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It's Time to Get CNN Out of the Airports, etc.

NYC Terror Suspect Entered U.S. Through Chain Migration | Numbers
The Department of Homeland Security has confirmed that the suspect in this morning's attack on a bus and subway station in New York City entered the United States in 2011 through one of the chain migration categories. DHS says Akayed Ullah is a green card holder from Bangladesh and entered the country on an F43 visa. An F43 visa is issued to a foreign national who is the child of an adult sibling of a U.S. citizen. It falls under the 4th preference of the family preference green card categories, which allows 65,000 green cards each year to be issued to adult siblings and their spouses and children of citizens.


National Democrats Resist Reforms
Still refusing to face why Donald Trump and the Republicans won in 2016, the national Democratic Party rebuffs proposals from progressives to make the party more democratic and less corporate-dominated.

Bulgaria discovers it has enough bitcoins to pay off fifth of its debt | FT
Hundreds of thousands of bitcoins have been seized in an anti-corruption operation in Bulgaria, reports Zerohedge. They are currently worth $3.6 billion, which is enough to pay off a fifth of the country's national debt of $16.5 billion.

Bitcoin Futures Stabilize At 8% Premium To Spot As 'No Brainer' Shorts Fail To Appear | Zero
Despite broadly-spewed sentiment last week that Bitcoin futures would herald the end of Bitcoin as 'shorts' could finally capitalize on the 'tulipmania', for now, they have failed to turn up...

Time to release the internet from the free market – and make it a basic right | Naked Links
Internet providers seized a tool built at public expense, privatized it, and sold it back to us for profit. Repealing net neutrality will only make it worse

How Email Open Tracking Quietly Took Over the Web | Wired
There are some 269 billion emails sent and received daily. That’s roughly 35 emails for every person on the planet, every day. Over 40 percent of those emails are tracked. The tech is pretty simple. Tracking clients embed a line of code in the body of an email—usually in a 1x1 pixel image, so tiny it's invisible, but also in elements like hyperlinks and custom fonts. When a recipient opens the email, the tracking client recognizes that pixel has been downloaded, as well as where and on what device.

Putin orders beginning of withdrawal from Syria | Aljazeera
In surprise visit to Russian air base in Syria, Putin orders his troops to start pulling out of the war-torn country.

Worldwide Protests Continue Over Trump's Jerusalem Declaration | Anti-War
Rallies Reported From Morocco to Indonesia

Defend Democracy
Trump insisted on his Jerusalem moment, but the impact will be forever.
Domestically, it would seem Trump has little to worry about. The Democrats have spent the last 70 years (since 1948), fawning over Israel and defending it, while the Republicans’ Christian Evangelical base is in full-throated support of the embassy move. Furthermore, the GOP has been desperate to break into what was once a Democrat-only monopoly on Jewish-American political funding—and Jewish votes. In this sense, Mr. Trump’s Jerusalem announcement can be seen as a kind of coming out party—a celebration that the monopoly has been broken, that the Republicans have arrived.

How Jerusalem issue plays into Iranian, Turkish (and Russian) hands | Asia
The Arab states have tended to pay mere lip service to the Palestine issue. Now, for the first time, the baton of leadership is passing into non-Arab (Turkish-Iranian) hands, and Palestine is now a Muslim rather than an Arab issue – something Iran has always sought. It is a historic transition that underscores the diminished Saudi clout in regional politics. Arguably, the sectarian card becomes useless now in terms of isolating Iran.

Putin and Sisi meet in Cairo – agree on Palestine, Syria and Libya | Duran
Both leaders were in agreement in respect of their position on Donald Trump’s move to recognise Jerusalem/Al-Quds as the Israeli capital. Sisi called the move “reckless” and affirmed that Egypt’s position is that the United Nations is the only proper place to settle the Israel-Palestine conflict and that at all times any proposed solutions must be in line with international law.

US-Russia tensions mount after ISIS’s defeat in Syria | WSWS
The Russian general mocked the Pentagon’s pretension that it had control over designated airspace in Syria, noting that the American forces were operating in the country illegally, without either United Nations authorization or the permission of the Syrian government. He urged the US military “to concentrate on the elimination of terrorists in Iraq rather than provoke air incidents [in Syria].”

Quote of the Day
“A friend from India told me that a countryman of his said: ‘I want to go to America. I want to see a country where poor people are fat.’”

The blundering news media gets worse. | Insta
“The presidential tweet has become a strategic fixture in the war between White House and press corps, and an effective one at that.”    at 06:12

11 de Diciembre    at 01:00


Russia and China allying against America
Stratfor looks at major nations allying against America (other powers always organize against a hegemon), starting with Russia and China. How this plays out will shape the 21st century.

The strange Saudi – Israel alliance
Stratfor looks at the long-rumored tacit alliance between Saudi Arabia and Israel — against Iran. It has slowly grown for years, and has already had great force on the region. Combined with its third member, the United States, they can reshape the Middle East. Or at least try to do so.

George Friedman
Israel is devising a strategy to deal with a rising Iran.
The Iranians have broken out of their box, and now all of the players in the region need to consider how this affects their strategy. What we saw this weekend seemed to be the start of Israel’s response. But the Israelis have not shown their full hand yet, and it seems to me that they don’t like the hand they are going to have to play.

Charles Hugh Smith
Where are Europe's Fault Lines?
Regardless of the era or players, security is a permanent priority: this includes defensible borders, alliances to counter potential foes, treaties to end hostilities and whatever is necessary to secure access to resources and trade routes.

Zero Hedge
China has no interest in controlling the seas
In fact they have taken a conscious decision to bypass the seas, to bypass the 7th, 8th and 9th US fleets that currently ring the Eurasian landmass. The US navy can sail the oceans to their heart’s content, the action is now on land. And to that end the first test train from China arrived directly in London in July this year; it took 20 days less than by sea. This is all pretty revolutionary stuff.

George Friedman
The Caucasus: A Rugged Land Bridge into Russia’s Heartland

George Friedman
In China, a Strategy Born of Weakness
The following analysis that lays out China’s grand strategy – an essential piece for understanding the changes the congress might portend.

George Friedman
Catalonia, Spain’s Internal Affair
Independence usually has to be won with the sword after it has been declared with the pen.

George Friedman
El Alamein: The British Empire’s Last Hurrah
The British had always had an interest in the Mediterranean, but after the opening of the Suez Canal, it became an obsession. The British had seized Gibraltar, the western entry to the Mediterranean, from Spain centuries before. The canal gave the Mediterranean an eastern exit, thus making control of the Mediterranean the key to controlling the Indian Ocean Basin, from South Africa to Singapore and the Pacific.

Energy Skeptic
Minerals and War from Ugo Bardi’s “Extracted”

The 20th century started with the buildup to an unprecedented confrontation between the industrial nations, in great measure to define access to resources in the rest of the world. Empires are by their very nature unstable structures; they can exist only by either expanding or contracting.

Geographic Challenge of Germany (short video)
And other countries too.

Why Germans Are So Ambivalent About Russia
Germans and Russians share a long history of attraction and repulsion, fear and embrace, conflict and harmony. That endlessly complicates their relations today.

George Friedman
A Different Kind of Reset in Russia
It is difficult to imagine that they had control over Trump, because if they had sufficient information to control him, they would have protected him from any hint of connection to Russia. There are too many trails leading from the Russians to Trump to believe they had him. Phone calls and meetings would not have taken place, and contact with his staff would not have existed. But perhaps the Russians are getting clumsy, and perhaps they were seeking to discredit an American president.

George Friedman
In China, a Strategy Born of Weakness
Diverse interests and regional divides threaten to destabilize the country.

George Friedman
Beijing’s establishing a military base in Djibouti is mostly just for show.
China chose Djibouti as the location for its base because Beijing has an interest in ensuring the flow of trade from the Persian Gulf to China. Eighty percent of China’s seaborne oil imports pass through this route through the India Ocean, so it’s a vital part of keeping the country running.

Caspian Report

Russia Insider
The Russian Intervention in the U.S. Civil War
Far from being a domestic affair about the human rights of the slaves, Civil War was a momentous geopolitical event with massive international implications. In his 1960 book “War for the Union,” historian Allan Nevins wrote that, “It is hardly too much to say that the future of the world as we know it was at stake. … Anglo-French intervention in the American conflict would probably have confirmed the splitting and consequent weakening of the United States; might have given French power in Mexico a long lease, with the ruin of the Monroe Doctrine; and would perhaps have led to the Northern conquest of Canada."
   at 00:02


NY Times
Can Steve Bannon Realign American Politics?

What’s Bannonism? | FiveThirtyEight
The former Breitbart editor opposes broad international trade agreements and favors an adversarial relationship between the Trump administration and the news media, as well as between the administration and the federal bureaucracy. He wants very tough policies on illegal immigration, has called for limiting refugees from the Middle East from coming to the U.S., and has expressed deep concerns about the rise of Islam, both at home and abroad

“I’m proud to be a Christian Zionist,” Bannon repeated
Joining Bannon on the speakers’ list were a who’s who of American Zionists, including law professor Alan Dershowitz, Trump-appointed U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, former Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT), and Sen. Tom Cotton (D-AR) — a group ZOA President Morton Klein called “arguably the strongest group of public Zionists in America.”

Washingtons Blog
Bannon Likely to Become America’s President

The Federalist
Why Progressives Hate Steve Bannon's Cyclical View Of History
Whether they realize it or not, progressives borrow their entire worldview from Christianity, and therefore have a fundamentally millenarian view of history. The idea of cycles makes them uncomfortable.

WBUR On Point
Steve Bannon is a big fan of “The Fourth Turning” and its dark message of political upheaval.

Steve Bannon’s Apocalyptic ‘Unravelling’
Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon sees apocalyptic days ahead, a harsh winter before society’s renewal.
   at 00:01