The John James Newsletter 231

posted Jun 10, 2018, 4:17 PM by Clement Clarke
The John James Newsletter 231

26 May 2018  

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Trump’s Cabinet, filled with moguls from Big Oil, mega-banking, investment and retail, makes George W. Bush’s Cabinet look like a Bolshevik workers’ council. Steve Bannon is an alumnus of Goldman Sachs, whose stock has surged 38% since the election, America’s premier corporate raider, Carl Icahn, will be special adviser on regulatory reform, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was a Goldman executive for 16 years. None of this inspires confidence that economic management will be different from that which piloted us into the 2008 crash
Mike Lofgren

This system is far more efficient than the old model because a populace will never rebel against rulers it does not know exist. This enables the western oligarchs to amass more power and influence than the kings of old ever dreamed possible 
Caitlin Johnstone

When $trillions are spent on weapons of  mass destruction instead of protecting nature and humanity from global heating, the hapless inhabitants of planet Earth are left with no choice between a nuclear winter and a greenhouse summer. When politicians lay flowers on the graves of soldiers and at the same time re-arm for future wars, or decline to endorse anti-nuclear treaties, or pledge token action on climate change while promoting new coal mines, can anyone believe it when they talk about a “future”? 
Andrew Gikson

We are destroying the foundations of human prosperity in an orgy of reckless consumption
Yuval Noah Harari

By 2050, population is predicted to reach 9.8 billion, with half the growth from nine countries: India, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and Indonesia

The outcome is the end of most life on the planet because we're so dependent on the burning of fossil fuels. There are no means of reversing the process which is melting the polar ice caps. And very few appear to be prepared to say so
Mayer Hillman

Donald Trump is the result of a long process of political, cultural and social decay. He is a product of our failed democracy
Chris Hedges

The US did not seize Afghanistan to build democracy and civil society, but to be a springboard for terrorist networks, with the help of which the US is preparing for aggression against Iran and Russia
Valery Korovin 

Empathetic relationships between animals and man
Forget horror stories about the cruelty of wild predators. The truth is otherwise and the wise have always known it.   

The Orwellian Climate and Faustian Bargain
As glaciers melt, sea levels rise at an accelerate rate and intense hurricanes and wildfires increase, by a factor of ~3 since early in the 20th century, unthinkable consequences of runaway global warming and nuclear wars loom. A new Orwellian age of fake news, half-truths, cover-ups and false flags is becoming the order of the day. When $trillions are spent on weapons of  mass destruction instead of protecting nature and humanity from global heating, the hapless inhabitants of planet Earth are left with a non-choice between a nuclear winter and a greenhouse summer. 

Trump axes NASA climate research program
These projects are critical to advance an understanding of how the earth responds to global change. These steps to curtail scientific research are closely linked to changes in environmental policy. Under the cynical principle of “you can’t regulate what you don’t measure,” EPA has moved to weaken methane reporting requirements for the oil and gas industry. The EPA is in the process of rolling back Obama-era climate rules for the country’s two largest contributors of carbon pollution, power plants and vehicles.

Gulf Stream slowdown
A much warmer than normal pool of water off the US East Coast juxtaposed to an intense cool pool south of Greenland is a climate indicator of Gulf Stream slowdown. The development of a cool pool near Greenland, and associated with Greenland melt, is a further indicator of this trend. Recently, the near East Coast warm pool has enlarged and intensified. Meanwhile, the strength of the Greenland cool pool has also increased even as cold water currents issuing from Greenland appear to have sped up. The combined indicators point toward serious systemic changes taking place in the region of the North Atlantic. 
For video

West Greenland Ice Sheet melting at the fastest rate in centuries
Weather patterns and summer warming trend combine to drive dramatic ice loss. The West Greenland Ice Sheet melted at a dramatically higher rate over the last twenty years than at any other time in the modern record. Beginning in the 1990s, with recent melt levels that are unmatched since at least the year 1550 CE. "It is striking to see how a seemingly small warming of only 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit can have such a large impact on melt rates in west Greenland,"
Why car dealers don’t want to sell electric vehicles
While an added benefit of EV technology for the user is a substantial reduction in routine maintenance and repairs, this also represents a further disincentive for the dealer to promote EV technology because they rely heavily on income from repairs and maintenance as part of their revenue model,

It is said that the last man at Trump’s ear will have his policies implemented. Two of the worst warmongers now sit on either side of him, Bolton and Pompeo. The B+P policy is total US control everywhere and the subjugation of all who might dare to have any other objectives. They will take down the peripheral states first (Iran and N. Korea) which would force the EU to rescind their support for Iran, and would force China to choose between business interests (with the West) and military control of its neighbours. Do not underestimate the damage these two long-time champions of America First will try to do.  
'Iraq War Playbook' Returns as Pompeo Replaces Diplomacy With Threat to 'Crush' Iran
In a speech at the right-wing Heritage Foundation on Monday that critics said should put to rest all lingering illusions that the Trump White House wants anything other than regime change in Iran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo outlined a "wildly unrealistic" list of demands that Iran must meet if it wants nuclear talks with America and warned that the U.S. will "crush" Tehran with sanctions if it doesn't comply.
As Trump-North Korea Talks Falter, South Korea Says 'Landmine' John Bolton to Blame
Characterising US national security adviser John Bolton as a human "landmine," a South Korean has lawmaker reportedly joined others who have made clear their belief that Bolton is the true culprit behind faltering diplomatic efforts ahead of a planned meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un next month.

The Coming Collapse
It is impossible on the eve of implosion to grasp how fragile the decayed financial, social and political system is. The problem is not Trump. It is a political system, dominated by corporate power and the mandarins of the two major political parties, in which we don’t count. If we do not stand up we will enter a new dark age.
The Democratic Party steadfastly refuses to address the social inequality that led to the election of Trump and the insurgency of Bernie Sanders. It is deaf, dumb and blind to the very real economic suffering that plagues over half the country. It will not fight to pay workers a living wage. It will not defy the pharmaceutical and insurance industries to provide Medicare for all. It will not curb the voracious appetite of the military that is disemboweling the country and promoting the prosecution of futile and costly foreign wars. It will not restore our lost civil liberties, including the right to privacy, freedom from government surveillance, and due process. It will not get corporate and dark money out of politics. It will not demilitarise our police and reform a prison system that has 25% of the world’s prisoners although the US has only 55 of the world’s population. It plays to the margins, especially in election seasons, refusing to address substantive political and social problems and instead focusing on narrow cultural issues like gay rights, abortion and gun control.
How Democracy Ended
What killed democracy was constant lying to the public, by politicians whose only way to win national public office is to represent the interests of the super-rich at the same time as publicly promising to represent the interests of the people. It’s a lying-contest. When democracy degenerates to that level, it becomes dictatorship by the people who can fund the most lies. Such a government is rule by the aristocracy, not the public.

Economic Collapse Isn’t Coming To America – It’s Already Here
While my income hasn’t dropped – it’s grown – I am still struggling to pay off those bills and recover. I’ve taken on a significant amount of extra work to get things back under control, and still, I worry it won’t be enough.

Kindergarten class assignment turns into viral ‘weather report’
Carden Corts, 6, delivered a weather report for a school project. It was viewed 670,000 times on YouTube within hours. If only we could see more humour in the news!

Amazon providing facial recognition technology to police agencies for mass surveillance
Amazon’s artificial intelligence software, named Rekognition, transforms CCTV, police body camera and other government video sources into an omnipresent eye, constantly collecting data and analyzing it in real-time using databases of tens of millions of images of the population. It provides police agencies with the power to track the movements and activities of targeted individuals and identify individuals in public places such as at demonstrations.

Agroforestry gives Kenyan indigenous community a lifeline
The Cherangani people of Kenya were for generations reliant on the forest for hunting, gathering and agroforestry — a way of life that was curtailed by the colonial government. Today, communities living on the edge of the forest have returned to their traditions, intercropping avocado, bean and coffee plants among trees that help reduce water runoff and soil erosion, and improve nutrient cycling.

You may want to understand who runs things in the Empire, of which we are a small satrapy. This article may be a few years old, but it and the following have stood the test of time and two presidents. They are well worth a good read, especially as the Empire has ruled or coerced our governments from Menzies to Whitlam, and continue to do so.
Anatomy of the Deep State
The Deep State does not consist of the entire government. It is a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies: the Department of Defence, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Justice Department and the Department of the Treasury because of its jurisdiction over financial flows, its enforcement of international sanctions. All these agencies are coordinated by the Executive Office of the President via the National Security Council. The final government component (and possibly last in precedence) is a rump Congress consisting of the congressional leadership and some members of the defence and intelligence committees. The rest of Congress, normally so fractious and partisan, is mostly only intermittently aware of the Deep State and when required usually submits after a few well-chosen words from the State’s emissaries.
The Deep State 2.0
How President Trump’s fake populism bails out the 1% with $6.2 trillion in tax cuts, the Bush policy on steroids, and are potentially three times the magnitude of the 10-year cost of Bush’s cuts. Because they are heavily targeted at the rich — 47% of the cuts will go to the top 1% — they will exacerbate income inequality, which is already at its highest level since the 1920s. Since the tax cuts will be much greater than Bush’s own prodigious fiscal mismanagement, the potential equities and real estate bubble could be a thing to behold. 

Unintended consequences – again.
EU to Switch from US Dollar to Euro on Oil Trades from Iran
This was quickly but quietly followed up with a Reuters report that China was now ready to start testing its new system and that regulators had asked a handful of financial institutions to prepare for pricing China’s crude imports in the yuan. Since the launch in May, the interest in the renminbi-backed oil contracts has steadily increased.
EU considers Iran central bank transfers to beat US sanctions
The US Treasury announced more sanctions on officials of the Iranian central bank, but the EU official said the bloc believes that does not sanction the central bank itself. 
US policies drive Europe to ditch dollar to maintain economic ties with Iran
The US has compelled the EU to look for ways to keep the accord alive. European countries such as Germany, France and the UK have expressed determination to continue economic ties with Iran and their investment projects in the country. In order to do that, Europe is looking for alternative financial structures for its trade with Iran and with no exposure to the US dominated financial system, including euro-denominated loans and euro-based payment systems.

China Has a Vast Influence Machine, and You Don’t Even Know It
Rather than coercing, China manipulates, preferring to act in moral and legal gray areas. It masks its political motives behind laudable human-interest or cultural projects, blurring the battle line with its adversaries. When the job is done, the other side may not realize it was gamed, or that a strategic game was even going on.

Fire and Folly: What Trump’s Violation of the Nuclear Deal Means for Iran
Although the blinkered actions of ideologues in Washington are principally to blame for the collapse of the nuclear agreement, a strongly enabling condition for its demise has been the portrait of Iran as a country always and forever on the verge of collapse. Analysts and reporters who mistake protest of the government for wholesale rejection of the regime only encourage the sort of magical thinking and intransigence that led the administration to tear up what was an unprecedented landmark in the history of arms control.

Palestinians Want Freedom, Just Like Anyone Else
Protesters in Gaza aren't pawns of Hamas; they are struggling for the freedom all humans want.

US Abortion Gag Order Is Already Hurting Health Care in Developing Nations 
Instead, the Global Gag Rule mandates that entities receiving aid from the United States cannot perform abortions, period -- even if the funds to provide them come from other sources. Health care providers also can't discuss abortion with patients in the course of pregnancy counseling, nor can they refer patients to facilities that provide abortions. Technically, there are supposed to be exceptions for rape and incest, but those tend to be more theoretical than practical.

As It Turns Out, Environmentally ‘Protected’ Lands Really Aren’t
Over a third of the land officially designated as protected is facing “intensive human activity”. That means that allegedly-preserved areas — so designated for their crucial role as habitats for endangered or threatened species — are being damaged. By tourists, loggers, developers, miners, farmers, and all other sorts of people who have decided to leave their mark. In fact, the only protected areas that aren’t facing human-induced devastation are those far from human habitation.

Gupta says could build 10GW of large scale solar across Australia
UK steel billionaire Sanjeev Gupta has dramatically increased the scope of his renewable energy plans for Australia, saying his company could build 10 gigawatts of large-scale solar across the country, as well as an electric vehicle manufacturing facility. 

Nearly Everyone In The US And Canada Just Had Their Private Cell Phone Location Data Exposed
it exposed the data of roughly 200 million wireless subscribers across the United States and Canada (read: nearly everybody). As we see all too often, the researcher highlighted how the security standards in place to safeguard this data were virtually nonexistent: 

US and Russia Compete to Privatise the Syrian War
Significant amounts of present and future military combat operations have been outsourced to the private sector with little, if any, government control. Russia has 2,000 to 3,000 contractors fighting in Syria, according to one source interviewed by Reuters. They are described as troops and officers, not security contractors and supervisors.

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Preview YouTube video North Atlantic Warm Pool and Signs of Gulf Stream Slowdown