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Russiaphobia Is Out of Control

Russiaphobia Is Out of Control

As has been made perfectly clear, Mueller’s “indictment” of 13 Russians and 3 companies is just another hoax. See: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/02/16/result-muellers-investigation-nothing/ and: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/02/mueller-indictement-the-russian-influence-is-a-commercial-marketing-scheme.html

All Mueller has found is a bait-click commercial marketing scheme that had nothing to do with election interference.

Why is Mueller comfortable bringing a transparently false indictment?

The answer is, as Glenn Greenwald makes clear ( https://theintercept.com/2018/02/19/a-consensus-emerges-russia-committed-an-act-of-war-on-par-with-pearl-harbor-and-911-should-the-u-s-response-be-similar/ ) that Mueller knows there are large numbers of warmongering politicians and media whores who will seize on the fake indictment as proof that Russia has “committed an act of war equivalent to Pearl Harbor and 9/11.” The fact that what Mueller has indicted is only a bait-click marketing scheme will never be mentioned by politicians and presstitutes shouting the military/security complex’s slogan that “Russia must be punished.”

Greenwald supplies the names of some of these reckless and irresponsible people who are willing to bring on war with their rants: politicians Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Jeanne Shaheen, Jerry Nadler, Marco Rubio—indeed almost all of Congress—Clinton aides such as Philippe Reines and John Podesta, and the legions of presstitutes such as Karen Tumulty, David Frum, Chuck Todd, Tom Friedman—indeed, the entirety of the print and TV media with the exceptions of Tucker Carlson and Pat Buchanan.

When a country armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons and overwhelmed by its own exceptionalism and indispensability has political and media lunatics equating a bait-click commercial marketing scheme with Pearl Harbor, that country is a recipe for the end of the world.

Note: Two presstitutes at Bloomberg, Lauren Etter and Ilya Arkhipov think that filming disadvantaged Americans in order to cast the US in a bad light is the same as interfering in the presidential election, and they think that a Russian food caterer is heading a Russian disinformation campaign. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-21/how-putin-s-cook-fed-america-s-appetite-for-disinformation?cmpid=BBD022118_BIZ&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_term=180221&utm_campa

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Will Australia have a strategic oil reserve before it is too late? (part 2)

Will Australia have a strategic oil reserve before it is too late? (part 2)

In part 1 we talked about what action the government is taking to bring Australia back to the IEA 90 days oil stock requirement.

What was done so far

This website contains the relevant reports:

IEA International Energy Program Treaty
https://www.energy.gov.au/iea-international-energy-program-treaty

In July 2012 (under the Rudd government),  just months after Australia permanently dropped below the 90 days mark, a report prepared by Hale & Twomey Limited (from New Zealand) was published titled:

National Energy Security Assessment (NESA) Identified Issues –
Australia’s International Energy Oil Obligation
30/7/2012
https://www.energy.gov.au/sites/g/files/net3411/f/nesa-identifed-issues-aust-energy-oil-obligation-2012.pdf

The report proposed 4 models with varying degrees of responsibilities, funding , stock type, location and split

  • Model 1: Government responsible for the IEA stockholdings and uses ticket contracts to secure emergency stock above existing commercial stock levels.
  • Model 2: Government responsible for the IEA stockholdings and uses both physical stock and tickets to secure emergency stock above existing commercial stock levels.
  • Model 3: Combining government responsibility with an industry obligation and using both physical stock and ticket contracts for emergency stock.
  • Model 4: There is an industry obligation which will ensure the target can be met with the option to use both physical stock and tickets to meet the obligation.

Tickets are option contracts in which a country or organization purchases an option to buy stock from a stock owner. The stock can only be released in an emergency (declared by the IEA), with the option holder able to buy the stock at market prices. The purchaser of the ticket is able to count the stock as part of its obligation to hold emergency stock and the seller of the ticket is obliged to subtract these ticket sales from their stocks. This is physically monitored by the IEA. When stock owners and purchasers are in different countries these transactions are called bilateral tickets and require government-to-government agreements between both countries that guarantee the purchaser can exercise its options when needed.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Wyoming Now Third State to Propose ALEC Bill Cracking Down on Pipeline Protests

Wyoming Now Third State to Propose ALEC Bill Cracking Down on Pipeline Protests

A Lakota man locked himself to construction equipment building the Dakota Access pipeline

One of the Wyoming bill’s co-sponsors even says it was inspired by the protests led by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against the Dakota Access pipeline, and a sheriff involved in policing those protests testified in support of the bill at a recent hearing. Wyoming’s bill is essentially a copy-paste version of template legislation produced by the conservative, corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

At the organization’s December meeting, ALEC members voted on the model bill, the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, which afterward was introduced in both Iowa and Ohio.

Like the ALEC version, Wyoming’s Senate File 74 makes “impeding critical infrastructure … a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than ten (10) years, a fine of not more than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00), or both.” Two of the bill sponsors of SF 74, Republican Sens. Eli Bebout and Nathan Winters, are ALEC membersSF 74 has passed unanimously out of its Senate Judiciary Committee and now moves onto the full floor.

ALEC‘s model bill, in turn, was based on two Oklahoma bills, HB 1123 and HB 2128. The Sooner State bills, now official state law, likewise impose felony sentencing, 10 years in prison, and/or a $100,000 fine on individuals who “willfully damage, destroy, vandalize, deface, or tamper with equipment in a critical infrastructure facility.” As DeSmog has reported, the Iowa bill has the lobbying support of Energy Transfer Partners — the owner of the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) which runs through the state — as well as that of the American Petroleum Institute and other oil and gas industry companies.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Don’t Trust the “Trump Boom”

Don’t Trust the “Trump Boom”

stockmarket-300x200Call me a bad conservative.

I don’t cheer this past year’s stock market gains. I don’t enthusiastically crow and pump my fist every time the Standard and Poor’s breaks a new record. I don’t breathlessly watch CNBC to see the day’s gains, listening mindlessly to commentators in custom-tailored suits with shiny gelled hair pontificating about what a rise in the futures market of Chinese copper means.

Oh, sure, the few times I check my 401k balance, I’m pleased. But when the closing bell rings and the champagne corks pop and the Financial District bursts into song and dance, I’m more or less indifferent–perhaps less. Perhaps I’m even pessimistic.

It’s because we’ve seen this movie more than a few times before. The wildcat banking of the mid-19th century, the frequent panics of the fin-de-siècle, the Roaring Twenties, Jimmy Carter’s cardigan-covered stagflation, Alan Greenspan’s handiwork in suppressing interest rates to fuel a housing bubble that popped in the fateful autumn of 2008–we live in a cinema where the feature show is never different. America, its economy and its workers, its labor and capital, are stuck in an involuntary pas de deux with some guy named Dow Jones.

The so-called “Trump boom” that’s sending stocks ever skyward was suspect from the beginning, but not for anything the President’s done. Trump’s tax-cut act, his most significant economic policy so far, has no doubt loosened some restriction on the market, freeing up money that would otherwise float down the river of Acheron into D.C.’s dead coffers. That’s certainly been a boon to traders whose job consists of playing god with other people’s dreams of retirement.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Christopher Booker gets serious about understanding “Groupthink”

Christopher Booker gets serious about understanding “Groupthink”

Groupthink, Christopher Booker GWPF. We toss the term Groupthink around a lot, but Christopher Booker gets serious about exactly what it is and what it means. He analyzes the “Climate Change” debate through the lens of the original scientific study of Groupthink as published by Irving Janis, a professor of psychology at Yale back in the 1970s.  It’s uncanny…

Obviously we need to understand it so we can preventlimit it.  But Groupthink is also ripe fodder for driving Eco-worriers up the wall as we list the ways — to a T — that they are The Textbook Example. There’s a useful strategy that flows from this. The core tenet is that because believers hold a shaky, fragile idea, they must be aggressively hostile to protect it. So put the boot on the other foot. Let’s ask Believers how they don’t fit the Groupthink mould. Do they welcome debate — go on, prove it.

Richard Lindzen’s introduction:

[Booker] asks how do otherwise intelligent people come to believe such arrant nonsense despite its implausibility, internal contradictions, contradictory data, evident corruption and ludicrous policy implications…

The phenomenon of groupthink helps explain why ordinary working people are less vulnerable to this defect. After all, the group that the believers want to belong to is that of the educated elite. This may have played a major role in the election of Donald Trump, which depended greatly on the frustration of the non-elites (or ‘deplorables’, as Hillary Clinton referred to them) with what they perceived to be the idiocy of their ‘betters’

Booker himself:

…I kick myself that I did not discover the book that inspired this paper until 2014. When I finally came across Irving Janis’s seminal analysis of ‘groupthink’, I realised just how much more it helped to explain about the story I and many others had been following for so long.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Loonie Tumbles As Canadian Retail Sales Crashed In December

But, but, but… it was Christmas!!

Canadian retail sales have come out and they are shockingly low – even after bad weather and higher rates on big ticket items had kept surveys particularly low for December.

The headline print was -0.8% MoM (expectations were for no change)

Worse still, sales ex autos plunged 1.8% MoM (against expectations of a 0.3% gain) – the biggest drop since Jan 2015…

As Citi notes, these numbers, while often volatile, were not expected to be a big mover, but the extent of the miss has triggered some activity in USDCAD, which has jumped up to 1.2736 already and may have more to run.

Loonie is at its weakest vs the dollar since 12/21…

State of emergency, child missing amid Ontario floods

State of emergency, child missing amid Ontario floods

Brantford state of emergency: HIGHLIGHTS, must-see visuals of ice jam

Thursday, February 22, 2018, 7:34 AM – Wednesday was marked by flood crises in parts of southern Ontario, particularly the Grand River, where flood warnings were still in effect for much of its watershed Thursday. One person remains missing.

Ice jams and days of rain made for elevated water levels, forcing road closures in several communities throughout the day Wednesday, including Cambridge and Brantford.

The latter city was forced to declare a state of emergency, and issued an evacuation order affecting almost 5,000 people in the Holmedale, Old West Brant, and Eagle Place areas of the community, which remained in effect into Thursday morning.

Watch below: Ice chunks cover entire Ontario highway, see it here

 

Some ice jams did clear Wednesday, relieving flooding pressure somewhat, but leaving behind massive chunks of ice for crews to clear. At one point, a sink hole on Highway 401 westbound at Highway 24 in Cambridge forced a highway closure that lasted into the evening before all lanes reopened.

The Canadian Coast Guard spent Tuesday breaking up ice at the mouth of the Grand River on Lake Erie, and spokeswoman Carol Launderville said the CCGS Griffon returned for another round Wednesday.

“The commanding officer of the CCGS Griffon, Michael Hines, reported fast ice from one side of the Grand River to the other and nothing had started to break until the icebreaker arrived,” Launderville says. “By the end of Tuesday afternoon, open water started to form at the upper end of our track as the broken ice flowed towards the mouth of the river. The Coast Guard broke the ice to the approaches and out onto the lake. After the ice starts to move away from the mouth, the ice in the river will have a place to go.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

ECB Minutes Reveal Fears About Currency Wars, Euro Slides

There were two distinct reactions in the Euro to today’s ECB Minutes, released this morning.

At first, the EUR jumped following initial headlines that the ECB acknowledged that revisiting the guidance would be “part of a the regular reassessment” going forward, but noting that any changes are premature at this stage.

 In this context, it was remarked that communication on monetary policy would continue to develop according to the evolving state of the economy in line with the ECB’s forward guidance, with a view to avoiding abrupt or disorderly adjustments at a later stage. However, changes in communication were generally seen to be premature at this juncture, as inflation developments remained subdued despite the robust pace of economic expansion.

* * *

The language pertaining to the monetary policy stance could be revisited early this year as part of the regular reassessment at the forthcoming monetary policy meetings. In this context, some members expressed a preference for dropping the easing bias regarding the APP from the Governing Council’s communication as a tangible reflection of reinforced confidence in a sustained adjustment of the path of inflation. However, it was concluded that such an adjustment was premature and not yet justified by the stronger confidence.

Predictably, this hawkish take prompted a kneejerk move higher in the EUR as algos bought the EUR.

However, what traders focused on next was a rather explicit ECB concern over the weakness of the dollar, as the statement once again highlighted fears that the US administration was deliberately trying to engage in currency wars, something which Mario Draghi famously remarked on during the Q&A in the last ECB press conference, when asked for his response to Mnuchin’s statement.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Martha Stewart Will Definitely Survive the Zombie Apocalypse

Martha Stewart Will Definitely Survive the Zombie Apocalypse

I have always been a big fan of Martha Stewart.  I know, sometimes she does stuff like gluing moss on lampshades which causes you to wonder if she ever uses that lamp and why it doesn’t catch fire, and rolling grapes in goose liver pate sounds like it won’t be on my bucket list, but let’s put those things aside for a moment and talk about how Martha is better prepared than just about anyone to survive the Zombie Apocalypse. And it’s not just because she’s rich.

Please note that, as always, I use the Zombie Apocalypse as a metaphor for any type of civil unrest, long-term disaster in which the unprepared are going to want what you’ve carefully stored, and events during which people eagerly await the government’s handouts to rescue them from their Darwinian fates.

But, let’s talk about Martha. I’ve always seen her as a mentor, even though I’ve never had the privilege of meeting her.

She understands the value of a home-cooked meal with every detail from scratch. She grows her own veggies and herbs, maintains orchards, and raises chickens. She can sew, bake, garden, and run a multi-billion dollar business. She’s survived some things that would have driven a lesser woman to her knees. Remember how a few weeks back when I talked about prepper friends, I said that some of them weren’t exactly preppers but would be fantastic neighbors and allies? One word for you: MARTHA.

Here are just a few of the reasons why I’m quite certain that Martha Stewart will survive anything the Zombie Apocalypse could throw at her.

She can cook anything, anywhere.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Russian Central Bank Buys Gold – 600,000 Ounces Or 18.7 Tons In January As Venezuela Launches ‘Petro Gold’

Russian Central Bank Buys Gold – 600,000 Ounces Or 18.7 Tons In January As Venezuela Launches ‘Petro Gold’

– Russian central bank buys gold – large 600,000 ounces or 18.7 tons of gold in January
– Russia increased its holdings to 1,857 tons, topping the People’s Bank of China’s ‘reported’ 1,843 tons
– Russia surpasses China as 6th largest holder of gold reserves – after U.S., Germany, IMF, Italy and France
– Turkish central bank added 205 tons “over 13 consecutive months” – Commerzbank
– Meanwhile, Russian ally Venezuela is launching a new gold-backed cryptocurrency next week

Russia has overtaken China as the fifth-biggest sovereign holder of gold, allowing it to diversify its foreign currency holdings amid a deepening rift with the US, Bloomberg News’ Eddie van der Walt reported overnight.

The Bank of Russia increased its holdings in January by almost 20 metric tons to 1,857 tons, topping the People’s Bank of China’s reported 1,843 tons. While Russia has increased its holdings every month since March 2015, China last reported buying gold in October 2016. The U.S. is still the largest owner of gold, with 8,134 tons, much of it stored in Fort Knox.

Russia’s central bank continues to add gold to reserves while the People’s Bank of China remains on hold, pointed out Commerzbank.

Analysts cited news that the Russian central bank bought 600,000 ounces, or 18.7 tons, of gold in January as it continued to diversify its reserves. Analysts cite IMF data showing that Turkey also bought large quantities of gold in January at 560,000 ounces or 17.4 tons.

“Thus the Turkish central bank has topped up its gold reserves by a total of 205 tonnes over 13 consecutive months,” Commerzbank added.

Kazakhstan continues to buy gold in small quantities, as it has been doing steadily for years.

This goes some way to plugging the gap left by the Chinese central bank. The PBOC, meanwhile, has not reported the purchase of gold for 15 months in a row.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Israel and Iran: Inching Toward Armed Conflict

Israel and Iran: Inching Toward Armed Conflict

Israel and Iran: Inching Toward Armed Conflict

Can you hear the drumbeat of war? It is getting louder. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on the final day of the Munich Security Conference that Israel might go a step beyond striking the proxy powers and instead take direct action against Iran. He was especially concerned about the possibility of a land bridge stretching from Iran to the Mediterranean Sea. According to the PM, Iran represents an existential threat and its permanent military presence in Syria is unacceptable to Israel.

The Feb. 10 incursion of what Israel called an Iranian drone from Syria into Israeli airspace has spiraled into a major fight, resulting in the downing of an Israeli jet and a broad wave of strikes against military targets in Syria alleged to be linked to Iran. This was the first time Israel has used force directly against Iran.

If Iran itself is attacked, its sites related to its nuclear program will top the list of the prime targets for Israel’s F-35, F-15, F-16, and Kfir fighters, drones, and intermediate-range Jericho missiles. There are different routes they could take, but all of them would require flying through the airspaces of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, or Turkey. None of these Muslim countries will openly allow Israel to use their airspace, but anti-Iran sentiments are strong in the Sunni-dominated Arab states. Some of them might be willing to look the other way. A clandestine agreement to tacitly allow Israeli aircraft to cross their air space is entirely possible. Anger could be vented publicly once the mission has been completed.

Iraq is not focused on monitoring its airspace – it has many other problems to deal with and Israel could take advantage of that. The route through Iraq looks like it might be the best option.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Coming Banking Crisis & The End of Bailouts

Behind the curtain, there is a growing concern about a serious banking crisis beginning once again in Europe. Many governments are talking about the crisis behind-the-curtain and we are now beginning to see steps that are being taken to end the TO-BIG-TO-FAIL policies that dominated the 2007-2009 Crash.

The United States is looking at a new radical bank rescue policy where the government is proposing to revise a central pillar of the idea of bailing out banks creating new financial regulation with a new Chapter 14 bankruptcy procedure. They are looking at eliminating the risk of taxpayers’ costs to bail out banks. They are investigating the means for an orderly resolution so that the taxpayers do not have to bail out the banks. This development is causing some concern among the high-flying Wall Street banks, for if that is the case, then another crisis as 2007-2009 will result in even Goldman Sachs closing. The proposal looks to shift the burden to the shareholders and creditors of that bank. This means depositors who are thus creditors.

In Australia, we see similar legislation being proposed. This is the Financial Sector Legislation Amendment (Crisis Resolution Powers and Other Measures) Bill 2017. This also authorizes bail-ins bringing an end to the bailout.

India Enters the Sovereign Debt Crisis

I have warned continually that the Sovereign Debt Crisis will unfold not so much by people selling government debt, but by the lack of people buying new debt. The greatest peril is when there is NO BID for the new issues because all governments are operating a PONZI scheme. The sell new debt to pay off maturing debt. Currently, holders of Indian government debt have been dumping 4.7 billion rupees ($73 million) of government bonds on average every day this year, according to data from the Clearing Corp. of India. Last year, their net daily sales totaled 368 million rupees.

The Sovereign Debt Crisis emerges when the government is unable to raise enough cash to pay off the maturing debt. India has crossed that threshold so as we have warned, the Sovereign Debt Crisiswill begin from outside the USA and spread to the core. This is how all Empires, nations, and city-states collapse.

Inconvenient energy fact of the day

In 2016, solar and wind provided just 0.8% of the total world’s energy (Total Primary Energy Demand (TPED)), even after trillions of dollars in taxpayer-extracted subsidies, and will reach only a 3.6% share of energy in 2040, according to the International Energy Agency World Energy Outlook 2017 forecast (see graphic above). The world’s energy future of tomorrow, even almost a quarter century from now in 2040, will look very much like it does today, with fossil fuels supplying the large majority of our energy (81% today vs. 75% in 2040) and solar and wind playing a relatively minor role as energy sources.

Sources: Bjorn Lomborg and Matt Ridley (“Shale is the Real Energy Revolution”).

Stunning new research finds fracking a major source of carbon pollution in Pennsylvania

Stunning new research finds fracking a major source of carbon pollution in Pennsylvania

Methane leaks in the state’s oil and gas industry equal 11 coal-fired power plants.

Flaring takes place after a gas well has been drilled and before it is put into operation. CREDIT: Carolyn Cole/L.A. Times via Getty Images
FLARING TAKES PLACE AFTER A GAS WELL HAS BEEN DRILLED AND BEFORE IT IS PUT INTO OPERATION. CREDIT: CAROLYN COLE/L.A. TIMES VIA GETTY IMAGES

The evidence is now overwhelming that natural gas is not part of the climate solution, it is part of the problem.

new study finds that the methane escaping from Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry “causes the same near-term climate pollution as 11 coal-fired power plants.” And that is “five times higher than what oil and gas companies report” to the state, according to analysis from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) based on 16 peer-reviewed studies.

Natural gas is mostly methane, a super-potent greenhouse gas, which traps 86 times as much heat as CO2 over a 20-year period. So even a small leakage rate from the natural gas supply chain (production to delivery to combustion) can have a large climate impact  —  enough to gut the entire benefit of switching from coal-fired power to gas for a long, long time.

Yet even though many earlier studies have found that natural gas production spews out huge amounts of carbon pollution all across the country, just last week, the Trump administration moved to undo an Obama-era rule aimed at limiting the methane leakage from gas and oil production on public lands.

As EDF’s president Fred Krupp told the New York Times, “Gutting the rule would allow unchecked waste of natural gas, unnecessary pollution and the loss of revenue to communities and tribes to address critical needs such as schools and roads,”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai III: Cataclysm
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