Music

This page has several hours of YouTube videos of peaceful and serene music distributed over several playlists. Click on “continue reading” to show all playlists. Single click on a playlist to start playing. After that, double click on the playlist to make it full screen. Double click again to change it back. Several of the Continue reading »

Sam Collins – July, 2015

  • Short-term:
    • mildly bullish
  • Midterm:
    • Sideways until October.
  • Long-term: the long-term trend is still up.

It’s Worse Than You Think

The Fraser Institute came out with a new report today titled Ontario vs. the US Rust Belt: Coping With a Changing Economic World. The report challenges the political narrative that a high dollar and deindutrialization due to global forces are the main factors driving the deficit in Ontario. It does so by comparing the economies of the US “Rust Belt” states to Ontario’s.

In terms of the Canadian dollar vs. the US dollar, the repot notes that:

… the appreciation of the Canadian dollar versus the USD of the 2000s was a reversal of the unusual weakness of the 1990s.

and

… the exchange rate is currently near its long-term average,
so Ontario policymakers cannot continue to cite this as an excuse for
chronic budget deficits.

In other words, exchange rates are not a major factor in Ontario’s deteriorating fiscal position and industrial decline. So let’s look at the issue of the deindustrialization of Ontario.

Water Wars

Of this theme, long predicted, but now emergent, we will start to cover. Currently, the issue is developing in California where water rights have a long history of legal assignment. Zero Hedge posted an article giving some background on the nature and history of water rights in In Unprecedented Move, California Farmers With Guaranteed Rights Cut Water Use By 25%.

Chronology of references and events:

Sam Collins – June, 2015

  • Short-term:
    • mildly bullish
  • Midterm:
    • Sideways until October.
  • Long-term: the long-term trend is still up.

The Middle East: A Simmer Or a Rolling Boil?

This morning we decided that it is time to put together a current view of the Middle East centered on ISIS. To this end, we link several very comprehensive articles but with little commentary of our own other than a bit of glue between the pieces.

A Net Assessment of the Middle East

By George Friedman

The term “Middle East” has become enormously elastic. The name originated with the British Foreign Office in the 19th century. The British divided the region into the Near East, the area closest to the United Kingdom and most of North Africa; the Far East, which was east of British India; and the Middle East, which was between British India and the Near East. It was a useful model for organizing the British Foreign Office and important for the region as well, since the British — and to a lesser extent the French — defined not only the names of the region but also the states that emerged in the Near and Far East.

Today, the term Middle East, to the extent that it means anything, refers to the Muslim-dominated countries west of Afghanistan and along the North African shore. With the exception of Turkey and Iran, the region is predominantly Arab and predominantly Muslim. Within this region, the British created political entities that were modeled on European nation-states. The British shaped the Arabian Peninsula, which had been inhabited by tribes forming complex coalitions, into Saudi Arabia, a state based on one of these tribes, the Sauds. The British also created Iraq and crafted Egypt into a united monarchy. Quite independent of the British, Turkey and Iran shaped themselves into secular nation-states.

The Perfect Storm

The Brookings Institute continued their series on Metropolitan America with the article Population surging in drought-stricken areas. Their observation is that the areas of greatest population growth are coincident with the areas of extreme drought. We reproduce their two maps below.

We have been following the drought aspect for over a year for California (read California is the Canary and the links within it) and Nevada (read Jeopardy Question: This Body of Water Determines the Fate of the Modern Day Anasazi).

A Net Assessment of Europe

Last week I began this series with a Net Assessment of the World, in which I focused on the growing destabilization of the Eurasian land mass. This week I continue the series, which will ultimately analyze each region in detail, with an analysis of Europe. I start here, rather than in the Middle East, because while the increasing successes of the Islamic State are significant, the region itself is secondary to Europe in the broader perspective. The Middle East matters, but Europe is as economically productive as the United States and, for the past 500 years, has been the force that has reshaped the world. The Middle East matters a great deal; European crises can destabilize the world. What happens between Greece and Germany, for example, can have consequences in multiple directions. Therefore, since we have to start somewhere, let me start with Europe.

Religious Freedom is the Issue in the Middle East

We post a new essay by Paul Merkley.. We present this essay reprinted by permission of Paul and from The Bayview Review. See the links at the end for direct access to the rest of Paul’s work.

There are Assyrians and there are Assyrians

Recently the western press has been bemoaning the devastation by ISIS in Iraq and Syria of artifacts and monuments from the Neo-Assyrian Empire (See my essay, “A Meeting of Kindred Spirits In Iraq,” www.thebayviewreview.com, May 1, 2015.)

But the proper name “Assyrian” has been appearing with even greater frequency in quite another context and with quite a different meaning. Among such items is one originating with Newsweek, and distributed by AINA (ASSYRIAN International News agency(aina.org/news): “Fleeing ISIS Into Exile, Assyrian Christians Sing the Oldest Music on Earth, ” April 16, 2015.) It describes the exodus in panic of hundreds of thousands of Christians from Iraq and Syria following the capture by ISIS of Mosul and other major centres since January of this year.

A few days after capturing Mosul … ISIS issued its infamous decree: convert to Islam, pay a tax on unbelievers or die…. [The fleeing Christians] leave behind the bodies of brothers and fathers, and the shelled–out ruins of their shops and houses. They also leave behind much of what it meant to be a Syriac Christian. The ancient cities of Nimrud and Nineveh that they visited proudly to show their children the glories of the Assyrian empire from which they claim descent [emphasis added] — soon these will be bulldozed by ISIS. They leave behind the treasures of Assyria in the Mosul museum — ISIS will loot the smaller antiquities for the black market and smash the statues too big to sell.… From the steeple flies the black flag. In a few months, it will be destroyed.

The Global Water Problem

This is a widely discussed topic of which we have been peripherally aware. We have decided to start collecting references in the same manner as we are doing with automation and robotics (Robotics In the Labour Market). These are large transformative issues that will be major drivers of change in our society in the near future.

We have been tracking the drought in the US southwest. The latest essay is California is the Canary should have enough of a bread crumb trail that you can find out many previous essays on the topic.

The motivational article that prompted this post is from Zero Hedge: Jim Rogers On The Coming Water Wars. This gives a brief introduction to the problem. Below we have a chronology of references.

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