Jan 062020
 
 January 6, 2020  Posted by at 10:57 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,


Esther Bubley Soldiers with their girls at the Indianapolis bus station 1943

 

Gold, Oil Soar, Shares Slip As US And Iran Rattle Sabers (R.)
Iraqi PM Claims Soleimani Was On Peace Mission When Assassinated (GZ)
Iraqi Parliament Calls For Expulsion Of Foreign Troops (AlJ)
Boeing Reports “Previously Unreported Concerns” With Wiring In 737 MAX (CNN)
Why We’ll Never Get Rich By Putting Cash Away For A Rainy Day (Bell)
Fed Focuses On Repo Market Exit Strategy After Avoiding Year-End Crunch (R.)
PBOC Says Its Prudent Policies Will Continue (CD)
Trump Admin Pressed Dutch Hard To Cancel China Chip-Equipment Sale (R.)
Handwritten Note Found In Jeffrey Epstein’s Jail Cell (CBS)
Ghislaine Maxwell Under 24-Hour Guard By Former US Navy Seals (DM)
Victoria’s Secret Models Got Much Thinner Over Last 23 Years (WBUR)
Ricky Gervais Skewers Hollywood’s A-List (R.)

 

 

With war cries rulling the waves, “investors” wonder where their money is safest: with a sweat-shop using company that buys back its shares all the time, or with gold. Given volumes, governments, central banks also appear involved.

Gold, Oil Soar, Shares Slip As US And Iran Rattle Sabers (R.)

Tensions in the Middle East after the killing of a top Iranian general by the United States pushed an index of Asian shares off an 18-month high on Monday as investors pushed safe-haven gold near a seven-year high, and oil jumped to four-month peaks. The United States detected a heightened state of alert by Iran’s missile forces, as President Donald Trump warned the United States would strike back, “perhaps in a disproportionate manner,” if Iran attacked any American person or target. Iraq’s parliament on Sunday recommended all foreign troops be ordered out of the country after the U.S. killing of a top Iranian military commander and an Iraqi militia leader in a drone strike on a convoy at Baghdad airport.


Spot gold gained 1.6% to $1,579.55 per ounce in jittery trade to reach its highest since April 2013. Oil prices extended gains on fears any Middle East conflict could disrupt global supplies. Brent crude futures rose $1.9 to $70.50 a barrel, while U.S. crude climbed $1.5 to $64.57. “The risk of further escalation has clearly gone up – given the direct attack on Iran, Iran’s threat of retaliation and Trump’s desire to look tough – posing the threat of higher oil prices,” said Shane Oliver, chief economist at AMP Capital. “Historically though oil prices need to double to pose a severe threat to global growth and we are long way from that.”

Read more …

Max Blumenthal takes a bit much as gospel: “Iraqi PM Reveals…”

Iraqi PM Claims Soleimani Was On Peace Mission When Assassinated (GZ)

At a January 3 State Department briefing, where reporters finally got the chance to demand evidence for the claim of an “imminent” threat, one US official erupted in anger. “Jesus, do we have to explain why we do these things?” he barked at the press. Two days later, when Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi addressed his country’s parliament, Trump’s justification for killing Soleimani was exposed as a cynical lie. According to Abdul-Mahdi, he had planned to meet Soleimani on the morning the general was killed to discuss a diplomatic rapproachment that Iraq was brokering between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Abdul-Mahdi said that Trump personally thanked him for the efforts, even as he was planning the hit on Soleimani – thus creating the impression that the Iranian general was safe to travel to Baghdad.


Soleimani had arrived in Baghdad not to plan attacks on American targets, but to coordinate de-escalation with Saudi Arabia. Indeed, he was killed while on an actual peace mission that could have created political distance between the Gulf monarchy and members of the US-led anti-Iran axis like Israel. The catastrophic results of Soleimani’s killing recall the Obama administration’s 2016 assassination of Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansur, a Taliban leader who was eager to negotiate a peaceful end to the US occupation of Afghanistan. Mansur’s death wound up empowering hardline figures in the Taliban who favored a total military victory over the US and triggered an uptick in violence across the country, dooming hopes for a negotiated exit.

Read more …

Again: who gets what they wanted?

Iraqi Parliament Calls For Expulsion Of Foreign Troops (AlJ)

Iraq’s parliament has passed a resolution calling on the government to expel foreign troops from the country as Iran-US tensions escalate following the killing of a top Iranian military commander and Iraqi armed group leader in a US strike in Baghdad. In an extraordinary parliamentary session on Sunday, parliament called on the government to end all foreign troop presence in Iraq and to cancel its request for assistance from the US-led coalition which had been working with Baghdad to fight ISIL. “The government commits to revoke its request for assistance from the international coalition fighting Islamic State due to the end of military operations in Iraq and the achievement of victory,” the resolution read.


“The Iraqi government must work to end the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil and prohibit them from using its land, airspace or water for any reason.” Parliament resolutions, unlike laws, are non-binding and the move would require new legislation to cancel the existing agreement. Ahead of the vote, chants of “No, no, America…long live Iraq”, rang out inside the hall, before Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi also called on parliament to end foreign troop presence. “Despite the internal and external difficulties that we might face, it remains best for Iraq on principle and practically,” said Abdul Mahdi in an address to parliament ahead of the vote.

Read more …

Latest proposal: mandatory simulator trainning for all pilots. That’s what started the whole charade, so a nice round circle.

Boeing Reports “Previously Unreported Concerns” With Wiring In 737 MAX (CNN)

[..] as part of a December audit of the plane’s safety ordered by the US Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing found “previously unreported concerns” with wiring in the 737 Max, according to a report earlier Sunday from the New York Times. The company informed the FAA last month that it is looking into whether two sections of wiring that control the tail of the plane are too close together and could cause a short circuit — and potentially a crash, if pilots did not react appropriately — the Times reported, citing a senior Boeing engineer and three people familiar with the matter. A Boeing spokesperson confirmed the report to CNN Business on Sunday, saying the issue was identified as part of a “rigorous process” to ensure the plane’s safety.


“Our highest priority is ensuring the 737 Max meets all safety and regulatory requirements before it returns to service,” the spokesperson said. “We are working closely with the FAA and other regulators on a robust and thorough certification process to ensure a safe and compliant design.” The spokesperson said it “would be premature to speculate” whether the discovery will lead to new design changes for the plane, or further extend the timeline for its recertification. It will be a challenge for Boeing’s new chief executive, David Calhoun, who officially takes over the job on January 13 after former CEO Dennis Muilenburg was ousted on December 23. “A change in leadership was necessary to restore confidence in the company moving forward as it works to repair relationships with regulators, customers, and all other stakeholders,” the company in December.

Read more …

We would still do much better if central banks wouldn’t strangle interest rates.

Why We’ll Never Get Rich By Putting Cash Away For A Rainy Day (Bell)

Norway has a wealth tax. Now, I’m in favour of a greater role for wealth taxes but, whatever your view, there’s at least one benefit we should all appreciate: lots of data on who owns what. Recent research delves into this Norwegian data mine and helps us investigate the popular view that those with more wealth build it up by saving more. You might call this the “wealth as the reward for doing the right thing” view of the world. But the research finds it’s nonsense – Norwegians save around 7% of their income, however much they may own. Despite saving the same proportion as those with much less, those with lots accumulate more. Why? Because we can accumulate wealth by the rising value of assets, such as property and shares.


The wealthier have more assets and more capital gains. These are banked, not consumed, so the gap grows. This is a huge deal, explaining 80% of wealth growing faster than income in Norway. The UK has also seen a wealth boom from rising house prices. These unexpected windfalls – rather than active savings like paying off a mortgage – explain 82% of increased property wealth since the early 1990s. Yet we pretend that wealth comes from savings and we ignore these capital gains when considering who is doing well, and so we make a dog’s dinner out of taxing them. It’s time we woke up to where wealth has actually come from in modern Britain … and Norway.

Read more …

They can only exit repo if they support banks somewhere else.

Fed Focuses On Repo Market Exit Strategy After Avoiding Year-End Crunch (R.)

Wall Street’s worst fears of a year-end funding squeeze never materialized thanks in large part to the quarter-trillion dollars the Federal Reserve stuffed into the market to ensure nothing became gummed up. The question now, though, is what it will take for the U.S. central bank to withdraw from its daily liquidity operations in the $2.2 trillion market for repurchase agreements, or repos – after it became a dominant player in a short three months. “The repo operations are a band-aid, but the wound isn’t healed fully,” said Gennadiy Goldberg, an interest rate strategist at TD Securities. The New York Fed began injecting billions of dollars of liquidity into the repo market in mid-September, when a confluence of events sent the cost of overnight loans as high as 10%, more than four times the Fed’s rate at the time.

A month later, the Fed moved to expand its balance sheet – and boost the level of reserves – by snapping up $60 billion a month in U.S. Treasury bills. The Fed will continue pumping tens of billions a day into the repo market through at least the end of January. Its ability to exit from the repo market after that time will depend on how long it takes the central bank to make the balance sheet large enough so there are adequate reserves in the banking system – and the repo operations are no longer needed. “It seems implausible to me that the Fed will be able to stop their repo operations by the end of January,” said Mark Cabana, head of U.S. rates strategy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Minutes from the Fed’s December policy meeting released on Friday showed its staffers expected repo operations to be “gradually” reduced after mid-January. However, staff members also said the central bank may need to continue offering some repo operations until at least April, when tax payments could reduce the level of reserves. Another challenge for Fed officials: Deciding just how big the central bank’s balance sheet, which is currently about $4 trillion, should be.

Read more …

Michael Pettis on Twitter: “So far “prudent policies” has meant that for several years China has generated nearly five times as much debt per unit of GDP as the rest of the world — even more if you think GDP growth has been overstated on a comparable basis.”

PBOC Says Its Prudent Policies Will Continue (CD)

China will maintain a prudent monetary policy while keeping it flexible this year to ensure reasonably adequate liquidity, and it will strengthen adjustments to support economic growth, the People’s Bank of China, the central bank, said in a statement on Sunday. [..] The PBOC will promote credit financing for small and private companies, it said in its statement. Last year, it increased large commercial banks’ loans for small and micro companies by more than 30 percent, leading to a drop in lending costs of 1 percentage point. “These targets have been over-fulfilled,” it said.

The central bank is aiming this year to “win the battle of preventing and reducing large financial risks” and reiterated its role as “the lender of last resort”, which means the it will provide money to financial institutions that are experiencing financial difficulty to prevent their collapse. Last year, financial regulators took over Baoshang Bank in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region and provided liquidity to prevent the spread of financial risks. To support liquidity and improve commercial bank’s asset quality, the PBOC will supplement commercial banks’ capital in 2020 through issuance of perpetual bonds — a credit instrument having no date to pay back.

Other risk-control measures will be taken for internet and real estate financing, and a macro-prudential regulatory system will be built to supervise cross-border capital flows, according to the central bank. Regulatory control over monetary policy operations is expected to continue to strengthen in China. “Monetary easing, if any, is expected to be limited and should not translate into relaxed regulatory control over the riskier types of leverage, which is positive to system stability,” said Rowena Chang, associate director of Non-Banks Asia Pacific at Fitch Ratings, an international rating agency.

Read more …

Military use is a deal killer.

Trump Admin Pressed Dutch Hard To Cancel China Chip-Equipment Sale (R.)

The Trump administration mounted an extensive campaign to block the sale of Dutch chip manufacturing technology to China, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lobbying the Netherlands government and White House officials sharing a classified intelligence report with the country’s Prime Minister, people familiar with the effort told Reuters. The high-level push, which has not previously been reported, demonstrates the importance the White House places on preventing China from getting hold of a machine required to make the world’s fastest microprocessors. It also shows the challenges facing the U.S. government’s largely unilateral efforts to stem the flow of advanced technology to China.

The U.S. campaign began in 2018, after the Dutch government gave semiconductor equipment company ASML, the global leader in a critical chip-making process known as lithography, a license to sell its most advanced machine to a Chinese customer, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. Over the following months, U.S officials examined whether they could block the sale outright and held at least four rounds of talks with Dutch officials, three sources told Reuters. The effort culminated in the White House on July 18 when Deputy National Security Advisor Charles Kupperman raised the issue with Dutch officials during the visit of Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who was given an intelligence report on the potential repercussions of China acquiring ASML’s technology, according to a former U.S. government official familiar with the matter.

The pressure appears to have worked. Shortly after the White House visit, the Dutch government decided not to renew ASML’s export license, and the $150 million machine has not been shipped. [..] The ASML machine uses extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light beams, generated by lasers and focused by giant mirrors, to lay out extraordinarily narrow circuits on slabs of silicon known as wafers. That in turn makes it possible to create faster and more powerful microprocessors, memory chips and other advanced components, which are critical for consumer electronics and military applications alike. Only a few companies, including America’s Intel, South Korea’s Samsung and Taiwan’s TSMC, are currently capable of manufacturing the most sophisticated chips.

Read more …

Curious: CBS puts a whole team on this for 5 months, and then writes about a note that says nothing, instead of photos that say a lot. Bloody neck, bloodless noose.

Handwritten Note Found In Jeffrey Epstein’s Jail Cell (CBS)

While Epstein surrounded himself with a collection of powerful and high profile figures, the wealthy financier lived a majority of his life in privacy, avoiding television appearances and media interviews almost entirely. And though the federal charges brought against Epstein in July served as a gateway into learning more about the secretive life the 66 year-old led, filled with a controversial plea deal, luxurious travels around the world and alleged sex abuse rings, public intrigue about Epstein, who neglected to give any public statements following his arrest, has heightened.


In the course of a five-month investigation, 60 Minutes obtained photos of Epstein’s cell after his apparent suicide. Also found was a note, giving the world a look into what Jeffrey Epstein may have been thinking in his final days. The note was written on yellow lined paper with a blue ballpoint pen and there were complaints about jail conditions. The note says that one guard “kept me in a locked shower stall for 1 hour.” “[Another prison guard] sent me burnt food.” “Giant bugs crawling over my hands. No fun!!” Epstein’s apparent discomfort about jail conditions comes as no surprise. According to Bruce Barket, Epstein’s former cellmate’s lawyer, Jeffrey Epstein and his legal team took up one of the two attorney visiting rooms “all day, every day.”

Read more …

No, I don’t know how credible the Daily Mail is here. But it’s good to keep the conversation going.

Ghislaine Maxwell Under 24-Hour Guard By Former US Navy Seals (DM)

Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend of convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, is being guarded round the clock by former US Navy SEALs amid concern that her life is in danger, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. A source says ex-special forces are shuttling the 58-year-old friend of Prince Andrew from one safe house to another across the American Midwest following ‘credible death threats’. She is now the principal focus of an FBI investigation and is said to hold the key to the truth about the Duke of York’s relationship with the disgraced financier and whether he had sex with a 17-year-old girl. The Duke has repeatedly denied these allegations and any suggestion of wrongdoing.


While Miss Maxwell has never been accused by the authorities of criminal wrongdoing, Epstein’s alleged victims have portrayed her as his ‘madam’ and ‘fixer’. A source said: ‘There has been so much rubbish written about Ghislaine. The reality is she receives multiple, credible death threats on a daily basis. The hate mail is sometimes 2ft high. ‘She is constantly moving. Her life is in danger. She is being guarded by the best of the very best and that includes former US Navy SEALs. She’s not under the protection of any government. She’s on her own.’ Asked about reports last week that Miss Maxwell was being sheltered in Israel and supported by wealthy friends, the source said: ‘I only wish. This is costing her a fortune. She moves constantly. The reports are just b*******.’

Read more …

The reason Victoria’s Secret had no 2019 show is Epstein. But interesting that as America gets fatter fast, models go the opposite way. Neither looks very healthy.

Victoria’s Secret Models Got Much Thinner Over Last 23 Years (WBUR)

Cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Neelam Vashi says she is fascinated by women’s waist-to-hip ratio, the hourglass curve from the narrowest point of the waist to the widest point of the hips. She was curious, she says, to see whether previous cross-cultural findings that men tend to prefer women with a 0.7 waist-to-hip ratio would hold true across time in a group known for beauty — models in the famed Victoria’s Secret fashion show. So Vashi, an assistant professor of dermatology at Boston University and director of the Cosmetic and Laser Center at Boston Medical Center, and colleagues analyzed the measurements of models who walked the runway at the now-defunct fashion show over 23 years, from 1995 to 2018.

She found that the 0.7 ratio — roughly a 24-inch waist divided by 35-inch hips — did hold true for the models, a nice confirmation of her hypothesis. But the results from other measures the team examined were surprising — and, she says, concerning. “Overall, these models became slimmer and their dress size decreased,” says Vashi. “The ratio stayed the same, but each one of those measurements did decrease.” And as Victoria’s Secret models got thinner, the average American woman’s measurements grew — with the average woman now at least a size 16. Concern over that rising disparity comes across in the research paper’s title, which begins: “Unattainable Standards of Beauty.”

“These findings represent an ideal of beauty that continuously moves further away from the characteristics of the average American woman,” says a news release accompanying the study. In 2019, with ratings low, Victoria’s Secret canceled the fashion show, saying it needed to evolve and be rethought for a new media era. As a cosmetic dermatologist, Vashi focuses on enhancing people’s looks, she says, but she also hopes people recognize that Victoria’s Secret models, “have bodies that are just not attainable by an average person.” Though that hasn’t stopped some from trying. The study notes a dramatic recent rise in cosmetic surgery, “with buttock and lower body lift [procedures] increasing by 4295% and 256%, respectively, since 2000.”

[..] The study found that bust measurements dropped from 32.9 inches in the 1990s, to 32 inches 20 years later. Waist size dropped from 24.7 inches to 23.6 inches, and hips shrank from 34.9 inches to 34.4 inches. Average dress size dropped from 5.2 to 3.7. The research also found the models became more racially and ethnically diverse. “To decrease a dress size from 5.2 to 3.7, that’s a significant difference,” Vashi says. “To slim an inch off one’s waist — that’s very hard to do.”

Read more …

And then you realize you really couln’t get one single American to say it. Painful.

Ricky Gervais Skewers Hollywood’s A-List (R.)

British comedian and actor Ricky Gervais returned to host the Golden Globe awards on Sunday, cracking scathing jokes about Hollywood’s elite that got both laughs and disapproving looks from the A-list audience. Gervais last hosted the Globes four years ago, before the #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite movements shined a spotlight on the underrepresentation of women and minorities in Hollywood. He said the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which hands out the Golden Globes, had planned to have a segment honoring celebrities who died in 2019, “but when I saw the list of people who died, it wasn’t diverse enough.”


Gervais also called out Hollywood actors as hypocrites for giving impassioned political speeches at awards shows while working in movies or television series produced by major tech and media corporations. “You say you’re woke, but the companies you work for – I mean, unbelievable – Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS started a streaming service, you’d call your agent, wouldn’t ya?,” he asked. “So if you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech. You are in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg. “So if you win, right? Come up, accept your little award, thank your agent and your God” and leave the stage, he concluded, using an expletive.

Read more …

 

 

 

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Home Forums Debt Rattle January 6 2020

This topic contains 13 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Dr. D 8 months, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #52537

    Esther Bubley Soldiers with their girls at the Indianapolis bus station 1943   • Gold, Oil Soar, Shares Slip As US And Iran Rattle Sabers (R.) •
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle January 6 2020]

    #52538

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    This is how you put an end to war…
    Yep! Ain’t gonna happen though…
    Pigs rule…

    #52539

    zerosum
    Participant

    • Iraqi PM Claims Soleimani Was On Peace Mission When Assassinated (GZ)
    • Iraqi Parliament Calls For Expulsion Of Foreign Troops (AlJ)

    Armchair generals

    This is how you put an end to war… with laughter

    Nonviolence – Siege
    Paintball technology is also used by military forces, law enforcement, paramilitary and security organizations to supplement military or other training.
    Paintball markers can play a role in embarrassing the occupying USA military forces.
    Nobody would be allowed to leave their fortified positions without being painted with paintball colors..
    If they did, they and their equipment would be wearing paintball colors.
    Imagine the embarrassment of the occupying forces.
    Imagine becoming the laughing stock of the world.
    Imagine the outrage of the world if the USA responded with lethal force.

    #52541

    Dr. D
    Participant

    “Iraqi PM Claims Soleimani Was On Peace Mission When Assassinated (GZ)”

    All the more reason it was a set-up that was meant to insure our withdrawal, even if every last person in the U.S. and West opposed it. If true, no nation or PM could tolerate this. …Aaaaaand that was the point? No way of knowing. And he does it by OBEYING Israel, one of his major funders? How much better.

    “Iraqi Parliament Calls for Expulsion of Foreign Troops (AlJ)”

    Not that it matters, but they already had quite a while ago. The catch was they allowed a delay until ISIS was defeated…which is why we always need five guys in a pita shop to point to, so we don’t have to leave. …As you noticed in Syria. Yet this move solves that.

    Boeing Reports “Previously Unreported Concerns” with Wiring in 737 MAX (CNN)”

    Probably all planes have a few of these problems: you noticed nothing has ever happened from it. However, once you start digging you discover: gasp! The world isn’t prefect. All machines have (potential) issues!

    Why We’ll Never Get Rich by Putting Cash Away for a Rainy Day (Bell)”

    Um. Point taken, but ironically, that’s the only way to get rich. Unless you want to tell me how to be rich without having any money. Capitalism means capital, which means you have to make something and save a little of it. But they are violent anti-capitalists, which means you are attacked if you save or own anything. (Except themselves, of course. Some animals are more equal than others.)

    what it will take for the U.S. central bank to withdraw from its daily liquidity operations

    Armstrong says they can never leave, one because there’s a hidden crisis which means banks can’t trust each other, and two, because cyclical rates are trying hard to rise. The Repo means the Fed & co have lost control of rates even on the short end. Bye bye. The End. Next crisis: December 2020.

    China has generated nearly five times as much debt per unit of GDP as the rest of the world”

    Did they beat us in that? That sounds like our run rate.

    Speaking of Armstrong, he wrote on Assange this week, the case being very like his own:

    US & British Are Torturing Julian Assange With Intent to Kill Him

    #52542

    Maxwell Quest
    Participant

    “Iraqi PM Claims Soleimani Was On Peace Mission When Assassinated (GZ)”
    “Iraqi Parliament Calls For Expulsion Of Foreign Troops (AlJ)”

    Continued from yesterday… Do I think that President Trump tweeting whatever pops into his addled head at 1am is a good thing? Nope, not in the least, but I understand why he does it. It’s a very risky game when tensions in the world are this high, and the owner of said Twitter account is subject to egoic mood swings.

    Even the most die-hard MAGA believer must now see that there is no 4D chess being played in the White House… not even 2D chess. Because Trump is not a principle-driven man, being virtually ungrounded, he’s moved by whomever has his ear at the moment, or the latest Tucker Carlson broadcast on Fox News. This time Bibi just happened to catch him at the right time and he pulled the trigger on General Soleimani. I imagine that bankrupting casinos is not the best preparation for understanding Middle Eastern history and culture.

    I think he really stepped in it this time, putting his reelection at risk, not to mention the carnage if events spiral out of control. Most of us feel that the election of President Trump was a Hail Mary attempt at changing the course of this nation, but it’s now plain to see that the ball has been dropped.

    #52543

    Dr. D
    Participant

    US Army Tells Iraq It Is Preparing To “Move Out” : “We respect your sovereign decision to order our departure.”

    We clearly disagree on this. So Trump accidentally pulled out of the middle east and therefore accidentally kept another campaign promise? While accidentally doing it in a way he can’t be blamed and Israel can’t complain? While accidentally making sure even the war-thirsty Democrats will be on board since keeping his campaign promise to Americans will be a policy “failure”?

    How many of these accidents do you have to have, after knocking out 15 candidates, two parties, the media, the FBI, DoJ, CIA, 10 cabinet moles, the NeoCons, and now the MIC, before it stops being an accident? Oops, I did it again.

    #52545

    John Day
    Participant

    http://www.johndayblog.com/2020/01/responses.html
    ​I would like to propose to the Iranian government that they “paint” all tankers​,​ carrying oil paid for in $US through the Strait of Hormuz, with missile targeting radar, and announce that they won’t actually start sinking them yet.
    China can start paying for oil in Yuan/Renmenbi, or even Euros.
    Lloyd’s of Lond​o​n can say that insurance will be higher for oil bought in $US.​ ​
    ​That will hasten the fall of the Petrobuck-Empire.​

    #52546

    John Day
    Participant

    Dr D said: “We clearly disagree on this. So Trump accidentally pulled out of the middle east and therefore accidentally kept another campaign promise? While accidentally doing it in a way he can’t be blamed and Israel can’t complain? While accidentally making sure even the war-thirsty Democrats will be on board since keeping his campaign promise to Americans will be a policy “failure”?
    How many of these accidents do you have to have, after knocking out 15 candidates, two parties, the media, the FBI, DoJ, CIA, 10 cabinet moles, the NeoCons, and now the MIC, before it stops being an accident? Oops, I did it again.”

    I littered your lst post yesterday, saying the same thing, with the comment that every time one seeks to infer some intent to the Trumpster, that inference is turned upon it’s blessed=pointy-little-head in the next moment.
    I do not dispute the observation, which I have also made, that Trump gracelessly executing the commands of Adelson and Netanyahu is possibly having some kind of karmic-genii-of-the-lamp or deal-with-the-devil kind of effect.
    I just don’t feel that there is a good way to model WHAT is the cause of said weird effects.
    Really. One should be quite broad and humble in participating in this round of history. I speak to “us”. We are also participants.
    I’m not sure what The Donald is. We see what we think we see happening, but we should not be too spellbound. We all have work to do.
    Grow vegetables!

    #52547

    zerosum
    Participant

    Okay, so you don’t like my idea. Here is another idea.

    Armchair generals
    This is how you put an end to war… with laughter

    Nonviolence – Siege

    Do the same that the police did to the demonstrators in Hon Kong.
    Use water gun with dye on all equipment and people leaving or entering the “safe zone”.
    This way, it will be easy to identify the enemies running around the country.

    #52548

    Maxwell Quest
    Participant

    @john Day
    “I just don’t feel that there is a good way to model WHAT is the cause of said weird effects.”

    I’ve not seen anything like it since Inspector Clouseau.

    However, once again we get old switcheroo! Wrong letter, sorry. This new one here says we are not leaving Iraq.

    #52549

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    Cash isn’t capital. Cash is cash. It cash were capital, our mint presses/digital ledgers would be printing real forests, mines, livestock, labor, etc.

    Cash is cash, and cash is almost always trash over the long haul.

    Saving enough cash to purchase useful capital can be, if used shrewdly, a way to get rich.

    Saving cash alone has always been a way to lose the value of cash to inflation.

    ***

    I don’t think that demanding that politicians fight in the wars they declare will end foolish war. Didn’t stop Alexander the great, to cite one enormous example. Lots of sociopaths like danger. THey typically join the military or police force. Other socios are all about manipulation and privilege, and they typically go into politics or get an MBA.

    The way you stop military action as an individual is to shoot every politician who promotes war. I mean, that’s how wars are actually fought and won — through purpose-directed specific violence to either coerce or destroy. If one is to stop wars being waged by one’s own government, that’s the only way. The rest is a feel-good farce whereby we prove to each other that we’re morally superior to those beings we allow to control us as we stage protests and take exquisite cellcam footage of cops brutalizing innocent people.

    One doesn’t stop war with mere politics. Politics are an extension of war. Sorry, Clausewitz. You’re wrong.) One stops war by nullifying aggressors. Politics, to quote Frank Zappa, is the entertainment division of the milindustrial complex. Politics is a pretense whereby the law (fight or flee, kill or be killed, the only law in group human conflict) is taken from one’s hands and replaced with a lousy vote stub. Everyone knows you can’t fight City Hall. Everyone knows you can’t take the law into your own hands. Everyone knows that no one can escape the long arm of the law.

    Everyone knows that Donald Trump was the last person the American plebiscite wanted as president, but, seeing as how he was the only genuine person to choose from, and having been previously blinded by an endless parade of insincere phonies since we first started having elections, seeing a genuine person inclined folks to vote for him even if they couldn’t stand him or believe a word he said. Apparently, we still prefer sincerely demented deceitful human assholes to insincere robotic ass-shark humanoid remoras.

    Human beings have, since 10,000 or so years ago, moved increasingly from small tribes where everyone knew who everyone was, to vast empires where no one knows anyone but everyone knows What It Means To Be An American or some shit like that. Politics is some ritual we endure to justify the gods placing incompetent deviant sheep-rapers in charge of our land, our laws, and often even our lives.

    #52550

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    As for the Donald phenom, I will be generous and say that maybe he has had greatness thrust upon him. I’m pretty sure he didn’t want to win the election. But once he did what I believe was his aim — to show them uppity Wall Street Beltwayers that he could win if he wanted to, that he was better than them despite being blacklisted by the USA BIG Boys Clubs and forced to seek foreign (even russian) funding to sustain his weird half-assed financial goat rodeo — once he did that, others took notice and made him an offer he couldn’t refuse (see: What Epstein Knows, for starters). So he shut up long enough (a week or three, as I recall) to win the election, bowing to the teleprompters (which had to be pure hell for him, I imagine).

    And then, and then, and then he found out what a buncha incompetent weasel-dweebs run the USA government, and steadily Trumpified How Things Are Done, giving everyone just enough of what they want for him to squeak through something that he could, after some polishing and lens correction, call his Own Personal Agenda.

    Does the above hypothesis make any sense? Beats me. But it fits my intuitive sense of Whatthefuckery?

    One thing about Trump that is deeply satisfying is that, for all the attempts to make him out as being much more schmuckier than his mainstream counterparts, the only way you can actually distinguish him from the evil cretins calling him even more evil and cretinous, is by how he does, indeed, manage to get more things done than they can or did. Some of these things seem good to me, some seem awful, but he gets them done, mostly on his own, because no one will give him a rubber-stamp.

    They, his opponent counterparts, have to huddle together and blow large communal campaign bubbles to do anything: war on Terror, one-size-fits-all identity politics, whatever brand label they’re selling now. Trump, being an inherently loose and hyperactive cannon, goes about doing as he will and they can’t stop him.

    Me, I can’t help but think that part of his success is that he may be the only major USA politician who actually listens to Putin and considers his advice seriously. After all, the guy’s the boss of one of the world’s older and larger empires. (After all, the 20th century was just as much the Soviet Century as the American Century.)

    Raul has asked numerously in this edition, Who Gets What They Want? Only person I see getting that in any consistent manner is Vladimir Putin.

    My long-term prediction: after USA has been whittled down to size, Russia will have to take on China cuz Godawmighty, they’re at least as stupid as the USA. I’ll guess that over time, a India/Iran duopoly will be the tropical counterweight to Russia’s arctic stronghold.

    Lord knows what Latin America will become. Never know what them crazy indigenes will get up to.

    Meanwhile, this intrigues me:

    “Israel is part Russophone and considered to be the world’s only part Russophone country outside the former Soviet Union. Russian is the third most widely spoken first language in Israel, after Hebrew and Arabic, and has the third largest number of Russian speakers outside former Soviet countries, and the highest as a proportion of the total population.[2]”

    “In 2011, Putin said: “Israel is, in fact, a special state to us. It is practically a Russian-speaking country. Israel is one of the few foreign countries that can be called Russian-speaking. It’s apparent that more than half of the population speaks Russian”.[26] Putin additionally claimed that Israel could be considered part of the Russian cultural world, and contended that “songs which are considered to be national Israeli songs in Israel are in fact Russian national songs”. He further stated that he regarded Russian-speaking Israeli citizens as his compatriots and part of the ‘Russian world’.[27]”

    “In April 2014, Israel took a neutral stance on the Russian annexation of Crimea at the United Nations, angering U.S. State Department and White House officials.[28]”

    There isn’t a single thing on America’s plate that I don’t see Russia easily stealing when the time is right.

    #52551

    boscohorowitz
    Participant
    #52560

    Dr. D
    Participant

    One thing to say is that I don’t think he and his backers are geniuses, just that they’re not idiots. They’re playing a bad hand pretty well, but are also slow to learn and adjust, but once they do and find something that works — like all these indirect ‘accidents’, like the brilliant cover that Cheeto is a moron watching cartoons all day, having ‘accidents’ they stick with it. Like anyone would.

    But what makes it so, so easy is that goes against the other side’s fabricated narrative, fabricated out of their mind. Maybe they know and just sell this to the public, I dunno, I mean they were best friends with him for years. But this says Cheeto doesn’t give a crap what anyone thinks of him, what anyone says, what anyone tries, so long as he’s getting closer to his goals. And this goes against the fantasy he’s a narcissist at least in the usual way, or that he has a short attention span, or no self control, or wanders around aimlessly bumping into things. How many years do we have to watch this go one before a light bulb goes on? He’s just a guy, people. Just some guy that’s been on the back benches, and with everyone else knocked out or murdered, he got lassoed into this job he didn’t like best, isn’t the best at, but at least tries to accomplish. Accomplish what? The native generals have seen the attempt to world conquest is going to utterly destroy the United States altogether if the NeoCon/NeoLibs get even one chance at bat. So they are trying to strengthen the home front, withdraw everywhere, and survive at all.

    Because like Bosco say: China may not even know it yet, but when they’re powerful and we’re weak, they are going to get uppity and attack the world just like all nations do. And yet again, as some kind of perennial curse, Russia will be there to put the EAST down, just as they recently put the WEST down. Again. And maybe that would make us allies in the 2030s, But the U.S. needs to survive that long. At all. With a currency failure and a civil war that’s been groomed and staged for 50 years being hammered to start every day, that’s challenge enough, though we’ll probably pull it off.

    What’s one guy in this? He’s going to do what almost anyone in his chair would do. And the forces of history are going to do what they do. That’s what makes it all so, so predictable in the big arc, the 4th Turning, the wheel of samsara. If not, how can Strauss and Howe know in the 90s he would exist? How can Armstrong pick the markets and down to the day? Because in the big picture the U.S. will either retreat or die, and any creature facing that will, quite obviously, retreat despite any jabbering rhetoric or sloppy fists thrown at them. Brennan and Clapper and Pelosi are indeed jabbering at him and us right now, as is the place they also have in history: the losers, has-beens. But we won’t, and can’t listen, right now.

    So yeah, the opposition finally got their feet under them to stop the Iraq withdrawal, what did you expect? The Iraq vote itself was questionable, as the Sunni and Kurds foresee their own genocide in Iraq if they don’t have our counterweight against the Shia. That’s “democracy”, Middle Eastern style. It was going to be messy. But if it’s dangerous motion, at least it’s in motion, which hasn’t been in most of my lifetime. Watch and we’ll see, but don’t stop growing the garden; we’re not going to walk away from this.

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