A Handmaid’s Tale

This show is fucking good. It’s the new ‘Game of Thrones.’

THE HANDMAID’S TALE — “Offred” – Episode 101 – Offred, one the few fertile women known as Handmaids in the oppressive Republic of Gilead, struggles to survive as a reproductive surrogate for a powerful Commander and his resentful wife. 

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Renewed for Season 2 at Hulu

 

How Harvard Business School Has Reshaped American Capitalism

But how and why that might be the case isn’t really what interests McDonald, the author of previous books about McKinsey, the consulting firm, and JPMorgan’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon. In “The Golden Passport,” he’s determined to call the Harvard Business School to account, citing its founding doctrine, which was to develop “a heightened sense of responsibility among businessmen” (and eventually women) who “will handle their current business problems in socially constructive ways.” In that regard, McDonald is scathing in his critique: Harvard Business School has not only “proven an enormous failure,” but its very success has made it positively “dangerous.”

He drives home the point in chapter after chapter, picking up steam in more recent decades: Harvard, he maintains, provided the ideological underpinnings for the junk-bond-induced takeover mania and resulting scandals of the 1980s; the corporate scandals of the 2000s; the egregious increase in the pay gap between chief executives and ordinary employees; the real estate mortgage bubble and ensuing financial crisis; even the election of Donald Trump. In McDonald’s view, the school has contributed to pretty much every bad thing that has happened in American business and the economy in the last century. In the wake of whatever scandal or financial collapse or recession to which it has contributed, it wipes its hands, distances itself and still has the nerve to put forth its experts as the solution to problems.

 

Macron’s Unusual Marriage Is OK—But NOT What His Type Are Doing to France (And America)
JOHN DERBYSHIRE • APRIL 29, 2017 • 1,300 WORDS

In my study, there hang portraits of my two literary heroes. One of them, Samuel Johnson, at age 25 married a woman twenty years his senior—a widow who, like Mrs. Macron, brought three children to the marriage. Johnson loved his wife dearly, to the bafflement of his friends. After she died seventeen years later, he mourned her for the rest of his own life.

My other literary hero, George Orwell, lost his wife Eileen after nine years of marriage, then remarried on his death bed to the prettiest girl in the office.

 

Putin’s New World Order
MIKE WHITNEY • APRIL 28, 2017 • 2,300 WORDS

 

Twenty Truths About Marine Le Pen
JAMES PETRAS • MAY 1, 2017 • 1,000 WORDS

Le Pen’s program will raise taxes on banks and financial transactions while fining capital flight in order to continue funding France’s retirement age of 62 for women and 65 for men, keeping the 35 hour work-week, and providing tax free overtime pay. She promises direct state intervention to prevent factories from relocating to low wage EU economies and firing French workers.

Le Pen is committed to increasing public spending for childcare and for the poor and disabled. She has pledged to protect French farmers against subsidized, cheap imports.

Marine Le Pen supports abortion rights and gay rights. She opposes the death penalty. She promises to cut taxes by 10% for low-wage workers. Marine is committed to fighting against sexism and for equal pay for women.

 

Why Defend South Korean Ingrates?
Trump spills the beans as the “adults” panic
by Justin Raimondo
May 01, 2017

“On the THAAD system, it’s about a billion dollars. I said, ‘Why are we paying? Why are we paying a billion dollars? We’re protecting. Why are we paying a billion dollars?’ So I informed South Korea it would be appropriate if they paid. Nobody’s going to do that. Why are we paying a billion dollars? It’s a billion dollar system. It’s phenomenal. It’s the most incredible equipment you’ve ever seen – shoots missiles right out of the sky. And it protects them and I want to protect them. We’re going to protect them. But they should pay for that, and they understand that.”

Ah, but they don’t understand it – and neither does H. R. McMaster, Trump’s newly-appointed National Security Advisor, who rushed to assure Seoul that the President didn’t really mean what he clearly said. And the South Koreans, who are in the midst of a presidential election – the vote is on May 5 – are in a uproar.

 

More NYT ‘Spin’ on the Syria-Sarin Case
April 28, 2017
By Robert Parry

Further, the U.S. and its allies have been conducting airstrikes across much of Syria in campaigns against Islamic State and Al Qaeda-linked terror groups, which have been supported by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and other Sunni-led sheikdoms. Turkey has been active, too, with strikes against Kurdish forces. And Israel has hit repeatedly at Syrian targets to promote what it regards as its interests, including destruction of Iranian weapons believed headed to the Lebanese militant group, Hezbollah.

Some – if not all – of these entities had a far stronger motive to create a chemical-weapons incident in Syria on April 4 than the Syrian government did. At the end of March, the Trump administration announced that it was no longer a U.S. priority to overthrow the Assad government, an announcement that upset several of the countries involved in the Syrian conflict, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Israel.

[…]

Shortly after the incident at Khan Sheikhoun, I was told by an intelligence source that U.S. satellite imagery had picked up what looked like a drone in the vicinity at around the time that the poison gas was released. Despite some technical difficulties in tracking its route, the source said the analysts believed that it may have come from a Saudi-Israeli special operations base in Jordan, used to assist the rebels.

 

David Ignatius’ 15 Years of Running Spin for Saudi Regime
BY ADAM JOHNSON

Ignatius, of course, is not alone. He joins a long line of faithful Western pundits who frame the Saudi regime as a reformist entity, earnestly pushing change in a fundamentally reactionary country under perma-threat from Shia forces. The Al Saud mafia is not in league with religious extremists, but a bulwark against them; they are not an illegitimate dictatorship, but an enlightened ruling class helping usher in “reform” in the face of a hyper-religious population.

And throughout it all, they are on a 71,500-year reform plan where they are effusively praised for moving their country toward the 19th century every five years or so. Other regimes that oppress their people and bomb civilians “must go” now, and are beyond the moral pale—mere allegations of being friendly with them, a career-ender. But the Saudi regime, a friendly host to light-touch US pundits, is just a well-meaning scrappy band of reformers this close to turning into Switzerland. All they need is a bit more time.

 

04.27.2017

04.27.2017

Teaching a driverless car to turn left

Is it just me or is a “self-driving” car that needs human assistance for the “complex task” of turning left not really a self-driving car?

 

BART Takeover Robbery: 40 to 60 Teens Swarm Train, Hold Up Riders

The attack was so quick, police reported, that the teenagers were able to retreat from the station and vanish into the surrounding East Oakland neighborhood before BART officers could respond. The train was held for about 15 minutes as authorities interviewed victims and witnesses and tended to the injured.

Trost said police arrived at the station in less than 5 minutes, but that the robberies took place in just seconds.

 

The National Blues
CLUSTERFUCK NATION – BLOG
April 28, 2017

 

These are people who have suffered their economic and social roles in life to be stolen from them. They do not work at things that matter. They have no prospects for a better life — and, anyway, the sheer notion of that has been reduced to absurd fantasies of Kardashian luxury, i.e. maximum comfort with no purpose other than to enable self-dramatization. And nothing dramatizes a desperate life like a drug habit. It concentrates the mind, as Samuel Johnson once remarked, like waiting to be hanged.

On display in the news reports about the mystery of the opioid epidemic is America’s neurotic reliance on supposedly scientific “studies.” Never before in history has a society studied so much and learned so little — which is what happens when you resort to scientizing things that are essentially matters of conduct. It rests on the fallacy that if you compile enough statistics about something, you can control it.

 

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales launches Wikitribune, a large-scale attempt to combat fake news

 

Russian spy ship Liman sinks off Turkey after collision with freighter

 

North Korea: Why Trump Should Hold Kim’s Feet to the Fire
EAMONN FINGLETON • APRIL 16, 2017 • 1,000 WORDS

 

How to Build a National Defense We Can Afford
Intervening around the globe is doing far more harm to America’s national security than any other single factor.
By DANIEL L. DAVIS • April 26, 2017

 

Trump and the Thucydides Trap
By NOAH MILLMAN • April 24, 2017

 

The French Elections 2017 (Round One)
ANATOLY KARLIN • APRIL 22, 2017 • 1,200 WORDS

 

The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq

The Elementary Particles

04.25.2017

Consumption

In the last 15 years, between 2000 and 2015, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2016, total global primary energy consumption rose by 40 percent from 9,371  to 13,147 Million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe).

This includes, oil, coal, natural gas, hydroelectric power, and nuclear energy.

Nuclear energy use was at about the same level it was in 2000 at 585 Mtoe and accounted for 4.4% of the total down from 6.2% in 2000.

Hydro-electric power usage has increased 48 percent to 893 Mtoe and accounted for 6.8% of the total up from 6.4% in 2000.

Natural gas consumption has risen 43 percent in the last 15 years to 3135 Mtoe steady at 23-24% of total primary energy consumption.

Coal consumption has risen an incredible 62% to 3840 Mtoe, increasing its share of the total from 25% in 2000 to 30% in 2015.

Oil consumption at about 95 million barrels per day of liquid petroleum products, which accounted for 38% of the total in 2000, has only increased 21% in the last 15 years and now accounts for 33% of the total (4331 Mtoe).

Exports

In the last decade, between 2005 and 2015, oil production from the Gulf Arab countries increased from 20 to 26 million barrels per day. These countries are Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, the U.A.E., Qatar, and Oman. These countries are all controlled by Sunnis (with the exception of Iraq) and all can be considered either under American control, American hegemony, American protection or occupied by the United States or simply part of the American Empire. This represents an increase from 25 to 28% of total global oil production in 10 years. Conventional oil production outside these countries (which has already peaked) and deplete

When the numbers are further reduced to exports from these countries as a percentage of total global exported oil and in light of the fact that most of this oil goes to either China or American surrogates – Europe, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea – it becomes quite obvious why the United States is so committed to a military presence in the Greater Middle East.

 

***

 

The Elementary Particles (2000)
by Michel Houellebecq

Prologue

This book is principally the story of a man who lived out the greater part of his life in Western Europe, in the latter half of the twentieth century. Though alone for much of his life, he was nonetheless occasionally in touch with other men. He lived through an age that was miserable and troubled. The country into which he was born was sliding slowly, ineluctably, into the ranks of the less developed countries; often haunted by misery. the men of his generation lived out their lonely, bitter lives. Feelings such as love, tenderness and human fellowship had, for the most part, disappeared. The relationships between his contemporaries were at best indifferent and more often cruel.

At the time of his disappearance, Michel Djerzinski was unanimously considered to be a first-rate biologist and a serious candidate for the Nobel Prize. His true significance, however, would not become apparent for some time.

In Djerzinski’s time, philosophy was generally considered to be of no practical significance, to have been stripped of its purpose.  Nevertheless, the values to which a majority subscribe at any given time deter-mine society’s  economic and political structures and social mores.

Metaphysical mutations—that is to say radical, global transformations in the values to which the majority subscribe—are rare in the history of humanity. The rise of Christianity might be cited as an example.

Once a metaphysical mutation has arisen, it tends to move inexorably  toward its logical conclusion. Heedlessly, it sweeps away economic and political systems, aesthetic judgments and social hierarchies. No human agency can halt its progress—nothing except another metaphysical mutation.

It is a fallacy that such metaphysical mutations gain ground only in weakened or declining societies. When Christianity appeared, the Roman Empire was at the height of its powers: supremely organized, it dominated the known world; its technical and military prowess had no rival. Nonetheless, it had no chance. When modern science appeared, medieval Christianity was a complete, comprehensive system which explained both man and the universe; it was the basis for government, the inspiration for knowledge and art, the arbiter of war as of peace and the power behind the production and distribution of wealth—none of which was sufficient to prevent its downfall.

Michel Djerzinski was not the first nor even the principal architect of the third—and in many respects the most radical —paradigm shift, which opened up a new era in world history. But, as a result of certain extraordinary circumstances in his life, he was one of its most clear-sighted and deliberate engineers.

-Michel Houllebecq
The Elementary Particles
“Prologue”

04.24.2017

04.24.2017

Be careful out there.

 

The Capsizing of Damien Hirst
Presenting the artist as shipwreck

Hirst once possessed a similar ingenuity, having wrung a not-quite-full career out of three ideas he had in his twenties. The taxidermied sharks certainly snatch the most attention thanks to their evocation of primal fears—though they induce a frisson of unease more than sublime horror—as well as for drawing a rather obvious parallel with capital itself: like a shark, our economy must move continuously or else expire. As if to illustrate this connection, Hirst’s original tiger shark, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, was obtained for $8 million by hedge fund manager Steven Cohen in 2004, one of the highest prices paid for a piece of contemporary art at the time. Hirst’s two other primary brands are much easier to replicate. Since 1986 he has produced, with a great deal of help from assistants, over a thousand “spot paintings,” in which colorful dots are strung in rows, executed with machine-like precision, or “by a person trying to paint like a machine,” as he has noted. Hirst’s “spin paintings,” generated by pouring paint on a circular canvas that has been affixed to a rotating potter’s wheel (like a larger version of the spin art offered at elementary school fairs), are even easier to duplicate.

 

Why Do We Want a Cooperative Relationship With Russia?
What Time magazine doesn’t understand about the noninterventionist right
By GEORGE D. O’NEILL JR. • April 24, 2017

 

First Transgender President: Trump Becomes Hillary
FRED REED • APRIL 20, 2017 • 1,100 WORDS

 

Ready, Set, Splat.
By Jim Kunstler • April 24, 2017

Macron might serve the interests of the American Deep State, which is determined to drive a wedge between Europe and the Chinese-Russian-Iranian “silk road” economic bloc that would consolidate trade in the Eastern Hemisphere. The US wants “the West” to remain what it had been for seventy years: the dominant posse. Even if the underlying conditions remained the same, this might not be possible.

But those underlying conditions are changing, and in ways that much of the political maneuvering across the West cannot alter, or even comprehend, for instance, the inability of these mature industrial economies to grow anymore. That is largely a function of the end of affordable energy. Unfortunately, the absence of growth portends not stagnation but collapse as society fails to generate enough new wealth to pay its debts.

 

Saudi Arabia restores perks to state employees, boosting markets

 

Britain’s first coal-free day since Industrial Revolution
The country has its first full day without using coal to generate electricity since the 1800s in a “watershed moment” for energy

 

What we know so far about the Larry Page-backed ‘flying car’ coming later this year

 

The retail apocalypse is accelerating

Deplorable

Saw it with my own eyes. Canada Goose. Cargo Bermuda shorts. Flip-flops. Puke-covered scarf-towel. Snapcat tee-shirt. My work here is done.

 

04.21.2017

North Korea

The Cost of Free-Riding
Why South Korea may come to regret its dependence on the U.S.
By TED GALEN CARPENTER • April 18, 2017

 

The Problem Is Washington, Not North Korea
MIKE WHITNEY • APRIL 17, 2017 • 1,800 WORDS

 

Who Really Started the Korean War?
Forget the Trumanite mythology
by Justin Raimondo, April 19, 2017

 

How to Bring Down the Elephant in the Room
THE SAKER • APRIL 16, 2017 • 6,300 WORDS

 

NYT Mocks Skepticism on Syria-Sarin Claims

 

The Battle for France
The new intellectualism of cultural anxiety
By SCOTT MCCONNELL • April 20, 2017

Bill O’Reilly Disgraces War Reporting
“The No Spin Zone” host wants war-zone glory without the sacrifices made by real battlefield correspondents.
By MICHAEL FUMENTO • March 4, 2015

Incompetence

04.19.2017

Yet compromise and negotiation with Hitler’s Germany were impossible, because the policy objectives of National Socialism were irrational and unlimited. Expansion and aggression were built into the system and, short of accepting German domination in advance, i.e. choosing not to resist the Nazi advance, war was unavoidable, sooner rather than later. Hence the central role of ideology in the formation of policy in the 1930s: if it determined the aims of Nazi Germany, it excluded realpolitik for the other side. Those who recognized that there could be no compromise with Hitler, which was a realistic assessment of the situation, did so for entirely unpragmatic reasons. They regarded fascism as intolerable on principle and a priori, or (as in the case of Winston Churchill) they were driven by an equally a priori idea of what their country and empire ‘stood for’, and could not sacrifice. The paradox of Winston Churchill was that this great romantic, whose political judgment had been almost consistently wrong on every matter since 1914 – including the assessment of military strategy on which he prided himself – was realistic on the one question of Germany.

Conversely, the political realists of appeasement were entirely unrealistic in their assessment of the situation, even when the impossibility of a negotiated settlement with Hitler became obvious to any reasonable observer in 1938-39. This was the reason for the black tragicomedy of March-September 1939, which ended in a war nobody wanted at a time and in a place nobody wanted it (not even Germany), and which actually left Britain and France without any idea of what, as belligerents, they were supposed to do, until the blitzkrieg of 1940 swept them aside. In the face of the evidence they themselves accepted, the appeasers in Britain and France still could not bring themselves to negotiate seriously for an alliance with the USSR, without which war could neither be postponed nor won, and without which the guarantees against German attack suddenly and heedlessly scattered around Eastern Europe by Neville Chamberlain – without, incredible as it may seem, consulting or even adequately informing the USSR – were waste paper.

– Eric Hobsbawm
The Age of Extremes (1994)
p.154

 

What Russia-gate Has Wrought
April 16, 2017

For five months, there was a daily drumbeat on Russia-gate, the sprawling conspiracy theory that Russia had somehow put Donald Trump in the White House, but suddenly the “scandal” disappeared.

 

Is Our Political Class Mentally Ill?
Sadistic commentators hail death and destruction
by Justin Raimondo, April 17, 2017

 

Thomas Friedman’s Perverse Love Affair With ISIS
By Adam Johnson

 

Ann Coulter: Lassie, Come Home

 

Pompeo vs. WikiLeaks: It’s No Contest
by Thomas Knapp
April 19, 2017

If I have to choose between believing WikiLeaks or believing Mike Pompeo, I’ll believe WikiLeaks six days a week and twice on Sunday.

Over the course of more than a decade, WikiLeaks has built a sterling reputation for delivering the real goods on various governments (including Russia’s). The next document it releases which is shown to be fake will be the first. WikiLeaks has earned the trust of the public – and moreover, it has shown that it trusts the public with information about what our governments are doing in our names and with our money.

The US intelligence community, on the other hand, spies on us, lies to us about it, and expects us to pick up the check even after decades of irrefutable evidence of its dishonesty and incompetence.

 

The Great Western Economic Depression

Growing economies use more energy; shrinking economies use less energy. And if the Corrupt West wasn’t using its energy-intensive war machine so regularly, the collapse in energy demand in the Western world would have been even more pronounced. No economy with flat energy demand can pretend to be growing. No economy with its interest rates set permanently at near-zero levels can pretend to be growing. Both of those preceding statements are economic tautologies. Absolute proof. Western economies are not growing because two absolutely unequivocal economic fundamentals indicate such growth to be impossible.

What Could Go Wrong?

04.17.2017

American Lethargy
The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream, Tyler Cowen, St. Martin’s Press, 256 pages

United Blew It, but End the Passenger’s Pity Party
It was a premeditated temper tantrum gone viral.
By MICHAEL FUMENTO • April 14, 2017

This is obvious nonsense, so how did he get so far with it?

In part, welcome to the world of the Black Mirror. That’s a highly-regarded Netflix series about a dystopian near-future in which social media dictates “the truth.” The name refers to a blank cell phone or tablet screen.

The Sturm und Drang began with a short clip uploaded first to Facebook and then other media. It began just as Dao was pulled from his seat. You didn’t see him being apologetically requested to leave first by United employees and then by security. Nor the phone call nor his daring to be dragged. With social media, he who uploads or tweets first dictates the story.

 

What Would Korean War II Look Like?
ERIC MARGOLIS • APRIL 15, 2017 • 900 WORDS

Assessing Russia’s Military Strength
Is America Seeking “Preventive War” to Forestall the Rise of Russian Power?
ANDREI MARTYANOV • APRIL 17, 2017 • 3,200 WORDS

It took a complete and embarrassing failure of the West’s economic sanctions on Russia to recognize that the actual size of Russia’s economy is about that of Germany, if not larger, and that Russia was defining herself in terms of enclosed technological cycles, localization and manufacturing long before she was forced to engage in the war in Georgia in 2008. Very few people realistically care about Russia’s Stock Market, the financial markets of Germany are on the order of magnitude larger, but Germany cannot design and build from scratch a state of the art fighter jet, Russia can. Germany doesn’t have a space industry, Russia does. The same argumentation goes for Russia’s microelectronics industry and her military-industrial complex which dwarfs that of any “economic” competitor Western “economists” always try to compare Russia to, with the exception of US and China, and then on bulk, not quality, only. Third or Second World economies do not produce such weapons as Borey-class strategic missile submarines or SU-35 fighter jets, they also do not build space-stations and operate the only global alternative to US GPS, GLONASS system.

14,000-year-old village unearthed

17 Rules for Foreign Interventions
Lessons from America’s lost wars
By GEORGE LIEBMANN • April 17, 2017

4. Do not denigrate religious and non-economic values. Without these norms, the survival of morality and social peace becomes a function of the business cycle. Remember that the traditional division of labor between the sexes makes sense in hunter-gatherer, agricultural, and manufacturing economies. Remember also that all occupying armies swiftly earn resentment, as they appropriate or bid up the cost of goods and women. Respect the lessons of the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia, which ended the European religious wars that had killed off a third of the continent’s population. It bought relative peace for 150 years.

What Could Go Wrong?
-James Howard Kunstler

The fascinating part of the Syrian gas bombing story is how easily the public swallowed it. Those elected congressmen and senators infesting the cable stations told the public that the Intelligence Community “issued a consensus report” that the Syrian air force has dropped Sarin gas bombs on the hapless civilians. Nobody offered any actual evidence that this was so. These days, mere assertions rule.

That’s how we roll now. I’m still waiting to see some evidence that Trump’s campaign “colluded with Russia” to spin the election toward him. Those claims, too, were put out as “a consensus analysis” by the Intelligence Community. And then in March, months after the disputed election, just-retired NSA director James Clapper told NBC’s Meet the Press that his agency had no evidence of “Russian collusion” with the Trump forces. That was only a few weeks ago.

 

 

Exterminate the Brutes!

Evebody just eat as much candy as you want because this is probably our last Easter on Earth.

 

 

04.13.2017

 

Ironically, the Syria attack may be the best chance for the hysterical, anti-Trump, pussy-hat gang to impeach the President but they are not paying attention. Ever since their predictions of the next Hitler fizzled they have lost interest.

Where Was CIA’s Pompeo on Syria?
April 8, 2017

Witness: “he screamed like a hooker bit his sack”

 

The Syria cruise-missile strike is the most important event of Emperor Trump’s reign so far. It is the the most important event since Trump’s election and the Iran-nuclear deal of 2016.

How Media Bias Fuels Syrian Escalation
April 10, 2017
[some good comments after this one]

The Nerve Agent Attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria
A Quick Turnaround Assessment of the White House Intelligence Report Issued on April 11, 2017
THEODORE A. POSTOL • APRIL 12, 2017 • 5,200 WORDS

The explosive acted on the pipe as a blunt crushing mallet. It drove the pipe into the ground while at the same time creating the crater. Since the pipe was filled with sarin, which is an incompressible fluid, as the pipe was flattened the sarin acted on the walls and ends of the pipe causing a crack along the length of the pipe and also the failure of the cap on the back end. This mechanism of dispersal is essentially the same as hitting a toothpaste tube with a large mallet, which then results in the tube failing and the toothpaste being blown in many directions depending on the exact way the toothpaste skin ruptures.

An Empire In Decline

 

04.08.2017

Leaving Leninism and anti-Leninism aside, the first thing for the historian to re-establish is the obvious fact, which nobody in the 1890s would have denied, that the division of the globe had an economic dimension. To demonstrate this is not to explain everything about the imperialism of the period. Economic development is not a sort of ventriloquist with the rest of history as its dummy. For that matter, even the most single-minded businessman pursuing profit into, say, the South African gold- and diamond-mines, can never be treated exclusively as a money-making machine. He was not immune to the political, emotional, ideological, patriotic or even racial appeals which were so patently associated with imperial expansion. Nevertheless, if an economic connection can be established between the tendencies of economic development in the capitalist core of the globe at this time and its expansion into the periphery, it becomes much less plausible to put the full weight of explanation on motives for imperialism which have no intrinsic connection with the penetration and conquest of the non-western world. And even those which appear to have, such as the strategic calculations of rival powers, must be analysed while bearing the economic dimension in mind. Even today politics in the Middle East, which are far from explicable on simple economic grounds, cannot be realistically discussed without considering oil.

-Eric Hobsbawm
p.61-2
Chapter 3 – “The Age of Empire”
The Age of Empire: 1875-1914 (1987)

***

Eric Hobsbawm

The Age of Revolution: 1789-1848 – by Eric Hobsbawm (1962)

Industry and Empire: The Birth of the Industrial Revolution – by Eric Hobsbawm (1968)

The Age of Capital: 1848-1875  – by Eric Hobsbawm (1975)

The Age of Empire: 1875-1914  – by Eric Hobsbawm (1987)

The Age of Extremes: A History of the World, 1914-1991  – by Eric Hobsbawm (1994)

****

Conspiracy with and Without Conspirators
KAREL VAN WOLFEREN • APRIL 5, 2017 • 3,600 WORDS

There’s a simple economic reason why the United Airlines incident happened — and why it will probably happen again

First off, it is clear that even as airlines have increased the amount of flights being offered, the demand has been rising to meet that supply.

Bespoke pointed out that the total number of available airline miles have surged since 2008, while capacity — basically how full the flights are — has remained steady. This indicates, at the minimum, sufficient demand for the increased air miles.

“Scheduled airline seat miles have been rising steadily since 2014, while load factors (basically, the percentage of seats filled) have been steady near 85% for domestic flights,” said the note.

A Multi-Level Analysis of the US Cruise Missile Attack on Syria and Its Consequences
THE SAKER • APRIL 11, 2017 • 6,900 WORDS

Book Review: Twilight’s Last Gleaming by J.M. Greer
THE SAKER • APRIL 7, 2017 • 1,000 WORDS

Death on the Prescription Plan
The ‘White Plague’ of the 21st Century
JAMES PETRAS • APRIL 6, 2017 • 3,900 WORDS

 

Coal Powered Cars

04.07.2017

Salvation? (or is the New York Times just scrapping the bottom of the barrel for Utopian scams?)

To Be a Genius, Think Like a 94-Year-Old

He and his team at the University of Texas at Austin filed a patent on a new kind of battery that, if it works as promised, would be so cheap, lightweight and safe that it would revolutionize electric cars and kill off petroleum-fueled vehicles. His announcement has caused a stir, in part, because Dr. Goodenough has done it before. In 1980, at age 57, he coinvented the lithium-ion battery that shrunk power into a tiny package.

Lithium-Ion Battery Inventor Introduces New Technology for Fast-Charging, Noncombustible Batteries
Feb. 28, 2017

Transportation?

Coal-Powered Cars

 

 

The Allure of the DC Streetcar
By NATHANIEL KOCH • April 4, 2017

Living Arrangements?

How Tourism Is Killing Venice
By LEWIS MCCRARY • April 3, 2017

Art?

Damien Hirst Is Back With an Underwater Fantasy. Will Collectors Care?

Treason?

Blackwater founder Erik Prince is the latest Trump cutout to parlay with Putin’s men

Armageddon?

The head of the world’s largest investor thinks the stock market is overvalued

“We don’t have the tax reform that we’re expecting,” Fink said. “If we don’t see a true deregulation, I think the markets would have some setbacks there.”

He added that the US economy was slowing down and would probably grow by less than 1.5%. “In fact, I think the first quarter, the US may be the slowest economy in the G-7,” he said.

“If you believe that it would be longer for these to transpire and we have an economy that is slower because of uncertainty, then I would say the market is, the US equity markets are probably higher than they should be,” Fink added.

The Trump Administration Goes Neocon-Crazy
THE SAKER • APRIL 5, 2017 • 2,100 WORDS

Air cover for the US forces in Syria imply either a tacit agreement with the Russians and the Syrians, something like what the Israelis apparently have, or an immense risk for the USAF and USN aircraft. So we are back to negotiating with the Russians and via the Russians, with the Syrians.

In fact, I bet you that this is what the Americans are doing right now. Quietly negotiating with the Russians. Problem: the Neocons hate Russia and everything Russian. And they loathe Putin.

Russia says their air defenses in Syria ‘guarantee the security’ of their airbases

Conspiracy with and Without Conspirators
KAREL VAN WOLFEREN • APRIL 5, 2017 • 3,600 WORDS

Bombs Away!
– JHK

Close your eyes, click your heels three times, and tell me if you actually know what the fuck is happening in Syria. There’s an awful lot about the poison gas attack that doesn’t add up for the casual observer. It was only a week ago that the US enunciated a new policy that we would be content for Bashar al Assad to remain in power presiding over the Syrian government — after years of grousing and threats against him. Apparently Trump Central had concluded that Assad was a better alternative than another failed state in the Middle East with no government at all.