Friday, May 17, 2024

No More Pretending


​  THE REALITY OF EXTEND-AND-PRETEND​, Tim Morgan, Surplus Energy Economics
​  The great unspoken fact of the 1930s was that the world was drifting to war, a trend that nobody knew how to stop.​ The great unspoken fact of the 2020s is that the global economy is in the process of inflecting from growth into contraction, and, again, this is a process that no-one can halt, still less put into reverse.
​  Logically, countries, groups and individuals must strive to work out how to fare best in an economy that has become a less-than-zero-sum game. Their relative success or failure in this endeavour will be a function of how much they know about it, and how early they are in gaining that knowledge...
..As ECoEs (energy costs of energy) carry on rising, and as renewables prove incapable of providing a complete replacement for the energy value hitherto sourced from fossil fuels, aggregate material prosperity will fall, gradually in the balance of the 2020s but much more rapidly in the 2030s. In comparison with 2023, the world’s average person is likely to be only about 7% poorer by 2030, but fully 25% worse off by 2040.
  At the same time, the real costs of energy-intensive necessities will carry on rising, applying leveraged compression to the affordability of discretionary (non-essential) products and services.
  Where the financial corollaries of these material economic trends are concerned, we can assume that ‘extend-and-pretend’ will remain the only game in town, meaning that debt and quasi-debt will carry on rising – and the spending of this credit will carry on being presented as “growth” – until the credibility of money has been destroyed. The strategic aim isn’t to side-step this process, but to ensure that your currency doesn’t win this ‘race to the bottom’.
  The rate at which credit will rise will force the authorities back onto the path of QE, ZIRP and NIRP, because there’s no other way of maintaining the fiction that the economy is capable of servicing these soaring debts.​

​  Well, actually, there is another way to deal with the money supply, which is not extend-and-pretend, because extend and pretend will collapse without trust at some point, maybe this year or next...
  Jim Rickards, $27,000 Gold
​  I’ve previously said that gold could reach $15,000 by 2026. Today, I’m updating that forecast.​ My latest forecast is that gold may actually exceed $27,000.
​  I don’t say that to get attention or to shock people. It’s not a guess; it’s the result of rigorous analysis.One needs to make an assumption about the percentage of gold backing for the money supply needed to maintain confidence. I assume 40% coverage with gold. (This was the legal requirement for the Fed from 1913–1946. Later it was 25%, then zero today).
​  Applying the 40% ratio to the $17.9 trillion money supply means that $7.2 trillion of gold is required.​ Applying the $7.2 trillion valuation to 261.5 million troy ounces (held by the US Treasury) yields a gold price of $27,533 per ounce.
​  That’s the implied non-deflationary equilibrium price of gold in a new global gold standard. Of course, money supplies fluctuate; lately they’ve been going up sharply, especially in the U.S.
​  There’s room for debate about whether a 40% backing ratio is too high or too low. Still, my assumptions are moderate based on monetary economics and history. A dollar price of gold of over $25,000 per ounce in a new gold standard is not a stretch.​ Obviously, you get around $12,500 per ounce if you assume 20% coverage. There are many variables in play.​

​  "West's Governments Need War" Warns Martin Armstrong "Because Their Debts Are No Longer Sustainable"

​  The sovereign debt crisis that we face has appeared often throughout history. It is unsustainable because governments act in their own self-interest and will always expand debt to retain power. Historically, these systems collapse when they issue new debt to pay off the old, and no one is there to buy the new debt. Once they can no longer continue to borrow new money, then inevitably, they collapse.​..

..It is unlikely that we can avoid world war. Governments need war because their debts are no longer sustainable. They will use the war as the excuse for defaults – as was the case for WWII. They will create Bretton Woods II with the IMF digital currency as the reserve.​

​  Hmmm, "40% gold backed..."  The Unit: What You Need to Know About BRICS+ Decentralized Monetary Ecosystem Concept , Pepe Escobar
  The Unit offers a unique solution for bottlenecks in global financial infrastructure: it is eligible for traditional banking operations as well as for the newest forms of digital banking.
​  The Unit can also help to upend unfair pricing in commodity trading, by means of setting up a new – fair and efficient – Eurasian Mercantile Exchange where trading and settlement can be done in a new currency bridging trade flows and capital, thus paving the way to the development of new financial products for foreign direct investment.
​  The strength of the Unit, conceptually, is to remove direct dependency on the currency of other nations, and to offer especially to the Global Majority a new form of apolitical money - with huge potential for anchoring fair trade and investments.
It is indeed a new concept in terms of an international currency - anchored in gold (40%) and BRICS+ currencies (60%). It is neither crypto nor stablecoin​.

​  Leader of Slovakia Shot After Demanding Investigation Into COVID Vaccines​ 

 Slovakia, a nice country in the heart of Europe, is unique in one important respect: it is the only country, out of the whole world, whose leader denounced COVID vaccines and announced a COVID inquiry into excess deaths, corrupt influence of Pfizer, and ill effects of COVID vaccines.​

Slovak PM Robert Fico Expected To Survive; UK Media Appears To Justify Assassination Attempt​

Who Is Juraj Cintula?​ , Is the man who tried to assassinate Slovak Prime Minister Fico really a "lone wolf"?​

​  'Guns & Butter': Putin Explains Reason Behind Major Cabinet Shake-Up

​  Russian President Vladimir Putin has for the first time explained the rationale behind this week's major cabinet reshuffling, which for the first time of the Ukraine operation saw Sergey Shoigu removed as defense minister (and 'promoted' to head of the national security council), and former minister for economic development Andrey Belousov moved into the defense chief spot. He described the decision as due to the dramatic rise in the defense budget and military spending.
​  Putin said of Belousov: "He understands perfectly well what needs to be done in order for the economy of the entire security complex – and the Ministry of Defense as its key component – to fit into the overall economy of the country," according to state media translation.​

​  'Brothers Forever': Putin, Xi Agree That Deepened Ties Project Stability Against West's 'Unilateral Hegemony

​  'The two leaders again upheld the Russia-China relationship as fundamentally "based on the multipolar realities and international law" in a swipe at the West which both Putin and Xi have long deemed hegemonic.
​  At one point Putin also praised efforts of the two at bypassing the US dollar, saying "A powerful impetus to expand our trade flows was given by our timely joint decision to ensure that transactions are conducted in national currencies. As of today, 90% of all payments are made in rubles and yuan."​

​  Gilbert Doctorow, Vladimir Putin's state visit to China as reported by WION Indian global television

​  Chanana:​ Doctor Doctorow, there's also a closed-door meeting which is scheduled to take place with Xi Jinping and Mr. Putin. And this is going to be in the 1-plus-4 format. There isn't going to be anyone other than the 10 diplomats there and of course, heads of state, inside that closed room. What do you expect in those talks? Because it is being said that they are going to be discussing Ukraine there.
​  Doctorow: I think the top of the agenda will be the Russians' intentions for using tactical nuclear weapons in the battlefield. This is a new development, unprecedented development, and Mr Putin announced Russia's readiness to do that and ordered that there be exercises, military exercises, with the units from the Central Military District operating near Ukraine to practice all kinds of delivery systems for these nuclear weapons. The Chinese have been very cautious, very wary about opening the Pandora's box of nuclear weapons, and I think this will be a top issue for discussion between leaders.​

Ukrainian Officials Ask NATO To Send Troops for Training Inside Ukraine​ , NYT reports NATO countries are 'inching closer' to obliging the request​

Ukraine poised to sacrifice entire adult population as government warns of full mobilization​

​  NYT reported that NATO is close to sending troops to Ukraine, the Pentagon denies this
​  Deputy Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said that the US authorities do not plan to send instructors to Ukraine to train the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Shortly before this, The New York Times (NYT) published material with the words of the head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Charles Brown Jr. He called the deployment of NATO trainers to Ukraine inevitable.​

The Armed Forces of Ukraine may collapse within three months, former US intelligence officer Tony Shaffer said on the Judging Freedom YouTube channel.​

​  (Still on the team) Shoigu: Russia’s army has created reserves for further offensive action​  (Always ready to fight NATO in-person)
​  The reserves of personnel and weapons necessary for further offensive were created in the Russian Armed Forces, Russian Security Council Secretary Sergey Shoigu said in a commentary to Rossiya 1 journalist Pavel Zarubin on May 16.​ Shoigu expressed confidence that the further advance of the Russian army in the zone of Russia’s special military operation would continue at the same pace.​

​  US Wars Are Making Türkiye’s Relationship With the West Politically Untenable
​  Turkish public opinion of the West dropped due to the Iraq War and has not recovered. There have been almost constant issues since, with both sides fanning the flames – the US with its arrogance and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for using the disputes for political gain. Beneath the surface, however, they continue to cooperate on a wide range of issues.
​  That might get more difficult. The fact is the US, by supporting Israel’s “plausible” genocide in Gaza, has managed to find an issue that could cause an irreparable break between the West and the vast majority of Turkish citizens, which could make it politically toxic for Erdogan or anyone else to remain partially aligned with the West.
​  For months after October 7, Erdogan paid lip service to the Palestinian cause while trade kept flowing between Turkiye and Israel. Voters forced him to take a firmer stand at the polls on March 31 when Erdogan’s Justice and Development (AK) Party lost the popular vote for the first time since 2002 – partially due to the government response to Israel’s war in Gaza (the other big issue was the economy).​ 

​  Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has held an emergency meeting with the heads of intelligence and the ministry of justice after his fellow party member, Nationalist Movement Party leader Devlet Bahceli, had warned of a possible coup d’état being prepared by law enforcement agencies, the Turkiye newspaper on Wednesday.​ The dismissal of several police officers in Ankara’s security directorate accused of links to criminal organization Ayhan Bora Kaplan has caused widespread concern.​

​  "Israel will not stop in Gaza, and if not stopped, this rogue state will eventually target Anatolia with its delusions of a promised land," Erdogan said during a parliamentary group meeting in Ankara. "We will continue to stand by Hamas, which fights for the independence of its own land and which defends Anatolia," the Turkish president stressed...
​..For the past several months, the Turkish president has harshly criticized Israeli authorities, accusing them of overseeing ongoing genocide in Gaza. However, his actions trailed far behind his words, as it took over six months for Ankara to end its highly lucrative trade ties with Israel.
​  Days after announcing a trade freeze, the Turkish government partially walked back its decision by issuing temporary approval for the supply of construction materials to Israel. Ankara has also refrained from obstructing the flow of oil from neighboring Azerbaijan to Israel.
​  For its part, Tel Aviv has been quietly returning diplomats to Turkey in recent weeks after withdrawing them months ago over "security concerns."
​  Nevertheless, Turkish officials continue to send mixed signals, as earlier this week, Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said his country decided to submit its declaration of official intervention in South Africa's genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
​  "Israel systematically killing thousands of innocent Palestinians and rendering a whole residential area uninhabitable is a crime against humanity, attempted genocide, and the manifestation of genocide," Fidan told reporters.​

​  World demands that Palestine be admitted as equal UN member — Venezuelan official
Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez stressed that Palestine is an example of the struggle for "self-determination, independence and sovereignty"​

​  More than 15,000 children killed in Gaza since tensions escalated — Red Crescent
According to the latest data from the Gaza Health Ministry, more than 35,200 Palestinians were killed and more than 79,100 injured during the Israeli military operation in the enclave​.

​  Rumor ​is that this boondoggle will ​later become the entry to the Ben Gurion Canal, to bypass the Suez ​Canal under Israeli control.  US completes aid pier at Gaza beach
​  The US military has completed work on a temporary pier to allow additional aid deliveries into Gaza, the Pentagon announced in a statement on Thursday. Meanwhile, the flow of aid into the besieged enclave is still being throttled by Israel’s refusal to open border checkpoints.
​  The pier was anchored to the beach in Gaza on Thursday morning, US Central Command, which oversees American military operations in the Middle East, said in a statement.
​  “As part of this effort, no US troops entered Gaza,” the statement read. “Trucks carrying humanitarian assistance are expected to begin moving ashore in the coming days. The United Nations will receive the aid and coordinate its distribution into Gaza.”

  Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said additional troops will join the Rafah operation in southern Gaza.
"Additional troops will join the ground operation in Rafah. Several tunnels in the area have been destroyed,"
he said in a statement released by his office.
Gallant made the statement after travelling to an area near Rafah on May 15 to assess the situation.​

​  Netanyahu Could Fire Defense Chief As Public Spat Erupts Over Gaza 'Day After'
​  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is at odds with his own defense minister Yoav Gallant after Gallant said in a Wednesday televised address that the Israeli leader must take "tough decisions" on Gaza's 'day after' the war ends. Gallant came out very strongly against any scenario that leaves Israel in charge of overseeing the Gaza Strip. He called for advancing non-Hamas Palestinian governance, which would of course mean the Palestinian Authority (PA, which is made up primarily of Fatah), along with international backing.
​  Times of Israel highlighted that "The public comments, seen as the most direct political challenge to Netanyahu from within his government since the start of the war, sparked an angry backlash among members of the coalition, who urged Netanyahu to fire the defense minister."
​  What made matters worse is that just a few hours prior to Gallant issuing his direct challenge, Netanyahu asserted publicly that any discussions of the "day after" Hamas in Gaza are meaningless until the terror group is defeated.​

Netanyahu Says Israel Can 'Win' Fight Against Hamas in Gaza Without US Help​

​  Hezbollah carries out first Arab airstrike on 'Israel' since 1973
​  The Islamic Resistance in Lebanon - Hezbollah - announced that it had targeted the Israeli settlement of Metula, and an Israeli garrison and vehicles in the vicinity of the settlement's military site through an attack drone armed with two S5 rockets...
​..In its statement, the resistance said that when the drone reached the designated point, it fired two rockets at one of the vehicles and the soldiers gathered around it, inflicting devastating damage on the Israeli forces before then carrying out a kamikaze attack on the designated target.
​  For its part, Israeli media reported that Hezbollah used, for the first time, a drone armed with S5 rockets, an air-to-surface missile, to attack Metula.
​  Reports said the Ziv Medical Center received three soldiers wounded by a drone strike near Metula, "one of them was very seriously wounded, and the other two were lightly wounded."​

​  South Africa provides evidence of Israel's violation of the Genocide Convention at the ICJ
​  The International Court of Justice is holding hearings this week in a case brought by South Africa accusing Israel of genocide in its war on Gaza and seeking an emergency halt to its Rafah offensive.​

​  GOP demands weaponization of IRS to target Palestine freedom activists
​  Fifteen Republican senators have ordered the IRS to investigate whether the non-profit groups identified have in any way violated their tax-exempt status by supporting Hamas, a designated terrorist group.
​  One of the senators, Republican Joni Ernst of Iowa, picked the following non-profit groups to have the IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel probe to see if they "engaged in conduct warranting revocation of their tax-exempt statuses on the basis of their financial support of NSJP:​ National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP)​ ,  AJP Educational Foundation​ , Tides Foundation​ , 
Westchester Peace Action Committee Foundation (WESPAC Foundation ​.

​  Republicans introduce legislation to criminalize student protestors – if caught, they’ll become “terrorists” with No Fly List travel restrictions
​  Two prominent Republican members of the United States Senate have introduced legislation that would make it a crime for students to publicly protest.
Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Roger Marshall (R-KS), both Republicans, submitted a bill this week to designate all student protestors – and really just the ones speaking out against Israel – as "terrorists." These two AIPAC-funded Zionists also want to add student protestors to the No Fly List, restricting them from air travel.
​  Blackburn and Marshall believe that your First Amendment rights no longer apply if you say anything against Israel, which they deem "violence against the Jewish people," according to their proposed bill.​

UCLA attackers exposed: ​Meet the violent Zionist agitators LA police haven’t arrested​

​  New Delhi’s top diplomat has reacted to Washington’s threat of potential sanctions over its recent strategic agreement with Tehran
​  A long-term agreement between New Delhi and Tehran to operate the strategic port of Chabahar is for “everyone’s benefit,” Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar insisted on Wednesday, reacting to a US warning against dealing with sanctions-hit Iran.
​  The Indian and Iranian governments signed the ten-year deal on Monday. The agreement allows Indian state-run operators to manage and develop the Shahid Beheshti Port terminal at Iran’s first deepwater Chabahar port.​

​  The Trouble With World Government
  A court in Australia has told the government’s own eSafety Commission that Elon Musk is correct: One country cannot impose censorship on the world. The company X, formerly known as Twitter, must obey national law but not global law.
Mr. Musk seems to have won a very similar fight in Brazil, where a judge demanded not just a national but global takedown. X refused and won. For now.​..

Unsold Tesla’s Pile Up in Mall Parking Lots, Big Discounts Likely​

NIH Dep. Director Lawrence Tabak Admits NIH Funded Gain-of-Function at WuhanTestimony contradicts Dr. Fauci's fiery denials to Senator Rand Paul three years ago.​

  Jessica Rose Ph.D. Batches for thee, but not for me​  Anther whistley-blowey piece in the puzzle of 'batch variability' ​ (Uh, "separate but equal"?)
Pfizer undertook to import a batch of vaccines specifically for the employee vaccination program. Theroux and Hewitt - Pfizer reps.
​  The vaccine doses to be used for this program are separate and distinct from those committed by Pfizer to governments around the world and will not impact supply to national governments in any way. Pfizer ‘Whistleblower’​

​  Meryl Nass MD , Newest negotiated text of the pandemic treaty reveals *nations agree* about rolling out unlicensed vaccines
While there is more disagreement (yellow highlights) than agreement (green highlights) in the draft, the plan to roll out untested or barely tested products got a pass​

​  Meryl Nass MD ,  Nations are also in accord on propagandizing their populations in the newest version of the Pandemic AgreementAnd they promise to conduct research on factors that hinder trust in science, authorities and agencies

  Meryl Nass MD ,  Louisiana did it! SB133 passed the House. No WHO tentacles in Louisiana

  This may represent a new billable-diagnosis for Post-COVID-Vaccine-Syndrome, which is not billable. Medical authorities claim 90% of population suddenly has mysterious new heart syndrome that sounds like SPIKE PROTEIN organ damage

  William Makis MD,  Winter of DIED SUDDENLY - Young Women suffering heart attacks 2-3 years after COVID-19 mRNA Vaccination - it's not slowing down - 60 cases explored

​  Rob Lewis , The Climate Beneath Our Feet​   (Rain won't usually fall on dry land, but it would fall on a forest or marsh.)
​  Twenty years after reading Inadvertent Climate Modification, Millan was Director of the Mediterranean Center for Environment Studies, overseeing meteorological monitoring throughout the Mediterranean, when the European Commission asked him “to look into the matter of a perceived decline in summer storms around the Western Mediterranean Basin.” He had already been relaying the reports of local farmers about the lack of summer rains, with rivers drying up and farms failing. It had finally gotten the attention of the higher-ups, and he was given the assignment to “do something about it.”
​  Remembering Munn’s advice to listen carefully to locals, Millan recalled when an old-timer passed along a local saying: “Cierzo a las siete, Solano a las diez, agua a las tres.” Roughly, sea breeze in the morning at ten, rain in the afternoon at three. The refrain was revealing. For the sea breezes still came in off the sea each morning around ten, yet come afternoon, around three, the storms failed to materialize. The collapse, he reasoned, occurred in between.
​  Using traditional meteorological methods, he uncovered a key detail.  When the morning winds came in, their water content was 14 grams per cubic meter of air, not enough to form clouds, which under those specific conditions would require a moisture level of 21 grams water per cubic meter. The rest of the moisture, 7 grams per cubic meter, would have to come from the land.
​  It's important to realize, as Millan knew, that the Western Mediterranean Basin was once lush, with vast oak forests, springs and extensive coastal marshlands. That began to change two thousand years ago with the steady spread of the Roman Empire. Marshes were drained, forests cut, mountains mined. By the 16th century much of the oak forests were gone and lowland agriculture was spreading higher into the mountains, along with grazing and further land clearing. Then came the industrial revolution, followed by modernity. In the 1950’s, mass urbanization sealed yet more land as Spain industrialized. A booming tourism industry was particularly devastating for Spain’s coastal marshes, covering key links in the water cycle with parking lots and hotels. Then, in the early 1970’s, due to unrest in the Middle East, petroleum infrastructure was moved across the Mediterranean Sea from the Middle East to the shores of Spain, France and Italy, resulting in “intense industrialization of the coasts.”
​  Millan faced a basin-wide hydrologic system in the final stages of collapse. The midwives had not only been cut, but the womb desiccated. The climatological regime by which the oaks of old could live had long passed. In its place was a much dryer climate, supporting mostly pinyon and scrub. The soil was mostly eroded away, stretched in places over bare stone. A classic example of how badly things can go wrong is found in the nearby province of Almeria. In the 1850’s its dense oak forests were clearcut to stoke the furnaces of lead smelters. The collapse to desert was so profound that the area eventually became a film locale for spaghetti westerns. Millan fears the entire Western Mediterranean Basin is at such a tipping point, on its way to becoming an Almeria style desert, a point from which it is very difficult to return. “Once you hit rock,” he says, “you’re done.”

Delivering Goods (pictured with delicious 13 oz. tomato, before we ate it this morning)

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