Nov 152022
 November 15, 2022  Posted by at 9:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Salvador Dali Sick Boy (Self-portrait in Cadaqués) 1923


US Scrambles To Reassure Ukraine After Milley Comments On Negotiations (Pol.)
Zelenksy At G20 Summit: This is The Moment To End The War (Tel.)
UN Calls On Russia To Pay Ukraine Reparations (RT)
The Kherson Question (Nora Hoppe)
‘The Last Battle for the World’ (Batiushka)
Poland To Seize Gazprom Assets (RT)
G20: What Does It Mean For Putin And The Event Itself? (Maxim Hvatkov)
GOP Nears House Majority With Two Race Calls In Arizona (JTN)
Midterm Success Brings US Democrats To A Historic Dilemma (Desai)
The Triumph of The Centre (Soldo)
FTX Implosion Takes Its First Crypto Victim (RT)
What the Collapse of FTX Means (Burja)
Corporate Layoffs Are A Warning Sign Of Coming ‘Economic Crash Landing’ (JTN)
World Population Expected To Hit 8 Billion On Nov. 15 (JTN)
A Father Fights for His Son & What’s Left of Democracy (Lauria)
















Faith is an oasis in the heart which will never be reached by the caravan of thinking.”
~ Khalil Gibran





“The four-star general said during an appearance at the Economic Club of New York that a victory by Ukraine may not be achieved militarily..”

US Scrambles To Reassure Ukraine After Milley Comments On Negotiations (Pol.)

The Biden administration is in damage control mode after a top U.S. general said a window for peace talks between Kyiv and Moscow could open this winter, with senior officials scrambling to assure Ukraine it wasn’t undercutting its goal of expelling the Russians. Specifically, senior U.S. officials are telling their counterparts in Ukraine that the expected winter fighting pause doesn’t mean talks should happen imminently. Instead, they’re relaying that Washington will continue to support Kyiv’s militarily as it launches the next phase of advances on the battlefield, according to Ukrainian and U.S. officials familiar with the outreach.

The scramble follows comments last week by Gen. Mark Milley, the Joint Chiefs chair. The four-star general said during an appearance at the Economic Club of New York that a victory by Ukraine may not be achieved militarily, and that winter may provide an opportunity to begin negotiations with Russia. The general has spoken regularly with his Ukrainian counterpart, Gen. Valeriy Zaluzhnyy, including on Monday, according to a U.S. official. During the discussion, Zaluzhnyy did not express any concern or mention Milley’s comments even once, the person said. The person, along with others interviewed for this story, spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss internal deliberations.

Still, the flurry of calls and meetings with Ukrainians underscores the degree to which the administration is concerned about presenting a unified front on Ukraine and potential peace talks. Any prolonged public split among top U.S. officials could threaten the already delicate relationship between Washington and Kyiv at a key moment in the war. The Biden administration needs to ease those tensions as it balances its support for Ukraine with concerns that Western stockpiles of military equipment are running low, and the possibility of a Republican-controlled House next year that will slash aid for Kyiv. European leaders are growing anxious about the region’s energy crisis, with some raising questions with American counterparts in recent days about the extent to which talks could ease fears about rising costs.

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Google translation.

Using the optics of Kherson for a narrative that is utterly unrealistic. That’s how you prolong a war, not end it.

Zelenksy At G20 Summit: This is The Moment To End The War (Tel.)

Now is the time to end Russia’s “devastating” war and “save thousands of lives,” Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky said in a video address on Tuesday at the G20 summit on the Indonesian island of Bali. He presented a plan based on the withdrawal of Russian troops and the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity. “I am convinced that now is the time when the devastating Russian war must and can be stopped,” Zelensky said, addressing the leaders present, including Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Joe Biden. “It will save thousands of lives.” Russian leader Vladimir Putin is not present, he is replaced by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The Ukrainian head of state stressed that the war must be ended “justly and on the basis of the UN Charter and international law” and called for the release of all Ukrainian prisoners. “Please choose your path to leadership and together we will surely implement the peace formula.” Zelensky wants “effective security guarantees” and insists on an international meeting where the agreements are laid down in a peace treaty. “There are and cannot be any excuses for nuclear blackmail,” he added, emphatically thanking the “G19” – excluding Russia – for “making this clear.” He also called for expansion and extension of the grain deal that expires on November 19. According to the UN, 10 million tons of Ukrainian grain and other foodstuffs have been exported through the Black Sea since the deal was struck in July. That helped prevent a global food crisis.

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The UN should never choose sides in a conflict. That makes it obsolete.

UN Calls On Russia To Pay Ukraine Reparations (RT)

By a majority of votes, the UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution that would oblige Russia to compensate losses inflicted on Ukraine during the conflict and has recognized the need to create a special “international mechanism” that would allow it to do so. The resolution was supported by 94 countries in the 193-member world body vote on Monday. Some 73 more states abstained, while 14 countries voted against. Among others, those voting against the resolution included Russia itself, as well as China, Iran, and Syria. “An international mechanism for reparation for damage, loss, or injury”arising from Russia’s “wrongful acts” in Ukraine needs to be established, the resolution says.

The assembly’s members should create “an international register” that would include claims or data regarding damages, losses and injuries to Ukraine caused by Russia, the UN decided. While the UNGA resolutions are not legally binding, they do carry political weight. Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, speaking on the topic of the resolution, called it a legally insignificant document. “At the same time, the co-authors cannot help but realize that the adoption of such a resolution will entail consequences that can boomerang back to them,” Nebenzia said. He added that the resolution intended to legalize the seizure of Russian assets previously frozen by Western countries.

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“The sacredness of Life is gone. We have become spectators… and our world has become a spectacle.”

The Kherson Question (Nora Hoppe)

I follow the news regularly on Russia’s Special Military Operation in Ukraine. And I have recently read and heard many varying and divisionary views on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Kherson, a city that is now lawfully part of Russia. Dispensing with the views of the pro-NATO side, which are of no interest, I am observing the division of thought amongst analysts, journalists and commenters in forums siding with the Russians: There are those who are outraged and see the withdrawal from Kherson as “a disgrace”, “a sign of weakness”, “an embarrassment”, “a poor strategy”, “unattractive optics”, etc. Others see it as the outcome of a difficult but wise decision – that was primarily made to save the lives of Russian soldiers, who would have been cut off by a massive flood if NATO were to blow up the Kakhovka Dam. (There may well be additional tactical reasons for the withdrawal, but they are not (yet) known to the public.)

When people speak of the “optics not looking good“… a film set immediately comes to my mind (I have worked in the film world for many years). And that immediately tells me how some people view this operation – as spectators: it has to have a good catchy script, suspense, uninterrupted action and – heaven forbid – no lulls! It has to ultimately supply a dopamine release. It has to have a “Dirty Harry Catharsis”. This reminds me of similar reactions to the prisoner exchange in mid-September, where some saw it as a sign of weakness to even think of releasing Azov prisoners… or when the Chinese government did not deliver a dramatic retort when Pelosi went to do her skit in Taiwan. What is at the base of these kinds of reactions? Why such impatience? Why such concern with “appearances”? Why such a need to satiate one’s own personal sense of justice and retribution?

Does it have something to do with consuming? Especially in the western world one has become an addicted consumer of not only things but “experiences” that can be lived indirectly. Today we witness events of other peoples’ wars and battles on computer screens from the comfort of our homes or on our tiny phones from chic cafés… these events can accessed at any moment – just press a key… and they appear – like a scene in a film, a game, a contest, a sports match. Even the dead bodies that lie mangled, bloodied or in gory stumps strewn over the mud become the pieces of a broken puppets on a stage. “Hell, one gets used to it…” The sacredness of Life is gone. We have become spectators… and our world has become a spectacle.

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“..a war of liberation against the Combined West..”

‘The Last Battle for the World’ (Batiushka)

When last week Allied troops quit the right (= western, or in this case northern (1)) bank of the Dnieper and so the regional city of Kherson (original population 283,000), confusion reigned among those with a short-term view of this conflict. Probably they had been listening to Western propaganda for too long. Probably they had forgotten that if Russia had difficulties holding right-bank Kherson, then the Ukraine would certainly have even more difficulties. Let us return to some basic facts in order to clear up some of the confusion The government of the Russian Federation was reluctant to intervene in the post-regime change Ukraine of 2014. It always hoped that negotiations and diplomacy would overcome Western aggressiveness and stupidity.

The government of the Russian Federation knew that the USA through its NATO vassals was pumping the Ukraine full of arms and training its troops for the eight years between 2014 and 2022. Therefore the government of the Russian Federation had eight years in which to plan for this conflict, planning different scenarios and also preparing probing and distracting movements, like that towards Kiev last March. One scenario was that the US would continue to intervene on the side of its Kiev puppet and arm it to the teeth, also using NATO countries, officers and huge numbers of mercenaries to prolong the conflict, so that it would develop into a US war against Russia. That is exactly what has happened.

Russia defeated the Ukraine in March, but since then it has had to defeat the USA and its NATO allies, demilitarising them just as it demilitarised the Ukraine in the first month of the conflict. This is why there will be no quick end to what the conflict has become – a war of liberation against the Combined West. A NATO Ukraine with Cargill-Monsanto-Blackstone-Black Rock-owned land, anti-Slav biolabs, potential nuclear arms, US missiles on the border with the Federation, genocide in the Russian East and South, Western globalism and its escaped covid experiment with bioweapons helping it to destroy Russia and so set up its World Dictatorship, became more and more abhorrent. All this made Russian liberation more and more probable. But liberation only of the willing. And who was willing?

The government of the Russian Federation always knew that in the far west of the Ukraine, formerly Poland, there was hatred for Russia and therefore it had no interest in taking that. The government of the Russian Federation and its Allies first had to free its allies in the Donbass and then demilitarise and denazify the rest of the ‘Anti-Russia’ Ukraine, which was threatening its survival. Today Ukraine is running a budget deficit of up to $5 billion per month, with the country’s military spending increasing fivefold to $17 billion for the first seven months of 2022.

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Why do they want a pipeline that has no gas flowing through it?

Poland To Seize Gazprom Assets (RT)

Warsaw is set to confiscate the assets of Russian energy major Gazprom, the country’s media reported on Monday. The move will target the company’s 48% stake in EuroPolGaz, which owns the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe pipeline that used to carry Russian gas to the EU. The decision to seize Gazprom’s shares was reportedly made by Minister of Development and Technology Waldemar Buda at the request of Poland’s Internal Security Agency. It is intended to “ensure the security of [Poland’s] critical infrastructure,” the ministry said. According to the media, Polish authorities said the order should be implemented immediately and established a mandatory administration in respect of the Russian entity to ensure the continued functionality of EuroPolGaz, a joint venture between the Russian gas major and Poland’s PGNiG.

The Polish energy major also owns a 48% stake in EuroPolGaz, and Gas-Trading SA the remaining 4%. The Yamal-Europe gas pipeline passes through Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany, and it used to carry nearly half of Gazprom’s westbound gas deliveries. Poland’s sanctions against the Russian gas producer have deprived the company of its shareholder status in EuroPolGaz since April, blocking its voting rights and the ability to repatriate dividends. In May, the Polish government terminated a Russian natural gas contract without waiting for its expiry at the end of 2022, saying the country’s section of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline could be used for supplies from Germany.

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G20 – G7 = BRICS. Not exactly, but close.

G20: What Does It Mean For Putin And The Event Itself? (Maxim Hvatkov)

Participants of the G20 summit have already arrived in Bali, and it seems that some wish Putin was there. French President Emmanuel Macron has stated the need to continue dialogue with Russian President, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz admitted that “it would be good if Putin went,” and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan believes that the participation of his Russian counterpart would be appropriate. All this is against the backdrop of China’s support. The Washington Post has written that Western countries are alarmed by the partnership between Putin and Xi. The newspaper’s sources do not think that Beijing will refuse to support Russia at the summit even after the meeting between Biden and and the Chinese head-of-state.

Although several days have passed since Sergey Lavrov’s trip was announced, it is still unknown whether any bilateral meetings are planned for the Russian minister. In particular, Moscow has yet to mention a possible encounter with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The main news about Lavrov in Bali, so far, was pushed by AP and some other Western outlets, on Monday, reporting that he had been taken to hospital with heart problems shortly after arriving. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said these reports are “top-level fake news”. The diplomat, who is also in Bali, said that she was reading the news with the foreign minister and they both “just couldn’t believe our eyes.” Earlier she announced that Lavrov plans to speak at the summit about Russia’s initiatives to provide food and energy to foreign markets. In addition, Moscow’s agenda includes presenting its plan to enhance gas cooperation with Turkey.

[..] However, it is not known whether the 2022 Bali summit will be useful in helping the world take a step forward in overcoming the Ukrainian crisis, as some expect. So far, all the statements of Western leaders have indicated the opposite. Western countries have been putting pressure on the summit’s host to exclude the Russian Federation from the event since Vladimir Putin announced the military operation in Ukraine last February. For example, the US president’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said that Russia can no longer take part in the international community’s business “as usual,” while Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau even suggested that his country should take Moscow’s place in the G20 club. Nevertheless, Indonesia sent an invitation to President Putin, despite the pressure.

[..] The G20 format was born in the late 1990s after the Asian financial crisis, when the mainly Western countries in the ‘Big Seven’ – the US, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Canada – realized that a number of large economies were not participating in discussions on global issues. The newcomers invited to the table include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, India, Indonesia, China, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, South Korea, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and the European Union. However, the format did not reach its current status until the next global financial crisis, in 2008-2009. Prior to that, the meetings had only included finance ministers and the heads of central banks. However, subsequently world leaders themselves met at the summits annually to consult, first and foremost, on financial and economic issues. In 2013, the G20 was held in St. Petersburg. [..] The G20 countries are home to two-thirds of the world’s population. They also account for 85% of world GDP and about 75% of world trade.

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Ballots, not votes.

GOP Nears House Majority With Two Race Calls In Arizona (JTN)

A Monday night vote dump from Arizona prompted the Associated Press to call two more congressional races in favor of Republican candidates, nearly one week after the Nov. 8 midterm elections. The AP called the contest in Arizona’s 1st District for the GOP’s David Schweikert and the 6th District race for Republican Juan Ciscomani. The outlet has projected Republicans to win 214 seats thus far, meaning they need just four more to claim the speaker’s gavel from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Republicans currently lead in seven of the 16 remaining uncalled races. Of those, one is New York’s 22nd District in which Republican Brandon Williams maintains a 4,000-vote lead over Democrat Francis Conole.

In Colorado, Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert is hanging on to a slightly more than 1,000-vote lead. All remaining races currently favoring Republicans are in California. Should Williams and Boebert triumph, the GOP would need to win just two of the five California races in which they currently enjoy leads to take the House, barring any unexpected leader flips in the nine uncalled contests currently favoring Democrats. The final result, regardless of which party wins the House, is likely to be one of the narrowest margins of control in the history of the lower chamber.

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Dr. Radhika Desai, a professor at the Department of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada and director of the Geopolitical Economy Research Group. She also writes on current affairs for Valdai Club, CGTN, Counterpunch and other outlets and is the author of Geopolitical Economy: After US Hegemony, Globalization and Empire and Capitalism, Coronavirus and War: A Geopolitical Economy

Midterm Success Brings US Democrats To A Historic Dilemma (Desai)

Pictures of a smirking President Biden graced the front pages of newspapers in the days following the midterm elections. The worst fears of the Democrats – that they would lose both houses of Congress to the Republicans in an electoral debacle that would pave the way to a MAGA Trump presidency in 2024 – remained unrealized. The feared ‘red wave’ had turned into a ‘red ripple’, and President Biden was already talking of running again in 2024, when he will be 82. How sound is this assessment? While the results are yet to be finalized, we know that the Democrats will likely continue narrowly controlling the Senate thanks to the casting vote of the vice president, and that the Republicans will gain a small majority in the House. All the praise for Biden for not losing more comes from comparisons with past midterm losses for incumbent presidents.

However, this fails to take account of critical recent changes which, if factored in, indicate not so much a secure electoral future for the Democrats but the possibility that the Democrats may have jumped from the proverbial frying pan of the increasingly complex structure of US politics, into the fire. Politics scholar William Galston has noticed the change. Speaking of US presidential elections, he observed that ‘between 1920 and 1984… the contest between the two parties resembles World War Two, with a high level of mobility and rapid gains and losses of large swaths of territory. By contrast, the contemporary era resembles World War One, with a single, mostly immobile line of battle and endless trench warfare.’ Given how few seats changed hands, it appears that this logic also applies to congressional elections, and despite recent demographic changes – college education, urbanization etc. – somewhere between 40 and 45% of the US electorate remains solidly Republican.

Moreover, Biden and his Democrats appear to have lost an unpopularity contest, rather than won a popularity contest. As President Biden’s approval rating plumbed new depths, many Democratic candidates shunned him in their campaigns. President Trump, for his part, didn’t do much better. Though most of the candidates he endorsed won, none of those he endorsed for highly contested races did. Many commentators blamed this on his emphasis on candidates who agreed with his false narrative of the ‘stolen’ 2020 presidential election. It led him to scrape the barrel of candidates, and to choose some pretty unattractive specimens. With Ron DeSantis pulling off a spectacular victory in Florida, the possibility that he will replace Trump as the Republican nominee for president is being canvassed. Even if that happens, Trumpist politics are going nowhere anytime soon.

This is clear from many aspects of the voting pattern. The small gains the Democrats made came very substantially from women and young people, generally turning out in large numbers and voting Democrat because they felt strongly about abortion rights. However, this factor may lose its utility for the Democrats if, as seems increasingly the case, the Republicans also soften their stance on abortion. For the rest, the gains came from the usual source, money. Not only was this the most expensive midterm ever, experts suggest that the Democrats outspent the Republicans very considerably. This has returned US elections to the pattern where elections are essentially bought by the highest spending party, a pattern that the election of President Donald Trump very briefly reversed.

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“..Trump would have to commandeer a vehicle in order to enact his agenda. The only possible vehicle that could assist him was the GOP. This party’s leadership had no desire to enact Trump’s populist revolution..”

The Triumph of The Centre (Soldo)

Film and television have trained our brains to expect narrative arcs in everything we experience, from rising action, through to a climax, and ending in a denouement. Real life is not like this at all, but many of us cannot help but to interpret at least some of our own lives in this fashion. We apply this trajectory to our high school lives, our first romantic relationships, even our careers. Thinking that we are at the centre of a story helps give our lives meaning, and we are all guilty of it from time to time. The rise of political theatre is also hostage to this frame of reference. We are wont to perceive political developments progressing along a neat and tidy storyline, with all the ups, downs, shocks, disappointments, and celebrations that are built into traditional storytelling. At the end, our political option is the winner, and they all went home happily ever after.

2016 USA is a classic case of this: two simultaneous challenges to the status quo came out of nowhere to threaten the ruling elites. From the left, the ‘BernieBros’ promised Americans a fairer deal that included goodies like universal healthcare. From the right, #MAGA tapped into the powerful energy of the GOP base and its rejection of mass migration, de-industrialization, and open hostility to ordinary, everyday Americans emanating from the coastal elites. For #MAGA, 2016 was indeed a fairy tale; an example of ‘people power’ where the people steamrolled first their own party’s elites, and then those of the opposing party as well. This massive surprise went to people’s heads (and to be fair, rightly so). The feeling was that the system could be reformed, the ship steered back ‘on course’, and that America genuinely could be made ‘great again’.

The problem was that it was one thing to win an election, but it was a totally different thing to actually govern and lead a revolution. And let’s be honest: a revolution is what the overwhelming majority of Trump voters in 2016 wanted. They saw a system that not only did not work for them, but was actively working against them. Trump tapped into this populist sentiment when no one else did, and rode it to the White House. Unfortunately for his supporters, Trump was no revolutionary and his presidency was a disaster thanks in part to the ruling elites subverting it, in part due to his own incapability, and also due to an Act of God. You wanted a revolutionary, instead you got a reality TV show host who was excellent on the campaign trail, but utterly out of his depth in the Oval Office.

He wasn’t the first to be ill-suited for the White House, but he was the first in a long, long time that [was] not fit and not installed by the elites. One man cannot do it all alone. The US system is a set of checks and balances to ensure that precisely this cannot happen. That means that Trump would have to commandeer a vehicle in order to enact his agenda. The only possible vehicle that could assist him was the GOP. This party’s leadership had no desire to enact Trump’s populist revolution and immediately got to work to strangle his agenda, while using him to implement their own (e.g. Paul Ryan’s tax cut bill in 2017 or SCOTUS appointments).

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There are 19,000 “coins”?!

FTX Implosion Takes Its First Crypto Victim (RT)

The cryptocurrency Solana, associated with the bankrupt FTX exchange, continued its three-day retreat on Monday to trade at around $14 a token. The price is now down 95% from its all-time high of $259.96 last November. The token has lost 61.6% of its value in the last seven days, according to data firm CoinGecko. The drop is a result of the November 8 collapse of the FTX crypto exchange, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday. Since then, the price of Solana has declined by 51.5%, which translates into a $5.5 billion loss in market value. The launch of bankruptcy proceedings by FTX came days after larger rival Binance abandoned plans to acquire the company and left it with the task of raising roughly $9 billion from investors and rivals to stay afloat. Binance backed out of the deal after a due diligence examination and recent reports of mishandled customer funds, as well as alleged investigations by the US authorities into the company.

Meanwhile, blockchain research firm Nansen revealed over the weekend that $662 million flowed out of FTX’s US and international exchanges. The firm’s main wallet, which was used to process withdrawals, was drained of its entire balance of 45.8 million FTT tokens, worth an estimated $97.2 million, Nansen said. On Monday, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao announced plans to set up an industry recovery fund in an effort to “reduce further cascading negative effects” of the FTX bankruptcy. Zhao added the fund will assist otherwise strong projects that are facing a liquidity squeeze. The crypto market has lost 17.6%, or $188.4 billion, since November 7, with major crypto Bitcoin sliding down 22.4% in one week. Ether, the second cryptocurrency by market value, has fallen 24.4% over the past seven days.

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“Daily volume hit a high of around $11 billion in mid-2021, at a time of soaring cryptocurrency prices and high market volatility—ideal conditions for both a hedge fund and an exchange.”

What the Collapse of FTX Means (Burja)

After beginning his career in traditional finance at leading quantitative trading firm Jane Street Capital, Bankman-Fried’s initial forays into cryptocurrency began in October 2017 with the founding of the cryptocurrency hedge fund Alameda Research. According to Bankman-Fried, it was founded initially to take advantage of a persistent but hard-to-exploit 20% disparity between the Bitcoin price denominated in Japanese yen and the same price denominated in U.S. dollars, one that lasted until January 2018. From there the firm expanded to quantitative trading more broadly across the entire cryptocurrency domain, moving its headquarters from California to Hong Kong, and later to the Bahamas, due to the difficulty of establishing and maintaining relationships with banks in the U.S. as a cryptocurrency trading firm.

It remains unclear why exactly Bankman-Fried and Alameda decided to start their own exchange. There are two sources of natural fit between an exchange and a quantitative trading firm: one legal, the other less so. The trading firm, acting as market maker, can supply the liquidity the new exchange needs to attract and retain new users. Alameda’s constant presence trading on FTX, initially providing almost 50% of liquidity, was almost certainly largely responsible for the site’s massive growth, as it grew trading volume from $50 million a day to $300 million a day in just four weeks between June and July 2019.16 The nascent exchange also benefited from a timely outflow of customers from the cryptocurrency exchange BitMex, at the time under investigation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC) for illegally providing services to U.S. residents.

Alternatively, however, the exchange’s customer funds can also be used as capital for the trading firm to use on its own account—an illicit practice, as unlike banks, an exchange ostensibly keeps all customer deposits available for redemption and rather makes its money from transaction fees. That FTX’s spreads were notoriously tight, even in its early days, might suggest that Alameda was making money in a different way to the typical methods of market makers.17 FTX soared in popularity thanks to the high leverage it offered,18 provision of cross-margining,19 attractive user interface, and high-quality liquidity and risk engines. Daily active users grew from two thousand in 2019 to almost 15,000 in 2020 to over 60,000 in 2021. Daily volume hit a high of around $11 billion in mid-2021, at a time of soaring cryptocurrency prices and high market volatility—ideal conditions for both a hedge fund and an exchange.

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It’s beginning… “We now have $1 trillion in consumer debt on top of $4.1 trillion of Biden debt.”

Corporate Layoffs Are A Warning Sign Of Coming ‘Economic Crash Landing’ (JTN)

Three days after President Biden said the country’s “not anywhere near a recession right now,” Amazon founder and Executive Chairman Jeff Bezos warned a sharp economic downturn is looming. “The economy does not look great right now,” Bezos told CNN on Saturday. “Things are slowing down. You’re seeing layoffs in many, many sectors of the economy. The probabilities say if we’re not in a recession right now, we’re likely to be in one very soon.” The billionaire entrepreneur declined to estimate how long he thinks the recession would last but cautioned people to prepare for a time of economic struggle. “Take as much risk off the table as you can,” he said. “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”

Two days after the interview, several media outlets reported that Amazon plans to lay off about 10,000 employees in corporate and technology roles beginning this week, the largest job cuts in the company’s history. Amazon’s decision was the latest in a string of recent corporate layoffs amid fears of a coming recession next year. Last week, for example, Facebook parent Meta announced the company is laying off 13% of its staff. Meanwhile, Disney is planning a hiring freeze and some job cuts, according to an internal company memo obtained by CNBC. [..] economic experts have been warning a recession is looming. “I think we are on the verge of a debt-driven economic crash landing,” economist Stephen Moore told Just the News. “These layoff announcements are the canary in the coal mine. We now have $1 trillion in consumer debt on top of $4.1 trillion of Biden debt.”

Americans could hold nearly $1 trillion in collective credit card debt before the end of the year due to historically high inflation, which has caused everyday costs such as food to skyrocket. According to experts who previously spoke to Just the News, soaring inflation was caused by Biden’s economic policies — namely too much spending — combined with the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates near zero while continuing to print money. Now the Federal Reserve is raising rates to slow down the economy in order to combat inflation. Doing so, however, may push the economy into a downturn, even a recession, next year. Still, the Biden administration and some economists remain optimistic that the economy can avoid such a fate with a so-called soft landing. Many projections, however, see the situation differently.

There’s a 65% chance of a recession within the next 12-18 months, according to a survey of economists conducted by Bankrate, a consumer financial services company, for its Third-Quarter Economic Indicator. That estimate is up from 52% in its second quarter survey and about one-third in its first quarter survey. Meanwhile, Bloomberg economists’ projection models from last month show a 100% chance of an economic downturn by October 2023, up from a 65% probability for the comparable period in the model’s previous update. The CEOs of both Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, the U.S. and European economic teams for Barclays bank, and former Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren are among those who also forecast a recession next year.

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Symbolic numbers.

World Population Expected To Hit 8 Billion On Nov. 15 (JTN)

The world’s human population is expected to reach 8 billion on Tuesday, according to a United Nations report released earlier this year. The United Nations will host events on Tuesday to mark “milestone in human development” that is the “Day of Eight Billion,” according to NEXSTAR. The population cleared 7 billion just 12 years ago and is expected to reach 9 billion in another 15 years. “This is an occasion to celebrate our diversity, recognize our common humanity, and marvel at advancements in health that have extended lifespans and dramatically reduced maternal and child mortality rates,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in July, per the outlet. “At the same time, it is a reminder of our shared responsibility to care for our planet and a moment to reflect on where we still fall short of our commitments to one another.”

The milestone will come as international representatives meet for the COP27 climate summit and float a draft agreement to establish an international climate damage fund that would compensate poorer countries, often some of the most densely populated, for climate-related damages. Many details, including funding sources and damage amounts, remain undetermined and the plan is likely to stall in the international community, barring extensive revisions. Approximately 70% of births occur in low-income and lower-middle-income nations, NEXSTAR observed. Those countries will account for 90% of global population growth in the 15-year period leading up to the projected 9 billion figure. Many such countries would be beneficiaries under the draft U.N. plan.

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A Father Fights for His Son & What’s Left of Democracy (Lauria)

These personal attacks were planned as far back as March 8, 2008 when a secret, 32-page document from the Cyber Counterintelligence Assessment branch of the Pentagon described in detail the importance of destroying the “feeling of trust that is WikiLeaks’ center of gravity.” The leaked document, which was published by WikiLeaks itself, said: “This would be achieved with threats of exposure and criminal prosecution and an unrelenting assault on reputation.” An answer to these slurs and the missing focus on Assange as a man is Ithaka. The film, which made its U.S. premiere Sunday night in New York, focuses on the struggle of Assange’s father, John Shipton, and his wife, Stella Assange, to free him.

If you are looking for a film more fully explaining the legal and political complexities of the case and its background, this is not the movie to see. The Spanish film, Hacking Justice, will give you that, as well as the more concise exposition in the brilliant documentary, The War on Journalism, by Juan Passarelli. Ithaka, directed by Ben Lawrence and produced by Assange’s brother, Gabriel Shipton, humanizes Assange and reveals the impact his ordeal has had on the people closest to him. The title comes from the poem of that name by C.P. Cavafy (read here by Sean Connery) about the pathos of an uncertain journey. It reflects Shipton’s travels throughout Europe and the U.S. in defense of his son, arguably the most consequential journalist of his generation.

The story begins with Shipton arriving in London to see his son for the first time behind bars after the publisher’s rights of asylum were lifted by a new Ecuadoran government leading to him being carried out of the embassy by London police in April 2019. “The story is that I am attempting in my own … modest way to get Julian out of the shit,” Shipton says. “What does it involve? Traipsing around Europe, building up coalitions of friendship.” He meets with parliamentarians, the media and supporters across the continent. Shipton describes the journey as the “difficulty of destiny over the ease of narrative.”He speaks to the European Parliament in Strasbourg and the German Bundestag in Berlin. In Paris, Shipton admits to supporters that “he’s not okay, but I say he’s okay not to worry people.”

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Home Forums Debt Rattle November 15 2022

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    Salvador Dali Sick Boy (Self-portrait in Cadaqués) 1923   • US Scrambles To Reassure Ukraine After Milley Comments On Negotiations (Pol.) • Zelen
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle November 15 2022]


    Santino Blanco, the four-year-old boy who had been the face of Argentina’s national vaccination campaign has “died suddenly”.


    4 year old face of Argentina’s child vax campaigns dies suddenly



    Last month, the European Commission proposed new measures to ease the liquidity issues many energy companies currently face in meeting their margin requirements when using derivative markets. The Commission is increasing the clearing threshold from $3.01 billion (3 billion euros) to $4.01 billion (4 billion euros). Below this threshold, non-financial firms will not be subject to margin requirements on their OTC (over-the-counter) derivatives. The EC also temporarily expanded the list of eligible collateral to non-cash collaterals, including government guarantees.

    “Both these measures will provide much needed relief for companies, while also maintaining financial stability,” the Commission said.

    Here’s a wild out there thought: What if they had access to a product to sell?

    Dr. D

    “Tom Brady, August 07 2022” Well that didn’t age well. That’s forty days?

    Aaaand It’s Gone.

    There is something about the immediate and widespread press on FTX. That it’s “allowed”. However, it is a pretty big story, so it’s hard to tell.

    Faith is an oasis in the heart which will never be reached by the caravan of thinking.” –Khalil Gibran
    How gauche. Everyone knows your heart is stupid and your mind is smart.

    “Zelensky wants “effective security guarantees” and insists on an international meeting where the agreements are laid down in a peace treaty.”

    A peace treaty like Minsk? Where you shelled 14,000 of your own people for ten years while building Europe’s largest army for invasion? You can’t have “effective security guarantees” when you are “not agreement capable.” …But Ze never meant that at all, he could care less what happens to Russia. What he meant was “How can WE have security guarantees by disarming and bringing Russia to heel permanently, as a start of cutting them up and destroying them?”

    “UN Calls on Russia to Pay Ukraine Reparations (RT)”

    Again, this goes both ways. So now Russia cannot join the UN-world even if they wanted to. Nor can the Global South, knowing such a resolution will be put on them, Saudi Arabia for instance. Steal all their money. All the things! Like China’s overseas bank assets. Canadian Kenworths. So that entire world MUST create, and work exclusively within, a parallel system.

    At the same time, the other solution to this is now clear: rather than leaving a rump Ukraine within the city of Kiev, now Ukraine must cease to exist altogether for all time. Congratulations, UN, you just promoted total war.

    P.S. where are Russia’s reparations? Or Poland’s? How about Abenaki? Winnebago? Aboriginal? Flemish? Greek? Basque? Great plan. That shouldn’t cause any trouble or nothing.

    “people view this operation – as spectators: …What is at the base of these kinds of reactions?”

    Because they’re children. They’ve haven’t been punched in the mouth and left in a ditch enough.

    This is key, and key to the madness and insanity – bloodthirsty, unthinking insanity – of the West. The reason is, everything we do, think, see, say, is an abstraction. Christmas decorations are out, and what do we see? A Tree. Except it’s not a REAL tree, it’s a plastic tree, the #Opposite of a tree. It’s a PAPER tree, the picture of a tree, that is, a Representation, a tree WORD. A tree, supporting trees, made from the #Killing of trees.

    And so on with Reindeer, which no one has ever seen, with Santa, which is an abstraction of the holiday, for Jesus, who is an abstraction of an event, a representation of a man-box, which you can project nearly any other thought into.

    Not only that, ALL Western life is nothing but abstractions. Every day we see abstractions of chickens. Chickens on cartoon, chickens on the box, Chik-fil-a billboards, even chickens in a vacuum pack. But you will never see a real chicken. Probably most of the whole society has never seen one in person, ever, watched them go around, do their thing, live their life, come to bed at dark, wake up in the morning.

    I see the TERRIBLE writing in Hollywood now. OMG, “Gawd-’elp-us”, just moronic, infantile, illogical, cross-emotional, psychopathic cross-dressing drivel. It makes no sense. It delivers no story. Why?

    It’s all merely re-hashes of OTHER stories, tropes. Those tropes were themselves abstractions. Somewhere, 100 layers down, there was once a real story of a real person, or based on actual reality, as lived, experienced, and understood by someone. Maybe in 1911. Thus you have this America-That-Never-Is, in well, anything, but “Supernatural” comes to mind. The Rural version of “Friends” where five barristas afford a palatial apartment in Manhattan across from Central Park. Or the Abstraction of “Gremlins” (A Christmas movie), where the town isn’t from the 80’s, it’s Spielberg’s Boomer childhood of the 1950’s projected to 1980 when it had already failed and ceased to exist.

    …Today’s movies are “DinoLand IV: the Dinosty”, which is a rehashes of “Jurassic Park III”, which is a re-hash of “Jurassic Park I”, which is a rehash of Spielberg, which is a rehash of 1980, which is a rehash of 1950 someone once actually grew up in. …And THAT person, that young boy, grew up there, but mostly read books and watched “Lone Ranger” and “Hopalong Cassidy” on TV, with a thin layer of being outside and going to school on the side.

    This is equally true of the plots, and here’s more to the point. Same as they have no idea what chickens are, what trees are, what towns are, that it’s not “Hill Valley” (“Back to the Future”, a contradiction and abstraction meant as a joke, but as words have no meaning, becomes credible and real as “Elm Street”) but a boarded up mile and two nail salons beside a station with no gas: the real rural world if “Supernatural” actually was shot not on on a Paramount back lot with CGI. Pictures of tractors but no tractors. Country Kitsch of a goose or a butter churn, but no geese or cows.

    No, the same thing is with the plot, the thinking. Their abstraction of 50 years of torrential fire-hose, brain-melting stark raving nonsense is MacGiver disarming a nuclear bomb (stolen from WalMart using a muscle car, is made of tin foil and silly string, has no weight, no maintenance, no parts, and no radiation signature) and fixes it a pocket knife and a piece of duct tape. The baddies shoot no bullets, or no bullets that hit. Yet are a real threat who are baddies that practice with guns all day. A paper sign or 2010 Nissan car door can stop bullets, which never are shot below the doors at your ankles. Police stations are always like Google Corporate headquarters, which have the latest electron microscopes that project to wide-screen TVs. When you ask a question, like “Who did this?” the answer appears BEFORE the crime even occurs. Like when they knew North Korea hacked SONY before the q-bits had left the building.

    Their thinking is equally warped, abstracted, has had no contact with reality FOR GENERATIONS. Nor, as I’ve said, are you likely to get any. Even if you left your bubble at Vassar, would you see a real chicken working at Popeye’s while living in a trailer in Harper’s Ferry? No. If you were a oil worker, that is, actually contacting real things almost always, who would you tell? You’re a freak. What you say makes no sense to anyone else in American culture, and when you say “Don’t put your head in the industrial shredder” they say “You don’t own me, you racist, misogynistic hater! Your words are violence! I’ll do what I want!” So what do you do? Let them? They’re like a nation of two-year-olds, 250 million strong.

    …And so it is with the present war. It has the same reality as “Spy Kids” and “SpongeBob”. Russia is both so strong they fix every election worldwide but so weak they ran out of bullets back in March. They’re so smart they bomb their own pipelines and shell their own nuclear stations. –Who can figure out villains which on TV make no sense, have no purpose, and always lose? They’re both attacking with the whole Russian army, and don’t have enough men to defend a small town. They both own Ukraine-as-Russia and plan to irradiate it — themselves — forever.

    Peace talks are no different. Because villains are illogical and war has no point, thus peace also has no conditions and no purpose. The purpose of all things is to let the Good Guys win. Simple! And we’re the Good Guys, so “Know Your Place.”

    It’s simply impossible.

    And so, for examples, like a movie, like “Chuck” or “The Social Network”, when a 20 year old from MIT appears with a weird haircut, he’s OBVIOUSLY a computer genius. Can’t you see my black turtleneck? – Do I have to switch to my lab coat now? – And so OBVIOUSLY, like in the movies, 30 minutes into the movie, he’s “Wolf of Wall Street” and has made a BILLION dollars. With a short montage. Duh. Like, did you think it would take an hour? NO! We have to get to the climax here. All the people go “Looks legit to me!!!” and pile in a $160M NFL-Supermodel fortune.

    They have NEVER SEEN REALITY. They LITERALLY CAN’T TELL. So what is the world where the one-eyed man is king? No. In the story, the King who didn’t take the poison is thrown down a well as a raving madman, while the raving madmen are quite happy with themselves, their clarity, morality, and strength of judgment. Golf clap: good show old sir.

    How WOULD you see reality? Well, it would be like The Matrix: Dark, cold, hostile, miserable. Forever. Given a choice, the human animal will invariably pick endless, non-stop, pan-optical, universal, and highly approving fantasy. Where by joining, your life and status is not in danger.

    So this is the full background of “Not Agreement Capable”, and why Russia cannot negotiate with Ze for “Security”. This is why they’re just “spectators”, “consumers” with thoughtless advice they would never take themselves, then pick themselves up and carry on.

    Well, I gotta go buy an abstraction of Gingerbread cookies to hang on a tree and pin to a wall. These cookies talk, dance, and tell salty one-liners. Probably have batteries. One thing they don’t have is Ginger, Bread, or Cookies.

    Just like Christmas Trees have neither Christ, nor Mass, nor Trees.

    Thus we have Blinken, as “We’re the Good Guys”, therefore like American Movies for 50 years, we run the world, are the biggest and best, and whatever we say wins. Duh. So we say “Russia, you hereby lose” like any rich bratty kid playing Monopoly and setting house rules. Russia – and the planet – are like “Whaaaaat?” What game, what rules, and what enforcement? We never came to your house and never agreed to anything.

    “By contrast, the contemporary era resembles World War One, with a single, mostly immobile line of battle and endless trench warfare.’

    So…the Gilded Age.

    “Midterm Success Brings US Democrats to a Historic Dilemma (Desai)”

    We follow this as if it’s serious and real when Biden, who couldn’t fill a School Gym, won with 5 million more votes than there were voters. In 2022, in every contested state – but ONLY the contested states – Every mail-in ballot went Democrat, 100% of every Independent went Democrat, and 30% of all Republican mail-ins went Democrat.

    THEN winning surprise victories 4 days AFTER election, with perfect margins. With $50B recycled through Ukraine, FTX, and back to these races. But sure, we’ll do post-election analysis and never discuss “election deniers” again. Unless they’re the entire DNC Headliners, for 6 years straight.

    “this the most expensive midterm ever,”

    With $50 Billion spent through one avenue alone, I would think so.

    “Film and television have trained our brains to expect narrative arcs in everything we experience, from rising action, through to a climax, and ending in a denouement. Real life is not like this at all, but many of us cannot help but to interpret at least some of our own lives in this fashion.”

    Seems to be a theme today. Because we’ve consumed 150,000 hours of fiction, and like 10,000 hours of reality by the age of 20.

    “‘people power’ where the people steamrolled first their own party’s elites, and then those of the opposing party”

    Yes, except Trump just un-rigged the existing rig better, probably with Navy Seals, and having never played that card before, they didn’t see it coming. In 2020 and 2022, they fortified their fraud.

    “a revolution is what the overwhelming majority of Trump voters in 2016 wanted.”

    As words have no meaning, and a “Tree” is not a “Tree” War = Peace, Ignorance = Strength, then yes. But a “Revolution” is the violent overthrow and replacement of the existing government. Being “elected” means you are gaining control and directing the existing government. That is, they are #Opposites. But all things and their #Opposite are the same now, now when words have no meaning.

    Things wander from to and from their #Opposites almost minute-to-minute, masks, election denying, Russia, Practically every headline is the reverse of the previous. The “DoubleThink” becomes “DoublePlusThink”, thinking #Opposites at the same time, and not only don’t have a problem, they don’t even notice.

    Thus any Election = Revolution. An unarmed protest = a violent coup. One person dying, mostly by accident = “worse than 911 and Pearl Harbor combined.” Speaking is violence, but violence is merely speech. There’s no end, so why bother?

    Let me translate: Me = Good ; You = Bad. All thoughts follow accordingly.

    “cryptocurrency exchange BitMex, at the time under investigation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC) for illegally providing services to U.S. residents.”

    The CFTC? So Gensler’s co-worker arranged to kill and exchange and move their customers over to his boss’s daughter’s company, the one who found a billion dollars and donated to to his boss?

    “President Biden said the country’s “not anywhere near a recession right now,”

    “Subprime is contained” — Bernanke. “We will never see another Recession in our lifetimes” – Yellen. No one notices. Nothing is descredited.

    “there’s a 65% chance of a recession within the next 12-18 months, according to a survey of economists”

    Once again, they can’t predict it even when we’re ALREADY IN ONE. By definition. “Two quarters of declining GDP”. But they changed what the definition of “is” is. And can never be fired because we have neither capitalism nor markets. Failure is no obstacle. Consequences have been suspended, forever and ever, in a perfect world without God, where reason will never exist again.

    World Population Expected to Hit 8 Billion on Nov. 15 (JTN)”

    Like other Science, is this data all completely made up and we only reached 6 Billion? Who reports? Who checks? How would you tell?

    “March 8, 2008 …destroying the “feeling of trust that is WikiLeaks’ center of gravity.”

    Is that the Letter agency account that edits Wikipedia 10x a day, every day, 24 hours a day, including every holiday? Maybe you might look into that one. Maybe pull his account? And Colbert saving all the Elephants.

    Ithaka. Assange is just another abstraction. It can’t happen here. It didn’t happen to us. And if we don’t look out, we’ll be in a Recession, a War, or Lose Our Democracy and Free Speech.

    Menopause Vest: Signaling is real. The Real is just signals. That is reality = my mind.

    I need a new hobby. This one isn’t paying.


    Why do they want a pipeline that has no gas flowing through it?

    • Poland To Seize Gazprom Assets (RT)

    It’s a 21st century Polish joke ;>)


    Tom Brady —FTX—-

    Really deflated ball


    G20 – G7 = BRICS

    At this point, the G20 covers as much of the important stuff as a G string

    The rest of the world can see which side of the bread the butter is on and it’s NOT the Empire of Lies or Eurotardistan or the Four-Eyes.


    So sad :>(



    I had to duck duck “menopause vest” because I had no idea what it was. It is unconditionally just plain dumb. Full stop.

    Having gone through menopause … a “hot flash” is not just about feeling extra warm for a brief period of time. The “hot flash” itself, and the hormones that stimulate it, alter your body’s chemistry and, to some extent, impact your ability to think straight. Not the end of the world, you get used to hot flashes and adjust to whatever circumstances you’re in when they hit (ie, in a work meeting … avoid offering opinions or talking much until it passes because … you kinda can’t think straight …)

    So tired of how effing stupid people can be. Here’s a clue for biological men: you aren’t women. You can’t replicate our reality so you can experience it. Full stop (again … see first sentence).


    A tip of the hat to Dr D

    “…..the reason is, everything we do, think, see, say, is an abstraction……”



    Executive Summary

    Failed leadership

    You ran out of time/It’s now or never
    You want to be/think you are/anointed to lead/smarter than ….
    ….. Pick one problem and solve it …..

    30 Global Problems for the social/economic/political leaders

    1. Great Depression 2.0./recession
    2. Inflation100% .
    3. Great Stock Market Crashes, FTX bankruptcy
    4. Supply line disruptions/delays/failure
    5. Bank failure/financial crisis/rising interest rates/credit card failure/lending failures/rising taxes
    6. Increase Death and misery/drug overdose/suicides/vaccines/long covid/addiction
    7. Restructuration
    8. Real estate crash/re-evaluation
    9. social instability
    10. Wars (trade/information/propaganda/chemical/biological/emp)
    11. Mass migration
    12. deindustrialization
    13. pension funds totally collapse
    14. layoffs/bankruptcies
    15. Jubilees/canceling debts
    16. increase in crimes
    17. increase police activities
    18. freeze and seize assets
    19. censorship
    20. increase emergency use/war measure acts
    21. Failure of educational institutions
    22. unreliability/fudging/lying of statistics
    23. Increase of wrong opinions and lack of facts
    24. increase of disinformation/misinformation
    25. Increase of …. Quiet Quitting, decrease of assuming responsibilities, increase of fault pointing, avoiding responsibility
    26. loss of electrical energy. ( Too many functions to list that are needed/required for the operation of war, finance, and the operation of social/economic/political structures
    27. Decreasing cheap natural resources
    28. Global weather extreme/fluctuations
    29. Worldwide food insecurity
    30. Political instability
    “The sacredness of Life is gone. We have become spectators… and our world has become a spectacle.”

    The Kherson question

    The Kherson question Notes and reflections by Nora Hoppe for the Saker blog
    6939 Views November 15, 2022
    • ‘The Last Battle for the World’ (Batiushka)

    ‘The Last Battle for the World’

    Russia defeated the Ukraine in March, but since then it has had to defeat the USA and its NATO allies, demilitarising them just as it demilitarised the Ukraine in the first month of the conflict.
    Today Ukraine is running a budget deficit of up to $5 billion per month, with the country’s military spending increasing fivefold to $17 billion for the first seven months of 2022.

    Democrats/Biden lowest popularity
    Democrats/Biden beat the “Red Wave” with abortion rights and student loan forgiveness


    The UN has jumped the shark, as they used to say.


    GOP Nears House Majority With Two Race Calls In Arizona (JTN)

    And so those Democrat congresspersons, having been told it is UP TO THEM to pass an abortion law if they want one, spent all their time protesting this decision instead of passing the law they want.

    For example, a law that makes abortion definitely legal, within x number of months of pregancy, in cases of rape. One page, no pork, no additional clauses, just the one thing. Put it out there and dare Republicans not to pass it.

    But it made more sense to protest on the steps of the Supreme Court against being able to do that.


    Re: Dr D’s post about American Disassociation

    makes me think of an oldie but goodie in the doom-o-sphere from 2010. I STRONGLY recommend anyone Dr D’s post struck a sympathetic chord to read it.

    Sleep, Dreaming, and National Suicide (from Charles Hugh Smith’s oftwominds blog)

    The news lately is a blizzard of destruction: wars, recession, the financial crisis, deficits, drugs abuse, and border wars, random violence, declining education, energy crisis and the Deepwater Horizon, national policy, corporate malfeasance, collapsing communities, bankrupt cities, states, and nations, the list goes on and on. How did we get here? What’s causing all this bad news?

    To me it’s simple:

    All these effects are symptoms of Depression.

    Not Economic Depression, like the 1930s stock crash, but National Depression, the psychological state.

    Are we crazy? Are we trying to commit national suicide?

    And I’m here to tell you in no uncertain terms the answer is “YES!”, that’s exactly what we’re doing, complete with the panoply of symptoms and not-so quiet cries for help.

    Depression is not some random disease, a chemical imbalance caused by losing the genetic lottery. Depression has several causes, clearly-defined, clearly-traceable, clearly-provable, clearly-curable. The main cause of depression is simple: it’s cognitive dissonance. That’s a fancy way of saying, you have two ideas that don’t mesh and are at war with each other. It’s a way of saying, you’ve swallowed a lie or a pack of lies, and they’re poisoning you from within.

    Full essay:


    I have a great idea for a Babylon Bee article.

    Take all the tropes of news stories regarding “quiet quitting” and Chinese millennials “lying flat” and do a story about how the Republican Party finally admits, they got “fed up with all the bullshit” and have “quiet quit” years ago — “my constituents (my boss) only noticed a drop-off in my productivity this November …and I quiet quit FIVE YEARS ago!” etc. Practically writes itself.


    So tired of how effing stupid people can be. Here’s a clue for biological men: you aren’t women. You can’t replicate our reality so you can experience it. Full stop (again … see first sentence).

    Women and men recover differently from strokes – ie, from brain damage. Due to different brain structure. There are no scientific studies showing that men who blast-email their coworkers that they will be “living as a woman” gain post-stroke health benefits.

    As a person who believes in actual science not The Science™, I feel fairly certain that human intelligence, thought, consciousness resides in the BRAIN and is thus human thought, consciousness, is a physical event in the brain. This is given confirmation by, for instance, if you take a drug that affects the brain, your thoughts change. If your brain is damaged, your ability to think and remember may change, etc.

    To be a female consciousness in a male body, you would need a FEMALE BRAIN. But female brains physically exist only in female bodies. Female brains are a female body part that men do not have. Otherwise men attempting to recover from strokes would declare themselves to be women to regain the use of half their body or face, the ability to walk, the ability to form sentences, etc – it would be so worth it that everyone would do it.

    Even if we had super advanced nanotechnology that could rebuild a man into the shape of a woman, hypothocated off their one X chromosome… in order to experience reality AS, not as if a woman, you’d need a female brain structure. This would require tearing down the EXISTING structure, your brain, your consciousness, WHICH IS YOU.

    The best you could do, perhaps, would be to create a new female person with your memories who believes she was once you. But there would be no continuity of consciousness. You would end and they would begin. Your body would act merely as raw materials for building someone new. So why create this new female person with your memories destructively? If you could do a non-destructive scan and build her from scratch, leaving you alone, then you could continue living AND there could be a female sort-of-not-but-kinda-you. You’d have time to survey the results, watch them claim to be you and to have your memories, and see if suicide would be desirable and have any logical connection to creation of this new person.

    You need a female brain in order to experience reality as a female. Not possessing a female brain, a man can only say “I imagine what a woman might feel like and believe that I feel like that.” To then throw on a flower dress, some pearls, and a handbag, and say “THIS IS YOU.” is sort of the ultimate mansplain isn’t it?

    But it will be argued, oh but the MIND could be female even if the BRAIN is not.

    No, the brain IS the mind. The physical things occurring in the brain ARE your thoughts, your consciousness. To argue otherwise is an old RELIGOUS argument, that the consciousness…. the SOUL, follows you around like a ghost, CAUSING all the physically observable things happening in the brain but being the actual seat of consciousness independent of what is physically there, what physically happens.

    Dualism. Physical brain. Disembodied spiritual mind. Superstition. Religion. Not science. Anytime you have Dualism, that’s what you’re discussing.

    So dudes claiming they “feel like” a woman without the brain architecture to do so is silly. But at least they have an X chromosome. At least there is SOME basis for a claim to femaleness however vague. For people possessing no Y chromosome claiming maleness… er…. there is no scientific study showing the females who blast email their coworkers that they shall be living as a man recover worse from strokes. You need the brain of a man to feel and think like a man.


    In the Hispanic communities near where I live, there are lots of free-roaming chickens, occasionally guinea fowl, too. Same with the (mixed races) ruralfolk communities further out, although they have more space for more critters to roam. I’ve also seen free-roaming goats in a little spot tucked away into a downtown space of the city, and a pot-bellied pig in another. While the Hispanic communities do demonstrate a kind of resilience regarding food security, they’re much more willing to tolerate trash, litter, and watershed pollution on the other hand. The Vietnamese and/or Laotian community also tends to have varied gardens and herbs, with some chickens, but they’re surrounded by Hispanic folk.The other major races, White and Black, whether suburban or inner city, tend not to have any gardens, nor chickens, and the amount of trash and litter and watershed pollution scales with the class: more litter, poorer; more fertilizer run-off, richer.

    I’m going by a factory later today to see about a job. At least it’s in walking distance in case my truck breaks down (again). I hate that they destroyed very tall pines and a creek to build the thing, but I’ll plunder Egypt as much as the next slave.

    Also, the abstraction of abstraction is not the eternal abstraction. 🥠


    ‘The UN should never choose sides in a conflict. That makes it obsolete’

    Unfortunately, the point of failure was reached in the late 1940s, when the UN failed to resolve the Korean peninsula matter via discussion and negotiation and became a proxy for NATOstan nations to attempt to impose their rules on all Koreans.

    The intervention of the Russians and Chinese stymied the plans of the fascists, and the war continues to this day, though actual military incidents are fairly rare.

    The initial problem was, after the Japanese capitulated, the Koreans said, “Yay, after 35 years of occupation we can rule ourselves again,” (or the Korean equivalent of that) and set up their own government.

    As in Italy and Greece etc. at the end of German occupation of much of Europe, it was the wrong kind of government: socialist.

    Obviously, Uncle Sam and the City of London could not allow that. So American forces were hurriedly dispatched from Japan, to set up and prop up a puppet government.

    After a bloody conflict, in which an estimated 3 million Koreans were slaughtered, the NATOstan nations decided it was not in their interests to fight an all-out war with the USSR and China, and a ceasefire was agreed to.

    The NATOstan nations forces went home for a short rest before attacking somewhere else; primarily Vietnam.

    Since then, pretty much every aspect of UN intervention has been a spectacular failure in terms of the outcomes for its victims. However, it has demonstrated itself to be an excellent organisation for money-laundering, drug-running, human trafficking and career opportunism.

    NZ’s very own Helen Clark was appointed to a position at the UN, with special responsibility for the looting and subjugation of Africa.



    Regarding those who identify as LGBTQ 2004 and later…based on what I’m seeing among my kids’ friends, it could be higher still for the subsequent generation. I think that it’s largely a social construct, and not inborn. I don’t think that (at least around here) that this increase is due to overt teaching of the schools — my daughter was introduced to LGBTQ by her peers. I’d rather LGBTQ be introduced as overt curriculum so that I, as a parent, can preview the curriculum and either excuse my child or supplement it at home.


    Polemos: “Also, the abstraction of abstraction is not the eternal abstraction.”

    Good one. Two thumbs up. 🙂


    What I would not have learned if there was not a web

    Canadian Military admit cannot//don’t know how to deal with white nationalist
    The following is the list of well-known white nationalist organizations, groups and related media:
    White nationalism is a political ideology which advocates a racial definition of national identity for white people; some white nationalists advocate a separate all-white nation state. White separatism and white supremacism are subgroups within white nationalism.[1] The former seek a separate white nation state, while the latter add ideas from social Darwinism and National Socialism to their ideology.[1] A few white nationalist organization leaders claim that they are mostly separatists, and only a smaller number are supremacists.[1] Both schools of thought generally avoid the term supremacy, saying it has negative connotations.[2]
    The following is the list of well-known white nationalist organizations, groups and related media:


    ‘The rest of the world can see which side of the bread the butter is on and it’s NOT the Empire of Lies or Eurotardistan or the Four-Eyes’

    The Scorpion will feel insulted. NZ is a key member of the Five-Eyes (US, UK, Canada, Australia, NZ), and has been ‘punching above its weight’ since it sent troops to South Africa in the late nineteenth century to help The City of London kill Boers, to get to the gold and diamonds.

    Currently, all NZ mainstream media articles are plastered with Ukrainian flags, to demonstrate ‘our solidarity’ in warfare, theft, money-laundering, Ponzi finance, production of chemical and biological weapons etc.


    jb-hb, given your claims, do you think Donald Hoffman is wrong, misguided, uneducated, ignorant, or wrongly interpreting facts available to both of you? Here is an introductory take, and here is a much longer form, but both are conversational, not academic papers.

    The argument(s) there isn’t(/aren’t) saying that the soul, ghost or consciousness or whichever, is “causing all the physically observable things happening in the brain,” but rather the perspective that one can step out from one’s own first-person viewpoint to an objective “observable” reality is not one justified by our contemporary science anymore. You want to say the old school metaphor of ghosts and goblins still persists in a dualism positing minds distinct from bodies (or “brains” as you say, and yet, have you never felt something in your gut? Or, even, talked with those who live there, inside it? They certainly talk with your body all the time!), so we’re left with religious arguments about which comes first. Okay, but reducing mind to body presupposes that one is engaging in the reduction in the absence of one’s own mind, one’s own body, one’s own participation in a world while performing that reduction. This presupposition is what Hoffman and others say is no longer tenable, if you follow where science, actual science, leads those willing to investigate. To say that something is “physically observable” is the giveaway: where are the observations taking place? One response: “In the brain, duh!” And for whom? “The brain, duh!” But if the construction of observable reality occurs as operations within the brain, then what are observed are not the “things” out there in a supposed separable space, but the constructions of reality produced by many collaborative and competitive systems in a virtualization —the observations are models, limited and dependent upon not just the sensors, but also on the particular ways these sense-receptions (of perceptions) pass through the modules filtering and tagging and amplifying, and discarding.

    So, we’re not at a point where we say dualism is wrong or insufficient or incorrect, leaving us with blessed monism where the mind is the brain. We’re right back at inhabiting a virtual existence of representation, algorithmically induced through biocomputational wetware, because <i>we’re inside it, still there in the cave, still shown images of shadows whose higher multidimensionality in their formal existence gets flattened only onto the particular surface we can use for constructed objective —as in, a reality of objects, not a reality independent of any subjectivity— reality.

    It feels like we’re moving through time. Science, the actual science, knows better: it’s holographic information presented onto a surface having an appearance of greater dimensionality, but only through the reconstruction process initiated by a consciousness inhabiting a particular (re)presentation, when there is no such thing as Time and where there is no such thing as Space. If the experience of being a person, having a life, being a man (or a woe man), is fundamentally an illusion, then you’re not rid of dualism, or any n-ism, at all.

    You’re inside a façade, with a separate existence informing the mechanics of that illusory experience, where that separate existence — even if it includes the models in which you live, move, and have your being— is nevertheless of an order of reality and being inaccessible to your own modeling of it. This isn’t a collapse of reality into a singular existence: it’s necessitating at least Two realities.

    And suddenly, we’re right back again at the pre-Socratics, the Vedics, the Tao, the Neoplatonists, all the old school philosophical viewpoints where diversity, the ten thousand things, begins when the Two appears.

    Dr. D

    The American Financial System decides what to do about FTX:

    I have to say that part about suicide being an internal war, of memes I guess, seems very true. As a nation we are at war of memes, or rather paradigms.


    An Unfortunate Dualist (The Mind’s I, by Douglas R Hofstradter and Daniel C Dennett)

    Once upon a time there was a dualist. He believed that mind and matter are separate substances. Just how they interacted he did not pretend to know-this was one of the “mysteries” of life. But he was sure they were quite separate substances.

    This dualist, unfortunately, led an unbearably painful life-not because of his philosophical beliefs, but for quite different reasons. And he had excellent empirical evidence that no respite was in sight for the rest of his life. He longed for nothing more than to die. But he was deterred from suicide by such reasons as: (1) he did not want to hurt other people by his death; (2) he was afraid suicide might be morally wrong; (3) he was afraid there might be an afterlife, and he did not want to risk the possibility of eternal punishment. So our poor dualist was quite desperate.

    Then came the discovery of the miracle drug! Its effect on the taker was to annihilate the soul or mind entirely but to leave the body functioning exactly as before. Absolutely no observable change came over the taker; the body continued to act just as if it still had a soul. Not the closest friend or observer could possibly know that the taker had taken the drug, unless the taker informed him.

    Do you believe that such a drug is impossible in principle? Assuming you believe it possible, would you take it? Would you regard it as immoral? Is it tantamount to suicide? Is there anything in Scriptures forbidding the use of such a drug? Surely, the body of the taker can still fulfill all its responsibilities on earth. Another question: Suppose your spouse took such a drug, and you knew it. You would know that she (or he) no longer had a soul but acted just as if she did have one. Would you love your mate any less?

    To return to the story, our dualist was, of course, delighted! Now he could annihilate himself (his soul, that is) in a way not subject to any of the foregoing objections. And so, for the first time in years, he went to bed with a light heart, saying: “Tomorrow morning I will go down to the drugstore and get the drug. My days of suffering are over at last!” With these thoughts, he fell peacefully asleep.
    Now at this point a curious thing happened. A friend of the dualist who knew about this drug, and who knew of the sufferings of the dualist, decided to put him out of his misery. So in the middle of the night, while the dualist was fast asleep, the friend quietly stole into the house and injected the drug into his veins. The next morning the body of the dualist awoke-without any soul indeed-and the first thing it did was to go to the drugstore to get the drug. He took it home and, before taking it, said, “Now I shall be released.” So he took it and then waited the time interval in which it was supposed to work. At the end of the interval he angrily exclaimed: “Damn it, this stuff hasn’t helped at all! I still obviously have a soul and am suffering as much as ever!”


    “Faith is an oasis in the heart which will never be reached by the caravan of thinking.”
    ~ Khalil Gibran”

    A lovely quote, and rhetorically, it nails its target, but I wish to note that thought and faith have a symbiotic relationship. As for The Prophet, I always liked what these guys did with Gibran’s work:

    River of Deceit


    As for menopause vests, they remind me of this:



    Between jb-hb and Polemos, I am learning new data and ideas. 🙂 A song for them:

    Around the Bend


    “He took it home and, before taking it, said, “Now I shall be released.” So he took it and then waited the time interval in which it was supposed to work. At the end of the interval he angrily exclaimed: “Damn it, this stuff hasn’t helped at all! I still obviously have a soul and am suffering as much as ever!”

    Reminds me of a Zen (I think) parable.

    A monk is accused of murder.

    At the trial, all he says is, “Is that so?”

    He is convicted, sentenced, & imprisoned.

    A year latter, new evidence exonerates the accused.

    The judge apologizes, says, “You obviously didn’t commit this murder.”

    “Is that so?” he replies.


    “Every day that it doesn’t happen is another day to prepare.”


    Polemos, You want me to climb inside your assumptions, and then from within your assumptions do battle? With something vague enough to defy attempts to grapple? Nah.

    If Life Is But A Dream, then it’s a dream in which there is a thing called observable, consistent reality that we dream, which is an illusion, but which is incredibly consistent just as if it were a reality. So rather than saying “Reality is a dream” just say “Reality is Reality” and then you can be even more exact by saying ….reality.

    Just go ahead and show the data that people sustain verifiable, measurable brain damage and go on with their lives normally all the time, better even. Show me people taking large quantities of brain-altering drugs but experiencing no change to consciousness because their soul is not their brain.

    Or does the belief in dualism stand fast wherever science does not yet go, but retreat from everywhere it DOES go? Compared to where it was 1,000 years ago for instance.


    The US is ‘expecting a winter fighting pause’!

    A bizarre statement considering how Russia has used winter for their most effective fighting. They think of winter as their friend.

    Temperatures in Ukraine can drop to -20C during winter. Russia builds weapons able to stand low temperatures as standard. Are western weapons equally capable.

    The Ukraine troops will have a miserable time, dependent on a steady stream of food and fuel which may have problems getting through.


    Joe Rogan.


    A Truth

    For those who’s toilet bowl water flushes down clockwise, global cooling has begun.

    For those who’s toilet bowl water flushes down counter-clockwise, global warming has begun.


    Phoenix: ” I’d rather LGBTQ be introduced as overt curriculum so that I, as a parent, can preview the curriculum and either excuse my child or supplement it at home.”

    “overt curriculum” … Do you imagine the school is being transparent with you about what they’re teaching your children? You may wish to do more research on this topic.

    As a parent, your question *should* be … why is the school teaching LGBTQ at all? Reading, writing, spelling, arithmetic, science, history, etc. Isn’t that the teaching role of schools?

    How, for crying out loud, did we get to the point where our schools should teach LGBTQ?

    I find it all quite insane.


    WES, you’re absolutely hilarious. Because of your comment, I just went and flushed the toilet.

    Global cooling has begun at my house. 🙂

    D Benton Smith

    The elite cabal ‘s primary error is no great mystery and no surprise at all. Their error , to put things as succinctly as possible, is that they are simply wrong. About everything, including the calculated outcome that robots (which they themselves have no slightest idea of how to build, repair or fuel) will provide the luxurious lifestyle they envisage for themselves once those dirty and deplorable useless eaters are dead. Picture a corpulent infant demanding provisions from on unseen slave , neither of which exist.

    The fools even believe that there are two Gods (of which they believe the lesser to be the greater, and so worship Lucifer). How stupid can one get? Two PRIME creators of the Universe?. No wonder the silly bastards think 2 + 2 = 5. They can’t tell the difference between 1 and 2.

    Polish media claim that two Russian missiles fell on the territory of Poland near the border with Ukraine.
    Boris Rozhin
    , edited

    A Ukrainian Tochka-U missile was shot down over the Belgorod region. As a result of the fall of debris, 1 woman died. 1 more person earlier. Earlier it was reported about the shooting down of several missiles in the Valuysky district of the Belgorod region. Also this afternoon, as a result of the shelling of Shebekino, 2 people were killed and 3 more were injured.
    Boris Rozhin

    Ukraine has stopped pumping oil through the Druzhba oil pipeline to Hungary.
    Boris Rozhin

    Poland’s demands to apply the 5th article of the NATO charter against Russia means that we are forcing ourselves to come to the expected situation of the Cuban Missile Crisis, where Russia has 2 choices – either to endure some direct NATO strike, or to directly convey to opponents that any direct NATO strike on the territory of the Russian Federation will lead to the activation of the russian nuclear doctrine.
    Boris Rozhin

    There were reports that the wreckage of the missile that fell in Poland belongs to the Ukrainian air defense missile of the S-300 complex.
    A fragment of the missile that fell in Poland belongs to the S-300 air defense system.
    The first photo shows a fragment of a rocket that fell in Poland.
    The second photo shows the wreckage of the S-300 anti-aircraft missile, which fell in Dagestan on 08.10.2020 during the Karabakh war.

    If the information about the death of two Poles is correct, then in this way the air defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine today not only killed a woman in Kiev hitting an apartment building, but simultaneously killed two Polish citizens.

    As part of formal logic, NATO is obligated to defend every inch of Polish territory and retaliate against Kiev.
    Boris Rozhin

    70 of the 90 missiles were shot down.
    And a house in Kiev.
    And a Polish tractor.
    And two Poles.
    Boris Rozhin



    Official statement of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation on the destruction of the Ukrainian air defense of the Polish tractor:

    Statements by the Polish media and officials about the alleged fall of “Russian” missiles in the area of the village of Przewodów are a deliberate provocation in order to escalate the situation.
    No strikes were carried out by Russian weapons of destruction against targets near the Ukrainian-Polish state border.
    The wreckage published hot on the heels of the Polish media from the scene of the incident in the village of Przewodów has nothing to do with Russian weapons of destruction.
    Boris Rozhin


    Operation Gladio “lands” in Poland.

    Zelensky warned that further attacks could follow and called on people to stay in shelters.

    Good, stay cold in your basements UKR/Nazi cockroaches. Donbas karma… You can deny reality with your narratives, but you can’t deny consequences with reality.

    Butt buddies choo choo and rednecker should be along any minute now fist bumping and filling each others holes with their two minutes of hate.

    #Ukraine derangement syndrome, #Russia derangement syndrome #Putin derangement syndrome… hahaha must be so hard to “bear” for the little bitches…


    I don’t bookmark TAE, just pull it from google memory by clicking my cursor in the search field. Today google offered to “resume your search”, frankly lifting its skirts to show me how intimate it wants to be (and already has been since more or less day one of the infamous Don’t Be Evil company’s existence… and here I’d thought I was only playing with myself.. and so I was, but with google watching, I don’t feel so alone?).

    I declined not on principle or illusions of privacy but because I weary of letting bots do everything. I do not yearn for a transhumanist future where my Inner Guide suggests that it could give me an erection right now since it senses that my wife quietly wants some sparking.


    As for the great riddles of consciousness/reality: goldfish in bowls have a warped limited view of reality. Escaping the boundaries of their limited perspective is usually fatal, however. Why we’re here and what we should do about it are things we seem able to do little more than chat about with others or ourselves (I have about ‘leventy-seventy, mahseff) although doing strong entheogens or having NDEs seems to offer convincing insight for those who do so, even though shared descriptions of them tend to lack lack convincing detail despite the obvious conviction of the describers.

    All that remains is just a fragment of song….


    So long as my toilet flushes downward not upward, the other two axes of motion can do as they wish.

    Which reminds me to share this schoolyard doggerel my older son learned in the MIssouri Elementary School System, sung to Handel’s Messiah:

    Joy to the world!
    cuz Barbie is dead:
    I Bar-bie-qued her head!

    No need to hide the body
    I flushed it down the potty:
    And round and round it goes
    And round and round it goes,
    And ro-ound and ro-o-ound and round it goes.

    (sigh I miss the 20th Century. Kid sings that in the school yard now they’ll be put on Ritalin and antiDs.

    Here is proof that it is time for someone to cull the population and end this insanely inane culture we’ve created:

    Trigger Alert or Participation Trophy? U Decide

    Notice the uncannily powerful effect the music has. Everything is more interesting with a good beat that’s easy to dance to. Me, I want a toilet that applauds AND provides a laugh track when I flush. Toilet Ring Tones sounds wrong but that’s why I like it.


    However, when jb-hb projects at Polemos in the ever popular Aggressive Argument as Discussion mode, the thrill fades fast.


    By the Law Of Finger Pointing, you must be projecting your projection.

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