Bits and Pieces – 20170402, Sunday

Commentary: I think this will be a weekly blog post from here on. Sunday makes a good wrap. Either the number of articles that I wish to present to you has declined in occurrence or I have simply absorbed them as I reported them and they no longer appear important enough to bring to your attention.

As an example, the Russian hacking scandal when it broke was big news. Now that it has been thoroughly debunked, the bits of news that still trickle out demonstrate little more than the desperation of the powers that want to dump Trump. As an example, as reported today, Tuesday, the tables of linking Trump and his advisors are being turned on the Democrat camp: Here’s The Story Behind Trump’s Podesta-Russia Tweet. Interesting but not ground-breaking news.

As you may know, I am collecting crises. More properly, I am trying to identify systems that are near their critical point. In such a system, when the critical point is reached, the smallest related event may trigger a systemic realignment and release of potential energy or tension. Charles-Hugh Smith, a prolific thinker and writer talks about these systems or crises: The Overlapping Crises Are Coming, Regardless Of Who’s In Power. If you can think of any, please let me know

Civil Unrest: George Soros under scrutiny: Is George Soros Behind This Plot To Topple Trump? and

Fault Lines: I’m collecting links under this new topic heading, links to what I consider to be critical global systems whose failure(s) would aterially affect our lives. Two high level ones would be the global financial system and the global geopoliti cal system. The idea is to create a watch list to filter news in terms of. Does a news item affect the energy in the particular system? Does the energy increase and is the increase significant? These are subjective calls because I have no quantifiable metrics at this point.

Here is an article in which the author identifies “black swans” issues that most people are oblivious to but may have a significant impact on life in the US: Edge Of A Financial Fukushima-Style Nightmare. They are 1) the Treasury debt ceiling (don’t panic, they’ll kick the can down the road because it’s the easiest option); 2) the collapse in “brick and mortar” retail stores along with shopping malls; 3) the pension crisis due to the multi-trillion dollar unfunded obligation that have recently surfaced in places like Chicago and Detroit. These issues are restricted to the nations that own the problems. Also, their impact will be gradual. That many western countries own some or all of these problems might argue for their inclusion in a global watch list.

The three “swans” above are US birds. The first will be an issue of internal politics that no party wants to own in the sense that people entitled to benefits don’t get paid. So after vociferous wrangling an agreement will be reached and the ceiling will be lifted. The government can raise the money required by increasing the debt. This will continue until the people that hold the debt begin to feel uncomfortable and sell which raises rates or demand higher rates. Either way, a rise in interest rates causes debt interest payments to rise bringing the government back to square one: too rich in spending habits and not enough income. This in turn leads to civil unrest as people aren’t given what they have been promised, a national problem. The global extension of this fault line is war.

Cyber Warfare: Wikileaks has released the source code for a CIA hacking tool (Marble) that allows them to disguise a hack so it appears to be coming from a foreign source: WikiLeaks Reveals “Marble”: Proof CIA Disguises Their Hacks As Russian, Chinese, Arabic…. The implication of this is that any claim of proof of the source of a hack has no validity in fact but only on faith. Therefore the whole Russian hacking imbroglio is reduced to an unprovable assertion by the intelligence community that can only be accepted on faith. And who believes the CIA on anything?

WWIII: Not this year but soon. Turkey and Greece on the other hand: Greece & Turkey – Is War in the Future? What oh what is NATO to do?

The American Empire (AE): Strengthening the occupation of Europe: EUCOM Commander Calls For Larger “Enduring Armored” Force To Deter Russia.

Bits and Pieces: I always have time for Rex Murphy. I know he will have a deeply considered discussion on whatever he chooses. Here he is on M-103: Rex Murphy: M-103 has passed. And what today has changed for the better?

There seems to be an imbalance here ():

A misogynist is a person who hates women. A person who hates men can be described as a misandrist, and the corresponding noun is misandry. But however prevalent the attitudes described by these words may be, the words themselves aren’t common. There are currently only 29 examples of misandrist in the Oxford English Corpus, while misogynist appears more than 1,500 times; 68 uses of  misandry are overshadowed by over 2,000 examples of misogyny.

So, continuing on the theme that I have been developing on the coming disemployment (it has a progressive ring don’t you think) of large numbers of men (maybe not so much women), comes John Mauldin’s latest weekly letter: Men Without Work. And here’s one of the results: Disabled, or Just Desperate? Rural Americans Turn to Disability as Jobs Dry Up.

A bit more on CrowdStrike and Russian hacking: “Something Stinks Here” – CrowdStrike Revises, Retracts Parts Of Explosive Russian Hacking Report.

There is a nether world of survivalists and preppers that I am aware of without exploring. Here’s a common-sense article that will prepare you for normal emergencies like the famous ice storm although it won’t entirely protect you from the Zombie Apocalypse: Doomsday Prep For Non-Paranoid People.

To close, I found this 20 minute TED talk on a perennial whine of mine:

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