Jul 042020

Kennedy and Johnson Morning of Nov 22 1963


Trump Signs Order To Create ‘National Garden’ Of Statues (Hill)
CNN Refers to Washington and Jefferson as Just ‘Two Slave Owners’ (GP)
Mexico Closes US Border In Arizona To Stop July 4th Visitors (ST)
Widespread Use Of Face Masks Could Save Tens Of Thousands Of Lives (NPR)
Mutiny on the Bounties (Ray McGovern)
Canada Suspends Its Extradition Treaty With Hong Kong (R.)
Epstein’s Ponzi Scheme Partner: Ghislaine Will ‘Crack In Two Seconds’ (DC)
Ghislaine Maxwell ‘Sat On Buckingham Palace Throne’ (Ind.)
Fitch Downgrades Record Number Of Sovereign Ratings Due To Coronavirus (CNBC)
The Stakes Of Losing This DICE Game Are Enormous (M.)



What drags me down a little more each day is the amount of venom that’s being spread around seemingly indiscriminately. I don’t see a single voice calling for dialogue.

I don’t think that our main task today should be to make the past APPEAR less terrible, but to make our own times BE less terrible.

One way to do that must certainly be to slow down or halt the war machine, but while everyone’s heating up about statues, the House passes a resolution that blocks US soldiers from coming home.

And Julian Assange is still pining away.

Time to focus on what really matters.

















Add your own preferences.

Trump Signs Order To Create ‘National Garden’ Of Statues (Hill)

The White House unveiled an executive order Friday evening to create a “National Garden of American Heroes” that will feature statues of prominent Americans. The executive order, which President Trump announced during a Fourth of July celebration at Mount Rushmore, comes as the nation grapples with calls to tear down Confederate statues across the country and address other racist iconography. “These statues are silent teachers in solid form of stone and metal. They preserve the memory of our American story and stir in us a spirit of responsibility for the chapters yet unwritten. These works of art call forth gratitude for the accomplishments and sacrifices of our exceptional fellow citizens who, despite their flaws, placed their virtues, their talents, and their lives in the service of our Nation,” reads the executive order, which was disseminated by the White House.

The executive order establishes the Task Force for Building and Rebuilding Monuments to American Heroes, which will be empowered to use funding from the Interior Department to establish the site. The task force has 60 days to submit a report to the White House detailing options for the creation of the National Garden, including potential locations. The executive order says the garden will include statues of John Adams, Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, Frederick Douglass, Amelia Earhart, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, Jackie Robinson and Harriet Tubman, among others.

The garden will also “separately maintain a collection of statues for temporary display at appropriate sites around the United States that are accessible to the general public.” Under the order, the garden will be open prior to July 4, 2026, the 250th anniversary of the proclamation of the Declaration of Independence. The executive order also address current calls to topple Confederate statues, underscoring that other activists have called for the dismantling of monuments to figures who owned slaves but were not in the Confederacy, including former presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

“To destroy a monument is to desecrate our common inheritance. In recent weeks, in the midst of protests across America, many monuments have been vandalized or destroyed. Some local governments have responded by taking their monuments down,” the order reads. “These statues are not ours alone, to be discarded at the whim of those inflamed by fashionable political passions; they belong to generations that have come before us and to generations yet unborn.”

Read more …

Flavor of the day politics.

CNN Refers to Washington and Jefferson as Just ‘Two Slave Owners’ (GP)

The resentment for America at CNN was on full display during Independence Day weekend, particularly as a CNN pundit referred to the Founding Fathers as just a couple of slave owners. During the network’s coverage of President Donald Trump’s speech at Mt. Rushmore, Leyla Santiago said that “President Trump will be at Mount Rushmore, where he’ll be standing in front of a monument of two slave owners and on land wrestled away from Native Americans.” The remarkably anti-American commentary lit social media ablaze, with patriots absolutely shredding the network for their hostility towards our nation.

“CNN has reduced the Founding Fathers of America, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to just ‘two slave owners,’” JT Lewis, whose brother was killed during the school shooting in Sandy Hook, tweeted. “CNN hates America.” The segment was wildly different than how they covered Bernie Sanders appearing at Mt. Rushmore in 2016.

Read more …

Funniest comment of the day was to this:

“It happened! Mexico is paying for the wall!”

Mexico Closes US Border In Arizona To Stop July 4th Visitors (ST)

As coronavirus cases surge across the U.S., one Mexican state is closing itself off from its northern neighbor out of concern for safety, outlets report. Officials in Sonora, Mexico moved quickly to slam the border shut before the start of the July Fourth weekend, traditionally a peak tourism time as Americans flock south to celebrate, the Arizona Daily Star reported. Officials have not announced a reopening date. Sonora is in a difficult position. It’s struggling to control the pandemic within its own borders, and just above is Arizona, one of the most afflicted states in the U.S..

“We are all going to be on alert at this time to prevent them from coming, whether they are Mexicans living in the U.S., Americans or those who want to come to spend the weekend and put a greater burden on us regarding COVID,” Senora Gov. Claudia Pavlovich said in a statement, according to the Daily Star. Arizona has seen more than 90,000 infections and nearly 1,800 deaths as of Friday, state data shows. It hit a one-day record on Wednesday with 4,878 new COVID-19 cases.

Read more …

There’s Fauci again.

Widespread Use Of Face Masks Could Save Tens Of Thousands Of Lives (NPR)

More widespread wearing of face masks could prevent tens of thousands of deaths by COVID-19, epidemiologists and mathematicians project. A model from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation shows that near-universal wearing of cloth or homemade masks could prevent between 17,742 and 28,030 deaths across the US before Oct. 1. The group, which advises the White House as well as state and local governments, is submitting the model for peer review, says Theo Vos, Professor of Health Metrics Sciences at IHME. Another projection developed by researchers at Arizona State University in April showed that 24–65% of projected deaths could be prevented in Washington state in April and May if 80% of people wore cloth or homemade masks in public.

These projections shed light on the promises face masks might hold as COVID-19 cases surge in some states and more local authorities mandate the wearing of face masks. Texas is now mandating face masks in public in most of the state; Jacksonville Fl, host city of the Republican National Convention in August, mandated wearing face masks in public and indoor locations where people cannot otherwise social distance on June 29. Republican leaders including Vice President Mike Pence, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Tim Scott of South Carolina, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Marco Rubio of Florida, have joined public health officials urging the public to wear facemasks.

Dr. Anthony Fauci and members of Congress appealed to the public to wear face masks in a congressional hearing Tuesday. And President Trump, in a change of tone, told Fox Business on Wednesday he’s ‘all for masks.’ But public health professionals lament that trust in face masks is hampered by the government’s earlier recommendation against them. Fauci told TheStreet mid-June that he did not recommend face masks at the beginning of the outbreak to conserve supplies for healthcare workers. On Thursday Fauci told NPR that the administration’s initial ambivalence towards face masks was ‘detrimental in getting the message across.’

Read more …

Good to see the condemnation of the Dems/Cheney deal is broad.

Mutiny on the Bounties (Ray McGovern)

Corporate media are binging on leaked Kool Aid not unlike the WMD concoction they offered 18 years ago to “justify” the U.S.-UK war of aggression on Iraq. Now Michael McFaul, ambassador to Russia under President Obama, has been enlisted by The Washington Post’s editorial page honcho, Fred Hiatt, to draw on his expertise (read, incurable Russophobia) to help stick President Donald Trump back into “Putin’s pocket.” (This has become increasingly urgent as the canard of “Russiagate” — including the linchpin claim that Russia hacked the DNC — lies gasping for air.) In an oped on Thursday McFaul presented a long list of Vladimir Putin’s alleged crimes, offering a more ostensibly sophisticated version of amateur Russian specialist, Rep. Jason Crow’s (D-CO) claim that: “Vladimir Putin wakes up every morning and goes to bed every night trying to figure out how to destroy American democracy.”

McFaul had — well, let’s call it an undistinguished career in Moscow. He arrived with a huge chip on his shoulder and proceeded to alienate just about all his hosts, save for the rabidly anti-Putin folks he openly and proudly cultivated. In a sense, McFaul became the epitome of what Henry Wooton described as the role of ambassador — “an honest man sent to lie abroad for the good of his country.” What should not be so readily accepted is an ambassador who comes back home and just can’t stop misleading. Not to doubt McFaul’s ulterior motives; one must assume him to be an “honest man” — however misguided, in my opinion. He seems to be a disciple of the James Clapper-Curtis LeMay-Joe McCarthy School of Russian Analysis.

Clapper, a graduate summa cum laude, certainly had the Russians pegged! Clapper was allowed to stay as Barack Obama’s director of national intelligence for three and a half years after perjuring himself in formal Senate testimony (on NSA’s illegal eavesdropping). On May 28, 2017 Clapper told NBC’s Chuck Todd about “the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, are almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique.” As a finale, in full knowledge of Clapper’s proclivities regarding Russia, Obama appointed him to prepare the evidence-impoverished, misnomered “Intelligence Community Assessment” claiming that Putin did all he could, including hacking the DNC, to help Trump get elected — the most embarrassing such “intelligence assessment” I have seen in half a century .

Read more …

If you don’t extradite to China, you can’t extradite to Hong Konng anymore.

Canada Suspends Its Extradition Treaty With Hong Kong (R.)

Canada is suspending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong in the wake of new Chinese national security legislation and could boost immigration from the former British colony, top officials said on Friday. China imposed the legislation this week despite protests from Hong Kongers and Western nations, setting what is a major financial hub on a more authoritarian track. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada would continue to stand up for Hong Kong, which is home to 300,000 Canadians. Canada will not permit the export of sensitive military items to Hong Kong, he told reporters.

“We are also suspending the Canada-Hong Kong extradition treaty … we are also looking at additional measures, including around immigration,” he said. He did not give details. Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne condemned the “secretive” way the legislation had been enacted and said Canada had been forced to reassess existing arrangements. “This is a significant step back in terms of freedom and liberty … we had been hoping Beijing would listen to the international community and reverse course,” he said by phone.

Read more …

This guy served 18 years. Epstein walked away free.

Epstein’s Ponzi Scheme Partner: Ghislaine Will ‘Crack In Two Seconds’ (DC)

Convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s cohort Ghislaine Maxwell will fully cooperate with authorities, according to Epstein’s Ponzi scheme partner Steven Hoffenberg. A grand jury indicted the British socialite and heiress on charges of conspiracy to entice minors to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiracy to transport minors for illegal sex acts, transportation of a minor to engage in illegal sex acts, and perjury. She was arrested at 8:30 am Thursday morning in Bradford, New Hampshire. Seventy-five-year-old Hoffenberg, who served 18 years in prison for masterminding one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in history with Epstein, told The Sun that Maxwell will “totally cooperate” with authorities.

Epstein avoided jail time for his role in the Ponzi scheme, according to Hoffenberg, but later died of apparent suicide in a New York City jail in August 2019 after being convicted of sex crimes. “They knew where she was all the time [in New Hampshire],” Hoffenberg told the publication. “It was a question if America was going to take the case or not, now America has made up its mind to take the case.” Hoffenberg reportedly maintains contact with Maxwell’s spokesperson, and told the Sun that Maxwell did not think she would be arrested. “If they keep her in prison, she’ll crack in two seconds,” he said. “She’s not able to take that sort of cruel punishment, prison is too tough and hard, she’ll have to be in solitary confinement, and she’ll snap.”

“She’s going to cooperate and be very important,” he added, before noting that her words might implicate high profile people including the UK’s Prince Andrew. “Andrew may be very concerned, and there’s a lot of people very worried, a lot of powerful people been named [in the scandal], and she knows everything.”

Read more …

Nice group of people. Spacey, Clinton, Maxwell, Prince Andrew. Just lovely.

Meanwhile Dershowitz wrote a Mea Not-at-All Culpa, but I don’t want to touch that. Check at your own risk.

Ghislaine Maxwell ‘Sat On Buckingham Palace Throne’ (Ind.)

Ghislaine Maxwell sat on the Queen’s throne during a private tour of Buckingham Palace organised by the Duke of York, it has been reported. A photograph printed by the Daily Telegraph appears to show the British socialite reclining in the ceremonial chair next to actor Keven Spacey in 2002. They were on a private tour of the palace organised by the Duke of York for former US president Bill Clinton, according to the newspaper. It comes after Maxwell was arrested in New Hampshire on Thursday over allegations she helped disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, her former boyfriend, “identify, befriend and groom” girls, including one as young as 14. Epstein was not on the palace tour when the picture was taken, the Telegraph said.

[..] Prince Andrew is now being urged to provide information to the FBI in relation to the investigation into Ms Maxwell, after she appeared in court accused of facilitating Epstein’s sexual exploitation of underage girls between 1994 and 1997. However, a lawyer for dozens of Epstein’s alleged victims has accused him of “deliberately evading authorities” and a US prosecutor described him as “falsely portraying himself as willing and eager to cooperate”. On Thursday, Maxwell was ordered to remain in custody by a magistrate while she is transferred to New York for a detention hearing. [..] Authorities also claim that Maxwell, who is also charged with two counts of perjury, lied when being questioned under oath in 2016. She has previously denied any wrongdoing or knowledge of sexual misconduct by Epstein.

Read more …

And the downgrades hit the ratings even more.

Fitch Downgrades Record Number Of Sovereign Ratings Due To Coronavirus (CNBC)

Fitch Ratings has downgraded a record 33 sovereign ratings in the first half of this year — and the agency is not done yet as the coronavirus pandemic pummels government finances. James McCormack, Fitch’s global head of sovereign ratings, said the agency has placed the credit ratings of 40 countries or sovereign entities on a “negative” outlook. That means those ratings have the potential to be downgraded. “We’ve never in the history of Fitch Ratings had 40 countries on negative outlook at the same time,” he told CNBC’s “Capital Connection” on Friday. “That comes after we’ve already downgraded in the first half of the year 33 sovereigns. We’ve never downgraded 33 in any given year, so we’ve already done it in half a year,” he added.

Sovereign credit ratings that Fitch has downgraded include the U.K., Australia and Hong Kong. McCormack explained many governments have increased spending to shelter their economies from being severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic. That’s expected to cause a deterioration in the financial positions of all 119 countries rated by Fitch, he said. Such deterioration could take the form of larger deficits or smaller surpluses in the government budgets, or an increase in debt, he added. The IMF has said that lockdown measures imposed in many countries to curb the spread of the coronavirus have hurt the global economy more than expected. The fund warned that global public debt could reach an all-time high of over 100% of the world’s GDP.

Read more …

GDP and CO2.

The Stakes Of Losing This DICE Game Are Enormous (M.)

The critique of Nordhaus’s DICE model came from the enormously creative, though admittedly heterodox, post-Keynesian Australian economist Professor Steve Keen. I have listened to some of Keen’s YouTube lectures about debt levels — he was one of a few maverick economists that correctly predicted the 2008–2009 mortgage crisis — but did not know that he had done any work on climate change economics.** To be honest, I had never looked carefully at the DICE model before for one very good reason: it is clearly ridiculous. According to DICE, the global economy will suffer an aggregate drop in GDP (i.e., all-in over the next 130 years, not annually in perpetuity) of a few percentage points even assuming a temperature increase high enough to cause agricultural output to plummet.

While Ivy League economists may not have a visceral sense of this, it is clear to your correspondent that large swathes of the workforce might be marginally less productive if they were only able to consume 500 food calories a day. Keen is a better man than I in that, like me, he could see that the output of the DICE model was ridiculous, but still took the time and effort to crawl through the details to figure out why. According to Keen, DICE’s egregious errors are threefold: • The assumption that the small effects on GDP from the modest changes in global temperature to date can be extrapolated into a future of much more extreme temperature increases, • The assumption that a complex adaptive (i.e., non-linear) system like our planet’s ecosystem would respond to extreme stimuli in a linear way, • A dubious mischaracterization of climate scientists’ assessment of ecological “tipping points” that leads to an assumption these potentially catastrophic points will never be reached.

No admirer of the statistician Box would expect the DICE model to be anything but wrong, but — considering that the UN’s IPCC is relying upon DICE to inform the opinion of policy makers — we should at least expect it to be useful. Reading Keen’s critique, however, I have realized that DICE acts as a literal weapon of mass destruction since it has the effect of breeding climate complacency among world leaders. If what I say is true, why is DICE not roundly criticized and ignored? I believe it has been adopted and its creator lauded because it represents the kind of palatable fiction that human decision makers find so comforting. Unfortunately, in investing as in life, the bug of palatable fiction sooner or later finds a windshield of harsh reality. Or, as a more eloquent Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, “Everybody, soon or late, sits down at a banquet of consequences.”

Read more …



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Home Forums Debt Rattle July 4 2020

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 25 total)
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  • #60805

    Kennedy and Johnson Morning of Nov 22 1963   • Trump Signs Order To Create ‘National Garden’ Of Statues (Hill) • CNN Refers to Washington and Jef
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle July 4 2020]

    V. Arnold

    In fact; do we need to know anything more? It’s all out there…
    The whole system is corrupt!
    So, the question is; where do we start?
    Or, as I believe, is it just too damned late…
    May the gods help us………………


    I’ll beat the rush Maxwell did not kill herself.

    V. Arnold

    My bet…
    She’s smarter than the men who “ran” her.
    She’s been free for a year to pretty much do as she pleases…
    Files, phone calls, e-mails, texting, need I go on?
    I doubt she’ll see any serious jail time…
    This whole, rotten, smelly, pile of shit just will be buried, after many twists and turns………..


    Maybe they only picked her up now to get dirt on Trump

    V. Arnold

    Maybe they only picked her up now to get dirt on Trump

    …and then there is that..

    John Day

    In the JFK picture, Johnson (according to report) KNEW.
    Governor John Connally did not know.
    Connally had been on good terms with Johnson, but never spoke with him again after that day, … they say.

    John Day

    (Do see blog for graphs and picture of lawnmower-man)

    Charles sent this excellent primer on thermo-economics, energy economics​, which is our actual economic structure. Energy is becoming more expensive, and has been doing so, but paying the price causes economic recessions/depressions, so the price has been borrowed, but that has also reached a saturation point, so economic depression has arrived.
    ​ The embedded energy​ in things like concrete slabs in existing buildings may be undervalued now, compared to future costs. The economy may not support building new structures at all in 2030. I don’t know.
    In the near term, we will find that nobody is above suspicion when the question is whether they will be able to service debt, so borrowing will freeze-up, or the government will have to lend to people, knowing that debts can not be serviced, just edging the debt-deflation bomb a little farther, another week or month. That seems to be in a very late phase.
    ​ The inflection we may expect is ​debt deflation, where prices drop, because credit-money dries up, but it will be transient and uneven in asset-classes, because of financial manipulations. It will be followed, or overlaid, with massive currency value evaporation, especially of the $US, especially when the rest of the world decides to change to something like the old gold-standard.
    ​ You and I don’t need to look for “return on investment” in the form of getting paid interest on a loan. We should look for bargains that we can use for the rest of our lives. Houses with good soil and weather conditions gardens, fruit trees and titanium-frame bicycles are some of the things that fit that description in my life. Look for current stability in a community, low costs of provision of services, low intrinsic city cost overhead, now and going forward, and an economy that can provide for that. (Not Chicago, not Detroit, not Phoenix, not Las Vegas)
    ​ I’ve got to go finish off the lawn-mowing, a 5 hour task on 0.8 acres, with a good little Honda push-mower, then get some breakfast.​

    ​The Surplus Energy Economy, An Introduction​
    ​ ​The first principle is that all forms of economic output – literally all of the goods and services which comprise the ‘real’ economy – are products of energy…
    175-1 Population & energy
    ​ ​Second, whenever we access energy for our use, some of that energy is always consumed in the access process. We can’t drill an oil well, construct a refinery, build a gas pipeline, manufacture a wind turbine or a solar panel, or install a power distribution grid, without using energy, and neither can we operate or maintain them without it. The energy that is consumed in the supply of energy therefore comprises both a capital (investment) and an operating component.
    ​ ​This principle is central to the established concept of the Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROI or EROEI), in which the consumed, cost or invested component is stated as a ratio. In Surplus Energy Economics (SEE), the cost element is known as the Energy Cost of Energy or ECoE, and is stated as a percentage…
    ​ ​Understood in this way, any given quantity of energy divides into parts. One of these is the cost element, known here as ECoE. The other – whatever remains – is surplus energy. This surplus drives all economic activity other than the supply of energy itself. This makes surplus energy coterminous with prosperity.​ ​We can, of course, use this surplus wisely or foolishly, and we can share it out fairly or inequitably. But what we can not do is to “de-couple” economic output from energy or, to be more specific about it, from surplus energy…
    Where, though, are we now, on the evolution of ‘surplus energy, prosperity and money’?
    ​ ​If you want a succinct answer to this question, it is that ECoE (the Energy Cost of Energy) is rising, relentlessly and exponentially. The exponential rate of increase in ECoE means that this cannot be cancelled out by linear increases in the aggregate amount of total or gross (pre-ECoE) energy that we can access…
    ​ ​In the period immediately preceding the coronavirus crisis, the consensus assumption was that total supply of energy was going to carry on rising at rates not dissimilar to those of the recent past.
    ​ ​Three authoritative suppliers of forecasts agreed that, by 2040, consumption of oil would be 10-12% greater than it was in 2018, that the use of gas would have grown by 30-32%, and that even the use of coal would not have decreased. Along with this would go an increase of about 75% in global vehicle numbers, and of about 90% in passenger aviation.
    To those of us who understand the energy economy and the trends in ECoEs, these were never realistic projections…
    ​ ​SEEDS modelling indicates that prosperity turns down at ECoEs of between 3.5% and 5.0% in the advanced economies, and between 8% and 10% in the less-complex EM countries (see fig. 8 at the end of this report). The likelihood is that the ECoEs of renewables may fall no further than 8% (at best, with 10% more probable). This would certainly make REs competitive with FFs (on a straight ‘ECoE to ECoE’ comparison), but it wouldn’t be low enough to stem, still less to reverse, the decline in prosperity that is already taking place…
    ​ ​In the period preceding the 2008 global financial crisis (GFC), the emphasis was on ‘credit adventurism’, which involved making debt ever cheaper, and ever easier to obtain. The result was that, though the economy appeared robust, what was really happening was that apparent activity was being inflated by increases in credit. At the same time, world debt grew far more rapidly than reported GDP (see fig. 5), whilst risk not only increased, but became ever more diffuse and opaque.
    175-5 World Fig. 2
    ​ ​When these trends triggered the GFC, the authorities set their faces against any kind of “reset”, opting instead to enact various forms of ‘monetary adventurism’. This hasn’t worked either, which is why the world entered the coronavirus crisis with (a) the financial system dangerously over-extended, and (b) no available policies, than those which have already failed so spectacularly…
    ​ ​Unfortunately, this process creates a tension between liabilities and incomes which must result in one of two things happening. Either borrowers default on debts which they can no longer afford to service (let alone repay), or the authorities have to push so much new liquidity into the system that the value of currencies collapses in an inflationary spiral which constitutes ‘soft’ default.
    ​ ​Along the way, the collapse in returns on invested capital has played a major role in creating enormous gaps in pension provision, a situation that has rightly been dubbed a Global Pension Timebomb. …
    ​ ​The latter course involves the calculation of underlying or ‘clean’ output by adjusting for the GDP distortion induced by credit and monetary adventurism. On this basis, we can identify clean growth, which averaged only 1.7% (rather than the reported 3.5%) between 1999 and 2019 (see fig. 6).
    175-6 World Fig. 3
    …The left-hand and centre charts show a situation that will, by now, be familiar, with reported GDP deviating ever further from the underlying situation (C-GDP), whilst debt escalates, and rising ECoEs drive a widening wedge between C-GDP and prosperity. When, as in the centre chart, we calibrate debt, not against (increasingly meaningless) GDP, but against prosperity, we see how financial exposure, with its growing component of excess claims, has become totally out of control…
    175-7 world prosperity debt tax
    …It is hoped, though, that this resumé summarises the logic, methods and conclusions of the Surplus Energy Economics approach in a comprehensive but convenient form. As a final reminder of how energy economics (and ECoE in particular) connect with prosperity, fig. 8 shows the relationships between the two, identifying the levels of ECoE at which prosperity per capita has turned down in the United States and worldwide and was, pre-coronavirus, poised to turn down in China.
    175-8 ECoE prosperity 2
    ​ ​Essentially, once trend ECoEs rise above a certain point, the average person starts getting poorer – a trend which no amount of financial tinkering can alter.
    #175. The Surplus Energy Economy

    Carlos Jimenez

    “Twas a dark day in Dallas November ’63…”
    Since Dylan’s latest master piece, I can’t look at a JKF picture without that tune streaming in my head.

    Judas is seen walking behind Kennedy in this Dallas pic, the other missing Judas that was in Dallas that November is not in it, GHWB.

    “Nice group of people. Spacey, Clinton, Maxwell, Prince Andrew. Just lovely.” Indeed. 🙂

    But again, without Charles’ best friend, Lord Jimmy Savile, this mental pic. has a certain je ne c’est quoi of incompleteness.


    Fitch is about to go out of business.
    Ask Stephanie Kelton

    Stephanie Kelton, economics professor at SUNY Stony Brook, is the author of The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy. Professor Kelton was an advisor to the Bernie Sanders presidential campaigns, and her ideas increasingly find purchase with left progressives. It is certainly possible that she has a future either in a Biden administration or even on the Federal Reserve Board, which is a testament to how quickly our political and cultural landscape has shifted toward left progressivism.
    And left progressivism requires a “New Economics” to provide intellectual cover for what is essentially a political argument for painless free stuff from government.
    • Fitch Downgrades Record Number Of Sovereign Ratings Due To Coronavirus (CNBC)
    The agency has downgraded a record 33 sovereign ratings in the first half of this year, and has placed the credit ratings of 40 countries or sovereign entities on a “negative” outlook.
    Important News – Rain and mosquitoes make camping miserable
    ‘Extremely unusual’ river surges could trigger localized flooding in Tri-Cities this weekend
    ‘I’m confident that we are taking all the necessary steps to protect our residents and prepare for whatever may come,’ says Port Coquitlam mayor
    Stefan Labbé / Tri-City News
    JULY 3, 2020 06:26 PM
    Flood warnings across much of British Columbia’s interior could lead to localized flooding in the Tri-Cities as peak flows in the Fraser River make their way towards Port Coquitlam this weekend and into early next week.

    The B.C. River Forecast Centre has raised a high stream flow advisory stretching from Hope to the mouth of the Fraser River.
    “It’s extremely unusual to see it this level of rainfall this late in the season, especially in the Lower Fraser,” said the BC River Forecast Centre’s Dave Campbell.

    “We’re seeing flows that we haven’t seen ever at this time of year.”
    Much of Metro Vancouver is built on a floodplain and dependent on dikes for protection when water levels at the Mission gauge surpass 5.5 metres. According to modelling, water is expected to peak at the Mission gauge Monday, July 6, when it’s expected to reach 5.66 metres, a point at which rising water and increased river velocities can scour and weaken dikes.


    John, I have only glanced at ​the Surplus Energy Economy thing, but it looks very much like very much that TAE has done in the past. I know Steve Keen has quite recently started focusing on energy in economics, haven’t read that in-depth either.

    For me, energy in economy/society has boiled down to a very simple idea: use a whole lot less of it now, voluntarily, or find yourselves hitting a wall. All the talk about energy transition is just a waste of time, what we must get rid of is using too much, stop wasting it, that is much more effective than moving from one source to another, which is mostly not even an energy source.

    But, as I’ve written 100 times, our economies run on wasted energy. Be more efficient, and you’ll have to design a whole new system, and a whole new economy.

    Carlos Jimenez

    On “The Surpluss-Energy Economy”.

    Excellent intro Dr.D. and excellent essay worth reading from beginning to end. In the last few years when peak oil has been poo-poo’d and “debunked” and even a solid geologist, oil expert and peak-oiler as Art Berman comes on the side of subsidizing oil frackers every which way in last May’s Kunstler-cast, probably terrorized by the idea of the end of industrial civ… I guess, this “The surplus-energy economy” incisive digging into the rise and fall of our complex society and the master energy that underpins it, is most indispensable.

    As JHK likes to say, “reality does not negotiate”. And relying on BAU and just-in-time delivery of essential goods to our big metro areas is not the way to weather the ongoing albeit slow, collapse.

    Whatever we have is borrow time to prepare.

    Maxwell Quest

    “Epstein’s Ponzi Scheme Partner: Ghislaine Will ‘Crack In Two Seconds’ (DC)”

    It appears she has already cut a deal with the US, otherwise why would she even be in New Hampshire? Let’s see who goes down because of her testimony. Or maybe this will be used to blackmail someone into changing course, without exposure to public scrutiny.

    As Raúl suspects, it could be Trump, as he has resisted the completion of the empire’s Death Star since taking office.

    “Widespread Use Of Face Masks Could Save Tens Of Thousands Of Lives (NPR)”

    What can one say about Fauci other than “What a putz!”? Note that this is the caliber of leadership that rises to the top in today’s corrupt institutions.

    “Vladimir Putin wakes up every morning and goes to bed every night trying to figure out how to destroy American democracy.” – Rep. Jason Crow’s (D-CO)

    One thing can be said about fanatics is that they always overplay their hand. I’m guessing he never misses an episode of Conspiracies Gone Wild starring Rachel Maddow. Crow’s statement is on par with Bush’s declaration that Muslim extremists “hate us for our freedoms”, which was also pure baloney.

    Carlos Jimenez

    Raul, indeed, anybody that has read TAE for years can find this exploration into our energy predicament, familiar. Even the phrase “excessive claims (on diminishing assets)” was a regular refrain of Nicole Foss, to define inflation if my memory serves me at all. The wrong definition of inflation being a pet peeve of yours, I excuse myself if I’m wrong.

    Completely agree with you but we will hit the wall, there won’t be any way that we as a organized society will use less energy than available, rather, renewable energy will be hammered for ever as the road to transition. A cruel hoax.

    Yes, we’ll continue to enjoy dog grooming on our doorsteps in 5 tonne air conditioned 600 c.f. vans, 25 gal of pesticides sprayed per 0.10 ac. lawns per month to keep ’em pic. perfect and standing armies of landscapers to keep ’em manicured, Boat Shows to sell even more rec. boats, (a toy as important as the car in Florida), Maryland Lobster FedEx’d to the middle of the Nevada desert for the annual “Burning Man” rave, a total useless navel gazing gathering if you ask me, and all the rest of the accouterments of a society running at the top of historic prosperity highs, on the fumes.

    Incidentally, the Topa Inca ruler could enjoy similar delicacies before the Conquistadors came a-knocking, by virtue of a Chasqui on foot system of relay that could bring seafood on a 150km run in two days.

    Not bad for a people that didn’t come up with the wheel.

    But they did know what sustainability was before it was a thing: the terraces that they built are still in use, and I’d say all of the stones houses in Ollaitaytambo too, are still in use.

    What will survive of our own civ. is a question that may be the answer to what’s the value of it.

    John Day

    Thanks Ilargi and Carlos Jimenez, for perusing and commenting. As I wrote my personal reflections in introduction to the article, I was indeed channeling Nicole Foss, as I have done since I helped get her to Austin to talk, in about 2009. It bears repeating, of course, and restating. It’s still not “grokked” by society, but it will be, and that day grows ever closer.
    I did an hour of mowing and had a good breakfast.
    More information acquisition and cogitation until it cools down around 7:00 PM…
    Happy whatever-this-used-to-be!

    Oh, yeah, GHWB was part of the family running the show in Dallas. Lyndon Johnson was a highly paid actor for those producers. Sith Lord and murderous sleazeball…

    Carlos Jimenez

    Well Dr. D, the “quality with no name” that California Guru Architect Christopher Alexander referred to in “The Pattern Language” is what I’m sure you express in your work and in your life, same as Raul does in his blog/news aggregate/editorials.

    And that’s what congregate us readers and truth seekers here. Firstly, I can’t hardly exaggerate the brutal effort for peanuts that Raul has put into TAE over the years, all by himself. And the site is getting better. And a great merit of his, IMHO, is that he has allowed counter point opinions like yours to thrive which for an insecure or narcissistic person would’ve been hard to do. It’s close to a hijack! 🙂 As for myself during the lockdown I came to TAE as much for Raul’s work as for your sharp commentary and sure enough others’ own commentary as well. Now that I’m back to work that’s not easy but still I enjoy it in whatever measure my time allows.
    In the tension of counter opinion between Raul’s and yourself I have found a lot to chew on to deal with the CV craze in my own way and that’s no small potatoes
    Having said that I still may take a potshot at you here and there… 🙂
    Gotta go finish my new chicken coop. Best.


    Opinions requested, please.
    If the 84% reduction in hospitalization passes scrutiny, what is the effect on R Value if the FDA blesses the following:
    Five days of HCQ, Zinc, & Azithromycin at first symptom and contact
    A half dose for those in the same household or confirmed contact.
    I am thinking that community spreading will end in 40 days, as the R value falls to 0.5 or lower. Is this reasonable?

    John Day

    @Carlos Jimenez: I can’t help but get the feeling that you are conflating me with “Dr.D”, a frequent and prolific commenter and sometimes essayist at this site. We are different people, with different minds, life experiences, work in this world, and so on. He may well be my intellectual superior, and he sure knows a lot. I have been through so many cycles of testing-initial-assumptions, however, that I have found a whole lot of them to bewrong. I’m always having to re-examine all my thoughts and assumptions. My projects are like that too. Gardens and fruit trees and providing for plants that feed you all demand revision and adaptation. Taking care of humans is like that, too. Here we go!

    Brudah Kimo said:
    If the 84% reduction in hospitalization passes scrutiny, what is the effect on R Value if the FDA blesses the following:
    Five days of HCQ, Zinc, & Azithromycin at first symptom and contact
    A half dose for those in the same household or confirmed contact.
    I am thinking that community spreading will end in 40 days, as the R value falls to 0.5 or lower. Is this reasonable?
    My opinion:
    Our tests take 6-10 days to be reported back. Nothing works right, lately.
    I’d love to try your idea. I really would! Different world than I inhabit, it seems…

    John Day

    Look Ma, 2 blog entries in ONE DAY!
    So, what?
    It’s the serious question regarding the end of the postwar western capitalist economic world, which gradually corrupted into neoliberal financial capitalism, which showed “GDP growth”, while real economy was hollowed out, and pension contracts were invisibly looted to become overt lies.
    The power elites are not in one camp. They are in several conflicting camps, none of them willing to give up any power or prerogative, as current economy shrinks, and future economy is in massive negative numbers compared to obligations of debt-service and retirements/pensions.
    Somebody, some large group of people needs to be dispossessed, and it can’t be the actual elites.
    This is not going to work. That’s obvious, but not necessarily so to billionaires.
    We can see that this systemic crisis has been pushed into the present by coronavirus, and a response by the system, which includes lies, lack of material resources, denial, and failures of serial retreats of public policy in a variety of directions. “Nobody is in charge.”
    The economic model of neoliberal capitalism has a fatal flaw. It says that “money can replace anything”. An implication of the money-is-enough principle is that “if it doesn’t cost much, it is not very important to the economy”. Provision of food is an example, and so is the provision of power. They are cheap, which allows the rest of the economy to boom and get big numbers, but everybody dies without food…
    We can’t really ignore the rioting and destruction of historical symbols taking place in the US. It is anti-system, but it is also funded by certain financial elites.
    If it continues on its’ current trajectory, America gets left-totalitarianism, and certain people will be dispossessed, due to their sins. That group will need to keep growing, as it did in France, Russia, China and Cambodia.
    If there is a big enough backlash, then America will get more of a right totalitarianism, dispossessing “socialists”, who already don’t have much at ground level.
    People feel the fracture in the world, but things are not actually, physically bad yet. There is food, air-conditioning, TV and internet service. Facebook works.
    There is not yet widespread visceral desperation. The elites are trying out some models and seeing what “we” resonate with, what tools may manipulate “us” most readily to kill each other until we are worn out, and they present us with some slave deal with an end to the mass murders. Everybody accepts those deals.
    Let’s not let ourselves be driven into that chute, OK?


    “The elites are trying out some models and seeing what “we” resonate with, what tools may manipulate “us” most readily to kill each other until we are worn out, and they present us with some slave deal with an end to the mass murders. Everybody accepts those deals.
    Let’s not let ourselves be driven into that chute, OK?”

    The elites … noope … I would blame the high paid specialized enablers doing the dirty work.
    trying out some new models ….

    what tools may manipulate “us” …. Those tools that we are not aware such as … interest, inflation, siege, tariffs

    to kill each other … – testing herd stupidity?


    Where is the wisdom of only offering the flights you can fill? Are we so anxious to burn fuel?
    p.s. thanks for the reply, JD.

    Allied Pilots Association Introduces “SEATS” Concept: “Return of Air Travel a Major Catalyst for Economic Recovery”

    FORT WORTH, Texas (June 24, 2020) – The Allied Pilots Association (APA), representing the 15,000 pilots of American Airlines, introduced a concept labeled “Safe Essential Air Transportation Seating (SEATS)” that is designed to enable a gradual return to pre-pandemic passenger travel while maintaining critical transportation infrastructure employment.

    “Under SEATS, the government would purchase enough seats on each flight to eliminate the need for any passenger to sit next to a stranger,” said APA President Capt. Eric Ferguson. “Thanks to uniform social distancing, passengers would be encouraged to fly more, airlines would be encouraged to operate more flights, and the government would ensure the preservation of critical transportation infrastructure and associated jobs.”

    And now for something completely different!

    Taipei Songshan airport offers fake travel experience
    DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane.
    Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave.
    The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere.
    About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks.


    The West devolved in to an extortion empire and financial Ponzi scheme to extract wealth from workers and the earth. The second restoration of globalism tore down barriers to free movement of people, goods, capital and services. Democracy was extinguished. Although other epidemics have occurred since the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, preparation for the next one would cost the wealthy money that they are not willing to spend. The last thing they care about is the lives of the little people. As a result, parts of Europe and North and South America are, once again, awash with disease.

    The Trump Administration and Congress made the decision to not to try to control the coronavirus pandemic through old fashioned public health measures; face masks, testing, contact tracing and isolation of the infected that worked in nations in Eurasia and the South Pacific. Instead a vaccine is being developed at “Warp Speed”. The Elite and subservient Professionals think they have no choice. They are defined by their money, class arrogance and prejudices. They will not spend their money to hire government infection tracers or obtain treatment and quarantine centers. Personal Protective Equipment and pharmaceutical supplies all come from Asia. There is no push to rebuild the capability in the West.

    Greed destroyed the Western Empire. The original rough estimate of about a million American dead likely is about to come true if no for-profit treatment or vaccine is developed. Only the restoration of democracy can calm the unrest and avoid a second Succession of American States. Quarantines and fines are now in place for travelers from other hot-spot states.

    The neighborhood fireworks started for this July 4th. This date, 244 years ago, the North American colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.


    Matt Taibbi has a blinder of a column up today on substack: https://taibbi.substack.com/p/year-zero
    Unfortunately he’s just gone subscriber only (which has caused me to subscribe, but you can read an abridged version over on Zerohedge: https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/taibbi-americas-birthday-celebrate-corporate-sponsored-revolution
    The comments are enlightening as well, but one in particular stood out for me, observing (I paraphrase) that recent generations have grown up with a consumer culture premised not on “if it’s broken, then fix it” but on “if it’s broke, throw it out and buy a new one”.
    This neatly parallels the “cancel culture” and “burn it all down” political dialogue we are seeing everywhere. I’ve been commenting elsewhere on the magical thinking inherent in the premise that if we can just destroy the current dominant culture then a better one will spontaneously grow in its place, but I have to say its bee an uphill battle to get that message across.
    Taibbi’s previous piece reviewing the book “white fragility” is also an inspired piece of writing – worth a read.

    Dr. D

    They think money replaces all things because NeoLiberalism lauds stealing things by violence. So if you are willing to war/plunder, then printing/raising money for war/death/plunder WILL get you all things. …But not for everyone, not for the other guy, just for yourself. Because: who cares, amirite?

    Thinking future: We waste so much energy that we could easily use a tenth and still be luxurious. We won’t, however. The infrastructure — including that worst one, human habits — won’t change fast enough, and we won’t adjust and strand, you know, cities in the bare desert without a useless fight. Just saying it’s possible, quick, and prevents destruction, but that’s not human nature. You can collapse early and beat the rush, however. By aligning yourself to the upcoming realities, even if that’s only living small.

    The future here can’t BE figured out. They have repressed not just technology, patents – just an unsupported theory, you know, ‘cuz I don’t think we can progress from horse-buggies to jets in 30 years, but then have no progress for 80 – but because the absolute power defending power against all change only leads to brittleness. The system shatters everywhere at once.

    Then all 20 years of evolutionary change suddenly pops up in an afternoon, interfering with itself. So with a few changes: crypto, let’s say, you can visualize the consequences. Add 50 such changes at once and you can’t. One of those is, the debt-system is exponential, needing $1T/night to tread water, and they can’t get the war they needed to cover up it – central banking, fiat currency’s, central planning’s – failure. They’re using CV instead, but what is the failure? Stunning hyperinflation that must be counteracted with deflation on the poor. No access to bond markets, so 110% bond buy-ups by the Fed. Cities, states, which have been bankrupt for 20+ years can’t borrow, so they must default. On police pensions. By “defunding the police.” More such deceptive, misdirecting excuses elsewhere, but the present central + government control system is done for. Since that is the system that defends power brokers and oligarchs, they are done for, at least some of them. So they’re fighting and will/are exhausting themselves. The people remain, perennial as grass.

    But here’s the thing: yes, 8.6 Armstrong years of “chaos” which is really just hyper-repressed backlogged change. You can’t grasp anything solid and must be nimble as twenty years rolls over you in an afternoon. However, know that there IS enough energy, and therefore enough food, because systemwide the waste and capture is so extreme, any barrier we meet will be overcome simply by cutting waste, fraud, graft, and lies. The pressure is what cuts it, and therefore cuts the oligarchs.

    Out the other end, who knows? Decentralization, to us anyway, but is it decentralized with a worldwide internet, commerce, and services? Relocalization, but is it ‘local’ when the world and all human ideas are visible? Discrediting power brokers, but is it when humankind always stands up a few more? Plus ca change…

    I don’t mind. It reached an extreme and needed to change. You know, like 30 years ago when they started preventing change. Just pointing out that it will be thousands of little, untrackable ‘random’ changes, not some big sweep in inevitable negotiation, Bretton Woods, Malta. They will try it, sure, they will do those things; and the world will just go around them, as we’ve been seeing today and lately. Everyone has a different opinion with different news supporting it. They all disagree like herding cats and no one’s listening. That means they’re responsible, they’re acting for themselves and not following. We don’t like that, because WE know best, we disagree, but that’s what ‘decentralization’ is, n’est pas?

    Again, Energy returned is nothing right now. We’re wasting 90% of our energy driving in circles, not fixing things. But neither can that be fixed ‘cause I stand up and say it should. Look out for yourself. The center, the grid, will not hold. Nor should it. Let it go.


    Dr. D
    “it will be thousands of little, untrackable ‘random’ changes, not some big sweep in inevitable negotiation,”
    Changes are happening – The youth partied on this 4th of July.
    When asked, they did not know WHY there was a holiday on the 4th of July
    Changes are happening but maybe not the way you expect the changes to be.

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