Here is the post which I will try to keep sticky for people to ask questions and share their thoughts which are not on topic. This, I think is known as Open Thread. Fire away.
Saturday, January 1, 2022
Monday, February 1, 2021
Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Bloomberg (yes, this famous propaganda outlet) produced today a fascinating example of delusion and an extreme, stage-3, butt-hurt, stage-1 and 2 being butt-hurts which still could be controlled by meditation and delusions. Stage-3 however, while allows one to produce delusions hits hard because those who stick to this delusion begin to understand that this is just that--a delusion and begin to grasp, however fleetingly, an unfolding reality. This is what makes Stage-3 so painful and makes delusions so unconvincing. Get a load of that:
The real wild card here has been the coronavirus. Not just the direct economic hit, but also Putin’s distant initial reaction and the lack of a fiscal boost, which means he hasn’t seen the sort of rallying effect in the polls that has helped U.S. President Donald Trump and other political leaders. Nigel Gould-Davies, at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, suggests the risk is a repeat of Putin's Kursk debacle two decades ago, when his perceived leadership failure at the time of the submarine tragedy triggered widespread criticism. This isn’t a threat to the plan to change the constitution to allow him to stay on, but his “father of the nation” gambit may be harder to implement, especially if Russia’s under-resourced health system buckles.
The cretinism of this statement is such that it is even difficult to deconstruct it because it is basically a verbal diarrhea which even those who produce it know is shit. Reference to Kursk disaster and alleged "criticism" of Putin, of course, misses this teeny-weeny fact that it was precisely Kursk tragedy which DID reveal to Russia Vladimir Putin Russians came to know and appreciate. Then there was an end to war in Chechnya, then there was a Nord-Ost hostage drama, then there was a tragedy of Beslan and through all of this Putin emerged as a true statesman and a national leader. But as it was always the case Western journos and "analysts" have huge issues with causality, that is they cannot properly tie together cause and effect (which is normal for people who have no viable education). Drawing parallels to Donald Trump's rating to Putin's position as a national leader is the same as comparing a high-school musical to opera from La Scala. But that is Western journos for ya.
But why, one may ask, such statements:
Moscow is pragmatic. But Trump will need to make some concession-like noises at least on American production cuts, to help Putin save face. Not easy, but given the shut-ins already triggered by the price fall, also not impossible, with the help of U.S. state energy regulators.
LOL. So, it is not about killing, or letting live, US shale oil whose fate is in Russia's (not even Saudi) hands but to "help Putin save face". This is Stage-3, folks. It is a level of butt-hurt which triggers the only "defense" one hurting (in the butt) can offer--to project own pain onto those who are just alright. You know like the statement on Russia's "under-resourced" health care. But why, why (wink, wink) such a drama--here is the answer.
“The U.S. oil industry is being wrestled to the ground by the Russians and Saudis,” Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy and Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts, said before the report was released. “Involuntary participation is the best way to put it.” EIA forecasts that the U.S. will return to being a net importer of crude oil and petroleum products in the third quarter of 2020 and remain a net importer in most months through the end of the forecast period. The agency expects Brent, the global benchmark crude, to average $33.04 a barrel this year, down from earlier expectations of $43.30.
Ah, that's warmer. But here is even more increased temperature:
A deal still hinges on some form of co-operation with America, according to delegates involved in the talks. That may be difficult for OPEC to achieve, as President Donald Trump resists any partnership with the cartel that he’s vilified for years. However, the collapse in crude prices to 18-year lows has triggered deep reductions in U.S. drilling that mean a drop in production is inevitable, which could be enough to satisfy Saudi Arabia and Russia. “Nobody’s asked me, so if they ask I’ll make a decision,” Trump said on whether the U.S. would participate in cutbacks. American producers are “already cutting back and they’re cutting back very seriously. I think it’s happening automatically.”
So, Trump DOES make "some concession-like noises" after all to "help Putin save face" as we are told. And sure, he absolutely must "help" Putin to save "face" because the US shale oil industry is being wrecked completely even this very minute I type this, and the United States can do absolutely nothing about it unless (and even this may be too little, too late) it does cut production and gets to negotiate, de facto joining OPEC+ and turning it into OPEC++. If not, follow the news in coming weeks. I warned, genuine multi-polarity is a bitch--one suddenly needs to calculate consequences, a skill long time ago absent from current US political class, which is not surprising once one learns how the "history" is "taught" in the US and, this ever present trouble with cause and effect, add here the sudden epiphany about own self experienced through the acute, Statge-3, pain in the rear and, who knows, one may begin to suspect that producing verbal diarrhea is not the best way to deal with cold hard facts. This, mind you, without us going into the issue of REAL productive economy, which the United States needs to return in some form to its shores, thus giving itself at least some chance to survive intact. But that is a huge, separate discussion in itself since the projection numbers on the US GDP are staggering:
The bank expects second quarter GDP to contract by 33.5%, according to a Monday note. That means the period from April 1 to June 30 is shaping up to be the worst quarter on record going back to 1945, analysts led by Jonathan Golub wrote. It shows the stark effect the coronavirus pandemic is having on the US economy. In the financial crisis, the worst quarter of 2008 suffered only an 8.4% GDP slump, according to Credit Suisse. Coronavirus is also outpacing the previous record — a 10% slump in the first quarter of 1958, amid the Eisenhower recession.
What it all means in real terms, even if the economy "bounces" back in some way in the future, nobody knows in the United States, unless we are talking about minds of the scale of Michael Hudson. Meanwhile, printing press is overheated and with each cycle it spells the end of the US Dollar as we know it and that can push butt-hurt to 11, granted we somehow survive to observe and experience it. I am not looking forward to it.
Monday, April 6, 2020
Colosseum. My first day on "standby layoff", which means I have all my benefits and I know when I am coming back to my work and that makes me happy since I finally get to rest and start (I underscore--start) my third book. So, it is my Friday and I finally can indulge myself in one of the greatest metal bands ever (not just Russian) who rocked the hell out of the 15,000 people in Moscow, which resonated across the whole metal world.
Including this masterpiece which now is about 36 years old. We were (still are) happy generation...
And she breaks clock to extend her life............
Baptizing by Fire:
Baptizing by Fire:
Dillon yesterday (thank you) dropped the link to Henry Kissinger's article in Wall Street Journal where Kissinger waxes geopolitical. For some reason Kissinger has reputation in US as a geopolitical thinker of scale, but then again Francis Fukuyama and Zbigniew Brzezinski also have the same reputation, which, in its turn, is an affront to the term "reputation", not to speak of the modern geopolitics as a combination of a broad spectrum of knowledge ranging from history, economics, international relations, geography, military, industry, technological development and some other funny things like theory of probability and other strictly math-physics related issues. We, of course, can all remember, among his achievements, his brilliant idea of "opening China" which resulted in the long run in stripping the US of its industrial might. In general, long term thinking is not a strong point among American geopolitical "thinkers" and Kissinger is an exhibit A of such a trait. Yet, good ol' 96 year old Henry, in his WSJ's piece on Covid-19 arrives to a funny conclusion:
The world’s democracies need to defend and sustain their Enlightenment values. A global retreat from balancing power with legitimacy will cause the social contract to disintegrate both domestically and internationally.
After I stopped laughing, I formulated a question: what ARE those Enlightenment values as Kissinger understands them? Last time I checked the main Enlightenment "value" which made combined West great was a rational thought. Everything else follows from it, including such a simulacra as man's freedom (whatever freedom is in each given historic age). The rest is up for never-ending philosophical debate on what those "values" truly are. And here is the problem--modern West lost its ability to think and act rationally long time ago. In fact, Kissinger should know this very well--he was and still is in the midst of the decision making kitchen in the West which begins to increasingly look and feel like a psychiatric ward populated with people very many of who suffer from acute cases of sociopathic decease, while some are down right open psychopaths incapable of rational thought and even basic reasoning in principle. If Kissinger thinks that figures of Merkel, W, Obama, Mike Pompeo or Trump are representative of "Enlightenment values" then we certainly think about very different "values".
But the next Kissinger's statement is altogether a wowser:
Third, safeguard the principles of the liberal world order.
My question is: did Kissinger actually study the history of "liberalism" and what it did both to the combined West and the world as a whole? This is what I wrote a year ago in my latest book:
Liberalism, in its different contemporary manifestations, such as globalist capitalism, also known as globalization, has a “stellar” record of using threats as a primary tool in international relations. Globalism is aggressive for a number of reasons ranging from purely economic interests to convictions of cultural superiority. These form a ballast for what goes on to become military aggression, easily resorted to because of the often complete inability to understand the practice (what really happens during warfare) and the consequences of the application of military power (what really happens as a result of that trauma and destruction) and accordingly an appreciation of how to achieve a global military balance precluding war.... There is no good life without peace and liberalism is not capable of defining that as a key component of a good life, due to liberalism and its scholarship living in a complete delusion about the predatory intentions driving its own economic and military (often grossly exaggerated) capability.
Even earlier than that, three years ago, I wrote:
Where does this leave us all on the globe in general and in the US in particular? There is no denying that the economic decline both in relative and absolute terms is a fact of life for the United States and the order it came to embody. This order is a globalist liberal vision—America’s crisis is a crisis of liberalism and of global financial capitalism. The utopian modern liberal orthodoxy (a euphemism for free trade) remains based on money and profit as a measure of everything. This doesn’t work anymore.
But forget about me, I wrote it in the times when the going was good and it seemed that everything will be fine. Well, it wasn't fine then already, in fact--it never was. And then, the man of a scale much larger than Kissinger ever was, and a geopolitical thinker orders of magnitude larger than him, stated:
So, Kissinger, using fuzzy platitudes doesn't want liberalism, or whatever passes today under this stupid term, as such to be preserved, he wants, behind this psychobabble of "geopolitical" doctrine-mongering, to preserve the world in which the United States is the only one force which sets up the rules. But this is this main issue with most American "geopolitical thinkers", Kissinger included--they still live in those halcyon days of America's self-proclaimed "exceptionalism" of early 1990s and they don't have required cognitive instruments to recognize the scale of the geopolitical balance's shift which happened since 2007. The world became much more complex and weapons evolved to the point of being unstoppable--a little fact they don't teach in political "science" courses.
What will evolve in the aftermath of the Covid-19 and America's steady departure, due to both ideological and economic bankruptcy, from its self-anointed status of hegemon is a topic for a separate discussion, which will require non-stop application of the main Enlightenment Value of a rational thought and competent reasoning--the value long ago lost in deep dark recesses of the liberalism's mythology as an answer to humanity's real challenges in the XXI Century. The answer it is not and the emerging new world order may yet answer this challenge by creating a more just and more peaceful world, that task the combined West ultimately failed at.
Sunday, April 5, 2020
I already noted that The Donald has this tendency to exaggerate, let's call it that, somewhat few days ago when he claimed that he "brokered the deal" between Saudis and Russia on oil. Sure he did, and I know where the body of Jimmy Hoffa is buried. Reality has this bitchy tendency to correct people who deny it. So, it did.
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump ramped up threats to use tariffs to protect the U.S. energy industry from a historic glut of oil, as efforts to forge a global deal to cut output appeared to lose momentum. Trump said Saturday at a White House press briefing he’d use tariffs if needed to protect the domestic oil industry, even as he predicted that Saudi Arabia and Russia would come to an agreement to cut output and stem the rout in prices. But such a deal looked a bit further from reach at the weekend after a diplomatic row between Saudi Arabia and Russia. A gathering of OPEC+ members and other producers scheduled for Monday was pushed back, to give more time for negotiations.
But, wait a minute, just two days ago he said that everything was ready to go. Hm. Of course it was not, because Russia is not going to negotiate anything until the United States joins in--the step Trump tries to avoid, evidently, by all means. I am not a specialist in oil industry, far from it, but here is what Trump and US oil industry are facing, and I quote:
Hundreds of thousands of U.S. oil industry jobs are hanging in the balance, with about $15 billion of investments wiped out from the budgets of shale explorers and many of them on the brink of bankruptcy.
The condition to Trump was articulated, in fact, spelled in the most clear and easily understood way: Russia is going to negotiate ONLY on the condition of the United States joining those negotiations and showing readiness to cut own production.It is either that or the United States cuts production in the most uncontrolled manner down the road due to obvious economic depression unfolding in a front of our very own eyes. When writing about Noblesse Oblige five days ago I assumed that the United States will behave itself as a true superpower--I was wrong. Nor the issue of North American refineries which are very specifically "tuned" for different types of crude is properly discussed. If that wasn't bad enough, "good" news continue to pour in for Boeing's B-737 Max, with Boeing losing a contract for another 75 B-737 Max. Ain't the globalism grand?
UPDATE: same day.
UPDATE: same day.
(Reuters) - Boeing Co <BA.N> said on Sunday it would extend the suspension of production operations at its Washington state facilities until further notice amid the coronavirus outbreak. The largest U.S. planemaker said on March 23 it would halt production at its Washington state twin-aisle jetliner factory as a temporary measure to help fight the outbreak of the respiratory disease. Production had been expected to resume early this week. Boeing declined to say when production could resume. It said the actions were "being taken in light of the company's continuing focus on the health and safety of employees, current assessment of the spread of COVID-19 in Washington state, the reliability of the supply chain and additional recommendations from government health authorities."One word: WOW!
Friday, April 3, 2020
Of course, how about sticking to principles and rules based order;))
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Ventilators delivered by Russia to the United States for coronavirus patients were manufactured by a Russian company that is under U.S. sanctions, Russia's RBC business daily reported on Friday. A Russian military plane carrying the ventilators along with other medical supplies including personal protective equipment landed in New York on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone. Russian state television footage of the plane's unloading showed boxes of "Aventa-M" ventilators, which are produced by the Ural Instrument Engineering Plant (UPZ) in the city of Chelyabinsk, 1,500 km (930 miles) east of Moscow, RBC reported. UPZ is part of a holding company called Concern Radio-Electronic Technologies (KRET), which itself is a unit of Russian state conglomerate Rostec. KRET has been under U.S. sanctions since July 2014, with U.S. firms and nationals barred from doing business with it. The issue was further complicated by the question of whether it was the United States or Russia's sovereign wealth fund RDIF, which was added to U.S. sectoral sanctions in 2015, that paid for the ventilators. A senior administration official on Friday said sanctions did not apply to medical supplies.
You gotta love this. But if "sanctions did not apply to medical supplies", how about IMF (controlled by the US) issuing a loan for Iran, who desperately needs it precisely for medical supplies? And as was expected:
The State Department on Friday did not have immediate comment on the sanctions question.
Of course, not. And then, of course, this issue of "who paid for what". I guess at this stage this all is beyond redemption, the system is completely fvcked and cannot be reformed.