Category Archives: Trade

On War With China, Australia Is Caught Between A Rock And A Pentagon, by Caitlin Johnstone

Militarily, Australia and the U.S. are joined at the hip. Economically, Australia and China are joined at the hip. It makes for an interesting situation because China and the U.S. view each other as adversaries. From Caitlin Johnstone at

As part of Australian media’s relentless onslaught of warwithChina propaganda, the government-run Australian Broadcasting Corporation just aired a radio segment on RN Breakfast about the newly revealed details on the AUKUS nuclear-powered submarine deal, featuring two guests who are enthusiastic supporters of the deal, and hosted by another enthusiastic supporter of the deal.

One of the guests, Australia’s former treasurer and ambassador to the United States Joe Hockey, made some interesting remarks.

“This locks us in with the United States for decades to come; is there a risk, as the smaller partner in this deal, we’ll just have to do what the US tells us when it comes to future wartime engagements?” host Patricia Karvelas asked Hockey.

“Well we’re already fully integrated with the United States military, and arguably have been for more than one hundred years,” Hockey replied. “We’re the only country in the world that has fought side-by side with them in every major battle for the last one hundred years. And already today a lot of our navy has the Aegis Combat System, which is an American combat system; our current Collins-class submarines use American torpedoes… and in every major way, communications systems and integration, we already have American technology, and we’re integrated with American systems. So there’s nothing new here in that regard.”

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The Brain Standard, Part Two, by Robert Gore

Three steps forward, two steps back; so humanity advances.

Part One

Ideas are the foundation of the brain standard, one of which is that only individuals have rights. This cuts through the collectivist dreck that passes for thought among most of the world’s so-called intellectuals. The variations of collectivism all disguise nothing more than brute force hiding behind propaganda. Their inevitable failures stem from their essential flaw: those that control the collective claim rights that negate those of the individual.

There are grounds for hope. From the ruins of impending collapse there will be some who reject collectivism and are committed to rebuilding on a foundation of individual rights. How they will protect those rights and whatever territories they stake out are what theoretical physicists sometimes call “engineering problems.” One advantage they’ll have, though, as the brain standard constituency—they’ll be smarter than their adversaries. Attention, imagination, and intelligence will be keenly focused on building from the ruins and protecting what they’ve built.

Here’s a thought experiment. Imagine someone invents a cheap, portable device that defends its bearer and his or her property from all violence from all sources, but has no offensive capability. The device is so cheap that virtually everyone can buy it, and charities are set up to donate it to those who can’t. The device is universally available and creates a world without violence.

How would such a world function? People would have to produce to survive, but absent mutual agreement no one would have an enforceable claim on anyone else’s production. There would be no coercive transfers of money or property. Disputes would be settled by negotiation and mediation. A body of civil law similar to English common law would develop. Surely such a society would figure out a way to deal with nonviolent crime.

The negation of violence would eliminate government’s nominal rationale: protecting citizens from violence. In the absence of government (and its violence), individuals and society as a whole would be free to advance as far as their capabilities will take them.

This extreme hypothetical offers a stark contrast with the absence of anything resembling freedom anywhere in the world today. Government and collectivism are top-down codependents based on violence and coercion. Their current manifestations are replaying the dreary and what should be the common knowledge lesson of history: they inevitably fail, often after a great deal of bloodshed.


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In the current jockeying among collectivist governments for the things over which they jockey, Russia’s and China’s are doing a better job than the U.S.’s. The former are the co-leaders of the Eurasian alliance and represent substantial politic and economic power. The latter is bankrupt, embroiled in yet another war it won’t win, and stands accused of sabotaging its most important European ally’s oil pipelines. At home, the U.S. government and its fellow travelers are in thrall to brain-dead ideologies that hasten the country’s disintegration.

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The Brain Standard, Part One, by Robert Gore

Illusion Of Mind - PowerThoughts Meditation Club

A society’s well being is directly calibrated to its adherence to the brain standard.

The world is moving towards multipolarity. One axis, the West, is led by the U.S., the other—Eurasia and the global south—by Russia and China. Ukraine currently serves as a cauldron of the military conflict between the two axes. Taiwan may become a second such cauldron.

Through sanctions, the West has made economic and financial warfare a part of the conflict. The longest arrow in the U.S.’s quiver is the dollar’s reserve currency status. Western economies are based on credit. Central banks serve as the focal point of fiat debt issuance and monetization, interest rate manipulation, and currency debasement. Russia, China, and their cohorts are exploring alternatives to the dollar’s role and the West’s fiat currency, debt, and financialization, discussing arrangements based on gold and commodities, and economic activity centered on agriculture, mining, petroleum, manufacturing, and trade.

It’s a common sense conclusion that these are a more durable economic foundation than fiat debt, whose value is wholly dependent on the ever-shifting whims of politicians and monetary functionaries. Several commentators have hailed the shift away from the West’s fiat currencies and credit to that which is tangible and real. Currently, however, Russia and China’s currencies and credit are just as fiat as the West’s.

Oil was as tangible and real in 1600 as it is now. Why was it regarded as a useless nuisance back then and now it trades at around $76 (or about 1/24th of an ounce of real money, or gold) per barrel? What made oil valuable, the linchpin of the global economy, for which countries have been invaded and wars fought? Somebody figured out how to unlock and control oil’s energy and use it to generate light and power, and to distill it to derive chemicals now used in everything from fertilizers and plastics to pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

Direct barter is the means of exchange in primitive economies. Money is the intermediary agent that allows a producer to indirectly trade his or her production for someone else’s, to the benefit of both parties. Gold’s suitability as money has been recognized for millennia. Credit allows those who consume less than they produce to invest their surplus in economic activity that generates returns higher than the interest charged.


Do you like what you’re reading? SLL cuts through the reams of intellectual clutter, nonsense, and lies that bombard us daily. SLL is based on the premises that freedom is the foundation of human progress and happiness, truth is paramount, and inquiry and logic are the essential tools for realizing those objectives. What readers value the most are its clarity and understanding. Please consider compensating SLL for value received. The payment links are on the right or click the button below. Thank you.


There is no mystery what the best and brightest seek: freedom to think, express, and produce; protection of property and contract rights; security from crime and war. The conundrum is how few times those conditions have even come close to being fulfilled. They stand out like isolated lighthouses, beacons shining through history’s all-too-frequent darkness and tempest tossed seas. There are no such beacons today; the world shuns the brain standard.

It is the human mind and productive activity that imparts value to oil, gold, and credit. The mind is the fountainhead of human progress and wealth. The world has always run on the brain standard. A society’s well being is directly calibrated to its adherence to that standard. Its requirements are not conceptually complicated, but throughout history its sporadic implementation has proven problematic.

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The Great Game Reloaded: Superpowers In The Modern World, by RFE/RL staff

The new Cold War is here and its centerpiece this time may the standoff between the West and China. From the RFE/RL staff at

  • Munich Security Conference reveals tensions between US and China, with China sensing an opportunity to strengthen its global status.
  • Chinese official Wang Yi accuses US of fueling war in Ukraine, while US Secretary of State Blinken accuses China of preparing to provide weapons to Russia.
  • Despite tensions, European leaders engage with China during Wang’s diplomatic tour of Europe, raising concerns over de-dollarization and digital currencies decreasing Western leverage over China, Russia, and Iran.

Top foreign policy officials from the United States and China spent most of the last weekend at the Munich Security Conference stressing that their governments were not seeking a new Cold War, but amid tense rhetoric and accusations, a chill across much of the world is already being felt.Finding Perspective: The Munich gathering is Europe’s premier foreign policy conference and has long been a mainstay for leading officials from the West and elsewhere to hobnob and take the pulse of the current world order.

This year’s diagnosis was far from optimistic. While the West showed that it is perhaps more united now than in recent years and that support for Ukraine is entrenched — a message reinforced by U.S. President Joe Biden’s unannounced visit to Kyiv — it’s hard to shake the sense that the West remains more out of step than ever with the rest of the world and that the damage done by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine can’t be undone.

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Media Bewildered As Russian Economy Projected To Grow In 2023 Despite NATO Sanctions, by Tyler Durden

By now, the Russian economy was supposed to be in a depression and Vladimir Putin was supposed to be out of office. That was the Biden strategy, but it hasn’t worked out. From Tyler Durden at

After a smaller than expected GDP loss in 2022 of -2.1%, Russia has slipped through the NATO sanctions net and is projected by the IMF to see growth of 0.3% in 2023.  Western media proponents, shocked by this development, are wondering how this could be? (Report starts at 15:43)

Only months ago, political leaders and mainstream economists were expecting the complete fiscal destruction of Russia, leaving the nation in economic ruins and ending any chance of a continued military presence in Ukraine.  Joe Biden pledged to “crater” Russia’s economy, stating that Vladimir Putin “had no idea what was coming.”  French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire predicted Russian collapse after the first wave of Western sanctions.  Politico lauded the “benefits” of the coming disintegration of the Russian Federation.  The propaganda has obscured certain economic realities that should have been obvious. 

The development of Russian economic resilience is not a surprise to those in the alternative media, who pointed out a year ago that Russia’s primary trading partners including China, India and Brazil make up a third of the world’s population and around 24% of global GDP.  They are also production based countries which manufacture a large portion of the world’s goods.  Russia is rich in raw commodities and resources including oil and natural gas, allowing for profitable trading opportunities for nations willing to ignore western sanctions.

Far from severing trade relations between the BRICS nations, US and NATO efforts to wage economic warfare over the Ukraine conflict have instead brought the countries closer together.  The BRICS are now engaged in bilateral trade which cuts out the US dollar as the world reserve currency and China is pursuing stronger military ties to Russia on top of its increased purchases of Russian commodities.

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The Geoeconomics of Modern Conflict, by James Rickards

China is probably not going to invade Taiwan, and it is nowhere near the threat it is made out to be. From James Rickards at

Geopolitics play a major role in the outlook for global economies. But more importantly, today, we must look at the world through the prism of geoeconomics.

What is “geoeconomics”? Obviously, it’s a portmanteau from the words geopolitics and economics. There’s nothing new about considering those disciplines in the same context.

Wars are geopolitical and are often won through industrial capacity, which is primarily economic. Economics and global strategy have always been entwined. What is new is the idea that economics are not just an adjunct of geopolitics, but are now the main event.

This does not mean that warfare is over or that military prowess no longer matters… It means that the major powers in a globalized age will base their calculations on economic gain and loss, and will use economic weapons not as ancillaries, but as primary weapons.

This change was described at the beginning of the new age of globalization by strategic thinker Edward N. Luttwak in a 1990 article titled“From Geopolitics to Geo-Economics: Logic of Conflict, Grammar of Commerce.”

Luttwak wrote that the end of the Cold War and the start of globalization meant that armed conflict was too costly and uncertain for great powers. Economic interests would now be the arena for great power conflict.

Luttwak wrote, “Everyone, it appears, now agrees that the methods of commerce are displacing military methods – with disposable capital in lieu of firepower, civilian innovation in lieu of military-technical advance and market penetration in lieu of garrisons and bases.”

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Without Subsidies, How Many People Will Buy An EV? By Mike Shedlock

If you’re trying to get a new technology off the ground, it’s generally not a good sign that people have to be subsidized to use it. From Mike Shedlock at

Sales in Germany plunge after subsidies were reduced.

EVs free how far distance

Think Twice About Electric Vehicles

The Wall Street Journal reports Germans Think Twice About Electric Vehicles

Sales of fully electric vehicles (EVs) fell 13.2% in January compared to January 2022, Germany’s Motor Transport Authority reports. Sales of hybrids declined 6.2%. This compares to an increase of 3.5% in the number of new gasoline-powered cars sold, and a modest decline of 1.2% for diesel.

The main explanation is the end of Berlin’s subsidies for EVs and hybrids at the new year. Until December the subsidy had offered up to €9,000 split between consumer and producer for EVs with a net list price below €40,000. Hybrids in that price range received €6,750. Berlin has ditched the subsidy for hybrids entirely, and cut the payout to €4,500 for EVs below €40,000.

This year will thus be a market test for electric vehicle demand in the Vatican of climate-change belief. Politicians in the West have used subsidies and mandates to drive EV sales, no matter that they aren’t as green as their advertising. The cars are only as carbon-friendly to operate as the power grids they refuel from, and Berlin’s refusal to embrace nuclear power means Germany is burning more coal to cover for the end of natural-gas imports from Russia. Then there’s the environmental cost of mining for all that cobalt, copper and lithium for EVs and their batteries.

If consumers want to buy EVs, go for it. But what does it say about their appeal if people need subsidies to buy them?

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Compensation, by Robert Gore


Value for Value.

Straight Line Logic has never solicited donations because I recoil at that term. The connotation is that the recipient is receiving some sort of charity. I believe compensation, denoting value-for-value exchange, is the appropriate term.

SLL will never put up a paywall. The site has always been dedicated to truth and freedom and that overrides monetary considerations. There are readers who don’t have either the means or the inclination to offer compensation. However, I think there are readers who will if asked. So, I’m asking. SLL will now accept compensation through WordPress via Stripe or by check or money order (please see the sidebar for the mailing address).

What value does SLL offer in return? Simply put, SLL cuts through the reams of intellectual clutter, nonsense, and lies that bombard us daily. SLL is based on the premises that freedom is the foundation of human progress and happiness, truth is paramount, and inquiry and logic are the essential tools for realizing those objectives. What SLL readers perhaps value the most are its clarity and understanding.

Wayne Gretzky: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” Through the years, SLL has skated to where the puck is going to be. It’s not by clairvoyance, rather it flows from inquiry and logic.

SLL early on identified the revulsion millions of Americans feel towards those who would rule us, which led to the phenomenal rise of Donald Trump. “Much More Than Trump” traced the groundswell back to the Vietnam War. That article ranks as one of SLL’s most read and reposted. SLL predicted Trump’s victory in 2016.

Before he even took office, SLL saw his clashes with the Deep State coming and later, called out the so-called scandals—from Russiagate to the impeachments—as politically motivated frauds. SLL said that Trump would win in a landslide in 2020 if he got an honest vote count, but also warned that he probably wouldn’t get it.

SLL was one of the first to call the Coronavirus response what it has been—“a totalitarian horror”—whose objectives are power and control, not public health and safety. Through the spring and summer of 2020, SLL shredded the mainstream propaganda, which had unfortunately found its way into much of the alternative media, and deplored the destruction of human rights and freedom. From masks to vaccines, SLL has been resolutely skeptical of the various Coronavirus nostrums, all of which have proved to be ineffective, dangerous, or both. (I’m unvaccinated.)

Now the world confronts an even greater threat: nuclear war. An onslaught of mainstream propaganda has buried the story behind the Ukraine-Russia War, which began not in February of 2022 but with the U.S. sponsored coup in 2014. SLL is neither a Putin lover or hater, but does acknowledge his skills and competence. He made a solid case why he doesn’t want NATO’s puppet on Russia’s doorstep, but the U.S. closed the door to negotiations. That course precluded, Russia has waged a war it is winning, notwithstanding the propaganda to the contrary. The nuclear danger turns on whether Putin’s rationality or the U.S. establishment’s delusional bellicosity prevails. Stay tuned, SLL will continue to tell the full story.

SLL has no monopoly on penetrating analyses and solid writing. Everyday I repost ten to fifteen articles by other bloggers, that day’s best from my reading in the alternative media. Scan the excerpts, read the articles that most interest you, follow the links, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what’s going on in the world . . . and why.

Value is not just monetary, it can be measured in terms of time saved, information collected, insight garnered, and clarity realized. SLL’s featured bloggers unearth hard data, challenge authority, and peel back the curtain on corruption and evil. The alternative media is one of the last redoubts against the totalitarianism that threatens to engulf the globe. In the face of mounting risks, the best of the alternative media fights for disclosure, truth, and freedom. If that’s not value, what is?

If Straight Line Logic has value to you, please click the COMPENSATION link below and make either a one-time or regular monthly or annual payments. Those who make larger regular payments can receive signed copies of my books, The Golden Pinnacle, Prime Deceit, or Everything I Know About Business I Learned From The Godfather. Those who make really substantial payments will receive signed copies of all my books and my next novel, The Gray Radiance, when it’s published (I hope by the end of this year). They will also receive an invitation to a virtual Meet the Author event. The details are on the Compensation page. I thank in advance anyone who makes a payment or payments, large or small.

Think of that money as a small down payment on inestimable value. The truth isn’t cheap and freedom is never free.

Thank you


A Dollar Collapse Is Now In Motion – Saudi Arabia Signals The End Of Petro Status, by Brandon Smith

More and more countries are signalling that they no longer want to trade real commodities, particularly oil, for pieces of paper or computer entries. From Brandon Smith at

The decline of a currency’s world reserve status is often a long process rife with denials. There are numerous economic “experts” out there that have been dismissing any and all warnings of dollar collapse for years. They just don’t get it, or they don’t want to get it. The idea that the US currency could ever be dethroned as the defacto global trade mechanism is impossible in their minds.

One of the key pillars keeping the dollar in place as the world reserve is its petro-status, and this factor is often held up as the reason why the Greenback cannot fail. The other argument is that the dollar is backed by the full force of the US military, and the US military is backed by the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve – In other words, the dollar is backed by…the dollar; it’s a very circular and naive position.

These sentiments are not only pervasive among mainstream economists, they are also all over the place within the alternative media. I suspect the main hang-up for liberty movement analysts is the notion that the globalist establishment would ever allow the dollar or the US economy to fail. Isn’t the dollar system their “golden goose”?

The answer is no, it is NOT their golden goose. The dollar is just another stepping stone towards their goal of a one-world economy and a one-world currency. They have killed the world reserve status of other currencies in the past, why wouldn’t they do the same to the dollar?

Globalist white papers and essays specifically outline the need for a diminished role for the US currency as well as a decline in the American economy in order to make way for Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) and a new global currency system controlled by the IMF. I warned about this years go, and my position has always been that the derailment of the dollar would likely start with the end of its petro status.

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5G: An Open Door for America’s Demise by Declan Hayes

What does the U.S. do when the next world-beating technology comes from China? From Declan Hayes at

At day’s end, gamers, streamers and forward looking companies and governments will choose Chinese technology over America’s technologically challenged bullies.

5G is fantastic for everyone who wants to video call, stream movies or play games online. Not only is it infinitely faster than what is currently out there but, according to this FAQ, it is entirely safe, just like all those Pfizer Covid shots people jacked up on. As 5G is also pivotal to the Internet of Things, which stands at the heart of the World Economic Forum’s plans for our future, it is all good.

There are, alas, several pertinent and inter-related problems with 5G. The first of these is that Chinese company Huawei is far and away the world leader in this field, with Finnish firm Nokia and Sweden’s Ericsson’s taking up the distant rear and with no other company, American or otherwise, in the race.

This is a problem as 5G’s technology is such that it allows the provider, Huawei, Nokia or Ericsson, pry into their customer’s business, should they so wish, and thereby give them a massive competitive advantage in that and other, related ways.

Because that is a situation up with which the CIA will not put, the U.S. true to form, has been intimidating all and sundry and warning them of the dangers China, their ultimate nemesis, presents. It was for this reason that Canada, one of the U.S.’ more despicable colonies, arrested Huawei CFO Meng Wangzhou and held her for four years, on the CIA’s orders, on trumped up charges before being forced to release her.

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