Friday, November 30, 2018

President Trump is evidently not in control of his own ship of state. He vowed to normalize relations with Russia but he’s doing the opposite, perhaps fearful media will call him a “traitor” again-Strategic Culture Editorial…(Pres. Trump: You should resign. We elected you to free us from enslavement to the Endless Unwinnable War Industry and you won’t do it)

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11/30/18, G20 Summit–US-Russia Diplomacy Sabotaged, Again,” Strategic Culture, Editorial 

“US President Trump has belatedly announced that he won’t meet Russia’s Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit this weekend. The abrupt cancellation is said to be due to the naval incident between Ukraine and Russia last week.

It is reprehensible that the urgent need for diplomacy between Washington and Moscow is being relegated – yet again – this time by an incident which bears the hallmarks of a deliberate provocation stunt orchestrated by the Kiev regime.

The cancelled meeting between Trump and Putin follows a pattern of on-off hesitancy between the two leaders, primarily from the American side.

This zigzagging in even limited diplomacy between the two biggest nuclear powers is lamentable, especially given the mounting tensions in their bilateral relations, which have appalling implications for world peace.

Nearly two years into Donald Trump’s presidency, the American leader has only met Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in one full meeting. That was in Helsinki in July earlier this year, when the two men appeared to form a cordial rapport and agreed to work together on several global issues, including arms control.

Notably, following the Helsinki meeting, Trump was assailed by American politicians and media for being a “traitor” for daring to extend the basic courtesy of talking with Putin. The Soviet Union may have disappeared nearly three decades ago, but red-baiting in American politics is an enduring ideology.

Three other brief meetings have previously been held on the sidelines of multilateral gatherings. Those occasions were at the last G20 summit held in Hamburg in July 2017, then at the APEC conference in Vietnam later the same year, and also during the recent World War One commemoration in Paris earlier this month. Such glancing encounters are astoundingly inappropriate given the imperative need for earnest dialogue. Meanwhile Trump has received several other world leaders at the White House over the past two years.

The pair were to hold a bilateral meeting this weekend during the G20 summit in Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires. Only this week, Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton was telling media that the two leaders were due to discuss a range of issues, including arms controls.

On the eve of the G20 conference, Trump reneged. He said his decision was based on a briefing by his intelligence agencies on the Kerch incident last weekend, when three Ukrainian naval vessels were detained by Russian security forces. Russia claims that it interdicted the Ukrainian warships because they violated its maritime territory with menacing intent.

Trump has however backed the dubious Ukrainian version of events, claiming that Russian forces acted aggressively.

There is reliable evidence that the Kiev regime orchestrated the incident by dispatching its armed vessels to the Kerch Strait between Crimea and Russia’s mainland in order to provoke a Russian security response.

It is unseemly that Washington has rushed to back the Ukrainian narrative. President Putin has dismissed the incident as an electoral ploy ordered by the Kiev regime aimed at boosting President Poroshenko flagging support among Ukrainian voters. 

Poroshenko’s rapid imposition of martial law in Ukraine suggests a scripted attempt to escalate tensions. So too were his dramatic calls to sundry Western media outlets for NATO intervention to “defend Ukraine”.

European leaders and NATO have also sided with the Ukrainian claims accusing Russia of aggression.

The Western response is a typical knee-jerk reaction to blame Russia instead of assessing the facts.

Immediately following the naval clash in the Kerch Strait, US politicians and media have been pressuring Trump to “stand up to Putin” over alleged “Russian aggression”. Republican and Democrat lawmakers urged the president to call off his meeting with Putin in Buenos Aires. Now, it seems, Trump has caved in under the pressure.

This is deplorable. US-Russian relations are being held hostage by an anti-Russia agenda that has been virulent ever since Trump’s election in 2016 and in spite of his vows to normalize bilateral relations.

The Kerch incident falls into a long-running litany of provocative claims made against Moscow, from allegations of meddling in US elections, to alleged violations by Russian military in Syria, to allegations of a poison assassination plot in England, to alleged breaches of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty. It is evident that Russia is being abused by Trump’s domestic political opponents to undermine his presidency and thwart any normalization of bilateral relations.

This is all the more deplorable because there is a paramount need for comprehensive dialogue between Washington and Moscow on a host of vitally important issues, from arms control to establishing an understanding on preventing security conflicts.

The obligation for diplomacy between the US and Russia is more urgent than at any time since the Cold War. Moscow has repeatedly signaled that it wants to rectify misunderstandings and pursue open negotiations for the sake of international security. There is an acknowledgement from the Trump White House that it also realizes the urgency of such dialogue. Yet continually, the chance for dialogue is being scuppered by an anti-Russia political agenda.

By not meeting Putin in Buenos Aires, another essential opportunity to restore bilateral US-Russia relations is being scotched. The diversion from diplomacy is dangerously fueling tensions.

But what is all the more reprehensible is that Trump is in effect giving a green light to the Kiev regime to pursue its reckless efforts to provoke more conflict with Russia.

President Trump is evidently not in control of his own ship of state. He is being buffeted off course by Russophobia among his political opponents at home and is being towed along by a rogue regime in Kiev. The implications for world peace could not be more perilous.”

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Jared Kushner has given personal guarantees on $300 million in loans per Wall St. Journal analysis. Deutsche Bank is among parties to which Kushner has provided personal guarantee. The Soros family gave Kushner’s 2014 startup Cadre a $250 million credit line-Dow Jones Newswires, May 3, 2017

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Kushner has personally guaranteed $300 million in loans. Deutsche Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland are among entities to which he has given personal guarantees. “Mr. Kushner will recuse himself from matters to which Deutsche Bank or RBS are parties because he has provided personal guarantees on their loans, said a person familiar with his ethics arrangement.” 

May 3, 2017, “Kushner’s Partners Include Goldman And Soros–WSJ,Dow Jones Newswires, by Jean Eaglesham, Juliet Chung, Lisa Schwartz

“Investments show ties to Goldman Sachs and George Soros, as well as a number of loans.”

“Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, is currently in business with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and billionaires George Soros and Peter Thiel, according to people familiar with the matter and securities filings.

The previously undisclosed business relationships with titans of the financial and technology worlds are through a real-estate tech startup called Cadre that Mr. Kushner cofounded and currently partly owns.

Goldman and Messrs. Soros and Thiel, as well as other billionaires’ firms, also have stakes in the company, which is based in a Manhattan building owned by the Kushner family’s company, according to people close to Cadre.

The Cadre stake is one of many interests–and ties to large financial institutions–that Mr. Kushner didn’t identify on his government financial-disclosure form, according to a Wall Street Journal review of securities and other filings. Others include loans totaling at least $1 billion, from more than 20 lenders, to properties and companies part-owned by Mr. Kushner, the Journal found. He has also provided personal guarantees on more than $300 million of the debt, according to the analysis.

In his disclosure form filed earlier this year, Mr. Kushner didn’t identify Cadre as among his hundreds of assets. The Journal identified his Cadre stake through a review of securities and other filings as well as interviews with people familiar with the company and Mr. Kushner’s finances….

Mr. Kushner co-founded Cadre in 2014 with his brother, Joshua Kushner, and Ryan Williams, a 29-year-old friend and former employee of Kushner Cos., the family-controlled business that Mr. Kushner ran until recently. Cadre markets properties to prospective investors, who can put their money into specific buildings or into an investment fund run by Cadre, which collects fees on each deal.

To get off the ground, Cadre turned to a Goldman Sachs fund and a number of high-profile investors. Among them were the venture-capital firms of Mr. Thiel, Silicon Valley’s most prominent supporter of the GOP president, and Vinod Khosla, a co-founder of Sun Microsystems Inc., according to Cadre’s website. Personal backers include Chinese entrepreneur David Yu, co-founder with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Jack Ma of a Shanghai-based private-equity firm, hedge-fund manager Daniel Och and real-estate magnate Barry Sternlicht, people close to Cadre said.

Cadre also secured a $250 million line of credit from the family office of Mr. Soros, a top Democratic donor who Mr. Trump criticized during his presidential campaign, the people close to the company said. Mr. Soros’s family office is also an investor in Cadre.

The investors declined or didn’t respond to requests for public comment on their backing of Cadre, but a person familiar with Mr. Soros’s family office said it had invested in early 2015 before Mr. Trump declared his presidential candidacy. 

Cadre has solicited money from investors for several Kushner Cos. real-estate projects, according to information sent to prospective investors and reviewed by the Journal. Jared Kushner personally has stakes in some of the real-estate projects for which Cadre has raised money, according to Cadre documents and his disclosure form.

While Mr. Williams acts as the public face of Cadre, Mr. Kushner remains one of the owners, with the power to “influence the [firm’s] management or policies, according to the latest public information on file with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Mr. Kushner’s company JCK Cadre LLC is shown as owning 25% to 50% of Quadro Partners Inc., which owns at least 75% of RealCadre LLC, which does business as Cadre. Mr. Kushner has reduced his ownership stake to less than 25%, his lawyer Ms. Gorelick said.

Mr. Williams, chief executive of Cadre, said the company has been working with regulators to update its public filings to “reflect Jared’s nonoperational, nonmanagement relationship with the company, which has been in place since the inauguration.”

BFPS Ventures, the company that Mr. Kushner’s lawyer said holds his Cadre stake, is shown on his financial-disclosure form as owning unspecified New York real estate valued at more than $50 million. The form adds that “the conflicting assets of this interest have been divested.”

Beyond Cadre, some of the assets Mr. Kushner is holding on to are hard to pinpoint, partly because they are housed in entities with generic names such as “KC Dumbo Office,” according to the disclosure form.

The Journal matched many of the assets to specific real-estate investments. An analysis of the debts on those properties, using real-estate data services PropertyShark and Trepp LLC as well as property records, found ties to a broad swath of U.S. and foreign banks, private-equity firms, real-estate companies and government-owned lenders.

Lenders to Mr. Kushner, either directly or via properties he co-owns, include Bank of America Corp., Blackstone Group LP, Citigroup Inc., UBS Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG and Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC. Royal Bank of Scotland didn’t respond to requests for comment; representatives of the other firms declined to comment.

Mr. Kushner will recuse himself from matters to which Deutsche Bank or RBS are parties because he has provided personal guarantees on their loans, said a person familiar with his ethics arrangement.”



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Neocon Trump full steam ahead for bloody “regime change” in Syria. Uninvited Trump prevents peace, supports Al Qaeda, has US military patrol Turkish-Syria border-Strategic Culture, Arkady Savitsky…(But Trump won’t order US military to patrol 2000 mile US southern border. Syria is perfectly justified in bombing the US. Nothing else will stop the US taxpayer funded mass murder industry)

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US soldiers started to patrol the Syrian-Turkish border earlier this month.(Gee, can we maybe get US soldiers to patrol the 2000 mile US southern border?)...With no threat to national security or strategic interests to justify getting embroiled in a conflict, it is adamant to stay."…
 
11/29/18, With Azov Sea Events Stealing Spotlight, US Gathers Huge Military Force in and Around Syria,” Strategic Culture, Arkady Savitsky

“While the world attention is riveted to the situation in the Azov Sea and the relationship between Russia and Ukraine, US forces are getting prepared for a large-scale military operation in Syria.

US President Donald Trump announced this past March that the military personnel would be leaving Syria “very soon.” Looks like he has changed his mind since then. The five-ship strong Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group has recently entered the Mediterranean Sea. American, British, French and Israeli aircraft are conducting round the clock flights across the Syria’s airspace under the pretext of holding an exercise. The US-led anti-ISIS coalition aircraft are constantly on patrol. 

French Dupuy de Lome intelligence gathering vessel is also there, coordinating its activities with the American ships.

The US Army has rushed another 500 Marines to the Al Tanf base [see map below] straddling the borders of Syria, Jordan and Iraq. 1,700 members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which operates under US command, have also moved to reinforce the garrison. There are over a dozen of US military locations in northeastern Syria, including at least four air strips stretched from Manbij in the vicinity of the Turkish border to Al-Hasakeh, the hub of the pro-American Kurds-dominated SDF forces located in northern Syria.”…

[Ed. note: “In al-Tanf, the U.S. military has permanently established a 55KM ‘de-confliction zone’ along a stretch of the Baghdad-Damascus highway within the borders of the sovereign country of Syria. U.S. forces operate with impunity here and

have strategically positioned themselves to also monitor and beat back, if needed, Iranian-backed forces – essentially playing the role of occupier, judge, jury and executioner on foreign soil in this region.” map, 9/7/18, “SYRIA 180: US Regime Change Plan is Back (It Never Left),” 21st Century Wire]

(continuing): US soldiers started to patrol the Syrian-Turkish border earlier this month. The move is seen as offering a kind of protection to Kurdish forces from Turkey, probably because their support would be crucial if shooting starts

Russia warned the US twice in September about possible consequences in case Syria starts an operation to free its territory from foreign troops but the warning fell on deaf ears.

According to the Washington Post, the US is preparing to strike Iran in Syria under the pretext of being a target of unprovoked attack.

There are other signs an operation is a possibility. “Russia has been permissive, in consultation with the Israelis, about Israeli strikes against Iranian targets inside Syria. We certainly hope that that permissive approach will continue,” James Jeffrey, Washington’s special representative to Syria said in early November. Back then, the ambassador noted that forcing Iran to leave Syria was an objective of Trump’s economic pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic. With the Islamic State reduced to insignificance and holding no territory to control, it would be a large order to find a legal pretext for a military action but the administration appears to be unfazed. With no threat to national security or strategic interests to justify getting embroiled in a conflict, it is adamant to stay.

The Arab nations, which are candidates for the “Arab NATO” membership, held a joint large-scale military exercise dubbed Arab Shield 1. It ended on Nov.16. The training event was seen as a preparation for a joint military operation. Tamer al-Shahawi, a member of the parliamentary National Defense and Security Committee and a former Egyptian military intelligence officer, said “There is close cooperation between the Gulf states, Egypt and Israel against Tehran. Arab countries are trying to benefit from any possible support against the Iranian influence.”

To increase the effect of sanctions, Iran should be separated from the Mediterranean Sea. The route across Iraq, Syria and Iran-friendly Lebanon should be made inaccessible. If Israel decides to strike what it calls Iranian targets, it would badly need US backing. Another reason to stay in Syria is making sure the nation would be divided in case the reconciliation and restoration process starts to gain momentum. Separating the SDF-controlled areas from the rest of the country is the only way to achieve it. Rebuilding rebel [Al Qaeda] forces and controlling a vast chunk of land is the way to deny Syrian President Assad the international legitimacy he so desperately strives for. The ongoing American presence at Tanf and elsewhere demonstrates Washington has no intention to leave the Middle East as President Trump promised it would do. Neither would it pull out from Syria until a security situation in the region meets its goals.

The concentration of US military in the region is a worrisome sign. This huge force has gathered for something much more serious than just training. With the events in Europe grabbing public attention, the situation creep in Syria is staying under the radar. It shouldn’t be. Something is definitely being cooked up.”
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Comment: The US is a dictatorship. The former US must be broken up into smaller units. Citizens who don’t wish to be slaves must be allowed to form new countries. Trump isn’t going to save the country.
 
 
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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Current Ukraine-Russia events are timed to sabotage Trump meeting with Putin-Strategic Culture, Luongo…(Overarching message is to US voters: You don't get to decide presidents. Get it? The Endless Unwinnable War Industry does. You might as well cancel elections, because no matter who's president, mass murdering parasites run the US and the world)

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"The big question at this point is whether Ukraine as a neocon project to destroy Russia is still worth the trouble."

11/28/18, “As Time Runs Out, Poroshenko and the West Poison the Sea of Azov,” Strategic Culture, Tom Luongo 

“Trouble has been brewing in the Sea of Azov all year. It started with Ukraine’s seizing a Russian fishing boat and detaining its crew in March. The Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko canceled the Friendship Treaty with Russia. After that he has accepted surplus US naval vessels to prop up a navy that exists in name only.

This is all in response to Russia’s completing the Kerch Strait bridge which Russia can use to block access through. The Kerch strait is Russian territory and, by international law, Russia can limit access to the Sea of Azov.

So, this weekend’s incident in which a tug was rammed, ships fired upon and seized by Russia, ultimately was a proper and legal response to a clear provocation because the Ukrainian military ships refused to announce their intentions.

Let’s not beat around the bush here. This incident is meant to justify further antagonism between the West and Russia on the eve of the G-20 and the planned meeting between Presidents Trump and Putin.

It also was meant to enflame Ukrainian nationalism and drum up support for Poroshenko who is trailing badly in the polls as we approach March elections. Declaring martial law so as to potentially suspend those election, the US satrap is raising the stakes on Russia to it finally responding to these repeated provocations.

At the same time the Ukrainian Army unleashed the heaviest shelling of the Donbass contact line near Gorlovka in years.

There are a number of different angles on this incident and how it will be used to increase tensions between the West and Russia….

This provocation occurred in concert the announcement of British forces being sent to Ukraine next year.

With the [UK] May government betraying the British people over Brexit with her awful deal, continuing the distraction of evil Russia is one way to keep support from failing further.

Because, deal or no deal, May is finished once we’re past this and like her accomplishing her mission to betray Brexit, setting NATO on a collision course with Russia is more possible by having British forces on the ground. All manner of false flags can be ginned up to saddle any incoming Labour government with.

Going back to the transition period between the outgoing Barack Obama and the incoming Trump everything imaginable was done to poison Trump’s early days as President. The idea that Trump and Putin could establish normal relations was anathema.

He’s been bogged down ever since.

And who was behind that? British and American Intelligence along with the judiciary who today are slowly being pulled into the limelight of their corruption. This is all part of a carefully stage-managed plan.

Those who cling to power do so out of desperation and will use every trick and point of leverage they have to remain where they are. In that respect Poroshenko is no different than anyone else. He knows if he loses power he will be expendable, to be thrown to the wolves while the US and Europe move to back the next quisling presiding over Kiev.

There doesn’t seem to be much on hope on the horizon regardless of the elections.

The big question at this point is whether Ukraine as a neocon project to destroy Russia is still worth the trouble. That’s what Poroshenko and those behind him hope is the case. I’m not convinced they have enough support to keep this up, given the tepid response from Europe.

If no sanctions are added to Russia over this incident and NATO is not dispatched to ‘calm things down’ in the Sea of Azov then this was nothing more than an attempt by Poroshenko to derail elections and rally Ukrainian nationals. The Verkovna Rada cut his martial law demand down to 3o days from 60 to ensure elections happen on time.

But looking ahead to the G-20, Trump will be saddled with this incident precluding finding any common ground with Putin over anything important. The two need to work out a plan for Syria, Korea, Japan and Iran and now we’re talking about Ukraine.

So, the days pass and nothing of substance changes. Putin knows time is on his side while those arrayed against Russia become increasingly desperate to justify its destruction to a tired and skeptical world.”




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Sulfates are already known to cool N. Hemisphere and Arctic per peer reviewed science in 2009 and 2011. Sulfates were aggressively removed by US Clean Air Acts of 1970s-1990 and Bush #1’s sulfate emissions trading to cure ‘acid rain.’ From mid 1970s on, reduced sulfates caused almost half N. Hemisphere and Arctic warming, a “huge blow” to advocates of even more US CO2 reduction-Houston Chronicle, NASA, PNAS

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March 22, 2009: We conclude that decreasing concentrations of sulphate aerosols and increasing concentrations of black carbon have substantially contributed to rapid Arctic warming during the past three decades.Nature Geoscience, Greg Shindell and Greg Faluvegi, Climate response to regional radiative forcing during the twentieth century.” Graph: Drew Shindell, GISS:



2009 NASA graph shows warming of Arctic latitudes resulting from US Clean Air Acts of 1970, 1977 and 1990.
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Added: Houston Chronicle article:

April 8, 2009, Half of recent arctic warming may not be due to greenhouse gases, Houston Chronicle, by

“According to a new report, half of the recent Arctic warming is not due to greenhouse gases, but rather clean air policies.

That’s the conclusion of two scientists in a new Nature Geoscience paper (see abstract), which is more deeply outlined in this NASA news release.

Here’s a quote from lead author Drew Shindell of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies:

“There’s a tendency to think of aerosols as small players, but they’re not,” said Shindell. “Right now, in the mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere and in the Arctic, the impact of aerosols is just as strong as that of the greenhouse gases.”

“We will have very little leverage over climate in the next couple of decades if we’re just looking at carbon dioxide, Shindell said. “If we want to try to stop the Arctic summer sea ice from melting completely over the next few decades, we’re much better off looking at aerosols and ozone.”

The following graphic shows how clean air regulations passed in the 1970s have likely accelerated warming by diminishing the cooling effect of sulfates:

CleanAirActshindellgraphicNASAGISSApril2009viaHoustonChronicle.

I probably don’t need to tell you the implications of this study. 

For one, if the results are validated, the notion that global warming is causing an accelerating, headlong retreat of the Arctic sea ice and driving the polar bear to imminent death … well, these notions just aren’t wholly correct anymore.

The study suggests that as much as half of the recent Arctic melting is not due to global warming, but rather to other factors. This report does not speak to global temperatures, but rather the Northern Hemisphere. And it does not suggest that global warming has played no role in the Arctic warming.

All the same, this is potentially a huge blow to those who advocate immediate action on controlling carbon dioxide. 

Finally, for those of you who hate James Hansen: Please note that the author of this study works for Hansen.” Above graph by Drew Shindell, GISS
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Added:


George Bush #1 signs Clean Air Act amendments in 1990, making rules stricter than 1970 and 1977 versions. Top left, clapping, Bush EPA chief William Reilly, plucked from his job as WWF president by fellow America-hating oligarch Bush #1.
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Added: From NASA.gov

April 2009: “Over the past three decades, the United States and European countries have passed a series of laws that have reduced sulfate emissions by 50 percent. While improving air quality and aiding public health, the result has been less atmospheric cooling from sulfates.At the same time, black carbon emissions have steadily risen, largely because of increasing emissions from Asia. Black carbon — small, soot-like particles produced by industrial processes and the combustion of diesel and biofuels — absorb incoming solar radiation and have a strong warming influence on the atmosphere.”…

4/8/2009, Aerosols May Drive a Significant Portion of Arctic Warming,nasa.gov/topics

Though greenhouse gases are invariably at the center of discussions about global climate change, new NASA research suggests that much of the atmospheric warming observed in the Arctic since 1976 may be due to changes in tiny airborne particles called aerosols.

Emitted by natural and human sources, aerosols can directly influence climate by reflecting or absorbing the sun’s radiation. The small particles also affect climate indirectly by seeding clouds and changing cloud properties, such as reflectivity.

A new study, led by climate scientist Drew Shindell of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, used a coupled ocean-atmosphere model to investigate how sensitive different regional climates are to changes in levels of carbon dioxide, ozone, and aerosols.

The researchers found that the mid and high latitudes are especially responsive to changes in the level of aerosols. Indeed, the model suggests aerosols likely account for 45 percent or more of the warming that has occurred in the Arctic during the last three decades. The results were published in the April issue of Nature Geoscience….

Sulfates, which come primarily from the burning of coal and oil, scatter incoming solar radiation and have a net cooling effect on climate. Over the past three decades, the United States and European countries have passed a series of laws that have reduced sulfate emissions by 50 percent. While improving air quality and aiding public health, the result has been less atmospheric cooling from sulfates.

At the same time, black carbon emissions have steadily risen, largely because of increasing emissions from Asia. Black carbon — small, soot-like particles produced by industrial processes and the combustion of diesel and biofuels — absorb incoming solar radiation and have a strong warming influence on the atmosphere….

The regions of Earth that showed the strongest responses to aerosols in the model are the same regions that have witnessed the greatest real-world temperature increases since 1976. The Arctic region has seen its surface air temperatures increase by 1.5 C (2.7 F) since the mid-1970s. In the Antarctic, where aerosols play less of a role, the surface air temperature has increased about 0.35 C (0.6 F).

That makes sense, Shindell explained, because of the Arctic’s proximity to North America and Europe. The two highly industrialized regions have produced most of the world’s aerosol emissions over the last century, and some of those aerosols drift northward and collect in the Arctic. Precipitation, which normally flushes aerosols out of the atmosphere, is minimal there, so the particles remain in the air longer and have a stronger impact than in other parts of the world. 

Since decreasing amounts of sulfates and increasing amounts of black carbon both encourage warming, temperature increases can be especially rapid. The build-up of aerosols also triggers positive feedback cycles that further accelerate warming as snow and ice cover retreat.

In the Antarctic, in contrast, the impact of sulfates and black carbon is minimized because of the continent’s isolation from major population centers and the emissions they produce.

There’s a tendency to think of aerosols as small players, but they’re not,” said Shindell. “Right now, in the mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere and in the Arctic, the impact of aerosols is just as strong as that of the greenhouse gases.

The growing recognition that aerosols may play a larger climate role can have implications for policymakers. [Right, sure.] 

We will have very little leverage over climate in the next couple of decades if we’re just looking at carbon dioxide, Shindell said. “If we want to try to stop the Arctic summer sea ice from melting completely over the next few decades, we’re much better off looking at aerosols and ozone.”

Aerosols tend to be quite-short lived, residing in the atmosphere for just a few days or weeks. Greenhouses gases, by contrast, can persist for hundreds of years. Atmospheric chemists theorize that the climate system may be more responsive to changes in aerosol levels over the next few decades than to changes in greenhouse gas levels, which will have the more powerful effect in coming centuries.”…
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Added: July 2011 PNAS: Additional peer reviewed citation that post 1970 warming “is driven by efforts to reduce air pollution in general and acid deposition in particular:”

July 19, 2011 PNAS study in “Conclusion” notes post 1970  warming “is driven by efforts to reduce air pollution in general and acid deposition in particular, which cause sulfur emissions to decline.”

7/19/2011, Reconciling anthropogenic climate change with observed temperature 1998–2008,” PNAS.org
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Comment: Don’t tell Ivanka about any of this-she might cry. As Houston Chronicle article noted, the news will be a “huge blow” to those attached to the notion that Americans must be punished with even more CO2 restrictions. These people deeply believe that punishing Americans is compassionate.






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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Bill Clinton Judge Leonie Brinkema delays for a week her decision on whether to unseal U.S. government charges against Julian Assange, though she appeared to side with government. Pathetic US government cites “sophistication” of Mr. Assange in its pleading-Joe Lauria, Consortium News

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US government fears “sophistication” of defendant, Mr. Assange. How “sophisticated” can you be when you’ve virtually been incarcerated and cut off from the world for a long period of time? He can’t “flee” because panting US lapdogs in the UK will arrest him (good dog). Judge Brinkema was appointed by Bill Clinton.
 
11/27/18, “Judge Delays Decision Whether to Unseal Assange Criminal Complaint,” Joe Lauria, Consortium News, in Alexandria, Virginia

“A hearing was held in Alexandria, Virginia on Tuesday on a motion to make public the sealed U.S. charges against Julian Assange Joe Lauria, editor of Consortium News, was in the courtroom and filed this report.” 

“A decision whether to unseal U.S. government charges against Julian Assange was delayed for a week by Judge Leonie Brinkema in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on Tuesday.

In her comments to the court, Judge Brinkema appeared to be siding with the government’s argument that there is no legal precedent for a judge to order the release of a criminal complaint or indictment in a case before an arrest is made.

However, Katie Townsend, a lawyer for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, which filed an application to “unseal criminal prosecution of Julian Assange,” told the court that the government’s inadvertent revelation of charges against the WikiLeaks publisher should prompt the court to release the complaint.

The government says it mistakenly included a passage referring to Assange in a totally unrelated case. The passage was reported this month in the press and was read in full by Judge Brinkema in court. It says the government considered alternatives to sealing, but that any procedure “short of sealing will not adequately protect the needs of law enforcement at this time because, due to the sophistication of the defendant and the publicity surrounding the case, no other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged.”

The paragraph goes on to say that the “complaint, supporting affidavit, and arrest warrant, as well as this motion and proposed order would need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested in connection with the charges in the criminal complaint and can therefore no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition in this matter.”


As additional evidence that the government was pursuing WikiLeaks, Townsend also cited the Jan. 2017 intelligence “assessment” that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election in which WikiLeaks is blamed for playing a role; congressional testimony from former FBI Director James Comey that the bureau had an “intense focus” on WikiLeaks; then CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s claim that WikiLeaks was a “hostile, non-state intelligence service; and the naming of WikiLeaks as “Organization 1” in the government’s indictment of Russian intelligence agents for allegedly interfering in the election. 

Government Calls Charges ‘Speculation’ 

But Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Kromberg argued that the government has never said it was investigating Assange, only WikiLeaks and those leaking to it. He said further that it was “speculation” that there are already charges against Assange based on anonymous press sources, even though the mistakenly published paragraph clearly speaks of the “fact that Assange has been charged.”

Kromberg told the court that the government could neither confirm nor deny that the passage relates to Julian Assange, nor could confirm or deny that he has been charged because to do so would admit Assange’s status, which the state contends must remain secret.

Judge Brinkema, who called the case “interesting, to say the least,” agreed that it was an “assumption” and “hypothetical” that the WikiLeaks founder has already been charged. But she asked Kromberg in court what “compelling” rationale there was to keep Assange’s status secret after the government’s inadvertent release.

Kromberg said he could not discuss in public the specifics in this case regarding sealing.

Judge Brinkema then listed the general reasons why indictments and complaints remain sealed before an arrest is made:  to prevent a suspect from fleeing, from destroying or tampering with evidence, from pressuring potential witnesses, from being prepared to harm arresting officers and also to protect against alerting other defendants that might be named in a complaint or indictment.

Assange, however, is purposely not fleeing from the Ecuador Embassy in London as he fears he will be arrested by British authorities and extradited to the United States. It is highly unlikely he is armed and could harm arresting officers, who could enter the sovereign territory of Ecuador only with that government’s permission. Assange could possibly have alleged evidence on a laptop and others could be named in the complaint.

The judge then asked Townsend to name any case in which a judge had ordered the government to release criminal charges before an arrest was made. Kromberg had argued that there were none. Townsend requested a few days to respond.

Judge Brinkema gave both parties a week to make further submissions to the court.”

“Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston GlobeSunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe.”
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Among comments to above article at Consortium News:
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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Vintage Putin or US War Industry puppet Poroshenko?-Strategic Culture, Finian Cunningham…(Ukraine provocation is just to remind US taxpayers that despite 2016 election we’re still slaves of the War Industry which spent $5 billion conquering Ukraine but refuses to defend the 2000 mile US southern border. US voters said no more foreign intervention. US elections should be cancelled)

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Crimea’s popular mandate followed a CIA-backed coup d’├ętat in Kiev [Ukraine] by Neo-Nazis in February 2014 which illegally overthrew an elected government.” After Soviet break-up US oligarchs said Russia is “ours to lose" and Ukraine is “the biggest prize.” US plundered fledgling Russia in the 1990s causing mass starvation, misery, and  premature death. Murderous US oligarchs spent $5 billion US tax dollars in the 20+ years (@7:42) it took them to finally defeat Ukraine in 2014. US is the greatest force for evil in the world today for one reason: US taxpayers are their slaves.

11/27/18, “Black Sea Provocation…Vintage Putin or Poroshenko Dregs?” Strategic Culture, Finian Cunningham

The latest potentially disastrous flare-up in violence between the Kiev regime and Russia near the Black Sea’s Kerch Strait is clearly a blatant provocation aimed at strengthening the autocratic regime under President Petro Poroshenko.

It’s also a reckless gambit to push Kiev’s madcap agenda for joining NATO and the European Union. No matter, it seems, if that gambit risks igniting a full-scale war between Russia and NATO.

The US-led NATO military alliance and the European Union appeared to back Kiev’s claims of aggression by Moscow following the latest escalation in the Black Sea. That response fits Poroshenko’s long-held narrative of casting Russia as an aggressor and to mobilize support from NATO and the EU.

Ironically, Western news media featured pro-NATO pundits who have claimed that the weekend confrontation was “vintage Putin”. It is speculated that the Russian president was taking advantage of several political distractions for Western governments – Trump’s public relations problems with Saudi Arabia over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Brexit debacle and so on – to strike a heavy hand at Kiev.

That typically cynical anti-Russian view completely overlooks the glaring facts that the naval clash between Ukrainian and Russian forces in the Black Sea plays conveniently for the Kiev regime and Poroshenko. It’s less a case of “vintage Putin” and more the dregs of Poroshenko’s intrigue.

The prompt declaration by Poroshenko’s national security council for imposing martial law in Ukraine – within hours of the naval confrontation on Sunday – effectively strives to give Poroshenko and his Kiev regime dictatorial powers. Potentially, a state of emergency could permit Poroshenko to call off presidential elections due in March next year. With his poll ratings trailing at around 10 per cent, it is looking very likely that the chocolate-tycoon-turned-politician is heading for a meltdown in the forthcoming election. If Poroshenko doesn’t actually call off the ballot, the ramping up of security drama may still allow him to rally voters around the flag and his leadership.

Not only that, but if martial law is imposed it allows the Kiev regime to outlaw public protests, which had been growing out of popular discontent with corruption and social deprivation. The Kiev regime can also tighten its censorship of news media, impose dusk-to-dawn curfews and dragoon more men into military service.

On Sunday, three Ukrainian navy warships were commandeered by Russian forces near the Kerch Strait in the Black Sea. The Russians claim that the Ukrainian vessels violated territorial limits, acted dangerously and ignored warnings to back off. The Ukrainian side claims that their vessels were in international waters trying to transport from Odessa via the Kerch Strait to the port of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov.

Tensions have become particularly sharp since Russia opened a new bridge earlier this year over the Kerch Strait, linking its mainland with the Crimea Peninsula. Crimea seceded from Ukraine in March 2014 after a referendum on the peninsula called for joining the Russian Federation. That event is routinely referred in Western media to Russia’s “annexation” of Crimea.

Such pejorative Western reports ignore the fact that Crimea’s popular mandate followed a CIA-backed coup d’├ętat in Kiev by Neo-Nazis in February 2014 which illegally overthrew an elected government. The incumbent Ukrainian President Poroshenko owes his office to that violent putsch in Kiev. Several Kiev political and military figures have called for acts of sabotage against the $4 billion bridge over the Kerch Strait. That has in turn touched off Russia’s stepped-up security patrols in the area.

On the latest naval clash, Russia’s deputy foreign minister Grigory Karasin said it appeared to be a “premeditated provocation” by the Kiev regime. The swift suite of actions taken by Poroshenko do indeed suggest that the drama was following a script. In addition to wanting to impose martial law and all the dictatorial benefits that engenders, Poroshenko also called for Western governments to impose more anti-Russian sanctions, and for NATO partners to take action in “defense of Ukraine”. Kiev demanded that its three detained warships and over 20 crew members be returned immediately.

Poroshenko asserted, somewhat unconvincingly, that any martial law regime would not be a “declaration of war” against Russia. He claimed that the Kiev regime was seeking to settle the nearly four-year conflict in eastern Ukraine through political means and in accordance with the Minsk 2014 and 2015 treaties. Poroshenko’s peacemaking rhetoric is acutely contradicted by the unremitting aggressive actions of his military forces towards the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. Immediately following the naval showdown at the weekend, there were reports of Ukrainian forces launching heavy artillery attacks on Donetsk and incursions by assault drones across the truce line near Gorlovka.

It seems significant that only three days before the naval clash in the Black Sea, President Poroshenko addressed the parliament in Kiev, saying that a constitutional amendment explicitly outlining his state’s plans to join NATO and the EU would be a final repudiation of Russia. Poroshenko declared that Moscow would not have a “veto” over Ukrainian aspirations to join the Western blocs.

Russia has repeatedly warned that the bordering state of Ukraine joining NATO would be an unacceptable breach of its national security. Too, it appeared that both NATO and the EU had gone cool on Ukraine’s prospective membership owing to disturbing reports about systematic human rights violations, political corruption and the woeful state of its economy.

The ever-petulant Poroshenko and his Neo-Nazi regime in Kiev are pushing confrontation with Russia in order to bolster their madcap plans to join NATO and the EU. And by buying into this latest provocation, it appears that NATO and the EU are drinking down the dregs that the Poroshenko regime is serving up.”



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Americans seeking credibility should be more modest when trying to shape affairs of foreigners. Republicans and Democrats lecturing Trump about Saudi have advanced a string of foreign policy disasters causing nothing but misery and death, for example the 17 year US taxpayer funded war in Afghanistan-Lee Smith, Washington Times

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11/25/18, Defending America First foreign policy,” Washington Times, Lee Smith, Analysis 

President Trump’s statement this week in defense of an America First foreign policy has united what otherwise appears to be a divided foreign policy establishment.

While Washington demands Mr. Trump punish Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS, for the murder of Saudi national Jamal Khashoggi, Mr. Trump defended his decision to prioritize an alliance with an oil-rich country that generates American jobs while serving as a pro-U.S. anchor in a region full of dangerous adversaries, from Iran to ISIS.

Thus, according to Republicans and Democrats alike, Mr. Trump has betrayed American values….

They see recent events primarily as an opportunity to establish their credentials as unbiased arbiters of foreign policy decisions. Democrat or Republican, if the president makes bad choices, immoral choices, he has to be held accountable.

However, neither Republicans nor Democrats are in any position to call balls and strikes, for both parties are responsible for a series of foreign policy disasters in the Middle East stretching back to the beginning of the war in Afghanistan.

Seventeen years later, the United States is still fighting in Afghanistan. Why? There is no strategic goal to be won there because it is not strategic ground. And yet Democrats and Republicans have both insisted that the U.S. stick it out. Surely, America’s moral values are not being promoted by a perpetual campaign where civilians are killed in a pointless war.

So why are Mr. Trump’s critics fixated on his decision to leave the Saudis to themselves?

Many of Mr. Trump’s critics contend that they don’t want to see MBS crippled, just punished. Others say they don’t want the regime in Riyadh toppled, just MBS banished from the palace. Surely, there are many suitable choices among the kingdom’s many princes.

However, the last several decades have shown that the United States, nor anyone, can guarantee outcomes in the Middle East. 

There are unintended consequences to even the best-laid plans. It seemed like a good idea to keep U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia after Operation Desert Storm flushed Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait in 1991. Who knew that would inspire Osama bin Laden to declare war on America? There is no American pundit or policymaker who can say with certainty how interfering with the internal dynamics of the Saudi regime might affect the country or the region.

There is no doubt, however, that the steepest price for an American crusade driven by demands for social justice for Middle Easterners will be paid by Middle Easterners.

Those who weren’t on board with democracy promotion in the Middle East, said its advocates, were afflicted by the soft bigotry of low expectations. Iraqis paid a heavy price for that campaign promoting American values, hundreds of thousands dead in a war that turned the country into an Iranian satrapy.

Egyptians paid when a Washington policy establishment entranced by scenes of revolution broadcast on CNN demanded the White House force Hosni Mubarak from power. Egyptians paid more yet when the army took power back from the Muslim Brotherhood.

The sanctions relief from Mr. Obama’s Iran deal filled Tehran’s war chests, leaving hundreds of thousands of Syrians dead and millions displaced. Mr. Obama dispatched drones to Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, campaigns that continue under the Trump administration.

Khashoggi’s murder, as Mr. Trump said, was a terrible crime. However, there is nothing wrong with putting America First. A policy that recognizes the United States should be more modest when trying to shape the affairs of foreigners is as close as foreign policy gets to morality.”

• “Lee Smith is the author of “The Strong Horse: Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations” (Doubleday).”



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Contrary to hoped for narrative, MSNBC accidentally airs ground report from Tijuana showing vast majority of caravan is men. Instead of claiming they seek asylum, some of the men just say they want a better life and a job. Shows area where 500-600 men were in line waiting for food-MSNBC report, 11/26/18

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11/26/18, Whoopsie – MSNBC Accidentally Airs Ground Report Showing Vast Majority of Caravan are Military Aged Males,” tcth, sundance

“You might remember the journalist delivering the ground report here. His name is Gadi Schwartz, and he was the guy who did the ground report outlining how the FBI completely botched the investigation of the New Mexico jihadist compound [Reminder Here]

MSNBC was constructing a very specific narrative about the make-up of the migrants who attempted to cross the U.S. border when they asked Gadi Schwartz to explain what he was seeing on the ground. The answer didn’t support the narrative [ie, mostly women and children].“…[11/26/18 MSNBC video]

“MSNBC reporter Gadi Schwartz, who is on the ground in Tijuana, Mexico, said Monday [11/26] that most of the caravan members he’s encountered are males.

MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle asked Schwartz to characterize the group of migrants he’s encountered….“Give us the profile of who’s there mostly and what they’re looking for,” Ruhle added.”…

@:40, From Tijuana, MSNBC Reporter Schwartz: “This is the inner sanctum of the shelter. You’re going to see a lot of women and families here but the truth is, the majority of the people that are in this caravanif we can make our way all the way over there, we’ll show you the majority of them are men.@1:15 (Schwartz), “From what we’ve seen, the majority are actually men and some of these men have not articulated that need for asylum. Instead, they have talked about going to the United States for a better life and to find work.“…@1:30 (Schwartz), “This is where there’s a food bank that was set up, and you’ve got a long line of men. Earlier, we saw about 5-600 men standing in line waiting for food.”… (top image is screen shot from MSNBC video)






 

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