The John James Newsletter 22
26 October 2014.
The forgotten coup – how America and Britain crushed the government of their ‘ally’, Australia
Whitlam demanded to know if and why the CIA was running a spy base at Pine Gap near Alice Springs, a giant vacuum cleaner which, as Edward Snowden revealed recently, allows the US to spy on everyone. “Try to screw us or bounce us,” the prime minister warned the US ambassador, “[and Pine Gap] will become a matter of contention”. Victor Marchetti, the CIA officer who had helped set up Pine Gap, later told me, “This threat to close Pine Gap caused apoplexy in the White House… a kind of Chile [coup] was set in motion.”
George Soros: ‘Europe Is Facing a Challenge from Russia to Its Very Existence’
The fiscal rules that currently prevail in Europe have aroused a lot of popular resentment. Anti-Europe parties captured nearly 30 percent of the seats in the latest elections for the European Parliament but they had no realistic alternative to the EU to point to until recently. Now Russia is presenting an alternative that poses a fundamental challenge to the values and principles on which the European Union was originally founded. It is based on the use of force that manifests itself in repression at home and aggression abroad, as opposed to the rule of law. What is shocking is that Vladimir Putin’s Russia has proved to be in some ways superior to the European Union—more flexible and constantly springing surprises. That has given it a tactical advantage, at least in the near term.
Wind, solar deliver negative electricity prices in middle of day in South Australia
On Tuesday the 30th of September, South Australia managed to go most of the working day with enough electricity generated by wind and solar to meet all demand, and electricity prices went negative for a considerable period that morning. It is fortunately no longer difficult to find examples of renewable energy supplying all electricity use, as you can see in this graph from the Australian Electricity Market Operator’s site at 12:43 on Saturday.
Doctor now with Ebola went through enhanced screening at JFK airport
Why Obama Rejected Peace With Iran
Obama would like peace in theory, but doing so requires he shake up his Middle East alliances. The U.S. stands pigeonholed in tightly-wound alliances with the most hated regimes in the world, sandwiched between the global pariah Israel and the brutal totalitarian dictatorship of Saudi Arabia. The other important U.S. ally is war-hungry expansionist Turkey, while the smaller U.S. allies are the remaining Gulf state monarchy dictatorships. Allies like these make peace impossible. Consequently, there has been much speculation about a massive shift in U.S. alliances that hinges on peace with Iran, possibly supplemented by strengthening the alliance with Iraqi Kurds.
IS, Kobane and the Gains on the Euphrates River Front
A look at a map confirms that all along the Euphrates river in Iraq, IS is winning, from the northeastern border town of al-Qa’im which was taken in June, to the now besieged community of Amiriyat al-Falluja (Amiri) only thirty kilometres west of Baghdad.The Euphrates is 2500 kilometres long. It begins in Turkey, runs through the heart of Syria (Raqqa, the Islamic State’s putative capital is on the Euphrates) and hence into Iraq before joining up with the Tigris River and emptying into the Gulf. With the majority of allied sorties being deployed to the Kobane front to the west of the Euphrates in Syria, Baghdadi’s jihadists in Iraq have been quick to take advantage of the bombing lull.
Nigerian schoolgirls face uncertainty if they are released
Boko Haram laid waste to communities in their bloody quest for a hardline Islamic state. There is little left of the Government Girls Secondary School, where eighty percent was destroyed. Out of 29 classroom blocks, only four remain. We keep wondering if our girls will come back pregnant or indoctrinated by Boko Haram. This can have an impact on their reintegration into the community.
Do Tumbling Buybacks Signal Another Market Crash?
When stocks start see-sawing like they did last week, it’s usually a sign that over-extended investors are dumping their stocks to meet margin calls. The same thing happened in the run-up to the Crash of 1929, when stocks dropped sharply in late October which forced deeply-indebted investors to unload their holdings at firesale prices. The falling prices triggered a panic that sent stocks into freefall wiping out billions of dollars, crashing the markets, and paving the way for the Great Depression. Here’s a brief summary of what happened: