Monday, August 1, 2022

Where's Nancy

 Monitoring Signals,

  Former Secretary of State ("War Pig") Mike Pompeo knocked the Biden administration for not backing a trip to Taiwan by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
“To allow America to be bullied by Chinese propaganda, right after, frankly, President Biden has had a phone call, a long phone call, with [Chinese President] Xi Jinping… would send a really bad message to our friends in the region: the Australians, the South Koreans, the Japanese,” Pompeo told host John Catsimatidis on WABC 77 AM’s “Cats Roundtable.”

  Pelosi announced Sunday that she was setting off on a four-country tour of Asia, and is slated to lead a six-member congressional delegation to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. She included no mention of Taiwan in her plans, despite multiple reports of her intent to visit the territory.

  “I don’t agree with Speaker Pelosi very often, but she made it clear that she wanted to go visit, on her own, to visit Taiwan, an independent, sovereign nation. And now, the Biden administration is saying, ‘Well, maybe that’s not smart,’ ” Pompeo said...
  Under the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, the U.S. is committed to helping self-governed Taiwan defend itself against Beijing, but the U.S. has remained strategically ambiguous about its position on Taiwan, which China claims as its own.

  I have seen this as "get burned", "playing with fire", but this translation is harsher. It is notable that Xi warned Biden about "those who play with fire", which would apply more to Biden, deeply compromised by bribes from China and Ukraine, being "burned", than it would potentially apply to Nancy Pelosi getting shot-down.
China To Pelosi: You Will ‘Perish’ Over Taiwan
​  ​Chinese ruler Xi Jinping told President Joe Biden during their phone call on July 28, according to the Chinese foreign ministry. “The public opinion cannot be defied. Those who play with fire will perish by it.”

  Pelosi visits Taipei on Tuesday, August 3. Ideal weather for invasion of Taiwan across the Taiwan Strait is in September, October and April.
Pelosi expected to visit Taiwan, Taiwanese and US officials say
​  ​US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to visit Taiwan as part of her tour of Asia, according to a senior Taiwanese government official and a US official, despite warnings from Biden administration officials, who are worried about China's response to such a high-profile visit.
​  ​The stop -- the first for a US House speaker in 25 years -- is not currently on Pelosi's public itinerary and comes at a time when US-China relations are already at a low point.
​  ​The Taiwanese official added that she is expected to stay in Taiwan overnight.
 ​Hmm, really​?​ Well, that would be a different set of calculations.​ Go nuclear against ships? ​Nancy looks fearlessly patriotic. Joe looks demented, bribed and traitorous.​
Pelosi Is Irrelevant: China Was Already Planning An Invasion Of Taiwan
​  ​Would China really commit to an impromptu war with Taiwan over Nancy Pelosi, a person who amounts to nothing more than a political smudge in the history books?  No, they wouldn't, but they would be happy to use her diplomatic visit to Taiwan as a pretense for invasion.  
​  ​The timing for Pelosi's visit to Taiwan has not been released and will likely remain classified until the event.  China has announced live fire drills this week in the Taiwan Strait as a show of force and a state run newspaper has even suggested that the CCP has the right to shoot Pelosi's plane down​...  China has also insinuated that direct invasion will take place if the visit occurs.  
​  ​A US carrier strike group is moving near Taiwan after being deployed from Singapore and tensions are high.  Ironically, Democrats chastised Donald Trump for “upsetting” Chinese/US relations over Taiwan only a couple years ago, and now they are one-upping him.    
​  ​According to an alleged Russian intel leak in 2021, the CCP was already planning a forced annex of the island nation (that the Chinese claim is not a nation) for the fall.  The leak from Russia's FSB has not been verified, but it does parallel the increase in Chinese naval activity in the region, along with even more aggressive rhetoric than usual against Taiwan.

  The compromise agreement of 1979, in which both sides accepted ambiguous terminology and agreed to disagree about Taiwainese nationhood is over.
The Chinese Government now rejects the One China Policy that has been the foundation of U.S./Chinese relations for 43 years. CSIS boils it down nicely:
  When the United States moved to recognize the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and de-recognize the Republic of China (ROC) in 1979, the United States stated that the government of the People’s Republic of China was “the sole legal Government of China.” Sole, meaning the PRC was and is the only China, with no consideration of the ROC as a separate sovereign entity.
  The United States did not, however, give in to Chinese demands that it recognize Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan (which is the name preferred by the United States since it opted to de-recognize the ROC). Instead, Washington acknowledged the Chinese position that Taiwan was part of China. For geopolitical reasons, both the United States and the PRC were willing to go forward with diplomatic recognition despite their differences on this matter.
(I think the carrier group will remain on the far side of Taiwan, away from China, shielded by the island, and not venture into the Strait of Taiwan.​ 
It seems that any ship and crew venturing into the strait, in times of war, would be at very high risk of being sunk in that 85 mile crossing.)

  What can China do apart from imposing a “No Fly Zone” over Taiwan? China has hypersonic missiles.​  ​China maintains the largest and most diverse missile arsenal in the world. Since the end of the Cold War, Beijing has rapidly modernized its missile force, growing from a small arsenal of cumbersome, inaccurate ballistic missiles into a formidable force of precision-guided ballistic and cruise missiles, loitering munitions, and—most recently—hypersonic weapons.​  ​China’s deployment of hypersonic weapons has attracted significant attention, and for good reason. Hypersonic weapons combine the extreme speeds of ballistic missiles with the maneuverability and lower-altitude flight of cruise missiles, stressing traditional means of early warning and defense.  ​The hypersonic missile can sink a U.S. aircraft carrier. None of the ships in the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group have a defense to counter the hypersonic missile. In other words, China can sink one or more ships in that Task Force if the United States ventures into the Straits of Taiwan.          

What are 5 scenarios of China atacking Taiwan and/or the Taiwanese-controlled islands in the Taiwan Strait? What would be more likely?
What factors would induce China to attampt the full invasion?

​I have to wonder how much Russia would support China in an invasion of Taiwan. How much support for that bloody invasion would be in the national interest of Russia? Support would pit Russia directly against the US, which Russia and the US have tried to avoid. China has no self-defense claim for this invasion, just a territorial claim that Taiwan "belonged" to China 127 years ago, before China traded Taiwan/Formosa to Japan to settle a war. China is politically invested in this action, but Russia should clearly stay as distanced as China has stayed from Russia's war in Ukraine. No-Russian-weapons-killing-Americans seems like a good plan.​

​ This article says that "President Biden" has just shifted the Ukraine narrative ​away from "defeating Russia", towards avoiding-NATO-war-against-Russia, and Ukraine deciding whether or not to cede territory to Russia to obtain peace. Ukraine can exit-stage-left with compromised-Joe.

  Modern economics is premised upon energy (coal, oil, gas, hydroelectric) being so cheap as to not be limiting in any of the usual equations, so not included.
Gail Tverberg: The world’s self-organizing economy can be expected to act strangely, as energy supplies deplete
It is my view that when energy supply falls, it falls not because reserves “run out.” It falls because economies around the world cannot afford to purchase goods and services made with energy products and using energy products in their operation. It is really a price problem. Prices cannot be simultaneously high enough for oil producers (such as Russia and Saudi Arabia) to ramp up production and remain low enough for consumers around the world to buy the goods and services that they are accustomed to buying.
​  ​We are now in a period of price conflict. Oil and other energy prices have remained too low for producers since at least mid-2014. At the same time, depletion of fossil fuels has led to higher costs of extraction. Often, the tax needs of governments of oil exporting countries are higher as well, leading to even higher required prices for producers if they are to continue to produce oil and raise their production. Thus, producers truly require higher prices.
​  ​Governments of countries affected by this inflation in price are quite disturbed: Higher prices for energy products mean higher prices for all goods and services. This makes citizens very unhappy because wages do not rise to compensate for this inflation.​ ​
(Wages and fuel costs​ are in the sam​e​ ​column​One displaces​ the other.)​  ​The issue causing the price conflict can be described as reduced productivity of the economy. The ultimate outcome of reduced productivity of the economy is fewer total goods and services produced by the economy.​..
..In the past, the growth rate of GDP has exceeded that of energy consumption. As the economy changes from growth to shrinkage, we should expect this situation to reverse: The rate of shrinkage of GDP will be greater than the rate of shrinkage of energy consumption.​..
..Many parts of the economy are likely to find that the promised payments to be made to them cannot really take place.​..
..Virtually no one looks at the economy from a physics point of view. For one thing, the result is too distressing to explain to citizens...
..Unfortunately, the physics-based approach I am using indicates that the world’s economy is likely to change dramatically for the worse in the months and years ahead. Economies, in general, cannot last forever. Populations outgrow their resource bases; resources become too depleted. In physics terms, economies are dissipative structures, not unlike ecosystems, plants and animals. They can only exist for a limited time before they die or end their operation. They tend to be replaced by new, similar dissipative structures.
​  ​While the current world economy cannot last indefinitely, humans have continued to exist through many bottlenecks in the past, including ice ages. 

​Richard Heinberg: ​Will civilization collapse because it’s running out of oil?
..For readers who just want the bottom line, here goes. The most sensible figure for the aggregate amount of producible “conventional oil” originally in place (what we’ve already burned, plus what could be burned in the future) is about 2,500 billion barrels. We’ve already extracted about half that amount. When this total quantity is plotted as a logistical curve over time, the peak of production occurs essentially now, give or take a very few years. Indeed, conventional oil started a production plateau in 2005 and is now declining...
..So far, we are merely seeing crude and natural gas shortages, high energy prices, broken supply chains, and political upheaval. Energy challenges are now top of mind for policymakers and the public in a way that we haven’t seen since oil prices hit a record $147 barrel in 2008, when peak oil received some semblance of attention. But now we run the risk of underlying, irreversible supply constraints being lost in the noise of other, more immediate contributors to the supply and price shocks the world is experiencing—namely lingering effects from the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russian oil and gas, and far stricter demands for returns from domestic investors.
​  ​Keeping the situation from devolving further will take more than just another fracking revolution, which bought us an extra decade of business-as-usual. This time, we’re going to have to start coming to terms with nature’s limits. That means shared sacrifice, cooperation, and belt tightening.

​Approaching the cliff more shyly now. This insurance ban on Russian oil cargoes would not just kill real economy, it would be bad for financial institutions!
​  The EU and the UK have slowed efforts to have Russia shut off from the most important maritime insurance market amid concerns that a full insurance ban would limit global oil supply and push oil prices even higher, the Financial Times reports, citing UK and EU officials.
The UK was set to join an EU insurance ban after the UK and the European Union agreed in May to jointly shut off Russia's access to oil cargo insurance. Under those plans, Russia would be effectively shut out of more than 90% of the global oil shipment insurance market.  
​  ​The insurance ban was to be a much bigger deal than the actual EU embargo on Russian oil imports, as it would cripple Russia's ability to export crude anywhere in the world, analysts said at the time.
​  ​However, the UK has yet to introduce such restrictions on maritime insurance, FT notes. The UK participation with the scheme is crucial because London and the UK are home to many of the world's biggest maritime insurers.

​Surplus Energy Economics covers a lot of the same ground, returning to look through the financial lense:. Real interest rates have to stay a little bit negative.
​  ​Ultimately, the challenge facing the ECB – and other central banks too – is to prevent two things from happening.
​  ​The first and most obvious is to guard against inflation taking on its own momentum, which could easily happen in a climate of apparent official indifference or resignation.
​  ​But the second is to ensure that the damage – and the crisis-risk – caused by a negative real cost of capital does not escalate, as it could if central banks allow real rates to slump into lethally deep negative territory  .

​Michael Hudson looks at American foreign policy, once carrot-and-stick, but lately just an ever diminishing stick to induce countries to keep having their wealth extracted by using $US.​   American Diplomacy as a Tragic Drama

  Pepe Escobar presents the escape plan from $US hegemony, which is about to be declared.    Going to Samarkand​ 
 ​The SCO ​(Shanghai Cooperation Organization) ​and other pan-Eurasian organizations play a completely different – respectful, consensual – ball game. And that’s why they are catching the full attention of most of the Global South.
​  ​The meeting of the SCO Ministerial Council  in Tashkent this past Friday involved some very serious business. That was the key preparatory reunion previous to the SCO summit in mid-September in fabled Samarkand, where the SCO will release a much-awaited “Declaration of Samarkand”.

​Great title:   World economy at risk of deglobalization – IMF
The sanctions on Russia could split the global economy into geopolitical blocs, experts predict
Japanese firms in no rush to leave Russia​   ​
Over half of the companies operating in the country reportedly fear being unable to return

​Waiting for Tomorrow 
(pictured finishing construction of new kitchen pantry this past weekend)​

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