Nafeez Ahmed presents analysis of the Energy Return on Investment, as it affects the broad economy, nationally and globally. (This is the kind of analysis which finds cornahol in gasoline to be a boondoggle, consuming more total energy than it supplies.) This broad analysis finds that productivity growth in the world peaked in the 1930s, as did the energy return on investment, EROI. The UK has been in an EROI regime that is too low to support economic growth for about 15 years. The current global financial system requires growth, or it collapses. The EROI of global oil and gas is falling and falling, and coal EROI is still good, but expected to peak soon. The allure of coal for China and President Trump is fairly basic within the current economic paradigm. We need a new economic paradigm, and we are bound to get it soon. We will be working it out as we go. (Growing vegetables for personal consumption has always been part of these economic transition phases.)
Beware the "Cultural Civil War" Narrative. You're Being Played, Charles Hugh Smith (Clear, cogent and concise, as usual.)
The American Civil War was not fought over slavery, but largely over financial power, wielded by large banks and corporations. Northern slaves were never declared "emancipated", just the ones behind enemy lines in the south. Eleni sends this painfully accurate historical account of the actions and political alliances of Abraham Lincoln, before and during "the first modern war".
The Confederate General Who Was Erased (literally erased from pictures, like Stalin erased people who fell from favor): Robert E. Lee favored General Willam Mahone, of the army of Northern Virginia, to succeed him.
After the war, Senator Mahone led up the "Readjustor Party" and ran Virginia politics with a coalition of black and white Republicans and white Democrats, got widespread black suffrage and education, and readjusted (down) the debt of the Sate of Virginia, a very successful transitional agenda, from 1879 to 1883. (Sorry,, doesn't fit narratives.)
Note to Chinese-American families named "Lee": Don't name your son "Robert":
Ron Paul advises avoidance of Fascism on both the right and the left (Hitler and Mao)
This article by Thierry Meyssan (Thanks Eleni) presents the destructive strategy of the Western Empire, as commanded by the neocon cabal, and the effective strategy that Basser al Assad has employed to counter it since 2011. He actually decreased security forces and prisons, decreased interrogations, decreased the actions of soldiers against civilians, going against the litany of accusations against him. He split from the legacy of his father, and sidelined his brother (who had run the security apparatus). The people of Syria have noticed and appreciated this. Their hearts and minds have been won by the truth. This is the long strategy. It can be overpowered early by force. The author advises Venezuela's Maduro to choose this path.
How the US Deep State accidentally forged a Multipolar World Order: (If there is one big bully on the playground, taking everybody else's lunches, every single day...)
Russia prepares plans for "inevitable" counter-sanctions, in response to (yes) "illegal" US economic sanctions. Russia is building a parallel economic and financial regime, out of necessity.
The US can't be trusted. Trump cheats on China sanctions deal. (He really is breaking a deal and cheating after China agreed to UN Security Council sanctions against North Korea. That's why the immediate Chines response, not the customary next-day response. This is total bullshit, too.)
Future resource-wars for solar panels and electric motors and smart-phone batteries... sigh.
"ESTCOIN", Will WW-3 begin in the Balkans?
"Nearly three years after Estonia introduced its “e-residency” program, becoming the first country on Earth to allow foreigners to become “digital citizens,” the tiny Baltic republic is considering another proposal that would further cement its reputation as a digital pioneer: Becoming the first country to launch its own Initial Coin Offering... Korjus said the idea was workshopped with input from Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin. Buterin, Korjus says, envisions the estcoin as a new way to directly invest in a country’s future, rather than buying stocks, bonds or businesses." Russia and China are interested, and carrying out their own preparations.
Mike Kreiger: "Of course, his cheerleaders will remain enthusiastically in denial about what’s happened to their hero, but Trump has been totally brought to heel, a fact that’ll become increasingly crystal clear in the months ahead. This is now your standard Wall Street and military-industrial complex run Presidency... The biggest mistake in Iraq was starting the war in the first place. If we can’t admit such an obvious lesson from Iraq, of course all the solutions we come up will prove to be failures...There’s no vision, no wisdom and absolutely no exit strategy... Unfortunately, here’s the cold hard truth: We have no idea who we are, and we have no idea what we are fighting for. We’ve become the very evil he claims to be fighting against..."
More of the erosion/replacement of Trump's America First Policy: Chief strategist Steve Bannon, who was dismissed Friday, was a vocal opponent of the strategy endorsed by the president Monday, and though one White House adviser described him as a “ghost” in internal deliberations — he preferred to speak privately with the president or to talk to the news media — he succeeded, at least temporarily, in dubbing the effort “McMaster’s War"...The president’s national security team presented him with additional options, including a plan to outsource the war to contractors overseen by Erik Prince, the former Blackwater chief... Trump was also intrigued, in two discussions with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, by Ghani’s mention of the Afghanistan’s huge mineral reserves — which, he told Trump, the Afghans themselves lacked the technology and the resources to exploit. By some assessments, more than $1 trillion in mineral wealth, much of it in the form of lithium, could lay in the rock and soil of Afghanistan... After Trump raised the question of mineral wealth one Cabinet meeting, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — a former ExxonMobil CEO who oversaw projects in several dangerous nations — warned him about the risk of investing in politically unstable regions. (See: resource wars for smartphone batteries, above.)
It's too late to "ban killer robots", it's time to make them better and better (Duh, Drones!)
How regular industrial-device robots can be hacked to damage humans. (I saw another article that this is the biggest predictable danger with autonomous robo-cars. No suicide-driver needed. Nothing suspicious until... BAM!)
Bernie Sanders points out the obvious, some more... "The ongoing failure of our health care system is directly attributable to the fact that it is largely designed not to provide quality care in a cost-effective way, but to make maximum profits for health insurance companies, the pharmaceutical industry, and medical equipment suppliers." (Bad fer bidness, too...)
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