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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Living Systems

Ecosystem Members,
​Jenny and I have had a lot to consider recently with the death of her Mom. Life and death and love and ​change in the world, which we have seen, and which we anticipate going forward.​ We are traveling tonight to Yoakum, where we are signing on a nice house on 0.6 acre of lovely soil. We will keep living in Austin, and working, and fixing up the house, and getting fruit trees in, and a bigger garden. This is an engagement with life, not techno-fantasy. We pray for wisdom and guidance going forward.

Gail Tverberg on Why we get bad diagnoses for the world's energy economy problems. (Affirmation and expansion of Limits To Growth thesis.)​
In the time since the 1972 Limits to Growth analysis was prepared, there has been a major discovery relating the importance of energy to the economy. Ilya Prigogine tackled the problem of the physics of thermodynamically dynamic open systems, earning a Nobel prize for his efforts in 1977. When energy flows are available, many structures, called dissipative structures, can grow and change over time. Examples include plants and animals, hurricanes, stars (they expand in size, then collapse at the end of their lives), ecosystems, and economies. These structures are utterly dependent on energy flows. The economy needs energy in almost the same way that humans need food. Without sufficient energy flows, the world economy will collapse.

t is because of the laws of physics and energy flows that markets are able to set price levels. Indirectly, physics sets the maximum affordable price for energy products based upon the total quantity of goods and services individual workers can afford. These maximum affordable prices may be invisible, but they are very real. Economists may talk about “demand” for energy products, but the real issue is affordability: “Will the laws of physics allow prices to stay high enough to provide the commodities the world economy needs?”
It is because of the laws of physics that debt can play a major role in the economy. Debt can provide time-shifting services if an economy does not have sufficient energy supplies to permit the equivalent of bartering of finished goods and services for new capital goods. Debt can allow future goods and services (manufactured with energy products) to serve as payment for capital goods and other goods purchased using debt. Thus, debt acts as a promise of future energy supplies. These future energy supplies may not, in fact, actually be available at prices that consumers can afford. This is why debt bubbles so often collapse and have a devastating impact on economies.

​David Stockman comes at the debt from a more partisan angle, with lots of experience, and gets to the same destination as Gail.
Trump and the GOP deserve everlasting ignominy for literally shit-canning fiscal rectitude. So doing, they have completely abandoned the GOP's fundamental reason for being--- watch-dogging the US Treasury---in favor of immigrant-bashing, border hysteria and what boils down to crude nativism by any other name...
So what has actually transpired through it all is that the Donald has dropped the equivalent of a neutron bomb on the GOP. Its edifice is still standing but what used to be inside is dead to the world.
Worse still, those now departed legions of budget hawks have been replaced by an unseemly coalition of militant border patrollers, neocon blood-lusters and military pork barrel servitors of the Warfare State. That is to say, a predatory gang of self-serving swamp-dwellers who couldn't defend the taxpayers or the nation's solvency if their lives depended upon it.  

​Citizen Ray sends this article about an accidentally slipped brag about kicking ass with internet censorship in the war against fringe-ideas. (I got wounded.)
In comments published here for the first time, a neoconservative Washington insider has apparently claimed a degree of credit for the recent purge — and promised more takedowns in the near future.
“Russia, China, and other foreign states take advantage of our open political system,” remarked Jamie Fly, a senior fellow and director of the Asia program at the influential think tank the German Marshall Fund, which is funded by the U.S. government and NATO. “They can invent stories that get repeated and spread through different sites. So we are just starting to push back. Just this last week Facebook began starting to take down sites. So this is just the beginning.”
Fly went on to complain that “all you need is an email” to set up a Facebook or Twitter account, lamenting the sites’ accessibility to members of the general public. He predicted a long struggle on a global scale to fix the situation, and pointed out that to do so would require constant vigilance.
Fly made these stunning comments to Jeb Sprague, who is a visiting faculty in sociology at the University of California-Santa Barbara and co-author of this article. The two spoke during a lunch break at a conference on Asian security organized by the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik in Berlin, Germany on Oct. 15 and 16.

Professor Paul Craig Roberts:
If America had an independent media, the election would be about the American police state that, based on the 9/11 lie, the weapons of mass destruction lie, the use of chemical weapons lie, the Iranian nukes lie, the Russian invasion of Ukraine lie, was accepted by the insouciant Americans. Those responsible for these lies, which have caused massive war crimes, for which US administrations should be indicted, are feted and rich. The rest of us have experienced the loss of civil liberty and privacy. Any individual in the way of the police state is mowed down.
If America had an independent media, the election would be about the de-industrialization of the United States. Today, as this article makes clear—https://thesaker.is/the-pentagon-realised-what-it-has-done-the-chinese-put-the-us-army-on-its-knees/ —the offshoring of American manufacturing and industry has reduced the US military to dependence on Chinese suppliers.


In the system of national defense of the US a gaping vulnerability was found that is very difficult to close. The reaction of the Pentagon is reminiscent of badly hidden panic, and journalists who examined the results of the research of American experts, who thoroughly studied the condition of the American army and defensive industry, admit that there is iron logic in the recent “strange” actions of president Trump — he wants to save America from transforming into a cardboard tiger with paper claws.
The essence of the problem, according to the retelling of the columnist of the Reuters agency Andy Home, who obtained a copy of the September report of the US Department of Defence on the situation concerning key deliveries necessary for the American army, is reduced to one important figure. More than 300 (!) key elements necessary for the normal functioning of the US Armed Forces and defensive industry are under threat: American producers are either on the verge of bankruptcy or were already replaced by suppliers from China or other countries because of the deindustrialisation of national economy and the relocation of production to the countries of Southeast Asia.

​Apparently everybody in Washington, Riyadh, Berlin, Paris and London has heard the gruesome Khashoggi murder-dismemberment tapes now. Erdogan said he gave them all copies. The US is ceasing refueling Saudi warplanes over Yemen.
In a significant development, the White House is preparing to halt the U.S. refueling of Saudi coalition jets engaged in operations over Yemen. It's been among the more controversial measures of assistance the Pentagon has provided the Saudis and Emirates during three years of aerial operations over Yemen, which has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths, including a massive number of civilian casualties. 
The New York Times reports that the "limited punishment" is to be accompanied by proposed sanctions on Riyadh over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi:
The Trump administration is ending air refueling flights for the Saudi military campaign in Yemen and preparing sanctions against Saudis linked to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, current and former American officials said on Friday. The moves would impose a limited punishment on the kingdom.
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-11-10/pentagon-ceases-refueling-saudi-jets-yemen-trump-moves-soften-congressional
​Bass Ackwards​

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