Autor: João

Bridge/Tunnel Sakhalin-Hokkaido

Another Multi-Billion $ Russian Bridge   Paul Goncharoff Jan. 12, 2018   Russia is on an infrastructure roll, along with the rest of Asia and Eurasia. The final feasibility study for the land bridge between Russia’s mainland and the Island of Sakhalin is to be announced by the end of this month. The final study will include all updated data, including financials, as it will have to be supported in large part by the Russian federal budget. Russian Railways already has set aside and deposited into its investment program one billion rubles for design and planning. In addition, talks have already been ongoing with the Japanese Government to participate and extend this route from the eastern tip of Sakhalin through to Japan via Hokkaido. It might be worth reflecting back on Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “new deal for the American people” as he described it, uniting the United States of America through infrastructure. In the post-great depression years, that massive effort transformed the United States. Roads, Ports, Railways, Bridges, Tunnels, Airports and Power lines were built networking the country from the Atlantic to the Pacific. This quite simply allowed for a competitive, productive America and the returns on this investment fed the country’s coffers through the postwar boom years and into the 1980’s. However, eight decades later, America’s arteries of transportation, the lifeblood of the US economy and way of life,...

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Fake News

Russia and Other Official Enemies (The New York Times, 1917-2017)   Edward S. Herman Jul.-Aug., 2017   It has been amusing to watch The New York Times and other mainstream media outlets express their dismay over the rise and spread of “fake news.” These publications take it as an obvious truth that what they provide is straightforward, unbiased, fact-based reporting. They do offer such news, but they also provide a steady flow of their own varied forms of fake news, often by disseminating false or misleading information supplied to them by the national security state, other branches of government, and sites of corporate power. An important form of mainstream media fake news is that which is presented while suppressing information that calls the preferred news into question. This was the case with “The Lie That Wasn’t Shot Down,” the title of a January 18, 1988, Times editorial referring to a propaganda claim of five years earlier that the editors had swallowed and never looked into any further. The lie—that the Soviets knew that Korean airliner 007, which they shot down on August 31, 1983, was a civilian plane—was eventually uncovered by congressman Lee Hamilton, not by the Times. Mainstream media fake news is especially likely where a party line is quickly formed on a topic, with any deviations therefore immediately dismissed as naïve, unpatriotic, or simply wrong. In a dramatic...

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Kim Jong-un

Little Rocket Man Wins the Round   Patrick J. Buchanan Jan. 12, 2018   After a year in which he tested a hydrogen bomb and an ICBM, threatened to destroy the United States, and called President Trump “a dotard,” Kim Jong Un, at the gracious invitation of the president of South Korea, will be sending a skating team to the “Peace Olympics.” An impressive year for Little Rocket Man. Thus the most serious nuclear crisis since Nikita Khrushchev put missiles in Cuba appears to have abated. Welcome news, even if the confrontation with Pyongyang has probably only been postponed. Still, we have been given an opportunity to reassess the 65-year-old Cold War treaty that obligates us to go to war if the North attacks Seoul, and drove us to the brink of war today. 2017 demonstrated that we need a reassessment. For the potential cost of carrying out our commitment is rising exponentially. Two decades ago, a war on the Korean Peninsula, given the massed Northern artillery on the DMZ, meant thousands of U.S. dead. Today, with Pyongyang’s growing arsenal of nuclear weapons, American cities could face Hiroshima-sized strikes, if war breaks out. What vital U.S. interest is there on the Korean Peninsula that justifies accepting in perpetuity such a risk to our homeland? We are told that Kim’s diplomacy is designed to split South Korea off from the...

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Russia-gate

The FBI Hand Behind Russia-gate     Ray McGovern Jan. 11, 2018   Special Report: In the Watergate era, liberals warned about U.S. intelligence agencies manipulating U.S. politics, but now Trump-hatred has blinded many of them to this danger becoming real, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern notes.   Russia-gate is becoming FBI-gate, thanks to the official release of unguarded text messages between loose-lipped FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok and his garrulous girlfriend, FBI lawyer Lisa Page. (Ten illustrative texts from their exchange appear at the end of this article.) Despite his former job as chief of the FBI’s counterintelligence section, Strzok had the naive notion that texting on FBI phones could not be traced. Strzok must have slept through “Security 101.” Or perhaps he was busy texting during that class. Girlfriend Page cannot be happy at being misled by his assurance that using office phones would be a secure way to conduct their affair(s). It would have been unfortunate enough for Strzok and Page to have their adolescent-sounding texts merely exposed, revealing the reckless abandon of star-crossed lovers hiding (they thought) secrets from cuckolded spouses, office colleagues, and the rest of us. However, for the never-Trump plotters in the FBI, the official release of just a fraction (375) of almost 10,000 messages does incalculably more damage than that. We suddenly have documentary proof that key elements of the U.S. intelligence community were...

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Donald Trump

Cutting the Gordian Knot of Foreign Entanglements   Patrick Armstrprong Jan. 2, 2018 President Trump is a new phenomenon on the American political scene. Not a professional politician begging for funds but a rich man who spent his own money and raised money on his own name: he arrived in office unencumbered with obligations. Free from a history in politics, he owes nothing to anyone. Add in his personality, grandiosity and late-night tweets and the punditocracy is in a state of angry incomprehension. Even more offensive to their notions of propriety is that this “dangerously incompetent“, unqualified, mentally ill man beat the “most qualified presidential candidate in history“. No wonder so many of them believe that only cunning Putin could have made it happen – even if they don’t know how. But the punditocracy is as befuddled about him today as it was last year and the year before. (Scott Adams, who got it right, reminds us just how clueless they were.) The very fact that Trump won despite the opposition of practically every established constituency in the United States shows that there is more to him than readers of the NYT and WaPo or watchers of CNN and MSNBC (can) understand. What follows is an attempt to divine Trump’s foreign policy. It proceeds from the assumption that he does know what he’s doing (as he did when he decided to run in the...

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