The Only News

 

Collateral Damage
U.S. Sanctions Aimed at Russia Strike Western European Allies
DIANA JOHNSTONE • JULY 28, 2017 • 1,600 WORDS

Under U.S. sanctions, any EU nation doing business with Russia may find itself in deep trouble. In particular, the latest bill targets companies involved in financing Nord Stream 2, a pipeline designed to provide Germany with much needed natural gas from Russia.

By the way, just to help out, American companies will gladly sell their own fracked natural gas to their German friends, at much higher prices.

[…]

The United States gets away with this gangster behavior because over the years it has developed a vast, obscure legalistic maze, able to impose its will on the “free world” economy thanks to the omnipresence of the dollar, unrivaled intelligence gathering and just plain intimidation.

European leaders reacted indignantly to the latest sanctions. The German foreign ministry said it was “unacceptable for the United States to use possible sanctions as an instrument to serve the interest of U.S. industry”. The French foreign ministry denounced the “extraterritoriality” of the U.S. legislation as unlawful, and announced that “To protect ourselves against the extraterritorial effects of US legislation, we will have to work on adjusting our French and European laws”.

 

Narratives Are Not Truths
Clusterfuck Nation
by James Howard Kunstler
July 31, 2017

Let’s start with health care, so called, since the failure to do anything about the current disastrous system is so fresh. What’s the narrative there? That “providers” (doctors and hospitals) can team up with banking operations called “insurance companies” to fairly allocate “services” to the broad population with a little help from the government. No, that’s actually not how it works. The three “players” actually engage in a massive racketeering matrix — that is, they extract enormous sums of money dishonestly from the public they pretend to serve and they do it twice: once by extortionary fees and again by taxes paid to subsidize mitigating the effects of the racketeering.

 

The Demolition of U.S. Global Power
Donald Trump’s Road to Debacle in the Greater Middle East
ALFRED MCCOY • JULY 16, 2017 • 4,200 WORDS

 

Media Mourn End of CIA Killing Syrians and Strengthening Al Qaeda
BEN NORTON
JULY 27, 2017

 

Anthropology’s Obsession with African Origins
AUSTEN LAYARD • JULY 28, 2017 • 4,600 WORDS

 

 

The only stuff that happened in the last week after the fold:

 Monday,  July 31, 2017

Discovery Communications announces it will acquire Scripps Networks Interactive for US$ 14.6 billion. (CNBC)

Qatar files a legal complaint at the World Trade Organization (WTO) concerning the embargo imposed by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates in June. The parties have 60 days to settle the complaint to avoid WTO litigation. (Reuters)

Newly-appointed White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly fires Director of Communications Anthony Scaramucci less than ten days after Scaramucci took up his post.  (BBC)

 Sunday,  July  30, 2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin expels 755 United States diplomats in response to new sanctions imposed by the United States. (Al Jazeera)

Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad faces sentences on seven verdicts of misusing billions of dollars in government funds while in office, the Supreme Audit Court public prosecutor said. If confirmed, Ahmadinejad will be barred from public office for seven years. (Reuters)

Adrián Beltré of the Texas Rangers becomes the 31st player with 3,000 career hits in Major League Baseball, reaching the milestone with a fourth-inning double in the Rangers’ 10–6 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. Beltré is the first Dominican-born player to reach the milestone. (ESPN)

Saturday,  Jul 29,  2017

The Charles Kuonen Bridge in the Swiss Alps in Randa, Switzerland, opens. At 1,621 feet (494 meters), it is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world. (CNN)

 Friday,  Jul 28, 2017

U.S. Appeals Court Judge Patricia Millett rejects the Federal Aviation Administration argument that seat size is unimportant when passengers exit a plane in an emergency, and orders the FAA to set minimum standards for the space airlines give passengers. (Reuters) (Bloomberg)

North Korea launches an intercontinental ballistic missile that flies 620 miles horizontally in about 45 minutes, landing in the Sea of Japan, according to Japan, South Korea and the United States. (Reuters)

U.S. President Donald Trump announces Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly will be White House Chief of Staff, replacing Reince Priebus. (ABC News)

 Thursday, Jul 27,  2017

Ukraine’s domestic intelligence service, the SBU, reports that the March 2017 explosions at Balakliia military base in Eastern Ukraine were caused by a drone carrying a ZMG-1 thermite grenade. The explosions resulted in 1 death and 5 injuries. (Popular Mechanics)

France nationalises the STX Europe-owned Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, Pays de la Loire, to prevent Italian shipbuilding firm Fincantieritaking majority control. Italian Minister of Economy and Finances Pier Carlo Padoan calls the French decision to nationalise the shipyard “grave and incomprehensible”. (Reuters)

A new study, published in the The BMJ medical journal, finds that electronic cigarettes may help smokers stop their habit. The researchers found that a substantial increase in e-cigarette use among American adult smokers was associated with a statistically significant increase in the smoking cessation rate. (ABC News) (The BMJ)

 Wednesday,  Jul 26, 2017

According to the Defense Ministry, between 26 and 30 military personnel are dead and over 80 Taliban militants have been either killed or wounded amid intense fighting at a military base in Kandahar Province. (Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty)

United States President Donald Trump tweets that transgender Americans will not be allowed to serve “in any capacity” in the United States Armed Forces. (The Hill)

The United States Senate rejects “repeal only” propositions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. United States President Donald Trump lashes out at Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, who voted against the proposal. (The New York Times)

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Michael Kors buys Jimmy Choo for US$1.2 billion. (The New York Times)

Following a similar move in France, the United Kingdom is to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040 in order to reduce air pollution. A new tax will also be levied on diesel car drivers in 2020. (Sky News)

A study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, finds that 99 percent of the brains donated for scientific research by deceased National Football League players show signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the disease identified in autopsies of numerous NFL players who have committed suicide, and the subject of the 2015 movie Concussion(Reuters)  (JAMA)

The United States Navy says the USS Thunderbolt fired a warning shot at an Iranian patrol boat after it came within 150 yards of the U.S. ship. (ABC News)

The U.S. House of Representatives votes in favor of economic sanctions against Russia for its interference in the 2016 U.S. election, and against Iran and North Korea for their weapons programs. (The Washington Post)

 

 

21 Replies to “The Only News”

  1. so, i went to see that new movie, “dunkirk”. i never go to theaters. but i wanted to get of the house, my gf wanted to get out of the house, and, most importantly, i remembered that the movie was mentioned here on zk. although i don’t remember the context in which it was mentioned.

    anyhoo, i should have known better. it was some form of trite drivel, like every other war movie ever made (the exceptions being “das boot” and “the thin red line”).

  2. the story i heard on Dunkirk is the jerrys basically let the brits get away because adolf liked them and really wanted to make peace with them. that may also be why the germans never invaded the UK, just bombed them up a bit.

  3. i guess that the “golden bridge” theory, the theory that adolf let them leave, is addressed, debunked, weakly, in the above documentary…

  4. ‘Dunkirk’ Is a Booming, Bloodless Bore
    War has never been this dull

    “The critics are raving about Dunkirk, telling their readers that writer-director Christopher Nolan’s latest film is a masterpiece. It’s not. They’re wrong. I know I’m on the wrong side of the argument here, that most of War Is Boring’s readers will see Dunkirk and most will love it, but I’m prepared to die on this hill.

    Dunkirk isn’t good. It’s a boring experiment in bombastic sound and hallucinogenic cinematography. It’s a movie people are destined to praise and then never watch again.”

    Should have taken her to see War for Planet of the Apes. Duh :)

  5. see, now i have to read hollebeque. i’ve been meaning to for a while, but now i have to. this will cut into my drinking time, which is annoying.

  6. I picked up Platform in Barnes and Noble because of the cover in 2004 and read the whole thing in the store that night. I had never heard of Houellebecq. He instantly became the only contemporary novelist I pay attention to.

    I have only read the first couple chapters of The Elementary Particles  (2001). He made a movie out of it himself. It is pretty bad. I should finish the book soon. I really liked The Possibility of an Island  (2007) but I was very stoned at that point in my life. I opened my copy again recently and couldn’t get into it. It is about clones in the future having relationships with clones of people their ancestors had relationships with in real life, but now in cyberspace or whatever. An interesting attempt at science fiction.

    My favorite is actually The Map and the Territory (2012). Quite an original idea and, as always, brilliant social commentary.

    And, of course, he has finally become recognized in the US for Submission which is really good and a relatively short read.

    And War for Planet of the Apes sucked. I just walked into it after I saw Dunkirk. For $12 I’m seeing at least three movies. Fuck Hollywood. They can’t make anything worth seeing more than twice a year now at most. Bladerunner 2049 comes out in October. Nothing until then. It’s the end of history or something.

  7. i guess that the reason i first became interested in hollebeque, is because he’s often compared to celine. who’s book, “journey to the end of the night”, i’ve ended up reading, rereading, every ten years or so for the last 40.

    celine wrote some other stuff that i could never find my way into.

    my reading list is way too long at the moment. but it will have to be rearranged to accommodate some hollebecque. i guess i’ll try “the elementary particles” first.

  8. Huh. Never heard of it. Just read up on Louis Ferdinand Auguste Destouches on wikipedia and the first couple pages of Journey online. I’m sold.

  9. “The superstructure of human social existence, such as economics, warfare, irrational political movements and social organizations which serve the suppression of Life, are drowning out the basic tragedy that besets the human animal, in a flood of what we may call rationalizations, cover-ups, evasions of the true issue; in addition to all this, it can rely on a perfectly logical and coherent rationality which is valid only within the framework of law versus crime, state versus people, morals versus sex, civilization versus nature, police versus criminal and so forth all along and down the line of human misery. There is no chance whatsoever to ever penetrate through this mire unless one has put oneself outside the holocaust and has made oneself inaccessible to the big noise. We are hurrying to assure the reader that we do not consider this noise and empty busyness as merely irrational, as nothing but aimless and senseless activity. It is a crucial characteristic of the tragedy that this nonsense is valid, meaningful and necessary, though only within its own realm and under certain given conditions of human conduct.” – Wilhelm Reich.

  10. WTF, I’m about to leave South Korea after traveling to the far northern point of the DMZ, flipped the bird and shouted a Bronx Cheer to Kim Jong Un (the South Korean tourists were appalled, the ones that apparently knew some English), left and still, nothing. Maybe a few shells will hit the tarmac as the plane departs down the runway tonight. One can only hope…

  11. political nihilism, like all ideology, arises from the prevailing social conditions. trump is simply a single, simple, manifestation of shifting social conditions. as such, he is as meaningless as everything else, philosophical nihilism…

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