times in every mainstream venue. They are all competing for clicks in the great agenda of extending lockdowns and feeding public fear as much as possible. So the worst-possible spin on this slightly sketchy study gets all the headlines.

Thus is it burned into many people's minds that restaurants are really disease-spreading venues. Go out to eat and you might die!

And here is what makes this even stranger. The interviewers never asked the people in the survey whether they were eating indoors or outdoors, as incredible as that seems. The authors admit this:

"Of note, the question assessing dining at a restaurant did not distinguish between indoor and outdoor options."

Why not? Did they just forget to ask? What's going on here?

Which is to say that even if the results are meaningful – and there's so much about this study that is murky and error prone – they are practically useless for knowing what to do about it. If there is no distinction between indoor and outdoor, all speculation about ventilation or crowds or the presence of food and so on, is utterly pointless.

Without knowing that, we are at a loss to figure out any answer to the question of why and what to do. Instead, the message comes down to: don't go out to eat.

Here is how bad the science has become. In the discussion, the authors write the following:

"Direction, ventilation, and intensity of airflow might affect virus transmission, even if social distancing measures and mask use are implemented according to current guidance. Masks cannot be effectively worn while eating and drinking, whereas shopping and numerous other indoor activities do not preclude mask use."

Here is what is weird: the study itself supports none of that paragraph.


The survey never asked about ventilation because the people who made the survey somehow forgot to make a query concerning indoor vs. outdoor dining . As for masks, the study did in fact ask respondents about mask wearing and the results showed no correlation between the sickness and whether and to what extent people were wearing masks!

In other words, that paragraph in the discussion is contradicted in two places by the authors' own study.

In addition, the authors themselves point to an intriguing issue: the people in the survey might have biased their answers based on their personal knowledge of the test results.

Think about it this way. The people who had a positive Covid test are more likely to ask themselves the great question: how did I get this? Going to restaurants is such a rare activity these days that it stands out in one's mind. When the survey asked people if they had gone out to eat, it is possible that the memory of the Covid positive person might be more likely to blame the restaurant, whereas the Covid negative person might be more likely to have forgotten the locale of every meal in the last 30 days.

In other words, the real result of the study might be: Covid patients are more likely to scapegoat restaurants than gyms, churches, and salons.

Alas, none of these interesting considerations appear in the media-rendered version of this study: panic and keep the lockdowns in place!

Lockdowns have become a conclusion in a desperate search for evidence. Imagine if you undertook a study of C-positive vs. C-negative cases and asked the people if they mostly wear lace-up or slip-on shoes. If you come up with some positive correlation, the CDC will publish you and a media panic will ensue.

This is precisely where we've been for six solid months now. The media has become the handmaiden of lockdown tyranny, blasting out simplistic versions of sketchy studies to keep the panic going as long as possible. And the public, which is far too trusting of the media and its capacity for rational and accurate reporting, eats it up.

For now. Once the dust settles on all of this, it seems highly likely that media science reporting will lose credibility for a generation. It certainly deserves that fate.

Meanwhile, an entire industry is being creamed .


play_arrow Walter Melon , 3 hours ago

Same CDC that said this the other day:

"Cloth masks that are used to slow the spread of COVID-19 offer little protection against wildfire smoke. They do not catch small particles found in wildfire smoke that can harm your health."

Just checking if that's the same CDC.

LA_Goldbug , 3 hours ago

Wow !!!!!

Nice find :-)

honest injun , 3 hours ago

At what point does the man on the street realize that he has been had? It took me about 2 weeks, 6 months ago to realize what Fauci and his cronies were saying was nonsense. Smart people that I know, took months to reach the same conclusion but many people are still buying the disinfo.

[Sep 12, 2020] Nineteen years since 9/11 Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman attempt to Infects Readers With 9/11 Dementia

Sep 12, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian , Sep 11 2020 16:05 utc | 2

The price for the worst tweet of the year goes to Paul Krugman .


bigger

In the real world the U.S. reacted to 9/11 by doing extremely bad and ridiculous things as well as this :

In the days, weeks, and months immediately following the 9/11 attacks, Arab-Americans, South Asian-Americans, Muslim-Americans, and Sikh-Americans were the targets of widespread hate violence. Many of the perpetrators of these acts of hate violence claimed they were acting patriotically by retaliating against those responsible for 9/11.
...
Just after September 11, numerous Arabs, Muslims, and individuals perceived to be Arab or Muslim were assaulted, and some killed, by individuals who believed they were responsible for or connected to the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. The first backlash killing occurred four days after September 11.

Balbir Singh Sodhi was shot to death on September 15 as he was planting flowers outside his Chevron gas station. The man who shot Sodhi, Frank Roque, had told an employee of an Applebee's restaurant that he was "going to go out and shoot some towel heads." Roque mistakenly thought Sodhi was Arab because Sodhi, an immigrant from India, had a beard and wore a turban as part of his Sikh faith. After shooting Sodhi, Roque drove to a Mobil gas station a few miles away and shot at a Lebanese-American clerk. He then drove to a home he once owned and shot and almost hit an Afghani man who was coming out the front door. When he was arrested two hours later, Roque shouted, "I stand for America all the way."

The next two killings were committed by a man named Mark Stroman. On September 15, 2001, Stroman shot and killed Waquar Hassan, an immigrant from Pakistan, at Hassan's grocery store in Dallas, Texas. On October 4, 2001, Stroman shot and killed Vasudev Patel, an immigrant from India and a naturalized U.S. citizen, while Patel was working at his Shell station convenience store. A store video camera recorded the killing, helping police to identify Stroman as the killer. Stroman later told a Dallas television station that he shot Hassan and Patel because, "We're at war. I did what I had to do. I did it to retaliate against those who retaliated against us."

Beyond these killings, there were more than a thousand other anti-Muslim or anti-Arab acts of hate which took the form of physical assaults, verbal harassment and intimidation, arson, attacks on mosques, vandalism, and other property damage.

Instead of "calming prejudice" the GB Bush administration institutionalized hate crimes:

First, in the weeks immediately following the September 11 attacks, the government began secretly arresting and detaining Arab, Muslim, and South Asian men. Within the first two months after the attacks, the government had detained at least 1,200 men.
...
Second, in November 2001, the Department of Justice began efforts to "interview" approximately 5,000 men between the ages of 18 and 33 from Middle Eastern or Muslim nations who had arrived in the United States within the previous two years on a temporary student, tourist, or business visa and were lawful residents of the United States. Four months later, the government announced it would seek to interview an additional 3,000 men from countries with an Al Qaeda presence.
...
Third, in September 2002, the government implemented a "Special Registration" program also known as NSEERS (National Security Entry-Exit Registration System), requiring immigrant men from 26 mostly Muslim countries to register their name, address, telephone number, place of birth, date of arrival in the United States, height, weight, hair and eye color, financial information and the addresses, birth dates and phone numbers of parents and any foreign friends with the government.

Besides all that a rather useless security theater was installed at U.S. airports which has costs many billions in lost time and productivity ever since. The Patriot Act was introduced which allowed for unlimited spying on private citizens. Wars were launched that were claimed to be justified by 9/11. These were "mass outbreaks of anti-Muslim sentiment and violence. Many were killed and maimed in them. People were tortured and vanished. All of this happened largely to applause of a majority of the U.S. people which were glued to 24 and dreamed of being "terrorist hunters".

Anyone with a functional memory knows that the U.S. reaction to 9/11 was anything but "pretty calm". It is ridiculous that Krugman is claiming that.

Posted by b at 15:46 UTC | Comments (73)

I find it a bit humorous b that you are critical of Krugman for his 911 dementia when for years many of us finance types have railed about how morally corrupt the logic and thinking of Paul Krugman is.

Paul Krugman is to economics what Bernie Sanders has become for the purported "left" side of the "right wing" uni-party....a sheep dog for the easily led.

Paul Krugman is an acolyte for the God of Mammon/global private finance elite.


Clueless Joe , Sep 11 2020 16:11 utc | 3

Paul is getting old. Looks like senile dementia isn't limited to Biden nowadays.

Red Ryder , Sep 11 2020 16:44 utc | 11

While spreading anger and hate toward Arab people, The Bush Administration rescued the many members of the Kingdom's family from all around the US and escorted their flights out of the US to safety in Saudi Arabia.

Distracting the public big time was Dick Cheney, VP, who insisted from the very next day that the plot to hit the Twin Towers was Saddam's plot.

So, the historical record and US response was skewed from the getgo. AQ and Bin Laden didn't concern the neocons. They wanted the US to go to Iraq again, and this time start a wide war that would spread to Syria and Lebanon and Iran.

It was easy times to spread fear and hate, and Cheney and the war mongers of CENTCOM were riding high. Americans were scared of all Arabs, all Sunnis, all Shiites, from anywhere. They were all the same in the public's mind. Enemies.

It was perfect and has led to 19 years of endless wars. Add ISIS and al Nusra and the Taliban and you have an endless soup of enemies.

Jackrabbit , Sep 11 2020 17:01 utc | 13

I'm coining a new term: "Empire apologist".

!!

michaelj72 , Sep 11 2020 19:59 utc | 35

krugman is a terrible shill for the neo-cons and liberal-interventionists of the 21st century

at my age, I shouldn't really be surprised any more by what american "intellectuals" and "nobel prize winners" say about anything..... but I am.

He's neo-liberal interventionist moron of the first rank, and saying what he did actually normalizes the war mania and war-mongering which has become so staple in mainstream thought and the "think tanks" and is now practically part of the american DNA and "culture".
shame on krugman

Hoarsewhisperer , Sep 11 2020 20:08 utc | 36

...
It appears the Deep State has attacked the USA's people twice in two decades--on 911 and with the decision to let as many die as possible by deliberately not doing anything to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and allowing the real economy to atrophy so even more will die in the long run.
Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 11 2020 19:40 utc | 34

Talking about tilting at windmills - I'll never forget Robert Fisk angrily pointing out that the Yankees knew where to find Al CIA-duh because they extended the cave complex at Tora Bora to help Al CIA-duh, equipped with 10,000 US Stinger Missiles, kick the Russians out of Afghanistan in the 1980s!!!

(The Yankees had to wait for 10+ years to invade Afghanistan because it takes that long for Stingers to pass their Use By date)

Rob , Sep 11 2020 20:08 utc | 37

@michaelj72. "krugman is a terrible shill for the neo-cons and liberal-interventionists of the 21st century"

Actually, Paul Krugman was a strong and outspoken opponent of the Iraq War since early 2003 and possibly earlier. He was amongst the few mainstream liberal commentators to take that stand.

Jen , Sep 11 2020 21:02 utc | 44

If MoA readers and commenters were to read the entire series of Krugman's tweets, six in all, they will see mention of how the Bush govt began exploiting the events of 11 September 2001 almost immediately. Though the example Krugman actually uses would make most people cringe at what it suggests about the bubble he lives in and how far removed it is from most people's lives and experiences, and his reference to a "horrible war" does not mention either Afghanistan or Iraq.

It has to be said that Twitter is not designed very well for the kind of informal conversational commentary that people often use it for. But then you would think Krugman would use something other than Twitter to discuss and compare 9/11 with the impact of COVID-19.

The real issue I have with Krugman's Tweet is that he is revising history and bending over backwards to apologise for Dubya in a way to criticise Donald Trump's performance as President.

uncle tungsten , Sep 11 2020 22:13 utc | 50
b " Anyone with a functional memory knows that the U.S. reaction to 9/11 was anything but "pretty calm". It is ridiculous that Krugman is claiming that. "

Careful with that axe b, you are talking about Biden's chief economic adviser and likely appointee as Chair of the Fed. How does this look?
Volker
Greenspan
Bernanke
Yellen
Powell
Krugman

What could go wrong?

Prof K , Sep 11 2020 22:15 utc | 51
From 2019, Krugman de facto admits he was wrong his whole life. What a tool.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-10-10/inequality-globalization-and-the-missteps-of-1990s-economics

David G , Sep 11 2020 22:34 utc | 54

uncle tungsten | Sep 11 2020 22:13 utc | 50:

Reading Krugman's columns in 2016, I had a strong to overwhelming sense that this was a person revving up for a spot in Hillary's White House or cabinet. For some reason it isn't hitting me as strongly this time around – he may not have as close connections in Biden's circle – but it certainly would not be a surprise to see him take a turn through the media/government revolving door if Trump loses (though, fwiw, I don't think it will be a job at the Fed).

Et Tu , Sep 11 2020 22:48 utc | 55

Yep. Pretty staggering how a few disgruntled ex-CIA contractors managed to, deliberately or not, help the US Gov't launch the biggest world war operation right under the noses of the brainwashed masses.

99% of Westerners still are clueless as to explaining the last 20 years in a broader geopolitical context.

Russ , Sep 11 2020 22:48 utc | 56

Posted by: Caliman | Sep 11 2020 22:15 utc | 52

#28: "The antiwar protests in the US were small and insignificant."

No they were not. Millions of people demonstrated against the planned war, in the US, in the UK, and around the world...

We mustn't forget how the vast majority of those who allegedly were anti-war suddenly went totally pro-war silent upon Obama coming in.

But that pales compared to the vile spectacle of all the self-alleged "anti-authoritarians", "anti-propagandists" "dissidents", who suddenly regard the government media as the literal voice of God, where their alleged God speaks of Covid.

Prof K , Sep 11 2020 22:55 utc | 57

His book, End this Depression Now, is pretty weak. He has no theory of why the crash occurred. He critiques the austerity agenda but doesn't understand that government spending CAN create tax liabilities for capital down the road and eat into profits, thus blocking expanded investments and growth. Moronic libertarians hate Krugman just because they are right wing assholes who think, like fairies, that a free market without the state will work fine and self correct. Marx debunked this fairy tale thoroughly in Capital Volume 1, showing that, even if we start with the mythical free market of libertarian morons, capitalism will still operate according to the general law by which concentration and centralization lead to class polarization. In any case, in volume 3 of Capital, Marx develops his laws of crisis, showing that the cycles of expansion and depression under capitalism follow the movements of the rate of profit, which itself is determined by the ratio of the value of sunk capital in production technologies to the rate of exploitation (profits/wages). If the former rises more than the latter, the rate of profit sinks, along with investment, output and employment. Financial crises then set in.

The empirical evidence in the data bears out Marx's theory, not Krugman's dumb notion of aggregate demand, or the stupid libertarian focus on interest rates.

vk , Sep 12 2020 0:16 utc | 64

We could discuss here all day about the sociological subject of the American people's true positioning in the aftermath of 9/11. It would be, sincerely, a waste of time.

The important thing to grasp over this episode - from the point of view of History - is this: it was a strategic victory for al-Qaeda . The USA took the bait (all scripted?) and went into a quagmire in Iraq and Afghanistan. In a few years, the surplus the USA had accumulated with the sacking and absorption of the Soviet space during Bill Clinton evaporated and became a huge deficit in the Empire's accounts. Not long after, the 2008 financial meltdown happened, burying Bushism in a spectacular way.

There's a debate about the size of the hole the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan cost the American Empire. Some put it into the dozens of billions of USDs; others put it into the trillions of USDs range. We will never know. What we know is that the hole was big enough to both erase the American surplus and to not avoid the financial meltdown of 2008.

Either the expansion through the Middle East wasn't fast and provided riches enough to keep up with the Empire's voracious appetite or the invasion itself already represented a last, desperate attempt by the Empire to avoid its imminent collapse. We know, however, that POTUS Bush had a list of countries he wanted to invade beyond Iraq (the "Axis of Evil") which contained a secret country (Venezuela). He was conscious Iraq and Afghanistan wouldn't be enough. Whatever the case, he didn't have the time, and the financial meltdown happened in his last year in the White House.

uncle tungsten , Sep 12 2020 1:15 utc | 65

michaelj72 #38
karlof1 at #12

great stuff from M. Hudson, one of my favorite reads these days. Hudson has krugman's number. thanks again for those snippets and the links!

Steve Keen also has his number and Keen is pro capitalist

Krugman is a moron dressed as a weasel sounding like a squawking hen, with the vision of a hemorrhoid.

Antonym , Sep 12 2020 1:26 utc | 66

The main harsh reaction of G.W. Bush after 9/11 was the formation of DHS and laws to legalize mass national and international spying on anybody with electronic traffic. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Homeland_Security#History

They knew who the perps of 9/11 were: their "own" Saudi irregulars in the CIA's US main land training camps, who started practicing on the "wrong"- domestic American- targets. These guys were officially entered without any background checks.
The Bush and Bin Laden families go way back in money making. That is why George had to ponder so long in that Florida kindergarten after hearing about the attacks: he had a suspicion. The Saudi only fly out after 9/11 confirms that.

Kay Fabr , Sep 12 2020 2:30 utc | 69

Paul Krugman Is a pro. Completely owned by Deep State. His purpose is to deflect discussion and prevent questioning the official version of 9/11 , and get people chasing something completely irrelevant. Well done Paul, most have taken the bait.

[Sep 12, 2020] Clearly abother case of Novichok poisoning

Sep 12, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MOSCOWEXILE September 3, 2020 at 7:02 pm

BBC

Alexei Navalny: Two hours that saved Russian opposition leader's life

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-54012278

An open and shut case! Clearly Novichok poisoning, a deadly poison made only in Russia, and the Russians have already used it at least once. The most deadly nerve agent known to man and part of the brutal armament that Putin's thugs use on their murderous missions.

I rest my case, m'lud.

MOSCOWEXILE September 3, 2020 at 8:15 pm

Germany has denied allegation of falsification of the Navalny case
3 September 2020

MOSCOW, September 3 – RIA Novosti. The statement made by the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, about the falsification of data on the "poisoning" of Navalny is not true, the press service of the German Cabinet told RIA Novosti.
Earlier, at a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Lukashenko said that Minsk had intercepted a conversation between Warsaw and Berlin, which denied allegations of the blogger's poisoning. He promised that he would give the Russian side a transcript of this "interesting dialogue, which clearly indicates that this is falsification".

"Of course, Mr. Lukashenko's statement does not correspond to reality. Yesterday the Federal Chancellor, the Foreign Minister and the Defence Minister expressed their views on the new circumstances in the Navalny poisoning case There is nothing to add", the cabinet told the agency.

In Moscow, they noted that they had not yet received this evidence.

"Lukashenko hast just announced this. He said that the material would be transferred to the FSB. There is no other information yet", Peskov told RIA Novosti.

What a duplicitous creep Lukashenko is!

Always jumping to one side of the fence to the other and thinking he is so smart in doing so.

Then again, perhaps he has such damning evidence, but even if he had, nobody would believe it, because Germany, being a vassal state of the USA, is on the side of freedom and democracy.

"Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit für das deutsche Vaterland" as one sings there to a well known tune.


[Sep 12, 2020] Russia had jumped onboard the hydrogen train with a plan to use nuclear created hydrogen

Sep 12, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

ET AL September 3, 2020 at 10:27 am

A week or so ago it was reported that the EU's carbon tax would also apply to energy imports (Russian gas etc.) and in the Tass Press Review (?) 'shock' was apparently expressed, which is weird as de-carbonization (plus more recently a setting in place the necssary infrastcture for a hydrogen based economy) has been an open and long stated plan by Brussels. Norway has already invested significant resources in de-carbonizing its gas and is ready to go.

And in the last couple of days there was a report (RT?) that Russia had jumped onboard the hydrogen train with a plan to use nuclear created hydrogen (heat, innit?) and Norway style de-carbonization tech. Will post the links if I can re-find them. Still, interesting stuff.

[Sep 12, 2020] Novichok, Navalny, Nordstream, Nonsense

Sep 12, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

JAMES LAKE September 3, 2020 at 9:08 pm

Good article by ex Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray. Novichok, Navalny, Nordstream, Nonsense

" Once Navalny was in Berlin it was only a matter of time before it was declared that he was poisoned with Novichok. The Russophobes are delighted. This of course eliminates all vestiges of doubt about what happened to the Skripals, and proves that Russia must be isolated and sanctioned to death and we must spend untold billions on weapons and security services. We must also increase domestic surveillance, crack down on dissenting online opinion. It also proves that Donald Trump is a Russian puppet and Brexit is a Russian plot.

I am going to prove beyond all doubt that I am a Russian troll by asking the question Cui Bono?, brilliantly identified by the Integrity Initiative's Ben Nimmo as a sure sign of Russian influence.

I should state that I have no difficulty at all with the notion that a powerful oligarch or an organ of the Russian state may have tried to assassinate Navalny. He is a minor irritant, rather more famous here than in Russia, but not being a major threat does not protect you against political assassination in Russia.

What I do have difficulty with is the notion that if Putin, or other very powerful Russian actors, wanted Navalny dead, and had attacked him while he was in Siberia, he would not be alive in Germany today. If Putin wanted him dead, he would be dead.

Let us first take the weapon of attack. One thing we know about a "Novichok" for sure is that it appears not to be very good at assassination. Poor Dawn Sturgess is the only person ever to have allegedly died from "Novichok", accidentally according to the official narrative. "Novichok" did not kill the Skripals, the actual target. If Putin wanted Navalny dead, he would try something that works. Like a bullet to the head, or an actually deadly poison.

"Novichok" is not a specific chemical. It is a class of chemical weapon designed to be improvised in the field from common domestic or industrial precursors. It makes some sense to use on foreign soil as you are not carrying around the actual nerve agent, and may be able to buy the ingredients locally. But it makes no sense at all in your own country, where the FSB or GRU can swan around with any deadly weapon they wish, to be making homemade nerve agents in the sink. Why would you do that?

Further we are expected to believe that, the Russian state having poisoned Navalny, the Russian state then allowed the airplane he was traveling in, on a domestic flight, to divert to another airport, and make an emergency landing, so he could be rushed to hospital. If the Russian secret services had poisoned Navalny at the airport before takeoff as alleged, why would they not insist the plane stick to its original flight plan and let him die on the plane? They would have foreseen what would happen to the plane he was on.

Next, we are supposed to believe that the Russian state, having poisoned Navalny, was not able to contrive his death in the intensive care unit of a Russian state hospital. We are supposed to believe that the evil Russian state was able to falsify all his toxicology tests and prevent doctors telling the truth about his poisoning, but the evil Russian state lacked the power to switch off the ventilator for a few minutes or slip something into his drip. In a Russian state hospital.

Next we are supposed to believe that Putin, having poisoned Navalny with novichok, allowed him to be flown to Germany to be saved, making it certain the novichok would be discovered. And that Putin did this because he was worried Merkel was angry, not realising she might be still more angry when she discovered Putin had poisoned him with novichok

There are a whole stream of utterly unbelievable points there, every single one of which you have to believe to go along with the western narrative. Personally I do not buy a single one of them, but then I am a notorious Russophile traitor.

The United States is very keen indeed to stop Germany completing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will supply Russian gas to Germany on a massive scale, sufficient for about 40% of its electricity generation. Personally I am opposed to Nord Stream 2 myself, on both environmental and strategic grounds. I would much rather Germany put its formidable industrial might into renewables and self-sufficiency. But my reasons are very different from those of the USA, which is concerned about the market for liquefied gas to Europe for US produces and for the Gulf allies of the US. Key decisions on the completion of Nord Stream 2 are now in train in Germany.

The US and Saudi Arabia have every reason to instigate a split between Germany and Russia at this time. Navalny is certainly a victim of international politics. That he is a victim of Putin I tend to doubt.

MOSCOWEXILE September 3, 2020 at 9:50 pm

I do hope that Murray was writing cynically when he penned the following words above about Navalny:

He is a minor irritant, rather more famous here than in Russia

His popularity here is minimal and his political base statistically zilch, the incessant swamping of the Russian blogosphere with his praise by his hamsters notwithstanding.

I saw one of such hamster's nonsense only the other week in which the retard wrote that Navalny is the most well-known person in Russia and another post of yet another hamster who presented a list of policies that the bullshitter would follow "when he becomes president".

MOSCOWEXILE September 3, 2020 at 10:13 pm

The whole crock of Navalny -- Novichok shite neatly summed up by a comment to Murray's article linked above:

Goose
September 4, 2020 at 00:28
We're being asked to believe by people calling themselves serious journalists, that the Kremlin's thought process was thus :

Let's poison this guy with Novichok. Nobody will know it was us and there'll be no diplomatic fallout.

Completely illogical.

Logic has no part in this machination, dear chap: the people to whom these lies are directed are fucking stupid: uneducated, brain-dead, browser surfing, soap opera and "Celebrity Come Dancing" and "Reality TV" and porn watching morons.

Oh yes! And in the UK they're daily fed pap about "The Royals": every day without fail the UK media presents page after page of "stories" concerning "Kate and Wills" and "Harry and Megan".

And much of the rest of the UK media is full of shite about "football" and its prima donnas -- that's "Associated Football" or "soccer" as they prefer to say in North America, and not "Rugby Football" -- better said: not "Rugby League Football".

MOSCOWEXILE September 4, 2020 at 9:28 pm

BBC

It gets worse and worse:

Alexei Navalny: Nato says Russia must disclose its Novichok programme
Published 13 hours ago

Nato has called for Russia to disclose its Novichok nerve agent programme to international monitors, following the poisoning of activist Alexei Navalny.

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said members were united in condemning the "horrific" attack.
He added there was "proof beyond doubt" that a Novichok nerve agent was used against Mr Navalny.

Where is the proof????????

You just say so or some "guy" at Porton Down or some Bundeswehr Scheißkerl laboratories?

Get fucked Stoltenberg!

And Peskov, a word of advice: Shut the fuck up and say nothing.

Don't believe that silence from you will be taken as proof of guilt!

You and the Russian state are guilty of everything as charged by the very nature of the fact that you are Russian, "the other"!

Sound familiar?

It's what the Nazis said about every Jew: guilty of all accusations because of their ethnicity -- not their religion, note: Christianized Jews were still "Jews". They were guilty of all charges from the moment of each and every one's birth as a "Jew".

And the sickening thing is that "woke" arseholes the world over condemn racism, but racism directed against Russians is fair game.

The West stinks!

It is a vile sump of festering shite.

Thank Woden I live in Russia!

MOSCOWEXILE September 4, 2020 at 9:38 pm

Trump the moron:

Trump says he's seen NO PROOF of Russian opposition activist Navalny's poisoning – but has no reason to doubt Germany's conclusion
5 Sep, 2020 00:30 / Updated 26 minutes ago

Trump the believer!

It's called blind faith.

MOSCOWEXILE September 4, 2020 at 9:41 pm

From the above linked RT article:

The US president has received heavy criticism for his reluctance to immediately join NATO allies in pressing Russia over the Navalny incident, which CNN called "the latest instance of Trump failing to speak out and call for answers from the Kremlin on issues ranging from election interference to possible bounties on US troops in Afghanistan."

I presume that the concept of "burden of proof" is now a dead letter in the Free West.

MARK CHAPMAN September 4, 2020 at 11:16 pm

I thought that whole Russia-offered-bounties-for-dead-US-troops thing had been 'debunked' for good. Several western sources which are sometimes not snapping-turtle crazy said there was nothing to it. So why are they still citing it?

MOSCOWEXILE September 4, 2020 at 10:17 pm

Editorial Independent [wall]:

Alexei Navalny is one of the most important leaders of what passes for political opposition in President Putin's Russia. Some say he is, in effect, "the" leader of the opposition in Russia. He has just been the subject of an assassination attempt, and lies in an induced coma in a German hospital. It's worth repeating: the leader of the opposition to Vladimir Putin has been poisoned, perhaps fatally, using novichok, a chemical weapon banned by international treaty. There is little doubt that, in one form or another, formal or informal agents of the Russian state would have been part of the plot, especially given the evidence of novichok, and that the highest circles of the Russian establishment would either have knowledge of the attack, or made it apparent to any shady blah, blah. blah ..

Now don't you folks go and forget, BoJo recently made Evgeny Lebedev, the owner of that rag and who penned the above shite, a Baronet.

Lebedev has dual Russian/British citizen and has lived in the UK since he arrived there as an 8-year-old with his KGB papa, who had landed a cushy number at the Soviet Embassy.

Papa Lebedev went back to Russia, where in the immediate post-Soviet years of Russia he made a mint and became an "oligarch", namely an extremely successful thief who had pillaged Russia. His son became a UK citizen in 2010.

Evgeny Lebedev is now a life peer and may now plonk his arse (and get paid for doing so!) in one of the chambers of the British legislature, the one whose members are unelected: they are there either through their aristocratic "birthright" or are appointees, such as is Lebedev.

When BoJo appointed Lebedev as a life peer, the moronic Russophobes in the UK accused that fool of a British PM of being under the Evil One's control.

Just shows you how they know shag all about Russia and Russians.

That's because they are all tossers.

MOSCOWEXILE September 4, 2020 at 10:33 pm

Опубликована запись разговора Берлина и Варшавы по делу Навального
20:40 04.09.2020 (обновлено: 05:19 05.09.2020)

Recording of conversation between Berlin and Warsaw on Navalny case published
20:40 09/04/2020 (updated: 05:19 09/05/2020)

MOSCOW, September 4 – RIA Novosti. The state Belarusian media has published a recording of the negotiations between Berlin and Warsaw on the situation with Alexei Navalny, intercepted by Minsk .
RIA Novosti is publishing a transcript of this dialogue.

– Hello, good afternoon, Nick. How are we getting on?

– Everything seems to be going according to plan. The materials about Navalny are ready. They'll be transferred to the Chancellor's office. We'll be waiting for her statement.

– Has the poisoning been definitely confirmed?

– Look, Mike, it's not that important in this case. There is a war going on. And during a war, all sorts of methods are good.

– I agree. It is necessary to discourage Putin from sticking his nose into the affairs of Belarus. The most effective way is to drown him with the problems in Russia, and there are many of them. Moreover, in the near future they will have elections, voting day in the Russian regions.

– This is what we are doing. How are you doing in Belarus?

– To be honest, not that well, really. President Lukashenko has turned out to be a tough nut to crack. They are professional and organized. It is clear that Russia supports them. The officials and the military are loyal to the president. We are working on it. The rest [of this conversation] we'll have when we meet and not on the 'phone.

– Yes, I understand. See you then, bye.

MARK CHAPMAN September 4, 2020 at 11:21 pm

I find it hard to believe this is real. Lukashenko is 'a tough nut to crack'? The Belarusian government is 'professional and organized'? Well, you never know with the Poles. But it seems so perfectly to confirm western perfidy that it must be made up. Who would be stupid enough to say things like that on the phone?

MOSCOWEXILE September 5, 2020 at 12:17 am

Who would be stupid enough to say things like that on the phone?

"Fuck the EU!" said on the 'phone by Noodles to Ambassador Pietwat.

JEN September 5, 2020 at 4:13 am

And "Yats is our man!" Victory Noodles crowed to Pie-whacked.

Don't forget also that Jens Stoltenberg was dumb enough to think he could drive a taxi around Oslo and pick up paying passengers without their recognising him and commenting on his poor driving skills and knowledge of Oslo streets.

MOSCOWEXILE September 5, 2020 at 5:43 am

And on hearing off a Latvian (?) politician, who had been observing the "Revolution of Dignity" and was involved in an investigation into the deaths of the "Heavenly Hundred", that there were good grounds to believe that those martyrs for Ukrainian freedom had been martyred by being shot in the back by their fellow countrymen who were of a fascist bent, Lady Ashton said: "Gosh!""

Now that really was a dumb utterance to make on the phone, considering the circumstances.

MOSCOWEXILE September 5, 2020 at 7:32 am

Dejevsky in today's Independent [wall]:

It is also worth underlining that the Russian pilot who decided to make an emergency landing in Omsk, rather than proceed to Moscow, may have saved Navalny's life, as may the doctors in Omsk who – despite their professed doubts about poison – administered atropine, the closest treatment there is to a novichok antidote, early on. The claim, made by some, that this was a brazen attack, with the Kremlin's fingerprints all over it, designed to be found out and interpreted as a "two fingers up" to the west, does not stack up.

But the German findings that probably the most influential Russian opposition leader was poisoned and that the substance used was the same as the one identified in the Skripal case – a military-grade nerve agent, moreover, that is associated with Russia, even though it was developed in the Soviet-era and can be found outside Russia – means that the Kremlin has a case to answer. Yes, everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and the Kremlin is all denials, but the onus is now squarely on Putin to make his case in the court of international opinion.

" the doctors in Omsk who – despite their professed doubts about poison – administered atropine, the closest treatment there is to a novichok antidote, early on."

That a fact, Doctor Dejevsky?

" everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and the Kremlin is all denials, but the onus is now squarely on Putin to make his case in the court of international opinion"

Burden of proof?

Russia has been accused! Russia is not obliged to prove its innocence, FFS!!!!

Where is the evidence to back up the accusation????

MOSCOWEXILE September 5, 2020 at 7:33 am

Link to above:

https://www.independent.co.uk/independentpremium/voices/novichok-alexei-navalny-poison-russia-putin-germany-a9703756.html?r=10355

JENNIFER HOR September 5, 2020 at 1:19 pm

Of course the Omsk hospital doctors had to apply atropine because Navalny's groupies were squealing that he had been poisoned. They would have squealed again and accused the hospital of malpractice if the hospital had not used the drug.

MOSCOWEXILE September 5, 2020 at 9:42 am

Sputnik:

Russian Doctors Suggest Setting up Joint Group With German Colleagues on Navalny Case
5 September 2020
18:56

https://sputniknews.com/world/202009051080376439-russian-doctors-suggest-setting-up-joint-group-with-german-colleagues-on-navalny-case/

Russian doctors have proposed to their German colleagues that they establish a joint group on the case of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, the president of Russia's National Medical Chamber, noted paediatrician Leonid Roshal, told reporters on Saturday.

Will the Germans agree?

I shouldn't imagine so. They and the rest of the West have crossed the Rubicon:

Alea iacta est!


[Sep 12, 2020] Yes, It's a Stock Market Bubble. That Doesn't Mean Trouble for Investors Just Yet-

Sep 12, 2020 | finance.yahoo.com

Every stock market bubble begins with a story, and make no mistake -- this is a stock market bubble. A virus forced the country to shut down and accelerated the gains in a select few technology stocks that are uniquely capable of thriving with everyone stuck at home. A central bank took quick action to prevent financial markets from seizing up, pushing interest rates about as low as they could go.

[Sep 11, 2020] John Brennan's CIA Trump Task Force by Larry C Johnson

Sep 11, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

I was mildly amused by Paul Sperry's recent tw