Bits and Pieces – 20181223, Sunday

Commentary

Once again the YouTube algos served up a delicious commentary on US – China trade negotiations that included reference to the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, CFO of Huawei, by Canada. At 28:25 minutes it is a highly recommended view as the interview has a lineup of 4 excellent experts discussing the trade war:

A key point is that Meng’s detention has become a hostage taking due to Trump’s politicization of the event (if it wasn’t that right from the start).

Technological Warfare

One of the links that I lost for my last article on Huawei concerned an article that spoke of a deeper war with China over technology in a broad sense and particularly chip fabrication. Today I found this article – about a 12 minute read – by Alastair Crooke:  America’s Technology and Sanctions War Will End, by Bifurcating the Global Economy.

He covers the key points that were in the lost article, speaking of technology as the frontier in the cold war with China. He references the tactic which I have commented on, of forcing companies to reject Huawei equipment due to “security concerns”. I have to credit someone who in an absolutely brilliant move crafted a two word phrase that could destroy billions of dollars worth of contracts for 5g telecom equipment. Talk about a bang for your buck.

So technology is the new frontier in warfare and will be conducted by trade warfare. Technology has always driven advances in warfare: metal over stone projectile tips and knives, metal armour, the long bow, gunpowder and guns, the machine gun, aircraft, etc.

Historically we like to package our wars in nice temporal boxes. WWII started on day X and ended on day Y.  It makes more sense to consider what we call war as a phase of dispute. The American Empire has disputes with a number of countries, some more serious than others.  Some may remain as irritants. The US has been imposing tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber off and on for decades but we aren’t at the kinetic phase (hot war) over this and never will be.

We need a more elastic definition of war that includes all the types of warfare that I cover and the probably many that i have’t considered. Crisp start and end dates should not be a preoccupation of the historian.

The American Empire (AE)

The US’s forever wars in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia breed terrorism. When you create collateral damage, a lovely euphemistic abstraction, by killing women and children on a regular basis, a real world event, you sow enmity among the populations in the countries that you are destroying. Here’s a supporting article: Continued American Occupation of the Middle East Does Not Suppress Terrorism, It Causes It.

Trump’s abrupt annoucement of withdrawal from Syria follow3ed by a drawdown of troops in Afghanistan – Trump Orders Major Afghan Drawdown: 7,000 Troops To Return Home In Coming Weeks – offers some hope that the carnage will be reduced. Unless he changes his mind or is overruled by the neocons both in his government and the military. The first casualty is Mattis: x

Cold War II

The Ukraine has been a hotspot in the new US/Russia cold war. The next article looks at the stalemate there: Russia, Ukraine and the Minsk agreement fiction (Exclusive!). Despite Poroshenko’s best efforts, he has not been able to involve the US and Russia directly in his problems.

He does, however, keep trying: Ukrainian Official Urges UK Navy To Cross Kerch Strait “To See How Russia Reacts”. This is a good move because May desperately needs a distraction from her Brexit crisis and could use this to deflect attention, especially if Russia opposes such a move. Otherwise, the next step as I heard yesterday is: Ukraine to declare war on Russia next?

Canada

Without comment: Justin Trudeau Blames Trump’s ‘Racist’ Policies For Canada’s Immigration Crisis.

Economic Issues

I don’t report on precious metals although I personally actively follow them. I have been aware for years that J.P. Morgan was amassing a large long position in physical silver. Out of curiosity, I watched most of the following video (49:22) minutes:

Recall that the Hunt brothers tried to corner the silver market years ago. Unfortunately, the market was rigged as it remains, by very powerful banking interests and the Hunts were outsiders. The insiders used their control to break the Hunts and they lost their 100 million ounce position. This video points out that J.P. Morgan has amassed 8 times what the Hunts had amassed and no one has raised an eyebrow.

The argument against holding precious metals is that they pay no interest and cost to store. That they would have been one of the best market investments due to price appreciation is ignored. This is probably what persuaded the Neanderthals in the Canadian government to sell all of Canada’s gold, much at low prices.

This raises the question of why J.P. Morgan with the best traders on the planet would be holding this much silver. There has to be an actionable plan to sell it at higher, perhaps much higher, prices. The video suggests only the US or Chinese governments have the resources and are in the position to allow such accumulation for their interests. If it were the Chinese, they would have taken possession of the metal and certainly would not have left it in a country with which they are at economic war.

One of the reasons given as to why the Chinese are not divesting themselves of their roughly trillion dollars in US Treasury debt is that the US can simply refuse to redeem the debt. Even sales to a third party becomes infeasible since the identity of every Treasury instrument is known by its CUSIP number and the US would simply publish a blacklist of instruments which they would refuse to redeem. A third party would be left then, with the liability. This would be a drastic measure, however, since all US Treasury debt would then carry the burden of its questionable redeemability.

If the US wanted silver for national security purposes they would simply create a stockpile as they have done in the past. Of course they may be using J.P. Morgan to do just this for them. The other possibility that comes to mind is that a global currency reset will happen in the not too distant future. If the Fed has to implement QE4 to prevent a stock market crash, the US dollar will depreciate that much faster. There is discussion of using precious metals to back the new currency. A new currency could be gold-backed paper but with all paper currency having been proven worthless, a physical substitute may be required to achieve public confidence. Speculation.

The key point to me is that apart from technical market operations for owning some gold and silver, the fact that J.P. Morgan is hoarding it is a much more persuasive argument. Think for yourself.

Climate

A document was recently released by the US government supposedly giving the current state of the climate but in fact extending the hysteria of the recent IPCC report. I can’t be bothered going through it but I found someone who can and has in two parts:

Bits and Pieces

I finally have a term that aptly describes most of the progressives that you encounter in debate – non-player character or NPC. Scott Adams explains:

End Notes

I can be reached at the following email address. It is not in standard format as webcrawling robots harvest identifiable email addressees from webpages, compile them into lists and sell the lists to spammers. Use thepoog before the @ symbol and digitaldoor after it followed by .net. Please forward any comments directly by email.

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