Along for the Ride,
American economic progress in our lifetimes has stagnated. The rich get a little richer, on paper. Real physical economy is worse than GDP.
Next comes Wile-E-Coyote-Looks-Down... Look, down.
Jim Kunstler: The United States is comprehensively bankrupt. The government is broke and the citizenry is trapped under inescapable debt burdens. We are never again going to generate the kinds and volumes of “growth” associated with techno-industrial expansion. That growth came out of energy flows, mainly fossil fuels, that paid for themselves and furnished a surplus for doing other useful things. It’s over... There are two ways of going broke in this situation: money can become scarce as it disappears so that few people have any; or everybody can have plenty of money that has no value and no credibility. I mention these monetary matters because the system of finance is the unifying link between all the systems we depend on for modern life, and none of them can run without it. So that’s where the real trouble is apt to start... Anything organized at the giant scale is headed for failure, so it comes down to a choice between outright collapse or severe re-scaling, which you might think of as managed contraction. That goes for government programs, military adventures, corporate enterprise, education, transportation, health care, agriculture, urban design, basically everything... If you want a chance at keeping on keeping on, you’ll have to get with reality’s program... Keep in mind that being in this world actually entitles you to nothing. One way or another, you’ll have to earn everything worth having, including self-respect and your next meal.
Stephen Lendman, via PCR, Thanks Eleni:
"In early 1945, Japan offered to surrender. In February, Douglas McArthur sent Roosevelt a 40-page summary of its terms. They were nearly unconditional. The Japanese would accept an occupation, would cease hostilities, surrender its arms, remove all troops from occupied territories, submit to criminal war trials, and allow its industries to be regulated. In return, they asked only that their emperor be retained in an honorable capacity. Roosevelt spurned the offer as did Truman. Hiroshima and Nagasaki followed on August 6 and 9 respectively... The bombings weren’t conducted to win a war won months earlier. They displayed America’s new might, what Soviet Russia’s leadership already knew, what might follow against its cities if Washington decided to attack its wartime ally... Hiroshima’s 72nd anniversary is an ominous reminder that what happened then can occur again – far more disastrously than earlier, including on US soil."
John Pilger revisits "On The Beach" a1957 book , then movie about death from nuclear holocaust creeping down towards Australia and New Zealand, after the obliteration of the northern hemisphere, a time for reflection.
The US submarine captain says, “We’ve all got to die one day, some sooner and some later. The trouble always has been that you’re never ready, because you don’t know when it’s coming. Well, now we do know and there’s nothing to be done about it.”
China says dialogue, the resumption of 6 party negotiations, on hold since before the financial crisis, are the basis for all progress on the Korean Peninsula. China and Russia have just signed on to unanimous UN Security Council Resolution to increase economic sanctions against North Korea, cutting off 1/3 of exports and foreign-currency to the nearly destitute country. This has temporarily put a hold on US military plans for "preventive war" devastating military assaults.
(The real solution, of course, is to negotiate peace, a real end to the Korean War, not this long pause. Only within the context of guarantees of peace, can all parties actually become secure.)
North Korea says it will not negotiate away it's nuclear deterrence capability, and that it is only to be used against the US, and countries like Japan and South Korea, which comport themselves as vassal-states. (That's an opening bid.)
Are China's foreign reserves rising, as announced, or still falling, as deduced?
(China is playing the shell game, here, which they should be, since China's debt bubble is the most ever in history, and current arrangements must collapse. Chinese citizens have 2/3 of the massive gold accumulation the country has undertaken, and Bitcoin is huge. Most transactions in Chinese cities are carried out through smartphone networks. This is currency diversification, and obfuscation of economic facts. This is necessary in financial war, isn't it? The $US will lose, when the Petrodollar regime of global finance collapses. Everybody will lose. Then what?)
This is a huge step. Cannons are going off in China. China will be collecting taxes in Bitcoin and related cryptocurrencies.
The Chinese government listed blockchain in its “Thirteenth Five-Year” National Informatization Plan from 2015, and since that time the nation has been working diligently toward the incorporation of the technology into daily life. China has just announced that it will use blockchain technology for social taxation and the issuing of electronic invoices.
Congressional sanctions against Russia and European energy customers hurt both, and can be considered quasi-eternal. This stuff never goes away. Sanctions support American natural gas exports, maybe, if things work out as planned. (They might backfire and help sink the petrobuck, though...)
Self driving robo-cabs will not just be blanketed in those stupid ads that gas pumps now have, they will become as vile as the worst gas-station bathrooms. Yuck, it does look inevitable, doesn't it? Another thing to pay more for, much more for, will be a clean one with no urine, feces, smoke, trash, and so on. (Getting anywhere on time will still be the biggest extra-cost-option...)