The John James Newsletter 230

posted May 19, 2018, 1:57 AM by Clement Clarke
The John James Newsletter 230

19 May 2018  

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Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we train our character to be passive in its presence and thereby eventually lose all ability to defend ourselves and those we love 
Julian Assange 

The time for action was yesterday or the day before, and unfortunately the action we have now is less than what we need
Robert Watson

Nigeria  has a population of 178 million [more than double Germany] and over the next 35 years 8% of world births will be Nigerian and by 2100 Nigeria will have a population of 914 million, and will rival China and India as a demographic superpower

When you use the language of your opponents, you don’t persuade them to adopt your point of view. Instead you adopt theirs, while strengthening their resistance to yours 
George Monbiot 

Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy
Henry Kissinger

Nothing is better for self-esteem than survival
Martha Gellhorn

For climate change, the global water crisis may be the last straw
World to face 40% water deficit by 2030
Freshwater resources around the world were already badly stressed before heat-trapping carbon emissions from fossil fuels began to warm Earth's surface and affect rainfall. Many major rivers — diverted, dammed, over-exploited — no longer reach the sea. Aquifers millennia in the making are being sucked dry. Pollution in many forms is tainting water above ground and below. Cape Town, where the drought was declared a "national disaster" on Tuesday, was not especially beset by any of these problems.

NASA Satellites Reveal Major Shifts in Global Freshwater
Earth’s wet land areas are getting wetter and dry areas are getting drier due to a variety of factors, including human water management, climate change and natural cycles. "What we are witnessing is major hydrologic change. "We see a distinctive pattern of the wet land areas of the world getting wetter – those are the high latitudes and the tropics – and the dry areas in between getting dryer. Embedded within the dry areas we see multiple hotspots resulting from groundwater depletion."

This map depicts a time series of data collected by NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission from 2002 to

Ecuador hints it may hand over Julian Assange to Britain and the US
Julian Assange is in immense danger. Remarks made this week by Ecuador’s foreign minister suggest that her government may be preparing to renege on the political asylum it granted to the WikiLeaks editor in 2012 and hand him over to British and then American authorities. On March 28, under immense pressure from the governments in the US, Britain and other powers, Ecuador imposed a complete ban on Assange having any Internet or phone contact with the outside world, and blocked his friends and supporters from physically visiting him. For 45 days, he has not been heard from. Help expose what is happening! Share this article as widely as possible on social media!

Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation
Within hours of opening an investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia in the summer of 2016, the FBI dispatched a pair of agents to London on a mission so secretive that all but a handful of officials were kept in the dark. Their assignment, which has not been previously reported, was to meet the Australian ambassador, Alexander Downer, who had evidence that one of Donald Trump’s advisers knew in advance about Russian election meddling. 
Alexander Downer interviewed by FBI hours into Trump-Russia probe
The US political police and the 2016 elections
Thursday’s edition of the New York Times carries an extraordinary, 4,000-word report on the role of the FBI in the 2016 US presidential election. Whatever the intentions of those who produced, edited and approved this lengthy account, it gives a glimpse of an American political system in which the security services, and particularly the FBI and CIA, play a critical and even decisive role.

Billionaire Trump backer Robert Mercer funded group that produced anti-Muslim ads for 2016 election
“More importantly, most voters never saw the ads. And that was by design. The group….worked hand in hand with Facebook and Google to target their message at voters in swing states who were most likely to be receptive to them.”
Trump Backs Down On China Threat: Instructs Commerce Dept To Rescue ZTE: 
It appears China's threats of retaliation against Trump's ban on giant Chinese telecoms company ZTE have sunk in.

Cambridge Analytica shared data with Russia
Wylie told the panel that "the ethos of the firm was 'anything goes'" for its political campaigns, including "attempting to divert health ministry funds in a struggling African country to support a politician's re-election campaign." He told senators that one of the goals of firm was to discourage or suppress voter turnout, especially of black voters, and that this was a focus of Trump ally Steve Bannon.

Syria Imposes New Rules of Engagement on Israel
The new equation imposed by the Syrian army on May 10 is more fearsome for Israel than the prospect of the loss of another F-16, as Damascus has shown its determination to wage war on enemy territory, and to strike the Zionist entity in its depth. It is obvious that Israeli aggressions against Syria will be increasingly costly, both for the Israeli air force and for its internal military bases and population, because of the determination of Syria and its allies (Hezbollah and Iran) to respond to any aggression, of their experience and new capabilities, and of their successes on the ground. 

Chevron’s corporate intimidation
Corporations are doubling down after criminal pollution convictions, especially on indigenous land, where they believe the people have no power. They attack the victims, their lawyers, and citizens who try to help with SLAPP lawsuits to intimidate them from raising legal challenges or collecting debt. This is legal thuggery.

Australia emissions rise for 3rd year in row, despite fall in electricity
The federal government’s latest tally of Australia’s carbon emissions reveals yet another increase in the nation’s contribution to climate changing greenhouse gases, even without the contributions of Victoria’s now-closed Hazelwood coal plant. This should not be surprising. The current government’s numerous critics point out that the country has no emissions reduction mechanisms to reach its modest target of 28% cut in emissions from 2005 levels by 2030.

The most interesting analysis of this complex and multi-layered relationship. A must-read, updated.
Putin and Israel – they struck deal
It is clear that Putin and Netanyahu struck a deal when the latter traveled to Moscow: the Israelis don’t interfere in Russian operations in support of the Syrians as long as the Russians don’t interfere in the combat operations between Israel and Hezbollah. The big event to watch for is a crackdown on the Russian Central Bank and the economy ministries of the government.  Everybody in Russia is waiting for this,

Unintended consequences, further weakening the US dollar hegemony
The share of yuan-backed oil contracts soared to 12% since US withdrawal from the Iran deal 
Restrictions on Iranian oil sales and the lack of access to dollar financing will boost demand for yuan-denominated Shanghai futures. With China deepening its energy ties with Iran and given Beijing's desire both to support the contact and to further internationalise the use of its currency, payment in yuan and bench-marking against Shanghai futures would seem logical.
Trump’s Iran decision gives unexpected gift to Putin
Putin could make up with the soaring price of oil – the real backbone of the Russian economy and his hold on power – for what he lost from the sanctions and caused just the sort of havoc in the US and splits across the Western alliance that Putin wanted. 

The price of sanctions  more unintended consequences
China set to replace Total in Iran gas project 
China's state-owned CNPC is set to take over a leading role held by Total in a huge gas project in Iran in case the French energy giant decides to quit amid US sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Germany, Russia reiterate commitment to Iran nuclear deal
UK PM May says committed to ensuring Iran deal is upheld

Militarism Mapped 
World Beyond War has just released an updated 2018 mapping of militarism in the world. The map system can be explored and adjusted to display what you’re looking for. In this map every shade of orange or yellow (anything but gray) indicates the presence of some number of U.S. troops, not even counting special forces. 

How Many Wars Is the US Fighting Today?
The US has withdrawn from Iraq and is planning to do likewise from Afghanistan in 2014. The US has been fighting at least 5 wars, most of which are unannounced and undeclared, and are fought with air power and robotics technology. America is able to fight wars in multiple locations because, unlike a decade ago, it now has the technical ability to do so. Unmanned vehicles are a new kind of weapon system controlled by operators based thousands of miles from the war theatre. The US drone program escalated rapidly between 2004 and 2010, with no public debate. There are no international rules of conduct on when it is fair and just to deploy them.

Senate approves bill to retain US net neutrality
The 2015 rules were intended to ensure a free and open internet, give consumers equal access to Web content and bar broadband service providers from favouring their own material or others’. The new December 2017 rules require internet providers to tell consumers whether they will block or slow content or offer paid “fast lanes.” 

Ozzie Senate report recognises climate change as existential risk, but fails to draw the obvious conclusions
Climate change is “a current and existential national security risk”, according to an Australian Senate report. It says an existential risk is “one that threatens the premature extinction of Earth-originating intelligent life or the permanent and drastic destruction of its potential for desirable future development”.  But there is a complete disconnect between the report’s findings and its recommendations. The main recommendations are procedural. 

The US isn’t fertile enough to sustain itself without immigrants
Last year saw the lowest birth rate in the US since 1978: over the lifetimes of every 1000 women, there are around 1764 births – not enough to replace the population and set to face economic problems due to a declining workforce and an ageing population in need of health support.

The Age of Consequences
Report concluded that even 3°C of warming and a 0.5 metre sea-level rise would likely lead to “outright chaos”, and “nuclear war”, emphasising how “massive nonlinear events in the global environment give rise to massive nonlinear societal events”. You can see this video for a fee of $us.3.98.

The Ocean Has Released an Insane Amount of CO2, And No One Even Noticed
"It's a carbon bomb." Our planet's climate is built on a whole host of interlinked chemical reactions and counter-reactions, and we just learned about another: an underwater heatwave has triggered a worryingly huge release of CO2 from Amphibolis antarctica seagrass off north-western Australia. Vast tracts of these flowering marine plants were killed by the stress of living in waters that were 2-4C warmer than normal. More than a third of the seagrass meadows were potentially affected. And no one really noticed. The findings have very real implications for the kind of self-perpetuating heat rises we could be in for.

Global Sea Level Rise Accelerated to 4.6 mm Per Year After 2010
Human forced climate change through fossil fuel burning now presents a serious threat to the world’s coastal cities and island nations. Diverse regions of the world are now facing increased inundation at times of high tide and during storms. Unfortunately, this trend is only worsening. And depending on how much additional fossil fuel is burned, we could see between 2 to 10 feet or more of sea level rise this Century.

The future of humanity is increasingly African 
Africa has become an unprecedented biological, environmental, and socio-political experiment: It is the scene of the biggest population explosion the world has ever seen. The number of Africans will grow from 1.033 billion in 2013 to a mammoth 4.2 billion in 2100. In the next 35 years alone, two billion African babies will be born. By 2100, half of all children on earth will be African. This population explosion has huge implications not only for Africa but for the entire world. World's population will soar to 11 billion by 2100 and HALF will live in Africa.