Tag Archives: President Trump

Money Minus Value, No Limit, by Jim Kunstler

It looks like the US is going to have to live with the consequences of its myriad stupidities. From Jim Kunstler at kunstler.com:

You understand, there will be no meaningful resuscitation of the dear, departed, so-called greatest boom in history. Ponzi schemes don’t “bounce back,” they collapse for the simple reason that the pieces holding them up were not really there. Such are the unanticipated consequences of a media over-saturated culture that we were so easily deceived by appearances.

The emotions entrained by this implacable disaster have barely expressed themselves in the social arena. The public is still too shell-shocked by the prospect of losing everything ­– jobs, incomes, status, chattels, a future – to commence what the shrinks call “acting out.” Anyway, half the country is still acting out over the election of Mr. Trump three years ago.

But, for the moment, an interesting debate rages internationally as to whether the Covid-19 virus was some kind of engineered event designed to bring about various political outcomes. One thread declares that the Democratic Party, its media handmaidens, and a helpful Chinese leadership used the virus to blow up the US economy and finally, after several botched attempts, get rid of the vexing Mr. Trump. It’s a tidy story, but I don’t buy it, for the simple reason that the entire global economy has blown up, including China’s, so you can file that meme in the Wile E. Coyote folder.

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The Attack on Civil Liberties in the Age of COVID-19, by John W. Whitehead

Attack is too polite a term; it’s an all-out assault on our civil liberties. From John W. Whitehead at mintpressnews.com:

In an exclusive for MintPress, constitutional attorney John Whitehead warns that the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to bring the American Police State out into the open on a scale we’ve not seen before.

You can always count on the government to take advantage of a crisis, legitimate or manufactured.

This coronavirus pandemic is no exception.

Not only are the federal and state governments unraveling the constitutional fabric of the nation with lockdown mandates that are sending the economy into a tailspin and wreaking havoc with our liberties, but they are also rendering the citizenry fully dependent on the government for financial handouts, medical intervention, protection and sustenance.

Unless we find some way to rein in the government’s power grabs, the fall-out will be epic.

Everything I have warned about for years—government overreach, invasive surveillance, martial law, abuse of powers, militarized police, weaponized technology used to track and control the citizenry, and so on—has coalesced into this present moment.

The government’s shameless exploitation of past national emergencies for its own nefarious purposes pales in comparison to what is presently unfolding.

Deploying the same strategy it used with 9/11 to acquire greater powers under the USA Patriot Act, the police state—a.k.a. the shadow government, a.k.a. the Deep State—has been anticipating this moment for years, quietly assembling a wish list of lockdown powers that could be trotted out and approved at a moment’s notice.

It should surprise no one, then, that the Trump Administration has asked Congress to allow it to suspend parts of the Constitution whenever it deems it necessary during this coronavirus pandemic and “other” emergencies.

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Trump, Putin Will Discuss The End Of U.S. Shale Oil, by Moon of Alabama

Trump is probably not going to be able to negotiate much of a cease fire with Vladimir Putin in Putin’s war on US shale oil. From Moon of Alabama at moonofalabama.org:

Three weeks ago, when the Russian and Saudi war on U.S. shale oil started, we wrote:

In the first week of January crude oil reached $69/bl but it has since dropped to $45/bl as the coronavirus crisis destroyed the global demand. The Saudis tried to make a deal with Russia, the second largest exporter after Saudi Arabia, to together cut oil production to keep the price up. But Russia rejected a new OPEC cut. It wants to keep its production up and it will use the crisis to further undermine U.S. oil fracking production. As the whole fracking boom in the U.S. is build on fraud the move might well be successful.

Russia does not have a budget deficit and is well positioned to survive lower crude oil prices without much damage. Saudi Arabia is not.

Only a week later oil was already at $30/barrel and we predicted that it would go down to $20/bl.

On Monday the U.S. WTI oil price index reached that mark. Oil prices in other places are falling even further:

Canadian heavy crude has become so cheap that the cost of shipping it to refineries exceeds the value of the oil itself, a situation that may result in even more oil-sands producers shutting operations.Western Canadian Select crude in Alberta dropped to a record-low close of $5.06 a barrel on Friday, according to Bloomberg data going back to 2008 …

The corona virus crisis has led to drop in global demand by some 20%. The world production and consumption in normal times was at about 100 million barrel per day. Consumption is now below 80 million bl/d. But after the OPEC+ agreement failed Saudi and Russia both started to pump as much as they could to regain market shares. Together they are increasing their production by some 3-4 million barrels per day. All that oil has to go somewhere.

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The Garden Gnome Gambit, by the Zman

A clever article from the Zman at theburningplatform.com:

Everyone is familiar with the garden gnome, the little ornamental figurines that look the dwarfs from children’s stories. Most people assume they originated in Germany, but they have their roots in ancient Rome. Small stone statues depicting the Greco-Roman fertility god Priapus were placed in the garden of Roman citizens. Like many Roman customs, the use of garden statues spread throughout the empire and eventually we got what we now call the garden gnome.

Of course, we use garden gnomes to keep the giraffes out of the garden. Not just any giraffes either. Normal giraffes are not a problem obviously. It is the albino miniature giraffes that attack the suburban garden. The liberal use of the garden gnomes has kept the miniature albino giraffes from terrorizing gardeners for generations. The proof of this, of course, is that we have no problem with miniature albino giraffes. In fact, it has worked so well no one has even seen one of these giraffes.

That may strike you as ridiculous, but it is something to keep in mind over the next few weeks as our leaders figure out how to unwind this virus panic. You see, a month ago they had two possible outcomes. One was the virus spread and killed a bunch of people, which would be very bad for the ruling class. The other possible outcome was a mild spread that got little notice and then it petered out. Heads they got blamed for ignoring a pandemic and tails they get no credit remaining calm about it.

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Payback By Mother Earth? By Eric S. Margolis

America is well-prepared for permawar all over the planet, but not for a virus. From Eric Margolis at lewrockwell.com:

`He who seeks to defend everything, defends nothing.’
 King Frederick the Great of Prussia.

This is one of the most important maxims of military history.  Every young officer should have it drilled into his head.

Yet the confused administration of President Donald Trump has been doing just this as it fights an invisible foe no one expected.  Trump, who dodged US military service using phony doctor certificated about his feet, now shamelessly styles himself ‘a war president.’

This new affectation mirrors Trump’s well-known love of ostentatious displays, military parades, and bombastic talk.  When draft-dodgers grow old, they often become flaming warmongers and carriers of the big stick.  Fox-TV watching older American men replaced their long faded sexual prowess with calls for martial action by…..the young, of course.

Now, as the coronavirus spreads, our self-proclaimed ‘War Leader’ has drawn his sword to defend endangered America. But Trump can’t decide if he is waging war against a vicious virus or fear itself. For the first two weeks of the epidemic he dismissed it as a ‘hoax’ spread by lefties. It was surprising the Clinton Democrats did not claim the plague was started by Moscow.

When the light of reality put an end to Trump’s Panglossian cheer, the president assumed the costume of doctor in chief and began warning that the ’Wuhan’ virus was very dangerous and likely introduced by foreigners (read Muslims, Chinese and Mexicans). If only his wall had been built.

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Corona Coincidence? by Eric Peters

The coronavavirus crisis arrived at a perfect time for the globalists. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

What to make of what is going on – which is going very fast in a very ugly direction?

It’s all too convenient. Two weeks ago, Orange Man seemed and probably was electorally invincible. Nothing his NPC opponents tried worked. The Orange Man ridiculed them, publicly, in his Orange Man way – leaving them bug-eyed with exasperation. One is reminded of people in the ’30s who could only refer to FDR as that man in between gasps of hate.

The “climate crisis” wasn’t selling, chiefly on account of lack of evidence, the lack made up for by an abundance of emotional rhetoric. Its purveyors had been reduced to desperation tactics such as shoving an emotionally damaged teenaged girl on stage whom they figured (correctly) few would openly criticize because she is a damaged teenage girl. But refraining from openly challenging a challenged little girl is not the same as believing what she says.

There there, sweetheart; it’ll all be okay.

The EV thing – which was tied to the climate thing – was about to topple like a Jenga tower due to the end of federal subsidies that had accounted for almost all EV “sales” so far – and because of the supply of inexpensive gas, something else the Orange Man caused to be.

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Militarism in a Time of Pandemic: The Arrogance of the (Ongoing) US War in Iraq, by Danny Sjursen

Refusing to leave a country that’s supposedly an ally, and then waging war on it, definitely sounds like arrogance. From Danny Sjursen at antiwar.com:

Look, I’m no doctor; not a scientist; certainly no expert in epidemiology. So I’ve kept silent, for the most part, on the Coronavirus. Being more than a little out of my depth on the subject, I’ll continue to do so. Nonetheless, it is striking how the disease outbreak has swallowed the news cycle whole, totally blotted out the sun of reportage on America’s ongoing militarist wars. While almost certainly not the cause or initial motive, 24/7 Corona-coverage has been convenient for the establishment media and political elites: a beyond-reproach justification for total blackout for U.S. wars and violent interventions that continue to kill our soldiers and – in far greater numbers – foreigners unlucky enough to live in the vast, contested expense from West Africa to Central Asia.

Generally, I’m a decidedly Occam’s Razor sort of guy: which is to say, one who never rules out the preeminence of contingency and rank incompetence as an explanatory tool for world events. Conspiracy peddling is hardly my go-to position. Still, however this Corona emergency turns out – passing (let’s hope) panic or zombie apocalypse – it must be said that the wall-to-wall disease reporting serves as an opportune disciplining tool. To wit, while it’s totally acceptable to utilize Corona as a cudgel – by the establishment “Left,” and it’s peculiar neoconservative allies – to batter (perhaps somewhat appropriately) Donald Trump, any critical analysis of the media response and it’s failure to report other war-related news is beyond the pale. Count me skeptical of the polite, prevailing band of admissible discourse.

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