The Evening Blues - 5-30-23


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Sonny Terry

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features harmonica legend Sonny Terry. Enjoy!

Brownie McGhee And Sonny Terry With Earl Hooker – Poor Man Blues

"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."

-- James Madison

News and Opinion

Just click and read the whole thing:

Chris Hedges: The Democratic Party’s Crucifixion of Matt Taibbi

The FBI, before the release of Taibbi’s Twitter thread on Dec. 24, had denounced the Twitter Files as the work of “conspiracy theorists” who fed the public “misinformation” and whose “sole purpose” was “discrediting the agency.” ... “They must think us unambitious, if our ‘sole aim’ is to discredit the FBI,” Taibbi responded. “After all, a whole range of government agencies discredit themselves in the Twitter Files. Why stop with one?”

Taibbi was acutely aware these Christmas Eve revelations, which for the first time revealed the role of the CIA, would further enrage the intelligence agencies. “My understanding is that the FITF has a staff of at least 80,” Taibbi said. “It consists primarily of the FBI, but it also includes people from the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The FITF was the conduit for content moderation requests that went to the tech platforms. They had something called an industry meeting which was, at first monthly and then weekly, leading into the 2020 election. It included companies like Twitter, Facebook, Google, Pinterest, Wikimedia, a series of others, about two dozen of them. They would have a general briefing on trends. Individually, each of the companies were receiving notices. Some of them were receiving weekly notices from the FITF. Twitter was. We know that because there were very specific instructions about how it was done. Requests that came from the states went through the DHS. Requests that came from the Federal Government went through the FBI. They went through a program called Teleporter. That’s how we got those documents.”

In March, Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger were called to testify before the Select Subcommittee on Weaponization of the Federal Government. While Taibbi was testifying on March 9, an IRS agent visited his house in New Jersey. ...

There are three steps to destroying a reporter who can’t be bought off or intimidated. The first is a campaign by the powerful, whose lies and crimes have been exposed, along with their obsequious courtiers in the press, to discredit the reporting. The second is a sustained campaign of character assassination. The third is persecution carried out once the reporter’s credibility has been weakened, his or her ability to publish or broadcast is degraded and public support has eroded. This is what happened to Julian Assange. It happened before Assange to Don HollenbeckI.F. StoneGary WebbRay Bonner and many others. It is what is happening to Taibbi whose revelations of widespread censorship — by the FBI, the CIA, Homeland Security and other intelligence and government agencies — have enraged the ruling class.

I don’t know if they will win. Let us hope not. But the deafening silence by nearly all press outlets to what they are doing to Taibbi, as is true for Assange, is ominous and self-defeating. It sends a signal to those who attempt to report about the inner workings of power that no matter how well known you are or how high a profile you have, you too will be targeted. The concerted attacks on Taibbi are an example of how the walls are steadily closing in to impose an iron conformity, one more piece of our emergent corporate totalitarianism. ...

A discredited ruling class, which has disemboweled the nation for its corporate masters and whose primary mission is the perpetuation of permanent war, has no intention of carrying out reform. It will not permit an exchange of ideas or allow its critics a platform. It knows it is hated. It fears the rise of the neofascists its dysfunction and corruption have spawned. It seeks to perpetuate itself only through fear —— fear of what will replace it. That is all it has to offer a demoralized citizenry. Constitutional guarantees of free speech and the right to privacy are noisome impediments to its tenuous grip on power. These constitutional rights have been effectively abolished. What the Twitter Files revealed is massive government blacklists and the craven acquiescence of media platforms to marginalize and ban individuals and groups on these blacklists. Taibbi, not surprisingly, is being targeted by the totalitarian machinery he exposed.

You Can’t Vote Your Way Out Of A Mess You Never Voted Yourself Into

Well it’s that time again. Time for everyone to spend a year and a half pouring mountains of mental energy into arguing about who should be the next President of the United States of America.

Friendships will be shattered. Family dinners will be ruined. Social media activists will lose themselves in weeks-long flame wars. And, when all is said and done, the person sworn into office on January 2024 will oversee an administration which governs in more or less the same way as their predecessors.

As Tom Woods put it, no matter who you vote for, you get John McCain.

I’m writing this article now because I’m already getting a bunch of questions about this election and who I think is best and worst and why, and I know I’m going to get a whole lot more. Many Americans get so swept up in this thing it often looks odd to them seeing someone talking about their government without talking about the presidential race when it’s in season.

So to be perfectly clear I will not be supporting or cheerleading any candidate in this election. Not because I don’t think Australians have a right to involve themselves in US politics (we absolutely do), but because US presidential elections are a performance designed to trick Americans into thinking they have any meaningful control over the major decisions that will be made by their government. They’re the unplugged video game controller you give your baby brother so you can stop him from whining to play without actually letting him.

I am not saying not to vote. By all means vote if you want to; it gets you out of the house, gives you something to talk about, plus you get to have a sausage (I’m assuming Americans also get sausages at their voting sites).

And vote for whomever you please. Vote for Biden. Vote for Ronald DeSantrump. Write in Warwick Davis, star of the 1988 cult classic fantasy film Willow. Write in a pod of laundry detergent. It will make the exact same amount of difference to the large-scale operations of the US government.

So on election day, please do as you wish. How often to you get to make a decision that’s completely free of any consequences of any kind? Whoever you vote for or don’t vote for, you can sleep free and easy knowing that it made no difference to anything at all. Like eating a single cucumber slice with no dressing.

This is because the US presidency is too important to be left in the hands of the electorate. If you live in a western “democracy” and you want a road fixed or a school bus route changed, then you might find some recourse in electoral politics if you are lucky. But the position that is officially responsible for overseeing the operation of a globe-spanning empire is not something that you will ever be permitted to vote on. There’s just too much power riding on it.

That’s why any third party or primary candidates who might pose a challenge to the machine will never be permitted to get to the general election. If they look like they might put a wobble on things they’ll be demonized, marginalized, and otherwise pushed off course.

Only those trusted by the empire will be allowed to cross the velvet rope by the imperial bouncers — and yes I’m sorry Trumpers but this includes your guy; he’d never have made it through if he wasn’t trusted, and indeed he spent his entire term advancing longstanding empire agendas.

Only those willing to sign off on all the murderous, tyrannical things that need to be done to keep a globe-spanning empire on the top of the world order get to be president. They don’t really need to have any other qualities than that: a willingness to either actively facilitate the empire’s interests or passively allow the empire managers to do what they need to do.

The fact that a literal dementia patient sits in the White House currently is all the proof you could possibly need that this is the case. All that’s required of a US president is to not get in the way while the empire managers do their thing. A bottle of kombucha could do Biden’s job, and do it just as well.

The truth of the matter is that you can’t vote your way out of a mess you never voted your way into in the first place. You never voted for any of this.

You never voted for your government to circle the planet with hundreds of military bases and continuously work to destroy any government which disobeys it.

You never voted for your government to imperil the world with rapidly escalating brinkmanship against nuclear-armed nations.

You never voted to base your entire civilization on the pursuit of profit while shoving your biosphere into the capitalist machine like a tree branch into a wood chipper.

You never voted to let plutocrats and war profiteers make decisions for your government while normal people suffer and toil to scrape by.

You never voted to let billionaires live as kings while homeless people shiver in tents.

You never voted for surging authoritarianism with more and more police militarization, surveillance, censorship, propaganda and control.

You never voted to create this freakish dystopia where all political oxygen gets funneled toward vapid culture war debates which threaten the powerful in no way while any effort to effect meaningful change is ground into the dust.

None of those things were ever on the ballot, and they won’t be in November of next year either. What will be on the ballot is whether you want all of those things to continue under the office of someone with a D or an R next to their name.

This doesn’t mean there’s nothing anyone can do to make things better, it just means nothing will be made meaningfully better by the results of the US presidential election. If a building is on fire and everyone’s pushing on a fake door that’s painted on the wall, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to escape the building, but it does mean they need to stop pushing on the fake door and start looking for real exits if they’re going to get out.

Russia Hits Decision Making Center, Ukr Drones Hit Moscow, Refuses China Mediation, Kosovo Crisis

Fresh off the Guardian propaganda catapult, the rest of the article is crap:

Russians wake up to war at home

Moscow and its outskirts came under attack by drones, just as Russia launched another deadly wave of airstrikes on Kyiv.

The defence ministry, which blamed the drone attack on Ukraine, said eight drones targeted the city overnight – but Russian media close to the security services wrote that the number was many times higher, with more than 25 drones participating in the attack.

One Russian official said at least two drones were shot over Rublyovka, an area that also houses Putin’s Novo-Ogaryovo state residence. ...

Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesperson, said Putin had no immediate plans to address the country and claimed there was “no imminent threat to residents of Moscow and the Moscow region either”. Later on Tuesday, the Russian president praised Moscow’s air defence.

Russia Places Sen. Graham on Wanted List Over Dead Russians Comment

Russia has issued an arrest warrant for Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) over his comments about Russians dying in Ukraine and calling US spending on the proxy war with Russia the “best money we’ve ever spent.” ...

Graham made the comments while meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv. Zelensky’s office released a video that showed Graham saying, “Russians are dying,” that then cut to him saying it’s “the best money we’ve ever spent.”

After the comments caused outrage in Russia, Ukraine released the full video that showed Graham and Zelensky discussing other things in between the quotes. Graham called US funding of the war the “best money we’ve ever spent” after Zelensky thanked the US for providing $38 billion in military aid.

But Graham’s satisfaction over the fact that Russians are dying is still provocative, and he has made extremely hawkish comments throughout the war, including calling for the assassination of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

U.S. Elites Testing Ukraine War Funding App, SOCIAL CONTROl Coming Next? Max Blumenthal

South Africa grants Putin and Brics leaders diplomatic immunity for summit

South Africa has issued blanket diplomatic immunity to all leaders attending an August summit, meaning Vladimir Putin might be able to travel to Johannesburg and not fear the country acting on an international criminal court warrant for his arrest.

South African officials insisted the broad offer of immunity, issued in a government gazette, may not trump the ICC arrest warrant. As an ICC member, South Africa would be under pressure, and possibly under a legal requirement, to arrest Putin. The court issued a warrant for his arrest in March over the alleged forcible deportation of children from Ukraine to Russia.

South Africa is hosting a summit of the Brics group: Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa, in August. A two-day planning meeting of foreign ministers is due to take place this Thursday.

“This is a standard conferment of immunities that we do for all international conferences and summits held in South Africa, irrespective of the level of participation,” the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday. “The immunities are for the conference and not for specific individuals. They are meant to protect the conference and its attendees from the jurisdiction of the host country for the duration of the conference.” ...

It is not clear yet if Putin would be willing to save South Africa from the diplomatic dilemma by not attending in person. The Kremlin said on Tuesday that Russia would take part at the “proper level”. The foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, is already slated to attend the planning meeting.

Debt Deal Raises Military Spending & OKs WV Pipeline While Introducing Work Rules for Food Stamps

US political leaders push for lawmakers’ support on debt ceiling deal

US political leaders appeared bullish on Monday that they can sell a bipartisan compromise debt ceiling deal to enough mainstream lawmakers – overcoming boisterous criticism from left and right – urgently enough to avert a first-ever national default on the $31.4tn the US owes creditors. ...

But the deal, agreed by the Democratic president and the Republican House speaker, Kevin McCarthy, at the weekend after weeks of tense, stop-start negotiations, has left some in Washington questioning if they had received enough concessions.

The 99-page bill needs their support at a crucial vote on Wednesday in the House of Representatives and, later in the week or even into the weekend, in the US Senate to then be signed by Biden and avoid a payments default as soon as next Monday.

But on Sunday when Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, was asked if the White House should worry about support for the deal by progressives, she told CNN: “Yes, they have to worry.” ... Rightwing conservatives also hit out at the overall deal. A “turd sandwich”, the Texas Republican Chip Roy called the deal, while North Carolina’s Dan Bishop tweeted a green vomit emoji. ...

The proposed legislation bill limits non-defense spending, temporarily expands work requirements for some food stamp recipients, and claws back some Covid-19 relief funds. It also cuts $20bn off $80bn in new IRS spending designed to curb tax avoidance.

Biden, McCarthy Compromise Over Debt Ceiling, Americans Lose As Congress Races To Pass Bill

Biden, McCarthy Agree on $886 Billion Military Budget

The debt ceiling agreement reached between the White House and House Republicans that was announced Sunday caps military spending at $886 billion for 2024, matching President Biden’s requested budget.

Republicans negotiating the debt ceiling deal only sought non-military spending cuts. The $886 billion cap for military spending represents about a 3.3% increase from 2023.

Jimmy Dore Producer Mischa Paullin’s HILARIOUS Klaus Schwab Parody!

US supreme court end-of-term decisions could transform key areas of public life

The US supreme court is gearing itself up for the final nail-biting month of its 2022-3 term in which it will deliver decisions that could transform critical areas of public life, from affirmative action in colleges to voting rights, LGBTQ+ equality and the future of Native American tribes.

As the court enters the traditional June climax to its judicial year, it is already being battered by ethics scandals and plummeting public confidence. Yet over the next four weeks the six rightwing justices who command a supermajority on the nine-seat bench are still expected to push at the limits of constitutional law in the pursuit of their ideological goals. ...

Top of the pile of decisions being awaited with bated breath relates to the pair of challenges to the race-conscious admissions policies of Harvard and the University of North Carolina. Should the supermajority strike down affirmative action it would overturn 50 years of established practice – a chilling echo of its evisceration of half a century of settled law on abortion. ...

Despite the court’s shaky hold on public opinion, the conservatives show no sign of letting up. A taste of what may be to come was given last week when, for the second time in a year, the rightwing justices delivered a blow to the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to combat pollution....

Brackeen v Haaland reviews whether Native American children can be forcibly removed from their families by child welfare agencies and placed in non-Native homes. That practice has a long, dark history in the US of being used to sap the strength of tribes.

In any other court, Moore v Harper would stand out as a blockbuster, though this June it seems just one among many such cases. It will test the debunked “independent state legislature theory” that has become a rallying cry for radical Republicans who believe that it gives state lawmakers almost total control over electoral maps and administration – including in federal elections.

the horse race

Texas Attorney General IMPEACHED For Corruption

the evening greens

Rock ‘flour’ from Greenland can capture significant CO2, study shows

Rock “flour” produced by the grinding under Greenland’s glaciers can trap climate-heating carbon dioxide when spread on farm fields, research has shown for the first time. Natural chemical reactions break down the rock powder and lead to CO2 from the air being fixed in new carbonate minerals. Scientists believe measures to speed up the process, called enhanced rock weathering (ERW), have global potential and could remove billions of tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere, helping to prevent extreme global heating.

Soil fertility naturally depends on rock weathering to provide essential nutrients, so enhancing the process delivers an extra benefit. Spreading the Greenland rock flour on fields in Denmark, including those growing barley for the Carlsberg brewery, significantly increased yields.

Greenland’s giant ice sheet produces 1bn tonnes a year of rock flour, which flows as mud from under the glaciers. This means the potential supply of rock flour is essentially unlimited, the researchers said, and removing some would have very little effect on the local environment. ...

“If you want something to have a global impact, it has to be very simple,” said Prof Minik Rosing at the University of Copenhagen, who was part of the research team. “You can’t have very sophisticated things with all kinds of hi-tech components. So the simpler the better, and nothing is simpler than mud.” He added: “Above all this is a scalable solution. Rock flour has been piling up in Greenland for the past 8,000 years or so. The whole Earth’s agricultural areas could be covered with this, if you wished.”

Thousands flee wildfire in eastern Canada

'Apocalyptic Scenes' as Unprecedented Climate-Driven Wildfires Devastate Nova Scotia

Officials and climate experts in Nova Scotia, Canada on Tuesday pointed to numerous climate-related factors that have contributed to the wildfires that are raging in the province this week, forcing the evacuation of more than 16,000 people and destroying roughly 200 homes and other structures.

The Tantallon fire in the Halifax area and the Barrington Lake fire in the southwestern county of Shelburne have burned through a combined 25,000 acres in the Maritime province, which, as one firefighter told the Canadian newspaper SaltWire, has historically been far less likely to experience such blazes than landlocked western provinces.

"This the worst fire I've ever been on," volunteer firefighter Capt. Brett Tetanish toldSaltWire. "I've been on other large fires in Nova Scotia, Porters Lake, we lost structures there, but you don't see fires like this in Nova Scotia. You see these in Alberta." ...

Halfway through 2023, Nova Scotia has already experienced more wildfires than it did in all of 2022, according to the National Observer.

Karen McKendry, a wilderness outreach coordinator at the Ecology Action Center in Nova Scotia's capital, Halifax, told the Observer the province has experienced hotter dryer weather than normal this spring, making it easier for fires to spread.

"People haven't always, on a national scale, been thinking about Nova Scotia and wildfires," McKendry said. "What dominates the consciousness, rightly so in Canada, is what's happening out West. But with a warming climate and some drier seasons, this is going to become more common in Nova Scotia. So more fires, more widespread fires, more destructive fires from a human perspective as well."

The province's Department of Natural Resources and Renewables (DNRR) also warned last Friday that the wildfires were taking hold in the region less than a year after Hurricane Fiona downed what Premier Tim Houston called a "significant" number of trees across Nova Scotia.

"Fires in areas where Hurricane Fiona downed trees have the potential to move faster and burn more intensely, making them potentially more difficult to contain and control," said the DNRR. "At this time, needles, twigs, leaves, etc., support fire ignition and spread. With high winds, the spread can be rapid and intense."

Scientists last year linked warming oceans, fueled by the continued extraction of fossil fuels and emissions of planet-heating greenhouse gases, to Fiona's destruction in Eastern Canada.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned Monday that the situation in Nova Scotia is "incredibly serious," prompting Saman Tabasinejad, acting executive director of Progress Toronto, to point to Trudeau's support for fossil fuel projects like the Trans Mountain Pipeline.

"This would be a great time to end fossil fuel subsidies and invest in a Green New Deal!" Tabasinejad said on Twitter.

More than 200 crews have been sent by government agencies from across the province, and Nova Scotia officials said Tuesday that both the Tantallon and Barrington Lake fires were still "out of control" two days after they began and were "rapidly moving."

Halifax Fire and the DNRR are investigating the cause of the fires.

McKendry pointed out that a number of anti-conservation activities may be linked to increased wildfires.

Roads being built "deep into our forests" have allowed more people opportunities to accidentally set fires, while the government has been "emptying our urban areas of wetlands," making it easier for blazes to spread widely.

"Do not delude yourself into thinking this is a one-off," journalist John Vaillant toldSaltWire on Monday. "The world is more flammable than it has ever been."

Also of Interest

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

Everything’s Getting Way More Dangerous And Way More Stupid

Patrick Lawrence: Deaf, but Not Blind to US Decline

Ukraine: Bleeding Out

Drones Strikes In Moscow - Missile Strikes In Ukraine

What Does Erdogan’s Reelection Mean for the New Cold War?

Propaganda Restricts Speech More Than Censorship Does: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Netanyahu Pays for Ditching Democrats

DOOM LOOP: LA Commercial Real Estate COLLAPSING

NATO Kosovo conflict resembles pre-2022 Ukraine crisis

A Little Night Music

Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee - Tryin' To Win

Sonny Terry, Johnny Winter - I Think I Got The Blues

Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee - Walkin' My Blues Away

Brownie McGhee And Sonny Terry With Earl Hooker – Tell Me Why

Sonny Terry, Johnny Winter - Sonny's Whoopin' The Doop

Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee - You Bring Out The Boogie In Me

Brownie McGhee & Sonny Terry – Backdoor Sunshine

Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee - Sonny's Thing

Brownie McGhee And Sonny Terry With Earl Hooker – Black Cat Bone

Brownie McGhee & Sonny Terry – Find My Way Home (Walk On)

11 users have voted.


snoopydawg's picture

The update has this article from 2018….

Patriot Missiles Are Made in America and Fail Everywhere

The evidence is in: the missile defense system that the United States and its allies rely on is a lemon.

On March 25, Houthi forces in Yemen fired seven missiles at Riyadh. Saudi Arabia confirmed the launches and asserted that it successfully intercepted all seven.

This wasn’t true. It’s not just that falling debris in Riyadh killed at least one person and sent two more to the hospital. There’s no evidence that Saudi Arabia intercepted any missiles at all. And that raises uncomfortable questions not just about the Saudis, but about the United States, which seems to have sold them — and its own public — a lemon of a missile defense system.

Social media images do appear to show that Saudi Patriot batteries firing interceptors. But what these videos show are not successes. One interceptor explodes catastrophically just after launch, while another makes a U-turn in midair and then comes screaming back at Riyadh, where it explodes on the ground.

It is possible, of course, that one of the other interceptors did the job, but I’m doubtful. That is because my colleagues at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and I closely examined two different missile attacks on Saudi Arabia from November and December 2017.

In both cases, we found that it is very unlikely the missiles were shot down, despite officials’ statements to the contrary. Our approach was simple: We mapped where the debris, including the missile airframe and warhead, fell and where the interceptors were located. In both cases, a clear pattern emerged. The missile itself falls in Riyadh, while the warhead separates and flies over the defense and lands near its target. One warhead fell within a few hundred meters of Terminal 5 at Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport. The second warhead, fired a few weeks later, nearly demolished a Honda dealership. In both cases, it was clear to us that, despite official Saudi claims, neither missile was shot down. I am not even sure that Saudi Arabia even tried to intercept the first missile in November.

But I am deeply skeptical that Patriot has ever intercepted a long-range ballistic missile in combat — at the least, I have yet to see convincing unclassified evidence of a successful Patriot intercept. During the 1991 Gulf War, the public was led to believe the that the Patriot had near-perfect performance, intercepting 45 of 47 Scud missiles. The U.S. Army later revised that estimate down to about 50 percent — and even then, it expressed “higher” confidence in only about one-quarter of the cases. A pesky Congressional Research Service employee noted that if the Army had correctly applied its own assessment methodology consistently, the number would be far lower. (Reportedly that number was one — as in one lousy Scud missile downed.)

But my colleagues and I are independent analysts, not government functionaries. Our obligation is to the truth — and in this case, the truth seems to be that these systems are not working. The danger here is that leaders in Saudi Arabia and the United States will come to believe their own nonsense. Consider this: Despite that the fact that anonymous U.S. officials have confirmed that there was no successful intercept in November 2017, President Donald Trump had a very different impression: “Our system knocked the missile out of the air,” Trump told reporters the following day. “That’s how good we are. Nobody makes what we make, and now we’re selling it all over the world.” This is a theme Trump has returned to again and again. When asked about the threat from North Korea’s nuclear-armed missiles, Trump said, “We have missiles that can knock out a missile in the air 97 percent of the time, and if you send two of them, it’s going to get knocked down.” Trump has repeatedly given every indication that he believes missile defenses will protect the United States.

Turkey is reporting that another Patriot missile has been destroyed in the latest attack and on top of the evidence showing that after deploying 32 missiles at the incoming missiles from Russia this doesn’t bode well for our defense capabilities. Recently I read how the defense companies are price gouging us big time by billions for many pieces sold. Maybe if they didn’t have to shell out so much money to the owners, shareholders, congress and the many other people who get kickbacks they would build products that actually worked for less money. Graham is upset that the debt ceiling deal spends so little money on the military because China is building more equipment than we are and that doesn’t bode well for the upcoming war being planned on them.

Very sad that this country spends so much on its military whilst so many people could use it for them instead. Yay! Biden signed off on work requirements for people not wanting to starve in order to raise the military budget for things that don’t work so well. This is on top of all the budget cuts to social programs since FDR put them in place. Thank gawd for democrats being the party that protects the poor! Shitlibs are singing the praises of Dark Brandon for sticking it to McCarthy. I’m guessing not one of the people doing that are on food stamps or relying on the programs that Democrats have failed to protect going back to Clinton who gutted them in the first place!

9 users have voted.

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

Voting is like driving with a toy steering wheel.

ggersh's picture

@snoopydawg it will create absolute shit. The govt we have is also
based on pure shit. Profits for the corps, bribes for the politicians
and nothing for the people.

11 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


great billboard! sad that they didn't have room to display photos of all 3 branches and many of the permanent political appointees in the agencies.

6 users have voted.
soryang's picture

@snoopydawg Japan announced deployments in Okinawa April-

Japan will deploy the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 surface-to-air missile defense system on two Okinawa Prefecture islands to prepare for a possible North Korean ballistic missile launch, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said Monday.

The PAC-3 system will be deployed at Ground Self-Defense Force camps on the Ishigaki and Yonaguni islands. Necessary arrangements have already been made with local governments, according to Matsuno.

“We’re determined to resolutely protect people’s lives and their peace as we closely communicate with the United States and South Korea,” Matsuno told a news conference.

Don't know why I didn't get the usual paywall. Here's the news today as North Korea appears to be getting ready for a satellite launch-

“Even if (North Korea) claims it’s a satellite launch, launches using ballistic missile technology violate U.N. Security Council resolutions and are a grave issue that affects the safety of our citizens,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters on May 29.

He said the government will make every effort to collect information and monitor North Korea, as well as working closely with the United States and South Korea.

Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada ordered the SDF to destroy any incoming ballistic missile in preparation for possible falling within Japanese territory.

In the East China Sea, Aegis destroyers equipped with interceptor missiles will be deployed for defense purposes during the North Korean launch window.

In addition, the land-based Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) will be used to shoot down missiles from the Ground SDF Camp Naha and Camp Yonaguni, as well as the Air SDF Miyakojima Sub Base, all in Okinawa Prefecture.

Destruct order issued against North Korea’s satellite launch
May 29, 2023 at 17:57

I saw a similar JT article yesterday that was somewhat dismissive of the possibility that Japan would have to intercept the missile.

In addition, the Defense Ministry is also taking other precautions, such as deploying Patriot missile defense batteries and Aegis destroyers with ballistic missile defense capabilities to waters around Japan’s Nansei Islands, an archipelago that stretches from the southern tip of the main island of Japanese Kyushu south to near Taiwan.

In mid-April, a North Korean missile test raised fears on the Japanese northern main island of Hokkaido after the government’s emergency alert system warned residents to take cover.

But soon after, fear turned into anger and confusion as the evacuation order was lifted amid reports that it had been sent in error, with local officials saying there was no possibility of the missile hitting the island and Tokyo later confirming it had fallen outside Japanese territory, in waters off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula.

Now that the new "real time" GSOMIA intelligence sharing agreement has been reestablished between South Korea and Japan, and after the false alarm in April, this may be an opportunity for Kishida to create the kind of war time atmosphere he needs to finance the large Japanese defense budget increases. Events could also set a military precedent that would effectively allow Japan to turn its back on the Article 9 conundrum once and for all. It's all a political show, and blustering at this point. I'm just speculating. Too many pieces falling into place too quickly. To think we just formed the "trilateral alliance." Just in time! Wonder where the booster will drop?

This is from same Asahi article-

Coast Guard officials revealed on that day that North Korea announced it will launch a satellite rocket between May 31 and June 11 toward waters in the Yellow Sea, East China Sea or the east side of the northern Philippines’ Luzon Island.

Didn't see this much hype in the South Korean media, must not be looking in the right place.

Here's a late breaking report-

“The launched new satellite transport rocket ‘Cheollima-1’ crashed into the West Sea of Korea as it lost momentum due to abnormal start-up of the two-stage engine after one step separation while flying normally,” the Korean Central News Agency reported.

Earlier, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said it had detected the launch from south of the “Tongchang County area of North Pyongan Province in North Korea, at around 6:29 [21:29 GMT on Tuesday]”.

Air raid sirens wailed across the South Korean capital of Seoul three minutes later as the city used public speakers and smartphones to warn citizens to prepare for possible evacuation. Later alerts said the city warning had been sent by mistake.

The Japanese government also issued an emergency warning over its J-Alert broadcasting system for residents of the southern prefecture of Okinawa early on Wednesday morning, advising residents to take cover indoors if they were outside.

Okay, no war today, I guess.

8 users have voted.

語必忠信 行必正直

snoopydawg's picture


only to be invaded and destroyed by America? I have no idea what the Korean War was about, but maybe democrats shouldn’t have crapped their pants when Trump tried talking to Kim and maybe a peace plan could have been made and the decades of sanctions on them could have been lifted. But of course that would have gotten in the way of defense companies profits? We always seem to need an enemy even if we have to make them up as we go.

Now we’re meddling with Serbia and Bosnia to open another front against Russia. Just once I’d like to see the anti Russian folks start paying attention to what their own damn country is doing. I haven’t seen one of them say anything about how we are building a base in Syria which means that we are planning on staying there for some time whilst bitching about Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. I’d love to tell them that their shit stinks too! I’d call that unprovoked imperialism.

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soryang's picture

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg ...that opposed any formal agreement normalizing relations with North Korea and returning to a diplomatic process which would manage and limit the nuclear threat in North Korea if not eventually eliminate it. Above all the US military opposed the negotiations. So did the intelligence community and the US media. Even Trump's own people including Pompeo and Bolton were against it. In my opinion, the only people who supported the negotiations were a very small group of independent analysts and activists, who had virtually no media presence. Trump knowing which way the wind blew, lost his nerve, and caved to the overwhelming pressure against his very promising initiatives with North Korea. This at Hanoi, when he said, posturing, "sometimes you gotta walk," the signal he was going with the neo-con consensus. Trump still managed another photo op in Panmunjom but after Hanoi the negotiations were just for show. Since then the entire US effort has been to restore the belligerent status quo ante, and to eliminate all the initiatives of the Moon Jae-in administration with the North. With the election of Yoon Suk-yeol, US wishes came true, and all the military bells and whistles were put back in place, complete with belligerence and hostility, and virtually all military and cultural ties between North and South were permanently eliminated.

Before the so called "tri-lateral alliance" recently achieved with South Korea joining up in the anti-China alliance with Japan and the US, any resolution of tensions with North Korea threatened the US Forces Korea superstructure which extends to Japan which was regarded as USFK rear. So the US Pacific Command (now IndoPacCom) opposed negotiatins with North Korea as well. Coincidentally, Admiral Harris, the former PACCOM commander became US Ambassador to South Korea, during the Moon Jae-in administration. He was very unpopular. Before that the ambassador's position was empty for quite a while to send the peace seeking Moon a signal of US disapproval. All the "fight tonight" military exercises, troop movements, and control the US exercised over South Korean and Japanese military bases, resources, and foreign policy was threatened by that. I quite respected General Vincent Brooks developing understanding of the need for negotiations with North Korea at the time and the need for improved relations between North and South Korea and the US and North Korea. The cave men are back in charge in South Korea.

I hesitate to describe the causes of the Korean "conflict." They are complex and interrelated. communist peasant nationalism on one side, and the desire to restore the capitalist imperial order on the other. The Korean desire for sovereignty went beyond communism, the sense of community in a village, the humiliation of being a territory conquered by Japan, and then reoccupied by another imperial army, the US, was simply too much. Then there is all the ideological bs on the US side. "Who lost China?" "Unleash Chiang Kai-chek." Reminiscent of the domino theory in Vietnam.

Humphrey recommended a book on the Korean conflict, which I thought was very good, Patriots, Traitors, and Empires, by Stephen Gowans. I also liked Bruce Cummings book, The Korean War, a history. The latter is a relatively short book compared to his much larger works. Whenever, he is discussed in book reviews or msm sources, he always described as a "revisionist" because he tells the true story, warts and all, in which the US doesn't look that good. He transcends the good guy bad guy mythology, that is almost inescapable in discussions of this nature.

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語必忠信 行必正直

joe shikspack's picture


i've been reading articles for years about how u.s. weapons are over-hyped in their capabilities and of course, over-priced. i used to get a good laugh at reports during the reagan administration about various interceptor systems that could only produce the advertised results sometimes if the target path was known beforehand and didn't wiggle around too much.

it's sort of sad that in order to score some sort of public relations points to prove to their donors that they are performing, the bipartisans have to shit on the poor and rob the middle class.

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snoopydawg's picture


The Patriot missiles are doing great and they have now shot down 7 Kinzhal missiles.

A New York Times article from 2019 headlined “Hypersonic Missiles Are Unstoppable” was just one of many hyping the Russian Kh-47 “Kinzhal” missile. But earlier this month, Ukraine stopped one of those unstoppable missiles. Then it shot down six of them at once. The Iskander missiles that were launched on Monday were not thought to be as unstoppable as the Kinzhal, but as short-range ballistic missiles with a very high speed they were still thought to be difficult to take down. Ukraine went 11 for 11

Whether you want to believe Russian missiles are not as fearsome as thought, the Patriot is better than expected, or a little bit of both, the success of the Patriot in punching out Russia’s best has led to a reported mania in attempts to take it down. Russia has fired a bit of A, then tried some B, then C, then maybe A + C, all in an attempt to make that Patriot system stop knocking its missiles out of the sky. Two weeks ago, they even seemed to succeed to the point that U.S. sources reported that the Patriot system in Kyiv had been damaged, possibly by falling debris. However, if there was damage, it wasn’t enough to keep the system from defending the city in the next wave.

It’s not just the Patriot that’s working. Ukraine has received at least half a dozen different air defense systems from across NATO partnerships. In cities like Kyiv, many of these systems are working in tandem, making the successful use of any missile more difficult. The Iranian drones, which soon after their appearance seemed to plague Kyiv as well as other systems, have become vastly less effective as anti-aircraft gunners learned to deal with the relatively slow-moving devices.

With all the Russian attempts to attack Ukrainian cities, it would surprise no one if Ukraine was seeking a little reciprocity. It’s clear from images and demonstrations that have been seen on social media that Ukraine is creating an “army of drones” with hundreds, if not thousands, of devices ready to fly. They also have a good selection of larger, longer-range drones. That includes the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 as well as home-grown devices from companies like AeroDrone. There is no doubt about it: If Ukraine wanted to attack Russia with drones launched from inside Ukrainian airspace, it could definitely do so. The distance from Sumy to Moscow is less than 600 kilometers. There are plenty of drones capable of making that trip.


The “allegedly” in that last tweet is worth a second look. Officials in the Ukrainian government and Ukrainian military have denied any involvement in either of the two drone attacks in Moscow. News reports have indicated that U.S. intelligence believes Ukraine was actually behind the earlier flight of drones over the Kremlin, though they also believe that the drones were actually launched from within Russia, probably no more than a few miles outside Moscow.

In this latest attack, some of the debris recovered from the city looks suspiciously like a Russian Orlan-10 drone. This led Zelenskyy adviser Mykhailo Podolyak to quip that Russian drones were tired of being shot down over Ukraine and were now going after the people who sent them. “Even artificial intelligence is already smarter and more far-sighted than the Russian military and political leadership,” wrote Podolyak.

Why would Russia possibly launch a drone attack against its own capital when such an act is guaranteed to erode belief in Russia’s own air defenses, lower the standing of leadership, and generally enhance an already growing level of fear and chaos? Some sources claim that Putin is about to announce “full mobilization,” dragging hundreds of thousands more into Ukraine and finally stepping away from the language of “special military operations” to plain old “war.”

Simplicius explained how each Kinzhal missile releases either decoys or other bombs..I’ve forgotten, but he believes that they are what Ukraine shot down and the main bomb hit the target. It’s in his last sitrep. He also reports in the current update that all of Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones have been destroyed and haven’t been seen for some time.

But hey I at least look at both sides of the stories just to be better informed…. Smile

ETA 2nd tweet and paragraphs.

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driving me nuts seeing the new hitler being so popular
with the press and the brainwashed masses
enough already!

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joe shikspack's picture


glad to see that the war is going so well over there at the gos. Smile

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snoopydawg's picture


Nope you aren’t the only one asking this question.

And so, I ask: Can I be the only one to wonder whether those shaping and conducting American foreign policy are blind to this immense global shift, or deaf to what the non–West lately has to say to the West, or too stupid to understand events, or in denial, or maybe some of all four?

Blind, deaf, stupid, in gutless denial, this last a subset of stupid: Each of these explanations has its temptations as we assess the cognitive capacities of the elites who sequester themselves inside the Washington Beltway.

But it has been awfully hard to settle with certainty on the cause of our policy people’s apparent inability or refusal to acknowledge that world history has entered a period of epochal change.

At last an answer to this perplexing question, or a useful suggestion of one. Blind or stupid are not the explanations we are looking for. Deafness and denial are

I have been wondering about this too and just can’t believe that those in charge of this current shitshow are not aware that they are playing a losing hand because so much of the world is tired of our bullying and they are joining together to change from the rules based order and get back to a world that follows international laws that it agreed on long ago. And just how absolutely absurd is it to plan a war against the country that sends us most of the things we need because other dumb asses decided to send our manufacturing to them so that a few rich asseholes can get even richer?

But speaking of dumb things that Graham has said, he told Zelensky that our country too decided to fight to the last man for our freedom. I’m sure that Graham knows that Ukraine won’t be free after the war even if they win it because Zelensky has already sold out a big chunk of his country to the vampiric oligarchs who will strip whatever assets are left after it’s over. Too bad that there won’t be anyone left to fight the sellouts and austerity policies that are coming Ukraine’s way while Zelensky retires to one of his many mansions with lots of the money meant for all of them because he skimmed off the top.

But then that’s exactly what our own oligarchs have done to this country while we have done nothing to stop them. Caitlin is spot on about us not being able to vote our way out of the things happening since we never voted for them in the first place.

Hill titled her speech “Ukraine and the New World Disorder,”

One thing Patrick missed and might not know is that Ukraine is going to be one of the first countries to implement the WEF plans for the rest of the world. Digital currencies and a passport system and their other goals for all of us to follow. I don’t remember where I read that but if it happens I feel sorry for Ukraine and especially the ones who are now injured and the families who lost loved ones that Zelensky had no problem sending to their deaths.

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joe shikspack's picture


it looks like ukraine will be the new chile if there's anything left of it after "degrading" russia's defense capabilities.

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enhydra lutris's picture

Remember Brownie and Sonny well from some long ago performances in Berkeley, plus, of course records.

Thought I'd just throw this one in there.

be well and have a good one

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

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

thanks for the tune! brownie & sonny were favorites of mine when i was a kid during the great folk music scare of the 60's. there was apparently a hip librarian in my town, because their albums were in the library collection for check out.

have a great evening!

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The Chris Hedges article is certainly worth a click. Too bad that there are not many who will actually read it. It would open a lot of eyes.

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joe shikspack's picture


yep, that article describes well which station we are at on the "handbasket to hell tour" that we are being taken on.

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OLinda's picture

Thanks for the Taibbi article, Joe. Have only seen articles discrediting him. Just history and faith in Taibbi kept me from believing. Haven't finished reading, but will.

Thinking of Matt made me think of Greenwald. Did you know his husband, David Miranda, died? A month ago at 37 years old. An infection. I don't really know what it was.

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joe shikspack's picture


great to see you again! i hope that all is going well for you.

taibbi has been getting smeared from all sides and it seems that the political police are after him, too. the irs showing up at his door as he was about to testify is a really bad look for american demockery.

yes, i was aware of david miranda's passing. i believe that he had sepsis and after a few months of struggling with it he passed. terribly sad for an otherwise young and vital person and of course terrible for glenn and his family.

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