The ‘R’ Word Is Being Used

Ok, he is a libertarian, which in itself is not necessarily a bad thing, apart from all the other things that go along with it, but as I have said before – he is the only American politician who does tend to say some of the right things.

Everyone already knows that America is already in recession, but it is well concealed or attempted to be so by official sources, though who they think they are kidding I don’t know.https://duckduckgo.com/i/9f6bb2b4.jpg

Ron Paul lays it down pretty nicely and without unnecessary embellishment right here on CNBC: We’re in recession and it’s getting worse: Ron Paul

I comment frequently on the US economic situation for one reason and one reason only.  It is that if the US was doing all right, then there would be at least some reason to expect that the world would also be doing all right or at least heading in that direction.  But if the US is leading a race to the bottom, a position which it is undoubtedly in contention for now, then there is little hope for the rest of the world to be in anything that looks like a buoyant situation.

Well, that used to be the case anyway.  All bets are off these days and no one nation can be said to be the front-runner, or no one would seek to be the front-running boat in a world economy afloat on a sea liberally spread with rocks and icebergs.

So, the ‘R’ word is increasingly being used.  I wonder how long until the ‘D’ word makes an appearance again?

I comment on other aspects of US policy perhaps even more frequently than economics, for a whole variety of reasons.  But that’s another story.  For another day.

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“This is not a moment of crisis”

035a65b76b5a525acfde3ac836341d34_xlPhoto of Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew: AP Images

“This is not a moment of crisis”.

Isn’t that what the Captain of the Titanic also said, as the iceberg appeared out of the fog?

So, if it is not a moment of crisis, is it then an “Oh shit, moment”?

I’m not sure the G20 participants are at all equipped to answer that question.

I know what I think.

“The Decline and Fall of Hillary Clinton”

There are less than a handful of weekly blogs that I regularly follow for the wisdom and wit that I perceive in their writings.  This post, unlike my previous one which was a day or two late in catching up with the latest offering from one of those blogs, comes only hours after the latest release of The Archdruid Report, the musings of John Michael Greer who until recently was Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America and is now the current head of the Druidic Order of the Golden Dawn (neither of which organisations I owe any allegiance to or agree with any of their precepts, rules, beliefs, or whatever (what people do in their spare time is entirely up to them)).

The Archdruid Report this week, I am sure quite uncoincidentally, also (as with my previous post) deals with the matter of the 2016 US Elections, with a piece titled The Decline and Fall of Hillary Clinton which I have again chosen to quote as the title of this post.

Now, a word of warning before I recommend this blog post for general reading, it is not for everyone.  While James Howard Kunstler, to whose work I referred in my previous post, occasionally introduces an obscure word or two that would not be found in normal everyday speech, his wit and writing style render reading of his work a pleasant, amusing and interesting experience.  This cannot always be said of Greer’s pieces.  The wit is almost always drier, even cutting at times.  The language is painstakingly and ritually obtuse, though making complete sense if one is able to follow it all the way through lengthy, complex, overly flowery and winding sentence construction (similar to my own at times).

Having said that, I do generally like what he has to say, or at least find the subject interesting to plough my way through to the end.  It is up to you.  I offer this link, with those recommendations, because it does offer a perspective and certain insights on the subject and people in question.  A subject the outcome of which will affect all of us in some measure.  I am not going to offer any commentary on the piece because, well, I find that prospect quite daunting.  Here is the link again: The Decline and Fall of Hillary Clinton

“Between the Loathsome and the Unspeakable”

Sometimes life just gets so busy, even for someone who has nowhere to go or be at any particular time (that would be me of course).  So busy that important things get missed sometimes.

And so it was, that I came to miss this week’s fine word picture weekly episode from Jim Kunstler’s Clusterfuck Nation blog, which as usual came out on Tuesday (Australian time), and which carries the title Between the Loathsome and the Unspeakable that I have borrowed (as a quote) to head this post.  Kunstler’s post is recommended reading.

It all centres around the 2016 US General Election which will determine who is to be the next US President.  The so-called leader of the free world (chortle-chortle).

It is not clear to me just whether it is Hillary who is the ‘Loathesome’ and Donald who is the ‘Unspeakable’, or whether it is the other way around.  But I suspect, I honestly suspect, that it doesn’t really matter a single iota either way.

Jim (JHK), lays out reasons as to why the result of said proceedings, what he refers to as – “the stupidest election contest in American history”, may be short lived (some sort of termination event perhaps, emanating from “the apparatus of the runaway Deep State (NSA and the military)”), or the whole thing may never happen, being overtaken (preceded) by overarching, unstoppable and grossly destabilising external events of an entirely different nature, centred around banking and financial collapse and which should provide “reason to worry that America will be too disorderly later this year to even hold the 2016 general election”.  If you have been keeping up with the sort of news that could topple our already unstable global economy, you will have no problem in recognising the organisation referred to as ‘DB’ in Jim’s post.  It is not an American entity.

I hope I haven’t given away too many spoilers.  Just read the damn thing for yourself.  Here is the link again: Between the Loathsome and the Unspeakable.

 

 

Peak Oil – Redux

I came across this article today:  Peak Oil Returns: Why Demand Will Likely Peak By 2030  by Think Progress.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Hmmm, I don’t believe a word of this.  Well, maybe some of it is all right.

But when they talk about peak oil is dead, or peak oil returns (with a different definition), they are issuing mixed messages, neither of which contains any truth.

Peak oil, by the original definition, which says that oil production (that is oil in barrels, not still in the ground, and not requiring some form of further extraction to make it even look like oil and flow like oil and act like oil) would fall behind oil demand at some point and never again rise above it.  That point being named ‘Peak Oil’, occurred in 2005.  That is indisputable, if you look at production graphs broken by type of oil produced over the years of this current century.

Yes, I know that total oil production has always marginally led demand during this century, and demand has unexpectedly begun to fall in recent years, such that we are globally storing oil from over-production, but that is really all smoke and mirrors.  Here’s why:

The world corporate, government and financial sectors could never accept that ‘Peak Oil’ might arrive of course, because if it did, that would mean the end of our modern society, the end of growth, the end of our ability to wage modern warfare, or pursue industrial agriculture, globalised transport and commerce, and as a result usher in the end of our economic and financial structures.  Societal collapse.  So, expecting an ever increasing demand (the foundation of growth) from an ever increasing population (a second foundational pillar for growth), they took whatever measures they could to ensure that ‘Peak Oil’ never happened, or at least never appeared to happen.  They began the ‘Drill, drill, drill, baby, drill’ project of unearthing anything that vaguely resembled or even smelled like oil, in a mad, mad, rush to beat ‘Peak Oil’ at any cost.  And I mean ‘At Any Cost’, no matter whether it was sustainably profitable, and ignoring any perceived risk to public welfare or environmental hazard.

Well, of course that didn’t last long. It never could last long.  We are now seeing the result of that folly.

But I am getting carried away and straying from what I intended to say, which is:  Any breakdown of oil production this century, will show that total production has marginally kept increasing over the years.  But if you take the amount of real oil, produced from genuine oil-fields, oil that needs no extra processing to make it fit for purpose other than the standard refining processes, has been on the decrease since 2005 as expected and forecast.  It will continue to decline as good wells and fields expire and close.  It will never entirely cease of course, until the ability to pay for it falls behind the benefits of having at least some small amounts for certain specific needs, and it will definitely outlast all other forms of commercial oil production carried out today.

So, ‘Peak Oil’ has never died.  It has just been cleverly or mischievously hidden from public view.  That subterfuge is now being revealed for what it is, and the peak-oilers who caved in to peer pressure and went along with the general flow are revealed for the weaklings that they are.

Just what is this new definition of peak oil about then?  Well, they are saying in this post – I will quote it: “The idea of peak oil supply — the notion that our reach (demand) for oil would exceed our grasp (global supply) — is dead.”  But (I say) that has never been what peak oil is about.  As I explained above, peak oil has nothing to do with ‘demand’.  ‘Peak oil’ is the point in time when the maximum daily production amount (an amount that cannot be exceeded) is reached.  Simply that, and nothing more.

So, the new peak oil – ‘Peak Oil Supply’, is actually nonsense.  It depends on two variables.  One which is most likely, from now on, always going to be on the slide (supply), whether we are talking about good oil or anything resembling oil, and one which can operate in either direction almost at will (demand).  There is no sense to that.  It can never peak.  Perhaps that is the point they want to get across.  Idiots.

The conclusion, according to the ‘new peakers’, and I quote:

“It appears instead that homo sapiens might just be wise enough not to over-reach, that we may voluntarily let go of oil (and coal) before they destroy a livable climate for the next 50 generations.  Let’s hope so.”

To which I say:

“Utter Balderdash!”

The conclusion, according to me:

First thought – “Mankind is genetically pre-disposed to consume everything in its path, whatever the cost, until it renders itself unviable as a species.  The End.”

Second thought – “Maybe, by some chance of fate, enough of us will be left over in some dark corner of the world to start the whole process over again, from scratch.  Nature does tend to run in cycles.  Another million years or so of human development to reach the same point as we are at now.  The world might even have grown (grown?) some more oil by then” 🙂

BHP, Suffering A Panic Attack

I think the world’s biggest mining corporation (that’s BHP Billiton) is in big trouble this year, although it may not surface until next.  At the very least, it is a huge gamble.

BHP is banking on a big turnaround in the price of oil to something like $50 dollars a barrel over the next year and is looking to buy up cheap oil assets from the expected crowd of bankrupt oil companies over the same period.

Ahem… Shouldn’t somebody be asking, “What sort of investment strategy is that?”

Not very clear forward thinking, to my mind.  I would have thought a more positive approach would have been to diversify out of mining, myself.  There’s not much future to that line of work.  They only have to look at their 86% first half profit downturn from $5.4 billion last year to $751 million this year.  The mining industry is on its last legs.  Not just temporarily, but for good.

And that hoped for $50 per barrel oil price?  Sheeesh!  Even at that lofty price (it was $120 or more per barrel 2 years ago) is not commensurate with trading at a profit.  You only have to remember back a few months, maybe six or so, when oil was fetching more than $50, and still, even back then, that’s when oil companies were in deep trouble and paddling like crazy to stay afloat, selling assets and buying their own shares just to maintain the illusion that all was well.

WHAT IS BHP THINKING?  The World’s Biggest Miner May Be About to Toast Its Oil Drillers  Toast its oil drillers?  The whole organisation is going to be toast.

 

Nothing good is going to come of this.  Thank goodness. But why am I concerned?  Well, actually I am not concerned, in the slightest.  I just allot some time most days looking for evidence that the world economy is sinking into the mire.  I don’t usually have to look very far to find it.

The cracks are beginning to grow wider in our crumbling global economy on a daily basis.

Those who should be, those so-called Captains of Industry, are no longer thinking straight.  Hence the raising of ideas like this ludicrous strategy of BHP.  Isn’t the pursuit of such activity as that, known as ‘panic’?

Icons like BHP will fail and fall just as quickly as many lesser-known entities.  The sooner the better, for the world’s sake.

Stirring Recep’s Recipe For Madness

I like Zero Hedge.  I especially like Zero Hedge when he is talking about real stuff and not just wallowing through the mire of financial collapse (well, that is what it looks like to me), important as that is.  It gets a little boring waiting for the world of national economies to go belly up, especially since no-one seems to be helping that along any and the major players desperately paddling against the current to keep the thing afloat as long as possible.  Just when will the last straw that may be grasped at float along towards the sea of flailing hands?  Maybe it already has.

So, it is nice, for want of a better word just before bedtime, to see talk about real stuff. And there is nothing more real just now than watching the deranged President of Turkey gradually and completely lose his mind over Syria and the Kurds.

© Yannis BehrakisPhoto credit: © Yannis Behrakis / Reuters  

The situation holds a very special note of interest because it is the most likely crisis to open the door to global warfare which must, sooner or later, erupt across one or more of the borders between the current tag-team, no holds barred, mud-wrestling match going on in the Levant  between around 40 different nations and groups already.

One act by a deranged madman, which Recep Tayyip Erdogan is rapidly turning into, accidentally or not, with intention or not, will be enough, more than enough, to kindle the flame that will ignite World War III.

Read about it at Zero Hedge here: A Furious Turkey Says US Is “Acting Like An Enemy,” Demands Washington Brand Kurds “Terrorists”…and at Russia Today here: ‘No ifs and buts’: Turkey demands US support against ‘Kurdish terrorists’

Putting it all in context, here is a grab form the Zero Hedge article:

“The problem for Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar is optics. That is, everything anyone does in Syria has to be justified by an imaginary “war on terror.” Turkey can’t say it’s intervening to keep the rebels from being defeated by the Russians, and similarly, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the US, France and everyone else needs to preserve the narrative and pretend as though this all doesn’t boil down to the West and the Sunnis versus the Russians and the Shiites.”

…and, from Russia Today, pinpointing exactly the flash-point I am talking about.  Or one of them:

“On Friday however Washington rejected a Russian draft resolution which condemned any plans for foreign military intervention in Syria. Russia’s latest concerns are related to a dangerous escalation on the Syrian Turkish border amid Ankara’s alleged plans to put boots on the ground in northern Syria, which Damascus has called a violation of Syria’s sovereignty.”

Just as a footnote, here is another Zero Hedge article which contains a map showing Russian air strikes in Syria during February so far.  While a great deal can be read from this, in fairness it does show that the Russians are speaking the truth (as I always knew they were) about their not just bombing the moderate terrorists (aka the moderate rebels aided by the US) that are fighting Assad’s legitimate Syrian regime.  Like the Russians say, there is no such thing as a moderate rebel.  They are all terrorists and need to be blown to bits.  And if a few clandestine American advisers get blown to bits with them, well, tough titties.

In addition, the map shows (I will display it here for convenience…)

https://i0.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user92183/imageroot/2016/02/09/SyriaRussiaStrikes.pngFrom ISW:

…very clearly that Turkey does not have much room to invade Syria or to prevent their trade in illicit oil from ISIS from being cut off entirely.  Nor from preventing the Kurds from setting up a separate Kurdish state on their southern border.

Interesting.  But still very dangerous for all of us.  Keep an eye open for flash-points.

A Year In The Life… Of The Sun

Amazing time-lapse video of our very own star.  Absolutely wonderful.

…and brought to you in stunning Ultra HD (if you have the capability), from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory by NASA Heliophysics, courtesy of Russia Today:  Solar explosion timelapse: A year in the life of the sun (VIDEO)

This image is a composite of 23 separate images spanning the period of January 11, 2015 to January 21, 2016. © NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center / SDO / S. Wiessinger

The first video shows a complete year in the life of the Sun in six and a half minutes.

The second one is a much slower and closer look at a 30 minute window with a time-lapse of only 12 seconds between frames.  You will be amazed.

…and if you do have the capability to view in 4K (my internet connection isn’t fast enough for that) these videos are ready for that.  Even at 1080p (my limit for viewing) the scene is a fantastic glimpse of something that past generations could never have dreamed of.

“There’s No Understanding Anything Without A Grasp Of Its History”

“There’s no understanding anything without a grasp of its history—which, of course, is the American failing over and over again.”

The above is a quote by interviewer in this piece:  “Intelligent people know that the empire is on the downhill”: A veteran CIA agent spills the goods on the Deep State and our foreign policy nightmares After almost 30 years in the CIA, Ray McGovern became a truth-teller. He sits down with Salon for a long debriefing

KERRYBarack Obama, Vladimir Putin, Bashar al-Assad, John Kerry (Credit: AP/Reuters/Evan Vucci/Alexei Druzhinin/Remy de la Mauviniere/Kathy Willens)

This is a deep and insightful exchange which I recommend to anyone who wishes to know more about the world they live in and who pulls the strings that cause the events that we see happening around us.  You need to be aware of this stuff …and it’s pretty much right up to date.

Oh What A Lovely War

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas Global War – Armageddon style.

At least, what the popular conception of that word is.

It’s the war that we have to have.  We haven’t had a really good one this century, so far.  But it’s coming.  I can feel it.

Not much different from 100 years ago:

There was a time when I religiously believed, as a great many still do, that a war in exactly the theatre of operations that this particular conflict  in the Middle East and which is gradually dragging more and more groups and nations into it, a war referred to as ‘Armageddon’, would end the current age and usher in a new one.  The details don’t matter since I no longer believe that sort of thing.  If anything, Armageddon referred to some event in the past (not in the future, or the present) when we were still under the direct influence of the gods (our descriptive term, not theirs), which has not been the case for the past 2,300 to 2,600 years.  Note:  I placed a link here to explain the previous statement, but have now removed it.  Some care has to be taken because deluded or unscrupulous people are attracted to this sort of mystery and, in the internet age, tend to pervert narratives to their own ends.  In any case, not all gods actually left, chiefly Marduk, and they may be covertly influencing world affairs even now.

Armageddon, according to the popular interpretations of the Bible narrative (partly from the Book of Daniel, written at a time when the gods were still around and pro-active in world affairs, and partly from the Book of Revelations), was to be played out between the King of the North and the King of the South, battle swinging back and forth over the ground of the Holy Place  (Jerusalem?).  The King of the North is popularly taken to be Russia, acting as leader of some Northern confederacy, presumably Syria and Iran.  The King of the South is likewise popularly taken to be America, acting as ‘The Beast’ who is the leader of a Southern confederacy, presumably Egypt and Saudi Arabia, et al.

Anyway, as the story goes, The Beast defeats the armies of the King of the North, destroying Jerusalem in the process.  The Beast’s armies are then destroyed by the arrival of The Messiah (Jesus), and then …well, everything’s sweet.  For some.  Eternal fiery torment for the rest.  If you believe any of that.

It is mostly Americans who believe this stuff (I hesitate to offer proof of this, and you follow that link at your own peril of mind contamination), which makes me wonder why they see themselves as being associated with ‘The Beast’ who destroys Jerusalem.  I wonder what the Israelis make of that?  Oh, of course, the Jews don’t recognise the New Testament.  Wise move.

Personally, I think the only thing we can take from that story is that nobody wins, and a huge mess results.

Since the time when the gods (our descriptive term, not theirs) left us to fend for ourselves, we have been waging war against each other almost continually.  It’s not surprising really since they themselves did exactly the same, and since we were created in their image it is just an inherited trait.  It’s in our nature and we will keep on doing it.  Until we can’t, for whatever reason.  One suitable reason might be, there’s no-one left to fight any more.

So.  Here we are, on the brink of another global war, starting sometime this year by my reckoning.  It’s going to be loud; It’s going to be crazy; and it’s going to have an effect on all of us in some way.  Well, more than just that, it’s going to be the end of our civilisation.  It’s going to leave us with no infrastructure, no resources, no power, no organised social structure.  It will be a reboot of human culture, starting mostly from scratch.  And you can bet your boots that most of the people who knew how things work, how to organise things, how to make stuff (the stuff that we knew and relied on previously), will mostly have perished in the preceding conflict.  I fully expect there will still be lots of those who want to take charge and control things (mostly for their own benefit) loitering around.  What we make of it all, what you more than me (since I probably won’t be around) will make of it all, will be entirely up to yourselves.

I was going to put lots of references here on articles which show that a terrible war is imminent, but you can find them for yourself quite easily (if you can’t think of anything else, such as reading back through some of my posts or going to those blogs to which I frequently refer, simply do an internet search for ‘is global war coming’).  You can even get a twisted version of the subject on the News, though you could be taken entirely by surprise if that is what you tend to rely on as a source of information on what is going on in your world.

Or, you could dismiss the entire subject as nonsense.  The choice is yours.

Added after publication:

Why did I use this Guardian link to illustrate the dangers inherent in the wars currently going on in the Middle East?   I knew I had a reason.  Just didn’t get to express it.

Well, describing the situation probably better that I could have done, a comment to this post on another site said this:

That maniac Erdogan (President of Turkey) wants to send troops into Syria!
However, a reason, or an horrific occurrence is needed as excuse.
Enter a false flag today! Wonder of wonders! Hospitals bombed.
All blamed on that dastardly Putin and the Russian’s. Oh the horror!
Turkey is a NATO country. Russia will react with force. If any of their military is threatened or harmed, they will retaliate. All it will take is one miscue to turn this nuclear and global.

Then, the VERY last thing people will be thinking about is the economy!

We will be only one step away from escalating global conflict if Turkey and Saudi act as they say they will.

And who’s fault will that be?  Well, it was the Americans who started this whole little shindig.