Dec 302023
 December 30, 2023  Posted by at 9:20 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  38 Responses »

Edward Hopper Two on the Aisle 1927


Putin ‘Tried Everything Possible’ To Make Peace – Ukrainian Diplomat (RT)
Is Talk of Peace in Ukraine a Washington ‘Deception’? (Sp.)
Beginning of the End of Ukraine Conflict Chance for Diplomacy, Negotiation (Sp.)
Ukraine ‘Thinks Like a Warmonger’ – Russian Foreign Ministry (Sp.)
EU States Knowingly ‘De-Industrializing’ – Gazprom (RT)
Russia Warns West On ‘Boomerang Effect’ Of Confiscating Assets (RT)
The Middle East on Fire (Sonja van den Ende)
US Allies Get Cold Feet on Red Sea Armada and Who Could Blame Them? (SCF)
Yemen Is Blocking US Hegemony In West Asia (Cradle)
Is Colorado Counting on a Mootness Escape Clause? (Turley)
Democrats Facing Election Wipeout Resort to Desperate Actions (PCR)
Judge Dismisses Attempt By Virginia Activists To Keep Trump Off Ballot (JTN)
Bud Light Sales Still Down 28% as Consumers Continue Boycott (Turley)
Do You Dare Even Look? – Forecast 2024 (Kunstler)







Since August, there are officially more ILLEGAL MIGRANTS arriving each month than there are children being born to American mothers. And these are just the official encounters — we don’t know how many avoided detection.



Palestine UN



DC Draino:
This is insane corruption
FTX snowplowed millions of dollars into Democrat campaign accounts
DOJ separated campaign finance charges from his fraud trial
Now after being convicted for fraud, they’re dropping the 2nd trial for campaign finance crimes
Would’ve implicated too many Dems and RINOs
I know our gov’t is corrupt but sometimes things like this surprise even me



Grayzone Israel









Judge Nap Schaffer



South Africa has triggered the Genocide Convention and instituted proceedings against #Israel before the ICJ over #Palestine





“..Russia’s stated goals of demilitarization and “de-Nazification” of Ukraine would have been addressed under the pre-approved treaty. “Options remain to either achieve them through an agreement or by force,” Putin stressed.

Putin ‘Tried Everything Possible’ To Make Peace – Ukrainian Diplomat (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin personally sought a peace agreement with Ukraine in April 2022, according to Ambassador Aleksandr Chaly, a distinguished member of the Ukrainian delegation. Chaly expressed this perspective during an event at the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP) in early December, where he dissected the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The ex-deputy foreign minister is an associate fellow at the Swiss government-funded foundation. His remarks drew media attention after a video of the event was released on YouTube last week. Chaly analyzed the roots of the ongoing conflict, which he described as “hard competition” for Ukraine that the US and the EU have with Russia, as well as Kiev’s intention to join the EU and NATO. He stressed that “Russian aggression” was not inevitable since the parties had sufficient tools to resolve their differences.

The diplomat called Putin’s decision to launch the special military operation against Ukraine in February 2022 “a crime” and “a mistake” and claimed that the Russian leader had been misled by “his own propaganda and his intelligence services.” Approximately a week into hostilities, Chaly believes Putin recognized the unrealistic nature of his expectations and actively pursued a negotiated resolution. He based his analysis on his personal involvement in the peace talks, which were first hosted by Minsk and culminated in Istanbul in late March with a draft truce approved by both sides. “Putin … tried to do everything possible to conclude [the] agreement with Ukraine,” the diplomat told the audience. The text made concessions to Kiev, compared to Russia’s initial position, and it was Putin’s “personal decision” to accept it, he claimed. We’ve managed to find a very real compromise. Putin really wanted to reach some peaceful agreement with Ukraine.

Chaly mused that “for some reason,” the Istanbul communique did not transform into an actual treaty. The Ukrainian delegation’s leader, MP David Arakhamia, said in late November that then-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson advised Ukrainians to “just continue fighting” during his visit to Kiev after the conclusion of the talks. Remarks made by senior Russian officials, including Putin, partially back Chaly’s account. The president said during his year-end press conference this month that Russia’s stated goals of demilitarization and “de-Nazification” of Ukraine would have been addressed under the pre-approved treaty. “Options remain to either achieve them through an agreement or by force,” Putin stressed.

Read more …

“..a kind of a rolling offensive right now that at some point in my opinion would cause the Ukrainian army to crack and maybe the Ukrainian state to crumble.”

Is Talk of Peace in Ukraine a Washington ‘Deception’? (Sp.)

Analysis has emerged recently suggesting the conflict in Ukraine could be drawing to a close, presenting the opportunity for diplomacy. But former US diplomat Jim Jatras says Russia should be on guard against premature declarations that peace is at hand, warning that talk of negotiations could be a ruse by Washington to buy time for Kiev. The former senior foreign policy adviser to Senate Republicans made the claim Friday on Sputnik’s Political Misfits program. “If I were in the Russians’ shoes, that’s [negotiation] the last thing I would do,” said Jatras. “I would basically go forward with their military advantage and impose a settlement on Ukraine through military diktat.” “I think that these articles [that] are being floated – notably the one in the New York Times that the Russians are desperate for some kind of agreement – are designed… to trick the Russians into a kind of a phony deal like ‘Minsk 2’,” added the analyst.

“Where they get all sorts of promises [and] they forgo their military advantage in order to fall for another deception where they can put Ukraine on hold for a while while the United States and our allies focus on other things like Gaza or the Chinese or something like that.” The so-called Minsk accords were the culmination of internationally-mediated negotiations after Ukraine’s Euromaidan coup in 2014. The agreements were ostensibly designed to resolve tensions between Ukraine and Russia and respond to the demands of separatists in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region. Although Ukrainian President Voloydymyr Zelensky ran on implementing the accords, he abandoned the effort once elected, under pressure from fascist and nationalist forces in the country.

It was later revealed that former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, at the instruction of the United States, urged Ukraine to reject the agreement to increase the chance of military conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Former French President Francois Hollande confirmed the negotiations were merely a stalling tactic to allow Ukraine to strengthen its military, an account which was recently verified by former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. Jatras said recent Western discussion of renewed negotiation may also be insincere. “If you look at the latest posts on X from Dmitri Medvedev, he’s making it pretty clear that they’re not going to fall for that,” said the ex-diplomat. “Does that mean that’s true or not? I don’t know.”

“I think that’s part of what I described earlier as part of a deception,” he added, “part of an attempt by people in Washington to look reasonable, to get Russians engaged in the talks, get them to to slow down what seems to be a kind of a rolling offensive right now that at some point in my opinion would cause the Ukrainian army to crack and maybe the Ukrainian state to crumble.” Host John Kiriakou noted Russia’s missile attack on Ukraine Thursday night, in which the country fired some 120 rockets at Ukrainian cities and also utilized exploding drones. Kiriakou speculated the attack could be designed to allow Russia to negotiate from “a position of strength” in any upcoming peace talks. But Jatras insisted he doesn’t believe Washington is “genuine” about the idea, even as Republicans in Congress say they will not approve another round of military aid to Ukraine.

Read more …

“..Finland, in its entire history, never enjoyed greater peace, prosperity, or democracy than during the period of ‘Finlandization’.”

Beginning of the End of Ukraine Conflict Chance for Diplomacy, Negotiation (Sp.)

A wind down of fighting in Ukraine could provide the opportunity for compromise, ‘Finlandization’, and maybe even a role for China, according to investigative journalist Daniel Lazare. Lazare made the claim on the Sputnik’s Political Misfits Thursday in a wide-ranging discussion that also touched on US drug and immigration policy. Host John Kirakou noted that “Republicans have been remarkably unified in their opposition to more military aid to Ukraine, and Democrats have been unsuccessful in tying that aid to aid to Israel.” “Are we seeing the beginning of the end of this conflict?” asked Kiriakou. “I think so,” responded Lazare, noting that Russia has a population some three times as large as Ukraine’s and enjoys a significant advantage in access to resources. “They are just grinding the Ukraine down and without massive outside assistance its fate is really fixed.”

But Lazare blamed the United States for the outbreak of the conflict and warned America could still stand in the way of peace. “The US pushed the Ukraine into an extreme position of rejecting any kind of compromise whatsoever even though a compromise really made sense. Because it’s clear that the population in the eastern Ukraine and the Crimea just have lost faith in the Kiev government, which was taken over by extreme nationalists.” “This seems to me to be a case of just a completely ill thought out policy that sort of just flowed from years of neocon arrogance,” claimed Lazare. US President Barack Obama’s foreign policy circle was dominated by neoconservatives like Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland during Ukraine’s so-called Euromaidan coup in 2014. Western governments cheered on anti-government protests at that time even though polling showed most Ukrainians disagreed with the demands of protesters at Kiev’s Maidan Square.

After neo-Nazi groups forced elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to flee the country, leaked audio emerged of Nuland discussing the United States’ attempts to shape the interim government. Nuland boasted of sending $5 billion to promote so-called “democracy building programs” in Ukraine – code for activity designed to promote US interests in foreign governments. The term “color revolution” has been coined to describe US regime change efforts spurred by the funding of opposition forces, especially in Russia’s sphere of influence. US interference helped “tear the country in two,” according to Lazare, and made “outright war more or less inevitable.” “And now the US is facing the consequences. Or rather Zelensky is facing the consequences while the US kind of walks away,” the analyst stressed. Lazare noted “the US will not find it easy to back off” from its support for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, but he proposed a future wherein peace could be brought to Ukraine if the country agrees to demilitarize.

“What Russia is looking for is ‘Finlandization’,” said Lazare, using the term for Finland’s foreign policy position throughout the Cold War that saw the country adopt a neutral stance towards the Soviet Union. “’Finlandization’ is a dirty word. But bear in mind that Finland, in its entire history, never enjoyed greater peace, prosperity, or democracy than during the period of ‘Finlandization’.” “I actually visited Finland in 1972 during the period of ‘Finlandization’ and it was a glorious society,” said Lazare. “I mean prosperous, egalitarian, socialistic… That was the Russian posture for good reason. It could’ve been worse. I mean, Russia could have demanded the ‘Mexicanization’ of the Ukraine, which would mean inclined to get into poverty and crime. But Russia didn’t do that. And so the deal they offered this border country was really pretty good. It would have been satisfactory [in Ukraine] to a wide range of interests. But the US blocked it.”

Read more …

“”Kiev still thinks like a warmonger and intends to continue the conflict ‘until the victorious end,’ which obviously means ‘war to the last Ukrainian..”

Ukraine ‘Thinks Like a Warmonger’ – Russian Foreign Ministry (Sp.)

Moscow sees no political will for peace either in Kiev or in the West, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin told Sputnik. The official reiterated that “a comprehensive, sustainable, and fair settlement of the Ukraine conflict depends to a large extent on the elimination of its root causes.” “The West should stop pumping arms into the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and Kiev should stop fighting and withdraw its troops from Russian territory,” Galuzin stressed. According to the top diplomat, “Ukraine’s neutral, non-aligned, and nuclear-free status should be confirmed and its demilitarization and denazification should be carried out. New territorial realities should be recognized, and the rights of Russian-speaking citizens and national minorities living in this country should be ensured.”

“Unfortunately, today we see no political will for peace either in Kiev or in the West,” the deputy foreign minister said, recalling Zelensky’s decree banning negotiations with Russia “The Kiev regime rejects peace mediation initiatives presented by various countries over the past months,” the official emphasized. Meanwhile, he noted that “the so-called ‘peace formula’ proposed by the Ukrainian president last November and presented by him and his Western partners as almost a final settlement plan in fact has nothing to do with peace, but is a set of ultimatums to Russia justifying the continuation of hostilities.””Kiev still thinks like a warmonger and intends to continue the conflict ‘until the victorious end,’ which obviously means ‘war to the last Ukrainian,'” Galuzin said.

“Washington and its NATO subordinates eagerly support Kiev on this, satisfying the growing military appetites of Volodymyr Zelensky’s regime. All of this only delays the conflict settlement,” he added. The top diplomat stressed that Russia has never refused to negotiate with Ukraine and has always advocated for a political solution to the conflict. “But so far we’ve had no other choice but to carry out the special military operation until the full implementation of all the set goals,” the Russian deputy foreign minister concluded.

Read more …

“..the policy of eliminating one of the most environmentally friendly energy sources is forcing “some EU member states to de-industrialize.”

EU States Knowingly ‘De-Industrializing’ – Gazprom (RT)

The EU is intentionally destroying demand for natural gas, Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller stated at a company meeting to discuss the year’s preliminary results. “We are well aware of the situation in Europe, where they have taken an unprecedented step,” the chief executive said. “There, for the first time in history demand for natural gas, a primary energy source, is being artificially destroyed.” He insisted that the policy of eliminating one of the most environmentally friendly energy sources is forcing “some EU member states to de-industrialize.” Global demand for gas, however, is expected to increase by 43% in the next 25 years, Miller noted, adding that the energy giant is ready, as it has been developing cooperation with nations that are interested in reliable energy supplies.

He pointed out that Gazprom has been working with Asia for a long time. “The volume of gas supplies to China in 2023 will be over 22.5 billion cubic meters, exceeding the contractual obligations by 500 million cubic meters,” Miller stated, adding that Gazprom plans to deliver as much as 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas to East Asian nation. Gazprom supplies natural gas under a long-term contract sealed with the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). The Power of Siberia pipeline is part of a $400 billion, 30-year agreement between Gazprom and the CNPC clinched in 2014. Russia’s gas exports to China are projected to reach 100 billion cubic meters annually, taking into account a transit pipeline through Mongolia. Russian gas exports to the EU have dwindled due to Ukraine-related sanctions and the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines last year, previously Russia’s key gas route to the region. However, Gazprom has successfully redirected its energy trade towards Asia, with China emerging as its largest importer.

Read more …

“..Moscow has a list of US, European, and other assets that would be seized if the G7 nations decided to confiscate the $300 billion in frozen reserves belonging to the Russian state.”

Russia Warns West On ‘Boomerang Effect’ Of Confiscating Assets (RT)

Russia will retaliate in kind to the potential confiscation of its assets by Western countries, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Friday.Russian authorities have assessed the unpredictability of the opposing side, as well as their tendency to violate international and other laws, Peskov stated, adding that, for now, confiscation of foreign assets in Russia can only be considered in theoretical terms.“When they [Western powers] started piling unprecedented economic sanctions on us, they did not think about the boomerang effect at all, but now it is obvious,” Peskov said, adding that a number of sanctions supporters are now wondering whether they did the right thing. According to the official, Moscow has a list of US, European, and other assets that would be seized if the G7 nations decided to confiscate the $300 billion in frozen reserves belonging to the Russian state.

“Of course, we analyzed possible retaliatory steps in advance. And we will do everything so that they best suit our interests. But in general, no theory can be legal; it can only be pseudo-legal,” Peskov explained. He emphasized that taking any step of the kind by the West would amount to “theft,” violate international law, and undermine reserve currencies, the global financial system, and the world economy. “This is fraught with serious consequences,” the Kremlin spokesman warned, adding that it would undermine other countries’ confidence in the US and the EU as economic guarantors. Earlier this month, the Financial Times reported that Washington had proposed that working groups from the G7 explore ways to confiscate $300 billion in frozen Russian assets on February 24, 2024, the second anniversary of the start of hostilities in Ukraine.

Read more …

“..they are silent and again they support the side of murderers and madmen. They never learn and this among others is also part of the downfall of so-called Western civilization.”

The Middle East on Fire (Sonja van den Ende)

A few weeks after the attack of October 7, I was in Lebanon and felt the coming war, but most Lebanese (including Syrians and others) do not want war. I have spent a few hours with Hezbollah and Amal fighters and everyone assured me that it is actually war already and Hassan Nasrallah’s speech in November in front of the Blue Mosque confirmed this. The war in Syria that started in 2011, according to the Western version, a revolution over the dissatisfaction of President Assad’s government. But the real version is of course that it was a coup d’etat by the U.S. and its client states NATO/EU. A proxy war as they call it. The West supported Islamic radical groups such as Al-Qaeda and later ISIS (Daesh). This war was the West’s first loss since Vietnam (thanks to the help of Russia) and has seen so much death and barbarism that the genie was out of the bottle and has caused large parts of the Middle East to want to fight the West with everything they have.

If the genie was already out of the bottle in the Syrian war, this latest murder on Sardar Sayyed Reza Mousavi is the last straw that further stimulates the resistance against Israel. The murders committed in recent years against senior Iranian generals and scientists from the Israeli Mossad in collaboration with the U.S. and its Western client states have also not been forgotten. In particular, the assassination of Haj Qassem Soleimani has not been forgotten and Sardar Sayyed Reza Mousavi was Soleimani’s most loyal and closest associate. After the most extremist government that Israel has ever known since the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 took office, the occupation, hatred and violence have escalated even more, a situation that is no longer tenable for the Palestinian population and it simply had to escalate.

But the war is not only in Gaza, heavy fighting is also reported from Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin and the rest of the West Bank. In other words, all of Palestine is in revolt and as the military leader of Hamas recently explained. What was to be expected is that the West will continue to support Israel, after all the U.S. is the stronghold of AIPAC, the Israeli lobby that influences all political leaders (with money and bribery) and who in turn buys, or rather buys, the political leaders of Europe said dictation, because for many Europe has still been occupied by the U.S. since 1945. “Senior Hamas leader Osama Hamdan masterfully explains the reasons for the operation, lays out military and political strategies, and discusses the terms of the resistance. It’s about the liberation of Palestine and beyond, the Axis of Resistance is now involved as well, he said during an interview”.

For the first time, the world can see genocide being committed “live” on TV and social media. The West is silent for the second time in history, that is to say the politicians and media bought by the politicians and Zionist lobby. During the Holocaust of the Jews most Europeans were silent and now during the genocide of the Palestinians and previously the rest of the Middle East they are silent and again they support the side of murderers and madmen. They never learn and this among others is also part of the downfall of so-called Western civilization.

Read more …

“Going into the presidential election in less than 10 months with his poll numbers below the water line, Biden can’t afford any further fiasco.”

US Allies Get Cold Feet on Red Sea Armada and Who Could Blame Them? (SCF)

The United States-led naval coalition announced on December 20 for deployment to the Red Sea purportedly to protect international commercial shipping has quickly run into troubled political waters. European allies France, Spain and Italy are curbing their involvement. Australia has given it a miss. And so far, no major Arab countries have signaled their participation, apart from the tiny Gulf island nation of Bahrain which hosts the U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet. The 10-nation flotilla was heralded with much fanfare by Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin with the stated objective of defending freedom of navigation through the Red Sea critical for cargo vessels and fuel tankers. That move followed numerous attacks on ships by Yemeni forces who said they would block the passage of Israeli-linked vessels as an act of solidarity with Palestinians suffering genocidal violence in Gaza.

Yemeni militants known as Ansar Allah (Houthis) in conjunction with Yemen’s armed forces say their embargo imposed on the Red Sea will continue until a ceasefire is called in Gaza and humanitarian aid is permitted entry to more than two million starving people. The decision by Washington to respond by further militarizing the Bab el-Mandeb Strait – the 30-kilometer-wide chokepoint largely controlled by the Yemenis – is a reckless escalation in what has now turned out to be a region-wide conflict. Yemen is an ally of Iran which has seen its other allies in the region attacked by the U.S. and Israel. The assassination of a top Iranian commander this week in an Israeli air strike on the Syrian capital Damascus is fueling an international conflagration. This danger could be easily averted if Washington abided by the democratic will of the vast majority of nations at the UN which has urged for an immediate ceasefire to the 80-day aggression by Israel on Gaza since October 7.

Washington has pointedly rejected several draft resolutions at the UN Security Council demanding a cessation of hostilities – the death toll of which has reached nearly 30,000 mainly women and children, according to the respected Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor. Deploying an armada to the Red Sea is almost an absurd and unnecessary complication. If the U.S. and Israel were to comply with basic international, humanitarian law, the interdiction on shipping would not be incurred. After all, Russian and Iranian oil and gas tankers are reportedly navigating unhindered through the Bab el-Mandeb en route to the Suez Canal further north in Egypt. So, the Yemenis appear to be honoring their word that only ships associated with Israel are being targeted. Nevertheless, other global cargo and tanker companies have opted to avoid the vital shipping lane, electing instead to route their vessels around Africa. That alternative route adds several days and significant transport costs.

The Red Sea accounts for the passage of 12 percent of global shipping. Already, the transits are down by one-third in volume. That will inevitably rebound badly on Europe’s hard-pressed economies from supply chain shortages and consumer price inflation. All this would dramatically deteriorate if the U.S.-led armada starts firing on Yemen. That will mean the naval coalition would been seen by the Yemenis (and other Arab nations) – if it is not clear already – as being deployed in support of Israel’s genocide of Palestinians. The Yemenis have defiantly warned that they are prepared to launch anti-ship ballistic missiles and a suspected arsenal of thousands of drones to sink U.S. and other warships. An interesting article by former CIA analyst Larry Johnson – now a respected independent commentator – contends that the U.S. Navy is not fit for purpose to take on the Yemeni threat. Western destroyers may fire million-dollar-missiles at $20,000 drones, but already the mathematics of that equation indicate the Yemenis have won.

If U.S. and European warships start to sink in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden all bets are off. We are then talking about a political crisis that compares with the Suez Emergency in 1956. That debacle ended in shame for the colonial powers Britain and France. Indeed, the 1956 Suez Crisis is cited as a watershed for the demise of these European powers and their pretensions of global power. Hence, the European members of the U.S.-led flotilla – dubbed Operation Prosperity Guardian – which tries a tad too much to sound justified – are peeling away from the misguided venture. If Washington decides to go it alone – which it probably won’t because of structural problems in its modern fleet, as Larry Johnson explains – then the political wrath for Biden among U.S. voters will be withering. Going into the presidential election in less than 10 months with his poll numbers below the water line, Biden can’t afford any further fiasco.

Read more …

Yemen surprised both Israel and US.

Yemen Is Blocking US Hegemony In West Asia (Cradle)

Given the renewed focus on Yemen’s de facto government led by Ansarallah and its armed forces, it is time to move beyond the simplistic and dismissive characterization of the Houthis as merely a ‘rebel’ group or a non-state actor. Since the start of the war by the Saudi-led coalition against Ansarallah in 2015, the Yemeni resistance movement has transformed into a formidable military force that has not only humbled Saudi Arabia but is also now challenging Israel’s genocidal actions in Gaza as well as the superior firepower and resources of the US Navy in the world’s most important waterway. In response to Israel unleashing unprecedented violence on Gaza, killing over 20,000 people, predominantly women and children, Yemen’s Ansarallah-led armed forces announced on 14 November their intent to target any Israeli-linked ship passing through the strategic Bab al-Mandab Strait in the Red Sea.

This crucial waterway serves as the gateway to the Suez Canal, through which approximately 10 percent of global trade and 8.8 million barrels of oil travel each day. On 9 December, Ansarallah announced it would expand its operations further to target any ship in the Red Sea on its way to Israel, regardless of its nationality. “If Gaza does not receive the food and medicine it needs, all ships in the Red Sea bound for Israeli ports, regardless of their nationality, will become a target for our armed forces,” an Ansarallah Armed Forces spokesperson said in a statement. To date, Ansarallah has successfully targeted nine ships using drones and missiles, and managed to seize one Israeli-affiliated ship in the Red Sea, according to their official statements. These operations have prompted the largest international shipping companies, including CMA CGM and MSC, and oil giants BP and Evergreen, to re-route their Europe bound ships around the horn of Africa, adding 13,000km and significant fuel costs to the journey.

Delays, transit times, and insurance fees for commercial shipping have skyrocketed, threatening to spark inflation worldwide. This is especially worrisome for Israel, which is already contending with the economic repercussions of its longest and deadliest conflict with the Palestinian resistance in history. Additionally, Ansarallah has launched multiple missile and drone attacks on Israel’s southern port city of Eilat, decreasing its commercial shipping traffic by 85 percent. The disruption in the Red Sea directly undermines a key element of the White House’s 2022 National Security Strategy, which unequivocally states that the US will not permit any nation “to jeopardize freedom of navigation through the Middle East’s waterways, including the Strait of Hormuz and the Bab al-Mandab.”

Read more …

“..It is hard to portray yourself as the defender of democracy by preventing citizens from voting for the current frontrunner for the presidency..”

Is Colorado Counting on a Mootness Escape Clause? (Turley)

The office of Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswald issued a statement that, since the appeal was filed with the Supreme Court, Trump’s name will remain on the ballot “unless the U.S. Supreme Court declines to take the case or otherwise affirms the Colorado Supreme Court ruling.” That clause or provision from the opinion may offer a welcomed escape option for both the Supreme Court and the state. mThe timing question could have an interesting impact on the case. It could avoid a review by the Supreme Court by effectively mooting the case if the Supreme Court simply lets the clock run past January 5, 2024. The question is whether the Court would see a need to review the matter if no change would occur to the ballot itself. The Colorado Secretary of State issued a press release that stated in part:

“The Colorado Republican Party has appealed the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision in Anderson v. Griswold to the U.S. Supreme Court. With the appeal filed, Donald Trump will be included as a candidate on Colorado’s 2024 Presidential Primary Ballot when certification occurs on Jan. 5, 2024, unless the U.S. Supreme Court declines to take the case or otherwise affirms the Colorado Supreme Court ruling.” The Supreme Court should still take the case and reject the Colorado decision. This issue will only repeat itself in the general election and challengers are seeking additional judges or courts to embrace this dangerous theory. Currently, Colorado is an outlier. However, the Secretary of State in Maine has been as outspoken as Griswald on what she views as an “insurrection” on January 6th.

It is clear why challengers saw Democrat Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows as the most likely to endorse their theory. Bellows has already declared that “The Jan 6 insurrection was an unlawful attempt to overthrow the results of a free and fair election… The insurrectionists failed, and democracy prevailed.” A year after the riot, Bellows was still denoucing what she called “the violent insurrection.” Colorado may prefer to wait for states like Maine to join the cause rather than leave the state as the outlier. Moreover, it is clear to many of us that Colorado will lose before the Supreme Court if push comes to shove. This would remove the shove if the Court simply allows for review to continue beyond the certification on January 5th.

While the four Colorado justices have been lionized by pundits and the media, the optics could take a bad turn if liberal justices joined conservatives in setting aside this decision. Even on an all Democratically-appointed court, the majority was only able to eek out a 4-3 decision with three justices rejecting this novel theory. It is hard to portray yourself as the defender of democracy by preventing citizens from voting for the current frontrunner for the presidency. It is even more difficult when various states, including Democratic jurists and justices, reject this radical effort.The Secretary of State could have sought to lift the limitation on a pending review as barring removal. There was no effort to get the justices to reconsider that part of the ruling. Yet, Griswald could have argued that, once Trump is found to be an insurrectionalist under the Fourteenth Amendment, her office should not be compelled to include his name.

After all, the office is not an intermediate court and it has a ruling that Trump is disqualified as a matter of law. It appears, however, that Griswald accepts this condition that Trump will remain on the ballot unless the Court declines review (which seems unlikely) or affirms the Colorado Supreme Court (which seems even more unlikely). The question is whether Griswald herself will seek to have the matter declared as moot after January 5th. She can argue that, while the same objections could be raised for the balloting for the general election, it is pure conjecture that Trump will win the primary despite every poll showing an overwhelming lead. She could then avoid a likely reversal but arguing that there is no change on the balloting and thus no injury to the Colorado GOP.

Read more …

“..why not simply point out that the Colorado supreme court’s ruling is total nonsense as Trump has not been convicted of insurrection?”

Democrats Facing Election Wipeout Resort to Desperate Actions (PCR)

Civil rights groups are suing under US law in behalf of immigrant-invaders who are not US citizens and have no protection of US civil right laws. The issue is a Texas state law that permits Texas authorities to arrest and deport illegal immigrants. The claim is that illegal immigrant-invaders are protected from Texas law by federal civil rights law, a nonsense claim that destroys the concept of citizenship. Remember the “Covid pandemic” when New York was restricting entry of US citizens into New York? How is it that New York can control the entry of US citizens into New York by such measures as imposing a two week quarantine on arrivals, but Texas can’t control the entry of non-US citizens into Texas? Under the 10th Amendment, Texas has the power to control entry just as northern states such as New Jersey, Connecticut, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois passed laws designed to prevent free blacks from entering the states to settle.

Those who prefer federal over state power claim that the 10th Amendment is a dead-letter Amendment overturned by the federal government’s assumption of powers not granted to it by the Constitution. A more accurate way to describe this is to say that the federal government’s assumption of powers granted to the states is unconstitutional and must be overturned by the Supreme Court. The only constitutional way an Amendment can be overturned is by repeal. What has happened is a coup against the US Constitution by the federal government. The 10th Amendment has not been repealed. It is still a part of the Constitution. It is simply ignored as all other Amendments increasingly are.

Counts will decide the issue between Texas and the US Department of Justice (sic) on the basis of whether state or federal government has the power to control immigration. As the record shows, northern states prohibited black immigration from the South. Were free blacks considered in the North to be US citizens? The answer seems to be partly but not wholly. The knee-jerk response of almost every jurist is that the 10th Amendment is no longer part of the Constitution. The ruling is expected to go against Texas. But the question remains why the federal government insists on its unique responsibility for immigration laws that it refuses to enforce.The greater threat is the claim of some immigrant-invader advocates that the illegal non-citizens have the right under US civil rights laws to residency in the US.

The effort by Democrats in Colorado (and other states) to prevent Donald Trump from being on the ballot in the 2024 election shows a total absence of legal comprehension on the part of the non-diverse 100% Democrat Colorado state supreme court. One wonders where they get these “judges.” The legally illiterate Democrat judges ruled that Colorado could ban Trump from being on the ballot in Colorado in 2024 for the reason that he engaged in insurrection against the United States. The legally illiterate Colorado secretary of state said that “Donald Trump engaged in insurrection and was disqualified under the Constitution from the Colorado Ballot. The Colorado Supreme Court got it right.”Maine’s secretary of state Shenna Bellows has taken it upon herself alone to remove Trump from the ballot for insurrection.

Think about what this means. Trump has not been convicted of insurrection. Every member of the Colorado entirely Democrat supreme court and Colorado’s and Maine’s Democrat secretaries of state assumes that assertion alone is proof of guilt. Clearly, Democrat Colorado and Maine are not states whose officials and judges understand law or are capable of serving justice. Neither do the Colorado Republicans understand. In their appeal to the US Supreme Court for a ruling on the Colorado state court decision, the Republicans argue that the President is not an officer of the US under the meaning of the provision in the 14th Amendment, that only Congress has the power to apply the insurrection provision, and that Colorado’s ruling, if allowed to stand, would violate the people’s ability to select candidates in primaries. Little doubt this is correct, but why not simply point out that the Colorado supreme court’s ruling is total nonsense as Trump has not been convicted of insurrection?

The persecutions of Trump are not legitimate. They are weaponizations of law designed to keep power in the hands of the ruling establishment. That these persecutions are not denounced by bar associations, law schools, politicians, media and the American people indicates that the weaponization of law is generally accepted as a legitimate tool in the struggle for power. The Democrats who falsely accused Trump of election interference are now interfering themselves. With the public alerted, the Democrats are unable to steal a third election in a row, and have resorted to the desperate attempt to claim authority they do not have to prevent Trump from running for president. Democrats have proven that they are tyrants. The acceptance by the American establishment of the obvious use of weaponized law associated with Joseph Stalin indicates that the rule of law is dead in the United States. As time passes, Americans will understand that they are prisoners, and not a free people.

Read more …

“President Trump remains undefeated in 14th Amendment ballot challenges in federal courts..”

Judge Dismisses Attempt By Virginia Activists To Keep Trump Off Ballot (JTN)

A federal judge Friday dismissed a motion by two Virginia activists to keep former President Donald Trump off the ballot in the Old Dominion. Roy Perry-Bey and Carlos Howard, said in a statement announcing their complaint that, Trump’s “overt election interference undermine or deprive [sic] them of their right to participate equally in secure, free and fair elections, due to Trump’s filing his statement of candidacy to participate in the 2024 Presidential Primary election.” Judge Leonie Brinkema of the Eastern District of Virginia granted Trump his request to dismiss the plaintiff’s case.

“President Trump remains undefeated in 14th Amendment ballot challenges in federal courts with today’s ruling in the Eastern District of Virginia,” said Steven Cheung, Trump campaign spokesperson, in statement. Calling the suits “bad-faith, politically motivated attempts to steal the 2024 election by disqualifying” Trump from the ballot, Cheung pointed to dismissals in the federal courts of West Virginia, New Hampshire, Florida, Arizona, and Rhode Island, as well as state courts in Michigan and Minnesota. “President Trump has pulled significantly ahead in the polls and is poised to defeat failed president Crooked Joe Biden, or whomever the desperate Democrats put forth in 2024,” Cheung said.

Read more …

“..Alissa Heinerscheid, vice president of marketing for Bud Light, sought to dismantle Bud Light’s “fratty reputation.” She succeeded.”

Bud Light Sales Still Down 28% as Consumers Continue Boycott (Turley)

Beer analysts are saying that Bud Light is still struggling with the boycott that has reduced its sale by a whopping 28% over the four weeks leading up to Dec. 9 — and heading to the all-important New Year’s sale period. The tragic irony for the company is that Alissa Heinerscheid, vice president of marketing for Bud Light, sought to dismantle Bud Light’s “fratty reputation.” She succeeded. It is now the symbol of woke companies for many and consumers seem to be treating the company as a vehicle to express their opposition to the social and political campaigns of companies from Disney to Nike. Notably, U.S. beer shipments dropped by more than 5% over the first nine months of 2023, reflecting a trend among younger voters away from alcohol.

However, Bud Light appears to be off the charts as consumers continue to send a message by buying other brands. The timing is critical. According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, a quarter of the $49-billion-a-year distilled spirits industry’s profits come between Thanksgiving and the New Year. The continued struggle of Bud Light during this period could magnify the losses and the message in the market. The message appears to be getting through. Corporate executives have long yielded to demands for greater political and social agendas despite indicators that these campaigns were driving away business.

That is changing as shareholders object to subsidizing campaigns unconnected to products. Most recently, Disney appeared to acknowledge that its own campaigns were undermining sales and alienating consumers. It is the invisible hand of Adam Smith at work. However, this is more of a backhand for Bud Light, which has tried to distance itself from the earlier campaign. The problem is that many consumers now view the company as a symbol of this struggle between companies and the public. Some are seeking to “hoist the wretch” to warn other companies. It seems that Bud Light is now that wretch.

Read more …

Long forecast from Jim.

Do You Dare Even Look? – Forecast 2024 (Kunstler)

It’s absurd to imagine that “Joe Biden” can actually run. The current charade, with the Biden / Harris email campaign and few other trappings, is just a game of pretend. The focus just now, even on some blob-captive news sites, is on his unmistakable mental decline. Come January of ’24, though, Mr. Comer, chair of the House Oversight Committee, will unload hard evidence of bribery and treason against the phantom of the White House, and that will really be the end of him. Let him pardon himself and his whole family five minutes before he signs his resignation and be gone. The USA has never endured such a perfect wretch at that level of politics, not even Aaron Burr was this bad. “Joe Biden” was elected in a massive fraud, and he proceeded to just about wreck the country.

The massive exertions of the Intel blob managed to induce a psychotic spell on half the country, mostly to evade prosecution for their own misdeeds, but millions of victims of that psy-op are about to snap out of it. The Democratic Party might not survive the dreadful unmasking of its seditious machinations. By November, the “Joe Biden” regime may even try to involve us in another foreign war as the last desperate distraction. Aside from the demons in the State Department and the Raytheon /Lockheed Martin nexus, the whole country has no appetite left for war, and probably little ability to prosecute one.

As a last gasp, the Party of Chaos may attempt to insert Hillary Clinton back into the picture. They have nothing and no one else; a hail Mary on the theory that they can rev up every angry “Karen” in the land, and their nose-ring daughters, and simply make the election about the oppression of women, leading with abortion. It won’t work. The party will also have to answer for the weaponization of law, the humiliating defeat of the ill-conceived Ukraine project, the millions-fold invasion of illegal aliens, the shattered economy, and the after-effects of the evil vaccine program. If the blob manages to remove Mr. Trump Kagan-style, and the traitorous Republicans run their donor’s favorite, Nikki Haley, I’d look to Bobby Kennedy winning that three-way race not unlike Abe Lincoln winning the fractious election of 1860.

I doubt that even the enmities of 1861 – 1865 between one group of Americans and another were as vicious as they are now. “Joe Biden” was right about one thing: this is a battle over the soul of the nation. The catch is, he and the party behind him are a gang of lost souls who sold out their country and their culture, and took something precious from all of us that will be very hard to get back. We will be wildly lucky if blood does not spill over it.

Read more …





Love it









India is the only country in the world that has both lions and tigers. Not only this: India is the only country in the world where all these animals can be found together in the wild. Why? Because India’s varied climate zones support about 65,000 animal species, including bears, elephants, pythons, river dolphins, and rhinos, and 12,000 types of flowering plants.






Wild yak








Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.






Feb 022021
 February 2, 2021  Posted by at 1:21 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  22 Responses »

Roy Lichtenstein Woman With Flowered Hat 1963



Well, Dr. D is back again. You might want to sit down for this one.



Dr. D: In my last article I wrote about cows and hay and unrealistic estimates of production of the land. But surely that is all academic. What could possibly force Americans to once again eat by the sweat of their brow?

Insider military think tank The think tank that in 2015 estimated the death of 200M Americans by 2025.

Deagel – Forecast 2025

The Great Reset; like the climate change, extinction rebellion, planetary crisis, green revolution, shale oil (…) hoaxes promoted by the system; is another attempt to slow down dramatically the consumption of natural resources and therefore extend the lifetime of the current system. It can be effective for awhile but finally won’t address the bottom-line problem and will only delay the inevitable. The core ruling elites hope to stay in power which is in effect the only thing that really worries them.

The collapse of the Western financial system – and ultimately the Western civilization – has been the major driver in the forecast along with a confluence of crisis with a devastating outcome. As COVID has proven Western societies embracing multiculturalism and extreme liberalism are unable to deal with any real hardship. The Spanish flu one century ago represented the death of 40-50 million people.

Today the world’s population is four times greater with air travel in full swing which is by definition a super spreader. The death casualties in today’s World would represent 160 to 200 million in relative terms but more likely 300-400 million taking into consideration the air travel factor that did not exist one century ago. So far, COVID death toll is roughly 1 million people. It is quite likely that the economic crisis due to the lockdowns will cause more deaths than the virus worldwide.

The Soviet system was less able to deliver goodies to the people than the Western one. Nevertheless Soviet society was more compact and resilient under an authoritarian regime. That in mind, the collapse of the Soviet system wiped out 10 percent of the population. The stark reality of diverse and multicultural Western societies is that a collapse will have a toll of 50 to 80 percent depending on several factors but in general terms the most diverse, multicultural, indebted and wealthy (highest standard of living) will suffer the highest toll.

The only glue that keeps united such aberrant collage from falling apart is overconsumption with heavy doses of bottomless degeneracy disguised as virtue. Nevertheless the widespread censorship, hate laws and contradictory signals mean that even that glue is not working any more. Not everybody has to die migration can also play a positive role in this.

We expected this situation to unfold and actually is unfolding right now with the November election triggering a major bomb if Trump is re-elected. If Biden is elected there will very bad consequences as well. There is a lot of bad blood in the Western societies and the protests, demonstrations, rioting and looting are only the first symptoms of what is coming. However a new trend is taking place overshadowing this one…

Six years ago the likelihood of a major war was tiny. Since then it has grown steadily and dramatically and today is by far the most likely major event in the 2020s. The ultimate conflict can come from two ways. A conventional conflict involving at least two major powers that escalates into an open nuclear war. …

If there is not a dramatic change of course the world is going to witness the first nuclear war. The Western block collapse may come before, during or after the war. It does not matter. A nuclear war is a game with billions of casualties and the collapse plays in the hundreds of millions.” – Deagel, September 25, 2020

Now clearly this is ridiculous. Even these new, revised estimates have population drop in the U.S. to 99 Million in 4 years.



So what do we see here? A catastrophic event that hurts only very specific nations, leaving nearby neighbors untouched or even improved. That is, not a climate event or asteroid strike. It hurts a few nations most specifically, that is, Britain, U.S., Germany, Israel, France, Australia, Italy, S. Korea, Saudi Arabia.

What do these nations all have in common? They are the Western Allies, and under the Western fiat central banking system. While India and Asia prosper most, conspicuous in the list is China and Russia, presumably the Axis in any new war. China takes a massive numbers hit, but a unimportant percentage hit. Russia is unmoved. That would seem to rule out wars of food, wars of money, and wars with Russia or in Europe.

What type of singular event can kill several billion people in just 4 years, leaving some nations erased and some nations untouched? Not economic wars. Not conventional wars.

That leaves nuclear and biological war, almost certainly a first-strike surprise war. Clearly this will not be with Russia, which would take more injury in a counter attack, so a first strike surprise war from China, perhaps via close proxy North Korea, as they are the only two Axis countries that (presumably) take any damage. They are counter-attacked, but weakly. Their own allies, in SE Asia, are unharmed. Australia is depopulated and easy to conquer. As is the United States, but not Canada or Mexico. Note if they attacked India they would be nuked again and open second front in a land war in Asia against an equal power, and China leaves them alone for this round, the presumed Deagel scenario.

Now what did I just tell you a few weeks ago?

If China doesn’t conquer and colonize the United States, they die.

That seems true for Australia, or at least corollary. Here’s the same phrase: If China DOES conquer and colonize the United States, WE die.

Now why would they do that? Their people are rioting with dissent, of increased expectations that have been capped. There are more riots and protests in China than anywhere on earth, both in percentage, and sheer numbers, and riot of 250,000 is rightfully identified as a mortal threat. There are no longer any food exports worldwide. The U.S. and to some extent Australia are the only ones. China is the net food importer, having everything else. If they do not solve their food and space problem, they – or rather the CCP – are overthrown and die. If the CCP can solve the food and space problem, they are heroes, stay in power, and prosper for a generation.

Is there any reason to believe China would undertake such a unprecedented, violent act? Well, when we ask if they would murder 70% of all Americans, they are presently erasing 70% of all Uighers who are their own citizens, and in the most brutal, appalling, and mercantile ways. Taking their property. Selling their slave labor. Harvesting their live organs. Selling their women to a man-heavy population thanks to an earlier wave of murder and genocide. So if they are happy to kill 70% of their own people – who they consider inferior, not being Han, and are proud to the world about the fact – how much easier is it to kill 70% of your major rival and solve all your problems for 100 years?

It’s your Lebensraum for a Socialist State-Corporate entity, totalitarian, race-based, using the fascio of combining government, industrial, and corporate power into one. There could hardly be any difference, and are along the same timeline as 1938. They are imprisoning their own people by ethnic origin and social-credit cooperation scores, then killing them for efficiency, while the West denies this is happening and refuses to prepare or respond, or in fact gleefully cooperates with open concentration camps, buying and selling cheap misery.

Surely this is slander, from a military-complex site selling military hardware and predictions. There is nothing from the Chinese to substantiate such an attack.

“A senior Chinese general has warned that his country could destroy hundreds of American cities if the two nations clash over Taiwan.” –The Guardian This week clashing over Taiwan as China has escalated buzzing Taiwanese and American ships and airspace.

In 2005 “Major General Zhu Shin Hu, Dean of the National Defense University, Speaking at a lecture, he said “War logic dictates that a weaker power needs to use maximum effort to defeat a stronger rival. If the Americans draw their missiles and position guided ammunition on to the target zone on Chinese territory, I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons.” And goes on to describe destroying hundreds of American cities in a nuclear war over Taiwan. 15 years ago.

Deputy Chief PLA Juang Won Kai, “ Americans should worry more about Los Angeles than Taipei. They will be using nuclear weapons in the Taiwan conflict.” Kai later was diplomat to the United States.

“20 years of the idyllic theme of ‘peace and development’ have come to an end, and concluded that modernization under the saber is the only option for China’s next phase. I also mention we have a vital stake overseas.”

More alarmingly, General Chi Houtian in a speech to the CCP before 2003, said, “in an online survey asking if Chinese would shoot at women, children, and prisoners of war, more than 80% answered in the affirmative. …The purpose of the survey is to…If China’s development will necessitate massive deaths in enemy countries, will our people endorse that scenario [and] be for…it?”

After highlighting the similar youth propaganda departments he says,

China is alarmingly similar to Germany back then. Both of them regard themselves as the most superior races; both of them have a history of being exploited by foreign powers and are therefore vindictive; both of them have the tradition of worshiping their own authorities; both of them feel they have seriously insufficient living space; both of them raise high the two banners of nationalism and socialism and label themselves as ‘national socialists’; both of them worship ‘one party, one state, one leader, one doctrine.’”

“We don’t have to worry about the labels of ‘totalitarianism’ or ‘dictatorship’. Whether we [the CCP] can forever represent the Chinese people depends on whether we can succeed in leading the Chinese people out of China. …Whether we can lead the Chinese people out of China is the most important determinant of the CCP”.

Lebensraum. Living space. Down the Silk Road. Expansion, conquest that – according to their own party and generals – is the only way the CCP leadership survives. Nationalist, hypermilitary expansion is the last hallmark of fascist regimes, a most grave one, as other nations therefore cannot entirely respect national boundaries and sovereignty.

How will they lead the Chinese out and conquer new lands?

“Once we open our doors, the profit-seeking western capitalists will invest capital and technology in China to assist our development so they can occupy the largest market in the world. …the most favorable environment for foreign capital, foreign technology, and advanced experience in China. …China’s economic expansion will inevitably come with significant development in our military forces, creating conditions for our expansion overseas. …China…is advancing into the world and has become unstoppable.”

“Solving the issue of America is key to solving all other issues. This makes it possible for us to have many people migrate there and establish another China under the CCP. …America was discovered by the yellow race [and] we are entitled to the possession of the land.

…The residents of the yellow race have a very low social status in the United States. We need to liberate them. After solving the ‘issue of America’, the western countries of Europe will bow to us , not to mention Japan, Taiwan…” – General Chi Haotain

Lebensraum. The master race. Liberating nations as a duty to their racial brothers. At the expense of inferior races.

“We must transcend conventions and restrictions. In history, [one] could not kill all the people in the conquered land because you could not kill people effectively [enough]. …Only by using special means to ‘clean up’ America will we be able to lead people there. This is the only choice left to us. It is not a matter of whether we are willing.

…What kind of special methods do we have to ‘clean up’ America? …We are not as foolish as to want to perish together with America by using nuclear weapons… There has been a rapid development in modern biological technology, and new bio-weapons have been developed one after the other. …We are capable of ‘cleaning up’ America all of a sudden. Lethal weapons that can eliminate mass populations of the enemy country.”

But it’s not all bad:

“From a humanitarian perspective, we should issue a warning to the American people and persuade them to leave America and leave the land to the Chinese people. Or they should at least leave half of America to be China’s colony…but if this strategy does not work, there is only one choice left…”

“That is, use decisive means to ‘clean up’ America in a moment. …Historical experience has been that as long as we make it happen, nobody in the world can do anything about us. Furthermore, if the United States as leader is gone, then our other enemies have to surrender to us.”

If the Americans do not die, then the Chinese have to die. If the Chinese are strapped to the land, a total societal collapse is bound to take place. …[Then] more than half the Chinese people will die, and that figure will be 800 million. …The Great Collapse will occur at any time and more than half the population will have to go. …The population can be reproduced. But if the Party falls, everything is gone, and forever gone.”

How very like our own Western leaders.

Cool story bro. I feel for your position. Now let me ask you a question: If you knew you were running out of food and space, why did you pave every rice paddy and poison every river? Wouldn’t you rather take 6 time zones of Russian lands which are lush, actually empty, and on your own border? And how ARE you out of space when the entire Gobi desert, or indeed much of north and western China, are as empty as the United States?

You might not have heard, but most of the United States was also considered a desert, a wasteland from Iowa to San Diego that would never be occupied by humankind, yet through hard work and imagination we created the innovation that has made our prosperity and our population possible. It only seems easy now, in hindsight, like some automatic miracle we didn’t deserve. Yet, in the most high-tech era ever recorded, I think no less of the power of men on the Silk Road or Mongolia.

So perhaps I’m asking: are you really sure you NEED to do this? Or is it just that America is big, rich, and shiny and you WANT to do this? You WANT to do to Americans what you do to the Uighurs. Because I strongly suspect the latter.

The specifics of their plan was revealed elsewhere, the “1, 3, 5, 7, 9 Plan”
1 Create a bioweapon
3 Make it available in three years (from 2017)
5 Insure effectiveness for 5 years.
7 Paralyze the 7 Western countries including Japan and India.
9 Release vaccines 9 months later to blackmail the world.

Now, is that the plan that was just attempted in 2019? Or was that a beta test for a real, upcoming attack? Was this genocide deflected, the payload of the “China Virus”, hollowed out, only narrowly missed? Or is that mere slander? Do we know? Can we tell?

The West of course would fight such an attack. In 1994, in a world conference in San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel including H. Bush and M. Thatcher, Xin He reported, “The outstanding people of the world attendance thought that in the 21st century a mere 20% of the world’s population would be adequate to maintain the world’s economy and prosperity. The other 80% will be human garbage, unable to produce…high-tech means should be used to eliminate them gradually .”

That also sounds like our Western leaders.

Remember “Event 201”, promoted by these very same ‘outstanding people’? “ In the simulation, the virus infected the globe within six months, and killed 65 million people, triggering a global financial crisis. All of this took place just months before COVID-19 emerged.” Gee that sounds familiar. Good timing too. So good it almost defies credulity.

This goes along with the long-held rumor that the U.S. was planned and positioned to be in a war and to lose it. Many aspects, from causing unnecessary and unusual internal strife, to the complete erasure of our manufacturing and production – except for food – as well as our sale or loss of most military secrets to China, support such a hypothesis. Then there is the open exposure of Chinese agents with Feinstein for 20 years, and Swalwell, both of whom were on high-level committees.

Worse, when this was exposed, nothing was done, hinting at a much deeper level of capture, where some agents and proxies appear to be clearly covering and supporting other Chinese proxies against the interests of the people of the United States. They do not explain how they thought it remotely possible that with 20% of the population they could defend a rich, empty, unproductive West from complete, inevitable Chinese conquest. Perhaps China did not remind them.

The problem could be, it probably is, far deeper, harder, graver, and wider than we on the outside can contemplate. While I disagree – for in a democracy the people must be informed to make hard, informed decisions – we can see that many times the attempt has been made to inform people, and the facts are widely and regularly rebuffed and rejected. If you started here, where I have, the general population would say you were simply being political, ginning up for more war profits, or are simply lying and making it up simply because they haven’t heard it before. The truth has been intentionally withheld in favor of colored trinkets for 40 years. All attempts to prevent it have been shot down. That isn’t reversed in a day.

Now I’m not saying Deagel is right. Already they’ve had to update their 2015 prediction. However, we can infer from this that the present situation is far more complicated than cartoon. Far deeper and more grave than Twitter. It transcends one man, one party, or even one generation. And can help illuminate why certain positions, certain actions, certain reactions, and certain IN-actions, may have happened right now.

While I don’t personally feel this is our future, I do believe the situation as described is entirely true. There are such opinions and such plans and such weapons. Therefore it should be dealt with in our own lives, and in the actions of our country, in the firm, defensive preparations that Americans are known for. Regardless of such a war, which should naturally be avoided, a number of other responses are indicated:

1) Remove as much reliance on China as possible without crippling them either. We already learned we do not have medicines, masks, rare earths, or semiconductors here, as well as learning their steel and raw materials may be intentionally substandard and undermining. This especially includes communications infrastructure.

2) Our own nation needs much attention and support with the re-opening of our own parallel manufacturing that must also be dispersed so as not to be a single target for destruction or capture.

3) The U.S. Dollar and financial system is wholly established on financeering and imports. This comes from the too-high dollar and world reserve currency that necessitates the destruction of internal production and complete hollowing of business, culture, politics, psychology, society, and morality. Yet its reversal and replacement will be extremely disruptive, and the loss of the reserve currency will quite suddenly drop us from emperor to peer. Nevertheless, this can not be delayed or avoided.

4) The U.S. Military, with the loss of the reserve currency, must retreat home, and therefore needs to re-tool and re-position rapidly to a defensive role, while still maintaining the overwhelming deterrent effect on China, and helping allies – thus preventing China from taking over the world nation-by-nation. Defense is enormously cheaper and easier, and as an ally, not an empire, our position would be far easier and more supported. This published reality may cause other nations to take more action than we could alone. While at home we may follow the Swiss model of having every man capable of arms and the materials secretly cached and available in each town.

5) While we may not have to come back to God to have the internal sense of equality, justice, morality, and enthusiasm for self-denial and hardship this will require, historically nothing else has sufficed for the righting of the ship and return to a forgiving, cohesive unity, and not weakening, atomized discord.

6) Along with our own ports, canals, rivers, grids, and mines, we need to maintain our own food production and distribution, and counter-intuitively sell it to our own rival or enemy. First, cutting off food must cause a certain war just as the embargo of Japanese oil did in 1940. Second, and not innocently, food is a major export we already have when we are no longer an importer of exorbitant privilege. Not less, as equals, we can always promote ourselves as being a friend and thereby encourage our rivals to pass through where they are or what plans they may have in favor of a stable peace that advantages all. Or else, like Switzerland, we must be certain to communicate we will most assuredly make them wish they had for their plans will not succeed.

7) We must recognize that such weapons are a reality now that cannot be reversed but must be accounted for and avoided with new strategies and new consciousness that does not require gain at the expense of others. The experience of the U.S. in making deserts bloom with the simplest tools is a good example.

Now these are easily supported by all Americans, all except the very few who are profiting by the existing system. So should there be a war or no war, with China or no China, all these responses are good for the country, the individual, and the world.

They are also workable in our own lives. As we’ve seen recently with massive, unpredictable, and longstanding supply disruptions that are only cured with more local production, smaller businesses, and local food. We see how having far more preparation, far more resiliency, far more local support, are important, both in hardship, but in our daily lives as well. Producing more, with more meaning, and consuming less, but better, are the only ways we can exit both this peril, and our own national failings at home.




We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support.



Support the Automatic Earth in 2021. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.


Jan 042017
 January 4, 2017  Posted by at 10:29 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  3 Responses »

Readers browse bomb-damaged library of Holland House, London 1940

The Wrong Things Are Being Forecast (Morgan)
China Calls US ‘A Shooting Star In The Ample Sky Of History’ (G.)
China’s New Year Currency Moves Won’t Make Donald Trump Happy (CNBC)
Banks Create Money From Nothing. And It Gets Worse (ND)
India Government Set To Endorse Universal Basic Income (BI)
US Banks Gear Up To Fight Dodd-Frank Act’s Volcker Rule (R.)
Wall Street Banks Have $2 Trillion European Exposure (Martens)
How to Make America Great Again with Other People’s Money (Orlov)
The Trump Effect Will Accentuate Unrest (Nomi Prins)
Anti-Surveillance Clothing Aims To Hide Wearers From Facial Recognition (G.)
Guardian Report On Ailing Greek Health System Sparks Ugly Row (Kath.)
The Necessity of Maintaining Borders (Kath.)



If all ‘growth’ is borrowed anyway, and then some, as in every dollar of ‘growth’ takes $10 of debt, maybe you should stop calling it growth?!

The Wrong Things Are Being Forecast (Morgan)

It is customary to use the start of the year to set out some forecasts. Though I’ve not previously done this, I’ve decided to make an exception this time – mainly because I’m convinced that the wrong things are being forecast. Central forecasts tend to focus on real GDP, but in so doing they miss at least three critical parameters. The first is the relationship between growth and borrowing. The second is the absolute scale of debt, and our ability to manage it. The third is the impact of a tightening resource set on the real value of global economic output. Most commentators produce projections for growth in GDP, and mine are for global real growth of around 2.3% between 2017 and 2020. I expect growth to slow, but to remain positive, in countries such as the United States, Britain and China.

It’s worth noting, in passing, that these growth numbers do not do much to boost the prosperity of the individual, since they correspond to very modest per capita improvements once population growth is taken into account. Moreover, the cost of household essentials is likely to grow more rapidly than general inflation through the forecast period. What is more intriguing than straightforward growth projections, and surely more important too, is the trajectory of indebtedness accompanying these growth estimates. Between 2000 and 2015, and expressed at constant 2015 dollar values, global real GDP expanded by $27 trillion – but this came at the expense of $87 trillion in additional indebtedness (a number which excludes the inter-bank or “financial” sector). This meant that, in inflation-adjusted terms, each growth dollar cost $3.25 in net new debt.

If anything, this borrowing-to-growth number may worsen as we look forward, my projection being that the world will add almost $3.60 of new debt for each $1 of reported real growth between now and 2020. On this basis, the world should be taking on about $5.8 trillion of net new debt annually, but preliminary indications are that net borrowing substantially exceeded this number in 2016. China has clearly caught the borrowing bug, whilst big business continues to take on cheap debt and use it to buy back stock. Incredible though it may seem, the shock of 2008-09 appears already to be receding from the collective memory, rebuilding pre-2008 attitudes to debt. On my forecast basis, global real “growth” of $8.2 trillion between now and 2020 is likely to come at a cost of $29 trillion in new debt. If correct, this would lift the global debt-to-GDP ratio to 235% in 2020, compared with 221% in 2015 and 155% in 2000.

Adding everything together, the world would be $116 trillion more indebted in 2020 than in 2000, whilst real GDP would have increased by $35 trillion. Altogether, what we are witnessing is a Ponzi-style financial economy heading for end-game, for four main reasons. First, we have made growth dependent on borrowing, which was never a sustainable model. Second, the ratio of efficiency with which we turn borrowing into growth is getting steadily worse. Third, the demands being made on us by the deterioration of the resource scarcity equation are worsening. Fourth, the ageing of the population is adding further strains to a system that is already nearing over-stretch. One thing seems certain – we cannot, for much longer, carry on as we are. y

Read more …

This calls for the poet in Trump to respond.

China Calls US ‘A Shooting Star In The Ample Sky Of History’ (G.)

Donald Trump has doubled down on his plans to transform US trade policy, picking a longtime China critic and protectionist to be America’s next chief trade negotiator. Robert Lighthizer, 69, has advocated for increasing tariffs and repeatedly criticised China for failing to adhere to international trade practices, saying tougher methods were needed to change the system. The move is likely to further alarm Beijing, where state-controlled media said on Wednesday “Trump is just fixated on trade” and warned the president elect “not try to boss China around” on economic and security issues. “May the arrogant Americans realise that the United States of America is perhaps just a shooting star in the ample sky of history,” said an editorial in the Communist party-affiliated Global Times newspaper.

It follows the selection by Trump last month of Peter Navarro to lead a new presidential office for US trade and industrial policy. Navarro has previously described China’s government as a “despicable, parasitic, brutal, brass-knuckled, crass, callous, amoral, ruthless and totally totalitarian imperialist power”. Trump has packed his cabinet with tycoons, vowed to renegotiate trade deals and crack down on what he says are China’s unfair policies. Lighthizer is a former Reagan-era trade official and had a previous stint in the Office of the US Trade Representative, where he travelled the world negotiating deals to curb steel imports. He then went on to a career as a trade lawyer, representing giants such as US Steel Corp working to fend off foreign imports.

In 2011, he wrote in an opinion piece for the Washington Times: “How does allowing China to constantly rig trade in its favour advance the core conservative goal of making markets more efficient? Markets do not run better when manufacturing shifts to China largely because of the actions of its government.” While less prone to bombast than Navarro, he and Lighthizer share the view that China’s economic policies are fundamentally flawed. Years of passivity and drift among US policymakers have allowed the US-China trade deficit to grow to the point where it is widely recognised as a major threat to our economy, Lighthizer wrote. Going forward, US policymakers should take these problems more seriously, and should take a much more aggressive approach in dealing with China.

Read more …

Excuse me? “China has put a new chip on the table to counter trade adventurism by the Trump administration.” Other than that, the new capital controls seem to work so far, to an extent.

China’s New Year Currency Moves Won’t Make Donald Trump Happy (CNBC)

Call it a New Year’s greeting from the Chinese government to the incoming administration of Donald Trump. As the president-elect rang in 2017 entertaining guests at his opulent Mar-a-Lago estate, China quietly ushered in a series of measures aimed at better controlling the value of its local currency, the yuan. Throughout his campaign, Trump accused China of “manipulating” the yuan to make Chinese exports more competitive in global markets. China’s latest announcement will likely add fuel to that debate. Unlike countries that mostly let markets determine the value of their currencies, Beijing tries to peg the yuan to a basket of other currencies. Starting Jan. 1, the Chinese State Administration of Foreign Exchange will use a new, broader basket of global currencies to benchmark the yuan’s value.

The change will have the effect of reducing the impact of the U.S. dollar on the official valuation. “This is unambiguously bad news for the United States,” High Frequency Economics Chief Economist Carl Weinberg said in a note to clients Tuesday. “China has put a new chip on the table to counter trade adventurism by the Trump administration.” While China has sought to dampen the value of its currency in the past, the People’s Bank of China has more recently been scrambling to support the yuan. Beijing is deeply concerned that the weakening yuan is encouraging Chinese to shift their wealth out of the country into stronger currencies or other, more stable holdings. China needs a lot of capital in the country in order to continue to fund its growth, which is very heavily reliant on borrowing.

Read more …

I was thinking about exactly this, the other day. That a basic income scheme may be a Trojan horse AND a wolf in sheep’s clothing if it comes entirely digitized.

Banks Create Money From Nothing. And It Gets Worse (ND)

Richard Werner, the German professor famous for inventing the term ‘quantitative easing’, says the world is finally waking up to the fact that “banks create money out of nothing” – but warns this realisation has given rise to a new “Orwellian” threat. In an exclusive interview with The New Daily, Professor Werner says the recent campaigns around the world, including in India and Australia, to get rid of cash are coordinated attempts by central bankers to monopolise money creation. “This sudden global talk by the usual suspects about the ‘need to get rid of cash’, ostensibly to fight tax evasion etc, has been so coordinated that it cannot but be part of another plan by central bankers, this time to stay in charge of any emerging reform agenda, by trying to control, and themselves run, the ‘opposition’,” he says.

“Essentially, the Bank of England and others are saying: okay, we admit it, you guys were right, banks create money out of nothing. So now we need to make sure that you guys will not be able to set the agenda of what happens in terms of reforms.” [..] The main point is that the banks do not lend existing money, but add to deposits and the money supply when they ‘lend’. And when those loans are repaid, money is removed from circulation. Thus, the supply of money is constantly being expanded and contracted by banks – which may explain why the ‘credit crunch’ of the global financial crisis was so devastating. Banks weren’t lending, so there was a shortage of money. By some estimates, the banks create upwards of 97% of money, in the form of electronic funds stored in online accounts. Banknotes and coins? They are just tokens of value, printed to represent the money already created by banks.

Professor Werner is pleased the world is waking up to the truth of how money is created, but is very displeased with what he sees as the central bankers’ reaction: the death of cash and the rise of central bank-controlled digital currency. This will further centralise what he describes as the “already excessive and unaccountable powers” of centrals banks, which he argues has been responsible for the bulk of the more than 100 banking crises and boom-bust cycles in the past half-century. “To appear active reformers, they will push the agenda to get rid of bank credit creation. This suits them anyway, as long as they can fix the policy recommendation of any such reform, to be … that the central banks should be the sole issuers of money.”

The professor also fears the global push for ‘basic income’, which is being trialled in parts of Europe and widely discussed in the media, will form part of the central bankers’ attempt to kill off cash. ‘Basic income’ is a popular idea that can be traced back to Sydney and Beatrice Webb, founders of the London School of Economics. It proposes we abolish all welfare payments and replace them with a single ‘basic income’ that everyone, from billionaires to unemployed single mothers, receives. Either we accept the digital currency issued by central banks, or we miss out on basic income payments. That is Professor Werner’s theory of what might happen. His solution to this “Orwellian” future is decentralisation, in the form of lots of non-profit community banks, as exist in his native Germany.

Read more …

That same basc income danger of course looms large in India.

India Government Set To Endorse Universal Basic Income (BI)

The Indian government is set to endorse Universal Basic Income, according to one of the leading advocates of the scheme. Professor Guy Standing, an economist who co-founded advocate group Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) in 1986, told Business Insider that the Indian government will release a report in January which says the idea is “feasible” and “basically the way forward.” The idea behind universal basic income is simple: a regular state payment made to all citizens (one variation specifies adults), regardless of working status. Advocates say it would provide a vital safety net for all citizens and remove inefficient benefit systems currently in place; critics say it would remove the incentive for citizens to work and prove to be wildly expensive.

It has, however, attracted a growing amount of attention across the world, in both rich and developing countries. Standing, professor of development at the School for African and Oriental Studies, is considered one of the leading proponents of UBI. He has advised on numerous UBI pilot schemes, and recently returned from California, where he consulted on a $20 million trial set to launch in California this year. He was closely involved with three major pilot schemes in India — two in Madhya Pradesh, and a smaller one in West Delhi. The pilots in Madhya Pradesh launched in 2010, and provided every man, woman, and child across eight villages with a modest basic income for 18 months. Standing reports that welfare improved dramatically in the villages, “particularly in nutrition among the children, healthcare, sanitation, and school attendance and performance.”

He also says the scheme also turned out some unexpected results. “The most striking thing which we hadn’t actually anticipated is that the emancipatory effect was greater than the monetary effect. It enabled people to have a sense of control. They pooled some of the money to pay down their debts, they increased decisions on escaping from debt bondage. The women developed their own capacity to make their own decision about their own lives. The general tenor of all those communities has been remarkably positive,” he said. “As a consequence of this, the Indian government is coming out with a big report in January. As you can imagine that makes me very excited. It will basically say this is the way forward.”

Read more …

No, someone at Reuters really wrote this: “The Obama administration’s regulators and enforcement agencies have been tough on banks..” And then they printed it.

US Banks Gear Up To Fight Dodd-Frank Act’s Volcker Rule (R.)

Big U.S. banks are set on getting Congress this year to loosen or eliminate the Volcker rule against using depositors’ funds for speculative bets on the bank’s own account, a test case of whether Wall Street can flex its muscle in Washington again. In interviews over the past several weeks, half a dozen industry lobbyists said they began meeting with legislative staff after the U.S. election in November to discuss matters including a rollback of Volcker, part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform that Congress enacted after the financial crisis and bank bailouts. Lobbyists said they plan to present evidence to congressional leaders that the Volcker rule is actually bad for companies, investors and the U.S. economy. Big banks have been making such arguments for years, but the industry’s influence waned significantly in Washington after the financial crisis.

The Obama administration’s regulators and enforcement agencies have been tough on banks, while lawmakers from both parties have seized opportunities to slam Wall Street to score political points. Banks now see opportunities to unravel reforms under President-Elect Donald Trump’s administration and the incoming Republican-led Congress, which appear more business-friendly, lobbyists said. While an outright repeal of the Volcker rule may not be possible, small but meaningful changes tucked into other legislation would still be a big win, they said. “I don’t think there will be a big, ambitious rollback,” said one big-bank lobbyist who was not authorized to discuss strategy publicly. “There will be four years of regulatory evolution.” Proponents of the Volcker rule say lenders that benefit from government support like deposit insurance should not be gambling with their balance sheets. They also argue such proprietary bets worsened the crisis and drove greedy, unethical behavior across Wall Street.

Read more …

Darn Europeans. The US would be fine without them.

Wall Street Banks Have $2 Trillion European Exposure (Martens)

Just 17 days from today, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the nation’s 45th President and deliver his inaugural address. Trump is expected to announce priorities in the areas of education, infrastructure, border security, the economy and curtailing the outsourcing of jobs. But Trump’s agenda will be derailed on all fronts if the big Wall Street banks blow up again as they did in 2008, dragging the U.S. economy into the ditch and requiring another massive taxpayer bailout from a nation already deeply in debt from the last banking crisis. According to a report quietly released by the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Financial Research less than two weeks before Christmas, another financial implosion on Wall Street can’t be ruled out.The Office of Financial Research (OFR), a unit of the U.S. Treasury, was created under the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation of 2010.

It says its role is to: “shine a light in the dark corners of the financial system to see where risks are going, assess how much of a threat they might pose, and provide policymakers with financial analysis, information, and evaluation of policy tools to mitigate them.” Its 2016 Financial Stability Report, released on December 13, indicates that Wall Street banks have been allowed by their “regulators” to take on unfathomable risks and that dark corners remain in the U.S. financial system that are impenetrable to even this Federal agency that has been tasked with peering into them. At a time when international business headlines are filled with reports of a massive banking bailout in Italy and the potential for systemic risks from Germany’s struggling giant, Deutsche Bank, the OFR report delivers this chilling statement:

“U.S. global systemically important banks (G-SIBs) have more than $2 trillion in total exposures to Europe. Roughly half of those exposures are off-balance-sheet…U.S. G-SIBs have sold more than $800 billion notional in credit derivatives referencing entities domiciled in the EU.”

When a Wall Street bank buys a credit derivative, it is buying protection against a default on its debts by the referenced entity like a European bank or European corporation. But when a Wall Street bank sells credit derivative protection, it is on the hook for the losses if the referenced entity defaults. Regulators will not release to the public the specifics on which Wall Street banks are selling protection on which European banks but just the idea that regulators would allow this buildup of systemic risk in banks holding trillions of dollars in insured deposits after the cataclysmic results of similar hubris in 2008 shows just how little has been accomplished in terms of meaningful U.S. financial reform.

Read more …

“What’s a poor bankrupt former superpower to do?” Lovely from Dmitry. Go after Saudi Arabia.

How to Make America Great Again with Other People’s Money (Orlov)

1. It all started when the US decided to leave the British Empire. This event is often portrayed as a tax revolt by rich landholders, but there is more to it than that: it allowed the former colonies to loot and plunder British holdings by funding and outfitting “privateers”—pirates, that is. This went on for quite some time.

2. Another major boost resulted from the Civil War, which destroyed the agrarian economy of the south and by so doing provided cheap labor and feedstocks to industries in the north. Plenty of people in the south are still in psychological recovery from this event, some 15 decades later. It was the first war to be fought on an industrial scale, and a fratricidal war at that. Clearly, Americans are not above turning on their own if there’s a buck or two to be made.

3. Early in the 20th century, World War I provided the US with a rich source of plunder in the form of German reparations. Not only did this fuel the so-called “roaring twenties,” but it also pushed Germany toward embracing fascism in furtherance of the long-term goal of creating a proxy to use against the USSR.

4. When in 1941 this plan came to fruition and Hitler invaded the USSR, the US hoped for a quick Soviet surrender, only joining the fray once it became clear that the Germans would be defeated. In the aftermath of that conflict, the US reaped a gigantic windfall in the form of Jewish money and gold, which fled Europe for the US. It was able to repurpose its wartime industrial production to make civilian products, which had little competition because many industrial centers of production outside of the US had been destroyed during the war.

5. After the USSR collapsed in late 1991, the US sent in consultants who organized a campaign of wholesale looting, with much of the wealth expropriated from the public and shipped overseas. This was the last time the Americans were able to run off with a fantastic amount of other people’s money, giving the US yet another temporary lease on life.

But after that the takings have thinned out. Still, the Americans have kept working at it. They destroyed Iraq, killed Saddam Hussein and ran off with quite a bit of Iraqi gold and treasure. They destroyed Libya, killed Muammar Qaddafy and ran off with Libya’s gold. After organizing the putsch in the Ukraine in 2014, shooting up a crowd using foreign snipers and forcing Viktor Yanukovich into exile, they loaded Ukrainian gold onto a plane under the cover of darkness and took that too. They hoped to do the same in Syria by training and equipping a plucky band of terrorists, but we all know how badly that has turned out for them. But these are all small fry, and the loot from them is too meager to fuel even a temporary, purely notional rekindling of erstwhile American greatness. What’s a poor bankrupt former superpower to do?

Read more …

Only point 10 of 10 in Nomi’s “My Political-Financial Road Map for 2017”. But it fits my format quite well. DO read the whole thing.

The Trump Effect Will Accentuate Unrest (Nomi Prins)

Trump is assembling the richest cabinet in the world to conduct the business of the United States, from a political position. The problem with that is several fold. First, there is a woeful lack of public office experience amongst his administration. His supporters may think that means the Washington swamp has been drained to make room for less bureaucratic decisions. But, the swamp has only been clogged. Instead of political elite, it continues business elite, equally ill-suited to put the needs of the everyday American before the needs of their private colleagues and portfolios.

Second, running the US is not like running a business. Other countries are free to do their business apart from the US. If Trump’s doctrine slaps tariffs on imports for instance, it burdens US companies that would need to pay more for required products or materials, putting a strain on the US economy. Playing hard ball with other nations spurs them to engage more closely with each other.That would make the dollar less attractive. This will likely happen during the second half of the year, once it becomes clear the Fed isn’t on a rate hike rampage and Trump isn’t as adept at the economy as he is prevalent on Twitter. Third, an overly aggressive Trump administration, combined with its ample conflicts of interest could render Trump’s and his cohorts’ businesses the target of more terrorism, and could unleash more violence and chaos globally.

Fourth, his doctrine is deregulatory, particularly for the banking sector. Consider that the biggest US banks remain bigger than before the financial crisis. Deregulating them by striking elements of the already tepid Dodd-Frank Act could fall hard on everyone. When the system crashes, it doesn’t care about Republican or Democrat politics. The last time a deregulation and protectionist businessmen filled the US presidential cabinet was in the 1920s. That led to the Crash of 1929 and Great Depression. Today, the only thing keeping a lid on financial calamity is epic amounts of artisanal money. Deregulating an inherently corrupt and coddled banking industry, already floating on said capital assistance, would inevitably cause another crisis during Trump’s first term.

Read more …


Anti-Surveillance Clothing Aims To Hide Wearers From Facial Recognition (G.)

The use of facial recognition software for commercial purposes is becoming more common, but, as Amazon scans faces in its physical shop and Facebook searches photos of users to add tags to, those concerned about their privacy are fighting back. Berlin-based artist and technologist Adam Harvey aims to overwhelm and confuse these systems by presenting them with thousands of false hits so they can’t tell which faces are real. The Hyperface project involves printing patterns on to clothing or textiles, which then appear to have eyes, mouths and other features that a computer can interpret as a face. This is not the first time Harvey has tried to confuse facial recognition software. During a previous project, CV Dazzle, he attempted to create an aesthetic of makeup and hairstyling that would cause machines to be unable to detect a face.

Speaking at the Chaos Communications Congress hacking conference in Hamburg, Harvey said: “As I’ve looked at in an earlier project, you can change the way you appear, but, in camouflage you can think of the figure and the ground relationship. There’s also an opportunity to modify the ‘ground’, the things that appear next to you, around you, and that can also modify the computer vision confidence score.” Harvey’s Hyperface project aims to do just that, he says, “overloading an algorithm with what it wants, oversaturating an area with faces to divert the gaze of the computer vision algorithm.” The resultant patterns, which Harvey created in conjunction with international interaction studio Hyphen-Labs, can be worn or used to blanket an area. “It can be used to modify the environment around you, whether it’s someone next to you, whether you’re wearing it, maybe around your head or in a new way.”

Read more …

“The lives of patients that are lost are considered collateral damage in the conservation of power.”

Guardian Report On Ailing Greek Health System Sparks Ugly Row (Kath.)

A report by The Guardian on Sunday on the problems faced by Greece’s ailing public healthcare system has sparked an ugly war of words between Alternate Health Minister Pavlos Polakis and unionists. The row started with a social media post made by Polakis on Tuesday, in which he accuses the head of the Panhellenic Federation of Public Hospital Employees (POEDIN), Michalis Giannakos, who is extensively quoted in the report, of “despicable lies.” Polakis went on to say that Giannakos’s comments to Guardian reporter Helena Smith were “slandering to the country and the SYRIZA government, which cut off access to the chow trough and special favors,” and called the unionist a “louse.” In the same post, Polakis also suggested that local media quoting Giannakos’s “vomit-inspiring interview” were lashing out at the leftist-government for cutting advertising revenues from the Center of Disease Prevention and Control (KEELPNO).

“No one who works in a public hospital believes you anymore, just your posse of friends,” Polakis said in his comments, which were directed at Giannakos, adding that the data the unionist cited was from 2012 and no longer valid. “Your time has finished, your place is on history’s trash heap,” Polakis said. His comments prompted an equally vehement response from POEDIN on Tuesday, calling Polakis a “political miasma” and accusing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of appointing him “to do the dirty work.” “With his latest misspelt, badly written and delusional post on Facebook against the president of POEDIN, Mr. Polakis has once more confirmed that he is the political miasma of the country’s civil and social life,” the union said in its statement.

In the interview, Giannakos suggested that cutbacks are putting patients’ lives at risk by over-taxing dwindling staff and curbing hospitals’ access to basic necessities and equipment. “The interview in The Guardian underscores the collapse of the public health system and public hospitals. Why doesn’t the government use the publication as an opportunity in its negotiations with the lenders to exempt healthcare from the memorandums? It is clear from its reaction that the government intends to achieve high primary surpluses by the continued reduction of public healthcare spending,” POEDIN said. “The lives of patients that are lost are considered collateral damage in the conservation of power.” The union also said that it is planning to take legal action against Polakis, accusing the health official of using “degrading, insulting and wholly inappropriate” language in his post.

Read more …

Erdogan makes Greeks nervous. And mainatining your borders, like maintaining your culture, is not a bad thing. Nor will it lead to war. Quite the opposite.

The Necessity of Maintaining Borders (Kath.)

Since the failed coup in Turkey on July 15, I have been rather surprised by the silence of the country’s intellectuals, who up until recently had been very talkative. Whether they kept silent out of fear or discomfort, we should respect it. Nevertheless, Orhan Pamuk’s silence, for instance, cannot go unnoticed. The point is not to carry out direct political interventions, but to bare the essential transformations that Turkish society has gone through in the nearly 15 years that Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been in power – changes that are obvious even to non-Turkish experts like myself. The mere presence (2002-17) of the same party in government for so long makes you wonder about the nature of our neighboring democracy.

I read in Monday’s Corriere della Sera that prior to the attack on Istanbul’s Reina nightclub, Turkey’s director for religious affairs, who represents the state, had accused those preparing to celebrate New Year’s Eve of being “infidels.” Meanwhile, author Burhan Sonmez told the same paper that similar complaints, regarding both Christmas and New Year’s Eve, were made by several leading AKP officials. While Turkey officially condemned the attack, on social media and elsewhere online, many defended the assassin in the name of religion. In a statement claiming responsibility for yet another mass murder, the slaughterers’ group referred to the “apostate Turkish government.” These are the same people Erdogan helped in the past but was forced to drop when he started reaching an understanding with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, abandoning the US, which is helping the Kurds and which forced him to move away from his friend Bashar al-Assad.

There is something wrong with the sultan of democracy. He now claims that Kurdish terrorism is equal to Islamic terrorism. The result of the equation is weekly massacres. How can social cohesion be maintained faced with weekly attacks on civilians from Diyarbakir to Istanbul? How much can you trust a leader who does not hide his autocratic tendencies, who has changed his country’s allies on numerous occasions in the last decade and who undermines his own military and secret service forces? Given that Greece and Europe have based their entire management of the refugee-migrant crisis on Erdogan’s word, should we start worrying? Instead of looking for frigates invading our islets, should we be looking out for dinghies flooding our cities with human despair? Until the world becomes paradise, you need borders, even those at sea.

Read more …