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Ghost Dog

Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Canary Islands Archipelago
Home country: Spain
Member since: Wed Apr 19, 2006, 01:59 PM
Number of posts: 16,678

About Me

A Brit many years in Spain, Catalunya, Baleares, Canarias. Cooperative member. Geography. Ecology. Cartography. Software. Sound Recording. Music Production. Languages & Literature. History.

Journal Archives

Is America Ready For John Bolton's War With Iran? (Ritter)

... The fact that Bolton chose to repurpose routine deployments of U.S. military forces into the Middle East as an emergency response to an unspecified threat from Iran is in and of itself a curiosity. Bolton is an advisor to the president, a non-statutory (i.e., not confirmed by the Senate) member of the White House staff who is not in the military chain of command and lacks any command authority.

While Shanahan followed up indicating that the orders for the deployments had been authorized by him the day of Bolton’s announcement, this simply isn’t the case—they were authorized well prior to Bolton’s statement. The fact that the White House announced the deployment of U.S. military forces in response to allegations of an emerging threat in the Middle East, as opposed to by the Pentagon, reflects the political and operational roots of the current crisis..

... But the reality is that the deployment of American military forces and the diversion of the secretary of state to Baghdad is little more than grand theater. This is being done in support of a policy dictated by Israeli intelligence and passed to Bolton during a meeting on April 16, 2019 at the White House, where, according to Bolton, they discussed “Iranian malign activity and other destabilizing actors in the Middle East and around the world.”

The intelligence, derived from analysis conducted by the Mossad, consisted of “scenarios” regarding what Iran “might” be planning. According to an Israeli official, “It is still unclear to us what the Iranians are trying to do and how they are planning to do it, but it is clear to us that the Iranian temperature is on the rise as a result of the growing U.S. pressure campaign against them, and they are considering retaliating against U.S. interests in the Gulf.”...

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-11/america-ready-john-boltons-war-iran

Guaido Begs US Military To Help With Maduro Regime Change

Venezuela's self-declared President Juan Guaido said on Saturday that he has instructed his political envoy in Washington to immediately open relations with the US military.

Guaido asked his ambassador, Carlos Vecchio, to sit down with Pentagon officials for "direct communications" to discuss "coordination" of efforts to remove Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, whose 2018 reelection Guaido claims is illegitimate...

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-12/guaido-begs-us-military-help-maduro-regime-change

America in denial: Gabor Mate on the psychology of Russiagate

England's northern towns need real power

... When they finally noticed the discontent raging in places like this, people with power assumed it could be put right using money. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown did it through welfare payments. Even now, as she flails around over Brexit, Theresa May wants to do it through a billion-pound bribe to former mining towns. I propose putting it right by giving them power. What’s missing is the power to take decisions about the most important things in their lives: whether a local hospital should close; how often the bins should be emptied; whether a school should be under the control of the local authority or a faceless corporation; where the infrastructure should go that might – just might- attract investment in something other than vape shops and slave-driving sports-goods empires.

What form of constitutional change is best suited to delivering power to English towns such as Wigan? In this part of England – which has seen power drain towards London, wealth flow upwards into the hands of asset holders and technological change driven mainly from abroad – we are going to need something close to regime change to flatten the socio-economic divide between north and south.

The first building block has to be a national industrial strategy. The government claims to have one in the “northern powerhouse”. But in large parts of the actual north, the phrase is regarded as a sick joke. And that’s because there is not really a strategy – only a document setting out vague aspirations. Meanwhile, the “industrial strategy council”, headed by the Bank of England’s visionary chief economist Andy Haldane, is a club of powerless retreads from the era of Blair and David Cameron. All talk of a Green New Deal remains just that. Because there is no intention at the heart of government to use its power to coerce and shape private investment to deliver lasting change and revive the north.

Right now, all 38 of England’s local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) are pointlessly competing with each other to become high-tech hubs in the industries favoured by the government, wasting time and energy. Some even overlap. The perverse result is that nowhere is really allowed to emerge as a power centre beyond London. In the north-west, for example, there are no fewer than four LEPs covering the urban space west of the Pennines, between Crewe, Liverpool, Manchester and Preston. Turf wars have broken out, and as someone who spent their youth traipsing between the rugby league grounds and nightclubs of these towns, I understand why. North-west England has intense local cultures, with enmities stretching from the English civil war to the English Premier League...

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/09/england-northern-towns-power-may

I am serious.

I want green and socio-economic and therefore political new deals all round. Anything else --> Catastrophe.

Of course, this will only work once the great majority of people see and agree.

Big Brother is here now, thriving on disinformation and double-think. The intelligent alternative I describe would have to be open and transparent to all, with all agreeing that the sails have been correctly trimmed, the helmsperson under control, charts throroughly consulted and the vessel on the best possible course considering the surrounding environment it is navigating through towards the future.

Or else: No future.

Trump Accuses Bolton Of 'Trying To Start A War' In Venezuela: WaPo

... According to WaPo, Trump has privately described Maduro as a "tough cookie", and blamed aides for misleading him when they said the socialist strongman could be ousted during last week's demonstrations. In recent days, Trump has expressed concern that Bolton is trying to get him "into a war." We imagine a leaked plan for a US-backed coup prepared by SOUTHCOM hasn't helped to assuage these concerns.

And remember, Bolton has also been a key figure in escalating tensions with Iran to what is starting to look like the brink of an armed conflict...

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-09/trump-turns-bolton-accuses-him-trying-start-war-venezuela-wapo

Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez Propose 15% Cap On Credit Card Rates

(Note: this is ZertoHedge... but well-enough written...)
America's revolution to a socialist, government-planned society complete with reserve currency helicopter money also known as "MMT", may or may not be successful but it certainly will be attempted, and every moment will be not only televised but also tweeted.

On Thursday morning, Visa and MasterCard tumbled after the democratic party's "progressive" socialist wing consisting of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, announced they would introduce legislation on Thursday to cap credit card interest rates at 15%, a sharp drop from current levels. The proposal follows not long after AOC also proposed the "Green New Deal" - which among its various policy proposals urged to give a generous and recurring cash handout to any and every American, regardless if they work or not, and which according to analysts would cost the US as much as $100 trillion over the next several years. In addition to a 15% federal cap on interest rates, states could establish their own lower limits, under the legislation.

Sanders, the socialist Vermont senator running for the Democratic nomination for president, told the WaPo in an interview that a decade after taxpayers bailed out big banks, the industry is taking advantage of the public by charging exorbitant rates. “Wall Street today makes tens of billions from people at outrageous interest rates,” he said. Ocasio-Cortez, the socialist New York representative who is expected to run for the Democratic nomination for president as soon as she is eligible, will introduce the House version of the bill.

According to some, the proposal is quite timely, and comes just as credit card rates recently hit an all time high despite artificially low interest rates, according to Creditcards.com, which has been tracking the data since 2007 and compiles data from 100 popular cards. The median interest rate was 21.36% last week compared with 20.24% about a year ago and 12.62% about a decade ago, according to the website...

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-09/bernie-sanders-ocasio-cortez-propose-15-cap-credit-card-rates-visa-mc-tumble

"irreversible damage to the natural world and the collapse of our societies"

... This reality is taking its toll on our mental health, especially among younger people who are understandably losing hope for their futures on a hotter planet. We are seeing the rise of what is known as climate or ecological grief. This grief summarises feelings of loss, anger, hopelessness, despair and distress caused by climate change and ecological decline.

We are facing a state of continual unfolding loss, compounding impacts on our psyches. It could be loss of animals and plants we hold dear or lifestyles we have grown accustomed to such as eating whatever we want whenever we want. As the time length between loss and impacts shorten, personal recovery times reduce. At the same time there is anxiety about what is still to come. Yet there is no way to do justice to the threats we face without it being scary and provoking anxiety. How do we face up to these warnings without falling into apathy, denial or being evangelically optimistic? How do we find a way to confront our climate and ecological reality and yet respond in a meaningful, purposeful way? ...

... Climate change and environmental movements have long been criticised for trying to motivate the population through negative narratives and doomsday scenarios. It is obvious how such framings can turn people off or at worse encourages a state of denial. As a result, we have seen much of the movement shift in recent years towards more positive narratives of climate hope and telling stories of change... This has largely resulted in a politically passive eco-modern citizen that is more concerned with energy-efficient technologies, light bulbs and recycling than dissent, protest and structural change. Personal guilt comes to the fore when the virtuous lists and sustainable resolutions are not kept up with, and the issue is again pushed out of mind...

... But to truly tackle the climate and extinction crisis we also need to give ourselves permission to grieve, personally and collectively. We can use grief to galvanise what is most important and bring forth new visions. Then we need to be empowered, to be fearless and take action. One of the most important ways to take action is to vote for what matters most and to vote for parties which have clear policies to address climate change...

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/09/i-have-felt-hopelessness-over-climate-change-here-is-how-we-move-past-the-immense-grief


XPost: Editorials & Articles: https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016231762

"irreversible damage to the natural world and the collapse of our societies"

... This reality is taking its toll on our mental health, especially among younger people who are understandably losing hope for their futures on a hotter planet. We are seeing the rise of what is known as climate or ecological grief. This grief summarises feelings of loss, anger, hopelessness, despair and distress caused by climate change and ecological decline.

We are facing a state of continual unfolding loss, compounding impacts on our psyches. It could be loss of animals and plants we hold dear or lifestyles we have grown accustomed to such as eating whatever we want whenever we want. As the time length between loss and impacts shorten, personal recovery times reduce. At the same time there is anxiety about what is still to come. Yet there is no way to do justice to the threats we face without it being scary and provoking anxiety. How do we face up to these warnings without falling into apathy, denial or being evangelically optimistic? How do we find a way to confront our climate and ecological reality and yet respond in a meaningful, purposeful way? ...

... Climate change and environmental movements have long been criticised for trying to motivate the population through negative narratives and doomsday scenarios. It is obvious how such framings can turn people off or at worse encourages a state of denial. As a result, we have seen much of the movement shift in recent years towards more positive narratives of climate hope and telling stories of change... This has largely resulted in a politically passive eco-modern citizen that is more concerned with energy-efficient technologies, light bulbs and recycling than dissent, protest and structural change. Personal guilt comes to the fore when the virtuous lists and sustainable resolutions are not kept up with, and the issue is again pushed out of mind...

... But to truly tackle the climate and extinction crisis we also need to give ourselves permission to grieve, personally and collectively. We can use grief to galvanise what is most important and bring forth new visions. Then we need to be empowered, to be fearless and take action. One of the most important ways to take action is to vote for what matters most and to vote for parties which have clear policies to address climate change...

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/09/i-have-felt-hopelessness-over-climate-change-here-is-how-we-move-past-the-immense-grief


XPost: Environment & Energy: https://www.democraticunderground.com/1127127277

UK and Ireland's Common Travel Area to continue after Brexit

(If Brexit happens).

DUBLIN (Reuters) - The United Kingdom and Ireland signed a deal on Wednesday that ensures their citizens will retain the right to live and work in each other’s countries after Britain leaves the European Union...

... Under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding signed on Wednesday, free movement of people between Britain and Ireland, and mutual access for citizens to social security, health and education will continue after Brexit.

The CTA also enshrines a reciprocal right for citizens to vote in local and national parliamentary elections. Until now, the CTA’s provisions were found in disparate pieces of legislation and bilateral administrative agreements, while some overlapped with EU rules.

“The CTA is a practical demonstration of the enduring strength of the British-Irish relationship and of our people-to-people ties,” said Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney, who signed the deal in London with British Prime Minister Theresa May’s de facto deputy David Lidington...

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-ireland/uk-and-irelands-common-travel-area-to-continue-after-brexit-idUKKCN1SE1QA
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