Category Archives: Bits and Pieces

Bits and Pieces – 20170924, Sunday

Commentary: A favourite theme, the impermanence of democracy, is discussed in this article: The Sandcastle. We are near the end for this cycle.

Bits and Pieces – 20170909, Saturday

Commentary: A little unfocused this week. If you’re a goldbug, listen to Andrew Maguire: Whistleblower Andrew Maguire Exposed 14 Days Ago ‘Vampire Squid’ Goldman Sachs Was Moving In For The Kill. Maguire Now Says Admission By Goldman’s Currie Is A Big Deal.I think it was back in July when I  (I hope) drew attention to an earlier interview with him. Anyone who paid attention and purchased call options on GLD and SLV has done very well.

He is talking about a reset of the price of gold to significantly higher levels. Jim Rickards recently did a podcast selling his investment letter with a headline of $10,000 gold based on the premise of a global currency reset to a gold-backed scheme. A plausible argument but I’m not trading it.

Bits and Pieces – 20170824, Thursday

Civil Unrest: I like the following article by Gregory R. Copley as it presents some thoughtful ideas on civil war that are thought-provoking: What Would A U.S. Civil War Look Like? We probably use the term “civil war” without any clear understanding of how we hold the idea. The following should provide some clarity.

In this article Copley sees “a gradual breakdown of law and order” that creates “a massive dislocation of the economy and currency” that in turn causes global economic and social disruption. He identifies the rise of  “urban super-oligarchies” and an”urban-based globalism” as one side in the war. He notes the formidable entrenched powers of this side that are destroying the nation-state:

urban globalists control most of the means of communications [is this new “means of production”; the 21st Century marxian dialectic?] and therefore control “information” and the perception of events. 

On the other side are  “nationalists … operating instinctively, and in darkness”.

From this viewpoint, the infighting that has been going on in the White House suddenly falls into perspective: Why Bannon Lost and the Globalists Won. The 2016 election might be considered to be one of the opening battles of this war. As Steve Bannon notes, the nationalists have lost this battle: Bannon: ‘The Trump Presidency That We Fought For, and Won, Is Over. But as he also notes, many more battles remain.

As a second characteristic dividing the sides in the war he sees the polarization of a fundamentally urban, abstract society against a fundamentally regional, traditional society.

a conflict between people with long memories (even if those memories are flawed and selective) and people to whom memories and history are irrelevant.

The former in turn is characterized by zzz. In other words, it is a conflict between identity and materialism, with the abstract social groups (the urban populations) the most preoccupied with short-term material gain.

At the level of the individual, the divide is between individuals with long memories – national identity – and people to whom memories and history are irrelevant. It is a conflict between identity and materialism, with the abstract social groups (the urban populations) the most preoccupied with short-term material gain.

Trump’s “Make America Great Again” is a nationalist ideal that is pitted against the materialism of an urban society that is fed by the low economic costs of industry controlled by globalists. That the Washington Post owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is so virulently anti-Trump is no accident.

In short, urban globalism sees nations and nationalism as the enemy, and vice-versa.

As for the violence of Charlottesville: “Fear The Majoritarian Mob” – WSJ On The Left’s “Great Nazi Scare Of 2017”.

Bits and Pieces – 20170820, Sunday

Commentary: Trying to write a weekly blog to reduce publication overhead has not been helpful from the viewpoint of content because things are moving too fast. I’m going to try shorter daily posts.

A theme that I have posted links and comments about in the past is the idea of a new civil war in the US. Pat Buchanan writes from the perspective that the war is actually underway: America’s Second Civil War. I would agree.

The left has been working towards totalitarian government for a century and more. The cases where they have succeeded have resulted in some of the most brutal and repressive regimes in the world. The left, including our modern day progressives in academia and the arts are intolerant of any point of view differing from their own. This is why democracy is anathema to them. A totalitarian state where they have absolute control over the individual is their ideal form of government.

As I publish, this just out: Bannon: “No Administration In History Has Been So Divided”.

The US is very far along this divide and violence will be a common feature going forward. It is already a most uncivil war.

Bits and Pieces – 20170818, Friday

Commentary: I have commented briefly in the past about the evolution of retail in North America and the impact on urban development. Small town, even small city Ontario has seen its municipal core hollowed out and decay as small retailers vanished to be replaced by big box retailers and shopping malls on municipal outskirts where roads allowed access from a wider  dispersed population of suburban and rural dwellers. The collapse of shopping malls has been well documented in the US over the last year in particular. This corresponds with the collapse of the bricks and mortar retailers who are approaching or who have entered chapter 11. As an example, read: State of Retail: JCPenny Plunges, Now a “Penny” Stock; Amazon to Blame?

This week a new a new phase has been recognized as the end point of this process: Battle of the Behemoths, and Amazon and Walmart Battle for Retail’s Future. We have seen reports of towns in fly-over America where the Walmart has closed leaving citizens with no local source of products, especially food.

Bits and Pieces – 20170810, Thursday

Commentary: Martin Armstrong’s computer model has picked Aug. 12-13 and Sept. 11-12 as two key dates when a Korean conflict may begin: North Korea – Beware August 2017. That makes this weekend critical. There is more below that shows the growing tensions. George Friedman thinks there will be war but offers his thinking on NK behaviour: North Korea, Nukes and Negotiations. Finally … US “Confirms” N.Korea Has ICBM-Ready Nuclear Warheads, North Korea Responds To Trump Threat, Says It Is “Seriously Considering” Pre-Emptive Nuclear Strike On Guam, and Trump Threatens North Korea With “Fire And Fury Like The World Has Never Seen Before”. Which side makes the first move?

Some folks are beginning to look at the cost of a war with NK. Since the extent of the destruction cannot be known in advance, one can identify impacts while not being able to estimate them accurately. Read: How A Renewed Korean Conflict Is Going To Be Felt Around The Globe and “Under Any Analysis, It’s Insanity”: What War With North Korea Could Look Like.

Late comentary provides insight into one of the preferreed options: Pentagon Unveils Plan For “Pre-Emptive Strike” On North Korea. Most parties agree the a negotiated settlement would be the preferred option of them all.

I thought summer was supposed to be the quiet time when everyone went to the beach. The fall should be a doozy.

Bits and Pieces – 20170806, Sunday

Commentary: Things get interesting in the Democratic camp: Sorry Joe Biden And Eric Holder, Obama Just Picked His 2020 Candidate And It’s Not You. I can’t imagine that Hillary has thrown in the towel in her quest for righteous affirmation and glory. Biden has made it clear in the past that the world would have been saved if he were president. Saunders is getting old but with the revelations of the backstabbing job the DNC did on him, this cranky old man may not go quietly into that good night of that boneyard of American political ambition. And maybe Americans are not ready for another black president – Obama II.

Stay tuned for the next episode and in the meantime stock up on popcorn. You may need it to survive on if that crazy and mercurial leader with his ICBMs and nuclear bombs tries to launch a preemptive first strike on someone or everyone (Shall We Fight Them All?). Oh – I wasn’t referring to Kim Jong-un.

 

WWIII: I had stopped reporting most of the news I see on NK since the US pulled back its carrier strike groups. But here’s a thoughtful question so we don’t forget the issue: North Korea or Iran…Where Will President Trump Attack First? The Iran option is interesting because not a lot is reported on this front apart from incidents that Ron Paul notes.

This article confronts the issue head on: Militarization Of Scandinavian Peninsula: Time To Ring Alarm Bells. Snippets referring to stockpiling US assets in caves in Scandinavia have appeared from time to time but this article puts it all together.

It has been noted that trade wars and economic sanctions can be a precursor to kinetic wars. As such, Trump’s threats of a global trade war that keeps popping up may finally be implemented: Trump To Launch Trade War With China On Friday, Beijing Vows Retaliation and Russian PM: “The U.S. Just Declared Full-Scale Trade War On Russia”.

Trump’s myopic idea that reversing the trade deficit will make America great again will be found to be a much more complex issue and one that the attempt to fix may bear too high a price. To understand why, read: Winners And Losers When Trade War Breaks Out Between The US And China. The latter article shows what articles are most involved in the trade deficit, namely computer and electronic technology. True, the US could bring this onshore but ask yourself how? George Friedman provides his analysis of possible Russian response: Russian Sanctions: The Kremlin’s Response.

Corporate America, driven by market forces, moved production offshore. Corporate America will only reshore (I know, it’s not a real word but it’s been used before) if it is economically necessary. I don’t think that it could be forced to by legislation. Large tariffs would have to be imposed on electronic components made offshore to make their manufacture here attractive. However, $5000 iPhones aren’t going to make the public happy. Also, in reshoring new infrastructure has to be created. Abandoned factories are not suitable. New facilities have to built and these will be highly automated. The Chinese are already moving ahead with extensive automation (Apple Manufacturer Foxconn to Fully Replace Humans With Robots). These new factories are not built in a week so tariffs will have the immediate effect of increasing prices in the US while any offsetting price advantage under a tariff regime to local manufacturing will take years to realize.

Finally, George Friedman published a piece today which is centered on the role of nuclear weapons in geopolitics beginning with their development and use in WWII: The Terrible Magic of Atomic Weapons. Of note in this article is the use of economic sanctions by the US as the action that precipitated war with Japan.

Canada Corner: I have earlier covered the woes of Canadian mortgage broker, Home Capital Group. This would be a couple of months ago and the sky did not fall in although the fundamental problems remain with HCG, leaving it crippled and probably operating on a day-to-day basis. Here’s a more in depth look at the company intended to capture the reference and provide bedtime reading for insomniacs only: Exclusive: How the Home Capital Sausages Were Made.

Canada’s economic migrant problem: Quebec Is “Close To Its Limits” As Refugees Flood Across US-Canada Border.

Having just bought and sold a house, I am aware of the amount of money that flows into Ontario provincial government coffers – lots. There is a land transfer tax paid by the buyer and HSt paid on all services including legal and the realators’ commissions. A drastic drop in prices or a slowdown in sales means a significant loss of revenue for the government. For context: Toronto Housing Market Implodes: Prices Plunge Most On Record.

Climate: Ever since Climategate broke in 2009 there have been a number of incidents of researchers and particularly government agencies such as NOAA and NASA misrepresenting and falsifying climate data. A recent criticism noted that every time data is adjusted to make current data consistent with earlier data sets created with different instrumentation and methodologies, the adjustments are always in the warming direction. The latest example comes from Australia: Australia Weather Bureau Caught Tampering With Climate Numbers. Also: Major correction to satellite data shows 140% faster warming since 1998.

Bits and Pieces: Just so you don’t fall asleep on the European banking sector, read: Europe’s Banking Dysfunction Worsens. Since the 2008 banking crisis in the US that threatened to bring down the global financial system, European banks have not significantly repaired their balance sheets. Bank failures in the Mediterranean states are regular. At some point the entire system will fold. In the meantime, you can get a sense of the state of things from this article.

It’s funny that when NATO holds exercises, there is no response in the media: Russia, Belarus Joint Drills Used As Pretext for NATO War Preparations.

While the Democrats agonize over allegations of Russian hacking of the election (whatever that means) their own manipulations starts to come to light: California has 11 Counties With More Registered Voters Than Voting-Age Citizens: Registered Voters 144% of Eligible.

Bits and Pieces – 20170731, Monday

Commentary: I want to explain why Bitcoin can never be a viable currency. My understanding of Bitcoin is that there is an upper limit on the number of coins that can ever exist, somewhere around 21 million. The block-chain, as I understand it is simply a security paradigm for the system.

If bitcoin were only to be used to buy potatoes, the question of their relative values might be settled by adding the weights of all the potatoes in the world and saying that this is equivalent to the total number of bitcoins since bitcoins are assumed to be worth nothing for any other purchase. Let’s say that one ton of potatoes is equivalent (worth) 2.4 bitcoins (which hides the problem of fractional bitcoins – what are they and how do you manage them?).

Suppose next year there is a bumper crop of potatoes. There are twice as many potatoes but the same number of bitcoins. The value of a potato relative to a bitcoin has been cut in half.

Suppose farmers can agree that a bushel of wheat is equivalent to 10 pounds of potatoes. Further, they find that the amount of wheat grown is twice the amount of potatoes in value. Also, they decide to accept bitcoins for wheat. The total amount of merchantable produce in bitcoins is 3 times our initial example. That means a ton of potatoes is worth 0.8 bitcoins now.

Expand this to all products and services produced in the global economy and the value of a single potato becomes extremely small.

In a practical monetary system, the currency must be expansible to price the economy in practical terms and also be able to grow as the economy grows. Bitcoin can’t do either.

A useful model for understanding Bitcoin is the tulip mania in Holland in the 17th century – it’s a speculative bubble.

The War on Cash: An discussion that suggests a role for cryptocurencies in the battle against government control over the economy by removing cash:  Banks Are Scheming To Dominate A Future Cashless Society.

WWIII: There is a consistent push from actors in the US in this direction: Russian Sanctions – The Start of World War III?.

The American Empire (AE): This short article presents a concise understanding of Russian interests and the globalist/nationalist conflict: Russia’s Real Endgame. This is a highly recommended read.

The new Russian sanctions are explained by Mike Shedlock: Make America Safe: Put Congress on Permanent Recess (What the Sanction Bill is Really About). The real reason is to support American economic interests around energy and the control of energy supplies to Europe. And a bit of background on American hypocrisy over the issue: Browder – Russia – Trump – Safra.

Where to from here: The Historical Turning-Point Has Arrived?

In annual competitions held by the Santa Fe Institute on optimal game theory strategies, the game “tit for tat” one. In practice: “It’s Time To Retaliate”: Putin Expels 755 U.S. Diplomats. This has got to complicate US efforts of espionage, regime distabilization and interference in elections.

Climate: Apparently sea levels have fallen for the past 2 years. Watch for upcoming entertainment as climate alarmist figure out how global warming is causing this: NASA Confirms Falling Sea Levels For Two Years Amidst Media Blackout.

Bits and Pieces: Here is Senator John McCain’s war record in ome tidy little package for your reference (it might not be what you’re expecting): A Complete History Of John McCain Calling For War Around The World.

For my owon interest I’m including this shrt article ehich spans multiple conspiracry theories: Former Forbes Bureau Chief Blows Whistle On 9/11 & Fukushima.

And a little home town (Strathroy) excitement here last week: Procedure avoids panic: expert. I spoke with the deputy mayor. He said it was the last 13 cars of a 130 car freight that went off. The engineer was two miles down the track before he realized he was missing them. A hoot.

Any “moderate” brand of Islam – Hero Imams? – must be founded on the rejection of those aspects of the Quran and other religious books that advocate violence against and domination of non-Muslims. This of course requires such moderates to accept that the Prophet was wrong. Good luck.

Videos abound of the robots scurrying around Amazon “fulfillment” centers as I have previously published. The paradigm seems to be move products from an inventory of hundreds of thousands of items to workers that seem to have a limited role in packing the products. It may be that AI hasn’t advanced to the point of being able to solve the 3D problems of placing a variety of odd-shaped boxes most efficiently into one larger container.  But that problem may be solved soon: Amazon Hosts Robotics Competition To Figure Out How To Replace 230,000 Warehouse Workers.

Here’s an off-the-wall piece: The Not-So-Secret Ingredients of Military Coups. If you’re planning a coup, whether military or perhaps in business, one might benefit from this book.

Bits and Pieces – 20170722, Saturday

Commentary: Trump may finally be getting it together with a strategic counteroffensive: Trump Preparing Counteroffensive; Begins Investigating Mueller’s Team For Conflicts, Trump launches all-out assault on Mueller probe, Trump Legal Shake Up: Kasowitz Out As Personal Attorney, Corrallo Resigns, an attack on Sessions’ performance Sessions: “I Will Continue Serving As Attorney General As Long As That Is Appropriate”, and a shot at Comey, “We Take Confidentiality Seriously At DOJ” Rosenstein Blasts Comey For Leaking Trump Memo.

It’s interesting to see the collateral damage appearing among former Obama officials: New Scapegoat Emerges In Unmasking Scandal: Meet Obama’s Former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, as well as recent revelations against Susan Rice (Confirmed: Susan Rice “Unmasked” Trump Team) and Loretta Lynch (Loretta Lynch Plot Thickens As New Details Emerge Of Her Dealings With The Hillary Campaign).

Civil Unrest: The depth of the Hamburg civil unrest has been ignored but Martin Armstrong has been following it: The Rising Youth & Civil Unrest.

From the Left: At the heart of the European migrant crisis we find … George Soros of course: Soros-sponsored immigration network in Italy.

The War on Cash: There is a steady stream of articles related to this topic that I have not bothered to report on, but here’s one: 95% Of Europeans Reject EU Efforts To “De-Cash” Their Lives. The issue is government control, not crime prevention. More sinister reasons are it will be necessary for the full implementation of global government and Agenda 21.

The American Empire (AE): I had published a link a little earlier to an article on the return of Syrian refugees to areas that war had moved on from. Scientists were surprised how soon life began to return to the areas of ash and pyroclastic flows of Mount St. Helens after the eruption. Human life can recover as quickly: Photos Of Aleppo Rising: Swimsuits, Concerts And Rebuilding In First Jihadi-Free Summer.

Canada Corner: Eat your hamburg with respect: Animal Rights Activists Yell About “Insulting” to Cows. Onward and upward in Canada’s housing market: HIGHEST JUNE MONTHLY RISE ON RECORD. And here’s another area where we rank highly: Greatest Fools? The Countries That Trust Their Government Most (And Least).

Goldman Sachs sees the Canadian housing market in not quite as dire terms as earlier reports here: Is Canada Really “In Serious Trouble”: Goldman Responds. It is not the case that borrowers are not as exposed to interest rate hikes as discussed in the past but that the banking sector can survive a large-scale default better than previously expected.

Bits and Pieces: I haven’t written much on socialism lately but here’s an EU update: On Europe’s Unsustainable Welfare State.

Tired of looking for Russians under every desk and coffee table and not finding them? Try this angle: Is Russiagate Really Hillarygate?.

A rather wonderful aspect of natural organization: Nature – Taking Care of the Elderly. We on the other hand, hunt them down and kill them.

The blind behavior of European authorities towards reporting and fighting Muslim crime has always puzzled me. Why haven’t the sheeple revolted? Perhaps Sweden is the worst example, and we read: Is Sweden A Failed State?

Bits and Pieces – 20170715, Saturday

Cyber Warfare: Maybe it wasn’t the Russians: New Research Shows Guccifer 2.0 Files Were Copied Locally – DNC Not “Hacked By Russians” and New Evidence Says DNC Hack an Inside Job, Not Russia Related.

WWIII: Turkey’s realignment continues: Turkey “Turns Away” From NATO, Buys Russian Advanced Missile System For $2.5 Billion. They still seem to be playing both sides. This article follows along the path of the ides that thew US was one of the initial proponents and supporters of the EU: Unite and Rule: EU As NATO’s Auxiliary Economic Alliance.

The American Empire (AE): All the more reason for the AE to install a puppet that they can control, in Damascus: The New Silk Road Will Go Through Syria.

Climate: Climate alarmists need not worry their pretty little heads: Nature Unbound IV – The 2400-year Bray cycle. Part A.

Worth a read although many of you already know this: Research Team Slams Global Warming Data In New Report: “Not Reality… Totally Inconsistent With Credible Temperature Data”.

Canada Corner: I see no way to correct this other than a broad reset: “Canada Is In Serious Trouble” Again, And This Time It’s For Real. Sorry to take away Justin’s punch bowl but: IMF Rings The Alarm On Canada’s Economy.

The only contexts that the following makes any sense is in terms of Islamic appeasement and extreme progressive posturing: Canada’s Multi-Million-Dollar Pay-Out To A ‘Foreign Terrorist Fighter’.

Bits and Pieces: A masterful player, knowing that he has the Europeans by the balls, squeezes again: France Agrees to Pay All Costs for Turkey to Sign Paris Climate Accord.

Here’s a question for you, if Catalonia votes successfully to succeed and a new civil war erupts, will the Luftwaffe intervene as it did in the last Spanish civil war: Catalonia to Move to Referendum October 1st to Break From Spain?

Trump continues to have problem with loyalists from the Obama administration embedded in the bureaucracy. It takes time to find and sack the thousands of people involved: Exclusive: DOJ let Russian lawyer into US before she met with Trump.

Keep in mind that these are the early days of the development of software of this nature: New Software Fakes Video Of Former US President Barack Obama. With Photoshop we gained the ability to manipulate still images to create new images that are indistinguishable from reality. Now we can no longer be assure that a video we see is a real image scenario. When voice synthesis reaches the same level we wil be t the point where all news must be treated as fake news – synthesized propaganda. Note to all governments: we are almost there.

Here’s an interesting note on the silence of the UN on human rights abuses in Venezuela. It lines up with a similar silence by Pope Francis which I have commented on in the past. The article also makes a connection with Agenda 21: Is This Why The UN Human Rights Council Is Silent As Venezuelans Die Oppressed Under Socialism?. Weaving into this theme is the following of which I’m confused. I thought that this brand of geopolitics was what our communist pope supports: Vatican Press Lashes Out At Catholic Trump Voters, Calls Steve Bannon “A Supporter Of Apocalyptic Geopolitics”.

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