Open Menu: for just about anything, really

lion tree tanzania

My offerings:

Corruption’ as a Propaganda Weapon’ by Robert Parry; one snippet of a long, link-laden essay, in which he also posits regime change targets among the BRICS nations.  Dunno how Jacb Zuma surviving a recall fits in.

“We are now seeing what looks like a new preparatory phase for the next round of “regime changes” with corruption allegations aimed at former Brazilian President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The new anti-Putin allegations – ballyhooed by the UK Guardian and other outlets – are particularly noteworthy because the so-called “Panama Papers” that supposedly implicate him in offshore financial dealings never mention his name.

Or as the Guardian writes:<b>Though the president’s name does not appear in any of the records, the data reveals a pattern – his friends have earned millions from deals that seemingly could not have been secured without his patronage.</i> The documents suggest Putin’s family has benefited from this money – his friends’ fortunes appear his to spend.”

Note, if you will, the lack of specificity and the reliance on speculation: “a pattern”; “seemingly”; “suggest”; “appear.” Indeed, if Putin were not already a demonized figure in the Western media, such phrasing would never pass an editor’s computer screen. Indeed, the only point made in declarative phrasing is that “the president’s name does not appear in any of the records.”

Michael Hudson’sThe Commanding Heights’, a couple bits about financial rule changes as war by other means (my words, not his):

“The New Cold War strategy is basically an attempt to force other countries to privatize their economies to follow neoliberal policy. The aim is to open their economies to U.S. corporations and U.S. banks.

The IMF rules change was to mobilize the IMF basically as an agent of the U.S. Defense Department, with a side office on Wall Street. All of a sudden it’s become clear that the IMF is not an international institution for global economic performance. It’s an arm of U.S. Cold War diplomacy, one that’s moving far to the right very quickly under the Obama Administration. [ snip]

“When the austerity plan demanded by the IMF since 2010 didn’t help Greece, they joined with the rest of the Troika (the European Central Bank and European Union) in 2015 to demand that Greece agree to sell off its islands, sell off its ports, sell its water systems, sell everything in the public domain. After that demand had been made on Greece in the summer of 2015, it was Ukraine’s turn.

The number one punch against the Ukraine by the IMF was to impose austerity on the pretense (its junk economics) that Ukraine could pay its foreign bondholders with income taxed out of its domestic economy. When this made things worse, the World Bank and USAID came in. The U.S.-appointed finance minister fingered the agricultural land, gas rights and other natural resources that Ukraine could sell off to American and European investors – but not to Russians.

The idea is that if American investors can buy the key infrastructure and commanding heights of the Ukrainian economy, it can pry Ukraine apart from Russia. Ukraine played a key role in the Russian economy. Much Russian military and space industrial output was produced in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.”

(I just discovered I’d posted that in a comment on another diary, but…it’s good enough to repeat.  ;-)

Some like Richard Smith’s ‘panamapapers – Why Critic Craig Murray Needs the Scorecard Before He Can Name The Players’ at Naked Capitalism believe that the #PanamaPapers publications so far weren’t evidence of ‘leaving the West alone’ was that Poroshenko was named, because: Biden’s son.  My belief is that there will soon be a coup by NGO, given neo-Nazis not under his or Nuland’s control, corruption is still epic, and Hunter and Co. find more neoliberalization just what the doctor ordered.  Craig Murray visited the diary, and Yves was pretty cranky at folks on the thread in general.  She did leave me, however, unscathed.  whew.  ;-)

 The Forces Behind the Attempted Coup in Brasil’ by Mark Weisbrot of cepr

And this just in: moar PanamaRed!  “Panama Papers reveal offshore secrets of China’s red nobility; Disclosures show how havens such as British Virgin Islands hide links between big business and relatives of top politicians” at the Guardian.

37 responses to “Open Menu: for just about anything, really

  1. I am a staunch advocate for Mandatory Voting, and thusly, Tierney Sneed (Talking Points Memo) has an article up in which Wisconsin Republicans are rejoicing that their new Voter ID Law, is benefiting the Republican Cause. As such, voter disenfranchisement, will have to be addressed constructively, otherwise the ‘racial and ethnics’ will have to reconsider their support for Democrats. If not, all hell will break lose for the well-camouflaged and conservative-oriented Democrats. And institutionalized ‘racism’ among the Democrats, will come full force and it will get quite ugly.


  2. with all due respect, i’d like to know how forcing people to vote could possibly work? not just the mechanics, rather unenforceable, but in terms of any sort of ‘informed voting’, not that i believe many truly are, given that most peeps get their education from either the teevee or msn news-o-tainment.

    how do you see it differently?

    and if i’d had my way, racials and ethnics would have given up the Dems long ago, same for trade union workers.

    • if voting’s so damn important, why don’t i get one second of work off so i can vote? the public(‘s) performance of “democracy” in this country is like being taken in by the flyers & ribbons & “Big Sale” “No Credit/No problem” etc., signs at the used car dealer. Prof Crispin Sartwell of said many moons ago something like, “if you can’t know who’s spying on you, Senator Feinstein [or anyone for that matter], you can’t know who really runs the country b/c every elected official is subject to blackmail by unknown gov’t agents. and all that CSPAN crap has as much to do w/the way the gov’t actually runs as does the good mime show in Colonial Williamsburg.” (this was about the time Feinstein revealed the CIA or NSA was spying on the senate committee she’s on). talk about the value of theater. hey, the audience even gets to “participate.”

      Bern can blather on about whatever domestically (though i was surprised to hear him taking on the DLC; good for him, i guess), provided he moos along w/the rest of the herd on the Empire, which he has dutifully done w/o even the tiniest pretense of wanting to deviate from the Obama line. “HRC needs to apologize to the military families who lost lives in the iraq war.” what a bunch of jingo bullshit. the millions of iraqis mean nothing. i can’t think of anything not crude & not foul to say about him, so i’ll stop.

    • maybe i’m being too cynical and in certain cases voting is not meaningless (local stuff, mostly) but fretting over the procedural aspects of “democracy” like voting is a great way to keep people riled up & distracted about the work of Empire. Omg! voting restrictions! uh…since $$ made my vote meaningless anyway, it’s hard for me to care. and what’s this i hear about an electoral college?

      some of this piece by nader is silly but some of it is quite revealing. i’m surprised it’s in WaPo.

      • that’s some history nader narrated; i’d never known it was that bad. interesting that he noted that if the bern wins the primary as a dem, he’ll be automatically on the ballot, though.yep, it’s a well-rigged circus. as an aside, i have to admit to being shocked that some folks are sporting avatars with close to: ‘bernie the peace candidate’ avatars.

        to be fair, here’s kevin drum on the WI voter idea law, and speaking of the tpm link jaango had referenced. now if one happens to live in walkerstan i’d be pissed as hell to be blocked from voting, even knowing that diebolds can be hacked, etc. here, we can do mail-ins, thankfully, and midterms all are done that way. i can’t think of any federal race i’ll vote in, myownself, and i dunno what ballot issues there’ll be. colorado is crazy on those!

        can’t say i’ve paid much attention to much of the hysteria, but i have read parts of a few essays on bernie’s revolution and what it might or might not mean. guess i’m not seein’ an fdr reform dem as such, and even fdr was fdr cuz of the IWW, as i’ve read.

        yeah, kewl lion tree, eh? good point about the lion not always lying down with the emu and wildebeest, though. ;-) why can’t we all get along?

        on edit: plus minority voter disenfranchisement is part of new Jim Crow laws.

  3. lovely picture. they may not get along w/the emus & wildebeests, but they get along w/the tree just fine.

  4. Nice site. Interesting conversation going on here.

  5. Oh, PeasantParty is the name. Not sure why that didn’t show up.

    • well, welcome peasant party, TWOOP! did you type in ‘peasant party’? are those numbers meaningful to you?

      (i changed one name; the alpha-numeric sequence makes ya sound like a secret agent.) ;-) i clicked on your gravatar; that’s your gravatar designation somehow.

  6. Permit me to add two more comments.

    First, here in Arizona and specifically Maricopa County-the County with 50% of the state’s population, 70,000 provisional ballots cast were not included in the finally tally as announced. As such, waiting in line for five hours did not include access to toilets or potable water.

    And Second, Obama’s staffing at the DOJ’s Office of Civil Rights, will become viewed as a stellar-staffing Icon. To wit, voting rights experts have tremendous history, and the lawyers from the following organizations, make Obama overall effort, outstanding.

    1. Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law,
    2. ACLU,
    3. National Center for Law and Economic Justice,
    4. Century Foundation,
    5, New Organizing Institute,
    6. Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund,
    7. The Advancement Project.


    • then please permit me to ask ‘why is this going on if: ‘so stellar’? and why is sheriff joe arpaio still at large after how many years later?

      and may i ask if you watched the video i provided? but thank you for coming back, jaango, as you so seldom do. ;-)

  7. Wendy,

    There is no ‘cabal’ among the Democrats, Progressive Caucus (House) either in the House or in the Senate that is advocating for Mandatory Voting. Hell, even Obama does not favor Mandatory Voting, but ALL seem to favor the status quo of today.

    As to Sheriff Joe, he has been the beneficiary of the Republican and Independent voters. And as a tangent, the federal judge has found him “guilty” of racial profiling and which is a civil offense and he has agreed to pay the financial consequence levied by the Judge However, the Sheriff withheld “evidence” and consequently, provided such evidence, and which has caused the federal judge to determine a “criminal” violation. The federal judge’s decision is being awaited. And should the judge find a “criminal” instance occurred, the judge would refer his decision to the FBI for further investigation and possible prosecution. Since Arpaio is up for re-election in November, the FBI would not complete its investigation until after the first of next year.

    As to the video, no, but I will watch it and get back to you, some time tomorrow.


    • but what i was hoping for that you’d explain why you’re advocating for mandatory voting. well, if the D party is a cabal, it’s a wall street cabal, as the R cabal is oil and maybe more arms sales.

      nah, don’t bother even reading the transcript; i hadn’t meant to give you homework. ;-)

      but this has been going on w/arpaio for over a decade at least, yes? i think that the judges involved are simply afraid of him and his thugs. he’s been found in contempt of court for not turning over records how many times? back in 1997 janet napolitano gave him a free pass, and it’s continued for so long. yep, 2012 the doj filed suit against him, and…he’s more hideous than ever. oh, well, they’re only brown people, i guess.

      hope your day goes well.

  8. more much-deserved ngo bashing:
    quoting the economist (not linking that garbage)
    “The head of the Chilean branch of Transparency International, which campaigns against corporate secrecy, resigned after being linked to five firms in tax havens.”

    • Ha! i admit i can’t find that section in the ‘economist’ piece, but i’ll take the angry arabs word for it. meanwhile, the meme of the week answers ‘why aren’t there any amerikkans in the files?’ well, wyoming and utah (?) for one thing, but some dude from mcclatchy is at TRRN saying: “oh yes there are!” no transcript yet, so i’ll wait and prolly laugh.

      well, except that ‘they’re transparent now!’

      on edit: it finally hit me that bernie had told hillary she should apologize for the USian GIs killed, but never mentioned the millions of iraqis. of course, he’s also said that the saudis should ‘get their hands dirty fighting ISIS’, as if their hands aren’t dirty enough already. pfffft.

      eep; there is a transcript now; i’m jammed in RL and on another diary, so…later for me.

  9. Wendy,

    I have watched the video from the BlackAgendaReport, and I find it similar to what I’ve heard and has been said for all these many years of my adult political engagement.

    I know that you’re highly insightful, and even better yet, well-read, and what I find and I am sure you will agree with me is we have a duopoly of political self-aggrandizement.

    In twenty-plus years, our America will become a minority-majority nation, and, can we as the collective minority-majority do better than the White Privilege has to date, knowing full well that the White Privilege with “transfer” its onerous National Debt within the next twenty years onto the minority-majority? Thus, an Eight-Ball, locked and cocked for self-defeat that will become our starting line.


    • jaango, i look forward to the day when whites are in the minority in this country. and yes, it’s a magic 8-ball of a question about more and more compradors emerging, if i get your drift. i guess the other thing i liked about glen’s contentions was that so many minorities vote D, having been catechized for so long and so strongly to vote against ‘the odious Rs’, leaving no room for emergent third, fourth, of fifth parties, esp. given ralph nader’s narrative in jason’s link. he also pointed out that cruz and the man with the red rug are far less interventionist, the latter even saying ‘out of nato’, according to headlines i’ve seen.

      now where i disagree strongly with ford is that since bernie voted against the iraq war, he’s likely not prone to foreign misadventures, and is likely even ‘to the left of bernie sanders’.. not a necon, no, but still is an Imperialist, that i do know from his own lips. ‘-)

  10. Wendy,

    The proverbial question is that since Minority Voters are overwhelmingly addicted to the Democratic Column, there’s not much room for a third or fourth political party, unless the “independents” decide to coalesce in to a ‘formalized’ Independent Party that competes with the R’s and D’s.

    Obviously, my experience has taught me that our “long game” will come to fruition when the minority-majority self-governance systemic arrives. And for me hopefully, it come as “progressive” and beyond the normative self-doubt.

    Until then, I can’t imagine that a third party, could bring forth the Indigenous Belief of a Convergence For Unity. And to think that the Democratic Party can repair its “faults” in any comprehensive or consistent manner, within the next few years, would be challenging the non-conservative-oriented Common Sense and a Common Sense which is useful to all of us.

    • as happens often, i’m just not divining your meaning, jaango. a number of the phrases you’ve used i just can’t understand; i’m sorry.

      dunno if this will cheer you up or not; i don’t think i agree with the main premise, or the pie-in-the-sky fix, but TRNN has a thing up about #Democracy Spring and it of course, has a hashtag so you can peek in. just click on it to read the Tweeties….

  11. Wendy,
    If you aren’t understanding what I have been saying, then, I am at fault. And in the next couple of days, I’ll put my computer into overdrive and correct my lack of clear thinking for you. You deserve no less!

    I shall return! :)


    • oh, don’t be silly, jaango. now you might deserve my getting your drift, but no mater how i might ‘overdrive’, we just communicate different is all. ;-)

  12. Gaddafi shaking hands with his assassin. He’s probably telling him: “I’m good at killing people”.
    “But, cuz. Why’d you want to kill me?”
    “Because I don’t like what you’re doing in Libya.”
    There is no electricity bill in Libya; electricity is free for all its citizens.
    There is no interest on loans, banks in Libya are state-owned and loans given to all its citizens at zero percent interest by law.
    Having a home considered a human right in Libya.
    All newlyweds in Libya receive $60,000 dinar (U.S.$50,000) by the government to buy their first apartment so to help start up the family.
    Education and medical treatments are free in Libya. Before Gaddafi only 25 percent of Libyans were literate. Today, the figure is 83 percent.
    Should Libyans want to take up farming career, they would receive farming land, a farming house, equipments, seeds and livestock to kickstart their farms are all for free.
    If Libyans cannot find the education or medical facilities they need, the government funds them to go abroad, for it is not only paid for, but they get a U.S.$2,300/month for accommodation and car allowance.
    If a Libyan buys a car, the government subsidizes 50 percent of the price.
    The price of petrol in Libya is $0.14 per liter.
    Libya has no external debt and its reserves amounting to $150 billion are now frozen globally.
    If a Libyan is unable to get employment after graduation the state would pay the average salary of the profession, as if he or she is employed, until employment is found.
    A portion of every Libyan oil sale is credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.
    A mother who gives birth to a child receive U.S.$5,000.
    40 loaves of bread in Libya costs $0.15.
    25 percent of Libyans have a university degree.
    Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project, known as the Great Manmade River project, to make water readily available throughout the desert country.
    “Or so I heard. But hey, man. A contract is a contract. I kill who my bosses tell me to kill.”

    • yeah, no one could claim gadaffi was ‘a good guy’, but those pre-r2p facts make the current libyan clusterfuck look even more hideous. and he was secular; the west doesn’t seem to like that in it’s ME ‘enemies’. i still wanna know what happened to all his gold, esp. given that the first thing clinton did was set up a central bank for the first provisional govt.

      kit o’connell wrote a good piece about clinton’s wikileaked emails and sarkozy, the uk, and clinton’s cackling remarks at his murder.

      morning, nomad. ;-)

      • Morning. Morning perusing. Apt comment on our assassin in chief.

        • sick, mr. fiore. but yes, drone kills had been down lately, according to ‘the bureau of investigative journalism’ (UK). looks like they’ll have to do a hella lot of new research and calculations now. keep in mind that our partners in peace, the saudis, had pretty much decimated yemen already.

  13. ‘no one could claim gadaffi was ‘a good guy’’
    Compared to the ghouls frothing at mouth to America’s Next Top Mauler he was a paragon.
    I wonder if we have ever had a true picture of the figures who have been demonized by our Jewish controlled propaganda machine.
    I have always been sure that Idi Amin was a villain. However…

    • point taken about what we know and don’t know; not sure that the propaganda machine is jewish, though. but nah, i can’t want to listen to idi amin at all. others may, i suppose. there’s so much real stuff goin’ on: police state, yats just resigned, for instance. almost too much stuff of interest to post about. ;-)

      i just read a piece on ‘the powell manifesto’ i’d almost like to print whole, for instance. illuminating.

    • nope. sorry for my slo-brain, but i just twigged as i was making dinner that ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ is simply crazy, and gets us in so many wrong places.

  14. Thanks for the lovely beasts in African tree pic, wendye, and I am far, far behind on your threads, but this just in deserves its own – I almost posted it with the spring police nasties, but bravo the 400 here! Nice bit from rt, but ad clutter I apologize for – at least they’re featuring the video. And point taken on no coverage – tremble, you blackguards, it’s coming!

    • their intention was to get arrested, so…it almost seemed that a few of them had had to force it. small wonder then, that they were disappointed that the day’s event got almost no mainstream media coverage. i’m not entirely sure that they’ve thought through their demands well enough, but i really don’t mean to rain on their parade, so i’ll hush up…for once. ;-)

      and thank you for the congratulations. mr. wd gave me one of the coolest cards i’ve ever seen, and said he almost bough one with two frogs, one in a frilly bonnet, the other in a panama hat. “we’ll be together…” (open, and inside) “…until one of us croaks”. i liked that, too.

      morning gifts today: as the sun cleared menefee mountain, it began to light up five jackrabbit sentinels outside the house, all facing south. fur so swirled and yummy it just triggered yearnings to get your fingers in it. an hour later, a very rare pair of western bluebirds flew in, and the female checked out one of the always-empty bluebird houses we’d hung up years ago…in great hopes…my guess is though, that one needs to provide those disgusting mealy worms or whatever to keep them around. ish.

      a brief hailstorm last evening didn’t do too much damage, and provided at least a bit of dampness for the ground.

  15. Also thanks for the Nader article. I wonder if 2596 comments was par for the course. On politics, possibly. I started reading them but too many just plain anti-Nader in the first ones. This from ‘dem-a-dog’ I enjoyed:

    “It is the Democratic Party that had better WAKE UP. I am a lifelong Democrat, but if this party nominates Hillary Clinton, I can assure you, there is going to be nothing but major trouble coming down the pike straight at ’em.”

    And a lady whose been historically attached right after ending “We want our party back!”

    I’m just a ‘johnny come lately’ but I can sympathize – appreciated your dialogue above with jaango, thanks to you both.

    • jason’s right, though: from the WaPo? whassup with that? and morning, juliania. i’ll be back sometime, but i’m trying to finish Rahm’s Police State, do daily chores, field phone calls from family, and try and make something interesting for our anniversary dinner. eeeek, 43 yrs. mr. wd said. and rarely have we even been in the same location on that day, much less noticed it because usually i’m immersed in tax forms. this year, we have till the 18th or some reason…so i’ll think about it…tomorrow. ;-P

  16. Birthdays and anniversaries . . . I was going to say ‘trump’ idle talk, but there has to be a better word – yes – ‘outshine’ will do. Happy anniversary to you both!

  17. This didn’t ‘tickle my fancy’, so pardon me for going a bit further afield to a more general open category (this being the terror tuesday you have made unforgettable, wendye, or rather Obama has.)

    I have only skimmed, and it is a long piece, but very well written, the Edward Snowden foreword to an Intercept book offering – many points to ponder.

    I nearly put it into the discussion on the Ben Laden assassination project – a specific glaring case of what has been happening every week of every year of this administration. But here we are, and there I’ve put this.
    For now there’s a question of which trumps what for me, and as anniversaries go, I’d rather be celebrating, in fact I cannot do other than celebrate, so I shall.

    Thank you, Edward Snowden, and thank you, wendye. Glad to have you here! To offset terror tuesday, this week after Pascha, Orthodox Easter, the Day of days, and the Season of seasons, is called Bright Week, so I’m happy to have placed this article here, following Mr.&Mrs WD’s anniversary celebration.

    Here the celebration is directed towards all whistleblowers, because with them as forerunners, our future actualizes. That future is not yet, but see how the notsomighty tremble, see the light at the end of the long tunnel – there it is!

    What we each have individually to celebrate we indeed celebrate fully, gratefully, and with joy. Let all of our different celebrations – anticipatory though they yet may be – strengthen and sustain us now.

    • thank you, juliania; we had a good day. thd’s 70th birthday, as well.

      yes, it looks long, and while i admire your focus on celebration, it reminded me of a concept i recently learned about: dark field photography, meaning that’s the best (or only, in some cases) way to actually see what the more elusive bits of an organism really are.

      not really sure what my going off on the tangent means, but maybe: to get to the light, one must peer into the dark? and yes, take as many breaks as one can to stop and watch the wildlife, smell the roses, love one’s family (when possible, lol).

      different days i feel different ways on “are the PTB beginning to quake a bit before us?” (i copied a passage form an essay of that stripe recently). sometimes i think so, then go look at a place i used to blog, and got banned. then i am mightily discouraged. “queen hillary will save us…obama is winning the was against isis…fracking is are the ttip and ttp.” yanno.

      for you and your rat: biggy rat and itchy brother:

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