The Evening Blues - 6-19-24


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Wayne Bennett

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features blues guitarist Wayne Bennett. Enjoy!

Bobby 'Blue' Bland featuring Wayne Bennett - Driftin' Blues

"I also think there are prices too high to pay to save the United States. Conscription is one of them. Conscription is slavery, and I don't think that any people or nation has a right to save itself at the price of slavery for anyone, no matter what name it is called. We have had the draft for twenty years now; I think this is shameful. If a country can't save itself through the volunteer service of its own free people, then I say: Let the damned thing go down the drain!"

-- Robert A. Heinlein

News and Opinion

The US Is Preparing For WWIII While Expanding Draft Registration

So I guess we should probably talk about the way NATO powers are rapidly escalating toward hot war with Russia at the same time the US is expanding its draft policies to make it easier to force more Americans go and fight in a giant war.

In an article titled “NATO: 500,000 Troops on High Readiness for War With Russia,” Antiwar’s Kyle Anzalone highlights NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s comments on Friday stating the alliance actually has a far greater number of troops it could deploy than the 300,000 it had previously set as its goal.

“Allies are offering forces to NATO’s command at a scale not seen in decades,” Stoltenberg said on Friday. “ Today we have 500,000 troops at high readiness across all domains, significantly more than the goal that was set at the 2022 Madrid Summit.”

Anzalone writes the following:

“The alliance hit its goal as its members significantly ratcheted up support for Kiev in recent weeks. The US and several other nations also recently gave a green light for Ukraine to use their weapons to strike targets inside Russia.

“The Netherlands and Denmark plan to supply Kiev with F-16s in the coming months, and say the advanced aircraft could be used to bomb Russia. Stoltenberg added that he welcomes the policy shift, and said it should not be considered an escalation by Russia.”

This comes shortly after we learned that NATO is developing multiple “land corridors” to rush troops to the frontline of a future hot war with Russia in eastern Europe.

It also comes as we learn from Stoltenberg that NATO is considering increasing the number of nuclear weapons it has on standby, meaning ready to use in a nuclear war. White House spokesman John Kirby bizarrely told the press that this aggressive move should not be seen as a provocation towards Russia, because NATO is a “defensive alliance”.

“How can this not be perceived as provocation or an escalation of tension in Europe?” Kirby was asked regarding Stoltenberg’s recent comments.

“Who would perceive it as a provocation or an escalation?” Kirby responded.

“Russia,” the reporter answered.

“Oh, Russia, Russia, the same country that invaded Ukraine which posed absolutely no threat to them,” Kirby replied indignantly, saying, “NATO is a defensive alliance and NATO countries are some of the most sophisticated in the world when it comes to military capabilities. And it would be irresponsible and imprudent if we weren’t constantly talking to our NATO allies about how to make sure we can meet our commitments to one another across a range of military capabilities, and that’s as far as I’ll go.”

One of the dumbest things the empire asks us to believe these days is that surrounding its official enemies with existentially threatening war machinery should always be seen as a defensive measure. The last time a credible military threat was placed near the US border, Washington responded so aggressively the world almost ended. Yet nations like Russia and China are expected to let the US and its allies amass military threats right near their borders without even regarding this as a provocation.

This and other frightening nuclear escalations with Russia are happening at the same time US lawmakers are working to expand draft registration to women and to automate registration for men, both of which would help broaden the pool of warm bodies the US would have available to throw into a hot war with a major military power.

Edward Hasbrouck writes the following for Antiwar:

“The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) approved a version of the NDAA that would expand Selective Service registration to include young women as well as young men. This version of the NDAA will now go to the floor as the starting point for consideration and approval by the full Senate.

“Also on June 14th the full House of Representatives approved a different version of the NDAA that would make Selective Service registration automatic while keeping it for men only.”

As Reason’s CJ Ciaramella explains in an article about this move to automate draft registration, the official reason for this push is to make the system run more efficiently, but “The other, unspoken effect would be removing young men’s choice to engage in civil disobedience.” If the US war machine starts a new horrific conflict that the Zoomers don’t believe in, ideally you want to make it as hard as possible for them to resist being fed to the cannons.

The draft is one of those things that gets more disgusting the more you think about it, especially in a nation whose government is as belligerent and psychopathic as the USA’s. These freaks can engage in any amount of brinkmanship they like with nations they have no business fighting — all without any of their actions ever being put to a vote from the general public — and then if it goes hot they get to turn to a bunch of kids in their teens and early twenties and say “This isn’t our problem, it’s your problem. Go fight and kill and die for your country.” They can start a war with their own recklessness and then chill out and sip martinis while your kids go get killed in it.

This is evil, this is ugly, and it needs to stop.

Hezbollah Drops INSANE Drone Footage As Israel Preps ALL OUT WAR

Israeli foreign minister says decision on all-out war against Hezbollah is near

The Israeli foreign minister, Israel Katz, has said a decision on an all-out war with Hezbollah was coming soon, as Israel generals announced late on Tuesday that they had signed off planning for an offensive into Lebanon.

The escalating rhetoric came after the release of video footage from a Hezbollah surveillance drone’s overflight of the northern city of Haifa, which included images of sensitive sites and civilian neighbourhoods.

The broadcast of the footage was widely interpreted as a thinly veiled threat against Haifa and comes as cross-border exchanges continue between the two sides. Last week northern Israel was hit by the heaviest Hezbollah barrage of the war after the Israeli killing of a senior Hezbollah commander.

After threats by the Hezbollah chief, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, to damage Haifa’s ports that are operated by Chinese and Indian companies, Katz said in a post on Secret “We are getting very close to the moment of deciding on changing the rules of the game against Hezbollah and Lebanon.”

“In an all-out war, Hezbollah will be destroyed and Lebanon will be severely beaten,” he added. Israel’s military later said “operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon were approved and validated, and decisions were taken on the continuation of increasing the readiness of troops in the field”.

Moving towards Lebanon offensive

Israeli authorities responsible for war crimes in Gaza, UN inquiry finds

UN Rights Chief Says 'Serious Concerns of Unlawful Killings' by Israel in West Bank

The United Nations' top human rights official said Tuesday that the situation in the West Bank was "dramatically deteriorating" and that Israeli security forces and settlers had killed 528 Palestinians in the occupied territory since October, "in many cases raising serious concerns of unlawful killings."

Volker Türk, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, made the remarks to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva at the opening of a weekslong session. He also said that he was "appalled" by the disregard for humanitarian law and human rights by parties to the conflict in Gaza, where "there has been unconscionable death and suffering," with more than 120,000 in the enclave killed or injured since October 7, "overwhelmingly women and children."

Türk's warning about violence in the West Bank follows a report his office released in December documenting a surge of Israeli settler violence, supported by security forces, after October 7.

The December report cited "unlawful killings," as per Tuesday's comments. Israeli forces reportedly killed bystanders in clashes and used "unnecessary or disproportionate force against Palestinians involved in confrontations and clashes, resulting in unlawful killings," the report states. Türk said at the time that the "dehumanization" of Palestinians was "very disturbing" and that Israeli settler violence and expansion of settlements must stop immediately—a call that was not heeded.

Since that time, media outlets and human rights groups have detailed regular instances of Israeli aggression and violence in the West Bank. "With the world's focus on Gaza, West Bank settlers have used wartime chaos as cover for violence and dispossession," The New Yorker reported in February. Amnesty International condemned violent attacks in April, arguing they were part of an apartheid system. In May, Human Rights Watch issued a report on "Israeli forces' unlawful killings of Palestinians."

Matt Hoh : Troops Complicit in Genocide

Israel’s Top Court Suspends October 7 Probe

The Israeli High Court of Justice has ordered the government to halt its investigation into intelligence failings in the lead-up to Hamas’ October 7 attack. The move comes after the court received classified briefings from security agencies, some of which have publicly opposed the probe.

In an interim ruling on Sunday, Justice Gila Canfy-Steinitz paused the investigation until the court can hear arguments from its opponents next month.

“In view of the complex security reality, the planned scope of the investigation, which will deal, among other things, with the combat support system and core operational issues, and the preparation required to respond to [the investigation] at the current time…I order the suspension of the investigation procedures in everything that relates to the IDF and [Shin Bet],” she wrote in her ruling, as quoted in Israeli media.

Prof. John Mearsheimer : Bad Times for Israel/Ukraine/US

At least 17 killed in Gaza refugee camps after latest Israeli strikes, say medics

A series of Israeli airstrikes on Tuesday have resulted in the deaths of at least 17 Palestinians in two of the Gaza Strip’s historic refugee camps, as tanks advanced further into the southern city of Rafah, according to reports from residents and medics. Nuseirat and Bureij are home to families and descendants of people who fled to Gaza in the 1948 war around the creation of Israel.

Civilians in Rafah described intense bombardments by tanks and planes across various areas in the city, which sheltered more than 1 million people before May. Most of the population has fled northwards since the Israeli forces’ incursion into the city. “Rafah is being bombed without any intervention from the world. The occupation [Israel] is acting freely here,” a Rafah resident and father of six told Reuters via a chat app.

According to media reports, Israeli tanks were operating inside the Tel al-Sultan, al-Izba, and Zurub areas in Rafah’s west, as well as Shaboura at the heart of the city. They also continued to occupy the eastern neighbourhoods and outskirts as well as the border with Egypt and the vital Rafah border crossing.

The resident said: “There are Israeli forces in most areas. There is heavy resistance too and they are making them pay dearly but the occupation is not ethical and they are destroying the city and the refugee camp.”

Footage of the aftermath of the Israeli strikes in Deir al-Balah shows Palestinians sifting through the wreckage of homes in search of bodies, clearing debris from damaged apartment buildings, and mourning the loss of their loved ones.

Netanyahu FLAMES Biden, Demands MORE Weapons

Netanyahu Demands White House Give Him Tools to ‘Finish the Job’ in Gaza

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu published a scathing video blasting the White House for holding back weapons shipments to Israel. Washington has blocked one transfer of 2,000-pound bombs but has overwhelmingly provided all the arms requested by Tel Aviv. The PM demanded the US supply the tools Israel needs to “finish the job a lot faster” in the Gaza Strip.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu posted the video to his X account. Speaking in English, the PM said “When Secretary Blinken was recently here in Israel, we had a candid conversation. I said I deeply appreciate the support the US has given Israel from the beginning of the war. But I also said something else. I said it is inconceivable that in the past few months, the administration has been withholding weapons and ammunition to Israel.”

In late April, the White House decided it would suspend the shipment of 2,000-pound bombs to Israel over concerns about civilian deaths in Gaza. However, President Joe Biden suggested that he would cut off additional arms transfers if Israeli forces proceeded with a full-scale invasion of Rafah. Over a month after that assault began, Biden has failed to follow through on his supposed red line.

According to Netanyahu, the White House will likely reverse course on its vow to scale back this military aid. “Secretary Blinken assured me that the administration is working day and night to remove these blocks. I certainly hope that is the case. It should be the case,” he explained in the video.

I RESIGNED from Biden Administration Over Gaza Genocide: Interview

Biden Deploys Record Number of Troops to Jordan in Quiet Buildup

As the war in Gaza rages, the Biden administration has deployed a record number of U.S. troops to Jordan, a new report to Congress reveals. The troop buildup has not been previously reported.

There are now a record 3,813 American troops in Jordan, according to the White House’s war powers report to Congress released on June 7. That’s a 625 troop increase over December, with the number of soldiers and airmen exceeding the number at any time since the second Gulf War and the invasion of Iraq, a review of past war powers reports reveals.

The Biden administration has sought to keep quiet its close military ties to Jordan, with the White House national security council instructing State Department communications officials to avoid mentioning its military coordination with the country in particular, according to internal memos I’ve reviewed. When Iran fired missiles and drones at Israel in April, Jordan was a key partner in shooting them down, and Jordan even allowed Israeli planes to operate in Jordanian airspace. Jordan as a partner of Israel is a particularly sensitive issue, hence the desire on the part of Washington to keep talk of Jordan to a minimum.

The President’s war powers report to Congress is intended to keep the American public informed about situations in which U.S. military forces might find themselves in combat. In the case of Jordan, this isn’t a hypothetical: in January, an Iran-backed militia group killed three American Army soldiers stationed at a secret U.S. military base in Jordan, called Tower-22. Since October 7, Iran-backed groups have launched over 170 attacks on U.S. military assets in Syria, Iraq and Jordan. The Biden administration has repeatedly tried to downplay these attacks, insisting that the Israel-Hamas war has not spread to the rest of the region. The war powers report makes no mention of Iran-backed groups, saying only that U.S. troops are there to “support Defeat-ISIS operations, to enhance Jordan’s security, and to promote regional stability.” ...

There are plenty of reasons the Biden administration would want to downplay its burgeoning military presence in Jordan. For one, it is home to over two million Palestinian refugees and a constant reminder to the Arab world of the suffering of the Palestinian people. Protests have rocked Jordan in recent months, opposing their government’s cooperation with the U.S. as it arms and assists Israel in the war. Even for authoritarian governments like Jordan, public opposition can be a concern if it is large enough. Washington euphemistically calls these concerns “host nation sensitivities,” a catch-all term for why the American people don’t need to be provided an explanation — in this case, for why troop levels are rapidly increasing.

Col. Karen Kwiatkowski : US Empire’s Impending Suicide

Mark Rutte lined up to be Nato secretary general after Orbán deal

Mark Rutte, the outgoing Dutch prime minister, is expected to become the next head of Nato after winning over Hungary’s prime minister with a promise not to deploy Budapest’s forces or spend its money supporting Ukraine.

Viktor Orbán, the leader in Nato seen as closest to Russia, announced he had dropped his objections after discussions with Rutte, prompting the current secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, to declare that the selection process would end “very soon”. On Tuesday afternoon, Orbán wrote on X that “Hungary is ready to support PM Rutte’s bid for Nato secretary general” and published a letter of reassurance he had received from the Dutch politician earlier that day.

In it, Rutte wrote to Orbán: “I am aware of the outcome of talks between Jens Stoltenberg [the current secretary-general] and you regarding Nato’s support for Ukraine. It is my understanding that you stressed that no Hungarian personnel would take part in these activities and no Hungarian funds will be used to support them.”

The Dutch leader, 57, added that he would respect the commitment given to Hungary, writing “in a possible future capacity as Nato secretary general, I will fully support this outcome of the talks” and added: “I look forward to our future engagement – whatever that might be.”

Slovakia, another Nato member whose government is seen as sympathetic to Russia, also said on Tuesday it was willing to support Rutte. Peter Pellegrini, the country’s president, said in a briefing: “The Slovak republic can imagine supporting the Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte as the head of the alliance.”

the horse race

RFK Jr. And Jill Stein SUED

Workers Party of Britain Manifesto Launch with George Galloway

the evening greens

Rail firm must pay Native American tribe $400m for illegal crude oil trains

One of the largest freight railroad networks in North America must pay nearly $400m to the Swinomish Tribe, a federally recognized tribe located in Washington state, a federal judge ordered on Monday. Last year, US district judge Robert Lasnik ruled that BNSF Railway intentionally trespassed when it repeatedly ran 100-car trains carrying crude oil across the tribe’s reservation.

Lasnik held a trial earlier this month to determine how much in profits BNSF had made from trespassing from 2012 to 2021, and how much of the company should be required to repay to the Indigenous group. Lasnik put that figure at $362m and added $32m in post-tax profits such as investment income for a total of more than $394m.

“The only issue to be determined in this phase of the proceedings is the value of the benefits defendant obtained as a result of its willful, conscious, and knowing trespass,” Lasnik wrote in his decision. He added that the amount calculated in post-tax profits could have been much higher. “Although the many unknowns regarding the uses to which BNSF put its ill-gotten profits and the return rates on those investments should be resolved in the Tribe’s favor to ensure that BNSF does not retain any benefit from its wrongdoing, doing so would add hundreds of millions of dollars to an already large restitutionary award.”

The railroad company told the Associated Press it had no comment on the judgment.

Microplastic discovery in penises raises erectile dysfunction questions

Microplastics have been discovered in penises for the first time, raising questions about a potential role in erectile dysfunction. The revelation comes after the pollutants were recently detected in testes and semen. Male fertility has fallen in recent decades and more research on potential harm of microplastics to reproduction is imperative, say experts.

The researchers said the penis could be particularly vulnerable to contamination with microplastics due to high blood flow during erections. People ingest microplastics through eating, drinking and breathing and the tiny particles have been detected in blood.

The study assessed tissue taken from five men who were undergoing surgery related to erectile dysfunction. Microplastics were found in four cases, with PET and polypropylene being the most prevalent. Both are used in food and drink packaging and other everyday items.

There appears to be widespread contamination of people’s bodies with microplastics, with scientists finding them wherever they look. The impact on health is as yet unknown but microplastics have been shown to cause damage to human cells in the laboratory.

The particles can cause inflammation in tissue, as air pollution particles do, and chemicals in the plastics could also cause harm. Doctors found a substantially raised risk of stroke and heart attack death in people whose arteries were contaminated with microplastics. Millions of tonnes of plastic waste are dumped in the environment every year and much is broken down into microplastics. These have polluted the entire planet, from the summit of Mount Everest to the deepest oceans.

‘The sky was on fire’: New Mexico villagers flee fast-moving wildfires

Two fast-moving fires forced panicked evacuations and consumed hundreds of buildings in New Mexico, as firefighters struggled to bring the blazes under control on Tuesday. On Monday evening, after the fires broke out, plumes of crimson-colored smoke had curled over the village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico, and officials issued an urgent warning around 7pm: “GO NOW: Do not attempt to gather belongings or protect your home. Evacuate immediately.”

By Tuesday morning, approximately 500 structures had been lost to the flames, according to official estimates, and that number could increase. With critical-level fire weather lingering in the forecast through Wednesday, the blazes, both still listed as 0% contained as of midday Tuesday, were expected to grow.

Fueled by gusty winds, high temperatures and low humidity, the South Fork fire roared across about 14,000 acres (5,666 hectares) in a drought-stricken part of the state after igniting on the Mescalero Apache Reservation on Monday. Fire crews battled through the night, working to protect the homes and buildings they could, as the fire exhibited extreme behavior and long-range spotting. The Salt fire, which also ignited on the Mescalero Apache Reservation, is churning through steep forested terrain to the south of Ruidoso, home to more than 7,000 people, and has burned roughly 5,000 acres. ...

New Mexico has been in the grips of drought, with more than 12% of the state classified as in extreme drought by the US Drought Monitor, mostly concentrated across the south. “This is climate change. It is hot, and it is dry,” George Ducker, the communications coordinator of the New Mexico forestry division, told the New York Times on Tuesday. “There is some moisture potentially coming on Wednesday, but I’m not holding my breath.”

Also of Interest

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

Judges Unmoved in Biden Genocide Complicity Case

The war in Gaza is wiping out entire Palestinian families, one branch at a time.

Blinken’s lies about Hamas rejecting a ceasefire reveal the Biden administration’s true intentions

Couldn't Such Fake News Start Wars?

Joe Biden's Ukraine War Mistake Could Spark a War with Russia

Boeing bosses accused of ‘strip mining’ company for profit in Senate hearing

Astronomers detect sudden awakening of black hole 1m times mass of sun

"Another Wasted Life": Rhiannon Giddens on How Death of Kalief Browder Inspired New Song

Glenn Greenwald GOES OFF On Pentagon Anti-Vax Psyop

A Little Night Music

Wayne Bennett - T Bone Shuffle

Big Mojo Elem/Wayne Bennett/Fred Below/Willie James Lyons - Every Night And Every Day

Mighty Sam McClain With Wayne Bennett - Fannie Mae/The Blues Is Alright

Bobby 'Blue' Bland featuring Wayne Bennett - Stomy Monday Blues

Wayne Bennett - Rockin'

Jimmy McCracklin, Ry Cooder and Wayne Bennett - After Hours

Mighty Sam McClain With Wayne Bennett - Everyday I Have The Blues

Junior Parker w/Wayne Bennett - Get Away Blues

Rosco Gordon w/Wayne Bennett - Shooby Ooby

Big Mojo Elem/Wayne Bennett/Fred Below/Willie James Lyons - Hide Away

4 users have voted.


soryang's picture

...pointing to the US fixation on the use of military force rather than diplomacy is exactly right.

Joe Biden's Ukraine War Mistake Could Spark a War with Russia

Russia is getting significant and direct missile support from North Korea and thousands of drones from Iran, and it is reportedly getting technological support from China.

With reference to North Korean missile support, I belatedly spotted some persuasive evidence in an SBS youtube video today, which provided coverage of the Putin visit to North Korea, along with quite a bit of file video/photos concerning their relations, and North Korean weapons displays. Earlier photos from the missile strike on Ukraine, were not convincing imo. This SBS photo comparison looks convincing enough. Still, it's not clear to me why the cross sectional view of the missile is blurred in some views and not in others.

The photo that persuaded me more or less was this one which made a comparison between missiles in a North Korean weapons facility and the wreckage from a downed missile. I saw another source cited by SBS that North Korea had provided 1.8 million artillery shells to Russia. (not millions as claimed by some sources). The accounts or narratives about the artillery shells being old and containing a lot of duds are in a way inconsistent with the description of the KN-23 or KN-24 missile deliveries from DPRK which notes these are of relatively recent vintage, with some advanced features, which perhaps not perfect, "need to be tested on the battlefield."

I'm not sure how many or how they are shipped, I found this article about the characteristics of these solid fuel missiles (KN 23 or 24?), their potential range, etc.

North Korea’s ballistic-missiles transfer to Russia: Operational constraints thwart objectives

The KN-23 and KN-24 are a relatively new family of North Korean solid-fuel SRBMs, first test launched in 2019. The missiles represent a more responsive, more robust and seemingly more accurate successor to the country’s legacy liquid-fuel Scud derivatives. Pyongyang has invested heavily in developing the KN-23, test launching more of these than any other ballistic-missile type over the last five years.

Though the KN-23 and KN-24 are North Korean designs, their resemblance to the Russian Iskander-M extends beyond visual similarities. Both systems demonstrate similar flight characteristics, operating at depressed and quasi-ballistic trajectories. While KN-23s and KN-24s may not provide the same amount of evasive maneuverability often attributed to the Iskander-M, and reportedly lack penetration aids, they may still further complicate Ukrainian ballistic missile defenses.

Kirby’s statement that the transferred missile is capable of travelling to ‘ranges of approximately 900 kilometers’ likely refers to the KN-23. Though confirmed KN-23 launches had demonstrated ranges up to 800 km, an unattributed but likely KN-23 launch reached 900 km in June 2023. In contrast, the smaller KN-24 has only demonstrated ranges up to 410 km, though the missile has not been tested as extensively and may be capable of travelling greater distances. Given the reported range of 460 km for the 30 December launch and the roughly 275 km range for the subsequent Kharkiv strike (assuming the same launch area was used) either system could have been used.

I hadn't seen the analysis of Dr. Jeffrey Lewis who is a reliable open source analyst. He had done comparisons of available photos from Kharkiv in January and evaluated the wreckage as being from a KN 23 or KN 24. Next time I'll have to check his twitter thread.

The situation with North Korea supporting Russia and vice versa could have been avoided by the Trump and Biden administrations as well. Elements of the Trump administration cabinet sabotaged the negotiations, and the Biden administration seemed to care even less (Kurt Campbell, Jake Sullivan, et al).

Thanks for the EBs Joe!

2 users have voted.

語必忠信 行必正直

joe shikspack's picture


i can't see why the u.s. is so damned concerned about north korea or china selling weapons to russia. it seems to me that a nation that is giving weapons to the nazi enemies of russia has no room for complaint.

it seems to me that if russia really wants to piss off the u.s. a sudden, untraceable improvement in north korea's nuclear weapons might be a useful threat.

the neocons have pretty much destroyed u.s. diplomacy, so i would expect north korea to become increasingly difficult to deal with as time marches forward.

4 users have voted.
Cassiodorus's picture

@soryang -- that there's really no way the West is going to catch up. Anyone for peace?

5 users have voted.

"Our national nightmare is over -- time for a new one." - anonymous response to "Biden's" statement

soryang's picture


This is when Choi Son-hui rose to pre-eminence in the DPRK Foreign Ministry. Kim Jong-un was humiliated in Hanoi in February 2019. Trump and Bolton in a dramatic stunt scripted for media walked out from the negotiation. Trump rebuffed Choi, in the hallway, at the Hanoi Summit, when she chased after him, pleading with him to come back to the table with Kim. Trump curtly remarked, "Sometimes ya gotta walk," totally capitulating to the neo-cons. Clearly Choi is the most gifted and experienced negotiator in North Korean ruling circles, she served as Kim's mentor.

Not long after Kim and Choi Son-hui traveled to Vladivostok to explore options with Putin and Lavrov.

(Source- Channel A News 4.26.2019) (title- the real reason for Kim Yong Chol's absence?) Why did Chairman Kim bring along Choi Son Hui, First Vice Foreign Minister? To dispel his image as dictator? Choe sits to the right of Sergei Lavrov. Ri Yong Ho, DPRK Foreign Minister sits to Putin's left.

The major import of the summit seems to be having Kim recover momentum after the debacle at the Hanoi summit with the US. Everyone noticed that Kim Yong Chol wasn't with the North Korean delegation in Vladivostok. It looks like Choe Son Hui has been elevated to a primary position as nuclear negotiator. This would be in her new position as First Vice Minister of Foreign Policy, and as the new and solitary female member of the powerful State Affairs Committee.

The visit to Vladivostok brought Trump to Korea for the photo-op at Panmunjom in the summer of 2019, imitating an earlier meeting there between Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un that was a sensation during the "Spring is coming" thaw in relations between North and South. Trump completely under the thumb of the neocons overplaying their hand, did nothing with the second chance he was given to resolve the tension with North Korea. By December 2019, the North indicated they were done dealing with the US. Then the covid epidemic conveniently enough put everything on hold as the North locked down for years. Then the war in Ukraine spun up, and the idiot far right authoritarian Yoon took power in South Korea providing new opportunities, incentives and benefits for North Korean Russian cooperation. When Kim and Putin met at the Russian Space Center in the Far East, in Sept 2023, the possibilities envisioned by Choi and Lavrov in April 2019 came to fruition.

It is obvious that the agreements worked out and signed this week by Putin and Kim had been worked on for months at least. The national security advisors in the US and the so called far east czar Kurt Campbell are incompetent. Blinken, Sullivan, the whole lot of them don't know what they are doing. Siegfried Hecker and Robert Carlin the leading experts on North Korea have been saying this publicly for some time now.

Here's a tweet yesterday from another astute North Korea watcher-

4 users have voted.

語必忠信 行必正直

dystopian's picture

HI all, Hey Joe,

GREAT guitar player and blues man!

Don't know how many here have been in Ruidoso area N.M. but it is absolutely wonderful, Cloudcroft I thnk is the nearby town. Southern Rockies pine forest with firs. LOTS of people here in my miniscule hamlet have cabins there and spend our unbearable summers there, quite comfortable.

I hope the natives can collect from the oil company/BNSF. Great decision to hear.

So we filled all the people with glyphosate, forever chemicals, microplastics, etc., e.g. endocrine discrupters, and 'tis a mystery why birth rates have collapsed as gender dysmorphia explodes.

When we lived on the road and I was selling signs, we were in a motel in Ruidoso, second floor, nice, cheap. The dog had to go and it was kinda sprinkly out. So we put the handmade crocheted harness on which supported Goofy well from below, and hooked up the 20' birding leash. Lowered him off the balcony to the hillside of pines, and reeled him back in when done. Always wondered if anyone on ground level saw the dog come down and go back up? Great memories in Ruidoso.

Thanks for the great sounds Joe!

Happy trails all!

7 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

enhydra lutris's picture



The dog had to go and it was kinda sprinkly out. So we put the handmade crocheted harness on which supported Goofy well from below, and hooked up the 20' birding leash.

Isn't that a kind of short tether, especially for flying a dog?

be well and have a good one

6 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 --

dystopian's picture

@enhydra lutris Hi EL!


Yeah, but it was windy out...


4 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

joe shikspack's picture


wayne bennett is a guitarist who is pretty much overlooked by the mainstream. his contribution to bobby blue bland's (and others on the duke label) work were pretty amazing, subtle fills with great tones that tickle your ear.

i drove through the ruidoso area many years ago working my way back east from white sands, the elevation there made the temperatures tolerable. i think that i stayed at a ski resort somewhere near ruidoso.

the article didn't make mention of whether bnsf intended to appeal, but i hope they pay through the nose for their many crimes. what a terrible, arrogant corporation.

heh, i've often accused people of being plastic, i guess i was more right than i knew. Smile

5 users have voted.

as for drought/fires

5 users have voted.

Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

Explain Bldg #7. . . still waiting. . .

If you’ve ever wondered whether you would have complied in 1930’s Germany,
Now you know. . .
sign at protest march

joe shikspack's picture

@Tall Bald and Ugly

well, we're on an increasingly inhospitable planet and if your video is correct, we're in an increasingly inhospitable solar system.


1 user has voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

Good news about BNSF, slightly brightens the day. Looks like sleepy joe has pissed off both elensky and nuttinyahoo, but probably won't really gain any friends for so doing, which, while not really good news, is at least humorous.

be well and have a good one

5 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 --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

yep, it appears that biden is stumbling through his presidency, which will hopefully end sooner rather than later.

4 users have voted.

Damn the draft!
If this happens, which it surely will, the rich people of age, with a lifetime of good food, good water, excellent healthcare, top flight education, should be the first to be drafted.
Am I wrong to pick on rich adults, or should I just stand idly by while the poor go to the front of the line because...well...useless eaters?
This is good. Scott Ritter is good at separating Jews from Zionism. He can trash Israel without offending any thinking Jew, or otherwise thinking person.

Thanks for all you do, joe. You da best, friend!

8 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

i am in favor of sending those who start the wars, from the highest levels of government, off to fight them. after they have discovered the inevitable the rest of us can be free to chart our own course.

7 users have voted.

@joe shikspack Government official legacy brats go first. If they survive, they can blame their Mom or Dad.
I thought we had come a long way since the Viet Nam era.
Ok. I admit it when I am wrong.

5 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

I thought we had come a long way since the Viet Nam era.

every hard-fought advance gained by the people from the rich and powerful will be clawed back when the rich and powerful feel that the time is right.

5 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@on the cusp

I agree with what Ritter says in general, and think he separates well the difference between most Jews and Zionists. I do though have some reservation about his perception regarding the effect that Netanyahu’s revolting tactics have had on the growth of antisemitism. It has certainly had some unfortunate effects, but I think most reasonable people still have a coherent perspective on the contrast between people who identify culturally or religiously as Jewish, and those who identify as Zionist in the way Netanyahu represents. At least I hope so.

5 users have voted.
janis b's picture


5 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@janis b

and for that great song

be well and have a good one

1 user has 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 --