Welcome to Saturday's Potluck - Nov 25, 2023

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

a bit of local news from last week.

Switchblade soars: A Prineville man's long-sought dream of a 'flying sports car' has just had (2.27 min)


English Royalty tidbits

Revealed: King Charles secretly profiting from the assets of dead citizens The Guardian Nov 23, 2023

The king is profiting from the deaths of thousands of people in the north-west of England whose assets are secretly being used to upgrade a commercial property empire managed by his hereditary estate, the Guardian can reveal.

The Duchy of Lancaster, a controversial land and property estate that generates huge profits for King Charles III, has collected tens of millions of pounds in recent years under an antiquated system that dates back to feudal times.

Financial assets known as bona vacantia, owned by people who died without a will or known next of kin, are collected by the duchy. Over the last 10 years, it has collected more than £60m in the funds.
A leaked internal duchy policy from 2020 gave officials at the king’s estate licence to use bona vacantia funds on a broad array of its profit-generating portfolio. Codenamed “SA9”, the policy acknowledges spending the money in this way could result in an “incidental” benefit to the privy purse, the king’s personal income.

https://His Highness’ headache: What’s wrong with Britain’s Africa policy? Russia Times Nov 19, 2023

This snapshot of history explains why apologies were due. The calls for the King to say 'sorry’ were heard from Evelyn Wanjugu Kimathi, daughter of the resistance leader hanged by the British in 1957, as well as from the Nandi tribe, who want the British to return the skull of Koitalel Arap Samoei, their supreme leader, who'd led a much earlier resistance against colonial rule, which lasted until 1906. Elders of the Maasai, too, decried the agreement with the British, which resulted in a loss of land and traditional lifestyles.

While King Charles cited his “greatest sorrow and deepest regret” to the people of Kenya at a state banquet, he stopped short of the expected apology for the misdeeds of colonial rule. This was in stark contrast to Steinmeier’s behaviour in Tanzania, who said “I beg your forgiveness”, promising answers “to the open, unanswered, outstanding questions that give no peace.” Germany had a similar record with the Maji Maji Rebellion, with the skull of the executed Chief Songea Mbano taken to Germany.

So, the symbolism that was present for Charles III, was lacking for Kenyans, although President William Ruto commended the visiting king’s “readiness to shed light on uncomfortable truths.” Britain’s approach has not changed much, however, beyond what Ruto called “timid half-measures.”
During his Kenya trip, Charles also met Samweli Mburia, a war veteran believed to be 117 years old. On a symbolic note, the King returned to him the five medals he’d thrown away “for fear” during the Mau Mau Rebellion. While commemorative in nature, that could be read as another symbol of Britain’s clinging to the old days, albeit patchily.

Also, no mention was made of the controversial presence of British troops at Nanyuki, mired in accusations of murder, sexual abuse and more. In 2021, they were responsible for a blaze that ravaged some 4,800 hectares, nearly 12,000 acres, of land. To this day, no compensation to the local community has paid. An open letter signed by 7,000 people seeking justice for their cause argues that “the British Army is using every trick from the colonial rule book” to avoid liability.

Even Alastair is unable to simply wish the Judge a Happy thanksgiving without mentioning the loss to King George the Third at the end of the interview.

Alastair Crooke (fmr British Diplomat ): Evaluating Israel's Moral Justifications (28:17 min)
Worth a full watch, note at 12:45 min he discusses Iran's capabilities to destroy Israel with traditional missiles if attacked. He passed on the information to Secretary of Defense Rumsfield


Collective Punishment if China does not comply with US demands? From simply a selfish point of view this will not be good for the average US citizen.

Pacific shift: US to build a ‘missile wall’ against China Nov 21, 2023

The US is closer to deploying long-range land-based missiles to deter a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan, a provocative move that could spark a destabilizing conventional missile arms race in the Pacific.

General Charles Flynn, Commander of US Army Forces Pacific, stated at the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia, that the US will deploy new intermediate-range missiles including Tomahawks and SM-6s to the Pacific region in 2024, Defense One reported.

The deployment was made possible by the US’s withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in 2019 due to Russia’s alleged non-compliance.
US long-range missile projects in the Pacific are part of a strategy to create a “missile wall” in the First Island Chain, spanning Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines, to deter China.


Pepe Escobar this week on shifting power alliances in West Asia (formerly Middle East in his writings)

Pepe Escobar: Will Russia-China Strategic Patience Extinguish the Fire in West Asia? Sputnik Globe Nov 21, 2023

(note - GCC = Gulf Cooperation Council in the article)

Everyone familiar with West Asia – from US generals to grocers in the Arab Street - knows that Israel is a landed aircraft carrier whose mission is to keep West Asia in check on behalf of the Hegemon.
The ultimate – neocon and Zio-con - targets are of course Hezbollah, Syria, Hashd al-Shaabi in Iraq and Iran: the whole Axis of Resistance.

Iran-Russia-China, the new neocon-defined “axis of evil”, which happen to be the Top Three Actors of Eurasia integration, for all practical purposes have interpreted the genocide in Gaza as an Israeli-American operation. And they have clearly identified the key vector: energy.

The inestimable Michael Hudson has noted how “we’re really seeing something very much like the Crusades here. It’s a real fight for who is going to control energy, because, again, the key, if you can control the world’s flow of energy, you can do to the whole world what the United States did to Germany last year by blowing up the Nord Stream pipelines.”

Gaza: a pause before the storm The Cradle Nov 23, 2023

While the world cries “Israeli genocide,” the Biden White House is gushing over the upcoming Gaza truce it helped broker, as though it's actually “on the verge” of its “biggest diplomatic victory.”
Real journalists have been working in Gaza 24/7 since October 7 – dozens of whom have been killed by the Israeli military machine in what Reporters Sans Frontieres calls “one of the deadliest tolls in a century.”

These journalists have spared no effort to go all the way to “illuminate the devastation,” a euphemism for the ongoing genocide, shown in all its gruesome detail for the entire world to see.
The South African government has paved the path, globally, for the proper reaction to an unfolding genocide: parliament voted to shutter the Israeli embassy, expel the Israeli ambassador, and cut diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv. South Africans do know a thing or two about apartheid.

They, like other critics of Israel, better be extra wary moving forward. Anything can be expected: an outbreak of foreign intel-conducted “terra terra terra” false flags, artificially induced weather calamities, fake “human rights abuse” charges, the collapse of the national currency, the rand, instances of lawfare, assorted Atlanticist apoplexy, sabotage of energy infrastructure. And more.
We return to the 21st century's main chessboard here: the Hegemon vs. BRICS.
This analysis by Eric Li is all one needs to know about what lies ahead. Beijing has mapped out all relevant tech roads to follow in successive five-year plans, all the way to 2035. Under this framework, BRI should be considered a sort of geoeconomics UN without the G7. If you’re outside of BRI – and that concerns, to a large extent, old comprador systems and elites - you’re self-isolating from the Global South/Global Majority.

video suggestion from article
Chinese New Economy and Globalisation - The Sequel - Dr. Eric Li (43:34 min)
Introduction 0-3:41, Presentation 3:42-33:39, Q&A 33:39-43:34)


I have been reading Mary's Mosaic by Peter Janney 2012 recommended by Ray on a video earlier this year. The novel style allows the reader to focus on interrelations of a small group of people in Northeastern social class who ruled the United States. The story revolves around events related to the murder of Mary Meyer the divorced wife a CIA deputy Director, Cord Meyer, and paramour of John F Kennedy during his transition from a Cold Warrior president to Peace Warrior president. Authors conclusion CIA involvement in creating the cover-up narrative, actual assassination and follow-up in removing loose ends was to prevent a decades long Kennedy dynasty. They did not act alone and it did reshuffle the geographic location of power groups in the US.

Ray McGovern: They Killed JFK, Will We Let Them Kill Peace? (1hr 29 min) Nov 23, 2023

1:00-26:31 min John F Kennedy peace speech - transcript if prefer to read
26:32-61 min Ray McGovern presentation
62-66:00 min Housekeeping
66- 89 min Questions - quality variable


We can not forget this bit of information about al-Shifa Hospital and the Israeli takeover.

IDF Knew Real Hamas HQ While Lying About al-Shifa Consortium News Nov 23, 2023

The IDF and the Israeli government already knew when they launched their propaganda campaign about al-Shifa that Hamas had no military command and control facility hidden there because it had already found the complex kilometers away.
But something quite unexpected had happened during this new round of press stories on al-Shifa that completely demolished the entire IDF story line: the IDF had gained control of the real Hamas command and control center in an area where the Hamas leadership had previously had their above-ground offices in the Al Atatra neighborhood, in the extreme northwest of Beit Lahiya city, 8.5km away from al-Shifa.

After that office building was demolished, the IDF discovered a major tunnel facility that was quite certain had been the central headquarters for the Hamas high command — the command and control center for the entire war.
No story about the discovery of the real Hamas high command bunker has been published inside Israel or elsewhere in the nearly two weeks since the detailed Jerusalem Post piece on Nov. 14. Somehow the Israeli government and media have been able to completely suppress the discovery of the Hamas headquarters,


The differences between the various guests viewpoints and experience were very apparent this week when discussing military striking civilians targets.

Prof. Jeffrey Sachs: Analysis of Major Wars and Paths to Sustaining Peace (24:59) Nov 21, 2023
Jeffery was very distressed at the language being used by Israeli officials and the potential for regret in the future (at 16:06)

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson: A Close Look at Israeli Intentions and Arab Accusations (22:57 min)

The livestream videos this week by Judge Napolitano channel ongoing discussions regarding current events in Israel/Hamas/Gaza, secondary subject China and third subject Ukraine/Russia conflict. 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.


What is on your mind today?

13 users have voted.


Surround Russia with weapons for 'containment'.
Surround China with missiles for 'deterrence'.

It seems NATO and US are in need of both.

Happy Saturday and thanks for the Potluck!

5 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

Trade day was pleasant but cool this morning...about 40F and sunny. Geese were flying overhead as winter comes on. I enjoyed seeing my buddies this morning and hearing about their holiday. Everyone's kids have their own families now at there was relief at having smaller gatherings and less meal prep.

We visit both families and it makes for a long day. We're taking a different approach at Xmas... one family is coming to our place after new years. That will be easier.

Thanks for the news. I thought China did well in CA. They understand diplomacy. I wish we would emulate them instead of being aggressive. Alastair is one of my favorites. His experience gives him depth of understanding of the ME (Pepe thinks we should call it SW Asia).

Hope all is well on the homestead. I'll water our few veggie plants today, though we finally got 2.3" last Tues. Thanks for the OT!

7 users have voted.

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

enhydra lutris's picture

cooking, my turn to make bread so I'll do a final starter refresh around midday and put together the overnight sponges this evening to bake tomorrow. It's also still my week to cook, so the situation obviously calls for tetrazzini, which necessitates lotsa shrooms and to add to the Saturday Farmers' market shopping list. Since it is Saturday, I really need to get to the garden soon and harvest whatever carrots are ready before we go to see if we have enough to get by without buying any.

Speaking of which, no time like the present.

be well and have a good one

7 users have voted.

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

foolish. They have no credibility.

8 users have voted.

The complete tweet tells the story.

With news breaking that the Ukrainians are moving towards a final, total mobilization against Russia - and me regretting I didn't post about it yesterday when I had a hunch on the matter - something occurred to me. I've underestimated the Russians before. What if I still am?

The Russians, after all, could quite easily attack and seize huge swathes of Ukraine via high-speed maneuver. The Ukrainians have a thousand kilometers of lightly-defended and barely-fortified left flank running from Kharkov to Lvov. The Russians could crash through it quite easily if they actually wanted to and they've always had forces in reserve that could do it - these days a huge mass of them. As things currently stand Russian special forces roam at will in Sumy and Chernigov, preying on the thinly-stretched garrisons.

But, no, the Russians have consolidated their position in Ukraine into a convenient stretch of highly defensible terrain in the country's east and then just sat there, for over a year now, killing Ukrainian soldiers at horrifyingly lopsided ratios. When they can defend, they defend. When they must attack to keep the pressure on, they find some Ukrainian salient and turn it into a shooting gallery. Where they don't want to push the front up, they just mow the lawn and pull back - they have to have taken the same line of strongholds east of Kupyansk a dozen times by now, each time pulling back and letting the AFU flood the same old trenches with new recruits again.

Ukrainian casualties have been so astronomical they're now deep into desperate measures trying to keep soldiers in the ranks, drafting women and looking at emptying out the small pool of privileged young students to feed the front. When the war is over, Ukraine will be a broken society in which most of the people willing to fight for an independent Ukrainian state - and a Western-oriented Ukrainian national identity separate from Russia - will be dead.

What if that's the point? Objectively speaking, if the Russian plan was simply to kill as many Ukrainian combatants as possible, as efficiently as possible, with as little risk to themselves as possible, then they're doing it. The Russians know full well that the current iteration of Ukrainian national identity is implacably hostile to Russia and they cannot coexist with it - and they're very coldly killing anyone and everyone willing and able (or coercible) to bear arms in its defense on the battlefield. In their manic drive to expel the Russians and fight for every inch of their land, the Ukrainian leadership is facilitating this.

Is this genocide? No. The Russians are fighting armed combatants. It's no violation of the law of war to inflict horrific casualties on the enemy, and any comparison with the ongoing war in Gaza will show that the Russians have been meticulous to avoid civilian casualties. Will it have the effect of breaking the Ukrainian nation at the end of the war? Yes.

Is it an ugly thought that the Russians may very well have planned it this way? Very.

9 users have voted.

8 users have voted.
soryang's picture

...I'd been looking for an expert explanation of what was happening over there in the economic sector for a while. His explanation made a lot of sense. Thanks for posting that SOE.

Tim's link to the Asahi article is related in a way to the "missile wall" strategy or the first island chain strategy or whatever you want to call it, and the re-militarization of Japan beyond Article 9 which was supposed to forbid offensive armed forces.

This below is about the foreign ministers of Japan, South Korea and China meeting in Busan, Sunday.

Economics tipped to headline China, South Korea and Japan foreign ministers’ talks

...Wang Yiwei, an international relations professor at Renmin University in Beijing, suggested that the improvement in US-China relations would have an “immediate effect” on China’s ties with Japan and South Korea.

He expected the leaders to push for further economic integration, particularly in the digital economy, where all three Asian nations are leaders.

One option, he said, would be to accelerate talks for a long-delayed free-trade agreement between the region’s three largest economies, a process that began in 2013.

Wang noted that as the world moved towards “global regionalisation”, with economies split into regional blocs, it was natural and beneficial for China, Japan and South Korea to build stronger economic ties.

I'm not that optimistic about these talks. Kishida's military buildout, with the US in the western Pacific and its maritime disputes with China will offset his appeals for China to import Japanese seafoods despite Fukushima waste water dumping in the Pacific. Yoon sticking his nose into the Taiwan issue and the Indo-Pacific strategy, large joint military exercises with the US in the Yellow Sea, and US strategic weapons systems like B-52s and nuclear submarines visiting South Korea, all are not helpful to South Korea's economic relationship with China. Joining the tri-lateral partnership with Japan and the US, was a direct abandonment of Moon Jae-in's pledges not to join any alliances aimed at China. Yoon is not in a strong negotiating position, the Chinese are aware of a much better alternative to him in the not too distant future. Whatever commitments former president Moon made, Yoon has rejected them on ideological grounds as "pro-communist." He simply has no grasp of foreign policy at all. When he was in Paris yesterday I believe, he wanted to meet with Macron and was snubbed. Here's a short video of him outside 10 Downing street, the news reporters had to tell him where it was.

The candlelight demo in Seoul today appeared quite small outside the city hall station. Maybe 2 thousand people or slightly more. I'm just guessing. It's quite cold in Seoul now. High 20s to low 40s Farenheit. I listened briefly to a couple of speakers. The theme was "impeach Yoon to save peace" on the peninsula. They noted the nuclear threat from North Korea, and suggested that war on the peninsula would be destructive not just for Korea but be destructive to world peace as well. Two speakers expressed concern at the rising military tension. They blamed Yoon for the demise of the September 19 military agreement with North Korea. They worried that Yoon (and the US by extension) would provoke a crisis before the general election in April as some kind of diversion or trick to muster support for the unpopular administration.

Following up on the China topics SOE raised, I wanted to post this Lyle Goldstein discussion of what a conflict over Taiwan might look like. It's pretty much a narrow military focus, but I think it's worthwhile to know, it potentially could be a conflict not seen in the Pacific theater since WWII. I personally think Biden's overtures to China are just a matter of expediency because of what is happening to Ukraine and the emerging Palestinian crisis. Robert Wright, the host, is kind of annoying and keeps interrupting Lyle, but if you have the time, and bear with it, I think it's worthwhile.

7 users have voted.

語必忠信 行必正直

The videos and articles were good. Pepe' is getting more and more interesting. Col. Magregor is also getting more and more helpful in understanding the Gazan war. I jumped to conclusions about it, and worried that I was just over reacting. If he is correct, and if Prof. Sachs is correct, I have a clearer understanding about genocide and international rules of the conduct of war than I knew I had.
I will watch the video about the China economy, likely call it a night. We spent 5 hours on the road, some heavy city traffic, some country roads dodging farm trucks hauling hay bales, but we are home safe and sound.
Thanks for the OT. Always great, soe!

7 users have voted.

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