As climate chaos intensifies, some environmentalists are focused on direct action protests to stop fracking, shut off tar sands pipelines and leave fossil fuels in the ground. These are worthy goals, but they come with an inconvenient price: fracking and tar sands delayed the arrival of energy rationing, which is likely to be an intensely unpopular permanent economic shock.
Conventional oil extraction in the US peaked in 1970. Fracking gave a second, smaller peak that that is ebbing now due to debt and depletion. The global peak of conventional oil was a decade ago.
By Charles Hugh-Smith | March 3. 2017 | OfTwoMinds
Strip away the centralized power that protects and funds cartels, and prices would plummet.
The mainstream narrative is "the problem is low wages." Actually, the problem is the soaring cost of living. If essentials such as healthcare, housing, higher education and government services were as cheap as they once were, a wage of $10 or $12 an hour would be more than enough to maintain a decent everyday life.
The question in the title is V.I. Lenin’s question. His answer was to create a revolutionary “vanguard” to spread revolutionary ideas among the workers, the economic class that Karl Marx had declared to be the class rising to the ascendency of political power. Finally, democracy, frustrated by upper class interests in its earlier manifestations, would become reality. The workers would rule.
Given the presence of evil and human failing, it did not work out in that way. But Lenin’s question remains a valid one. Americans whose economic life and prospects for their children have been destroyed by the offshoring of American manufacturing and tradable professional skills jobs, such as software engineering, answered the question by electing Donald Trump.
Berlin. So the global capitalist ruling classes’ neutralization of the Trumpian uprising seems to be off to a pretty good start. It’s barely been a month since his inauguration, and the corporate media, liberal celebrities, and their millions of faithful fans and followers are already shrieking for his summary impeachment, or his removal by … well, whatever means necessary, including some sort of “deep state” coup. Words like “treason” are being bandied about, treason being ground for impeachment (not to mention being punishable by death), which appears to be where we’re headed at this point.
Methinks the insane hysteria over Russia needs to stop. It probably will not. For reasons of domestic and imperial politics the American public is again being manipulated into a war frenzy by Washington and New York. It is stupid, without justification, and dangerous.
The silliness over Russia is, obviously, part of the Establishment’s drive to get rid of Trump. Yes, the man is erratic, contradictory, shoots before he aims, backs off much of what he has promised, and may be unqualified as President–but that is not why Washington and New York want to get rid of him. It is about money and power, as is everything in the United States. Wall Street, the Pentagon, the Neocons, and the Empire run America. Trump has threatened their rice bowls.
Michael Hudson, author of the newly released J is for Junk Economics, says the media and academia use well-crafted euphemisms to conceal how the economy really works
SHARMINI PERIES: Michael Hudson is a distinguished research professor of economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He’s the author of many books including, “The Bubble and Beyond” and “Finance Capitalism and Its Discontents”, “Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy,” and most recently, of course, “J is for Junk Economics“.
A grave danger from the Western mainstream media’s current hysteria about “fake news” is that the definition gets broadened from the few made-up stories that are demonstrably false – often fabricated by kids to get more clicks – to include reasonable disputes about the facts of a complex controversy.
This danger has grown worse because The New York Times, The Washington Post and other major Western news organizations have merged their outrage over “fake news” with the West’s propaganda campaign against Russia by claiming without evidence that the Russian government is somehow putting out false stories to undermine Western democracy.
However, when news organizations actually track down “fake news” outlets, they are usually run by some young entrepreneurs from outside Russia who saw made-up stories as a way to increase revenue by luring in more readers eager for “information” that supports their prejudices.
MEXICO CITY — On bad days, you can smell the stench from a mile away, drifting over a nowhere sprawl of highways and office parks.
When the Grand Canal was completed, at the end of the 1800s, it was Mexico City’s Brooklyn Bridge, a major feat of engineering and a symbol of civic pride: 29 miles long, with the ability to move tens of thousands of gallons of wastewater per second. It promised to solve the flooding and sewage problems that had plagued the city for centuries.
Only it didn’t, pretty much from the start. The canal was based on gravity. And Mexico City, a mile and a half above sea level, was sinking, collapsing in on itself.
Trump did not cause the deep division in the country. It caused him. There are two very different Americas. I suspect that the half of the country that voted for Trump, that voted with wild enthusiasm, that roared at huge rallies, was not so much voting for Trump as against the other America. It was just that they had never had a chance before. The two countries have little in common and do not belong on the same geography.
Whether Trump proves to be the catastrophic buffoon he apparently aspires to be, the current protests illuminate a stark difference between his supporters and Hillary’s. The chasm is far deeper than just politics, embracing culture, taste, manners and morals. The groups are distinct and incompatible.
The Financial Times’ Special Report (2/16/2017) published a four-page spread on the ‘use and possible dangers of artificial intelligence (AI)’. Unlike the usual trash journalists who serve as Washington’s megaphones on the editorial pages and political columns, the Special Report is a thoughtful essay that raises many important issues, even as it is fundamentally flawed.
The writer, Richard Walters, cites several major problems accompanying AI from ‘public anxieties, to inequalities and job insecurity’. Walters pleads with those he calls the ‘controllers of autonomous systems’ to heed social and ‘political frictions’ or face societal ‘disruption’. Experts and journalists, discussing the long-term, large-scale destruction of the working class and service jobs, claim that AI can be ameliorated through management and social engineering.
We like to call the natural world “Mother Nature,” but that’s a misnomer. Nature may be the Mother of us all in an abstract sense, that of being the source of our lives, but She is not anthropomorphic. Nature is not a kindly grandmother who sends us birthday presents and cares about our well-being and looks out for safety.
No, in its most fundamental aspect, Nature is a set of rules that guide the development and manifestation of Life on earth. One example of these natural rules is that “Everything eats everything else.”
After the World Health Organization declared Monsanto’s Roundup active ingredient glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic,” Monsanto have actively chased lawsuits for defamation. Now, a new study has demonstrated damming correlations between the increased use of the herbicide and the increase of autism in the same decades.
Whether from vaccines laced with mercury or from diet or pesticide use, autism today is vastly on the rise in children. Disturbing figures attributed one in 68 children as having an autism spectrum disorder, according to the CDC in 2014. In 2008 it was 1 in 88, and in 2000, the figure was 1 in 150 for those born in 1992.
The CDC still maintains a 2014 figure as current statistics, placing one percent of the population as having autism spectrum disorder, however, publications suggest the figure is now 1 in 50.
Year over year, ever since 2011, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown grows worse and worse, an ugly testimonial to the inherent danger of generating electricity via nuclear fission, which produces isotopes, some of the most deadly poisonous elements on the face of the planet.
Fukushima Diiachi has been, and remains, one of the world’s largest experiments, i.e., what to do when all hell breaks lose aka The China Syndrome. “Scientists still don’t have all the information they need for a cleanup that the government estimates will take four decades and cost ¥8 trillion. It is not yet known if the fuel melted into or through the containment vessel’s concrete floor, and determining the fuel’s radioactivity and location is crucial to inventing the technology to remove the melted fuel,” (Emi Urabe, Fukushima Fuel-Removal Quest Leaves Trail of Dead Robots, The Japan Times, Feb. 17, 2017).
The gaslighting of the American public continues, with Gaslighter-in-Chief, The New York Times, whipping up a frenzy of Russia paranoia.*
It reminds me of an old gambit in fly fishing called the “artificial hatch.” Trout like to gorge on mayfly nymphs as they rise out of a stream and shuck their nymphal shells to fly away as winged adults. The bugs do this in bunches, at a particular time of day, according to sub-species. This “hatch” drives the trout into a feeding frenzy.
[Ed. Note: As a lifelong member of the Left, I've watched my former fellow travelers take a path I cannot condone. Increasingly insouciant self-righteousness has calcified into an odious hypocrisy carefully groomed by the ruling class but invisible to the Left themselves. In Orwellian fashion they hatefully condemn what they're convinced is others' hate. They judge, malign, support, and applaud without analysis, logic or reason. Their blind obsequiousness to what they think of as "their" movement (rather than the billionaire-funded neoliberalcon psyop that it actually is) is pitting them directly against not only the Right, but everyone who disagrees with the hate and vitriol they are both spewing and engendering.
For the world at large, the resignation by the US National Security Advisor Michael Flynn on Monday is not about an obscure 19th century law that defines a phone conversation between him and the Russian ambassador.
What it conveys are three things. First, the US is sliding into a vicious civil war. A Fox News poll released on February 14 shows that the American public is almost evenly divided over President Donald Trump’s job performance since his inauguration on January 20. When asked if the Trump administration is working on things that will help their family, 47% of voters say yes, while 48% say no.
[Ed. Note: Alfred Nobel (western developer of gunpowder) and Barrack Obama may seem a fitting pairing in the development of the means and the will to kill repeatedly for profit. DU is a newer and far more diabolical murder method. Further reading follows this Press TV report.]
The US military has admitted that it used depleted uranium (DU) ammunition in Syria, the controversial weaponry that causes serious health problems among the population.
The military fired thousands of rounds containing mutagenic weapon depleted uranium during strikes against purported Daesh (ISIL) positions in Syria in late 2015, reports said on Tuesday.
Let’s talk about the blatant efforts to cause an irreparable rift between the people of our country.
I often compare current events to parenting, and this week is no different. Everything purported to be news is just more bickering.
It’s like when your kids are behaving like brats, and no matter what one kid does, the other kid jumps on it and blows it completely out of proportion like it’s the worst thing in the history of the world. Every outrage is multiplied a thousandfold. Kid 2 drops Kid 1’s pencil when passing it over and suddenly, Kid 2 is accused of a Machiavellian scheme to impale Kid 1 through the heart with a stake that was only disguised as a pencil.