The John James Newsletter 203
28 October 2017
To keep up with global food demand 6m hectares of new farmland will be needed every year, whereas 12m hectares are lost through soil degradation
Somalia is ranked the world’s most corrupt country
Washington’s Sunni proxies were not a division of the Pentagon; they were entirely a CIA confection: CIA recruited, CIA-armed, CIA-funded and CIA-trainedMike Whitney
From the Saudi point of view, everything went downhill: The defeat in Syria that coincided with the agreement between Iran; the Chinese economic pressure on Riyadh to accept yuan payments for oil; the growing ability of Moscow to intervene in the region; the renewed diplomatic and political role of Iran thanks to the JCPOA agreement – these have left Riyadh on a certain path to destruction. The only solution is a strategic change that could affect the region in a significant manner.
The US has 5% of the world’s population, but over 20% of all the people in prison globally are in a US jail: More than Russia, more than China
World Prison Brief
The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media
William Colby, former CIA Director
The much-dreaded IS was never more than a bunch of young hooligans and religious fanatics who were as militarily effective as the medieval Children’s Crusade, but in the west, IS was blown up by media and governments into a giant monster that was coming to cut the throats of honest folk in the suburbs
The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvellous victory
Insectageddon: farming is more catastrophic than climate breakdown
The impact on wildlife of changes in farming practice (and the expansion of the farmed area) is so rapid and severe that it is hard to get your head round the scale of what is happening. Flying insects surveyed on nature reserves in Germany have declined by 75% in 27 years. The most likely cause of this Insectageddon is that the land surrounding those reserves has become hostile to them: the volume of pesticides and the destruction of habitat have turned farmland into a wildlife desert.
The German study
Giant insect ecosystem is collapsing due to humans. It’s a catastrophe
Insects have triumphed for hundreds of millions of years in every habitat but the ocean. Their success is unparalleled, which makes their disappearance all the more alarming as insects are vital plant-pollinators and although most of our grain crops are pollinated by the wind, most of our fruit crops are insect-pollinated, as are the vast majority of our wild plants, from daisies to our most splendid wild flower, the rare and beautiful lady’s slipper orchid. Even the most successful organisms that have ever existed on earth are now being overwhelmed by the titanic scale of the human enterprise, as indeed, is the whole natural world.
This is the face of modern war – no habitable building left standing. Afterwards, where do the refugees who no longer have water or sewage or electricity, or more vitally, shelter, where do they go? And who gets the massive payments for rebuilding?
Raqqa Destroyed To Liberate It
The remnants of IS had melted into the Euphrates Valley and the desert. They will now return to being an irksome guerilla group with very little combat power. Anti-western IS supporters still cluster in Europe’s urban ghettos and will cause occasional mayhem. A few high-profile attacks on civilians may be expected to show that IS is still alive. But none of this is likely to influence the course of events. IS’s rival, al-Qaida, is likely to resurface and lead attacks to drive the west out of the Mideast. The Islamic State bogeyman was very useful for the western powers. It justified deeper military involvement in the Mideast, higher arms budgets, scared people into voting for rightwing parties, and gave police more powers.
‘Leveled like Dresden’: Raqqa aid haste hints at cover up of ‘barbaric destruction’
Some 80% of residential buildings in the city are estimated to have been rendered uninhabitable during the fighting, which involved massive bombardment by the US-led coalition’s airstrikes and artillery shelling.
The CIA and the Media: Facts the World Needs to Know
Since the end of World War Two the CIA has been a major force in US and foreign news media, exerting considerable influence over what the public sees, hears and reads on a regular basis. Coverups of election fraud in 2000 and 2004, the events of September 11, 2001, the invasions Afghanistan and Iraq, the destabilization of Syria, and the creation of “ISIS.” These are among the most significant events in recent world history, and yet they are also those much of the public is wholly ignorant of.
CIA Chief: We’ll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher
All those new online devices are a treasure trove of data if you’re a “person of interest” to the spy community. Once upon a time, spies had to place a bug in your chandelier to hear your conversation. With the rise of the “smart home,” you’d be sending tagged, geolocated data that a spy agency can intercept in real time when you use the lighting app on your phone to adjust your living room’s ambiance.
‘We will be toasted, roasted and grilled’: IMF chief sounds climate change warning
The world will be in deep trouble if it fails to tackle climate change and inequality, If we don’t address these issues… we will be moving to a dark future. If the world wants a future that “looks like utopia and not dystopia”, it needs to address such concerns.
A Matter of Fifty Degrees: Climate Change In Australia
A country baked to the core, its citizens roasted, an electricity grid battered to its limits. Capital cities trapping scorching heat, toasting its citizens and assaulting the young, the elderly, the infirm with temperature fluctuations. This is the vision of Australia by the end of this century according to an ANU study. “The severity of possible future temperature extremes simulated by climate models poses serious challenges for preparedness for future climate change.”
This self-generating High-Tech, Solar-Powered Car May be the Future of Travel
The “Stella Vie” was able to carry five people across more than 3,000km at an average speed of 69 km/h. Dutch team from the Eindhoven University of Technology snagged the overall win for their unique concept: a electricity-generating solar car that gives back to the grid.
UN slams Israel for ‘de-development’ of Palestine
The primary causes for the economic stagnation include “continuing loss of land and natural resources to settlements and the annexation of land in the West Bank”, along with market fragmentation and Israeli-imposed import restrictions. With Israel’s restrictions on movement and access to goods in the occupied territories, economic growth in the private sector is highly limited. As Israel continues to build the separation wall and confiscate West Bank land to build illegal settlements, the area has morphed into enclaves surrounded by checkpoints, making it difficult to transport goods or raw materials.
How Israel engages in ‘water apartheid’
In the village of Ein al-Beida, barbed wire divides a field in two. On one side are rows of orange trees covered in lush green leaves, grown by Israeli settlers from a nearby illegal settlement; on the other is barren land allocated for Palestinians, where nothing grows except stiff stalks of yellow grass, long dried out due to the lack of water.
16 Million-Strong Organisation In India Joins The BDS Movement
AIKS has resolved to endorse the call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel until it complies with international law, in order to stand for the rights of the Palestinian people and to resist the corporate takeover of Indian agriculture sector by Israeli companies. They plan to raise awareness among Indian farmers to prevent Israel and its corporations from reaping profits in India that finance military occupation and apartheid in Palestine.
Saudi Arabia Finances Most of Israel’s Weapons Build-Up Against Iran
Saudi Arabia isn’t just coordinating its own intelligence efforts with Israel. It’s actually financing a good deal of Israel’s very expensive campaign against Iran. As you know, this has involved massive sabotage against IRG missile bases, the assassination of five nuclear scientists, the creation of a series of computer cyberweapons like Stuxnet and Flame. It may also conceivably involve an entire class of electronic and conventional weapons that could be used in a full-scale attack on Iran. Israel, even with unlimited funding, still can’t muster the weapons and armaments it would need to do the job properly. That will take time.
Pollution is a bigger killer than War, Tobacco, and Disease combined
Pollution contributes to the deaths of 9 million people each year. Dirty air in India and China. Tainted water in sub-Saharan Africa. Toxic mining and smelter operations in South America. Pollution around the globe now contributes to an estimated 9 million deaths annually — or roughly one in six — according to an in-depth new study published Thursday in the Lancet. That means pollution kills three times more people each year than AIDS,TB and malaria combined, with most of those deaths in poor and developing countries.
Pregnant Women Exposed To Air Pollution Give Birth To Babies With “Aged” Cells
Babies that are exposed to higher levels of air pollution when in the womb during gestation possess shorter caps on the ends of their chromosomes — which means that there’s now a new mechanism to explain some of the health problems present in children who live in areas with high levels of air pollution. This adds to evidence suggesting that common forms of air pollution can cross the placenta barrier and directly impact developing fetuses.
China and Russia Are Transforming “Enemies” into “Friends”
Ankara, after numerous diplomatic and military failures, has rebuilt its role in the region alongside Iran and Qatar, in a context where its partnership with Moscow and Beijing will guarantee Erdogan a margin of manoeuvre to progressively disengage from the NATO system that has brought so many problems to the country.
UK terror threat evolving at scale never seen before
The UK is facing a “multidimensional threat” that is rapidly evolving “at a scale and pace we’ve not seen before”, the director general of MI5 has warned. “We’re now running well over 500 live operations involving around 3,000 individuals known to be currently involved in extremist activity in some way.”
Republican Senators Voted To Cut $1.5 Trillion from Health To Give Super-Rich a Tax Cut
Along strict party lines, the Republican-controlled Senate on Thursday night voted to pass a sweeping budget measure—one criticized as both “despicable” and “horrific” for providing massive giveaways to corporations and the super-rich while eviscerating funding for social programs, healthcare, education, and affordable housing.
Prescription opioids are killing more Australians than heroin
The death rate has more than doubled among addicts aged between 35 and 44 since 2007. The death toll is expected to rise. We’re seeing a real shift from illicit to pharmaceutical opioids implicated in these deaths, affecting a broader range of people. Opioids – powerful painkillers that act on the nervous system – were traditionally used by cancer patients in hospitals, but over the past couple of decades have become mainstream.
Opioid crisis fuelled by drug industry and Congress
Whistleblower Joe Rannazzisi says drug distributors pumped opioids into US communities — knowing that people were dying — and says industry lobbyists and Congress derailed the DEA’s efforts to stop it.
The drug industry’s triumph over the DEA
The new law makes it virtually impossible for the DEA to freeze suspicious narcotic shipments.
Overview of corruption and anti-corruption in Somalia
Both petty and grand forms of corruption are prevalent in Somalia, permeating key sectors of the economy such as ports and airports, tax and custom collection, immigration, telecommunication and management of aid resources. According to a recent audit report by the Prime Minister’s office, corruption manifests itself through gross public financial mismanagement, large scale misappropriation of public and donor funds, unethical and professional negligence, and concealment.
The Al-Qaeda Leader Who Wasn’t
Abu Zubaydah’s interrogators would waterboard him an almost unimaginable 83 times in the course of a single month; that is, they would strap him to a wooden board, place a cloth over his entire face, and gradually pour water through the cloth until he began to drown. At one point during this endlessly repeated ordeal, the Senate committee reported that Zubaydah became “completely unresponsive, with bubbles rising through his open, full mouth.”
The Water Cycle and Climate Change
Among the most serious Earth science and environmental policy issues confronting society are the potential changes in the Earth’s water cycle due to climate change.
The Pentagon Is Spending Up To $2.2 Billion on Soviet-Style Arms for Syrian Rebels
The $2.2 billion pipeline financed by the US, as well as the earlier €1.2 billion pipeline financed by Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, have meant boom times for arms factories across the Balkans and Eastern Europe – already working at capacity to supply the Syrian war. In response, the US Department of Defense has turned to new suppliers like Kazakhstan, Georgia, and Ukraine for additional munitions while relaxing standards on the material it’s willing to accept. The Pentagon is buying the arms through two channels: the Special Operations Command, which oversees special operations across all services of the US military. The munitions are being transported by both sea and air from Europe to Turkey, Jordan and Kuwait. They are then distributed to US allies in northern and southern Syria by plane and truck.
Vladimir Putin Positioning Russia as the Main Player in the Middle East
It would be Russia who does the rebuilding of Syria after the war and Saudi Arabia who paid for it. The two vast oil nations now seem to be set on a course of mutual collaboration. So much for Trump’s $300bn weapons deal with the king
More on the anthrax attacks – thanks Jon Cooksey, who added “What the article in previous Newsletter doesn’t mention is the way the Bush administration stumbled into a way to blame Iraq for the anthrax attacks, which bolstered their otherwise empty case for tying 9/11 to Saddam Hussein. It became US justification for invading Iraq.”
Bruce Ivins, the Anthrax Attacks, and America’s Rush to War
For the first time, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist David Willman tells the whole gripping story of the hunt for the anthrax killer who terrorised the country in the dark days that followed the 9/11 attacks. Letters sent surreptitiously from a mailbox in New Jersey to media and political figures that killed five and infected seventeen. For years, the case remained officially unsolved—and became a rallying point for launching the Iraq War.
A solar farm the size of 160 football fields
China’s giant floating solar energy farm floats atop a flooded coal mine with the capacity to power 15,000 homes.
Gulf Dispute Heightens US Frustration with Saudis
As the Gulf dispute continues, the diplomatic establishment in Washington is visibly irritated with the ATQ’s rigid refusal to ease their action and rhetoric against Qatar. The crisis has undermined Washington’s interests in the region by pitting America’s close Sunni Arab allies against each other and enabling other countries, chiefly Iran and Russia, to assert more influence in the Arab world’s volatile state of affairs. The State Department is becoming increasingly frank about its view that Doha is not responsible for the lingering row in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Citing a “real unwillingness” on the ATQ’s part to engage in negotiations, Tillerson stated days before leaving for the Gulf that the burden is on the Saudi/UAE-led bloc to “engage with Qatar because Qatar has been very clear—they’re ready to engage.”
Creating your enemies – how useful!
How can a steel-frame building collapse into its own footprint – without help?
The 9/11 collapse justified the “War on Terror” and the current US policy of Endless War without end. The war on terror is designed so that it can never end. Can you remember when the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told the Times that military officials are “looking to take decisive military action” against the growing presence of ISIS in Libya. But should we not be asking ourselves: Why is ISIS even there in the first place? The answer, of course, is the 2011 war on Libya, which was led by Hillary Clinton. In a controlled demolition all columns have to be hit within milliseconds of each other. The tower and the 47 storey WTC building collapsed through the points of greatest resistance, through the middle of the maximum number of supporting columns. The commission of investigation was delayed for 411 days, long enough for evidence to be tampered with.
The 10-minute video
CONSPIRITUS 9/11- Irrefutable Evidence for the Demolitons
The Australian high court has drawn a line in the sand against restricting the right to peaceful protest
The Protesters Act had been passed to muzzle and control protesters concerned that the Lapoinya state forest was going to be felled for the Malaysian logging company Ta Ann. The Tasmanian government seemed enthusiastic enough with Forestry Tasmania to wish for the operation to go ahead. That is now struck down.
Soil holds potential to slow global warming
If you want to do something about global warming, look under your feet. Managed well, soil’s ability to trap carbon dioxide is potentially much greater than previously estimated. Organic matter in soil, such as decomposing plant and animal residues, stores more carbon than do plants and the atmosphere combined. Unfortunately, the carbon in soil has been widely lost or degraded through land use changes and unsustainable forest and agricultural practices, fires, nitrogen deposition and other human activities. The greatest near-term threat comes from thawing permafrost in Earth’s northern reaches, which could release massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. Improving how the land is managed could increase soil’s carbon storage enough to offset future carbon emissions from thawing permafrost, including reduced tillage, year-round livestock forage and compost application. Planting more perennial crops, instead of annuals, could store more carbon and reduce erosion by allowing roots to reach deeper into the ground.
Third of Earth’s soil is acutely degraded due to agriculture
Fertile soil is being lost at rate of 24bn tonnes a year through intensive farming as demand for food increases. The alarming decline, which is forecast to continue as demand for food and productive land increases, will add to the risks of conflicts such as those seen in Sudan and Chad unless remedial actions are implemented
Eight-Year Study Confirms “All Sea Life” Will Be Affected by Acidic Oceans
Since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, the acidity of the surface waters of the oceans has increased a stunning 26%. Given that more than one billion people rely on food from warm-water coral reefs alone, humans will obviously be impacted heavily as acidification progresses. Global fish stocks are in decline, as 85 percent of them are either over-exploited, depleted, fully exploited or in recovery from exploitation. Large areas of the seabed in the North Sea and the Mediterranean have long since resembled deserts, and 90 percent of all large fish are already gone from the oceans.
The Threat of Military Dictatorship in America
Kelly’s extraordinary intervention at Thursday’s White House press conference constitutes a sharp warning. Anyone who thinks that “it can’t happen here,” that a US government that has sponsored countless coups and regime-change operations around the globe cannot itself become the target of a military takeover, is making a serious political mistake.
China Faces Growing Debt Problems
The governor of the Chinese Central Bank has warned of a spiralling debt crisis in China. China has a 250 % debt compared to its GDP and faces a possible “Minsky moment”. Any crisis in China will not let the rest of the world unspared. The debt crisis could be the undoing of world’s financial system, world economy and ultimately human civilisation itself.
Xi’s road map to the Chinese Dream – an important analysis
China’s Belt and Road Initiative – the New Silk Road – will spark the country’s development and turn the dream into reality Economically, the debate remains open on whether this walks and talks more like “neoliberalism with Chinese characteristics”.
Pirating Into The Czech Elections
The Pirate Party are buccaneering their way into European politics, having found a foothold in the testy soil of Central Europe after colonising, in small measure, various hamlets in Sweden, Germany and Iceland. Policies include the abolition of internet censorship, the favouring of institutional transparency, and the revision of punitive copyright laws, and improving the lot of teacher salaries and tax reform.
Waiting for the tide to turn: Kiribati’s fight for survival
The 33 islands of Kiribati, a remote and low-lying nation in the Pacific Ocean, are under threat from climate change. Lack of fresh water is an immediate problem. Fresh water lies under the atolls and islands of Kiribati in what are known as a “water lenses”. Fresh water, which is less dense, floats on top of the denser salt water in a convex shape giving the sources their name. However, king tides and sea incursions are polluting the once-reliable sources and ruining the taro plant pits, known as babai pits, which depend on them.