Fire With Fire


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    René Magritte The Art of Conversation 1963 Sometimes you best fight fire with fire. This knowledge goes back to the advent of agriculture. Australian
    [See the full post at: Fire With Fire]


    You cheer Humpty Dumpty.


    Or maybe Don Quixote?

    Dr. Diablo

    I’m continually amazed that you can sit across the ocean, immersed in the European outlook on things, and repeatedly understand Trump with such clarity. Because we can’t. Even here, people have got themselves worked up into quite a lather about it. That is to say, if you don’t believe Trump is Hilter, PolPot, and Stalin all wrapped in one, you’re a Trumpeteer, taking checks from Putin…personally, as was recently reported. #notfakenews. This might be, how do you say, a rather extreme outlook on reality? That only the furthest extremes imaginable are possible and credible, yet it’s impossible for anything to exist in the great span between? Is it television that has created this perspective on life? I find it disorienting.

    In the real world, as you say, Trump is just some 70-year-old guy who’s run some businesses well and lost others. He’s said some good things and some bad things. He has smart policies and dumb policies, and like other Presidents doesn’t run everything, control everything, either in theory or in fact. He is constrained by the Congress, the courts, the military, the press, and the public, as have all others before him. He is the public spokesman for a more complex and less public power block, as Presidents have been since before U.S. Grant. Like other Presidents, he is not in control, as a dictator. If anything, he is less in control than his several predessessors.

    The main things he’s constrained by will be the 45-year setup in the economy, the energy supply, and the reality of the shape of the “economy” that has developed around that evaporating reality. Presidents can do their better or worse with that situation, but it wasn’t theirs to make. The party was had, all money spent, all accounts indebted, leaving the entire catastrophe to us, the young, and then complain bitterly about us, our ingratitude and lack of work. It’s only ours to cope with 20% unemployment with 20% less pay while they collect pensions and fraudulent stock market gains.

    The challenge the president has will most likely be a collapsing bond market, a currency re-set and the resulting frozen economy, the re-balancing of world influence among Asia, Europe, and the US, and the dislocation of energy supplies, leading to the dislocation of goods that supply mankind. This is what we’re talking about when finally–FINALLY–someone can speak the words “NATO is obsolete”. NATO exists solely as a counterweight to a Soviet Empire that vanished 26 years ago. That we (or say the older generation) can suffer a collective gasp only shows how fake the reality is that we’re living in, and how long that lie has been perpetuated, and how deeply it is believed.

    That the EU is still arguing their pre-eminence even AFTER Brexit, while the Italeave and Frexit are already a foregone conclusion can only reinforce how diabolically fake, how suicidally out of touch they are. “They” being virtually everyone who speaks: the Atlantic Media, the experts, the leaders, the billionaires, the generals, the bankers, the markets, the spies. Apparently in the new world, reality doesn’t exist until someone says it does, who says the words that were more than obvious in the Greek crisis, the EU banking crisis, back all the way to the entirely unelected, undemocratic construction of the non-Union itself. Like other psychotics, they are only angry — and provably violent — when someone confronts how transparently illusionary their beliefs are.

    It’s quite a job. Not one a narcissist would take, to be the most reviled man on earth, no longer a billionaire, possibly assassinated, children shunned and discredited, and cutting the inaguration parties from dozens to one in order to do more work you’ll only be reviled for. No wonder so few have taken the banner. More than grasping the nettle, it’s like volunteering to be beaten with one. For no clear reason.

    The reality is they’re obsolete. NATO, the CIA, markets, world influence, are all going to disappear, because things are going to decentralize. Trump has nothing to do with any of it. It was all slated to happen before he was born.


    kudos diablo


    Fire With Fire

    Elementary, my dear Watson!


    Diablo “…while they collect pensions and fraudulent stock market gains.”

    For the time being.


    Max Keiser has said the EU was the German path to the 4th Reich for several years.


    I found the “cumulative gross labor income growth” chart fascinating. It is the clearest picture I ever saw of what is happening in Europe.

    However, there is no source given, could you tell me where it came from?

    Miguel, Florence, Italy

    Joe Clarkson

    Excellent rant, Diablo.

    Makes one wonder why so many think that Trump matters at all. Too many (who should know better) see him as a potent protector of the oppressed working classes striking back at economic elites and the deep state. Even if he actually had working class interests at heart, he won’t be able to delay economic collapse for even a second. Or be able to mitigate the horrific after-effects at all. His whole impotent presidency is likely to be a not-so-soothing distraction from reality, until reality bites back hard.

    Trump is a narcissist though. If collapse does happen on his watch, he’ll know for sure it couldn’t possibly be his fault. It’s delightfully ironic that, in such an event, he’ll be right, perhaps for the first time.



    Pretty sure it’s OECD. I was thinking about where I got it, can’t recall. There’s one direct link I can find, but it’s a paywall thing.

    John Day

    @Joe Clarkson
    Trump seems to be egotistical, but not necessarily narcissistic. He looks to be an effective egoist, which is a certain role for a chess piece on the global board. Hubris (literally “erect penis”) is the tragic flaw, and I’m not certain that Trump has it.
    He plays a loose-cannon on TV, but I would not be so certain that he really is that caricature.
    Trumps negotiation-style is like the “Drunken-Monkey” style of Kung Fu, which keeps the opponent guessing. It has its weaknesses, as well as strengths, and can only be effectively practiced by a master. I think Trump pulls it off.

    Joe Clarkson

    @John Day

    Here’s an article that has a main source who is someone very familiar with Trump’s personality. You may find it interesting.


    If you believe everything Trump says, I have some stock in one his failed casinos to sell you.

    He says that he wants to abolish nuclear weapons but is currently talking about accelerating the arms race his predecessor started. He says he wants to fight the elites but he’s appointing some of the worst ones to his Cabinet.

    He wants to block the inflow of refugees and commit mass deportations of “illegal immigrants”, even though many of the immigrants are economic and political refugees from countries in free trade agreements in the U.S. or, in the case of Honduras, chaos driven to the U.S. by the U.S. support for a coup there. You are right to lambast Europe for their treatment of refugees, but you should take a look at the detention centers for immigrants in the U.S. and the way that breaking up families has become acceptable. Obama was the deporter-in-chief and now Trump wants to build up on that.

    Granted, Trump’s policy towards Russia has a certain degree of sanity towards it compared to the Democrats (ironic that Obama joked, “the 80’s called, they want their foreign policy back” to mock Mitt Romney’s outdated world views). NATO should have been disbanded in 1993. Yes, the TPP is dead, thank goodness. But just as Obama followed through on his promise to renegotiate NAFTA by introducing the TPP, it’s not hard to see the possibility that Trump will replace the TPP with something worse.

    Yes, the Democratic Party is flailing like a cocaine-addicted octopus out of water and good riddance as far as I’m concerned. But as (presumably) a white man in Europe, you might have a hard time understanding what it is like to have people in your government who openly hate you if you are a person of color or LGBT. You should be appalled that Trump is a climate denier at a time when looming environmental disaster threatens the human race and life as we know it.

    There’s nothing wrong with bringing up the positive aspects of a Trump presidency but you undermine yourself by ignoring the negative side. Trying to erase it by saying “Really, I’m no fan of his” doesn’t elevate your credibility on this issue.

    I’ve been following the Automatic Earth for a few years and have appreciated the insights your blog has had to offer. But your Trump cheerleading looks like a tabloid page inserted into The Guardian–out of place and well beneath you..

    I urge you to take a closer and more critical look at Trump.

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