Jun 262020
 June 26, 2020  Posted by at 11:33 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Dorothea Lange Depression refugee family from Tulsa, Oklahoma 1936


US Coronavirus Cases ‘May Have Topped 20 Million’ (BBC)
Pompeo Says US, EU Working To Resume Trans-Atlantic Travel (R.)
House Defense Bill Targets Troop Drawdowns In Africa, South Korea (Hill)
No More Crossing Borders For Work (Salmon)
The Fed Said It Could Supply $2.3 Trillion. It Hasn’t Come Close So Far (CNBC)
Parents To Sue Trump, Meme Creator Carpe Donktum Over Manipulated Video Of Toddlers
Why Joe Biden Can Do No Wrong (Turley)
Bayer Wants To Resolve Future Roundup Liability In A Class Action (R.)
New Assange Indictment Only Adds ‘Window Dressing’ to ‘Continue Smear Campaign’ (Sp.)
Doctors for Assange: UK Officials May be Legally Culpable for His Torture (CN)



Say what you will, but that virus is not sitting still, got to give it that. And as for us, we’re either not sitting still enough, or we’re making the wrong moves.

And I still can’t decide what I find scarier, that or the fast deteriorating political and media climate stateside.

Worldometer reports new cases for June 25 (midnight to midnight GMT+0) at + 179,718.







New cases past 24 hours in:

• US + 41,317
• Brazil + 40,673
• India + 17,720




From Worldometer:



From COVID19Info.live:







This is where you say all bets are off, I guess.

US Coronavirus Cases ‘May Have Topped 20 Million’ (BBC)

At least 20 million people in the US may already have been infected with Covid-19, according to the latest estimate by health officials. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says the true number of cases is likely to be 10 times higher than the reported figure. It comes as the state of Texas halted its reopening as infections and hospitalisations surged. The US has recorded 2.4m confirmed infections and 122,370 deaths. Some southern and western states have been reporting record numbers of cases in recent days. The University of Washington predicts 180,000 US deaths by October – or 146,000 if 95% of Americans wear masks.

“Our best estimate right now is that for every case that was reported, there actually were 10 other infections,” CDC Director Dr Robert Redfield told reporters. This was because testing was restricted to people with symptoms and asymptomatic carriers were not tested, he said. “We probably recognized about 10% of the outbreak by the methods that we use to diagnosis between the March, April and May,” he said. Dr Redfield said that between 5% and 8% of the population had been exposed to the virus and urged Americans to keep social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands. “As we go into the fall, in the winter, these are going to be really, really important defence mechanisms,” he said.

[Texas], which has been at the forefront of moves to end lockdown measures, has seen thousands of new cases, prompting Republican Governor Greg Abbott to call a temporary halt to its reopening. “This temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business,” he said. Texas confirmed a record 5,996 new cases on Thursday. There were also 47 new deaths, the highest daily toll for a month. The state has also seen record number of people requiring hospital treatment for 13 days in a row. Elective surgery has been suspended in the Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio areas to free up beds. More than 10% of the tests carried out over the past week have come back positive. All but 12 of the state’s 254 counties have reported cases.

Read more …

Yeah, Europeans can’t wait to invite a bunch of infected Usaians to their homes.

Pompeo Says US, EU Working To Resume Trans-Atlantic Travel (R.)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo played down concerns Thursday that the European Union might refuse to allow Americans into the 27-nation bloc as it considers lifting restrictions on overseas travelers starting next week, due to the spread of the coronavirus in the United States. “It’s a challenge for all of us to decide how and when to open up our economies and our societies. Everybody’s trying to figure that out,” Pompeo said during a videoconference organized by the German Marshall Fund think tank. “We’re working with our European counterparts to get that right.” European nations appear on track to reopen their borders between each other by July 1. Their envoys to Brussels are debating what virus-related criteria should apply when lifting entry restrictions on travelers from outside the EU that were imposed in March.

As the criteria are narrowed down, a list of countries whose citizens might be allowed in is being drawn up. The list would be updated every 14 days based on how the coronavirus is spreading around the world. The EU’s executive commission recommends that “travel restrictions should not be lifted as regards third countries where the situation is worse” than the average in the 27 EU member countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. That is likely to rule out people living in the United States, where new coronavirus infections have surged to the highest level in two months, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Beyond epidemiological concerns, any country being considered would first be expected to lift its own travel restrictions on visitors from all 31 European nations. This would also rule out the US. In a March 11 decree, President Donald Trump suspended the entry of all people from Europe’s ID check-free travel area. More than 10 million Europeans usually visit the United States each year.

Read more …

The war party has two wings.

House Defense Bill Targets Troop Drawdowns In Africa, South Korea (Hill)

The House Armed Services Committee’s version of the annual defense policy bill seeks to put roadblocks on withdrawing U.S. troops from Africa and South Korea. The so-called chairman’s mark of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) – the version of the bill drafted by Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) – would require the Pentagon to report to Congress on the effects, implications and costs of a troop drawdown in Africa on military, diplomatic, development and humanitarian efforts. It would also require a report on the effects of a drawdown within 90 days if the number of troops dips below 80 percent of current force posture.

Reports first surfaced earlier this year that Defense Secretary Mark Esper was eying slashing the number of U.S. troops in Africa as part of a global review of U.S. force posture to redirect troops to counter Russia and China. He later confirmed he was considering a reduction but insisted it would not be a full withdrawal. The plan received bipartisan backlash from lawmakers who argued the troops are needed not only to fight terrorism, but also to serve as a buttress against Russian and Chinese efforts to increase their influence in Africa.

More recently, President Trump announced he plans to withdraw thousands of U.S. troops from Germany. Trump has framed the drawdown as a punitive measure in response to Germany not meeting NATO’s defense spending goal, while national security advisor Robert O’Brien argued in a Wall Street Journal op-ed the forces are needed in the Indo-Pacific region.

Read more …

Picked this from Felix Salmon for this crazy stat:

“..pre-coronavirus Apple was buying 50 business class seats per day just from San Francisco to Shanghai…”

No More Crossing Borders For Work (Salmon)

Another area where there’s no sign of any recovery is in the movement of workers across borders, especially when it comes to movement in and out of the U.S. Why it matters: Multinational U.S. corporations are built on international travel. Apple spends $150 million a year on air travel, for instance, and pre-coronavirus was buying 50 business class seats per day just from San Francisco to Shanghai. That level of investment in cross-border ties helped to create a company that’s now worth $1.6 trillion. Driving the news: U.S. borders remain shut to travelers from China and Europe. There are only eight flights per week between the U.S. and China; the United Airlines SFO-SHA route where Apple used to spend $35 million a year currently has no flights at all. The EU is almost certain to ban U.S. travelers when it reopens on July 1. And Donald Trump has banned thousands of nonimmigrant workers from entering the country this year.

Read more …

Because it only supports member banks.

The program is too complicated on purpose: the banks all have legal departments that have no trouble deciphering it.

The Fed Said It Could Supply $2.3 Trillion. It Hasn’t Come Close So Far (CNBC)

When the coronavirus pandemic locked up capital markets and pulled the economy into recession, the Federal Reserve took aim with a $2.3 trillion bazooka to try to help. Thus far, though, the central bank has only fired off surprisingly few rounds. In the three months since a slew of programs were announced, the Fed has loaned out just $143 billion, or a mere 6.2% of its total firepower. The most ambitious initiative, the Main Street Lending Program, has yet to make a loan, according to the most recent Fed balance sheet data, though officials expect that to change in a matter of days.

As for the rest of the measures, from municipal lending to corporate credit to the Fed’s role in the Paycheck Protection Program, there are several likely explanations for why what was supposed to be an infusion of cash into the economy instead has been a comparative trickle. One is simply that the programs, particularly in the case of Main Street, are complicated and have proven difficult to launch as the Fed gathers feedback and works through logistics. Another is that there is simply less demand from entities that are finding other ways to make do. And on that same point, the notion that the U.S. economy is recovering more quickly than expected from a recession that began in February has negated the need for the arsenal that the Fed launched starting in March.

“The economy is getting better, so you’re not seeing as many firms short of cash as you’d seen in March and April,” said Yiming Ma, an assistant finance professor at Columbia University Business School. “Some of the terms are just not very attractive to firms who potentially do need the funds.”

Read more …

Newsflash: we don’t all have the same kind of humor. But this goes very far.

Parents To Sue Trump, Meme Creator Carpe Donktum Over Manipulated Video Of Toddlers

The parents of two toddlers featured in a manipulated video posted on social media by President Donald Trump plan to file a lawsuit against the president, his campaign and the creator of the video, pro-Trump meme creator Carpe Donktum, escalating the fallout from the doctored video, which was taken down by Facebook and Twitter. Lawyers representing the parents of the children featured in the video are drafting a lawsuit alleging the video was altered and shared as an “advertisement and political propaganda” without permission or parental consent. Logan Cook, who goes by the username Carpe Donktum, altered footage of the two children in which one, who is Black, is running away from the other, who is white, and added a fake CNN chyron reading “Terrified toddler runs away from racist baby.”

The original clip, which went viral last year, actually shows the two toddlers running up to each other and hugging. (The edited video appears to be a satirical attempt criticize how the media takes statements out of context and reports on race.) Both Facebook and Twitter took the video down after the parents of the children filed a copyright complaint, and before that Twitter labeled the video “manipulated media.” Twitter late Tuesday permanently banned Cook for repeated copyright violations.

“The fact that Twitter and Facebook disabled this fake video within 24 hours of President Trump and his campaign tweeting it, coupled with Twitter permanently banning Cook, is very strong evidence that a jury will likely find that all of these people broke the law by using this video as advertisement and political propaganda,” said Ven Johnson, one of the attorneys representing the parents. Cook’s work is frequently shared by Trump, and the president reportedly called him a “genius” when he visited the White House last year. Twitter previously suspended Cook for eight days after he posted an edited video showing Trump as a cowboy attacking CNN reporter Jim Acosta.

Facebook and Twitter usually leave controversial posts from world leaders online, though Twitter has taken to labeling tweets with misinformation or those that “glorify violence” in recent weeks. But there’s one rule even world leaders can’t break: copyright. In October last year, another video posted by Trump featuring a Nickelback song was taken down after a copyright notice was filed. And earlier that year Twitter took down another video that included music from the Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises without permission.

Read more …

It’s going to be an absolutely crazy election.

Why Joe Biden Can Do No Wrong (Turley)

In the 11th century, Pope Urban II formalized the use of indulgences, which could be purchased to forgive sins. A papal bull of the Crusade accompanied those who fought in the Holy Land and committed atrocities in the name of a higher order. The practice was defended as essentially drawing from the “treasury of merit” created by Jesus Christ, the saints and the faithful. Now the 2020 election has become the ultimate crusade, and President Trump’s critics seem to be enjoying indulgences in tossing aside moral and ethical considerations. The freedom that is Biden is nowhere more evident than in a recent column by The Nation’s Katha Pollitt, who wrote about the allegations of sexual assault made by former Biden staffer Tara Reade.

Pollitt dispensed with any struggle over feminist or moral qualms, declaring, “I would vote for Joe Biden if he boiled babies and ate them.” As Pollitt explained, “We do not have the luxury of sitting out the election to feel morally pure or send a message about sexual assault and #BelieveWomen.” Otherwise, Pollitt would have to deal with her column during the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, in which she denounced “some of his defenders [who] seem to be saying that even if the allegations are true, it shouldn’t really matter.” For years, critics have expressed disgust at Trump’s statement that “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and wouldn’t lose any voters.”

Yet they now afford Biden the same immunity even if he turns into the ancient god Cronus and starts snacking on boiled babies. The same indulgence has been claimed by politicians and commentators in dealing with other Biden allegations of sexual assault. Many of them demanded during the Kavanaugh controversy that all women must simply be believed when alleging sexual harassment. Those who questioned the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford were denounced for insensitivity, if not complicity, in the abuse of women. Today, some of us have said that Biden has the stronger case thus far, but we still support an investigation.

Yet many Kavanaugh critics quickly declared Biden to be innocent and opposed any search of his records — including those under lock and key at the University of Delaware — for any allegations of sexual abuse. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) simply cut off questions by testily declaring, “I don’t need a lecture” when confronted with her prior statements. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) declared she sees no need for an investigation because she knows Biden and believes him, adding that she resented being asked about it as a victim of sexual assault. She cut off questions from CNN’s Jake Tapper by saying, “And you know what? That’s all I’m going to say about it.”

Read more …

They sponsor a legal panel that absolves them from most future claims. How sick is that?

Bayer Wants To Resolve Future Roundup Liability In A Class Action (R.)

The headlines Wednesday in the mass tort litigation over Bayer’s Roundup weedkiller were all about the company’s decision to pay as much as $9.6 billion – a lot of money! – to settle about 94,000 suits alleging that Roundup is associated with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. But the bigger news, at least for this case’s impact on mass tort litigation, may be in a novel proposal to address all future claims against Bayer. If the mechanism – a class action to determine threshold issues of causation while preserving plaintiffs’ individual rights to sue – ends up winning court approval, it’s going to change the way defendants buy global peace in these sprawling cases.

The Roundup future claims settlement is via a newly-filed prospective class action on behalf of everyone who was exposed to Roundup but has not hired a lawyer to bring a tort claim. (There are subclasses for people who already have cancer and those who don’t.) In a simultaneously-filed motion for preliminary approval of the settlement of the new class action, Bayer and plaintiffs lawyers from Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, Audet & Partners and The Dugan Law Firm agreed to establish a panel of five scientific experts to decide the threshold questions of whether Roundup can cause cancer and, if so, at what levels of exposure. (For the true class action nerds: The settlement calls for the certification of an issues class to resolve the predominant common question of causation.)

The panel, which Reuters described Wednesday as “a calculated gamble” for Bayer, has at least four years to reach a determination, which is binding on all class members. After the panel’s decision, class members will be free to bring individual tort claims, with the caveat that those threshold causation and exposure questions have already been decided.

In the meantime, Bayer will put up $1.1 billion for diagnostic services for the class and for assistance to class members who develop cancer during the years before the scientific panel’s decision. The proposed settlement features an incredibly elaborate notice program to get the word out to prospective class members, taking into account that the class includes agricultural workers who may not speak English or have permanent residences. Class members have 150 days from the launch of the notice program to opt out of the class. As part of the settlement, future claimants will give up the right to seek punitive damages and medical monitoring fees in individual suits following the scientific panel’s causation decision.

Read more …

The shame of our generation.

New Assange Indictment Only Adds ‘Window Dressing’ to ‘Continue Smear Campaign’ (Sp.)

A US federal grand jury has unveiled a new superseding indictment against WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange. However, the filing brings no new charges. A journalist told Sputnik that what Assange does is no different from other reporters and the indictment is an attempt to sour Assange’s name in the media again. “It’s a continuation of the smear campaign against this man, to turn public opinion against him,” Joe Lauria, the editor in chief of Consortium News and author of the book “How I Lost, By Hillary Clinton,” told Radio Sputnik’s Loud and Clear Thursday. “It’s started to turn for him in certain instances recently, so the timing of this is interesting.” Lauria characterized the new accusations as “window dressing,” noting much of the document is simply a recapitulation of the previous charges against Assange.

According to the US Department of Justice’s Wednesday news release announcing the indictment, the new accusations “broaden the scope of the conspiracy surrounding alleged computer intrusions with which Assange was previously charged,” alleging he worked with hacker groups like Anonymous and LulzSec to gain access to classified files that WikiLeaks then published. “This is new: they write negatively about him helping [former NSA analyst-turned-whistleblower Edward] Snowden to get out of Hong Kong and that Assange had booked various other flights for Snowden to provide a diversion, so that he could get out on the one he did,” Lauria noted. “But there’s no charge of ‘aiding a fugitive to get away’ or anything like that, so that’s just thrown in there. We don’t know why.”

“The real essence is, as you say, the details to broaden this first indictment against him, which was for computer intrusion. And, essentially, it says that Assange directed hackers to get material. For example, one example is the recordings of high-level NATO officials, telephone calls that he wanted; also members of parliament of a NATO nation that is apparently Iceland.” Lauria said that to understand if this is a crime or not, he turns to investigative journalist Robert Parry, who founded Consortium News. Lauria noted a piece Parry wrote in 2010, anticipating Washington’s line of attack against Assange, in which he said that what Assange had done was no different than what he did as an investigative reporter, including encouraging sources to give information, and even to commit a small crime in order to prevent a larger one.

“This is key, because here we have in this expanded, superseding indictment, that Assange somehow committed a conspiracy with these hackers to get this information,” Lauria said. “Now, first of all, he’s not being accused of doing the hacking himself; he is accused of encouraging or directing – but not for money, by the way – these hackers to get documents and other materials that he wanted. So maybe two crimes are being committed there: one being the hack, and two, the unauthorized release of information. But Assange is not directly involved, so he’s doing what Bob Parry said he did as a reporter, and that was to get your source to commit a small crime [in order] to prevent a larger one. An example of that is Assange getting from [former US Army analyst Chelsea] Manning the ‘Collateral Murder’ video … the idea being to try to end the illegal war in Iraq,” Lauria told Sputnik.

Read more …

But doctors are not lawyers.

Doctors for Assange: UK Officials May be Legally Culpable for His Torture (CN)

Doctors have warned that UK officials could be held accountable for the torture of Julian Assange in an open letter published in The Lancet on International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The 216 undersigned physicians and psychologists from 33 countries have accused UK and U.S. government officials of intensifying Julian Assange’s psychological torture in spite of the world’s leading authorities on human rights and international law calling for his immediate release from prison. Clinical Psychologist and Australian co-author of the publication, ‘The ongoing torture and medical neglect of Julian Assange’, Dr Lissa Johnson said the failure to properly treat Mr Assange may amount to an act of torture in which state officials, from parliament to court to prison, risk being judged complicit.

“Our letter is published just two days after the US Department of Justice announced a new superseding indictment against Assange representing yet another escalation in psychological torture tactics,” said Dr Johnson. “Introducing extra charges at this late stage, right before the defence evidence deadline and over a year after the indictment deadline, when documents given to the prison generally take two weeks to be passed on, when he has not been supplied with a computer and when he is unable to meet with lawyers under Coronavirus lockdown, serves to ramp up his helplessness jn the face of threat and is a key psychological torture tactic,” she said.

The doctors note that torture is prohibited under UK law, warning that UK officials could be judged “complicit”, including for their “silent acquiescence and consent”. They write that Assange at medical risk due to escalating abuses of his “fundamental human and legal rights at the hands of judicial, prison, and contracted security authorities”. The letter follows Julian Assange’s failure to attend four court hearings in a row on medical grounds. The authors charge UK and US authorities with “collective persecution and judicial harassment” in which “Mr Assange has been unable to engage in his own defence or even participate in his own hearings.”

A copy of the Lancet letter has been sent to the UK Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Robert Buckland. It coincides with two open letters to Buckland from 36 members of the European Parliament and 11 current and former politicians from 9 nations, calling for Julian Assange’s immediate release on bail in light of Covid-19, which places him “at grave medical risk” given his medical history, including persistent respiratory issues, the doctors warn. In a 60 Minutes Australia interview on Sunday night, Julian Assange’s fiancé, Stella Moris, stressed that Julian Assange is “very unwell”, expressing her fears that he may not survive.

Read more …



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Home Forums Debt Rattle June 26 2020

This topic contains 47 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  boscohorowitz 2 weeks, 1 day ago.

Viewing 8 posts - 41 through 48 (of 48 total)
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  • #60534


    Navel gazing

    Shakespeare’s audience was perhaps not as well behaved as you are. Since the play was
    so long, people would leave their seats and go looking for food to eat and ale to drink
    during the performance, or perhaps go visit with their friends. Some playgoers, especially those who had saved up money to come and see the play, were extremely annoyed if they were unable to hear the actors and would tell rowdy audience members to quiet down.
    To get an idea of the cost of a ticket in today’s terms, consider that the average blue collar worker earned five to six pennies a day; bread for his midday meal cost a penny, ale cost another penny, and if he were lucky enough to have chicken for dinner, it cost two pennies. His rent was often a shilling (twelve pennies) a week, so there wasn’t much money left over for playgoing, nor would he have been able to take time off from work to go and see a play in the middle of the day, when they were usually performed.
    Shakespeare’s audience for his outdoor plays was the very rich, the upper middle class, and the lower middle class. The lower middle class paid a penny for admittance to the yard (like the yard outside a school building), where they stood on the ground, with the stage more or less at eye level—these spectators were called groundlings, (rifraf). The rich paid two pennies for entrance to the galleries, covered seating at the sides. The rich paid three pennies to sit in the higher galleries, which had a better view. The best seats were in the lords’ rooms, private galleries closest to the stage.



    Considering how little anyone, rich or poor, bathed in those days, the rifraf might have had the best ‘seats’ in the house. Thanx, Z. That kind of cherry-topped my day.

    Art for art’s sake (the missing f’s are silent but deadly)



    Here’s payment:

    Uncle Drunky



    Americans are not aware
    Modern Warfare by the USA

    US sanctions and Rosneft’s departure have also exacerbated fuel shortages in the South American country. In response, the Maduro government turned to Iran, which sent five fuel tankers in defiance of US threats. Tehran has vowed to continue supplying Caracas with gasoline.

    Additionally, Iran has also collaborated with equipment and experts in repairing Venezuelan refineries. According to oil industry union sources, the Cardon refinery, part of the country’s largest refining complex, was reactivated last week and is currently processing 50,000 crude barrels a day out of a maximum 300,000 bpd capacity.
    (more ….)



    “US sanctions and Rosneft’s departure have also exacerbated fuel shortages in the South American country. In response, the Maduro government turned to Iran, which sent five fuel tankers in defiance of US threats. Tehran has vowed to continue supplying Caracas with gasoline.”

    I assume Russia still has their back but prefers to not providfe an excuse for insane USA accusations, etc. I see Iran being given a chance to strut its stuff for the non-USA world.

    Funny. I thought we’d withdraw most of our troops into Saudi Arabia as out final bit of empire by now. But apparently even that’s too dangerous for us now, else why bother with Venezuela’s xhitty low-grade oil?


    Dr. D

    I think you’ve nailed it: that type of pollution happens largely because of transport. Local production = a tiny paper box for your berries, or not even that if the market vendor keeps it. Probably much else in that, as, how much spent in machines and parts for transport, in roads and bridges for transport, in retail paving 1,000 acres to vend the transported?

    …And back to one, if Dean’s tariffs are put on, we also can’t enslave and pollute, ship garbage somewhere else and pretend we don’t know it’s not being re-used.

    Parents: clearly they don’t care if the vaccine “works”; that’s not the point. If they cared about anything, they wouldn’t ship cases to nursing homes and demand people get into the streets. I’m pretty sure it won’t work, and they’ll be “accidents”. Or is that, accidentally reducing annoying populations how it does “work”?

    Why bother with oil? Technical reasons: the refineries cannot be easily adjusted and must mix our light oil/liquids with their very heavy crude to make marketable sale. If V goes offline, our refineries do too, in a way. Therefore, they must control the STABILITY of that oil, and its price, to make the U.S. end work correctly. Even though the equipment and profits are here, it can’t work correctly without them. V is in the same position, though. Without some light to mix with, and the exact right refineries to crack it, they have a lot of road tar and no gas to drive on it.

    I disagree, but that makes no matter. I also feel under the lies, there IS something with Iran, V, and a few others. Notice how all the present bad players, Strzok, DeBlasio, Jarett, are not just from the CIA, but from the IRANIAN stationed CIA? How many of those punks could there be on earth? And all of them are at the top, all pulling the same direction? And we know BP set up Iran in ’56, but then who suddenly toppled the West with clean impunity, which has never been done that I can find? Just some clerics with cassette tapes and no intel structure one day? Doubt it. Would believe, for example, that France was annoyed and got back in to push UK/BP out, but it doesn’t fit later facts. That leaves some 3rd subterranean power bloc I can’t define. If there is such a one, then as corporations are as a cloud, circling the earth borderless, then this borderless power bloc hovers, travels, and is in many nations too.

    Strange? We have the CIA/Derp State/MI6 working seamlessly, and include 5 Eyes, Saudi, and Israel. They are essentially one group with tight, interlocking interests. So why wouldn’t there be a tight, interlocking power bloc in Iran/Ven and a few places? And although certain blocs here might like them and their position on the board (causing war tensions for profit) they may legitimately be against and financing, undermining American, that is, the “peoples’” interests. Or so it seems from their actions. That’s why I’m uncharacteristically soft on these sanctions, but pretty hard on transparency and law at home. For instance: almost certain there’s a hidden breakaway state in Iran military. …You know, just like there is in the U.S.? We see every day in the news who attack the legitimate, elected government and all the people who voted for it? So V may be more like 90% breakaway with a 10% layer of actual government on top instead of vice versa as here or Iran.

    Doesn’t make it legal or right, though. I’m still against it.



    USA sees virus resurgence

    WHO warns virus resurgence in Europe has begun

    Virus resurgence seen around world



    The role of Venezuelan heavy/sour oil is significant but not irreplacable, which replacement is already in progress. As for the main geopolitics driving our relations with places like Venezuela, Iran, Outer Barsoom, god knows who, seems to me there’s one basic driver: everyone hates us, no one trusts us, and increasingly aren’t scared of us. Yankees are going home, with covid as handy spur and cover.

    I find myself tending to see our spat with Venezuela today as more of a Falkland Isles symbolic power show (a pathetic show but nonetheless) than anything with significant strategy behind it. Yeah, it will cost the complex oil refineries more to do replace Venezuelan oil with other sources. I see it prmarily as denialism on the part of empire. We lose face and strategic advantage with (seemingly) every military/espionage intervention we make these days, including our digital crucifixion of Assange.

    Trump seems to sign of our times: a man who would cut off his nose to spite his face.

    Re: Iran: The deposal of the Shah was not dependent, I feel, on covert foreign meddling. It was reaction against foreign meddling. I recall well-to-do Iranians in the states protesting on colleges in 1975-77.

    If one is looking for nefarious players beside/behind the throne, this archive from the NYT back when it was still grey not black, offers some places to look:

    Why Carter Admitted the Shah to the States

    The Iranian coup in 1953 (not ’56) was far more internally driven than the glory boys of the old CIA like to make it seem. Oh, they were involved, but mostly they got lucky. It almost didn’t happen. Been awhile since I read that book, but the CIA is mostly the entity that runs failed stunts like Bay of Pigs or the War on Terror shit shows. The notorious color revolutions of recent times have hardly held even when we used massive military force beside them. Russia still has Crimea and the eastern third of Ukraine, Georgia is barely within our sphere despite gushing news articles claiming otherwise. We’re toast in the Middle East.

    I can believe that a few clerics with a few cassettes could’ve fomented a grassfire that reached up to the forest canopy once Carter let the Shah return to the States. Various foreign entities surely attached themselves to that momentum like ticks on a dog, but I’ve come to have little confidence in the alleged powers of backstage foreign players to turn things their way except by overt brute force.

    “On September 8, 1978, the shah’s security force fired on a large group of demonstrators, killing hundreds and wounding thousands. Two months later, thousands took to the streets of Tehran, rioting and destroying symbols of westernization, such as banks and liquor stores. Khomeini called for the shah’s immediate overthrow, and on December 11 a group of soldiers mutinied and attacked the shah’s security officers. With that, his regime collapsed and the shah fled.” (from link )

    They Got Mysticism in their Corner

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