Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday Globe Foreign To Me

I'm sure it would read better if I were one of the elites of Bo$ton or New England.

Coverage began on page A13:

"As the French go to the polls, uncertainty is the only sure bet" by Alissa J. Rubin New York Times   April 22, 2017

PARIS — .... A majority of French voters have traditionally supported parties with established ideologies, either mainstream left or right. But traditional left-right allegiances are breaking down all over — in Europe, as they appear to have in the United States — as polarization grows.

Globalization is a stark dividing line, with candidates on both the extreme left and right crusading against it, and more centrist candidates embracing it.

Voters are looking to get away from politics as usual. That appears to have helped one of the leading candidates, Emmanuel Macron, a former economy minister who has formed a new party with a platform that combines pro-business, pro-European Union, and pro-social welfare elements — a novelty in contemporary France.

With allegiances to existing parties diminishing, some French voters find themselves torn between candidates who are diametrically opposed.

A good example was Pierre Haux, a teacher at a technical school, who went to a rally last week in Lille of the mainstream conservative candidate, François Fillon, who is under the cloud of a nepotism scandal that has led to claims of embezzlement. 

It is as I predicted yesterday.

Haux said he was also weighing voting for the far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, but worried that he was “a one-man show.”

Also-ran will finish 5th; no way they are letting him near a run-off. He's hardly gotten any coverage at all.

In France, as elsewhere, the election may be decided in the provinces, in smaller and midsize towns and rural communities. Rural areas have proved especially unpredictable in recent votes, like Britain’s so-called Brexit vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump’s election in the United States.

That would seem to help Le Pen like it did Trump.

In addition, the trend lines — whether a candidate appears to be steadily gaining votes, losing them, or remaining flat — are of little help. Most recently they have shown the third- and fourth-place candidates, Fillon and Mélenchon, gaining ground, while the two in the lead, Macron followed closely by the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, have remained flat or lost ground.

For French voters, who are facing 10 percent unemployment, with levels closer to 25 percent for young people, the most pressing issues are economic, but even those can lead in multiple directions.

Some voters attribute France’s economic ills to poor leadership, others to globalization, and still others to an influx of immigrants into the country.

Unlike in other years, nothing in the current election has followed old patterns.

It is a cliché of French politics that voters follow their hearts in the first round, choosing the person they most want, but follow their heads in the runoff, choosing one less likely to do damage.

That equation may no longer apply.

Because the race is so close, voters may try to vote strategically from the beginning and not risk an outcome in which two extremist candidates reach the second round.

On the other hand, if tradition holds true, and voters do follow their hearts, it is not impossible to foresee a final round where voters must choose between two candidates at the extremes, Le Pen on the right and Mélenchon on the left.

Significant numbers of voters also appear likely to abstain or to cast a blank piece of paper to show their dissatisfaction with all of their choices. That, too, would seem to favor the nonestablishment candidates, whose supporters are more motivated to go to the polls....


I'm sure the results have already been fixed.

"140 soldiers killed in Taliban attack on Afghan base, official says" by Mujib Mashal New York Times   April 22, 2017

KABUL — A day after a lethal Taliban assault on an army base in northern Afghanistan, an official said on Saturday that at least 140 soldiers had been killed, making it the single deadliest known attack on an Afghan military base in the course of the long war.

A war with no end in sight, and my take on this is twofold:

First of all, we have no way of knowing if this event even took place, and if so, we have no reason to believe war pre$$ accounts.

Secondly, what I see here is propaganda laying the groundwork for troop increases and increased military action. You see, after having observed the war propaganda for so long you begin to see a pattern with the shifting narrative. At times we are winning, their is success, so no time to get out, right? Then there is the we are losing line, and thus an increased effort must be waged.

In either case, there is no talk of withdrawal, no talk of ending the wars, no talk of the duplicitous funding and arming of the very terrorists they claim to fight. Even though the narratives seem contradictory and truthful -- ha-ha-ha -- on the surface, they reinforce the overall War on Terror meme that is not to be questioned.

The soldiers, most of them unarmed, were shot while eating lunch or emerging from a Friday Prayer service at the headquarters of the Afghan army’s 209th Corps in Balkh by assailants in military uniforms who entered after another attacker had detonated explosives at a check post. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the assault.

I'm told the Taliban claimed responsibility, but that could be a catchall term for whomever (that was back when I was full of anger, fire, and vinegar).

The Taliban released the names and a picture of 10 men who they said had taken part in the assault. All were dressed in Afghan military uniforms, down to helmets and kneepads. A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said the assailants had been led inside the base by four soldiers who had long been working for the militants.

What, do they have their own "news service," too? 

Now I am not doubting there are infiltrators into U.S.-trained oppressors; that's a problem that has been going on since the Vietnam days with this equipping of puppet armies as we "leave." This event may well have happened; however, you will have to go outside me and the BG to find out.

The attack came weeks after militants entered the Afghan army’s main hospital in Kabul, the capital, and killed more than 50 people in a siege that lasted nearly seven hours. The Islamic State group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, claimed responsibility for that assault. The militants had inside help in that attack, security officials said.

Aaah, ISIS, ISIL, whatever, claimed responsibility for that one. A-ha. Inside job you say?

That was reported through SITE Intelligence (who is Rita Katz?), meaning it was likely a complete fiction or a false flag, and the fact that is being flogged again is damn near a confirmation.

The Taliban remain the biggest security threat to the country. Such a major security breach in Balkh, even before the start of the insurgents’ spring offensive, is a major concern to Afghan forces who are already struggling in the fight against the Taliban.

It wasn't always that way.

In 2016, 6,700 Afghan service members were killed in battle. The ability of a few militants to cause tremendous bloodshed in secure areas was an especially troubling sign....

Yup, better hustle the troops there as our Afghan proxies are mowed down (6700 of them?).


"North Koreans go back to work at nuclear site, analysts say" by Choe Sang-hun New York Times  April 22, 2017


SEOUL — In their previous study of satellite photos, taken last Sunday, the analysts noted several teams at the test site playing volleyball, a popular sport in the North. That left observers wondering whether the North Koreans were engaged in some sort of deception or were simply taking Sunday off. 

That is what I was wondering about the war-pushing New York Times here. 

Remember the satellite photos that showed Iraq forces massed at the Saudi border? Babies thrown out of incubators? 

Who knows what the North Koreans are going to do? What I do know is I no longer believe the account that comes to me in the form of my pre$$. Period.

If the North tests another nuclear device, it would be a major show of defiance by Kim Jong Un, coming after President Trump’s repeated warnings against his country. Speaking Monday in Seoul, the South Korean capital, Vice President Mike Pence said North Korea would do well not to test Trump’s “resolve or the strength of armed forces of the United States in the region.”

On Saturday in Sydney, Australia, Pence said that a US naval strike group led by the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson was expected to be in the Sea of Japan, which borders the Korean Peninsula, by the end of April....

Yeah, except they lied about where it was before!!


Why would you believe anything that was said in there? 

That was a New York Times triple play. 

Now for a brief one from AP:

"Missiles struck a medical center in Syria’s northern rebel-held province Saturday, putting the underground facility out of service and killing at least three staff members as well as a person in the vicinity, opposition activists said. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that airstrikes seriously damaged the medical center in Abdin village, in Idlib. International medical charities say Syrian government forces target hospitals, clinics, and ambulances in opposition-held areas." 

Notice how the U.S. slaughter of civilians has quickly gone away.

"Two top drug traffickers were killed in predawn shootouts Saturday with federal forces in the northern Mexico border state of Tamaulipas. Julian Loisa Salinas was killed in the border city of Reynosa, across the border from McAllen, Texas. He reportedly led the Gulf cartel there. The leader of the rival Zetas cartel in Ciudad Victoria was killed in a shootout farther south. He was tentatively identified as Francisco Carreon."

"A Russian soldier serving at a military base in Gyumri was killed in a knife attack Saturday at a store near the base, a regional prosecutor said. Local news reports said a suspect was arrested. Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti, citing the military’s southern command, said preliminary indications were that the attack was sparked by a domestic dispute."

RelatedThe anti-gay purge in Chechnya must be stopped

What is this about vietnamese-villagers-release-officials-held-hostage-land-dispute?

UPDATE: In House of Murdoch, sons set about an elaborate overhaul

Fox to become like CNN and MSNBC (not that it really matters)?

I used to like James, but now I don't know. We'll see.