The Evening Blues - 9-23-22



eb1pt12


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Dave Specter

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features Chicago blues and jazz guitarist Dave Specter. Enjoy!

Dave Specter - Soul Serenade

"Once ignorance is weaponized, violence seems to be a tragic inevitability."

-- Henry Giroux


News and Opinion

The US Empire Is Accelerating Toward Global Conflict On Two Fronts

Vladimir Putin has announced that referenda will be held in four regions of the eastern part of Ukraine whose populations will now vote on whether to join the Russian Federation, much like the Crimea referendum of 2014 which resulted in Russia’s annexation of that territory. Putin announced that 300,000 additional troops will be mobilized for the war to help facilitate this action, which is a major escalation in the conflict by any measure.

Putin also issued a stern nuclear warning that’s being hysterically spun by empire managers as a shocking and unprecedentedly bellicose threat, but if you read what he actually said it’s clear that he’s really reminding the west of the same principles of Mutually Assured Destruction that have been in place for generations, and isn’t expressing any position that western nuclear powers don’t also hold:

Nuclear blackmail was also launched. We are talking not only about the shelling of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, which is encouraged by the West, which threatens a nuclear catastrophe, but also about the statements of some high-ranking representatives of the leading NATO states about the possibility and admissibility of using weapons of mass destruction against Russia – nuclear weapons.

To those who allow themselves to make such statements about Russia, I would like to remind you that our country also has various means of destruction, and for some components more modern than those of the NATO countries. And if the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people. It’s not a bluff.

The citizens of Russia can be sure that the territorial integrity of our Motherland, our independence and freedom will be ensured, I emphasize this again, with all the means at our disposal. And those who are trying to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the wind can also turn in their direction.

So while this war is indeed insanely dangerous, it’s not because of any of the words coming out of Vladimir Putin’s mouth.

Westerners who are expressing shock and astonishment at Putin’s frank acknowledgement of what’s at stake in Russia’s increasingly direct confrontation with the US empire are really just admitting that they haven’t been paying attention. The risk of nuclear war is why sensible people have spent years calling for de-escalation and detente between the US and Russia while tensions have been steadily building since long before the invasion of Ukraine. Now there are western officials who say the world is actually at greater risk of nuclear war than it ever was during the last cold war.

A nuclear conflict could be sparked by either side making a calculated decision to use nuclear weapons (and you’re fooling yourself if you believe the US is any less trigger happy in that regard than Russia), but it can also be sparked by either side due to a mistake resulting from a technological malfunction, miscommunication, misunderstanding or miscalculation, as nearly happened many times during the last cold war. The more things escalate, the more likely both such possibilities become.

And, clearly, things are escalating.

And that’s just Russia; tensions are rapidly escalating between the US-centralized empire and China as well. In an article for Antiwar.com titled “There’s Little More Washington Can Do To Convince China To Invade Taiwan,” Andrew Corbley describes the frighteningly extensive provocations the US has been pouring into another massive geopolitical powderkeg just in the past few weeks.

“In the last 50 days, the executive and legislative branches in Washington have done more than in the last 50 years to convince China that America’s imperial policy is simply relentless, and must be met with force,” Corbley writes. “That’s not to say it’s by any means a given that the People’s Republic of China will invade its cross-straits neighbor of Taiwan, but that is to say that if strategic planners in Washington sat down and created a bulleted list of how to facilitate such an invasion, they would have probably gone through all the bullets by now.”

Corbley notes the incendiary visit to Taiwan by Nancy Pelosi (which has since been followed by a deluge of additional US officials), President Biden’s repeated and increasingly explicit commitment to plunge the US into direct hot war with China if there’s an attack on Taiwan, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s insanely escalatory Taiwan Policy Act. When you look at the brazenness, ferocity and aggression of these provocations between two nations who logically should never go to war with each other, it really does look as though the empire is putting the pedal to the metal in acceleration toward global conflict.

On paper it looks completely irrational for the US empire to be ramping up aggressions against two powerful military and economic forces simultaneously, but it’s undeniable at this point that that is what’s happening. Clearly our rulers have some kind of strategy for how they’re going to see this through, though it remains to be seen whether that strategy is the desperate Hail Mary pass of a dying empire or a potentially highly effective plan using tools that aren’t currently visible to the public.

Either way, it looks like it’s probably a good time to relish human life on this planet while it’s here to be relished.

Referendum day, Peskov issues warning. Zelensky running out of road, what next?

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres steps up for Team West (and the Guardian churns out more propaganda):

Russia’s nuclear threats ‘totally unacceptable’, says UN chief

The UN secretary general has issued a strongly worded rebuke to Russia for “totally unacceptable” nuclear threats and denounced its plans to annex parts of Ukraine as a “violation of the UN charter and of international law”. ...

“The idea of nuclear conflict, once unthinkable, has become a subject of debate. This in itself is totally unacceptable,” Guterres said.

“I’m also deeply concerned by reports of plans to organise so-called referenda in areas of Ukraine that are not currently under government control,” he said. “Any annexation of a state’s territory by another state resulting from a threat or use of force is a violation of the UN charter and of international law.” ...

Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, did not address Guterres’s comment, repeating Moscow’s discredited claims that Ukraine was being run by “neo-Nazis” and the war had been caused by mistreatment of Russian speakers in the Donbas. He said Russia had no confidence in the ICC. Lavrov was not in the chamber for the ministers who spoke before him, and left as soon as he had delivered his own address.

Scott Ritter: Reaping the Whirlwind

If viewed in a vacuum, the announcement of Russian President Vladimir Putin Wednesday, in a televised address to the Russian people, that he was ordering the partial mobilization of 300,000 military reservists to supplement some 200,000 Russian personnel currently engaged in combat operations on the soil of Ukraine would appear to be the antithesis of seeking an alternative to war. This announcement was made in parallel with one that authorized referendums to take place on the territory of Ukraine currently occupied by Russian forces regarding the question of joining these territories with the Russian Federation.

Seen in isolation, these actions would appear to represent a frontal assault on international law as defined by the United Nations Charter, which prohibits acts of aggression by one nation against another for the purpose of seizing territory by force of arms. This was the case made by U.S. President Joe Biden when speaking at the United Nations General Assembly hours after Putin’s announcement. ...

History, however, is a harsh mistress, where facts become inconvenient to perception. When viewed through the prism of historical fact, the narrative being promulgated by Biden becomes flipped. The reality is that since the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991, the U.S. and its European allies have been conspiring to subjugate Russia in an effort to ensure that the Russian people are never again able to mount a geopolitical challenge to an American hegemony defined by a “rules based international order” that had been foisted on the world in the aftermath of the Second World War. For decades, the Soviet Union had represented such a threat. With its demise, the U.S. and its allies were determined to never again allow the Russian people — the Russian nation — to manifest themselves in a similar manner.

When Putin spoke about the need for “necessary, urgent steps to protect the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Russia” from “the aggressive policies of some Western elites who try by any means necessary to maintain their supremacy,” he had this history in mind. The aim of the U.S. and its Western allies, Putin declared, was “to weaken, divide and ultimately destroy our country” by promulgating policies designed to cause “Russia itself to disintegrate into a multitude of regions and territories that are deadly enemies with one another.” According to Putin, the U.S.-led West “purposefully incited hatred of Russia, particularly in Ukraine, for which they destined the fate of an anti-Russian beachhead.” ...

For its part, Russia considers itself already to be in a war with the West. “We are really at war with…NATO and with the collective West,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a statement that followed Putin’s announcement regarding partial mobilization.

“We mean not only the weapons that are supplied in huge quantities. Naturally, we find ways to counter these weapons. We have in mind, of course, the Western systems that there exist: communication systems, information processing systems, reconnaissance systems, and satellite intelligence systems.”

Put in this context, the Russian partial mobilization isn’t designed to defeat the Ukrainian military, but to defeat the forces of NATO and the “collective West” that have been assembled in Ukraine. And if these NATO resources are configured in a way that is deemed by Russia as constituting a threat to the Russian homeland…

This is what the world has come to — a mad rush toward nuclear apocalypse predicated on the irrational expansion of NATO and hubris-laced Russophobic policies seemingly ignorant of the reality that the Ukraine conflict has now become a matter of existential importance to Russia. The U.S. and its allies in the “collective West” now have to decide if the continued pursuit of a decades-long policy of isolating and destroying Russia is a matter of existential importance to them, and if the continued support of a Ukrainian government that is little more than the modern-day manifestation of the hateful ideology of Stepan Bandera is worth the lives of their respective citizenry, and that of the rest of the world.

Relieving Student Debt HURTS MILITARY RECRUITMENT! Say GOP Congressmen

How the gas industry capitalized on the Ukraine war to change Biden policy

The Russian tanks and armored vehicles had barely begun to roll into Ukraine before the fossil fuel industry in the US had swung into action. A letter was swiftly dispatched to the White House, urging an immediate escalation in gas production and exports to Europe ahead of an anticipated energy crunch. The letter, dated 25 February, just one day after Vladimir Putin’s forces launched their assault on Ukraine, noted the “dangerous juncture” of the moment before segueing into a list of demands: more drilling on US public lands; the swift approval of proposed gas export terminals; and pressure on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, an independent agency, to greenlight pending gas pipelines.

By the winter of 2022, there should be “virtual transatlantic gas pipelines” flowing from the US to Europe, the authors envisioned.

Six months on from the letter, Russia’s invasion has stalled and in places retreated, but the US gas industry has achieved almost all of its initial objectives. Within weeks, Joe Biden’s administration adopted the gas industry’s major demands as policy. They paved the way for new pipelines and export facilities, established a new taskforce to boost gas exports to Europe and approved $300m in funding to help build out gas infrastructure on the continent.

“I can’t even begin to tell you how much the momentum has changed for companies in the United States that have wanted to bring their projects forward and just haven’t been able to get long-term contracts,” said a jubilant Fred Hutchison, president of LNG Allies, the industry group that sent the letter, just three weeks after both the military and lobbying pushes started. The rhetoric of the Biden administration, which styled itself as deeply committed to tackling the climate crisis, had “changed substantially” within just a week, Hutchison noted. Biden’s creation of the gas export taskforce was a “direct response to the proposal put forward by LNG Allies”, the group boasted in March.

“The fact that just weeks after those demands were laid out, President Biden was turning industry wishes into policy is a damning indictment of a president who had promised to tackle the climate crisis,” said Zorka Milin, senior adviser at Global Witness, which shared a new report on the escalation in gas infrastructure with the Guardian. Milin said the US gas industry was “licking its lips” at the onset of the Ukraine war. “There is no doubt that Biden’s apparent capitulation to the gas industry has opened the door for these companies to continue to profit off the backs of those suffering in Ukraine, those living close to new gas infrastructure in the US and the millions affected by climate change globally,” she added.

WATCH Incredible New Video Evidence Of Shireen Abu Akleh Killing

Fed Rate Hikes Won't Tackle the Corporate Profiteering Behind Inflation, Experts Tell Congress

One day after the U.S. Federal Reserve imposed yet another interest rate hike, a trio of progressive political economists on Thursday told members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform that the best way to curb rising prices—without further punishing workers by deliberately plunging the nation into a recession—is to confront the corporate profiteering fueling inflation.

During his opening statement, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), chair of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, said that "we cannot ignore the reality that American corporations today are reporting higher profit margins than ever, while increasing prices more than necessary to cover costs—all at the expense of the American consumer."

The hearing was titled "Power and Profiteering: How Certain Industries Hiked Prices, Fleeced Consumers, and Drove Inflation."

Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of policy and research at the Groundwork Collaborative, was among the experts who provided written and oral testimony.

Mabud made three key points in her remarks to lawmakers.

First, "even as input costs come down, corporate executives are gleefully reporting how they plan on keeping prices high," she noted, citing Groundwork's exhaustive research on earnings calls, which reveals how "megacorporations are taking advantage of recent crises to make record profits for themselves and their shareholders." Big companies "are acutely aware of how their market power affords them the ability to keep prices high, even as the costs of expenses go down."

Second, price gouging is "hitting the poorest families the hardest because essentials like food and shelter—major drivers of higher costs right now—take up a bigger proportion of their household budgets," Mabud pointed out.

Finally, "the inflation crisis we're facing today is due to decades of deregulation and privatization—resulting in brittle supply chains that can't handle shifts in our economy without supply shortages and bottlenecks," she continued. "A ruthless pursuit of efficiency and short-term profits... left us vulnerable to profiteering and price increases."

"Giant corporations' control over our supply chains has supplanted the functioning, resilient system we could have built through robust public investment and free and fair competition," said Mabud. "Big corporations are getting away with pushing up prices to fatten their profit margins, and families are quite literally paying the price. It's time to rein them in."

Mabud's analysis was echoed by Mike Konczal, director of macroeconomic analysis at the Roosevelt Institute, whose written testimony summarizes his co-authored paper on the positive relationship between concentrated market power and inflation.

In short, Konczal and his colleague Niko Lusiani "found that markups and profits skyrocketed in 2021 to their highest recorded level since the 1950s" and that "firms in the U.S. increased their markups and profits in 2021 at the fastest annual pace since 1955."

When subcommittee member Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) asked Konczal to identify the biggest driver of inflation during the pandemic, he verified that it has been "corporate profits."

Porter also highlighted Konczal and Lusiani's research on the record-breaking surge in price markups in 2021, which underscores how corporations have increased costs for consumers to boost their profits.

"Since corporate profit margins have become so unusually high," said Konczal, "there is room for reversing them with little economic harm and huge societal benefit, including lower prices in the short term."

Like Mabud and Konczal, former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich, now a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, told lawmakers in writing and over video conference that "the inflation we are now experiencing is not due to wage gains; it is due to increases in corporate profits."

"And it's excessive profits, not wages, that need to be controlled," he added.

Stressing that the Fed's only inflation-fighting tool—interest rate hikes—cannot solve what he calls "profit-price inflation," Reich urged Congress and the Biden administration to address corporate profiteering directly through a windfall profits tax of the sort introduced months ago by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), stronger antitrust enforcement, and temporary price controls.

According to Reich: "The current inflation emerging from the pandemic is analogous to the inflation that occurred right after World War II, when economists argued for temporary price controls on important goods to buy time to overcome supply bottlenecks and prevent corporate profiteering. They should be considered now, for the same reasons."

War On The POOR? Feds Raise Interest Rates AGAIN In New Blow To Potential Homeowners

Indiana judge blocks enforcement of abortion ban passed by Republicans

An Indiana judge on Thursday blocked enforcement of the state’s abortion ban, putting the new law on hold as clinic operators argue it violates the state constitution.

The Owen county judge, Kelsey Hanlon, issued a preliminary injunction against the ban that took effect a week ago. The injunction was sought by clinic operators who argued the state constitution protects abortion access.

The judge wrote: “There is reasonable likelihood that this significant restriction of personal autonomy offends the liberty guarantees of the Indiana constitution.”

Hanlon also said the clinics would prevail in the lawsuit. The order prevents the state from enforcing the ban pending trial.

The state attorney general and Republican leaders did not immediately comment.

Pelosi PUSHES Police Funding Bill Over Squad Objections



the horse race



Judge asks Trump’s team for proof that FBI planted documents at Mar-a-Lago

A US judge reviewing records seized from Donald Trump’s Florida home asked the former president’s lawyers on Thursday to provide any evidence casting doubt on the integrity of the documents. Trump has previously made unsubstantiated claims the documents were planted by FBI agents.

Senior federal judge Raymond Dearie, appointed by another judge to vet the documents to assess whether some should be withheld from investigators as privileged, also asked the justice department to certify by Monday a detailed property inventory of materials the FBI seized in the court-approved 8 August search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida.

Dearie asked Trump’s lawyers to submit by 30 September a list of specific items in that inventory “that plaintiff asserts were not seized from the premises”. Dearie also asked them to submit any corrections to the government’s list by that date, including items they believe were seized at Mar-a-Lago but not listed in the inventory.

“This submission shall be [Trump’s] final opportunity to raise any factual dispute as to the completeness and accuracy of the detailed property inventory,” wrote Dearie, serving as an independent arbiter known as a special master.



the evening greens


Profiting from poison: how the US lead industry knowingly created a water crisis

The year was 1933 and, to a group of industrialists gathered in a New York City lunch club, it seemed like the lead industry was doomed. The women’s pages of newspapers were filled with stories about children being poisoned by the metal, which had been identified as dangerous as early as the mid-1800s. And cities around America had started banning the use of lead pipes for drinking water.

Lead companies were looking for a way to keep their revenues flowing, but, as the secretary of the Lead Industries Association would warn them in a later report, lead poisoning was “taking money out of your pockets every day”. So the Lead Industries Association, made up of all the major lead companies of the time, launched a two-pronged plan to revive the industry’s sales of lead pipe – a plan that is still threatening the health of millions of residents around the United States today, including in Chicago, where the industry’s tactics paid off spectacularly.

First, the association mounted an “intensive drive” to get cities to add requirements to their building codes saying that only lead pipes could be used to connect people’s homes to the water system. Secondly, it worked to convince plumbers to become lead advocates as well, urging them to keep cities dependent on complex lead work or risk losing their plumbing jobs to simple handymen.

The association hired two staff members to visit hundreds of city water departments and send out letters to thousands more – pushing the idea of making lead pipes mandatory in city codes. In addition, the association sent illustrated promotional materials to a list of 4,357 water departments and water companies in the US to encourage use of lead pipes. ... Around the same time, the association sponsored university research to mount competing studies to those showing lead had dire effects on children’s brains and developing bodies. The staffers also worked to recruit plumbers, giving classes in leadwork for apprentices and hosting an exhibit seen by 30,000 plumbers who attended the national convention of master plumbers in Chicago in 1935.

Within six years, according to historical documents reviewed by the Guardian, the industry boasted of having succeeded in getting lead pipes required in the codes of two states and 33 major cities – from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Buffalo, New York, to Austin, Texas. In the meantime, plumbers associations in 14 states had pledged their allegiance to using lead pipes. “In city after city, where the continued use of lead was threatened by the encroachment of substitutes, we succeeded in protecting our interests by having lead introduced to plumbing codes where it had previously been omitted,” wrote Felix E Wormser, the lead industry association’s secretary, in a report to the organization’s board of directors in 1935.

[Much more at the link. -js]

Climate Strike: Mikaela Loach on How Capitalism, Colonialism & Imperialism Fuel Climate Crisis

‘Dramatic’ rise in wildfire smoke triggers decline in US air quality for millions

Millions of Americans are now routinely exposed to unhealthy plumes of wildfire smoke that can waft thousands of miles across the country, scientists have warned.

Wildfires cause soot and ash to be thrown off into the air, which then carries the minuscule particles that can be inhaled by people many miles away, aggravating a variety of health conditions. The number of people in the US exposed to unhealthy levels of these particulates from wildfires at least one day a year has increased 27-fold over the last decade, a new study found, with 25 million people in 2020 alone breathing in potentially toxic air from fires.

Pockets of deeply unhealthy air have emerged mainly in the US west, the staging ground for wildfires of increasing intensity that have been fueled by years of fire suppression and global heating, priming forests to burn. Six of the seven largest wildfires in California’s recorded history have occurred since 2020.

Wildfire smoke can result in the closure of schools, the postponement of flights and even cause cycling races and Pearl Jam concerts to be canceled. But its most pervasive impact is a regression in air quality barely seen since the advent of the Clean Air Act in 1970, which helped lift dangerous, choking smog conditions from many polluted US cities.

“We are seeing the undoing of a lot of that clean air progress, especially in the west,” said Marshall Burke, a scientist at Stanford University and co-author of the study published in Environmental Science and Technology. “There’s been really dramatic increases in wildfire smoke as air pollution, in some places fully reversing the impact of the Clean Air Act. It’s been remarkably quick. Our air pollution regulations are not designed to deal with this. It’s a worrying problem.”

California bans insurers from dropping customers in wake of largest wildfire

California temporarily banned insurance companies on Thursday from dropping customers in areas affected by recent wildfires, a day after evacuation orders were lifted for residents near a two-week-old blaze that’s become the largest in the state so far this year. ...

California’s insurance commissioner, Ricardo Lara, invoked a law on Thursday aimed at protecting homeowners in the wildfire-plagued state who say they are being pushed out of the commercial insurance market.

Lara ordered insurance companies to preserve residential insurance for one year for Californians who live near one of several major wildfires that have burned across the state in recent weeks.

California’s department of insurance estimates the moratorium will affect policies covering about 236,000 people in portions of Placer, El Dorado and Riverside counties.


Also of Interest

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

Further Thoughts on Russian Partial Mobilization and Next Steps

Effects of the 300K Russian Mobilization

Truss Brews Tempest While Spending on ‘Defense’

Yanis Varoufakis: Windfall Taxes on Big Oil Are Warranted—But That's Not All

Permitting Reform Is A Decoy For Ramping Up Gas

Ranchers’ rebellion: the Californians breaking water rules in a punishing drought

Bermuda and Canada brace for Fiona as Puerto Rico counts cost

"Model America": Family of Phillip Pannell, Killed by NJ Cop in '90, Still Struggles for Justice

Federal Court UPHOLDS Texas Takeover of Big Tech

Media Moves On, But Railroad STRIKE Negotiations Are Heating Up

Dem Civil War ERUPTS With Charges of Antisemitism

Breaking down the Unification Church scandal in Japan

Lying About Cause Of Immigration Crisis THEY Created

You’ll Have A Microchip In Your Head And Like It! Says Klaus Schwab

Venezuelan Asylum Seekers TRANSPORTED To New York, Chicago From Texas: Border Reporter


A Little Night Music

Dave Specter w/Lenny Lynn - City Boy Blues

Dave Specter - March Through The Darkness

Dave Specter - This Time I'm Gone for Good

Dave Specter w/Tad Robinson - That's How Strong My Love Is

Dave Specter & Barkin Bill Smith - Take a Walk with Me

Dave Specter and Jimmy Johnson - Feel So Bad

Dave Specter - Same Old Blues

Dave Specter - It's Too Late Brother

Dave Specter & Jimmy Johnson - You Don't Love Me

Floyd McDaniel w/Dave Specter - Live in Europe


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19 users have voted.

Comments

At risk of becoming a one trick pony, my comments tonight are about the Ian Welsh article you've offered us.

It stands Alone as far as I know, incomplete though it is, as a beacon of at least a partial bit of truth about Putin's call-up of 300,000 troops.

World's dumbest woman, Christianne Amanpour, outdid herself last night with Lies about the actual soldiers who will form this group.

They are NOT raw untrained kids. More like soldiers who have been hors d'combat for a year or more. Not to mention that Russian methods of battlefield prep differ from ours.

The point being peddled to the sleeping masses is that 300, 000 unwilling inept Russians will be nothing much for the white power neo-Nazis which have been winning ----Hahahahahah-----back land that was not theirs in the first place.

This excursion into Mass TV America has been astonishing to me. No, I do not recommend it.

Nite to the keepers of the sixties and the bright steady flame of reality.

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16 users have voted.

NYCVG

joe shikspack's picture

@NYCVG

i don't watch teevee unless i am trapped somewhere like a waiting room and the teevee is on and largely unavoidable. every time i see regular teevee it is worse than i remember it - and cable is just mind boggling with a half a dozen scrolling streams at the bottom of the screen and advertisements every 2 minutes mostly for cars and pharmaceuticals.

sadly, even the internets are full of ukrainian propaganda. yahoo emails me newsfeeds a couple or three times a day that are crammed full of crap about trump and how the incompetent russians are dropping like flies, running like cowards and leaving their weapons on the battlefield.

go figure.

have a great weekend!

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14 users have voted.

@joe shikspack We are covered by blankets of lies whichever way we look.

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8 users have voted.

NYCVG

QMS's picture

where facts become inconvenient to perception." Good quote from Mr. Ritter.
When seen thru the prism of western propaganda, the history of the US attempts
to disembowel the Russian Federation amounts to nothing. So it appears funding a
war in a vassal state has some vague connotations of democracy and freedom.

Shooting ones' foot to spite their face is a flimsy excuse for more war.
But we have seen this before. Unfortunately for the pentagon generals,
this is going beyond unjustified provocations. There is a real consequence when
dealing with a power bigger than Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, etc.

March Through The Darkness
Thanks for the evening blues!

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15 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@QMS

history is a harsh mistress and payback is a bitch.

"I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever; that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation is among possible events; that it may become probable by supernatural interference! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a contest."

-- Thomas Jefferson

have a great weekend!

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10 users have voted.

@joe shikspack

for this great quote from Jefferson. It's so timely!

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7 users have voted.

@QMS as my knees heal the rest of me will rejoin my mind

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6 users have voted.

NYCVG

ggersh's picture

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15 users have voted.

Food for thought....why do most polls usually come out in the 50/50
range, when the Princeton study shows it as a 60/40 70/30 on issues
that americans want

joe shikspack's picture

@ggersh

yep, that's got it just about perfectly correct.

have a great weekend!

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7 users have voted.

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13 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@humphrey

interesting map, thanks!

have a great weekend!

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5 users have voted.

@humphrey The yellow is the dug-in Nazi neocons from all over the globe, n'est pas?

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7 users have voted.

NYCVG

Lots of stuff to read and some music to hear tonight.
We are going out to eat at a local Tex-Mex restaurant, so no cooking and dish washing tonight. Can't wait to see menu prices. Should be interesting.
We only have 5 restaurants, and the 6th closed a few months ago. The pandemic hurt the local Mom and pops, and inflation is likely going to cause more closures.
Hope we all can get through tough economic times, which according to the Fed, is necessary.
Thanks for all you do, friend!

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10 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

heh, maybe i eat at the right restaurants in my area, but the restaurant prices are not rising at nearly the same rate as grocery store prices. in fact, the price of a good steak in the supermarket is pretty close to the price of a (much better quality) steak at the fancy-schmancy steak house down the road. my guess is that the steak house makes most of its profit on the really expensive (but delicious) mixed drinks they serve.

we lost my favorite deli whose traffic didn't come back fast enough after covid, but most of the regular people restaurants in my area are not raising their prices that much. the chinese restaurant is still dirt cheap, the bagel shop has maintained pretty much the same prices, the bbq shack that i go to has maybe gone up about 10% since covid and the mexican restaurant around the corner is probably up somewhere around 10%, too.

i live in a fairly prosperous area, though, so it's probably not a good guage of how things are going generally, i guess.

anyway, have a great dinner and a great weekend!

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8 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

“Any annexation of a state’s territory by another state resulting from a threat or use of force is a violation of the UN charter and of international law.” ...

Does that apply to Israel too because they have been taking ownership of land that isn’t theirs by right, demolishing homes of people who have lived in them for decades and building new ones so their people can live in them. How come Israel isn’t held to the same standard you’re applying on Russia? How do you feel about countries just going into another’s and stealing their oil and other resources? And how do you feel about countries overthrowing elected governments and installing one that would do their bidding? Dude do you have a mirror? If so look into it and see how hypocritical you are and how blind you have been to some of the worse offenders of UN policy.

‘Twas a perfect fall day here. Cool temps and clear blue skies. Hopefully heading for the hills next week with the Sam dawg. Hoping that the aspen are turning yellow. Have a great weekend y’all!

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17 users have voted.

It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

yeah, i saw clips of biden's comedy routine at unga the other day and wondered how people in the audience could keep a straight face while he was rolling out the whoppers.

it has been cooling down here lately, daytime temps in the 60's and 70's nights down in the upper 50's and 60's. tonight it's supposed to drop into the 40's. yay!

while i'm not looking forward to turning on the heat and seeing my warmonger tax on the bill, i do love the cooler weather.

have a great time with sam and deliver a scritch for me!

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8 users have voted.

@snoopydawg Even Mentioning the 100% White Power Israeli Nazis is a bold act in this wicked empire of Lies

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7 users have voted.

NYCVG

QMS's picture

N. Pelosi (D.mented CA) clarifies the political climate Re: Biden

“President Biden is the president of the United States. He did a great service to our country; he defeated Donald Trump. Let’s not forget that,” she replied, adding, “If you care about the air we breathe, the water we drink, the education of our children, jobs for our – our um, their families, pensions for their seniors, any subject you can name” before trailing off.

How can you lose with leaders like this?

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13 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@QMS

nancy pelosi doesn't just play a clueless, out of touch, rich moron on teevee, it's a full time state of being.

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https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-58943249

One of President Nicolás Maduro's closest aides has been extradited from Cape Verde to the United States, where he's been charged with money laundering.

The US Treasury says Alex Saab worked as a front man for Mr Maduro's regime.

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joe shikspack's picture

@humphrey

i hope that they squeeze fat leonard for information before they trade him. i would imagine that his stories would make a riveting watch on youtube.

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janis b's picture

Thanks for Dave Spector, he’s perfectly cruisey. The music is too distracting to read the news.

Enjoy the weekend all ...

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joe shikspack's picture

@janis b

The music is too distracting to read the news.

heh, maybe that's a feature rather than a bug. Smile

thanks for the soulful tune and have a great weekend!

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9 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

Back from the "central coast", all unloaded and mostly unpacked. Unfortunately, heh, I didn't catch any news whatsoever while I was gone, dadgum it. Did get to see a pod of dolphins frolicking and a pod of whales just cruising through from the comfort of our balcony. We had a couple of days of decent rain while we were away, so the yard perked up a bit.

Have a wonderful weekend

be well and have a good one

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11 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

you didn't miss much. while there were some significant events, don't worry, the handbasket is still moving apace. Smile

glad you got some rain, have a great weekend!

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10 users have voted.
dystopian's picture

Hi all, Hey Joe! Hope it's all good out there.

Yer temps sound nice Joe! We are still in 90's here in Texastan.

Great guitar player here tonight, I'm a sucker for that Chicago sound.

Re: lead. So wow an industry knowingly lied fn people up for fun and profit. I am shocked I tell you! I knew a guy that long said it was the lead and copper people that killed PVC plumbing with BS studies of it giving rats cancer etc. Used to be in CA PVC was not acceptable to code for most applications. Meanwhile all the aquariums and fish tanks breeding the most sensitive difficult fish and corals are ... you guessed it, PVC plumbed. My rural town is plumbed on it for decades. Take it over lead any day.

Thanks for the news and blues... and have a great weekend... loved that Chuck Berry and Albert Collins last weekend methinks it was...

be well all!

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11 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

@dystopian

yep, we should be in fall like weather here by october if things go as usual, though we could still get an indian summer. i suppose that texastan will be along in a few weeks. Smile

dave spector has chops for days and he does guitar tutorials on youtube along with a podcast about chicago blues. maybe worth checking out ...

yeah, i started reading that lead story and thought that maybe that was where the merchants of death cut their teeth on slick pr campaigns.

have a great weekend!

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8 users have voted.

...of the potential two front war, I came across an opinion on a website called nippon.com. Implausibly enough, its theme was that Biden has been too soft on China. My first inclination was too laugh, but having my own observations about the nature of the US-Japan relationship, and the East Asian situation in modern history, I feel that this confirms my view of Japan as a prime mover in the case of the looming confrontation over the Taiwan.

The Dangers of Biden’s No-Confrontation China Policy Sep 16, 2022
https://www.nippon.com/en/in-depth/d00831/the-dangers-of-biden%E2%80%99s...

In another article, nippon.com identified Japan as the originator of the Indo-Pacific strategic concept in 2016. It wasn't too long after this that USPACOM became USINDOPACOM. I could also not help but notice that the former USPACOM commander was Adm. Harry Harris, who had long standing ties to Japan, knew Abe etc. Harris was appointed US Ambassador to Seoul after he retired and was not well liked at all in South Korea.

In my previous research I had come across a report that noted that a principal actor behind the "mandatory arbitration" decision against China in the dispute brought to the UNCLOS tribunal by the Philippines was the former Japanese ambassador to the United States who ended up picking the jurists on the panel. The decision is a dubious one, both as to jurisdiction and substantive legal reasoning imo. ( The US has not ratified UNCLOS. )

In any case the foundation behind nippon.com is the Sasakawa foundation, which does extensive influence building on behalf of Japan around the world. It is an organization founded by Ryoichi Sasakawa, a "suspected war criminal" imprisoned after WWII, who was imprisoned for some time with Abe's grandfather Nobuo Kishi, and then released as a matter of cold war anti-communist expediency. Kishi was a founder of Japan's LDP with CIA support and later became prime minister.

The Sasakawa foundation does a vast amount of charity work through its international network of NGOs, and is therefore widely socially accepted around the world. But in its essence it represents the influence of the most powerful right wing interests in Japan, in fact those that want to make Japan great again. When they publish their views on international policy or what the US ought to do, they speak for the Japanese establishment that has pretty much ruled Japan since the US put those interests back in power after WWII.

With US power in far east declining in relative terms, Japan is absolutely essential for the US to maintain its strategic footprint in Asia. Therefore, when Japan recommends something, the US has to listen. It's also a cultural thing, because since WWII, Japan has been the primary cultural window through which the US officially views East Asia. In geopolitical terms the US-Japanese relationship is a self reinforcing echo-chamber in which each power drives the other further to the right on military policy.

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joe shikspack's picture

@soryang

heh, i think biden's alleged "no confrontation policy with china policy" should be renamed the, "doggone we'd like to bomb the crap out of china, but we just can't say it out loud, so we'll keep annoying them until they are goaded into action policy."

thanks for the info about japan's right wing establishment.

have a great weekend!

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8 users have voted.

@joe shikspack @joe shikspack Thanks for introducing me to Dave Specter's music. I really enjoy it.

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@joe shikspack

First we Poked the Bear

Now we are Pulling the Dragon's Tail

World conflagration and poor little America is the VICTIM.

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7 users have voted.

NYCVG

Pluto's Republic's picture

@soryang

I feel that this confirms my view of Japan as a prime mover in the case of the looming confrontation over the Taiwan.

Strange, this Ronin nation.

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8 users have voted.

____________________

The political system is what it is because the People are who they are. — Plato

https://www.rt.com/russia/563432-ukraine-iran-drones-russia/

The government in Kiev said on Friday that it revoked the accreditation of Iran’s ambassador in Ukraine and would “significantly reduce” the number of Iranian diplomats at the embassy, in response to Tehran’s “unfriendly act” of selling combat drones to Russia.

Supplying weapons to Moscow “directly contradicts the position of neutrality, respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, publicly declared by the top leadership of Iran,” the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, further calling it “an unfriendly act that deals a serious blow to Ukraine-Iran relations.”

Elsewhere.

ASB Military News

Iranian news channels are celebrating today’s videos from Odessa, where Iranian drones hit nato supplied weapons in ammo depots and various UAF targets

Quote: “our drones are hitting NATO where it hurts”

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snoopydawg's picture

@humphrey

for not providing weapons. Love to see Israel tell him that of course they aren’t sending weapons because they have a problem with arming Nazis. Good lord has Zelensky read a history book?

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10 users have voted.

It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

@snoopydawg No Books

NO MAPS-----Ever

Only the uneducated allowed at the table of the BrainDead US/NATO cabal.

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7 users have voted.

NYCVG

Scott Ritter delivers an eye opener!

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8 users have voted.

I get frequent e-mails from some lefty outfit called Globetrotter Media.

I don't much care for their general ideological drift and have mostly been unimpressed
with the articles I've read through. But they do cover quite a range of international topics
that are under or non-reported elsewhere and they occasionally come through with a winner.

This is one of them and the site it appears on, braveneweurope.com appears to have quite a lot of good material - of an anti-neoliberal bent.

The particular article I'd recommend having a look at is

Pietro A. Shakarian – How Russians Read the Conflict in the Caucasus
September 21, 2022

Which is delves into Russia's history in the Caucasus, with emphasis on the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict. Which I knew little about and did not get how its significance in the broader scheme of things.

It seems that Azerbaijan is being encouraged in a proxy war by Turkey, the EU and (maybe) the US with the aim of weakening Russia - something like a southern from to the Ukraine conflict.

For Turkey, this is in keeping with Erdogan's goal of expanding Turkey's influence to something like the Ottoman Empire 2.0 - which they have been pursuing in Libya, Cyprus, Syria and elsewhere for some years now. But has potential for conflict with the Russians, with whom they've been cooperating more since the Ukraine conflict...

EU wants a lock on Azeri gas and oil and, of course, are out to undermine Russia... the US is tight w/the Azeris but is perhaps working both sides of the conflict - Nancy Pelosi was in Armenia recently, perhaps to sell them on the idea that the Russians (who have a peacekeeping force between the two sides) can't or won't protect them and they should be looking instead to the West...

Overall, the current situation surrounding Mountainous Karabakh has profound security implications for Moscow that are arguably just as serious as those in Ukraine. From the Kremlin’s perspective, if NATO-allied Turkey comes to dominate the Caucasus, they will also dominate Central Asia, and suddenly NATO’s influence will be felt as far as the Altai mountains. Such a scenario is naturally intolerable for Russia, and the fears over security along its southern parameter undoubtedly informed its swift reaction to the events in Kazakhstan in January, dealing a blow to Ankara’s post-Soviet ambitions. These same concerns continue to fuel anxiety in the Kremlin over the border clashes between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in the past week. Indeed, in Eurasia, Russia seems left with few easy decisions, but at some point, it will be forced to get tough in the Caucasus. Like a bear defending its territory, Moscow will not hesitate to defend its vital national security interests. The Russians are a patient people, but their patience is not infinite.

Source at Brave New Europe

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