Dec 212023
 December 21, 2023  Posted by at 9:23 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Pablo Picasso The old fisherman 1895


SCOTUS Should Rule Unanimously (Turley)
Colorado Undermines Democracy in the Name of Democracy (Peter Meijer)
Colorado’s Supreme Court Blocks Democracy to Bar Trump (Turley)
Trump Gets Surprise Boost With Young Voters Amid Biden Disillusionment (Hill)
The Colorado Insurrection (Victor Davis Hanson)
Yemen Ready to Stare Down a New Imperial Coalition (Pepe Escobar)
Yemen’s Houthis Reveal General Mobilization Action to Send Soldiers to Gaza
Pentagon Concerned With Cost Of Repelling Houthi Attacks – Politico (RT)
Hamas Politburo Seeks End To War, Palestinian State (Cradle)
Russia’s Plan For The Ukraine Conflict In 2024 – 1 (Poletaev)
Russia’s Plan For The Ukraine Conflict In 2024 – 2 (Poletaev)
US Has A ‘Clear Plan’ For Ukraine’s Future – Blinken (RT)
US Senate Shelves Ukraine Aid Talks (RT)






Led by donkeys





Scott Adams: “I’m loving the Colorado overreach. The decision will be reversed. Trump’s poll numbers will go up. But best of all, this gives you permission to assume the 2020 election was rigged – without proof – because “stop Trump at any cost” is evident in this decision.”







A split vote would be pretty bad.

SCOTUS Should Rule Unanimously (Turley)

The Colorado decision to bar Donald Trump from the ballot will be overturned because it is wrong on the history and the language of the 14th Amendment. Dead wrong. The question is whether the US Supreme Court will speak with one voice, including the three liberal justices. As with the three Democratic state justices who refused to sign off on the Colorado opinion, these federal justices can now bring a moment of unity not just for the court but the country in rejecting this shockingly anti-democratic theory. For years, the disqualification theory has been treated like some abstract parlor game for law professors. While Democrats called for the disqualification of 120 House members, it was treated as a fringe theory. It has now lost its charm as a legal brain teaser.

As I have previously written, the disqualification of Trump is based on the use of a long-dormant provision in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. After the Civil War, House members were outraged to see Alexander Stephens, the Confederate vice president, seeking to take the oath with an array of other former Confederate senators and military officers. They had all previously taken the same oath and then violated it to join a secession movement that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans. That was a true rebellion. January 6, 2021, was a riot. That does not excuse those who committed crimes that day — but it was not an insurrection. The majority on the Colorado Supreme Court adopted sweeping interpretations of every element of the decision to find that Trump not only incited an insurrection, but can be disqualified under this provision.

It does not matter that Trump has never been charged with even incitement or that he called for his supporters to go to the Capitol to protest “peacefully.” In finding that Trump led an actual insurrection, the four justices used speeches going back to 2016 to show an effort to rebel before Trump was ever president. There are ample grounds to summarily toss this opinion to the side. However, that would not answer the call of this historic moment. What these four justices did was a direct assault on our democratic process in seeking to bar the most popular candidate in the upcoming election. Whatever the view of Trump, this is a decision that should rest with the voters. Not only are these four justices seeking to bar the votes of millions of voters (even barring the counting of write-in votes), but they are doing so in the name of democracy.

It is the ballot cleansing that is usually associated with authoritarian countries like Iran, where voters are protected from “unworthy” candidates. Justice Robert Jackson once observed that he and his colleagues “are not final because we are infallible, we are infallible because we are final.” A decision on Colorado could put this theory to rest by the sheer finality of the appeal. However, it is not the finality that is needed at this moment. We need clarity. Clarity of purpose and principle. The Supreme Court plays a unique role in our system at times like these. It must at times defy us in rejecting racism as cases such as Brown v. Board of Education. At other times, it has protected in rejecting government overreach as in cases such as Katz v. United States, demanding warrants to overcome the reasonable expectation of privacy. This is a time where it can unify us.


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“I was one of ten House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after January 6. I think the court’s decision is shameful.”

Colorado Undermines Democracy in the Name of Democracy (Peter Meijer)

For years, we’ve been told that Donald Trump is a worse-than-Hitler threat to democracy and that those who opposed him—leading Democrats, the courts, Noam Chomsky, Michael Avenatti, Rachel Maddow, the hosts of The View, even old Twitter—were just trying to protect it. It’s odd then to now be told that the best way to save democracy is by banning Trump from the ballot. That’s what happened in Colorado yesterday, when the state’s Supreme Court ruled in a 4–3 decision that former president Donald Trump—currently the most popular presidential candidate—was disqualified from appearing on Colorado ballots for the 2024 presidential election. The decision—perhaps the most extra-constitutional act by a high court in my lifetime—is astonishing on every level.

First, the reasoning: The Colorado court did it by reinvigorating Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which reads in part that “no person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States” who has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”Those words were written in 1866, less than a year after the Civil War ended, a war in which over 300,000 Union soldiers died to keep America united, in order to bar many former Confederate officials from serving in government. January 6 was my third day in Congress. I had to be evacuated from the House chamber after a violent mob stormed the Capitol that day. I considered it then, and consider it now, a dark and shameful day. But no federal court has found, nor is the Justice Department even alleging, that Trump is guilty of anything close to insurrection or rebellion. And yet here is the highest court in an American state taking upon itself to conclude a violation of federal statute.

Second, the split: The vote was not unanimous, but 4 to 3. As Washington Post columnist Jason Willick noticed, all of the Colorado Supreme Court justices are Democratic appointees, so what predicted their vote was not party, but law school. “All Ivy League grads voted to disqualify. All Denver Law grads voted not to disqualify.” In a time when elite schools appear uniquely removed from reality, amid a political moment defined by elite failure, the irony is profound. Trump campaigns on “saving America” from elites seeking to thwart the will of the people. Those elites, in turn, respond by confirming Trump’s worst allegations.

Third, the consequences: What is extraordinary today will be precedent tomorrow; past exceptions become today’s rule. Bending the law and loosening interpretations to force Trump’s accountability for January 6 into the legal realm will be far more damaging in the long term than whatever Trump’s opponents think they might prevent. Broadening the Fourteenth Amendment understanding of insurrection from the horrendous bloodshed of a civil war or equivalent catastrophe will open the floodgates to tit-for-tat challenges. If Trump’s rhetorical culpability for January 6 qualifies, similar lawsuits against Democratic politicians who encouraged BLM rioters will swiftly follow. Was Kamala Harris giving “aid or comfort” when she fundraised bail money for rioters? You can imagine where this could go.


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“The result is an opinion that lacks any limiting principles. It places the nation on a slippery slope where red and blue states could now engage in tit-for-tat disqualifications..”

Colorado’s Supreme Court Blocks Democracy to Bar Trump (Turley)

In his novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde wrote that “the only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.” The four Colorado justices just ridded themselves of the ultimate temptation and, in so doing, put this country on one of the most dangerous paths in its history. The court majority used a long-dormant provision in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment — the “disqualification clause” — that was written after the Civil War to bar former Confederate members from serving in the U.S. Congress. In December 1865 many in Washington were shocked to see Alexander Stephens, the Confederacy’s onetime vice president, waiting to take the same oath that he took before joining the Southern rebellion. Hundreds of thousands of Americans had just died after whole states seceded into their own separate nation with its own army, navy, foreign policy and currency.

So Congress declared that it could bar those “who have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.” January 6, 2021, was many things — and all of them bad. However, it was not an insurrection. I was critical of Trump’s speech to a mob of supporters that day, and I rejected his legal claims to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election in Congress. However, it was a protest that became a riot, not a rebellion. Indeed, despite the unrelenting efforts of many in the media and Congress, a post-January 6 Harvard study found that most of the rioters were motivated by support for Trump or concerns about the election’s fairness, not by a desire to rebel. Even the Justice Department’s special counsel Jack Smith, who threw every possible charge at Trump in two indictments, did not believe he had sufficient basis to charge Trump with incitement or insurrection.

Much can be said about this decision, but restraint is not one of them. What is most striking about the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling is how the majority removed all of the fail-safes to extend the meaning of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to block Trump. There were a number of barriers facing advocates who have tried to stretch this provision to cover the January 6 riot. The four justices had to adopt the most sweeping interpretation possible on every one of those questions in order to support their decision. The only narrow part of the opinion came with the interpretation of the First Amendment, where the four justices dismissed the free-speech implications of disqualifying presidential candidates based on political position and rhetoric.

The result is an opinion that lacks any limiting principles. It places the nation on a slippery slope where red and blue states could now engage in tit-for-tat disqualifications. According to the Colorado Supreme Court, those decisions do not need to be based on the specific comments made by figures like Trump. Instead, it ruled, courts can now include any statements made before or after a speech to establish a “true threat.” It was inevitable that the Trump-ballot challengers would find four jurists in one state willing to follow something like the Wilde Doctrine. However, it is also important to note that a series of Democratic jurists previously refused to do so in various cases. They did so not out of any affinity to Trump but out of their affinity to the Constitution.

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Trump Gets Surprise Boost With Young Voters Amid Biden Disillusionment (Hill)

President Biden’s problem right now is not simply that his polls are bad. It’s that he is leaking support from key Democratic blocs — and that his nemesis, former President Trump, is doing surprisingly well. The starkest example comes among young voters. A New York Times/Siena College poll released Tuesday showed Trump ahead of Biden by 6 points among registered voters under 30. If such a performance were to be reflected in an actual election, it would make a Trump victory all but inevitable. In 2020, Biden crushed Trump by 24 points among the under-30s, according to the main exit poll — and still won just a narrow electoral college victory. The new poll cannot be dismissed as an outlier, either.

An NBC News survey last month showed a very similar pattern, with voters under 35 favoring Trump by 4 points, 46 percent to 42 percent. It was the first NBC News poll of Biden’s presidency that showed Trump beating the incumbent president overall, albeit by a slim 2-point margin. The findings bring up two intertwined questions: Why is Biden doing so badly with younger voters, and why is Trump doing so well? The first part of the question is easier to answer. The 81-year-old Biden — a relative moderate and a staunch institutionalist — has never been an especially inspiring figure to young voters. Young progressives have been disappointed that he has not taken more expansive action on priorities from climate change to voting rights. Student loan repayments resumed in October after Biden’s efforts to forgive significant student debt were blocked by the Supreme Court.

That left Biden in a vulnerable position — which then became exponentially worse when Israel unleashed a furious attack on Gaza after the Oct. 7 Hamas assault that killed around 1,200 Israelis. Younger Americans are, overall, far more sympathetic to the Palestinians than older generations are. Polls suggest many such voters have recoiled at Biden’s vigorous support for Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the Palestinian death toll mounts. The New York Times poll showed voters under 30 disapproving of Biden’s handling of the Middle East conflict by an enormous margin — 72 percent to 20 percent. “It’s what’s driving young voters away from Biden more than anything, even though it is obviously one part of a larger picture,” said Usamah Andrabi, the communications director for Justice Democrats, a left-wing group. Biden has adopted a tougher rhetorical tone with Israel recently, including saying last week that it was starting to lose support because of “indiscriminate bombing.”

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“..remember Kamala Harris’s summer 2020 boasts about the protests that, she knew (contrary to “fact checkers”) had already a long history of violence..”

The Colorado Insurrection (Victor Davis Hanson)

Donald Trump is being erased from the Colorado primary (and general?) ballot, by warping the 14th Amendment, and in a way never envisioned by its creators. So now can one be guilty by fiat of Confederacy-like “insurrection,” when he has never been charged with, much less convicted of, such a crime?How can a buffoonish January 6th riot become an “insurrection,” when no one was armed, there was no plan to seize power, and protestors were advised by the purported insurrectionist leader “to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard”?As far as election insurrectionary interference, why did liberal journalist Molly Ball label the leftwing effort to defeat Donald Trump in the 2020 election a “cabal” (e.g., “That’s why the participants want the secret history of the 2020 election told, even though it sounds like a paranoid fever dream–a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information”)?

And why did Ball double-down and further call it a “conspiracy” (“There was a conspiracy unfolding behind the scenes, one that both curtailed the protests and coordinated the resistance from CEOs. Both surprises were the result of an informal alliance between left-wing activists and business titans, of CEOs, Silicon Valley billionaires, street protestors…Their work touched every aspect of the election. They got states to change voting systems and laws and helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. They fended off voter-suppression lawsuits, recruited armies of poll workers and got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time. They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation and used data-driven strategies to fight viral smears.”)?

As far as efforts to nullify the popular vote, do we remember the pathetic 2016 ensemble of C-list Hollywood celebrities (e.g., Martin Sheen, Debra Messing, James Cromwell, BD Wong, Noah Wyle, Freda Payne, Bob Odenkirk, J. Smith Cameron, Michael Urie, Moby, Mike Farrell, Loretta Swit, Christine Lahti, Steven Pasquale, Dominic Fumusa and Emily Tyra)? They were drafted by leftwing groups to cut commercials urging the electors to reject their constitutional duties of reflecting their states’ popular votes, and instead, as faithless electors, to vote instead for Hillary Clinton, the loser in their respective states’ popular votes. How did they rationalize that anti-constitutional gambit? Well, remember Martin Sheen’s shameless sophistry to ignore the Constitution and the election results?

“As you know, our founding fathers built the Electoral College to safeguard the American people from the dangers of a demagogue, and to ensure that the presidency only goes to someone who is to an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.” So what makes a high elected official an insurrectionist? Current or past advocacy for using violence against the government, as represented by, say, the Supreme Court? Or urging on more protests that had already turned violent, eventually leading to 35 deaths, 1,500 injured police officers, $1-2 billion in property damage, and a torched courthouse, police headquarters, and iconic church? Attempting to break into the White House grounds? Sending the president into a secure underground bunker?

If so, remember Kamala Harris’s summer 2020 boasts about the protests that, she knew (contrary to “fact checkers”) had already a long history of violence: “But they’re not gonna stop. They’re not gonna stop, and this is a movement, I’m telling you. They’re not gonna stop, and everyone beware, because they’re not gonna stop. They’re not gonna stop before Election Day in November, and they’re not gonna stop after Election Day. Everyone should take note of that, on both levels, that they’re not going to let up — and they should not. And we should not.” What was the Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer intending, when in 2020 he incited a throng at the very doors of the Supreme Court, warning of violence to come to two justices whom he called out by name?“I want to tell you Gorsuch. I want to tell you Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.” “Hit you”?

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“All you need to know about the new “coalition of the willing”. Saudi, UAE and Egypt – soon to become BRICS members – NOT willing.”

Yemen Ready to Stare Down a New Imperial Coalition (Pepe Escobar)

No one ever lost money betting on the ability of the Empire of Chaos, Lies and Plunder to construct a “coalition of the willing” whenever faced with a geopolitical quandary. In every case, duly covered by the reigning “rules-based international order”, “willing” applies to vassals seduced by carrots or sticks to follow to the letter the Empire’s whims. Cue to the latest chapter: Coalition Genocide Prosperity, whose official – heroic – denomination, a trademark of the Pentagon’s P.R. wizards, is “Operation Prosperity Guardian”, allegedly engaged in “ensuring freedom of navigation in the Red Sea.” Translation: this is Washington all but declaring war on Yemen’s Ansarullah. An extra US destroyer has already been dispatched to the Red Sea. Ansarullah sticks to its guns and is by no means intimidated. The Houthi military have already stressed that any attack on Yemeni assets or Ansarullah missile launch sites would color the entire Red Sea literally Red.

The Houthi military not only reaffirmed it has “weapons to sink your aircraft carriers and destroyers” but made a stunning call to both Sunnis and Shi’ites in Bahrain to revolt and overthrow their King, Hamad al-Khalifa. As of Monday, even before the start of the operation, the Eisenhower aircraft carrier was around 280 km off the closest Ansarullah controlled latitudes. Houthis have Zoheir and Khalij-e-Fars anti-ship ballistic missiles with a range of 300 to 500 km. Ansarullah Supreme Political Council member Muhammad al-Bukhaiti felt compelled to re-stress the obvious: “Even if America succeeds in mobilizing the entire world, our operations in the Red Sea will not stop unless the massacre in Gaza stops. We will not give up the responsibility of defending the Moustazafeen (oppressed ones) of the Earth.” The world better get ready: “Aircraft carrier sunk” may become the new 9/11.

Weapons peddler Lloyd “Raytheon” Austin, in his current revolving door position as head of the Pentagon, is visiting West Asia – mostly Israel, Qatar and Bahrain – to promote this new “international initiative” for patrolling the Red Sea, the Bab al-Mandeb strait (which links the Arabian Sea to the Red Sea) and the Gulf of Aden. As al-Bukhaiti remarked, Ansarullah’s strategy is to target any ship navigating the Red Sea linked to Israeli companies or supplying Israel – something that for the Yemenis demonstrates their complicity with the Gaza genocide. That will only stop when the genocide stops. With a single move – a de facto maritime blockade – Ansarullah proved that the King is Naked: Yemen has done more in practice to defend the Palestinian cause than most of the key regional players put together. Incidentally, they were all ordered by Netanyahu in public to shut up. And they did.

It’s quite instructive to once again follow the money. Israel has been hit very hard. The port of Eilat is virtually closed, and its income fell by 80%. For instance, Taiwanese shipping giant Yang-Ming Marine Transport Corporation originally planned to re-route its Israel-bound cargo to the port of Ashdod. Then it cut off any shipments to any Israeli destination. It’s no wonder Yoram Sebba, President of the Israel Chamber of Shipping, revealed himself to be puzzled by Ansarullah’s “complex” tactics and “unrevealed” criteria that have imposed “total uncertainty”. Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan have also been caught in the Yemeni net. It’s crucial to keep in perspective that Ansarullah only blocks ships that are going to Israel. The bulk of maritime shipping in the Red Sea remains wide open. So shipping giant Maersk’s decision not to use the Red Sea, alongside other global shipping behemoths, may be pushing the envelope too fast – as in nearly begging for a US-led patrol to be in effect.

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They mean business.

Yemen’s Houthis Reveal General Mobilization Action to Send Soldiers to Gaza

A general mobilization is being carried out in northern Yemen to send soldiers to the Gaza Strip if such an opportunity arises, member of the political office of Yemen’s Ansar Allah rebel movement, also known as the Houthis, Houtham Assad told Sputnik on Wednesday. “As for the general mobilization in support of our people in the Gaza Strip, it was launched in all provinces, training camps were opened, tens of thousands of young people volunteered to study military craft, several groups have already graduated in various provinces of Yemen,” the official said. The people are being called upon to support our people in Gaza, who are being “subjected to genocide by the Israeli occupation army with the support of the United States” the official said, adding that if the conditions are right then they will take part in military operations in the Gaza Strip.

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They’re firing $2,000,000 missiles at $2,000 drones.

Pentagon Concerned With Cost Of Repelling Houthi Attacks – Politico (RT)

Pentagon officials are worried about the growing cost of countering Yemeni Houthi drone and missile attacks in the Red Sea, Politico reported on Wednesday. This comes after several major freight companies suspended travel through the region, citing concerns over the safety of their vessels. The US Navy has shot down 38 drones and several missiles over the Red Sea in the past two months, according to the US Department of Defense. On Saturday, the US destroyer USS Carney shot down 14 drones – suspected to be launched from Yemen – in one attack alone. The Houthis have stepped up attacks on shipping in the region amid the escalating Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza. With the death toll among the Palestinians reportedly nearing 20,000, the rebels have vowed to continue their assaults until “the Israeli aggression against” their “steadfast brothers in the Gaza Strip stops.”

Politico reported that the cost of using US naval surface-to-air missiles is increasingly concerning, quoting sources from the Department of Defense. Each munition is reportedly worth an estimated 1,000 times more than the drones they’re used on. “That quickly becomes a problem because the most benefit, even if we do shoot down their incoming missiles and drones, is in their favor,” said Mick Mulroy, a former US Defense Department official and CIA officer. He believes the US needs to start looking at cheaper systems more in line with the costs expended by their opponents. The most likely method to be used in parrying Houthi strikes is expected to be the Standard Missile-2, with a range of 92 to 130 nautical miles and costing $2.1 million each. The other available tools for the job – Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles or airburst rounds – are likely to have too limited of a range, Politico’s sources said.

“My guess is the [destroyers] are shooting SM-2s for as long as they can – they are not in [the] business of taking chances on hostile targets getting close,” the former official commented.Their experts estimate that the suicide drones deployed by the Houthis cost $2,000 at most. The US doesn’t seem to have a cheaper option than what it’s using now, Samuel Bendett, an adviser with the Center for Naval Analyses, told Politico, adding that “driving down the cost of such defenses is essential in the long term.” On Monday, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced the formation of an international maritime task force to counter rebel attacks on vessels in the Red Sea. Houthi spokesman Mohammed al-Bukhaiti replied on X (formerly Twitter) that the US measures are an escalation and that the rebels won’t stop until the “genocidal crimes in Gaza stop… no matter the sacrifices it costs” them.

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“Hamas wished to break the 17-year siege on Gaza and put the Palestinian issue back on the table in the international arena.”

Hamas Politburo Seeks End To War, Palestinian State (Cradle)

Hamas political leaders are in talks with the Palestinian Authority (PA) about how to govern Gaza and the West Bank after the war with Israel ends, with the goal of establishing a Palestinian state, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on 20 December. “We don’t fight just because we want to fight. We are not partisans of a zero-sum game,” Husam Badran, a member of Hamas’ Doha-based political bureau, stated. “We want the war to end.” The Hamas leader’s statement marks a change from 7 October, when the armed wing of the group led an assault on Israeli military bases and settlements in which more than 1,200 Israelis were killed, both by Hamas and Israeli forces themselves due to the Hannibal Directive. Hamas wished to break the 17-year siege on Gaza and put the Palestinian issue back on the table in the international arena.

During the attack, Hamas took over 200 Israeli soldiers and civilians captive hoping to exchange them for the freedom of thousands of Palestinians long held in Israeli prisons. Now, after Israel has killed more than 20,000 Palestinians in Gaza, Hamas’s political wing is seeking an end to the conflict. “We want to establish a Palestinian state in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem,” Badran said. Badran also stated Hamas wishes to join the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which represents Palestinians at the United Nations and other international forums. “It will be a national dialogue,” Badran said. “We have always said the PLO should contain any Palestinian faction.” Badran and other Hamas officials say the talks have also included Mohammed Dahlan, a former Gaza security chief with close Emirati and Egyptian support, and former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

“I am no friend of Hamas,” Dahlan said. “But do you think anybody is going to be able to run to make peace without Hamas?” The Hamas political leaders indicated they would be willing to join the PLO and support negotiations for a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. But Badran said that Hamas had no plans to recognize Israel as long as the occupation continues. “The world has no right to ask when people are being killed,” he said. “It’s not logical to ask this question at this time.” Badran denied rumors of a division between Hamas’ Gaza branch and its political leadership in Doha. “The leadership of Hamas, both inside Gaza and outside it, is in complete agreement on strategies and political positions across various issues,” he said. Badran says Hamas is seeking a full-scale ceasefire and a full exchange of captives from both sides. “If there is a ceasefire, our stance is crystal clear: We want an exchange of all-for-all,” he said.

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Sergey Poletaev is co-founder and editor of the Vatfor project. I took the first and last bit of his long article.

Russia’s Plan For The Ukraine Conflict In 2024 – 1 (Poletaev)

Since coming to power 24 years ago, Putin has developed an image as an uncompromising fighter against the enemy, and his promise (of the Chechen war-era) to “waste them in the shi*thouses” tends to be applied to everything, including Ukraine. However, in relations with the West and Kiev, Putin has always been a man of compromise. The principle his policy in Ukraine (as indeed throughout the post-Soviet region) has been to press for an agreement. From the gas wars under ex-Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko to the Black Sea Fleet deal under his successor, Viktor Yanukovich, from the Minsk agreements under Pyotr Poroshenko to the Istanbul epic under Vladimir Zelensky, Putin has never beaten Ukraine to death, but has confined himself to slaps in the hope of making his opponent see the point.

This approach is often criticized, but Putin, like Russian elites in general, fundamentally and organically regards Ukraine as a separate country and has always recognized its right to exist. In this paradigm, Kiev itself has to accept an offer that cannot be refused, and, as insurance, Putin has always created a plan B: In order not to depend on Ukraine for gas, bypass pipelines were built; in parallel with the naval treaty, the Crimean operation was developed (and implemented in March-April 2014), and so on. In the early years, Putin talked directly with the Ukrainian elites, but as Kiev lost its independence, he negotiated with the participation of Western European powers (the Minsk agreements, signed at the second attempt) and, apparently tacitly, the United States. The agreements worked less and less well from year to year, but the approach adopted made it difficult to achieve more.

Moreover, in a vacuum, the Minsk Agreements were a kind of diplomatic triumph: after all, having been approved by the UN Security Council, Minsk-2 became an international legal treaty of supreme force, binding on Ukraine. The backup plan in case Minsk failed was the “special military operation” (as it is known in Russia) in its original form: First, a few months of heightened military tensions, then a full-scale police-style operation to force Kiev to submit to Moscow’s terms. In Istanbul in March 2022, it was proposed to involve the US, the UK, and China as the ultimate guarantors. Beijing did not seem to mind, but the West flatly refused, and Putin waited for his counterparts to get real while he kept Ukraine in his grip by force: tightening and loosening his grip.

Is it working? Well, the West has armed Kiev as much as it can (but without going totally over-the-top, such as massive supplies of long-range missiles), but it has not yet taken irreversible steps, such as Ukraine’s admission to NATO. Meanwhile, the severity of anti-Russian sanctions is balanced by the non-binding nature of their implementation. Whether it’s by secret agreement or on its own initiative, over the past two years a different balance has emerged: the West is not letting Ukraine collapse but is not provoking an escalation, while Russia is bringing Ukraine to its knees but not bringing it down.

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“..the current relative calm may well last until the US elections at the end of 2024. A deal will then be offered to the new administration, whatever it may be..”

Russia’s Plan For The Ukraine Conflict In 2024 – 2 (Poletaev)

The Kremlin’s scenario for the coming year could be as follows: maintain the current intensity of fighting, slowly advance in Donbass and exhaust Ukraine in order to demonstrate to the West the firmness of the Russian position and the futility of hopes for a military victory by Kiev. The offer, which the West cannot refuse, is essentially this: Either you give up Ukraine, or we will crush it as a state and eliminate the threat on a voluntary basis. If Ukraine does not collapse in the coming months, the current relative calm may well last until the US elections at the end of 2024. A deal will then be offered to the new administration, whatever it may be. Putin has done this before: He delayed the Minsk showdown until after Zelensky’s election, and only when he was convinced of his lack of commitment did he give the military operation the green light.

Thus, the military escalation will become another insurance policy for different occasions: in the absence of substantive agreements, a major attack with decisive targets will be launched within the framework of the current operation, and if an agreement can be reached on the demilitarization of Ukraine according to the Istanbul principles and on Kiev’s military neutrality, the sword of Damocles of a new – this time unrestrained – Russian operation will hang over Ukraine in case of attempts to change the status quo. Putin himself has hinted at such a scenario: At a memorable meeting with military correspondents in early June 2023, he spoke of a “second march on Kiev” that would require a new mobilization.

The timing can be gauged from the words of Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu: by the end of 2024, the main tasks in army construction and the development of the military-industrial complex must be completed; according to the budget plans, 2024 is also the peak year for national defense spending, and the result will have to be used somehow. One sign of the preparations for the aforementioned ‘great campaign’ will be a sharp change in official rhetoric. It will be a big, nationwide affair, so military propaganda will have to work at full throttle. But if our conclusions are correct, this is a back-up scenario, and the mobilization is also a back-up scenario.

For Putin, it is more important to make a big deal with the West than to crush Kiev: After all, this is the reasons for which the military offensive is being conducted, and the physical reduction of Ukraine is a side effect. If it succeeds, Ukraine has the chance to become a larger version of Georgia – and that would probably be the best fate for it. No deal is possible in the here and now, but after the failure of Kiev’s counteroffensive, the West is reluctant to send money and arms to keep its client in its current, not-so-good shape. Unless the tide turns, Ukraine’s chances of holding out against the Russian onslaught will diminish with each passing month, and with them the West’s hopes of overthrowing Putin by force.

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What plan? You lost, Antony.

US Has A ‘Clear Plan’ For Ukraine’s Future – Blinken (RT)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that Washington has a clear strategy for the future of Ukraine but warned that financial support is wearing thin as an aid package stalls in Congress. Speaking at his end-of-year press conference at the State Department on Wednesday, Blinken said that 2023 has been “a year of profound tests” as Washington attempts to navigate a series of global challenges in Ukraine, Gaza, and elsewhere.But as signs grow, particularly among Republicans, that US enthusiasm to continue to support Ukraine in its near two-year conflict with Russia is waning, Blinken said to reporters that Washington has a concerted strategy for the future of the country.

“We have a very clear plan,” he said, “to make sure that Ukraine can stand on its own two feet – militarily, economically, democratically – so that these levels of support and assistance will no longer be necessary.” The first of which, he suggested, was to free up additional financial aid for Ukraine so that Kiev can meet its immediate challenges. “We have to help Ukraine get through the next period of time, get through this winter, get through the spring and summer,” Blinken said. He added: “I’m also focused on the fact that they have their own plans to continue.” Pressure from Democrats, and even Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, has so far failed to persuade Republicans in Congress to rubber-stamp a $50 billion military aid package for Kiev.

Dissenting voices in the legislature have insisted that the White House agree on border security provisions as a condition of the deal. Without approval from Congress, Blinken warned that financial aid will rapidly dwindle. “There is no magic pot we can draw from,” he said. “The assistance, the support that we have designated for Ukraine that is running out, that is running down. We are nearly out of money. And we’re running out of time.” Blinken also stated that the US will continue efforts to encourage other countries to provide further support for Kiev, and ensure that Russia’s operation is a “strategic failure.”

Read more …

“They [the US government] were very worried about Russia getting closer with Europe,” Putin said..”

US Senate Shelves Ukraine Aid Talks (RT)

The US Senate will not approve a major new foreign aid package this year, including around $60 billion for Ukraine, after failing to reach a deal on domestic border security, leading lawmakers have announced. Republicans have insisted they will not approve the White House request to send billions of dollars to foreign nations unless the Democrats introduce significant immigration reforms at home. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had postponed the Senate’s Christmas break by a week in the hopes of hammering out an agreement. In a joint statement with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday, the two top senators expressed hope that a deal could be reached “early in the new year.” The statement said senators and the administration of President Joe Biden will use the remainder of the year “to work in good faith toward finalizing” a potential deal.

Unlike the Senate, the Republican-majority House declined to shorten its recess to allow more time for additional talks. Speaker Mike Johnson has called on the White House to present a clear plan on how pouring more money into Ukraine would help it prevail in the conflict with Russia. Biden has accused Republicans of holding the proposed foreign aid “hostage,” and by extension jeopardizing US national security. The National Security Council’s John Kirby reiterated during a briefing on Tuesday that the White House has “no magic pot of money” to tap into, and that existing aid for Ukraine was about to run out. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky addressed the issue during an end-of-year press conference on the same day, expressing belief that “the US will not betray us.”

“We have an agreement, and this agreement with the US will be fully implemented,” he insisted. Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Washington of initiating the Ukraine conflict with the 2014 armed coup in Kiev and using it for selfish gains as he attended a Defense Ministry meeting on Tuesday. “They [the US government] were very worried about Russia getting closer with Europe,” Putin said, adding that Washington successfully created a rift “and now they are putting the financial burden on Europe too.” According to US media, officials negotiating the border deal have agreed in principle to raise the threshold for migrants seeking to claim asylum in the US and to give the government more authority to expedite expulsions. The parties have conflicting positions on which groups of migrants should be kept in custody and which should be paroled.

Read more …





Only 2 years ago.






The “skeleton” of a stingray. Just like sharks, stingrays don’t have any bones. Instead, their bodies are supported by cartilage, which is the same material that our ears are made from. This gives stingrays their bendy, flexible appearance.



Food commercials








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Home Forums Debt Rattle December 21 2023

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    Pablo Picasso The old fisherman 1895   • SCOTUS Should Rule Unanimously (Turley) • Colorado Undermines Democracy in the Name of Democracy (Peter
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle December 21 2023]


    What’s the Republican Agenda? All the above, except the energy industry which they profit from, plus outsource all manufacturing. Also, billions for military bases all over the world and support every war so all foreigners hate Americans.


    I had to be evacuated from the House chamber after a violent mob stormed the Capitol that day. I considered it then, and consider it now, a dark and shameful day.

    What a muppet, a dumb muppet, too dumb for Jim Henson to put him in the line up.

    Dr. D

    Pulled Lincoln off 10 States. Yes the plan is to cause a Civil War. Planned since they floated and pushed Rush Limbaugh out of the blue in 1994. The Red are the designated “South”. However, they needed it to happen in 2016. “They never thought they would lose”. And since it was all illegal, it was so easy to lose. You send the Navy Seals into the rigging rooms and tell them to knock it off. For just a few hours until HRC throws a tantrum on stage – or rather throws such a tantrum that she does NOT come out on stage.

    …And then she doesn’t legally contest it? Because it WAS stolen? What gives, gal? You’re a lawyer. You know the process. So you were then in dereliction of your JOB and in dereliction of your Constitutional and patriotic DUTY if you believed so…and then did NOTHING? You just whined like a baby on Oprah? THAT is a thing I cannot get behind. Glad you lost then if you act like that. …But we all know why, now, don’t we?

    You see the Social Engineering there is a certain required timing for cons and torture. Once they — the Mark — suspect, the con can’t be the same. Once the tortureee is “beyond it”, like Elvy in “V”, it’s not the same. Once Zoomers have met the Trans and Gay people misbehaving, being irrational jerks, they’re not defending them. They know them commonly. Everyone is for protecting all people, which is the sales line for Gen X and Y. You have a sense they — gays — are a victim class, growing up. But a new generation with fresh eyes can say “I’ve met them all, they Iz Peoples.” Not better, not different. Not more equal than others. Peoples. …As I say all the time.

    Now again, there is a certain WINDOW where you are pushing this “new”, and people haven’t adjusted and internalized and can use this gap. A few years later, 2, 4, 8 years, society has digested it and has antibodies to your thieving con. …And so here we are.

    With that, but that’s only one example. We have ones for “UniParty”, “Helping”, “Spreading Democracy”, “Impeachment”, “Bailouts” and like 110 others. How are you going to have a Civil War like this? I mean, here, 6 years later, youse can have the war, sure. YOU CAN’T WIN THE WAR. Why? The war is designed to make people flock to the established power “To return to normal”. Sound familiar? So they can’t dare start the war now, not like before since it would cause them to lose, not win. So they’re fishing around positioning still, looking to realign with a war they can win.

    There isn’t any. Because the population is month by month inoculated against bullshit. A Firehose, a volcano of raw stinking bullshit.

    So far, the White Hats have managed to avoid the mistake of the British counter-revolution of 1860, which was to not realize early enough and not be able to stop a shooting war. Lincoln tried first two years, sending Generals to do nothing all day. As Luongo says, in legal-political terms, the South was correct: It was a Union of States, so states could leave. You can shoot your wife to make her stay in the marriage? And it would over-centralize the Feds as tyrants. BUT: if the South DID leave, the Brits would have re-conquered the American experiment state by state. And this is the prime goal in war: to force your enemy (us) into two equally bad choices.

    Lincoln did the best he could and was on the verge of reversing all the tyranny he had to put in to avoid being chopped up and digested by London, but “Then a Miracle happened” and he was shot, leaving the oligarchs in charge, extracting the South like an African colony for – EXACTLY – 100 years. 100 Years to the day. However, they did NOT get what they really needed, which was bankrupting European loans, and America mostly escaped. It took 50 years of centralization via American oligarchs, then re-tying them to Europe, to get the whole gob.

    You have to understand what really happened and why to understand the same people are doing the same thing to us now. They are running the Russian Revolution Plan on us, dusted off in textbooks, as these pinheads have no imagination. Thank God. But if the idealistic kids see what Marxism is doing, who Antifa are, how racism works, who Great Leader Lenin is and how well the economy is under him, you’re not going to be able to mobilize them for the well-planned Bolshevik Wars.

    Who knew it would be Palestine that would finally get them? They themselves can be killed like rats everywhere, knock off whole states, nothing. But this “Latest Thing”, the new “Victim Class” is what dun it. Okay, fine, I guess the white hats kept trying until they found something. Steering da Biden into sea mines until finally he took on water. Fine, don’t care, I was over it in the 90’s.

    Anyway, how are you going to have a Civil War in these conditions? Even with a banking collapse?

    And to the pic itself, forget taking TRUMP off the ballot, the DNC took RFK, and EVERY. OTHER. Democrat off their OWN ballots. So: No Trump. No candidates. Only Biden in a one-man race with himself. That’s where we are now? And “BIDEN”???? Dude, you are SERIOUSLY desperate. And Deranged. You can see if it were, I dunno, JFK, a young, I dunno, Obama, Trudeau, Newsom before we Knew Some, you can see it would work. Everyone would try – again – to overlook it – again. But Weekend At Biden? Are you FKM?

    And so the kids say too. “• Trump Gets Surprise Boost With Young Voters Amid Biden Disillusionment (Hill) Fine by me. If this is what it takes. I had the offramp decades ago, after 2000 but certainly by “Occupy”.

    Gaza: Yes. The true and only terrifying thing is exactly that we all watch, do nothing, and they know it. Even myself. I can put up the usual harangues, but that is not enough. What is enough I can’t do because there will not be support and the psychotic level of counterattack I will get. So I feel, I too can only watch in horror.

    Just noting it. I am failing here. But as a strategy, that’s how it is. I failed them, and I will carry on with my own, the usual battles and hope that still helps somehow. Every soldier can’t be every where in the war.

    16” inches in NYC. A sign of Global Warming!!! Those jets must be working, quick, fly to Monaco more!

    “I was one of ten House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after January 6. I think the court’s decision is shameful.”

    Civil War. Exactly. THESE are the guys you’re trying to get. By forcing everyone to go too far. Safely. Safely? Yes, the CO court put a stay on their own order. It’s meaningless EXCEPT as a show. But the useless show is working, and not for Colorado, not for the DNC. Then who put them up to it?

    “They’re firing $2,000,000 missiles at $2,000 drones.”

    Just pointing out, there is limited space on a ship. Sorry, there is. And they need to respond to EVERYTHING. That’s a really big ask. So yeah, they can anti-drone, does that mean they have FEWER standard missiles? Then they are susceptible to that. See what I mean? Okay, add an anti-drone escort ship? Then that has its own cost. Welcome to “Reality” where “Time” and “Space” exist.

    “US Has a ‘Clear Plan’ for Ukraine’s Future – Blinken (RT)

    Great! When can we know what that is? 10 years and still waiting.

    Again, “Border Security”??? You guys PRINT THE MONEY!!! So get down in your d—n basement and print some! In fact, WE DON’T NEED MONEY since Trump showed what men and “money” we had was more than adequate if you communicate then deport. The DHS are Tag-and-Release. They’re still shaking hands with everyone and putting them on buses, the only difference in cost is where the buses go.

    Which means? This is a SCAM. A show. It’s all puppet theatre. And Biden doesn’t just say “Sure, I’ll take all the money you want (and do nothing with it, hahahahaha!)” No? He says “I hate money so much!!” and lets Ukraine collapse?

    Tell me how this is not a puppet show. PLEASE.

    Dr. D

    EoinW I feel that. However, that’s the Democratic Platform too. The difference right now is 1/3 of the Republicans are rebelling.

    Phoenix: I don’t know why you feel compelled to jump in and defend Marxism each time. I was just saying this particular reporter was clearly raised in the usual, average, university reporter paradigm and his bias was showing. Clearly the facts of his own article was the government was running a tyrannical terror job on some private corporations, yet he was clinging to language that implied the opposite somehow. Of course usually it’s the corporations running terror jobs ON US, but this particular event was this way.

    Sure, governments, corporations, churches, bakesales, families, can all be run badly and for evil. And are. However, as noted constantly in political theory of ALL stripes, even your run of the mill university Marxism, the key difference in government is their “Monopoly on VIOLENCE.” That’s it. They are the VIOLENCE Industry. That’s their one tell, their single reason. Everyone agrees on this from all sides. And there is a second side that also everyone from every class or paradigm agrees on: Governments PRODUCE NOTHING. They consume. That’s one reason you can’t run a government like a business; they are fundamentally different. But that’s why government is to me, and universally recognized as being acutely and specifically more dangerous and prone to corruption and bad behavior, every where, at every time, in every place in history:

    Imagine a structure whose 1) Job is violence and 2) Takes money from — everyone — to self-fund their sole job. Yeah, that sounds dangerous and tempting alright. You’re really going to have to rein it in and watch that sucker carefully. — Just as you say, the Founding Fathers realized, and did. And knew it would get out anyway, exactly as Jefferson, and many others, said it eventually would. But they did the best they could for us, and it’s our job to do our duties here in the infinite future and live up to them.

    I’m not an anarchist, as that requires the same perfect world Socialism would. So the best we can do at this point is our duties to support a just and restrained government, and WE and our beliefs are the only possible counterweight to it.


    The Empire of Lies and it’s Satanist collaborators have prepared an ‘amusement park’ ride for us

    It’s kinda like Hotel Californicate



    Psychopaths are approximately 1-2% of the natural birth rate.

    Identifying Psychopaths in your culture, your work place, your government, your family is a problem.

    Depending on your cultural circumstances your mileage may vary.

    A Pro Tip is at the delivery room


    The next is in the maternity ward



    Pure Evil has been loosened upon the Land

    “My God, do you suppose it can read?”



    Choices – Synonyms and Antonyms – Relevant or Irrelevant – Fact or Opinion, Promises or Lies
    My Way or The Highway
    Right or Dead wrong.
    Peace or Hate.
    The Willing or Not Willing.
    Poor or Rich.
    Pain or No Pain.
    Riot or Insurrection
    Incitement or Motivation
    Rebel or docile
    Clarity or Democracy
    Israel/Gaza Genocide or Peace
    USA/Ukraine Genocide or Peace
    Follow the Money or Peace
    $2,000,000 missiles or $2,000 drones.
    Hamas took over 200 Israeli soldiers and civilians captive hoping to exchange them for the freedom of thousands of Palestinians long held in Israeli prisons.
    We want an exchange of all-for-all.
    Deal or No Deal
    Commercial or Real
    Dr. D or Accept the System

    (Forget taking TRUMP off the ballot, the DNC took RFK, and EVERY. OTHER. Democrat off their OWN ballots.
    So: No Trump. No candidates.
    Only Biden in a one-man race with himself.
    That’s where we are now?
    And “BIDEN”???? Dude, you are SERIOUSLY desperate. And Deranged. You can see if it were, I dunno, JFK, a young, I dunno, Obama, Trudeau, Newsom before we Knew Some, you can see it would work.
    Dr. D or Accept the System
    Everyone agrees on this from this sides.
    And there is a second side that also everyone agrees on.


    Duh’mericans are classically willfully ignorant of most of the world and only looking at their immediate gratification. It’s a Hallmark of the culture.

    In a perverse way, it’s a deviant form of “Be Here Now’.

    But it has significant draw backs which only emerge under unique historic circumstances.



    Going Down?


    Dr D Rich

    Turley and Carlson distract us all from this:

    …and they are paid handsomely to do so from each of their own closeted enclave.

    No one will “civil war” (((verb))) for Trump. The Donald deserves prison or worse for sanctioning the murder by assassination of an 8 year old, Nawar al-Awlaki.


    There seems to be an overwhelming lack of ‘situational awareness’ in Duh’merican culture.

    And a lack of common courage.

    And common decency.

    And common sense.

    In every aspect of a functioning ‘democracy’

    The ‘body politic’ in Duh’merican can’t find it’s own ass if it looked for it with both hands



    Eurotardistan being addressed by Russia as the “Ukraine Project” shitsthebed.



    …re. olive oil; evoo can indeed be used to saute/brown onions and other veggies…

    Absolutely true.
    Not sure how are you confident if the oil that you purchase/use where you live is true evoo. I was to write a long story, but “Food industry commercials” X-clip above came to my rescue. Sense of regret is a daily feature in shopping, knowing that what one gets is not the real thing despite paying the high price for it. According to Dr D, not to worry, Invisible hand of market lends its justice to cheaters. After all there is FDA to protect us!
    Small trivia:
    Novak Djokovic exclusively purchase his olive oil from the producer on Croatian island Brach (h added to help the proximate pronunciation). The type of oil similar or the same that I remember as real evoo.


    Quotation symbol got switched.
    Ahh, well….

    Just Some Randomer

    @kultsommer – Coincidentally, I visited Brač back in October and brought home a nice bottle of Olive Oil. Lots of locals selling it from little stalls around Supetar. A truly beautiful place.


    @ Dr D…
    Yesterday wasn’t a defense of Marxism…
    My argument is with the way that you characterize a group of people as “Marxist” and then summarily dismiss their perspective. You create a “straw man” and then execute it — and by so doing miss all of the nuance and end up ignoring root problems.

    The US public school system barely addresses Marxism and Socialism, and when it does address them, it generally excoriates both. You suggested that the US public school system is the reason why those educated therein distrust corporations, and I pointed out that, on the contrary, my distrust of corporations stemmed from the corporations’ own advertising, and not from formal schooling. What I *have* observed in the local public school system over the past 15 years as my children have passed through it, is that the students are conditioned to accept authoritarian rule, and a general lack of encouragement for original thinking and critical analysis. These teachings are simply not socialist/Marxist — rather, they are authoritarian and anti-democratic. (Yes, of course these types of teachings were also present in Nazi Germany and the USSR — *not* because of “socialism” — which has so many definitions and permutations that the word meaning is almost indiscernible and I find myself avoiding the term because I do not know how the listener will perceive it — but because these teachings promote the authoritarianism that is inherent to totalitarian systems.)

    It’s as if you have a mental bag labeled “Marxism/Socialism” and throw everything into it that you dislike. The problem with this method — and with straw-man arguments generally — is that is masks the real issues at play. The people who are trying to remake the world as they see fit — the WEFfers, etc. — are not following some “socialist” or “Marxist” playbook. What is going on is much simpler than all of that — a cabal have inordinate power in the current system, that power is slipping away from them, and they are doing whatever they can concoct to attempt to keep and consolidate their grasp of power. Historically, the terms “Marxist,” “socialist,” and “communist,” have been used by the elites — especially after WWII — in order to denigrate individuals who stood up against the elites and the power structures of the elites. (Of course, at the dawn of the USSR many elites of the day supported the Bolshevik Revolution, likely because they wanted to weaken Russia and believed that in the aftermath of the revolution that they would be able to exploit Russia’s natural resources. Stalin didn’t let that happen, so, naturally, the elites ended up opposed to the threat to their world dominance that the USSR posed, and in order to get the populations of the collective West on their side, started things like McCarthyism in the US. Stalin was a ruthless leader, just as totalitarian as Hitler, but since he didn’t attempt world military conquest like Hitler, and due to the fear of nuclear annihilation, the Western populations couldn’t be convinced to have a hot war with the USSR.)

    Like many here at TAE, I enjoy your rants. However, sometimes they set off alarm bells in my mind where I think, no, that simply does not comport with reality as I have come to know it. The Marxism/socialism thing is probably generational — you likely were inculcated at a young age by the elites’ propaganda of the day to see Marxism/socialism as the bogeyman, while I didn’t start really looking at the world outside of my own home until the ‘80’s — by that point, Stalin was long gone, McCarthyism was over, and the elites had just suffered a setback in their plans in the 1970s when a lot of the CIA and FBI’s pernicious stuff (MKULTRA, strong suspicion of involvement in the JFK assassination, files kept by J. Edgar Hoover in order to keep prominent figures in line, etc.,) had been uncovered. I encourage you, when you rant, to look a little deeper — yes, what you complain of is unlikeable, but is it Marxist? Is it socialist? By which definition? My father would likely agree with your terms 100% — but do you want to use generational terms? There may be terms that are more precisely defined, and that will make your rants more biting, more concise, and more widely comprehended.

    (And, quite frankly, I comment because it is enjoyable to do so. Also, I respect your intellect and wouldn’t bother criticizing if that weren’t the case.)

    Dr D Rich

    Oh Jesus


    From prev. thread. Red posted:

    Neil Ferguson is a cunt of high order.

    Yes. ‘Predictive modelling’ of this shoddy type, according to the most charitable view, is akin to using divination stones, Ouija boards, visions from on high, prayer for guidance, etc. to predict the future.

    Fuzzy descriptions by N.F. are BS, but the folklore funny is replaced with,

    *Standard, elaborated, scientific views that are imposed by State authority.*

    Imho. N. F. knew what he was doing with his analyses and predictions. They were, are, sort of marginally clever, superficially convincing. Hey, he gets paid, they like him, he is a hotshot, etc.


    Surviving in our society
    Learn to do, and offer to do, with social skllls, for a “living income”, …..

    1. What they do not want to do
    2. What they cannot do, or do not know how to do


    Croatians that live at coastal part of the country won a jack-pot after the establishment as independent country. Tourism and skyrocketing property values makes that part of the land as true western Europe that they joined. Inland, with the exception of the capital Zagreb, not so much where living lingers on borderline despair.


    Yemen to send soldiers to Gaza.
    Which brings thoughts to “international brigades” in Spain’s civil war.
    Almost all of them mobilized, organized and staffed by the communists.
    Good number of them were the sons from wealthy families of the region. Youth that went to Vienna to study, just to return home with “new ideas” aside from the degree in chosen field. They left comfortable life of luxury, great careers and exchange that for the smell of gun smoke on barricaded streets.
    Few years later hose who survived were, almost exclusively, organizers of independent resistance movements against the Nazis.
    But hurt? Of course you are.
    Bear in mind that over eight decades ago an idea of communism/socialism was a view on Marxism as a real antidote to brutal world that Sharpie lived in (visit the site that TAE introduced me to and check on the “kid”), C. Dickens written about in his fiction stories and Marx expressed through scientific method and charts. Some of the charts show a “family income” contributions from parents down to the six years old child. Later offered great and correct criticism of the brutal system but, alas, could not offer the solution that nobody could.
    I have written before, the Left, real Left, fought in those turbulent times so you can today sit on your comfortable chair and write shit about them. In return the elite obliged to your wishes engineered and served you the “Left” of your imagination that you apparently love – you know, LGB…degenerates, antifa and what-nots.


    Sharpie is Shorpy


    @phoenixvoice — I have to say I’m continually impressed by your posts and insight, particularly this response on marxism/socialism.

    I see so many regularly throw these terms around as synonyms of “evil” while demonstrating zero understanding of what Marx wrote or how these labels comport with that. The fact is that life for citizens in many “socialist” countries has been far better than that in the US. When something works, we should do what we can to copy it, regardless of the labels that are attached to it (usually by those who prefer and benefit from the corrupt status quo).


    Hillary Clinton’s Achilles Heels

    People often overlook that organizing is one of Hillary’s fatal weaknesses.

    This was proven in the early 1990s when Bill Clinton appointed Hillary to spearhead his health care agenda when Democrats had majority control of both the House and Senate. In short order Hillary managed to alienate so many Democrats that the health care agenda failed completely!

    This organizing feature again reared it ugly head while when she was running for president in 2016. Here she so mismanaged Democrat’s grass roots assets that they failed to bring in the needed cemetery votes. Again she successfully alienated everyone with her poor organizing skills.

    Likely Hillary’s first run for president in 2008 probably lost to Obama for the same reason.

    Her attempts to run in 2024 quickly got her nowhere. People remember she is a proven loser.

    John Day

    @Phoenixvoice: Hear, Hear! Well said, Sister.
    The word is not the thing, as one might say.
    “We” have what classical economics sought to minimize, if not abolish, an economy controlled by rentier interests, the group which extracts rent from the economy, maximizing the extraction of value, which degrades the efficacy of the market economy in providing goods and services at best possible value.

    The rentier interests have formed a cabal to further the narrow agenda of favoring wealth extraction from the economy. This phase transition occurred under Paul Volcker, when the interest rates were raised to support the value of the $US by debt-service, rather than by economic production.

    Marx was ok, if limited in his vision of the future. Marxists are generally even more limited in vision, though the label may be applied to some with clear vision, clearer than that of Marx, such as Michael Hudson, a Classical Economist and Economic Historian, who really understands financial flows between countries.

    Dr. D

    Phoenix: I read and understand.

    My experience is a lifetime of school where I saw this in person, then those around me who were in/out of school carrying on the same ethos. Like, just a general ballpark feeling of how the world works, or should. But I think as JB sometimes does, if you drill down to its root premises, that’s what you find. You look to why you find it, and read the people who originated the public school system in 1900, then key leaders in Universities and educational influencers all along. I’m glad to hear that is not in your part of the West, and you don’t have to daily confront this root paradigm from every man, woman and child, and which they know-not-why they believe it.

    Taking heat from Kultsummer, you would have to be old indeed to see the Left had done anything. In my lifetime they sold out the Unions, keeping money for the old-timers and screwing the new Union entrees, then since the 90’s, nothing: 35 straight years of destroying Unions, destroying workers, sidelining ecology, bailing out banks, authorizing monopolies, opposing healthcare, gutting welfare, jailing black men, expanding prisons, erasing tradesmen training, reversing Glass Steagal, retroactively making things like Citi’s illegal insurance merger legal, 1) making bankruptcy illegal to 2) overcharge student loans, consolidating media into 6 players, and starting every war but Iraq (I and II)

    Just this year they started s’more wars, destroyed the Union, illegally forced railroads to work in dangerous conditions, got the world’s largest environmental disaster from it before…moving on to blowing NordStreamII and outdoing themselves in even LARGER war and ecological disasters.

    Nor are the Republicans off the hook, since they were doing their own dismal thing and saying “Shucks and golly, I know we have a supermajority (again) but we just can’t do anything about it, and nothing in our platform, for the 30th year in a row, boy howdy, But we’ll see you next time.”

    I appreciate the original Leftists but they were from the 20s and 30s, ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO. I watched all the Depression/FDR always Blue, ACTUAL Union, ACTUAL working man guys die. That’s now a GENERATION ago. Zoomers are going to vote that never met or talked to one, even as a toddler. So far away their picture isn’t even on the mantle of a home run by meth parents with no jobs.

    It’s like saying the Pittsburgh Steelers are great because they won the pennant in sportsball in 1973. Yes, they were. They may have been. But they aren’t the same people, same town, same players, same game, same stadium and have nothing in common with them except the name. What’s the name? Nothing. If you swapped out every part of a Packard and now it’s a bass boat, well it’s no longer a Packard, is it?

    I have to deal with real Leftists all day, all the time, most of my life and they have become the opposite of every principle they stood for. For over 20 years now. They are Pro-monopoly, pro-bank, pro-war, anti-union, anti-poor, anti-environment, anti-health, and anti-worker. I sympathize, but whaddya want me to do about it? Not tell you that it’s true? The Republicans just are oblivious and suck, that’s easy to criticize and going nowhere, because if you get through to them, they’ll say “So?” But the Left is against everything they ever stood for AND against everything they SAY they stand for, right now, in front of you, telling you with their mouths on Thursday 21 December. And can I agree with them and say, “You’re totally right: Actually War IS Peace! I see the light! Ignorance and being wrong on every fact I try to check actually IS Strength!” I wish ever so much more to be ignorant and warlike now!

    And THEY say they don’t want these things. THEY say it, not me. So when I say, “If you are pro-peace you should stop having wars, clearly they are not the Leftist ethos, or even the ‘Worldwide Marxist Revolution Workers Unite’ ethos,” I’m not doing a sick burn. I’m not being sarcastic. I’m literally pointing out that they wish to travel EAST, while their path of direction is WEST. It’s not a joke; they’re not lying to me. I know they do really wish to go East. I can tell them they are going the #Opposite direction of their goals, and hope it’s possible they will take me seriously, notice, check for themselves, and turn around.

    One reason I keep doing this is my own failing: I simply cannot understand what they’re doing. They say East, I point East, then they get in their cars and carry on West, where the sign, the roadmarkers, the map, all recorded history also says “West”, just as I do. Then they get out, tell me how far from East we seem to be getting, I point to the sign on the road, they get in their car and do it all over again.

    You know, if they just SAID they wanted to go West, their GOAL was to start all wars, kill all people, destroy all forests, close all farms, subjugate all minorities, harm all women, and run all poor people into poverty and death, I wouldn’t hardly bug them at all. Like Republicans. They’re going where they themselves wish to go, it’s a free world, what can I say? I’ll just vote against them.

    But when THEY say it, I dunno, my problem is I feel they are opening themselves up for opinions on the matter, since it’s most discourteous and in fact cruel to know someone means to go East, just let them drive West, shut up, laugh up your sleeve at them, and point. If they want to go East, then surely they are open to advice on the better means to get there, right?

    One key thing, as you say, is that for former crew, a wee bit the FDR crew, but obviously much more in Europe, is they actually DID something. I’ve worked with Leftists all my life and except for old hippies, never met a single one who did anything. That’s against their ways. You see, their way is that — I — must DO something. For them. Just ’cause they said so. When I ask if they want to do something, they say no, they will have the police or someone, handwave, MAKE them do it. Meaning ME. That’s it. 40 years of this in a row here in the ‘States. I do work, and so if any work is done for their goals, it will have to be be me doing it because they won’t.

    When Jimmy Dore or Bernie, or Occupy actually DO something, I respect them, even if we disagree. I don’t think I could look for a year and find a one who does anything except GOVERNMENT (i.e. ME) should do it, so they can watch Netflix and protest using a #Hashtag on X. Then orders on Amazon, so the local small worker gets out of a job.

    Gosh, I only wish I COULD find a one willing to do literally anything, then you might get an allotment or permaculture started, or save a single 200 year old building being leveled. That is, we’d be #allies. Alas we are not and every one of the old crew, the actual workers and Union organizers, are dead of extreme old age, kids having been apprenticed, then through their whole Union career, then retired themselves, since the Unions honestly helped anyone instead of raking fees, going to Vegas, and shaking backroom deals with management. A long time indeed.

    Maybe we should be allies as well. Who is helping the workers right now and stopping the wars? Who is undercutting wages and making the poorest areas the most dangerous? Who are the workers rallying behind, best to know their own self-interests? SPD of Germany? Labour in UK? Democrats in the US?

    I think the workers know their own minds and don’t need any help from me. They are going AfD, LePen, Brexit, MAGA worldwide right now. Workers unite, right? I support the working man, the poor. I go where they go and do what they do. They’re as far from the parties of 1939 as it is possible to be. And sadly, for long, good reason, in my opinion.

    Maxwell Quest

    Imho. N. F. knew what he was doing with his analyses and predictions. They were, are, sort of marginally clever, superficially convincing. Hey, he gets paid, they like him, he is a hotshot, etc.

    Noirette is correct. This applies to Neil Ferguson as much as to any other establishment toady who mortgages their soul for a fat paycheck and/or adulation. It infects the current system from top to bottom. These sellouts serve a purpose and are rewarded for it, whether it be the news anchor desk with its long queue of sycophant wannabes, prestigious awards, $500K speaking fees, board positions, $multi-million book deals, etc.

    If you cooperate with establishment goals you are rewarded:


    However, if you become an obstacle their goals the consequences could be severe:

    The Slap

    Dr D Rich

    Can’t wait to see the Steelers win their first pennant.

    AI ,right?


    Am I angry at Leftism, Marxism? Obviously – but as one who was betrayed and worse yet, successfully deceived. And successfully massively swindled. The time in my life, the space in my head, my institutions, culture, and civilization.

    What’s the True Left? How do we isolate it? Surely the guys in the late 1800’s early 1900’s in America saved the US from the Robber Barons, The Jungle, and Grapes of Wrath. With some help from Theodore Roosevelt. Was Teddy the True Left?

    But are marxists actually doing useful things or are they just infiltrating worker’s unions to subvert them for the marxist cause? What did they do with civil rights? Show up after all the heavy lifting, gut it, don the skinsuit, and say “I’m that thing you love, you do what I say now, kneel to Zod”

    American Liberalism did all the heavy lifting. American liberalism WORKED and WORKS. When not subverted.

    In principle, sure. But in practice, total disaster over and over. To be good and noble and of any practical use to humanity, they’d have to go away, figure out their own mistakes after acknowledging them, and come up with something new. But that would be relinquishing their current nature. Really their current identity, a form of death. By definition, not marxists anymore. Maybe not leftists anymore. Maybe something better and totally new, even.

    My trust is not increased/restored by hearing of “wonderful peaceful experiments” in socialism involving killing people that disagree with you and grabbing all the weapons from the local armory, as happened in one “wonderful peaceful” example of proto socialism in France.

    Leftists are free to buy 40 acres and start a socialist system anytime they want. Primates imitate success. You could be there succeeding all day every day and you would get spontaneous imitators of what works everywhere – without any need for resources, means of production, etc from anyone. That’s how primates work.

    Instead, we had chaz/chops spring up in every city. 100 Chaz-Chops declaring autonomy on marxist lines, left alone by the authorities, and becoming failed shitholes everywhere. Because we all have to do it together – THAT’S why it didn’t work.

    Therefore you have to force other people to do it – because we all have to do it together. Or the non-believers ruin it for everyone else. You have to wear a mask to protect everyone ELSE, not yourself. You have to take a poisonous injection because everyone else’s welfare is YOUR responsibility. NO, each person taking responsibility for themselves is not a thing, EVERYONE is EVERYONE ELSE’S responsibility.

    There was that experiment in which an entire college class said that capitalism is bad and socialism is the best system. The teacher was shocked that it was 100% agreement, but announced that she was going to teach them a lesson in economics. From now on, the class’s grades would be the average of all class members.

    The class started out with almost everyone passing. At the end, the entire class failed.

    Were they deprived of the means of production? Were they oppressed? Were they colonized? Were they too deep into False Consciousness? Was there too much of a disparity of power?

    They had access to the teacher’s lectures and the textbooks. No one was interfering to limit their “access” to those resources, nor divert their labor away from their own benefits. Pure Socialism had been achieved, perfect equity. The result was F’s across the board. So now REAL communism really has been tried before.

    The thing that irks me the most is the evasions, duplicity, gaslighting that accompany defense of leftism. If it cannot stand the sunlight and skitters off continually into the dark, then it is presumed to be The Bad Leftism. 200 years of open-mindedness have exhausted an obligation to be “fair” or “open-minded” or continually have amnesia, or pretend against all evidence the party on the opposite side is acting in earnest good faith WITHIN standards of goodness and decency, as opposed to an alien acting from outside the culture, for whom all the principles of decency they have nothing from contempt, who only view these as artifacts that might possibly be used to demolish it or at least paralyze its prospective defenders.

    “We’re the Good Leftists, it’s just that we’re here to tear down your family, culture, traditions, art, infrastructure, every single way you currently maintain life and happiness, and civilization, but don’t worry we are the Good Leftists” I would need to see some very serious, definite disavowal of bad leftism and an abandonment of its defense before I could begin to consider treating someone like that as INSIDE my culture therefore its values of right and wrong, therefore engaging in real as opposed to weaponized simulacrum discussion.


    Failed experiments.
    But why the elite so so still afraid of it?
    Because, even failed idea is still an idea – idea, in simplest term, that handful of people can not own everything.
    And that is what that handful wants to eradicate. Forever.
    Workers willingly “forgot” the heroes of the past who gifted them 8 hour work day and free weekend. Because to remember them was too “hammer and sickle” for their refined souls while there is a possibility that “a $million” is waiting for each of them just around the corner.
    So… no effort for the elite to “help even further”. Thus corrupted unions allowed and for mostly government workers with exuberant salaries compared to private sector. Envy and divide.
    Economical success of the post war American capitalism led easily to lot of “free and idle time” for many of young of that era. Disguised as “freedom” it was really lifestyle of laziness and immature ideas, hastily based on Marx (movie “Zabriskie point” comes to mind), which all came as a god given to elite’s effort to declare: “See, that’s your fucking Marx!”, while in reality it was: “Keep your hands of my loot!”
    That “freedom” in passing years transformed itself into all kinds “movements” each one outdoing the other in idiocy and stupidity, but again god given to be labeled as “Left” just because some idiots wear the T-shirts with Che, hammer and sickle or Red Star image. Even if we agree, OK, that may be the real new Left , message created was clear, for those who want to look between the lines: “Do not question that country is turning into oligarchy and that you’re being robbed blind, unless you want those lunatics in our place”.
    Notice how in South America, some botched form of socialism and nationalization is put in place as the only way to keep the greedy hands from the North to loot the country’s resources. Those countries are endlessly vilified in the media and had a willing recipients in gen pop of the USA. Talking about indoctrination!

    And, that is the story behind “Marx”.


    Ukronazi tells reporter he supports Israel with a Nazi insignia on his sleeve.


    Only in Ukraine – He Says He Supports Israel


    You can order some too

    WWII German SS Panzer Beret Skull & Eagle set $10.00.

    Special Discount for Israeli citizens!!!

    Veracious Poet


    There may be terms that are more precisely defined, and that will make your rants more biting, more concise, and more widely comprehended.

    Either you get “it”, or you don’t “it” gets you!

    So many words, so little truth…


    D Benton Smith

    The benefit of labels (and brother, there are a lot of ’em!) is that labels make it easier and quicker to think and report about realities that are far more complex than the label might suggest, and therein is one of key faults of labels. But that isn’t their biggest fault.

    The biggest fault of labels is that they are so easily stolen and turned to nefarious purposes.

    How many lies and crimes do you suppose have been committed by someone bad in the name of something good?

    It’s the good and bad that must be differentiated, usually at the steep price of hard work and even more pain. Labels, on the other hand, are cheap and easy.


    META is carrying out largest censorship in HISTORY against Palestine

    Farcebook at it’s Satanic best


    Workers willingly “forgot” the heroes of the past who gifted them 8 hour work day and free weekend. Because to remember them was too “hammer and sickle”

    Why have I read about Communists/Marxists working on infiltrating and guiding labor groups into communist lines of thinking?

    …read these accounts FROM those communists – saying “hey, labor groups are really a great opportunity for us to spread The Word”

    Marxists wait standing right at the finish line for the people who have done the work to hand them the baton.


    IDF is taking huge causalities but Collective West mediawhore are not reporting it.

    I’m shocked

    IDF Tank Officer Taken Out By Hamas Sniper

    Happening more often than you might think.


    From an actual Russian, living in Russia

    Nice to hear from someone who’s not a Western Talking Head Manwhore (WTHM)

    Lost the beard, looks ten years younger

    NATO can’t Survive as an Organization | Dmitry Orlov

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