Open Thread 18 August 2019

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47 Responses to Open Thread 18 August 2019

  1. JP Billen says:

    In the current cross-border artillery duels in Kashmir, the Defense Minister of India said yesterday that future “circumstances” would determine what would happen to India’s “no first use” policy of nuclear weapons.

  2. Terry says:

    Given human nature the AI Arms race is already underway. Will the decision to start WW3 come from a autonomous military AI? I once considered this entirely science fiction but now seem quite possible.
    “For a taste of what to expect in future wars, consider this announcement from the crown jewel of Russian arms manufacturers: Kalashnikov (maker of the ubiquitous AK-47). The arms giant is developing and launching an entire range of autonomous weapons, each with a ‘neural network’ enabling the machines to pick out targets and decide autonomously whether to engage.”
    “Unique among the global powers, the US has already started deploying autonomous vehicles in turbulent combat areas, in large numbers and with significant roles. Autonomous naval vehicles have begun to patrol the South China Sea — with larger, more powerful machines on their way. ”

  3. turcopolier says:

    remember Brass Tacks 3?

  4. CK says:

    It appears that the Houthi faction in Yemen has been able to attack the Shaybah fields in KSA. Travel range 1200 km for the drones. There are a lot of economically valuable targets within that radius. It is suggested that the drones used are pre-programmed before launch and thus not amenable to in flight hi-jacking.

  5. JP Billen says:

    Never heard the term that I can recall. Was that the nuke-engined battle tanks proposed by idjits back in the 50s? Thank God the Army cancelled those.

  6. JamesT says:

    I just saw on Fox News that the “celebrity pathologist” Michael Baden who the Epstein family hired to independently observe the autopsy is “under gag order”. I wonder why that is. At the 0:15 mark here:

  7. Stueeeeee says:

    Bernie Sanders tweeted:
    “My father’s whole family was wiped out by Hitler’s white nationalism.
    We will go to war against white nationalism and racism in every aspect of our country.”
    I wanted to laugh at the absurdity of his tweet, but a dreadful chill shook me. I am not “white” but it is clear to me that Whites are already subjugated. They cannot assemble freely. They cannot openly unite politically. They cannot economically pool their resources. They cannot express pride in their heritage. The blatant racism against Whites is indoctrinated into every child from pre-school through “higher education”. Even if the child survives that, the child/person is bombarded by an Orwellian social and broadcast media that perpetuates the White or Whiteness boogeyman. So Sanders wants to unleash the dogs of war against an already seemingly subjugated people? It seems nothing will satisfy the hatred the left and its collage of degenerate tribes has for this country and its people other than absolute submission; and dare I say, a pound of flesh.

  8. oldman22 says:

    I have been watching the news to see if the Iran tanker makes it out to sea.
    Gibraltar on Sunday rejected a US demand to seize an Iranian oil tanker at the centre of a diplomatic dispute as it prepared to leave the British overseas territory after weeks of detention.
    Gilbraltar’s government said it could not seek a court order to detain the ship because US sanctions against Iran were not applicable in the European Union.
    A Gibraltar judge had ordered the Grace 1 tanker released, but the US filed a request to detain the ship alleging it was involved in supporting illicit shipments to Syria by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, listed as a terrorist group by Washington.

  9. Robert Waddell says:

    Eighteenth August 1966 Long Tan Phuoc Tuy Vietnam.
    D Coy, 6, RAR 1st Field Regiment Royal Australian Artillery (108 men) were ambushed after seeking out a PAVN unit that attacked Nui Dat base two days earlier. Out of ammo, surrounded and outnumbered 20 to 1 by PAVN infantry things were looking pretty grim. A precisely directed walking-in artillery barrage from Australian (1st RAA) and New Zealand (161st RRNZA) 18 guns at Nui Dat saved D Coy from total annihilation. Eighteen soldiers, many newly conscripted with and average age of 20 years, were killed.
    Now a movie has been made about this battle. “Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan”.
    It wont be released here in NZ until early September so haven’t seen it yet but the trailer is view able here:
    All the best to everyone..
    Rob Waddell

  10. John Minehan says:

    Wow, that is very reassuring. I’ve heard a great many people say that the India-Pakistan situation is the World’s likely nuclear flash point.

  11. Kelli says:

    Let’s talk for a minute about the increasingly open hostilities between “get soft on crime” prosectors from Deep Blue cities and states and an alliance of Red State and county prosecutors with the backing of Bill Barr’s DOJ.
    Barr addressed the issue about a week ago in New Orleans:
    “Barr took a hard swing at prosecutors who don’t embrace the same tough-on-crime stance. He said appointing such progressive district attorneys is “demoralizing to law enforcement and dangerous to public safety” because they “spend their time undercutting the police, letting criminals off the hook, and refusing to enforce the law.””
    And, like clockwork, a cause celebre erupts in North suburban Chicago, as a gang of street thugs uses car stolen in the city to travel to Lake County on a nighttime spree. But as luck would have it, a 75 year old man with a legally registered gun shot one of the gang bangers (a 14 year old carrying a large Bowie knife) and killed him. The 18 year old accomplices took off, and now the County Attorney is bringing charges of Felony Murder against the rest of the criminal squad. Well, the Chicago media is outraged by this, and the pressure is building on the prosecutor to go light on the poor dears, most of whom have a rap sheet a mile long.
    In about 5 seconds, I expect Kim Foxx (of Jussie Smollett fame) to get on a very high horse and start race baiting Lake County (largely white) in an effort to intimidate our elected officials into adopting her “leave no criminal behind” strategy for cleaning up Chicago’s streets. I guess the strategy is to send them outside the city on raiding runs.
    I’d be interested in stories from other parts of the country. Is anyone else experiencing something similar? How do we fight this trend? What does it portend for the future?

  12. oldman22 says:

    wsj says
    The Iranian tanker impounded by Gibraltar sailed out of the British overseas territory on Sunday over the objections of the U.S., a Gibraltar official said, raising hopes that Iran would reciprocate and release a British-flagged tanker in the Persian Gulf.
    The ship, renamed the Adrian Darya 1 and given an Iranian flag, left Gibraltar’s waters around 11 p.m. local time after the territory’s Justice Ministry rejected a U.S. Justice Department warrant seeking the seizure of the Iranian vessel and its 2.1 million barrels of crude oil. Gibraltar officials said the territory follows the European Union’s laws, not the U.S.’s.

  13. Fred says:

    So why did Trump offer to buy Greenland? Shouldn’t we want Iceland? With all the ‘global warming’ fears we can use all the ICE we can get, especially on the Southern border.

  14. bwilli123 says:

    China’s Ultimate Play For Global Oil Market Control
    “All attention is focused on the twists-and-turns of the very noisy US-Iran dispute in the Persian Gulf, but all the while the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is rapidly and quietly consolidating a dominant presence in the area with the active support of Russia.”
    Original article at

  15. Tidewater says:

    A little glitch in a chilling reminder. Is Islam the ultimate designated victim? Operation Brasstacks–Wikipedia.

  16. Amir says:

    Do you consider people of Swedish descent be in the same color category as the Hellenic people, the Irish, Slavic, Finish & Basque, Gaul, Romanian or Iberians?

  17. Seamus Padraig says:

    Sad but true.

  18. JP Billen says:

    Tidewater, I must be getting dyslexic in my old age. I thought he said Brass Tanks with an ‘N’.
    But I don’t remember Brasstacks either, thanks for the link. In 86 and 87 I was working two jobs trying to put my kinderbrats through college, and paid little if any attention to the news.
    I do recall the earlier Indo-Paki war in 65 with its huge tank battles. That never got much US press as we were engaged elsewhere.
    And the two-front war in 71, along with the INS naval victories. Despite the US moving the Enterprise Task Force from the Tonkin Gulf to the IO as a show of force to defuse the situation and buck up the moral of Pakistan.

  19. Mathias Alexander says:

    The guy on the right looks like Tony Blair.
    Who’s the big suit in the left hand picture?

  20. Stueeeeee says:

    I don’t understand. Can you provide context to your question?

  21. JP Billen says:

    TKK convoy hit by airstrikes in Idlib. They are claiming three killed and 12 wounded. They were reported to be carrying ammunition.

  22. Jack says:

    The “paltry color revolution” in HK orchestrated by our omnipotent intel agencies as our German friend “b” claims.
    Another million+ people out on the streets this past weekend in HK protesting CCP authoritarianism. This is 15-20% of the HK population marching together.

  23. JP Billen says:

    Turks are saying the three dead and 12 wounded in their convoy are civilians and NOT TKK troopers.
    My guess is the casualties are probably TIP or TFSA jihadis providing a vanguard for the convoy.

  24. Jim Ticehurst says:

    Fred…Donald Trump is looking to the Future I think..Just the name “Greenland” alone attracted the Golf Resort Developer in Donald..Golf Greens..Green Fairways..World Class Tournaments..” Maybe Marinas..Charter Fishing…World Class Skiing Resorts…By THe Time Trump leaves Office .Most of the Coastal areas will be Exposed..Ready for Development…Trump is just planning ahead..Just landing a Plane in Greenland is a Thrill Ride.. .

  25. ex PFC Chuck says:

    According to a report at Press TV, Gibralter was able to wish it a bon voyage because of a gigantic screw-up on the part of someone in the US Department of Injustice.

  26. Fred says:

    Yves always has nice stuff to read. Lambert should have read up on Bodansky, the author of that piece. According to him Qatar is the most important country in the region to America because they are funding Hamas and bailed out Jared. Now I wonder whatever happened to the Russia bailed him out rumor? Further on, to quote the article, “there is growing trepidation in Saudi Arabia about the viability of the Pakistani guarantees to the Kingdom, particularly concerning nuclear deterrence.” Pakistan guaranteed SA nuclear protection? That the the stuff further on is even better than what Christopher Steele dreamed up. It’s a great read. Of course when looking at ISSA’s website I noticed this disclaimer at the bottom.
    “ISSA does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed.”
    Who pays these people?

  27. Linda says:

    Wow! I hope this is tongue in cheek otherwise what alternate universe do you live in Ism quite white and don’t suffer from any of these afflictions

  28. turcopolier says:

    I don’t know. You always looked a little dusky around the cheekbones. Maybe the blondness was a disguise.

  29. turcopolier says:

    IMO the Clinton apparat which includes Obama and money from Soros.

  30. turcopolier says:

    The idiot computer wrote the wrong thing. The exercise was Brass Tacks. India and Pakistan very nearly went to war. I played some small apart in stopping that by releasing to the two countries’ attache’s (with DoD approval) the evidence for how close they were to war.
    My God. How great I was! pl

  31. JP Billen says:

    My God. How I hate the ‘auto-correct’ function. How do I turn it off?
    It’s even on my cellphone when I text the grandkids – they text back “ROFL Grampa”, at my goofs.

  32. JP Billen says:

    Prince Andrew

  33. Fred says:

    You mean Moscow is out? My the narrative sure has changed since Mueller got finished.

  34. Tidewater says:

    Damn-skippy, sir, that’s USA getting it right! I hadn’t realized how dangerous the eighties were till long after. Able-Archer etc. and this.
    What gets me: Many, many years ago we were taught in college that it was all about Kashmir and the UN had to do something. And now, half a century later, lurking behind everything, it is STILL Kashmir! So now we are told that if the Taliban come out of negotiations in Afghanistan in a much stronger or dominant position, and US forces leave, then the Taliban could become the core group of a violent new movement to claim Kashmir for Pakistan. And Kashmir is majority Muslim. Further, Pakistan gets most of its water from Kashmir, and India is now doing what Turkey has done to Mesopotamian rivers such as Tigris/Euphrates with its Anatolian water projects. As of August, the Ilisu dam is being filled, which means that the Tigris river flow, already degraded as is, could be cut by, can it actually be, forty per cent? In Kashmir then, as in Africa, there is beginning to be a significant diminution of diplomatically, treaty guaranteed, expected, and historically predictable water volume/flow to very thirsty downstream regional locations. It is scary as hell. And the right wing Hindu nationalist part BJP does in fact sound like Nazis, as the new Pakistani PM Imran Khan (the great cricket star), has said. Like Likud, they simply plan to create a Hindu majority by any means necessary, however brutal, that will alter the religion and DNA of the people on the roof of the world. You’d think Presbyterianism would do well up there, actually better than Hinduism, which seems to me to be rather moist and rain-jungle tropical, but who am I to say.

  35. LondonBob says:

    Someone needs to remind Bernie that Bolshevism came first.

  36. LondonBob says:

    Pleasantly surprised to see the Iranian tanker released. Boris Johnson’s last bid to be PM was torpedoed by neocon Michael Gove as they didn’t think he was on message.
    Apparently Bolton’s recent visit to London was to pressure the British government to move the embassy to Jerusalem, currently we are bound by EU policy not to do so. Bolton also discussed the possibility of British support for Israeli annexation of areas of the West Bank to “solve” the illegality of Israeli settlements on occupied territory, which is highly unlikely to happen, despite the large number of useless idiots currently inhabiting Westminster. Whether Bolton actually discussed anything that might further the interests of the US is an open question.

  37. different clue says:

    Thought for food . . .
    I haven’t made and tried another batch of “feta blue” cheese yet, but I will.
    Separately, another idea occurred to me which I have not tried, which is to blend hummus and miso together. In theory, it would be called “hummiso”. I gave-away the idea to a maker-seller of Mediterranean street-food staple-delicacies at our Farmers’ Market. She said it was a good idea but she may have just been being polite. If she really does think it is a good idea, and she does some experiments in making “hummiso” and decides it is good enough to tell others about, perhaps it
    will spread from there.
    Also, some time ago I offered an interesting article I stumbled upon about a distiller in Missouri making small craft-batches of bourbon with particular heirloom variety corns. Recently I stumbled upon a restaurateur’s review of some heirloom-corn-based bourbons made by a distillery in Brooklyn, New York. It seemed interesting and maybe promising to me so I offer it in case others may agree.
    And here is a little article featuring some of Widow Jane’s Distillery’s own mission-statement and short description of why it does what it does with specifically non-GMO heirloom-variety corn.

  38. anon says:

    If turkey blocks Russian air support of the syrian army then us policy in syria might still pay dividends especially now that the shite militias will not be coming to there rescue as they did at aleppo

  39. Fred says:

    How is Turkey going to do that.

  40. Jim Ticehurst says:

    Well Fred The Narrative has not changed..about Russia..Its all over Various Media and Social Network Sites..The FOCUS has changed to Trump bashing..and trying to Influence the Outcome of the Next Election through difference Forms of Media Collusion…..Sure I could have gone from Greenland to to Artic…and what Russias doing there..Even Blocking Passage and Docking of a Norwegian Cruise ship with 600 The Artic.. Russia got Paranoid..Why..So Many Issues..So many decisions…Right Fred..

  41. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Just want to recommend an excellent article on an important topic:
    “Yes, Google is disrupting our democracy. But not in the way Trump thinks.”,
    by Ramesh Srinivasan, WaPo Op-Ed, 2019-08-21

    Online companies wield powerful technology that shapes our beliefs, how we work and how we live. Their technologies act on all of us, regardless of our gender, race, age or political persuasion.

    In truth, the pernicious effect of private, corporate technology platforms on our political lives is complex.

    It’s time to demand transparency and accountability on our tech platforms, specifically on what data they collect, why we see the content we see and how we can navigate through the morass of information they claim to make available to us. We think we are searching when we go onto Google, but in fact, the company is searching us. It is surveilling our interests for its own purposes, and we have no control over how these technologies influence our behavior or thinking.

    The real issue is that its mysterious workings — as well as those of its fellow tech companies — are hidden far from sight and controlled by a few.

    Article is written, IMO, from a neutral point of view, presents some quite important issues, and is well worth reading. As to the answers, that’s a good question.

  42. different clue says:

    Fall is slowly approaching. The last few Falls have had fair-to-poor Fall colors. But I think this Fall will offer colors so much better than the last few years that it will be remembered for some years to come.
    Why do I think that? Because we have had so much rain so well spaced that trees are growing more than they have in the last few years. The trees around here are looking “June-green” well into August. They will be so well-fed and metabolically healthy that they will be able to produce large amounts of the leaf pigments which chlorophyll masks and which the dying of the chlorophyll reveals.
    Now, if we get a severely early polar-vortex style deep killfreeze while the leaves are still green, a killfreeze that turns the green leaves into gray crispy brown husks still on the trees, then we won’t have any Fall colors at all.
    So its a conditional type of if-then prediction. IF we don’t get a leaf-lethal killfreeze in September, THEN we will get wonderful Fall colors.

  43. different clue says:

    Here is a men’s singing group, interesting song, impressive lead singer.

  44. Jim S says:

    Col., my apologies if I try to post this twice, but I’m not sure I submitted it correctly the first time.
    Some scribbling on US-China relations to develop thoughts.
    My underlying assumptions are: the world is run as much or more by backroom deals and dirty tricks as good governance and public diplomacy; appearances (and tweets) can be deceiving; “Nothing happens in politics by accident”.
    An appreciation of a situation must accurately identify the actors to be useful, and here we have three major players: the globalists, President Trump, and China.
    The globalists. This label is new but the power is better identified with CFR/Trans-Atlanticists/Round Tables/&etc and may be traced further back. At this point it is more European than American, and as with US-Israel it is valid to question who is wagging whom. It is led by old money and while its true aims bear examination, in general it seeks preeminence in world affairs and its stated aims of increased global economic prosperity have been shown to be false (it’s fair to point out that prosperity has increased and poverty diminished, but it’s equally fair to say that much of this would have occurred without globalism due to scientific and technical advances).
    President Trump. DJT is neither an insubstantial grifter nor a Lone Ranger (I concur with Ted Richard), else the globalists would have got rid of him by now (as per Johnson, Binney, et al). As smoothiex12 aptly puts it, what remains is that he is either MAGA or MIGA. If he is MAGA his aims are stated; if he is MIGA it must be investigated how Israel benefits from conflict with China and considered if it’s at least equal in status with Russia in the matter. Whether DJT represents an independent entity or a globalist splinter faction the civil war within the US is real and its consequences will be lasting.
    China. The globalists have not controlled China for nearly a century now; the CCP is the sole governing entity. China aims at regional hegemony and then to replace the US as the world’s superpower. The CCP is comprised of two major factions. The current Chinese President’s faction decisively defeated its rival prior to 2013 but has not finished it off (I believe either Jack or rho mentioned this).
    With a rough estimate of the actors and their aims, what follows considers recent history from this arrangement of power.
    As per Jack China entered into alliance with globalism when the US granted it Most Favored Nation status under President Clinton. Did China understand it was making an agreement with the globalists and not merely the US? At this point the US was the exclusive fief of globalism politically if not socially. Again per Jack the new US-China relationship transferred much of US manufacturing capability to China and greatly tilted the balance of trade in China’s favor. In return China used the balance of payments to lend money to the US Treasury; if the siren song of endless growth was true, this wouldn’t necessarily be a bad deal for the US, at least until China caught up in terms of ingenuity.
    This arrangement lasted until 2008. During this period China’s economy flourished while Americans shifted from blue collar jobs to selling lattes to each other and working at McDonald’s after retirement. Globalism shrugged and told Americans to get used to it, while looking the other way from China’s human rights abuses and pollution. Anyway nobody was too concerned when the stock market was going up. Then Lehman collapsed.
    The US Treasury and the Federal Reserve’s response–and globalism’s response generally–was to throw money at the banks in hopes of returning to status quo ante. Status quo ante was unsustainable and had inevitably brought on the crisis, but the globalists do not appear to have had a better plan.
    At this point the CCP must have realized that the emperor had no clothes. Did China realize with whom it had been dealing? Most Americans still perceived globalism as a positive force. Unfortunately for China it had widely emulated the West’s financial system and it does not seem to be able to disentangle itself from it. 2008-2009 most likely initiated a shift in CCP strategy away from general cooperation with the West and into direct competition. In 2010 it banned Google from China, most likely suspecting Google was more than just a Trans-Atlanticist-controlled CIA affiliate. Also in 2010 the current ruling faction began purging members of the rival faction. In 2013 the CCP announced the Belt and Road Initiative. In 2014 China began occupying the Spratlys and also began implementing its social credit system. By 2016 facial recognition was widely deployed. And now in 2019 the CCP is pushing to end Hong Kong’s special status ahead of schedule.
    It’s possible these actions are unrelated, but they are all consistent with a state seeking to secure itself and seize territory as a rival power lapses into weakness.
    The globalists responded by 2011 when President Obama announced his puzzling pivot to Asia. In 2015 the Obama Administration advanced the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which excluded China, and by 2016 it was set to be ratified. The globalists came to realize they had been trying to hold a tiger by the tail and that China could not be controlled, but it was far too late. Then Donald Trump won the US Presidential election in November of that year.
    His administration undid the TPP, undid NAFTA, and has been highly active internationally in 2018-2019, though most Americans are only dimly aware of it, and now appears to be on course for a head-on collision with China. Internationally the Administration’s actions and statements appear contradictory. Does it have a strategy? Well, what are its aims–MAGA or MIGA? These are the only two plausible alternatives. It’s not plausible that DJT is working for mainline globalism as he’s done too much to damage its interests. Their hatred of him is real.
    What is the globalist strategy? It appears that they are reduced to throwing random objects in Trump’s path and hoping he’ll trip before 2020–as in HRC’s recent tweets re: HK–but it doesn’t do to underestimate them. They’ve been resourceful and clever in the past. One question sticks out: why is globalist-aligned Google helping the CCP build the Chinese Panopticon on one hand and inciting against China on Hong Kong on the other? Something deeper is going on.
    This is a three-way fight. Globalism is competing against DJT first and China second. DJT is competing against globalism (mainline if you will) first and China second. China is certainly competing against DJT–does the CCP realize it is also competing against globalism?
    One thing is certain: the US and China cannot return to status quo ante. Pre-2019 relations were not sustainable by either country; to a certain extent the globalist system both economies are based on exists only in a make-believe world. On the US side a return to status quo ante is against the commonweal. Naked competition with the US would seem to bring only greater instability to China. Given that, such a return might be a victory of sorts to the globalists.
    Trump is correct: it’s in the interests of both China and the US to come to a new accord.

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