Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Critical Winter

Responsible Parties,

Jimmy Carter: "I am convinced that the United States can still shape the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict before a change in presidents, but time is very short. The simple but vital step this administration must take before its term expires on Jan. 20 is to grant American diplomatic recognition to the state of Palestine, as 137 countries have already done, and help it achieve full United Nations membership."
"Back in 1978, during my administration, Israel’s prime minister, Menachem Begin, and Egypt’s president, Anwar Sadat, signed the Camp David Accords. That agreement was based on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, which was passed in the aftermath of the 1967 war. The key words of that resolution were “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East in which every state in the area can live in security,” and the “withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.” (Barack Obama could, at least have SOME legacy...)

Egypt (the biggest Sunni nation) joins Russia and Iran (Shia power-center) in support of Syria. Saudi Arabia and Gulf monarchies cut oil to Egypt.

"Turkish forces are in Syria to end Assad's rule", Turkish (Sunni) President Erdogan 
(This is an extreme position, which I suppose is for purpose of negotiating-down. Turkey just failed to sustain the surrogate-army of various moderate-rebel-oil-pirates in Syria. This is a declaration of a previously covert war. What is to be bargained? NATO seems to have edged closer to Russia on Syria, and the EU gives Turkey the cold-shoulder. Will Turkey ramp up tensions against Greece/Cyprus now?) Thanks Eleni, for Turkey/Greece/Cyprus stories

Hmmm, it says that Turkey is staging to send 3000 refugees to Greece every-single-day...

"The Other Human" Greek soup kitchen feeds poor people in Greece, refugees and Greeks, alike. 
Our donations make food and give it to people without NGO overhead.

DAPL war ramps up, as State of North Dakota tries to get the blockade to work, to freeze and starve out the Water Protectors before reinforcements arrive, to sever supply lines to "the enemy" (our people).
North Dakota officials on Tuesday moved to block supplies from reaching oil pipeline protesters at a camp near the construction site, threatening to use hefty fines to keep demonstrators from receiving food, building materials and even portable bathrooms.
Officers will stop vehicles they believe are headed to the camp and inform drivers they are committing an infraction and could be fined $1,000.

2000 US veterans are headed to North Dakota, to reinforce the Water Protectors. Another chance for us to support resistance at a crucial moment.

Think about where we are in human history. We just edged over peak-everything-except-pollution-and-population. Wile-E-Coyote looks down.
The Limits to Growth projections from 1972 remain remarkably accurate.
Image result for limits to growth standard run

"Fertility Rates Keep Dropping, and It's Going to Hit the Economy Hard" (That's not a bug, it's a feature, guys.)
Global Fertility Rates

Declining Human

Monday, November 28, 2016

Screeching Brakes

Responsibly Downsizing,

What are the medium term economic effects of returning to National Economy, instead of Global Economy? 
Inherent in globalization is the fall of wages for workers, as production moves to the areas with cheapest pay and lowest environmental regulation costs. 
Re-nationalization will give labor a stronger position, and more pay, at the expense of the wealthy. Prices will rise for goods and services. 
Total GDP will be less, but more evenly distributed. Cassandra's Legacy runs the simulation, though without declining energy supply effects or global warming effects, both of which reduce GDP and human population growth.

Gail Tverberg looks more closely at the thermoeconomics of decreasing economic complexity, which is more efficient, and is what Trump is suggesting by cutting out globalism, regulation and green-energy initiative costs. (It mitigates our lifetimes somewhat, but look at all the headwinds we are going into. And then...)

There is always the Lies-R-Us aspect of the Trump plans to consider.
“Trump’s plan is not really an infrastructure plan. It’s a tax-cut plan for utility-industry and construction-sector investors, and a massive corporate welfare plan for contractors. The Trump plan doesn’t directly fund new roads, bridges, water systems or airports. Instead, Trump’s plan provides tax breaks to private-sector investors who back profitable construction projects." These so called “public-private partnerships” are just another way for big business to suck money out of the government.

Trump will have to mediate a dispute on biofuels between supporters: Big Oil and Big Corn. (Big oil has the much better facts on it's side. Maybe Trump can send all that ethanol to ISIS for one last big party.)

The world is multipolar. China and Russia are not "contained". Reality. How much adaptation to reality can America undertake now? Trump-the-negotiator has lots to do, and will need to walk-back a lot of rigidly held dominance-postures in both parties and the military-industrial-complex. 
"The claim that the accords did not definitively stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons itself missed the point: Iran already has a stockpile of nu-clear weapons, including at least several weapons designed and developed by Iran itself." (Wow! I'd like to hear more about that. Is this the missing-South-African-nukes thing, maybe in part? Also, this long and detailed paper does not seem to include the word "Israel" in extensive geo-strategic analysis.)

Evidence substantiating the "out-of-Egypt" origins of Chinese civilization is presented in this article. The century old hypothesis is now supported by analysis of the very oldest Chinese bronze artifacts. Their isotopic fingerprints are Egyptian.

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chairman, Harold Frazier's letter to Army Corps of Engineers is here. It is the truth. (Support Water-Protectors however you can. There are GoFundMe drives for veterans going to help, for instance. I was able to help someone go put his body on the line.)

The Police Brutality is burning through money. They'll need another $7 million in the short term to keep shooting rubber bullets at peoples, heads, breaking limbs, and dousing everybody with freezing water, while hosing out their heating fires.

Only 10% of Palestinians living in Gaza, the open air prison their invaders have kettled them into, have access to clean drinking water. Biological warfare is another mechanism of creeping genocide employed by Israel.

The Syrian army has captured the largest sector of East Aleppo from insurgents, and faster than expected. The remaining insurgent forces are now isolated from any reinforcements and resupply. Thanks Eleni.

Indian currency-eradication project is devastating agriculture and food supply. Chitra Bag and her family of six are eating less these days. They make do with one meal instead of the usual three meals, despite a gruelling 8-10 hours of work daily as landless farm labourers. Even though vegetables, grown around their mud-thatched house, are still available, Ms. Bag and her family have drastically cut back on pulses, salt, flour and oil they buy from the neighbourhood grocer. Because he doesn’t extend credit any longer. Chitra can’t pay in new currency notes as her employer paid her in old notes.

Narendra Modi, (India's Erdogan?) is starving and ruining his political support base, as well as the rest of the country.
The most ardent supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise currency withdrawal are those you’d least expect: India’s rural poor, who are suffering the most with the prolonged cash shortages.

Italian referendum to approve transfer of much Parliamentary power to the President "to allow him to get some things done" is up against populism. Technocrat whiz-kid Renzi keeps waffling on if he will stay or go if his referendum is rejected, which looks likely.
If that bigger picture still dominates come polling day, it is hard to see anything but defeat for a man once billed as Italy’s Blair. After 13 years of a flatlining economy, Italians are battered, bruised and looking for somebody to blame. Unemployment is running at 11%, but is close to 40% among the young, who made up the bulk of the 107,000 who left the country last year to seek work abroad. The aftermath of the financial crash is estimated to have wiped out about a quarter of Italian industry. The average family income is less now than it was in 2007.

All the rich-folks want Renzi to "stay for the good of the country" after his referendum loses next Monday.

Pennsylvania recount appears to be close to impossible, in so many ways.
(No successful turnover of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and Michigan electors would mean no change in Electoral College result. 2 out of 3 won't work.)

Freezing-out a quorum in the Electoral college on December 18 is one of the speculated reasons for the recounts. If all are initiated, and none are completed, then Congress will have to pick the next President. (Huh? Wassup? Long-shot?)

Robert Reich: The Democratic Party as it is now constituted has become a giant fundraising machine, too often reflecting the goals and values of the moneyed interests. This must change. The election of 2016 has repudiated it. We need a people’s party.

Wouldn't it be cool if you could play the slot machines while driving in traffic? Smart-Phones; same thing. Watch drivers when you're riding-shotgun some time.
Slot machines and smartphones: To understand the fatal distraction of mobile tech, look at Las Vegas

Android malware has just been used to hack and steal a Tesla. (No need to look up from your smartphone, though...)

Sam Bliss tells of his long bike rides across the US and Europe, into Degrowth.

Bicycling with Bliss

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Fidel Castro 8/13/1926 - 11/25/2016

Reformed Smokers,

Image result for fidel castro, che guevara
Fidel Castro, who tried to meet with President Eisenhower after overthrowing gangster-puppet Batista, but was rebuffed, has finally met his mortal end. 
Very few historical figures last this long. He was in power from 33 until 90, if you count these last few years with brother Raul as President There was rigidity at home, and graciousness, with a revolutionary flair, throughout Latin America. Cuba was, and still is, a zit-on-the-face of the world's greatest superpower.
(Fidel's dad was a rich Spanish plantation owner and his mom was the housemaid. Fidel was a Jesuit-trained lawyer, brilliant and charming. He eventually gave up cigars.)

World Leaders offer words of respect.

Thierry Meyssan on Voltairenet has this excellent article on the intrigues and botched plots and wars in Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Ukraine. (Russia is doing remarkably well as the martial artist, successfully fighting multiple opponents.) There are things here I had not seen before. Thanks Eleni.

Should a single person have the authority to flip a switch and bring all trade, transactions, indeed, the entire economy to a halt? What happens when 88% of the money in India is declared non-negotiable? We are only beginning to see... Food rots. Farmers cannot sell their crops, or buy seed or their own food and fuel. Money changing Mafia has taken over all transactions. No "legal" notes are used. They are all salted away. Only the banned notes are circulated, with deep discounts. Crime is the main business, and people are beginning to rob for food in mobs. The bottom 50% of Indians are completely crippled and without any recourse.

Black Friday for department stores. They are dying. Nothing new there.

After telling-off top media execs and reporters in off-the-record meeting, and sneaking out to a family dinner without reporters, Donald Trump bypasses them completely by just using YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. (I guess he'll have to be taught a lesson if he's expecting good press. All he really has left is the "fake news". Very embarrassing.)

Australia is having such severe financial problems that it has had to stop donating to the Clinton Foundation.

The Clinton Campaign now "backs" Jill Stein/Green-Party vote recount in Wisconsin and other states. Wisconsin recount has begun. Green Party has collected over $5 million in 3 days, having collected about $1.8 million for the whole previous campaign season. Lawyers say all they collect has to go to the recount (or?).

Richard Branson and Bob Geldof are bankrolling a start-up business to publicize bringing Tony Blair back to the helm of British politics. Let's see how this plays out. (Blair is deeply reviled in Britain, and those parts of the world where he has smiled, sucked blood and shit in the wounds.) Thanks Eleni.

Innovation has been flogged pretty hard as a fix-all, like "growth", "progress", "free" anything, and "democracy. 
Maintenance is what matters, and what most of us work at, the unglamorous supporting role, more necessary than profitable.

Assuming Too Much

Friday, November 25, 2016

Fake News Site

Thoroughly Indoctrinated,

More Russian Propaganda from Sputnik, or is it pro-Clinton, or maybe the threatened Trump-recount finally come to pass...
(Clearly subversive) Jill Stein gets twice as much money for this recount effort in 2 days as she got for her whole candidacy.
Stein said that her "interest as a citizen, as a person in America, that the vote be valid," is what's driving the effort from her end. "Why would anyone in their right mind not want to have secure and verified vote? In a very vicious, hotly contested election that used hack-friendly voting machines, in a hack-riddled election, we deserve some confidence in the outcome of this election," she said.
 "I'm responding to a [group] of people…observers and advocates, both experts and just ordinary citizens, who feel like this is unacceptable and that these machines as a baseline is not the way we should be voting."

Bernie Sanders had the same brilliant and original idea as Abraham Lincoln when he introduced legislation to directly spend money into the economy for a trillion $ infrastructure project. He will introduce it again after the inauguration, deriding Trumps plan as more pork for big capitalism. (Green-backs, green-backs, green-backs!)

It says here that Sanders should talk to Trump sooner, rather than later. (I suspect this is in the works. There are probably negotiations underway between Sanders, Team Trump, and the fatally-gored Democratic party machine. I think Sanders would make an excellent Secretary of Labor for the times ahead. Paul Ryan would disagree, of course.)

Ilargi advocates moving quickly as Americans do the deer-in-the-headlights thing.
Gabbard wants the US to stop killing people in Syria. Is that a bad thing, anyone? She broke with the DNC when she figured out then-Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was favoring Hillary and working against Bernie. If Gabbard’s move is not enough to make you move and un-dig your heels, how about Bernie Sanders himself taking a seat in the Trump government? Would that do the trick? The Donald would love it. Bernie would be told he’s betraying his party, for sure, but we all know the party betrayed him first. He’s either got a few years left to do something real, or he can see himself be betrayed all over again in 2020.
German sentiment and that of 15 other European countries, now yearns to negotiate down the current military confrontation with Russia.   U.S. officials are skeptical about the initiative, citing Russia’s failure to abide by existing agreements and treaties. Steinmeier also drew criticism from U.S. and NATO officials in June after warning that Western military maneuvers in eastern Europe amounted to “saber-rattling and shrill war cries” that could worsen tensions with Russia.   
A view of General Michael Flynn, Trumps pick for National Security Adviser. (We'll see how this goes. Sharp and quick to change assessments, when facts change, but also hair-triggered, according to some.)
Erdogan again threatens to send 3 million refugees to Europe in taxis.
Turkish military forces (not "invaders") are in Northern Syria, supporting anti-regime militias there (not "terrorists"), near Al Bab. Turkey is livid as it reports that Syrian Army forces have killed some innocent Turkish non-invaders. This could lead to "war".  "While it is entirely possible that Syrian aircraft did launch the attack, there is strong evidence to suggest that Turkey is seeking to pin the blame on Damascus to legitimize its ongoing incursion. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition-aligned organization that can hardly be accused of having a brief for the Assad government, reported that the Turkish casualties were in fact caused by an ISIS suicide bombing on Wednesday. For its part, the Turkish government imposed a gag order on media reporting of the attack."
Russian propaganda source, Sputnik News, claims that nice-moderate-rebels in Aleppo have used mustard gas on the human-shield residents there. (When will we get all these fake-news sites off the poor internet?)
The Archdruid looks at the history of Free Trade:  "So the great free trade era that began tentatively with the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846, and came into full flower with Gladstone’s abolition of tariffs in 1869, ended in the stock market debacle of 1929 and the Great Depression. The road there was littered with plenty of other crises, too. The economic history of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is a cratered moonscape of speculative busts and stock market crashes, culminating in the Big One in 1929."
All Aboard the Post TPP World: (Reversion to a multipolar world is happening, isn't it?)
India is still having problems since demonitizing 88% of cash in her mostly-cash-economy. Huge jumps in taxes on undeclared cash don't seem to have fixed it yet.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Turkeys And Stuffing

Checking Twice,

Jill Stein MD, Green Party candidate for President, miraculously raises enough money for a recount in Wisconsin, and is on track to pay for some more recounts, too. (I wonder where all that money came from. Is there a split in the ranks of our elite puppet-masters? This will be really validating for Trump if results don't change.)

Bev Harris of Black Box Voting presents evidence of widespread rigging FOR Clinton, which was not enough to get her elected. Thanks Tom and Joe.
This might be fun. The door is now wide-open to discuss vote-rigging in America, a recently banned topic.

Donald Trump addresses America for Thanksgiving, and calls for a "healing of divisions". (I'm sure that he will still feel the same if the recounts put the Clinton machine back in power, right?)

Still wondering what role Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard will play as history unfolds...

The EU won't talk about Turkey joining-up any more. Turkish Lira dumps.
(Considered with the moves in and around Cyprus, not to mention Syria, it seems like Turkey's wings may be clipped (pun) by the EU, US and Russia, and via the UN Security Council, when the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 finally gets a good review. Cyprus needs a reset, which negotiations have not brought in these 42 years.)

Russia has just revealed a new generation of lighter, more accurate MIRVed ICBMs, carried on ordinary looking railroad cars. Nope, these don't happen to violate any treaties.

Here is a believable recasting of the Thanksgiving myth we were all taught in school. It fits with what I've read about the breakdown of back-to-the land communes in the 1970s. People just have no clue how much work it is to grow food. Most won't, and those who will do it, won't do it to feed the lazy ones, out of principle.

Ron Paul advocates "Ed-Exit", local and parental control of the education of children. He points out that Republican and Democratic parties have only differed on details of the rigid standardization of mass education/indoctrination. He points out that the most tailored education, adjusting to the needs and capabilities of the students, is home schooling. He has a basic home-school curriculum to share. (My experience with home schooled kids is that they are quick and savvy, but it is a pretty select group to start with. Parents really have to be on the ball every day for a couple of decades to teach a family of children this way. They also have to have a lot of personal resources and resourcefulness. We "home schooled" our 4 kids during the 9 months that we traveled around the world with bikes and backpacks. The kids meshed right back in at spring-break 2006. Home-school communities are good, solid, principled and diligent people.)

Beginning at Home

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Serving The Masters

Chose Blue Pill,

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said on Tuesday he was keeping an open mind on whether to pull out of a landmark international accord to fight climate change, in a softening of his stance toward global warming.
"I think there is some connectivity. Some, something. It depends on how much," he told a panel of New York Times journalists.
But he said he was also wanted to see how much the Paris climate accord "will cost our companies" and its impact on US competitiveness.
Two people advising Trump’s transition team on energy and environment issues said they were caught off guard by his remarks.
Trump has said he might have to build a fence, rather than a wall, in some areas of the U.S.-Mexican border to stop illegal immigration, tweaking one of his signature campaign promises.
Breitbart News, the outlet once led by Trump's chief strategist, Steve Bannon, published a story on Tuesday under the headline, "Broken Promise: Trump 'Doesn't Wish to Pursue' Clinton email charges."
But Trump said "no" when asked if he would rule out investigating Clinton over her family's charitable foundation or her use of a private email server while she was U.S. secretary of state during President Barack Obama's first term.

Clinton beat Sanders in a rigged primary, but may have been outrigged in the general election by the Republican machine (or the Bushes turned against her). Exit polls are highly accurate, and this data is large and one sided and concentrated in electronic-voting districts. Thanks Dan

Ben Carson MD has been offered directorship of HUD, Housing and Urban Development, in Trump's administration. (He would be there for politics, not expertise. I suspect he would have to smile and explain a lot. Perhaps not so appealing...)

Secretary of State is a huge political plum, and must be getting hotly negotiated about now. Romney or Giuliani? Is there another?

On the issue of torture, Mr. Trump suggested he had changed his mind about the value of waterboarding after talking with James N. Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general, who headed the United States Central Command. “He said, ‘I’ve never found it to be useful,’” Mr. Trump said. He added that Mr. Mattis found more value in building trust and rewarding cooperation with terrorism suspects: “‘Give me a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers, and I’ll do better.’” “I was very impressed by that answer,” Mr. Trump said.
(No experience and not quite Tulsi Gabbard, but as close as he could find, I guess.) In the first woman appointment to Trump's administration, South Carolina Govenor Nikki Haley has accepted the president-elect's offer to be his ambassador to the United Nations, NBC News reported this morning. The daughter of immigrants from India, Haley served three terms in South Carolina's State House before winning the governorship in 2010 and again in 2014. A two-term governor, Haley, 44, initially backed Trump rivals Sen. Marco Rubio and then Sen. Ted Cruz... Haley is married to a captain in the Army National Guard who served in Afghanistan, and has two teenage children, according to her biography on the state's website.
Obstacles to Trump's Growth Plans (Limits-to-Growth, again.) “Things are not what they were.” Complexity “theory” tells us that trying to repeat what worked earlier – in very different conditions – will likely not work if repeated later. In the Clinton era, for example, 85 percent of the U.S. population growth derived from the working-age population. The headwind that Trump will face is that, over the next eight years, 80 percent of the population growth will comprise 65+ year olds. And 65+ year olds are not a good engine of economic growth. [Economic "growth" is dead in the world. Work is another issue, though. There are over 100 million unemployed 18-65 year olds in America. Most can probably work at something...]Self-sufficiency implies higher domestic costs and price rises for consumers.    

Financially chaotic and cash-starved, India considers a total ban on gold imports. That is why gold prices just took a dive under $1200/oz.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel takes up the Clintonian banner of "Fake News", warning Germans about being misled by clever enemies.
Speaking in parliament for the first time since her announcement Sunday that she would seek re-election next year, Merkel cautioned that public opinion was being "manipulated" on the internet.

How is it even possible to be openly talking about another EU bailout for bled-dry-and-prostrate Greece?

"Byzantine", is how this portrayal of the Turkish military occupation of Cyprus, since 1974, is being negotiated. The PM of Cyprus is adequately compliant to sign anything for carrots and sticks, which (no longer) future Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was enticing and beating him. That's suddenly over. The talks have broken down, somewhat to tightening of the Turkish stance under Erdogan. It looks like Turkey is giving up on EU membership, a general trend. Guaranties of the status quo from Greece and the UK were holding this leaky boat afloat. Now, they are presented as useless, illegal, and untenable going forward. The whole thing has to go to the UN Security Council (not NATO).

Hundreds of American Veterans will rendezvous at Standing Rock to defend Native American Water-Protectors.
“This country is repressing our people,” says Michael A. Wood Jr., a Marine Corps veteran who recently retired from the Baltimore police force to work toward reforming law enforcement. “If we’re going to be heroes, if we’re really going to be those veterans that this country praises, well, then we need to do the things that we actually said we’re going to do when we took the oath to defend the Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic,” he asserted about his plans to go to Standing Rock. Woods Jr. is joined by Wes Clark Jr. Clark Jr. is the son of General Wesley Clark, the famous military leader who once warned that shortly after 9/11, the government had its eyes on Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran.
Invasion of America interactive history map, shows the very successful invasion by our great grandparents. Thanks Eleni.

There's Round-Up in my honey. “I don’t understand how I’m supposed to control the level of glyphosate in my honey when I’m not the one using Roundup,” one honey company operator said. “It’s all around me. It’s unfair.”

Sea ice is the least ever for November.

"I'm Melting"