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  • in reply to: Zelensky Admits Ukraine Already Ran Out Of Ammo #132122

    I think that the hardest part for everyone is to wait and see how things go.

    Both sides are lying constantly. Zelensky stating to a reporter that they are out of ammo is coming out of the same mouth that says that the AFU has killed hundreds of thousands of Russians.

    We are probably in for a long war and several boatloads more lies to sustain that war.

    Lies in war are a form of ammo.

    Just wait and see. My bet is on the Rooskies, but I have been wrong before.

    in reply to: The Godfather in US Politics #51590

    This has been one sorta-interesting comment string. But unfortunately, it has been one I have been living for the past three years.

    Disliking the Trumpster and disliking the Dem’s and the Media at the same time is not a popular position to take. There seems to be a need in this society for “closure”. Where we all get together and hammer out a consensus where all can agree that one side is good and the other is bad.

    But that just isn’t the case this time around. There aren’t any good actors out there. I think this simple fact is what has gotten us into a swivet.

    But truthfully, I think at the end of the day, all of this is centered around who will take the blame for the fall when it comes about. Both parties and the media have backed us into a corner where overpopulation, environmental degradation, and energy source losses will force a fairly serious degradation of lifestyle.

    What we are seeing is the run-up to the festival of consequences and the finger pointing blaming the other side when the bigger problems we are facing get some serious traction.

    in reply to: The Last Debt Rattle? #50892


    I approve heartily.

    I very much look forward to seeing more of your writing


    in reply to: Joe Biden Works for Donald Trump #46967

    Raul: I just finished up my post today and then wandered over here for my daily fix.
    I just want to thank you for all you do here, you are one of my treasured must reads.

    I am taking the liberty of cross-posting here in Automatic-land as a comment, I understand should you not wish to approve it as is uses vulgarity (Sorry six years in the Infantry left me with bad habits that I have yet to break).

    Analysis is not advocacy.

    I really wish that more folks would remember this simple statement.

    I cannot for the life of me say that I have advocated for any particular political “solution” or “system” or “candidate” in this ongoing affectation that is my journal. I kinda do the same in my conversations with people. This lack of enthusiasm is made easier by the options being served up by the political elite in this country being so god-awful. If I have ever done so, I honestly think at this point that either I misspoke or was too stoned to think straight.

    I strongly feel that politics and our country is in the midst of a generational change. The problems that we face only have unpleasant solutions that we haven’t thought of yet. The two parties that call the tunes careen through the failed solutions of the old white men of my generation, and baby, us old white dudes have failed immensely with everything that we have touched.

    Trump will probably win. I don’t see the two probable candidates (right now Bernie and [shudder] Biden) as having a snowballs in hell chance against the Donald provided that things don’t go completely shithouse in the next 556 days. To be honest, being fat, dumb, and happy currently, I am not particularly interested in such a thing occurring just to have the current fuckwad at 1600 Pennsylvania sent a’ packin.

    What folks don’t want to face, and what the two parties want desperately to hide from the voters is that we have started the long decline. Oh, I am fairly certain that momentum and inertia will mean that the inflection point in history which we straddle won’t be noticed yet, but we are going from a positive slope to a negative slope, and none of the solutions being bandied about by the gerontocracies dominating the two current political parties have the mental or moral courage to address and lead the society through to the next phase.

    My co-workers at the VaSpa have convinced me to make the attempt to watch “Game of Thrones”. Being of a curmudgeonly and sullen nature, I reluctantly agreed and will watch the same on DVD at the rate of once a week. I wasn’t all that impressed by the books, Martin could use a good editor and I gave up on reading them after the third book.

    I think that the reason that I agreed to dip my toes into this current pop culture phenomenon is to watch the first season with the only catchphrase that I remember in mind.

    Winter Is Coming.

    in reply to: WE Will Free The Press #46643

    Thank you Dr. D, and thank you Raul for writing this.

    I think that Dr. D is right about one thing. There is a bureaucratic civil war going on here in America, it was being played out on the plains of Mesopotamia. We are now seeing the next act of the play set in London.

    Right now we are just “in the cheap seats” and watching.

    What I feel is interesting is that the forced extradition came after the release of the Mueller report. If the purpose was to silence Assange, the extradiction probably need to come before the report release. Now that the report has been released, Assange will probably be able to harm the Democrats as part of the Trumpmeister”s response to being continually attacked for the last 2-plus years.

    But, there is the civil war in the deep-state that is discussed. Does Trumpster have enough power within the intelligence communities to keep Assange from dying of a previously non-diagnosed fatal illness long enough to shed some light?

    in reply to: Ban Saudi Oil #43345

    I am publishing this over at my place on Monday. But since AE is an important source for me, I thought that I would let folks preview it here. Since I am a vulgar person (6 years in the infantry and 25 years in the lab lead to such social awkwardness) I will not be offended should Raul decide to remove this.

    As always, thanks Ilargi for your work. I promise to send a donation as soon as I stop being poor.

    Its Such a Crock

    So, MBS and his oil-rich assholes decide to snuff a journalist and the world come sunglued.


    The Saudi’s attacked the world trade center, have been stirring up trouble in Iraq and Syria ever since, and have been killing Yemeni children at an alarming clip for a couple of years now. It is not like we haven’t known for years that they were bastards.

    So what made the difference now. Why, they killed a journalist!!

    Doesn’t that say everything about how we think. The folks who run Saudi Arabia are fucking scum. But since they are oil-producing scum, we have been giving them a free pass for years as long as they keep the oil spigots open.

    At a minimum tens of thousands of people have been killed. The bastards even manage to throw missiles into school buses full of children and we ignore them.

    But now they have committed a true crime. They have killed a journalist. A hellfire and a school bus are page seven news but a Saudi journalist being killed (I would guess that since he was coming out of the embassy, he was shaking down the “kingdom” for coins not to publish) the world is turned upside down.

    There are not that many “journalists” anymore. We only have people who try to control what we think. The idea of presenting facts in a greater context is a thing of the long ago. It is all about controlling the narrative now, making certain that your own views and those of your corporate masters control the information that the masses think so that corporate profits can be higher.

    When I am my most cynical, I wonder if the corporate media’s current epiphany that the Saudis are a bunch of bastards is in any way connected to the ever-increasing water cut at Gwahar
    If you want to stop by on Monday …..

    in reply to: Who Needs Enemies? #40731

    Thanks Ilargi:

    I will be curious to see if the Italians end up rolling over like the Greeks. I had a lot of hope for the Greeks when Yanos was there, but as he became increasingly marginalized and Tsipras and Syriza sold out across the board, hope kinda went away.

    The “West” is in the process of…well, that is the problem. The countries of the West are trying like hell to decide whether or not to go it together or alone. They are trying like hell to figure out who their friends are and who isn’t their enemy.

    At the end of the day, I think that things like Europe buying gas from Iran with Euros and the Shanghai oil market will be key to the problem. Washington is going to try to keep its exorbitant privilege and will strong arm who they will to keep it.

    I tend to think we are starting the see the breakdown of the West as a bloc. Granted, it was a fractious and odd bloc, but it was a bloc. What will follow?

    in reply to: Debt Rattle December 27 2014 #17869

    I posted a question for Ilargi over at my place.

    Now, you all know that I am kind of a fanboy of Ilargi and Stoneleigh over at the Automatic Earth.

    I do like the Debt Rattle part of the process there.

    But sometimes I would love a little more… I am going to ask questions here.

    Here is the headline in the “Debt Rattle”

    • Saudi Arabia Maintains Spending Plans in 2015 Despite Oil Slide (WSJ)

    So, since this is a paywall link to a status quo economic cheerleader , I ignore it and go poking over to the “Grey Lady” and find this…..the applicable quote is:

    The Finance Ministry said the “budget was adopted under international economic and financial conditions that are challenging.” The 2015 budget reflects an expected cut in revenues of around $88 billion from 2014, mostly due to the slump in global oil prices.

    So, the Saudi’s dip into the big pot-o-dollars and start spending them…..looks as though they have enough to cover bad oil prices for 6-8 years, which I firmly believe will not be the case.

    But what will be the effect of spending all these dollars? What will spending these dollars do to the value of the dollar as they start flooding the market?

    BTW: Here is a $$-SDR conversion

    in reply to: Cheap Oil A Boon For The Economy? Think Again #16988

    I was hoping that someone would clarify something for me.

    I am under the impression that the currently operation “fracked” wells are a “use-it-or-lose-it” proposition. That if the wells are not pumped constantly, they lose their production.

    Is this true? I sincerely hope it is not, but I can’t seem to find information on this.

    in reply to: The Price Of Oil Exposes The True State Of The Economy #16955

    Just a question about the physical mechanics of a fracked well. I have been told by an not completely unreliable source that fracked wells can’t really be “turned off”. My source was fairly adamant that a lot of the production in fracked wells is of a use-it-or-lose-it nature.

    If this is true, and if someone here with certain knowledge about this would chime in about its veracity, how would this ground-truth effect the equation in a “lower than production cost” set of wells?


    From a relative non-sophisticate, I am beginning to wonder when the smaller economies are going to start thinking about the idea of large-scale defaults?

    Right now, everyone is tied into the basic concept that growth is required and the only way to achieve growth is the unfettered access to western capital flows. Well, what happens in these smaller economies when the ruling class takes a hard look at the amount of money flowing out of their country to western banks and investors and decide to just say “screw it”?

    We can talk about the banks having people by the short and curlies, but the truth of the matter is, once folks decide that paying a huge portion of their limited national income to western banks in order to preserve the right to borrow even more is a losers game.

    Argentina has defaulted and will default again. There are a lot of countries out there that will start realizing soon that the US and NATO militaries cannot enforce payment everywhere all the time. The truth of the matter is, multiple countries defaulting will probably end up in a system of economic flows not transiting New York for their skim of the vig.

    It is going to end up there eventually. One would hope that it begins soon.

    This is also posted over at my place:


    Diogenes S.

    I will try to remember, it is some strange off-program that works with wordpress. I can’t for the life of me remember what it is right now. As for the picture, it is a shot of a fossil that I dug up at Stonerose fossil bed in Republic, Washington. It is a fern from the Eocene. A fossil mascot for another old fossil.


    Ilargi: Thank you you the kind (and rapid!) reply.

    I tend to wonder sometime if the whole charade that you discuss so eloquently can’t “continue to be going forward”?

    Sometimes I despair at trying to understand money and the economy. I wrote this piece five years ago

    I might want to update it about all the new things that confuse me.

    thanks again, be well.



    Just a quick question:

    A quote from the article:

    “To summarize, if that’s still necessary, home prices, like prices for all assets, are way higher than they would have been without QE.”

    The following question may sound a bit snarky, it is not intended that way; Does that statement apply to precious metals like gold and silver?

    These seem to be artificially surpressed, I would be more than interested in your views on this

    in reply to: Ruminations: Faith and Humanity #4038

    I will be posting this tomorrow on my own blog, but, as an unwonted display of courtesy I will post it here since it is sort of a rebuttal.
    I always take the time to read “The Automatic Earth” and the wonderful commentary and articles that make it a treasure. The post in question is “Ruminations on Faith and Humanity“. But I was genuinely shaken to see the following quote expounded upon by the reader “Alfbell” in the most recent post.

    No system will ever be successful until the human mind, and the spiritual being that utilized it, have been isolated and fully understood. Psychiatry, psychology, psychoanalysis, et al. have failed in this area as well. Very too bad because THIS is the key to man’s future survival.

    Find the source of evil and destructive intentions; the need to dominate; the need to destroy what another creates; man’s inhumanity to man; man’s illogic; man’s low level of morality; man’s “animalistic” tendencies; man’s inability to predict consequences; etc. and you will save mankind.”

    Wow, where do I start? Just another go at having a particular, parochial set of thoughts shoved down the throats of others in a sincere, open-hearted attempt to “help”

    The human condition is quite simply not one of perfectibility. That is not the point of human existence. The point of human existence is the messy striving and learning and other such unpleasantness that makes up our sin-stained existence. In a very real sense, the world defined by Alfbell is not one where I wish to live.

    We are not proto-gods, trying to build ourselves into perfect, luminous creatures. We are a bunch of apes who are trying to get along in a world where we have overshot (by a large margin) the constraints placed on us by a limited world. We are now just getting this little factoid through our collective thick skulls. What is proposed by the oh-so sincere readers of the Automatic Earth is a more thorough understanding of the animal nature so that we can save mankind. Well folks, I think that it is pretty easy to figure out that a pretty complete understanding of human nature is quite possible. Just ask the folks on Madison Avenue.

    An individual has a chance of figuring out how to rid himself of illogic, to control his baser desires, to use analytical skills to better produce desired outcomes for himself, etc., etc., etc. But that ability is located solely in the individual. The ability for an external effect to change or “make right” an individual is laughably limited. But that doesn’t mean most people don’t want to give it a try. But what most people want is for the great mass of other folks to just do whatever the person speaking wants them to do. There is no particular moral suasion that is de facto “right”. There are only personal preferences. What most folks want is to die well-fed and comfortably in bed with a minimum of fuss and bother and pain.

    Yet individuals such as “Alfbell” request and beseech over and over again for “more study” to be put into the nature of mankind so that the unwashed masses can made civil and subsequently be invited in for high tea. What will be done with the “additional study” will be what has happened every time. Those who desire power and influence will use that same information to garner their heart’s desire.

    Folks, there is a reason that there are different disciplines for psychology, sociology, and economics. There is also a reason why all must be taken into consideration when anyone who is intellectually honest makes any call for action in the world of men. We are not fragments of the divine encased in a vulgar shell. We are messy, somewhat greedy apes with the odd bit of potential showing through. The actions of the individual are different from the actions of crowd and different still from the sciences of greed. Taking all three together and trying to make some “Grand Unified Theory” has been a fruitless and sterile bit of research for going onto 12,000 years.

    Folks who come to the Church of the Doomer and its silly assortment of motley priests and deacons are partaking in that oldest of human traits, the tribe. When they do so and folks start coalescing around a one set of sect-leaders or another, they are just looking for the seed to create a movement to shove their flavor of the truth down the throats of an unwilling world. Consider another quote from the same article:

    Candace asks…

    “What I’m trying to figure out is if we all fail to be our best selves at least some of the time, are there any structures we can impose on ourselves that will at least keep us from causing massive damage to ourselves and the planet?”

    Folks, my real and true belief is that, barring alien intervention or a sudden insight into the laws of physics which allows a shortcut around the second law of thermodynamics, our descendants will be living in a world populated by around a billion and a half people by 2200. Now, some of the faint of heart might immediately start shrieking and gibbering and pulling their hair and begin mouthing loaded words like “near extinction”. Nonsense. It will just be Professor Ehlich contentedly having the last word. The earth will abide.

    The train has already left the station on the current overpopulation on “Mam Gaia” and the concomitant damage to the environment. The work-arounds and patches that have allowed the current state of affairs are beginning to fray pretty badly. The downslope is now ahead of us. No amount of “spiritual” effort will help anyone in the long run except as helping in the crossing we will all make.

    Economics boils down we all want more than our share. Sociology boils down that when you get us together in large groups, all bets are off. Psychology boils down to the fragile and flawed set of tools that we have developed to understand a world well out of our control. When you begin tacking words like spirituality, what you are trying to do is grab some shred of an erstwhile moral high ground and use it as a tool to shove your desires and expectations down the throats of others.

    in reply to: Reminder: China is Still on the List of Things NOT "Priced In" #853

    I am wondering about the effect of access to Iranian oil in a period of time when Iranian oil is being denied to other economies.

    It seems that China has made it clear that they would not be a part of the embargo nonsense currently being applied. That leaves China a clear field and perhaps lower relative prices for access to oil supplies.

    I am curious to see how this will play out and what effect it will have if it comes to pass.

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)