Jim’s Mailbox

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Courtesy of Dave.

Jim

Russia Releases Video Of Six New Super Weapons After Trump Summit
July 20, 2018

On Thursday, the same day that Putin warned that any country looking to try and include Ukraine or Georgia in the NATO sphere of influence “should think of the possible consequences of this irresponsible policy” because Russia would “respond in kind to any aggressive steps that directly threaten Russian,” the Russian Defense Ministry for the first time published a video showing the final assembly line of the new Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missiles.

The professionally produced footage came in a series of newly published social media videos that Russia’s Defense Ministry saysshows advanced armaments which were first unveiled by President Vladimir Putin back in March.

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Screenshot of the new Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missiles coming off the assembly line. Image source: Russian Defense Ministry via Defence Blog

The footage shows new tests and development facilities, as well as provides an understanding of the development process of what US military officials have admitted is a highly sophisticated weapon system easily capable of reaching North America.

The online military magazine Defense Blog notes that “Russia’s next-generation nuclear-powered cruise missiles are capable of hitting targets throughout the United States” and cites Russia’s Defense Ministry as boasting that the missiles have “unlimited range and unlimited ability to maneuver” and are set for flight tests imminently.

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Israel Evacuates 800 White Helmets From Syria To Jordan
July 22, 2018

Israel has evacuated some 800 members of the controversial Western-backed White Helmets from Syria to Jordan to be resettled later in the UK, Canada, and Germany, according to statements from Tel Aviv and Amman.

Emmanuel Nahshon, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, had confirmed on Twitter that “Israel has completed a humanitarian effort to rescue members of a Syrian civil organization (“the White Helmets”) and [their] families.” He chose not to disclose further details, adding only that the evacuees have been brought “to a neighboring country.”

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Truth bomb from Italy! Dave

Ukraine Furious After Italy’s Salvini Calls 2014 Revolution “Fake” And “Foreign-Funded”
July 21, 2018

Ukraine has summoned the Italian Ambassador to Ukraine Davide La Cecilia over a statement made by the Interior Minister of Italy Matteo Salvini (whose League political party is now the most popular in Italy) on his recognition of the annexation of Crimea by Russia and his slamming the 2014 Euromaidan protests and coup in Kiev as “pseudo-revolution” sponsored from abroad.

“We are responding. On Monday, we will meet with the Italian ambassador. He is a very nice person. I understand that he cannot be responsible for the words of their politicians, especially given that that one politician went to Crimea and just returned from Moscow, where, according to our information, he met with Putin,” Olena Zerkal, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister, told the local Channel 5 on Friday.”

Ukraine was infuriated by Salvini’s comments made during his interview with the Washington Post, published earlier this week. WaPo senior associate editor Lally Weymouth tried to grill the minister over his support for Crimea’s return to Russia, calling the referendum that took place in Crimea in 2014 “fake.”

Q. You said that Russia had a right to annex Crimea?

A. There was a referendum.

Q. It was a fake referendum.

A. [That is your] point of view. . . . There was a referendum, and 90 percent of the people voted for the return of Crimea to the Russian Federation.

Salvini shot back, saying “compare it to the fake revolution in Ukraine, which was a pseudo-revolution funded by foreign powers – similar to the Arab Spring revolutions” adding that “There are some historically Russian zones with Russian culture and traditions which legitimately belong to the Russian Federation.”

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry angrily responded that Salvini words were “not grounded in real facts and in contradiction of recognized principles and norms of international law.”

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Jim has warned us about this.

Dave

In U.S., Sometimes CIA Eat You
July 20, 2018

The First U.S. Civil War is here. The real Civil War.

The one between We the People and the Government itself.

The U.S. Civil War fought by Lincoln is badly mis-named. Rightly considered it was a war to prevent independence of the South from the united States (not a mistake in capitalization). The South seceded.

Just like the Donbass today fights to fend off a Ukrainian army from eradication of ethnic Russians. Just like the colonists did against King George III.

Argue the legality of secession all you want, ultimately people have the sovereign right to determine the course of their own destiny. Ultimately, they can simply just say, “No.”

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Courtesy of Dave.

Jim

America The Insolvent
July 20, 2018

Watching the world these days, I’m experiencing the same fury that rises up from my gut when the driver in the car ahead me is weaving drunkenly, endangering everyone on the road.

Fury is a normal and rational human response when threatened with unnecessary harm. Women who are groped (or worse) by a disgusting predator like Harvey Weinstein, pensioners whose funds are stolen by Wall Street shysters, everyone who is being fleeced by corporations in search of a few extra dollars this quarter — all have the right to be infuriated.

It’s been especially hard of late for those of us who are “reality”-based; who value data, fundamentals and historical context.

I earn my living by reading, analyzing and making sense of the world, and then working to help orient people’s actions to align with both the current reality and future probabilities. But that’s become pretty damn difficult in a world where the financial markets are rigged and the main news outlets are unwilling (unable?) to cover the real issues, preferring instead to focus on distractions that mainly serve to keep us isolated and divided.

The trajectory our global society is on will not end well, and that infuraties me. And the fact that most of the coming suffering is unnecessary if only we’d make better choices — that really pisses me off.

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Russia’s Defense Tests and Development Program Fire the Imagination
July 22, 2018

There’s a first time for everything. The Russian Avangard was the first hypersonic boost-glide vehicle to have passed its development stage and gone into production. The news was announced by Deputy Commander of the Strategic Missile Forces Major General Sergey Poroskun on July 19. The 13th missile regiment, deployed near the town of Dombarovka in the Orenburg region (southern Russia), will be the first unit armed with the new weapon. The regiment’s infrastructure is ready to receive it. According to Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov, the system is to be fully operational by 2020.

The pace of the weapon’s development takes one’s breath away. Few people knew about the Avangard’s existence just a few months ago, yet after a series of successful tests the vehicle has already reached the production phase!

No other country is yet able to produce hypersonic weapons — only Russia.

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Courtesy of Dave.

Jim

Here’s The Real Reason The US Must Talk To Russia
July 21, 2018

Future historians may well identify Russian President Vladimir Putin’s landmark March 1 speech as the ultimate game-changer in the 21st-century New Great Game in Eurasia. The reason is minutely detailed in Losing Military Supremacy: The Myopia of American Strategic Planning, a new book by Russian military/naval analyst Andrei Martyanov.

Martyanov is uniquely equipped for the task. Born in Baku in the early 1960s, he was a naval officer in the USSR era up to 1990. He moved to the US in the mid-1990s and is now a lab director in an aerospace firm. He belongs to an extremely rarified group: top military/naval analysts specializing in US-Russia.

From quoting Alexis de Tocqueville and Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace to revisiting the balance of power during the Soviet era and beyond, Martyanov carefully tracks how the only nation on the planet “which can militarily defeat the United States conventionally” has reacted to a situation where any “meaningful dialogue between Russia and America’s politicians is virtually impossible.”

What is ultimately revealed is not only a case of disregarding basic Sun Tzu – “if you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles” – but most of all undiluted hubris, turbocharged, among a series of illusionistic positive feedback loops, by Desert Storm’s “turkey shoot” of Saddam Hussein’s heavily inflated, woefully trained army.

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Courtesy of Dave.

Jim

No Liberal Rallies Yet for the Children of Yemen
July 20, 2018

Hundreds of thousands of people showed up across the United States at more than 600 gatherings three weeks ago. They came out to protest Donald Trump‘s “zero tolerance” immigration policy in highly choreographed, Democratic Party-affiliated “Families Belong Together” rallies and marches. Liberal celebrities marched and spoke. Local, state, and federal Democratic Party politicians and office-holders gave passionate speeches denouncing Trump’s separation of Central American migrant children from their parents at the southern U.S. border.

Marchers carried signs expressing their concern for children and families. Here are some of the messages written on the posters displayed at these gatherings:

“We care”

“I Raise my Voice Not so I can Shout but So that Those Without a Voice Can be Heard”

“Do All Lives Still Matter?”

“What Would Mr. Rogers Say?”

“Compassion”

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Courtesy of Dave.

Jim

It’s All Fake: Reality TV That Masquerades as American Politics
July 16, 2018

“Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice. We watch him, by ours…. When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience, and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility.”— Professor Neil Postman

Americans have a voracious appetite for TV entertainment, and the Trump reality show—guest starring outraged Democrats, power-hungry Republicans, and a hodgepodge of other special interest groups with dubious motives—feeds that appetite for titillating, soap opera drama.

After all, who needs the insults, narcissism and power plays that are hallmarks of reality shows when you can have all that and more delivered up by the likes of Donald Trump and his cohorts?

Trump is inclined to denounce any news agencies and reports that paint him in a less than favorable light as “fake news,” which leaves only the Fox News channel to carry the president’s torch for media integrity.

Yet as John Lennon reminds us, “nothing is real,” especially not in the world of politics.

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Courtesy of JB.

Jim

Will Trump Take On The Fed?
July 21, 2018

“China, the European Union and others have been manipulating their currencies and interest rates lower, while the U.S. is raising rates while the dollars gets stronger and stronger with each passing day — taking away our big competitive edge. As usual, not a level playing field…”

* * *

That’s the tweet from President Trump as he approaches the second anniversary of his warning about a false economy. That was on Labor Day in 2016, when newspapermen on the candidate’s jetliner asked him about interest rates. Mr. Trump proceeded to jawbone the Federal Reserve, saying: “They’re keeping the rates down so that everything else doesn’t go down. We have a very false economy.”

At the time, we thought — as we do now — that it was one of the markers of a winning campaign. It drove Secretary of State Clinton crazy, of course. “You should not be commenting on Fed actions when you are either running for president or you are president,” she harumphed — underlining the fact that the Democratic nominee had nothing substantive to say in respect of monetary policy.

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