Thursday, July 4, 2019

Dependence Day


 UN Report says Human Rights Might Not Survive Climate Crisis, a statement that seems bland, since they do not exist in war zones in hot places that have oil and mineral resources, which are extracted for export, as people die. 
 The message here is that this is trending. It is not only driven by climate change, but also by resource depletion, and growth of the number of those at "the top", who can still exert financial claim to resources, energy and products/services. 
 That's us. Act accordingly. Invest in food and energy security. Invest in sustainable community. Be that change!

Professor Michael Hudson interview on Guns and Butter, with transcript:
 The purpose of a military conquest is to take control of foreign economies, to take control of their land and impose tribute. The genius of the World Bank was to recognize that it’s not necessary to occupy a country in order to impose tribute, or to take over its industry, agriculture and land. Instead of bullets, it uses financial maneuvering. As long as other countries play an artificial economic game that U.S. diplomacy can control, finance is able to achieve today what used to require bombing and loss of life by soldiers...
​ ​Dr. Hudson is a financial economist and historian. He is President of the Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trend, a Wall Street Financial Analyst, and Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. His most recent books include “… and Forgive them Their Debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption from Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year”; Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy, and J Is for Junk Economics: A Guide to Reality in an Age of Deception.​..​  
​ ​We return today to a discussion of Dr. Hudson’s seminal 1972 book, Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire, a critique of how the United States exploited foreign economies through the IMF and World Bank, with a special emphasis on food imperialism.  

Here is Liberty Garden, a gardening plan for climate zone 8a (and similar) which I developed and use, and posted on July 4 2016.

No fireworks from this US Provocation of Iran. Would you want to be assigned to this flight?:
 Today (7/3/19) a manned U.S. reconnaissance plane entered Iranian airspace in a clear attempt to provoke Iran into shooting it down. Such an incident would have created an occasion for Trump to give the American people a special 4th of July fireworks.
 On July 3 1988 the guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes shot down the civil Iranian Flight 655 with 290 people on board. The U.S. claimed that the plane's transponder was signaling an Iranian military identification code, that it was seemingly attacking the Vincennes, that the ship warned the plane 12 times, and that the ship was in international waters when the incident happened.
 The crew of the Vincennes received medals for killing the Iranian civilians.
 This morning the U.S. spy plane willingly penetrated Iranian airspace. It squawked a fake code which showed ill intention. This happened on the 31st anniversary of Flight 655. The Iranian military would certainly still like to take revenge for that mass murder. It was a huge provocation likely intended to lure Iran into shooting it down.
 Trump recently threatened to 'obliterate' some areas of Iran should it attack "anything American"

Trump might swap (rapture) Mike Pence out and run with Tucker Carlson. 
(That would mean that Trump has enough political power to put somebody in who would have about the same policies if Trump died in office. It would imply a second term of consolidated political power and more freedom of action than he has had to date. It would mean that the old political guard had acquiesced to his position and the faction which supports him.)
 Will President Trump switch up his ticket in 2020? The Wall Street Journal editorial page, bastion of the establishment right, certainly hopes so. A little over a week ago, it called for former ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley to replace the dutiful Mike Pence as vice president. But there’s well-placed chatter in Washington that suggests the president will take a different route. Trump does indeed feel he needs VP change, but it is not Nikki Haley he is considering. It is Fox News host Tucker Carlson...
 Carlson, who just turned 50, was with the president on his trip to the Korean demilitarized zone over the weekend. His interview with 45 will air Monday night. This all while Trump’s national security adviser and fierce Carlson foe, John R. Bolton, was exiled, literally, to outer Mongolia. In some ways, Trump has already made the move, ex officio.  

​Illinois has an acute funding problem, on top of it's horrible chronic funding problem, as about $20 billion in bonds are declared unconstitutional by the court. These debts have already been incurred to borrow more to keep the budget and pension payments propped up. Taxpayers ("tax mules") filed this lawsuit.
The petition said Illinois’ constitution permits the issuance of long-term debt only to fund “specific purposes” like capital improvements.
“Simply obtaining cash to finance the state’s structural deficits or to speculate in the market is not a ‘specific purpose,’” it said.

​The rich use their/our advantage to get more advantage, until things break.​
Economic geography strikes back. After a couple of decades of easy talk about the ‘death of distance’ in the age of globalisation, the promise of a world of rising living standards for all is increasingly challenged by the resilience of regional disparities within countries. As long as many people and firms are not geographically mobile – and those who are tend to be the most skilled and productive – easier distant interactions can actually strengthen rather than weaken agglomeration economies. Recent electoral trends in Europe can be understood to a surprisingly large extent from this angle.  

​Diana Johnstone gives "the rest of the story".​ 
(Truth is smothered by snowflakes, having weathered generations of hailstorms.)
​ ​The decision of the San Francisco school board to obliterate the historic murals in George Washington High School is not just another instance of Identity Politics foolishness. It is also a terrifying illustration of the drastic mental decline of what is called “the Left”...
​ ​The WPA, not least in its art projects, was animated by leftists, and even downright Communists, like Arnautoff, who chose to depart from the sterilized “I cannot tell a lie” cherry tree myth and the crossing of the Delaware glorification of George Washington to introduce reminders of the forgotten victims of the foundation of the United States – the exploitation of African slaves and the violent expropriation of Native American lands.  The murals were clearly part of the leftwing WPA intellectuals’ endeavor to raise social consciousness, a step toward the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s.

​The Archdruid, John Michael Greer  (Hey, I do all of these things!)
Once a society is saddled with a dominant minority, there’s a set of standard moves that people within the society use to try to deal with problems that the people in charge are no longer trying to solve. Unless you live under a damp rock, dear reader, you already know all of them. 
Toynbee calls them detachment, transcendence, futurism, and archaism. 
Detachment abandons society to its fate by going back to the land, or off to another part of the world, or inward to a subculture airtight enough to shut out current events. 
Transcendence is the turn to religion—Spengler calls it the Second Religiosity—which comes in the latter days of every civilization, as people frustrated by this world place their hopes on another. 
Futurism is the attempt to build, or at least daydream about, a perfect society in the future. 
Archaism, finally, is the quest to Make (insert name of society here) Great Again by rejecting a failed status quo in favor of policies that worked in the past...
Back to Greer's "Long De​scent​" theme: 
On the day before I posted this essay, humans burned around 100,000,000 barrels of crude oil, 21,000,000 tons of coal, and 9,000,000,000 cubic meters of natural gas. We burned around the same amount the day before that, too, and we’ll burn the same amount today, tomorrow, and the day after. The vast majority of all the energy human beings use—well over 80%, including nearly all transport fuel—comes from those three forms of fossil carbon.​..
​ W​hat will happen is that the annual cost of weather-related disasters will move raggedly upward with each passing year, as it’s been doing for decades, loading another increasingly heavy burden on economic activity and putting more of what used to count as a normal lifestyle out of reach for more people. With each new round of disasters, less and less will get rebuilt, as insurance companies wriggle out of payouts they can’t afford to make and government funding for disaster recovery becomes less and less adequate to meet the demand. Rural areas in the US that are unusually vulnerable to weather-related disasters will quietly be allowed to return to 19th century conditions, and poor neighborhoods near the coastlines will be tacitly handed over to the slowly rising seas. Meanwhile, the people who are expecting grand technological breakthroughs or grand social movements or grand apocalyptic disasters will be left in the dust by events, wondering what happened.
​ ​That’s the shape of our future.  It bears remembering, too, that fossil fuels aren’t the only nonrenewable resources that are being extracted at a breakneck pace just now with no thought for tomorrow. For that matter, the global climate isn’t the only natural system on which we depend that’s being disrupted by human pollution in ways that are already circling around behind us and kicking us in the backside.  

China says existing US Tariffs must be revoked to obtain a trade deal. 
There won't be the kind of ease of trade we have seen in recent years, maybe ever...

​ ​London summoned Beijing’s ambassador for a dressing down Wednesday in a rapidly escalating diplomatic feud over protests in Hong Kong as China told Britain to keep its “hands off” the city and “show respect”. The demonstrations sweeping the former British colony have also revived tensions inherent in the two sides’ historic agreement on the global financial hub’s handover to Chinese rule 22 years ago. Hong Kong enjoys broad freedoms and rights not seen in mainland China under a doctrine known as “one country, two systems”. But fears and frustrations over Beijing’s gradual tightening of those liberties has spilled over into mass demonstrations against a now-stalled draft law on extradition from Hong Kong to China.  

Brexit dance of useful idiots update:
​ ​Boris Johnson has said that the existing system has led to “inevitable waste” as funds were simply “shoved out of the door”, calling to abolish or merge several government departments such as Justice, Business, Transport, International Trade, Work and Pensions, and Brexit in order to save 8 billion pounds if he is elected prime minister. In your view, what does Mr Johnson mean by these two terms “inevitable waste” and “shoved out of the door”?
Steve Keen: What he means is that he doesn’t understand bureaucracy nor does he doesn’t understand macroeconomics. Because the first thing he is saying is we have to save money. This is the attitude that individuals have that if they spend less than they earn then they can save money and that gives them a buffer for the future. But at the national level what you spend becomes somebody else’s income. And if the government tries to save money, what it does is spend less money, and by spending less money, GDP falls by initially precisely as much as the government stops spending. So what he is saying is going to be saving of money of something like $5 billion will actually reduce the UK’s GDP by $5 billion.​..
 Secondly, when these ideas about rearranging bureaucracies are imposed from the top, the political top – I have had personal experience of watching this happen – it doesn’t save money, it causes utter confusion inside the bureaucracy.​..
 So everything he is saying is to get elected leader by the Tory Party. Of course, what happens when he gets in office may be completely different but I think in many ways even though Boris doesn’t normally have an opinion that lasts more than 30 seconds, it is quite likely this is his opinion about what is a good idea to begin with. So he'll probably try to impose them until they backfire on the economy once he becomes prime minister.

​ ​A huge development Thursday regarding enforcement of Iran sanctions and the West's economic war on both Damascus and Tehran: British Royal Marines seized an oil tanker in Gibraltar off Spain's southern coast while it was en route to Syria in what's being called an unprecedented and aggressive move to enforce EU sanctions.
​ ​As critics of the West's sanctions policy on Syria are noting: the European Union has for years allowed advanced weaponry to flow into the hands of anti-Assad jihadists, but it will act swiftly to block vital oil access to the war-torn and starved population.

​Amazon confirms it retains your Alexa voice recordings indefinitely  

Monster, by Steppenwolf, today's appropriate 50 year old song. 
John Kay is 75 now, born in Germany, as his part was becoming Russia, in April 1944. 
Mom ran with him, and ran, and ran...

Depending on America

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