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The Pentagong Show

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

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Australia Agonistes: Where the future is baked in and we're baked in the future.

Oleograph from FallujahGW Bushfires feed the Profits of Doom.  

Simultaneity of reportage of events: Reagan's slide into the  White House by secret negotiations with the Iranians  to not release the hostages until after the elections, while the World Economic Forum ignores the World's Economic Doldrums that are WED to the Australian bushfires that are wed to the rise in CO2 emissions, now at 415ppm, that are intricately entwined with the GW Bush fires started in both the Mideast Wars he and his father instigated and the Midwest coal-fired power plants his food-for-fuel boondoggle lit and which are still burning, to the present administration's obsession, there is one common thread wheedling through the entire oleo resinous matrix: Oil OiL and OIL.

Yet with the one president who admits that our entire foreign, domestic and insurance policies should all revolve around oil, the word gets nary a mention, fossil fuel being the preferred nomenclature in today's world. A change that reflex the fact that even as our consumption of oil continues to grow apace, the other two sources of carbon emissions, coal and natural gas, gallop on to ever greater heights.  The idea was that as our use of oil subsided, our use of these other two energy-packed substances would be burned in their stead (bridge fuels to that completely renewable-fuels future we will never see ... but mankind excels at bridges to nowhere), instead, we humans is stokin' our colossal bonfire of the vanities to ever fiercer heat.

While the GW Bush fires that roasted Fallujah to a crisp have faded from the memories of our eye-phony distracted culture, the conflagration they started has abated not one whit. The spike in CO2 emissions that was generated by the massive destruction machine built to wage WW2, such that entire economies were rigged and pimped up for Death and Destruction to such an egregious extent that no Herculean effort to bring the economy back to producing for a peace-time level of consumption was ever attempted, nevermind achieved ... until now ... when so much carbon-based fuel is burnt that the CO2 thereby produced equals that exhausted during the largest destructive orgy in the history of  mankind: only now ignited annually as the normal course of events. Yes, we now dump a world engaged in a maniacal  war's worth of energy into the atmosphere every  single year to maintain a way of life which, as evidenced by upheavals of populations across the planet, is still not enough to satisfy mankind's desires.  We need more energy not less, apparently. Too many cars transporting people to too many do-nothing occupations? Build more! Just make the next billion new ones electric, and Voila! Problem solved.

The Green New Deal: Where the future is baked in and we're baked in the future.

Whether we like it or not, or whether we think it wise or no, the fact remains, after WW2 the US structured its economy such that the Pentagon exerted a growing unstoppably tight grip on the reins of production of the US GDP.

Yet as even a cursory look at the balance sheet of the F-35's costs vs. benefits shows a glaring picture of loss, it is one reflected in the fracking "Bonanza" in the oily patch: so much Red ink spilled over the map  it makes Communist China pale to a blushing pink. If as many "plays" went bad in a football game as those in the Permian shale (the most productive, in terms of output in both liquid condensate and bankrupt enterprises), I would be tempted to puntificate.

Any attempt to curtail that way of life is quickly snuffed by an American polity that one election after the other ensconces, via whatever means necessary, the Pentagon and Energy Czars (Someone must have figured out that calling every Federal official a Tsar was perhaps not such a good idea, but it was quite a popular appellation not so long ago) must use to sell them, into the Offal Office.

Since the 415ppm number I mentioned above, was attained a full 4 months before the annual max reached every May, my purely facile estimate of 420 in 2020 looms ever more possible, bearing out my derided, but proven true, remark that we would never see that figure below 400ppm again in our lifetimes.

Even as fires still rage, the Australian  press bewail as, "It's just human nature", that planeloads of tourists aren't still burning  up tons of fuel to visit down under ... mm-hmm.

But US history whether Howard Zinnian or more cotidian, fails to document the straight line from Reagon/Bush era Voodoo economics to our current headlong rush to worldwide extreme unction-based raging infernos. But,

The path was paved, 
Because we all of us crave, 
Here in the land of the brave, 
Ease from cradle to grave.

The voodoo economics of the Reagan/Bush years was called voodoo because it stuck pins into the spirit of Free Enterprise to kill it and replace it with the Centrally Planned economy we all still refuse to see even today, wherein a trillion dollars of debt is spun off from Tumpelstiltskin's spinning Wheel of Fortune to fall like a fine gold mist over the Red Menace's favorite Champions, watering the military enterprises concocted in the Pentagon and paid for via huge deficits that generate claims on the economy's future and bought up at a discount by the other Red Menace, Communist China. Yes that's right. While Reagan jettisoned Detente and began SDI and doubled the national debt, all in the fight against Communism at the same time it actively participated in the wholesale removal of America's industrial base to move it to the even more intractably Communist China. A Country that then bought our burgeoning debt so that we put our entire future in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party, and there it rests to this day; a fact which the coronavirus may well bring home in ways we never expected.

Of course, doubling the size of the Federal Government's debt is now standard practice, and the president that made it so, Ronald Reagan, did so in rallies where he entertained his voters by snarkily proclaiming, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help". Such irony was not lost on the current Offal Office occupant who took notice of how easy it was to fleece the public as long as you did it to fuel their drive to have no drive. And have them cheer you on as their hero, even as you trample them into the mud. "Reagan/Trump! USA! We hate to think, but we love to obey!"

A full two generations later, and not a whisper dare be uttered that mentions the name of the man whose policies most enabled the current state of affairs, Ronald Reagan and the Bushmen he let loose to pirate the countryside and call it "privatization". From the recruitment of Mujaheddin to attack Russia as a proxy army to the rush to "develop" (develop having devolved from its meaning "to bring out the capabilities or possibilities of", "to dig up and ignite"), the custom of doubling the national debt while hiding the fact  that those to whom that debt is sold are those to whom we are beholden.
Tom Engelhardt of TomDispatch wrote in an article in Truthdig about the fires in Australia that, "Australia is the world’s third largest exporter of fossil fuels".

He concludes by arguing that, "unless we get rid of the arsonists who are running too many countries and figure out a way to come together in human time, we’re likely to enter a world where there will be no fire fighters to save us".

But who are the arsonists? Australia is the world’s third largest exporter of fossil fuels. Their conflagration takes place elsewhere. So just who are the arsonists?, one must ask. The person providing the fuel or the person lighting the match? In any other context it would be the person lighting the match. In which case, Mr. Engelhardt is correct that we have to get rid of the arsonists, but they are running countries packed full of arsonists, and those countries are all democracies, so arsonists are the majority and the majority rules. Translation: The countries are run by arsonists because they are peopled by arsonists.

That key you turn after you get into your car every day enables the ignition switch. You know what ignition means, right?: the act  of starting a fire. Every day of the year, a billion arsonists ignite the fuel mix hidden from view under the bonnet or hood or cowling ... a mix that, in order to prepare it for your easy ignition, has gobbled up its weight in oxygen, and thereby producing CO2, in each phase of its journey to your tank: during its discovery, its drilling, its subsequent exhumation, transportation to the refinery, (which has a ginormous carbon footprint of its own (all undertaken while swaddled in a blanket of debt)), then the refining process itself, transportation to the filling station and then its final transportation costs in the vehicles themselves, which naturally have to carry the weight of the fuel as well as any other (non-existent for the most part) passengers. That last item may sound specious, but when you consider that the ethanol, now mixed in with that fuel, has considerably less energy density, such that a tank of it will leave you less than 3/4's of the way to your destination than a comparable amount of gasoline would, that ratio goes against the grain, as it were. If that ratio of climbing vehicular weight and declining energy-density of the fuel propelling it were to continue along the same axis for long, the vehicle would eventually need to be towing a trailer of fuel, as the tank wouldn't be big enough to hold enough fuel. Like an EV design, wherein you carry all the weight of the fuel, in the form of batteries, all the time regardless of whether you have a full charge or no charge at all. So whereas in an internal combustion machine, your costs to carry your fuel with you get less as the tank empties, it remains the same if the vehicle is driven by electricity unless that electricity comes, as it does for streetcars, from a suspended electrified wire (or an underground cable like San Francisco's Cable Cars). Only then is the vehicle not carrying the burden of the fuel that propels it, which fuel must need consume a fuel budget of its own.

A full two generations ago the oil-addled Reagan/Bush administration jettisoned the solar panels from the White House roof and declared it was "Morning in America" as he sold the country down the drain to hand it over to the Oiligarchs and their Pentagon cronies whose grip has transformed the nation into a Completely Centrally-planned economy all the while touting it as Free Enterprise. This ruse of legerdemain was not lost on that ultimate trickster Trumpelstiltskin who has followed it to the letter. What Reagan neglected to tell his cheering brainwashed acolytes, however, was that the morning he hailed so triumphantly was the morning of our Day of the Dead. The morning of that day when we would sell our souls to worship the Devil's excrement, to build an entirely new world completely dependent on enormous inputs of energy derived from combustion, setting the world on fire to quench our thirst for the easy life and the power of the  pedal, cruising into the future on a cloud of poisonous fumes from incineration.

To get there we  have changed in to a murderous rabble that cheers assassinations, revels in War, delights in bloodshed. Reagan would be proud of the country he transformed into a military barracks, the spirit of freedom now translated into the freedom to kill, invade, occupy, and terrorize, while the freedom of a press that is completely embedded with the troops is so entrenched in our reality it is just part of the show, another paid performer manipulating the truth as though it were the Ace  of Spades in an endless game of Three Card Monte.
"The American Way of Life is Non-Negotiable". So too, apparently, is the American Way of Murder. Kill it and they will come: carnage as pornography, because as long as it can be consumed by the masses, it is, as Martha Stewart is so wont to intone, "A good thing".