NOT-Trump Crony Corporate Fascism, NOT-Trump Warnings to China


On Dec. 13 I’d received this heady news from Joe Biden and the White House entitled: ‘God willing, this bill will save lives’.  In part:

“Last Monday night, forty-four years after the people of Delaware first sent me to the United States Senate, I presided over a Senate vote for one of the last times.

As Vice President of the United States and president of the Senate, I served as the presiding officer as the Senate moved forward on the 21st Century Cures Act, a bill that will harness America’s best minds in science, medicine, and technology to tackle the biggest health challenges of our time.

This bill will help us combat the heroin and prescription opioid epidemic ripping apart families and communities. It invests in programs to improve mental health treatment and suicide prevention. It will provide resources for President Obama’s BRAIN and Precision Medicine initiatives, so that our world-class researchers can figure out how to better prevent, treat, and eventually cure Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injuries.”

Watch at 2:00pm ET: Vice President Biden joins President Obama as he signs the Cures Act into law (video and transcripts)

Now given the axiom ‘if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is’, I kept the damned letter in case I’d have time to scout about a bit online.  But aha!  Didn’t Brad Dixon at and Public Citizen (pdf) do all the work, and far, far, better than I could have.  Ooof, does he nail it in the title: ‘The 21st Century Cures Act: A gift to the US pharmaceutical industry’

It’s very long, full of facts, figures, analyses, and quotes from critics.  It opens:

“The 21st Century Cures Act is an early Christmas gift from the US Congress to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. The bill guts the regulatory powers of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), weakening the standards used to judge the safety and efficacy of drugs and medical devices. Notably, the bill does nothing to address skyrocketing drug prices.

As part of its public relations cover for the corporate giveaway, Congress included in the bill some limited funding for biomedical research and other health initiatives. This funding, however, is not mandatory and will be subject to the annual appropriations battles over discretionary spending. It is likely that these funds will never materialize.

Crafted over the course of two years with the input of more than 1,400 lobbyists, the Cures Act received overwhelming bipartisan support. The House voted 392 to 96 in favor of the nearly 1,000-page bill, and last week the Senate passed the bill in a vote of 94 to 5. President Obama says he looks forward to signing the bill when it reaches his desk.”

Dixon cites the various agency dispersals, cites the fact that the ‘Cures’ act will further enable off-label promotion of drugs to insurance providers and adds these tidbits and more, including some of the largest lobbyists expenditures,  hint: not chump change:

“…the Cures Act actually cuts $3.5 billion from the Prevention and Public Health Fund established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to The Hill. The fund was established to promote the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, hospital-acquired infections and chronic illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.”

(But of course it’s okay because: the next president, eh?)

Dixon contrasts the Kefauver-Harris Amendments [1962, in response to thalidomide sold in Europe] that transformed the FDA into an actual gatekeeper, preventing drugs being marketed unless their safety and efficacy had been proven in tightly constructed clinical trials.  I have disagree, considering the many class action lawsuits against BigPharma, and Obama’s EO to fast-track ‘breakthrough drugs’, but that’s a longer story.  And yet, the FDA has waged heavy campaigns to prevent the sale of various natural health products, but have refused to ban glyphosate in the food we eat; go figure.

“Instead of relying primarily on randomized clinical trials, the gold standard for determining drug safety and efficacy, the Act requires the FDA to consider “real world evidence,” such as anecdotal observations of patient outcomes.

“The Cures Act also weakens the already lax regulations governing medical devices. It requires FDA employees to only ask for the minimum possible amount of information when approving new medical devices, eases the FDA’s authority to regulate combination drug/device products, and provides an overly broad category of “breakthrough” devices.

““If the 21st Century Cures Act is passed as written, clinicians could be given potentially deadly drugs and devices to prescribe to their patients, blessed by this new version of FDA approval,” (said Johns Hopkins medical doctors Reshma Ramachandran and Zackary Berger).”

Also from wsws: ‘To target China, US further enhances military-strategic alliance with India’, Keith Jones, 15 December 2016

familiar graphic?

naremdra-modi hope

“The dying days of the Obama administration have seen a concerted, bi-partisan drive by the Washington political establishment and the Pentagon to further cement the Indo-US “global strategic partnership.”

Because of its size, proximity to China, commanding geographic position within the Indian Ocean region, and rapidly expanding military power and ambitions, India has long been viewed by the strategists of US imperialism as a key element in Washington’s military-strategic offensive against China.

Under Obama—particularly in the two-and-a-half years since Narendra Modi and his Hindu-supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in New Delhi—Washington has gone a long way to transforming India into a “frontline” state in its confrontation with China.

In August, India allowed US warplanes and battleships to begin making routine use of its military bases and ports for resupply, repair, and rest. The Modi government has adopted the US stance on the South China Sea, parroting Washington’s claims that China is threatening “freedom of the seas and overflight,” and it has dramatically increased Indian bilateral and trilateral cooperation with Japan and Australia, the principal US allies in the Asia-Pacific.”

Well, yes; we’d noticed.  But the recent ‘good news’ is that Jones writes that SecDef Ash Carter traveled to Delhi last week to finalize a deal that designates India as a “Major Defense Partner” of the US, and reportedly gives India the right to buy advanced weapons and weapons systems in the same way that NATO members and a few others can.  Both Carter and his counterpart in India say that this designation is ‘unique to India’, and that he’d met with Parrikar seven times now.

It’s a win-win scenario, see:

“The joint statement also emphasized the “tremendous progress” made in implementing the Indo-US Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), under which the US is working to co-produce and even co-develop advanced weapons and weapon systems in India.

The Modi government, which has ambitions for India to become a major arms exporter, has promoted the DTTI as an important part of its “Make in India” initiative, which aims to rapidly grow India’s manufacturing sector.

The Obama administration views arms sales to India as a key means of harnessing India to its predatory strategic objectives by making it dependent on US weaponry, promoting Indo-US military inter-operability, and weaning New Delhi away from its traditional ally and principal arms-supplier, Russia. It is also eager to boost the bottom line of American weapons manufacturers.”

In fact, he writes, the 2017 NDAA actually contains a section titled ““Enhancing defence and security cooperation with India” that instructs the administration to designate a high-level official to ensure the success of the DDTI because: pivot to Asia and protecting US US “interests in South Asia” and the “greater Indo-Asia-Pacific regions.”

How kind of Congress to pave the way for a more bellicose anti-China Trump presidency, don’t you think?  Of course, even prior to Trump, John Pilger had created his documentary ‘The Coming War on China – a film by John Pilger’ (the trailer)

Jones ends with a long narrative on this recent history:

“The bipartisan push to strengthen the US strategic-military alliance with India comes in the midst of a war crisis between India and Pakistan that has brought South Asia’s rival nuclear-armed states to the brink of war.”

He also writes that in his efforts to prove the immense value of a US/Indio alliance, the Obama administration “backed the illegal and highly provocative Indian military strikes inside Pakistan, first implicitly, then explicitly.

Well done!  Kashmir: the elephant in the room, situated between two nuclear powers, USA!  USA!

ha ha ha; check out his aspirations to True Power™!  on edit:

but wth?  JIN LIQUN; PRESIDENT, ASIAN INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT BANK/CHINA:   For orchestrating a new power grab.?

Bonus: Yeah, the Daily Mail’s a rag, but nonetheless they gave Craig Murray a chance to ramp up his claims another notch, brave, foolish, or just woofin’, you decide:

“Neither of [the leaks] came from the Russians,’  Murray said. ‘The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks.’  He said the leakers were motivated by ‘disgust at the corruption of the Clinton Foundation and the tilting of the primary election playing field against Bernie Sanders.’

Murray said he retrieved the package from a source during a clandestine meeting in a wooded area near American University, in northwest D.C. He said the individual he met with was not the original person who obtained the information, but an intermediary. 

Murray said he was speaking out due to claims from intelligence officials that Wikileaks was given the documents by Russian hackers as part of an effort to help Donald Trump win the U.S. presidential election.

‘I don’t understand why the CIA would say the information came from Russian hackers when they must know that isn’t true,’ he said. ‘Regardless of whether the Russians hacked into the DNC, the documents Wikileaks published did not come from that.’”

Related: via email from Anthony Freda:


“The self-appointed Ministry of Truth is compiling blacklists of forbidden media and promoting officially sanctioned propaganda.
The corrupt establishment is taking lessons from every totalitarian state in history in the guise of democracy and freedom. They hate democracy and are enemies of the free press.
The purveyors of the most dangerous corporate and state sponsored fake news are on a witch hunt to demonize and censor investigative journalists and whistleblowers who expose the lies and crimes of the corrupt institutions sponsoring the mainstream media”, etc. They are the #FakeNews and we all know it.”


68 responses to “NOT-Trump Crony Corporate Fascism, NOT-Trump Warnings to China

  1. …hi wd

    …Does / has it occurred to DumShit D Backers, Hacks and Zealots who are so very willing to play + say R vs. D UniParty junk politics that it has been Big Lies Teller/War Monger/War Criminal D POTUS B. Obama who has continued/expanded/made worse what Bush/Cheney were doing from 2001- 2008? Not Donald Trump.

    …Barack Obama The Big Liar is now backing up CIA claims that Trump was elected due to V.Putin’s/Russian direct reaches into USian Empire polling booths and making the poll workers do nefarious political fixing and vote fraud. Not because of the multiple acts of diabolical political fraud, ethical/legal failure and the thinly veiled contempt of common USians shown/done by Hillary Clinton and her political orcs?

    …Obama WH put Corrupt HRC in as SoS…put Icky Vicky Nuland in …put Eric Holder in as Obama WH AG…put Samantha Powers in …not Trump WH…but now the DumShit D Hacks/Zealots want to howl about how bad a Trump WH will be…imagine that

    …Obama WH / D’s credibility? Zero.

    …Who is trying to start WW3 here in late 2016? Trump? Or Obama?

    …WarMonger/WarCriminal B.Obama is. Fact. Truth.


    • mornin’, arrow. it’s altogether likely that mr. T’s rule will be horrid, but at least it may be more…out in the open. by tweet, lol, it seems. no smooth smiles and false diplomacy. cruising around this a.m., i saw a headline quoting O that reagan would be turning over in his rave watching mr. T. yep, he always did express great respect for raygun; so many missed it, eh?

      at the guardian US tab, its pretty much all ‘O on the russian hacks’, but i did enjoy this one: ‘Obama accuses pro-Assad forces of having ‘blood on their hands’ – video’. spit-take worthy. as for miz power, one commie on twitter was tryin’ to generate a sam power jokes hashtag, but his were the only three on it.

      Q. How can you tell when Samantha Power is lying? A. Her lips are moving
      Q: What’s the difference between Samantha Power and a bucket of manure? A: The bucket.
      Q: Why did God make snakes before Samantha Power? A: To practice.
      he missed the paraphrase of an oldie:
      Q. what’s the difference between sam power and god? A. god doesn’t think she’s sam power.

      a couple relevant tweets i grabbed earlier:

  2. Well, reporting from the hermitage; Monday will be a critical tell.
    But in my view; Trump will (if he survives Monday’s vote), be another impotent personality, residing in the White House. The shadow or double government will be the real policy makers.

    From The Boston Globe’s article;
    IDEAS: Where does the term “double government” come from?
    Glennon: It comes from Walter Bagehot’s famous theory, unveiled in the 1860’s. Bagehot was the scholar who presided over the birth of the Economist magazine—they still have a column named after him. Bagehot tried to explain in his book “The English Constitution” how the British government worked. He suggested that there are two sets of institutions. There are the “dignified institutions,” the monarchy and the House of Lords, which people erroneously believed ran the government. But he suggested that there was in reality a second set of institutions, which he referred to as the “efficient institutions,” that actually set governmental policy. And those were the House of Commons, the prime minister, and the British cabinet.

    Sound familiar?
    As written in Ecclesiastes 1:4-11; There is nothing new under the Sun…

    • I would add this: Trump was born in the same N.Y. borough as I was, exactly one year and one day after me on June 14th, 1946.
      He’s a Gemini and we do not like to be told what to do and will say so quite vociferously when attempts to boss us are made.
      He may not be so easily cowed as Obama and go public when crossed; one can only hope, no?
      This is offered only as a possibility, as I certainly do not understand the workings of the upper echelons of U.S. political power.

    • ‘the hermitage’? in tennessee or thailand? ;-) what would be the US equivalent to the ‘double’? the ‘deep state’ is a broad a term, imo, it depends on which institutions, NGOs, civil servants, and tra la la one means. but i don’t have any feel for what his rule will look like, and i reckon i can’t even name more than a few of his nominated cabinet choices; so many were kinda trial balloons, no?

      funny you’ve mentioned that you and mr. T are geminis; i was considering doing a subtitle sentence that amounted to: “you know how astrologers say that the influence of the next sign comes in before the actual change?” as in a :this is all down to trump, whose politics have invaded ahead of time.

      but oh, the hundreds of projections in the msn: ‘this is what it will look like under trump’. i dunno how it works either, v arnold, but again, i’m so relieved clinton lost, but sick that T won. but wasn’t it inevitable? and that’s what the dems can’t afford to own up to.

      and to think that via the podesta emails, the HRC campaign chose to ‘elevate’ him and cruz as the easiest to beat. of course the clintons and trumps were billionaire bff’s in any event. this is all so…’deplorable’. ;-)

      • Thailand of course. ;-) We live on a dead-end street and we’re the last house. One neighbor to the east, none directly across to the north and none south and west. Just banana trees, lime trees, papaya, mango’s and mulberries (great with natural yogurt).
        So, it’s like a hermitage, very private.
        Yeah, the deep state would be an equivalency; but, I think much more dangerous than the “double government” of the UK. But then, I’m reminded of the Irish rebellion and the murderous English response.
        Good government is an oxymoron, IMO.
        My main purpose for that information was that it went back to 1860; not a modern development.

        • your hermitage sounds sublime. we created a similar, but less exotic one here, colder climate, higher altitude and all. i only have a few minutes until the day here bursts w/ obligations, but i may try to add a few things on the links; thank you for them.

          thing is, good government wouldn’t *have to be* oxymoronic if it’s citizen centered, as in eritrea: ‘eritrea is for eritreans’; thomas mountains says they don’t use the word ‘socialism’, nor do the zapatistas iirc.

    • here are the links you’d mentioned v arnold; i would dissent on the first, mebbe agree on the second as to what levers of power mr. T will actually have at his disposal. more later.

      oh bother: i may have reversed them. ;-)

  3. “fast-track ‘breakthrough drugs.’” people’s faith in the whiz-bangery of technologies is astounding. these kinds of laws make people effectively guinea pigs. Big Pharma has all the clinical info, and you have your desperate medical condition & pain.

    • yes, and how willing ‘the desperate’ are to be the guinea pigs. i loved anecdotal evidence is good enough, too. any of them ever hear about ‘placebo effects’?

      there were a number of things i didn’t grok (moleculars, for instance), but this baffling section sounds akin to the stupidity of carbon trade con to me:

      “The bill reauthorizes and expands priority review voucher programs. Intended to promote the development of drugs that treat rare or neglected diseases, the FDA has nonetheless awarded priority vouchers, which can be sold to other companies for large sums of money, for treatments already widely used. Furthermore, there is no provision guaranteeing that these treatments will be made available or affordable.” what???

  4. To Mr Freda’s comment, even when reminded by yours truly, how anonymity was a necessity for early women authors, political critics and social justice activists, artists of all flavors (via our “favorite,” state sons, tail-gunner Joe and recently, Scooter-boy’s recall blacklist) our supposed arts and literature local paper eliminated all anonymous commenting.

    Listening session with our state leggie confirmed he had approached the publication here, about “lies,” being submitted about him by me, and on Nov 11, the policy was changed. At this leggie’s constituent “listening session,” last week, I listened to (and recorded the audio) him publicly castigate me for lying about him leading up to the election, where my writing has been published under my real name.

    He stated before we constituents, “I’m glad the (publication in question) is now fact-checking,” when actually they are not fact checking and appear only to have been threatened or intimidated by this politician. I received an email from the publication editor, stating they were not running an election piece I had written, as there were, “too many facts to check.”

    Inquiring into a public defamation suit.

    This same legislator has been assigned to chair our lower state house committee responsible for many safety net programs in the state. With an estimated half million state residents to likely be removed from their current health plans as a result of promised T-initiatives for ACA changes, doing next to nothing for one’s constituents in a first term has shown his party’s desired “leadership,” capabilities sought for the dismantling of the social safety net, i.e. doing nothing to prevent it or to find alternatives appears to be the plan.

    • yes, i believe i do remember your having reminded us of that fact, even percy byshee shelley once did. ;-) dunno what ‘scooter-boy’s recall list was, but what a horrid tale you’re telling. i’m glad you recorded the lying lout, and i did just see that yves smith and a few websites had joined in a possible class-action suit against the wapo for defamation damages, and asked for a retraction. i haven’t checked back save seeing that nbc news had apologized on air for their own agitprop.

      malcontends did that? is that the name? even if not they, such a cowardly shame, isn’t it? but then our local paper quit publishing anything i wrote to the editor…decades ago. *if* you have an attorney friend who’d consider writng leggie on your behalf, saying he/she might represent you in a civil suit unless he offers a public retraction and apology, it might go a long way.

      dunno what changes mr. T and team will actually make to the aca, but it’s a piece of shite, in any event. i saw some headline about him saying ‘universal coverage’, but that’s a phrase without any meaning, isn’t it? esp. if it’s all ‘private coverage’. and remember, O was thrilled to sign the 21st C cure bill. now we read that Rs have introduced legislation to roll back SS payments (21?), but then mr. T claims that he will never touch social security. but the guy says a lot, changes his mind, throws another zinger out to maximize the press’s click-bait outrage.

      of course, the clinton campaign emails noted that she’d go back to simpson/bowles to ‘fix things’. and wasn’t O all about: nothing’s off the table’? or was that just in FP sticks?

      well, good wishes to you, nonq. funny that the WI recounted netted mr. t more votes, wasn’t it? after stein citing ‘foreign agent hacking’ in her petition?

      • …hi wd

        …As it is domestic USian healthcare funding/spending and the costing/profiteering measured in US $$$ now hovers around the $4 trillion(s) mark with per USian average breakdown amount somewhere in the $10,000 to $11,000 range. Why should I have to pay current going rate of $800 to $1,300 more per month for premiums and then $6,000 to $10,000 in initial deductibles and copays for getting routinely unknowably/murkily run and randomly hit/miss executed and done swiss cheesed/ ObamaPelosiCare?

        … Current annual USian Empire/Pentagon/MIC and National Spook/Snoop/Security Imperial WarMaking/Killing regime costing/spending is what? Somewhere in $2 billion to $5 billion range? More? Less? Point being a third or one half of this $$$ amount easily could/should be moved to national USian HCR and SS funding purposes. Why should it not?

        … Comparison(s) of current mutated post WW2 USian healthcare regime (HCR) costing and spending in/on global ranking(s) evidently place USian healthcare ranking as being a very/most expensive and profitable for a select few USians HCR ” system “.

        …Factually it is knowable Obama WH and the UniParty D’s during 2009-2010 deliberately/willingly sabotaged any concept or potential to reform/move USian HCR away from it’s post WW2 multiple systemic decades long fails/trendings of more $$$ delivering poorer results. See what Obama and Pelosi as D’s and their many insider/pay to play accomplices did /did not/would not do as they kneecapped/sandbagged any notion(s) of moving USians towards a MedicareForAll One Plan USian HCR.

        …Instead we were given ObamaPelosiCare with plenty of DumShit D’s Obamapologists, hacks and zealots willingly polishing/selling that WashDC created/condoned legislative POS. So now here in late 2016 Obama WH is just about on it’s Last Page as is the miserable failure that ObamaPelosiCare always was and is.

        …I’ll take 21st Century Cures Act.Obama WH.Pelosi. D’s. for $100,000 Alex…What is shameless political pay to play hackery?

        …We USians now costing/spending $4 trillion+ on annual costed out and paid out healthcare on ourselves…there is plenty of funding $$$ to install and do national single payer MedicareForAll. Any talk coming out of WashDC or 50 state capitals about not enough $$$ to do so is baseless fiscal scaremongering BS.

        …Current post WW2 USian HCR needs to be demolished with the obscene ” for profit ” AHIP premise of access win/lose gatekeeping tossed in the trash bin along with it’s built multiple layers of corporate/WallSt. $$$ profits/pay outs skimming and scamming. Plain to see the R vs. D UniParty pay to play political scam/sham will not lead USians to this better place of HCR being. See Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi as Exhibit #1. See Paul Ryan and the Cap Hill R’s as Exhibit #2.

        …We USians have plenty of $$$ for doing equitable HCR and paying for/doing SS. Problem is we are being lied to and very badly misled about why we cannot do so. Fact. Truth.



        • those are whopping numbers, arrow. i wonder what percentage is pharma? i’m constantly shocked to learn what our daughter’s family pays for scripts, although she did get the chirren on chp-plus, a CO program. we save ourselves the costs by never going to docs, as my family has always had some genetic predisposition to attracting medical malpractice. j/k, but not really. i never paid my fine for no obamaDontCare last tax time. i said: here, you figger it out for me; the instructions read like abbott and costello doin’ ‘who’s on first?’ they never did bill me, oddly enough….

          the balance‘ says the military budget is $773.5 billion, dunno where the spooks are in the list: other agencies? but a few years ago nick turse dug out an almost equal amount to the offishul budget hidden in a plethora of other departments.

          yeah, ya get sick of the excuses like: ‘O had an oppositional congress!!!’ pfffft.

          • …hi wd

            …sorry for the slow comeback wd but was traveling on the road today so just now catching up with my continued daily dosage(s) of several scandalous ” fake news sites ” reading and consideration and absorption I do of what is clearly not so, fake and not to be seen/heard “news” instead of what CNN or WAPO or NYTs or HuffPost etc. “official ” authorized/official USian Empire propaganda outlets want me to see/hear/know. Cuz B. Obama and the likes of Hillary ” Pay Me Play Me ” Clinton disapprove of ” fake news ” being they only want news based on facts and truths seen and said don’cha kno.

            …Jayzez On A Stick now ain’t that some real Obama/Clinton BS

            …Anyhoo…From what I have surmized USian hospitals get around 32% of every $1.00 of USian healthcare now being funded/spent which leaves about 66% of each $1.00 for remaining USian HCR funding/costing/skimming %’s?? I do not currently have that information/breakdown at hand but I will apply some due diligence and find out what I can and get back to you with it wd…;-)

            …well…had best be skipping along …tasks await me 😉

            …a good evening to you this mid winter night …💫🌛🌌🎆


            • how in the world did you create those emoticons? i’ chosen to disable “punctuation becomes emoticons” here, so you must have some tricky way to make them. kewl. dayum, the bow and arrow is esp. fine…considering. well, only do the homework if it pleases you; i’m not even sure what HCR stands for: health care reform? too bad, by the by, that the ACA isn’t about health care but…health insurance, eh?

  5. Hey wendy,
    Absolutely not MAL, he is full out fighting for social and economic justice and has been the victim of voter harassment this past cycle.

    No, this paper is a twenty year old, bi-county arts and entertainment weekly, with a full section dedicated to literature, film, plays, etc each week. Strong support from tourist business in the seasons. Same is happening though, with now Gannett owned dozen or so northern WI, former community individual or family owned, yet still papers of record, now fully controlling the narrative in internet connection deserts that are still vast here.

    Many of the largest populated counties and municipalities refused to do hand counts so miscounted paper ballots (the ones that fell through the optical scanner without registering a vote because the little oval next to the name was not colored in properly) or for other reasons (as reported in Flint MI and elsewhere) were not checked. The difference of 30K in Milwaukee Co precincts is not difficult to imagine.

    • OT: Sending you a note later, helping a neighbor with a snow “emergency,” for the next few hours. Best.

    • sorry to have gotten it wrong on both, amigo. had i read more carefully, i would have known it was NOT mal, as well. i keep swearing that one day ill learn to read, but as i’m so often in such a hurry, that day may never come.

      some locales speak of ‘provisional ballots’ remaining uncounted, dunno if that’s what you mean. but no matter, it seems not to have been ‘roosian hacking the e-machines’ fro what you’ve said. or i think you’ve said. areas in which wholesale voter disenfranchisement is another story altogether. but i do think that stein killed the green party, and i’m very disappointed in ajamu baraka’s weak statement about stein’s (clinton inspired) strange move and massive fund-raising.

      sure, please do write a note; just remember what a crap failure i am at answering; you should not take it personally, of course. (my inbox runneth over.) snow. yes, rain for two days here, now…beautiful, slippery snow. good soul thee are to help thy neighbor.

  6. On the medical out-of-wacknesses, my son just had an emergency doctor visit for ebola like stomach flu (no, the doctor didn’t make the visit; my sick son drove to his office.) Cost of being told to do all the things I would have told him to do: $100. Sure, it went on his card so he didn’t pay it, but me, I just gulped when I heard. This was for a consultation, no application of medical expertise involved other than the standard minimal examination. It won’t seem much to folk of means. We are not folk of means. There is something wrong with this system. Fancy bill naming does not fix it.

    On another point you mention, wendye, this:
    “Moscow to Host Crucial Meeting With China, Pakistan to Discuss Afghanistan” and “Russia supports China Pakistan Economic Corridor Projekt”

    Replying to a question, the Russian ambassador said his country wanted Pakistan and India to resolve all issues including Jammu and Kashmir through peaceful means.
    He said Pakistan and Russia were also closely cooperating in efforts for restoration of peace in Afghanistan.
    Posted by: somebody | Dec 17, 2016 11:28:45 AM | 39

    I haven’t yet looked at the links in this comment from’s current post but maybe we can relax and let diplomacy take over? Personally, I would love for the Pakistani cricket team to be able to play international test cricket IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY again. The Afghans too. (They have an amazing team.) And I would love it if India banned those kazoodles or whatever they are called. They are driving my sister batty.


    Is that too much to ask?

    • well i did take the time to dig out ‘somebody’s’ links. the first was to voice of america, for cripessake: a US funded agitprop site. wonder why in hell he would use that as a source? i did look at my OP and don’t see at all where i mentioned what you say. the author at wsws was trying to point out that the US has now taken sides with the hindu fascist thug modi in favor of trying to resolve anything between predominately muslim pakistan, and it’s largely over the fact that although india promised decades ago to hold a plebiscite vote allowing jammu and kashmir to self-determine which nation they’d like to join. no, india will not allow it, as i’ve taken pains to write about numerous times here earlier. ha. i was about to say that i wish i’d made separate categories for various nations here, but i did hunt one up because ‘india’ was in the title. it would take more time than i have to find the others…but believe me, it’s a wretched situation for the citizens; all it takes is a glance at the first couple paragraphs, seriously. ooops. looks like jason was the sole commenter on it, bless his heart.

      but no, there IS no diplomatic solution save a vote, but if the russian foreign minister did say that, it’s akin to some bullshit mumbling a kerry or ban ki moon would utter. can’t imagine what any of it has to do w/ cricket, though.

      the cures act doesn’t have anything much to do w/ what physicians charge, though, and yes it’s a grievous charge, but our daughter’s family pays more in c springs, believe it or not. and ER visits are hideously expensive.

      • Yes, I saw that too, wendye, but I couldn’t see that the information was biased towards US interests or influence. Just seemed straight reporting to me.

        I wasn’t meaning you had said anything along the lines of the starred insert, but rather that it gave a different suggestion of other influences than the US strong arm approach you reported on. I think it would be good if the rest of the world sorted out their problems without the US having to be the taskmaster – that was the point I was trying to make.

        What it has to do with cricket is simply to wish for peaceful times in both Afghanistan and Pakistan so their teams can invite other teams from other countries to play there. The last time New Zealand tried that there were attacks of a terrorist nature that made it impossible to play. I know cricket isn’t important in the grand scheme of things; it’s only an indicator at best. Pakistan does send its team to play overseas, has just been in New Zealand. And Afghanistan did well playing in the last World Cup in spite of all the difficulties they are having at home.

        Sorry to have mentioned these items, including the medical one.

        • ah, as you’d typed: ““On another point you mention, wendye, this:
          “Moscow to Host Crucial Meeting With China, Pakistan to Discuss Afghanistan” and “Russia supports China Pakistan Economic Corridor Projekt”… i did a gaslight job on myself thinking that those were in my diary. alas, i don’t seem to have kept ‘somebody’s’ links, but sure, VOA and its affiliates are all about counteringanti-US ‘propaganda’.

          as for the russian minister’s comment, it doesn’t make much sense, given that pakistan has inched closer to china and russia both militarily and economically. “rumors have it“…that pakistan and russia held talks about pakistan joining the corridor”; rusia denies it, ect., but this is interesting:

          “”Our trade and economic cooperation with Pakistan has its own value. We aim for its further strengthening. The implementation by Russian companies of business projects in IRP, including the construction of North-South gas pipeline from Karachi to Lahore, is implemented on bilateral basis.”

          Pakistan has, perhaps coincidentally, recently approved Russia’s request for the use of Gwadar Port for its imports to Moscow, and has been vocal about its intentions to be a part of the CPEC project.”

          you don’t need to be sorry; your comment just baffled the hell outta me, is all. and yes, i guess cricket is pretty small beans n the scheme of things. i do hope you at least read the opening to the kashmir/jammu link i gave you.

  7. In the category for whatever it’s worth, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expresses in what is framed in somewhat clinical terminology what is in actuality rather humane reason for not engaging militarily in Syria. We must of course look past the obvious pro-NATO-ness one would expect from its boss, swallow the use of a stated necessity of action in Afghanistan as counterexample, ignore, in fact, the misleading nature of implying that NATO isn’t already doing what he claims they would be better not to, and try to grok from a propagandist point of view the message he is sending in this interview with the Bild (Springer Press, for those who don’t know).
    I’m just gonna translate this one paragraph:
    “We are experiencing a dreadful human catastrophe in Syria. Sometimes it’s right to use military means, as in Afghanistan. But sometimes the cost of deploying military force would be greater than the benefit. With regard to Syria, the NATO partners have concluded that the use of military would make a terrible situation even more terrible.”

    • I left this comment in the wrong place. I’ve now put it in an open thread.

    • it’s fine it’s here, davidly, but thank you for being so willing to move it to the open menu. it fits because it’s another example of #fake news. how few know that obama sent more special ops to syria, which i’m sure is cover for more contract mercenaries, just like afghanistan. syria seems to be ground zero for the most blatant fake news, but it makes sense that it would be given the proxy nature of it all. also in the FWIW category, this is vanessa beeley, who did a hella investigation into the ‘white helmets’. again: FWIW

      • would it at all be surprising? though, per davidly, it does sound as if the *official* position of NATO re Syria is “one afghanistan is enough.” yeah, everyone drink an extra gallon of water each day so you can have enough tears to participate in the official weeping for Aleppo. or become onion-eyed, one of the two.

        • plus, if NATO is really the US, and the US funds the ‘good rebels’, including sending them manpads (ooopsie), as well as sells arms to the other proxies behind ‘the good rebels’, as a proxy war against the roosians. what’s not to love in a nato con? ‘no more quagmires!’ er…taliban takeovers? (at least it’ not al qaeda!™; how are the women and chirren doing?)

          i went and peeked; no response, but one can tell what the raw link contains…

      • just posted that 21st c. wire link at b’s MoA, see if anyone comments.

  8. RNAi Interferon.

  9. It’s quite all right to flog the dead donkey for committing suicide when a lot of folks told it not to pull the trigger. Those of you who still live in the illusion that the duopoly survived this election will have some interesting moments after the first of the year. North Carolina got its foretaste of what one-party state rule means for a Democratic governor in Governor McCrory’s farewell bill signings. It was fast; it was unprecedented; it was striking. The NC Democrats could only sputter, but it means more difficulty for any opposition party winning the General Assembly from the GOP.

    That is what is coming in January to the Congress.

    What your articles failed to mention about the CURES Act is that enough Republicans had to be released for their campaign of obstruction in order to get the bill passed, even allowing for Joe Biden’s happy face. But they conformed to expectations, which is not as morally reprehensible and worth the scourging. The President is faulted for signing it and that alone. And for the hash Democrats made of their majority in 2009. Rightly so.

    Structurally, the donkey is dead, and I don’t see any Democrats working to actually revive the party. They are just settling back into their comfy chairs (even in North Carolina) and living in the illusion that the Trump administration will rapidly create its own backlash–just like the Nixon adminstration, the Reagan administration, and the Bush-Cheney administration.

    What is not clear at the moment is where the opposition movement of sufficient size to check and balance the Trump administration is coming from. The Democrats are not up to it; they might as well fold their tent and oppose Republicans in primaries from within the GOP. Not expecting that.

    I understand there used to a Whig Party. What ever happened to those folks?

    Look around. The GOP dream of a permanent Republican Party dominance at the national level might be close to being put into place. And with GOP dominance of enough states, Constitutional Amendments can be rushed through. There are 32 Republican controlled legislatures in the US; a total of 38 are needed to ratify a constitutional amendment. For the moment, that deficit of 6 legislatures is the brake on runaway GOP power that dramatically alters the US governmental structure and process.

    Yes, the Modi alliance is a play to oppose China, which has a strong diplomatic relationship with Pakistan, which also requires the US to have a competing relationship with Pakistan even if it does not constitute a formal alliance. Note that like Britain a century and a half ago, it is the US that is the outsider here; China, Pakistan, and India share borders. If “Pivot to Asia” did not mean “contain China”, what did it mean? “Thanks, I’d like to have my submarine drone back please?” Just remembering that W gave up an entire spyplane just to get back the crew forced down on Macao. (Sheldon Adelson’s favorite spot.)

    I wonder what Trump’s direction will be with respect to China. Tilting toward observer status in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization would cause quite a media flap, wouldn’t it?

    • dunno what mccrory did going out the door, but i doubt anyone here sees the dims as anything but whigged. good riddance; they weren’t aware whatsoever that there had already been an R revolution and responded, still pretended that they were ‘the peoples’ party’, so WE get what they deserve. the dlc as we know no, even spit on bernie sanders, not that i was a fan; and he going nativist as well. i was gonna make a jest about the ‘know nothings’, but da wiki said they rose…briefly…once the whigs died. lol.

      given that R-MI fred upton introduced the bill at the obvious behest of the many lobbyists, and that in committee it was approved 50-0, *an* that O signed it likely as assurance in the revolving doors…but sheesh, they renamed the cancer moon shot for biden’s son….whaddya want? a frownie face? j/k…kinda…

      peeps are penning all sorts of ideas for opposing the projected mr. T’s admin, mainly on the street. Pop-resistance carries boatloads of them; you might want to sign up. gott go for now. i’ aiming to watch a king richard III production on pbs at 8 w/ b. cumberbatch and keeley hawes (mi-5 in the US).

      after soup and a bath, maybe, nonquixote. ;-)

  10. Whistleblower Annie Machon, former intel¬li¬gence officer for MI5 adds a new twist that i hadn’t known in her ‘Is the United States facing a coup d’etat? (electoral college)’ it’s fairly complete linear narrative of hat’s supposed to be the russian hacks of the dnc and more, comey’s backing down from his initial claims, the lack of any evidence from the nsa, etc. but this is new to me, thus her title:

    “Plus there is apparently by no means a consensus amongst all seventeen of the US intelligence agencies with regards to the CIA’s claims. Indeed, until recently the FBI has directly contradicted them, and the FBI is in the business of pulling together evidence to prosecute a case under law.
    That, now, is all changing. Only recently it was reported that the FBI is now supporting the CIA’s “beliefs”. I was puzzled about this volte face until I read this prominent op-ed by Clinton campaign manager, John Podesta, in the Washington Post where, in addition to blaming the Russians for “hacking the election” (note, no longer just the DNC emails and his own), he is attacking the FBI and its head, James Comey, and suggesting that the organisation is broken and “what’s broken in the FBI must be fixed and quickly”. Perhaps, for whatever reason, Comey can see the overturning of the election result as a real possibility now and is desperately rowing back.

    In parallel, it seems that the CIA is fearful of retaliation if, against all their endeavors, Donald Trump does indeed get sworn in as the 45th president of the USA on 20th January next year. That goes some way to explaining why they are challenging the election result by pushing this line that the Russians “hacked the election”, the new headline that has morphed through the global MSM over the last couple of days from belief to established fact, with no evidence produced.”

    oh, my yes: from podesta at the wapo:

    “First, the Obama administration should quickly declassify as much as possible concerning what is known about the Russian hack, as requested by seven Democratic members of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Second, the administration should brief members of the electoral college on the extent and manner of Russia’s interference in our election before they vote on Dec. 19, as requested by a bipartisan group of electors.”
    (blue ribbon commission like the 9/11 one, har har), yada yada, then the capper:

    The FBI should also clarify whether there is an ongoing investigation into Trump, his associates and their ties to Russia. If ever there were a case of “intense public interest,” this is it.

    get it? Manchurian candidate: switch yer votes, electors! did he brief them somehow? will we ever know? of course it’s highly unlikely that 38 would switch, but the clinton campaign’s pulling out all the tops.

  11. Assange claimed DNC whistleblower is the source of wikileaks leading up to the election, Democrats believably would try to pin it on Russia making excuses to save face, and today the T-Rexonn is reported to be director of US/Russian oil company based in the Bahamas. From the Guardian:

    Tillerson – the chief executive of ExxonMobil – has been a director of the oil company’s Russian subsidiary, Exxon Neftegas, since 1998. His name – RW Tillerson – appears next to other officers who are based at Houston, Texas; Moscow; and Sakhalin, in Russia’s far east.

    Doubt any of this will change tomorrow’s ElectCollege results.
    On the Russian election tampering claims (shorter):

    Bottom line: Leaked not hacked. Thus, the MSM “Putin did it” version = Bullshit.

    Apologies if I am not keeping up with, have missed or am repeating or simply misunderstanding what others of you write and bring forward here.

    To earlier talk on this thread about the ACA, we are fighting, literally in our backyards, pending expansions of industrial ag and one of the reasons why besides having water to drink is disease to put all concerns about what kinds of healthcare might be available at any cost. Like rising sea levels there is little any health care plan will do to help much longer with completely drug resistant bacterial threats here and now:

    • creepy-bo-peepy: more Superbugs! i guess i’d never heard of that past-antibiotic class of drugs that were efficacious, but the Cures Act claims that the ‘limited population’ section will (or can?) develop new antibiotics and anti-fungals./s

      srsly, though, nonquixote; do buy large bottle of a high-end colloidal silver for just in case. after researching a bit, of course.

      well, hmmmm. as i’d said up yonder, the daily mail is a rag, then quoted the paper as saying that craig murray had indeed notched up his earlier claims…and now says that he was given data while in deecee. (disinformation? perhaps.) but as it turns out, he apparently told scott horton the radio that yes, he met w/ a leaker, but he hadn’t taken possession of the data, but refused to get more specific.

      robert parry in his ‘A spy coup in america?’ does a pretty darned good analysis of the several possibilities of who and why the podesta emails, clinton foundation emails, and DLC emails were leaked. dlc: yes, because: bernie. i like his theory that because john podesta’s bro tony is a registered lobbyist for saudi arabia, that the NSA would likely have been monitoring him, and by extension, i reckon: john.

      dunno what you’re aiming at about tillerson; i’m behind the curve on mr. T’s stable. on edit: i found it: “Though there is nothing untoward about this directorship, it has not been reported before and is likely to raise fresh questions over Tillerson’s relationship with Russia ahead of a potentially stormy confirmation hearing by the US senate foreign relations committee. Exxon said on Sunday that Tillerson was no longer a director after becoming the company’s CEO in 2006.” failure to disclose.

      • morning wendye,

        thanks for updating my understanding and suggesting other sources, as is obvious (and I understand) that I am not up on these topics anymore (if I ever was), well enough to be contributing a much of anything useful.

        Plausible deniability being the substitution for actual truth coming from any of the power broker factions, foreign or domestic or shadow, I am mostly focusing on the lies closest to home lately and those liars I know personally doing the most damage to the social welfare and against the public interest, right in front of mine own eyes.

        to better days

        • useful: oh, yes, esp. as mike whitney is one of mr. wd’s faves, and i hadn’t read it. keeping up is far more than i can do, but i did find the tillermook dude’s thang in a guardian piece as to why trump and team are illegitimate…and worse. i have a few sites i check in w/ fairly regularly, but some days…i cant check in, so i haunt some tweeters i like to find hints. i think the parry piece came from wikileaks, for instance.

          yes, local lies would be a bit more important to note, esp. in person, as you have. have a good good day; brrrrr cold here this a.m., mr. wd is plowing snow w/ the old ford 8-n, and i’m making tomato zoup. peace and solidarity.

          this may prove edifying w/ translation: for davidly:

          • Can’t find the cited Spiegel report. Pretty simple but no more factual than every other claim, conviction, or belief: one simply has to believe what they are told. The exculpatory info is clear enough, though:

            So fed security services (which office, I’ve no idea) are convinced it wasn’t a hack as there’s no evidence of one that reaches the amount of data leaked or would have come from the targets in the leaks. The 2015 cyberattack that had originally been suspected to be the source was only 16 gigs, as opposed to the 90 gigs leaked, and didn’t affect any computers related to members of parliament, the BND or those on the commission investigating the NSA affair.

            • thanks for looking, but you seem to be saying that there’s no ‘there’ there? or: small ado about not much?

              on edit: i this related? not many cognates to help me out…

              • First last: yeah, the Bundestagspolizei* — believing the leak to have been internal — are looking for a mole.

                As far as there being no ‘there’ there: there are so many ways to interpret that. Initially, I’d respond by saying there was never any ‘there’ to begin with, but that is just me viewing every piece of information that comes from the state apparatus through the lense of what the framing of this information is meant to achieve. Taking things at face value is a difficult prospect. Nevertheless, at face value at least, it means they don’t think it was a hack. The stated logic is good enough for me, but I don’t really care anyway. Someone who’s more apt to want to use there having been a hack for certain kinds of repsonsive action or whatever might feel otherwise.

                *I didn’t mention re. the previous article that I found interesting the fact that the Bundestag has its own police district — what I assume is distinguishable from the Budestagspolizei being merely a separate law enforcement apparatus within the Bundestag. Though I suppose it could be both, the distinction was drawn in die Welt.

                • ta for the longer explanation and opinion. clearly it’s assange looking for various ports in the storm, yes? the *both* police notion would sure cause some heavy turf wars, is the US is any indication. as in: the police hate it when the fibbies get involved in their cases. ;-)

                  as to lies and propaganda tumbling and turning, i’ll stick in a great and current example of that at the bottom.

  12. rooskie envoy to the Turk was dispatched betimes today to that banquet where one is eaten. just now being reported in the NYT, etc.

    i smell a rat. we’re gonna find out something about this ‘remember aleppo’ assassin, a la him having spent time in Jordan…for a little training…w/nice moderate rebels who had shiny new passports for the trainees.

    i’d bet any amount of money on something like this being the case.

    that being said, ambassador is cover for espionage. and deal-greasing for capitalist partnerships. that includes russia’s.

    still, probably not a good thing. and the notion of “diplomacy” is not to be rejected even if actual diplomats are regularly closet soldiers. certainly US ones, a la Benghazi.

    • i’d been collecting a link at reuters in the mornin’, and it was a breaking story then: shot, but alive…then. but ooof, the commie twittersphere is alive w/ things like this and citing ‘unconventional warfare’:

      i guess i’m not taking your meaning, though, jason (hate bein’ a thick-wit again).

      and for the love of mike, somehow that the electoral college vote won’t be announced by smokin’ joe biden at a joint session on jan. 6….had gone right by me. so many opinions stated as factual on how the process works, i guess.

    • i consider the lucidness of my prose to be crystalline. apparently not everyone agrees. (“say something once, why say it again?” – Talking Heads, “Psycho Killer”.) what part was unclear?

      • only bears of little brain disagree, i’m sure. but this: “we’re gonna find out something about this ‘remember aleppo’ assassin, a la him having spent time in Jordan…for a little training…” i expect it’s that i dunno who he is, was supposed to have been, etc.

        • sorry. i of course don’t know for absolute certain but i’d wager he’s the product of some CIA/Saudi assisted/managed training program.

          • an adult ‘bana’; cripes is that one too weird to countenance. guardian: ‘bana evacuated from aleppo’ (with ipad, english, furniture…)

            check your email? i sent True D links; it may have ended up in your junkbox. i get that a lot. ‘member your saying ‘pharmacological guinea pigs’? whoa; i/we tried watching ‘first: do no harm’. far far far too close to home w/ our wee daughter when we took her as a foster child; i had to bail. ‘based on a true story’, of course.

          • I first took “we’re gonna find out” to mean “the powers that be are gonna claim”, but it became clear enough what you meant as I went on. It’s interesting, I think, if confusing, that the evololution of language from lies and propaganda to propaganda and lies and propaganda about lies and lies about propaganda and “what they’re saying” vs. “what some are saying” and who “they” are in any given case has led to my frequently finding meta where there is none and vice versa.

  13. oh, for the luvva goddess; apparently jan. 6 is only the offishulll offishulll announcement:

    ‘Trump wins Electoral College vote amid protests (VIDEO)’; 19 Dec, 2016 22:33 from RT

  14. Well, the poor little snowflakes are just going to have to suck it up.
    I’m joyous Clinton didn’t win; but have no idea about Trump in office.
    The view from the hermitage is that Trump may be a disaster of the best kind.
    As the monk said; “We’ll see…”

    • ah, me; i can’t even remember how the term ‘snowflakes’ got birthed. and yes, from da café, “‘If Trump is the price we have to pay to defeat Clintonian neoliberalism – so be it.’ – Mumia Abu-Jamal”

      the several D scholars say that there are more moves the deposed queen can make, but my guess is: nah, but the wapo thang by “podetsa” my have been the shot they’d hoed would be heard ’round the world’. et tu, jill stein?

      i don’t reckon it’ll be of the best kind, but we may collectively be able to see what USians want. my main (well, one big thing) thing outta the box is: no reproductive rights? margaret atwood (against ‘the handmaids tale) ‘it will never happen here’ : “wanna bet?” (the wiseass, bless her heart).

      • The snowflake meme, iirc, got started when all/most of Hillary supporters broke down in literal tears at her apparent loss.
        Blinded by their own idealism, ignorance, and worship of somebody who didn’t exist.
        Leftists of the no spine variety…

        • I’m almost giddy at the coming possibilities both negative and positive.
          But then of course; it depends on ones POV, which is which, no?

        • thank you for the explanation, but i’d have to say that Ds aren’t leftists (mebbe a few berners w/ no one else to believe in), hillbots: woof: stockholm syndrome captives of the accidentally neocon sort? from what i’ve seen, their only measures are identity, domestic policy bullshit feints, and glass ceilings.

          i don’t even have any vision of what’s next, v, but it will be interesting, to say the least. but what will the C campaign’s next move be, if any? lessig, want her to bring a lawsuit, of course.

          sleep well in your hermitage; your good wife, too.

        • Re; the snowflake thing, Denzil Washington used it in “Inside Job” I think. I’ve noticed it’s use increase over the last year or so.

          • thanks, doug; i never saw it or read the book. i’ll check later for its metaphorical usage.

            but ooof: monsieur pipeline: i listened to his speech on approving kindermorgan’s trans-mountain and the enbridge 3 pipelines. well, yanno, they’ll only carry a million more barrels a day of tarsands sludge oil for export…but we’ll put rigorous caps in place, i swear! it does seem that there might be some relief thru the courts, doesn’t it, all to do w/ the consultation (though not requiring ‘approval’) of the first nations tribes so affected. i loved the crow chief who said that if they start building them he’ll love to provide some major civil disobedience and heck, direct actions are good with me!

            one wonders if later he’ll approve the northern gateway…but then, i’m a cynic, yes? ;-) but no, he won’t do it: he still says he’s a key environmental leader!

  15. Oops. I’m wrong about the snowflake meme; it started long before when colleges and universities started the pc crap and created “safe” spaces.
    Micro aggressions, along with all of the other pc crapola, started some wag off on the snowflakes lacking any spine and telling them to suck it up.
    I agree with Mumia Abu-Jamal, by the way.
    Cheers WD

    • hmmmm. at ian’s yesterday, ‘peter’ used it in your first context, as in: his prescription to mr. T for how he should handle them. and yes, reality checker came here not very long ago to trumpet the micro-aggressions meme concerning two colleges. both, irrc, were stories from one college dorm each, hoping to forestall what some students aw as threat to their safety. the presidents of both colleges noted that free speech is alive and well, but the students in question had every right to try to hold open meetings that might cause bullies to be more tuned into their fears. his “how the hell are we gonna fight the roosians and the chinese if this i how wimpy people are?’ or some such was stunningly and aggressively nationalistic to me.

      the many ways he’s browbeaten lisa simeone there w/ total impunity makes me wonder how he’s now turned into the person he is there. lisa, of course, seemed to remain undaunted, and resolutely described what it’s like for the trangendered to live in environments in which many despise them, bully them, sometimes kill them…or cause high rates of suicide among them, but that includes other gender identities as well, of course. his calling bullshit again on the (rabble) black lives matter movement, as likely he would by extension, the native lives matter one…makes me sad for him.

      when ian finally asked RC to be polite (at the request of ‘ks’) rc railed: “but ian! i always agree with you; not so ks!’, i laughed out loud. oh, yes, he’s a big fan of the ‘marketplace of ideas’…unless those presenting contrary ideas speak…then they’re trolls. and to think i used to count him as a friend and ally; oy.

      • RC seems a bit volatile; he’s a fellow Gemini, or so he says.
        I have my moments as well, but as the time goes by they seem less and less. RC must be a youngster (?); in any event, sorry to hear you had a falling out. A not uncommon event on the I-net, IME though.

        • nope, not a youngster, v, but it made me chuckle. i reckon some juice of the grape turns to wine w/ age, some turns to vinegar. no, e-friendships can go awry only too easily.

          a good solstice to you.

          • And to you. The solstice was 10:44 UTC on the 21st. That was 17:44 here.
            The sun was just setting.
            Haven’t done x-mas for decades; but revel in the equinoxes and solstices.

            • the wheels turning in the cosmos are simply inspirational, and oft-times instructive as to how puny our everyday concerns are, if only we could remember that…and remember that death lives just over our left shoulders in the shadows. ‘do i want to being doing this when death could come for me at any time?’

              we celebrate christmas more when family can be here, this year…not so much, though. kinda funny, but when mr. wd and i were just two, i still decorated w/ what i made, and we made merry as anything. more secular, but still.

              iirc, the sun will rise seven minutes earlier per day now, and i will welcome that so very much. sleep well.

  16. from stephen gowans, author of the coming ‘washington’s long war on syria’. in this essay he opens w/:
    “A substantial body of research conducted over many decades highlights the proximity between western news media and their respective governments, especially in the realm of foreign affairs,” writes Piers Robinson…etc., then notes which nations, are okey-dokey if they play ball w/ the Imperium (including despots), which aren’t when they refuse to, and highlights the press release of john kerry’s recent visit to‘our partners in peace’ in riyadh:

    ”On December 18, US secretary of state John Kerry was in Riyadh, rhapsodizing about “His Majesty King Salman,” the head of an absolutist state which is the very antithesis of Western democratic norms. It “is good to have solid friends” in the Saudi monarchy, said the United States’ top diplomat. The “United States partnership with Saudi Arabia is, frankly, so valuable,” added Kerry. The “relationship between our countries remains strong in every dimension. It is a relationship that’s been a priority for President Obama and myself. We’re partners, but we’re also friends.”

    after several paragraphs describing the egregious and brutal anti-democratic ways of the sauds, he segues to an WSJ hitpiece ““The Dictator Who Stole Christmas”, railing against a ‘strongman’s regime’ and ‘dictatorship’. it turned out that the author was writing of the duly elected leader of a republic: nicholas maduro of VZ. but as he notes, the captains of finance love henry capriles, his 2013 opponent. you may remember that in 2013 obama had claimed that maduro’s VZ is a direct threat to US security, which…of course is true, because of the residues of bolivarian socialism, post chavez, and that VZ has failed to genuflect before the ‘international dictatorship of the US’.

    gowans then moves on to: “The most salient current example of this style of propaganda is the depiction of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad along the same lines.”

  17. i’m trying t build a ‘why believe the cia’ post, but have gotten distracted, as usual. may i offer the following from ‘wrong kind of green’s twitter..(feed, account?) , please?

    (now i get what the #sampower jokes were about)
    yeah, my big beef w/ the celebs there, amplified…pffft:

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