Monthly Archives: August 2017

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.

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