01.16.2018

Tuesday, Jan 16, 2018

Mueller subpoenaes Bannon President Trump’s former chief strategist Stephen Bannon was reportedly subpoenaed last week by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to testify before a grand jury. This is the first known instance of a grand jury subpoena being used on someone in Trump’s inner circle, and “could be a negotiating tactic,” The New York Times writes, noting that Mueller “is likely to allow Mr. Bannon to forgo the grand jury appearance if he agrees to instead be questioned by investigators.” Bannon also testified behind closed doors Tuesday in front of the House Intelligence Committee which, like Mueller, is looking for evidence of Russian interference in the election. Source: The New York Times, The Week

Kushner was reportedly warned Wendi Deng Murdoch might be Chinese agent In early 2017, U.S. counterintelligence officials told President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner that Wendi Deng Murdoch, a friend of Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, could be using her relationship with the pair to push Beijing’s agenda, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal. There was also concern she was lobbying for a Chinese garden at the National Arboretum, paid for by the Chinese government, which the intelligence community feared could be used for surveillance. Murdoch, the ex-wife of Rupert Murdoch, came to the U.S. from China in 1988, and is a U.S. citizen. Her spokesman said she “has no knowledge of any FBI concerns or other intelligence agency concerns relating to her or her associations.” Source: The Wall Street Journal

Police arrest California parents after 13 kids found shackled, malnourished Authorities in Perris, California, arrested a husband and wife who allegedly kept their 13 kids, ranging in age from 2 to 29, captive inside their home, with some shackled to their beds and all of them malnourished. Early Sunday, a 17-year-old girl was able to escape from the house with a cellphone and called 911. When police entered the home, they found “several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings,” the department said. David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were “unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner,” officials said, and were both arrested. Neighbors said they were “devastated” and had no idea what was happening inside the house. Source: The Press-Enterprise

Monday, Jan 15, 2018

Turkey threatens to “strangle” the United States-backed Syrian Border Security Force “before it’s even born”, while Syria vows to crush it and expel American military personnel from the country. Russia called the plans “a plot to dismember Syria”. (Reuters)

American actress Eliza Dushku says that a stuntman molested her when she was 12 years old. (The Guardian)

A 910 ct “D colour Type II A” diamond is dug up in the Letseng diamond mine, Lesotho. (MiningMX)

The mezzanine overlooking the main lobby of the Indonesia Stock Exchange in Jakarta, Indonesia, collapses, injuring at least 70 people. The Indonesian National Police ruled out terrorism as the cause. (The Australian)(Daily Express)

Nabil Shaath, the foreign affairs adviser of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, says that the Palestinian Central Council freezes its recognition of the state of Israel until Israel recognizes Palestine as a state. Palestine will freeze the Oslo accords. (Sputnik)

A knife fight between students breaks out in a school in Perm, Russia. Twelve injured are reported, with three of them in serious condition. (BBC)

Mohamed Anwar al-Sadat, the nephew of the assassinated Egyptian president Mohamed Anwar al-Sadat, announces that he will not run in March’s presidential election, blaming an environment of fear surrounding the vote. (The Guardian)

Romanian Prime Minister Mihai Tudose resigns after losing the support of the Social Democratic Party (PSD). (Reuters)

Four Pakistani soldiers are killed in shelling by the Indian Army across the disputed Kashmir frontier. (Reuters)

Sunday, Jan 14, 2018

The U.S.-led coalition confirms reports that it will form a new 30,000-strong Syrian Border Security Force (BSF). Half of the forces will be Syrian Democratic Forces veterans. Another 15,000 will be recruited and trained in the near future. (Daily Sabah)

The Israel Defense Forces report the complete destruction of an underground tunnel dug by Hamas under the Kerem Shalom crossing. Israel shut down the crossing before its jets bombed the tunnel opening in Gaza Saturday night. The crossing remains closed. (Ynetnews)(CNN)

The National Iranian Tanker Company-operated MV Sanchi sinks, following its January 6 collision with a Hong Kong-flagged cargo ship off Shanghai, China, leaving no survivors. (BBC)

President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas describes President of the United States Donald Trump’s Middle East peace efforts as the “slap of the century.” (Euronews)

The Tunisian government announces a wave of social and economic reforms after violent anti-austerity protests that have resulted in at least one death and the arrest of more than eight hundred people. (BBC)

A study in Biological Psychiatry asserts that increasing the activity of the habenula brain region leads to social problems in rodents, whereas decreasing activity of the region prevents social problems. (Brinkwire)

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Surprise! It’s Spectre and Meltdown

Friday, Jan 5, 2017

Security researchers disclose two hardware vulnerabilities—Spectre, which affects most modern processors, and Meltdown, which affects most Intel chips. (Reuters) (The Guardian)

Apple joins list of firms whose laptops, phones are vulnerable to security flaw On Thursday, Apple said that Mac computers, iPhones, and iPads are vulnerable to two hard-to-fix security flaws that cybersecurity experts revealed Wednesday. Windows, Google, and other companies that make PCs, smartphones, servers, and tablets had already acknowledged that their own devices have the same issue. The flaws — named Spectre and Meltdown — could be used by hackers to exploit the microprocessors, mostly made by Intel, in internet-connected devices to launch a “side-channel analysis attack” to steal files, passwords, photos, and other documents. Intel, the dominant chipmaker, says the vulnerability has been in every microprocessor it has made since 1995, but apparently nobody realized the risk until a few months ago. No hackers are known to have exploited the vulnerabilities. Source: The New York Times

North Korea and South Korea to hold first talks in 2 years North Korea has accepted South Korea’s invitation to discuss ways to cooperate on the Winter Olympics, and agreed to meet at the border village of Panmunjom on Tuesday, South Korea’s Unification Ministry announced Friday. This will be their first formal dialogue in more than two years, and they will also discuss how to improve ties between the Koreas. On Thursday, the United States and South Korea agreed to postpone their joint military exercises — an annual event that North Korea considers preparation for an invasion — until after the Pyeongchang Olympics in February. While some see this as the first step in bettering relations, others believe this could be Pyongyang’s way of causing friction between South Korea and the United States. Source: The Associated Press

Fire and Fury publisher pushes up release date after Trump lawsuit threat The White House has come out swinging after excerpts from a forthcoming tell-all book — Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House — were published in various news outlets, featuring incendiary quotes from former chief strategist Stephen Bannon. In response, a Trump attorney sent Bannon a letter saying “legal action is imminent,” and demanded the book’s author and publisher halt the book’s release and “issue a full and complete retraction and apology” or else face legal action. Publisher Henry Holt instead pushed up the released date five days, putting it on sale Friday morning. “We see Fire and Fury as an extraordinary contribution to our national discourse, and are proceeding with the publication of the book,” the publisher said. Source: ABC News

U.S. economy added 148,000 jobs in December, fewer than expected U.S. employers added 148,000 non-farm jobs in December, the Labor Department reported on Friday. The numbers fell short of the average increase of about 190,000 predicted by economists, and marked a slowdown from an average increase of 232,000 in the two previous months. Economists had been predicting that hiring would slow down eventually, just not this soon. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1 percent. Wages increased by 2.5 percent over the last 12 months, edging up from November’s 2.4 percent figure, but still considered sluggish. Source: MarketWatch

 

Thursday, Jan 4,  2017

North Korea accepts South Korea’s proposal for official talks, and will meet on January 9 to discuss North Korea’s possible involvement with the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. These are the first high-level talks between the Koreas in more than two years. (BBC)

The U.S. State Department suspends its security assistance to Pakistan. (ABC News)

The U.S. Treasury sanctions five Iranian entities associated with Iran’s ballistic missile program. (Politico)

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinds three Obama-era memos that had adopted a policy of non-interference with states that have legalized recreational marijuana. (Associated Press)

A United Airlines flight headed from Chicago to Hong Kong makes an emergency landing in Anchorage, Alaska, after a passenger allegedly became unruly. (KTUU-TV)

Munich Re reports that the insurance industry faces record claims of US$135 billion from natural catastrophes, such as the Mexico earthquakes, South Asian floods, California wildfires and Atlantic hurricanes in 2017. Overall economic losses from natural disasters are estimated at the second highest amount since 2011. (Insurance Journal)

A massive winter storm hits the East Coast of the United States with up to 18 inches of snow predicted to fall between The Carolinas and Maine. So far, three people have died in North Carolina and a person has died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (AP via Yahoo!)

 

Wednesday,  Jan 3, 2017

A new Icelandic law goes into effect which requires government agencies and companies with more than 24 full-time employees to prove they are paying men and women equally, as required by existing legislation. (NPR)

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announces that Ethiopia will drop charges against all political prisoners and close down the infamous prison camp of Maekelawi. (AP)

 

Tuesday, Jan 2, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump responds to Kim Jong-un’s claim of having North Korea’s nuclear missile launch button on his desk, boasting that the size of the nuclear missile launch button on his own desk is larger and more powerful than Kim’s.  (BBC)

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, responding to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s offer during his New Year’s Day address, proposes a meeting to discuss the Winter Olympics and North Korea’s nuclear program next Tuesday at the border city of Panmunjom.  (BBC)

President Donald Trump tweets that the U.S. may withhold future payments to the Palestinian authority, over 350 million dollars per year, because they are “no longer willing to talk peace” with Israel, and that Israel “would have had to pay more” in return for his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. (Haaretz) (Politico)

Israel announces plans to deport African migrants residing in the country illegally. Migrants will be given 90 days to leave the country or face imprisonment. (BBC)

Vice Media suspends two of its top executives as it investigates allegations made against them. (ABC News)

Citing national security concerns, the U.S. government blocks Ant Financial’s acquisition of MoneyGram. (Reuters)

Joshua Boyle, a Canadian man recently rescued from a Taliban linked group, is arrested on 15 charges, including assault, sexual assault, and unlawful confinement. (Global News)

Nine prisoners have escaped from a Berlin, Germany prison over the last five days, with two escaping today. (BBC)

There’s Something Different About These Iran Protests
Four days into the protests, there are still more questions than answers.
by Trita Parsi
January 01, 2018

The fact that reformists—who have been at the center of most of the large-scale protests in Iran for the past two decades—appear to be neither driving nor even particularly involved presents a new political phenomenon in Iran.

The protestors likely include some disillusioned Rouhani supporters. But remember that Rouhani won re-election with 57% of the vote (and 70% voter participation) only seven months ago. That means it’s more likely that the core of the demonstrators are of a different ilk.

Their uncompromisingly anti-regime slogans suggest they may belong to the segment of the population who tends not to vote, doesn’t believe the system can be reformed and either never subscribed to or has lost hope in the idea of gradual change. Add to that those who have joined the protests out of a sense of economic desperation and humiliation.

Most analysts have not kept an eye on these segments of the population precisely because they have not been at the center of political change in Iran in recent history. Nor do they have a track record of being able to muster protests of this size.

http://www.businessinsider.com/store-closures-in-2018-will-eclipse-2017-2018-1

http://www.unz.com/comments/all/?commenterfilter=Art+Deco

http://www.businessinsider.com/tesla-deliveries-november-2017-12

This is an outstanding 8,000 word article. You can even listen to it. There is an audio app at the beginning:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/01/01/the-dark-bounty-of-texas-oil

Between January, 2015, and December, 2016, more than a hundred U.S. oil and gas producers declared bankruptcy, nearly half of them in Texas. This figure doesn’t count the financial impact on the pipeline, storage, servicing, and shipping companies that depend on the energy business, or the seventy-four billion dollars’ worth of debt that these bankruptcies left behind. As a gesture of sympathy, Ouisie’s Table, a Houston restaurant in the wealthy River Oaks neighborhood, began offering a three-course meal on Wednesday nights that was pegged to the price of a barrel of oil. When I visited in the early spring of 2016, the meal cost about thirty-eight dollars. (Ouisie’s Table dropped the practice when oil prices inched back up. As of December 13th, the Wednesday special would have cost $56.60.)

Now that oil prices have stabilized, Texas’s economy is robust again. In recent years, it has finally begun to diversify, and now tops that of California in exporting technology, from semiconductors to communications equipment. Conservative politicians in Texas like to claim that the state’s low taxes and light regulation are the magic forces propelling its economy. But oil still sets Texas apart. It has been both a gift and a trap.

Clusterfuck Nation Forecast 2018

http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/forecast-2018-go-wrong/

Russian Forecast 2018

http://www.unz.com/akarlin/new-year-predictions-for-2018/

Trump returns to Washington for high-stakes January President Trump returned to Washington on Monday night in an upbeat mood after 10 days at his members-only club in Florida, but White House aides are bracing for “the grim reality of 2018,” including slim legislative prospects, a potentially brutal midterm election, an expected exodus of White House aides with no replacements ready, and the ever-present “shadow of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation,” Politico reports. On the other side of Capitol Hill, Congress returns over the next week with a full plate for January, including funding the government, children’s health care, protection for DREAMers, stability of health-care markets, a looming debt ceiling increase, and other contentious and high-stakes issues. Source: Politico

Deadly anti-government protests grip Iran At least 20 people have been killed in anti-government protests in Iran, including nine overnight Monday, Iranian state TV and semi-official ILNA news agency reported Tuesday. At least 450 others have reportedly been arrested as demonstrators stormed police stations and military bases. The protests, the biggest in the country since 2009, began Thursday, with protesters chanting “death to the dictator” and “death to Khamenei,” the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, despite the government’s threat of an “iron fist” of punishment. On Sunday, Tehran placed what it says is a “temporary” restriction on access to social media including Instagram and an encrypted messaging app call Telegram. Demonstrators have used both to chronicle and coordinate their efforts this week. Source:  CNN

Monday,  Jan 1, 2018

Ten people die at the protests overnight, with twelve deaths total so far as the protests enter their fifth day. (BBC)

Value Added Tax (VAT) has been introduced in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for the first time. (BBC)

U.S. President Donald Trump tweets that Pakistan has been a “safe haven” for terrorists from Afghanistan and has given America “nothing but lies & deceit” after getting more than $33 billion in U.S. aid. (Time)

Pakistan asks U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale to clarify Trump’s remarks. Pakistani Prime Minister Khaqan Abbasi calls for Cabinet and National Security Council meetings to discuss the tweet. (Los Angeles Times)

Pakistan’s Defence Minister accuses the U.S. of giving Pakistan “nothing but invective & mistrust” after receiving “land & air communication, military bases & intel cooperation that decimated Al-Qaeda over last 16yrs”. (AOL)

An armed standoff between Indian security forces and Kashimiri rebels at a paramilitary base ends after 36 hours and leaves eight people dead. (Al Jazeera)

California becomes the latest and most-populated state to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. (BBC)

Alain Berset takes office as President of the Swiss Confederation. Mr. Berset is the youngest president of Switzerland since 1934. (SWI)

 

Sunday, Dec 31, 2017

Iran blocks access to Telegram and Instagram as the largest anti-government protests since 2009 continue. (The Guardian)

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres issues “a red alert for our world,” saying that conflicts have deepened, global anxieties about nuclear weapons have increased, inequalities have grown, and nationalism and xenophobia are on the rise. Guterres calls for global unity to overcome these growing challenges. (CNN)

China announces the country’s ivory trade is now illegal. In 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping and then-U.S. President Barack Obama announced “near-complete” ivory bans for each country. America’s ivory ban went into effect in June 2016. (National Geographic)

Palestine recalls their envoy to the United States for “consultations,” following President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas says they will not accept any U.S. peace plan in the wake of Trump’s move. (BBC)

 

Saturday,  Dec 30, 2017

Two protesters are shot dead by Iranian police in Dorud, Lorestan Province, as anti-government protests spread across the country. (Reuters)

Nepal bans solo climbers, double amputees and blind climbers from scaling its mountains, including Mount Everest, in a bid to reduce accidents. This has been criticized by successful double-amputee Everest climbers. (BBC)

A man strapped with explosives takes 11 people hostage in Kharkiv, Ukraine. The Ukrainian police free all the hostages and arrest the man. (Reuters)

 

Friday, Dec 29, 2017

Anti-government demonstrators have taken to the streets of Iran for a second day, with protests being held in a number of cities. (BBC)

Venezuelan communications director Jorge Rodríguez announces that the country’s Petro cryptocurrency, backed by 5.3 billion barrels of oil worth $267 billion, will launch shortly. (CNBC)

In a surprising event, Malian Prime Minister Abdoulaye Idrissa Maïga and his government resign without providing a reason. (The Guardian)

THE END

Moral Vacuum

Freedom for the Speech We Hate
ANDREW NAPOLITANO • AUGUST 17, 2017 • 1,000 WORDS

 

Hate is the New Sex
by John Michael Greer

If you have any doubts concerning this, dear reader, observe the way that the same people who were sporting LOVE TRUMPS HATE bumper stickers a year ago talk about Donald Trump and his supporters today. Back in January of 2016, when I first predicted Trump’s victory, I pointed out that if you wanted to hear really over-the-top hate speech, all you had to do was listen to a group of comfortably well-to-do Americans in the bicoastal urban bubble talk about white working class Americans in the flyover states. That’s become even more true now than it was then. Take the rhetoric currently being flung by well-off Democratic voters at Trump supporters, swap out the ethnic labels for any other set you choose, and you’ll have a hard time telling it apart from the rantings of any other group of bigots.

 

Ann Coulter: When Liberals Club People, It’s with Love in Their Hearts

And let’s recall the response of Hillary Clinton to the horrifying murder of five Dallas cops last year. The woman who ran against Trump displayed all the moral blindness currently being slanderously imputed to him.

In an interview on CNN about the slaughter that had taken place roughly 12 hours earlier, Hillary barely paused to acknowledge the five dead officers — much less condemn the shooting — before criticizing police for their “implicit bias” six times in about as many minutes.

 

If We’re Tearing Down White Supremacy, Start With Planned Parenthood
AUGUST 15, 2017
By Daniel Payne

It is also in killing black people that Planned Parenthood really shines. Around 941 black babies are aborted in this country every day. Planned Parenthood, netting more than a third of the abortion market in the country, is responsible for 329 of those daily deaths. That averages out to a little more than 120,000 black abortions at Planned Parenthood per year, or around a third of the total abortions the organization performs—this from a demographic that makes up about 13 percent of the United States population. According to the Guttmacher Institute, black women get abortions at five times the rate of white women.

If you were a white supremacist who wanted to sharply reduce the black population to make way for more whites, what would you be doing differently than Planned Parenthood?

Nothing, as it turns out. Spencer, the lily-white organizer of the infamous tiki-torch protest in Charlottesville last week, is a proponent of legalized abortion, precisely because it does very well the thing Spencer is most enthusiastic about, i.e. reducing the number of black people in the United States. “I would say that it is the unintelligent and blacks and Hispanics who use abortion as birth control,” Spencer says, favorably, while also speaking poorly of “people who think in terms of human rights,” i.e. pro-lifers.

 

Smoke and Fire
Clusterfuck Nation
by James Howard Kunstler
08.14.2017

The “Antifa” movement would be funny if it wasn’t itself prone to violence, since it espouses exactly the same kind of despotism against free thought that it pretends to fight against. It wants to shut down and stamp out debate in the public arena and trample over principles that make it uncomfortable, for instance, the First Amendment asserting the right to free speech. It makes a mockery of the battle cry for “diversity” (diversity only for Antifa-approved ideas). That so many current college students subscribe to the movement ought to make thoughtful people very uneasy about the politics of the coming generation. In their black battle garb and masks, they resemble the very fascist mobs of the 1930s that the name “Antifa” supposedly evokes as its enemy.

 

Al Gore’s Pivot to Idiocy

 

White-On-White Riots: A Theory

They need an absolution of guilt. They need there to be a moral code, so they can perform the appropriate rites and make themselves pure. Without it, there’s no metric at all that allows them to say — even to themselves — whether they’re good people. And there’s a lot of evidence against it. Like those homeless people you keep passing on the street.

The shrill protestations of commitment to the code just speak to how steep the dropoff is. Because behind it, in our society, there is nothing but a moral vacuum.

 

 

 

Corpse Left Hanging from Overpass As Cartel War Rages in Mexico

 

Sacrificing Smart Asians to Keep the Racial Peace
ROBERT WEISSBERG • AUGUST 16, 2017 • 1,500 WORDS

In effect, racial preferences in elite higher education (and beneficiaries includes students, professors and the diversity-managing administrators) separates the top 10% measured in cognitive ability from their more violent down market racial compatriots. While this manufactured caste-like arrangement hardly guarantees racial peace (as the black-on-white crime rate, demonstrates) but it pretty much dampens the possibility of more collective, well-organized related upheavals, the types of disturbances that truly terrify the white establishment. Better to have the handsomely paid Cornel West pontificating about white racism at Princeton where he is a full professor than fulminating at some Ghetto street corner. This status driven divide just reflects human nature. Why would a black Yalie on Wall Street socialize with the bro’s left behind in the Hood? This is the strategy of preventing a large-scale, organized rebellion by decapitating its potential leadership. Violence is now just Chicago or Baltimore-style gang-banger intra-racial mayhem or various lone-wolf criminal attacks on whites.

 

Nuclear-Powered Cars, Tesla, Gore, Solar Power, Elon Musk, and More
A Broad Spectrum Column
FRED REED • AUGUST 10, 2017 • 1,100 WORDS

The CIA Runs Everything for You Know Who

Yes Congress, Afghanistan is Your Vietnam
Does any member have the courage and vision to take responsibility?
By ANDREW J. BACEVICH • August 11, 2017

 

Bring Me the Head of Jeff Bezos

 

Absolutely hilarious. I can’t stop reading this guy. Is he serious? Some of what he says might actually be true. Which is, well…really disturbing.
Jeff Bezos looks like another CIA Front

 

…in case you are easily amused, like me, and want more…
http://mileswmathis.com/updates.html

 

 

You can always count on The Economist to keep you up-to-date with knowledge:

Electric cars
The death of the internal combustion engine
It had a good run. But the end is in sight for the machine that changed the world

 

Saudi Arabia Is Trying to Remake the Middle East In Its Image
No country has done more to spread radical Islam than Saudi Arabia.
By MICHAEL HORTON • August 8, 2017

In 1744, Muhammad ibn Saud made a Faustian bargain with Muhammad Abd al-Wahhab: al-Wahhab would back al-Saud in his battle for supremacy if he pledged allegiance to al-Wahhab’s puritanical vision of Islam. This interpretation of Islam, which differs little from the militant Salafi beliefs that inform the Islamic State’s and al-Qaeda’s understanding of Islam (the Islamic State uses Saudi produced textbooks in its schools), became known as Wahhabism.

The Saudis, who are not descended from the Prophet and have no particular claim to rule even in their territorial heartland of Najd, relied on the clerics of the al-Wahhab family for religious legitimacy. The bargain struck in 1744 held fast. In 1926, Ibn Saud took over the Hejaz and in 1932 the country of Saudi Arabia was created. Ibn Saud’s conquest of most of the Arabian Peninsula would not have happened without the support of the fanatical warriors (the Ikhwan) who, more than anything else, fought to purge the peninsula of what they deemed to be heretical beliefs and practices.

 

 

 

Wow. This is good. I like this guy. How can you not? Everything is a conspiracy. Everything. I bet his own mother is a CIA project. Definitely makes you think. Y’all are gonna wanna read this

The BRAVE NEW WORLD of Stephen Hawking
by Miles Mathis
November 21, 2011

“Controlling majorities has never helped these fascists, although they are obsessed with controlling majorities. No, the problem is they can’t control themselves, and they always overreach. As the last example, we can look at the Nazis, who had the war won but decided they needed to attack Russia as well. The German people didn’t restrain the Nazis, the Nazis destroyed themselves. The same could be said of Stalin and the later Communists. They overreached and collapsed. Like the Nazis, they wanted world domination and couldn’t manage it. And we see the same thing happening now. The rich here in the US were already raking it in in the 1990’s under Clinton, but that wasn’t enough. They already had a bloated CIA and military, the world was already dotted with our bases, but it wasn’t enough. The banks were already stealing freely from the people, but it wasn’t enough. The CIA had already been running the media since the 1950’s, but it wasn’t enough. The success just made them hungry for more. So they repealed Glass-Steagall and all other regulations, pulled 9/11, started wars in a dozen places, dismantled the Constitution, and installed the new police state. All I can say is, IS IT WORKING? Have they created a successful system of control and theft, one that is self-perpetuating so that their children can steal as easily as they have? No. They are killing the host. You can’t tax or steal from people that are huddling in concentration camps or living off welfare. You can’t loan money to people who are in jail.

So while their subsistence base diminishes, their appetite does not. They don’t know when to stop. Like junkies, they keep going until they hit the wall. What wall is that? I don’t know. Could be Russia or China or both, could be financial meltdown, could be a military coup, could be class warfare between the rich and superrich, could be Mother Earth biting back. All we know is that “the mighty will fall.” They always do. There are no masters of the universe in this part of the galaxy.”

05.18.2017

05.18.2017

Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The Grammy-winning rocker had performed Wednesday night at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. He ended his performance with a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “In My Time of Dying.”

 

 

Boooorrrring!!! : The Uproar Over ‘Transracialism’

Nonetheless, the argument provoked outrage on social media. The article was deemed racist and transphobic, and one philosopher claimed that it not only “perpetuates harm in numerous ways” but also “enacts violence.” As in other cases of internet shaming, people who apparently had not read the offending article were eager to display their virtue by condemning it. An open letter calling for the article’s retraction gathered more than 500 signatories. And a majority of the journal’s board of associate editors posted a “profound apology” on Hypatia’s Facebook page, stating categorically that the article “should not have been published.”

As news of the controversy spread, philosophers and others pushed back against the attacks. They challenged the criticisms of Dr. Tuvel’s article, questioned the harms it was said to have caused and underscored the harms to Dr. Tuvel herself, an untenured female professor. They deplored academia’s “poisonous call-out culture” and the practices of policing and intimidation that kept many who supported Dr. Tuvel in private from defending her in public. And Hypatia’s editor issued a strong, though somewhat belated, statement defending the publication of the article.

Tesla factory employees describe grueling work conditions where people pass out ‘like a pancake’

“We’re a money losing company,” Musk added. “This is not some situation where, for example, we are just greedy capitalists who decided to skimp on safety in order to have more profits and dividends and that kind of thing. It’s just a question of how much money we lose. And how do we survive? How do we not die and have everyone lose their jobs?”

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.

Healthcare

04.04.2017

Healthcare:

Top Opthalmologist: Medical Practices of Dr. Salomon Melgen Were ‘Abusive…Unconscionable…Horrifying’

Racket of Rackets (Good Stuff)
– JHK

They’ve turned an entire generation of office workers into servants of criminal enterprise. Imagine the damage this does to the soul of our culture.

 

I have no idea who this woman is, but apparently MSN thinks this is Important News:

Candace Cameron Bure: ‘Loving Jesus doesn’t mean I hate gay people’

Watching this now. It is good. At least the first 20 minutes. His books are too long and dense and jumbled to read. I’ll try again sometime.

 

Musktopia
-JHK April 3rd

It ought to be sign of just how delusional the nation is these days that Elon Musk of Tesla and Space X is taken seriously.

The political disorder currently roiling America is there because the contradictions in our national life have become so starkly obvious, and the first thing to crack is the political consensus that allows business-as-usual to keep chugging along. The political turmoil will only accelerate the accompanying economic turmoil that drives it in a self-reinforcing feedback loop.

 

Despite Ban, Japan Slaughters 333 Whales in Annual Antarctic Hunt

 

Mexican newspaper closes citing insecurity for journalists

 

South Korean freighter missing off Uruguay
More than 20 crew are feared dead after a South Korean cargo vessel went missing in the South Atlantic after making a mayday call.

Italian Cops Arrest 34 in Race to Foil Plot to Steal Enzo Ferrari’s Corpse

 

I have a hunch that history will look at Obama as not such a good President or good guy if it remembers him at all. Basically, nothing noticeable happened for 8 years. But behind the scenes everything was kinda creepy.

Eerie Prescience of Donald Trump
ISRAEL SHAMIR • APRIL 3, 2017 • 2,100 WORDS

– This surveillance and its leak caused the Flynn affair. I have learned what Flynn actually discussed with the Russian ambassador. I haven’t seen this being reported in the US media: they darkly hissed of Flynn “discussing sanctions” with the Russian. The truth was somewhat different. Flynn called the Ambassador when Obama in a fit of fury expelled dozens of Russian diplomats in 24 hours just before the New Year’s Eve, and forbade them to use their holiday vacation premises. Obama did it in order to poison the US-Russia relations, for as you know, the NWO-beholden Democrats want at least a cold war, or preferably a nuclear one with the Russian bear. Obama tried his worst to spoil the relations to such an extent, that even Trump would find it hard to heal.

– Obama knew that the threats were coming from Israel, but he never dared to say that. Trump is nobody’s fool.

– Trump ordered giving up the regime change drive in Syria, and this is already a good thing. It would be better if he were to forget about the Middle East completely, but probably the US military would not allow that.

-Partnership with the CIA means partnership with the liberals of the WaPo and the NY Times, and it is not the flavour of the month among American industrialists.

 

Searching for Russia
THE SAKER • APRIL 1, 2017 • 3,200 WORDS

For example, Russia never underwent any “Renaissance”. I would even argue that Russia never really underwent any Middle-Ages either since, being an heir to the East Roman Empire (aka Byzantium), Russian roots are in Antiquity. While one could, arguably, describe the phases of western civilization as Middle-Ages -> Renaissance -> Modernity -> Contemporary era, in the case of Russia the sequence would be a much shorter Antiquity -> Modernity -> Contemporary era.

[Sidebar: you will notice that I did place the roots of the modern western civilization in the Middle-Ages, not in antiquity. The reason for this is the fact that when the Franks finally conquered the western Roman Empire they destroyed it to such a degree that the era following the collapse of the western Roman Empire is called the “Dark Ages” (Russia, by the way, never went through this millennium of darkness and, hence, she never had any need for any “renaissance” or “re-birth”). Contrary to the official historical narrative, the current western civilization has never had any roots in the Roman Empire, and even less so, Greek antiquity. The true founders of the “western world” were, in so many ways, the Franks]

“What if we just smoke the fucker?”

03.13.2017

Behind the Quiet State-by-State Fight Over Electric Vehicles

“What if we just smoke the fucker?”

And ever since that fact was starkly revealed by former NSA chief James Clapper on NBC’s Meet the Press, the Russia hallucination has vanished from page one of the party’s media outlets — though, in an interesting last gasp of striving correctitude, Monday’s New York Times features a front page story detailing Georgetown University’s hateful traffic in the slave trade two centuries ago.

 

Wow. Just, wow:

No Campus (Or Country) for White Men
EDMUND CONNELLY • MARCH 10, 2017 • 2,700 WORDS

Honestly, it is child’s play to show how Jews have essentially taken over higher education in America, transforming it into something akin to a “Jewish extended phenotype,” with Jews themselves doing much of the heavy lifting, but getting plenty of help from their recruited lackeys such as blacks and other non-whites, women, and disparate aggrieved groups that are now popping up like toadstools after a summer’s rain.

 

Reza Aslan, Cannibal For CNN

Aslan, 44, plugged his experience with the Aghori, a small Hindu sect known for its extreme rituals, on Facebook on Sunday night before the show aired.

“Want to know what a dead guy’s brain tastes like? Charcoal,” Aslan wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday. “It was burnt to a crisp! #Believer.”

In Search of the Super Race
The Six-Percent Solution
FRED REED • MARCH 9, 2017 • 1,700 WORDS

Charles Murray’s Ideology
ANATOLY KARLIN • MARCH 4, 2017 • 900 WORDS

Transportation Fuel Demand

This includes Gasoline, Jet Fuel, and “No. 2 Distillate,” which is both diesel and home heating oil, used mainly in Northeast. So this isn’t purely transportation fuel, but I figure it is close enough. I used moving averages to cut out the noise and seasonal variations shouldn’t matter since I’m comparing weeks to their counterparts 52 weeks earlier.

jpeggood

xxx

rawjpeg

…and this is the current production picture. The IEA data is through October. The EIA data is through August, with September and October extrapolated using the changes in IEA data. These are twelve month moving averages. You can see that in all cases we are at the highest point ever. Barring some disaster in the last 3 weeks of the year, 2008 will in all cases have a higher production level then 2005. I have been aware of this trend for the last year and for the last three months have been virtually certain of this outcome, or at least that 2008 production would be higher than 2007.

But now we can see beyond a reasonable doubt that 2008 production is higher than 2005. So it is a little bit odd that there are still those that say 2005 was the peak and that production is dropping.

iea_eia_910_jpg

What will happen is 2009? Well, the evidence suggests that production would have been higher than 2008 by maybe 0.5%. What is that evidence? Known short-term decline rates for every oil producing region on the planet that is actually declining and conservative guesses about increase rates of those regions that we know are increasing.

I’ll discuss Saudi Arabia soon.

But in October OPEC agreed to lower its production by 1.5 mbpd starting Nov. 1st. Consensus opinion (and the preliminary number should be out in the next 10 days) suggests they will successfully only cut production 1 mbpd and will need another month or two to get their shit completely together.

They flubbed it last month when they made no official decisions two at their unofficial get-together in _____. Oil prices continued to plummet. It is near certain they will agree to another 1.5 mbpd cut at their Dec. 13th meeting. If these extremely deep cuts will actually take place and how long it will take them to be implemented is another story. The reality is that the bulk of the cuts will fall on Saudi Arabia and only Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar and maybe Libya and Algeria can be counted on. You can forget about any honesty and effort coming from Nigeria, Iran, Ecuador, and Venezuela. But who knows. Angola is too new to the whole deal and their production has been rising pretty fast to be able to tell what they will decide to do.

So my best guess is that by mid-2009, at some point (and for how long, I don’t know), we should see global production 2.5-3.0 mbpd lower than October. I leave predictions to people that like being wrong. I give up. What I will say is that lower production in 2009 will not be due to geologic constraints on a global level. We’ll have to wait for 2010 or 2011 or beyond for that.

Here are some other versions of these charts I did two months ago looking at the data slightly differently

ASPO Thread

by Saint Bif

Part I – Monday

Jim’s Monday post was obviously still on his mind tonight as he, Dennis Hayes, Randy Udall and Richard Brenne took hits on a tequila bottle and squared off in philosophical debate that was supposed to address our post-peak future. Brenne providing much needed levity and picked on Jim repeatedly, which Jim and the crowd enjoyed.

From my notes but in no particular order, not that there really was one. Jim made his Millard Filmore Whigs and Abe Lincoln-moment parallel, and he wanted to get that off his chest, which was alright. Politics had been somewhat down-played until then but Jim went big on a “the party that wrecked America” rant (there was some vigorous applause, a few protests), but he also pushed back hard on the idealists in the crowd and who have graced the podium who keep yearning for a “lock arms and all work together” solution. Jim said we’ll never get to the kumbaya moment, it isn’t going to happen.

Jim talked about how in future people will necessarily create a new reality, it could be very different, empiricism and logic as we may know it will be out the window, and he tried to get this into WMBH. (beats me, this unfortunately may be about the fat lady).

It was Brenne, as moderator, with the best lines, “the rat tail is the gateway to full mullet-hood”, and also Jim as bringing his experience of having been through “peak hair” already. And finally, regarding the airline industry, we’ll never be able to get the passengers to shovel coal so its not going to happen, however hypersonic works, but only of you fly non-stop around the whole world. Jim, saying techno triumphalism has run its course, transition will not be orderly, and Brenne saying Heinburg thinks we’ll see something like WMBH except maybe 15 minutes early than what Jim says. On and on it went.

Hayes concerned more about abundance of coal and uranium rather than scarcity (get it?) (note: around then I spilled beer on my notebook and after mopping it up scribbled “woah”. It was in fact a double woah). Randy Udall also trying to reconcile that it turns out orangutans are more intelligent than chimps and so maybe the higherl intelligence is at the other end of the primate lineage (score one for dave), and afterall, if you keep going with that: the trees have all along equipped themselves with very efficient leafy solar panels. (I know. Me too).

Udall: maybe its no coincidence that peak environmental achievement happened to coincide with peak oil discovery. Crowd fidgets and imagines a permanently trashed world rather than perma-utopia. Yes but there may have to be certain compromises/tradoffs on environment. Grumble.

The tequila did take firm hold eventually, as evidenced when Udall says he’s not convinced water is a limiting factor on world population going to 9 billion. Huge groans from the bard on that one.

Someone yelled something about psychopathy (that’s what my notes indicate anyway, though I don’t know context, or who yelled it at who).

PO conferences are not the best place to meet women, Jim quipped.

All the giants of PO here except Kris Kan. Too bad. All the main actors and supporting cast are friendly and approachable.

OK sorry, interesting night, but on serious side, I have some good info, and I’ll work up some notes and post some highlights.

Part II – Tuesday

A diverse crowd at ASPO-USA meeting as you might suspect, and presentations running the gamut as far as content, and unfortunately, quality, especially in addressing transportation piece. I think these presentations will at some point be available on their web site so I won’t attempt to reconstruct it all, but will offer a few highlights and comments where I was interested and took notes. I did not see all of the talks but I was in most, and here are the ones I thought were most interesting:

Continue reading “ASPO Thread”