The Pentagong Show

The Pentagong Show
United State of Terror: Is Drone War Fair?

Friday, June 27, 2014

GWOT's New?

                                                                    GWOT's New?

                                                    Clinton said, It depends on what ISIS.
                                              Bush daddy, "Just Kuwait, Richard Chainbang, just Kuwait.
                                             Then, engendering a severe desert storm, Arbusto Nino
                                              Burnt Iraq to a cinder under the Raze of the Son
                                              While "One Fullujah Over the Cuckoo's Nest".
                                              Now, as a Saad Maan tries to talk down al-Baghdadi
                                              Who's heading for the greed zone in Baghdad, Daddy,
                                              While McCain still thinks he's Abel,
                                              The next move's Hell-Obama, Hell-o Papa's,
                                              And since it's a no-brainer,
                                              He's perfectly qualified.

Now, Russia is selling Jets to Maliki, as he claims that "I'll be frank and say that we were deluded when we signed the contract [with the US]," Maliki said. "We should have sought to buy other jet fighters like British, French and Russian to secure the air cover for our forces; if we had air cover we would have averted what had happened," he went on. So, of course, Obama's requesting a half bill in aid for the Syrian rebels, later to be dubbed terrorists, and the withered dick called Cheney, sneers, that he "doubted" whether the US would "get through this decade" without another "massive attack on the homeland." But it's what he said after that makes Obama's NYC nukes concerns pale in comparison...

"I think there will be another attack. And the next time, I think it’s going to be far deadlier than the last one.
Imagine what would happen if somebody could smuggle a nuclear device, put it in a shipping container, and drive it down the beltway outside Washington, D.C."

This leaves me wondering if perhaps Obama isn't reconsidering his decision to "Look forward", instead of prosecuting War Criminals for first, insuring that there would be no international repercussions by vetoing US involvement with the ICC, rendering it more or  less useless, before embarking on yet another illegal attack on Iraq's citizens, destroying its civilian infrastructure, having already contracted with numerous American Corporations to rebuild it before a single bomb was dropped or War declared. 

How from this, can we conclude that, as President Obama stated in his 2009 Inaugural address, "we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace"?

 al-Maliki should comfort himself in knowing that it isn't just he, but the entire world that is built on delusions that we pretend to believe in, although in our hearts we know that they are not only lies we tell ourselves but that, as Obama's words' complete contradiction to his actions highlight, we don't even wish were true.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Volker Rule: The Longterm is Somebody Else's Problem.

 At the end of one of Wolf Richter's posts on The Testosterone Pit, he posits that:

 "It would of course come as another surprise to the Fed that its ingenious plan of enriching the top 5% via asset bubbles while pushing the vast majority of Americans ever deeper into the black hole of debt does not lead to stellar long-term economic growth – and might someday backfire".

As though he thinks that the KKK operates in any other way. Since the so-called "Reagan Revolution", in which we were introduced to the new Economics of scarcity via his implementation of Voodoo Economics with its central tenet of Trickle-down, wherein employees became "shareholders" (or more accurately were called such, as their share atrophied), a modernization of the old concept of sharecroppers (there was absolutely nothing original in this so-called revolution, as it was never anything more than a great-turning, back down the road of a planned atavistic return to feudalism), short-term has been all that matters, the crowning apotheosis of which was the dazzling collapse of Enron from the darling of Wall St. to utter ruination at internet speed, after first fleecing its employees of all their retirement savings, freezing their accounts to pad executives' golden parachutes.

But, because, as per the Volker Rule, Long-term is Somebody Else's Problem, none of the blame for the collapse of Enron and the atmosphere in which its criminally-minded executives operated, was ever ascribed to Reaganomics. And therefore, it can't be held accountable simply because it set up the conditions, fostered the environment and rewarded the perpetrators with advancement while demoting those who suggested caution; Gresham's Law writ large.

And  this is only one of the many things for which the Reagan administration has gotten none of the blame for. While conspiracy enthusiasts like to point at the Bush Regime for the planning, if not the execution, of the events on 9/11/2001, the seeds of that plot were planted during the Reagan-Bush years with the funding of the extremist Wahhabi school of Islamic fundamentalism in Saudi Arabia, arming of the Mujaheddin in Pakistan (and the concomitant forming of close ties with the ISI in Pakistan), the debacle in Lebanon, and the funding of the Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, to carry on the Twilight War against Iran.

So here we have disastrous consequences emanating from a policy of waging Cold War politics by using third party countries to fight proxy wars in order to keep direct involvement of the US out of the line of sight. But like other CIA run operations, the only people that ended up blind-sided by this covert use of espionage and the then-third-world, but US-funded, armies, were the American people themselves. The countries that were fighting these wars knew full well where the dollars (that was a big hint right there) and the "Made-in-USA" (that was another clue) weapons originated from.

The bombing that killed the 241 Marines in Lebanon in 1983 is a case in point. For whereas the US called it a terrorist attack, since the US was covertly funneling war materiel, intelligence, and money to the Saddam regime in its War with Iran, how is that not involvement in that conflict, seeing how those arms were used to kill and maim tens of thousands of Iranians, a country with whom we were not at War? (And we won't even go into the Iran-Contra scandal, but I will point out as germane that it was absolute proof of the Death industry providing both sides with weapons of mass destruction so as to reap enormous profits spilling the blood of ferrinners, because the outsize profits to be gained from pirating their resources was simply not enough).  So does the attack on Lebanon then equal terrorism whereas the US-recruited and funded fighters against the Russian puppet regime in Afghanistan occurring at exactly the same time were guerrillas? What exactly is the difference between a guerrilla and a terrorist other than the ability of a Super Power to define the terms and label the combatants depending upon their own convenience, such that those same guerrilla organisations, started with funding from the USSA in Afghanistan, now that they're fighting the US puppet government in Kabul, are currently magically changed from guerrillas and freedom fighters to terrorists?

And for the answer to that question, we return once again to the subject of Oil. The only reason any of this has happened in the first place, the raison d'etre since the onset of a non-existent (yeah, remember, there's no such thing) Peak Oil Production in the US, since which we have been waging what pretty much amounts to continual Warfare, long before Cheney admitted as much, against the rest of the world is for one commodity: Oil. And although I may seem to hammer on that point a bit, it must be remembered that this is always denied, or the geopolitics that arise therefrom often derided by liberals as "uninteresting", their self-conceit being such that such mundane matters are of no concern to them, as they have higher, more elevated concerns than such dirty matters as to what the very foundation of the economy that gives them the luxury of deluding themselves that they're above such concerns, needs for its day-to-day functioning. And economists share, and promulgate, that same point of view, insisting that oil is in fact just another commodity like anything else. As though modern economics could even exist without the energy input from this one source which, if that were true, then WTF are we doing chasing it down all over the world and shooting down, or paying others to shoot down, anyone who gets in the way of its exploitation or safe passage? Why then? If oil is just another commodity that can simply be replaced such that one can use something else, at what point are we going to decide to do exactly that? What cost are we willing to continue to pay, (remember in both the Reagan/Bush and both Bush regimes the price we were willing to pay included, and now under Obambam, still includes, the option of first-strike use of nuclear, tactical, of course, weapons), for something, that according to any economic textbook, is simply another commodity?

And it is because at the heart of economic and political theory such an obvious truism is denied that enables the Volker rule to prevail, as stratagem is laid upon stratagem and one ruse is replaced with another and any subterfuge that obfuscates reality, keeping it from rearing it ugly head, is deemed acceptable. It is this unspoken assumption that makes anything that smacks of long-term planning inconsistent with the short-term mindset of jerry-rigged economics to keep the reality of the utter lack of a free market for oil, in this so-called free market society, invisible. It is a de-facto Militarized Market supported by the blood of every citizen in the country, and that of vast multitudes outside of it, many of whom reap none of the benefits it bestows on us, but instead live lives severely disrupted, if not outright destroyed, by it.

And because I don't see where the State ends and the Market starts, or where civil society ends and the market starts, which is why I like to spell Capitolism the way I do, as it makes it more clear that although there may be a separation between Church and State, there is never a separation between Capitolism and State. The only way we are able to believe in such nonsense is because of the other little piece of cognitive dissonance that we, as a society, engage in, which is the separation in our minds between the Government and the military, in that we pretend that military spending and government spending are two separate phenomena. They are in fact, one and the same. And whereas all government spending isn't military spending, although that's rapidly becoming untrue, all military spending is in fact government spending.

This is another delusion started in the Reagan Administration, as he is the same man who first said that a reason to be afraid is when you hear someone say, "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help", yet increased government spending more than any president before him, ie, increased the size of government while claiming to reduce it, and to do so, he used the Volker Fed to clamp down on the inflation he set fire to by using borrowed money to pay for tax cuts for the rich, and pay for the Defense Spending increase, which is a fiscal inflationary stimulant to the economy, starting the subterfuge whereby worker' tax dollars and pension savings  were used to:

... funnel those tax dollars to the already wealthy who used their tax-cut monies to purchase the bonds issued to pay for the enormous increase in government debt, caused by their tax-cuts, as they now collected interest rate on those bonds paid for by the rest of the taxpayers; this was, and is still, a conveyor belt of cash going right from workers' paychecks into the bank accounts of the Wealthy,

... then siphoned more tax savings from the reduction on taxes on dividends to move American industry overseas, and started 401K's which siphoned workers' savings to Wall St to be used to finance moving their jobs to places where there'd be no need to pay workers' pensions, or any other benefits, for that matter, which helped

destroy the entire competitive Savings & Loan system that the Banksters prodded him to, then piling debt on debt to bail out the industry thus destroyed by 

using GSE's which solved the short-term problem by offering enhanced interest payments to entice buyers of their bonds via Government guarantees that would in the long-term, become taxpayer liabilities, once again putting a veneer of prosperity while in fact he was eviscerating the economy for short-term gain that assured long-term pain, by

Then securitising that debt in MBS, pushing yet farther away the day of reckoning with another layer of deceit that even now lies on the books of the Fed awaiting a future disaster when they can be sloughed off onto the sheep-like public, while those who raked in fortunes, issuing and disseminating them, stuff their completely legal "killings" (yes, they actually call it "Making a killing", because theft on this scale always results in someone taking that ultimate fall) into off-shore bank accounts. 

From there every successive administration has endeavored mightily to push that long-term pain that has been inextricably already built in, out to a future generation/administration, to actually address it would have the same feared effect of addressing Global Warming: place blame on the Administration that tried to do so for the economic consequences that unraveling decades of deceit would entail. Much like Reagan did in his campaign against Jimmy Carter's energy-conservation measures.  Reagan had those solar panels removed from the Whitehouse roof for a reason. To say the burning and profligate use of imported oil is good for the economy and we're going to go out and get it. JC was almost right. Saving energy, he declared, was the moral equivalent of War . Reagan answered, if using energy profligately means War, then Americans will always opt for War. JC said, "Those who insist on driving large, unnecessarily powerful cars must expect to pay more for that luxury", Reagan said, "We will not apologize for our way of life". This was The Great Turning, that point in our history when the US decided en masse to take the fork in the road labelled Madness, at the end of which was guaranteed Mayhem, and that decision has never been acknowledged, never mind questioned or re-assessed, since it was made.

There were crack-ups along the way, but the 2008 crisis was the first time that the enormity of the crimes started in the Reagan administration really demonstrated their horrific implications to a small, but now growing, coterie, such as, ostensibly, Elizabeth Warren, who now understand that there is no going back. Obama's tenure will end in the same debacle as his predecessor's, laying the track for railroading the public into installing yet another even more right-wing Republican administration, the legacy of which will be, although not admittedly:

The die is set, so get set to die;
It's not for your beloved country that you should cry,
But for what it's leaders did to you and I,
With lies claiming oil's just another commoditigh.

Monday, June 23, 2014

It's the Oil, Slick.

What the ROW grasps, but the citizens of the United States of Americonned fails to see:

 ...."what good would be the dreams about liberty, democracy, or other sorts of ideals, if we failed to get our share of a product for which there was no subsititute? All over the world the British were grabbing the territories in which there was any chance of oil; they were holding these as reserves and buying our American supply for immediate use - it was a deliberate policy."

After reading the article in yesterday's NYT Sunday magazine, "WAIT. I've got 80 Grand in Debt", by Adam Davidson, I couldn't help but notice that, although the timing of the start of the decline of the middle class in the USA corresponds exactly with the arrival in the US of peak oil Production, there is nary a word in the article on the central part that oil and its flow has had on the economic well-being of this most oil-thirsty of nations. The word "oil" isn't mentioned once.

This is a manifestation of the incredible power of denial, such that an entire society's access to a commodity so vital to the functioning of the most basic of endeavors and is completely dependent on the availability of a single resource, isprovided so smoothly that nobody understands the vital part it plays in their lives. And whereas most people would assume that everyone in the US is completely aware of the nexus between  our standard of living and the flow of oil not only to our own country but to the vitality of the economies with which our own interacts, and thus would be, if not understood, at least grasped as a serious link, they would be mistaken.

"Pain at the Pump" is always caused by big oil companies' gouging their consumers, never by the fact that those companies, like Shell, for example that shelled out enormous amounts of cash together with Total, ENI and Exxon for fracking exploration in eastern European countries such as Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine, and also calling it a loss for the billions spent on the Kashagan field in Kazakhstan, that is still locked in the ground because of the SO2 that eats through the pipes if the least amount of air leaks into them, this looks like it will necessitate the complete replacement of two years' worth of pipe laying. The situation is getting so bad that fossil fuel companies are buying back their own stock, as that gets a better return than  using the Capex to look for more resources to burn.

Yet to even mention this as being even part of the cause of the decline of the middle class that is resulting in adults moving back in with their parents, saddled with so much debt that the interest alone is so burdensome that the debt keeps growing even when it is being paid down, since a payment was missed which resulted in a penalty AND an interest rate increase, leaves a vast pool of  cash; $1.2trillion slushing, sloshing, slouching around.

But since capital doesn't stay put, the trillions of dollars that student debt creates out of thin air gets "securitised" which every one should know by now, but is blissfully ignorant of instead, means that it frees that money up to be used as thought it exists now, on enterprises that are in no way capable of paying their own way, nor will they ever be, and then when the so-called securities are eventually proved worthless, they are simply bought up by the central bank, much like the ECB buying up sovereign bonds from insolvent States, and the citizen is used to do, guess what?, make good on those debts that were used to fund the fracking revolution that the article naturally never mentions, because there's no connection- how could there be?- between getting students to invest in their future, when they don't have one, by taking out enormous loans that the job they're training for will never allow them to pay back, all backed by the US taxpayer who as in the subprime debt debacle, will be bilked for it when the wall of debt collapses onto them, but reap none of the rewards a normal investor gets, but who, in order to make the investment in the first place, has to be assured of a government bail out upfront.

It is this dynamic that gives the KKK its stranglehold over the entire country, and by extension, the world. Remember, like the acronym to which it owes its genesis, the Kamikaze Kapitalist Kultur holds itself to be superior to you and you simply don't understand the equations that demands a War-Mart worker to expend more money in gas, insurance and upkeep just on the vehicle to get her to and from work than she'll ever receive in pay. So the fact that the amount needed to expend on food, insurance and upkeep for the family and herself is simply not anything any employer need concern themselves with, as those are simply externalities, expenses to slough off onto the State.

 Alright alright, I'm just ranting now, but it does feel like people in other counties, so called 3'rd world, even, understand the dynamics of, if not of securitisation and how, when it is backed by government guarantees, it is in reality a tax that is surreptitiously imposed on the bulk of those paying for it without allowing them any input as to how its vast amassing of capital is used, even though it is often used against the very workers who make it possible in the first place, at least they have an understanding of how the ocean of oil on which modern economies keep themselves afloat is absolutely essential to fuel the military adventurism known as Imperialism.

But Americans? Not so much. They prefer to harbor the same idiotic infantile fantasies of "Exceptionalism" that all other, although usually of a more homogeneous ethnic or religious makeup, Imperialists entertain. We have been sorely misled by those same universities to whom we funnel such enormous amounts of dollars, all of which are really taxpayer liabilities, in order for them to deliberately misinform our youth and, at the same time, indenture them.

And although this is another product of the Reaganomics that has destroyed capitalism and turned int into a form of Centrally controlled, undemocratic method of hamstringing choice, as it's already been made for you, you'll find no discussion of in the NYT or in the opinion of that puffed up moron, Krugman. Because, as the KKK well knows, securitisation of bonds that are government-guaranteed guarantees only one thing: that the "free-for-all" marketplace, guaranteed as to the return on and of their investment, will then leverage those government guaranteed loans as a bulwark on which to build castles in the air of malinvestment for which they know they have no risk, as the risk has been assumed by the electorate, but from which they will reap all the rewards, even if, as in the case of student loans, the products that are being sold are not only not good for the consumers purchasing them, but actually does them harm and thereby reduces the likelihood of those consumers being able to repay them.

Something like selling, for zero down, vehicles that have a faulty ignition switch that results in the death of the person to whom you made the loan to buy the car in which your company's faulty engineering has doomed them to an early death. But since that loan was securitised and bought by someone else, what do you care if they can pay it back or not? You got your bonus, and they got a car they could otherwise not have afforded, so everybody's happy. After all, if we'll cook the planet in order to drive a car, wouldn't we risk our lives just for the privilege, the thrill, the zoom-zoom, of driving a car for a few months or years? Isn't that worth it? You bet it is!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Bakken the USSA: Toxic Gas, Oil-filled Railroad Cars, and Methane Monsters ... Oh My!


While Japan gets some much-needed press regarding its idiotic ice-wall boondoggle, the Bakken Goes Rolling along in its DOT-111 old railroad cars, with the usual assumption by the public of the enormous risks of an almost guaranteed derailment and explosion, while the profits from the ongoing exploitation of fracked oil follow the well-lubricated path that easy credit and free money tend to follow into the coffers of the already well-heeled.

Meanwhile the methane veil that is covering the entire North American continent just gets thicker as leaks from all those fracked wells accumulate in the atmosphere and continue a climate forcing that is completely out of the realm of the prognostications made by even the most pessimistic of climate scientists, since, as I've pointed out in this blog (what an ugly word, eh?) perhaps a few more times than I should have, the level of fossil fuel burned since the Kyoto protocol was signed, has, far from diminishing, exploded to ever-increasing amounts ... even in the teeth of a global economic downturn unprecedented in its severity and longevity.

But this is only one of the reasons, and one that could be easily rectified, given the fairly easily recognized trend in Asian and other "emerging" economies' growing use of fossil fuels. But what can't be measured, and what isn't even calculated in those Global Warming calculations is the vast amounts of methane that doesn't get burned, but simply is leaked via the production process right into the atmosphere.

And now, as if it were something new and remarkable has been discovered, a Princeton University study just confirmed what I've been saying for years, which is that leaks from abandoned oil and gas wellbores pose not only a risk to groundwater, a localized phenomena, but represent a growing threat to the climate, which is  a globalized threat, and one, despite the globalized nature of the world economy that has been ballyhooed for more than a generation, the world has no mechanism for dealing with.

This, however, should come as no surprise, as in the one SuperPower (don't hear that term, nor Unipolar, either, very much nowadays, do you? ... wonder why) in the world has no mechanism for dealing with it in its own Bakkenyard, and in fact, given that Crony Capitalism (seriously, though, is there really any other kind? Capitalism by its very nature depends on a close relationship between government and financial/business interests) gets the money it invests in such ventures printed up just for that very use by the captured FED.

To illustrate the point, we can first look at the article on dangerous levels of  hydrogen sulphide gas in crude (crude being the operative word. To see the level of unorganized spree across an unregulated environment by an unprincipled industry riding on waves of unprecedented cash, see Bakken's Facebook page entitled "Bakken Oilfield Fail of the Day") oil storage tanks earlier this month has sparked a furious row between pipeline operator Enbridge and Bakken crude shippers including Plains Marketing and Murex.

The article explains how Enbridge Energy Partners made an emergency application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to amend its conditions of carriage to give it the right to reject crude containing more than 5 parts per million of hydrogen sulfide (H2S). H2S being, as John Kemp, that article's author, explains, "a colorless, flammable and extremely hazardous gas formed by the breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen, and the most commonly occurring impurity in oil and especially gas fields."

He goes on to describe the fact that "Exposure to hydrogen sulfide causes severe irritation and respiratory problems, is explosive when mixed with air, and can cause severe corrosion to oil field equipment including pipelines.  It is immediately dangerous to life and health at concentrations above 100 parts per million (ppm), according to the federal government's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)."

The level of H2S in the Bakken storage facility in question? 1200 ppm. 
But since regulating such extreme levels of a very dangerous substance would leave the Bakken "in the extremely difficult position of potentially having to shut in up to 4,000 barrels per day of crude petroleum that might exceed the proposed standard,"  FERC will most likely do what FERC does, a la California's Enron-manipulated power blackouts, best, ie bow to industry demands and place consumers and citizens in peril rather than risk their own Crony-insured employment and promotions.  

And since that oil isn't destined to just sit at those terminals, but has to be shipped, one might wonder as to the preparedness of the railcars that are used to carry all that poisoned gas and oil. But, as explained in the article cited above, it would cost too much to actually upgrade the more than 5000 legacy tankcars or, failing that, for the insurance to transfer that elevated risk off of the company and onto the public, by paying for it, which is what insurance does, being as it is, a form of private enterprise taxation, its costs payed for by the elevated prices necessarily charged consumers to compensate both the industry and the Insurance Companies for risk amelioration. Instead that risk is first denied, then, once the data to document what is obviously risky behavior as such, is simply imposed onto an unsuspecting polity, mostly because we're stupid, greedy, and addicted to automobiles, and actually beg to be protected from the real costs of our enterprises, so it instead follows the easily taken and well-trod path of the KKK - Kamikaze Kapitalism Kultur - and pretends the risk to be non-existent, and readies the pamphlets and court briefs in advance that claim, "No one could have seen it coming", much like obits written in advance for celebrities, that will slough off the blame as a once-in-a-century occurrence that could in noway have been either foreseen, nor consequently, planned against, or - gasp! - simply not undertaken in the first place.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Flapping Gums of Augurs.

100,000 Cambodians are fleeing across the border with Thailand as its new military junta threatens them with execution, even as the ISIS performs the same function in Iraq and Syria and Ukrainians blow each others' heads off in concert. The eschatological reverberations of such confluence of events is mind-numbing in its proximity to such an important event as the firing of the guns of August, and yet, a mere 2 months form the anniversary of said event one hears nothing of it as a portent for things to come.

But the blindness to what's right in front of our eyes is as prevalent today as it was then, and the manner in which we peasants are once again making it way too easy for them to entrap us into embroiling each other in another gruesome spasm of barbarity is alarmingly similar in that we are walking right into it.

Meanwhile the USA's War on the Dollar continues apace. One of its effects is illuminated by the LATimes article on SDI spending that they bemoan as it has rocketed past the $40 Billion mark, with no discernible progress, asking how much better it would be if that money were spent on, I don't know, schools, or paying teachers that teach in those schools. But this logic fails to understand the way that the Fed has, by the sheer scale of its interventions, rendered such common-sense arguments moot. If every fortnight for more than  a year, the Fed creates, magically, a $45 billion infusion of cash into the economy, what could possibly be so outrageous about $40 billion spent on research and padding the bottom lines of both Raytheon and Boeing with Federal dollars for which they do nothing nor really ever need to produce anything that actually does anything, over a period of the same duration, making the $1billion dollar annual outlay seem like a pittance instead of the outrageous boondoggle the LATimes is attempting to portray it as?

And what does that $45 billion get spent on ? Resources, infrastructure retooling, paying down the enormous National Debt? Well, no, of course not, that would cause deflation, which would be a boon to the economy and low-wage workers and bad for the banks and the ideology of Corporatism for whom the Fed exists to serve. It therefore goes into buying MBS that are so sketchy that even Fannie Mae, Freddy Mac and the FHA won't touch them.

Then since this is by its very definition turning the liability of Treasury debt (another $45bil is "produced" to buy US government bonds, so as to keep the interest rate on that debt from rising and attracting all that capital pouring into "emerging Market" economies (what exactly they're emerging from is never actually made clear)) into an asset of the same government (although it's supposedly a private institution, or quasi-government, the fallacy of that appellation was made crystal clear by the GSE's, which shared the same nomenclature, when their liabilities had to be assumed by the taxpayer, in the same way, the Fed's liabilities belong, as do all the banks' liabilities, as we were also shown during the 2008 unpleasantness, to the taxpayers only the profits and benefits unavailable to real private citizens belong to the banksters), that claims it as a liability, and then rehypothecating that asset as if it were worth what is on its face value, setting innumerable timebombs in the economy in the same manner in which it allowed the myriad of crooks that blossomed like mushrooms in a damp cellar, in the runup to the last financial imbroglio.

This could actually be for the better, since, as in China, where warehoused copper and other commodities have been rehypothected so many times, someone forgot to check to see if the collateral was actually there, which, as it turned out, unsurprisingly to some, it wasn't, in the US, the banks that use the federal debt as collateral know that although it'll never be paid back, it doesn't have to be since the government will just borrow some more it also can't pay back to pay them back, and really, what else really matters as long as you get yours, right?

And this is the reason that printing money isn't the same as electronic money and the two regimes of paper and gold-backed vs. electronic money show their irreconcilable differences: there's never any accounting for the shimmering quantum quantities of electronical valence money.

Instead of any accountancy, electronic money operates in the quasi-world of network architecture and bandwidth allocation algorithms that dominate telephony and the internet. In these vast hypothetical domains, the carriers can oversubscribe their links in the assurance that at any one point in time, all of their users will not access the network at the same time. If they were to try to do so, it would crash the network, as it hasn't close to the carrying capacity necessary to honor such a plethora of Service Requests.

Banking is of the same type of network, as made clear by any explanation of a bank run.This is why cell phones are actually a boon to network designers, as they go one step beyond the touchtone phones. These marvels that replaced rotary dial still had the time lag while you punch in those numbers, that was still a vast improvement over the old system where, once you pick up the receiver, you are sending an off hook signal to the network that then enables your circuit, and takes up precious network resources while your rotary dial slowly, mechanically, churns out the numbers you program into it to make your desired connection.

It is easy to see how much better a touchtone phone was, it not only didn't need the mechanics at the central office, it improved by a remarkable time, the pause between off hook and the time you were connected to your party. Cell phones go them one better by not allowing you access to the network until after you've already programmed in the address you're interested in connecting to, which then gets downloaded to the network at computer speed, not human speed.

Similarly, banking has a built in desire to continually throw blockages in the way as too many people try to access what are the banks' assets (just as in telephony, the resources belong to the bank, not to you; you are just a subscriber) and just as in telephony, those with largest balances, or higher subscription fees, are stamped with a higher priority, and the queues, being comprised of micro-second timestamps, are invisible to the end users.

So your paycheck never actually materializes, but is a transformation of carbohydrate-generated energy into electrostatic energy and pumped into the banking system which is a form of capacitance for short-term fluctuations, and batteries for long-term deposits such as CD's. This changes the nature of banking  the way the internet changes the nature of a PC, such that without the Cloud, the individual PC is just a rock, without the network, a bank, having little in the nature of actual physical money with which to carry out its transactions, means that the power grid and the banking system are no longer two separate entities, but are one. If the electirickety goes out, the bank is just a pile of rocks.

Because of this, there are no other real currencies in the world, there is only the dollar, and that is why the Fed is in constant War against it, because as the only real currency, the only one that is backed by anything real, which it has been made manifest, although it was in actuality always true, is not the productivity of the American Economy, which, like every other economy on the globe has been so jerry-rigged and its real value obfuscated in so many myriad ways as to make its actual  output all but indecipherable, has its only status as world reserve currency maintained by its main output of any import: its military. So that when world events portend calamity, the Uber Classes and there acolytes rush into the safe haven of the dollar because they know a bank that is having a run on it is only a bank if it has an armed guard out front, otherwise its panicked depositors would literally pull their money out.

But this would make the value of the dollar astronomically high against all those other pseudo-currencies, so it has to be managed to maintain its valuation in that Goldilocks realm where its not so high as to make US exports prohibitive, but not driven too low by complete disregard for the debt burden an overreaching Congress might impose on it.

This is currently being made manifest in the Ukraine's not-so-civil war, where ethnic differences and geopolitical strife are being blamed as they are the most overt reasons and can easily be digested by a world pumped up in Nationalistic fervor by the same hysteria that brought us WW1, but the actual reasons are more obscure, but just as simple: a bank run on the entire economy because the oligarchic criminals running the joint have stolen all the cash, siphoning it into non-blocked western banks, unlike the Russians who have their deposits in dollars frozen by sanctions for trying to collect on the money owed them, leaving the country unable to pay its most important bill: its energy bill to its major supplier, Russia.

But the energy must be allowed to flow, whether Ukraine can pay or not, because, just as in any network there are chokepoints that because of constraints that prevent there being alternate routing available, or simply bad design, a failure in one part of the system puts unbearable strain on other parts that can easily result in concatenated failure and collapse.

And just as 100 years ago, those making the decisions as to whether to put their citizens in harms ways are completely, thanks to the remarkable nature of The End of History, divorced from them to such an extent that they are now back to their 19'th century status of mere subjects, pawns easily inflamed to violence and easily convinced their problems are caused by their brothers they see as "others" in another country rather than the evil men, who look like them, they've voted for in an election and put in charge of their affairs. And so they will, just as sheeplike as the doughboys, lineup for the slaughter their "betters" have planned for them.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Kleindamnezra: The Game's not Afoot, it's Over.

Youthane, methane, we all inthane.

Like terms used by that investment pool of sharks, called investment newsletters, selling their pump-and-dump schemes and urging you to jump on board and "get in the play", the rhetoric, and brouhaha, stirred up by Ezra Klein's article, "7 Reasons America Will Fail On Climate Change" relegates the dire straits we sail in to the status of a game.

Whereas everything else in our war-a-day world for which we wish to stir the embers of conflict and protest are always referred to by naming them after our favorite past time of War: The War on Women, The War on Drugs, The War to maintain the terrorized peace, the War on the right, the War on the left, the War on the Middle class, but the War on Climate Change? Well, that's just a game, and apparently it's over.

That Ezra has taken on this topic, and the particular slant on that topic, that I've been feeling for the last coupla years, is something I feel encouraged about. Not that it'll change anything, mind you, but that the MSM is more and more breaching subjects in Amerika that for the last decade one would have to listen to RT, with its obvious bias, in order to hear discussed. And although obvious bias may sound derogatory, since our version of obvious bias is the laughable Fox Views and MSNBC, I only mean that term, in RT's case, in a salutary way, because hearing a view from a different country's perspective is refreshing, and important.

I go to a sketching exercise every week at San Francisco's Moby Dick Bar, and always appreciate, not only the different styles of the other artists, but at how different the perspective is from even just two feet away, which always drives home the point of how differently we all see the world and that only by seeing our model from all the gathered artists' inputs do we get, since they're situated around him in a circle, an entire picture of what he looks like, so too, only by listening to input from other countries' perspectives can we ever see a more complete, and therefore edifying, picture of our world.

So when the only thesis American media seems to promulgate on the subject of Climate Change is the one that,  "Well, Climate Science, it isn't really science, now, is it?", even as they spout economic prognostications as though Economics were one, then it does tend to make one weary and perhaps just a tad cynical, especially now, ever since that once-fun source of alternate reporting, "The Daily Show", has, for the most part, descended into plain buffoonery, although imbued with flashes of brilliance that are best seen via others' postings of them on the Internet, rather than having to suffer through Jon Stewart's increasingly tiresome muggings.

And since I'm been more pessimistic than Mr. Klein, I feel that he left out the three most important factors: one, every step we've taken so far as a purported effort to curtail Climate Change has in fact accelerated it; two, a growing number of people aspiring and attaining middle class status is inconsistent with the goal of lowering our burning of fossil fuels (somewhat akin to what happened with smoking. As the number of US citizens who smoke started plummeting due to our government's actions on second hand smoke, the ciggie companies just moved their sales efforts to Asia where they are now selling more than they ever did in this country, so the land allocated in this country, that's receiving federal subsidies to grow tobacco, has increased, not decreased ... see the similarity in dynamics?), and third, that the KKK that holds the West in its iron-clad grip is so heavily invested in a future of incendiary energy generation, that the economic system's bets are all on that side of the table. That means if they don't win, then, because of the derivatives and bond markets that depend upon those bets being good, and since the bonds are leveraged on the productivity of the underlying economic engines of the fossil-fueled economies of the world, it's rigged, jerry-rigged you might even say, such that, we all lose.

Bonds, insurance, and derivatives, which include MBS, ABS, and LBO's, the most prevalent forms of what Doug Noland refers to as "moneyness", in that they have come to represent wealth as though prospects of future wealth can be brought forward and used as leverage, ie collateral, as though they represent real wealth, locks the system into its merry-go-round of destruction, and is one of the reasons I refer to it as a Kamikaze Kapitalism Kultur. This is the exact means by which Enron was brought to its knees, only on the balance sheet of a Corporation, its was referred to as Mark-to-Market accounting, whereby you take the future profits to be derived from a contract and pull them all forward and include them in today's profits to make it look as though they're higher than they actually are.

What derivatives allow one to do is to perform that same monetary alchemy on the balance sheet (which is what the GDP of any Nation amounts to, in that it is used as the basis for the amount of Capital a Government can be lent and at what interest rate) for an entire Country, (which, BTW, is why I used to refer to BS Bernanke as Benron Bernanke). The mechanism is the same, the arrogance is the same and the intention is the same: duplicity, and it is totally dependent on an utterly compliant media and Academia's quiescence in churning out MBA's who have no understanding of this legerdemain, and therefore no compunction against using it and proselytizing to its clientele on its brilliance, as though, more than a decade later, the country were still in complete thrall to the egotistical ravings of Jeffrey Skilling, (perhaps because all the (Jonathan) Weils have come off).

Now anyone can see how this could only end in grief, as it did, yet everyone equally refuses to see the corollary when it is done on the much grander scale that the KKK has embarked on, and for the same nefarious reasons. But those reasons become moot, and the repercussions dire, when we realize that, as so eloquently demonstrated to us by GW's & Benron's characterization of the economy as "Resilient" even as its mountain of debt had instead rendered it calcified and rigid. Because once future investments that are made using borrowed money are bound and gagged via the mechanism of securitisation, and those resultant securities then mummified by being used as leverage, such that any future prospects of growth are precariously balanced on their successful repayment, we can see that the trillions of dollars already assumed to be rock-solid investment, like subprime borrowers were somehow assumed to be, then CDS aside, (just like CDS bought to insure against subprime failure, CDSs bought to insure against this magnitude of failure become irrelevant, as there is not enough cash in the world to pay against such an eventuality) any move to squelch carbon exhaust into the atmosphere means the current economic paradigm is built on a fulcrum of failure. There is simply not enough backstop at the CB's of the world to mitigate that scale of malinvestment. And ironically, because of that, the malinvestment keeps feeding on itself, stoked by the very institution that everyone in the banking industry thinks is the lender of last resort, the Fed, via its policy of QE, channeling the billions it churns out into the rivers of cash flowing into the fracking industry, which has turned out to be a methane monster of such mammoth proportions that it has turned the US, in a mere 5 years, into the largest producer of flared gas on the planet, surpassing the historical holder of that record, Russia.

And, speaking of Russia, those same oil companies that control much of the investment in the fracking companies, simply buying them up once they find they're successful, are lining up to bring that technology to Putin's Russia, which is champing at the bit for it to keep from sliding down the wrong side of peak oil, as it is precariously balanced to do in the very near future without it. No, where there's natural gas being flared, there's plenty more of it being leaked, and that leaked methane is adding to the already high output from mankind's ruminants and the Arctic's and Siberia's contribution, such that, as documented on Sam Carana's Arctic blog, is itself producing so much methane that not only has it immediate atmosphere spiked to unheard of levels since the fall of 2013, but has caused the rest of the globe's methane level to begin a creep upward heretofore unobserved.

So when I read Vox's  rebuttal to Klein's piece, ironically mislabeled, "7 Reasons America Will Fail On Global Warming" (global warming being the one thing America is surely not failing at), I couldn't help but notice that they mentioned not only none of the above economic reasons why Ezra is actually being optimistic, but that the author, Brad Plumer (seriously? Plumer? ... I wonder if he's seen the plumes of methane bubbling up from the Arctic seabed so fast they burst through the surface, churning it so vigorously it forestalls ice formation) apparently assumes that, even with the Arctic itself already producing more methane than all but three of the top methane-producing economies, it is no longer in our hands to keep the temperature from rising more than 2 degrees, or once we fail that, 4 degrees, and once we fail that, 6 degrees, etc., which is his thesis.

What we're observing up there hints very darkly that we've stirred a methane monster to life that'll dwarf our own climate-forcing activities and make any curtailment thereof, moot. This is what the so-called Climategate pseudo-controversy was about, the fear that if the public learned that, they'd just figure, well WTF? Might as well say just what Ezra did, "Game Over", anyway, so let's play. Which sounds contradictory, but life's like that, isn't it?

Monday, June 9, 2014

When the Middle Class Decides to Meddle with an Economic Moddle, causing a Muddle, the Maddle Call it "Inequality".

Which side shows more inequality? Where most are =, or where some are more = than others?

As the economic system reverts to its true form, of slave masters lording it over the hordes, the basic shape Capitalism had from its beginnings in the form of the Colonial  British, French and Spanish Conquistadors of New World exploitation's slave colonies, when West Indies' islands sugar plantations provided the sweetener for the petit fours for a bored, European Aritrocity, you can read everywhere in the liberal mainstream, from Robert Reich to Bill Black, then Elizabeth Warren to today's piece by David Kay Johnston, the same bewailing screech of "Inequality", even as, per any analysis of the differentiation of incomes, the undeniable spread of just the opposite, income Equality.

For the last two generations, it has accelerated, but it really started after WW2, when the nations that became and remain the most stable avatars of income equality, Japan and West Germany, were molded by the US armed forces into Socialistic Democracies in order to make their economies vassals of the US economic engine, thereby bestowing on their workers the discretionary income necessary to purchase US manufactures, but denying them the ability to escape tutelage as US puppet regimes. It was US policy to ensure income wasn't all relegated to the top sphere, comprised of Aristocrats, as it is, by its very nature, small. The US instead desired a wide-spread prosperity to sell its manufactures into, and so structured those economies to create a prosperous middle-class.

This is when the dual inextricably entwined events of current right-wing reality-denying of the twin phenomena of Peak Oil and Climate Change started their inexorable growth to the level they've reached today, whereby they're simultaneous genesis from theory into actuality will force their resolution. The fact that they've occurred concurrently is by no means something one could have either foretold nor is it necessarily a game changer, but given the other leg to what is in fact a triangle, it's just possible for a confluence of events to halt the one propelling mankind's mad rush to extinction.

The three legs of that triangle mentioned above being Energy, Environment and Economics, each of which always offers different perspectives of the same picture, as Peak Oil (Energy), Climate Change (Environment) and the KKK of Kamikaze Kapitalism Kultur (Economics) rush headlong toward a world-shattering collision, for which 2008's financial crisis provided a mere glimmering peek into things to come. However, just as the events of 9/11 should have alerted the American populace that there was something horribly wrong with the way that The Washington Consensus was forcing a destructive ideology onto the rest of the world, yet we decided to take exactly the opposite actions than those we should have, reading the opposite of what this event was telling us, and the consequences of those retributive actions then redounding onto ourselves, as evidenced by, among other things, the Snowden leaks, which are only, analogously, a mere glimmer of what's really being done to American citizens by their supposedly Representative government, the lesson we should have learned and the warning we should have listened to in 2008 went unheeded as well, as we once again took the opposite route than the one indicated by the abject failure of the KKK, and instead gave it the green light and trillions of dollars, the entire amount we needed to actually turn towards investments needed to implement the changes our future depends on, to heedlessly plow on, following the malinvestment-on-a-grand-scale route it had already chosen: that of Thelma and Louise economics, whereby we put the pedal to the medal and drive full bore over the precipice and into the abyss.

As I had postulated before the 2008 crash, the only thing that was going to slow the acceleration in demand that would exacerbate and push us ever faster down the wrong side of the Peak Oil slope was a Depression, and that is sure enough what we got. If you prefer the term Great Recession, well, that's fine, but if you can actually tell me what the difference between a depression and a so-called Great Recession is, I'm sure it doesn't follow the previous definitions of what those two phenomenon are. But the implication of calling the financial crisis merely a Great Recession (which was done for the specific purpose of downplaying its shout of "Game-Over" for our current way of doing things) is of course, that, unlike a depression, which is a major restructuring of the economy from which it can eventually enjoy organic and sustainable growth, a recession by its very nature in a Capitalist regime, is cyclical, which means we are merely biding time until the next, more destructive one throws millions of new meat out of their jobs out of their houses out of their lives ...

However, in the meantime, what the reality of Peak Oil means, is that the more we stoke the energy intensive economies of the OECD and its Ancillary economies of the developing world, using car manufacturing as its central job-creating mechanism, since road-building, home construction in far-flung suburbs, and oil and other energy-intensive industries all feed off it, means that, increased production from fracking or no, the reality of Peak Oil will, 2008-like, slap us down yet again, only this time, all of our powder will be shot, all of the Fed's tools of financial chicanery played out, and the reality of what will happen then is that the main event needed to stop the mad rush to annihilation that is Climate Change will be resolved via cataclysm rather than rationality, as the entire world economic system collapses into ruins and the Wars begin in earnest. The Wars that will decimate mankind and bring to a halt the mad burning and release into the atmosphere of every form of sequestered carbon in existence.

It s only such a horror that will quash demand and stop the slide down Peak Oil's ugly backside and the KKK's rule of the econo-sphere, giving way perhaps to circular economies that rely on the wiser utilization of resources and the crushing into dust of the very middle class that is screaming for relief, that same middle class that stood mute while the federal government handed over to private enterprise its most important responsibility and allowed it to create a rust belt of despair. It is only now, when they have come for their jobs, that they all of a sudden care about "income inequality", because it is their incomes that are becoming equal to those they could have cared less about before 2008, as they strove mightily to overburden the working class with debt with ARMs open wide to receive them and deceive them.

But the reality that this laid bare is that the middle-class serves merely as a go-between between the Aristrocity and the huddled masses they conspire to squeeze. No longer is the middle class associated with those values suggested by Weber, of placing a strong emphasis on Savings, Human Capital, and Long-term investment. The middle class is now intent only on Money. Their very existence now having been monetized. Instead of savings they concentrate on consumption; instead of Human Capital, they rely on Humans as Resources, to be used up and thrown on the slag heap like other natural resources; instead of Long-term investments, they strive only for  short-term gains. So in a sense, the middle class is already gone, the War against them having been won by they're having forgotten it was even being waged by acquiescing to the acceptance of Greed as the only component of Capitalism that is necessary or even allowable, thereby relegating the middle class to the ancillary position that the Aristrocity had defined for them and transforming what we call the West into the KKK.

But by allowing this transmogrification of the economic system into the KKK, the middle class has demonstrated that the collapse of the Soviet Union  destroyed not only Communism, but as if to intentionally prove Lenin's words to be true, because without a competing ideology, apparently all Capitalism had to promote itself with was War, more War and finally, everlasting War to maintain the peace, has decided it has indeed been "given enough rope" to also destroy itself in the bargain.

Because, unlike Capitalism in the Classical sense, the KKK is maintained, openly and assiduously, by a cabal, a worldwide web, or Cooperative, of TRANS-nationals intent on their own ascendancy alone. Just as we can all listen to the words, "Your call is important to us", spoken by a machine and actually believe that it's true, even though the words themselves declare, by the fact that they have to be uttered, that it isn't, we can believe that the world still consists of  sovereign Nation States, even though it is an Imperial Enterprise run for Private interests, thereby  transforming the so-called middle class into a Vassal class that serves at their Masters' pleasure while scorning their lessers. And because of this they are relegated more and more to the same plain as those they consider less human than themselves, even as they bewail their condescension by cries of "Inequality", without which there would be no middle class, never realizing that those cries reveal that the only people they see in their worldview, is the fast receding upperclass they wish to join, never the lower class they've already become part of.  One of my favorite graffitis, presciently written on one of the pillars holding up the doomed elevated Freeway in San Francisco, was, "So, you think You're Middle Class ... Management knows better", what management didn't know was that they weren't either.

The headline from Jon Hilsenrath’s Tuesday WSJ article read “Fed Officials Growing Wary of Market Complacency.” This was toned down from the original Dow Jones Newswire headline: “Fed Worried Calm Markets Forecast A Storm to Come.” Meanwhile, as though to emphasize my postulated link between Environment, Energy, and Economics, a Kelvin wave of unprecedented proportions is heading toward South America ready to spew out the accumulated heat (a form of energy) of a decade into an already warmer-than-ever-in-human-history atmosphere, as evidenced by the cessation of the trade winds over an enormous 3000 mile swath of the Pacific Ocean, leaving it in a similar "Calm Before The Storm" condition.

Central Banks have been performing the same service for the KKK as the Pacific has for the excess heat the planet's been accumulating, keeping its nastier ramifications deeply hidden and circulating them out of sight so that when they resurface, as they must, there's nobody at whom to point the finger. But when you try to shirk from accountability for a system's waywardness while so openly elbowing everybody else out of your way to grab with both fists every nickel it produces, when it crashes down on their heads people stop caring about whether the prospect of guillotined heads rolling is just, they just want, all things being equal, revenge.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Post Toastied.

Now that we can put our worries about anthropogenic climate change to rest, thanks to Obambam's EPA guidelines that will force power companies to step down their polluting practices, we should wonder what's going to  happen to all that coal, you know, that 200 years' supply of coal that we were bragging about in the early 2000's.

When this stat was being bandied about as the savior from our energy scarcity problem, those who objected to its use, the ones we still call "Doom and Gloomers", because they point out the legerdemain used to come up with such sanguine forecasts,  were cautioning that, well, yeah, at current rates of extraction and utilization that might be true, but since, like oil, and every other resource in a system that's based on constant unimpeded growth, it's use at current levels is only a fraction of what it's use is going to be in the future, so 200 years is not quite what it works out to be.

Like interest rates themselves, that seem small and innocuous as they take their babysteps upwards, what in one year seems, and often is, inconsequential, when added up year after year, their growth is not only inexorable, but crushing (or fabulously enriching, depending on which side of the equation you're positioned), resource extrapolations based on current usage as though current usage will be the same in an envisioned future, are so much hokum. And the same can be said for Obamamama's 15 year gift to the power industry to place the burden of their prohibitively expensive main externality, which pouring tons and tons of CO2, mercury, and other pollutants into the air amounts to, onto the public.

And that is only the first problem with this proposal. The second being that very word, "proposal". It is presented as if it's a fait accompli, but it isn't; it's an EPA guideline, and there's plenty of room for Republican gutting of it long before any actual reduction in heat-trapping gasses takes place.

Now, back to resource extraction.  The proposal is hailed as a step in addressing Climate Change, but that's a very cynical ploy. Just as the moving of  heavily-polluting industries to countries with no representational democracy, such as China, or completely impoverished populations, such as India, where more than 400 million people still have zero access to electricity, only accelerates climate change, so too, will this new EPA proposal. Whereas it is a good thing for anyone living in the vicinity of the poison-spewing energy-producer, that is not what the proposal heralds. So whereas I can only be happy for them, for the ROW, it isn't a big deal.  In fact, because of the way that the alternate fuel, natgas, is now mined and delivered, it's actually a worse scenario than the one that existed before the law was passed. The reason for this being, as hinted at in the first paragraph, the abundance of coal in this country, although impressive for one nation, even this energy-hungry beast, when compared to the world's energy hunger, it is less so.

And, of course, now that the infrastructure for exporting all that 200-year supply of coal is in place, all the loans that now need to be paid off to pay for it, the export of that supply will begin in earnest, so that in the decade after 2030, the proposal will be useless, as there won't be any of that coal left to burn anyway, since it will all be gone, having been exported to China and other Asian economies hungry for it, such as India, where there is zero support for pollution reduction. Even now, in 2014, the heat wave in India is so extreme (it's 116 degrees in New Delhi right now), a mob is threatening to tear down a power plant that isn't supplying enough juice to run the AC units the impoverished populace shelled out their precious rupees to purchase, but which now, when thy need to use it the most, can't, because there's not enough electrical capacity to supply all the juice needed to run them. Do you think they care if the plant needs to run on coal?

So, whereas it seems that this proposal will help us cut down on CO2 pollution, it is exactly the opposite that will occur, because the plants in the US that are running on coal won't be shut down, but will simply be retooled to run on natgas. And the coal will simply be mined and shipped elsewhere, meaning, of course, burning heavily polluting bunker fuel to get it there, and then, because the coal will be burned where the environmental restrictions on doing so are less onerous, the net result will be that, instead of decreasing  the amount of anthropogenic gases being spewed into the atmosphere, the mandate, should it stand, will have the result of more than doubling them.

But because the system of Nation States we now exist under, leaves no country responsible for what other countries do with the fuel, (or arms, or computers, or software, such as Google or Cisco's, or Stuxnet) that gets exported, none of  that is really our problem. And so Obamamama can claim a great victory and throw a sop to his green acolytes that they will rabidly lap up as proof that we're doing something to control Climate Change, proving yet again it's politics, not science, that rules States' actions; and style, not substance, that garners popular support for proposals that pretend to address a problem, but which only, in reality, make it worse.

Monday, June 2, 2014

EEE'sy Street built on Shaky BRIC's.

OECD, which originally stood for Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development nations, given the intractable link between what I refer to as the three E's of Economics, Environment and Energy, needs to have its acronym's meaning modified to better reflect the ever-changing reality. Maybe Overindulgence in Energy Constitutes Delirium, or Oblivion from Environmental  Constraints and Destruction, Outmoded Economics Controls the Downtrodden, but keeping it closer to its original intent and name, Organized Economic Coercion Dogma, seems best able to fit the ($) bill.

If citizens of the OECD countries looked at what was does to them a little less self-consciously, they would be able to see what is veiled from their eyes, but only with their complete insistence on this obfuscation, for if the Central Banks of Democratically elected regimes can force the citizens of said Democracies to assume the liabilities of the richest of their private citizens who took out-sized risks in order to rake in unconscionable profits from the Dream machine of Capitalist engines, and those risks were taken by them solely because they had complete and (as it turns out) justifiable faith that should those risks prove untenable, they had the Government's and Fed's assurances that they would not be left holding the bag, it takes less than a genius to imagine the built-in repression that autocratic governments impose on their populations to pay back similar bad investments that the heavily-armed OECD-protected MadMen made in those countries, half of which the Autocrats, such as those in Ukraine, stole right off the top.

What this should be shouting out loud and clear to anyone who is actually  interested in either Capitalism or Democracy, is that the very people who so loudly proclaim its virtues, have absolutely no belief in the very dogma they so vociferously preach. If the language begins to sound suspiciously like religion rather than science, that's because that's whats it has now become. One must constantly reiterate the Cant to get the populace to follow the leader, because  the reality it forces them to live in is less and less convincing of the superiority of the god it pays obeisance to.

Capitalism Cant:

Can't house its citizens, it is structured now to make money for the Rich by throwing the poor into the streets
Can't respond to changing realities, it has become more calcified than the Communist regimes it destroyed
Can't slow climate change, it only accelerates it.
Can't exist without environmental destruction on a global-scale.
Can't exist without the enslavement of entire populations for the Freedom of the minority
Can't be separated from Imperialism.
Can't be maintained without force of arms and a military mindset inculcated into entire generations.
Can't induce the Rich to risk any of their hoard without a Government guarantee.
Can't pay its workers enough to create demand for their products, and therefore,
Can't exist without a strong central government to heavily tax its population to pay for legislated demand.
Can't self-regulate, it would rather self-destruct.
Can't build even the most basic of its needs, infrastructure, as it needs to, but
Can't deliver what it promises as a benefit for the natural structures around which people built their lives for millenia but which must be destroyed to make their lives modern.

For all these reasons and more, Capitalism is here to stay, because, like all religions, it would rather see all of human kind destroyed and its cities smoldering in the ashes of its defeat than admit that even one of its assumptions of which there is no proof and no empirical evidence, is false. It is however, worse than religions in the sense that, even the most rabid of religionists admits that their beliefs are built on nothing more than the gaseous substance of "faith": they believe it because they believe they should believe, it not because they think it's actually true. Whether it's JC, Yahweh, Allah or Buddha, their followers know that they can't prove that they exist, because they are, by definition, gods, and gods are figments of the imagination, Supernatural beings that exist, as their name implies, outside of nature, and therefore beyond the reach of anything so mundane as proof.

Capitalism, however, insists it's underlying economics is a science because it claims that so many of the modern conveniences we enjoy would be impossible without it, and that is the proof that it is real and behaves according to stated principles and manipulable by arcane formulas subject to the rigors of mathematical deduction.

But no matter how rigorous one is in one's math, as anyone who enjoyed Geometry knows, if your initial assumption proves erroneous, all the elegance of the mathematics you used to prove your thesis is perhaps as beautiful and clever as you claim, but the structures built thereon will nevertheless collapse. This is, of course, equally true of Capitalism.

If you build your entire edifice on the rather bizarre belief that oil is just another commodity, or that growth can, or really, even should, continue unabated, or that financial instruments can be dreamt up that hide risk and then use those instruments as leverage to support the rest of the system, when, by your own definition, the core of that system depends on the flushing out and exposing of risk so that it may be properly priced, rewarding those who then assume it but punishing them with losses when they are wrong, then, not only is the collapse of the house of cards inevitable, as its built on shaky ground, but those who keep it inflating higher and higher are apostates disguised in priestly robes, equivalent to the Catholic priests preaching chastity while they practice pedophilia on the youngest and most vulnerable of their adherents (adherents who must continue to profess their belief in the defiled deity or risk eviction, which may sound heartless, but since they all KNOW that god kicked A&E out of the garden for merely smoking a joint, it seems perfectly reasonable to religionists to slam the door on their own progeny for reasons just as arbitrary).

This adherence of the OECD group of nations to its dogma of despair is now being further emphasized by its remarkable cognitively dissonant reliance, since the 2008 Financial debacle, Credit Crunch and Liquidity Crisis, on the BRIC's and other "Emerging Markets" for the growth and productivity gains on which its very existence depends. But no one questions this reliance or attempts to flesh out what the reliance of the richest, most productive and powerful economies of the world, ie the Developed World, as they used to call it, are saying about Capitalism's  built-in destructive forces, when they depend for their very existence, on the stability of underdeveloped economies which are only developing, because the developed ones had no more use for one another and needed the outsized gains they could reap from plowing it into parts of the globe where petty tyrants and easily-bought dictators could be bought on the cheap and convinced to buy into the protection racket of procuring highly destabilizing, but necessary and highly profitable, military hardware to protect themselves from the rabble, and thereby guarantee these 'investor's" profits.

Brazil: drought of historic proportions, devaluing Real, making their energy bills higher, as their fuel is derived from sugarcane, not a crop known for its drought tolerance. Historically ruled by military dictatorship

Russia: peak oil, geopolitically ambitious, anti-western in all but a flimsy facade, Siberia's burning up, and Ukraine's blowing up, it's already defaulted once, causing a financial crisis and the collapse of LTCM, (which the Fed illegally made whole: YOUR risk, a fact that was completely, and is now, that is the point of this entire post AND IS NOW your UNCOMPENSATED risk buried and hidden as they collect and hoard, without a nickel of taxes, their profits). Was a totalitarian regime.

India: the most democratic, in every sense of the word, meaning that, with the lack of electricity to residents of its rural communities baking in an unprecedented heatwave, mobs are threatening to tear down the power plant that, along with Monsanto, destroyed their livelihoods, yet that can't even provide the AC they so desperately need and were promised. Historically a vassal of the British Empire.

China: in a housing slowdown that is resetting property values and destroying people's hope for retirement, and slowing the growth upon which the rest of the world has come to take for granted ("take for granted" in financial terms means used as collateral, and priced into bonds, as though it were an actuality instead of a forecast, remember "Mark to market"? It worked so well at Enron, everybody adopted it). Most undemocratic and monolithic totalitarian government in the world.

Turkey, Thailand, Vietnam, Nigeria, hell, all of Africa, these are the governments and economies upon which the west has built its hopes, and by built its hopes, I mean invested their futures, ie their capital, or, even closer to home, the pension you think you've saved. And when these investments don't turn out as the Super Rich envisioned, ruled as they are by the fog of delusion inspired by dogma, it will be once again, the US populace, who will be easily persuaded to employ their "Heroes" and Warriors", ie stooges and mercenaries, to once again fight for our "freedom" to go anywhere and take anything, armed to the teeth with the latest in military hardware and computerized technology to bomb burn and bamboozle the stone-age armies of the locals into seeing the futility of resisting the wishes of the hegemon and its chosen agents of extraction.

That is the face of Capitalism much of the world sees today, and although I consider the fact that it's this stark because of the fact that the energy it needs to run the machine is in short and dwindling supply, and therefore procured and sold at an untenable price, those who defend it the most vociferously are the very people who deny there's anything approaching the reality of peak oil, or peak anything, for that matter, so, as per their blind faith, this is just how it works; so get used to it: you have no home, no job, no pension, no healthcare, and War is not a some time thing, it is all War all the Time, that's just the way we let freedom wring, so grow up.