The Evening Blues - 11-28-22



eb1pt12


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Casey Bill Weldon

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features blues slide guitarist Casey Bill Weldon. Enjoy!

Casey Bill Weldon - Blues Everywere I Go

"Why should freedom of speech and freedom of press be allowed? Why should a government which is doing what it believes to be right allow itself to be criticized? It would not allow opposition by lethal weapons. Ideas are much more fatal things than guns. Why should any man be allowed to buy a printing press and disseminate pernicious opinions calculated to embarrass the government?"

-- Vladimir Lenin


News and Opinion

US Gov Pretends To Care About Persecuted Russian Journalist

US Officials Concern Troll About World Press Freedoms While Assaulting Them

I will never get used to living in a world where our rulers will openly imprison a journalist for telling the truth and then self-righteously pontificate about the need to stop authoritarian regimes from persecuting journalists.

Just today US State Department spokesman and CIA veteran Ned Price tweeted disapprovingly about the Kyrgyz Republic’s decision to deport investigative journalist Bolot Temirov to Russia, where press freedom groups are concerned that the Russian citizen could face conscription to fight in Ukraine.

“Dismayed by the decision to deport journalist Bolot Temirov from the Kyrgyz Republic,” said Price. “Journalists should never be punished for doing their job. The Kyrgyz Republic has been known for its vibrant civil society — attempts to stifle freedom of expression stain that reputation.”

This would be an entirely reasonable statement for anyone else to make. If you said it or I said it, it would be completely legitimate. But when Ned says it, it is illegitimate.

This is after all the same government that is working to extradite an Australian journalist from the United Kingdom with the goal of imprisoning him for up to 175 years for exposing US war crimes. Price says “Journalists should never be punished for doing their job,” but that is precisely what the government he represents is doing to Julian Assange, who has already spent three and a half years in Belmarsh Prison awaiting US extradition shenanigans. This is in top of the seven years he spent fighting extradition from the Ecuadorian embassy in London under what a UN panel ruled was arbitrary detention.

A UN special rapporteur on torture determined that Assange has been subjected to psychological torture by the allied governments which have conspired to imprison him. Scores of doctors have determined that his persecution is resulting in dangerous medical neglect. Yet he is being pulled toward the notoriously draconian prison systems of the most powerful government in the world, where he will face a rigged trial where a defense of publishing in the public interest will not be permitted.

All to establish a legal precedent that will allow the most powerful empire that has ever existed to extradite journalists from anywhere in the world for exposing inconvenient truths about it. But sure, Ned, “Journalists should never be punished for doing their job.”

Earlier this month US secretary of state Antony Blinken posted a tweet of his own commemorating the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, without the slightest trace of self-awareness.

“No member of the press should be threatened, harassed, attacked, arrested, or killed for doing their job,” Blinken said. “On the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, we vow to continue protecting and promoting the rights of a free press and the safety of journalists.”

Two weeks later, the Biden administration shockingly granted Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman immunity from lawsuits regarding the gruesome assassination of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, thereby slamming the final door on all attempts to hold the tyrannical ruler responsible for his brazen assault on the press.

“No member of the press should be threatened, harassed, attacked, arrested, or killed for doing their job.”

Two weeks.

We are ruled by tyrannical, hypocritical freaks who do not care about truth and freedom; they care only about power and what they can use to obtain it. The only press they support are those whose persecution can be politically leveraged, and those who can be used to peddle propaganda like the notorious AP editor who recently said she “can’t imagine” a US intelligence official being wrong.

Pointing out hypocrisy is important not because hypocrisy is an especially terrible thing in and of itself, but because it draws attention to the fact that the hypocrite does not really stand where they claim to stand and value what they purport to value. The rulers of the western empire care about press freedoms only exactly insofar as they can use them to concern troll foreign governments they don’t like to advance their global power agendas. And not one molecule further.

Bakhmut, leaving ZNPP, invading Russia, and Polish soldier casualties

Poland upsets some by rebuffing German air defense system

Poland’s government says an anti-missile system which Germany offered to send to Poland should instead go to Ukraine, a proposal that is a likely non-starter for Berlin because it would significantly ratchet up NATO involvement in Ukraine.

Poland’s surprising response to Berlin’s offer was welcomed by Ukraine, which is desperate to protect its airspace as barrage upon barrage of Russian missiles have knocked out power across the country. But Germany’s Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht stressed that use of NATO defense systems outside its territory needs to be agreed by all member states. ...

In Poland, critics of the populist ruling party accused it of sacrificing the country’s security with a war next door in Ukraine for the sake of a domestic political struggle which exploits anti-German sentiment for short-term gain.

The Rzeczpospolita daily called the new proposal by Poland’s leaders “shocking,” arguing that it would require sending German soldiers operating the system to Ukraine, and “that, in turn, would involve NATO in a direct clash with Russia, something the alliance has been trying to avoid from the beginning.”

“This proposal affects Poland’s credibility and, worst of all, its security. The Germans get a clear signal that we do not want their help, so the defense potential of the Polish sky will be lower,” deputy editor Michal Szuldrzynski wrote. “In the worst war in Europe since 1945, this is an unforgivable mistake.” An aide to Poland’s President Andrzej Duda said the president has not been consulted on the decision.

This Is How America Ends

The Pentagon fails its fifth audit in a row

Last week, the Department of Defense revealed that it had failed its fifth consecutive audit.

“I would not say that we flunked,” said DoD Comptroller Mike McCord, although his office did note that the Pentagon only managed to account for 39 percent of its $3.5 trillion in assets. “The process is important for us to do, and it is making us get better. It is not making us get better as fast as we want.”

The news came as no surprise to Pentagon watchers. After all, the U.S. military has the distinction of being the only U.S. government agency to have never passed a comprehensive audit.

But what did raise some eyebrows was the fact that DoD made almost no progress in this year’s bookkeeping: Of the 27 areas investigated, only seven earned a clean bill of financial health, which McCord described as “basically the same picture as last year.”

$20B+ In Ukraine Aid UNACCOUNTED FOR As Biden Admin CLAMBERS To Track Ahead Of GOP Probe

Chevron To PUMP OIL In Venezuela Again

US Grants Chevron License to Pump Oil Again in Venezuela

The US has granted Chevron a limited license to restart pumping oil in Venezuela in the most significant easing of sanctions on the country since the harsh measures were imposed by the Trump administration.

The move came after the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro signed a deal with an opposition coalition to unlock about $3 billion in Venezuelan funds that were frozen by US and European banks. Under the deal, the funds will go toward humanitarian and economic development projects.

According to the Treasury Department, the license granted to Chevron prohibits the Venezuelan state oil company PdVSA from receiving profits from any oil sales by Chevron. The license is only limited to Chevron and does not allow any other companies to work with PdVSA.

The Treasury Department said that all other sanctions on Venezuela will remain in place and that the US will “vigorously enforce these sanctions.”

Kim Jong-un daughter inspects another ICBM as leader hails North Korea’s nuclear power

Kim Jong-un has said North Korea intends to have the world’s most powerful nuclear force as the leader was again pictured with his daughter while inspecting troops and an intercontinental ballistic missile.

North Korea’s “ultimate goal is to possess the world’s most powerful strategic force, the absolute force unprecedented in the century”, Kim said in an order promoting dozens of military officers involved in the launch last weekend of a new ballistic missile, state media reported on Sunday.

He described the Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) as the “world’s strongest strategic weapon” and said it demonstrated North Korea’s resolve and ability to eventually build the world’s strongest army, which would reliably protect the dignity and sovereignty of the state and the people.

State media also showed Kim being accompanied on a military review by his daughter, whose existence had never been publicly confirmed before last weekend’s Hwasong-17 test. Ju Ae is estimated to be about 12 or 13 years of age. ... Her second appearance will raise the prospect that leadership of the totalitarian state could pass to a fourth generation of Kims.

Israeli Military Chief Says Joint Activity With US to ‘Significantly Expand’

The head of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) returned to Israel on Thursday after five days of talks with US officials in Washington that were focused on Iran and said joint military operations between the US and Israel will be “significantly expanded.”

“In order to improve our capabilities in the face of challenges in the region, joint activity with the US Central Command will be significantly expanded in the near future,” IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi said, according to The Times of Israel.

Earlier this week, Kohavi held talks with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and CIA Director William Burns. Kohavi said that he stressed to the US officials that the US and Israel should step up planning for joint attacks on Iran.

In West Bank, disillusioned young Palestinians are joining new militias

It floats to the top.

Far-Right Extremist Itamar Ben-Gvir to Be Israel's National Security Minister

Itamar Ben-Gvir, a far-right Israeli lawmaker who was convicted of incitement to racism against Arabs and supporting a terrorist organization in 2007, is poised to become Israel's national security minister after reaching a deal Friday with incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party.

Haaretz reported that the agreement between Likud and Ben-Gvir's Jewish Power party is the first Netanyahu "has signed with another party as part of the coalition negotiations following this month's elections, which saw his bloc winning the majority of votes." Under the terms of the deal, Reuters observed, Ben-Gvir "will have an expanded security portfolio that will include responsibility for Border Police in the occupied West Bank."

Ben-Gvir hailed the new agreement as an "important step" in the process of establishing "a full right-wing government."

To advocates of Palestinian rights, the news was deeply alarming if not surprising, given the expectation that Ben-Gvir would receive a key post in what's expected to be Israel's most right-wing government ever.

"The nightmare materializes," tweeted writer Abe Silberstein.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry of the Palestinian Authority said Ben-Gvir's elevation to national security minister could have a "catastrophic impact on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict" and further undercut the prospects of future diplomatic talks.

The Financial Times notes that Ben-Gvir is "a disciple of Meir Kahane, a rabbi who wanted to strip Arab-Israelis of citizenship and whose party was designated a terrorist organization by the U.S."

"Ben-Gvir was on the fringes of Israeli politics until he entered parliament last year," the newspaper added. "At the time, Netanyahu said that Ben-Gvir—who until a couple of years ago kept in his house a picture of Baruch Goldstein, who massacred 29 Palestinians in a mosque in 1994—was not fit to serve as a minister. However, as Ben-Gvir's popularity surged in the run-up to this year's poll, Netanyahu changed tack and acknowledged that the 46-year-old lawyer was likely to become a member of his cabinet."

As the Jerusalem Post reported at the time of Ben-Gvir's 2007 conviction, "The self-declared Kahane spokesman was found guilty for carrying signs that read, 'Expel the Arab enemy' and 'Rabbi Kahane was right: The Arab MKs are a fifth column.'"

"He was acquitted on similar charges for chanting 'Death to the Arabs' after a Jerusalem bombing, and for stating that outlawing the [far-right extremist] Kach movement was a joke," the outlet added.

Sanctions are suffocating Syria: UN expert

Brexit blow: exports to Japan slump after ‘landmark’ free trade deal

The first major free trade agreement signed by Britain after Brexit has been branded a failure after new figures showed exports had fallen since it came into force.

Liz Truss signed a “historic” deal with Japan as trade secretary in October 2020, describing it as a “landmark moment for Britain”. It was claimed it would boost trade by billions of pounds and help the UK recover from the pandemic.

However, figures collated by the Department for International Trade show exports to Japan fell from £12.3bn to £11.9bn in the year to June 2022. Exports in goods fell 4.9% to £6.1bn and services fell 2% to £5.8bn.

The decline is a significant setback for supporters of Brexit who claimed global trade with non-EU countries would help compensate for any losses from leaving the single market.

Workers at Amazon’s largest air hub in the world push to form a union

Amazon workers at the air hub outside the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky international airport, Amazon’s largest air hub in the world, are pushing to organize a union in the latest effort to mobilize workers at the tech company.

Workers say they are dissatisfied with annual wage increases this year. About 400 of them have signed a petition to reinstate a premium hourly pay for Amazon’s peak season that hasn’t been enacted at the site yet. Their main demands also include a $30 an hour starting wage, 180 hours of paid time off and union representation at disciplinary hearings.

“We have to operate a lot of heavy machinery, freight loaders, cargo tractors and things like that, and people aren’t paid any extra to do that work,” said Griffin Ritze, an air associate and ramp agent at the Amazon air hub, and a member of the organizing committee. “They just cross-train you in as many roles as possible and you’re constantly shuffled around.”

About 4,500 workers are employed at the expanding air hub in Kentucky. Those organizing have already filed two unfair labor practice charges over Amazon’s response to the unionization effort, which has included anti-union talking points on televisions and its communications system for employees that characterize the effort as a third-party scheme. ...

Organizing efforts at Amazon have spread beyond the JFK8 Staten Island, New York, warehouse, where workers won the first union election at an Amazon site in the US in April 2022. But they have yet to repeat the success. Amazon has aggressively opposed additional efforts while contesting the union election results at the Staten Island location. Those results have yet to be certified as Amazon is trying to overturn the election. Most recently, the company appealed against a ruling dismissing their objections to the election.

One Day of Warren Buffett Wealth Gains Could Fund 15 Days of Paid Sick Leave for Rail Workers

Billionaire Warren Buffett, one of the wealthiest men in the world and the CEO of BNSF Railway's parent company, saw his wealth jump by nearly $1.4 billion in a single day earlier this week, a sum that could easily fund 15 days of paid sick leave for every rail worker in the United States.

BNSF is one of the major railroad giants refusing to budge in contract negotiations with rail unions as they fight for 15 days of paid sick leave. Under a White House-brokered contract that major rail unions have recently voted to reject, rail workers would not receive a single paid sick day.

A nationwide rail strike or lockout with major implications for the U.S. economy could begin as soon as December 9 if rail companies and unions don't reach a contract deal. ...

Rail companies have estimated that it would cost roughly $688 million a year to provide 15 days of paid sick leave to rail employees, who work long and erratic hours and are often expected to be on call 24 hours a day. To make matters worse, rail companies' attendance policies punish workers for calling out sick or taking a day off to see the doctor.

"Buffett's BNSF, for example, has started using a convoluted system called 'Hi-Viz' under which workers start with a point balance then lose points if they're unavailable to work because they're sick, have a family emergency, or other reasons," Mother Jones reported in September. "If their balance hits zero, they get a 10-day suspension, and a 20-day suspension if it happens again. Reaching zero for the third time in a two-year period means getting fired."

BNSF has urged Congress to intervene and force rail workers to accept a contract with no paid sick days, something Senate Republicans tried to do via the unanimous consent process in mid-September. Sanders, the chair of the Senate Budget Committee, blocked the GOP legislation, allowing the collective bargaining process to continue.

With the possibility of a nationwide strike growing after the largest union of rail workers in the U.S. voted to reject the White House-brokered contract deal earlier this week, Congress is once again facing calls from the hugely profitable railroad industry to get involved.

Will Missouri Stay Execution of Kevin Johnson, Case Tainted by Racism?

Barbados plans to make Tory MP pay reparations for family’s slave past

The government of Barbados is considering plans to make a wealthy Conservative MP the first individual to pay reparations for his ancestor’s pivotal role in slavery. ... The Drax family pioneered the plantation system in the 17th century and played a major role in the development of sugar and slavery across the Caribbean and the US. ...

Countries in the Caribbean community (Caricom) have been campaigning for the payment of reparations by former colonial powers and institutions which profited from slavery. This is the first time a family has been singled out. Among the plans being considered are that 17th-century Drax Hall is turned into an Afro-centric museum and that a large portion of the plantation is used for social housing for low-income Bajan families. There is also a recommendation that Richard Drax pays for some of the work.

David Comissiong, the Barbados ambassador to Caricom and deputy chairman of the task force, said that besides Drax, other families whose ancestors benefited from slavery are being considered including the British royal family: “It is now a matter that is before the government of Barbados. It is being dealt with at the highest level.

“Drax is fabulously wealthy today. The Drax family is the central family in the whole story of enslavement in Barbados. They are the architects of slavery-based sugar production. They have a deep historical responsibility. The process has only just begun and we trust that we will be able to negotiate. If that doesn’t work, there are other methods, including litigation. ...

Drax’s ancestor, Sir James Drax, was one of the first Englishmen to colonise Barbados in the early 17th century. He part-owned at least two slave ships, the Samuel and the Hope. The Drax family also owned a plantation in Jamaica, which they sold in the 19th century. When slavery was abolished across the British empire in 1833, the family received £4,293 12s 6d, a very large sum in 1836, in compensation for freeing 189 enslaved people.



the evening greens


Could hemp be a key tool in fight against climate change?

In all the debates on how to curb climate change, hemp is hardly mentioned. Better known as cannabis, modern varieties of hemp are too weak to use as narcotics, but they are extremely efficient at absorbing and locking up carbon.

Hemp is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world and can grow 4 metres high in 100 days. Research suggests hemp is twice as effective as trees at absorbing and locking up carbon, with 1 hectare (2.5 acres) of hemp reckoned to absorb 8 to 22 tonnes of CO2 a year, more than any woodland. The CO2 is also permanently fixed in the hemp fibres, which can go on to be used for many commodities including textiles, medicines, insulation for buildings and concrete; BMW is even using it to replace plastics in various car parts.


Also of Interest

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

Media Serve the Governors, Not the Governed

‘Extinction is on the table’: Jaron Lanier warns of tech’s existential threat to humanity

Will Japan and South Korea Learn From US Allies in Europe?

Ukraine - Running On Empty

Syria - Another Turkish Invasion Is Imminent

‘We need a breakthrough deal on biodiversity’: can Montreal summit deliver for nature?

Scientists Revive ‘Zombie’ Virus After 50,000 Years Trapped in Siberian Permafrost

‘The sheer scale is extraordinary’: meet the titanosaur that dwarfs Dippy the diplodocus

“Remote Workers Are Screwing Us!” Cries Corporate America


A Little Night Music

Casey Bill Weldon - You Shouldn't Do That

Casey Bill Weldon - Sold My Soul to the Devil

Casey Bill Weldon - I've Been Tricked

Casey Bill Weldon - Two Timin' Woman

Casey Bill Weldon - W. P. A. Blues

Casey Bill Weldon - I'm a Stranger In Your Town

Casey Bill Weldon - Go Ahead Buddy

Casey Bill Weldon - Casey Blues

Memphis Minnie & Casey Bill Weldon - When The Sun Goes Down

Casey Bill Weldon - Guitar Swing


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ggersh's picture

Here is a Neil Oliver which speaks for itself

And here is a video of a guy I never heard of until today
asking if Neil is right

Both are well worth the watch

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15 users have voted.

Why is it amerika's the only country in the world who
has a military that's based on a profit motive.

joe shikspack's picture

@ggersh

heh, that neil oliver fellow seems to understand the power of "no" and class solidarity.

thanks for the videos and have a great one!

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8 users have voted.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/08/04/pelosi-washington-contro...

"For many in Washington, it was a dangerous and pointless trip. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democratic lawmakers spent only 18 hours in Taiwan, but in doing so they managed to upend a long-standing U.S. diplomatic taboo and prompt large-scale military exercises from China that broached the self-governing island’s territorial waters."

“Nothing good will come of it,” the New York Times’ Tom Friedman wrote in an opinion column that ran Tuesday, hours before Pelosi’s arrival. Friedman linked Pelosi’s trip to the war in Ukraine, added to the reporting that the Biden administration opposed the trip and argued that the Democrat’s itinerary put Taiwan’s leaders in an awkward position too."

That Was Then---August 4

This is Now. Elections in Taiwan have changed everything. The new government is for "One China."

No more the woman President who stood beside Nancy Pelosi draped in blue ribbon evoking memories of Molly the Horse in Animal Farm.No more Pelosi as The Speaker

The media has been very quiet about this recent defeat of the insane NATO/US
Hopes and dreams. "Dreams and schemes and fairy tales....."

I'd like to know more about this but don't know where to go. Can anybody help?

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NYCVG

snoopydawg's picture

@NYCVG

Just like Putin has outlasted 2 prime ministers in Britain and other presidents he outlasted money bags Pelosi and the Taiwan president too. How long until he outlasts Zelensky? Or Biden….

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15 users have voted.

Rhett Butler contemptuously reminded Southern secession hot heads “There’s not a cannon factory in the whole South.”

It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

@snoopydawg but I will certainly be watching.

The Russia Ukraine conflict has all but disappeared from the media's attention. It won't be much longer, maybe.

Too many questions about where all the billions have been disappearing to.

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15 users have voted.

NYCVG

snoopydawg's picture

@NYCVG

He’s been the main headliner on HuffPost for the last 2 years and he’s back on it daily. Or if he isn’t there you can read about Marjorie Taylor Green or any of the other republicans that the media has an obsession with. It’s almost like they are trying to keep people distracted from what is actually more important. Sadly too many fall for it.

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Rhett Butler contemptuously reminded Southern secession hot heads “There’s not a cannon factory in the whole South.”

It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

lotlizard's picture

@snoopydawg  
https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/assad-must-go

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joe shikspack's picture

@NYCVG

sounds like the people of taiwan are not interested in becoming a pawn in uncle sam's war to maintain global hegemony. who knows, maybe they see what is happenning to europe and don't want to sign on.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@joe shikspack

The Taiwanese people were always divided on independence from China. I was surprised that they elected a leader with whom this was such a trigger issue. They are Chinese, first, and are deeply engaged in that culture. Many go to school in China or have careers there. China is a favorite vacation and holiday destination. A Taiwanese delegation was invited to the CPC convention last month, and there are many long-standing scientific conventions between the mainland and Taiwan. There is also no serious industry-destroying competition between the two. China would naturally want Taiwan to succeed. In another decade or so, the split caused by the revolution will pass into history, and few Chinese will have a living memory of these events. It's an ancient civilization and China can afford to wait until things progress naturally.

The West is always projecting their own stereotypical reactions, prejudices, paranoia, predatory nature onto the Chinese, which is why they are always wrong about everything Chinese. (This has actually been going on for hundreds of years between China and the West.) China never had a plan to attack and seize Taiwan. That is an absurd Western obsession. It makes perfect sense to the Chinese that the time for reuniting will come after those generations alive at the time of the split have all passed on. They have five thousand years of experience in splitting and reuniting. They are certainly not going to allow a predatory entity like the US take control of their territory in order to threaten their sovereignty and their system of government.

It was a profound mistake on the part of the US to demonize China and its government with lies and misinformation. The unintended consequences of this decision will forever change the Western world. For the past fifteen years, or so, the US has focused the world's attention on China. They pushed a narrative about the unspeakable evils of the Chinese government — and the suffering of the oppressed Chinese people. Meanwhile, the US makes a show of sending battle fleets to the China seas to "keep the shipping lanes open" by force, if necessary — shipping lanes that are never, ever closed. Who doesn't chuckle over this nonsense?

But what the people of the world, including the Taiwanese, have actually seen makes the ongoing US narratives all an elaborate deception. They saw two successful olympics and contented Chinese families enjoying colorful street festivals. They saw the Chinese people in motion, traveling across China visiting unique vacation destinations on the world's largest and most sophisticated high-speed rail system — transportation that the people could all afford. They saw poverty eradicated, after a forty year government effort to rebuild the infrastructure and the economy so that it was accessible to all. They saw the world's most advanced 5G network in action, bringing telephone connections and access to useful information, to all the people, even those who lived in the most remote areas of China. They saw modern cities, well designed roadways, profound improvements in air quality, a profusion of trees in and out of the cities due to China's reforestation of the entire country, schools filled with students, parks filled with strollers, and very little crime anywhere. China is one of the safest countries in the world.

The lives of people in the US and the lives of people in China are wide open for comparison. There are about 100,000 US expats living and working in China, who send back word and post videos about their lives. China's government is highly rated by the Chinese People; the highest such rating in the world. The Taiwanese need only look at Europe today, to see what happens to countries who allow the US to control them. People's lives are used up and thrown away by the predatory Americans, with no reparations. The Chinese witnessed what happened to the people of Afghanistan, after the Americans stole their money and left. They saw because China has been flying in doctors, food, and medical supplies for the Afghan people, ever since.

As early as 2008, the US pivot to Asia was on the State Department agenda. US operations in Ukraine began in earnest in 2010. The requisite funding for these strategic operations for Empire came during the Obama years, especially from 2013, onward. During this time, ISIS was created and funded and the war across the Middle East was expanded, deliberately destroying nations and populations. The US strategic operations for Empire were active in Afghanistan even before the fall of the Soviet Union. Leaving out the events of 9-11, which looks more like a false flag with each passing day, I wonder if anyone can clearly state the US objective of the budget-busting war years we all endured? Can anyone point to what we achieved at such great cost? Probably not, because these wars are simply part of a much, much larger operation, that is still unfolding.

The neocons and cloaked nazis, who now occupy and control the business end of the Federal government, remain convinced they will win the entire world, on behalf of the US oligarchs. In truth, they have already lost. The US Empire operation has been propped up entirely by the flow of American Dollars and PetroDollars. These Dollars will soon lose their power to obstruct free trade among nations using illegal unilateral sanctions to maliciously destroy national economies — and trading nations have already started bypassing the US dollar as the common means of exchange. US hegemony will finally come to an end. At every point along the way, during its vicious quest for Empire, the US has failed to win the hearts and minds of the people in those nations where they intervened. It's no longer enough to threaten foreign allies, forcing them to participate in economic sanctions against a US-designated target nation. Especially when those sanctions backfire and cause harm to their own populations. All of Europe seems to be sleepwalking through a propaganda delusion, or perhaps suffering from Stockholm syndrome.

The future may, indeed, be relocating to the Global South.

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____________________

The political system is what it is because the People are who they are. — Plato

@Pluto's Republic and as far as I can tell, you've got it exactly right.

We are looking ridiculous.

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11 users have voted.

NYCVG

@Pluto's Republic

I should say, your essay, is an example of why I come to Caucus99% every day. You have written the best summation of the China controversy I have found anywhere.

I just hope all of you who write such important remarks here know how precious they are, as we all realized last week when they suddenly weren't here. I experienced a deep, cold chill.

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joe shikspack's picture

@Pluto's Republic

i think that you are right on all counts. thanks for your essay!

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@Pluto's Republic

One who publicly promotes another's cause, especially in an extravagant or misleading way

Which you somehow seem determined to do - WRT (as usual) your misleading, incorrect and/or disingenuous claims regarding Taiwan and China .

Regarding recent Taiwan election results: at least Taiwan (unlike the PRC and Maricopa County) has real elections. Not that they are immune from vote-buying and other corruption, but in Taiwan they at least recognize and prosecute it.

It is the case that the KMT made gains in the recent elections, but these were all local elections and the KMT gains mostly amounted to them gaining back territory they had previously held - such as Taipei - where they have traditionally been strongest. And in any case, the KMT has made efforts in recent times to shift away somewhat from its pro-China image. It has also been stronger traditionally in local politics where the (nationally) ruling DPP party has struggled.

Good explication of that here:

https://newbloommag.net/2022/11/26/2022-election-results/

This is not to say that China, in recent decades, has not made tremendous strides in many areas - shiny new (largely empty) cities and high tech infrastructure, space program, huge military expansion Belt and Road Initiative (Imperialism 2.0) and the most pervasive system of surveillance and social control in the history of the planet.

But...

The Taiwanese people were always divided on independence from China.

Well, that's at least a backhand acknowledgement that not everyone in Taiwan is wanting to fling themselves into the loving arms of the PRC.

...A Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation poll indicated that a striking 54 percent of respondents favor early independence from China, 23.4 percent back the cross-strait status quo, 12.5 percent favor early unification with China, and the remainder made no response or were unsure. Breaking down the numbers among those who prefer the status quo—who in effect are content to postpone settling the question indefinitely—the pollsters found that 64.4 percent of respondents support independence, now or later, while just 17.8 percent endorse unification across the Taiwan Strait.

The poll shattered longstanding patterns in popular opinion. Declared foundation chairman Michael You: “In my research on public surveys on these issues over the past 30 years, this is the highest rate of support among Taiwanese for independence,” not to mention “the lowest figure for people supporting unification with China.”

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/reboot/taiwan-experiencing-surge-pro-i...

Support for early independence and for early 'reunification' had previously been pretty stable for decades with under 10% for each and about 80% wanting to maintain the status quo. According to this poll, that eighty percent has now shrunk dramatically, pro-reunification increased slightly and pro-independence sentiment dramatically increased.

A different poll (November 2021) showed support for the status-quo above 80%, for near-term independence well under 10%, but support for reunification at far less than that - and showed overwhelming rejection of the "One China, Two Systems" policy that is officially what's on offer from the PRC.

The majority of respondents in a survey about Taiwan-China relations support maintaining the “status quo” across the Taiwan Strait, the Mainland Affairs Council said on Thursday.

In a poll of 1,072 people, 84.9 percent said they supported maintaining the “status quo” between Taiwan and China, while 6.8 percent said that Taiwan should declare independence as soon as possible and 1.6 percent said they supported unification with China.

Asked about President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) comments about cross-strait relations in her Double Ten National Day address, 77.1 percent said they supported her views, while 12.3 percent were against them.

In the speech, Tsai laid out “four commitments”: that the nation will adhere to a free and democratic constitutional system; that the Republic of China and the People’s Republic of China are not subordinate to each other; that the nation will resist annexation or encroachment upon its sovereignty; and that the nation’s future must be decided in accordance with the will of Taiwanese.

The survey, commissioned by the council and conducted by National Chengchi University’s Election Study Center, also showed that 77.1 percent of respondents said they felt that Beijing was “unfriendly” toward Taipei, while 9 percent held the opposite view.

On Beijing’s attitude toward Taiwanese, 57.9 percent said it was “unfriendly,” while 29.1 percent said it was “friendly,” the council said.

The poll showed that public opinion remains strongly against Beijing’s “one country, two systems” formula, with 85.6 percent opposing it and 5.4 percent agreeing with it.

https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2021/11/21/2003768230

Tsai's "...the nation’s future must be decided in accordance with the will of Taiwanese."

should be the operative consideration. The other day someone posted a links to a video about anti-Chinese groups in Thailand, demonstrating against 'One China' policy - alleging they are US-financed astroturf opposition. Which may well be the case. But the commentator went on to state, essentially, that because the One China principle was generally accepted by nearly all governments of the world that opposition to it was somehow illegitimate - which is bullshit.

About the ONLY thing that should matter regarding the fate of Taiwan should be what the people of the country wish to make of it. The CCP has never ruled Taiwan and if the people there don't want them to they never *should*.

China never had a plan to attack and seize Taiwan. That is an absurd Western obsession.

Then maybe you could tell us what the huge military buildup that China has undertaken in the last decades is FOR? Why do they have naval vessels constantly patrolling around Taiwan, have military aircraft probing its airspace on a daily basis?

Not to mention China's aggressive posture towards Japan.

From The Diplomat(Oct. 2022)

The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) scrambled its fighter aircraft a total of 446 times in the first half of fiscal year 2022 in response to foreign military aircraft approaching the country’s airspace: an increase of 14 percent compared with the same period last year.

...

Most notably, JASDF fighters responded 340 times (76 percent of the total) to movements by Chinese aircraft in the area between April and the end of September, up 59 compared with the same period in 2021, according to the latest data.

The latest announcement comes amid continuing tensions between Japan and China over the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, which are controlled by Tokyo but also claimed by Beijing. In addition, a Taiwan contingency has become an increasingly real possibility in recent months.

Even if China did not 'invade' - in the narrow sense of forcibly landing troops and trying to take the place in a direct fight - that doesn't preclude their taking other kinetic/destructive approaches to force Taiwan to capitulate:

China could attempt an air and maritime blockade around Taiwan as part of a broad strategy to pressure the country into surrender, according to a Defense Department report that was published this year.

Over the years, many strategists have speculated that China might try to take over Taiwan. So, it seems significant that the Defense Department’s annual report on China, titled Military and Security Developments involving the People’s Republic of China (PRC), raises concern about that possibility. The report claims that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) may pursue a dual-pronged strategy that includes a joint blockade, missile strikes and the “seizure” of Taiwan’s offshore islands.

“PLA writings describe a Joint Blockade Campaign in which the PRC would employ kinetic blockades of maritime and air traffic, including a cut-off of Taiwan’s vital imports, to force Taiwan’s capitulation,” according to the report. “Large-scale missile strikes and possible seizures of Taiwan’s offshore islands would accompany a Joint Blockade in an attempt to achieve a rapid Taiwan surrender.”

Given that Taiwan is roughly one hundred miles from the coast of mainland China, it would not be difficult for the 320-ship-strong PLA Navy to maintain a large, concentrated naval force surrounding the island. Furthermore, Chinese drones and fighters would likely have little trouble establishing air superiority around the perimeter of the Taiwanese coastline, particularly if aircraft avoided triggering Taipei’s air defenses by flying around the main island instead of over it. However, Taiwan’s SkyBow III missile system has a reported range of two hundred miles. That means it could be difficult for Chinese aircraft to operate outside of the line of fire. Plus, Taiwan is reportedly considering placing the missiles on one of the smaller islands closer to China. This is likely why the report indicates that any attack by China would include long-range ballistic missile strikes on Taiwan. These attacks would ostensibly be made on fixed Taiwanese air defense sites.

The report speculates that such a blockade strategy would involve electronic warfare tactics. Perhaps China could use its space assets to jam or disable Taiwanese GPS and communication systems while concurrently launching advanced cyber intrusions into Taiwanese systems.

“The PRC will also likely complement its air and maritime blockade operations with concurrent electronic warfare, network attacks, and information operations to further isolate Taiwan’s authorities and populace and to control the international narrative of the conflict,” according to the report.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/reboot/does-china-have-plans-invade-ta...

And about those happy holiday-going mainland Chinese... It seems like a whole lot of them are not going anywhere at all, due to lockdowns - even if the building they are in is burning down, as happened recently in Urumqui. And it seems more than a few of them have had enough of a policy that has seen people starve, be driven to suicide, die due to inability to access medical care - all in pursuit of policy that has failed everywhere it's been tried (New Zealand, Australia...) and has NO EXIT STRATEGY.

Thousands of Chinese are - at great personal risk - saying 'enough'. Good on 'em.

BTW - an elderly and scholarly Chinese-speaking Japanese student of mine brought up something today WRT to the demonstrations there that I haven't seen mentioned elsewhere. This, in particular, regarding the blank white sheets of paper demonstrators can be seen holding up.

While Westerners might regard black as the opposite of white, for Chinese - according to him - white represents the antithesis of *red*.

Re: other colors - such as the Green China myth, I suppose that can wait for another time.

"If you have a right to respect then other people don't have a right to an opinion."

- Thomas Sowell

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@Blue Republic

....as many of the news sources you cite. If c99 is your practice ground, you've picked a challenging one. But not too challenging to make the game uninteresting. One can only wonder what compels you to march to the anglo-neocon drumbeat. If it is professional, you deserve a measure of respect for your skills. If it is a personal ideology, then you are a dope, determined to spread your considerable dumb.

As I said:

The West is always projecting their own stereotypical reactions, prejudices, paranoia, predatory nature onto the Chinese, which is why they are always wrong about everything Chinese. China is an ancient civilization and China can afford to wait until things progress naturally. They have no plan to attack and seize Taiwan, which is an absurd Western obsession. It makes perfect sense to the Chinese that the time for reuniting will come after those generations alive at the time of the split have all passed on. They have five thousand years of experience in splitting and reuniting. They are certainly not going to allow a predatory entity like the US take control of their territory in order to threaten their sovereignty and their system of government.

.
One thing that China would never do is to treat the Chinese people who have occupied this Chinese territory for a mere 70 years, in the sickening and deplorable way that the US has treated Cuba for the past 70 years — with shameful trading blockades to stunt their development, while inflicting numerous and ongoing subversions to harm their economy, overthrow their government, and impose suffering upon the Cuban people.

The Chinese mind and culture is not rotted with the perverted cognitive dissonance of Christianity and the psychopathic sickness that comes from global Imperialism.

Taiwan's success is China's success.
China embraces a consensus-based win-win participatory democracy.

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____________________

The political system is what it is because the People are who they are. — Plato

@Pluto's Republic

Your written mastery of propaganda is as good
@Blue Republic

....as many of the news sources you cite. If c99 is your practice ground, you've picked a challenging one. But not too challenging to make the game uninteresting. One can only wonder what compels you to march to the anglo-neocon drumbeat. If it is professional, you deserve a measure of respect for your skills. If it is a personal ideology, then you are a dope, determined to spread your considerable dumb.

Well hey, you sling some pretty fair propaganda yourself. Considering that those benefiting from your efforts have some of the deepest pockets around to pay for that sort of thing I hope you're not missing out.

I see quite a few Chinese that are critical of the CPC - are they all marching to an Anglo-neocon drumbeat?

Yes, I am doing this out of personal conviction. Not that I would be averse to getting compensated but that doesn't seem to be in the cards.

Without going on at length, I think this is a reasonable expression of my 'considerable dumb':

Natural rights inherent in people. We declare that all men, when they form a social compact are equal in right: that all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness; and they have at all times a right to alter, reform, or abolish the govern- ment in such manner as they may think proper. —

Oregon Constitution Article 1, Section 1 (1859)

This, as near as I can make out, is a fair approximation of yours:

"Anti-individualistic, the Fascist conception of life stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests coincide with those of the State, which stands for the conscience and the universal, will of man as a historic entity.* It is opposed to classical liberalism which arose as a reaction to absolutism and exhausted its historical function when the State became the expression of the conscience and will of the people. Liberalism denied the State in the name of the individual; Fascism reasserts"

- Benito Mussolini

One thing that China would never do is to treat the Chinese people who have occupied this Chinese territory for a mere 70 years, in the sickening and deplorable way that the US has treated Cuba for the past 70 years — with shameful trading blockades to stunt their development, while inflicting numerous and ongoing subversions to harm their economy, overthrow their government, and impose suffering upon the Cuban people.

Well, on the assumption - not shared by a lot of Taiwanese, particularly the younger ones - that Taiwan *is* Chinese territory, and that Taiwanese do not regard 'their' government (which the PRC wants to replace or supersede) as being the one based in Taipei, then... maybe.

But the way they have and continue to treat Tibetans and Uighurs does not exactly inspire confidence in their would-be subjects. Being Chinese doesn't seem to translate to lenient treatment of Christians and Falun Gong adherents, either.

BTW - if you're implying that I support US policy toward Cuba you'll look long and hard to find any evidence that I do or ever have.

China embraces a consensus-based win-win participatory democracy.

A 'democracy' in which a tiny elite get to determine who participates in society and on what terms, and gets to define and enforce the what the 'consensus' is.

But I'll let the JCP (Japan Communist Party) have the last word on the CPC:

"The Chinese party calls itself 'socialist' and 'communist,' but its great-power chauvinism, hegemonism and violations of human rights have nothing to do with 'socialism' and are not worthy of the term 'communism'"

Kazui Ishii
Chairman, JCP (2022)
Source

I see that you noticed that I tend to cite/refer to 'news sources'.

Something you might want to try yourself on occasion.

"And in this world order, we must listen to everyone, take into account every point of view, every people, society, culture, every system of world views, ideas and religious beliefs, without imposing a single truth on anyone, and only on this basis, understanding our responsibility for fate - the fate of peoples, the planet, to build a symphony of human civilization."

Vladimir Putin
Valdai Conference Address, 2022

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@NYCVG

President Tsai, is still president. She resigned as party leader, though. See my comment "Definition" below if you want links and local spin on what happened in the recent Taiwan election.

Short version: these were *local* elections in which the national ruling party lost ground. But mostly in areas where that the opposition KMT (descendent of Chiang Kai Shek's Nationalists) had held until fairly recently (they are traditionally strongest in Taipei and won the mayor's race there in a three-way contest).

https://newbloommag.net/2022/11/21/taipei-race-2022-midterms/

https://newbloommag.net/2022/11/26/2022-election-results/

So, viewing this as an embrace of the 'One China, Two Systems' proposed by the PRC is likely way off base - as polls indicate that Taiwanese overwhelmingly reject the idea. Polling over decades indicates most people in Taiwan want to preserve the status quo. Only a small minority (less than 20%) are in favor of even eventual 'reunification' with the mainland.

By the way - Cuba was claimed for Spain after Columbus discovered it in 1492. Spanish settlement commenced, the indigenous population was mostly eliminated by disease, enslavement or outright killing. Spanish became and remains the dominant language.

Formosa was had a small Spanish presence in the north from the 1500's, the Dutch began to establish control from the 1620's.

Prior to the arrival of the Dutch colonists, Taiwan was almost exclusively populated by Taiwanese aborigines; Austronesian peoples who lived in a hunter-gatherer society while also practicing swidden agriculture. It is difficult to arrive at an estimate of the numbers of these native Formosans when the Dutch arrived, as there was no island-wide authority in a position to count the population, while the aborigines themselves did not keep written records. Even at the extent of greatest Dutch control in the 1650s there were still large regions of the island outside the pale of Dutch authority, meaning that any statistics given necessarily relate only to the area of Dutch sovereignty.

There were a few (estimated 1500 or so) Chinese at a couple locations, a mostly male, seasonal, transient population of traders. It was the *Dutch* that first initiated larger-scale immigration of Han Chinese to Taiwan!

Beginning in the 1640s the Dutch began to encourage large-scale immigration of Han people to Formosa, providing not only transportation from Fujian, but also oxen and seed for the new immigrants to get started in agriculture. Estimates of the numbers of Han people in Taiwan at the end of the Dutch era vary widely, from 10-15,000 up to 50–60,000, although the lower end of that scale seems more likely.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_Formosa

The Dutch finally were displaced by what amounted to a last-gasp effort of the Ming Dynasty, which had lost heavily elsewhere. This was led by Zheng Chinngon (who was half-Japanese and spent his early years in Japan - known to Europeans as Coxinga). After the Dutch surrender and Coxinga's death a few months later his son established the Kingdom of Tungning which was organized on Ming Dynasty principles and Han influence and population expanded. They also made attempts to reclaim areas of the mainland, which ultimately failed.

After Zheng Jing's forces were ejected from the mainland, the Qing tried to win over Zheng through negotiation. In 1667 letters were sent to Zheng Taiwan to negotiate their surrender. Zheng Jing declined the offer. Zheng emphasized that Taiwan had never been part of China and that he wished to establish relations with the Qing based on a model similar to a foreign country.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Tungning

The Quing finally defeated Tungning in the 1680's and gradually came to control most of the island (at the expense of the indigenous population, of course). They held it until losing it to Japan in 1895, Japan held it until 1945 and the Nationalist government got it after that.

The PRC has never governed it.

So, here's a question for you - does the current Chinese government have any more claim to Taiwan than the Spanish do to Cuba? Especially if the Taiwanese wish to govern *themselves*?

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@Blue Republic

Nor have the Spanish visited and resided in Cuba for thousands of years.

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____________________

The political system is what it is because the People are who they are. — Plato

@Pluto's Republic

Cuba is not in Spain's Territorial waters

I guess by that standard Ireland is in Britain's territorial waters - why don't you check with the Irish and see what they think about that?

Nor have the Spanish visited and resided in Cuba for thousands of years.

Visited probably, but as the article states, the only regular Chinese presence in Formosa prior to the arrival of the Spanish and Dutch were a small number of traders who were there seasonally to buy deer hides from the locals. Europeans were the first non-indigenes to settle there on a permanent basis.

It was the Dutch who initiated Chinese immigration to the island. After the Dutch were forced out by Ming loyalists (the Ming had by then lost most of the mainland to the Manchu Quing) - who established their own kingdom - they were insistent, in their negotiations with the Quing, that the place had *never* been under Chinese rule and they demanded recognition of independent status such as the Korean and Ryukyu kingdoms enjoyed.

Chinese rule dates from the 1680's and was imposed by conquest. Which is the only way they are likely to get it back. The only thing that should matter about the future direction and status of Taiwan is that it should be something that the Taiwanese get to decide freely for themselves.

You object to that?

BTW - China controlled parts of modern Vietnam a number of times historically, sometimes for hundreds of years - do you think China has the right to rule Vietnam as well? You might want to ask the Vietnamese about that...

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snoopydawg's picture

Twitter is abuzz with the massive protests in China against the Covid lockdowns and lots of shitlibs have joined in on criticizing Xi for trying for zero deaths. But just a few years ago they were bitching about people here wanting to reopen the country because they were losing their jobs and businesses. They were also upset with Trump’s attitude about China, but now that it’s Biden continuing the attitude they have switched sides. Oh my..

New York Times Decides Lockdowns are Actually Draconian and Economically Destructive when China Does Them

Western lockdowns were necessary to save lives. Chinese lockdowns are the repressive tactic of an undemocratic regime.

Outside China, the rest of the world has adapted to the virus and is near normalcy. Take soccer’s premier event, the World Cup. Thousands of people from across the globe have assembled in Qatar and are cheering on their teams, shoulder-to-shoulder, without masks, in packed stadiums.

China’s approach won praise during the beginning of the pandemic, and there is no doubt it has saved lives. But now that approach looks increasingly outdated. Almost three years after the coronavirus emerged, the contrast between China and the rest of the world couldn’t be starker.

China reports 16,000 deaths while America reports over a million. I wonder what the numbers are for people who have long Covid?

This essay is even better. He highlights all the people who were singing China’s praises way back when, but are now criticizing Xi for his zero death lockdowns. I don’t know the answer to how to deal with this epidemic, but I am happy to point out people’s hypocrisy.

From our trip

Desolate, but pretty.

2305551E-2E77-4CD0-898B-4B31658277EA.jpeg

Our camp.

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From the beach. We were the only ones out there.

72039FE4-D154-4C12-B908-18E476DB2F18.jpeg

2 of the guys that walked by as I was cooking dinner.

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FA3C315C-848A-4EAA-85DF-54493E81BE7F.jpeg

On the beach going to a meeting.

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Their tracks.

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A sunset.

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Sam guarding her baby. And ripping the stuffing out.

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From 1996 to 2022. Fences are going up to keep the Buffalo from walking off. The beach is full of toxic crap that is starting to affect people living close to the ex lake. Plus it gets on the snow and melts it faster. Congress is going to do a study… it’s been going on for 20 effing years!

F9F15C91-183D-4D80-8F28-F6B7AE347A26.jpeg
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Rhett Butler contemptuously reminded Southern secession hot heads “There’s not a cannon factory in the whole South.”

It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

ggersh's picture

@snoopydawg I've got a theory about China and it's response. They
know that Covid is a bioweapon meant to kill so they are
doing everything in their power to stop it. Obviously their
vaccine isn't up to snuff in stopping Covid surprise surprise

BWTFDIK but what the fuck do I know

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Why is it amerika's the only country in the world who
has a military that's based on a profit motive.

snoopydawg's picture

@ggersh

about. Tons of people walk the trail but I can’t figure out why unless they just like walking. On the other side is just more of the same view as on this side. And the water has been low for a few years if not a decade. There were Buffalo hanging around the area this time out, but they are free to go wherever they want. I saw lots of people standing around watching them take a nap. It’s a lonely place but I found lots of beauty. I rode a horse to the peaks in the first picture but I don’t remember much of the trip. Dang brain.

I thought that same thing about why China was trying to keep infections down. Didn’t they once accuse us of unleashing it on their country? Iran did and they had a more severe virus. It’s funny how the media has turned on China for keeping its people safe after they ridiculed people here who didn’t want to be locked down. The 2nd essay has great examples of what they once said but are saying now.

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Rhett Butler contemptuously reminded Southern secession hot heads “There’s not a cannon factory in the whole South.”

It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

@snoopydawg
From that second essay (Michael Senger's Substack):

As protests continue to erupt across China and Zero Covid is lain bare as the moral and intellectual catastrophe that is always was, it’s worth remembering that if we’d taken these officials and media elites seriously, the entire free world would look very much like China does today. Moreover, not a single one of these officials or media elites has been held to account or even lost their position. On the contrary, several of the most important pro-lockdown officials have had their exploits glorified in hagiographic memoirs, and some, such as UK SAGE advisor and 40-year British Communist Party member Susan Michie, have been given big promotions.

This in sharp contrast to the countless professionals who lost their positions due to noncompliance with Covid mandates, or those—as I found out the hard way—who’ve been censored for the mere suggestion that we may need an inquiry into why all these elites suddenly felt it appropriate to advise their countries to adopt one of the CCP’s most ruthlessly totalitarian policies.

Klaus Schwab says China is the model - of course Western elites want to see its 'features' implemented all over (as long as they get to be the ones in control, of course). BTW - if it wasn't for Elon Musk unshackling Twitter do you think we'd be hearing about the Chinese protests from the MSM?

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joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

wow! great pictures! glad that you and sam are out there having a great time in beautiful surroundings.

it has always amused me how quickly american public opinion can turn 180 degrees. our thought leaders type in a new message and the repeaters spread it far and wide - and soon it is the new conventional "wisdom."

have a great evening and give sam a scritch for me.

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snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

Boy did it come down hard for 20 whole minutes and then the sun came out. Yippee huh? I remember when storms would last for days and the snow would pile up and there was nowhere to put it. Those days are long gone.

You can see how low the lake is. The causeway to the island is 8 miles long and I remember going over it wondering if the water would cover it soon. I just don’t understand why they have just watched it get lower and not do something about it. It had a huge effect on our storm systems. Best snow in the country but now they have to make most of it.

Look at how long this crap has been going on and how many people know about but won’t do anything.

On this note here’s a great article from Hudson. He writes so even I can understand it.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2022/11/michael-hudson-answers-questions...

Sam is trying to pilfer another treat. Stinker thinks that if she brings me a toy that I will reward her.. I usually do because of the look I get.

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10 users have voted.

Rhett Butler contemptuously reminded Southern secession hot heads “There’s not a cannon factory in the whole South.”

It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

the banks have been broke for centuries - ever since goldsmiths invented fractional reserve banking when they realized that not all of their customers would ask to redeem their gold certificates at once. banking has been a scam ever since, but one that has become socially acceptable for some reason.

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@snoopydawg @snoopydawg providing appropriate toys and scenery for Sam, my client. Clearly, that toy is over and done, and I am strongly suggesting that, on her behalf, you replace it. Perhaps with 2 new toys.
Glad you got to go out in the wilds. You saw buffalo, I saw dolphins. I was so enthralled, I didn't grab a camera!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

snoopydawg's picture

@on the cusp

and I don’t think her room has space for many more. But that’s one of her favorite toys and most rattiest and she likes to take it camping and then lose it. Even the ones she takes the stuffing out of are still her favorites. Don’t worry that she will ever run out of them. I went to the dollar store and forgot to get her one. I had to go back and get one.

Too bad you didn’t get a picture. It’s why gawd made phones with cameras.

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Rhett Butler contemptuously reminded Southern secession hot heads “There’s not a cannon factory in the whole South.”

It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

CB's picture

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joe shikspack's picture

@CB

heh, if that attitude becomes common, elensky better split town fast and head for one of his multi-million dollar escape condos.

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its allies.

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joe shikspack's picture

@humphrey

after all of the breathless coverage of "shock and awe" and countless other war pr efforts by the u.s. any american/nato criticism of russia has to come off as utter hypocrisy if even the slightest amount of thought is put into it. there are some very dark pots and kettles out there.

have a great evening!

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joe shikspack's picture

@humphrey

just another day in the world's longest-running and most vicious game of musical chairs.

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joe shikspack's picture

@gjohnsit

that certainly has a ring of truth about it.

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snoopydawg's picture

The slimes is finally sticking up for Assange as is the guardian. Both had no problems publishing his work but have remained silent while he has been persecuted within an inch of his life.

https://www.rt.com/news/567336-assange-letter-newspapers-nytimes/

Hopefully Biden has been getting lots of pushback on Assange and has asked them for a way out. It’s better late than never but I’m not giving them kudos for it. It’s been 12 years since he entered the embassy and then he was yanked out of it and stuck in prison for a 6 month sentence that has long expired. And fck every American that has been okay with this.

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Rhett Butler contemptuously reminded Southern secession hot heads “There’s not a cannon factory in the whole South.”

It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

I've noted during Kim's travels to the Hanoi summit and the Vladivostok summit, the prominent role of the women in Kim's entourage at critical moments. The elevation of Choe Son-hui from diplomatic translator at the six party talks to her current position as Foreign Minister is remarkable.

On the Kim Il-sung paradigm for elevating women-this is from a spring 2019 post:

(Source- Channel A News 4.26) Kim Il Sung, Shin Jin Soon, advocated in those days as Soviet foreign relations voice ( literally "wind pipe." )

The main positive contribution of Thae Yong Ho's analysis was his commentary on the elevation of Choe Son Hui to the inner circle of elite power holders in North Korea. Thae mentioned three women as significant aides to Kim Il Sung during the early days of communist rule in North Korea. Most significant of these was Shin Jin Soon, a graduate of the elite Kyongseong International University, who was said to speak seven languages, and play a major role in North Korean international relations, particularly with Russia, as early as 1945. Her relationship with Kim Il Sung went back to the struggle against the Japanese Empire. Russia was referred to as brother in the struggle against Imperial Japan in Kim Jong Un's Vladivostok speech, a historical bond that tied the two countries together.

The elevation of Choe Son Hui to the elite power level in North Korea is a product of her outstanding academic achievement at elite academic institutions, the failure of the Hanoi summit to which Kim Yong Chol's decline is attributed, and the model provided by Kim Il Sung's promotion of elite women to facilitate foreign policy goals. Shin Jin Soon, historically was described as the "wind pipe" with Russia. Kim Jong Un was said to be going to Vladivostok for an "oxygen supply." Ostensibly, the presence of an influential and worldly woman with the Kim delegation, presents a softer image of the dictatorship, in a world where many countries are devoid of women in positions of power.

It might be worthwhile to consider the important role played by Choe in comparison to the other women around Kim as his personal support group. Kim is in an isolated position and younger and less experienced than most of the international figures he meets, for example, Xi Jinping, and Vladimir Putin. Thae notes the same has held true inside Kim's own ruling party, where older generation officials have dominated and the much younger heir to power has been engaged in a protracted effort to remove or replace them. Thae characterized the current North Korean leadership circles in term of an older generation typically in their sixties, that is, around thirty years older than Kim. Choe is a little younger than this at age 54, it is believed, and serves as an experienced bridge domestically and internationally as an adviser. The other women in Kim's life: wife, Ri Sol Ju; sister, Kim Yo Jong; and confidante, Hyon Song Wol, are like Kim himself substantially younger. Kim Yo Jang seems to be a highly visible pragmatic assistant when it comes to logistics, protocol, and propaganda. She was noticeably absent in Vladivostok. Choe, more so than the younger women, now has not only the role of a maternal mentor for a relatively young Kim, but the experience to provide the intellectual support and advice in a most challenging if not desperate international situation.

Hyon Song-wol (rumored to be a former romantic interest) is a public representative of North Korea in cultural exchanges and events. Everyone is familiar with Kim Yo-jong, Kim's sister, and her important role in the administration. She has high international visibility in a propaganda role. Choe and Kim Yo-jong (to a lesser extent) speak for the ruling circle around Kim Jong-un.

I believe that Choe designed a subtle message to the US in the first series of photos that KCNA published with Kim's daughter. This even though Ri Sol-ju, Kim's wife was present in the background. One of the pictures brought to mind a famous image of JFK and Caroline, I believe to provoke memories of the Cuban missile crisis. I suppose it was too subtle or too intelligent as a product of Choe. There was also the classic monarchial message or analogy, of the ruler to the seo min or bek sang, the ordinary people of North Korea. The message there is I will take care of my people and their progeny. When I saw these initially, I thought I don't see the successor issue like all the other analysts.

The new set of photos is far less subtle and represents the standard propaganda fare of North Korea in terms of style. I think it's fair to say that Kim sees an important role for his daughter in North Korea's future. Whether that is as a successor or not remains to be seen. The importance of women to his administration cannot be overstated.

I will limit my comment on the demonstrations in China against the covid lockdown to one observation. I can't count the number of times in South Korean historical dramas where I have seen this dialogue or words to this effect: First State Councilor, "we're having an epidemic, therefore the kingdom is doomed." Monarch, "don't let anyone in or out of affected towns and villages."

Thanks so much for the Evening Blues, I read all the Asian related posts and some of the others, and thought the article concerning Will Japan and South Korea learn...was superb. The one year waiver on restrictions of semiconductor trade with China also applies to Taiwan. Will Taiwan learn?

Appreciate all the other commentary here on these issues. Too tired to write last night, still busy with the sequelae of the TS Ian flood.

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joe shikspack's picture

@soryang

i hope that all is going well with recovering from the assorted hurricanes and you are doing well.

thanks for your take on the kim dynasty and its future. i find the whole topic of north korea hard to sort out. i refuse to take the western news reports about it entirely seriously, since they are mostly propaganda in support of u.s. intentions in the region.

have a great evening!

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@joe shikspack I saw that Tim Shorrock did an interview two weeks ago over at antiwar.com, in which he ambitiously tried to summarize 77 years of US-North Korean relations. (I usually check his twitter feed to get a head start on the latest developments but have been distracted lately). He did a credible job in the podcast. He made a couple of date errors near the beginning of his discussion saying 2007 and 2008, when I think he meant 2017 and 2018 concerning former president Moon Jae-in's overtures to North Korea. I understand because he and I are about the same age. It's a pretty good overview of the course of the relationship. A discussion like that always forces me to go to the arms control sites to illuminate some things that had happened, particularly during the agreed framework period during the Clinton and Bush administrations. There is always something that can be added to such a discussion. It's very challenging.

https://scotthorton.org/interviews/11-14-22-tim-shorrock-the-tension-wit...

Made some progress recently on the hurricane front, hope I can get work started on my home soon.

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mimi's picture

that is written here on this blog. I wonder if me not understanding 80 percemt of what I try to read is a curse or a blessing.

I more and more think it is a blessing. I can't stand it anymore. I am so angry about the world.

I know you do excellent work, but has it excellent effects on your soul? So far I escaped serious depressions, but other than not reading here at all, I don't know how to avoid them.

Thanks for the EB, Joe. and thanks to keep this site online and going, JtC. May be I am more prone to get depressed because I read and listen to German, European news coverage and then go over to C99p to read the news on this site. It's a recipe for significant emotional disgust.

I remember the Newseum and liked it a lot. Too sad it has been closed down.

Good Night, all, tomorrow is another day. Hopefully one that feels better. ah, and if it were not for Joe's basement treasures, I would sometimes just want to get a rope, if I were a drama queen. Who me, a drama queen? What are you thinkging? How about a tragedy queen?

Thanks for all the music. Lifesaving. Good Night from over here, !t is 11 pm.

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mimi

@mimi

shit storm
perhaps force-fed culture
is not a blessing?

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joe shikspack's picture

@mimi

i hope that you are well and in a good state of mind after listening to the music. take care and have a great evening!

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(Edit: This was supposed to be in reply to BR above - my mistake it ending up as a new comment...)

Cuba is not in Spain's Territorial waters

I guess by that standard Ireland is in Britain's territorial waters - why don't you check with the Irish and see what they think about that?

Nor have the Spanish visited and resided in Cuba for thousands of years.

Visited probably, but as the article states, the only regular Chinese presence in Formosa prior to the arrival of the Spanish and Dutch were a small number of traders who were there seasonally to buy deer hides from the locals. Europeans were the first non-indigenes to settle there on a permanent basis.

It was the Dutch who initiated Chinese immigration to the island. After the Dutch were forced out by Ming loyalists (the Ming had by then lost most of the mainland to the Manchu Quing) who established their own kingdom - they were insistent, in their negotiations with the Quing, that the place had *never* been under Chinese rule and they demanded recognition of independent status such as the Korean and Ryukyu kingdoms enjoyed.

Chinese rule dates from the 1680's and was imposed by conquest. Which is the only way they are likely to get it back.

BTW - China controlled parts of modern Vietnam a number of times historically, sometimes for hundreds of years - do you think China has the right to rule Vietnam as well? You might want to ask the Vietnamese about that...

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