The Evening Blues - 9-30-20



eb1pt12


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Fats Waller

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features jazz piano player Fats Waller. Enjoy!

Fats Waller - Honeysuckle Rose

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt."

-- Abraham Lincoln


News and Opinion

Caitlin Johnstone finds a silver lining in the turd that was the Presidential "debate."

Russia Could Never Discredit The US Empire The Way These Guys Just Did

Well.

Wow.

I mean, wow.

So in case you missed it, the first US presidential debate was everything the US empire deserves and a fair reflection of everything the US empire is.

If Vladimir Putin were every bit the election-meddling demon the Democrats say he is, and if he had unlimited time and unlimited resources to create the perfect ninety-minute propaganda video to discredit the US-led unipolar world order, he could not have designed one more effective than the performance that was just delivered by President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden with the help of moderator Chris Wallace.

I mean, it had everything. Both candidates yelling over each other the entire time, Biden telling the sitting president of the United States to shut up on live television, Trump at one point saying the Proud Boys should “stand back and stand by“, Chris Wallace literally shouting to be heard over the unceasing interruptions, Biden getting confused and arguing that the Green New Deal would pay for itself and then turning around saying he does not support the Green New Deal, mountains of lies and nonsense, and absolutely no meaningful discussion of policies that will actually help ordinary Americans at all.

It was crazier than any of Trump’s debates in 2016. It was crazier than any presidential debate that has ever happened. You seriously could not have designed a more perfect display to do everything we’ve been told for years that Russian propagandists are trying to do: depress the vote, encourage support for third parties, weaken public trust in America’s institutions, and humiliate the United States on the world stage.

The world is going to be talking about this for a while now. Clips from this debate are going to share widely all across the planet. It will be translated in many languages. Articles will be written about it for days. And people who’d never thought to question whether this is the government that should be leading the world into the future are suddenly going to find themselves contemplating that question.

And hopefully the next one will be even worse.

It is good for the US empire to invalidate itself in this way. The government that has encircled the planet with hundreds of military bases and snuffed out millions of human lives while displacing tens of millions since 9/11 in military interventions that were based on lies, which sanctions, sabotages and destroys any nation which dares to disobey its dictates, and which is escalating world-threatening cold war aggressions against not one but two nuclear-armed nations is not a government that should have any control over humanity’s collective future.

The uglier a face that appears on this murderous empire, the better it will be for everybody. In a government that is intrinsically evil and destructive from root to flower, an attractive face with competent management is the last thing anyone should want.

It doesn’t matter who won this accidental Kremlin propaganda performance of a debate. It doesn’t even matter who wins the election; the most evil aspects of the US government will continue unhindered regardless of which oligarchic puppet wins in November. What does matter is that the dark, ugly aspects of global power that people had previously not noticed are being drawn into the spotlight and seen by everybody. 2020 seems to be a good year for that.

If the imperialists who run things have any sense they will find a way to cancel future debates in the name of national security, because they’re the ones who will be worst affected by them. Here’s hoping they don’t, though.

Armenia and Azerbaijan allege attacks outside Nagorno-Karabakh

Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan threatened to escalate as both sides accused each other of targeting border areas outside Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenian officials claimed Turkey was deploying fighter jets in the conflict. Armenia’s defence ministry said one of its Sukhoi Su-25 jets was shot down on Tuesday morning by a Turkish F-16 that had taken off from the Ganja airbase in Azerbaijan. “Unfortunately, the pilot died heroically,” the ministry said.

Turkish officials quickly dismissed the claim as false and told Bloomberg it was a “cheap propaganda stunt”.

Armenia’s foreign ministry said earlier that one civilian was killed in Vardenis, a town inside Armenian territory and miles from Nagorno-Karabakh, when Azerbaijani forces shelled “civilian-military infrastructure” in the area. It also claimed a civilian bus in the town was set on fire by an unmanned drone.

Azerbaijan’s defence ministry had earlier accused Armenia of shelling the Dashkasan region, also north of Nagorno-Karabakh – a claim the Armenian foreign ministry denied.

Amid fears that the ongoing fighting could spread to new fronts and draw in other regional actors, the UN security council announced it would hold emergency talks on Tuesday evening behind closed doors in New York. Belgium formally requested the session after France and Germany had led a push for it to be placed on the agenda.

Hague court begins long-delayed hearings on Kosovan war crimes

A special court in The Hague has begun hearings on war crimes committed by Kosovo’s former separatist fighters, more than two decades after its war for independence from Serbia and nine years after a prosecutor was first appointed to investigate reports of atrocities. Over the past week the Kosovo specialist chambers have ordered the arrest of three former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), who were detained by EU police and transferred to the Netherlands. Two of them have already appeared before a judge, in a specially built courtroom fitted with transparent screens as a precaution against coronavirus.

The start of the long-delayed court proceedings could have profound effects on Kosovo and its tense relations with Serbia. In June Kosovo’s president, Hashim Thaci, was charged by the special prosecutor with war crimes and crimes against humanity. The charges have yet to be confirmed by a judge. Thaçi was formally questioned on the charges in July and has proclaimed his innocence.

The charges prevented Thaci from attending a signing ceremony with his Serbian counterpart, Aleksandar Vucic, for an agreement on limited steps towards economic normalisation. The pact was eventually signed on 4 September by Kosovo’s prime minister, Avdullah Hoti, but considerable tensions remain and neither Serbia nor its supporters including Russia and China have so far recognised Kosovo’s independence.

Spanish judge’s request to probe a Las Vegas Sands staffer’s apparent role in a criminal spying operation against Julian Assange indicates the investigation is homing in on US intelligence.

The Spanish judge presiding over the trial of a security firm owner apparently hired to spy on jailed Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange has sent a request to the US Department of Justice for an interview with Zohar Lahav, the Israeli-American vice president for executive protection at Las Vegas Sands. Sands is owned by the ultra-Zionist casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson, one of the single largest donors to Donald Trump’s presidential campaigns and the Republican Party.

According to court documents reviewed by The Grayzone, the judge seeks to probe Lahav’s relationship with disgraced UC Global CEO David Morales, who was indicted for an array of crimes after allegedly presiding over a spying operation targeting Assange while he was confined within Ecuador’s embassy in London. This request follows a previous attempt at securing witness interviews that was effectively blocked by the US Department of Justice.

The judge outlined four objectives for the interview with Lahav:

  • Determine Lahav’s relationship with Morales
  • Determine the occasions when Morales and Lahav met in the United States and Spain
  • Determine if Lahav had communications and meetings with Morales regarding the alleged illegally obtained information under investigation
  • Determine if Lahav or his superiors in Las Vegas Sands, Sheldon Adelson and Brian Nagel, had access to the alleged illegally obtained information under investigation.

The judge’s interest in Nagel indicates that the Spanish investigation is now probing the suspected role of US intelligence as the guiding hand behind UC Global’s criminal spying operation.

Assange case: former security firm staff allowed to give anonymous evidence

Former employees of a security firm accused of spying on Julian Assange at Ecuador’s embassy in the UK will be allowed to give evidence to his extradition case anonymously after claiming they would be at risk of kidnapping or poisoning. ...

James Lewis QC, acting for the US government, did not contest the submission for anonymity but said that checks would be carried out on the witnesses, whose evidence would be read into the record. He added that the US case was likely to be that their evidence was “wholly irrelevant”.

In allegations first reported by El Pais, the Spanish defence and private security company provided security for the Ecuadorian embassy, where Assange lived for seven years until April 2019. According to a complaint lodged by Assange in Spain, the company handed over audio and video of meetings he held with his lawyers and supporters inside the embassy to the CIA, breaching privacy laws and legal privilege.

Earlier in Tuesday’s hearing, a lawyer for Abu Hamza, the radical Muslim cleric serving a life sentence in the US for terrorism offences, told the court that Assange would almost certainly end up in the extreme conditions of a notorious “supermax” jail if sent to the US. The lawyer, Lindsay Lewis, accused US authorities of going back on assurances that she said had been given to courts in the UK and Europe before Hamza was extradited from Britain in 2012. ...

The 62-year-old had suffered serious psychological consequences from enforced isolation in the US, Lewis told the Old Bailey. The US lawyer represented Hamza during his New York terrorism trial and has been called by Assange’s defence team. “I would note he was almost never out of his cell except for legal visits,” she said, adding that calls and communications to his family were also sporadic. There was no reason to believe that the conditions US authorities could impose on Assange “would be any less arbitrary, oppressive or difficult to challenge”, Lewis said.

JP Morgan Chase admits to US market manipulation and agrees to pay $920m

JP Morgan Chase has agreed to pay more than $920m and admitted to wrongdoing to settle federal US market manipulation investigations into its trading of metals futures and Treasury securities, the US authorities said on Tuesday. ...

According to the settlement, between 2009 and 2016 JPMorgan Treasury’s traders placed orders on one side of the market which they never intended to execute, to create a false impression of buy or sell interest that would raise or depress prices. The manipulative practice designed to create the illusion of demand or a lack of demand is known as “spoofing”.

Media Mum As MASSIVE Criminal Financial Enterprise At JPMorgan Chase Exposed

JPMorgan Chase Admits to Two New Felony Counts – Brings Total to Five Felony Counts in Six Years – All During Tenure of Jamie Dimon

As the attention of Americans is focused on surviving the pandemic and the pivotal presidential debate tonight, William Barr’s Justice Department decided to quietly hand an early Christmas present to a notorious Wall Street bank. ...

The bank has agreed today to pay criminal fines and admit to two felony counts of wire fraud for manipulating (spoofing) trading in the precious metals and U.S. Treasury markets. Why the Justice Department is bringing only two counts when its own charging document indicates that traders engaged in “tens of thousands of instances of unlawful trading in gold, silver, platinum, and palladium…as well as thousands of instances of unlawful trading in U.S. Treasury futures contracts and in U.S. Treasury notes and bonds…” is one more sign that this Justice Department is egregiously failing the American people and making a mockery of the word “justice.”

This Justice Department is not only defining deviancy down; it’s defining outrage down. Where is the U.S. Attorney’s voice announcing his resignation over this sellout of a deal?

The routine of charging the largest bank in the United States with felonies and placing it on a three-year probation is now so yawn-worthy at the U.S. Department of Justice that the prosecutors didn’t even bother to hold the usual press conference today to announce the charges and settlement. The Justice Department simply issued a press release and a Deferred Prosecution Agreement which both sides had already signed. ...

Representing JPMorgan Chase as outside counsel were lawyers from Kirkland & Ellis (the law firm with which Attorney General William Barr was associated before coming to the Justice Department) and lawyers from Sullivan & Cromwell, where SEC Chairman Jay Clayton was a partner before taking the lead at the SEC. (See SEC Nominee Has Represented 8 of the 10 Largest Wall Street Banks in Past Three Years.)

Critics Denounce Reported Trump Team Effort to Pressure CDC on School Reopenings

In yet another revelation regarding the Trump Administration's concerted effort to downplay the threat of Covid-19 to the American people, new reporting shows top White House officials pressured the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to encourage in-person schooling, despite scientific evidence that the virus is airborne and can be more easily spread indoors.

"The White House spent weeks trying to press public health professionals to fall in line with President [Donald] Trump's election-year agenda of pushing to reopen schools and the economy as quickly as possible," the New York Times reported Monday. "The president and his team have remained defiant in their demand for schools to get back to normal, even as coronavirus cases have once again ticked up, in some cases linked to school and college reopenings."

In the Times article, Mark Mazzetti, Noah Weiland, and Sharon LaFraniere wrote these actions were "a strikingly political intervention in one of the most sensitive public health debates of the pandemic, according to documents and interviews with current and former government officials."

The revelations come as the global death toll from Covid-19 surpassed one million people—nearly a fifth of them in the United States—this week, and as a new CDC report found more than 277,000 American children have contracted cornoavirus since May. Kaiser Health News reported earlier this month that opening colleges and universities in the U.S. fueled a spike in Covid-19 cases at the rate of about 3,000 a day.

Olivia Troye, a former top aide to Vice President Mike Pence on the White House Coronavirus Task Force—who was admittedly involved in some of the alleged interference—has since spoken out about the efforts, saying she regrets being "complicit" in the disinformation campaign.

"During my tenure on the task force, I saw senior White House political staff actively undermine the doctors by attempting to manipulate scientific data on the virus and force changes to CDC guidances," Troye tweeted Tuesday. "I know my former task force colleagues are still fighting for what's right today."

According to Times reporting, "As part of their behind-the-scenes effort, White House officials also tried to circumvent the CDC in a search for alternate data showing that the pandemic was weakening and posed little danger to children... The effort included Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House's coronavirus response coordinator, and officials working for Vice President Mike Pence, who led the task force. It left officials at the CDC, long considered the world's premier public health agency, alarmed at the degree of pressure from the White House."

NYT CAUGHT Reporting Egregious Errors On Coronavirus

"Ball Is Now in the Court of Senate Republicans": GOP Urged to Immediately Pass Democrats' $2.2 Trillion Covid Relief Bill

Progressive advocacy groups and labor leaders are urging Senate Republicans and the Trump White House to stop stonewalling and immediately approve a Covid-19 relief package unveiled late Monday by House Democrats that would renew the expired $600-per-week federal unemployment supplement, send another round of $1,200 stimulus checks to most Americans, and provide aid to faltering state and local governments.

The $2.2 trillion legislation, announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) just weeks ahead of the November election, represents a compromise version of the $3.4 trillion HEROES Act that the Democrat-controlled House approved more than four months ago. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) dismissed the House-passed version as an "unserious liberal wish list" and has refused to allow a vote on the measure despite still-deteriorating economic conditions and surging coronavirus cases nationwide.

Lee Saunders, president of the 1.3 million-member American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), said in a statement Monday evening that the latest iteration of the HEROES Act "represents a good faith effort to renew constructive negotiations and finally deliver the relief that families and communities need."

"The ball is now in the court of Senate Republicans and the White House, as it has been for more than four months," said Saunders. "While the Senate has wasted no time trying to illegitimately jam through a Supreme Court nomination, they continue to turn their backs on the suffering and hardship of millions of people, as the worst public health crisis in a century rages on. Speaker Pelosi's overture provides another opportunity to put progress ahead of partisanship and get something done."

In addition to providing badly needed relief to tens of millions of jobless and hungry Americans, the revised HEROES Act also includes emergency funding for schools, election assistance, the U.S. Postal Service, housing aid, and coronavirus testing and tracing. ...

Late Monday, Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin resumed coronavirus relief negotiations that have been stalled for months due to the White House's refusal to approve a relief package larger than $1.5 trillion—a price tag Democratic congressional leaders have slammed as far too low to meet the needs of struggling Americans and cash-strapped state and local governments, which are already beginning to lay off teachers and other public-sector employees.

As the New York Times reported, "Absent an agreement with the administration, the House could vote as early as this week to approve the legislation, responding to growing pressure for Congress to provide additional relief and quelling the concerns of moderate lawmakers unwilling to leave Washington for a final stretch of campaigning without voting on another round of aid."

"But at roughly $1 trillion more than what Mr. Mnuchin has signaled the White House is willing to consider," the Times noted, "the package is likely just a starting point, all but guaranteed to be rejected by the Republican majority in the Senate should the House pass it in its current form."

Breonna Taylor: Kentucky attorney general agrees to release grand jury recordings

Kentucky’s attorney general has said he will release a recording of the grand jury proceedings in the Breonna Taylor case, after a judge ordered they be filed in court by noon on Wednesday. It follows an anonymous juror suing for them to be made public.

Attorney general, Daniel Cameron, said in a statement: “The Grand Jury is meant to be a secretive body. It’s apparent that the public interest in this case isn’t going to allow that to happen.”

Cameron said the special prosecutor had an “ethical obligation not to release the recording from the Grand Jury proceedings, and we stand by our belief that such a release could compromise the ongoing federal investigation and could have unintended consequences such as poisoning the jury pool”.

“Despite these concerns, we will comply with the Judge’s order to release the recording on Wednesday. The release of the recording will also address the legal complaint filed by an anonymous grand juror.”

LAPD cops use data-mining firm Palantir's controversial law enforcement tool to 'store personal information

Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) cops have been trained to use data-mining firm Palantir's controversial law enforcement tool to list the names, addresses, phone numbers, license plates, friendships, romances and jobs of anyone who comes into contact with police - including their associates. More than half of all LAPD cops - around 5,000 officers - have accounts with Palantir, one of the biggest surveillance companies in the world, which both firms claim helps the force keep the public safe on the city's streets.

However, newly released documents obtained by Buzzfeed News through a FOIA request reveal that the surveillance is far from limited to people arrested, convicted or suspected of criminal activity. Training documents for the 'Intermediate Course' and 'Advanced Course' show how cops are taught to use the powerful law enforcement tool Palantir Gotham to collect and store detailed information on anyone at all they encounter, from witnesses or victims of crimes to someone simply living in the area a crime took place.

The system then indiscriminately stores intricate details such as tattoos, scars, romances and associates on people including those who are innocent and completely unrelated to any crime. As well as being invasive, critics warn the system reinforces racism in law enforcement, with data suggesting when cops use it to predict future criminal activity, they over-target black and brown communities. ...

The software maps relationships from person to person, person to car, person to home, or person to crime scene, and cops use this to create lists of people they predict will commit a crime.

Unredacted FBI Document Sheds New Light on White Supremacist Infiltration of Law Enforcement

The FBI has long been concerned about the infiltration of law enforcement by white supremacist groups and its impact on police abuse and tolerance of racism, the unredacted version of a previously circulated document reveals. The FBI threat assessment report was released by Rep. Jamie Raskin, chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform’s Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee, ahead of a hearing about the white supremacist infiltration of local police departments scheduled for Tuesday.

A heavily redacted version of the 2006 document had previously been published, one of a handful of documents revealing federal officials’ growing concern with white supremacists’ “historical” interest in “infiltrating law enforcement communities or recruiting law enforcement personnel.” A different internal document obtained by The Intercept in 2017 had also noted that “domestic terrorism investigations focused on militia extremists, white supremacist extremists, and sovereign citizen extremists often have identified active links to law enforcement officers.”

The unredacted version of the first document sheds further light on the FBI’s concerns, as early as 2006, about “self-initiated efforts by individuals, particularly among those already within law enforcement ranks, to volunteer their professional resources to white supremacist causes with which they sympathize.” ...

In a report published last month by the Brennan Center for Justice, former FBI agent Mike German detailed law enforcement agencies’ longstanding failure to respond to affiliation with white supremacist and militant groups in their ranks, as well as the long history of law enforcement involvement in white supremacist violence.

Since 2000, law enforcement officials with alleged connections to white supremacist groups have been exposed in more than a dozen states, while hundreds of federal, state, and local law enforcement officials have been caught expressing racist, nativist, and sexist views on social media, “which demonstrates that overt bias is far too common,” German noted in the report. “Efforts to address systemic and implicit biases in law enforcement are unlikely to be effective in reducing the racial disparities in the criminal justice system as long as explicit racism in law enforcement continues to endure,” German wrote in that report. “There is ample evidence to demonstrate that it does.”



the horse race



Former Neo-Nazi Says Trump's Call for Proud Boys to "Stand By" Will Encourage More Violence

'Fascism at Our Door': Asked to Condemn White Supremacist Groups, Trump Tells Them to 'Stand By' Instead

President Donald Trump was asked point-blank during Tuesday night's presidential with Democratic rival Joe Biden if he would denounce armed white supremacist groups like the Proud Boys and ask them to "stand down" in order to quell violent confrontations at racial justice rallies in U.S. cities, but instead of making a clear and straightforward condemnation the president said such groups should "stand back and stand by"—a clearly different signal. ...

"Not even hiding the racism," said the Arabs for Bernie account on Twitter in response.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) put the exchange—including the ominous and revealing choice of words by the president—in stark terms:


Krystal Ball: Will Biden's Decision To Punch The Left Blow Up In His Face


Trump's Taxes Expose A System That Must Be DISMANTLED!



the evening greens


40% of world’s plant species at risk of extinction

Two in five of the world’s plant species are at risk of extinction as a result of the destruction of the natural world, according to an international report.

Plants and fungi underpin life on Earth, but the scientists said they were now in a race against time to find and identify species before they were lost.

These unknown species, and many already recorded, were an untapped “treasure chest” of food, medicines and biofuels that could tackle many of humanity’s greatest challenges, they said, potentially including treatments for coronavirus and other pandemic microbes. ...

“We would be able not survive without plants and fungi – all life depends on them – and it is really time to open the treasure chest,” said Prof Alexandre Antonelli, the director of science at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, in the UK. RBG Kew led the report, which involved 210 scientists from 42 countries.

“Every time we lose a species, we lose an opportunity for humankind,” Antonelli said. “We are losing a race against time as we are probably losing species faster than we can find and name them.”

Deadly fires rage through northern California forcing tens of thousands to evacuate

California firefighters on Tuesday battled a wind-fueled wildfire that had exploded in the northern California wine country, prompting tens of thousands of evacuations. A second blaze killed at least three people.

The Glass fire raged through Napa and Sonoma counties on Sunday and Monday, tripling in size to more than 56 sq miles without any containment. More than 110 buildings have burned, including homes and winery installations. Tens of thousands of people have had to evacuate.

The fire was driving through brush that had not burned for a century, even though surrounding areas saw a series of blazes in recent years.

Dry winds that gave the flames a ferocious push appeared to have eased by Monday evening and firefighters were feeling “much more confident”, said Ben Nicholls, a division chief with the California department of forestry and fire protection, known as Cal Fire. ...

The Glass fire is one of nearly 30 wildfires around California and the National Weather Service warned that hot, dry conditions with strong Santa Ana winds could remain a fire danger in southern California into Tuesday.


Also of Interest

Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.

Armenian-Azeri fighting escalates as war danger surges across Middle East

Strategic Aims Behind The War On Armenia

Craig Murray: Your Man in the Public Gallery: Assange Hearing—Day 15

ASSANGE HEARING DAY SIXTEEN–Anonymous Witnesses to Detail Alleged CIA Plot to Kill Assange

Hearing Reveals US Govt’s Invisible Hand in Protests Around the World

Showing 76% of Coney Barrett Rulings Put Corporate Interests Over People, Analysis Warns Confirmation Would 'Supercharge' GOP Agenda

Nouriel Roubini: Why Joe Biden is better than Donald Trump for the US economy

Billionaire GOP Donor’s Firm Reports Sub-Zero Tax Rate

Did the White House Stop the EPA From Regulating PFAS?

Krystal and Saagar REACT: Who Won The Worst Presidential Debate In American History


A Little Night Music

Fats Waller - Your Feet's Too Big

Fats Waller Plays - Handful of Keys

Fats Waller - You're A Viper

Fats Waller - Lulu's Back In Town

Fats Waller - The Jitterbug Waltz

Fats Waller - It's a Sin to Tell a Lie

Fats Waller - Viper's Drag

Fats Waller - The Curse Of an Aching Heart

Fats Waller - The Joint Is Jumping

The Red Clay Ramblers - Baby Grand


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16 users have voted.

Comments

Lookout's picture

The debate highlights I caught were indeed a shitshow. Caity hits it on the head.

The uglier a face that appears on this murderous empire, the better it will be for everybody. In a government that is intrinsically evil and destructive from root to flower, an attractive face with competent management is the last thing anyone should want.

Max and Stacy see the bank collapse coming too... (1st 15 min)

... and that's how every empire falls

Well thanks for the news and music. Always appreciated!

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14 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

ggersh's picture

@Lookout https://thesaker.is/the-world-has-gone-absolutely-insane/

I'll give ya'll his conclusion

Conclusion: quos Deus vult perdere prius dementat!

We live in a world where facts or logic have simply become irrelevant and nobody cares about such clearly outdated categories. We have elevated “doubleplusgoodthinking” into an art form. We have also done away with the concepts of “proof” or “evidence” which we have replaced with variations on the “highly likely” theme. We have also, for all practical purpose, jettisoned the entire corpus of international law and replaced it with “rules-based international order“. In fact, I can only agree with Chris Hedges who, in his superb book the “Empire of illusions” and of the “triumph of spectacle”. He is absolutely correct: not only is this a triumph of appearance over substance, and of ideology over reality, it is even the triumph of self-destruction over self-preservation.

There is not big “master plan”, no complex international conspiracy, no 5D chess. All we have is yet another empire committing suicide and, like so many before this one, this suicide is executed by this empire’s ruling classes.

The Saker

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15 users have voted.

Buy a Bible don't read it and you'll be a Catholic
Buy a Bible read only what suits you and you'll be an Evangelical
Buy a Bible read it fully, analyze it, reason it and you will be
an Atheist

joe shikspack's picture

@Lookout

yep, our candidates for the presidency are a national embarrassment. i suppose that most other nations now don't know whether to laugh at us or pity us.

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7 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@joe shikspack
and wish that the orange plague that's stalking all of you will outlive itsself. How do plagues end unsually? Couldn't find an answer within trying to find one for 30 seconds.

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5 users have voted.

Bernie disclosed today that he'll be going on the road for Joe. Nobody can be surprised by this as Bernie has been doing several events every week for the Party. Most recently with Beto, Julian & the 3, 4? Progressive candidates in Texas.

So he's all in for Biden. OK. What's in it for Bernie?

Today Bernie said something about being the Chairman of the Senate sub-committee on Health.

What? Bernie is now the ranking member of the Budget Committee. If Dems win the Senate he'd be the Chairman of a major committee.

Wouldn't a sub-committee be a step down?

In other remarks, I won't be reading anything by Caity from Oz in the near future. Her ferocity and glee at the thought of our demise offends and saddens me. Clearly she doesn't have any grandchildren living in the US whose lives have been upended.

A slow unraveling seems inevitable, but cackling about a sudden violent end is nutz, imho. I understand that her work is widely admired by many people whose words I respect. Let's agree to differ on this one.

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9 users have voted.

NYCVG

joe shikspack's picture

@NYCVG

i don't think that there's any challenge to sanders' committee assignments. he sits on a bunch of committees, including the health, education, labor and pensions committee along with the budget committee.

i guess the dem leadership could strip one or all of his committee assignments if they got peeved at him, so perhaps part of what's in it for him in supporting biden is his committee assignments.

regarding caitlin johnstone; i don't think that she's the greatest journalist/writer ever, but i do think her non-us perspective is worth paying attention to. it's perhaps not a bad idea to know how people in other countries view americans and their government even though it might not always be comfortable to hear.

my guess is that she doesn't have any animus towards average americans and probably (if i have read her correctly) sympathizes with the many decent americans who would like to have a better government but can't seem to get it.

that said, i certainly respect your feelings and will be sure to label her work in future ebs so that you can avoid it if that's your desire.

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10 users have voted.

@joe shikspack about Bernie and his committee assignments. So he could chair the Budget and still head a sub-committee. good to know.

About Caity---last night's debacle and what I see coming with Covid has made me unreasonably sensitive. I expect to tune back in to her comments at some time. Thank you for acknowledging that we can differ.

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8 users have voted.

NYCVG

janis b's picture

@NYCVG

“What it says, Carl, is that the people of this country are hoping that a Democrat Dad or a Republican Pop will sort everything out. Not themselves, they don’t really trust themselves. And certainly not their kids. The younger generation are a complete mystery to them. They’re reaching back to those times in their lives when they turned to Mom and Dad for help. When their first marriage crashed and burned. When their second business failed. When their eldest daughter got pregnant to that drug dealer. When the factory closed and they lost their job. Those moments when they were at a loss. When they were scared. When they needed help.”
https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2020/10/01/conversation-in-an-american-bar/

I can appreciate your discomfort with Johnstone’s writing, but I don’t interpret it as glee - maybe a fierce/ferocious outsider's perspective that is shouting for the extinction of unrestrained activities that negatively influence the entire planet.

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9 users have voted.

@janis b @janis b Eventually I'll look at her work again

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2 users have voted.

NYCVG

travelerxxx's picture

The uglier a face that appears on this murderous empire, the better it will be for everybody. In a government that is intrinsically evil and destructive from root to flower, an attractive face with competent management is the last thing anyone should want.

Caity is right about this. That much of America is embarrassed about this "debate" is good news. Perhaps one or two percent might even get a clue. Okay – maybe one percent if we're lucky.

Still, the rest of the world is Caity's vantage point. I'm guessing more and more of those not-American are figuring things out. After all, we're now showering sanctions and threats of sanctions at our own allies for crissakes.

So, I hope video of this mess is shown around the world. Everywhere. Show it in the UK, show it in Germany and France and Norway, show it in Haiti, show it in South Africa, show it in Argentina. Especially show it in Israel, but turn the volume up to eleven there.

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14 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@travelerxxx

people around the world have to be wondering, "why do we let these clowns bully us and kill millions of people around the world with impunity?"

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9 users have voted.

@joe shikspack

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3 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

Azazello's picture

No surprise here: I Told You Long Ago, Hillary's Team Helped Fabricate the Trump Russia Collusion Lie by Larry C Johnson
Dore will be LIVE in just a few minutes with his take on the debate.

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11 users have voted.

It didn't have to be this way.

Granma's picture

@Azazello I seldom watch videos, but I think I want to hear what he has to say about last night's fiasco.

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8 users have voted.

@Granma
https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/09/dni-letter-supports-allegation-tha...

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6 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

Granma's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness I guess that she is the one who made it up.

I hope the people who keep talking about Russian interference see this somewhere.

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9 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

@Granma
They're doing comedy bits right now, I hope they get to the politics soon.

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7 users have voted.

It didn't have to be this way.

joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

it'll be interesting to see if this latest memo from the dni gets any traction in the mainstream media and highlights hillary's corruption. my guess is that like the assange trial, the mainstream media and newspapers of record will studiously ignore it.

thanks for the link and the video. i haven't heard anything about the "debate" yet from jimmy, has he already done that?

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Azazello's picture

@joe shikspack
He talked about Hunter some, quoting the New York Post, and a bit about Biden's lies about his academic career.

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6 users have voted.

It didn't have to be this way.

enhydra lutris's picture

take a pass on most of the analysis and discussion. However, I really do hope that it was a sufficiently horrible shitshow that some of our foreign backers and allies might start backing away from us and withdrawing their support of all of our global criminal endeavors from sanctions to coups to wars. If they would just abandon us to stew in our little cesspool it would be wonderful, but I suspect that they'd have to also abandon our currency. That will turn out to be the sticking point. This is the time for all the non-US currencies to move.

be well and have a good one.

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9 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

yeah, the reserve currency would be the sticking point. getting off the dollar, given the interconnected system of global central banking might be a bit of an acrobatic feat without a net.

have a great evening!

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8 users have voted.

Did not watch the debate but there was enough coverage on the news feeds as well as what you posted tonight. I think I agree the takeaway that the American people were the biggest losers in this debate.

Today in my yoga class the teacher worked with us on yoga poses that help bring down stress and relieve anger. Was good for all that is swirling around the airwaves.

Leaving tomorrow to head up into the Jemez mountains to camp with some friends heading back down to
Texas from their travels to Tetons and down. We will be camping on the Jemez river and my tent will be set up where I can hear the river and see it first thing in the morning. After two or three days with no cell phone coverage, I should be in a better place

Have a good evening all!

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12 users have voted.

Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

travelerxxx's picture

@jakkalbessie

(...as in the Beatles tune)

We will be camping on the Jemez river and my tent will be set up where I can hear the river and see it first thing in the morning.

You may color me jealous!

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11 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@jakkalbessie

you really didn't miss anything by skipping the "debate." it was more an annoyance than an opportunity.

have a great camping trip! the location certainly sounds great. take care!

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7 users have voted.

This Overlooked Variable Is the Key to the Pandemic

Explains some anomalies but still begs many others. One thing I learned is that standard contact tracing looks forward and not backwards. IOW doesn't attempt to identify the index case for the subject. No wonder that for months South Korea with all its contact tracing continued to have new infections pop up.

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6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Marie

thanks for the article. it looks like japan was on to something, but it probably wouldn't work here due to americans' impatience with any sort of restriction regardless of how judicious or necessary.

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@joe shikspack by too much, imo. 1) when ill, the Japanese always wear masks in public (it's considered socially responsible and 2) Japan was slow to close the schools without any evidence or knowledge that children are less likely to contract the virus and even less likely to infect others when they do. Overall Japan was slow to react, government and medical weren't transparent, and I doubt the early numbers they reported were truthful. On that last point, they've been cagey about its first case (likely 10 Jan but much later reported as 14 or 15 Jan, they flubbed the cruise liner response, and it's only been in the past few months that its reported cases have jumped from almost negligible to 83,010. (As of 1 July, its cases were 18,723 and deaths were 974. Still, and again reportedly, its CFR is only 1.9%.)

What doesn't work is low social responsibility and poor government/medical transparency and honesty, including inconsistency. China, the country most challenged, has done well. South Korea has also done well, but chose to accept an infection level that meant suppression in the near term was unlikely. So far, I'm still giving Vietnam the highest marks; heavy on traditional public health measures combined with good enough medical treatment for the few that became critically ill.

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@Marie
Sounds like a bit of chaos theory, where a single event can lead to large consequences.

A couple of things I looked for in the article but didn't find:
-the impact of behaviors. For instance, the cluster associated with a US church choir, where people singing (and spewing aerosols and droplets)led to an outbreak. IIRC, several people died of that event. Think of rallies, too, with people crowded and shouting. And bars.
-mutations: there is some evidence that a common mutation in the virus (especially in the US, I believe) causes it to heavily favor infesting the upper respiratory tract. This could encourage more aerosols in exhalations. Combine this with the increasingly common behavior of wearing the mask nose-out, and you get a recipe for spreading events which select for that mutation.

I've been bombarding media outlets with requests for shows, articles, and PSA's about proper mask-wearing. The more people they hear from, the more likely they are to address the topic.

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5 users have voted.

If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

@pindar's revenge in South Korea - 5,000 infections. Singing, speaking, coughing, and sneezing in poorly ventilated indoor spaces is a venue for super spreading. The earliest guidance from South Korea CDC for those who are ill was to wear a mask and open the windows.

On masks -- for self protection, only an N-95 mask will do and fully covering the nose and mouth is essential. Prophylactic masks (cotton and surgical) fully covering the mouth is most essential but the risk to others is high if an infected person sneezes and hasn't covered the nose. Curiously and apparently airliners are extremely well ventilated. We know that almost all of the international spread was the result of air travel, but the infection incidence during air travel has been low.

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@Marie
The S. Korean superspreader was just an incredible asshole -- told to quarantine, then going to buffets and crowded churches. The US event I thought of involved about 50 people in a church choir.

Another instructive event was the recent wedding in Maine with around 80 attendees. Two deaths were associated with that event. Neither of the deceased attended the wedding. They were infected by attendees. This illustrates the fallacy of people thinking they are only risking themselves with bad hygiene.

An N95 is a medical standard for masking, guaranteed to filter 95% of tiny particles, but the surgical and kn95 masks common outside of medical settings are still effective at preventing spread -- IF both mouth and nose are covered.

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3 users have voted.

If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

@pindar's revenge Both are protective for the wearer. Those without a release valve also protects others much the same way a surgical or cloth mask does. From early on and being conservative because my age puts me at a disadvantage, I went ahead and assumed that the virus could be airborne for some undefined period of time and therefore, the KN or N95 masks with a release valve could pose a risk to me in enclosed spaces, such as a grocery store. I have no evidence that that's true. But it hasn't been burdensome for me to wear an N95 mask whenever I must go into enclosed spaces.

That said, outdoors I only wear a surgical mask because it's socially responsible (doesn't do me a damn bit of good) and use social distancing. So, I do assume a certain level of low risk in passing by others who aren't properly masked or unmasked.

I'm unaware of the US choir practice superspreader incident. wrt to Maine wedding, we don't know who was the index case. Therefore, don't know if that person was asymptomatic, presymptomatic, or ill. There are a few published reports that include backward contact tracing and in those cases the index patient was ill when the contact occurred. A strategy employed in China, S. Korea, and Vietnam has been temperature checks. That detects somewhere around 50% of those that are infected, but it's unknown if they are infectious and/or if they will become recognizably ill. It's surprising that over nine months on, we still don't know the incubation period from being infected to being infectious and clinically can't test for infectiousness. So, we continue to guess.

As my current N95 mask has a release valve, I wear it over a surgical mask whenever I go into enclosed spaces, such as the grocery store. That way I don't have to be concerned about others either improperly masked or wearing an N-95 with a release valve.

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1 user has voted.

I remember tensions were high between Armenia and Turkey a year or so ago when I visited there. My tour directer was Armenian by heritage, a Turk by arbitrary country boundaries, and if war broke out, his Armenian section of Turkey would likely go to Armenia's side. He and I talked about it, and I recommended he take his family and friends to mountains and hide.
Before noon, I got calls from 2 clients about shootings in their front yard. One guy shot up the truck of a group of burglars, nobody harmed, cops nabbed one of the thieves. A young lady client was dating 2 guys who hated each other. One of her guys is in jail for allegedly murdering the other guy. In her front yard. Sigh...
I appreciate reading Caitlin, especially because she comes from Australia, a puppet of the US if there ever was one. One of the best things about foreign journalists rather than US journalists, is they are not beholden to our PTB.
People are on edge all over. * note shootings aforementioned. Sensitivities are heightened for reasons of crazy politics, wars, economic depression, talk of civil war, and on and on. Toss in climate change and pandemic, you will see people hit tolerance limits way lower than tolerance limits a year ago.
My hope is that we all stay alert, informed, composed, and think our way through the likely civil unrest that is likely coming, and not act on the wrong impulses.
Keep the news and blues coming, and thanks for all that you do.

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8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

heh, armenia and turkey have had bad blood for centuries, this is just another chapter in a continuing story of subjugation, war, hatred and occasional genocide. hopefully, this latest chapter will be shutdown by outside powers that have a self interest in not having a war to get sucked into.

sounds like your community keeps you busy. Smile

have a great evening!

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5 users have voted.
mimi's picture

right now. I think it is worth listening to.

I think Chris Hedges starts to join in at TC 16:XX

Chris Hedges & Gerald Horne + David Sirota on Amy Coney Barrett + Aruna Gupta Live in Portland

Please support The Katie Halper Show on Patreon https://www.patreon.com/thekatiehalpe...
Journalist @Chris Hedges (https://twitter.com/ChrisLynnHedges) and historian Gerald Horne (https://www.uh.edu/class/history/facu...) will discuss the debate as well as what is to be done on election and beyond. Then @David Sirota joins to talk about Amy Coney Barrett

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5 users have voted.