Monday, July 30, 2018

Feeding Insurrection

Planting Beans,

I was thinking of regime change this morning as I tended the vegetable garden. Purely hypothetical, mind you. 
I thought of Henry Kissinger's strategic views, "Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people."
I thought that "an army travels on it's stomach". Supposedly all successful revolutions are bourgeois, but they have to include farmers and enforcers. Supposedly, it's over for the old regime when the police swap loyalties. 
With 6 American global multinational corporations controlling the global grain business, having systematically destroyed all small farms everywhere for 45 years  there can't really be any over threat to any regime that controls the flow of staple grains from far away. It's all far away, for everybody, even farmers. There can be no farmers supporting any revolution against the corporate order for the foreseeable future.
Growing vegetables is not "a revolutionary act". Everybody, everywhere, through all of recorded history grew vegetables, with or without revolutions. Local, distributed solar powered agriculture was the basis for all economy until coal and steel, then oil and gas shifted the production of food from being primarily solar, to primarily diesel powered. With the isolation of millions of square miles of fertile farmland, and oil-powered tractors, harvesters, trucks, trains and ships,the corporate world order was able to control the supply of food to each and every human. You just can't afford to grow your own food. Control of food supplies precludes actual revolt against the corporate power structure. Unless everybody, everywhere saves up a year of beans, rice, oil and salt, which would be detected and prevented.
I'm really focusing on surviving whatever happens as global corporatism goes through whatever failure mode it trips upon. 
Big, complex things, that require constant, high inputs of energy and resources never seem to last (at least not yet)

Want to Delete Facebook? Read What Happened to These People First. (Scratch Facebook off the list of revolutionary-organizing tools.)

China, home of The Cultural Revolution, is actually a vast land empire, which has only been consolidated since WW-2, so not completely. Han Chinese were moved to all corners of the empire, and given jobs controlling the markets, industry, resources and local peoples. Local peoples usually had to become impoverished minorities in this imperial expansion. China has not finished winning hearts and minds in the western "province" of Xinjiang, where Turkic, Muslim Uighur people still shop sometimes, though they no longer attend Friday prayers. Many are "off to school somewhere". 
Artificial intelligence with 2 remote-controlled cameras in every taxi, creates a total surveillance society. Still, the personal touch of being stopped and questioned by police frequently remains pervasive. 
Good horror-story from Der Spiegel. ("It can't happen heeere...")

Charles Hugh Smith looks at what we, in America, have lost in the past 10 years (Ugh, so maybe something similar is already gradually developing here?)

"Henry Kissinger Still Calls The Shots" (according to some disgruntled non-native Engrish speaker who is probably a Muslim or something)
Still, parts of it are worth a read. Has he shaped our post WW-2 world more than any other person? Naaah, prob'ly not... right?

Does Trump have a grand strategy" to lead the world into a tripolar arrangement, like Russia and China decided about 20 years ago? Wow, diabolical! Gimme those blue pills, NOW!

Moon of Alabama believes the US is negotiating retreat from Afghanistan. No official US statements, though...
The Taliban are ready to accept a peaceful retreat of the U.S. forces. That is their only offer. They may agree to keep foreign Islamist fighters out of their country. The U.S. has no choice but to accept. It is currently retreating to the cities and large bases. The outlying areas will fall to the Taliban. Sooner or later the U.S. supply lines will be cut. Its bases will come under fire.
There is no staying in Afghanistan. A retreat is the only issue the U.S. can negotiate about. It is not a question of "if" but of "when".

You probably heard that President Trump let himself be overheard, speaking to the Italian PM, that he would be open to talking to Iranian President Rouhani "any time", but doesn't know if the Iranians "are ready yet". Iranian government sources report telling him "no" 8 times in secret communications. 
Manners are apparently an absolute in Persia. Also, why negotiate if you'll just be knifed from behind, anyway?​ 
This story is not about that, but about the further leaks about contingencies to bomb Iran this year, now coming from inside Washington, and involving initial strikes on Iran by Saudi forces, followed by American support and kicking Iran's ass. (What could go wrong? The Saudi army has lots of experience by now.)

Syrian Kurds reach a deal with government in Damascus to end their part of the fighting.

Why will the US leave Syria soon? The Kurds are waking up. (The writing is on the wall for Turkish forces in Idlib. Syrian Kurds know they can co-exist with Damascus. The US is prone to leaving suddenly.)

Los Angeles considers using Hoover Dam as a giant electric battery by using wind and solar to pump water 20 miles uphill to the dam, to be used for electric generation when there is no wind and sun. There's only one problem, of course. There's already not enough water.

Physicians are not "burning out" we are suffering "moral injury". 
Good diagnosis. I sure can't see a fix for it in our current political economy. Don't hold your breath.

Walking Wounded

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