Open Thread – 1 June 2017



This entry was posted in Open Thread. Bookmark the permalink.

100 Responses to Open Thread – 1 June 2017

  1. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    John Helmer, who had been on the White House staff of President Carter and who since early this century has been an independent journalist based in Moscow, has put two scathing posts up about what he regards as the malicious influence and impact the recently departed Zbigniew Brzezinski had on his president, on others on that administrations tean, and thereby on US foreign policy. The give the reader a whole different perspective on that administration. The posts appeared in the order of the links below:

  2. Clonal Antibody says:

    Anyone have any comments on Syria shooting down an Israeli warplane?

    Syria has confirmed that it shot down an Israeli plane suspected of helping ISIS which had been flying over Syrian territory, tasked with bombing innocent civilians.
    Just one week after Israeli officials confirmed they were building up to a war with Hezbollah, the Israeli Air Force launched airstrikes against Syria, under the guise of targeting an alleged weapons convoy belonging to the Lebanese militia.
    Syria responded by activating their anti-aircraft missile defence system against the Israeli jets, successfully taking one down and hitting another. reports:
    The jet crashed in Israeli territory, however, as the planes were back over Israeli soil by the time the missile was able to connect.
    The Israeli operation and the missile firing were both confirmed by the Syrian and Israeli governments. Israel would not confirm that a plane had actually been shot down, however. This is typical of Israel who tends not to acknowledge any military defeats or setbacks publicly.

  3. walrus says:

    I note that President Trump has just pulled America out of the Paris climate treaty. This is a retrograde action on so many levels. Its going to be tragic for America.

  4. FB Ali says:

    The pitchforks etc in the picture above seem an appropriate symbol for this pretty strong anti-Trump rant in a Der Spiegel editorial recently:
    I wonder how representative it is of opinion in Germany – or Europe (I wouldn’t be surprised if spoilt-child Macron held such views!).

  5. kooshy says:

    FYI, a very hot summer is forming up on Iraqi Syrian border
    “U.S. hikes ‘combat power’ in Syria, with eye on Iran-backed militia”
    The U.S. military said on Thursday it had bolstered its “combat power” in southern Syria, warning that it viewed Iran-backed fighters in the area as a threat to nearby coalition troops fighting Islamic State.
    The remarks by a Baghdad-based spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition battling Islamic State was the latest sign of tension in the region, where the United States has forces at the base around the Syrian town of At Tanf supporting local fighters.”

  6. Trump’s climate decision may reduce U.S. jobs in the future because other nations won’t buy U.S. alternative energy technologies. So there could be long-term economic disaster, on top of this moral failure and global embarrassment.
    After that big iceberg breaks off Antarctica there may not be a Republican President or Congress elected for the next 50 years.

  7. mauisurfer says:

    The chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Lyman Lemnitzer, met with President Kennedy and his National Security Council on July 20, 1961, just as the East-West crisis over Berlin threatened to explode into immediate hot war in Europe. Lemnitzer presented his plan for a surprise, preemptive nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, to take place in 1963. This was Churchill’s Operation Unthinkable, updated for thermonuclear use.
    Lemnitzer cautioned that if all-out nuclear war were begun a year earlier, it would not be as effective in utterly annihilating Russia; he said that only by 1963 would the United States have absolute superiority in delivery systems, at which point the Soviets would possess no real ability to retaliate. The President asked Lemnitzer how long Americans would have to remain in fallout shelters after the rival country was exterminated. A Lemnitzer aide replied that about two weeks should be sufficient. Kennedy concluded the meeting by directing that “no member in attendance at the meeting disclose even the subject of the meeting.”
    A memorandum with notes of this meeting was declassified only in June of 1993. Professor James Galbraith, son of JFK’s trusted strategic advisor John Kenneth Galbraith, discovered this declassified memo and immediately brought it to the attention of the public.[43] His article received virtually no attention in the corporate media.
    McGeorge Bundy recalled that “In the summer of 1961 [Kennedy] went through a formal briefing on the net assessment of a general nuclear war between the two superpowers, and he expressed his own reaction to [Secretary of State] Dean Rusk as they walked from the cabinet room to the Oval Office for a private meeting on other subjects: ‘And we call ourselves the human race.’”[44]
    On March 13, 1962, Joint Chiefs Chairman Lyman Lemnitzer gave Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara a plan for the United States to carry out terror attacks against its own armed forces and civilians, to be blamed on the Castro regime as “pretexts which would provide justification for US military intervention in Cuba.” Known as Operation Northwoods, the plan would remain secret until declassified in the 1990s. It is now available online.[45]
    The state of mind discernable behind Northwoods comes straight out of the history of the British Empire. “False flag” terror had been the British specialty in Africa, India, and Ireland, and through synthetic Muslim movements in the Mideast. During and after the Cold War, it has been the trademark of the MI6 and Special Air Services that have instructed and guided NATO strategy.
    Among Lemnitzer’s proposals were these:
    Bomb the U.S. base at Guantanamo, Cuba, and destroy U.S. ships—“Lob mortar shells from outside of base into base…. Blow up ammunition inside the base; start fires. Burn aircraft on air base (sabotage). Sabotage ship in harbor; large fires—naphthalene. Sink ship near harbor entrance. Conduct funerals for mock-victims…. We could blow up a drone (unmanned) vessel anywhere in the Cuban waters…. The presence of Cuban planes or ships merely investigating the intent of the vessel could be fairly compelling evidence that the ship was taken under attack.”
    Lie to news media—“[After] an air/sea rescue operation … to ‘evacuate’ remaining members of the non-existent crew … [c]asualty lists in US newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation.”
    Conduct terror atrocities inside the United States—“We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington. The terror campaign could be pointed at Cuban refugees seeking haven in the United States. We could sink a boatload of Cubans en route to Florida (real or simulated). We could foster attempts on lives of Cuban refugees in the United States even to the extent of wounding in instances to be widely publicized. Exploding a few plastic bombs in carefully chosen spots ….”
    A military attack to “be simulated against a neighboring Caribbean nation….”
    An “incident which will demonstrate convincingly that a Cuban aircraft has attacked and shot down a chartered civil airliner en route from the United States…. [The] aircraft [used in the fake attack] … could be painted and numbered as an exact duplicate for a civil registered aircraft belonging to a CIA proprietary organization in the Miami area….”
    “Hijacking attempts against civil air and surface craft….”
    Make it “appear that Communist Cuban MIGs have destroyed a USAF aircraft over international waters in an unprovoked attack.”
    Kennedy dismissed the Northwoods proposal. About a month later, Lemnitzer simply demanded that the United States stage a full-scale military invasion of Cuba, without provocation, on the presumption that the Soviets would not react.

  8. Liza says:

    Former CIA director John Brennan is apparently now working for Kissinger Associates. An interesting hire since Kissinger has long advocated a rapprochement with Russia and Brennan has accused the Trump campaign of collusion with Russia.
    Note Brennan’s name in the alphabetical list of attendees:

  9. Matt says:

    Dear America,
    I’m not sure how to put this so I wrote you a song,
    The Rest of the World
    P.S. get well soon x

  10. Pundita says:

    From Wikipedia
    “Megan Leavey” is … scheduled to be released on June 9, 2017, by Bleecker Street.
    Based on the true life story of a young Marine corporal whose unique discipline and bond with her military combat dog saved many lives during their deployment in Iraq.
    Megan Leavey is a former US Marine corporal who served as a Military Police K9 handler. She grew up in Valley Cottage, New York. Leavey enlisted in the Marines in 2003 and was stationed at Camp Pendleton, California, where she was paired with military working dog Rex.
    The pair served two deployments in Iraq together. They were first deployed to Fallujah in 2005, and then to Ramadi in 2006, where they were both wounded by an Improvised explosive device. Leavey was awarded the Purple Heart and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with a “V” device denoting heroism in combat.
    In 2012, Rex developed facial palsy, which ended his bomb-sniffing duties. Leavey later adopted him through the intervention of Senator Chuck Schumer. Rex died on December 22, 2012.

  11. David E. Solomon says:

    I wonder if I am the only person who finds the Obama’s 8.1 million dollar purchase of the Washington, DC home that they have been renting to be a little more than obscene?
    As far as I have been able to ascertain, they made the purchase thorough a holding company and the person they purchased the house from was a former Bill Clinton press secretary.
    When our politicians are so blatantly taking advantage of their political positions for self aggrandizement, is it any wonder that the population is losing patience with them.

  12. David E. Solomon says:

    That has always been my favorite Jim Morrison song. I first heard a promotional copy in late 1966 or early 1967 before its actual commercial release.
    Maybe if we are now approaching “The End” we can view its coming as a natural cleansing of the plane.
    PS: Thanks for the link, Matt.

  13. Fred says:

    “…in the future because other nations won’t buy U.S. alternative energy technologies.”
    Which countries are buying that stuff right now? How many jobs are there in the US related to that, not including professors on college campuses and those subsidized with federal grant funding?

  14. eakens says:

    No. He went into office with relatively nothing, and somehow with a $400K salary, came out with a net worth of $30M.

  15. Matt –
    Sir Michael Fallon, UK Secretary of State for Defence, is considerably more hawkish than President Trump. Merkel and Macron don’t sound good either. Even the impeccably progressive Norwegians are getting in on the act.
    The neocon disease is a disease of the West, not solely of the United States. If other Western countries wished to do anything useful they’d be trying to stop the killing in Syria and in the Ukraine, not egging Trump on to do more.
    That neocon disease is so advanced among the UK politicians that I’m considering voting for Corbyn, the ultimate snowflake but at least not a warmonger. The Germans have Die Linke, again a party that has no practicable domestic platform but that does seem to be against current German foreign policy. They even object to the deployment of neo-Nazis in the Ukraine, which puts them in a class of their own in German politics.
    So we Europeans might do well to scour our own pots before reproaching the American kettle.

  16. Sam Peralta says:

    This is a retrograde action…
    Why? Does the Paris Climate Treaty do much of anything? As I understand, it requires each of the 195 signatories to determine on their own by 2020 how much they would reduce their carbon emissions. There was no enforcement mechanism. And it gave a pass to China and India.
    It seems this was just another typical “snowflake” feel good treaty for the Davos crowd with no real meat on it. When Al Gore & Barack Obama live like goat herders in the Steppe I’ll take this climate change thingy seriously!

  17. Sam Peralta says:

    I don’t begrudge Obama the hundreds of millions he will make.
    But I seriously resent his hypocrisy! We have Obama flying into Milan on a private jet, with fighter escorts, and then transported to his hotel where he has two floors, in a 14 car convoy, to give a speech for which he got paid $3 million, and now lectures Trump about climate change.
    What was the carbon footprint of Obama’s trip? Or his cavorting with Richard Branson & David Geffen in the tropics? And, Al Gore’s, Elon Musk’s and Lloyd Blankfein’s personal carbon footprint? Sheesh!! And we’ve got to listen to these guys bloviate.

  18. Joe100 says:

    David –
    Maybe the Obama’s plan to pay for this out of their obscene $65 million book deal…

  19. Laura says:

    Lee — I’m also puzzled by Trump’s disregard of the Pentagon’s acknowledgement and accommodations to climate change. They are PLANNING for it and making sure their bases are prepared. They are also gaming out the military/international problems it will present. How can the GOP and the President just “blow off” the Pentagon on such a big issue?
    I really did thing that Trump would listen to his Defense Department on this.

  20. Laura says:

    I’m not sure paying 8 million dollars for a home is any more or less obscene if you are Obama or anyone else. Hopefully, it will be a good investment! (Of course, I’m from Santa Barbara, CA, where every home is over 1 million….so what do I know!)

  21. ISL says:

    A better question is why? As what Trump did is pull out of an agreement that Obama fought hard to make voluntary – which allows everyone to cheat.
    Meanwhile, atmospheric CO2 has followed exactly along the do nothing trend despite all the hard efforts of many nations around the world. or the cheating of many nations around the world. or the shifting their carbon production overseas. In any case, all the politicians hot air has not changed the reality one iota.
    Was Obama excoriated for making the agreement toothless and guaranteed to (taking real world human behavior into account) have zero effect on anything climate (except helping various politicos re-elections around the world)?
    I think he feels that the opprobrium of the world helps him with his base, and he is going to need them very soon if the borg is not to evict him.

  22. Laura says:

    David — Regarding the “holding company,” many, if not most, people with wealth use LLC’s or Trusts to buy property. It is very common and not, on its face, indicative of anything at all….except $ and “wealth management.”

  23. S.E. says:

    Not quite so harsh wording here in Norway, but the general tendency is the same. I was surprised by the very strong words in the Spiegel editorial (which seems to have been written two weeks ago – today, after the withdrawal from the Paris accord, it might have sound even harsher). MSM and politicians have taken their lead from Merkel´s comment that Europe must take its fate in its own hands. China is the new climate partner: “EU and China against Trump on climate”. The leader of the world is not longer the leader, is what is being conveyed. MSM and politicians here have been strongly anti-Trump all the time, and the Paris withdrawal confirms their view of Trump as a rogue politician. Just like the US MSM. The deplorables can only be seen in the commentary sections, where Trump gets some support.
    Some wants to start to discuss if we shall follow the US or Europe, as the split becomes larger. Since WW2, Norway has looked upon the US as its closest ally. Suddenly, this seems not so clear any more.

  24. Enrico Malatesta says:

    I think there would have been a good test of Lyman Lemnitzer’s commitment to his NORTHWOODS style ideas – would he volunteer to have his work office and family home used as “false flag” targets?

  25. Mikey says:

    Yeah. I have a comment. It’s a bullshit story.

  26. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Might I suggest the need for a top-level SST post, subject
    The motivations of Muslim terrorists
    Why the clearly inflammatory specification of “Muslim”?
    Simple: Because both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars
    were sold to the American public as being necessary to combat terrorism.
    Further we have seen a number of terrorist attacks in both the U.S. and Europe
    committed by Muslims.
    We need to clearly address their motivations.
    That is not to deny that Westerners,
    such as Timothy McVeigh, Dylann Roff, and Anders Behring Breivik
    have committed acts of terrorism.
    But there seems not uncertainty about their motivations.
    In each of the examples I just cited,
    the terrorists stated clearly what their motivation had been,
    and that self-proclaimed motivation has been widely reported in the MSM.
    the self-proclaimed motivations of Muslims who commit terrorism
    are largely ignored by the MSM.

    Three motivations are commonly offered for Muslim terrorism:

    1. They hate the West’s>
    2. They desire revenge for what the West/the U.S./Israel has done to their world.
    3. Referring specifically of Muslims living in the West,
      they feel unfairly disadvantaged.
      (An variation on the theme of the old “Officer Krupke” song
      “I’m depraved on account I’m deprived.”
  27. Sam Peralta says:

    It looks like the shoe is on the other foot across the pond 🙂
    Labour’s election campaign is being boosted by fake social media accounts that pump out positive messages about Jeremy Corbyn thousands of times per day…”

  28. TonyL says:

    Are you suggesting that the former President of the US should take commercial airline flying coach? that’s a hell of a logistic problem with the Secret Services entourage :). IMO, you’re trying too hard to find hypocrisy where there is none.

  29. In the article below Patrick Armstrong touches on the USS Donald Cook incident, and in particular on the question of whether it might demonstrate the superiority of Russian military equipment. That leads to the further question of what the ship was doing in the Black Sea in the first place.
    On the first question it may be that, whatever the capabilities of the “Khibiny”, the episode can be accounted for in other ways.
    According to Russian accounts they had stationed an anti-ship battery in the Crimea and had done so so that it was clearly visible to satellites.
    When the USS Donald Cooke approached it would have found itself lit up by radar and would have known precisely what type of missile it was exposed to. For the Captain it must have been like walking up to a house and finding a shotgun poking out of the window. Getting buzzed would have underlined the message. In those circumstances the ship would not have come in closer and nor would the rest of the fleet have followed.
    There is therefore no need to postulate superior or novel Russian equipment to account for the incident, even if they do have such equipment. Further statements from our side that the Russians are superior in this respect might be true, but they also might be accounted for by the desire to get Congress to approve more money for R & D. But on the second question there is a lot else from that time that is still murky, in particular what NATO’s intention was and how they had prepared to carry out those intentions.
    The Russians were taken aback by the Kiev coup and were for some time uncertain how to act in the Donbas. This tentative and cautious approach is summed up in a contemporary survey of the evidence then available:-
    Perhaps now more emphasis would be placed on the rebel supply of armaments and ammunition from old Soviet arms dumps left in the Donbas, though the accounts of the rebels taking tanks that had been left in the open on commemorative plinths and refurbishing them indicates there was a good deal of improvisation in those early days as well. It does also seem that the NATO supply of advisers and Special Forces to the Ukrainians was matched by the Russians on the rebel side to a greater extent than was formerly thought; General Breedlove painted an incorrect picture but pro-Russian websites at the time themselves showed it was not a picture without a basis of truth. In addition the (claimed) training of rebel forces in Russia, initially leaving mostly older men with some previous experience to make up the bulk of the rebel forces, indicates greater Russian involvement. However, General Kujat’s verdict
    a verdict that he continued to insist on throughout, that the Russian Army was not deployed in the Ukraine, still holds; the picture at the time of an uncertain Russia looking more to dampen things down in the Donbas rather than to incite or to take advantage of the rebellion, the picture Professor Robinson put forward, is still accurate.
    In the case of the Crimea there is no such waiting on events by the Russians. We have Putin’s statement that immediately after the rescue of Yanukovytch arrangements for the Crimea were put in hand. After Korsun he could also be sure that any Crimeans not already committed to rejecting Ukrainian sovereignty would regard Russian intervention as rescue rather than land grabbing. But if the Russian motives and actions in the Crimea are clear-cut ours still are not.
    Did NATO intend to take over the naval base? I’ve seen no documentary evidence for this: the school renovation often cited as evidence is plainly not and no other has been advanced. What was the USS Donald Cook doing venturing so close? Why such a powerful fleet in the Black Sea in any case? There was no overt NATO intervention in the Donbas at a time when direct intervention would have been helpful to the Ukrainians, so why should it be suggested that NATO might have planned overt intervention here?
    Failing evidence it’s only possible to conclude that the Donald Cook was doing no more than showing the flag, something often done by NATO forces and as often responded to by the Russians, albeit at a particularly critical time and maybe with the intention of doing more if chance allowed. Is that all that can be said with certainty about this incident?

  30. Augustin L says:

    Apparently it was Steve Bannon’s office leaking on Jared Kushner. So much for deplorable theories about Obama hold-overs leaking. Dorian Gray will not appreciate the duplicity

  31. steve says:

    Estimates for the number of jobs in renewables run towards 2 million. Jobs in the coal industry about 70,000, with a third of those actual miners.

  32. Stumpy says:

    After reading over the parts of the agreement, the language suggested that the agreement was really more about funding certain projects selected by a central committee, with the funds being held by a trustee, nominally the World Bank. Some projects have already been listed at
    Read the Agreement:
    Call me cynical, but funds flowing through the World Bank and being distributed by a committee to “developing countries” is fraught with fraud potential and graft, not to mention political favoritism. How long as the UN been running programs to vaccinate, feed and elevate people in Africa out of poverty, and how well that worked?
    I am certainly in favor of cleaning up the planet and reducing emissions and waste, but I feel that the train left the station decades ago where systemic thinking and political courage would have made a difference. Now they want $100 Billion a year to fund their new board of trade.
    Trump’s best argument, if you would call it so, is the notion that the USA would voluntarily obligate itself to populate the World Bank/Green Climate Fund account with $Billions while other nations wave the flag of saving the planet yet come up short. Then the politics come into play as to who receives grants and loans and how much oversight will it take to vet the applicants and monitor performance. Better yet, as countries engage in collateralizing their pristine rainforest for environmental funding, imagine the bureaucracy that emerges to manage a carbon trading cartel that must be funded itself.
    By asserting fiduciary control by a central committee over financial management by the trustee but without accountability to the rate-payers in participating nations, it is a de facto re-distribution of wealth.
    Moreover, my perception is that the Paris Accords will be used to develop regulatory policy for political exploit internally, such as imposition of taxes and fees that would be passed on to the rate-payer, in such a manner that the energy and chemical industries will be forking over profit to the World Bank where it no longer contributes to the national economy.
    My sinister slippery slope argument is that, under the Paris Accords, eventually the price per gallon of petrol will go up to the point where it’s not profitable to import tar sand oil from Canada or upgrade Venezuelan crude; the transportation and construction industries will crash, bringing down the general economy, and the US will go into default. Just a thought.
    I welcome anyone to respond with a different insight into these issues, but stand on the point that I agree with Trump’s reasoning behind walking away to protect the US taxpayer.
    That being said, Trump being Trump may well just be playing tantrum politics and operating on behalf of Big Oil and King Coal. The bottom line is that climate change will ultimately be solved at the consumer level, i.e. stop driving automobiles and cooling our houses with electricity, and dispose of plastics in such a way that they don’t float halfway into the Pacific Ocean.
    For all the outrage and hysteria following his decision, a lot of smoke floating around came out of the Ruhr Valley steel mills and that sweet Alberta crude.

  33. Fred says:

    Dear “The Rest of the World”, go covfefe yourselves.

  34. Doug Colwell says:

    If you look up Jim Morrison in Wikipedia you will find a curious fact. His father was Rear Admiral George Stephen Morisson, who was in charge during the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

  35. BraveNewWorld says:

    Shot down a small drone maybe. Full blown aircraft? Very unlikely.
    Even though all Israeli news stories have to be cleared by the censers an Israeli plane being shot down would have been the entire front page of every Israel paper, and if that wasn’t the massive counter strike would be. So far not a peep. I don’t see a reference to it on SANA either.

  36. charly says:

    Tesla powerwall to name one technology. This whole alternative energy technology is at the moment getting from a toy to big business. Saying now that you won’t pursue means the factories wont be build/upgraded and no jobs.Don’t forget that solar as 10 years ago much more expensive than other forms of generation and is now the cheapest.
    Besides the Paris treaty is one of the weakest possible thanks to Obama. The US will comply with it just because of the shale gas boom and if in the unlikely situation that the US breaks its promise you just apologize.

  37. mauisurfer says:

    another perspective on Brzezinski from Paul Craig Roberts:
    For 12 years Brzezinski was my collague at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where I occupied the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy.

  38. iowa steve says:

    As long as the checks clear . . . . .

  39. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    MS: Thanks for the link. It’s a long, but IMO an important recap of USA-USSR/Russia relations since the mid-20th century from a Russia-centric perspective. It emphasizes the importance of President Kennedy in that history, both in his life and his death.

  40. John_Frank says:

    In other news, and returning to the Kushner story:
    ‘Kushnergate’ is a big fat nothing-burger

  41. YT says:

    Col. sir,
    I am perplexed…
    “In israel, too: the Africans move into South Tel Aviv, where poor Jews lived.
    The poor Jews complained and they are being called “racists”, while wealthy jews of North Tel Aviv (who allowed the Africans to come) can condemn racism of the poor Jews from a safe distance.”
    Why jeopardize their own?

  42. trinlae says:

    What source are you citing there?

  43. Peter in Toronto says:

    That’s such a fashionable response..
    How exactly, do the legal terms of the Paris agreement in any way reduce emissions among the top polluters?

  44. trinlae says:

    Csn’t say for the Climate drama but generally I saw Switzerland media and populace uncritically follow German CNN dtyle uncritical partisan narratives, although some privately seem to be catching zome gist of the independent thinker approach c.o Netherlands, but more so via UK brexit/Corbyn.
    I saw no indications of any critical public or media awareness of larger systemic dynamics and Hollande-Merkel-Blaire-style fake left or critical eye toward bankster-Saudi-Israeli petrodollar nexus. I think the one to watch is Macron, given his bankster background. (deeper involvement but a blander public personal than J Comey)
    The “heads in the sand so long as I am personally comfortable enough” modus operandi of so much of the public is at best a Stepford Wives style social culture and at worst a Nazi Germany style willful ignorance, albeit clothed in regular msm buzzword reactionism tl give a feel good self righteousness effect. In other words, the disengaged 98% of what should be participatory open democracies make for a rather dangerous climate, imo.

  45. trinlae says:

    How long does it take to spend $350bn in MIC contracts?
    How many Russian/American/Israeli oligarchs are KGB/CIA/Mossad agents? Saudi, Pakistani, Chinese and Indian oligarchs will be playing an “all of the above game,” i suspect.
    Demigod asuras dont get into the pure bhramaloka deva realms mainly because of their intense avarice, pride, and jealousy. Even if they eventually take to more virtue to tip the scales toward more favorable outcomes, so long as they remian fundamentally ignorant of how to escape vulgar and lavish selfish interests, they will remain trapped. What is even more interesting is how the blood soaked money is laundered, and how the otherwise innocent participate in laundering it to make it palatable to the public.

  46. johnf says:

    Last night on the final televised debate before the election members of the audience (several with alarming eyes) were openly calling for the use of a nuclear first strike (against who?) and loudly baiting Corbyn for refusing to adopt a first strike posture.
    Our Defence Minister openly advocates such a policy:
    If this is all part of mad neo-conservative posturing to intimidate Russia, somehow I don’t think that Vladimir Putinis the sort of person to be intimidated.
    I’m DEFINITELY voting Corbyn.

  47. Matt says:

    I think you’ll find Jim was singing about the end of a relationship,
    this is what I was alluding to,

  48. ISL says:

    Stumpy, in strong agreement,
    For example, carbon trading has been tried in a number of places (including California) for quite a few years and the results have been underwhelming. Shockingly, the creation of a market has inspired more efforts to game it (think derivatives) by our nation’s and other nation’s financial “geniuses” than to make an honest profit by reducing carbon emissions (per the goal of the market). It also has the wonderful escape clause that after mis-gaming the market, the nation-state can bail it out (aka the tax payer).
    Paris was more of the same of what we as a species have been doing for the last few years which has not altered reality an iota (though as you note, has moved a lot of money).

  49. Fred says:

    That’s funny. A backup power supply – i.e. a battery – is being exported by Tesla? Right. Again, how many jobs is that in the US?

  50. Stumpy says:

    Russian motives and actions in the Crimea are clear-cut ours still are not.
    Dead on. The USDOD has an amibiguous policy based on opportunism, imo. Too bad the US pilots can’t be as dramatic as the Russian hot dogs, lol.
    One element in the dynamics of the situation has to be the corrupt morass of the Oligarchs’ feudalism in Western Ukraine.
    Much as the neocon faction in the US would presumably wish to treat Ukraine as a real estate acquisition, tying political strings with Kiev has unfavorable optics.
    I think your assessment of the reason for the Cook to be in those waters is correct. It is probably a symbolic gesture on behalf of the Navy to justify its raison d’etre. The USA always has Pearl Harbor to wake up to.

  51. Clonal Antibody says:

    The original source, other than what I linked earlier seems to be AWDNews – a somewhat suspect site possibly based in UAE or Pakistan.

  52. trinlae says:

    Fwiw a friend in Bern told me that Swiss banks also hold lots of money or gold that was of Jewish origins and confiscated by the Nazis but never returned. Supposedly this is pretty common knowledge, but relevant to the link report of dealing with Nazi money.

  53. trinlae says:

    That Dulles partner van heuvel sounded familiarr:
    editor at The Nation & CFR ist

  54. Sam Peralta,
    China and India are taking concrete actions to meet Climate Accord goals. They have cancelled the construction of hundreds of coal fired electrical plants in favor of oil, gas and renewables. I doubt it’s all due to altruism or even a desire to rid their cities of smog. It’s just cheaper. Our power industry is doing the same thing. Gas fracking and falling solar prices are what’s killing the coal industry.

  55. Fred, this is from Business Insider:
    “The growth in wind power is just one example of the rising employment numbers associated with the clean energy and sustainability sector. According to the report, published by the Environmental Defense Fund’s Climate Corps program, the industry now has at least 4 million jobs, up from 3.4 million in 2011.
    The report estimates that solar and wind jobs are growing at a rate 12 times as fast as the rest of the US economy and suggests that 46% of large firms have hired additional workers to address issues of sustainability over the past two years.”

  56. trinlae says:

    The problem with your language is that it is overly broad and does not exclude Muslims from places not implicated in terrorist acts or Wahabbi ideology such as China, Bangladesh, most of the Philippines, much
    of Indonesia. in fact, taken as a percentage of the population of believers, Muslim terrorists are probably less frequent than others.
    I think there is another flaw in your reasoning, which is that from a pre-modern interpretation of statehood, then your Muslim terrorist is not so different from the Christian colonialist, a.k.a. conqueror via doctrine of discovery rationale.
    This is not to say that your thesis is false, maybe it would be a fine topic But the choice of defeniendum of “muslim” is overly broad and refers to more than what is described under that name. That is, the pervasion of the name and definition are not mutually inclusive. Therefore it is a category error. I.e., all vegans are vegetarians, but not all vegetarians are vegans.

  57. charly says:

    Republican presidents (outside Bush the Elder) are never liked in Europe, Atlanticists hate him (seen from their perspective with good reason) and he is absolutely boorish. I would say the European press is very mellow about him.

  58. Sam Peralta says:

    IMO, you’re trying too hard to find hypocrisy where there is none.”
    Written like a perfect example of an apologist for “The Messiah”!
    He really needed fighter escorts to land in Milan and a 14 car convoy to his hotel to give a speech about climate change and food security. What do you think the carbon footprint of that trip was? How much do you think the energy consumption of Al Gore’s house in Santa Barbara is relative to a median American house? These guys lecture everyone else but don’t walk the talk themselves. The epitome of hypocrisy!
    BTW, President Carter and his wife Rosalynn flew a commercial airline to DC to attend President Trump’s inauguration. I’m sure they didn’t have a 14 car convoy. They have the same secret service “entourage” as your Messiah.

  59. Sam Peralta says:

    I doubt it’s all due to altruism or even a desire to rid their cities of smog. It’s just cheaper…..Gas fracking and falling solar prices are what’s killing the coal industry.
    That’s exactly the point! One doesn’t need more government bureaucracies robbing Peter to pay Paul. How much do you think of actual money will go to renewables projects by this accord vs how much will be spent by all the various agencies in their own costs? What do you think the carbon footprint of the Paris boondoggle was?
    Autonomy & Sharing in automobiles will further reduce emissions. Waymo & Apple don’t need subsidies from the Deplorables.
    My point is that the Davos crowd’s personal lifestyle have a massive carbon footprint, yet here they are lecturing the Deplorables whose footprint is an order of magnitude less that they should pay.

  60. Jack says:

    If Corbyn is next PM, what happens to Brexit?

  61. trinlae says:

    Well, how feasable could a pre-emptively thwarted false flag theory be?
    Russians are notoriously gifted chess players, after all. Preparation for such would be systematic, not reactionary, no?

  62. trinlae says:

    Money (class) trumps blood in identity politicss game? Except for Moses!

  63. different clue says:

    Sam Peralta,
    I DO begrudge Obama the hundreds of millions of dollars he will collect in payoffs. Because he receives those payoffs as his reward for what he did against the American people and the American country.
    Things such as immunizing and impunifying all the very-plausibly-prosecutable FIRE sector fraud and crime perpetrators. And conspiring with McConnell and Boehner to make the Bush Tax Cuts permanent. And conspiring with the Republicans and the Catfood Democrats to begin the destruction and privatization of Social Security. And for all the Free Trade Treason agreements he achieved or pursued.
    ” Two, Three, Many big houses.”

  64. different clue says:

    What is obscene is what Obama did to get the money.

  65. Fred says:

    “my perception is that the Paris Accords will be used to develop regulatory policy for political exploit internally, such as imposition of taxes and fees that would be passed on to the rate-payer, in such a manner that the energy and chemical industries will be forking over profit to the World Bank …:
    That internal political exploitation of regulations already exists:
    I believe you could shorten the criticism to “who pays what to whom”.

  66. charly says:

    American government is highly dysfunctional so i understand why you say it but electricity networks are always state run industries
    Autonomy in cars will increase, not decrease miles driven so i doubt it will reduce energy use though autonomous cars are more efficient per mile then human steered cars. The influence of car sharing depends too much on how it will change society to give an opinion.
    Davos crowd is tiny. They simply don’t matter. Their footprint may be an order bigger but the number of average Westerners is simply three orders bigger if not more.

  67. charly says:

    The CO2 absolutely did not follow the do nothing trend. First the oil crisis of the seventies took a big bite out of the trend and now efficiency and renewables are starting to change the trend. The economy just needs a lot of time to change.

  68. TonyL says:

    I’m pleasantly surprised to learn that President Carter was able to fly commercial airline to DC! So I am seeing your point, and agreed with all you’ve said, except the word “your Messiah” 🙂 It’s a nonsensical term to me, and to a lot of us here.

  69. charly says:

    You act like $3 billion is a lot of money. It isn’t. It is only a week of American oil use (with cheap $50 oil) or half a nuclear power plant. And you are right that under the Paris accord tar sand and Venezuelan crude should not be imported. That is not sinister but clearly the objective if you want to significant decrease the release of CO2. How else could you do it? But i don’t see why that would mean the construction industry would crash?
    King Coal is a more regional industry but Big Oil hates this. It brings attention to this political issue. This was hammered out 5 years ago when renewables where a bit pricey to solve even part of the problem but now wind, solar and batteries are cheap enough to be a significant part of the solution so now when the look at the issue the politicians will set much higher targets or in other words a much smaller demand for oil.

  70. charly says:

    I had more in mind the batteries they sell to grid operators. That product didn’t really exist 10 years ago and it is not really a backup power supply but more a peak smoothner which allows the generators to work more efficient.

  71. charly says:

    Still on. It is the EU who wants Brexit, not so much Britain.

  72. Mark Logan says:

    Stratolaunch rolls out for fueling tests. This marks the transition from construction to testing.
    The idea is to eliminate the massive first stage of rockets. It can also double as a freight dog, range of about 8,000 miles, payload 500,000lbs. Might be the way to go.

  73. Poul says:

    Why not look at Hamza bin Laden’s reasons.
    ” 1. Our Religion and our Prophet (peace be upon him) are RED LINES. Let those who cross these lines take heed from Charlie Hebdo.”
    Similar to you item 1) but instead of hate of western values you could say love of their own values. In the eye of the beholder and all that.
    ” 2. Palestine is a cause of our Islamic Ummah [worldwide community of Muslims]. And anyone who supports Jewish occupiers shall never dream of peace, with the permission of Allah.”
    Like your item 2 and it’s not going to go away. A permanent problem which will perhaps be resolved with the decline of the West via demographic.
    ” 3. Sham is a cause of our Islamic Ummah. Our people in Sham are faced with genocide. And everyone who participates in tormenting them with bombings or by aiding Bashar [al Assad] and his allies shall not escape punishment.”
    A problem for Russia and Iran
    ” 4. Our lands are occupied. The Land of the Two Sanctuaries [Saudi Arabia] is occupied. We shall continue to target you until you withdraw your forces from the Arabian Peninsula and from every single land of Islam.”
    USA’s choice. Do you gain enough for your presence to bear the cost?
    ” 5. Our airspace is violated by your aircrafts which unleash their deadly payload on our children. Our wealth and resources are expropriated every single day.”
    Obama’s drone bombing strategy supplies a steady stream of volunteers for various AQ groups. Like above costs vs benefits in pursuing such policies.

  74. johnf says:

    It will probably be softer.
    Pro-Brexiteers could be loosely divided into English nationalists, those opposed to mass immigration, and those who wished to give the London cosmopolitan elites a good kicking (I’d include myself in that last group). Parts of those groups, especially the last, could well vote for Corbyn in the coming election. (As blue collar workers in the Mid West rust belt states who voted in Trump had previously voted Sanders in the primaries).
    Life is filled with elephant-sized ironies. Corbyn spent most of his political career being steadfastly anti EU (and probably still is privately). He has changed since becoming leader of a largely pro-EU Labour Party. Theresa May on the other hand spent her political career being strongly EU until, in order to become leader of the Conservative Party, she suddenly became anti-EU (but is probably privately still pro).
    Which suggests that, post election madness, either party will aim to negotiate a soft Brexit.

  75. I agree. I do not have the reference but I seem to recollect Mozgovoy saying that the true conflict should have been between the Ukrainian people and the oligarchs, not between the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian people.
    The Ukrainians have been had. They’re swapping Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs looting them for Ukrainian and Western. So far it seems it’s mostly small fry Western cronies getting in on the act but presumably, if the process continues, they’ll end up like Poland or Latvia – looks good on top but the people at the bottom emigrating like lemmings. Those who’ve not got out already.
    I don’t know what to make of Robinson. He’s not the usual compartmentalised academic ploughing his allotted furrow. He’s not scared of making big picture judgements and his assessment of the Russian reaction in the Ukraine – pace the specialists on this site – looks more or less accurate. But I only find him giving half the picture. The insights into what NATO was doing or thought it was doing are missing. There are similar lacunae in Sakwa’s account of the Ukrainian disaster.
    I see NATO and the EU not as malevolent entities heedlessly wrecking the place in pursuit of some considered plan. More like sightless behemoths trampling around because that’s what sightless behemoths do. But insofar as there are people consciously directing or thinking they are directing those great machines of destruction I think you’re 100% right in characterising their approach as an ambiguous policy based on opportunism.

  76. Fred says:

    Mr. Brinkbaumer sounds like a good democrat educated at a second tier California university whose understanding of the US is based upon living in California and NYC. His reference to assassination should of course in no way be considered an actual call to action.

  77. ISL says:

    Oh come on. No one was trying to reduce GHG in the seventies. The ice ages also had an effect.
    I submit Fig. 5, IPCC -1 (1992)
    Business as usual has 2020 CO2 around 415. We are within spitting difference as current CO2 is 409.
    There is maybe the faintest hint that the exponential growth predicted 25 years ago “might” not be happening – but I think that has more to do with the 2008 collapse, which will return to trend in the next few years. In either case, despite decades of bluster from politico’s, nada has changed. And if we had been following the non-business as usual trend, concentrations would be below 400 for another decade. They are not.
    Methane thanks to major economic developments has; however, clearly NOT followed trend, but that is another story

  78. Fred says:

    Jennifer Granholm was touting the same thing when she ran for reelection here in Michigan. In 2010 the industry was 85,000 people. It sure ain’t a million now, but it is still heavily subsidized.

  79. Fred says:

    Peak load smoothing is done by a variety of means with gas turbines being the most common and lowest cost.

  80. Might I disagree with your analysis of the Pro-Brexit crowd? The fundamental distinction is between those who can see a brick wall right in front of them and those who can’t.
    Other than that you’re spot on. Brexit will be fudged somehow so Corbyn could as well do that as Mrs May. In my view putting a brake on our neocons takes precedence in any case.
    Though, after a lifetime of painstakingly working out which is the lesser of two evils, I’m strangely drawn to the approach many I know take: “Don’t vote. It means nothing and it only encourages them.” It’s usually expressed more forcefully than that.

  81. I was unable to find the interview I remember but Mozgovoy is saying much the same here:-
    Extract –
    “Q: Your target is Kiev?
    A: Our target—to free Ukraine from the oligarchs and from the corrupt officials. Maybe it is time to stop slaving for those whose personal budget is a multiple of the state budget? It is time to share.
    Q: But that was the desire of the people who stood on Maidan. I do not understand the conflict.
    A: Neither do I. Those who fight against us fight for the interests of the oligarchs. I would take pleasure from a conversation with the privates, the officers, the civilians, who stood on Maidan. Our interests and theirs are the same: we want to be free. Why are we fighting? From the days of the Teutonic Knights, the West was warned: you should not touch the Slavs. Whoever comes with a sword, he will die by the sword. That is why they put their Teutonic sword into Slav hands. The Slavs were forced to march against each other. Our objective is to explain to our brothers that we are the same, and our aim is one.
    Q: Are you planning to assault Kiev?
    A: Why not? For some reason they are allowed to assault Lugansk, Donetsk. Is Kiev any better than those cities?
    Q: And after Kiev? Further west?
    A: It depends. If the soldiers on the other side finally realise that they are fighting themselves, the war could be over tomorrow.”

  82. As an illustration of the extent to which we intervene abroad, this BBC article (taken from an MOA comment) shows us doing that in Libya.
    Not mentioned are the Libyan jihadis also used for the purpose, which is the aspect of our intervention directly relevant to the Manchester bombing.
    It’s a surprisingly open account of what we did and when I first saw it I wondered therefore whether it was a fake attributed to the BBC. It doesn’t seem to be. There is a congratulatory tone to the article which would not be so pronounced today.

  83. charly says:

    They were reducing energy use and oil use. It has the same effect as reducing CO2. Reasons where different but method and effect were the same.

  84. turcopolier says:

    English Outsider
    “also used for the purpose” No. It was not anticipated that jihadis would play a significant role in overthrowing Qathafi. The abandonment by NATO of the project for the creation of a new Libyan government and the ineptitude of returning Libyan émigrés created the opening for the jihadis. pl

  85. charly says:

    Gas turbines were the lowest cost, now it is batteries. They also are better at it in producing a current that is closer to spec.

  86. Jack says:

    “…electricity networks are always state run industries.”
    Wrong. In the US most electricity generation and distribution are done by private companies.
    The biggest factor in AVs + Sharing is the utilization rate, which will reduce the number of vehicles needed. Resulting in less congestion, less need for parking space, increased safety, lower insurance premiums, etc. Which have a positive impact on the environment and quality of life.
    The big trend in autos is the trend towards EVs. In the 2019 model year – Mercedes, BMW, VW/Audi, Honda and Toyota will introduce a raft of them. EVs + AVs will have a lower emissions footprint. Now, Babak poopoohed my assertion a while back that major auto manufacturers would invest substantially in EVs. His claim was nothing would replace the IC engine in scale in the auto market. I told him then there’s no point in us arguing as we’ll know soon enough.
    I agree with Sam Peralta that none of these companies need taxpayer subsidies. Yeah, that would likely kill Tesla and impact ADMs & Cargill bottom line but as TTG notes technology and economic market pressures are solving the problem in a more sustainable manner than politicians using government to funnel largesse to their campaign contributors.

  87. charly says:

    Did i say state owned. Run. The generators and distribution is privately owned but especially the networks have to follow so many rules that they are in reality obviously state run.
    Congestion is not the number of cars but number of cars on the road (as in not parked) AV will increase congestion because they wont only be on the road when they move a person from a to b but also when it drives empty to c to pick up a new passenger. Besides the number of trips will increase because the blind, young or infirm can now take a trip without the need for a driver. Especially the young will take many more trips.
    State direction leads to a faster, more efficient way, to get a new equilibrium. Dreams of no subsidies are nice but still dreams.

  88. Ked says:

    Now, here’s an interesting bit of leakage;
    I look fwd to the Col’s take on both the surface issues raised and the underlying tragedy that is the US Foreign Policy in our times…
    shallow, gamed, and proudly for sale.

  89. Colonel – thank you for the correction. My comment was inaccurate. A BBC report from 2012 on UK Special Forces in Libya could not have referred to current UK practice with regard to Jihadis domiciled in Manchester. My comment makes it appear that it did, which makes no sense. The BBC is capable of many things but not yet of time travel.
    I had not seen the 2012 BBC report before and nor, I believe, had most people. It was in their magazine section. For me it was something of an eye opener. Most of us in the general public had a rough idea of what UK intervention at the time consisted of, but to see it laid out in some detail by a government sanctioned information outlet was valuable confirmation.
    Whatever happened in the past it now looks today as if the Manchester bomber was associated with a group currently used by us for intervention in Libya. I do not know if that is established past doubt and do not assert that it is, but I now believe it to be the case that our current practice of using for foreign policy purposes UK domiciled Jihadis or those associated with the Jihadi cause contributed to the Manchester tragedy.

  90. Gene O. says:

    Cholera in Yemen has now spread to 19 of the 22 provinces. 85,000+ cases so far. Three to five thousand new cases reported daily. Malnutrition is worsening and confounding the cholera epidemic.

  91. turcopolier says:

    They are going to treat the jihadis as though they were Irish. pl

  92. YT says:

    ‘Tis unfair comparison, sir.
    The Micks cannot “hold a candle” to these pedophiles & liver-eaters.

  93. turcopolier says:

    I am talking about locking them in the equivalent of “H Blocks” and letting them starve themselves to death while decorating the walls of their cells with their own shit. pl

  94. YT says:

    Most fitting end for their likes…

  95. Keith Harbaugh says:

    I’d like to suggest the addition of two additional categories
    (along with “Iran”, “Libya”, etc.).
    One, “Leaks”, would include such posts as
    and any other posts whose principal subject is leaks and/or leakers.
    The other would be a category titled
    “Motivations of Muslim terrorist” or some equivalent phrase.
    Clearly, the motivations of Muslim terrorist (i.e., people who commit terrorist acts in what they believe to be the interests of the Muslim religion and/or people)
    is an important one.
    In the post
    Colonel Lang wrote:

    I have been asked to put something up that states my position as to “why they hate us.”
    I have written a lot about this kind of thing.
    you can find all that in the SST archive. pl

    This subject is, I believe, worth a category to aid people in finding those writings
    (not an easy task amidst all that is discussed in this blog).
    Colonel, let me thank you for your efforts in publishing this blog.
    It must take an awful lot of your time.
    Nothing urgent about adding those categories,
    but if that could be done as time permits,
    I think that would add significantly to the blogs usefulness.

  96. YT says:

    Some of your compatriots suggest taking a page from the buck-toothed, bespectacled Nips.

  97. turcopolier says:

    I have been thinking of reorganizing the “categories” Give me your suggestions for additions. pl

Comments are closed.