What We’re Watching

In no particular order and with no ranking of importance as we see it: Global seismic and geothermal activity. Are the events linked and if so will activity increase? Japanese monetary policy. Will Abenomics finally implode and take the Japanese bond market with it? The US presidential race. What happens with and around Trump may Continue reading »

Bits and Pieces – 20181026, Sunday

Commentary

I have been distracted by an unsuccessful run in municipal politics. It took a few hours of reflection to analyze my emotional response and an gain an understanding of the event. Here it is. But first some background on the results.

There were 8 candidates running for 4 positions. Three were 3 incumbents and one person returning to office after a term or two off. The fifth was a local realtor and Strathroy native, well known in the community. That left 3 unknowns including myself who is new to town. Poll results were in the order I described the candidates. I polled 747 votes for 6th place (first place was over 2700 votes) but only 31 votes ahead of the last place finisher. I tell people I tied for last place which I think is an astute assessment.

When asked if I was disappointed in not winning – in my mind were scenarios where I might have won – I replied “no” as I have a couple of projects that I could now get on with. What I was disappointed in was that I did not think the results reflected the effort, time and money that my wife and I invested in the election.

Finally, there was the understanding of two major points that were present when I decided to run but that I did not understand. This in itself was a brilliant flash of insight: nothing changed over the entire period except my understanding of the situstion.

The first point, and this is key I think to all politics, is that there were no major issues with the past administration. People had their personal peeves – their street has potholes, the town needs an indoor pool, etc. – and there were a few individuals that did not like the mayor or a particular Councillor. However, there was no single major issue such as corruption manifested in some form or other, to cause dissatisfaction with the previous administration.

Whether you gave them an “A”, “B”, or “C”, they earned a pass. An “F” would have created a totally different situation. Despite comments from many that I spoke to about needing “new blood” on council, the old adage,”if it ain’t broke don’t try and fix it” held sway and wisely so.

The second point is that I am new to town. One Councillor is a retired high school teacher and has taught half the community. Those re-elected are widely known, most having grown up here. Although Strathroy is growing fast, it has that small town core of residents where everyone knows everyone else. In some small towns it takes generations before you become accepted fully in the community.

In short, I didn’t stand a chance. Nor will I in 2022 unless these two conditions change. There is also an age factor. This election was difficult in terms of going door-to-door for 3, 4, 5 or more hours at a time. It won’t be easier in 4 years.

I knocked on about 750 doors out of an estimated 7500. I talked to an amazing array of people. None were hostile and most were warm in their response. You sized up the situation in a fraction of a second to determine your approach. When a man or woman answered a door holding 2 children with three in the background running around with 5 barking dogs, you read very quickly that this person isn’t looking for any kind of a conversation. One woman may even have been nursing an infant although I was careful not to stare to see if this was the case or not. The closest to having someone answer the door naked was a tall fellow wearing only shorts riding below a belly that suggested that he hadn’t seen his feet in a decade or two. I sensed very quickly he didn’t want to talk.

It was hard work and the most enjoyable part of the campaign by far – a valued experience.

With this I can put it behind me.

Bits and Pieces – 20180930, Sunday

Commentary

We tend to view modern borders as somehow sacrosanct and immutable in a legal sense. The reality is given, however, in the following animation. It should restore perspective on situations such as Crimea.

I urge you to watch this 8 minute video that explains the modern left as identity politics:

Of note are the references to Canada both explicit and implicit. A very eloquent presentation.

Bits and Pieces – 20180916, Sunday

Commentary

Your lesson in socialism for today (2:22 minutes) from the economist Milton Friedman:

If, you were engaged by Friedman and want a bit more, watch this one.

Bits and Pieces – 20180910, Monday

Commentary

I would argue that mankind has always progressed through technological innovation from the production of stone tools and the control of fire, through the metallurgical discoveries giving us iron, steel and other metals that enabled the industrial revolution, to modern digital technology. The arts grew alongside the technology but as an economic adjunct enabled by the wealth and leisure it produced. Similarly, the affluence that spawned the modern welfare state is a benefit of technological progress.

I read John Mauldin’s latest letter on the rise of China. Part 1 of 3 promised parts, it creates a sense of optimism in China’s future through technology. Here’s the article: China’s Command Innovation.

Mauldin is a technology-based optimist. His projection is too linear and insular for my comfort, however. The technological advances he sees coming are logically predictable as a linear projection of current progress.

However, the ascendancy of China is anathema to the American Empire. One can see the rhetoric and military expansion that the US is using to try and contain China. The same containment used against Japan resulting in WWII, when used against China, will result in WWIII.

This will set back all areas  of technological development except perhaps military ones. A nuclear exchange may make the setback permanent.

A visit to a local museum had a large display of stone artifacts used by the local neolithic nomads. There were rounded rocks that had been used as primitive tools, but the largest part of the collection by far were the arrow heads which showed rather sophisticated manufacture. The principal use of iron and the development of blacksmithing started with the manufacture of iron knives and swords.

Apart from war, the arrival of the next Grand Solar Minimum is another factor that, based on historical precedence as described by Martin Armstrong in the section “Climate” below, will be a powerful disrupting force. It has brought down entire dynasties and civilizations in the past.

My thoughts about Mauldin’s optimism – he is one of the best free sources of economic thought out there – have been with me for a long time. China’s economic ascendancy he sees as a source of optimism about our future. But what really hit home to me today was how much in contrast, the West is in decline. Read the article. Now think about a future where the Chinese are producing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) graduates, the basis for wealth generation in a technological future while we are producing graduates in the arts, particularly social sciences like gender studies.

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The MSM and the AGW alarmist are using the extremes in weather as an alleged proof of the global warming hypothesis. They report record heat and record drought events while failing to report any of the thousands of record cold and record snowfall events that were occurring throughout the late winter and spring of this year.

The current heat and drought in Europe are not unusual as revealed by the appearance of “hunger stones”. I’ve seen a couple of references to this but Martin Armstrong has a good discussion around the topic: The Hunger Stones Have Appeared. Such stones have appeared in several rivers to which you should be able to find references if interested. I wonder if they will add 2018 to the rocks.

Bits and Pieces – 20180825, Saturday

Commentary

Assad is close to recovering all of the western province of Idlib from jihadist forces sponsored by western interests including the CIA. This is against US interests – or at least the interests of the neocons and energy interests (it’s all about pipelines in Syria).

In past, when rebel forces were being routed they used false flag chemical attacks to motivate the West to intervene against government forces and Assad in particular.

The US has set the stage for the next Western intervention via a false flag attack. John Bolton has advised the public of the coming US intervention: Bolton told Russia the US will hit Syria if Assad uses chemical weapons: report. Russia has warned that such an attack is coming: Russia Warns Staged “Chemical Provocation” Coming In Syria After Bolton Cites New Intel.

SOME REASONS WHY ISLAM IS WINNING

 Below is another essay from our friend Paul Merkley.

I can say categorically that there never was a moment in my life when I could detect anything appealing in Islam.

To begin with,  I am far too respectful of the positive accomplishments of our civilization to be tempted by “orientalism” in all of its forms. The manly accomplishments as well as the thoughts of Lawrence of Arabia are wasted on me. But as for the substance: Muslims seek to change our minds about the allegiances that we might have inherited from four  two thousand years of the history of Christianity by directing our attention to Islam’s sacred history – which, quite apart from being 3400 years shorter, has to me the aesthetic appeal of desiccated fruit.

According to Islamic teaching, “God created man from clot of blood. “Surah 96. How did blood get onto the scene of human history before or any  part of the animal creation did? Whose blood, then?

Water in the US West

Back in 2014 and 2015 I wrote a series of articles on the drought conditions in California and Nevada (read: Jeopardy Question: This Body of Water Determines the Fate of the Modern Day Anasazi, Another Dry Essay, and Eat your Broccoli Now).

When I wrote the first article above, I looked at water requirements and usage for Las Vegas in detail. I also looked at Lake Mead both historically and the current levels at that time. I noted of the level “The latter is only 0.58 feet above the record low of 1081.94 feet set in Nov. 2010 (see complete data set).

I knew that California had received substantial rainfall over the last couple of years and stopped following the situation. I was surprised today, therefore, to read: Leaking Las Vegas: West’s Biggest Reservoir Nears Critical Threshold.

 reviewed the lake levels (LAKE MEAD AT HOOVER DAM, ELEVATION (FEET)) since 2010 and found that the lowest point was June 2016 at 1071.64 feet. This is lower than the drought period back in 2014.

Bits and Pieces – 20180817, Friday

Commentary

To begin, here is the prescribed use of the term “conspiracy theory” as practiced by the CIA:

Since the 1960s the label has become a disciplinary device that has been overwhelmingly effective in defining certain events as off limits to inquiry or debate. Especially in the United States, raising legitimate questions about dubious official narratives destined to inform public opinion (and thereby public policy) is a major thought crime that must be cauterized from the public psyche at all costs…  against almost any individual or group calling the government’s increasingly clandestine programs and activities into question. From CIA Document 1035-960 . Source:Weaponizing the Term “Conspiracy Theory”: Disinformation Agents and the CIA.

Here is another comment on this CIA document from The Mind Renewed (CIA 1035-960: “Countering Criticism of the Warren Report”):

Bits and Pieces – 20180806, Monday

Commentary

In Bits and Pieces – 20180726, Thursday, I posted a link to commentary by Martin Armstrong, on a documentary on the Magnitsky Act and a link to the documentary. I hope you saw it because the video has been taken down. As Martin notes today in Why Has the Magnitsky Film Been Banned in USA & Europe? that the Magnitsky Act Behind the Scenes has been pulled from everywhere.

I did find a copy online so once again, here is the original film:

There is another film referenced by Martin today on the same subject: The 3rd Film on the Magnitsky Affair. Here is that film:

Bits and Pieces – 20180804, Saturday

Trade War

Richard Duncan wrote The Dollar Crisis revised in 2003. I reread it in 2008 at the height of the financial crisis and it read as if it had just been written, it so closely followed the crisis. No other book have I read twice, and no other economist do I have greater respect for. Here’s a rare piece from him: Podcast: Deconstructing Trump’s tariffs, turning point in history and the end of globalisation. If Trump’s trade war is not scaled back then expect this to come to pass.

To show how tariffs bring American jobs home, consider this: Harley-Davidson Begins Kansas City Plant Shutdown As Production Shifts To Thailand.

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