The Week the World Changed: Feb. 2, 2020

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by Anthony Freda

Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on February 2, 2020

“Men in general are quick to believe that which they wish to be true.”

 ― Julius Caesar  

Certain weeks in history resonate with a significance not always understood at the time, but made clearer as the days pass into months, years, and into history. The week of October 14,1066 the Battle of Hastings was fought, leading to the Norman conquest of England and the end of Anglo-Saxon rule. During the week of April 12,1861, Pierre Beauregard ordered the shelling of Fort Sumter, and with that act of sedition the beginning of America's Civil War.  The week of June 28, 1914 a Bosnian separatist assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the presumptive Hapsburg heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, and touched off a series of events that led to the first World War. One could make a case that the past week may join them in the ranks of infamy: the US Senate, for all intents and purposes, elevated a king; Great Britain left the European Union; and the Wuhan coronavirus, an agent of uncertain communicability but established lethality, was making its way across the globe via air routes. 

After his return to Rome and settling the resultant civil war, Julius Caesar, noting the ranks of the Roman Senate had been depleted, appointed many new senators, partisans all. In this way did Caesar grease the skids for the exercise of unlimited power, to be checked only by one of history's most famous assassinations.The Senate had elevated Julius Caesar to "dictator in perpetuity" among the various titles and honors the Senate bestowed upon him, one month before his assassination in February, 44 BC.

This week we witnessed another wholly co-opted legislative body render itself impotent and hold another executive beyond the reach of law and accountability, as it decided to not entertain witnesses at Trump's impeachment trial. WaPo reports the Senate set to acquit Trump next week after bid for witnesses is defeated. Retiring 79-year old Lamar Alexander gave the game away when he folded his chin-stroking concerns. Lisa Murkowski did likewise. All 47 Democrats and two Republicans, Mitt Romney and Susan Collins, vote in favor of hearing witnesses in an impressive display of party loyalty.

Alexander thus explained himself:

I worked with other senators to make sure that we have the right to ask for more documents and witnesses, but there is no need for more evidence to prove something that has already been proven and that does not meet the United States Constitution's high bar for an impeachable offense. There is no need for more evidence to prove that the president asked Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter; he said this on television on October 3, 2019, and during his July 25, 2019, telephone call with the president of Ukraine. There is no need for more evidence to conclude that the president withheld United States aid, at least in part, to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens; the House managers have proved this with what they call a "mountain of overwhelming evidence."

But so what? Just to make sure you didn't miss it: Alexander (and the other Senate Rs) hold that bribery, extortion and misappropriating Congressionally allocated funds for foreign aid is A-OK. Likewise foreign interference in Presidential elections: the door is wide open. Alexander acknowledged the illegality of Trump’s actions while also concluding that those actions don't meet the standard for removal. He said there was no need to call witnesses, because the Democrats had already proved the facts of their case against Trump. It just wasn't impeachment-worthy.

One wonders what would be. It is clear, as The Guardian observed, Even a smoking gun would not be enough. House lawyers like Alan Dershowitz argued that if the President thinks that his actions are in the national interest, he can get away with anything that crosses his mind. Thus the unitary executive dream of Richard Nixon is realized: "If the President does it, it can't be illegal." The Trump team has out-brazened Nixon in withholding evidence, ignoring subpoenas, alternately bribing and intimidating jurors, and extending "executive privilege" well past all previous limits. And the Senate has effectively signed off on this, placing Trump beyond accountability or consequence.

One recognizes that A Trial Without Witnesses Is No Trial at All. Senate Republicans were quite clear that no amount of evidence was going to oblige them to remove an active felon from office, because judges, abortion, Israel, and most importantly, that sweet, sweet boodle flowing in from billionaire bunkers, Las Vegas casinos and St. Petersburg banks, all of it flowing over the body politic like a steady, soothing stream of warm urine.

In the New Yorker, Susan Glasser put the Senate out of its misery with a fine article, The Senate Can Stop Pretending Now.

Alexander’s late-night statement was no real surprise. The “closest friend” to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell—as McConnell made sure to point out to the Times, earlier this week—Alexander ended up where most Senate Republicans were always expected to end up. He criticized Trump but refused to vote to remove him from office. After making that decision, Alexander went a step further and said that there was no real need to hear any of the evidence that Trump has so far successfully ordered his Administration not to provide. Even the last-minute revelation, on Sunday night, in the Times, of Bolton’s unpublished manuscript, could not sway Alexander; he knew enough.

When your mind is made up, who needs additional evidence? One marvels at the way that fear of Trump has knuckled these solons. Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy noted on TV that there appeared to be two impeachment trials: for Democrats, one about Trump's crimes; and for Republicans, one about the malfeasances of the "deep state" and the "fake news media." Apparently "laws" only account when Repugs can use them as weapons on Dems. And while on the subject of "laws," let's not forget that Rand Paul, that human pustule with a bad toupee, tried to work the alleged whistle-blower’s name into a question on the Senate floor. John Roberts woke from his otherwise deep sleep to have none of that. So Paul took to a press conference and to Twitter to reveal the whistleblower's supposed identity. That used to be a crime.

And Charlie Pierce, in Lamar Alexander Has Ushered in the Age of Fearful Men, gets it exact:

Late Thursday night, Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, pretty much sank the effort to have witnesses testify in the impeachment trial of the president, and Alexander did so in a statement that is going to go down in the annals of unmitigated weaselspeak…  

Alexander is being a poltroon on so many different levels here. In addition to arguing that a guilty president* is guilty but should go unpunished, Alexander is claiming that the solution to a ratfcked election is to hope the next one isn’t ratfcked. Good Christ, what a waste of a handsome piece of office furniture in the Senate chamber this man has turned out to be.

As your government slips away as surely as a cabal murdered Caesar, keep in mind thst Trump and his minions have orchestrated a limited TV series for a remarkably uninformed audience: According to the Annenberg Civics Knowledge Survey, 1 in 5 Americans can’t name single branch of U.S. government. Other findings:

  • In 2019, 2 in 5 Americans (39%) were able to name all three branches of government.
  • More than half of Americans (55%) correctly said it’s inaccurate to state that people who are in the U.S. illegally do not have any rights under the Constitution. In other words, that people who are in the U.S. illegally do have some rights under the Constitution.
  • More than a third of those surveyed (37 percent) cannot name any of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.

When my daughter was in high school, I was astonished to learn that she had NOT had a civics class. Apparently some of what we used to learn in civics is covered in "US History," and we all know how well history classes were taught. By high school football coaches reading from an open textbook. So a majority of people taking their place as adults have no idea how the government is supposed to work. And they vote. Enjoy your republic.

In Brexit news, The UK has now left the European Union, after 47 years inside the bloc. The Prime minister, a lower-octane Trump, rang the gong celebrating his own success and pledged to make no concessions to the EU in negotiating necessary trade deals as he salutes ‘a turning point in the life of our nation.’ And on Brexit day one: Johnson went for broke with hardline trade deal.

No sooner had the union jacks been lowered in Brussels and Strasbourg, after 47 years of tortured British membership, than Boris Johnson was preparing to launch the UK into yet another uncompromising battle with the remaining 27 nations of the European Union.

As he hit the gong with glee, he was just flexing his muscles for more combat with the UK’s now ex-partners. There now begins an 11-month transition period during which the prime minister and his government will face the herculean task of securing a future trading and security relationship with the EU. If there is no deal by 31 December, the UK will face a cliff-edge descent into the economic unknown.

Here is a summary of the yesterday’s events: 

You might be surprised to learn that, as the Wuhan coronavirus has claimed more than 300 people in China, and several Chinese cities, including Wuhan, are under lockdown and quarantine, China has erected a hospital in Wuhan to deal with the emergency in nine days. Cases have popped up all over the world via air travelers from China.Meanwhile, here at home, the United States has never been less prepared for a pandemic. Laurie Garrett in Foreign Policy reported that Trump Has Sabotaged America’s Coronavirus Response—not just for the public but for the government itself, which largely finds itself in the dark.

In 2018, the Trump administration fired the government’s entire pandemic response chain of command, including the White House management infrastructure. In numerous phone calls and emails with key agencies across the U.S. government, the only consistent response I encountered was distressed confusion. If the United States still has a clear chain of command for pandemic response, the White House urgently needs to clarify what it is.

In a cost-cutting fury in spring of 2018, The Trump administration, reduced $15 billion in national health spending, slashed staffing and the global disease-fighting operational budgets of the CDC, NSC, DHS, and HHS. The sort of wasteful expense that gets in the way of tax cuts for the rich.

In 2017 and 2018, the philanthropist billionaire Bill Gates met repeatedly with Bolton and his predecessor, H.R. McMaster, warning that ongoing cuts to the global health disease infrastructure would render the United States vulnerable to, as he put it, the “significant probability of a large and lethal modern-day pandemic occurring in our lifetimes.” And an independent, bipartisan panel formed by the Center for Strategic and International Studies concluded that lack of preparedness was so acute in the Trump administration that the “United States must either pay now and gain protection and security or wait for the next epidemic and pay a much greater price in human and economic costs.”

The Trump administration has appointed a 12-member "blue-ribbon" commission led by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, the former pharmaceutical lobbyist and pharma CEO. No idea how this task force will function or when it will even meet. This ad hoc group[ is supposed to fulfill the function of lashing together the efforts of a number of different organizations and management layers. 

Bess Levin reported in Vanity Fair that from the guy who brought you attacking another country as “after-dinner entertainment” and furloughed government employees unable to afford food should “take out a loan,” comes this:

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Thursday that the coronavirus outbreak in China will help “accelerate the return of jobs to North America.”

“Well, first of all, every American’s heart has to go out to the victims of the coronavirus. So I don’t want to talk about a victory lap over a very unfortunate, very malignant disease. But the fact is, it does give businesses yet another thing to consider when they go through their review of their supply chain,” Ross said during an interview with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo….

The virus has killed more than 100 people and sickened thousands, and while the cases are mostly concentrated in China, it has been detected in more than a dozen other countries, including the U.S.

Happy days are here again. So we've got that going for us.

banksy 07-flower-thrower-wallpaperSurly1 is an administrator and contributing author to Doomstead Diner. He is the author of numerous rants, screeds and spittle-flecked invective here and elsewhere. He lives a quiet domestic existence in Southeastern Virginia with his wife Contrary. Descended from a long line of people to whom one could never tell anything, all opinions are his and his alone, because he paid full retail for everything he has managed to learn.

Brexit means Brexit? Not if the Eunatoed States of America has anything to do with it.

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Published on the The Slog on August 21, 2016

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Mesnip29616HM Sloop Brexit should be sailing the high seas in search of new trading links beyond the European Union and its dysfunctional currency, economic and fiscal policies. But if Theresa MayorMaynot (and the people she represents) get their way, the less than seaworthy sloop of salvation will stay in port, making only occasional day trips to Ostend. Eight macro events may yet foil the plan to sabotage Brexit, but none of them are going to emanate from the Mayflower crew.

When it comes to Brexit, things seem to be moving along very nicely. If you voted Remain, that is. In just 48 hours, it will be exactly two months since The Historic Shock Vote. This is the current state of play:

  • The woman who acts as Commander in Chief is a Remaindeer. The man with his hands on the purse strings is a Remaindeer. The woman in charge of the security services is a Remaindeer who’s only been in the House for five years. She’s supposed to be working out a points system for immigrants in the light of Brexit. The Commander in chief keeps her in a pocket, under a thumb.
  • The Brexiteers have been given the job of squabbling with each other. Thus far, Boris Johnson, Liam Fox and David Davies are making a fine job of it. To ‘help’ him in his task of securing Brexit, Davies has been given a smaller office with fewer staff than anyone else in the Cabinet.
  • Although it is of course far too early to tell, all the business, trade and employment data since Brexit has been positive; the EU – in stark contrast – faces major political, fiscal and trade crises in Spain, Italy and France respectively. In the light of this, the Pound is falling (what else?) just as all those holidaymakers go away and discover how expensive it is in the US and Europe.
  • Every business medium around the world – with the honorable exception of the Wall Street Journal – continues to treat Brexit as a global economic disaster of inestimable proportions, despite the fact that a first year secondary school kid could do the maths to show that Japan, China and Italy are infinitely more dangerous and immediate problems.
  • Theresa Queen of the Mayflower and her crew have pissed away 57 days during which the official Brexit process has moved forward not one millimetre. Both old and new media are full of trolls declaring Article 50 to be irrelevant, but that is not credible for one simple reason: there is no way a group of control freaks like the EC would have put it in the Lisbon Treaty if there was no point to it. More damning is the complete absence of any logical or halfway convincing reason why the application hasn’t been made. Brexit, after all, means Brexit. Well, so they keep saying anyway.
  • Either way, every time Cap’n Theresa signals to her fleet that Article 50 will probably be triggered around, oooh, March 2019, there’s a leak from the Brexiteers….and then the bumboys at the Telegraph are briefed to reassure the 52% (for we are the 52%) that actually no, it will be done before March 31st 2017. This, as you will know by now, is a date of no importance whatsoever – but nevertheless has an uncanny habit of turning up over and over again.




What’s going on?

Let’s rewind the tape to a Slogpost of January 11th this year, in which I wrote this:


I very rarely write statements as definitive as that, because too often they quickly become hostages to fortune. But it was based on sources in Brussels, Westminster and Washington and the information was solid: you will not be allowed to leave.

There was, I suspect, nothing wrong with the information – which two out of three sources described as ‘common knowledge’. Indeed, the Washington source insists that the emails of a certain H. Clinton do (or did) make reference to the facts as laid out before me.

The facts were right, but my interpretation was wrong. I was, to be frank, a bit thick about what they were driving at: I assumed electoral rigging.

Perhaps that was indeed considered, but then rejected as unecessary – I don’t know. Certainly, the result came as a bombshell in Whitehall, where absolutely zero work had been done on what to do if Cameron lost the Referendum.

However, Our Man in Brussels (not that senior, as I’ve said before) remains unshakeable. And in the last 72 hours, he has reaffirmed what he first told me at the turn of the year: “It will not be allowed to happen”.

Among the upper ranks of UKIP and Tory Leavers, there remains a fatalistic clarity about what will (or rather, won’t) happen now.

Pro-Brexit Tory leadership candidate Leadsom has been suitably scared off, and the Conservative grassroots denied their chance to vote for her. The Blair/Campbell PR axis is pulling out all the stops to get at best lukewarm Remain doubter Jeremy Corbyn ousted as Labour Leader, and corporate stooge Owen Smith installed as his replacement.

Meanwhile, the mini-sloop Brexit sits in dock with its anchor firmly attached to the bottom. And apart from the odd cruise trip designed to give the illusion of action, that is exactly where it will stay.

Unless, that is, one or more of the following events occur:

  1. Donald Trump becomes President of the US
  2. Marine Le Pen becomes President of France
  3. Deutsche Bank finally crashes
  4. The Italian banking system collapses
  5. A Japanese meltdown triggers a rates panic
  6. The Fed gives rates another hike in September
  7. The Dutch vote to leave the EU
  8. Brazil defaults on its debts.

As the Buddhists say, all things must pass, everything is connected, nothing lasts forever. I would venture to suggest that the Pieces of Eight above will sooner or later do for globalist neoliberalism and financialised capitalism. At which point, the EU will be swept away, and Brexit – along with Article 50 – will cease to be issues of any importance.

Stay tuned.

They Live!

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on July 10, 2016

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Prior to reading the screed below, I suggest watching the two videos above to get a better understanding of the whos, hows & whens of the founding of the European Union.


Old Nazis never die, they just go into economics.

The outcome of the Brexit Vote and its aftermath over the following week caused me to do something I don't do that often, which is to actually do some RESEARCH, rather than just shooting from the hip on what I think is going on just based on seat of the pants observations of history over the course of my lifetime.  That lifetime is so far decently long by Homo Sap standards historically speaking, I'm moving up on 60 years walking the earth now.  However, that only takes me back to 1957, and those first few years I was of course pretty oblivious to Global Politics, with these issues only beginning to hit my consciousness with the assassination of JFK when I was 6 years old.

I got a decent enough intro to politics and history from the POV of approved Western Academia and Pundits during my undergraduate years at Columbia University in their required 2 semester course in Contemporary Civilizations.  Here you were required to read all the great works of people like Hume, Locke, Descartes, Machiavelli, Nietze, Aquinas, St. Augustine etc, etc, etc.  I confess to NOT reading all their seminal books cover to cover during this period, and often relied on the Cliff Notes to prep up for the exams. lol.  I was a SCIENCE major afterall, not a History major!  In terms of budgeting my time for studying, it seemed more important back then to concentrate on biochemistry, mathematics and physics, the important topics for what I thought would be my future career.  Also getting laid was a very important priority cutting into my study time.  lol.

I did however gain at least a passing knowledge of the Western/European version of history as it was being passed out in Ivy League Universities back in the 1970s, which generally seemed to promote Democracy as the great end result of all this philosophical nonsense, although Machiavelli seemed to argue against that idea, and so did Nietze.  Even so though, at the time I just didn't see a real close connection with current events of the day to ideas and shit that was published 200 or 300  or even 1000 years earlier, and stood the "test of time" as Great Works you needed to be familiar with in a good Liberal Arts Education.

Notably ABSENT from this seemingly endless parade of Great Works (and you had to read at least one of them a week AND write some kind of comprehensible paper based on the book) was anything that covered fairly RECENT history, like from around 1900-1970 at that time.  The only things I knew about WWI and WWII came from Hollywood Movies, glorifying the exploits of CMH winning HEROES like Sargeant Alvin York in WWI (portrayed by Gary Cooper in Sgt. York) and Audie Murphy in WWII (portrayed by Audie Murphy himself in "To Hell & Back").  So it waited many years here before I began to get some clue as to what REALLY went on during this period.

Have you ever seen a more blatant piece of War Propaganda?  Do you really think Audie Murphy was the Arnold Schwartzenneger/Bruce Willis/Sylvester Stallone Superrman Hollywood made hime out to be?

While I was floating along in blissful ignorance of this period for 40 years from 1970 to 2010 or so, there have been Historians going back into the records to look at who did what and when, and what sort of political outcomes and institutions we got out of that clusterfuck.

Among the most interesting outcomes of this to me now because of the ongoing clusterfuck in Europe in the aftermath of the Brexit is the founding of the European Union.  Where did that piece of shit come from, who is responsible for it and what are the principles upon which this "Union" rests?

As it turns out, the EU was born in Nazi Germany even before the end of WWII.  The principles and the constitution were all written prior to the supposed "defeat" of Fascism in Europe, and the folks who wrote this material also retained power long after the defeat of the Nazis on the military battlefield, well into the 1950s for this generation of Nazis.  Mainly German & Belgian politicians. (see the above videos at the top of the article for the full list of scumbags)

The EU Constitution as it exists today is completely anti-democratic, and this can be observed by the fact they repeatedly ignore Referendums of the people themselves and consistently undermine both national sovereignty as well as some "Human Rights" Amerikans typically take for granted like Habeus Corpus, the right to Trial by Jury, and the legal principle of Innocent Until Proven Guilty. First off, we KNOW that Prescott Bush, Father and Grandfather respectively to 2 of our post WWII POTUSes laundered money for the Nazi Party.  By itself, their combined 16 year rule covers a nice chunk of the post-WWII period.  We also KNOW that the Clintons are servants of the Bilderberg Group, they've been card carrying members of that bunch of Fascists since their days in Arkansas.

Really though, you don't need to know ANY of this History if you just observe the OUTCOMES over time here.  Knowing the history does verify many aspects, but the progress has been right out there for everyone to witness over these years.

First of all, let us look at the end of WWII.  The Big Demon himself Adolf Hitler committed Suicide with Ava Braun in the Berlin Bunker, and so like Osama Bin Ladin, the Big Demon was Dead.  However, the Industrialists who funded Hitler needed to get rebuilt here, and with the exception of the IG Farben conglomerate being dissected up, all the industrialists in charge of the subsidiary companies remained in their positions, and with the exception of a few egregious scapegoats like Adolf Eichmann at the Nuremberg trials, the Elite in Germany post WWII was exactly the same as the Elite that signed up with Hitler and the 3rd Reich. Here in the FSoA, we imported many of the Nazi Scientists like Werner Von Braun to help us develop more and better missiles with which to deliver the wonderful new War Toy of the Atomic Bomb.  Werner is the same guy who developed the V-2 Rockets which rained down the Death From Above over London of course, but he was never held responsible for that.

In the words of Tom Lehrer…

Vonce da Rockets go UP
Who cares vere dey come DOWN
That's not my department
Says Werner Von Braun


So as you can see here, although we ostensibly defeated Nazi Germany in WWII, Nazism and Fascism never really died, it simply went under cover through politics & economics.  The EU as an Economic Union was created by Industrialists, for Industrialists, and it was built up over decades of time, one increment at a time with the Final Goal the very same Pan-European Goobermint led by Germans that the Nazis had tried and failed to put together militarily, mostly because they foolishly took on the Ruskies at the same time they were trying to conquer Europe.

Fast forward to today, and what is truly remarkable here is that traditionally left wing websites and pundits SUPPORT the European Union, which is exactly the type of Fascist organization that they were battling AGAINST in the Spanish Civil War and then against Mussolini and Hitler in WWII following that.  In fact the whole Brit Labor party is fracturing precisely because as a party they were pro-Bremain, but their chief Jeremy Corbyn was insufficiently enthusiastic about this choice.

Now, the argument made in favor of the European Union is that it brought Peace & Prosperity to Europe for 70 years since the end of WWII, which is probably the longest period of Peace that continent has had since the Dawn of Agriculture.  How did they accomplish this mighty feat?  By exporting War & Poverty to the 3rd World, that's how! The European Union is the Political arm of Fascism in Europe, just as NATO is the Military arm of Fascism.  Although the main Power Base for Fascism moved to Washington in the post-WWII years, NATO and the EU were created as a means for German Nazi Industrialists and Banksters to secure their hold over the continent, supported by FSoA Nazis like the Bush family.  In both locations in the post-WWII years, both Europe and the FSoA experienced an unprecedented level of prosperity, but this was accomplished by the progressive rape of resources from South America, Africa and the Middle East.  About the only folks who did not get their resources raped at least at the beginning were the Ruskies and the Chinese.

To keep from being raped, the Ruskies went step for step in military buildup with NATO, the EU and the FSoA in the "Cold War", but sadly for them their credit card limit wasn't as high, eventually bankrupting them.  Francis Fukuyama took this opportunity to declare this the "End of History", with the FSoA and its Allies the big winners here after thousands of years of warfare.

The Chinese took another tactic, instead of letting the West rape them or attempting to go toe to toe militarily, they raped themselves!  In cooperation with the international industrialists, they turned China into the world's foremost industrial sewer, bred up a generation of one child policy slaves and worked up a huge stash of UST worthless toilet paper in return for this self-sacrifice.

In the course of this post war history, one political system got completely wiped off the map in political discourse, FASCISM.  There were no more Fascist Goobermints ANYWHERE!  Fascism was DEFEATED!  All that was left for a while were Evil COMMUNISTS!  After the Soviet Union imploded and the Chinese turned into Slaves, there were no more Political Systems left to vanquish.

However, what was the victorious Political System?  Well see, Fascism/Nazism earned a real bad Brand Name as a result of WWII, so what we have is not called Fascism, it has been Re-Branded.  Now it comes under the Brand Names of Neo-Liberalism and Neo-Conservatism, which basically are one in the same thing.  You also see all sorts of rebranding of "Capitalism", attempting to distinguish "good" Capitalism from "bad" Capitalism.  "Free Market" Capitalism = Good, Crony Capitalism & Corporatism = Bad.  With no good Communist states to bash now also, "Socialism" has become the newest Punching Bag, and the whole current failure here is being blamed not on the Fascism we have been living under since WWII, no it's Socialism that is responsible for this! lol.

Another big problem with Fascism is that people seem to have a real hard time with defining what Fascism actually is in practice.  Most people tend to associate it with virulent racism and xenophobia, not as an economic system which enriches the few at the expense of the many.  In truth, it is basically the mirror image of Communism, a reverse Robin Hood system of steal from the poor to give to the rich.  This is precisely what has occured over the years since WWII ended.

Big-LieFor the first few years of this, inside the FSoA and Europe, this did not seem to be the case.  Most people in these countries (with the notable exception of the underclasses like Blacks in Amerika) experienced a rising standard of living, and were sold also that everyone around the world was being "lifted out of poverty".  On the latter, this just was one BIG LIE.  Sure more people got electric lights and other gizmos, but huge gaps developed in the 3rd world between Haves and Have Nots.  Huge Slums developed in places like Rio De Janeiro Brazil, Calcutta India and Lagos Nigeria.  Enormous slums like these never existed before, people lived out in the countryside doing subsistence farming.  By "modern" Western standards they were rural poor yes, but at least they could feed themselves and at least they weren't packed like rats into congested slums.  This was NOT an improvement of standard of living for these folks, even though the GDP figures for Brazil or India or Nigeria appeared to be going up over the period.

So here in the FSoA and over in Europe, a generation of people including myself grew up in ignorant bliss, believing many falsehoods that were regurgitated over and over in our schools and across the media.  We were taught to believe that our armies were protecting our Democracy, when what they were really doing is protecting Corporate profits.  In the words of Gen. Smedley Butler.. .

How many of you ever even HEARD of Smedley Butler in any HS or College History class?  I never did, and I went to really top level schools!  I only found out about Smedley Butler during my last decade researching the roots of collapse.  Smedley was likely the greatest HERO we have ever had in the FSoA, he actually stood tall against the Banksters when he got it all figured out.

Then of course there was the material written about both the Bilderbergers and the Tri-Lateral Commission in the 1960s & 1970s.  Carroll Quigley published his seminal work "Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in our Time" in 1966, and laid out explicitly what was going on behind the scenes, but was this ever recommended reading in any of your History classes?  It never got on any of my reading lists, although certainly there was endless material there to read from people who had been dead for over 200 years.  You were kept so occupied reading all this old shit, none of the material really IMPORTANT to understanding what was going on ever got discussed. So for 99.99% of the population both in the FSoA and Eurotrashland, we were all completely unaware of the Triumph of Fascism in WWII, and sold on the idea we lived in a "Democracy".  What the Fascist Elite had learned was that as long as you put up the Window Dressing of Democracy but controlled the Marionettes running for office, you could get whatever you wanted enacted into law. It never mattered which political party was in "power", Tory or Labor, Republican or Democrat. As long as the money and bennies were flowing pretty freely through Western society, Joe Six Pack in the FSoA and Francoise Cheap Wine in France were happy to believe everything was getting better for everybody!  More cool electronics coming out all the time.  COLOR Televisions!  Muscle Cars!  Transistor Radios!  Walkmans! Personal Computers!  For a while there, it was a new toy every week coming out of Japan!  And like everyone else, I just HAD to have one of these new toys every time they got issued out.  To live was to buy & consume.

Meanwhile though, the War and Rape of the earth necessary to produce all those toys never stopped.  We had Korea and then Vietnam, which incidentally started as a French Colonial War, the FSoA just took it over after the Frogs ran out of gas.  Wars in the Middle East also non stop through the period, you had Israel-Egypt in the 60s right through to Desert Storm and now the War on Terror, which is undefined in location or country, but exists everywhere and is a danger to all good Westerners everywhere too, so be afraid, be VERY AFRAID.

Debt_VolcanoUpping the FEAR level and upping the military engagements overseas through the Bush-Obama period kept the economy rolling in the west.  The Huge Debts generated by the non-stop war translates to more money flowing through the economy, because in this economic system, DEBT=MONEY!  It works too, until you reach an inflection point and the resources you can acquire through war are less than the cost of the war, and this has been the case for at least the last decade, although possibly longer than that.

The result of this is increasing economic difficulty, both in the nations that are being bombed and the nations doing the bombing.  In fits and starts, the total economy is contracting, and that is making funding all the social welfare programs more difficult, and racking up enormous debts as countries working under the system attempt to maintain the standard of living they enjoyed while it all was going swimmingly well.  One by one, they all fall off the cliff, and Failed States pop up all over the globe like Mushrooms in Kennet Square PA on a damp morning.

In the First World countries, this problem is now manifesting itself as Political Lockup.  It is not just the Tories & Labor in the UK and the Repugnants-Democreeps in the FSoA that are split and can't gain a controlling majority, this is true in MANY of these Nation-States now.  Oz has this problem, so does Spain, so does Austria, and I suspect just about any country that holds a "Democratic" election nowadays will experience the same phenomenon.  There is a polarization in the populations, no party can present a workable solution to the problems faced and so "Democracy" fails this way.  Because if no Democratically elected Goobermint can solve the problems, some other form of Goobermint crops up.

What we hear now from some intellectuals in the Elite is that the People have to be saved from themselves, if they can't make the "right" decisions, then it is up to the Elite to make the decision FOR them.  Which of course, getting back to the European Union, is precisely what this organization is designed to do!  A Goobermint of Nazis, by Nazis and for Nazis.  According to James Traub, it is time for the Elites to RISE UP against the Ignorant Masses!

Did I say “ignorant”? Yes, I did. It is necessary to say that people are deluded and that the task of leadership is to un-delude them. Sadly of course, Nazi-lites like Traub don't have a conventionally palatable solution to resource depletion and population overshoot either, but they could of course resurrect their old "Final Solution".  Death Camps are not something Nazis advertise, even the old Nazis didn't call Auschwitz a "Death Camp", it was a "Work Camp".  What about today's Nazis?  Are they running Death Camps?  Yes they are, and in Plain Sight too and on a much bigger scale!

Today, entire countries are being turned into Death Camps.  Turkey is the largest one, but Greece is quickly catching up.  They aren't called Death Camps of course, they are called "Refugee Welcome Centers".  They don't have Gas Chambers & Ovens that we know of as of yet, but are those really necessary?  The conditions in these Welcome Centers are atrocious.  Malnutrition and Disease will do the killing job just as well as Zyclon-B did for IG Farben given just a bit of time to get rolling.  Doctors Without Borders has already reported that the Death Rate in some of the African Refugee Camps is already horrendously high, as many as 5 children/day reported in Sudan in 2012 and likely higher now.

AUGUST 2, 2012—Sudanese refugees living in appalling conditions in camps in South Sudan are falling ill and dying at rates alarmingly above accepted international standards for emergencies, the medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) warned today.

Epidemiological data gathered by MSF in refugee camps in South Sudan reveal an average of five children dying per day in Yida camp in Unity State, home to 55,000 refugees. One in three children was found to be malnourished in Batil camp in Upper Nile State, where MSF is treating 1,200 severely malnourished children. Flooded terrain and inadequate sanitation are the main contributors to the devastating health conditions, MSF said.

“The number of children dying in Yida camp is appalling, and the high number of children in our feeding program in Batil camp is just the tip of the iceberg,” said André Heller-Pérache, MSF head of mission. “The majority of patients in both camps are malnourished children, who are further weakened from diarrhea, malaria, or respiratory infections, and quickly enter a vicious circle of illness leading to further complications and death. Our medical teams are working round the clock in desperate conditions trying to save lives.”


How long before the Death Rate in the Turkish and Greek Refugee Camps reaches these levels?  Or is it already there?  We'll never know the truth of this until long after the fact, just as the general German population did not know the truth of Buchenwald, Bergen-Belsen & Auschwitz until after WWII, and that was only because they lost the War.  Had they been victorious in that war, this history never would have been written.  The victors write the history of course. So then why did the Closet Nazis who founded the European Union allow the History of the Holocaust to be written?  Because in the aftermath of the War first off too many people who survived came out to tell the story, and second because Demonization was necessary to assuage public guilt, and Scapegoats were chosen as sacrifices to the cause.  The Nuremberg Trials were held, a big 22 people were tried and 12 were sentenced to Death.  Do you really think only 22 people were responsible for the death of MILLIONS of people? Only 12 of them deserved to die? There was a whole organization here with minimum 1000's directly involved in the operation with full knowledge of what was ongoing.

Despite the fact it could not be hidden in the aftermath of the War, whitewashing of the event has persisted over the years, to the point there are entire websites devoted to the idea it never happened at all!

I do think most people today accept that the Holocaust did in fact occur, but they also tend to believe such a thing could NEVER AGAIN happen.  People in the Western world don't believe their leadership is as sick & corrupt as the Nazis of the 1930s-40s, nor do they believe their leadership is as sick & corrupt as the many Dictatorships and Puppet Goobermints we have supported over the years, including such notables as the Shah of Iran, Muammar el-Khadafi and the entire House of Saud.  However, it takes one to know one, and all the evidence is there to show that the leadership of the FSoA and the EU is AT LEAST as sick & corrupt as all of those, if not more so by an order of magnitude.  This level of corruption is becoming increasingly more exposed, and it is one of the things motivating the Brexit Vote, along with the current polarization in many other Western Goobermints. For most people in the West, accepting that you live inside the Belly of the Nazi Beast is pretty hard if not impossible.  So no matter how much evidence you present, how much history and scholarship on the topic you dig up, they just won't believe it.  "WE" are always the GOOD GUYS!  "THEY" are the BAD GUYS!

In this case in this iteration it's not the Kikes who are the Bad Guys, or the Nips or the Krauts.  This time round, it is the Towel Heads who are being Demonized.  Forget the pronouncements of The Donald here, just cruise the commentariat of numerous websites to get a feel for the zeitgeist going down here.  Muslims are all portrayed by many people in the commentariats as sub-human ANIMALS!  Often with the coda they are in need of EXTERMINATION and we should "Nuke 'em till they GLOW" and Glaze over the entire Middle East with the full arsenal of Nukes the FSoA totes around the world on Submarines and Aircraft Carriers as the Big Swinging Military Dick on the Planet.  This is the "Final Solution" proposed by the modern Nazis if the Towel Heads don't die off fast enough in the Refugee Welcome Centers.

If you don't believe modern Nazis are ALIVE & WELL, just look at Ukraine.  Just look at The Donald.  Just look at the EU and its History and current actions.  Just READ the fucking internet.  They are here alright, in FORCE.  THEY LIVE!


The Great Brexit Clusterfuck: A Collapse Week in Review

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on July 3, 2016


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Collapse NOW and Beat the Rush!  There IS NO PLAN B!

June 27, 2016

It is now the Monday After the Great Brexit Clusterfuck, and I am going to write this article across the rest of the week as events unfold.  So things may change along the way, some things I write today may not be true by Sunday when I publish the Diner Brunch Article.  In fact, they might not be true by the time I finish keyboarding out this sentence, so I am NOT going to go back and edit them if they were wrong. lol.  The article is also likely to end up fucking LONG, since on any given night in a 7 day week I can easily go 2000 words.  lol.  I will try to stay within reason though. hahahahahahaha  (Note on finishing:  I kept it down to around 5000 Words! 🙂 ) The first Major Event resultant from the vote was PM David Cameron resigned.  Or at least he promised to resign after 3 months in October, and plenty can happen between now and then.  However, given he was the one that suggested the Referendum in the first place, he looks like he is pretty well finished, although he says he will remain as a back bencher after stepping down.  He does say a 2nd referendum is out of the question, even though the sore losers started circulating a petition for one virtually nano-seconds after the results were announced.

Exactly who will replace DC as PM remains an open question, although the name bandied about mostly is Boris Johnson, former Mayor of London.  He was pro-Brexit and also a member of the Conservative Party, so he is Eligible as a Leader if they have the Majority in Parliament.  The problem here is nobody can stand Boris or his Owen Wilson hairdo, plus there is absolutely NO INDICATION Boris has any kind of real plan here to negotiate OUT of the EU.  More on this later. Next up, the First Minister in Scotland Nicola Sturgeon started hinting that the Scottish Parliament would VETO the referendum, since the Scots voted overwhelmingly for Bremain, 62-38%.  Whether they could actually DO that "legally" and not get over-ridden by Westminster is an open question.

Following this came the newz on Saturday that Jeremy Corbyn sacked "Fletcher Christian" (Heidi Alexander) for Mutiny on the Bounty, and then following Heidi 10 more Labor MPs in the Shadow Cabinet resigned to join Heidi in the Labor Lifeboat.  Hopefully Heidi is as good a Captain as Bligh was and can negotiate their little boat back to Westminster.  Suffice it to say though, at the moment the entire Labor Party is in turmoil and adrift at sea, as are the Tories.

In light of this fact, we have a significant problem here in terms of actually IMPLEMENTING the "Will of the People", which is a Divorce from the EU.  There really is not a significant Political figure or leader at the moment from either party who could go in and Negotiate this divorce, even if they did have a decent grasp on how it might be accomplished, and nobody does.  This is the "No Plan B" aspect of this article, but I'll save going into detail on this until more of the week's events play themselves out.

The other major outcome of this event so far has been it's effect on the Financial Markets, and the fact that the Elites in charge of these things betting the big bets pretty much called it entirely WRONG in the last days leading up to the vote, following the Odds of the Bookies in London who called this as a practical LOCK for the Bremain camp.  Even George fucking Soros went LONG on Sterling in expectation of a Bremain vote, after himself lobbying for it heavily on the Op-Ed pages of the MSM financial newz services.  When the vote came out OPPOSITE to what they expected, the tide ran out and many if not most of these folks were caught with their Bikini bottoms around their ankles, and the .01% lost a shit load of notional money here, estimated at some $2-3T Globally, with a few Billionaires losing like $1B or so of their net worth on Friday alone. Despite the entire weekend to Prep for the Market Opening on Monday and Jawboning by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne prior to the market opening on Monday, further havoc ensued.  Getting hit hardest here were not the UK banks, but the EU banks, particularly those in the PIIGS nations.  Major banks in Italy for instance are now trading at Penny Stock level, and 30-50% equity valuation loss across the board on these banks is the rule right now.  That means their Capitalization is WAY lower than it was last week, when in reality they were already insolvent.  Papering over this problem is the task ahead for the Elite, to keep the system up and running.

The danger to the global financial system is not the Brexit itself, which for the most part just makes the UK the Canary in the Coal Mine for a location where things will get really bad, really fast.  Where the real danger lies is if/when one of the systemically important TBTF Banks in any of these countries has a run on deposits, compounding the problem of loss of equity share valuations.  At some point, the WEAKEST bank will become a target for other banks, who are all really Vultures circling each other.  This is essentially what occurred with Lehman when that investment bank collapsed back in 2008.

There are many likely targets here, all the EU and UK banks are insolvent and have been so since the 2008 financial crisis.  The only thing that has backstopped all of them are the Central Banks, and it remains unclear whether the CBs have the "ammo" necessary this time to fire off the "bazooka" and dump enough freshly printed toilet paper to keep the EU commode lubricated.  At least after the first 2 days of this mayhem, they are not doing too good.

OK, signing off on this initial installment of the post-Brexit Diary.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.


June 28, 2016 Tuesday morning in Alaska now, and after crashing for 2 days straight days and making a bunch of new records in terms of lost phantom money, the markets have calmed today.  No big BTFD Dead Cat Bounce, but not dropping like a stone either.  David Cameron is over in Brussels basically telling the Clowns he's not gonna pitch Article 50 at them, they have to wait for his successor, whoever that might be.  So meanwhile it all just hangs up in the air, and the market traders don't know what to bet on.

The choice of a replacement for DC has now been moved up to September from October, but that is still 2 months plus away which is a lot of time for a lot of shit to go down, both politically and financially.  For one thing it already appears to have required a $40B bailout of Italian Banks by the Italian Goobermint, itself also of course dead broke.  About the only way I can think of the Romans got this cash injection was by selling worthless bonds directly to the ECB, because what other bank would buy this dogshit?  Only Italian banks, but they are the ones in need of the bailout! Meanwhile, over in Spain the new election do-over was held, with pretty much the same result as last time, which is that no one party is even close to a majority neccessary to be in sole control of Da Goobermint, and they're not real good at forming Coalition Gobermints in Spain.  The "acting" Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is demanding the "Right to Rule", but nobody on the left is going to support this crook, and between them the 2 left wing parties have more seats than the right wing, depending on how the tiny parties distribute out.  All of which means more uncertainty from the Spanish department, but probably nothing major besides possibly a Spanish bank going down and a bailout necessary there from Mr. Moneybags Super Mario Dragon.

In the blogosphere, the Pundits are all dissecting the REASON for the Brexit vote, and the consensus is that it's a Class Warfare vote, with the folks left behind with Globalization making a Protest Vote against the Elite, who they have totally lost faith in on either side of the political aisle.  In the UK, you are basically talking the White Working Class voting for Brexit, with the Upper class and Immigrants voting Bremain. This is for the most part true IMHO, but just knowing this fact doesn't mean getting a functioning democratic goobermint is any more possible.  There is talk both in Britain and the FSoA of forming entirely new political parties because the current ones have failed so miserably, but exactly what would these new parties promise and what could they deliver and WTF will be running for office in said parties?  Nobody Knows the answer to these questions.

All of which leads us to a general failure of Democracy, which has a few Academics like Ken Rogoff coming out of the woodwork explaining why we need Super Brains like him to make sure that Democracies don't vote the wrong way.  LOL.  You see, as long as you vote the way the Elite want you to vote, Democracy is a GREAT form of Goobermint!  As long as they put up all the candidates who regardles of flavor will kowtow to their interest, they LOVE democracy!  The MINUTE you start voting the WRONG way or put up a candidate who is not in their pocket (although he certainly will be after being elected, see Alex Tsipras in Greece), Democracy is NOT good!  In the words of Emma Goldman…,fl_progressive,q_80,w_636/ymxewm2erhzzxmxp6ogc.jpg

So what you end up with in the failure of Democracy is that the Elites clamp down on it, and in our case now gradually restrict it in a boiling frog sort of way, and after a period of MAYHEM like the UK is currently experiencing you get still more autocratic goobermint, although these days they call it "technocratic", with the prefix there giving it the veneer of scientific reasoning.  The vox populi tends to accept this as long as things calm down and they still have food on the table.  They accept less control over their lives and the loss of freedom in exchange for some measure of security.  This goes on in a series of downward spiraling cycles until the Elite no longer get enough food distributed out to the masses, and then you get your revolutions.  The UK still probably has a couple of cycles of this pattern left to go here, but not true for other places around the globe like Venezuela for instance.

As it appears right now, since nobody has a real good PLAN for how to even NEGOTIATE a Brexit much less operate independently afterward AND the Brit Political system is in complete lockup mode, nothing will really change in the near term, but the standard of living for most people will continue to deteriorate until there is another, bigger movement, next time probably Pan-European.  In the mean time, we can watch this Kabuki Theater Act for the rest of the week.


June 29, 2016

Now into Wednesday, and the silliness never stops over in the EU Parliament.  The action was actually yesterday, so most of this is a recap of the events in Brussels, where both David Cameron and Nigel ("You're not laughing now, are you?) Farage made equally poorly received appearances, which are likely to be their last in those hallowed halls of corruption.

Far as DC was concerned, he stood firm on NOT being the one to invoke Article 50 and get the Divorce proceedings going, much to the consternation of the Euroclowns who are anxious to get this over with and put the Thumbscrews to the UK in order to hopefully put a damper on a possible Frexit from France, Nexit from the Netherlands and an Italeave from the Italians.  DC pronouncements done, he is now Persona Non Grata at the EU, and the rest of the EU Bigwigs will meet without his meat package in the room today.

Nigel Farage also did one of his now classic Stand Up Routines in front of the EU Parliament, where he has been the UKs MEP for 17 years since 1999, the whole time basically arguing that the EU is a worthless piece of shit, the other MEPs there are worthless pieces of shit and their whole purpose in life is to shit all over everyone in Europe while scarfing up every free perk they can while they wander the halls of these buildings and take bureaucratic dumps on everyone outside the buildings.  This happens to all be TRUE, but it doesn't make NF well liked in the room. lol. So, NF finally had his "I told you so" Moment of Glory, commenting at the beginning of his speech, "You're not laughing now".  LOL.  No, they weren't laughing, but they were BOOING pretty loud.  Loud enough that the moderator had to stop the proceedings at the beginning of the speech to give NF his "democratic" right to be heard, which has to be the most egregious example of complete hypocrisy ever to hit the planet on the political level, and that is saying a LOT.  The EU Parliament and EU in general is the LEAST democratic organization to ever hit the planet.  Even fucking Dictatorships and Monarchies are more democratic than the EU, at least with those a few insiders can argue with the King or Dictator and perhaps make some progress if they don't lose their heads first.  Not in the EU!  You can't argue with anybody!  Thousands of pages of documents are prepared by thousands more apparatchiks and lawyers every day, and nobody know WTF is actually responsible for it all!  It just keeps accumulating and more Goobermint apparatchiks sign more agreements and treaties into law every day without knowing jack shit about them.  They don't even need "fine print" in these documents!  They are so fucking long with so many pages NOBODY has time in the day to read it all and still take a shit when nature calls!

EPIC SILLINESS became apparent when Juncker gave his speech entirely in French, and since the UK is the only English speaking nation in this Union, now they are going to eject the English language from EU translations and proceedings!  lol.

This really highlights the fundamental problem with the EU, which is that there are a good dozen or so languages that are designated as "official" languages of their respective countries.  The Irish do not have English as their official language, they list Gaelic.  Romanians speak Romainian, Hungarians speak Hungarian, Polish speak Polish etc.  Imagine if you went from New York to Boston and everyone in NY spoke NYese and everyone in Boston spoke Bostonese, and without a Google translator on your smart phone you couldn't read the signs as soon as you crossed the MA border.  This is really the fundamental problem behind making the EU a mirror of the FSoA Federated Union of states, they LITERALLY do not speak the same language! Now, after English, there are two BIGGIES here in the Polyglot Soup, German and French.  Going back to the pre-WWII years, French was the accepted "International Language of Diplomacy".  Problem of course here is with ejecting English is that in the years SINCE WWII, all these tiny nation-states with their own languages have mostly taken on English as their second language.  While there are some folks like my college era girlfriend who are fantastic at learning many different languages (a dozen or so including Ancient Greek & Latin), MOST people even in Europe can only handle their own language and maybe 2 more.  If a Hungarian diplomat has a second language besides Hungarian right now, it is probably English, although maybe German.  If a Spanish Diplomat has a second language, it is probably English, although maybe French.

The fact of the matter though is that because the Anglo-Americans basically took over Europe in the aftermath of WWII, everybody there took on English as their second language other than the native one to their countries.  So now, with the exit of the Brits, the Frogs and Krauts are trying to instantaneously reverse this process by speaking only French or German in the EU Parliament!  lol.

Given that the EU employs more translators than anyone on earth INCLUDING the fucking United Nations, they are cutting off their noses to spite the face here.  Pitching English out the EU window when it is the main second language that all the Diplomats shitting in the EU Member Toilets speak is simply stupid and petty.

Besides that is the simple fact that even though not a part of the EU, guess who ELSE speaks English?  Amerikans, that's who! So if you stop translating to English, no Amerikans who might be interested in what you are talking about (granted there are few) can understand a word of it.  Ater listening to Nigel Farage rant on his fellow MEPs, I went to watch a livestream from the show at the EU Parliament, and everyone was speaking French or German! My French and German language skills are less than rudimentary.  You go past voulez vous pousse avec moi or Sig Heil! and I am lost.  Spanish and Portuguese OK, I can follow it, but I get lost fast in French and German. lol.  Fucking YouTube and Google did not even provide me with live caption English Translations!  If I am going to trust these folks to drive my car for me, they should at LEAST be able to give me a live play-by-play transcription in ENGLISH of the nonsense going on in the EU Parliament, don't you think?  Is that too much to ask from Sergei Brin and Ray Kurzweil?  Maybe they could contract this out to Elon Muskrat or Mark Suckerbug if they can't do it in house at Google?

In any event here though, it really doesn't matter WHAT fucking language they are speaking, they are all talking past each other anyhow, and whether I can understand the drivel they are pitching out is also irrelevant.  THEY don't even understand each other or what is going on here in reality anyhow! It's the Deaf, Dumb & Blind Pinball Show!

We'll see what tomorrow brings to Tommy Time.


June 30, 2016

As we move into Thursday, the markets have calmed somewhat, although the Euro banks are still taking a beating, Deutchebank in particular.  Even before this, DB was a lumbering behemoth loaded with "assets" that are really liabilities and kept afloat only through fraudulent accounting practices and likely backdoor infusions of cash from the ECB.  Right now their market cap is less than that of AirB&B, while at the same time balancing $Trillions$ in derivatives and a loan portfolio awash with non-performing loans.  An accident waiting to happen there.

money_spigot_1The big danger with Brexit or any of these political destabilizations is that it provokes a banking crisis similar to what Lehman did back in 2008.  Obviously, TPTB have refined their techniques since then, and seemingly no matter how bad off a bank is, they simply never fail.  How long the charade can go on remains an open question, although Soros showed up at the EU Parliament warning they were on the verge of a major crisis, and they better start issuing out more junk bonds now to build up a Slush Fund to take care of new crises as they emerge.  As my dad the Bankster used to say, "there is no problem you cannot solve by throwing enough money at it".  lol.  This is apparently true, at least for so long as the money keeps working anyhow, but that won't be true in perpetuity.

Meanwhile, back in the UK on the political level, Boris Johnson or "BoJo" as he is popularly known of the Owen Wilson hair-do and considered the leading contender to replace David Cameron as Chief Tory Imbecile since he was one of the chief proponents of Brexit along with Nigel Farage (but also a bona fide Tory) has taken his hat OUT of the ring, and will not run for Prime Moron of the UK.

Reason for the Exeunt, Stage Left?  In a scene straight out of Shakespeare, BoJo was Backstabbed by his own campaign manager, Michael Gove.  In an email a few hours before BoJo's Press Conference, MG said BoJo was "not the man to lead this country" and then proceeded to toss his OWN hat in the ring!  BoJo set up his own political assassination here by writing a mealy mouthed editorial where he backpedalled on the principles of the Brexit, seeing as the consequences are already pretty ugly.

brutus-caesar"There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, And we must take the current when it serves, Or lose our ventures"- William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

This exposes a few things.  First that BoJo is a total COWARD.  His side wins this clusterfuck, but he sure doesn't wanna be in there negotiating the collapse of the UK economy!  To be fair, the EU economy will collapse also, but in London he'll be held accountable for the Brit end of the pain, and likely would end up swinging from a bridge over the Thames River. Second is that it is now equally obvious he had NO PLAN for implementing a Brexit if they won.  Logic should tell you that they should have created some kind of Manifesto to release on winning the Referendum as to what they would do to implement it.  No such manifesto exists.  Why not? Because they didn't think they would actually WIN, that's why not. So now the NEW frontrunners for PM in the UK appear to be either MG or Theresa May, the Home Secretary.  She was in the Bremain Camp, but apparently also has sympathy for the Brexit idea, a kind of ideal Fence Sitter for "re-unifying" the Tories.  However, one does not expect her to be a very strong negotiator for the Brexit team in Brussels if/when they actually invoke Article 50.  Also unclear here is that after taking power she doesn't call for a 2nd Referendum to get the fucking Brits to vote the right way this time! MG was more full on Brexit, but with BoJo's blood staining his hands it's hard to say how many MPs would vote for him.  Much as BoJo was despised by most of the Tories, backstabbers aren't well liked either.  In politics, loyalty is a very important quality, and rewarding a campaign manager who backstabbed his own candidate with the Top Job doesn't seem too likely to me. On the other side of the aisle, Jeremy Corbyn was roundly sabotaged with an overwhelming vote of No Confidence from his fellow Labor MPs, but he is refusing to step down and promises to run again if they call for a general election, which seems likely.  JC still does have strong support from Rank & File Labor Party plebes and there is as of yet not a strong candidate within the Labor Party to challenge him, so that election also will end up a likely clusterfuck.  In the meantime, absolutely nothing can be accomplished on the Labor side of this problem, and clearly there is simply nobody around who could actually show up in Brussels and do any real Negotiations on how to fulfill the "Will of the People" and do a Brexit.  More on this issue when the week concludes, but we still got one more workday here for the week, so we will see what Newz Friday brings before we close out this act in the Global Kabuki Theater of Collapse.


July 1, 2016

Closing out the week here on Friday, the markets have calmed down as the Brexit vote has been "priced in", and everybody also now realizes that so far nothing has really changed, nor is it likely to change too soon either.  The Brits are not going to invoke Article 50 until well after the Tories pick a new Prime Maniac, which won't come until September as they whittle down the now pretty crowded field.  BoJo is out, but now besides Theresa May and Michael Gove you also have Stephen Crabb, Liam Fox and Andrea Leadsome.  They seem to be split between tepid pro-Brexit and lukewarm Bremain.  Depending who ends up getting the nod, there remains a possibility the Brits would schedule yet another Referendum to try and get the proles to vote the right way this time.  Scheduling a new referendum would push the timeline back still further of course, so for now it is back to BAU. One does wonder here during the period if Nigel Farage will be allowed to go into his office or sit in his spot at the EU Parliament?  He is after all still the MEP for the UK, and they are still in the EU.  However, his presence would no doubt be pretty disruptive.  Jean-Claude Juncker would need regular infusions of Maalox during the sessions. lol.

In other newz, the Austrian PM said it was the EUs incompetence on the Refugee problem that was the deciding factor in the Brexit campaign, and the Czech PM came out supporting a Referendum for the Czechs on both EU and NATO membership, even though he says he personally thinks they should stay in. The most recent Austrian election for President also was invalidated today, which means they are going to now hold new elections for that spot, one of the contenders being a far right neo-Nazi type who also wants a referendum. For the Czechs, to hold such a referendum though they would need to change their Constitution, since apparently right now it is not set up for the proles to directly vote on such issues.  Such a constitutional ammendment would take a 60% vote in their Parliament, and that seems unlikely to happen in the near term. Over in France, Marine LePen renewed her call for a referendum, which of course Hollande is ignoring and will continue to do so until he is voted out of office or assassinated, whichever comes first.  However, elections in Frogland are not until next year also, so even assuming she gets elected and puts up a referendum there, it probably would not come until 2018.

As you can see here, it is mass confusion all over "the continent", and at least unless there is a Financial Collapse somewhere in the next couple of years, this political Kabuki Theater is not going to end overnight.  Rome didn't Collapse in a Day either.


July 2, 2016

At Last!  The 5 day work week is OVAH and we can now attempt to LEARN something from this clusterfuck!

The first thing apparent to me is that despite some of the most convoluted Conspiracy Theorizing EVAH by Brandon "Lexington & Concord" Smith that this whole bizness was actually PLANNED by the Elite as a means to crash the system and then take over with an even bigger and better One World Goobermint, the truth here is that the Elite do not have fucking Clue 1 about what is going on outside of expensive hotels and restaurants in Basel, Switzerland.  They repeatedly get caught with their collective pants down, and are simply in a constant state of Damage Control on both the economic and political fronts.  The system they built over the last 500 or so years since the Medici Banking Era is coming apart at the seams, and all they are really doing here is trying to prolong their power and privilege as long as possible, and avoid being strung up by their gonads before dieing a natural death of over-consumption of canapes, truffles and $5000 bottles of Domaine Leflaive Montrachet Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune, France. Even more important than this though is it is a first class demonstration of the failure of Democracy as a Gooberning System in a period of Economic Contraction.  First of all, the electorate just about everywhere has no clue as to what the real problems are, these are not discussed anywhere except a few fringe websites like the Doomstead Diner.  The Proles just vote on local problems they have, voting for the Power Seeker in their neighborhood that articulates them best and says he will SOLVE those Problems!  Except said PS doesn't really have a PLAN for solving the problems, because…there is no Plan that will do that!  At least no Plan that doesn't involve a lot of DEAD PEOPLE anyhow!

You can see pretty clearly here there is no real difference between Labor & Tory, or here in the FSoA between Democrat & Republican.  All the Political Apparatchiks are simply trying to keep the system operating long enough for each of them to walk out the revolving door of Politics and into a nice cushy job as a Lobbyist or an Unelected Bureaucrat shitting in the Members Only Toilet of the EU Parliament! If you do happen to be one of the few people who frequents Fringe Websites like the Diner, WTF do you vote for?   Do you vote for Brexit, knowing full well that if it actually came to pass your local economy would crumble to dust?  Do you vote for Bremain, knowing full well that if it comes to pass you will be subject to ever more onerous taxes and ever less freedom and self-goobernmint?  Do you vote for The Donald, knowing full well that if he is elected the economy will go straight down the toilet and a race war will ensue?  Do you vote for Killary knowing full well that if she is elected we will go straight down the road to Global Thermonuclear War with the Ruskies?  Where is the "right choice" in any of these "democratic" elections?  You can't even find a "Lesser of 2 Evils" candidate, except maybe Giant Meteor who will put us all out of our collective misery together, and do it mercifully and quick!

What we have here now are 2 types of Nation-States.  Those who have already FAILED like Somalia, Egypt, Syria,Venezuela etc, and those who are on the road to FAILURE, which is everybody else.  If the Elite at Bilderberg can hold the show together economically for a while, the descent into mayhem in first world countries may take a few more years.  However, if the bankstering system currently held together by Duct Tape and Bailing Wire comes apart at some point, the 1st World will join the 3rd World fairly rapidly skiing the Giant Slalom Downhill.

Fringe Website readers like the Diners who are aware of these issues know that on a Global Geopolitical level the problems are just going to get worse moving ahead here on the Collapse Highway.  On the Nation-State level you will continue to see ever more polarization and ever less effective Goobermint, where likely instead of verbal Filibusters, Congressional meetings turn into all out Fistfights.  Any positive CHANGE here is not going to come from the Top Down, it can only come from the Bottom Up.  So it is up to each of us to form up local community structures that can weather the storm of a Civilization Collapse.  If you have not yet begun this process with your friends, today would be a good time to start.  For more ideas on how to get this started in your neighborhood, click on the SUN logo below.


Brexit: Fall of the Tower of Babel

youtube-Logo-2gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of Ugo Bardi

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Published on Cassandra's Legacy on June 27, 2016


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The Babel Tower: the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

(adapted from a story told by Wouter Diederen)

King of Babel: Minister, faithful minister, speak to me! I hear that there is unrest at the great tower that my workers are building. I hear that some workers want to leave, and I see that the tower is not growing anymore so fast as it was growing not long ago. Minister, tell me what's happening with my tower; the great tower of Babel of which, I, the King of Babel, am so proud!

Minister: King, what you say is true. There is unrest at the great tower of Babel, the workers are clamoring for better pay and a group of them have voted among themselves to stop working at the tower and go back to their land beyond the sea, where they will build their own tower. And because of this, the Great Tower of Babel is not growing anymore.

King: But, minister, why is that happening? Haven't these workers worked for so many years at my tower? Wasn't my tower nicely growing up until not long ago? What's happened that made the workers rebel against me, their master?

Minister: King, you see, we have a problem of energy return on investment…..

King: What?

Minister: King, let me explain to you. In order to build the tower, we need stones from quarries. And it has happened that the nearby quarries have produced so many stones for the tower that there is no stone anymore there.

King: Minister, I was told about this problem. But I was also told that there are many quarries a little farther away that still hold plenty of stone. So what is the problem with getting good stones from these quarries?

Minister: King, you see, there lies the problem. In order to carry these stones from the quarry to the tower, we need a caravan of many mules pulling carts.

King: And what is the problem with that, minister?

Minister: Well, the problem is that we keep extracting stones and the quarries we get it from are farther and farther away.

King: But that just means that the caravans will have to travel farther away, right?

Minister: King, this is the energy problem I was telling you about. You see, mules need energy, in the form of food. And the people driving the mules need energy, too, in the form of food. So, some carts in the caravan must carry food for the mules and for the mule drivers, and therefore these carts cannot carry stones. And the farther the quarry is, the more food loaded carts there have to be in it.

King: So be it. What is the problem?

Minister: It is that the quarries we are exploiting at present are so far away that most of the carts must be loaded with food and only a few can carry stones. And so what you have are long, long caravans arriving from the quarry to the tower, but carrying very few stones.

King: So, make the caravans bigger, then there will be more carts loaded with stones for the tower.

Minister: King, we are doing that, but we are running out of mules. And we also need more caravans to bring wood for the scaffolding of the towers, and here, too, we must travel to far away forests to find good wood. In addition, the bureaucrats managing the tower have been growing in numbers and are now more numerous than the workers. And we need more caravans and more mules to feed the bureaucrats. As a result, the workers are now living on reduced food rations and they are not happy about that. As I said, it is a question of diminishing energy returns. We call this the "Limits to Growth."

King: ………

Minister: So, I think we should start thinking of a sustainable tower, that won't need to grow anymore since it is already tall enough. And we could make a steady state tower that would need just a few stones to replace those that wear out. The energy investment would be much smaller……

King: Close your mouth, unfaithful minister! I do not believe a single word of what you told me. I think this story of the energy return is something you invented in order to confuse me. I think, rather, that the workers have become lazy. That the mule drivers have become lazy. And that the mules themselves have become lazy. And so, what I will do will be to punish the lazy workers, the lazy mule drivers, and the lazy mules as they deserve. And I will severely punish those workers who voted to move back to their island to build their own tower. They will feel the wrath of the king of Babel. Also, I think that my enemies outside the borders are plotting against me. And hence I will enlarge the army and attack them. And they, too, will feel the wrath of the king of Babel.

Minister: ……

King: And, now that I think about that, I also need a new minister.

Dead Brexit Walking

gc2smFrom the keyboard of Pepe Escobar
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big ben one way

Originally published in Sputnik on June 30, 2016


All political hell is breaking loose in the UK. The Prime Minister is no more – a post-modern version of Monty Python’s Dead Parrot Sketch.

A nasty, stiff upper lip Tory battle for power is mirrored by a Labor insurgency; that, in itself, would warrant a brand new Python sketch. The general level of “debate” is ghastly. In parallel, British establishment icons want Brexit to be simply ignored (“unlawful”, “illegal”) or remixed, so the unwashed (white working class) masses will be forced to vote the right way.

An army of lawyers told the House of Lords that yes, Britain should change its mind, albeit with “substantial political consequences”. As the British establishment reasons the EU, after all, does have vast experience on the matter. Denmark voted against Mastricht in 1992, Ireland voted against both the Nice treaty in 2001 and the Lisbon treaty in 2008. The EU trampled them all.

For its part, the EU seems to be exhibiting a united front. Out is out. And preferably, fast. Brussels is practically forcing London to get a move on so an embattled EU can get to work to – in theory – get its own act together. 

Eurocrats, off the record, stress that even “fast” won’t be fast enough – because London has been self-marginalizing itself for two decades now. At the same time they expect that the more the disastrous consequences of Brexit are self-evident, the more reasonable Brits will be.

The official narrative now emanates from the new power troika – German chancellor Angela Merkel, French president Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Countless Europeans would flinch at buying a second-hand Fiat from these people. But still, they’re the new troika, and their message is clear. Article 50 invoked as soon as possible; no negotiation without notification; discussing our future relationship, fine, but only after you formally ask for a divorce.

Welcome to the remixed EU

Into this toxic environment steps in – surprise! – US Secretary of State John Kerry. Brexit can even be “walked back”, he volunteers – in a Dead Brexit Walking way. Apparently Kerry was very impressed that David Cameron told him, this past Monday in Downing Street, that he would never invoke Article 50 and was powerless to “start negotiating a thing that he doesn’t believe in”. 

Kerry is sure there are a “number of ways” his Dead Brexit Walking scenario would work. Naturally he can’t admit in public what terrifies the lame duck Obama administration. It has nothing to do with the UK going to the “back of the queue” – White House terminology – to renegotiate a trade deal with the US.

This is all about no more American Trojan Horse in Brussels. No more TTIP. Germany and France making all big European decisions without a Five Eyes looking in. No wonder Exceptionalist shills immediately started spinning that the only solution for Brexit is more NATO and its corollary: further demonization of Russia.

A scrabble board spells out Brexit in Dublin, Ireland May 4 2016.Occult by all these machinations is the stark fact that the sole purpose of NATO now – apart from losing wars in Central Asia and destroying nations in Northern Africa — is to perpetuate the military occupation of Europe. And for that, NATO badly relies on anti-Russia hysteria.

At least there is movement in other fronts. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble is already exploring a way out, as in a negotiation offering an “associate” membership for the UK. In fact this is the current status quo; the UK is not part of the euro or part of Schengen. The core issue, for Britain, is access to the single market. And that, as far as Brussels is concerned, will never be a case of “you can get your tea and scones and eat them too.” You’ll only do it if you accept EU immigration.

Venturing into uncharted territory, with perfect timing, irrupts the leaked road map for a remixed EU, conceived by a Franco-German duo of Foreign Ministers, Jean-Marc Ayrault and Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

The Franco-German vision, predictably, privileges security, immigration and the euro, with an emphasis on economic growth. They want even “more Europe” (something the Brits would never agree with); Defense and Foreign Policy closely intertwined; and a unified European army (imagine the serial heart attacks in the Beltway). 

They want total European coordination – from intelligence to incarceration – to fight terrorism, as well as integrated surveillance of Fortress Europe’s borders.

They even venture into a project for “stabilization, development and reconstruction” of Syria (before that someone must tell the CIA and the Pentagon to stop sluggin’ it out on what “moderate rebels” to weaponize). 

In the “follow the money” department, the Franco-German duo want the same fiscal policies for everybody, “convergence of national budgets” (good luck with that) and a European Assembly to control monetary policy. Now try selling all that to a true “Europe of the peoples”.

And what about China?

Then there’s the giant panda in the (collapsing) European room: China. Beijing is still carefully analyzing the current political circus in London and Brussels before adjusting its strategy.

There’s no question London, so far, was the privileged Chinese gateway to the EU – as well as a top offshore trading hub for the yuan. Beijing was also counting on London to facilitate achieving market economy status, which would immediately translate into even more Chinese exports to Europe, all this closely connected with the New Silk Roads. Last but not least, the UK – much to the displeasure of the “special relationship” — is a founder member of the China-driven Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

London, for its part, was beaming with the prospect of solidifying itself as China’s gateway to Europe while securing torrents of investment – a Chinese-style “win-win”. 

So far though, nothing changes. Take, for instance, telecom equipment giant Huawei still betting on Britain.

China-UK was hailed last year as a “golden relationship”. But as UK banks and financial services contemplate moving to the EU post-Brexit (HSBC, for instance, already announced that 1,000 jobs are moving to Paris), the real story is that China can start contemplating further “win-win” scenarios also with Paris, Frankfurt and Milan. As a backup, there’ll always be that Dead Brexit Walking. And if it turns out “unlawful”, “illegal” Brexit goes out to meet its maker, everything will be “golden” again. 

PepePepe Escobar  is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia Times Online. Born in Brazil, he's been a foreign correspondent since 1985, and has lived in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Washington, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Even before 9/11 he specialized in covering the arc from the Middle East to Central and East Asia, with an emphasis on Big Power geopolitics and energy wars. He is the author of "Globalistan" (2007), "Red Zone Blues" (2007), "Obama does Globalistan" (2009) "Empire of Chaos" (2014),and "2030" (2015), all published by Nimble Books. 

Brexit Brokit. Now Trumpit?

gc2smFrom the keyboard of Thomas Lewis

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Published on The Daily Impact on June 27, 2015

Scorpion and Tortoise

“All we need to do to get safely through this,” said the scorpion to the tortoise and the tortoise to the scorpion, “is be true to ourselves.” (Wikipedia Image)

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It was unthinkable that voters in the United Kingdom would elect to leave the European Union. And indeed, thinking was apparently not involved, because the very ones who did it are running around today screaming “WTF?WTF?” and asking please, sir, could they have a do-over? It is unthinkable that voters in the United States would ever, likewise, place their country in the hands of a President Donald Trump. Go ahead, take a minute and try. See? You cannot think it. Doesn’t mean it isn’t going to happen.

The Brexit referendum was set in motion by British Masters of the Universe, personified by Prime Minister David Cameron, to demonstrate how silly it was to think the British people would ever want to leave the EU. Well, as our own Alexander Hamilton observed, “Your people, sir, is a great beast!” And the people of the UK reacted to their opportunity as if they were the cast of The Game of Thrones: they handed the prime minister a plate, put his newly severed head upon it, and gave his family a few days to clear their stuff out of No.10 Downing Street.

It all brings to mind the fable of the scorpion and the frog (or the tortoise in older versions), in which the scorpion begs the frog to carry him over the flooded river. The frog protests that he is afraid the scorpion will sting him to death, to which the scorpion replies, “That would not be in my interest, if I killed you I would drown.” Reassured, the frog takes the scorpion on board and starts swimming. Halfway across the river, the frog feels the dreadful shock of the scorpion’s sting. Just before slipping under water, the frog mumbles a single question: “Why.” “It’s just my nature,” murmurs the drowning scorpion.

The thing is, in the Brexit story, I cannot figure out who is the scorpion and who represents the frog.

The Trumpit referendum was launched by the Donald, the perfect embodiment of greed, vanity, stupidity and hubris. The great beast responded by putting him on a great white horse, brandishing pitchforks and setting up a huge procession toward the Capitol, on the way making lists of people whose heads they intend to have. Unthinkable that he should triumph? Not any more it isn’t.

The great beast, you see, is in a very bad mood. In 1980, or thereabouts, the Masters of the Universe pulled off a great global coup d’etat, which disenfranchised ordinary people from the fruits of democracy by chaining the powers of government to the will of the wealthy and their corporations. They did not tell us about this coup, of course, they did their best to keep it from us, with everything from comic-book-action-hero movies, to football gladiator spectacles to screaming debates about the variations of sexual activity and identity. And, need we mention, pervasive dread of the threat of black and brown people who want nothing more than to kill us all in our beds.

But is is dawning now, on the great beast, who is not, frankly, the sharpest beast in the dungeon, that something has been done to him; that the Masters of the Universe are not only not taking care of him  but may be trying to kill him.  Or at the very least, are perfectly willing to let him die in the street without health care, or social security, or shelter, or mercy.

Yes, the Great Beast is annoyed, and when annoyed, is very strong, and likely to destroy things without rhyme or reason, and without the desired effect; that is why Brexit Brokit. Afterward, the Beast may regret his tantrum, as he surely will if he now goes on to Trumpit.

But, you see, it is his nature…..

Death to All Zombies!

gc2smFrom the keyboard of James Howard Kunstler
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Brexit Freda


Originally Published on Clusterfuck Nation  June 27, 2016


Wait a minute. They’re already dead. Brexit just reveals that not everybody’s brains have been eaten. A viral contagion now threatens the zombified institutions of daily life, especially the workings of politics and finance. Just as zombies exist only in the collective imagination, so do these two principal activities of society operate mainly on trust, an ephemeral product of the hive-mind.

When things fall apart in stressed complex systems, they tend to fall apart fast. It’s called phase change. Too many things in 21st century life have depended on sheer trust that the people-in-charge know what they are doing. That trust has subsisted on the doling out of money-from-nothing: debt, reckless bond issuance. TARP, QEs, bailouts, bail-ins, Operation Twists, Ponzi schemes… the whole sad-ass armamentarium of banking necromancy. The politicians let it get out of hand. Things that can’t go on don’t, and now they won’t.

The politics of Great Britain are now falling apart landslide-style. Since just about everybody in or near power can be blamed for the national predicament, there’s nobody to turn to, at least not yet. The Labour party just acted out The Caine Mutiny, starring Jeremy Corbyn as Captain Queeg. The Tory Cameron gave three months notice without any plausible replacement in view. Now Cameron’s people are hinting in the media that they can just drag their feet on Brexit, that is, not do anything to enable it from actually happening for a while. Of course, that’s what the monkeyshines of banking and finance have done: postponed the inevitable reckoning with the realities of our time: growing resource scarcity, population overshoot, climate change, ecological holocaust, and the diminishing returns of technology.

Britain illustrates the problem nicely: how to produce “wealth” without producing wealth. It’s called “the City,” their name for the little district of London that is their Wall Street. In the absence of producing real things, the City became the driver of the UK’s economy, a ghastly parasitical organism that functioned as the central transfer station for the world’s swindles and frauds, churning the West’s dwindling residual capital into a slurry of fees, commissions, arbitrages, rigged casino bets, and rip-offs. In the process, it enabled the European Central Bank (ECB) to run the con-job that the European Union (EU) became, with the fatal distortions of credit that have put its members into a ditch and sent the private European banks off a cliff, Thelma and Louise style.

The next stage of this protean global melodrama is what happens when currencies and interest rates become completely unglued from their assigned roles as patsies in financial racketeering. Sooner or later we’ll know what’s going on in the vast shadowy gloaming of “derivatives,” especially the “innovative” arrangements that affect to be “insurance” against losses in currency and interest rate “positions” — bets made on the movements of these things. When currencies rise or fall quickly, these so-called “swaps” are “triggered,” and then some hapless institution is left holding a big bag of dog-shit. A zombie is a terrible thing to behold, but a zombie holding a bag of dog-shit is like unto the end of the world.

Once this contagion starts burning, the people-in-charge won’t be able to quell it the way they did last time: by drowning it in torrents of money-from-nowhere. At least not without inducing real-deal inflation, the kind that leads to epochal ruin and more intense political upheaval: the nation-changing kind. We’re about five minutes away from that in the USA already, with the loathsome duo of Hillary and Trump putting on a Punch and Judy show for a disgusted public. If nothing else, Hillary and Trump represent the withering of political trust in America. The parties that spawned them are also whirling around the drain of credibility. They won’t survive in the form we knew them.

Who knows what comes out of this vacuum, what rough beast slouches towards Washington.


James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation. His novels include World Made By Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Maggie Darling — A Modern Romance, The Halloween Ball, an Embarrassment of Riches, and many others. He has published three novellas with Water Street Press: Manhattan Gothic, A Christmas Orphan, and The Flight of Mehetabel.

Britain Goes Bonkers After Brexit: The End of the Beginning

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of RE

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on June 26, 2016


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Brexit Discussion with Jason Heppenstall, Monsta & RE


The carnage across the markets and the political hornet's nest unleashed on Friday after the Brexit Vote came in with a LEAVE result has been truly amazing to behold, and this is only on Day 1.

We can be sure the Central Banks have been working furiously over the weekend to get a strategy for calming the markets on Monday, which undoubtedly will amount to huge injections of liquidity to keep any of the large systemic banks from locking up.  However, there is so much PANIC right now through all sectors in all markets it's hard to imagine how they can plug all the leaks here.

HERE THEY COME TO SELL 'EM AGAIN! For the crowd supporting Brexit, there is some initial Blowback which nobody predicted, which is that on the heels of this it Split the UK itself, with Scotland and Ireland in favor of Bremain, while Britain and Wales voted Brexit.  So now Scotland and Ireland are talking about holding their own Referendums on leaving the UK so they can stay part of the EU.  Scotland already held one of these referendums last year where the Leave camp lost, but with this latest change probably would sswing a new referendum the other way.  Ireland is a really peculiar example here of how confused things are, because way back when they actually voted AGAINST joining the EU initially, but then the thunbscrews were put on them and in a revote were persuaded to join.  “If at first you don't succeed, try, try again to get the voting result you want”.

Speaking from this POV, Paul Craig Roberts doesn't think the Leave Vote will stand up, with Brussels and the IMF, World Bank etc again putting the thumbscrews down to either force a new vote or to force Parliament to go against the vote of the people and Bremain anyhow.  The Referendum is supposedly “non-binding”, and in order to be enacted into Law, Parliament has to send a Letter or at least make an Official Statement invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.

A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.

Even after such an “official” declaration by Da Goobermint, the negotiations to unwind this marriage have a timeline of 2 years.  That is a LOT of time for still more SHTF in both the UK and in the EU as a whole. Far as the Brit Pols and the Eurocrat Clowns & Jokers are concerned, you have 2 opposing camps on this part of the debate also.  Current Prime Minister David Cameron is stepping down, but not for another 3 months.  As a Bremain supporter, he doesn't think he is the Man for the Job of negotiating a Brexit, which is about the first true thing I have heard out of the mouth of a politician in a long time.  Kudos to DC for that.  However, DC was also the person who actually suggested a Referendum, confident at the time I suppose that Brexit was a laughable idea and would be soundly defeated.

Unfortunately in the interim, the Refugee Crisis escalated out of control and the EU Clowns & Jokers have proved ever increasingly ineffective, anti-democratic and just plain stupid.  Any credibility they may have once had has long since been lost.  Really NOBODY in the entire EU except the Political Class beholden to Brussels can STAND these people, or being under their thumb economically, and as a result politically as well.  You don't bow to the will of Brussels, they make your life miserable.  See the Greeks for this, who after a brief and fairly impotent attempt at getting some kind of reasonable deal on their small mountain of debt totally capitulated to their Masters in Brussels.

The Brits (and Welsh, Scots & Irish) are in a slightly better position than the Greeks were.  First off, when they joined the EU they never gave up their own currency of Sterling.  So they can still print their own money.  Second, the UK is home to the City of London, one of the largest financial centers in the world, exceeded only perhaps by Wall Street.  This bollixes up all their operations, and while maybe they can move to Frankfurt or Brussels itself over some period of time, that would be an extremely expensive and difficult move to make.  Thus you get still further turmoil in the financial markets during this period. In any event, the EU Clowns are pushing the Brits to Invoke Article 50 IMMEDIATELY, to get on with this divorce! "Let's get it OVAH with here already!  We HATE each other and we don't want to sleep together anymore!  The Marriage is OVAH!"

The Brits on the other hand are shuffling their feet here on this, as mentioned Cameron won't send this letter and is stepping down to let some other Pol do the dirty work.  From the Brexit side, they are in no rush either to carry through with the Referendum Results, especially given the already nasty fallout from the first day!  They want to now use this to try to negotiate a better deal with the Euroclowns, but like the Greeks before them they don't REALLY want to leave the EU.

Problem on this of course is that at least by EU standards, the Brits ALREADY had the best deal, they got to keep their currency but ALSO had access to the Eurozone trading market with low or no tariffs, etc.  The Euroclowns don't want to negotiate a STILL BETTER deal with them, since of course directly after that everybody will be clamoring for the same deal.

Which now brings us to another perhaps even larger problem than Brexit (which certainly is a big enough problem on its own!), which is the fact that in just about all the countries in the Eurozone, there are simmering Populist Movements that want OUT, extant even before the Brexit Vote.

Podemos in Spain under Pablo Iglesias wants Out.  5 Star in Italy under Beppe Grillo wants Out.  The National Front under Marine LePen in France wants Out.  The Party for Freedom in the Netherlands under Geert Wilders wants Out.  Just about every country on the Balkan Migration Route of the MENA Refugees does NOT want Brussels dictating to them precisely how many Refugees they should or should not give Asylum to.  This includes places like Austria, Hungary, Croatia etc.  So Brussels is under a LOT of political pressure here, and in the medium to long run simply will not hold together as a union.  That does not mean though that in the near term they will not use all tools at their disposal to keep this Ponzi afloat, they most certainly will do that.  Everything depends on this, the solvency of the banking system leading the way on this.

Next week certainly will have a lot of Market Turmoil as all the Big Players try to reposition themselves in the aftermath of the initial carnage.  How well the Central Banks can contain this and prevent Financial Contagion from spreading throughout the entire system is an Open Question.  Interest Rate tools are pretty much shot since they are at ZIRP or NIRP all through the bond market.  Ouright monetization of debt would destroy whatever is left of credibility here, and beyond that there still is no mechanism to deliver freshly printed money to the consumers who spend that money.  Without that, you have no flow of funds, velocity of money drops to zero and it does not matter how much you print.

To sum it up, this would be a good time to load up on preps.


Brexit: requiem for a dream

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Published on Cassandra's Legacy on June 23, 2016


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For many years, I had thought that a united Europe was a great idea. An institution created by wise men who had wanted to avoid repeating the horrible mistakes that had led Europeans to massacre each other in two terrible wars. Europe was supposed to be a Europe of the people, a force for peace, for  justice, for equality, for the defense of both humankind and nature.

Two years ago, I was in Brussels for a hearing at the European Parliament; it was a shock. The Europe I knew, the Europe I thought I knew, wasn't anywhere to be found. What I found was a bunch of ill-advised, pompous bureaucrats wandering in a gigantic and useless palace. The ghosts of the founders had been thoroughly exorcised and now what was left was an empty shell; a structure that just perpetuated itself without any clear purpose, except drilling more fossil fuels out of the ground, and – maybe – make war to Russia. The dream of a Europe of the peoples acting for peace and justice was gone. Requiem for a dream.

And now what? It seems clear that Europe, as it is now, cannot survive this blow and maybe this is not a bad thing. Can we reform this Europe? Or can we restart from scratch? Impossible to say. In any case, here is the post that I wrote two years ago after my trip to Brussels. If you can read Spanish, you may be also interested in these considerations by Antono Turiel.


Bringing the message about resource depletion to the European Parliament









With 24 languages deemed as "official," the European Union shares some characteristics with the ancient Babel Tower (above, the parliament building in Strasbourg). The Babel of languages is one of the problems associated with trying to pass messages to politicians, but not the most important one. Rather, the main problem seems to be a decisional mechanism which favors groupthink Here are some notes of a recent experience of mine at a hearing on energy security of the European Parliament in Brussels.

As I walk to the hearing on energy security in Europe, I am struck first of all by the size of the hall. The "Alcide De Gasperi" room in the palace of the European Parliament in Brussels was clearly built for impressing people, in addition to its function as a meeting room. One of its most remarkable features is the long row of windows of the interpreters' rooms. Since there are 24 official languages of the European Union, there have to be some 50 interpreters working in there. Then, I also notice how the screens for projecting one's slides are small and located high up, near the ceiling. This is not a place where you are supposed to support your statements with data and graphs. It is a place built for political debate.

As people collect in the hall, I can see that the atmosphere is rather formal, with several members of the European Parliament sitting in the audience. Most people are dressed in suits and many wear ties. On the podium, there are six invited speakers. And there we go; I immediately sense the mood of the conference: this is not a scientific meeting. None of the speakers seem to be an expert about fossil fuels, intended as markets, production, resources, reserves, and the like. Rather, they seem to be mainly concerned with strategic and political issues. The line that emerges from the presentations and from the reactions of the audience is clear: it is a highly confrontational attitude (to put it mildly) toward Russia, accused to be engaging in an economic war against Western Europe. The gist of what I hear is that the European Union must unite in defense; we must follow the example of the United States and get rid of our silly regulations and of the local resistance against drilling and nuclear plants. Europe can exploit its shale gas and oil resources (and also nuclear energy) and attain energy independence, as the United States did. It is "drill, drill, drill" all over.

This line, in various shades, is the position of four speakers out of six. The bias in favor of fossil fuels is shown also by the fact that the lady charged with defending renewables is given the last time slot of the hearing. The fossil oriented attitude seems to be shared by the majority of the audience. Not that it is not challenged by some of the MEPs in the room. One of them (I know him well, he has been a long time ASPO supporter) stands up and tells to one of the speakers: "it is not true that the United States has attained energy independence. You have to stop getting your data from newspapers!". He is right, (you can look at the data yourself). But it is an isolated reaction, and the overall debate remains based on the idea that the US has become energy independent or that, at least, it will soon become independent.

When it is my turn to speak, I tell a different story. I try to explain that the ultimate origin of the energy security problems in Europe is due to depletion, and that drilling more is not the solution. I keep the message as simple as possible; tailored for people who are not specialists in oil and gas. I show the price trends, I tell them something about energy return, and I make the point that renewable energy is not subjected to depletion. I sense that my talk is well received: the people in the audience listen to what I say, and they look up at my slides (but those screens are too high and too small, dammit!). I also get several questions and comments – mostly favorable ones. After the hearing is over, several people stop me to discuss further about what I said. As a talk, it was a reasonably successful one.

But, on the whole, I think I had a very modest impact, if any. As I noticed many times, it is extremely difficult to pass to decision makers messages which are perceived as out of the ordinary, as the message on resource depletion is. The problem has many facets and it has to do, mainly, with the way politicians think. According to my experience, politicians – especially high level ones – are very smart people. The problem is that they are swamped with information; just as most of us. So, in the great mass of data arriving, how do you decide what is the truth? If you are a scientist – or you are scientifically trained – you have ways to evaluate the data and filter out the bad ones. But politicians are not scientists, they are not scientifically trained, so they use a different method. They maintain a healthy dose of skepticism about everything they hear; they don't pay too much attention on data, and they tend to side with the interpretation that they perceive as the most compatible with the general opinion of the group they belong to.

There are reasons for this "groupthink" syndrome that, probably, affects politicians more than most of us. It is because then main tool in the political struggle, today, is the demonization of adversaries. So, a politician is very careful to avoid to be singled out from the crowd of colleagues and subjected to the standard demonizing treatment. For a politician, there is safety in crowds; a traditional strategy well known also by sheep and fish. In practice, you may see a politician as having a built in opinion detector in his head. He/she will sense the position of the majority and try to avoid straying too far away from it. In general, the way for a politician to obtain power is to occupy the center; to be seen as a moderate. That this is the way to success has been known for a long time; even rigorously modeled (in economics, it is known as the "Hotelling's law"). Scientists are sometimes contrarians, politicians almost never are.

So, I think I can figure out the reaction of most of the MEPs to the hearing on energy security in Brussels. It was something like, "Well, that Italian guy who spoke about resource depletion might have a point about what the real problem is. I couldn't his slides so well, so high up near the ceiling, but he seemed to have some good data. But, on the other hand, the other speakers saw the problem differently. If most people in the parliament think that Russia is waging an economic war against us and that drilling more is a good idea, then there has to be something in it. For sure, I shouldn't take the risk of siding with a minority option."

Ugo Bardi teaches at the University of Florence, Italy. He is a member of the Club of Rome and the author of "Extracted, how the quest for mineral wealth is plundering the planet" (Chelsea Green 2014)



BREXIT! The FUN Begins!

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on June 24, 2016

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Unbelievably, INCREDIBLY, the Brits Voted for BREXIT, aka divorcing from the European Union.

As this campaign went on over the last few months, the Brexit Champions seemed to be gaining the upper hand, and as of about a week ago I thought Brexit would win over Bremain.

But then, by SHEER COINCIDENCE, something happened.  A Brit MP, Jo Cox was ASSASSINATED, with the Assassin reportedly crying BRITAIN FIRST or something like that anyhow before he shot and stabbed her to death.  Not quite ALLAHU AKBAR! but similar enough to turn off people to voting for Brexit if this reminded them of Terrorist Tactics.

Campaigns were suspended for 3 days on both sides, and although there was some variation in the Polling, the tactic appeared to have WORKED, and the major Polling companies began reporting that Bremain would win.

Global Markets breathed a sigh of RELIEF, and after being hammered for a few weeks the Pound Sterling began to recover.  The markets calmes, all would be well, BAU would continue onward.

However, in the driving rain and flooding in many locations, with Polling locations having to be moved due to the weather issues, the Brits still turned out to vote, and in the end, the Brexit crowd won the day.

Tomorrow, and all of next week as well will see complete TURMOIL in the Financial Markets as well.  Nobody is certain of the repercussions, other than at least at the beginning the financial markets both in Britain and Europe will get positively HAMMERED.

At the same time though, just a Vote by the population at large to dissolve this marriage doesn't instantaneously dissolve all their financial entaglements, any more than when you get a divorce the financial entaglements with your spouse instantly dissapear.  In fact, it is orders of magnitude WORSE in a case like this, with "International Law" and "International Treaties" all involved.  Not just a few, hundreds if not thousands of laws and contractual agreements are on the chopping block here, and each one of them can run into hundreds if not thousands of pages of Legalese.  So what you will have here is a long and interminable set of court cases being held, and trust me the people who voted for Brexit will have no say whatsoever in how those cases are adjudicated.  What comes out at the end of it a few years down the line is a complete mystery, although if BAU ontinues, you can expect the result to benefit the Trnasnational Corporations rather than the people of Britain.

On Sunday here on the Diner on our Collapse Cafe discussion, we will be getting together with a few of the Diner Brits to discuss the outcomes and possible future resultant from the Brexit Vote.  We will go off LIVE @ High Noon Alaska Time, 4PM Eastern Time, 9PM Brit Summer Time.  Be there, or be Square.

Danger! EU Demolition in Progress

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Published on the 22 Billion Energy Slaves on February 22, 2016

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It’s getting harder all the time to distract oneself from how threadbare the fabric of our societies is becoming. No matter how much you avert your eyes it is all but impossible not to notice things unravelling around you. This is happening on every level, from the local to the international, manifesting itself in a multitude of ways.  Just as a fractal pattern has both the macrocosm in the microcosm, and the microcosm in the macrocosm, we are seeing signs of collapse small and large all around us.

At the micro level I could mention the town in which I live. In the past year we’ve seen a couple of big box retailers close down at one end of the scale, and quite a few small independents as well, some of which have been trading for decades. Streets have so many boarded up shop-fronts that the local council has taken to plastering them with posters showing images from happier times. Homelessness has spiked too, as has drug and alcohol abuse. The police station hasn’t officially closed down, but try getting hold of an officer when you need one – as I did when some drunken youth vandalised my car. The building is still there but instead of it being open there is a phone beside the front door that you must use to report a crime.
Aside from the police and the shops closing, public toilets are closed virtually all of the time, and the Post Office too is soon to close down, having been privatised and now asset stripped. The council is being forced to raise its taxation rates by 4% this year to cover the shortfall caused by spiralling costs and diminished funding from central government. Clinics and charities are being squeezed out of existence and the local council tried (and failed) to privatise the town’s midsummer festival.
My wife works in the care sector. The stories I get to hear will make you never want to be dependent on the state in your old age. If you can’t rely on your kids to look after you in your dotage it might be wise to keep a bottle of whisky and a revolver in your bottom drawer. Or maybe you'd rather die of thirst lying in your own mess because the 19-year-old unqualified carer who works for minimum wage is too busy checking Facebook on her phone to hear you pressing the emergency button by the bed.
Food banks are popping up. Schools are cancelling the more costly trips due to a lack of pupils being able to afford them, and local councils are cutting down trees in public places as they are ‘costly to maintain'. Streets are lined with weeds.  
This might sound like a laundry list of woes, but despite it all there is still a reasonably solid façade of normality. Potholes in the road get fixed, people are still buying shiny new cars and householders do up their homes. The county council is still pressing ahead with its plans to install super-fast broadband that will ‘connect us to the world’ as if we weren’t already, and the newspapers continue to repeat that the economy is recovering, that everyone who wants a job now has one, and that generally speaking things are pretty good and getting better all the time. Children’s TV programmes are still talking about us all going off to live on Mars at some point in the future, Richard Branson has unveiled a new spaceship and true believers are still talking earnestly about self-driving robot cars that are fuelled by water.
All well and good if you are not paying attention, but on another level it is also getting harder to ignore the cracks that are appearing around us. And crack-ups don’t get much larger than the EU. The UK prime minister David Cameron recently announced there would be a referendum on whether Britain should remain a part of the EU aka ‘Brexit’. This has had the effect of a starting gun being fired in the race to win votes for the respective ‘In’ and ‘Out’ campaigns. If the ‘ins’ win then the UK will remain within the EU, albeit still on the periphery and with various half-measures in place to ward off unwelcome EU policies. If the ‘outs’ win then the UK will be out of Europe and millions of lawyers can expect to look forward to years of lucrative work as we try to disentangle ourselves from the biggest bureaucratic mess the world will have ever seen.
Even though it is early days, a basic and simplistic narrative has emerged in the debate. It goes something like this:
From the INs: “The EU brings us peace and prosperity. It has eliminated borders, improved the environment and lifted consumer standards. We would be X b/million (insert random number from your favoured think tank) pounds worse off if we left. It protects us from Russia and ISIS and the Brexiters are nothing but a bunch of right-wing racist Neanderthals who want to steal the EU’s (benign) power and use it against us.”
From the OUTs: “The EU is undemocratic and nobody should have the right to decide our national policies – especially immigration. It is run by unelected technocrats who are paid a fortune to make up silly laws. The European Court of Human Rights is the go-to place for Islamic terrorists and paedophiles who should be tried (and hopefully hung) in Britain.”
That might be a bit simplistic, but that’s the kind of level of debate that is going around at the moment. Everybody is talking about whether the EU is a good thing or not to be part of, but nobody is asking whether it can exist at all for much longer. I would argue that it cannot. The EU, at heart, is a vast trading bloc of half a billion people. Its very existence is predicated on capitalism, acquisitive expansion and favourable trade deals at the expense of the third world. It runs on cheap energy – the kind of energy that will not be readily available for much longer, and when the inevitably huge financial unwind picks up pace it will severely curtail European access to capital markets and energy. The EU might be rich but it is only rich because of historically unfair trading conditions that have impoverished half the world. And it has very few viable energy sources that would keep it in the manner to which it is accustomed.
The EU has always contained the seeds of its own destruction. By regarding monetary union as an inevitability (an inevitability that has steamrollered democracy in the process) it would logically reach a point where the weaker member states would not be able to keep pace with the stronger ones. By flooding the southern periphery nations with cash – and then asking for it back with interest – the EU looks from the outside to be a self-cannibalising monster. Peace in Europe? Let’s see how long that lasts. There are many in Greece, Spain and Portugal who see ‘the EU’ as Germany in disguise.
Pro-EU liberals tend to regard the continent in terms of what consumer benefits they can extract from it. To be ‘pro Europe’ is to retain one’s right to fly to Barcelona for the weekend on Easyjet and enjoy tapas on Las Ramblas. They warn that this kind of easy living won’t be possible if we leave the EU.
If the EU were to quit the EU it probably wouldn’t be a death blow. Britain has a vastly over-inflated sense of its own importance in world affairs and the reality is that the EU might barely notice our exit. A far bigger existential threat to the EU comes in the form of the immigration crisis, which it is already at war itself over. So far, only a tiny number of refugees have arrived in Europe and yet people are already whipped into a frenzy of fear and anguish. In 2015 around a million beaten-down desperate people fled war, drought and economic collapse, to arrive on the shores of Europe – many of them drowning along the way. A million sounds like a lot of people until you remember that there are already half a billion people living here in an area of 1.7 million square miles. If the refugees were spread out equally they would have nearly two square miles each. Lebanon, by contrast, has some two million refugees – and Lebanon is a country you could lose under a crumb on a world map. A Belgian minster's response to the EU's refugee ‘crisis’; tell Greeks to push them back into the sea. There’s your liberal EU for you.
This is also the same organisation that is trying frantically to get a secret trade deal ratified that would hand over yet more power to trans national corporations and take it away from nation states. If TTIP goes through we can kiss goodbye to basic rights and freedoms, such as being able to choose whether our kids eat genetically modified food or can be told that smoking is bad for them.
By now you’re probably thinking that I’ll be ticking the ‘Out’ box on my voting slip on June 23rd. I will be, but its more or less irrelevant as the EU cannot last much longer anyway. This point of view, alas, will not go down well with many people. To be a ‘Brexiter’ is conflated with being a pig-headed xenophobe who refuses to regard social justice issues as the most important battle in human history. The ‘debate’ is far too tribal in any case. The arguments of the ‘Ins’ are confusing and make no sense to me. They talk about democracy yet want to give it away, and they celebrate diversity but at the same time think a ‘one size fits all’ mindset will deliver that.
The irony of being called anti-European is that I am ardently pro-European. I’ve lived in four different EU countries, travelled all over and am married to an Italian Dane. Europe, to me, is the most diverse place in the world and has an amazing spread of history and culture. My ideal life would involve spending several months each year travelling around Europe in a camper van and getting to know it in an even more intimate manner. The EU is not Europe; it’s an abstract concept masking a faceless undemocratic organisation that funnels wealth from one place to another and keeps its modesty intact behind a fig leaf of supposed liberalism.
It doesn’t have to be that way. We could still have a Europe united around some core values other than money and power and capitalism. How about a Europe focused on an emerging eco consciousness? Or what about remaking it as a loose cooperative of bio-regions? Or perhaps, at the very least, we could all agree on a shared constitution founded on liberty, equality and fraternity. Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has suggested something along those lines, setting up a pan-European umbrella group called DiEM25 that aims to shake things up ‘gently, compassionately but firmly.’ Perhaps there could be more debate about what kind of Europe would be better suited to weathering the coming financial, ecological and energy shocks without causing so much collateral damage to both itself and other nations.
Until that happens we’ll just have to stand back and watch the fireworks. Big institutions like the EU are like skyscrapers; they don’t come crashing down to the ground without taking out plenty of other nearby buildings and the EU is like the leaning tower of Pisa on steroids.  Big things are an artefact of the age of oil – the future is necessarily smaller and more local. The best course of action is to stop arguing over whether it is best to be stood on top of the creaking tower it or beside it, and simply get the hell out of the way before it goes over. 

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

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Quote from: knarf on Today at 03:11:09 PM   Zoom Details Who needs Light? This is how much this collapse everywhere has gotten me. What has changed over the past 15 years? Well, I was 52 back then, puttin in full gardens, managing 22 chickens, and American Guinea Hogs 2 ++++++( experiment - preservation ). They had oodles of oodalies ( baby pigs scurrying around when they Who needs Light?  Views: 1 Posted by knarf Today in Collapstead Intentional Commun This is how much this collapse everywhere has gotten me. What has changed over the past 15 years? Well, I was 52 back then, puttin in full gardens, managin...

Quote from: RE on Today at 12:33:27 PMThis is a BIG advantage of being a Renter.   My Hot Water (and heat) boiler gave up the ghost last winter.  The Management had to pay for a new one and the insta...

Quote from: Surly1 on Today at 12:04:35 PMQuote from: knarf on Today at 10:07:38 AM   Zoom Details Boil Water, we got a chore to do! About 6 months ago our water heater died and was leaking bad. I normally would have wrestled the thing into the basement and hooked a another one up, but this year I said no.  I would surely injure myself some how. My calf was bad then too. So we searched for a replacement one, and looked for an i Boil Water, we got a chore to  Views: 3 Posted by knarf Today in Collapstead Intentional Commun About 6 months ago our water heater died and was leaking bad. I normally would h...

  Zoom Details Who needs Light? This is how much this collapse everywhere has gotten me. What has changed over the past 15 years? Well, I was 52 back then, puttin in full gardens, managing 22 chickens, and American Guinea Hogs 2 ++++++( experiment - preservation ). They had oodles of oodalies ( baby pigs scurrying around when they Who needs Light?  Views: 1 Posted by knarf Today in Collapstead Intentional Commun This is how much this collapse everywhere has gotten me. What has changed over the past 15 years? Well, I was 52 back then, puttin in full gardens, managing 22 chickens, and American Guinea Hogs 2 ++++++( experiment - preservatio...

Quote from: Surly1 on Today at 01:50:34 PMQuote from: RE on Today at 01:32:53 PMQuote from: Surly1 on Today at 01:28:38 PM[quote author=monsta666 link=topic...

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