Ghost Dog's Journal
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Hometown: Canary Islands Archipelago
Home country: Spain
Member since: Wed Apr 19, 2006, 01:59 PM
Number of posts: 14,020
Hometown: Canary Islands Archipelago
Home country: Spain
Member since: Wed Apr 19, 2006, 01:59 PM
Number of posts: 14,020
Brit gone native. Cooperative member. Ecology. Cartography. Programming. Music production.
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On Nov. 30, the Chinese yuan will join the dollar, euro, pound and yen as the world’s official reserve currencies, as recommended by the International Monetary Fund. What this heralds is the amplification of extreme uneven development and the abuse of Chinese economic surpluses, yet again, for the purpose of bailing out a corrupt, fragile world financial system.
Aside from the IMF itself, the driver appears to be the People’s Bank of China, which needs a new name now: the Western Bankers’ Bank of China. Its official statement claimed “a win-win result for China and the world.”
But here, the name “China” really means the neoliberal clique at the helm of Beijing’s economic management, and the “world” means a very shaky capitalism suffering periodic spasms in its hyper-speculative financial centers. For the last fifteen years, these centers have enjoyed a Washington backstop that was the beneficiary of Chinese official purchases of US Treasury Bills. Reaching $1.3 trillion in late 2013, that process has finally reversed, with about $100 billion in net T-Bill sales since then. But Beijing still holds about a third of its foreign reserves in these investments, representing more than a fifth of all foreign US T-Bill holdings (in turn, the $6 trillion in US T-Bills is about a third of total US foreign indebtedness – an amount so vast it can only be repaid by running the Fed printing press).
Beijing is mindful of homegrown economic problems, including its own vast overindebtedness, the secondary cities’ real estate meltdown and the $3.5 trillion collapse of the main stock markets mid-year. If London bankers are correct, when the IMF welcomes the yuan, an additional $1 trillion of global reserves could move into Chinese financial assets. That would negate Beijing’s August 2015 2 percent currency devaluation and make the whole system more balanced at surface level, yet far more chaotic underneath as a result of international contagion from a future Chinese debt crisis. Meantime, China will probably bolster the IMF’s own loan-pushing in its new self-interested currency partnership.
Is there an alternative, an opting-out of the financial death grip between China and the West? And for the other BRICS, is there a way to support the Bank of the South (which without Brazil’s support appears stillborn), or to default on ‘Odious Debt’ (as did Ecuador in 2009), or to impose tough exchange controls (as did Malaysia to halt capital flight in 1998), or to insist that state regulators get control of local financiers rather than the other way around?
Far better would be to turn the BRICS finance ministries and central banks over to activists trained by the current wave of student #FeesMustFall protests, European struggles against austerity, Occupy, debt cancellation advocacy and the Third World’s thousands of IMF Riots the last third of a century. Sure, we don’t yet deserve those gigs – because our counter-power has repeatedly risen and then rapidly shriveled during the neoliberal era’s contestations against corporate and banking elites. But one day we must go for it.
Posted by Ghost Dog | Thu Nov 26, 2015, 04:17 AM (1 replies)
Qasem Soleimani (Persian: قاسم سلیمانی, born 11 March 1957) is a major general in the Iranian Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution (IRGC) and since 1998 commander of its Quds Force—a division primarily responsible for extraterritorial military and clandestine operations. A veteran of the Iran–Iraq war, he has been active in many conflicts from Afghanistan to the Levant. His methods have been a blend of military intervention through ideological proxies and hard-nosed strategic diplomacy...
... Following the September 11 attacks of 2001, Ryan Crocker, a senior State Department official in the United States, flew to Geneva to meet with Iranian diplomats who were under the direction of Soleimani with the purpose of collaborating to destroy the Taliban, which had targeted Shia Afghanis. This collaboration was instrumental in defining the targets of bombing operations in Afghanistan and in capturing key Al Qaeda operatives, but abruptly ended in January 2002, when George W Bush named Iran as part of the "Axis of evil" in his State of the Union address.
In 2009, a leaked report stated that General Soleimani met Christopher R. Hill and General Raymond T. Odierno (America’s two most senior officials in Baghdad at the time) in the office of Iraq’s president, Jalal Talabani (who has known General Soleimani for decades). Hill and General Odierno denied the occurrence of the meeting.
On 24 January 2011, Soleimani was promoted to Major General by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Khamenei is described as having a close relationship with him, helping him financially and has called Soleimani a "living martyr".
Soleimani has been described as "the single most powerful operative in the Middle East today" and the principal military strategist and tactician in Iran's effort to combat Western influence and promote the expansion of Shiite and Iranian influence throughout the Middle East...
... According to several sources, including Riad Hijab, a former Syrian premier who defected in August 2012, he is also one of the staunchest supporters of the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian Civil War. In the later half of 2012, Soleimani assumed personal control of the Iranian intervention in the Syrian civil war, when Iranians became deeply concerned about the Assad government's lack of ability to fight the opposition, and the fallout to the Islamic Republic if the Syrian government fell. In Damascus he is reported to have coordinated the war from a base in Damascus at which a Lebanese Hezbollah commander and an Iraqi Shiite militia coordinator have been mobilized... He is widely credited with delivering the strategy that has helped President Bashar al-Assad turn the tide against rebel forces and recapture key cities and towns...
... In October 2015, it was reported that he had been instrumental in devising during his visit to Moscow in July 2015 the Russian-Iranian-Syrian offensive in October 2015...
Posted by Ghost Dog | Wed Nov 25, 2015, 10:41 AM (1 replies)
"Global interconnectedness” and “global governance” are the unchallenged buzzwords of the day. But is this Eurocentric axiom relevant anymore? This may appear rather disconcerting, but the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) or Greater Eurasia – facilitated by Russian geopolitics and Chinese Belt and Road initiatives –may constitute a self-sustaining ecosystem...
... The Eastern mind is less receptive to an integrated global solution for every human problem. If troubles routinely beset households, what more can the global village do? Life is an ever-present struggle for balance. While the East is inspired by the yin and yang, the West resorts to the latest magic bullet, usually with disastrous consequences...
... The Asian renaissance has percolated into every facet of life via products ranging from sandals to surgical instruments to aerospace components...
... That makes a world of strategic difference as the East can exist without the West, perhaps at a sub-optimal level, but the West cannot function for a single day without the East.
This is a frightening reality for the West, which may resort to global destabilization and “rebalancing” via its patented variation of the yin and yang called, “shock and awe.” ...
Posted by Ghost Dog | Mon Nov 23, 2015, 03:53 AM (1 replies)
... Coming from behind, Buenos Aires mayor Mauricio Macri of the centre-right Cambiemos (Let’s Change) party, is at least 5 percentage points ahead of the Fernández candidate, Daniel Scioli, according to latest polls.
However, the polls were unreliable in the first round, which Scioli was expected to win comfortably. To the shock of many, however, Scioli garnered a lead of just 2.5 points, and has since struggled to secure the support of the eliminated candidates and undecided voters, leaving him with ground to make up on the final day.
The consequences of a change could be enormous. Macri has promised to introduce more pro-business policies, reduce inflation, cut deals with foreign creditors and realign Argentina’s foreign policy away from Venezuela and Iran and closer to the US. He has also indicated that he will adopt a less confrontational stance over the Falkland Islands.
Instead, he has promised better management to improve living conditions. At the close of his campaign in distant Humahuaca, Macri told the crowd he would “work every day for you to have a better life”.
Scioli, by contrast, held his final rally in the Buenos Aires stronghold of La Matanza, declaring himself the enemy of the “savage capitalism” represented by his rival...
Posted by Ghost Dog | Sun Nov 22, 2015, 12:24 PM (1 replies)
Posted by Ghost Dog | Sat Nov 21, 2015, 06:32 AM (0 replies)
... Western leaders are hitting us with the quadruple whammy of austerity + mass immigration to further degrade the social safety night / western welfare state and increase civil disturbances + increased surveillance and police state powers + more spending on war and military activity...
And it's clearly part of an orchestrated policy within the 'Global Financial System', but who, if anyone, conducts the orchestra?
There is of course 'creative speculation', if I may draw your attention to this, without prejudice: http://www.democraticunderground.com/113510810
Posted by Ghost Dog | Sat Nov 21, 2015, 06:05 AM (0 replies)
It would certainly appear to be true that 'our' intelligence and policing services would in fact seek, and evidently often succeed, to penetrate extremist Sunni Islamic circles and cells. And would seek to manipulate them.
The 'global elite', which may or most likely may not be entirely unified as regards outcomes, certainly is doing well these days...
But to be concrete, the nub of the article amounts to this:
... The surreptitiously obtained Syrian passport found so quickly after the fact in Paris has become a false flag trademark used in both Charlie Hebdo and 9/11. Because this pattern proved a serious liability for establishing any credibility, it was later disclosed that the passport actually came off the body of “a Syrian refugee,” as if that made MSM any more believable.
Even before the passport fiasco, the alleged terrorist’s quote from a supposed witness “this is for Syria” was obviously disclosed by mainstream media to shape and manipulate public opinion into quickly blaming Syria, ISIS and Syria’s targeted leader Assad. And then long before any of this alleged (dis)info began surfacing, barely an hour into the attacks while still actively underway, President Hollande kept repeating three times in the next several hours what appeared to be his scripted lines already declaring that France was at war against already identified terrorist attackers from Syria before any investigation had even begun. This rapid sequence of events smacked of false flag.
Furthermore, like the Hebdo attack earlier this year, reports immediately commenced disclosing that French intelligence had long been tracking the perpetrators prior to the attacks...
... A couple of other striking parallels with 9/11, when the BBC reporter announced that Building 7 went down 20 minutes prior to the event, the Paris attack was described on twitter dated a full two days in advance of the November 13th killings. Also Wikipedia within two hours from the very onset of the attacks already had posted a fully detailed account complete with footnotes specifying “Syria” being mentioned by a witness, “5 or 6 terrorists”, and “3 suicide bombers” all from the get-go pointing to the big bad Muslim villains yet again. The clinching evidence was Wikipedia running an early story version at 23:06 specifying:
In a televised statement at approximately 23:58 (local time), French President François Hollande declared a state of emergency and closing of borders for the whole of France...
... two weeks prior to Friday’s attack on October 29th CIA Director John Brennan met with his French counterpart along with UK’s MI6 former chief and former Israeli national security advisor...
> Anyone like to check these items?
Posted by Ghost Dog | Sat Nov 21, 2015, 05:51 AM (2 replies)
newshounds and reporters, mostly, of course, looking for sensational stories such as involving celebraties scandalously cavorting amongst the super-rich on Greek and Turkish islands in the Aegean, so let's turn to the BBC source this morning, which is one among a list of explainer items on the front page and by no means a headline: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34832512 (My comments in italics)
'Ahmad al-Mohammad' (False name)
At the scene a Syrian passport was found which bore this name, suggesting the man was a 25-year-old from the Syrian city of Idlib, but authorities believe this passport was a fake. A report in a Serbian newspaper, Blic, said a passport bearing the same name and data - but a different image - had been found on another migrant, suggesting both men bought fake documents from the same counterfeiter.
The Paris prosecutor's office said fingerprints from the dead attacker matched those of a person who came to Europe with migrants via the Greek island of Leros. The man may have been posing as a Syrian refugee.
Records from Leros suggested he arrived on 3 October and was fingerprinted and photographed. (Did this person register as a refugee, as a refugee must do on first arrival in the EU?)
The French national was residing in Belgium. Belgian prosecutors have said they were aware he had gone to fight with IS in Syria but did not know he had returned. (No mention of fingerprints or photographs)
(So, yes, it looks like both these could have entered the EU from Turkey on a regular ferry service amongst people declaring themsleves a refugees on the island of Leros. But it is not clear that they passed themselves off as refugees. Once inside the EU, at least Hadfi could move freely using his EU country passport. But passports would not be likely checked once inside the Schengen area.. Perhaps they used false passports on entry into the EU so as to avoid detection (this is all computerised). For all we know of ·Ahmad al-Mohammad'·, the name on a false passport, he could also be an EU citizen. This is posing as refugees at an underfunded, understaffed (austerity) Greek small-town frontier post, probably without bothering to wait in a queue to complete the formalities. All this, of course, has nothing to do with the genuine cases of genuine refugees from a recently drought-stricken land engaged in a civil war which has now turned into an international UNSC-approved actual kind of Crusade! (Although, and this is significant, without any kind of blessing from the actual Catholic Pope; indeed, far from it). The making of a huge issue of this is entirely, it seems to me, a matter of US domestic politics and reflects a deep national sense of unease, foreboding and existential insecurity, I am very sorry to have to say).
Posted by Ghost Dog | Sat Nov 21, 2015, 05:04 AM (1 replies)
... Britain's new cyber attack forces will be run jointly between GCHQ and the Defence Ministry and will target individual hackers, criminal gangs, militant groups and hostile powers, using a "full spectrum" of actions, Osborne said...
Posted by Ghost Dog | Tue Nov 17, 2015, 03:06 PM (0 replies)
... Flannery: It’s still at an early stage, but all indications are that the plastic industry is set to be transformed by these technologies as we move away from fossil fuels. And the carbon fiber possibilities are just astonishing. If you want a very light, very strong material, carbon fiber is what you use. At the moment it is very expensive to manufacture. But just a month ago a major breakthrough was announced by a company that devised a way of manufacturing carbon nanofibers directly out of C02 in the atmosphere at one tenth of the production cost of other methods. As carbon nanofibers become cheaper to manufacture, they will start competing directly with steel and aluminum, both of which are very energy intensive and produce lots of emissions.
e360: There are already ways to take C02 directly out of the atmosphere or out of the exhaust stream from power plants. But the problem is where to safely store the captured greenhouse gas.
Flannery: Previously, carbon capture and storage was conceived of as something that you would apply to the end of a coal powered power plant, capture the C02, and store it in bedrock somewhere near that plant. But if you put C02 under the ground, the C02 remains buoyant, the stuff is always trying to escape, to go upwards because it is a gas. In the oceans, however, things are quite different. Water pressure at two or three kilometers depth is sufficient that C02 remains stable. And if you try to bury it even in shallow marine sediments it becomes a solid on its own.
When you think about it, the ocean floor is where most of that excess C02 is destined to reside, or most of it anyway over geological time. The C02 is absorbed into the oceans, it is turned into a carbonate on the bottom of the sea as limestone or whatever. So the idea that we should pump C02 into deep ocean sediments at 2 or 3 kilometers is really mimicking what happens over the longer term anyway and it provides a stable environment for carbon to be stored...
Posted by Ghost Dog | Fri Nov 6, 2015, 09:15 PM (1 replies)