Expecting Much Less,
Chris Hedges does a good job of examining the decay within the form of a red-giant type empire, such as the American empire now is. We can see the decay everywhere, but the form lives in our worldview, about like before, until it all starts crumbling fast in the final moments.
"The empire will limp along, steadily losing influence until the dollar is dropped as the world’s reserve currency, plunging the United States into a crippling depression and instantly forcing a massive contraction of its military machine."
For China, Iran and Russia, as well as other countries, de-dollarization has become a pressing issue. The number of countries that are beginning to see the benefits of a decentralized system, as opposed to the US dollar system, is increasing. Iran and India, but also Iran and Russia, have often traded hydrocarbons in exchange for primary goods, thereby bypassing American sanctions. Likewise, China's economic power has allowed it to open a 10-billion-euro line of credit to Iran to circumvent recent sanctions. Even the DPRK seems to use cryptocurrencies like bitcoin to buy oil from China and bypass US sanctions. Venezuela (with the largest oil reserves in the world) has just started a historic move to completely renounce selling oil in dollars, and has announced that it will start receiving money in a basket of currencies without US dollars. (This is not to mention the biggest change to have occurred in the last 40 years). Beijing will buy gas and oil from Russia by paying in yuan, with Moscow being able to convert yuan into gold immediately thanks to the Shanghai International Energy Exchange. This gas-yuan-gold mechanism signals a revolutionary economic change through the progressive abandonment of the dollar in trade.
Russia and Saudi Arabia announce billions of (seems funny to say) "dollars" worth of deals, as Saudi monarch visits Russia, which is a first. Saudi Arabia will join Turkey, Iran and Syria in purchasing Russian S400 missiles, which can shoot down anything that flies (like most of those Tomahawk cruise missiles the US navy fired at that Syrian airfield in March)
Nicolas Maduro of beleaguered Venezuela, also under US sanctions, and refusing $US for oil, also meets with President Putin on business of mutual concern to their nations.
Russia issues third warning about US cooperation with terrorists in Syria, which is killing Russians and Syrians, and seeking to exclude Syrian forces from retaking their main oilfields from ISIS.
One day after King Salman meets with President Putin, the US announces a halt to joint military operations with Persian-Gulf allies (like Saudi Arabia...)
After reporting earlier in the week that Tillerson had privately criticized Trump, allegedly calling him a “fucking moron”, shortly before the former Exxon CEO was close to submitting his resignation, NBC reported late Thursday that the secretary had been summoned to the White House by Chief of Staff John Kelly for an impromptu meeting to discuss “a path forward.”
This season's hurricane #4, Nate, makes a beeline for New Orleans.
The New Reality of Old Age in America, "I'm gonna work til I die" Thanks Charles.
The evacuation of the rumbling and steaming volcanic island of Vanautu. Save your friends and neighbors, is the social norm. I miss that kind of feeling.