The Evening Blues - 3-27-23


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Ray Charles

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features blues piano player Ray Charles. Enjoy!

Ray Charles - Unchain my Heart

“The coup that overthrew President Chavez of Venezuela in April 2002 was greeted with euphoria in Washington. The new president—a businessman—was instantly recognized and the hope expressed that stability and order would return to the country, thus creating the basis for solid future development. The New York Times editorialized in identical language.
... The coup was reversed three days later and Chavez then came back to power. The State Department soberly denied any prior knowledge about anything, saying it was all an internal matter. It was to be hoped that a peaceful, democratic, and constitutional solution to the difficulties would be arrived at, they said. The New York Times editorial followed suit, merely adding that perhaps it was not a good idea to embrace the overthrow of a democratically elected regime, however obnoxious, too readily if one of America's fundamental values was support for democracy.”

-- David Harvey

News and Opinion

They’re Rebooting “Axis Of Evil” On The 20th Anniversary Of The Iraq Invasion

The western political/media class has suddenly resurrected the phrase “Axis of Evil” in recent days to refer to the increasing intimacy between Russia and China, just in time for the 20th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

Famed Iraq War cheerleader Sean Hannity appears to have kicked things off last week, saying on his show that “a new Axis of evil is emerging” between China, Russia and Iran, a slogan that has since been echoed numerous times this week.

On Tuesday former ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told Fox News that Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are “two dictators that have said they are unlimited partners,” asserting that “This is the new Axis of Evil, with Iran being their junior partner.”

Also on Tuesday Representative Mike Lawler tweeted, “Xi’s meeting with Putin in Moscow is deeply concerning and highlights the growing threats posed by this new axis of evil,” and on Thursday he tweeted, “We are dealing with a new axis of evil and failure to stop Putin in Ukraine will have far-reaching implications as Russia pushes further into Eastern Europe and China moves against Taiwan.”

On Wednesday The Telegraph published an article titled “Xi and Putin are building a new axis of evil,” which mixes in the phrases “China-Russia axis” and “Beijing-Moscow axis” for good measure.

Also on Wednesday Representative Brian Mast tweeted “This is the new axis of evil” with a picture of Xi and Putin shaking hands.

On Thursday British tabloid The Sun published an article titled “WHO’S THE BOSS? Body language experts reveal Putin & Xi’s hidden messages in their ‘axis of evil’ meeting and who REALLY has the power,” with the phrase “axis of evil” appearing nowhere in the actual body of the text.

The “Axis of Evil” slogan was first made infamous by George W Bush in a jingoistic speech he gave a few months after 9/11, and at the time referred to the nations of Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. The following year Iraq would be in ruins as the US empire ushered in a new era of worldwide military expansionism and shockingly aggressive interventionism throughout the Middle East.

Bush (and the speechwriter who helped him coin the phrase, neoconservative war propagandist David Frum) used the word “Axis” to evoke the memory of the Axis powers of World War II who fought against the Allied forces, of which the United States was a part. Western warmongers have an extensive history of comparing every war they want to fight to the second world war, framing whoever their Enemy of the Day happens to be as the new Adolf Hitler, whoever wants to fight him as the new Winston Churchill, and whoever opposes the war as the new Neville Chamberlain.

The idea is to get everyone thinking in terms of Good Guys versus Bad Guys like children watching a cartoon show, instead of like grown adults engaged in complex analysis of real life as it actually exists. Because the US empire has spent generations framing WWII as a pure Good Guys versus Bad Guys conflict, now propagandists can say that every Pentagon target is Hitler and the US and its allies are the brave heroes who are fighting Hitler.

And that appears to be the intention behind this recent resurrection of the “Axis of Evil” label: not to recall George W Bush’s hawkish sloganeering on the 20th anniversary of the Iraq invasion, but to recall World War II. This seems likely because we’re also seeing a huge increase in the use of the term “axis” to refer to Russia, China, Iran and sometimes other nations like North Korea, without the fun “of Evil” part.

Genocide walrus John Bolton has been trying to make “axis” happen for a while now; he used that term to refer to the relationship between Russia and China last month in an interview with The Washington Post, where he also claimed that we are already in “a global war” against those nations. In an interview with The Telegraph earlier this week Bolton referred to “the China-Russia axis,” which he described as having “outriders like Iran and North Korea.”

On Monday Representative Jamie Raskin tweeted about the “axis of authoritarianism linking Russia, China, and Iran.”

On Wednesday Representative Lisa McClain tweeted, “Xi and Putin seek a new world order that poses a worrying global threat. The West should be worried about this China-Russia axis and what it means for freedom.”

(Can I just pause a moment here to note that it’s a bit odd for the other guys to be labeled the “axis” when the US is now aligned with every one of the World War II Axis powers?)

At a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Thursday, committee chairman Michael McCaul shed a bit more light on the worldview driving this perspective in his opening remarks.

“History shows when you project strength you get peace but when you project weakness it does invite aggression and war; you only need to look back to Neville Chamberlain and Hitler, and really the course of time has proven that axiom,” McCaul said, adding, “We’re starting to see this alliance very similar in my judgement to what we saw in World War Two: Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea.”

The problem with McCaul’s thinking, of course, is that he is pretending the US is just some passive witness to the formation of this evil “axis” of hostile nations instead of the singular driving factor behind it. Russia, China, and other unabsorbed governments have all been driven closer and closer together by the hostility of the United States toward all of them, and now they are overcoming some significant differences to rapidly move into increasingly intimate strategic partnerships to protect their national sovereignty from a globe-spanning empire which demands total submission from every government on earth.

Empire managers have long forecasted the acquisition of post-Soviet Russia as an imperial lackey state which could be weaponized against the new Enemy Number One in China, but instead the exact opposite happened. Hillary Clinton told the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in 2021 that as an insider within the US power structure she’d “heard for years that Russia would become more willing to move toward the west, more willing to engage in a positive way with Europe, the UK, the US, because of problems on its border, because of the rise of China.” But that’s not what occurred.

“We haven’t seen that,” Clinton said. “Instead what we’ve seen is a concerted effort by Putin maybe to hug China more.”

Perhaps more effort would have been expended winning over Russia’s friendship had this incorrect forecast not been made. If US empire managers had not been so confident that Moscow would come groveling to their feet to kiss the imperial ring, perhaps they would not have felt so comfortable expanding NATO, knocking back Putin’s early gestures of goodwill while administration after administration assured him with its actions that it will accept nothing but total subordinance, and engaging in aggressive brinkmanship on its border.

But they made a different call, so now we have to listen to cringey cold warriors like Michael McFaul moan about Moscow deciding to go with Beijing instead of Washington.

“After the collapse of the USSR, a democratic Russia had the chance to be a major, respected European power,” McFaul recently complained on Twitter. “Putin however has pushed Russia a different way, turning Russia (yet again) into a vassal of an Asian autocratic power. Such a wasted opportunity. Oh well.”

Which is of course just McFaul’s way of saying, “Russia was supposed to be our vassal, not China’s!”

Really all this fuss is nothing other than the emergence of a multipolar world crashing headlong into the imperial doctrine that US unipolar hegemony must be maintained at all cost. If not for that last bit the US empire ceasing to singularly dominate the planet wouldn’t be much of a problem, but because there’s a zealous belief that all attempts to surpass the United States must be treated as enemy acts of aggression we’re now seeing world powers split into two increasingly hostile alliance groups with more and more talk of hot global conflict.

This is madness, and it needs to stop.

EDIT: The always excellent Moon of Alabama put out its own piece on the rebirth of the “Axis of Evil” slogan at the same time as me that’s got more instances of the use of that phrase by the political/media class.

End of unipolarity w/ Jeffrey Sachs, Alexander Mercouris and Glenn Diesen

U.S. Launches AIR STRIKES On Iranians IN SYRIA!

More US Airstrikes in Syria Kill at Least 19, Multiple American Bases Attacked

Three American bases in Eastern Syria were targeted with rockets and drones on Friday. One American soldier was injured in the attack. The American bases came under fire after the US carried out airstrikes in eastern Syria.

The violence in Syria escalated on Thursday when a US outpost was attacked. One contractor was killed by a drone strike. Additionally, five soldiers and one contractor were wounded. The Pentagon claimed it had intelligence that the drones used in the attack were of "Iranian origin."

Biden responded by authorizing airstrikes against groups affiliated with Iran in the regions. ... Tehran said there would be a "counter-response" to the airstrikes. “Any pretext to attack bases created at the request of the Syrian government to deal with terrorism and Islamic State elements in this country will be met with an immediate counter-response,” Keyvan Khosravi, spokesperson for the Supreme National Security Council of Iran warned.

The Pentagon also warned it would respond to further attacks. "We are postured for scalable options in the face of any additional Iranian attacks," a statement from CENTCOM Commander, General Michael "Erik" Kurilla said. ...

Tehran entered the Syrian war at the request of Damascus. Iranian support forces have helped to push back jihadist groups. However, the Syrian government and its partner forces, including ones backed by Iran, have come into conflict with American forces as well. As part of its economic war against Damascus, Washington occupies the eastern third of Syria, including where most of the country’s oil and wheat resources are located. Damascus views the American forces as illegally occupying Syrian territory.

Biden BOMBS Syria After US Contractor Killed

The Pentagon says its illegal bases were targeted by drones in the third attack against US troops in Syria within 24 hours

Two military bases of the US occupation army in Syria came under heavy attack late on 24 March, leaving multiple casualties among the troops stationed at Al-Omar and Conoco oil fields in Deir Ezzor governorate.

According to local reports, flames rose from inside the occupation base at Al-Omar, Syria’s largest oil field.

No group has taken responsibility for the daring operation. According to the Pentagon, one attack was carried out with rockets, while the other “involved multiple Iranian drones.”

Friday night’s attack marked the third armed operation against US troops within 24 hours. ...

US military bases in Syria regularly come under attack by local resistance groups, as popular discontent has grown significantly over their ongoing theft of Syria’s natural resources.

Aaron Mate at UN: OPCW cover-up denies justice to Douma victims

Putin DEPLOYING Tactical Nukes Closer To Ukraine

Zelensky Tells Europe Give More Weapons and Add Sanctions on Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday demanded that European countries provide more military aid and add more sanctions on Russia, warning that not doing so would prolong the war.

Zelensky said in a virtual address to EU leaders that they should provide longer-range weapons and Western-made fighter jets. He thanked Slovakia and Poland for providing Soviet-made MiG-29 planes but said Kyiv needs “modern aircraft.”

“Is there rational motivation for the protraction in providing modern aircraft?” the Ukrainian leader said. He dismissed concerns about Russia potentially escalating the war in response to such support, pointing to the provision of German-made Leopard tanks.

“Remember how many Russian threats there were when it came to the transfer of Leopards and other tanks – more advanced than those our soldiers had previously. These more advanced tanks are already in Ukraine. So, what did Russia do in response? We all have to get used to the fact that a terrorist state bluffs more often than it can escalate,” he said.

Ukrainian troops return home after Challenger 2 tank training in UK

Ukrainian crews have returned home after completing training in the UK on British tanks that are expected to be used in a counteroffensive against Russia.

The training has been completed after UK military officials spent several weeks instructing the Ukrainian personnel in how to operate and fight with Challenger 2 tanks, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said on Monday.

The troops travelled to Britain shortly after Rishi Sunak announced in January that the UK would send 14 Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine. The MoD could not confirm the exact location of the tanks.

The Ukrainian crews and the tanks are expected to be in position in time for a spring counteroffensive that is believed to be in the works.

Israeli Protests Intensify over Netanyahu Gov’t Weakening Judiciary as Palestinian Rights Ignored

Israel: mass protests after sacking of minister who opposed judicial overhaul

Tens of thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets to protest after Benjamin Netanyahu fired his defence minister over his opposition to a planned judicial overhaul.

Yoav Gallant had called on the prime minister to scrap the proposals which have divided the country, led to mass protests and sparked growing discontent within the military.

Netanyahu’s move on Sunday underscored his determination to press on with the overhaul which has also angered business leaders and raised concerns among Israel’s allies. Gallant was the first senior member of the ruling Likud party to speak out against the plan.

But as droves of protesters flooded the streets late into the night, other Likud ministers began indicating willingness to hit the brakes. Culture minister Micky Zohar, a Netanyahu confidant, said the party would support him if he decided to pause the judicial overhaul.

A parliamentary vote this week will take place on a centrepiece of the overhaul – a law that would give the governing coalition the final say over all judicial appointments. It also seeks to pass laws that would grant parliament the authority to override supreme court decisions and limit judicial review of laws.

France pension reform: Macron holds crisis meeting, new day of strikes planned

Violence escalates in French pension reform protests: "Social and political crisis"

Rwanda scheme would ‘completely erode’ UK’s standing on world stage

The UK’s plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda would “completely erode” Britain’s standing on the world stage, the new head of Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said. Tirana Hassan, who takes over as HRW’s executive director on Monday, also said other conservative governments in Europe were considering following Britain’s lead and looking at African states as an offshore dumping ground for asylum seekers, potentially dealing further blows to established refugee protections. ...

The UK government’s deportation scheme was agreed with Rwanda nearly a year ago but has been held up by legal challenges since then, including the intervention of the European court of human rights. The home secretary, Suella Braverman, visited Kigali earlier this month to see accommodation blocks being built for deported asylum seekers from Britain, causing additional controversy by taking only the rightwing press with her.

The government has also proposed a restrictive new immigration bill under the slogan “stop the boats” aimed at cutting down refugee crossings of the Channel. “It’s cheap politics, divisive and completely contrary to human rights,” Hassan said. “I think that this current government in the UK is essentially scraping the bottom of the barrel.”

“This is just going to completely erode any sort of international standing that the UK has when it comes to human rights on the international stage. They don’t have a leg to stand on in terms of their credibility any more,” Hassan said.

Internet Archive to Appeal 'Chilling' Federal Ruling Against Digital Books

Internet Archive vowed to appeal after a U.S. district court judge on Friday sided with four major publishers who sued the nonprofit for copyright infringement.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Internet Archives operated a controlled digital lending system, allowing users to digitally check out scanned copies of purchased or donated books on a one-to-one basis. As the public health crises forced school and library closures, the nonprofit launched the National Emergency Library, making 1.4 million digital books available without waitlists.

Hachette, HarperCollins, John Wiley & Sons, and Penguin Random House sued Internet Archive over its lending policies in June 2020. Judge John G. Koeltl of the Southern District of New York on Friday found in Hachette v. Internet Archive that the nonprofit "creates derivative e-books that, when lent to the public, compete with those authorized by the publishers."

Internet Archive "argues that its digital lending makes it easier for patrons who live far from physical libraries to access books and that it supports research, scholarship, and cultural participation by making books widely accessible on the Internet," the judge wrote. "But these alleged benefits cannot outweigh the market harm to the publishers."

In a statement responding to the ruling, Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle pledged to keep fighting against the publishers.

"Libraries are more than the customer service departments for corporate database products. For democracy to thrive at global scale, libraries must be able to sustain their historic role in society—owning, preserving, and lending books," Kahle said. "This ruling is a blow for libraries, readers, and authors and we plan to appeal it."

Drip, drip, drip ...

Officers in ‘Cop City’ raid shot pepperball gun into activist’s tent first

A police officer fired rounds from a pepperball gun into Manuel Paez Terán’s closed tent before an exchange of gunfire that resulted in the death of the environmental activist and injury of an officer, according to police incident reports obtained by the Guardian. Armed police in tactical gear killed the 26-year-old Paez Terán on the morning of 18 January as they swept through an Atlanta forest to clear activists who were camping there to prevent construction on a $90m police and fire department training facility known as “Cop City”. ...

The incident reports reveal that officers were first to discharge a weapon – they fired a pepperball gun into Paez Terán’s tent, which was followed by gunshots they believed were coming from inside the tent, leading officers to fire a barrage of shots blindly into the tent, killing Paez Terán inside. It also reveals that, while they rendered medical assistance to an injured officer, they did not immediately do the same for Paez Terán.

Until now, the police agencies involved in the operation have released few records detailing what happened that day, but have claimed that officers shot Paez Terán in self-defense. There are nine mentions of the phrase “domestic terrorist” or “domestic terrorists” used by officers in the 20-page police incident report, which Paez Terán’s family said showed the attitude they took towards anyone they encountered in the forest during an operation that resulted in the death of the activist, who went by “Tortuguita” and used they/them pronouns.

The new records sent to the Guardian through a public records request by the Georgia department of public safety reveal the previously unreleased written narratives of the officers involved, including the lead-up to the police clearing of the forest, what happened during the shooting and the immediate aftermath. The officers’ names are redacted. In a statement to the Guardian responding to the release of the documents, Paez Terán’s family said the reports “reveal that officers were fed a steady supply of hearsay and vague generalities about ‘domestic terrorists’ before entering the forest. It is clear that all law enforcement regarded any person in the forest as guilty of being a domestic terrorist.”

Through their lawyers, the family said: “The officer narratives released today by the department of public safety were drafted weeks or, in some cases, months after the incident. When officers drafted these statements, each had the opportunity to review the publicly available video and the press releases issued by the GBI [Georgia bureau of investigation]. As the GBI has acknowledged, ‘memory and perception are fragile’, and outside factors can influence witness statements.” Brian Spears, a lawyer for the family, said the records show the officers prepared their narratives in February and March, long after the shooting.

the horse race

Trump says he’s not upset over possible indictment while attacking ‘fake’ case

Donald Trump repeatedly insisted on Saturday night he was not upset by expected criminal charges that might arise from the Manhattan district attorney’s investigation into his role in paying hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels as he returned from a campaign rally in Waco, Texas.

But the manner of Trump’s responses to questions suggested worries about potential damage to his image, and he came across as someone angry that his good vibrations with his “Make American great again” base in Texas could be interrupted by the reality of a possible indictment as soon as this week.

Travelling back from his first rally as a 2024 presidential candidate, Trump claimed during a recorded interview with four reporters aboard his Trump Force One plane that he was unafraid about the investigation even as he attacked the case and attacked media reporting about the case.

“I’m not frustrated by it. It’s a fake investigation. We did nothing wrong – I told you that,” the former president said before proceeding to lash out at the NBC News reporter on the plane who asked if he was frustrated. “This is fake news, and NBC is one of the worst. Don’t ask me any more questions.”

Trump Threatens DEATH AND DESTRUCTION If Indicted

Passing on Senate Run, Ro Khanna Endorses 'Progressive Leader' Barbara Lee

Congressman Ro Khanna announced on CNN Sunday that he will not run for U.S. Senate and is endorsing fellow California Democrat Rep. Barbara Lee in the closely watched 2024 race for retiring Sen. Dianne Feinstein's seat.

"I have concluded that despite a lot of enthusiasm from Bernie folks, the best place, the most exciting place, action place, fit place, for me to serve as a progressive is in the House of Representatives," said Khanna, who co-chaired the 2020 presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

"And I'm honored to be co-chairing Barbara Lee's campaign for the Senate and endorsing her today. We need a strong anti-war senator and she will play that role," the congressman told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union."

the evening greens

Deep-sea mining for rare metals will destroy ecosystems, say scientists

An investigation by conservationists has found evidence that deep-seabed mining of rare minerals could cause “extensive and irreversible” damage to the planet. The report, to be published on Monday by the international wildlife charity Fauna & Flora, adds to the growing controversy that surrounds proposals to sweep the ocean floor of rare minerals that include cobalt, manganese and nickel. Mining companies want to exploit these deposits – which are crucial to the alternative energy sector – because land supplies are running low, they say.

However, oceanographers, biologists and other researchers have warned that these plans would cause widespread pollution, destroy global fish stocks and obliterate marine ecosystems. “The ocean plays a critical role in the basic functioning of our planet, and protecting its delicate ecosystem is not just critical for marine biodiversity but for all life on Earth,” said Sophie Benbow, the organisation’s marine director.

Fauna & Flora first raised concerns about ocean mining in a 2020 report. Since then, scientists have intensified their study of deep-sea zones and highlighted further dangers posed by mining there. These form the focus of the organisation’s report. “It has become increasingly clear in the last couple of years that, apart from other dangers, deep-sea mining poses a particular threat to the climate,” said Catherine Weller, Fauna & Flora’s director of global policy.

“The deep sea holds vast reservoirs of carbon which could be completely disrupted by mining on the scale being proposed and exacerbate the global crisis we are experiencing through rising greenhouse gas levels.”

Navajo Nation Fights for Water Rights & Access to Colorado River as West Battles Historic Drought

First global water conference in 50 years yields hundreds of pledges, zero checks

The first global water conference in almost half a century has concluded with the creation of a new UN envoy for water and hundreds of non-binding pledges that if fulfilled would edge the world towards universal access to clean water and sanitation.

The three-day summit in New York spurred almost 700 commitments from local and national governments, non-profits and some businesses to a new Water Action Agenda, and progress on the hotchpotch of voluntary pledges will be monitored at future UN gatherings. A new scientific panel on water will also be created by the UN.

Overall, organizers said they were happy that governments and representatives from academia, industries, and non-profits had come together to discuss the often neglected topic of water and to commit billions of dollars to improving water security.

But they conceded that more was needed than a set of voluntary commitments such as a formal global agreement, like the 2015 Paris climate accords and the 2022 Montreal biodiversity pact, as well as better data and an international finance mechanism to safeguard water supplies.

“This conference did not give us a mandate for this, but we brought the world together to ensure there is a follow-up,” said Henk Ovink, special envoy for water for the Netherlands, which co-hosted the conference along with Tajikistan. “We have fragmented water governance across the world, fragmented finance and not enough science and data in place.”

Also of Interest

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

Israeli Agents, Not Russian Bears, 'Hacked' The 2016 Elections For Trump

Craig Murray: Why Would China Be An Enemy?

Patrick Lawrence: What Just Happened in Moscow Is Big

Syrians Have Every Right To Attack US Occupiers: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

The Holy Land and Us: BBC Nakba Series Obscures Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

Political Democracies, Economic Dictatorships

A favourite reef, a beloved atoll: Marshall Islands parents name children after vanishing landmarks

Florida principal resigns after parents decry Michelangelo’s David as pornography

Mexican President Calls Trump Prosecution A SHAM

CODEPINK Protester DRAGGED AWAY After Confronting Sec. Of State Blinken

“Breaking Points” Host RATIO’D After Adding CIA Shill To Board Of Directors

Joe Rogan: Stormy Daniels Payments Were 'A GOOD DEAL,' Didn't CLINTON Do That?

Calls To BAN TikTok Are A DISTRACTION; Elites Blame CCP For Problems THEY CAUSED

A Little Night Music

Ray Charles - Mess Around

Ray Charles - Ray Charles plays the Blues

Ray Charles - Hallelujah I Love Her So

Ray Charles - A Fool for You

Ray Charles - Let The Good Times Roll

Ray Charles & The Raelettes - Shake

Ray Charles - Drown in My Own Tears

Jambalaya - LIVE with Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis and Ray Charles

Ray Charles - Leave My Woman Alone

15 users have voted.


The Duran declares that "The US Has Lost the Middle East" in this short amazing video:

I'm just going to add a few facts, many of which I've talked about before.

The US cleared out its artillery shells from its depot in Israel a few months ago. Sent the shells to Ukraine.

China opened a shipping port in Haifa, on the Mediterranean coast, I think about a year ago?

Bibi Netanyahu has NOT gotten an invite to the White House since his recent election.

The US oil facility in Syria is under fire---as you've covered in your news thread.

Iran and Syria and OMG Saudi Arabia are all making peace and uniting in different configurations that do NOT include the US.

Befuddled Biden keeps on shipping pallets of newly printed $$$$$$ to Ukraine.

What a mess.

13 users have voted.


joe shikspack's picture


if all the u.s. has lost is the middle east, it will be lucky. it looks like the u.s. is on track to lose far more than that.

i listened to that duran episode a little while ago and it seems like israel is in the midst of some pretty big choices. it will be interesting to see how things wind up there.

10 users have voted.

@joe shikspack @joe shikspack Last week, while Xi Jinping was in Moscow, 41 senior representatives of 40 African countries were also in Moscow and President Putin met with them and gave a speech.

Meanwhile China has been building infrstructure,and businesses in Africa for a very long time.

South Africa is a founding member of BRICS and here are the African countries getting ready to be admitted:

Hat tip to QMS---





Us has lost Africa.

Right now we have kamala harris on an African trip tooo spew word sald to Ghana and a few other countries.

Not looking good for the USA anyplace, as far as I can tell.

7 users have voted.


Here is a link to another video from Jimmy Dore.

Reliable sources of the news are getting harder to find.

10 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


yep, after listening to that piece, it's kinda hard to figure how it is that the intercept can be described as becoming "independent" after the management changes it is going through.

7 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

What It Means for Trump’s Campaign to Start in Waco

Holding his first rally near the site of an infamous federal raid could be seen as “a coded message to those on the extreme.”

But speaking of coded messages: Clinton’s coded message to white voters was very much more blatant.

Bill Clinton’s Stone Mountain Moment

Bill Clinton was a New Democrat. And New Democrats, unlike the old Roosevelt liberals, were tough on crime.

With the Democrats having lost three presidential elections, Clinton argued that political success required the jettisoning of many of the Left’s most cherished tenets. In particular, Clinton aimed to woo the so-called “Reagan Democrats,” the somewhat socially conservative white voters who had fled the party during the 1960s and 1970s. Doing this, in part, required what Michelle Alexander calls “signaling to poor and working-class whites that he was willing to be tougher on black communities than Republicans had been.”

I wonder how many Democrats saw this speech by Clinton and heard what he said and decided that yes I’m going to vote for him even though everything he said goes against their values? Read it and see what he said then and remember that he got it all passed.

Orange man bad…democrats walk on water…blehh!

7 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

joe shikspack's picture


all of the usual media outlet suspects are predictably clutching the pearls over trump's speech in waco. naturally, they want to present him as a threat to democracy as the sort of insurrectionist-in-chief.

it's not like they have much choice. if they are stuck with biden, their only hope really is to use lawfare and smear tactics to fight trump, since biden is bound to be even worse on the campaign trail this time than last - and he won't be able to hide in the basement for most of the campaign this time.

7 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

I’m betting that there will be a lot of great videos of Biden during the primary showing up on the Twit like there were last time. Remember his angry outburst when someone deigned to question him….

I might actually look forward to this primary. There will be lots of word salads from Kamala too. She still hasn’t gotten new speech writers.

7 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

Shahryar's picture


you might not be saying this but it feels like your point is that Clinton was just as blatantly horrible, therefore Trump isn't horrible.

From my perspective they're both monsters.

4 users have voted.

@Shahryar Clinton and Trump are both horrible.
There is a tendency to vote against monsters in favor of Blue guys and gals.
We should stop that knee jerk tendency.

7 users have voted.

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

Thanks for that. Perhaps if we lose Israel as a partner in war, things will improve
in the Middle East. Wonder if they are feeling a bit isolated yet?

7 users have voted.


Just look at the number of individuals with a Jewish background in power in the administration.

This is only a partial listing.

From secretary of state to attorney general, a diverse cross-section of American Jewry is set to fill seats at the incoming president’s Cabinet table and elsewhere in government

Also too.

Jeffrey Dunston Zients serving as the 31st White House chief of staff in the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden.

5 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


it's an interesting time for u.s. - israeli relations. a lot of the mass of american jews and evangelical christians that generally support israel are increasingly standing up against the right wing government of netanyahu. that's not to say that israel has lost its most crucial support, because the american jewish/evangelical christian coalition of right-wing hawks is burrowed into the government and its bureaucracy, not to mention the media.

6 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture


The Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology (RESTRICT) Act (S.686), which was introduced in the Senate earlier this month, would do much more than just ban TikTok.

This bill is no mere “TikTok ban,” it is a mechanism for a massive, sweeping surveillance and censorship overhaul.

The RESTRICT Act goes far, far beyond potentially banning TikTok. It gives the government virtual unchecked authority over the U.S. communications infrastructure. The incredibly broad language includes the ability to “enforce any mitigation measure to address any risk” to “national security” today and in any “potential future transaction.”

The Senate legislation currently has 19 cosponsors, all of whom are Uniparty members in good standing. It is fully “bipartisan,” consisting of 9 democrats and 10 republicans.

I’d say that this is something we should keep our eyes open on because when was the last time congress passed any security measures that didn’t target us too? And don’t forget that habeas corpus doesn’t exist in America anymore thanks to Obama. We have seen some of its being rescinded by the number of people currently in prison for years before any guilt has been determined. At least they still have access to lawyers and a trial eventually, but…. I just can’t believe how many people are okay with this.

12 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

joe shikspack's picture


after reading that, there are a lot of things running through my mind, but they can kind of be reduced to the fact that the ruling elites are proving shrubya's assertion that, "it's just a damned piece of paper."

5 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

And today it looks like nothing has changed at all

And thanks Joe for the EB's

12 users have voted.

I never knew that the term "Never Again" only pertained to
those born Jewish

"Antisemite used to be someone who didn't like Jews
now it's someone who Jews don't like"

Heard from Margaret Kimberley

joe shikspack's picture


it seems to me that they tried to stop jfk from exposing them, but they exposed themselves.

that second meme is really good. thanks!

7 users have voted.
Shahryar's picture

instead of "American contractor"

10 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


heh, it's just an euphemism. there's no american in syria on u.s. government business that's up to any good.

8 users have voted.

A bit of gallows humor. I wonder if it will be a big seller?


10 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


lavrov and medvedyev have both been trying to sober the u.s. up, but it's probably not something that anybody can do to a bunch of neocons in the depths of a wargasmic binge.

7 users have voted.

My parents loved Ray Charles. Having been born in 1920 and 1921, ya know, that was just how much they loved good music, good sounds. Benny Goodman, fast forward, Ray Charles. A musical blessing to my childhood.
His big song with Willie Nelson, " Seven Fallen Angels" (or close to that title,) was an incredible music moment.
I missed a court appearance Jan. 2, didn't even know about it. My client's business was put into receivership, promptly destroyed. I immediately filed to stay that damn order. Today, I go to court, wondering if I was going to get sued for everything I own, and Lo! and behold! The judge flew into a rage at opposing counsel! That judge DID NOT order receivership, said from the bench, he would NEVER sign an order given to him by that attorney without going through it word for word. Bottom line: I didn't hurt my client, the ruling from the bench in my absence would not have cost my client a cent, and it gives my client basis to sue the opposing attorney for everything he is worth!
TLOML just made a pizza for me, with extra cheese, I will be back later, if I don't collapse from overeating.
Great ebs, friend!
Seven Spanish Angels

7 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

phew! glad to hear that you aren't going to be homeless and your client has some recourse over his messed up business.

enjoy that pizza!

5 users have voted.

@joe shikspack and my client could come out of this with millions, and if $s are worth anything, good for him!
I hooked he and his son, a part owner of the business, with a top notch attorney. What the judge said in open court is proof, like, summary judgment, no trial necessary, for them to win YUUUGE! I was totally shocked that the actual ruling in my absence was fair, the fraudulent order he signed without reading what opposing counsel gave him, ruined that business. The judge was visibly pissed.
TLOML had suggested we get a camper, sell off everything, live in a trailer park. We had quite the discussion about living near a lake, or river, in the forest, or mountains...And trailer size, as we are true believers that size matters! Lol!

7 users have voted.

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

Creosote.'s picture

@on the cusp
I envy and applaud your grit and balance in facing that kind of fraud!

2 users have voted.

@Creosote. for that, creosote.
The judge is just a fine man, a good judge, and he was not intending to do anything but preserve a status quo on property values until the divorce becomes final.
At least 2 other attorneys I have spoken to about the fraudulent order submitted by opposing counsel believe this is finally the act that gets him disbarred. We are all preparing for his going away party.

5 users have voted.

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

The trend continues and it is only going to get worse.

8 users have voted.
janis b's picture

Thank you joe for the ebbs and flows.

Going along with the fad of censorship, I recommend the word ‘axis’ be censored in all references, except for those applying to physics.

Yay Ray … and Bonnie!

7 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@janis b

heh, if you take axis away from them, i'm sure that they'll find some other emotionally-loaded word(s) to take its place in their propaganda.

thanks for the tune!

5 users have voted.
soryang's picture

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary’s parliament on Monday approved Finland’s bid to join NATO, putting an end to months of delays and bringing the Nordic country one step closer to becoming a full member of the Western military alliance.

The measure, passed with 182 votes for and six against, came after Hungary’s government had for months frustrated allies in NATO and the European Union by repeatedly postponing the vote after nearly all other alliance members ratified Finland’s bid.

While Hungary’s approval was greeted with relief in Helsinki and elsewhere, NATO accession for Sweden remained up in the air as members of Hungary’s governing party insisted they will wait for Stockholm to clear up lingering disagreements before they go to a vote. Finland and Sweden jointly applied for membership following Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine....

...Turkey is now the only one of the 30 NATO members not to have ratified Finland’s accession. Full unanimity is required to admit a new member into the alliance.

Doubling down on provocation. Who thinks this enhances anyone's security? I hope Turkiye says no. This eastward expansion of NATO is the fundamental problem. How will Russia react? I think Finland is too close to Russian military bases of strategic significance. Will the US deploy combat forces to Finland during NATO exercises? Will they install "ABM systems?" I really think the people in DC and Brussels running this are out of their minds. What are they trying to accomplish other than starting a general war?

Thanks for the news roundup and Ray Charles tunes JS. Aaron is really amazing. For some reason Craig Murray's opinion prompted me to review US Naval operations in the SCS, and the UNCLOS issues in the South China Sea. SCS probing initiative has a good report on US naval ops there in 2022. I can't believe I read the whole thing.

An Incomplete Report on US Military Activities in the South China Sea in 2022
Mar 26, 2023 SCSPI

11 users have voted.

語必忠信 行必正直

joe shikspack's picture


heh, the people of sweden and finland must be as dumb as a bag of hammers if they think that joining nato enhances their security. they really ought to think this through again.

have a great evening!

8 users have voted.
soryang's picture

@soryang The South China Sea Probing Initiative video on their recent "incomplete report" of US naval ops in the South China Sea in 2022. Some points made were quite interesting. Such as, getting maximum propaganda value of a lesser number of presence operations. Also, an evaluation of US balloon operations in the region, and their military applications. The six minute video is easier to digest than the written report.

The broad overview of US naval operations in this part of the world is really a rare glimpse that civilians rarely get. Reminds me of the Mediterranean Sea during Cold War 1.0.

4 users have voted.

語必忠信 行必正直

Pluto's Republic's picture a refreshing read on China. No great insights, no new information. Murray is just asking a simple, fundamental question, one that the isolated populations in the US or Australia should be asking. Would be asking if their thinking was healthy and if they had normal levels of curiosity about the world around them.

Why Would China Be An Enemy?

I am completely at a loss as to why the U.K. should seek to join in with the U.S. in considering China an enemy, and in looking to build up military forces in the Pacific to oppose China.

In what sense are Chinese interests opposed to British interests? I am not sure when I last bought something which wasn’t manufactured in China. To my astonishment that even applies to our second-hand Volvo and it also applies to this laptop.


Ask yourself this simple question. How many overseas military bases does the U.S. have? And how many overseas military bases does China have? Depending on what you count, the United States has between 750 and 1100 overseas military bases. China has between 6 and 9.

China has simply no record, for over 60 years, of attacking and invading other countries.

The last military aggression by China was its takeover of Tibet in 1951 and 1959. Since that date, we have seen the United States invade with massive destruction Vietnam, Cambodia, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. The United States has sponsored the overthrow of literally dozens of governments, many of them democratically elected. And it has destroyed numerous countries by proxy, Libya being the most recent example.


So what does China's “assertiveness” consist of that makes it necessary to view it as a military enemy?

China has constructed some military bases by artificially extending small islands. That is perfectly legal behaviour. The territory is Chinese. As the United States has numerous bases in the region on other people’s territory, I truly struggle to see where the objection lies to Chinese bases on Chinese territory.


Aah, we are told, but what about Taiwan?

To which the only reply is, what about Taiwan? Taiwan is a part of China which separated off under the nationalist government after China's unresolved Civil War. Taiwan does not claim not to be Chinese territory.

In fact – and this is far too little understood in the West because our media does not tell you – the government of Taiwan still claims to be the legitimate government of all of China. The government of Taiwan supports reunification just as much as the government of China, the only difference being who would be in charge.

The dispute with Taiwan is therefore part of the unresolved Chinese civil war. Taiwan is not an independent state menaced by China. It's a civil war that's a world away from us, so it is very hard to understand why we have an interest in supporting one side rather than the other.

Peaceful resolution is of course preferable. But it is not our conflict.


There is no evidence whatsoever that China has any intention of invading anywhere else in the China Seas or the Pacific. Not Singapore, not Japan and least of all Australia. That is almost as fantastic as the ludicrous idea that the U.K. must be defended from Russian invasion.

If China wanted, it could simply buy 100 percent of every public listed company in Australia, without even noticing a dent in China’s dollar reserves.

Which of course brings us to the real dispute, which is economic and about soft power.

China has massively increased its influence abroad, by trade, investment, loans and manufacture. China is now the dominant economic power, and it can only be a matter of time before the dollar ceases to be the world’s reserve currency.

China has chosen a model of internal economic expansion and prosperity — rather than territorial acquisition or military control of global resources.

To react to China’s growing economic power by increasing Western military power is hopeless. It is harder to think of a more stupid example of lashing out in blind anger. It is like peeing on your carpet because the neighbours are too noisy.


Thanks for curating these worthwhile news resources, Joe.

11 users have voted.


The political system is what it is because the People are who they are. — Plato
joe shikspack's picture

@Pluto's Republic

but, but, darnit, china refuses to subject itself to the flawed "leadership" of the u.s. - catastrophe surely awaits. /s

6 users have voted.

So today during General Hospital, it was interrupted by the "President" speaking about the latest mass shooting at a school. He comes out and starts joking and laughing about ice cream. Then he spies 4 kids in the audience and starts to accost them. People don't need to bring their kids anywhere near that man. All before he even talks about the 3 children under 10 being murdered along with 3 teachers.

The poor newscaster had a look of embarrassment on her face and promptly left to cover the cops having a briefing in Nashville before he finished talking. I think she was afraid of what else he might say. Then I read that Jill Biden was giving a speech somewhere and when asked about the shooting, she said something about "how we deserve better." Yes, we definitely deserve better.

12 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


heh, yeah, it is painfully obvious that biden is not really all there, probably his advisers forgot to tell him that he was supposed to be wearing his empathetic face, followed by his stubborn resolve face.

7 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture


It doesn’t show his creepy attack on the kids though. But why the fck are people laughing? 3 more kids are dead as are 3 adults and the shooter. Not a laughing matter, but it just shows how irrelevant we are to the parasite class.

But good gravy are the drugs losing their potency? I’d love to know what combination they have been giving him to get him halfway coherent.

Did I mention that the denizens of Utah are going stir crazy with all the snow they have been getting? Biggest amount of snow ever this year and the lake has gone up 5 feet already.
Sam had an absolute blast today just running and running in the snow just for the joy of it!

9 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.