Wednesday, September 27, 2017

North Korean Tourism

Them 'dedly' Norks.

Some screwballs can visit North Korea - talk to the locals and even act silly  - without falling afoul the NKVD or the evil that is Kim.

Other tourists - generally 'returning' Korean ones - particularly the 'born again' variety,  have run afoul Korea's draconian espionage and sedition laws and have spent considerable amounts of time in what we style 'Korean gulags'.

And then, sometimes, bad things happen to people who really, on the surface, didn't do all that much wrong - like a young Chinese-American tourist shot when she entered a restricted border zone a few years ago   or a kid who just wanted a souvenir.

A visit gone bad: OTTO WARMBIER

Otto Warmbier a young American visited North Korea as a tourist in 2015.  Whatever he was like when arrived in North Korea,  was at some very noticeable odds with how he was when he came home.  He died within a month of his arrival back in the USA. His parents refused an autopsy and any medical studies that might have explained what happened to him are, so far, inconclusive.

 It seems evident that something did happen to him.

The first thing is that he was arrested after removing a 'propaganda poster' from his hotel to, I imagine, take back home with him.  By the time he appeared in a North Korean court he was exhibiting some noticeable psycho-physical affects.  At times he appeared alert and normal, at other times he appeared dazed and detached. At one point he seemed unable to walk on his own. He was visibly emotional admitting his 'crime' and asking for leniency.  The court gave him 20 years.

The North Koreans claimed that, at some point during his imprisonment, he contracted botulism and "after taking a sleeping pill" - no timeline defined here - he went into a coma.  He was 'comatose' when he arrived back in the USA but his family claim he was howling like an animal,  unresponsive to them and "disfigured".  Doctors treating him noted that there was significant loss of  brain tissue.

Warmbier's parents were on the news and talk show circuit almost immediately, claiming that the Koreans and brutally tortured their son,  after a 'sham' trial in which he was 'unfairly' convicted.    Donald Trump tweeted sentiments   corresponding to theirs.

American government agencies decried his arrest and trial and incarceration but there are no diplomatic ties to Korea, so Warmbier was essentially left on his own.  There were no US representatives available in North Korea to see to his welfare  - no 'good offices' of other nations on which the US could call to look after the interest of a US citizen.

The USA is looking after his interests now,  as Warmbier  seems to fall into the 'beautiful baby' classification that resulted in Syria being attacked.  Warmbier's treatment probably has as much to do with North Korean isolation as does their nuclear threat and rocket tests.   He isn't however an 'icon' - so far he isn't a Davy Crockett or a Nathan Hale.

What he is,  is a victim of 60 years of  US intransigence. If North Korea isn't being ignored, it's being classed as a threat. 60 years in which a couple of generations of American have stood guard on the ramparts of Democracy on the 38th  parallel - hostile to North Koreans and best allies to their southern cousins. That, as much as anything, has stopped Koreans from solving their purely political, but now 'time honored' differences.

Positively Electrifying

Nicola Tesla had a large role in turning Ontario Canada into the first publicly-electrified jurisdiction in the World.   After he left electricity in Ontario was a truly public  utility until a 'Pregeressive0 Conservative' government decided that selling it off to pay down public debt was a smarter idea. It was hived off to private enterprise who, we are told, are "investing in it" and, naturally , reaping the profits  from steadily increasing electricity rates. 

This past year the current government in Ontario 'swore' they would do something about skyrocketing electricity bills.  They did.  In return for the hydro industry placing a 7 year 'freeze' on  profit-driven increase, s the Government has 'foregone' their portion of the bill derived from a Sales Tax applied to them and agreed that the rates will increase again in 2024 to allow the industry to recoup its losses. 

Instead of a common-sensible reset of already overly high bills - those private owners have to pay down the money they borrowed to buy the business  - government has provided a band aid which will be ripped off later when they're long gone.  

I wrote a letter to gripe about this and received a nice letter back. 

Note the reference to delivery rates - that's one of the for factors that go into making your monthly bill - the charge for the electricity you use (another factor) related to the time you use it (another factor) which is function of the cost of producing electricity (another factor) with relevent fees and surcharges etc (other factors)  that go into the overall 'cost' of electricity divided among the three Electric Corporations and related Production Corporations.  Simple eh?

 If you read the  nice letter you realize there is no solution - just another layer of bullshit. 

Dear  (ME) 

Thank you for your email to our Customer Communication Centre.

We heard from our customers that their delivery rates were too high so we advocated on their behalf to the government to ensure fairness across all electricity customers and the Fair Hydro Plan is a result of that.  The actions we have taken to date demonstrate our new leaderships’ commitment to improving our customer service and our relationship with our customers. The new Hydro One is working harder than ever to put our customers first and we see advocating to government on their behalf as our responsibility. The recommendations we brought to the government reflect what we have heard from our customers across the province, many of whom were struggling to afford their monthly electricity bills.

The Fair Hydro Plan has created a more fair and affordable electricity system for customers living outside of urban centres. About 60% of our customers now benefit from a delivery line that is in line with the provincial average, which represents a savings of approximately $600 a year. The Fair Hydro Plan helps those who need it the most; fixed-income, rural and Northern customers who have been struggling to pay rising electricity bills.

You may not be aware that the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) sets the commodity price and that this is the rate that has been frozen.  The OEB announced lower electricity prices for Regulated Price Plan (RPP) customers effective May 1, 2017. The OEB estimates more than 90 per cent of electricity customers in Ontario will benefit from these lower prices. These prices will be in effect until April 30, 2018.

Customers who are not on the Regulated Price Plan (RPP) but are eligible under the Fair Hydro Act, 2017 will see their bills lowered through a reduction in their Global Adjustment charges. These customers include those who are eligible for the RPP but have chosen a contract with an energy retailer or spot market pricing instead. The Ontario Energy Board has set a Global Adjustment credit of $32.90 per MWh, which translates to about 3.3 cents per kWh. The Global Adjustment credit will be effect from July 1, 2017 to April 30, 2018.

The Government of Ontario has created a site to address any concerns, opinions or thoughts regarding the Fair Hydro Plan. Your feedback is important and I would recommend completing the form provided on the following link:

The affordability fund will help customers make their home more energy efficient if they, cannot afford to make energy efficiency improvements and or do not qualify for the Save on Energy Home Assistance Program. The fund will help electricity customers in need who cannot qualify for low-income conservation programs. It will provide support to customers for energy efficiency improvements to help reduce their future electricity bills. The government will pay for this fund through provincial revenues.

There is also the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP), this program provides eligible low-income households with a reduction on their electricity bill. We encourage customers to check to see if they are eligible to receive a credit. First Nations and Métis customers are eligible for an enhanced credit. Eligibility requirements changed on May 1, 2017 and more customers will qualify for a credit. If any of the folks you help require assistance they can visit  or call 1-855-831-8151 for details.

Regarding your concerns of the involvement of the United Way, in-line with OEB's guidelines, we use a lead agency that can support province-wide delivery of the LEAP program. The United Way then works with local agencies to support customers at a more local level through in-take agencies. The Unite Way is also equipped to combine multiple assistance programs available in each community to maximize financial assistance for the customer. This is an area that would be outside a utility's experience.

Hydro One made the decision to partner with a single local agency, The United Way in order to streamline the customer’s experience. By partnering with the United Way, we were able to reduce wait times for this process as there is one point of contact for all applications, rather than applications coming in from dozens of agencies across the province. As a result, we are able to better assist our customers and manage our LEAP portfolio, while also providing an improved customer experience.

The United Way is a highly regarded agency within the Not For Profit sector and we felt that they would provide the most comfortable, timely and effortless experience for our customers.  

Thank you for taking the time to write and share your concerns.

Senior Customer Consultant, Customer Service
Hydro One Networks Inc.
185 Clegg Road
Markham, ON, L6G 1B7
Tel:   905.946.6211
Tel:  800.419.5208 ext. 6211

Received: 8/5/2017 6:57:29 PM
Subject: Thanks for nothing

Thanks for the recent email you sent about my new 'bill decrease'. I am
overjoyed. But there are a couple of points I would like to raise in
clarification of all that happiness.

"Advocating with government" seems to me to be asking for a stay of
execution. In return for being able to jack the rates into low earth orbit
in a number of years Hydro one and the electricity oligarchs of Ontario
have only committed to not increasing rates during that period, the rates
will, however, remain at the high rates that caused that "advocacy".

The brunt of the 'decrease' is being absorbed by 'the government' - viiz
hydro rate payers - in the reduction of applicable HST charges. Somebody
will want to increase income tax levels or other charges, to 'recoup' that
lost income.

I notice that the affordability fund is now a cornerstone of the Electricity
picture. In my estimation rather than having me pay a little more (hidden on
my bill) to make sure those who may not be able to afford their Hydro
costs have a little institutional charity available (I actually work to
assist some of those poor folk) - would it not be more sensible to have
affordable electricity rates to begin with?

A further 'bee in my bonnet' is engendered by the involvement of United Way
in vetting these folk. United way provides a valuable service, but they
also retain a 15 percent off-the-top fee to assist with the costs of the
office and paid staff they have. One might think that the best people to
'vet' (the main question seems to be so you need help paying your hydro
bill?) problem customers, might be a department at Hydro itself - you
are involved before, and after, no? At the very least you might be able to
assist, correct that ... WE might be able to assist 15 percent more of

I would like to congratulate your PR department on their valiant effort to
con your customers into thinking you have our best interests at heart. If
that were the case you would have been negotiating a rate reduction with the
government instead of 'freezing rates' in return for an up-the -road-

Kevin Quinn Owen Sound

PS: CC to Premier Wynn - she seems much in the dark as anybody not paying
your rates would be. If you reply, I'll post your response on my blog. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Canada and Ukraine

UPDATE:  Another Ukrainian arms dump goes 'kablooie'!  A day after somebody tried to assassinate a 'dissident' leader in Donetsk.  Co-inky-dink?  Who knows?  Canada better 'pitter-patter' on their free 'bang-bang!

This past weekend after a meeting with Poroshenko the  ("peace") President of Ukraine, Canada's Justin Trudeau announced that his government was giving the green light for the export of restricted weapons to that benighted land.

This in counterpoint to the US announcement that it would not be arming the Ukraine.

A decent overview of the Canada-Ukraine  relationship  was written by  Jim Miles for Global Research

Global Research Site

Here's his article:

Poroshenko and Trudeau: Canada’s Ukrainian Attitude

"“We continue to stand with Ukraine against the illegal illegitimate incursion of Russia into Ukrainian territorial sovereignty and their attempts to destabilize Ukraine economically and many other ways,” Trudeau said. CBC, September 22, 2017.  

The Canadian government operates under as many double standards as that of the U.S. and its other NATO allies.  Russia did not invade Donbass, but more than likely supplied the rebel defenders with equipment, (much as the U.S. does globally). And what were they rebelling against, you dare not ask?
Well, they rebelled against the U.S. covert actions against the democratically elected government of Yanukovich, not wanting the newly installed neonazi Maidan strongmen (e.g. Arseniy Yatsenyuk) to control their region of the country. Further, the same bunch also used language that indicated they wished for ethnic cleansing and even genocide – Yulia Tymoshenko, the new revived darling of the western backed government, called for their complete destruction. The criminal Saakashvili (wanted for crimes in Georgia, his home state) is attempting to do something now that he has returned to Cherkasy in the geographical centre of Ukraine, another CIA sponsored overthrow of their first internationally illegal operation?
The Minsk agreement is an agreement signed between Donetsk-Luhansk on one side and Ukraine on the other, with France and Germany as co-signees – not the Russians. The agreement calls for unconditional ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front line, release of prisoners of war, and constitutional reform in Ukraine. All of these are dependent on the Ukraine government in Kiev to act upon (not Russia) and they have not acted on any of them.
Heavy weapons have not been withdrawn and continue to fire daily and nightly from the front line into the Donbass region, mostly at civilian targets. Some prisoners were exchanged, but many from the Minsk side were simply civilians rounded up to use as ‘trade’. There has been no constitutional reform from the Ukrainian Rada.
The current desire to place peacekeepers inside Donbass is a non-starter for Donbass residents who have suffered under continual artillery fire since the Minsk agreement was signed. If the peacekeepers were on the ceasefire line, that might be acceptable, but for Poroshenko that obviously recognizes that the real problem is internal rather than with Russia.
Canada’s integrity
So where else is Canada concerned about territorial integrity? Hmmm, perhaps Syria, with its support for U.S. actions against Assad – nominally against terrorism, but the intelligent broad reader would know that the real target is Assad astride a critical oil route (as well as having ongoing troubles with Israel, the country that illegally annexed the Golan Heights, an action that the Canadian government never criticizes.)
Or perhaps Libya? Canada was one of the lead brave bombers that destroyed that country, aggravating the ISIS terror nexus, aggravating the immigrant problem to the EU, once again supporting U.S. international criminal actions under the false accusation of genocide (there wasn’t any, Gaddafi was fighting against ISIS affiliates in his eastern provinces).
Or maybe Yugoslavia/Serbia, where once again the brave Canadian bombers destroyed civilian infrastructure and more in order to carve apart another country that did not fit the U.S. definition of what a country should be – that is, subservient to the U.S., as Canada is.
Trudeau and cohorts would of course cry out that Crimea is an obvious illegal international intervention. But consider….Crimea had always wanted independence from Ukraine ever since the fall of the Soviet Union. Twice they voted for it, twice they were denied it by Ukraine, and Russia at that time was to weak to do anything to assist them (remember originally Crimea had been ‘gifted’ to Ukraine by Khrushchev).
When the U.S./Yatsenyuk team overthrew the duly elected (if corrupt) government, the Russian forces already in Crimea blocked any attempts of the Ukraine towards violent actions such as happened at the Maidan, in Odessa, and in Donbass. Really they should be thanked for the prevention of another area with a large loss of life due to U.S. imperial desires (sort of like they should be thanked for destroying most of ISIS in Syria, you know, the Saudi backed group the U.S. covertly supports).
It also became known that U.S. warships were bound for the Crimean port of Sevastopol, an action prevented by the quick move of the Russian forces stationed there. What would have happened if the U.S. had arrived first, once again violating an international boundary – well of course, the sycophantic Canadian government would have lauded the action, while the Ukrainian forces rampaged against all things Russian in Crimea – which is most of it.
Following that a referendum was held to know if the people wished to join with Russia. The vast majority said yes, not at gunpoint as the western MSM wished to argue, and the Russian Duma accepted the request. Peaceful, no lives lost, and Crimea is better off than the rest of Ukraine and the Donbass.
Trudeau can lament that all he wants, there is no way Crimea will voluntarily return to Ukraine. But as long as the U.S. wants it, so long as the domestic Ukrainian lobby wants it, so the lament will continue.
Economic destabilizing
If the actions of the countries involved are looked at closely, the main economic destabilizing factor for Ukraine has been its own actions. It was Ukraine that blocked coal shipments from Donbsas. It was Ukraine that stopped the farmers and citizens of Kherson from trading with Crimea. It was Ukraine that knocked down power lines to Crimea, and cut of water to Crimea as well as parts of Donbass. It is Ukraine that continues to shell civilian structures in Donbass (water pumping stations, power stations, railways, schools, hospitals et al) causing serious economic damage to that region. Donbass has not responded in kind, and has withdrawn its heavy weapons from the contact line.
Ukraine itself has devolved into familiarity, with various oligarchs controlling the political, industrial, and financial actions both domestically and internationally that have ruined much of what little the Ukrainian people had. Factories are closing (lack of coal, lack of orders, for the latter a significant part being industries that used to sell equipment to Russia). The war effort of Kiev against Donbass is itself a costly affair, both in human lives and in economic losses to the economy.
Canada’s Ukrainian attitude
Canada’s Ukrainian attitude – that is its anti-Russian attitude – is a combination of both domestic politics as well as its subservient role to U.S. interests via NATO. The ultimate U.S. goal is to deconstruct if not destroy Russia, to make it part of the U.S. empire as it tries for global hegemony. Unfortunately for the world it is that very U.S. imperial desire that has wreaked havoc across many countries on all continents of the world.
Personally, I support the actions of Russia in Syria, an area where they are operating within international law, as opposed to the U.S., Canada and all the other uninvited nations fighting – theoretically – against terrorism. Given the global method that the U.S. uses to destabilize nations – through economics (sanctions, embargoes et al) combined with covert military means that frequently become overt military means – I support the growing positive relations between Russia and China and their efforts at building infrastructure and economic relationships across Eurasia (and Africa and Latin America), without using the military.
That of course is another reason for Ukraine being used as it is – to keep Eurasia from developing independence from the U.S. economic system and the reserve currency status of the US$. With Ukraine as another puppet U.S./EU/NATO government, it will be easier to try and block the Chinese BRI (Belt and Road Initiative). That then spreads globally to U.S. actions in Syria, Iran and anywhere else in the Greater Middle East where Canada plays its supporting role in all things imperial. After all it’s only natural – the U.S. and Canada are children of the once greatest colonial-settler imperial nation in the world, the U.K.
In short then, Canada’s Ukrainian attitude is supported by its internal Ukrainian cohort and more broadly by its warmongering imperial backing of U.S. adventurism to capture…well, the world.
Featured image is from Radio Canada International.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Barnum is gone, the Circus Continues.

Today sad tales of current and impending storm damage has been knocked off the media awareness table by breaking news that Facebook admits lying!!!

Lying about what you might ask?  Well lying to reporters who accused it some months ago of positing advertisements that may have been damaging to the Clinton election campaign.  To-day Facebook admits, that after checking yep they did post some ads and that, guess what' it's "likely" Facebook was paid for the service by ... don't hold your breath ... Russians!  And not just ordinary Russians, the Russians who masterminded the leak that sunk the big lady.

So while Trump was hoping that the circus ringmastered by the former head of the FBI was just going to subside to nothingness - a troupe of clowns bust into ring number three,. Egged on by the mental midgets, the 'performers' in the other two rings are gussying-up for a reprise of 'Putin dunnit' and we elected a phony Prestidink.   The 'troubles' continue to return like a gal with a grabbed  pussy.

If he wasn't in a position to nuke the Norks as a distraction from it all,  it might almost be funny.  Trump might just be thinking that a limited nukuler strike might be acceptable to the Chinese and Russians who border the area. Especially of it was a sneak attack and they didn't have much time to get offended by it. A 'fait accompli' worked for Putin in Crimea,  why wouldn't a couple of megatonnes on Pyongyang  get met with the same international indifference? Hell they could even sanction the USA for a year or two and USAID would help the new regime rebuild. Sometimes you just MUST do things that people aren't cheering about.

Assad among the Syrians he tyrannizes.
America plays while America burns

And 'Juggalos', where would America be without its "Society of Klowns"? Not in as 'free and liberated' a place as the US government and security agencies would like. They're a traitorous 'gang'.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

ISIS on the SKIDS?

Since Bob Dylan wrote the song,  Americans have been entranced by 'ISIS' - the all-wummin chief goddess of ancient Egypt and the head-lopping semi-political threat to world peace that loons so large in its 'world interests' these days.  It seems that that creation of the 'Arab Spring' (TM) - Arabs willing to 'rise up' and do to each other and their countries what only a handful would do when encouraged by the invading forces of Iraq and Afghanistan, are the single 'positivity' to emerge from America's centennial Asia pivot. They're 'bad guys' doing to 'worse guys' what America needs to be done.

But those who have done so much are now in trouble.

And now they need some help - not the Arab ones, they can go twist - but the real ISIS - the ones who will generate the next decade's worth of security funding - the thousands and thousands of 'foreign fighters' who flocked into ISIS training camps, learned jihad and small unit tactics and are now poised to do to Europe and all points west what they've done to Syrian and Iraq.   But they need to escape Assad's trap in Syria.

Enter the greatest farce for good on earth and its third 'prong' of the modern military assault, the vertical insertion - in this case vertical evacuation. Which is reportedly what US choppers are being used to do -  extract ISIS fighters from south central Syria and replace them with Syrian 'Freedom Fighting' forces. A win-win situation -  ISISs live to fight another day and the anti-Assad coalition picks up some new territory to be used to balkanize Syria.

A new fly in the ointment appeared this week when US forces operating in central Raqqa province in Syria were reportedly attacked by CIA-armed Syrian Free Army forces, operating with the Turks. These forces were greeted coldly when they first appeared in Syria,  and more lately have been demonstrated to be importing increased supplies of heavy vehicles - supposedly to turn over to Kurdish forces.  Reports that the FSA forces working with the Turks are virtually useless for operations but provide a 'cover' for Turkish forces being in Syria ( to support anti-Assad forces and to do something to prevent a Syrian Kurdistan along the southern border). The US is currently operating with the Kurds in Raqqa - something the Turks would rather not see.

               Watch Joe Biden at 10:12 - "It's was all our pals" ... and America didn't know???

At the same time US spokespeople are blaming Assad for them having to take out the ISIS fighters being renditioned out of the Lebanon front.  These aren't good enough bad guys or, more likely America's best bad guys like those mentioned above - so they qualify for some airborne termination.  The claim is that a number of them have been eliminated when they get out of the blast radius that might hurt the beautiful babies in the buses with them.

Get 'im while he's squattin'.

                                                  Rockin' & Rollin' - Real Mercs

The Thinking Man's War

As America comes up to the 50th anniversary of it signal 'failure to win ' a war, the Vietnam experience is being re-eviscerated, This time it's being compared to modern war and how we don't seem to be winning the War on Terror either.

Ken Burn's has, supposedly, done to Vietnam what he did for the US Civil War - humanized it, uplifted it artistically, morally, and historically as a 'high point', and not a low point in American history.  Study groups and academics are churning out new looks at the men and the moments when either America 'shone through' or 'went to a darker side'.  Most of the emphasis is, of course, on shining through.  There is this piece from 'War on the Rocks' written by doctoral student Jon Askonas

The Heroic Leader and the Better War From Vietnam to Afghanistan

America is 'gridding its lions'  to do "what must be done" to "de-nuclearize" North Korea.  That's increasingly looking like the kind of thing that had to be done to Afghanistan , Iraq , etc - only possibly even worse, as it could be the 'Norks' might 'nuke' one of our 'regional' allies - or shell the heck out of Seoul. A nuclear first strike is probably a 'coffee and biscotti' topic down in the War room - particularly getting the nuclear neighbors 'on-side' for letting the good guys do that.

What level of 'getting for letting' would be indicated in order to ensure against General Dreedle just 'going nuts' and getting 'the inevitable' done at the same time?  Trump would have to send Melania as a 'human shield' to Moscow and Ivana to Beijin or Shanghai with a couple of her kids. While Trump might want them to take a couple of the Obama administration,  or a few DARC's - Putin wouldn't trust Trump as far as a B-2 Ghost could 'toss' the new GenX tactical-nukes. The Chinese are just 'saying' not much and 'doing' even less.

But so what?  North Korea has been threatening world peace since it caused that post-war police action at the behest of Uncle Joe.  Since then, all it has done is require the presence of a couple of US army divisions and an east Asian air force,  standing-by to guard the SORKs and their Parallel. Sure there were a couple of post-war 'close calls' but America has been a buttress against talking peace with commies and much interested in changing the Nork regime.

What is happening now in Korea is just a logical extension of what has been SOP there for 70 years,   'modified' by America's recent humanitarian rambustuousness. After Bushco the Second decided that Clinton made 'too sweet a deal' to get the NORKs  to discard their nuclear industry, the Kims watched him 'go to work' in western Asia and thought, 'Should he ever get out of that quagmire,  the east might really be red - with blood. Best have something in the arms locker to make the shaolin warrior-monks tug a little longer on the prepuce of fortitude.'

It took the Koreans an administration and a half to become really terrifying and they're (or we're) turning the 'skeer' into a  'national emergency'.  Americans are being treated to how Israelis feel living under a Gazan rocket barrage - or the thought of one.  We're giving the Israelis  the tools they'll need to do their 'jobs', so why should we leave ourselves out of 'the danger' or 'the solution'?

We can take some comfort that, for all the hoo-hah and rattling sabres,  if push comes to shove,  it won't be on the UN's dime or with the UN's blessing - America is going to have to 'go commando' on the NORKs on its own - and take the risks of a nuclear conflagration. For,  without some 'jaw-jaw', the NORKs are going to 'eat grass',  as Putin said, rather than disarm themselves in front of American threats and aggression.  There is nothing in it for them to quit  and Trump Inc is too dumb to realize that.

Nuclear tests 1945 to 1997: We had this stuff stopped and we started 'missing it'?

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Privatize All that Risk

Ma Nature dealt the USA another blow when hurricane Harvey, first of all smacked into Texas and lingered there to flood out the city of Houston.  How fortunate, then, that the State of Texas had been considering some amendment to insurance claims legislation and just so happened to have a law going into effect on the coming first of September.  It didn't take long for people to see rising water and recall that legislation,  before the social media lit-up with warnings that people were about to get screwed.

In order to qualify for damage during the current situation the claim has to be filed in writing, by Friday, specifying exactly what damages were being claimed.  After that no claims for current damage were to be accepted.

National Flood Insurance    A government program that lets people build on a flood plain.

America has had some notable devastations in its history and it has grown up a healthy insurance industry to ameliorate the damage from those things.  Generally,  the insurance industry thrives, most often paying out far less than it takes in, adding investment value to its holdings and sharing some profit with investors. Everything usually goes just great,  unless there is a 'run on the corporation ' in terms of claims. The last significant hurricane, Katrina, did exactly that and the damage from that is far from being repaired - but the insurance industry survived.

The Dirty Dems will screw thinks up (hopefully)  It took three years to get legislation passed to assist the New Jersey clean-up - Republicans didn't go for the idea.

Some of the industry 'biggies' were almost 'taken under' by damage claims and the industry by and large reacted badly to its long-term customers. The Gulf oil spill added more claims the industry didn't want to pay. So where there's a tragedy - there is charity and the public purse - if insurance is involved there are higher rates, across the board,  to cover the "loss".

 When such things happen the insurance industry goes into 'self-protection' mode scouring the files for defaulted policy holders, examining claims in such a way that damages could be ascribed to non-covered causes, or by joining in the great calls for charity to help ordinary people rebuild.  It is far easier for insurance corporations to toss all the damage to the public purse and private charity.  In the meantime premiums for everybody take an up-tick (that will never actually go down again) . Texas if the focus for another 'fleecing of the suckers'. Let's see what happens with flood and hurricane damage  insurance.

That clean-up's gonna cost ya extra. There's a law requiring that inflated wage rates be applied to government funding in emergency situations. But apparently there may not be enough construction workers .

Saturday, August 26, 2017

I'm Gonna Huff, and I'm Gonna Puff ...

And he'll wind-up blowing North Korea too.

Donald Trump is reported by some media to have responded to the North Korean threat to' make the US pay' for its new sanctions program.  while everybody else on earth views the North Koreans as all talk and very little effective shelling, Trump had to respond in in kind - threatening an American response of "fire and fury",   this after US 'scientists' conceived that the North Koreans had advanced miniaturization processes in hand and had, in fact, produced an atomic warhead small enough to fit into the nose of the artillery rockets they have been firing into inner space of late.  Is it now also believed that those rockets, if fired on the same kind of trajectory as most other ICBMs,  could travel as far as Chicago.

Other US agencies were announcing a willingness to talk to North Korea if they promised to stop launching missiles.  And yet others were taking some delight in the prospect of costing  North Korea  a billion dollars a year in truncated exports - essentially we are told the USA was shutting down the North Korean sea food industry - as well of course as enduring they will be blackballed by anybody peddling weapons or electronic technology. So I guess when the gargantuan TV on Kim il Sung square goes on the blink, they'll be scrambling for some circuit boards and switches. That  should serve them right!

When the Norks actually did stop launching more missiles (at least the ones they said they were planning to shoot towards Wake)  the CinC congratulated them on being "wise" (good cop) , the Sec State (bad cop) said he'd be willing to talk but that it would take "a little more" something from the Norks.  They gave three short-range rockets as a reply (but they all 'failed' (yay!))

One has to wonder what, in all this,  did the North Koreans do to 'break the agreement' they had made with Clinton's America?  That saw them go from "world threat" to "world charity case" in less than three years. It also saw them allow US technicians to  'assist' in dismantling their sole nuclear reactor and, as far as was evident by inspection, stop developing Uranium towards making a weapon.  George Bush moved into the White House and before the dust settled on the WT complex,  the Norks were again "pariahs" and "threats" and the US was reneging on whatever Clinton had  agreed to do.

A Nork Nuke funny

They started work again. rebuilding their reactor and,  by the time Obama took over the fear mongering,  they had detonated a real bomb. Since then, 'the threat' has only gotten worse, exacerbated perhaps by the thought that , if they kept it up,  they might be tempted to nuke America rather than Seoul,  or Tokyo.   To-day, according to Trumpco, they can. And the US military, we were told last week waits only for the go signal.

When you Google "North Korea Nuke" this is the first image that isn't a 'real' rocket photo or a cartoon.  Even this is a photo=montage creation - for,you see, there is precious little evidence of Pyong yang's Nukes, either.   Hopefully that's enough to stop a war , as well  as to start one?

The 'situation' for Long Dong Clinton

The question remains - how lucky do we feel?

Gone from America's media is Syria - a perfectly good peoples' rising against tyranny has gone 'poof'.  Oh sure there is still stuff happening over there. The USAF is custom-bombing Raqqa, the Marines are bringing in equipment 'for themselves' (and the Syrian Kurds). But things have gone to hell in a handcart down in the Jordanian border - where a little incident (two weeks ago) involving some 'retreating' freedom fighters being 'ambushed' trying to cross into Jordan,  parlayed itself into a fight between factions and, a few days ago,  a fairly significant desertion (with all their equipment) by one group of America's 'anti-Assad' heroes.

So far,  whatever agreement about Syria that Trump made with Putin seems to be holding. and while it does,  the Assad forces are making significant inroads in blocking future coalition moves to 'grab territory', while putting some significant dents in ISIS land.  It would appear that Assad is moving toward the relief of Deir ez Zor  and clearing the rest of the Iraq border.   But none of this matters to American news sources for the news isn't good. They need another good 'gassing' while somebody still remembers the hokum about the last one. (actually there was an attempt again to launch an 'Assad dunnit' news story.  This once complete with the standard gasping babies and water hose decontamination procedures - flopped.  It didn't make the front page anywhere, maybe even not onto the 'beautiful baby- cruise missile strike calculator'.

Meanwhile America has shifted focus to considering a bunch of 'initiatives': somebody's got the military option for Venezuela out for a 'boo'.  'Defensive' lethal weapons ( how are they different from offensive lethal weapons?)  are 'on the table' for EUkrainia.  And just to show how much we care , the NATO contingent ( un-armed eh?) marched in EUkraine's national independence day military parade. Hopefully the Ukrainian 'elite' units (they didn't seem to be lacking much lethal equipment)  were around for the post-parade party, before shipping-out for some 'blooding' in the 'ostfront'.   The message for Putin 'ist klaaar' - Barbarossa only sleeps.


One of the side stories coming out of the Nork's threat to whirled piece is the answer to the question "How'd they do that?'  The answer being,  they bought the rocket technology from somebody.

What somebody? Probably directed by Putin's goons,  the finger initially pointed at Ukraine - purveyor of rockets parts and engines to everybody engaged in space activity.  The Ukrainians naturally denied doing it and fingered the Russians who, it was claimed,  had three or four Ukrainian-made roman candles that they hadn't bothered to shoot upwards. The russkies must have sold them to the Norks.

To-day another double back-cover story floating out of EUkrainia with all the eyes dotted and fingers crossed:  the saga of how Ukraine duped the Norks into stealing phony rocket plans and got hem doing it on tape.

Ecce evidencia

Heil Trump!

German Propaganda

Russian propaganda

America is coming off a good week.  After a minor riot in Charlotteville, Virginia ( named after the relative of the tyrannical English monarch George III),   the USA got to look at itself up-close and personal - and it's hard to tell what exactly it saw.   Particularly if you were trying to take any lead from the leader of the nation.

As riots go it wasn't much - Wall Street has seen more violence after a market downturn. It didn't even match Moscow for 'critical mass', but somebody drove their car ( an iconic American  muscle car) into the crowd and a woman as killed. The driver,  whose Mom said he isn'y ( "He just went out for some snacks!")  was accused of being a neo-nazi and white supremacist.  His murder trial should be interested in that.

Good nazis in Ukraine

Bad nazis in Charlotteville

There were, so we are told nazi flags there, nazi helmets were there - but the biker variety and there were some cis-genitals,  in white Lacostes,  who were saying they wanted to keep America 'blank' and 'fag-free'.   There were also some 'haters' on the alter side - blacks, violent femmes and at least one Boudicca reenatctor with one bare boob and thigh-high combat boots.  Each side was laying some hurtful words and some regular bric-bat hurt on the others. Than goodness nobody as armed.

Everybody saw what happened on the news - even the Prexy - for among his other cares and worries of orifice - Norks, Afghanis and Russian 'resurfacers' - he had to take time from the dwindling daze of his holiday periods to rebut the dishonest media to point out that such 'division' was an American tradition and that both sides were "baaaaad". The press immediately 'went nuts' about him conflating peaceable icinoclasts with the jack booted sturgeons of Weimar Germany.  He should have, they clamored,  blamed the Nazis for supporting that hateful statuary.

This week they want to remove Columbus from 'Columbus Circle' in Manhattan. And they'll be doing what with the circle, giving it back to the Indians?   Like homosexuality - once you start tolerating such change you wind up supporting it and eventually promoting it.  I don't think most left wing Americans have through through what undoing a few centuries of cultural genocide has done, particularly if you live in a nation that curt its teeth on screwing the natives.  Crikey!  We could be reverting to a time when red savages might kill us all in our beds before the rowboat-jihadi invaders do!

After bloviating his way past Charlotteville Trump hied himself west for another of his patented 'resuscitation rallies' - the ones where he touches his 'base'.  There he laid down chapter and verse on all the bad guys - foreign and domestic-  and the bad stuff they'd done to him and to America.  He didn't mention his Afghan plan which might have caused some disappointment.

The subsequent 'address' to the nation which didn't involve any screaming and shouting - no need to do that if you're reading a script - and Afghanistan was as scripted as it could get. With the standard Trumpisms that conflated everything central Asian into an interlaced bag of goo and mother love and then laid down his patented 'starting NOW!'  mantra that gets him so much traction with those trying to figure out what they're supposed to be doing. At least they've been warned that what they're supposed to be doing is now overdue

Donald is big on getting friends into things. Afghanistan is a case in point. While there are now commitments from previous participants like Britain and Spain to commit a couple of hundred personnel each - to training and a re-up of sorts from those members of NATO who didn't leave America to change the mission on her own - the Germans and Italians - to hang in, the greatest response has been received from Non-NATO allies - Georgia, Ukraine, and New Zealand who are 'doubling down' on the great shows they've already made.  Thew rest of NATO is busy trying to figure out how they can spend more on their military without handing it over to defend America in Asia and now Africa.  Don't anticipate Trump showing-up to take the 'allied' march past in Kabul.

                                                                 Welcome Allies!

uniting America

uniting America


Monday, August 07, 2017

What Losing Looks Like

America is on 'the horns of the DeLeon', again!  Afghanistan, that 'burning bush upon a hill' is once again in peril of going to the south side.  The Taliban are resurgent and the enrollment figures for ISIS (Hindu Kush) are 'bustin' out all over'. The poor bashi-bazouks of the army America has drilled trained, equipped and taught to understand and use basic NATO military terminology ("motherfucker")  are , either, dying in droves, deserting to the enema, or busily-buggering babies while 'stoned out of their gourd' and dreaming-up green-on-green attacks.  The Afghan government is impotent to stop any of it.

So what is America to do for, you see,  a withdrawal will create a vacuum and all the suction required to draw other forces into Afghanistan - the kind of forces that don't like America and that should not be allowed to benefit from 18 years of the best investments Bennie Franklins could buy.

The single greatest present danger of losing Afghanistan to somebody else, comes from Iran - the 'base' used by Alexander the Great for one of the few 'successful' invasions. And they hate America just on principle. Read, and moan gently.

We KNOW who ya are, and we SAW what you done.

The invasion rowboats will be built in Teheran

Putin's always in the wings somewhere. In fact our Afghan adventure may be turning into Russkie 'payback' for all the help we gave the Jihadis when they were setting up to eject the Russians.

American guns blood and treasure, Putin gets the gravy

Hey Omar! Where'd you get that kalashikova?

Pakistan has been number one with the bullet since Lord Curzon drew his line through the Pashtunwali. We forget that Britain's restive 'northwest frontier' was most of northern Pakistan and southern Afghanistan.   Neither one of those places were pleased to entertain the Grand Poobah or their 'civilizing'  Mem Sahibs.   They haven'r modernized a bit - except in the arms department.

The India-Pakistan conflation adds to the steaming pile of ca-ca lying around to be stepped-in in Afghanistan.  That little 'tiff ' they're having over Kashmir is something the Afghans don't mind poking - to remind both sides that they are important. And India's northern border is close enough to be affected by Afghanistan if they wanted to make trouble. India seems intent in nose-poking into Afghanistan to annoy the Paks,  but shouldn't want to to get too closely involved.

We KNOW what you done.

Nailing the Paks to Afghanistan

And then there are those opportunist Chinamen,  eyeing some 'tourist hotels' in the Hindu Kush and a east-west transportation artery through mountains flattened at US taxpayer expense.

The Yellow Peril and the silk rode west - rock and roll like you've never seen

Aside from the increasingly obvious failure to win (this week the Taliban and ISIS teamed-up to wipe out one of our 'home-defense militia' units.  - whoever is causing it, there seems to be the growing sentiment that there isn't much except continued waste left in it for the USA. Trump however points out the minerals - lots of beautiful minerals, that the US should take with them when, or before,  they shut out the lights.

So, what to do?  Stay in let the ulcer weep?  Double down again in hope of getting it right?  Leave and shut everything down?   There has to be some reason to stay - central Asia is the 'America' of tomorrow.

They have the most beautiful minerals - rubies and pearls and lap dancing ladies

One innovative way is to declare a victory and have the Afghans install a purely defensive force of 'contractors' tasked with winning the insurgency without all the hooplah of Geneva conventions and potential war crimes charges.  Shy anything up to a nuclear strike, Erik Prince and the military marketplace will provide canned security for what's hoped to be a 'reasonable' (viz more waste) price. He could be America's last poke at a vict'ry parade.

Private Armies? Private Air Forces! Go USA!

Friday, August 04, 2017

Yemen: Go ahead Blame the USA

Before there was a war on terror, possibly before there was an Al Qaeda or a Bin Laden there was some sort of anti-something operation going on in Yemen.

To begin with were the Brits and their  Horn of Africa bastion at Aden - a port and RAF layover base. After the Second World war the Brits had more than a passing fancy on the Arabian littoral - the Trucial States, Oman,  what were to become the 'United Arab Emirates', as well as the states of Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq had more than passing relationship with the 'Empire of Daylight'.

As Empire gave way to Commonwealth and Britain retracted itself into paying-off war debt and occupying West Germany, the Gulf States were among the last to go. Aden was a major military base into the mid-60's. After Yemen gained independence it split into two  lesser states -  a religious one and a socialist one.  Surprisingly it was the more ruggedly-backward socialist state in North Yemen - target of at least a decade of British suppression -  that eventually won the war  in  the whole country. Then the fun began.

The Egyptians, at that time backed by the USSR,  took on the communist Yemenis  over some kind of insult. They actually invaded and wasted themselves on a five-year 'un-pacification program',  before retiring to lick wounds and gird for continued battle with Israel.  They held a couple of Red Sea archipelagos that the Sisi government  'returned' to Saudi Arabia (not Yemen) only this year,  as a 'sign'of friendship and loyalty.  That hasn't shaken - out completely with most Egyptians,  yet.

Then America appeared, extending its embassy and upping the CIA contingent.  The CIS/FNI/NatSec chief killed in the 9/11 event was the 'lead hand' in Yemen for a decade and became an expert on terror. That was before most Americans knew there was terror. He cut his teeth killing 'commist terrorists' in Yemen. That education lasted until 'the balloon went up' a year and a half ago - with the USMC embassy  contingent being 'forced' to abandon their weapons at the airport in Sana'a,  before 'freedom birding' it out, to Djibouti.  But look Ma, 'we're back and kicking goats herds'  ass!

When it comes to bombing and droning,  Yemen has to be on a couple of video game 'scenarios'  by now . Now there's intel to be shared,  and the former AQAP is now ISIS in the heart if Islam.

We're here to help!

Yemen has to be the poster child for wanton destruction , civilian deaths, disease, starvation and the other couple of Apocalyptic Horsemen.  Sure,  somebody humanitarian wants to rush in there and aid them but not until they say 'اخو الام'.  So they can just suffer - no water, no  hospitals, no hope and typhus - they've brought it on themselves by refusing to make nice.

The Other Side of Nicky Haley 

One of the bad things is having to wonder why they just don't quit?  Usually it's because somebody evil is egging them on, or giving them supplies and weapons.  We know they (Iran and Russia probably) are giving them weapons,  we just can't prove it. But that doesn't stop good guys from accusing the Iranians of smuggling stuff thru Kuwait and down the Persian Gulf to Hormuz and into the Indian Ocean and Red Sea in little boats - to the one or two small ports still under Houthi control.

Smuggling arms into Yemen_ thru Kuwait! 

That's probably why they're still rowing out there to attack the Arab Navies.

Invasion rowboats at War

In days of yore we'd have been cheering for this tough, fighting,  little people - not bombing the shit out of them too.  But, hey,  they don't want us cheering, or anything else we'd like to do 'for' them.

The Outrage that Got Away

Just after the latest Assad 'killing his own people' farce, a real outrage did take place. It was roundly ignored in western media because, very obviously, the good guys, or the Moslem extremists we're backing in Syria,  did it. They made a video record of their attack and they very obviously targeted a defenseless 'enemy' civilian population.

 What we saw of the massacre was 'given out' as 'payback' of some kind for the alleged  'atrocities' done by the Assad regime when it liberated our 'poster city' for western-based Jihad in West Aleppo.  Even that latter point failed to mention that those 'victims' were involved in another of the Assad regime's - 'move them instead of maim them' population swaps - the main reason why any Jihadis weren't carried out (some were) .

These 'victims' were  pro-regime people who had been besieged, for 3 years,  by AlNusra/AQ/ISIS forces in their Idlib town,  being swapped for a an anti-Assad population being moved to rebel held areas. And many of them - including children - failed to make the swap.

The following post is graphic - although President Trump wouldn't find many of these dead babies beautiful, - or worth a humanitarian bombardment of somebody.  It should be required watching for moral relativists like Nicky Haley.

By way of a follow-up  Caution graphic pix

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Shut 'Em Down!

In these days of false news  and the growing focus on mobilizing 'the grass roots'  to do your revolutions, or demand 'justis', or lock somebody up,  is it much of a surprise when some governments that really can't stand much heat, or dissident viewpoints,  enlist the help of the grassroots to shut down 'propaganda'?  Rather than trying to cope with it?

In Canada the former government - through its self-defined 'grass roots' mandate - took it into mind to have a good look at registered charities. As a result of which a number of charities that had objectives 'at odds' with government policies,  found themselves un-registered or investigated by the tax department or both.  It had a chilling effect on donations and doing much to help, except for 'big charity', or - even better - political parties.

So it's not much of a surprise to see this to-day

BBC News lambastes 'war via charity'.

Of course the BBC has less to do with this than Sam Bright, another freelance journalist who thinks he's found something that Kyiv already knows, and through him,  the 'revolutionary government of dignity' that unseated the last lot. Not only have they been running a fruitless little ATO (anti-terror Operation) in Lugansk and Donetsk regions, they have also been somewhat peeved by a couple  of westerners who simply will not be shut up. Until now, perhaps,  if they can get themselves banned on fund-raising sites.

Britain came out early on the side of the Maidan 'angels', buying into the myth of 'democracy' and the need for Euro-closeness (who would have thought Britain would have reversed its own need of 'Eurocloseness' before the revolution of dignity was completed)?  The Brits are still 'hyper-Euro' for EUkrainia, however. Just last week they sentenced a Brit (assisting terror) , who had foolishly been subject of a BBC piece on Brits fighting against the Kyiv government, to 7 years in the slammer. A simlar piece on a Brit fighting FOR the Kyiv government, got him some public recognition and no penalty at all.

The problem this time is with an American fighter and two newsies who have been known to do some charitable work in the Donbass,  as well as write about the 'war' there.  The subjects of this piece are Americans: anti-fascist 'warrior' Russell Bentley and videographer/helper Patrick Lancaster and British videographer/reporter  Graham Phillips.  All three have little good to say about the technocrats in Kyiv or the army of louts they have unleashed on the 'Russians'.

I don't know how much real fighting Russell Bentley  has actually done - he talks a good game - but his videography is wide-ranging and depicts many facets of life in the 'novorussian' regions,.  He often depicts himself, armed and in military gear,  but is not very often depicted in combat operations. He does give some valuable insights into a lot of things we do not see on 'mainstream' media and,  if the camera lens doesn't lie, it adds to our understanding of the situation,   a dimension we certainly won't get from the 'what war'/ 'Putin Invades' department in Kyiv.

Graham Phillips has been documenting his time in Ukraine since well before the polyankiy went up. He was there for a large amount of the Maidan 'celebrations' and on both sides of the line as a 'good thing' went sour.  Since the actual fighting has started,  his 'slant' has been increasingly anti-Maidan,  to the extent that, now,  he is a marked man,with a price on his head for illegal entry into Ukraine ( all  three have done that) as well as 'inciting violence'.  He is the subject of a couple of attempted government intimidations in Great Britain.   Phillips has done his anti-Ukrainian 'reportage'  in a number of places outside Ukraine. He is a fluent Russian-speaker and often has  an infuriating effect on Ukrainians he interviews, or depicts. Phillips was  wounded during the first year of the fighting and has documented the horrors of war.

Patrick Lancaster is truly a 'oner' with a gut feel for the people affected by this trouble and a willingness to do what he can to help. He not only documents the home front and the little things that give the impression that the people of the dissident regions are truly 'soldiering on', he also reports on,  and has been exposed to,  the fighting itself. At Christmas time last year,  he was visiting the trenches in the Delbaltsevo area - on the occasion of another  failed government 'tooth-breaking' attempted territorial integration.  His reports showed actual artillery and mortar barrages striking within meters of his position -  front line reporting at its best.  Lancaster is one of the three who claims to be running a one-man charitable operation,  as well as reporting. He has done stories on delivering relief supplies  that  he has purchased for civilians with donations of money he has received.

While the initial problem is what these men do, the BBC is carping about how they raise the money to do it.

For all three are 'free lancer' journalists,  who wouldn't be employed (any longer - for at least one was) by western media .  The BBC claims they are using "crowd funding" and 'charitable donations ' to fund their 'war activities'. The BBC claims that "Go Fund Me" or "Indigogo" being two  that Bentley's supposedly recommending. The BBC claims that Bentley  has raised over $2 000,  while pointing out that a similar 'charity' raised $2.5 million for victims of the Manchester bombing (huh?). Last time I looked,  Indiegogo wasn't a charity fundraiser and,  while Gofundme might be used for that purpose, one would have to be able to 'sell' the case for giving. The BBC fails to mention that all of three of them use 'Patreon',  another 'pay site' dedicated to supporting independent writers and artists, a category into which these three definitely fit. At least two of them have been banned by common payment sources like Paypal  but can receive money directly through email addresses and credit card companies.

Just Add Klinger: This IS America - David Sockman

I found this piece which for me pretty-well summs up America to-day, or what might pass for cogent discussion around the complex pool.  Minus the transgendered community - not that you see many of them around the complex pool - at least any obvious (or really, REALLY good) ones.


Home Alone – Trump Is the Kevin McCallister of American Politics

It’s as if on election night the shocked and exasperated rulers of the Imperial City ordered Donald Trump to sleep in the White House attic. Unlike Kevin McCallister’s family in the movie, however, the establishment never stopped obsessing about his bratty insolence and never intended for him to rejoin the family the next morning – or ever.

Instead, the Washington political establishment and its collaborators in the main stream media are engaged in an unabashed and unconcealed campaign to remove the Donald from even the figurative White House attic where he now dwells with his Twitter account.

The evidence for that lies right in the threadbare and preposterous pretext for this de facto coup. Namely, the alleged Russian meddling and collusion campaign, which took another body-slam this morning in the form of son-in-law Jared Kushner’s written congressional testimony about the Trump campaign’s now endlessly ballyhooed June 2016 meeting with the "Russians".

That this meeting was a giant nothingburger should have been evident enough from the politically illiterate email of the meeting’s arranger, Rob Goldstone. The latter was a former British tabloid journalist and Vodka-chugging music world pimp, who happened to be under contract with Emin Agalarov, the Russian pop star.

"Emin", as he is known Madonna-style, also happens to be the son of a Moscow real estate billionaire who had provided the venue for Trump’s 2013 Miss Universe contest, and has since become a pal of sorts of Donald Jr. But as it happened, the promised dirt on Hillary was only the come-on for the meeting.

The real reason is plain as day. The elder Agalarov’s company, the Crocus Group, was having trouble with the Magnitsky Act and wanted its hired attorney-advocate, one Natalia Veselnitskaya, to make a pitch on the matter to the Trumps.

So what! Actually, the shady part of this episode is the Magnitsky Act itself. The latter is just another of the Imperial City’s arrogant "sanctions" against what it deems – in its plenary moral superiority – to be the misbehavior of foreign people in their own counties.

In this case, the act was single-handedly lobbied into law based on the cock-and-bull story of an American swindler and scoundrel, Bill Browder. He happens to be the grandson of a former Communist Party candidate for Vice-President of the U.S., but his billions were made, ironically, in Russia’s post-Soviet wild west during the 1990s.

At length, Browder was invited to leave the country forthwith by Putin during his campaign to stop the plundering of Russia’s economy by foreign speculators. Whether Vlad wanted the loot for himself is beside the point. The fact is, Browder was no investment genius, and like the other western gunslingers who pillaged Russia during the Boris Yeltsin era, he essentially stole his fortune.

In any event, Rob Goldstone’s knowledge of Russia was apparently limited to Vodka brands since Ms. Veselnitskaya, was definitely not, as Goldstone’s email averred, the "Crown prosecutor of Russia". The last to hold that esteemed office was assassinated by the Bolsheviks at the time Czar Nicholas and his family were shot dead by the same in July 1918.

Nor was Ms. Veselnitskaya a "Russian government attorney" as Goldstone averred in a subsequent email, nor did she possess "very high level and sensitive information" that would "incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia".

And plainly she was not a Kremlin agent sent to America to ensnare the Donald in Putin’s lair. She didn’t even speak English and was in the US on a special visa waiver granted by the Obama Justice Department to permit her to represent a Russian national charged under the Magnitsky Act.
In short, the Trump campaign took the meeting because Goldstone had contacted them on behalf of the one major Russian family that the Donald & Sons apparently knew – and on the basis of a promise of dirty laundry about Hillary that was a complete ruse.

So today comes the smoking gun evidence. It seems that Jared Kushner sought to end the meeting within 10 minutes when it became clear Natalia was there to lobby against the Magnitsky Act, not to dump the dirt on Hillary; and Kushner has a record to prove it – a contemporaneous email he sent during the middle of the meeting:

"[I]n looking for a polite way to leave and get back to my work," he says in the statement, "I actually emailed an assistant from the meeting after I had been there for ten or so minutes and wrote ‘Can u pls call me on my cell? Need excuse to get out of meeting.’ I had not met the attorney before the meeting nor spoken with her since. I thought nothing more of this short meeting until it came to my attention recently."

Another highlight: "With respect to my contacts with Russia or Russian representatives during the campaign, there were hardly any. … [T]he day after the election, I could not even remember the name of the Russian Ambassador. … I sent an email asking [Dmitri Simes of the Center for the National Interest, which hosted a Trump foreign policy speech], ‘What is the name of the Russian ambassador?’"

This not only drowns the "Donnie Jr. did it" meme in gallons of cold water, but also puts the spotlight on the barrenness of the entire RussiaGate defamation campaign against Trump.
To wit, just as Jarred scurried-up his old emails for the Congressional investigators, there is absolutely no reason why the Donald should not do the same with respect to all of the NSA intercepts that bear on the alleged Russian hacking, meddling and collusion campaign.

As President, he has the authority to declassify them and indeed the obligation to do so. And not only to save himself, but to clarify to the American public that the Kremlin did not attack our sacred democratic process; and that rather than more idiotic "sanctions" to "punish" Russia, what needs to happen is the arrest and prosecution of the Deep State operatives and Obama Administration political hacks – Brennan, Rice, and Power, at least – who concocted, leaked and fomented among the main stream media the RussiaGate scam in the first place.

And such a Jarred-like disclosure should most especially include the single intelligence tidbit that CIA director Brennan apparently got from the Latvian security service last summer alleging Putin’s personal involvement in these activities. If the Latvians actually had a mole in Moscow who gussied-up and exaggerated what he/she knew in order to stay on the Latvian payroll, the Donald could readily offer said operative a lifetime sanctuary at one of the Trump Golf Resorts.

Yes, that’s just how ludicrous the whole story has become. As we documented last week, the global grand champion of hacking, meddling and depositing disinformation and malware in the communications systems of foreign governments is Imperial Washington itself. It should not be surprising, therefore, if some of the subjects of such constant cyber-attacks by the $75 billion U.S. intelligence community (IC) do not attempt to return the favor in kind.

But the whole thing is a giant and pointless waste of resources on all sides. The $7 billion spent by registered campaign committees in the 2016 US elections and the tens of billions more of pro-Hillary coverage generated by the main stream media – CNN, NBC, ABC, The New York Times, Politico, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and countless more – self-evidently drowned-out whatever putative disinformation was being spread by Russia Today, Sputnik, and RT television (daily audience 200k) or even by purported "useful idiots" like Contra Corner.

Unfortunately, the Donald seems content to root around the White House attic banging his Twitter account from time to time rather than attempting to govern. A better term for what he is actually doing is brawling with his media and political enemies – a foolish course of action that can have no other end game than his eventual removal from office.

But the real tragedy is that in the interim, Donald Trump is home alone. He does not even have the rudiments of a government committed to his agenda – as vague, inchoate and shape-shifting as it mainly was.

For instance, he ran his campaign under a slogan of "America First" with respect to foreign policy. If that term had any meaning it was the opposite of the Empire First policy on which the beltway’s self-importance and ungodly prosperity depends.

But he has loaded his national security team with a gaggle of Empire Firsters – including H.R. McMasters, Mad Dog Mattis, Mike Pompeo, and Nikki Haley, among countless others. All of them give obeisance to the obviously obsolete and destructive institution of Greater NATO, which now threatens the peace as it stands unnecessarily and provocatively cheek-by-jowl on Russia’s borders.

Likewise, they have advised Trump to escalate American intervention in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan – despite decades of failure and terrorist blowback; and have induced him to humiliate himself by snuggling up to the despicable Saudi royals as part of a long discredited Washington policy of tilting to the Sunnis against Shiite Iran, and of attempting to price global oil via Fifth Fleet maneuvers in the Persian Gulf rather than the far more efficacious and benign pricing mechanisms of the free market.

Now they have even got him sending lethal weapons to the Washington-installed usurpers who control Ukraine’s government in Kiev, and who are carrying on a brutal war against the autonomy-seeking Russian populations of the Donbas. In other words, even our Kevin McCallister in the White House attic is now implementing the opposite policy that he demanded in Cleveland when his operatives removed this stupid idea from the GOP’s platform.

Worse still, while he was home alone tweeting, the Washington establishment, including his own GOP leadership, was busy passing a measure to absolutely hog-tie the Donald on the urgent matter of lifting Obama’s ridiculous sanctions on Russia. And with the main stream media driving home the RussiaGate hysteria on a 24/7 basis, our Kevin McCallister won’t even be able to give it fight with a veto, as did the original Kevin when he booby-trapped the basement and foiled the burglar attacks of Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern.

On the domestic front, it’s even worse. Trump got elected by Flyover America where a large share of America’s 160 million payroll taxpaying workers are struggling to make ends meet.
While Trump cannot immediately reverse 30 years of jobs being off-shored or easily nullify the global competitive pressures that have kept US real wage growth in the subbasement of modern history, he could have gone hammer and tong after the 15.5% combined employer/employee payroll tax.

The latter extracts $1.1 trillion per year from the business economy, where it functions as the nation’s number 1 jobs killer by unnecessarily bloating employer compensation costs; and it also extracts upwards of $4,000 per yearfrom the average paycheck.

Instead, the beltway corporate lobbies and recidivist GOP tax cutters have saddled Trump with a corporate rate cut that can’t be even remotely financed with offsetting loophole closings, and individual tax cuts which will provide 75% of their benefits to the 20 million most affluent/wealthy households in America.

But the most egregious case of the Donald being home alone is on the overwhelming source of America’s economic decline. To wit, the Keynesian monetary central planners at the Fed and the destructive regime of Bubble Finance that they have imposed on American capitalism over the last three decades.
The Donald was surely right when he referred to the fruits of this baleful regime as "one, fat ugly bubble" during the campaign.

The fact is, these policies are savaging savers, shrinking real wages and fostering the off-shoring of millions of good jobs – even as they encourage the C-suites of corporate America to plunder their own cash flows and balance sheets with trillions of financial engineering extractions – stock buybacks, M&A deals and LBOs and leveraged recaps. The latter drastically diminish investment in productive assets and future growth, jobs and wages – even as they shower Wall Street gamblers and the 1% with unspeakable windfalls and ill-gotten gains.

Yet on that score, the Donald is home alone with the very Vampire Squid at who’s behest Bubble Finance has become the overwhelming economic force in the land. That is, his two chief economic advisors – Gary Cohn and Steve Mnuchin – are the latest plenipotentiaries seconded to Washington by Goldman Sachs and its Wall Street fellow travelers to insure that the stock averages are pumped ever higher – and at all hazards.

Yet now even the Keynesian posse in the Eccles Building realizes that three-decades of Bubble Finance have come to a dead end, and that it must begin to "normalize" (viz. shrink) its drastically bloated balance sheet – if for no other reason than to have "dry powder" to combat the next recession or other (inexorable) economic crisis.

Consider the implications of the graph below, however. During the long span of 50 years between 1959 and 2008, the balance sheet of the Fed crept upward about 6% per year – and even that resulted in the commodity and consumer inflation of the 1970’s, the stock market bubble of the dotcom era, and the housing and mortgage catastrophe of the Greenspan reflation after 2001.
But in the next six years, the Fed’s balance sheet grew at a 25% annual rate, thereby injecting a monetary inflation and fraud into the financial system of biblical proportions. And now our clueless monetary central planners propose to pump the air out of the giant bubble they have created without any collateral damage at all.

In fact, the collateral damage will be earthshaking and it will soon fall on the head of the nation’s Tweeter-in-chief, trundling around alone in the residence portion of the White House.
The Donald foolishly and insensibly embraced the Bubble, which was reflated in the wee hours of election night by a shocked Wall Street in order to effect one last shearing the retail sheep. And he has added insult to injury by failing to exploit what amounts to five empty seats on the Fed (including Yellen and Fischer whose chairs expire in six months).

In fact, he has turned that file over to the Vampire Squid’s men on the job. That is, to lifetime bubble riders who think Janet Yellen has done a swell job – along with Bernanke and Greenspan before – and should be considered for reappointment. Then again, if they don’t nominate themselves or another Wall Street operative.

Needless to say, at 25X profits on the S&P 500, 87X earnings on the Russell 2000 and 190X and 217X on the meager profits of Amazon and Netflix, respectively, Wall Street is sitting on the precipice of an imminent implosion.

Ironically, the Donald could have punctured the bubble and launched a top-to-bottom house-cleaning at the Fed on Jan. 20, while blaming the Fed’s incumbents and Obama. Now it is way too late – the Bubble will implode, but the Donald will get all the blame.

At some time soon thereafter, they will come for him with helicopter engines running. Unlike Kevin McCallister’s excellent adventure, however, the Donald’s exercise in being Home Alone won’t end in reunification with the rulers who originally sent him to the attic.

Publkish in  27/07/17