Welcome to Saturday's Potluck - Sept 23, 2023

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
Pablo Picasso

A little of this and a little of that. Issues effecting everyday life.

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Does not look like Central Oregon will get a new city in the near future.

Proposed City of Mountain View struck down by Deschutes County commissioners
Central Oregon Daily Sept 20, 2023

“There’s really no downtown crossroads area where there is density. There’s no rural commercial center with multiple houses and buildings,” DeBone said.

State law says the petition for the proposed city needs at least 150 residents. It’s why petitioner Andrew Aasen expanded potential city limits to 265 square miles — eight times the land size of the City of Bend.

“Also, the finances. Where do you come up with current existing taxable buildings or commercial activity. How do you start creating a tax base?” DeBone said.
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Although the board rejected this proposal, DeBone is optimistic about the future of the former Millican and its surrounding area.

“We don’t talk about creating a new city very often anywhere in the state of Oregon,” DeBone said. “It’s exciting to be even able to dream about what’s possible.”

Aasen, the petitioner, told Central Oregon Daily he does not plan to appeal the decision. He says he will now focus his time trying to get grant money to improve fire and emergency services for the area.

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The trend of legalizing drug possession and use as an attempt to minimize harm to individuals and society may be shifting. A major difficulty is how to induce individual to enter a treatment program after life spins out of control. Is it the responsibility of family, friends, community or governments?

Deschutes Co. Jail program aims to stop revolving door of addicted inmates (6z;45 min)

In Oregon the public initiative process is once again being used to let voters have the opportunity to change state laws.

Effort to Recriminalize Drug Possession in Oregon Gets Underway Stop the Drug War Sept 22, 2023

In November 2020, voters in Oregon made history by becoming the first in the country to break with a century of drug war by approving the decriminalization of drug possession. Measure 110 not only put an end to thousands of low-level drug arrests, it also provided hundreds of millions of dollars for drug treatment, prevention, and related services by tapping into marijuana tax revenues--$300 million so far.

And now, an effort is underway to roll back the clock. This week, a group of political operatives and deep-pocketed donors calling themselves the Coalition to Fix and Improve Measure 110 filed a pair of proposed ballot initiatives, Fix and Improve Measure 110-Measure A and Fix and Improve Measure 110-Measure B, would once again make drug possession a crime, as well as making changes on the treatment side of the ledger.

The possession of drugs such as cocaine, fentanyl, heroin, and methamphetamine would be a misdemeanor, and there would be a new misdemeanor of public drug consumption of illicit drugs. Version "B" of the initiative would also increase penalties for some drug offenses, such as where drug use causes death or when the offender is a repeat offender. That version would also make possession of pill-making machines a felony offense.

The latter version would also shift control of Measure 110 funds from the Oregon Health Authority, which has been criticized for the slow implementation of the treatment and recovery programs, to the Alcohol and Drugs Policy Commission.
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a poll last month commissioned by the coalition had 56 percent supporting repeal of Measure 110 in its entirety and 64 percent in favor of reverting to drug criminalization. The pollsters found that respondents blamed Measure 110 for rising homelessness (54 percent) and decreased public safety (50 percent), although homelessness levels are driven largely by rental prices and although Portland ranks roughly even with other Pacific Northwest cities, such as Boise, Sacramento, and Seattle, when it comes to crime.

Numbers like that have the state's Democratic political leaders taking a very cautious line on the initiative proposals.

Have not seen where the Seattle mayor, in Washington state, has signed the bill changing local drug laws.

Seattle City Council changes course, passes drug enforcement bill The Seattle Times Sept 19, 2023

After a summer debating a contentious drug enforcement bill, the Seattle City Council reversed course Tuesday, voting 6-3 to allow the City Attorney’s Office to prosecute knowing possession and public use of illicit drugs.

The council adopted a state bill into the city’s criminal code that allows the city to pursue new state charges for both offenses in an effort to combat public consumption of drugs. Over the last three years, the use of fentanyl and other drugs on public transit and in other public places has become more prevalent.

The controversial bill — which permits City Attorney Ann Davison to pursue gross misdemeanor charges for public drug use and possession — cleared the council after months of discussion, following a 5-4 vote against an earlier version of the bill in June.

Portugal - The original inspiration to decriminalize drugs.

Is Portugal’s Drug Decriminalization a Failure or Success? The Answer Isn’t So Simple Knowledge at Wharton Sept 5, 2023

Portugal had a drug addiction problem. A big one. To address it, the country engaged in systemic change in 2001 and achieved dramatically positive results. Today, Portugal has returned to the news due to a significant, though not total, return of its drug problem and the appearance of related experimental programs elsewhere such as in Portland, OR.
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First and foremost: Portugal defined addiction as an illness. Second, Portugal eliminated the distinction between hard and soft drugs. Third, Portugal concentrated on an individual’s unhealthy relationship with drugs and the likely accompanying frayed connections between the addict, others, and the world at large.
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Two forces have led to the at least partial unraveling of Portugal’s efforts over the last few years and, predictably, to less favorable results. First, global drug traffickers continued to use Portugal as an entry point for access to Europe’s illegal drug market dealers. They battered the entry points of this coastal country, hence a supply of illegal drugs continued. Second, Portugal reduced resourcing of its programs as the country faced multiple difficult economic years.

The financial crisis of 2007–2008 led to program cuts, held to 10% due to continued bipartisan support, initial successes, and demonstrated long-term benefits. Still, significant program (system aspects/levers) compromises occurred, e.g., the extent of research and measurement of results. Ongoing ripple effects followed from cost-cutting through the elimination of government assistance for employing recovering users (often in smaller businesses), which hamstrung efforts to reintegrate users into society (and contributed to the closing of numerous small companies.)

Funding ebbed still more recently due to new national budget pressures, which undercut efforts encouraging addicts into rehabilitation programs. The results of “disinvestment” and “a freezing in [their] response” led Goulão to state that “what we have today no longer serves as an example to anyone.”
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The number of Portuguese adults who reported prior use of illicit adult drugs rose from 7.8% in 2001 to 12.8% in 2022 — still below European averages but a significant rise nonetheless. Overdose rates now stand at a 12-year high and have doubled in Lisbon since 2019.

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A little good news on food prices for the world.

‘Exceptional’ Russian harvest lowers global wheat prices – FT Russia Times Sept 23, 2023

Wheat prices have declined to a three-year low due to an “exceptionally strong” yield in Russia, which is helping to fill the export gap left by the shortfall from Ukraine, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

Prices have dropped by more than a fifth since the end of July as Russia’s wheat export outlook has been upgraded by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to 48 million tons slated for foreign sales.

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The livestream videos this week by Judge Napolitano channel ongoing discussions regarding current Ukraine/Russia conflict and this week COVID. The interviews are generally posted on Monday through Friday if would like to view them in a more timely manner. The link opens in the LIVE column, occasionally an interview only appears in VIDEOS section.

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Keeping life in perspective and staying safe.

Most Dangerous Activity For People Over 55 (7.47 min)

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What is on your mind today?

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Here are are at the autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere. AKA Mabon.

th.jpg-2_3.png

I agree the so-called war on drugs would be better staffed by social workers, mental
health professionals and counselors than police departments and jailers. The courts
and prosecutors need to have options of re-hab in their sentencing guidelines.

Candies and nuts, wishes and fishes.

Thank you for the potpourri !

mabon-apple.jpg
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snoopydawg's picture

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Who suggested that Zelensky hire this woman? My guess is it was the Hellabitch herself. Anyone remember when Wikileaks posted some of John Podesta’s artwork that had a vibe of kiddie porn to it. One picture is of a line of little kids in front of a wall in just their underwear and graphics that portrayed that they had just gotten spanked. I found it very disturbing.

Zelensky asks Marina Abramovic to be ambassador for Ukraine

The article wasn’t particularly clear about what Zelensky meant by “ambassador.” It’s likely just a made-up job. But clearly, Abramovic, 76, is about to go on Ukraine’s payroll, get some of that sweet, sweet U.S. aid money, and despite being completely unqualified will somehow be involved with the war-torn country’s kids.

This is deeply bad news for Ukrainian children, something like Grimm’s Fairy Tales coming to life.

Serbian “artist” Abramovic is a deeply controversial figure. She’s not a traditional artist. She’s described as a performance artist. She does art more than make art. Oh, and she does politics. She is also very close personal friends with both Clintons and their retinues. Abramovic constantly and unaccountably rubs elbows with heads of state and various royalty.

Abramovic, who gives the impression of being more like a Satanic coven leader than any traditional kind of artist that you might recognize, mostly focuses on dark ritualistic and occultic themes related to pornography, pain, suffering, and death. She recently sweetly explained to an Artnet reporter, “We are so afraid of pain. I don’t like pain, but I think that pain is such an important element in human life. Suffering is like a kind of gate in order to understand the universe, in order to understand yourself.”

To give you an idea just what kind of “artist” Ms. Abramovic is, the Telegraph described her latest public exhibition at London’s Royal Academy, which is called “Imponderabilia” and runs through next year. Oxford defines “imponderable” as “a factor that is difficult or impossible to estimate or assess.” The Royal Academy imponderably described the experience of attending Abramovic’s show as “forcing a confrontation between nakedness, and the gender, the sexuality, the desire.”

In what sane world would anyone put this woman in charge of anything? Sure she is entitled to do what she wants, but how in hell does what she does make her qualified for the position? Read more and see if you are as appalled as I am. 6 degrees of separation between her, the Clintons and the woman who tried to kidnap 33 children from Haiti….

I don’t think that I’m a prude, but maybe I am after reading this. Dunno and don’t give a damn.

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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.

snoopydawg's picture

@snoopydawg

Marina Abramovic with Jacob Rothschild, in front of Sir Thomas Lawrence’s 1797 painting “Satan Summoning His Legions.”

(The picture shows Satan with a hard on…they both look very happy and proud standing before it.)

Abramovic received national notoriety in 2016, when the Wikileaks Clinton email leaks revealed an invitation to her “Spirit Cooking” party was forwarded between brothers John and Tony Podesta.

Via The Guardian:

In a leaked email between Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, and his brother Tony Podesta, an invitation from Abramović is forwarded. It reads: “I am so looking forward to the Spirit Cooking dinner at my place. Do you think you will be able to let me know if your brother is joining?”

The act of spirit cooking involves Abramović using pig’s blood as a way of connecting with the spiritual world, to cook up thoughts rather than food. A video of the practice shows her writing various statements with the blood, such as “with a sharp knife cut deeply into your middle finger eat the pain

Remember she said this:

She recently sweetly explained to an Artnet reporter, “We are so afraid of pain. I don’t like pain, but I think that pain is such an important element in human life. Suffering is like a kind of gate in order to understand the universe, in order to understand yourself.”

She recently had a pulmonary embolism that required surgery and 10 pints of blood and said that she was in excruciating pain. I wonder if she now understands the universe and herself better since she thinks that experiencing pain is beneficial?

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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.

@snoopydawg didn't open up. "forbidden".
Oh, well, she is a disaster for the world, but a boon for cts about the global cabal running a pedo ring.

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

snoopydawg's picture

@on the cusp

I wrote the sentence in my head but it never got to my fingers. I’m guessing that many of the Wikileaks links no longer work. I used the duck too so it’s probably gone on all search engines.

I’m pretty sure that this site covered the Podesta’s art in detail after it was posted on their website.

But this lady’s ties to the Clintons and her appointment is very suspicious imo. Along with Penny Pritzker's appointment. The sharks have entered the water.

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

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Lookout's picture

It is lovely here, mornings in the 50's, 80 this pm, but most days lately have been 70's. It is dry which is typical in the SE at Fall. Possible showers Mon-Wed, but only 0.25" expected. None the less I'm going to put out some winter ryegrass seed, and hope for the best.

I got the trails all mowed out for pleasant fall walks. Wildflowers are putting on a show with bright yellows and purples. There's only the first light blush of autumn color in the trees.

Already there's less maintenance as grass growth slows. I enjoy the turning of the seasonal wheel.

Hope all is well with all of you! Thanks for the OT!

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

Cassiodorus's picture

So generally I find Macgregor tough to digest because his straight talk about Ukraine is mixed in with Trumpy blather. What did he say that you all found important?

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" Don't be in such a hurry to condemn a person because he doesn't do what you do, or think what you think. There was a time when you didn't know what you know today." - Malcolm X

@Cassiodorus

in this interview that feels most important to me is that Russian military advancements make the nonsense that we can beat Russia in a war more nonsensical than it already was. It already was nonsensical because we rely on the threat of using nuclear weapons, in which case we commit national, as well as planetary, suicide. But to the Harvard sociopaths that dream up our foreign policy, planetary suicide is a win for us because it shows Russia we're tough.

I agree with you, in that MacGregor is a conservative in ways that I am not, but if the only people pointing out the insanity of our foreign policy happen to be militarists, or conservatives, or even Republicans, I'll take it. Rand Paul for President, and I don't even know how many things I would disagree with him about, but I would vote for him because he understands, and speaks out about, how insane our foreign policy is.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@Linda Wood that we will get one of those war pig Republicans in the White House year after next. I am of course rooting for a non-duopoly option to appear.

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" Don't be in such a hurry to condemn a person because he doesn't do what you do, or think what you think. There was a time when you didn't know what you know today." - Malcolm X

Pluto's Republic's picture

@Linda Wood `

Aside from the fact that voting in a US Federal election is a fool's errand, I never really understood the tradeoffs involved in supporting a politician based on a single issue. It can be like making a deal with the devil.

Not to suggest that Rand Paul is the devil. He's typical of the senate psychopocrisy. But his views do contain at least one untenable extreme: Which ideology can you live with? The violent depravity of a war of choice, or forcing US woman to give brith against their will?

The death throes of the empire seem to be spotlighting the flawed minds of its overlords.

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Populations don’t like wars. They have to be lied into it.
That means we can be “truthed” into peace. — Julian Assange

@Pluto's Republic

Which ideology can you live with? The violent depravity of a war of choice, or forcing US woman to give brith against their will?

my answer would be, forcing US woman to give birth against their will.

Even if having a pro-life or anti-abortion President would guarantee that abortion would be illegal in the country, I believe that the suffering that would result from it would be next to nothing compared with the suffering of war, not to mention nuclear war.

I also don't even think having a pro-life President would necessarily mean abortion would become illegal. We already have a Supreme Court decision allowing states to prohibit it, and I believe the states will work through that. Regardless of those decisions, however, as a woman old enough to have come of age when abortion was illegal, I feel there is no comparison between that condition and the condition of knowing that the morons who control our foreign policy could end life on earth if they decided to or if they goofed up or if they panicked. That's an unacceptable condition. All the other unacceptable conditions combined aren't comparable in my mind.

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snoopydawg's picture

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Filmed before SNL came down with TDS and became not funny.

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soryang's picture

Rahm Emmanuel in Japan, goes rogue on China

Emanuel was always a curious choice for a prominent diplomatic post, given his record as a crude, knife-fighting political operative, but in recent weeks he outdid himself with his trolling comments about China. When the then-defense minister, Li Shangfu, had not been seen in public for several weeks, Emanuel tweeted a mocking reference to Agatha Christie’s "And Then There Were None" as he called attention to the growing list of top Chinese officials removed from their positions over the last few months.

This briefly earned the ambassador some favorable coverage back home, including a report in The Wall Street Journal last week that billed him as a “warrior diplomat,” but like the so-called wolf warrior tactics that Emanuel has been imitating it ended up backfiring on him.

The ambassador’s social media antics have done nothing to advance U.S. interests, and it is hard to see how it benefits Japan or the U.S.-Japanese relationship to have our ambassador in Tokyo flinging insults at a neighboring country. As the NBC News report said, a “second administration official said for Emanuel to make these comments makes no sense and does not advance U.S. strategic goals with China or with the Asia-Pacific region.”

The U.S. doesn’t send its ambassadors abroad so that they can play at being the ugly American for online clout, but lately that seems to be what Emanuel thinks his job is.

Great article. I would add to this two things. First, Rahmbo's slant if you will is to deliberately undermine any sort of diplomatic reconciliation with China. This is totally consistent with the Congressional drift back in the states. Sometimes its seems the Whitehouse can't decide which way it wants to go. Or is the old horse soldier speaks with forked tongue routine? Blinken goes one way then another. Typically he likes to chastise and lecture the Chinese. Biden says one thing, then another. Then Congress does something or says something concerning China policy is the opposite of some less provocative intention temporarily expressed by the administration.

Secondly, even if Rahm's inexperience, lack of appropriate temperament for diplomacy, and his wild egoism weren't all there already, the political environment he operates in Japan, has two other detrimental influences. The US military (INDOPACCOM) dominates the relations between the US and China. This is the social/political milieu as well for American officials living overseas in Asia. So essentially, when you're looking at US foreign policy in East Asia, you looking at what the major military command there wants. (Trump was the only one who tried to make his own policy there, which had some other defects). In terms of the domestic political environment in Japan, the embassy is dealing with the LDP government, which while reputed to be dominated by the US, is actually far right and currently predisposed to revisionist views of its position in Asia, and a desire to resume a "normal military" like other states. This means doubling their defense budget and acquiring all sorts of offensive strike weapons. In other words, Japan is returning to its former militaristic perspective. This is true particularly of some of the leadership in the dominant factions of the LDP, if not the entire LDP rank and file. Japanese pacifism and the "peace constitution" are passe and being trashed by the ruling party.

The political environment that the US embassy in Japan is a part of, is a militaristic far right hotbed of extremist views concerning China, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, the East China Sea, Russia, the South China Sea, and every other relevant foreign policy issue. It's an echo chamber that drives itself to more and more extreme views on the world situation and what our policies and those of our allies in region should be. The US establishment really doesn't get it, that diplomacy and militarism are qualitatively different. That's why they thought not too long ago, that the former PACCOM commander Harry Harris would make a suitable ambassador to Seoul. He did little but offend the politicians he interacted with in South Korea, because they weren't (at that time) far right ideologues like himself or adequately subservient to US demands. The current South Korean administration fits right in now with the US/Japanese far right ideology. In South Korea they call it the "new right" ideology.

The political persecution of Democratic Party leader Lee Jae-myung in South Korea is taking place precisely because he would return South Korea to policies based on putting the interests of the Republic of Korea first, and returning to the nationalist aspiration for independence from foreign domination. Lee ended his hunger strike on its 24th day to face yet another judicial hearing next week on whether he should be jailed pretrial on what are fabricated charges. He also needs to return to his parliamentary duties in effort to reform the nomination process for party candidates in the next election. This so those within his own party that voted to allow the government to jail him, could be identified and kept off the ballot.

The demonstration on Thursday outside the National Assembly building during the vote on Lee's legislative immunity during session, was in the tens of thousands. Police efforts to restrict the crowd with barricades were contested by numerous men in the demo of all ages, off and on, all day long. The administration's reaction to these frequent demonstrations was to consider crowd control remedies, including blocking subway exits leading to assembly venues, potentially using water cannon (previously ruled unconstitutional) which have not been used yet, and granting police immunity/indemnity in situations where they might incidentally injure or kill demonstrators. A steelworker union rep was killed in a labor incident earlier this year. A dusk to dawn ban on assemblies is being considered by the National Police Agency. The ban is currently from midnight to dawn. The former is regarded as unconstitutional as a matter of law. So the administration is trying to get by with half a loaf, midnight to six am, which many attorneys regard as also unconstitutional. I had wondered what had happened to the metal worker labor union demonstrations lately, some of their permit applications had been denied. From Thursday's demo in support of Lee Jae-myung in front of the National Assembly building-

Yeouido, in front of the National Assembly building Sep 21

I took a couple of screen shots of today's candlelight movement demonstration (below). The size was difficult to evaluate because of their confinement to only two lanes of traffic and no overhead cameras. I estimate it was in the tens of thousands. The organizers said 20 thousand. The police said 3 thousand which is a joke. It assembled between Namdaemun and City Hall, and ultimately marched to Samgakchi plaza near the Yongsan presidential office and back to Namdaemun. Listened to the speech of the former Justice Minister Chu Mi-ae, who described the former administration's failure to decrypt Han Dong-hun's Apple hand phone with his (alleged) incriminating fabrication of charges against Yoo Shi-min, another former minister, as a coup d'etat. Han had discussed with Channel A News reporter, the means to fabricate charges of financial corruption against Yoo, a popular spokesperson, and public figure on the left.

The failure to decrypt the phone led to the dismissal of the charges against Han Dong-hun for "lack of evidence." This ushered in the now a seemingly unchallengeable press-prosecution-president collusion dictatorship currently running South Korea. Han, the current Justice Minister under Yoon, is a despicable character acting as the enforcer for Yoon.

From Namdaemun/Seungnyemun (south gate) to City Hall, candlelight demonstrators gathered for the procession to Samgakchi, early Saturday evening 9.23 Seoul time.

Candlelight movement demonstration returned to Namdaemun-City Hall station venue later on Saturday night September 23.

Thanks for the interesting Potluck SOE!

What do elders do for vertigo? I also heard after cataract surgery there is some tendency not to look down if you still use multi-focal lenses that increase the chance of falls and broken hips.

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語必忠信 行必正直

@soryang

South Korea lawmakers vote to sack prime minister

The motion, signed by 168 opposition lawmakers, alleged that the Han-led cabinet caused a “crisis for people’s lives, democracy and peace on the Korean Peninsula” and “consistently demonstrated incompetence, inaction and irresponsibility”.

Sounds just like our congress critters. Now if we only had an opposition party ..

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/9/21/south-korea-lawmakers-vote-to-s...

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soryang's picture

@QMS ...there is really so much significant news going on in South Korea and Asia generally, I've been riveted to my screen trying to choose what to watch or read next. Yes, I had heard about the move to recommend the prime minister's removal. What is interesting is that 168 voted for it, which sounds to me like every member in the democratic party. Although there may be only 167 members of the assembly now from the democratic party at this point.

One member of the party was disqualified from his seat last week by a final conviction related to giving a some sort of certificate to Cho Guk's daughter who was stripped of her medical credentials for a "fraudulent entry into medical school." This is all part of the political persecution campaign by Yoon Seok-yeol against any politician who poses a potential threat as either a legal reformer or opposition leader or potential rival. Yoon's scheme was to completely devastate the entire family of former Justice Minister Cho Guk. Cho Guk obviously did something which Yoon took as a personal slight during the Moon administration.

https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/2023-09-20/national/politics/W...

Joonang Ilbo is not a reliable source. It is MSM, a NYTimes "partner" if I'm not mistaken. It's a principal in the press-prosecution-president collusion arrangement which is the basis for a coalescing dictatorship.

In any case, my personal take is the vote against the PM is meaningless. The real purpose was to identify so called "su bak" the DINOs in Lee's party who voted against him on the immunity issue. It looks like it failed, in that no one in the party opposed slamming the prime minister. So Lee and his supporters in the party will have to try some other measures. There are five prosecutors from the Yoon/Han brigade of unethical lawyers who face impeachment motions, that will be the next test I think.

Thanks for the heads up!

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語必忠信 行必正直

Pluto's Republic's picture

@soryang

....that is an operative in the current geopolitical struggle taking place in seas surrounding China and Russia. Its outcome will ultimately impact all of our lives.

The US efforts to screw up the Korean War, and then to freeze Korea in a divided state and maintain it thus for seventy years — this has always been too bizarre to comprehend. You've really illuminated the situation for Readers here — at the very time when it is becoming a potential black swan in the unfolding geopolitical drama. South Korea is now on my radar as a pivotal actor in the insane conflict bearing down on us.

While I read your description of the personal sabotage and dirty tricks within the South Korean government, I realized that I am very familiar with these patterns of deception. They are identical to the patterns that the CIA and its black affiliates leave behind. By assuming that South Korea is being managed by the CIA, however, a certain clarity comes to the situation. The presence of a larger, overarching strategic motive that guides events suddenly comes into focus. It highlights potential tactical shocks that can accelerate changes, and predicts other triggers such as mini-coups or assassinations that could be used to force course corrections. Strategic thinking results in fewer surprises. Forewarned is forearmed.

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Populations don’t like wars. They have to be lied into it.
That means we can be “truthed” into peace. — Julian Assange

@Pluto's Republic
would be that the US, in every country where US military bases are present, will be aggressively protecting these military footholds by both overt and covert methods; diplomacy and destabilizing clandestine operations.

As the imminent ‘defeat’ of the US proxy war in Ukraine ripens the increasingly desperate efforts of the US to maintain its waning hegemony our response will likely become more strident and irrational. The flurry of construction of additional US airstrips in the Asian-Pacific area is a clear sign that our State Department intends to add ‘more cowbell’ to our already insanely reckless and delusional foreign policy.

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“What the herd hates most is the one who thinks differently; it is not so much the opinion itself, but the audacity of wanting to think for themselves, something that they do not know how to do.”
-Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

soryang's picture

@Pluto's Republic @Pluto's Republic ...to the US military and CIA from time to time, especially when it appears obviously in concrete terms. I know some figures in the current ROK administration have or have had substantial US ties, either directly or indirectly. British and Japanese connections either on the resume or historically by family, or more directly by substantial presence in the US or UK for diplomatic duty or education credentials, perhaps from Georgetown, GWU, Harvard, Oxford and the like are potential tells as well. These are similar in nature to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen's connections to the US.

On the other hand, I don't want to deny agency to the South Korean people in terms of their history, society, and institutions. For example, Moon Jae-in reversed the Park administration's submission to US and Japanese demands, despite immense pressures placed upon South Korea directly, by institutional means Japan and the US had available. The greatest fear of the US and the Japanese is that they cannot absolutely control Korea, north or south, in the ways that they think they can.

For example, why did Justice Minister Han Dong-hun travel to the US immediately after Yoon's election? Why is half his time there during his one week stay, and the receipts for his 30 thousand dollar expenses there not accounted for?

Why is the right wing cold warrior Kim Tae-hyo nominally the deputy national security advisor to Yoon, basically in charge of South Korea national security and foreign policy? Why did he try to minimize the US wiretap in the presidential office building? His education connection to the US is on his bio/resume, "He received his B.A. in political science from Sogang University, his M.A. in public affairs from Cornell University, and his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago.". He apparently has a tie to CSIS. Why is his "boss," the nominal National Security Advisor on Yoon's staff, the former South Korean ambassador to the US? Why did the US place a wiretap in security spaces in the Yongsan presidential office before the latter's appointment and what was the real reason a purge of officials in the (presidential) office really occurred in March 2023?

Similarly, the new defense minister Sin Won-sik is tied to far right fundamentalist preacher Jeon Gwang-hun. I heard one account that alleged that it was Kim Tae-hyo who was instrumental in the interference in the ROK Marine Corps investigation that resulted in the former defense minister's resignation. But I have never seen that corroborated. Everyone is probably familiar with the stereotypical agency connection to fundie groups through international Christian organizations. But this is just speculation in reference to Jeon. (The evidence is more substantial for the Unification Church in Japan and its connection to LDP politicians, which apparently hasn't been eliminated even after Abe's assassination).

The spread of covid in South Korea was facilitated by the Sincheonji "Christian" cult, a religious group with international ties, which spread covid from Wuhan to South Korea just before travel restrictions were imposed, and was proven responsible for most of the early documented cases in South Korea. While this was going on, US media blamed president Moon Jae-in for spread of covid in South Korea. The spread of covid played a role in the subsequent presidential election. Or at least the economic impact of covid did. Jeon Gwang-hun was also accused by critics of violating restrictions limiting the size of public assemblies, and intentionally spreading the virus. Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, a popular democrat, who imposed the restrictions and not long after was ensnared in an elaborate sex sting, which resulted in him committing suicide. Park was a likely prospect as a presidential candidate.

This is from TK's Blue Roof newsletter about Yoon's new defense minister:

Sin Won-sik 신원식’s authoritarian tendencies are even more frightening. The former three-star general entered politics by attending rallies held by the far-right pastor Jeon Gwang-hun 전광훈. (See previous coverage, “The Right-Wing Leader on the Streets.”) These rallies are not notable for the moderation and restraint of their speakers - and yet even amid that frenzied milieu, Sin stood out by leading the crowd in chants of “slit Moon Jae-in’s throat.” An unabashed fan of military dictators, Sin repeatedly defended the coups of Generals Park Chung-hee 박정희 (“might be a coup politically, but really a revolution socially, economically and philosophically”) and Chun Doo-hwan 전두환 (“he was just trying to save the country from chaos.”)

Kim Jong-tae, one of my favored South Korean analysts, ROK foreign policy and national security, speculated yesterday about a "turning point" in South Korean politics as the popular support for Yoon Seok-yeol deteriorated to less than 30 percent in two poll (left of center) sources. Because Yoon's personality is authoritarian, and he (almost?) never compromises but likes to "shatter" his rivals, critics and opposition, he is unlikely to resolve the declining popularity and rising resistance to his administration before the next general election. Kim also noted that Yoon wanted to "unify the country." How do you do this when you never negotiate and never compromise?

Kim Jong-tae, compared Yoon's rise and the associated rise of the so called "new right" in South Korea, as similar to that of Hitler in the thirties. I know perhaps this is a facile analogy, but there isn't much question that Yoon and his administration are far right extremists. All who disagree with them are labeled "state enemies." So Kim Jong-tae anticipates some kind of national security event, triggering a crisis, like the Tonkin Gulf incident, or the Reichstag fire, etc. This would justify further elimination of freedom of speech, assembly and so on, akin to the imposition of martial law, and rule by decree to eliminate for all practical purposes effective opposition as in the prior dictatorships.

I think the reasonably foreseeable prospect of Yoon and his wife being imprisoned at some point in the future, also motivates him. How can he not be in power? Perhaps if Han Dong-hun is his successor. The possibility of Yoon triggering a national security crisis to save his own skin, has been on my mind for a few months, but I haven't talked about it because it is, after all, speculative. I don't think the US or Japan would have any problem with a Yoon dictatorship. They would probably still call it a republic.

Appreciate your comments Pluto's republic!

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語必忠信 行必正直

The US and its allies instigate new conflicts to prevent the emergence of a multipolar world.

https://www.rt.com/russia/583450-lavrov-un-speech-empire-lies/

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