Sat Apr 10th, 2021 at 07:25:56 PM EST
A bit of history put into context due to recent developments in the Middle East, the Abraham "Business" Accords, neglect of Palestinian cause and "regime change" in the White House from Trump to Biden. A new ball game?
Dahlan hired US mercenaries for UAE killings in Yemen | MEMO - Oct. 17, 2018 |
The Palestinian Authority (PA)'s ex-Security Chief Mohammed Dahlan arranged for US mercenaries to carry out targeted assassinations in Yemen on behalf of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The deal emerged yesterday after the founder of the security firm hired by Dahlan - Hungarian-Israeli security contractor Abraham Golan - gave an interview to Buzzfeed News in which he detailed the elaborate details of the arrangement.
Thu Apr 8th, 2021 at 07:15:37 AM EST
Wed Apr 7th, 2021 at 11:11:49 AM EST
Saudi tribe challenges crown prince's plans for tech city | BBC News |
The Huwaitat are a proud, ancient and traditionally nomadic Bedouin tribe that have lived on both sides of the Saudi-Jordanian border for hundreds of years.
Revered in history as fearless warriors, they fought alongside T E Lawrence in the Arab Revolt of 1917 and he mentioned them in his epic memoir, Seven Pillars of Wisdom.
I spent several weeks living with them in my 20s in the desert dunes east of Jordan's Wadi Rum, catching a glimpse of a traditional way of life that was fast disappearing.
Sun Apr 4th, 2021 at 11:08:32 AM EST
One of my thoughtful conservative FB friends thinks the election results in 2020 are a bit of a fluke and that the Republicans will come back strong in '22 and '24. I beg to differ.
The problem for the GOP is that their base remains loyal to Trump, while four years of Trump soured enough voters to cost the GOP the presidency. Under Trump the GOP SHRUNK its base. Meanwhile Trump keeps being Trump and his core support, older white voters, predominantly male, remains strong. That base will deliver him victories in most of the states of the old confederacy along with the plains states from Oklahoma to N. Dakota. Not enough to win the Electoral College.
Worse, Georgia can no longer be counted as solid Republican and Texas is coming into play, both for the Presidency and the House and Senate. If Beto O'Rourke runs against Gregg Abbot for Governor of Texas in '22 he could well win after Abbot's conduct during the blizzard, and Texas could vote Democratic in '24. If that happens and O'Rourke carries at least one house of the legislature with him, and Texas turns blue, not just purple, it is much more likely that Texas would vote for the Democrat for President in '24 and it is game over for the GOP as a national party.
Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger
Sun Apr 4th, 2021 at 08:25:51 AM EST
FDA has not approved manufacturing of vaccines by Emergent BioSolutions Inc. and has yet to approve the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. It is BARDA, a division of the U.S. HHS which took steps and intervened in the manufacturing of Johnson & Johnson to reach standards of quality at the plant.
Sat Apr 3rd, 2021 at 09:05:00 PM EST
Developing story ...
Thu Apr 1st, 2021 at 05:03:20 PM EST
The End of Mark Rutte?
Caught in a damn BIG LIE! ... Trump and Johnson equivalence:
"I have no memory of it"
~ Mark Rutte 2021 @MinPres
How can you forget coalition conversations?
How can you still be active at all as
Prime Minister when you forget things so quickly.
Resign and go!
I have waited years for the moment this lying ass gets what he deserves ...
NOS News: Party Leaders Astounded
Angry MPs even call for new elections!
Tue Mar 30th, 2021 at 06:31:07 PM EST
Geotherapy not geoengineering, please.
"Geotherapy refers to the process of restoring the earth's health by strengthening natural biogeochemical and physiological mechanisms that regulate the earth's planetary life support systems and control global temperature, sea level, atmospheric composition, soil fertility, food, and fresh water supplies."
Source: Geotherapy: Innovative Methods of Soil Fertility Restoration, Carbon Sequestration, and Reversing CO2 Increase
Geoengineering "is the deliberate large-scale intervention in the Earth's climate system, in order to moderate global warming" and "the most prominent subcategories of climate engineering are solar radiation management and carbon dioxide removal."
Geotherapy is based on working with existing natural systems and starts local, adapting to the different biomes in which a geotherapeutic technique works. Geoengineering tends to be global from the get go and the "engineering" is emphasized much more than the "geo," at least so far. Geotherapy is systems solutions, working within ecological boundaries. Geoengineering is engineering, tools based, and usually mechanistic.
The resources I used to learn about geotherapy are
Geotherapy: Innovative Methods of Soil Fertility Restoration, Carbon Sequestration, and Reversing CO2 Increase
Proceedings of the recent conferences organized by Biodiversity for a Livable Climate on a wide variety of geotherapeutic solutions
John Todd's history of his lifetime building healthy and healing ecologies, Healing Earth: An Ecologist's Journey of Innovation and Environmental Stewardship
According to the Guardian (https:/www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/20/our-biggest-challenge-lack-of-imagination-the-sc
ientists-turning-the-desert-green), John Todd is working with a Dutch company, the Weathermakers (http://theweathermakers.nl), developing a plan to make the Sinai Desert green. They are using John's "eco machines," greenhouses with an extremely biodiverse environment reflecting "the aggregate experience of life on Earth over the last 3.5bn years." They will distill salt water while growing plants, fish, and animals, all powered by the sun. "The idea is that you may have 100 of these structures," says John Todd. "And they're spending five years in one site and then they're moved, so these little ecologies are left behind."
One proof of such a regreening the desert concept is a permaculture experiment near the Dead Sea over a decade ago
Another is Wadi Attir (http://www.sustainabilitylabs.org/wadiattir/home/) in the Negev Desert, a Bedouin sustainable farm.
The Weathermakers are also following the successful methods Li Rui developed in regreening the loess plateau of northern China in the 1990s, collaboratoring with John D Liu who documented the process for TV and film and is now associated with the Ecosystem Restoration Camps (https:ecosystemrestorationcamps.org), part of a growing group of environmental restoration and regeneration projects now launched around the world.
Just as focusing on cities drove climate politics from Copenhagen to the Paris agreement, I believe ecovillage restoration will drive practical climate solutions using geotherapy, which works at every scale from a flower pot on a window sill to thousands of hectares of land, in the next few years.
Here are some upcoming events which offer ways to participate in the action:
Smart Village Summit (https:us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUrduGgpz8pG9WyihU6tdCcuuq1F20NY6hn), powered by Future Thinkers and RegenVillages.
This monthly virtual summit is for people interested in the many aspects of Smart Villages and ProtoB communities. We'll be joined by experienced guests to discuss earth regeneration, permaculture, community building, governance, education, social dynamics, funding, economics, organization and leadership, affordable housing, natural building, information sharing, innovation, technology and other important subjects.
March 31, 2021 04:00 PM GMT (Vancouver)
April 28, 2021 04:00 PM GMT (Vancouver)
May 26, 2021 04:00 PM GMT (Vancouver)
Global Just Recovery Gathering (https:justrecoverygathering.org), April 9 to 11, is a three-day online event featuring interactive workshops, cultural sessions, and hands-on trainings. The events will include appearances by Greta Thunberg, Malala Yousafzai, Naomi Klein, Brianna Fruean and others. Build your skills, strengthen relationships, and hear from a powerful line-up of climate leaders, artists, and musicians in every corner of the world.
The GEN Ecovillage Summit - Living Solutions for a Regenerative World (https:summit2021.ecovillage.org) will take place from April 9-15, 2021 and will showcase how ecovillages contribute to the mitigation of climate crisis and function as resilient communities of practise bringing concrete solutions and actions for earth restoration, economic revival, social regeneration and cultural celebration.
Recently, L Hunter Lovins said that reputable scientists believe we could return to 280 ppm CO2, pre-industrial levels, in 30-60 years IF we used holistic grazing practices on the existing grasslands of the world (https:www.cambridgeforum.org?p=7205). Now, think about how quickly we could draw down atmospheric carbon IF we added marine ecosystems, which can sequester much more carbon (15 -20 times) more rapidly than terrestrial ecosystems, to the mix all while rapidly reducing our emissions to zero.
We are surrounded by insurmountable opportunities, when we think in terms of geotherapy, not geoengineering, please.
Mon Mar 29th, 2021 at 05:39:41 PM EST
Ponzis Go Boom!!!
The SPAC market is in the process of detonating and it will take the Ponzi Sector with it.
(SPAC = Special Purpose Acquisition Company. All the cool guys and gals have one.)
By Harris "Kuppy" Kupperman, founder of Praetorian Capital, Adventures in Capitalism:
For the past few years, I have been critical of the Ponzi Sector. To me, these are businesses that sell a dollar for 80 cents and hope to make it up in volume. Just because Amazon (AMZN - USA) ran at a loss early on, doesn't mean that all businesses will inflect at scale. In fact, many of the Ponzi Sector companies seem to have declining economics at scale--largely the result of intense competition with other Ponzi companies who also have negligible costs of capital.
I recently wrote about how interest rates are on the rise. If capital will have a cost to it, I suspect that the funding shuts off to the Ponzi Sector--buying unprofitable revenue growth becomes less attractive if you have other options. Besides, when you can no longer use presumed negative interest rates in your DCF, these businesses have no value. I believe the top is now finally in for the Ponzi Sector and a multi-year sector rotation is starting. However, interest rates are only a small piece of the puzzle.
Conventional wisdom says that the internet bubble blew up due to increasing interest rates. This may partly be true, but bubbles are irrational--rates shouldn't matter--it is the psychology that matters.
Sat Mar 27th, 2021 at 10:59:45 AM EST
A crucial role as a wedge in Near Asia, the Middle East and the Russian Empire is played by Erdoğan's vast nation Turkey. It bridges three continents and is close to China's province of Xinjiang, home to the Uyghurs, a Turkic ethnic group.
More below the fold ...
by Frank Schnittger
Sat Mar 27th, 2021 at 10:42:55 AM EST
The vaccine roll-out has been a bit of a disaster for the EU, so obviously somebody has to be at fault. In the infantile world of much modern politics it's all about finding a scapegoat and it looks like the Irish government has decided that Ursula Von Der Leyen would be a good candidate for the role. Former UK Conservative party Leader and Brexiteer, William Hague, has described Ursula von der Leyen's time as president of the European Commission as "among the most dismal in its existence" and he clearly has the EU's best interests at heart. I have drafted a letter to the editor as follows:
Thu Mar 25th, 2021 at 12:58:18 PM EST
A new face, a bit of adjustment in packaging the act.
On Defense and Security, NATO and the EU preemptively complied with the wishes of the new Biden administration ... wishful thinking there will be reciprocity.
EU envoys agree first China sanctions in three decades | Reuters - March 17, 2021 |
The European Union agreed on Wednesday to blacklist Chinese officials for human rights abuses, two diplomats said, the first sanctions against Beijing since an EU arms embargo in 1989 following the Tiananmen Square crackdown.
EU ambassadors approved the travel bans and asset freezes on four Chinese individuals and one entity, whose names will not be made public until formal approval by EU foreign ministers on March 22, as part of a new and wider rights sanctions list.
While the sanctions are mainly symbolic, the adoption marks a significant hardening in the EU's policy towards China, which Brussels long regarded as a benign trading partner but now views as a systematic abuser of basic rights and freedoms.
The 1989 EU arms embargo on China, its second-largest trade partner, is still in place.
Wed Mar 24th, 2021 at 09:58:33 AM EST
Sign of the times in Israel when a member of a terrorist designated group enters the Knesset to join forces with a corrupt Bibi Netanyahu to keep him out of prison.
At first I put up a few posts, not expecting a different election return than the other three in the last 2-3 years with Bibi Netanyahu crowned as new Prime Minister of an extreme rightwing Jewish State in the Middle East, the cradle of Religious turmoil and turf wars. I understand from following the election news on i24 channel in English, the hatred within the State of Israel between tribes and countries of origin are far worse than we can imagine in a calm EU-27 by comparison.
Elections give rise to extremist party in Knesset | Ynet News |
An alliance of far-right groups including openly racist and homophobic candidates appears poised to enter Israel's parliament, possibly as an indispensable member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing coalition, according to exit polls Tuesday.
The Religious Zionist Party includes a new incarnation of the Kahanist movement, a Jewish extremist group outlawed as terrorists by Israel, the United States and other Western countries decades ago over its incitement to violence against Arabs.
Its rise heralds a further shift to the right in Israel, where parties that support Jewish settlements and oppose the creation of a Palestinian state already dominate the political scene. A solidly right-wing government would likely find itself on a collision course with U.S. President Joe Biden's administration, which has pressed for the revival of peace efforts.
Tue Mar 23rd, 2021 at 03:35:57 PM EST
The Great Abraham Business Accords don't recognize International Treaties, Human Rights, United Nations and the ICC.
Top Saudi official issued death threat against UN's Khashoggi investigator | The Guardian |
A senior Saudi official issued what was perceived to be a death threat against the independent United Nations investigator, Agnès Callamard, after her investigation into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
In an interview with the Guardian, the outgoing special rapporteur for extrajudicial killings said that a UN colleague alerted her in January 2020 that a senior Saudi official had twice threatened in a meeting with other senior UN officials in Geneva that month to have Callamard "taken care of" if she was not reined in by the UN.
by Frank Schnittger
Sun Mar 21st, 2021 at 09:45:16 PM EST
In 2019 the Irish Government announced the formation of a "stakeholder committee" to develop Ireland's Agri-Food Strategy to 2030. This included the great and the good in the agribusiness community plus some public service agency heads and representatives of the Farmers and Fishermen's associations. Representatives of the "environmental and food safety perspectives" were only appointed afterwards and their contributions studiously ignored to the point where the environmental representative felt obliged to resign. Hence my letter to the editor below:
Sat Mar 20th, 2021 at 01:05:49 PM EST
The European Union could stop AstraZeneca from exporting its COVID-19 vaccine from the bloc if the British-Swedish pharma company does not meet its supply obligations, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in comments published on Saturday.
"We have the possibility to forbid planned exports. That is the message to AstraZeneca: You fulfill your contract with Europe before you start delivering to other countries," von der Leyen told newspapers from the Funke Media Group.
She said the company had delivered only 30% of the doses promised in the first quarter of 2021. She also pointed out that although the contract with AstraZeneca had stipulated that the EU would receive vaccines from factories in the EU and Britain, "we have received nothing from the Britons, while we deliver vaccines to them."
Von der Leyen referred to statistics showing that at least 41 million doses of coronavirus vaccine had been exported from the EU to 33 countries, despite a shortfall in vaccine supplies in the bloc itself. According to the commission, 9 million doses have gone from the EU to the UK and a million to the US.
"I cannot justify to European citizens why we export millions of vaccine doses to countries that produce vaccines themselves -- and from whom nothing comes back," von der Leyen said. "And I can barely justify exports to countries that have a much higher vaccination rate and far fewer infections than the EU."
Sat Mar 20th, 2021 at 07:54:00 AM EST
One can't bully the World representing the "other" 95%.