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War Expands With Massive Israeli Airstrikes 60km Deep Into Lebanon

War Expands With Massive Israeli Airstrikes 60km Deep Into Lebanon

The Israel-Hezbollah war is expanding, which was on display Monday as Israel for the first time struck near a large city which is deep inside Lebanon, far away from the border, in the region of Ghaziyeh.

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari has confirmed in a statement that military was behind large airstrikes that rocked a town just south of Sidon earlier in the day. Hagari the strikes targeted Hezbollah weapons depots, and also served as a response to an explosive-laden that struck northern Israel previously on Monday. Video captured the moment of the massive airstrikes:

Sidon is the third largest city in Lebanon, and the region that was attack lies at least 45-60 kilometers from the Israeli border. So far the tit-for-tat strikes which stretch back to early October, following the Hamas terror attack on southern Israel, have been confined to southern Lebanon. Fighting has by and large stayed to within kilometers of the border on either side.

“Israeli jets attacked near Sidon on Monday, Israeli media reported, citing the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Akhbar newspaper,” regional media also confirms“The two strikes occurred in the region of Ghaziyeh some 60 km from Israel’s northern border.”

Videos of the strikes show a huge fireball erupt high into the air…

…click on the above link to read the rest…

2024: The Year from Political Hell – Martin Armstrong

2024: The Year from Political Hell – Martin Armstrong

Legendary financial and geopolitical cycle analyst Martin Armstrong is predicting political turmoil, civilian unrest, war and a big economic downturn in 2024 in a new report called “The Year from Political Hell.”  It’s not just a US election year, but it is an election year for more than half of the world.  This is a global phenomenon which no one can be sure of the outcome.  Armstrong explains, “This is not just the United States election.  This is what you hear on the news locally.  However, step outside this country, and, for example, Indonesia just voted in a leftist government.  You have the EU going for elections.  You have on May 2nd all the local elections in Britian. You have Russian elections on May 7th.  60% of the world is going to the polls in 2024 to vote for a new government.  You might as well throw them into a tumbler, shake well and see what comes out.  I mean it’s all over the place.”

On the war front, get ready for more mass killing, and don’t be surprised if it goes nuclear.  Armstrong predicts, “There will be nuclear weapons.  The neocons keep telling people on Capitol Hill that Russia would never use a nuke because they know we would use them back. That is nonsense!  If you are about ready to conquer somebody, and this is all they’ve got left, they are pushing the button. . . . These people, all they want is war.  They don’t care.  They really do not care.  They don’t care about the economy.  They don’t care about anything.”

…click on the above link to read the rest…

NATO Chief Shocks With Prediction Of ‘Decades-Long Confrontation’ With Russia

NATO Chief Shocks With Prediction Of ‘Decades-Long Confrontation’ With Russia

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg issued some shocking words over the weekend which the Kremlin will likely take as a threat. “NATO is not looking for war with Russia. But we have to prepare ourselves for a confrontation that could last decades,” he told German daily Welt am Sonntag on Saturday. His words also reflect a new emphasis and drive among NATO planners for European countries to urgently invest more heavily in defense and domestic weapons production, as is happening for example in Germany and France.

So far, defense leaders and officials from NATO countries have tended to speak about a time frame of the conflict lasting “years” – but to hear Stoltenberg tell the West it must brace for a war going on for “decades” is somewhat unprecedented.

If Putin wins in Ukrainethere is no guarantee that Russian aggression will not spread to other countries,” Stoltenberg continued, echoing an assumption that’s been a persistent talking point out of Zelensky and his Western backers.

EPA via Shutterstock

He urged that to prevent this future scenario, the allies must ramp up support to Ukraine and member states must invest in NATO military infrastructure. “Deterrence only works if it is credible. As long as we invest in our own security and remain united, we will continue to deter any form of aggression,” Stoltenberg said.

Interestingly the words followed on the heels of the Tucker Carlson interview with Vladimir Putin wherein the Russian leader appeared to appeal directly to the US government saying he is ‘ready’ for sincere talks to end the war. “We are willing to negotiate,” Putin had told Carlson and said in reference to the Biden administration: “You should tell the current Ukrainian leadership to stop and come to the negotiating table.”

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Global Economic War Is Coming And The Threat To The US Dollar Is Real

Global Economic War Is Coming And The Threat To The US Dollar Is Real

In a recent statement posted to social media, Tucker Carlson explained succinctly his many reasons for traveling to Russia to interview President Vladimir Putin. His decision, mired in an avalanche of outrage from leftist media talking heads and a multitude of western politicians, was inspired by Carlson’s concern that Americans have been misdirected by corporate propaganda leaving the public completely uneducated on the war in Ukraine and what tensions with the East might lead to.

I agree. In fact, I don’t think the majority of Americans have a clue what the real consequences of a global war with Russia and its allies would look like. Even if the conflict never resulted in shots fired and stayed confined to the realm of economic warfare, the US and most of Europe would be devastated by the effects.

Carlson specifically mentioned dangers to the status of the US dollar, and I suspect this comment probably mystified a great number of people. Most of the population cannot fathom the idea of a US dollar implosion set in motion by a foreign dump of the greenback as the world reserve currency. They really do believe the dollar is invincible.

The most delusional people are, unfortunately, those within mainstream economic circles. They just can’t seem to grasp that the west is in the midst of financial collapse already, and war would accelerate the effects to levels not seen since the Great Depression.

I have been warning about this outcome for many years. I think I have made my position clear in the past; I suspect the conflict between east and west has been carefully engineered over the course of a decade or more, and Russia is not innocent in this affair.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XLIII–War. What Is It Good For? Absolutely Nothing!


Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XLIII

Teotihuacan, Mexico (1988) Photo by author

War. What Is It Good For? Absolutely Nothing!

Today’s ‘contemplation’ is derived from a conversation on a Facebook Group post I was recently involved with[1]. I’ve been reluctant to write anything regarding the current Russian/Ukraine conflict due to the extreme polemic and emotional aspects such events create, especially in the early moments when people are reacting rather than reflecting[2], and the propaganda on all sides has been ramped up to warp speed. Nonetheless, here it is:

War. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!

So the Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong song goes[3], and this is especially true in times of overshoot given the drain on resources (which have for some time been encountering significant diminishing returns) that modern warfare entails. It is self-evident that military adventurism is heavily resource dependent, and a World War or even a significant increase in a ‘Cold War’ between geopolitical rivals will expedite the coming collapse of our global, industrialised societies as assuredly as a gargantuan ramping up of the industrial processes required to try and replace our fossil fuel-intensive energy needs with non-renewable, renewables[4] that many, even well-intentioned ‘environmentalists’, advocate for[5].

But depending upon one’s perspective, war can be quite good. In fact, fantastic. It is one of the longest lasting means throughout pre/history for a complex society’s ruling elite to maintain and expand power, gain access to resources, and with our current debt-/credit-based fiat currency monetary system and concentration of industrial/corporate ownership ensure gargantuan profits for a select few[6].

Many in the West have jumped upon the patriotic bandwagon to vilify Russian/Putin ‘aggression’ (conveniently ignoring/denying the ongoing aggression of their own elite over the years). This is not surprising given the slanted narratives they are provided by our politicians and their media mouthpieces on a regular basis to garner our support[7]. We are fed lies constantly through both omission and commission. Propaganda is everywhere, all the time[8].

There is a very good argument to be made (based upon history and context) that it has been the West’s ever-expanding encroachment towards Russian borders that has precipitated much of this[9]; to say little about the US-orchestrated coup[10] that led to the current West-leaning Ukrainian regime. And, quite naturally, there has been a full court press on to counter these arguments from US/NATO advocates[11]. The idea that it is unpatriotic to criticise or counter war ‘efforts’ is rampant. The ‘you are with us or against us’ mentality is everywhere. Of course it is nothing new to leverage our ‘natural’ tendency (what some refer to as tribal instincts) of patriotic feelings towards our nation state and her allies; it occurs both in and out of war time[12].

Is Russia innocent in any of this? Absolutely not; they are a nation-state based upon a ruling elite whose primary motivation is the control/expansion of the wealth-generation/-extraction systems to maintain their revenue streams and power/prestige like every other. The West’s elite (who are driven by the same motivation) have challenged the East’s elite and many innocents (the vast majority of the rest of us) are caught in the middle of this power play.

These people don’t give a shit about you or me except in terms of extracting labour and wealth to support them. But on some level they also need our consent to participate in such actions given how significantly outnumbered they are. This consent is, for the most part, manufactured by leveraging our fear of the ‘other’ and our sense of ‘patriotism’ — in this vein, we are sold all sorts of emotional narratives about ‘freedom’, ‘democracy’, ‘liberty’, ‘duty’, ‘evil’, ‘tyranny’, etc..

It’s all bullshit but because of our tendency to defer to authority[13] and to identify with the elite we imagine it is ‘us’, the ‘average person’, that the ‘other’ hates and wants to fight[14]. We end up standing with our elite ruling class and support/cheerlead their pillaging of the nation’s treasury (both ‘wealth’ and natural resources) to engage in war…while it is them who are profiting given they own the industries and financial institutions that have to provide the ‘loans’ and armaments. It’s all based on lies and manipulation. It is a racket, plain and simple, just as US Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler argued[15].

In the meantime, it pushes us further into overshoot through its significant resource drawdowns and sink overloading — to say little about the environmental impacts should this go nuclear.

The best thing the vast, vast majority of us could do is not choose a ‘side’ but walk away from this insanity by not supporting it at all. Refuse to participate. Refuse to repeat their propaganda. Refuse their lies and manipulation. Don’t be a pawn in their game. Reduce drastically your consumption. Reduce your dependency upon long-distance supply chains. Relocalise as much as possible. Build your community’s self-sufficiency and -resiliency. Grow your own food. Trade with your neighbours. Support each other, not the ruling class whose interests and motivations have nothing to do with you, your family, or your local community (unless of course its sitting on natural resources they want).

Refuse to remain in the Matrix as much as possible.


[1] https://www.facebook.com/groups/460086781192413/posts/1213941985806885/

[2] Not that discussing cornucopian techno-fixes to our dependency upon fossil fuels with some is not — it can be very contentious, especially when one is attacked for being a fossil fuel shill/cheerleader for simply highlighting the problems that arise with alternative energy sources to fossil fuels.

[3] Although originally sung by The Temptations in 1969 and then rerecorded in 1970 featuring Edwin Starr, I personally was introduced to the song during my formative years of the 1980s and know it as a Frankie Goes to Hollywood one.

[4] Non-renewable, renewables is a term I have seen increasingly used by people to describe more accurately our energy harnessing technologies of solar photovoltaic, wind, and wave energy. The natural sources we are attempting to harness energy from are, for all intents and purposes, ‘renewable’ but the technologies used to harness and convert this energy to something humanity can use are not given their reliance upon finite resources, particularly the fossil fuel platform but also the many earth-based minerals that go into the components.

[5] From mining to mineral processing to transportation to reclamation and/or waste disposal, these complex energy-harvesting technologies require much in the way of finite resources and energy inputs, and add significantly to the overloading of our planetary sinks.

[6] See especially US Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler’s War is a Racket (https://ia802605.us.archive.org/29/items/WarIsARacket/WarIsARacket.pdf); but also https://www.nber.org/digest/jan05/economics-world-war-i; https://www.visionofhumanity.org/surprising-economic-benefits-peace/; https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/war-profiteering/; https://wri-irg.org/en/war-profiteering-and-co

[7] See Noam Chomsky’s Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance (https://archive.org/details/HegemonyOrSurvivalAmericasQuestForGlobalDominance/Hegemony%20Or%20Survival%20-%20America%27s%20Quest%20For%20Global%20Dominance/) and his book with Edward S. Herman, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (https://archive.org/details/pdfy-NekqfnoWIEuYgdZl).

[8] For an insightful, early look at the role of propaganda in the modern State, I would refer readers to Edward Bernays’s Propaganda (https://archive.org/details/BernaysPropaganda).

[9] https://www.vox.com/22900113/nato-ukraine-russia-crisis-clinton-expansion

[10] https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/06/03/how-why-us-government-perpetrated-2014-coup-ukraine/

[11] Claims and counter-claims about history and context, justifications and criticisms of events is common in such times.

[12] See ‘Patriotism’ and Manipulation of it by the State, that I wrote some years ago on the subject:

[13] Refer to social psychologist Stanley Milgram’s experiments on deference to authority: https://nature.berkeley.edu/ucce50/ag-labor/7article/article35.htm.

[14] Here I recommend Murray Rothbard’s Anatomy of the State for some insight: (https://cdn.mises.org/Anatomy%20of%20the%20State_3.pdf).

[15] War is a Racket (https://ia802605.us.archive.org/29/items/WarIsARacket/WarIsARacket.pdf)

Russia Calls Urgent UN Security Council Meeting To Condemn ‘Illegal’ US Strikes

Russia Calls Urgent UN Security Council Meeting To Condemn ‘Illegal’ US Strikes

Russia has condemned the Friday night large-scale US strikes on Syria and Iraq, saying it was an illegal ‘aggression’ and that an urgent United Nations Security Council meeting must be convened to address it.

Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Saturday of the American operation which killed some 40 people, including civilians, that it “once again demonstrated to the world the aggressive nature of US policy in the Middle East and Washington’s complete disregard for international law.”

AFP via Getty Images

According to TASS, “A UN Security Council meeting in connection with the US strikes is scheduled for February 5”; however, the UN has yet to confirm or publish details of the upcoming emergency session.

Additionally Moscow’s ambassador to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, said: “We just demanded an urgent sitting of the UN Security Council over the threat to peace and safety created by US strikes on Syria and Iraq.”

The Pentagon said it struck over 85 targets in Iraq and Syria, and there are likely more bombing waves to come in the next days.

In fresh Saturday remarks, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said “This is the start of our response.” Some unnamed US officials have even said the operation could continue for days or even weeks, in response to the Sunday drone attack on the Jordanian border base which killed three Americans.

While Russia has over several years repeatedly condemned US operations over Syria, and especially the troop occupation in the northeast, it has never responded with an anti-air intercept, or at least this has never been publicly disclosed.

But this remains a possibility so long as major US aerial operations continue. Russian jets and convoy patrols are present especially in Syria’s northwest, but have also been known to stretch near Deir Ezzor, the other side of which the Pentagon has a presence.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Israel, Gaza, and the Struggle for Oil

Israel, Gaza, and the Struggle for Oil

Aerial View of Haifa oil refineries. Photo: Meronim, CC BY-SA 4.0 Deed.

It was the sign that got to me. I was standing with protesters outside the Burlington (VT) City Hall at a rally organized by Jewish Voice for Peace. To my left I spotted a man, grim-faced and silent, holding aloft a piece of cardboard with these words scratched in black:

“Jews against Genocide.”

“So it has finally come to this,” I said to myself.

Why, I wondered, would Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Biden administration risk their standing in the world and ignore calls for a ceasefire? Did they have an unspoken agenda?

As  a chronicler of the endless post-9/11 wars in the Middle East, I concluded that the end game was likely connected to oil and natural gas, discovered off the coast of Gaza, Israel and Lebanon in 2000 and 2010 and estimated to be worth $500 billion. The discovery promised to fuel massive development schemes involving the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.

Also at stake was the transformation of the eastern Mediterranean into a heavily militarized energy corridor that could supply Europe with its energy needs as the war in Ukraine dragged on.

Here was the tinderbox waiting to explode that I had predicted in 2022. Now it was exploding before our very eyes. And at what cost in human lives?

Eastern Mediterranean, Oil and Gas Reserves

Map of the Eastern Mediterranean region showing the area included in the USGS Levant Basin Province assessment. Photo credit: USGS.

Reflections on the Israeli War on Gaza

The year 1975 was my last in beautiful, cosmopolitan Beirut, Lebanon, before it descended into 15 years of brutal civil war, killing 100,000 people.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Bloodbaths change the world – part 1

Bloodbaths change the world – part 1

The bloodbath in Israel will change the world. We wait for the facts before we write and take this incident as an opportunity to analyze bloodbaths of the past. Lies that changed the world – not for the better.

Introduction

The attack on Israel shocks anyone with a heart. The images defy description. Last weekend, Israelis were slaughtered, now it’s the Palestinians’ turn. Mindless revenge follows a seemingly mindless attack.

This is not the first time that images of a bloodbath have been burned into the consciousness of the world’s population, only to be exploited to stir up fear and justify wars that have claimed the lives of millions of civilians.

The situation is more than confusing. The parties: Israel, Hamas, Hezbollah, Lebanon, Palestinians, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and (as always) the United States. In addition to a Palestinian people who have been victimized for decades, there are countless candidates who offer themselves as backers.

The opinions now being passed around are based on emotions and not on facts. Nevertheless, within a very short time a big culprit must be found, who is suitable to be hated by the shocked public. The New York Times already found it last Sunday: Iran.

“If you don’t question everything, analysis leads to wrong results.”

Emotions are not suitable for analyzing geopolitics. We wait for facts, analyze, think and only then take up the pen.

In the meantime, we deal with events that were presented to the world population as facts, but were lies that changed our world forever for the worse.

We do this to cool and sharpen the reader’s eye. If you don’t question everything, analysis will lead to the wrong conclusion. However, questioning everything also means asking forbidden questions.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Bloodbaths Change the World – Part 2 – 9/11

Bloodbaths Change the World – Part 2 – 9/11

Before writing about Israel, an analysis of facts about 9/11 – a web of lies changed the world, enabled by abuse of emotions.

Introduction

Israel dominates the global media to an almost unseen extent. Only almost, because one event 22 years ago surpassed everything else in terms of media hype: 9/11. What both events have in common is that politicians and the media ruthlessly exploit people’s shock to achieve their goals or to generate clicks and thus rake in money. Most articles have one thing in common: they are based on emotions. We write about geopolitics. Geopolitical analyses must be based on facts. If the basis is emotionally charged, the analysis is worthless, regularly leads to false results and gives culprits and masterminds tools to work with, which they should not have under any circumstances.

In this second part of our series, we discuss this and more based on the most publicized terrorist attack of the 21st century.

In Part 1, we established that President Truman lied through the teeth not only to his own people but to the entire world by dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki not as claimed to save hundreds of thousands of American soldiers’ lives, but to show the world and Stalin who would be the master of the house after World War 2.

“Fundamental constitutional rights, have no more value than a membership in a tennis club”

For this marketing stunt, Truman cold-bloodedly sacrificed 200,000 Japanese, most of them civilians. His own people were emotionally well prepared for this atrocity. Since the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the American government and the media poisoned the soul of the Americans with the most vicious racist propaganda. This hate speech against everything Japanese allowed the American state, among other things, to put hundreds of thousands of American citizens with Japanese roots into concentration camps: American citizens, mind you.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

War, Peace, And That Other Thing.

War, Peace, And That Other Thing.

Understanding political violence.

I was thinking of writing something about Gaza this week, but frankly I don’t have the detailed knowledge of the region, nor for that matter experience of fighting in tunnels, to add to what’s already been said elsewhere. But reading some of this coverage made me realise, again, how little our society really understands and is prepared to acknowledge about the roots and purposes of political violence, and so I thought it might be interesting to discuss that subject, looping back to the current situation in Gaza at the end.

Let’s start with the obvious point that western Liberal society likes clear distinctions and opposites in all areas of life. We are a profoundly Aristotelian society: everything is either A or B, there is nothing in the middle. Because real life itself is messy, this produces endless complex and ultimately pointless arguments about precisely where to draw a dividing line, and whether this or that act or event or pronouncement is ultimately acceptable, or whether it should be rejected and cast into outer darkness. Thus, everything to do with the use of force in politics is presented in stark, opposed terms: war vs. peace, violence vs negotiations, conflict vs cooperation, and of course good vs. bad. And then we wonder why we cannot understand the world, and why the behaviour of many of its actors surprises us so often.

Most civilisations before the modern western era have not seen things this way, and quite a few still don’t. According to taste, we can follow the theories of Ian McGilchrist, arguing that we live in an epoch of dangerous left-brain domination, which sees everything in terms of binary opposites and infinitely detailed differences…

…click on the above link to read the rest…

The Cycle of Evil

THE CYCLE OF EVIL 

We are on the inevitable road to perdition for the world economy & financial system, ending in a potential global conflict of uncontrollable proportions. 

Evil begets evil as The Cycle of Evil hits countries at the end of an uncontrollable debt expansion.

The pattern throughout history has always been the same – countries and empires, without fail, become victims of their own success -failure, whether it was the Mongols, Ottomans or the British.

As real growth ceases, a country starts to finance expansion with debt until it cannot even afford the interest on the debt, never mind the capital which it has no intention to repay.

At some point, the people, fearing a war or terrorist attack will approve of the leader’s fear mongering by supporting unlimited debt issuance. This is now happening in the US with regard to Ukraine and Israel.

Neither the US nor Europe is taking a single step to remedy the situation. Both are now in the Cycle of Evil of more deficits, more debt, higher interest costs, leading to more deficits, more debt higher interest costs, leading to ……………..

The Cycle of Evil is also accompanied by decadence and moral decline where leaders invent problems that are not real such as climate change, ESG (environmental, social and governance), forced vaccines and incarcerations, 25 new genders and other woke issues etc. 

Few Americans understand that the next stage of the Cycle of Evil is about to hit them. 

And even fewer Europeans have a clue that they will be dragged down into the same debt collapse quagmire.

The next stage will involve many banks failing, more than the FDIC or government can afford to save without destroying both the Currency and the Bond Market,

A collapsing currency and sovereign debt paper that no investor wants to touch with a bargepole is hardly the right climate for massive debt issuance. 

…click on the above link to read the rest…

German Defense Chief Says Public Must Get Used To Possibility Of ‘War In Europe’

German Defense Chief Says Public Must Get Used To Possibility Of ‘War In Europe’

Starting last month, top Ukrainian officials began pushing an alarmist narrative that “world war 3 has already begun” – as the head Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council Aleksey Danilov had claimed in early September. The words were spoken after it became clear that Ukraine’s military was losing, and now Time magazine has confirmed the military doesn’t have the manpower to fight off the Russians. Naturally, Kiev must find new ways to draw in more direct support of key European powers.

“If somebody thinks that World War III hasn’t started then it’s a huge mistake. It has already begun. It had been underway in a hybrid period for some time and has now entered an active phase,” Danilov said before the Kiev Security Forum at the time (early Sept). More than a month later, some European leaders have begun to echo the same warning.

Significantly, this week Germany Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said in a media interview that German residents must start getting used to the idea of the specter of war in Europe.

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, via dpa/picture alliance

“We have to get used to the idea that there may be a threat of war in Europe,” he said in the national broadcast interview. “Germany must be able to defend itself. We must be prepared for war.”

He was responding to questions related to Germany being slow to rearmament itself in the wake of the Russian war in Ukraine, and now with the prospect of the Gaza-Israel conflict spilling over into broader Mideast regional war:

He believes that the conflict in the Middle East and Russia’s war against Ukraine shall have consequences for German society. In particular, Germany must be able to defend itself, and this applies to both the Bundeswehr and society.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CLVI–Peak Oil, Complexity, Psychology, Magical Thinking, and War

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CLVI

Mexico (1988). Photo by author.

Peak Oil, Complexity, Psychology, Magical Thinking, and War

Again, some sharing of my comments and others’ on a couple of recent FB Group posts.

First, a post from the Peak Oil Group I am a member of where some great conversations happen. In this particular situation, the comments were in response to my last Contemplation.

SH: I was with a group of technical people recently, engaged in conversation about a very wide range of issues, and when I pointed out that almost no one among engineers and entrepreneurs are striving to address future energy and resource needs, rather, the vast majority exhibit a myopic fixation toward devising increasingly complex ways to use up fossil hydrocarbons. Well… Some folks interrupted and pretty much drowned me out with a kind of “hear no evil” mantra, extolling the virtues of technology and human ingenuity. I don’t even think it was a conscious response, but a kind of unconscious impulse, an eruption of vocal energy resulting from cognitive dissonance. It seems apparent that humans are not psychologically equipped to handle large scale existential threats or crises. I guess what I’m suggesting is that it isn’t just elites who will kick the can down the road to maintain their status quo, but that pretty much everyone will respond to things like Peak Oil in a way that’s unquestionably irrational or egocentric in relation to the magnitude of the challenge. That’s my take on it anyway…

Me: SH, I completely agree. I suppose that’s one of the reasons I find the impact of our innate psychological mechanisms/processes so fascinating to explore and try to understand. I think a big part of our blindness to limits and the consequences of chasing the perpetual growth chalice is our ‘trust/faith’ in our various complex systems (and those who ‘control’ them). This has us engaging in significant magical thinking and believing that we can ‘adapt’ (via our technology and ingenuity) to the various predicaments we face. We cannot fathom that recent adaptations have run their course and we are on a dead-end trajectory. Psychology suggests our minds protect us from such anxiety-provoking thoughts regardless of the evidence to the contrary. It doesn’t matter what reality/facts/evidence demonstrates; it’s what we believe that rules.

PW: Steve Bull, Yes, extreme compartmentalism.

JR: Steve Bull, I started listening to a Derrick Jensen interview last night (suggested by a post here by Alice Friedman.) What I took from it is that it’s not human psychology in a vacuum. Different technologies have their own built-in ideologies that influence human ideologies. It was a bit esoteric, but it sort of made sense. Very interesting.

PW: JR, Yep, they have their religion, their science, their family, their whatever.

SH2: SH, what I’m wondering now is why is it possible (for governments, or anyone) to convince people en masse that it’s necessary to go off to war and likely be maimed and/or killed, and endure all the other hardships of war………… but it seems completely impossible (for governments, or anyone) to convince people en masse to put up with seemingly much milder forms of deprivation (like less luxurious lifestyles) in order to stave off collapse (and famine/death and eventually war leading to more famine, death, etc). ?

Me: SH2, The State profits from the war racket (and all the other growth rackets) but not economic contraction. They have no interest in convincing the masses to live more ‘sustainably’ since that would kill their golden geese.

SH2: Steve Bull, Agreed, but I think it must go deeper than that. Do soldiers signing up (not counting conscripts) not have any idea of what war is like? Assuming they do, why does the motive of sacrifice for the good of their society/country not apply in anywhere near the same level of commitment to non-war actions?

Me: SH2, It’s obviously very complex but perhaps part of it is the State’s ability to leverage our innate tribal instincts (i.e., sense of patriotism) and ramping up of the ‘othering’ that goes hand-in-hand with that, which influences a sense of ‘sacrifice for God and country’ that gets most to support war and the atrocities of it. When times are ‘tough’ there’s always some ‘other’ that can be dragged out to blame for things and our in-group versus out-group instincts drown out the critical aspects of such manipulations.

As for ‘sacrificing’ for the planet’s health and our long-term survival, these are minimised via the mainstream narratives about human ingenuity and technology being capable of countering such degradation, you know — we can ‘science’ our way out of any ‘problems’.

The forces of propaganda/marketing by the ruling elite are significant and impactful. They profit from war and from continued economic growth. They have zero interest in curtailing either of these insane and destructive pursuits and perhaps even less concern for our ecological systems — greenwashing everything to give the appearance of concern.

The ‘average’ person’s tendency to defer to authority/expertise leaves most following whatever trajectory a society’s ‘rulers’ set, and for the 10,000+ years of complex societies, these ‘influencers’ have prioritised that which sustains their revenue streams…war and expansion.

And to minimise the cognitive dissonance of the significant machinations and manipulations we are constantly exposed to, most go along to get along and parrot back the stories and help to cheerlead us over the impending cliff…

PW: Steve Bull, Very well stated Steve. I copied two sentences because of the clarity and preciseness of the logic. ……you know — we can ‘science’ our way out of any ‘problems.

PW: SH2, Part of it is the play on their testosterone, their need to be a hero outweighs many other considerations. I think that, yeah, they don’t know what they are doing.

PW: One play of the recruiters ‘they can sign up and join with their friends, they can all serve in the same unit. Well, no, as soon as they join they are split up with some never seeing their friends again. I watched one video of recruiters trying to sign some guys up and implying they could be like their favorite musical artist who had served in the military. They could join the musical military band like he did. The recruiters will lie about anything to get the signature on the line.

LM: SH, I’ve come across the same as this. Maybe it’s their fight mechanism in their brain. I suppose if you don’t know how to mitigate it with nature and low fuel consumption, you use the tools you think you have, even if you don’t really understand those tools. It’s laziness, ignorance and fear. Problem is, those responses adversely impact my daughters and their futures, along with all other children’s futures. So what are we to do? The only two ways to mitigate all this, infiltrate the political system or revolt against the existing system.

We don’t seem to be able to get past the leaders and elite. The ones that openly advertise that going back to a low fuel economy would take us back to the dark ages. Well yeah, maybe we’d have to go to bed the same time as birds mostly because of low fuel, there’s nothing dark about that, other than the dark night!

So so distant from nature. Crazy


Second, is this question/statement posed in the Degrowth Group I am a member of. I include it as it relates to issues raised above:

PJ: Do you think the worlds ‘elite’ might view climate change as being caused by having far too many slaves consuming ‘their’ planet’s resources? ( It seems strange how they really seem to be promoting world war three rather than attempting to promote peace) I bet most of them have their own nuclear bunkers. Do any of the worlds ‘leaders’ and elites actually see themselves as being ‘enemies’ or is it something they like to pretend to the people? To maintain their ‘system’ and their positions? They certainly like to keep telling us how other countries and people are our ‘enemies’.

Me: I don’t pretend to know what our ‘elite’ think or believe. I can only guess based upon some statements, their behaviours, and pre/historical evidence as to what others in their place seem to have done.

They don’t seem to agree on much and oftentimes disagree vehemently on things. This often makes them more concerned with their in-group and how to manipulate events amongst that restricted population as opposed to the masses. This is perhaps especially so across borders, and particularly with respect to regions rich in resources (mineral, labour, and capital).

They don’t appear to be overly concerned with the symptoms of ecological overshoot (anthropogenic climate impacts being one) except to leverage them in expanding their revenue streams and societal control mechanisms.

They appear to believe in the magical thinking weaved by ‘free’ market economists and infinite substitutability for declining resources, and that technology and human ingenuity can solve any pressing issue.

They do not appear to give two shits for the unwashed masses except as tax donkeys and labourers, but do attempt to appease them somewhat with bread, circuses, and soothing narratives (despite having the various protective services of private and public police/security/military, they do still fear reprisals from possible revolution by the masses — thus increasing mass surveillance and narrative management).

Perhaps they do fear a nuclear exchange, but many certainly (at least amongst the higher ups of the political and military classes, and possibly some other very influential individuals) have access to safe spaces where they believe they could avoid the worst of such an outcome.

But we need to also consider that war is a VERY profitable racket as Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler reminded us. And THE primary motivation of these people probably since the beginning of complex societies 10,000+ years ago has been control and expansion of the wealth-generation/-extraction systems that provide their revenue streams and thus positions of power and prestige.

Again and again throughout human pre/history our ruling elite have sacrificed their citizens and the environment to meet this important motivation. I see little evidence that our current iteration of elite is any different than the many that have preceded them and expedited their society’s collapse, especially through overreach in many areas.

And when haven’t the weapons of the day ever sat idle once things have gone sideways?

Homo sapiens are very intelligent story-telling apes, just not very wise.

Israel A ‘Nuclear Wildcard’ On ‘Dangerous Road To Armageddon’: Macgregor

Israel A ‘Nuclear Wildcard’ On ‘Dangerous Road To Armageddon’: Macgregor

Tucker Carlson sat down with Col. Douglas Macgregor (ret.), who laid out a disturbing scenario in which the United States could quickly be pulled into a direct conflict with Iran, Russia and China over Israel’s anticipated response to the October 7 Hamas attack.

Carlson starts off highlighting Lindsey Graham, who vowed; “…if Hezbollah, which is a proxy of Iran, launches a massive attack on Israel, I consider that a threat to the… state of Israel, existential in nature. I will introduce a resolution [in] the United States Senate to allow military action by the United States in conjunction with Israel to knock Iran out of the Oil Business…”

Carlson then asks: “So what would war with Iran mean? Well, it’s hard to know because virtually no one who’s talking about it in public is operating from a deep interest in America’s interest. Is this good for us, or is it not?

If, as Sen. Graham suggests, we start bombing critical infrastructure in Iran, Macgregor warns “the destruction would be wholesale” as Iran would target “all the bases we have in Iraq and Syria – with around 1000 Americans – would be targeted… and this time accurately.

According to Macgregor, “The chosen destination” if we continue on this path, “is Armageddon,” and the implications (of which nobody seems to be considering) for the United States, Europe, and the Middle East are grave. For example, “just on the economic side, about 20% of the world’s oil passes through the Straits of Hormuz every month – probably 25% of liquefied natural gas, and you’re talking about shutting down 2 to three million barrels a day of oil from Iran. 

“You know this entire region is involved in the war. This is not an Iranian Monopoly by any stretch of the imagination,” he continued.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Debt, Currency Debasement & War—The Timeless Pillars of Failure

Debt, Currency Debasement & War—The Timeless Pillars of Failure

Below, we follow the breadcrumbs of simple math and bond market signals toward an oft-repeated pattern of how once-great nations become, well…not so great any more.

Debt Destroys Nations

Debt, once it passes the Rubicon from extreme to just plain madness, destroys nations.

Just ask the former Spanish, British or Dutch empires. Or ask the inter-war Germans. Ask the Yugoslavians of the 1990’s or ask a historian of Ancient Rome or a merchant in modern Argentina.

It’s all pretty much the same story, just different a different stage or curtain call.

Like Hemingway’s description of poverty, the process begins slowly at first, and then all at once.

Part of this process involves currency debasement needed to pay down more desperate issuance of IOUs, a process evidenced by rising rather than “transitory” inflation.

Thereafter, comes increased social unrest, and hence increased centralization from the political left or right in the name of “what’s best for us.”

Sound familiar?

Centralization—The Last, Failed Act

Centralization never works in the long run, but that has never stopped opportunists from trying.

Just look at our central bankers.

In a centralized rather than free market, the very name “central bank” should be a dead give-away as to their real role and profile.

As private central banks have been slowly increasing their hidden power and control over national markets and hence national welfare, the very notion of free price discovery in bonds, and indirectly in stocks, is now all but an extinct financial creature in the neo-feudalism which long ago replaced genuine capitalism.

How the Central Game is Played—From Temporary Prosperity to Permanent Ruin

When central banks like the Fed repress rates and print gobs and gobs of money, bonds are artificially supported, which means their prices go up and their yields are compressed.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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