The Pentagong Show

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

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Money: Buy a Meal's Oh-La-La!

OPM Addiction: 'Tis Madness, not Reason, that rules Mankind.

Being as this blog is called, USA's War against the Dollar, and considering India's cashless-meme chaos and the fiscal/monetary chaos The Donald has decided to plunge the rest of the world into, I thought it would be alright to talk a little about Money. and how it's not a simple printed piece of paper unless your using it right now to persuade me to render my shelved goods up to you. That's just the form of money we're the most used to and the only concept of it that millions restrict themselves to.

or used to

Money's what I used to buy things

Money's what I used to have

to buy.

Which is currency.

Or is it Cash?

Which is currency and which is cash? For while cash is always currency currency isn't always cash, and, as India's turmoil demonstrates, sometimes neither one is money. All of a sudden the friendly rejoinder, "You're money's no good here", holds rather dire implications.

 Currently, I don't have to buy, I have credit, so i don't buy things, I buy money, but not cash, I use credit as currency, which is more like a license to procure goods today that will be worth less tomorrow since inflation is wrapping around deflation, as asset purchases by a central-banked monetary mischief splashes QE-trillions to speculator minions who love to use credit, wear credit is dew. They call it Trickledown but it's more  like a flash-flood, of such torrential power, it's waters are forced up hill, dissipating so much of its energy to go against the will of the market that much of it gets dissipated in the effort. But not to go to job creators, instead to job-destroyers fueling spectacular speculator blowout sails that ride the winds of investment cash until invest 98 spins rapidly up into Hurricane Matthew and small nest eggs people had thought were nicely tucked away get sucked right out the portholes and engulfed in a destructive maelstrom churned up by the inevitable financial storm, destroying retirement plans along with future dreams, while pushing lives lived on the jagged edge right down onto it and then, ripped and smashed on the snaggy reef, over it into that final abyss, the grave.

So credit's become a form of money, currency instead of voltage, used to amp up the volume of your hair. So the sale for the merchant is the end of the bargain, while for the customer, it's just the beginning. The purloined letters part of Trickle down, those always seen but never heeded, are 'T-r-i-c-k'. A trick of the cards, and the house always wins.

Gooses the golden egg of financing. The Speculation. It's VC, The Compost for growing fertile ideas. Many make money, most lose it, but it's the ideas that make lots of dollars but little sense that somehow most firmly take root.

It all begets the moving swindle. The gentleman who leaves on deposit in his margin account a small amount of money, then like the old kiting operation in banking where the depositor used the float, that time between when a check was cashed and when the funds were transferred from the issuing institution, as an opportunity to write another check  to cover that one drawn on another institution (preferably in another state and without a hold put on it, extending the float from a couple of days to a couple of weeks), which is why it's called kiting. The entire operation can never be allowed to come to ground, the ball's always in play, up in the air, the check's in the mail fraud, unable to bear up under even the slightest scrutiny, else the lack of funds to cover the level of economic expenditure becomes evident, at which point the jig, as they say, is up. The poor man's embezzlement game runs onto the rocky reefs of reality quite easily. When the embezzlement is being done by the Central Banks of the world, however, the chickens of the currensea take much more time to come home to roost. But eventually, they always do. By which time, I'll be gone and can blame it on you (Bankers' mantra).

Similarly, that ploy can be used on the Stock Exchange. Perhaps using an original covering of only two thousand dollars, one starts with only a very modest speculation. Then, demonstrating prudence, await the day when the paucity of the guarantee is forgotten, while raising the level of orders but only gradually, until the day when, toppling into a big settlement order, clear out the account and disappear. Especially in the modern world of spike haircuts, shabby dress, and questionable hygiene, how can one show any distrust towards a charming Armani-clad young man who has become a friend? How could one doubt his solvency when one sees him looking happy and apparently rich, with that elegance of dress that is indispensable to - indeed almost the uniform of - larceny on Wall St.?

Very nice, very intelligent. Just the sort of chap you want to make a mental note of for when you might need to find someone both discreet and unscrupulous. And then pray the little preyer's next prey's not you.

Whereas Mr. Ingott owned warehouses and offices, occupying a vast expanse of what used to be cow pastures on the windswept plains of South Dakota. A network of buildings constructed out of that corrugated iron looking like the roofing had been torn from third world huts then incongruously patched together to garage data centers, telephony hubs, and plant manufactury, millions of dollars worth of infrastructure supporting billions in operations conducted in ragtag structures that looked like they were the desperate last outpost of a nomadic tribe, all appearing as if, there in the midst of tornado country, a strong wind would collapse the whole lot.

But Ingott had got, via some chance incident, some idle speculation entered in on as a lark with the encouragement of a friend and, after two consecutive considerable wins, set the fire of speculation ablaze in his heart, whence it spread right through him scorching a path of violent destruction that was evidenced by how much he had gone right out of his head. What was the point of slowly building up a business, seesawing between bare solvency and utter ruin year after year, suffering the on and on of it, as its demands were just as insistent as those of a living being, when one could pocket that much in one hour with a simple transaction or two on Wall St? With this philosophy taking him over, Ingott gradually lost all interest in his business, leaving it to underlings, living instead entirely on the hope of engineering some financial coup on Wall St.. His first winnings, however, being the result of a lucky tip or two, were not succeeded by others, and, feeling that it was simply that bad luck had come his way, Ingott continued his speculations until his investments, which is what he liked to refer to his gambling as, began to swallow the profits from his business. It only made sense to use those funds to drive the Wall St. trades, as he had come to imagine that legitimate earnings were a suckers' game, thereby ending up with no clear idea whatsoever about what money really was. This was an attitude he fostered, not only in his own prideful fantasy of reality, but it had sprung up like mushrooms in a forest, fully formed, sprinkling millions of spores made from the underlying rot championing the adulation of earning without effort into a greed-driven religion, a mandate, the quintessential American Exceptionalism whereby we do the thinking, you do the hard work, trickled onto the rest of humanity. Neither Neo nor liberal, it was championed by those who were nevertheless thus monikered. The poster boy of whom was that larry, Summers.

Luckily though, only the inept are destroyed by speculation.

 Speculation speculation, ah it fills my troubled heart with anguish!

But speculation is the very spur of life itself! Why does it frighten you? It's a manifestation of the desire to struggle and go on living   ...

Without lust there'd be no children. Nature encourages, ... demands ... Excess!

Without speculation there would be no business. Why else would I  risk my fortune if not for the promise of some extraordinary reward?

With the strictures placed on the lawful and mediocre rewards of work, the prudent balance of day-to-day transactions, life is just a desert of extreme platitude, a swamp in which all energies lie dormant and stagnant; but if you forcefully set a dream ablaze on the horizon, promising that with one dollar a hundred will be gained, followed by a thousand, then invite all those who lie asleep to get up and hunt for the impossible, millions won in two hours, in an atmosphere fraught with danger, then the race, yes the rat race, as it were, begins in earnest with ten times the energy, and there is such a scramble that even while sweating solely for their own pleasure, people sometimes manage to produce children, living things. Yes there is a lot of useless filth, but the world would be finished without it.

Life isn't clean.

In the nineties, Beany-babies; in the aughts, fracking, had further disturbed people's minds, lighting a spark of intoxication, a passion which would grow and carry away all common sense. The ground had been prepared, the Fed's compost, made of trillions of dollars of fermenting rubbish, and heated by exacerbated appetites, again created an extremely fertile ground for one of those mad surges of speculation which, every ten or fifteen years, choke and poison the NYSE, and leaves behind them only blood and ruins, defenestrations and evictions, homelessness and despair. They spring up like wildfires, burn hot, and leave utter destruction and smoldering ashes being picked through by avaricious strangers in their wake. Big companies promise risky financial ventures they claim are insured, hedged, and default-swapped, and thereby presented as so risk-free as to add up to free money. Thus is an intense gambling fever passed on as investment advise and as the rowdy prosperity of Cowboy Capitalism reigns, all the razzle-dazzle of pleasure and luxury obtained without effort is on full display, its risks and inevitable crash scoffed at and carefully hidden in obfuscating language and peer-pressured cheer-leading. Like a gigantic powerful engine destined to madden and destroy everything in it path, it is stoked and fueled by violent hands that insist on heating it to the point of explosion.

What worried Ingott above all was the terrible pace of it all, the way Wall St. was urging investors along at such a gallop, like an engine crammed with coal, launched along diabolical rails, stoked to the point when everything would shatter and explode in one final crash. Not that he was naive, or easily fooled; but even though he was ignorant of technical market and banking operations, he well understood the reason for this overdoing of things, this feverish pace, all intended to intoxicate people, and whirl them in to the epidemic madness of the dancing trillions. Every morning had to produce a rise in the price, people had to be made to believe in ever greater success, in monumental trading desks, inexhaustible liquidity, enchanted shares, that took in streams of gold and sent back rivers, oceans of gold that threatened to flood everything one day in a tsunami of disastrous wealth that would crash down and drown them all and then rapidly subside leaving a smoothly sanded beach wiped clean of all wealth, nary a structure still standing, leaving in its wake only broken dreams and suppurating wounds.

It was hard to reconcile the devastation from specualtion with the justification, the idea that it is the excess of passion, and that this base expenditure and wasting of life is necessary for the very continuation of that life, or, at least, for it was all that he knew, this way of life. If oil rigs were being thrown up at a frantic pace and oil was being fracked, cracked and clakety-clacked inside speeding, non-complying, railcars filled to the brim and shooting across the continent, it was because, back in Washington, and on Wall St, which now amounted to the same thing in this, the New Economy we've been shanghaied into, money was pouring down, a cascade of QE'd trillions  raining in a fine mist as penetrating as an oil geyser, greasing everything in a madness of speculation. Money, poisonous, destructive money became, or was seen to be, the ferment of all social vegetation, providing that necessary compost for the accomplishment of the great works that would bring nations together and create peace on the earth. Lol.

It's easy to curse money, but it is even easier to fall into a terrified admiration of it: for was it not money that alone had strength enough to raze a mountain, fill up a stretch of sea, and at last make the earth more easily habitable for men, delivered from toil and now merely the drivers of machines? From money, which did so much evil, (no .. people did evil things using money .. so money, which enabled so much evil) everything good was being born.

But at the end, the same question always arises, once the true state of exhaustion to nothingness has been revealed: where could all that money have gone?

In that great swallowing of hundreds of billions, of losses soaring into the trillions, if some pockets, if everyone's margin accounts, had been picked cleaned, it followed that other pockets must have been filled. The bears never rake in the whole of the fortunes sucked into the abyss; a terrible leakage occurs that carries away at least a third. The very ground around Wall St., that epicenter of catastrophe, carnage, and crime seems to drink up the money, while some merely wanders away, with a little of it sticking to every finger. CEO's, of course, like common crooks, pocket billions, hedge fund managers, billions more, stuffed away like the SIV's created by the banks, in offshore/off-book accounts and thence into illegal drug enterprises.

Many more would certainly have been ruined if there were not later the forgiveness of debt, the government guarantee of Fanny Mae, Freddie Mac, the FDIC, and other government institutions that themselves have a vested interest in rampant speculation and tax-loopholed ventures. Once declared insolvent, all the debts owed cancelled, they are left in the enviable position of seeing themselves as lucky clever individuals who, thanks to such a happy turn of events - it makes one smile - by which, like Donald Trump's Tax return and lawsuit settlement so dramatically demonstrates, they get all the profits, without paying for the losses, which, making it even better, they have foisted onto the general public (the billion in taxes The Donald didn't pay, had to be picked up by someone), none of whom have any inkling of what's been done to them in the name of Freedom.

And as the damage reverberates, it shakes the very foundation of the edifice that most symbolized it: The NYSE, wrapped in its cocoon of Nationalism, shamelessly displaying and abasing the US flag draping its facade, an arrogant banner proudly proclaiming to all who had the temerity to heed such a brazen announcement, that within this building we hide a scoundrel's heart.  The fall of Lehman's, brought down after more than a century of staid guidance, was to shake the foundations of a whole city. An entire country. Its shocks crumbling the faith of Capitalism as completely as the destruction of the Berlin Wall did for Communism, both events having driven home to their adherents the facade of lies and the veneer of humanity that they had pretended to represent. Nothing had remained steady and solid; cracks were appearing in neighboring institutions, and every day brought new collapses. The investment banks, having overnight turned their operations into little more than casino gambling, were crumbling one after the other, with a sudden clatter, like stretches of wall still standing after a fire. People listened in mounting dismay and fear to this noise of things falling until none of them were left standing, and wondered where the ruin would stop. Because, unlike Kissinger's use of the term, "Domino theory", in this case, was apt. Because dominoes normally fall higgledy-piggledy every which way, not in the way said theory would have you believe ... unless: unless they have first been set up by someone with a conscious design in mind, someone who plans for them to fall exactly the way they set them up to fall. And there was definitely the feeling that, far from, "Nobody could've seen it coming," plenty of people not only saw it coming but were ready with their plans, their dominoes all lined up, to rake in the billions that would flow their way while the rest of the world, well, whirled.

"We take care of your money the old fascist way: We Burn it".

But what ends up breaking the heart of anyone who hasn't had their humanity entirely sucked out by the greed that's been lauded as a virtue, is when they start counting their dead. Because it's not so much the bankers, the companies, the financiers and financial establishments destroyed and carried away in the storm, as all the little people, the shareholders, depositors, and speculators, who are always among the victims, not one of whom have other resources to get up and have another go. Such as the merchant, the only one she would've entrusted her last ten sous with, seduced away from a lifetime of laborious days of slowly building a fortune, succumbs to the siren song of gambling, forgetting that whereas, it may be true that all you have made throughout a lifetime devoted to your business and your customers can be won in an hour on Wall St., it can in the next hour, go up in flames as The Street takes everything, and more, back, even as the new crowd of suckers jostles to be let in. Even before the dust has finally settled, a new chimera is seen shimmering on the horizon, and a new venture is started to once again suck up capital into the eye of a new cyclone and a new disaster is set to spinning ...

But is there really a difference this time? Isn't it that people no longer think of the stock-market as anything but a gambling table? Everyone now seems edgy, poised on their seats, their hands nervously hovering above their piles of cash, ready to sweep it off the table at the slightest rumor, the least tremor, and stash it ... where? Wells Fargo? UBS? Citi maybe? Because, what we have chosen to ignore, and why I insist it matters when people say, "We have to save the planet", when in actual fact, it isn't the planet, but ourselves, that needs saving, it is in the same vein, not these vast vaults of hidden and shadowy money that need saving, no TBTF banks, which will always, as Wells so admirably demonstrated, find a new swindle, yet we rush to save them, not the people whose lives they destroyed that really need saving, those who can never regain their footing without help. The Banks, the insurance companies, the hedge funds, all the institutions the Government of the people threw the money of the people at in order to save, aren't, like the planet, in need of saving. They will continue to go on and rape the next generation of victims, because each generation believes themselves smarter than the previous one and therefore impervious to their idiotic rationalizations. Institutions, unlike individuals, live on. Because they live on other people's money, and those other people's money is taken from them before they even see it, their paychecks deposited into the banks vaults by mandatory EFT.

Because the biggest hoax in the history of the world, isn't climate change, but the idea that the stock market is a safe place (as many baby boomers really believed ... seriously ... many still do) to park your assets. But what the Greenspans and Bernanke's knew, what Blankfein and Paulson, Geitner and Mazillo, a list that goes on and on, what they all knew that you didn't, is that the financial crisis was but one of a series of fatal, periodic epidemics that ravages markets, sweeping through every ten to fifteen years. The black Fridays, and Mondays, the dreaded October surprises that shouldn't be, that strew the ground with the wreckage of people's lives. Usually it takes years for confidence to be restored, for the banking house to be rebuilt, rebuilt until once again the day comes when the passion for gambling gradually reawakens, blazes up and sets the whole process in motion again, bringing a new crisis, and sending everything crashing to the ground once more.

But this time, it seems like twilight is falling. As the summer skips through September and into October, a winter sky is creeping over the horizon, a leaden murky vista, laden with a grey mist where a golden glow was hoped for. In the natural world, as in the financial sphere, when a disturbance becomes apparent, it is called by weathermen, an "invest". It can roll along causing minor disruption to weather patterns, even bringing beneficial rain. However, it can also develop into a ferocious storm, a hurricane that rips out trees, and tears up infrastructure that had required years of planning and growth. Just as human "invests", when juiced with Fed largess, and handed to unscrupulous money-hungry wolves, have the same devastating effect on people's lives as the Hurricane in nature, whirling up into a financial maelstrom that shatters everything in its path. The cognoscenti are the only ones who know its projected route and intensity, and therefore have the foreknowledge and wherewithal to get out of its destructive path. Now, as one of its most unscrupulous members prepares to run the country as his own oh-so-private enterprise, while the Republic is reserved to  absorb the losses until he's bankrupt that as well, a reddish smoke veils the horizon, one resulting from the unprecedented burning of vast acres of forests all across the globe, a heretofore unfelt uneasiness, a peatering pall, seems to hang over humanity, as the real possibility that we face mankind's sunset finally dawns.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Deploribus Unum: The Making of Bedlam 1 - 2 - 3.

Les Fleurs du Mal.

So now we have a new president-elect. The man who claimed the election was rigged was elected, and no one has wondered why a man who admitted the election was rigged can simply saunter on stage and claim that victory is his. Oi.

Yet, as Democrats ponder, "How could  this have happened?", perhaps they should instead be wondering, "How could we thought it'd 've turned out any differently?" When I would ask people who were aghast at the Republican Circus put on during their "debates", well, yes, it's like a Ionesco play, but at least the GOP were putting on a display for our entertainment, but how are the Democrats better? Why is the party that calls itself Democratic putting forward a pol from the last century as if she were the Heir-apparent, offering as a bromide the mere fact that she "stepped aside" and united the Party in 2008 by not fiercely opposing Obama? It was even rumored that he had promised his support to her after his term was over. And that, as they say, was that. What voters wanted was never really part of the equation. Them? They'll do as  they're told.

Hillary was the nominee. It had been decided, not by popular vote, but by the self-appointed elites of the DNC. Although an upstart Bernie apparently never got the memo, he wasn't even really a Democrat, and he was scoffed at openly by the MSM as though it had turned into a twisted version of Fox gone wild. So we were presented by the party that calls itself Democratic with a 'fait accompli' in terms of the Clinton candidacy even as we ridiculed the ascension of the biggest windbag ever to blow into a political race and hoped that no one would notice, just because we refused to notice.

So now, we once again have selected atavism and a return to disastrous Republican rule. Within four short months after being elected in 2000, GW Bush was entertaining the Taliban in the White House and handing over US taxpayer dollars to the Afghanistan sect that was known to be harboring Osama Bin Laden, and Surprise Surprise, they used that cash to plan and execute the bombing of the US Pentagon and New York's Twin Towers, succeeding beyond their wildest dreams, while our president read fairy tales in Florida and was  then re-elected for "Keeping America Safe" (the absurdity of which no Democrat had the gumption to point out, but that The Donald had no hesitation about  highlighting, btw). Bush then went on to foster the most spectacular financial calamity in the history of the world, while, perhaps even by, presiding over the raising of gasoline prices to the highest level they had ever been, even higher than during the 70's oil crises. All while making empty, cynical promises, promises that no Republican even remembers, so they don't have to admit they were the cynical lies they were, to bring down the price of a barrel of oil to $22/bbl, appearing in the newspapers walking hand-in-jihand with the "King" of Saudi Arabia, who he assured us was on-board with the idea of lower oil prices (yeah ... sure he was). Under Obama, we are now enjoying the lowest prices for gasoline since the disastrous Bush junta left office. I don't even own a car, and I know this. Somehow, nobody else seems to.

All of that will now change. And that is a bad thing. But that is a good thing.

While denying climate change, Trump will do more for reining in its worse polluter, the United States, than Obama ever did for precisely that reason. As oil prices start to escalate, so will the pump prices in the US. As the ROW reverberates from the slap in the face they consider a Trump presidency to be, the cost to fund the giganormous National Debt and its associated ongoing annual fiscal deficits, the higher the interest rates on dollar-denominated-debt will go and the sale of all those ICE machines that have gotten larger and larger and purchased with ZERO percent interest loans, will plummet, as Free Money becomes anything but.

Last Saturday in Doug Noland's Credit Bubble Bulletin , he announced that he had already voted, for "change" (Like Obama's "Change?"), as he so cowardly put it (if you voted for Trump, fine, but at least have the gumption to say so outright, instead of couching it in such a high-handed euphemism). The real change he is talking about is depicted in this scenario from The Friends of Eddie Coyle (George Higgins' crime novel set in the seventies) he depicts the interaction between the sexes as a gunrunner delivers his load to a bankrobber:

   "Who is it?" the voice said,
   "Coyle," Eddie Coyle said. "I brought the groceries."
   "Come on in", Scalia said.
Coyle followed him into the trailer. "This is Wanda," Scalia said.
Wanda was five-ten, a hundred and thirty pounds. She had heavy breasts which Coyle noticed immediately because she was wearing a tee-shirt and a bra with bright red flowers. She was also wearing wheat-colored jeans. There were noticeable stains at the crotch, "Hi," she said.
   "What do you do?" Coyle said.
   "She words at Northeast," Scalia said.
   "I'm a stewardess," she said.

   "Yes indeed," Coyle said. Wanda  smiled.
   "What's in the bags, Scalia said.
   "Meat and beer and stuff," Coyle said. "Now you mention it, I could use a beer."
   "Wanda,"' Scalia said, get the man a beer. We'll be inna living room."

   "That's pretty nice," Coyle said, "She understand?"
   "What you don't know," Scalia said, "it doesn't bother you. She don't know."
   "She thinks You're off selling  magazines," Coyle said.
   "I don't know what she thinks," Scalia said. "I told her I had to go away for awhile. She don't     question it."
   "Jesus," Coyle said, "I got to talk to you some time. I don't know how you do it."
"It's confidence,"Scalia said. You look them right in the eye and say, "Hey I gotta go away for a while. They'll buy it."
"You got to meet my wife," Coyle said. "You said that to my wife, you was me, she'd get this look on her face. Oh yeah? Like you was trying to sell her a used car. I got to take the time and watch you. That's the only way."
Scalia laughed.
Coyle indicated the kitchen area by moving his head. "That's pretty nice, too," he said. "Where'd you get that"?
"Oh, you know," Scalia said. "I'm over at Arliss one night and one of the guys comes in with her. We more or less strike up a conversation . One of those things."

Coyle rubbed his crotch.

"Very warm there," Scalia said, "She don't wear no panties. I ask her why and she says she don't own no panties. Wears them pantyhose when she's working. She gets in them dungarees, no panties. Now and then I just come up behind her and reach right down there. She comes off like she was on electricity. I never see anything like it."
"Jesus," Coyle says.
"It's a great life, Scalia said, "If you don't weaken, it's a great life. You bring the stuff?"
"Out in the kitchen," Coyle said, "Right inna shopping bag, under the chair. All set."

   Wanda came in with a tray. It held a quart of beer and two glasses. "That's pretty nice meat you brought," she said. "I was putting it away there and I looked it over."
"Yeah, thanks," Scalia said. "How much I owe you for the groceries?"
"Well, let's see," Eddie Coyle said. "Twelve bucks for the first batch, then eight. Then there was another dozen, eighteen bucks for that. Now there's ten here, another fifteen hundred. Forty-five hundred. I'll throw in the steaks."

"My God," Wanda said,"that's a lot of money for some meat."
"Shut up, Wanda," Scalia said.
"You know my friend here, I think," she said, "very large gangster type."
"I told you," Scalia said, "shut up."
"Fuck you ," Wanda said. "I heard you talking about me, I was right there, I heard you. What business of his is it, I wear panties or not.  What am I, something you brag about? My kid brother talks about his goddamned Mustang the same way you talk about me. 'I just reach down there every so often and set her off.' For Christ sake. I thought we were friends. I thought we liked each other. Shit."

"You got this trouble?" Scalia said to Coyle.
"Yeah," Coyle said, "different, but the same. Hasn't everybody?"
"Fuck you too," Wanda said to Coyle.
"I think it's the Women's Lib stuff or something," Scalia said. "I'll be Christ if I know what to make out of it."
"I don't think they got enough on their minds," Coyle said. You know, hacking around all day. They stand around there thinking, you get home and  they're all pissed off and all you did was put the goddamned car in the yard, They need some good worries, is what I think."

"I work," Wanda said. "I probably work more'n you both of you bastards  put together. I earn my keep."
"I told you to shut up," Scalia said.
"I told you to go and fuck yourself," Wanda Said. Talking about me like that. How'd you like it if I was to start telling the girls at the store about your prick and what you like me to do with it?" With me, the things you like to do with me, would you like that?"
Scalia came out of the chair quickly and slapped Wanda  across the face. "I told you to shut up," he said. "That's what I want you to do. Shut fucking up".

Ah yes, the last malennium. I remember it well, when militarism and love of Government was at its zenith, and anti-female rhetoric like this was everyday. I never understood marriage, because, although the men depicted here are criminals, this is how most married men talked about women. As objects, or housemaids. In one of the Harry Potter movies, Potter performs some trickery that deprives one of his enemies of the hold he has over an elf such that the elf is now free from his tutelage. The man raises his cane and advances all hellfire, face livid with rage as he strides toward Potter intending to smite him, while yelling,

"You lost me my SERvant!"

That is the attitude toward liberals displayed by the rise of the Trumplestiltskins. It is their reaction to this very real loss of their servants that men have felt with the rise of fossil fuel-derived energy and the loosening of the economic bonds that tied females to the male gravy train. Wanna eat? Need a place to sleep? Then do the shopping. Prepare the meals for me and my progeny, then clean the dishes, and don't forget to sweep and wash the floor, get  me a drink, do my laundry, and suck my dick."

This is the "change" that the white American male has voted for, a back to the future world where they are again in charge, free to abuse women who get uppity, where American women are grateful again, instead of, "She's mad because I tell the goddamned truth, She don't wear no panties. So where's the thing, I mean? What harm does it do? The broad's great in the sack and she lights off real easy. So I say it, and now she's mad. I don't know."

The language, the attitude, and tone are the same as the Donald's in his taped interview with Bush. The criminality that's proud of itself and can't understand the rancor it rouses.

Recently, Nestle's CEO re-iterated his opinion that water is not a human right. The natural corollary to that is that neither is air. The fossil fuel industry, automobile manufacturers, power plant operators, cement pourers, and a myriad array of industrial corporations and each one of us driving around in our little chemical weapon of mass destruction, feel the same, as we nonchalantly change thereby   the very composition of the atmosphere, that is, in the very air that we breathe. Such a change is a criminal act unless that which you change belongs to you. But it doesn't. It belongs to not even all of us, but to all of the living organisms in the world, many of which we need for our own survival, but we usurp it and alter it as though it is our right and then put politicians in office, such as the Marco Pudio, who whines that, "Oh it's science. I'm a good little-dick Catholic Cuban, so I don't, and can't be expected to, understand something as complex as the idea that the atmospheres is composed of different gases, nor that billions of people taking one of them out and replacing it by pouring another one into it at an increasingly accelerating rate will change that composition. OW! My head hurts! Please don't make me think."

But, as the attitude toward their female partners illustrates,the Trumps of the world, DO believe they own them, along with everything else, including the very water we drink and the air we breathe. We can't stop them, so by default, they DO own it. And the hapless Left, by its refusal to admit that the manner in which we now inhabit the earth is ultimately destructive, insisting instead that ethanol and biodiesel, electric cars, and wind and solar panels can be counted on to keep the racket going, whether Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump is in the White House, are actually far worse. Because, the more the middle class grows and expands such that it now bestrides all countries all across the globe, becoming the burgeoning part of the population, which, the faster it grows, the faster those gasses are poured into the atmosphere, and the more rabid does the destruction of the rain-forests and every other habitation not yet overrun by mankind get demolished. These are the only places left on the globe capable of up-taking mankind-generated CO2 and replacing it with life-giving oxygen.

But since we ARE the middle class, it must be the one percent that's at fault. Then we can concentrate on their behavior and how evil they are instead of questioning our own middle-class values. Values that used to include thrift and industriousness, compassion and anti-militarism, but that now simply apes all the worse excesses of the same one percent we pretend to hate, even as we strive to become, not like them, but to be them, lording it over the rest of the world once we've pitched the current one percent overboard.

A case in point being the demonstrations against an election result, but not because it was rigged, which it very much was, the winner admitting, bragging even, of exactly that, but simply because they didn't like the result and couldn't, no matter how hard they tried, pin it on the one percent. So let's riot. Let's tear down the neighborhood. That'll show 'em. Mayhem, after all, has always proven so helpful in improving people's lives. This will not end well. What it suggests is that, as the emphasis is taken off of exporting our militarism in the name of 'Democracy' to the rest of the world, distracting us from undertaking any reform of our own, or building an infrastructure for the future, as opposed to pouring what's left of our treasure into the one proposed, one built for the past, copying the backward Chinese, fer chrissakes, then the resulting internal chaos is what we have been promised, by the Trump pets of Jericho.  And, considering the chaos we've so blithely cake-walked around the globe creating for the entirety of this century, feeling that this Wehrmacht of techno-militarism we have built around us makes us invincible from the worst excesses that the animosity of such wanton destuciveness has engendered, it is a chaos that we have most assiduously courted.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

As the US Election Rhetoric Heats Up, So Does the World.

Intersection of commitments made by governments on climate change and Capitalism.

Feeling warm lately? As the warmest year in mankind's history rolls to a steaming end, Unep (United Nations Environment Programme) reports that current climate commitments (which, they fail to mention, won't even come close to being met, indeed, CAN'T be met) are insufficient to reduce emissions by the amounts needed to avoid dangerous levels of global warming. (Well, DUH! They were never meant to) ...  Pledges put forward to cut emissions, even assuming they'd be met, would see temperatures rise by 3C above pre-industrial levels, far above the the 2degreesC of the Paris climate agreement, which comes into "force" on Friday.

This, as they once again bundle into their jet-fueled conveyances, this time on a junket to Marrakesh, to burble more drivel about their "commitments". But it's not these non-enforceable intentions that we need to be concentrating on, but the investment decisions and Central Bank, Fed-fueled commitments, that should be garnering our intensified scrutiny, because it is those actual investment-based commitments that are the germane ones, because they in fact will either be met, or they will be defaulted on, bringing financial caos and military response, albeit camouflaged with some Nationalistic jingoism, a harbinger of which we're already seeing today.

There are no derivatives or Credit Default Swaps, or insurance contracts being written today to undergird the rhetoric of Copout21. The only fallout from them failing to meet the obligations to which the member countries are signatory will be in the nature of particulates from gasoline combustion, coal incineration , and wood-burning stoves. However, the falling growth rates in economies that do meet their reduction goals, will be very real as will the reaction of their constituent populations and international debt-collectors.

This is because, while Copout21 has nothing legally binding in its strictures, nonpayment of debt instruments based on a future that is unattainable without the energy derived from fossil-fuel enabled industries, are. And these debt instruments, bonds and stocks bought on margin, that are used in the construction of the vast infrastructure of the modern world, are still being written, still being priced based on a given set of assumptions, but a reduction in the economic output of the major economies of the world is not one of them. If nothing else, the retirement plans of Calpers, IBM, GM, Ford, and a host of other enterprises, such as  the criminal corporations VW and Wells Fargo, all need double-digit growth in order to fund their contractual obligations and fiduciary responsibilities.

Yet there has been no negotiations with labor, retirees, or power companies to rewrite contracts that were written with a different future in mind, one that in no way reflects the one envisioned when those contracts were written. This represents an enormity of defaulted obligations and squandered savings, savings entrusted to corporations and State retirement boards, that were, in lieu of raises in pay, left in the hands of employers who promised to instead guarantee their workers a comfortable life post-retirement. Corporations that knew, before the ink on those agreements was dry, that the world was warming, and that their chances of being able to honor those commitments, heavily compromised.

Last year, the United States of Armageddon alone manufactures more than 17 million cars, so many vehicles that, should this rate of manufactory continue, it would mean that in one generation the US will produce enough automobiles for every man, woman, and child in the country to have one. This is only one industry, it's not even an oil company, but it's creating a mobile force of contained conflagration, internal incineration, a demented detoNation , where each citizen, in order to pay for the no-money-down,interest free, 7-year contract they entered into (one that's been signed and sold, and turned into a financial obligation that's been, just like home-loans were, bundled and securitised: ie, cunningly woven into the financial fabric of the world as a ticking time-bomb, the sellers of which then buy short trades against), each one intent only on maintaining their own upward mobility even as their country swirls deeper into a downward spiral. 

And all this is happening Now. In other words, it's all happening when the world's economy is careening from one economic crisis to another, reeling like a drunken sailor on shore leave yet curtailing its fossil-fuel combustion not a whit; au contraire: the world is pouring more carbon than ever, and at a faster rate than ever, into the atmosphere and busily signing futures contracts for digging up far more than what the accords would allow its adherents to ever burn, and yet the new normal is that the globalized economy is precariously perched on the brink of yet another financial collapse.

So let's look at some of the hot air being stored up for release from Marrakesh in this, the hottest year ever experienced by mankind:

Asad Rehman, Friends of the Earth’s international climate campaigner, said: “This is a stark warning that cannot be ignored – tougher action on climate change is urgently needed to prevent the world speeding towards catastrophe. Governments are drinking in the ‘last chance saloon’ if the lofty goals of the Paris climate agreement are to be met.”

Sorry, Asad, but this stark warning not only can, but will be, ignored. And although, Yes, "tougher action on climate change is urgently needed",  none will be forthcoming; as for, "the world speeding towards catastrophe", it most certainly isn't. Mankind, however, is.

The Guardian goes on to quote Richard Black, director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit thinktank:

 “Unep’s report confirms that there has been remarkable acceleration towards a global low-carbon economy over the past year".

The dots Mr. Black fails to connect are the ones attached to the "remarkable acceleration towards a global low-carbon economy" and the remarkable acceleration in CO2 production, the latter being a direct result of the amount of fossil fuel that's burned in order to install the infrastructure necessary to build that low-carbon economy, but that rate won't decrease, because although Black might envision the low-carbon economy that will automatically ensue from the installation of all those wind farms and solar arrays, the powers that be, the ones that are actually funding those installations, have no such Utopian view in mind. Because, far from reducing energy usage, the addition of all that "extra" power instead assures US citizens that how they use energy in their everyday lives is perfectly okay and eminently sustainable, whereas it is neither.

The piece of journalistic pabulum ends with the easily swallowed bromide wherein Solheim, chief of Unep, urges:

"... countries to embark on more ambitious programmes to improve energy efficiency, increase the amount of energy coming from renewable sources, and look to meet the national targets they set in Paris".

Really? Although the name of the Bush family and the Texas mafia that ran the country into the ground for their own aggrandizement hasn't even been mentioned during this election cycle, by the time Obama was sworn into office in 2009, there were 1436 coal-powered units at electrical utilities across the US, compared to 1024 units pre-GW in 2000. That equals 412 newly-built coal-fired plants being built during the eight years of the Bush administration: with Fifty-two weeks in the year times 8 years, that equals 416, a mere 4 plants shy of one new climate-changing coal-fired plant being constructed every single week of Bush's debauched and cynical presidency. And these were not necessarily built with the newest scrubbers or carbon sequestration technologies either, as Bush made sure that EPA enforcement of the Clean Air Act was lax, denying global warming existed and therefore refusing to even consider, never mind act on, climate-friendly solutions.

All of these plants were hailed as a part of, "ambitious programmes to improve energy efficiency", as they would, "increase the amount of energy coming from renewable sources", since many of them were built in the Midwest in order to process a large portion of the nation's corn (the renewable source) into ethanol in order "to meet the national targets" of reducing imports of "furrin erl" and lead the country toward "energy independence".

Of course, the end result was to burn MORE energy, to spew MORE carbon, to lock in even MORE coal-fired electric generation into the nation's future, all of which was planned and executed with the support of the left who only needed to hear words to the effect of Solheim's. Say the right magical words, and any project, no  matter how disastrous, can be implemented, the perpetrators and those who profit from it, left unaccountable, yet somehow this charade in Marrakesh is supposed to give us comfort?

Not when one knows that the Bush regime left us with a future shock:

There is a new burst of coal-fired power plant construction now underway that will put 43 new coal plants on American soil in the next five years, none of which will meet the performance standards written into the climate bill now moving through Congress. These 43 progressing plants are projected to collectively add more than 150 million tons of new CO2 emissions every year for many decades.

During this time of rapid ramp-up of coal-enabled electric production, avatars of the pseudo-science of climate change denial, were proclaiming a "slowdown in Global Warming" (how that was possible when they denied there was global warming in the first place, we won't get into), which many scientists attributed to an increase in the amount of atmospheric heat being absorbed by the oceans. But there is another well-known reason. The burning of coal produces atmospheric aerosols, the dispersion of which blocks out many of the sun's warming rays. The more aerosols, the less warming, despite there being a concomitant increase in the level of CO2 in the atmosphere.

As the world continues to run a temperature, and we experience the third hottest ever year in a row, even as Nations proudly hail their reduction in coal consumption, no one has joined these dots: the faster we reduce the copious amount of CO2 we are pouring into the atmosphere that is produced by the burning of coal, there has been an equally large INcrease in the amount of CO2 that is being exhausted into the atmosphere by burning its replacement, natural gas. But natural gas burning does not distribute aerosols into the troposphere, contrarily, its source in the US - fracking - produces a far more dangerous byproduct: methane. Some of it is flared, a good deal of it is flared, in fact, which increase its carbon footprint vis-a-vis coal, but what isn't flared is simply leaked by old wells, and leaked in the process of drilling for it and extracting it. So burning natural gas, while it reduces the dirty footprint left by coal, increases the actual level of CO2, via dramatic increase in flaring, and adds to the amount of an extremely potent greenhouse gas: methane.

It is these facts and these problems which need to be addressed in Marrakesh, but never will be. They won't even be mentioned. But as long as contracts that are legally binding but that increase the production of CO2, and thereby its exhaust into an atmosphere already besotted with it, have no restraints put on them by any international body empowered with both subpoena power and recourse to clawback from both the signing parties and the legal/financial firms that enabled their perfidy, nothing will change, because "private" contracts are still held by courts to be sacrosanct, even though their effects on the public weal that they supposedly serve are much the same as a Mafia contract: They kill.