The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 Mike Whitney ArchiveBlogview
Putin’s New World Order
PutinBear

Is Vladimir Putin the most popular Russian leader of all time?

It certainly looks like it. In a recent survey conducted by the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center, Putin’s public approval rating soared to an eye-popping 86 percent, which is twice that of Obama’s when he left office in 2016. And what’s more surprising is that Putin’s popularity has held up through a severe economic slump and nearly two decades in office. Unlike most politicians, whose shelf-life is somewhere between 4 to 8 years, the public’s admiration for Putin has only grown stronger over time.

And the phenom is not limited to Russia either. According to a recent survey by the pollster YouGov, “Putin is the third most admired man in Egypt, the fourth in China, Saudi Arabia and Morocco, and the sixth most admired man in Germany, France and Sweden.” And don’t even mention Syria, where naming babies after the Russian president is all-the-rage.

Putin also won Time magazine’s prestigious Person of the Year award in 2007, and has remained among the top ten on that list for the last decade. The only place that Putin is not popular is in the United States where he is relentlessly demonized in the media as a “KGB thug” or the “new Hitler”. According to a 2017 survey by Gallup, only “22% of Americans hold a favorable opinion of Putin” while “72% hold an unfavorable opinion of him.”

There’s no doubt that the media’s personal attacks on Putin have dramatically impacted his popularity. The question that open-minded people must ask themselves, is whether their opinion of Putin is the result of their own research or if their views have been shaped by a vicious, corporate-owned media that denigrates anyone who stands in the way of Washington’s geopolitical ambitions? My advice to these people is to simply read Putin’s words for yourself and draw your own conclusions.

The western media claims that Putin is responsible for a number of crimes including the killing of well-known journalists and political rivals. But is it true? Is the man, who is so revered by the vast majority of Russians, a common Mafia hitman who snuffs out his enemies without batting an eye?

I can’t answer that, but having followed Putin’s career (and read many of his speeches) since he replaced Boris Yeltsin in December 1999, I think it’s highly unlikely. The more probable explanation is that Russia’s foreign policy has created insurmountable hurtles for Washington in places like Ukraine and Syria, so Washington has directed its propaganda ministry (aka– the media) to smear Putin as an evil tyrant and a thug. At least that’s the way the media has behaved in the past.

The US political class loved Yeltsin, of course, because Yeltsin was a compliant buffoon who eviscerated the state and caved in to all the demands of the western corporations. Not so Putin, who has made great strides in rebuilding the country by nationalizing part of the oil industry, asserting his authority over the oligarchs, and restoring the power of the central government.

More important, Putin has repeatedly condemned Washington’s unilateral war-mongering around the world, in fact, the Russian president has become the de facto leader of a growing resistance movement whose primary goal is to stop Washington’s destabilizing regime change wars and rebuild global security on the bedrock principle of national sovereignty. Here’s how Putin summed it up at Valdai:

“We have no doubt that sovereignty is the central notion of the entire system of international relations. Respect for it and its consolidation will help underwrite peace and stability both at the national and international levels…First of all, there must be equal and indivisible security for all states.” (Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club, ” The Future in Progress: Shaping the World of Tomorrow, From the Office of the President of Russia)

This is a familiar theme with Putin and one that goes back to his famous Munich manifesto in 2007, a speech that anyone with even the slightest interest in foreign affairs should read in full. Here’s an excerpt:

“We are seeing a greater and greater disdain for the basic principles of international law. And independent legal norms are, as a matter of fact, coming increasingly closer to one state’s legal system. One state and, of course, first and foremost the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way. This is visible in the economic, political, cultural and educational policies it imposes on other nations. Well, who likes this? Who is happy about this?….”

“I am convinced that we have reached that decisive moment when we must seriously think about the architecture of global security. And we must proceed by searching for a reasonable balance between the interests of all participants in the international dialogue.” (“Wars not diminishing’: Putin’s iconic 2007 Munich speech, you tube)

The Munich speech was delivered a full four years after Washington launched its bloody invasion of Iraq, an invasion that Putin bitterly opposed. The speech shows a maturity of thought on Putin’s part who, unlike other world leaders, isn’t quick to judge or draw hasty conclusions. Instead, he takes his time, analyzes a situation thoroughly, and then acts accordingly. Once he’s made up his mind, he rarely wavers. He’s not a flip flopper.

Putin’s opposition to unipolar world rule, that is, Washington dictating policy and everyone else falling in line, is not a sign of anti-Americanism, but pragmatism. Washington’s 16 year-long rampage across Central Asia, North Africa and the Middle East, has only intensified crises, fueled instability, bred terrorism, and increased the death and destruction. There have been no victories in the War on Terror, just endless violence and mountains of carnage. On top of that (as Putin says) “No one feels safe.”

ORDER IT NOW

This is why Putin has drawn a line in the sand in Syria and Ukraine. The Russian president has now committed troops and military aircraft to stop Washington’s aggressive behavior. Once again, this is not because he hates America or seeks a confrontation, but because Washington’s support for violent extremists requires a firm response. There’s no other way. At the same time, Moscow continues to actively seek a peaceful settlement for both crises. Here’s Putin again:

“Only after ending armed conflicts and ensuring the peaceful development of all countries will we be able to talk about economic progress and the resolution of social, humanitarian and other key problems….

It is essential to provide conditions for creative labour and economic growth at a pace that would put an end to the division of the world into permanent winners and permanent losers. The rules of the game should give the developing economies at least a chance to catch up with those we know as developed economies. We should work to level out the pace of economic development, and brace up backward countries and regions so as to make the fruit of economic growth and technological progress accessible to all. Particularly, this would help to put an end to poverty, one of the worst contemporary problems.”…

Another priority is global healthcare…. All people in the world, not only the elite, should have the right to healthy, long and full lives. This is a noble goal. In short, we should build the foundation for the future world today by investing in all priority areas of human development.” (Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club)

This is why I think that the stories about Putin killing journalists are nonsense. It seems very improbable to me that a man who believes in universal health care, creative labor, ending poverty and “investing in all priority areas of human development” would, at the same time, murder political rivals like a common gang-banger. I find that extremely hard to believe.

The most interesting part of Putin’s Valdai speech is his analysis of the social unrest that has swept across the EU and US resulting in the widespread rejection of traditional political candidates and their parties. Putin has watched these developments carefully and given the matter a great deal of thought. Here’s what he says:

“With the political agenda already eviscerated as it is, and with (American) elections ceasing to be an instrument for change but consisting instead of nothing but scandals and digging up dirt…And honestly, a look at various candidates’ platforms gives the impression that they were made from the same mold – the difference is slight, if there is any. …

Yes, formally speaking, modern countries have all the attributes of democracy: Elections, freedom of speech, access to information, freedom of expression. But even in the most advanced democracies the majority of citizens have no real influence on the political process and no direct and real influence on power….

It seems as if the elites do not see the deepening stratification in society and the erosion of the middle class…(but the situation) creates a climate of uncertainty that has a direct impact on the public mood.

Sociological studies conducted around the world show that people in different countries and on different continents tend to see the future as murky and bleak. This is sad. The future does not entice them, but frightens them. At the same time, people see no real opportunities or means for changing anything, influencing events and shaping policy.

As for the claim that the fringe and populists have defeated the sensible, sober and responsible minority – we are not talking about populists or anything like that but about ordinary people, ordinary citizens who are losing trust in the ruling class. That is the problem….

People sense an ever-growing gap between their interests and the elite’s vision of the only correct course, a course the elite itself chooses. The result is that referendums and elections increasingly often create surprises for the authorities. People do not at all vote as the official and respectable media outlets advised them to, nor as the mainstream parties advised them to. Public movements that only recently were too far left or too far right are taking center stage and pushing the political heavyweights aside.

At first, these inconvenient results were hastily declared anomaly or chance. But when they became more frequent, people started saying that society does not understand those at the summit of power and has not yet matured sufficiently to be able to assess the authorities’ labor for the public good. Or they sink into hysteria and declare it the result of foreign, usually Russian, propaganda.” (Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club)

Putin makes some important points, so let’s summarize:

1/ Elections are no longer an instrument for change.

2/ The appearance of democracy remains, but people no longer have the power to change the policies or the process.

3/ Political impotence has led to frustration, depression and rage. New movements and candidates have emerged that embrace more extreme remedies because the traditional parties no longer represent the will of the people.

4/ Insulated elites have grown more obtuse and unresponsive to the seething anger that lies just below the surface of a seemingly-quiescent society.

5/ More and more people are afraid for the future. They see little hope for themselves, their children or the country. The chasm between rich and poor continues to fuel widespread populist anger.

6/ Trump’s election indicates a broad rejection of the country’s political class, its media, its economic system and its primary institutions.

This is first-rate analysis from a man who has not only spent a lot of time thinking about these things, but also pinpointed the particular event from which the current crisis emerged; the breakup of the Soviet Union. Here’s what he says:

“Last year, the Valdai forum participants discussed the problems with the current world order. Unfortunately, little has changed for the better over these last months. Indeed, it would be more honest to say that nothing has changed.

The tensions engendered by shifts in distribution of economic and political influence continue to grow. … Essentially, the entire globalisation project is in crisis today and in Europe, as we know well, we hear voices now saying that multiculturalism has failed.

I think this situation is in many respects the result of mistaken, hasty and to some extent over-confident choices made by some countries’ elites a quarter-of-a-century ago. Back then, in the late 1980s-early 1990s, there was a chance not just to accelerate the globalization process but also to give it a different quality and make it more harmonious and sustainable in nature.

But some countries that saw themselves as victors in the Cold War, not just saw themselves this way but said it openly, took the course of simply reshaping the global political and economic order to fit their own interests.

In their euphoria, they essentially abandoned substantive and equal dialogue with other actors in international life, chose not to improve or create universal institutions, and attempted instead to bring the entire world under the spread of their own organisations, norms and rules. They chose the road of globalisation and security for their own beloved selves, for the select few, and not for all.” (Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club)

He’s right, isn’t he? The globalization project IS in crisis, and the reason it’s in crisis is because all of the benefits have gone to the people who crafted the original policy, the 1 percenters. So now the people in the US and EU are lashing out in anger, now they are taking desperate measures to reassert control over the system. That’s what Brexit was all about. That’s what the election of Trump was all about. And that is what the faceoff between Macron and Le Pen is all about. All three are examples of the seething populist rage that’s aimed at the elites who have imposed their own self-aggrandizing system on everyone else precipitating the steady decline in living standards, massive economic insecurity, and the loss of national sovereignty.

This is the first time I’ve seen the current wave of social turbulence traced back to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, but it makes perfect sense. Western elites saw the breakup of the USSR as a greenlight to maniacally pursue their own global agenda and impose their neoliberal economic model on the world, a process that greatly accelerated following 9-11. The terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers became the seminal event that triggered the curtailing of civil liberties, the enhancing of executive powers and the beginning of a global war of terror. Unconstrained by any serious rival, Washington felt free to impose its corporate-friendly system on the world, redraw the map of the Middle East, occupy countries in Central Asia, and topple secular regimes wherever it went. The triumphalism of western capitalism was summarized in the jubilant words of President George H. W. Bush who stated in 1990 before the launching of Desert Storm: (From now on) “what we say, goes”. The pronouncement was an unambiguous statement of Washington’s determination to rule the world and establish a new order.

Now, 27 years later, the United States has been stopped in its tracks in Syria and Ukraine. New centers of economic power are emerging, new political alliances are forming, and Washington’s authority is being openly challenged. Putin’s task is to block Washington’s forward progress, create tangible disincentives for aggression, and put an end to the foreign interventions. The Russian president might have to take a few steps backward to avoid WW3, but ultimately the goal is clear and achievable. Uncle Sam must be reigned in, the war-making must stop, global security must be reestablished, and people must be free to return to their homes in peace.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

(Reprinted from Counterpunch by permission of author or representative)
 
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
[]
  1. Another good one from Mike Whitney!

    This is why I think that the stories about Putin killing journalists are nonsense.

    Also: they never seem to have any evidence of Putin’s involvement.

    The globalization project IS in crisis …

    Oh yeah, baby! It’s in crisis big time. In fact, that’s about the only good news these days.

    The Russian president might have to take a few steps backward to avoid WW3 …

    My main concern here is that Putin’s various attempts at de-escalation in Syria and Ukraine could be taken for weakness and only encourage more aggression from Washington. I believe that the day fast approaches when Putin’s going to have to take a stand and risk it all.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    I believe that the day fast approaches when Putin’s going to have to take a stand and risk it all.
     
    Pre WW2 Japanese moderates found themselves in a very similar situation as well. The parallels are quite striking.

    Two days after the Hull ultimatum, Counselor Terasaki of the embassy, in a note transmitted to Roosevelt by Dr. Jones, pleaded, "Don't compel us to do things, but make it possible for us to do them. If you treat us in this way, we will reciprocate doubly. If you stretch out one hand, we will stretch out two. And we cannot only be friends, we can be allies."

    There was no response, nor any relaxation of the pressure. As Dr. Jones says, "Our ultimatum ... put Japan in a box. She had to knuckle under or else fight us."

    - George Morgenstern, Pearl Harbor: The Story of the Secret War, Chap 7 “Back Door to War,” pg 102

    https://mises.org/system/tdf/Pearl%20Harbor%20The%20Story%20of%20the%20Secret%20War_3.pdf?file=1&type=document
     
    One can give the global moneyed elites credit for at least a couple of things besides arrogance, greed and ruthlessness; consistency as well as persistency*.




    * Note to grammar Commies and Scrabble players.: "Persistency" is a valid word even in this context.
    , @Zenarchy

    Also: they never seem to have any evidence of Putin’s involvement.
     
    Not only that. Check CPJ (Committee to Protect Journalists):
    https://cpj.org/killed/europe/russia/

    Compare the last 5 years of the US-ZOG puppet Yeltsin 1995 - 2000, and the Putin years 2000 - present.
    Reduction of about 50 percent in killings.
    Would anyone anywhere except Russia believe you if you said the situation improved by this much under the pre-Trump avatar of 'literal Hitler'? Even if an American organization claimed it?
    That's where we are, gentlemen. False journalists SHOULD become a bit scared.
    , @Altai
    Give Iran some hypersonic anti-carrier missiles that can't be intercepted, nice disincentive to mindless war.
    , @Jake
    The English have a long history of demonizing Russian leaders, even when allied with them. The great exception is Joe Stalin, whom the English press dubbed 'Uncle Joe.'

    That English history, which our WASP Elites inherited whole cloth, combined with the nearly universal Jewish hatred of all things Russian guarantees that the US will hate Putin and Russia.
    , @Hans Zandvliet
    I agree 90% with you, except for your last comment: "[...] Putin’s going to have to take a stand and risk it all."
    I'd say: be careful what you wish for! To risk (it all), also implies that you might lose (it all). And I think we both agree about what "it all" includes: life on planet Earth (or at least a decent and humane form of life for Homo Sapiens).
    Putin (being a master on the "Grand Chessboard"), has outmanouvered Washington many times now in the Ukraine and Syria, leaving Washington caught with their pants down for all the world to see. I believe (at least I hope) that eventually reallity will sink in (also with the rest of the nations of our world) that the king has no clothes anymore and Washington has to tone down.
    In the forseable future, the US empire might well collapse in on itself (just like the Soviet Union did in the late 1980s, early 1990s), after which Washington won't have the means anymore to fight hegemonic (world) wars.
    Meanwhile, I believe, it would be very unwise for Russia to "risk it all" now, because in times of economic crisis, that would be just the red herring Washington needs to rally the people behind their flag and march off to WW-III and the anihilation of our present human civilisation.
    , @Aren Haich
    What is most dangerous about America and Anglo-Saxons in general is the fascist streak in their character. American use of atom bombs on 2 Japanese cities is a testimony to that.
    Putin illustrated it well when he said that Stalin, even if he had atom bombs at his disposal and with tens of millions of Russians killed in the war, would never have used them in revenge against a defeated Germany.
    This is what Americans did to the Japanese, even though their war casualties were minimal compared to the Russians'. And the British did as much without atom bombs, which they didn't have, in obliterating German cities through massive, indiscriminate bombings.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
    AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
    These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
    Sharing Comment via Twitter
    http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/putins-new-world-order/#comment-1852745
    More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  2. Yes, the guy appears to be smart and well-meaning, and he’s improved a lot in recent years.

    However, I wouldn’t expect too much of him in terms of “stopping the United States in its tracks”. He doesn’t impress me as being exactly firm and decisive; neither in Ukraine, nor in Syria. When it comes to dealing with the West, he’s all about ‘jaw-jaw’, never ‘war-war’. He’ll give in, I think. Prepare to be disappointed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Zzz
    Maybe more talking instead of more war is what world want?

    We always can destroy eachother, why rush.
    , @JGarbo
    Putin knows exactly how he strong is, ie, not very, and how "strong" the US is, very, very. He also knows exactly what the situation is in Syria, whereas the US dreams the situation, hence its dismal failures - in reality.
    Putin also knows he's fighting to save Syria, whereas the US is in Syria, first, to "blow stuff up" for folks back home watching CNN; second to waste munitions and require their expensive replacement, ie profits and dividends for the 1%.
    It's not working for US dreamers who thought they were fighting a cripple but awoke to find a leopard. A leopard might not kill you but it can tear strips off your hide.
    , @ThatDamnGood
    Is it in Russia's interests to absorb east Ukraine? No.

    And what are Russia's interests in Syria? To stop the Qatari pipeline is obvious but is it also to enable an Iranian one?

    Russian blood to be shed for only Russia's interests. Thankfully Putin understand that.

    Go look for a super hero elsewhere.
    , @Serg Derbst
    I think he is dealing with the situation exceptionally well. You have to remember he is facing absolutely crazy, dangerous people. The AngloZionists are like a psychopath who might snap at any time, very unstable an unpredictable. Russians are more like Asians when it comes to strategy, they think long term. In fact, I'd say that while the East is acting strategically, the West is doing so only tactically.
    The US will eventually brought down economically by killing the Dollar. That is what BRICS and the gold currency is all about. I think it will be ready within three years and then let's see what will happen to the United States.

    I feel really sorry for the American people, because what they're heading for is what Germany had to face during the Great Depression or after WW2, or what Russia had to face during the 1990s, but with a mighty chance for Civil War.

    Putin knows that war and aggression is not the solution, but clever maneuvering is, plus honesty. In Germany we have a saying: Ehrlich währt am längsten. It's hard to translate, but it means two things: that honesty might take long to get results, but that these results will last the longest.
  3. @Mao Cheng Ji
    Yes, the guy appears to be smart and well-meaning, and he's improved a lot in recent years.

    However, I wouldn't expect too much of him in terms of "stopping the United States in its tracks". He doesn't impress me as being exactly firm and decisive; neither in Ukraine, nor in Syria. When it comes to dealing with the West, he's all about 'jaw-jaw', never 'war-war'. He'll give in, I think. Prepare to be disappointed.

    Maybe more talking instead of more war is what world want?

    We always can destroy eachother, why rush.

    Read More
    • Agree: Tom Welsh
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    Maybe more talking instead of more war is what world want?
     
    Sure. Except that, like I said, it's highly unlikely to 'stop the United States in its tracks'.
  4. Unfortunately most of the people I know — I’m an engineer, so I know a lot of smart people — believe the lying mainstream news about Putin being some kind of Mafia don. When I defend Putin and Russia, they say I’ve been reading “fake news.” Smart people can be very gullible. As for me, I voted for Trump in hopes he might be just a little bit like Vladimir. What a disappointment!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Realist
    Being gullible is not intelligent.

    Maybe if your acquaintances were scientists they would be a little more inquisitive.

    , @JGarbo
    Well, FA, a non seq there. You're an engineer, ie smart, yet you voted for Trump, ie very dumb? I'm a BSc MechEng (real university), reasonably smart, yet could see through that conman in a second. I'd further suggest that your friends aren't all that bright either given their opinions.
    Trump is obviously an odious punk, a smarmy con artist, as is his daughter, from her interviews. If they ever produce off spring, apparently Donald's suppressed desire, the result would be hideous, if it survived.
    , @Seamus Padraig
    You will probably appreciate this Unz article by Jonathan Revusky, where he outlines his theory of the the HIQI, the High IQ Idiot: http://www.unz.com/article/battling-the-matrix-and-freeing-oneself-from-the-roger-rabbit-mental-world/
    , @calskeptic
    I am an architect and know a lot of dumb people including engineers. Most of them know nothing about the world. Less about history. Their only care is for the next project. The client's identity is just a detail.

    Listen to Putin's speeches. Whole sentences. Concrete discussion of actualities. Cogent analysis. Now tell me you voted for the orange oligarch and you really thought it might be similar.....

    Like my old daddy used to say, "an engineer is just an architect with all his brains kicked out".
  5. @Zzz
    Maybe more talking instead of more war is what world want?

    We always can destroy eachother, why rush.

    Maybe more talking instead of more war is what world want?

    Sure. Except that, like I said, it’s highly unlikely to ‘stop the United States in its tracks’.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Erebus

    it’s highly unlikely to ‘stop the United States in its tracks’.
     
    Agreed.
    Rather, it looks like the Russian / Chinese strategy is to run out the clock - play rope-a-dope until the Zempire punches itself out. Meanwhile, build alternative financial and security structures in preparation for the US/West's internally caused collapse.
    If that's Plan A, Plan B is to allow Plan A to work for long enough to build their military power to the point where should the US insist on a direct confrontation they'll be in a position to administer a coup de grace, putting it out of its misery.

    I think neither will succeed, and that we're heading for a bi-polar, and then a tri-polar world.
    , @annamaria
    "...it's highly unlikely to ‘stop the United States in its tracks."
    Do you suggest a preemptive nuclear strike by Russia or what?
  6. More sweet insights from M Whitney, thank you. Might I just dispute his last few para’s from -

    “…. and the reason (the globalisation project is) in crisis is because all of the benefits have gone to the people who crafted the original policy, the 1 percenters.”

    ….my take is that the 1%’er’s did not craft the original policy, they stole the benefits from the mass consciousness that was ripe for a complete change….or to put this another way the “original policy” never won anything at all – 1%er’s are 1%er’s whichever “country” they might reside in, and they kill and destroy to steal and win at any cost….unlike the crafters of the “original policy” which is a totally different way of life.

    Read More
  7. Well done Mike. Putin is the leader of the world that would be free of Anglo/Zio aggression.

    Read More
  8. Excellent.

    When American politicians speak, they mouth platitudes. Putin can explain himself and his views. Maybe that’s why they hate him so much?

    Read More
  9. Another insightful (dare I say brilliant?) essay from Mike Whitney.

    “This is the first time I’ve seen the current wave of social turbulence traced back to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, but it makes perfect sense. Western elites saw the breakup of the USSR as a greenlight to maniacally pursue their own global agenda and impose their neoliberal economic model on the world,”

    I’m reminded of a comment an old friend of mine, as hard-line an anti-Communist as anyone I’ve ever known, made at the time of the break-up of the Soviet Union. He said that he expected the downfall of Communism to lead to the re-emergence of many of the evils which led to the development of Communism in the first place. I’ve long lost touch with him, but occasionally wonder if he is still around to see what a prophet he turned out to be.

    Read More
  10. @Mao Cheng Ji

    Maybe more talking instead of more war is what world want?
     
    Sure. Except that, like I said, it's highly unlikely to 'stop the United States in its tracks'.

    it’s highly unlikely to ‘stop the United States in its tracks’.

    Agreed.
    Rather, it looks like the Russian / Chinese strategy is to run out the clock – play rope-a-dope until the Zempire punches itself out. Meanwhile, build alternative financial and security structures in preparation for the US/West’s internally caused collapse.
    If that’s Plan A, Plan B is to allow Plan A to work for long enough to build their military power to the point where should the US insist on a direct confrontation they’ll be in a position to administer a coup de grace, putting it out of its misery.

    I think neither will succeed, and that we’re heading for a bi-polar, and then a tri-polar world.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    Plan B is to allow Plan A to work for long enough to build their military power to the point where should the US insist on a direct confrontation they’ll be in a position to administer a coup de grace, putting it out of its misery.
     
    In the strategic sense, I don't think they can even come close to matching the US militarily. They are surrounded by US military formations equipped with nuclear weapons and anti-missile interceptors, while they themselves have pretty much zero meaningful military infrastructure outside their own borders.

    And as far as your Plan A, should the West come close to the point of internal collapse, a nuclear confrontation seems all but inevitable to me (I hope I'm too pessimistic). I think a slow decline accompanied by gradual adjustments would be much more preferable.
    , @Avery
    {...to build their military power to the point where should the US insist on a direct confrontation they’ll be in a position to administer a coup de grace, putting it out of its misery.}

    Where is US going to confront either China or Russia directly?
    Russia has more nukes than US.
    Its ICBMs are newer and better than US's as of now.
    China also has enough nukes to hit back US on our mainland, if US goes nuclear.

    US can't win a conventional war with either Russia or China in their back yards.

    US tried to destroy Russia economically by driving the price of oil down and damaging the ruble, but that didn't work.
    US can't or won't damage China economically, because by now US depends too much on Chinese-made products.

    So I don't understand where you get the notion that US is going to confront either of those countries _directly_.
    US doesn't confront large, strong countries directly.
    Hasn't since WW2.

  11. @Erebus

    it’s highly unlikely to ‘stop the United States in its tracks’.
     
    Agreed.
    Rather, it looks like the Russian / Chinese strategy is to run out the clock - play rope-a-dope until the Zempire punches itself out. Meanwhile, build alternative financial and security structures in preparation for the US/West's internally caused collapse.
    If that's Plan A, Plan B is to allow Plan A to work for long enough to build their military power to the point where should the US insist on a direct confrontation they'll be in a position to administer a coup de grace, putting it out of its misery.

    I think neither will succeed, and that we're heading for a bi-polar, and then a tri-polar world.

    Plan B is to allow Plan A to work for long enough to build their military power to the point where should the US insist on a direct confrontation they’ll be in a position to administer a coup de grace, putting it out of its misery.

    In the strategic sense, I don’t think they can even come close to matching the US militarily. They are surrounded by US military formations equipped with nuclear weapons and anti-missile interceptors, while they themselves have pretty much zero meaningful military infrastructure outside their own borders.

    And as far as your Plan A, should the West come close to the point of internal collapse, a nuclear confrontation seems all but inevitable to me (I hope I’m too pessimistic). I think a slow decline accompanied by gradual adjustments would be much more preferable.

    Read More
    • Disagree: Sergey Krieger
    • Replies: @Monty Ahwazi
    Excellent analysis Mike W!

    @mao Cheng ji,
    What are your thoughts about the extreme financial pressures or even financial bankruptcy of the west gradually brought onto the west by China and Russia? I believe the MIC in the west will collapse under those conditions bringing military supremacy of the west to a halt!
    , @Erebus
    No argument from me that the US/NATO military resource base dwarfs Russia's. Nevertheless, it's almost useless for invasion purposes. They simply can't bring enough conventional force to bear quickly enough to be of use. In a protracted war, sure. In a short, extremely violent war, the formations you speak of would be obliterated in hours, if not minutes. If there's a confrontation, I expect it to be more like the latter than the former.

    As for collapse, I expect it to be like Hemingway's bankruptcy - slow at first, then sudden. I further think we've been in the slow stage for at least two decades, and that the sudden part is looming as the Zempire is facing both geo-political and financial challenges that it will not be able to push back for much longer. Another 2008 GFC is looming, but this time it's had a decade of steroid abuse under its belt so I expect it will be much, much worse. A nuclear exchange becomes a distinct possibility, due simply to the apparent madness prevalent amongst the denizens of Washington's halls of power.
  12. it’s highly unlikely to ‘stop the United States in its tracks’.

    True, Russia can’t do this, but China can. A gold backed Yuan would turn the might dollar into a mighty liability overnight. Is there a five year plan with the exact date in red ink on Xi’s desk right now?

    http://robertmagill.wordpress.com

    Read More
    • Replies: @Miro23
    Or if you take the view that the only "real" backing for US $ is the need to hold it to buy commodities (particularly oil) and for international trade, then oil producers could start the ball rolling by denominating oil in Euros = holding Euro balances.

    I see the Euro as the only real alternative to the Dollar (for now).
    , @MarkinLA
    There isn't enough gold in the world to ever back any major currency again. I don't buy that goldbug nonsense of gold going to 5000 dollars an ounce to make it usable again.

    As long as the US government demands taxes paid in dollars and wages paid in dollars, dollars will have value in the US. The US is one of the few countries in the world that could be completely self sufficient if it wanted to be. The US will continue to make products that other countries want.

    These goldbugs have been predicting the end of the dollar for 40 years now. The pound is still around 70 years after it ceased to be the world's reserve currency. That is because, for all Britain's ups and downs, the Brits still make things other people want and Britain is still a decent place to live.
  13. @Fidelios Automata
    Unfortunately most of the people I know -- I'm an engineer, so I know a lot of smart people -- believe the lying mainstream news about Putin being some kind of Mafia don. When I defend Putin and Russia, they say I've been reading "fake news." Smart people can be very gullible. As for me, I voted for Trump in hopes he might be just a little bit like Vladimir. What a disappointment!

    Being gullible is not intelligent.

    Maybe if your acquaintances were scientists they would be a little more inquisitive.

    Read More
    • Agree: Kiza
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    Your saying this on Unz, the home of pointing out academic stupidity where we regularly highlight the nonsense that only college professors could believe?

    Believing propaganda doesn't make you stupid. In fact, a lot of well developed thought sometimes goes into those ridiculous International Communist Conspiracy stories I used to hear working at Hughes by those 50s and 60s era vets.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    I dispute your diktat on usage.

    "You are [he is] remarkably gullible for an intelligent [a smart] person" is commonplace idiomatic English; n'esr-ce pas?
    , @Boris N

    Maybe if your acquaintances were scientists they would be a little more inquisitive.
     
    The vast majority of academics are left-wing liberals who sincerely believe the mass media. The highly-educated class is both a devoted consumer and a driving force of liberal propaganda.
  14. an insightful essay.

    the way forward most beneficial for mankind has 2 components:

    1. the continuing amalgamation of the chinese sponsored OBOR which over the next 20 years will create eurasian integration from vladivostok to london. one market encompassing the bulk of mankind. once this occurs the usa will finds itself, from a trade perspective, adrift, separated by 2 giant oceans from the global economic/financial/technological/trade hub of the world. the formation of OBOR will render the usa secondary if not tertiary in nearly all important respects.

    2. ww3 must be avoided while OBOR is being constructed

    all putin and Xi’s actions can be viewed through either bullet point 1 or 2.

    all of washingtons actions can viewed as a furious effort to stop/derail/destroy bullet point 1 from fruition

    Read More
  15. “We have no doubt that sovereignty is the central notion of the entire system of international relations. Respect for it and its consolidation will help underwrite peace and stability both at the national and international levels…”
    V. Putin
    —————–

    “The nation state as a fundamental unit of man’s organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state.”

    “People, governments and economies of all nations must serve the needs of multinational banks and corporations.”

    “We have a large public that is very ignorant about public affairs and very susceptible to simplistic slogans by candidates who appear out of nowhere, have no track record, but mouth appealing slogans”

    “MostAmericans are close to total ignorance about the world. They are ignorant.”
    “The technotronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities. ”

    “In the technotronic society the trend would seem to be towards the aggregation of the individual support of millions of uncoordinated citizens, easily within the reach of magnetic and attractive personalities exploiting the latest communications techniques to manipulate emotions and control reason.”

    “This regionalization is in keeping with the Tri-Lateral Plan which calls for a gradual convergence of East and West, ultimately leading toward the goal of one world government. National sovereignty is no longer a viable concept.”

    … Persisting social crisis, the emergence of a charismatic personality, and the exploitation of mass media to obtain public confidence would be the steppingstones in the piecemeal transformation of the United States into a highly controlled society.”

    Zbigniew Brzezinski, “Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era”, 1970

    Read More
  16. Brzezinski.

    One of the founders of the Trilateral Commission. (Who or what commissioned him??)

    The source for all international policy and strategy toward not just one government, but one civilization and culture.

    The people who learned from the ancients the effectiveness of polarizing the people, and the use of the “White Knight” as part of the polarizing process.

    Sorry Mikey, but this is all just part of their strategy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lars Olfen
    Precisely.

    Putin has stated his desire for a unified global currency a la XDR; to be managed by BIS/World Bank/IMF. Sadly he is also a tool of the one worlders.
  17. When was the last time we in the west received any credible information from our newspapers our mainstream media . Here in the west all we get is Orwellian dialectical materialism. Propaganda, no facts and all argument that r constantly formulated to make the west look like the bastions of freedom ,justice and prosperity for the common man. Their whole narrative is falling apart it’s only working in white anglo saxon countries refered to as the five eyes. Look at their education system and look at their understanding of history , it comes to no surprise that Putin’s standing in these countries are what they are. Critical thinking has no place only obedience and brainwashing.
    Pax-americana and her vassals r dying . The Emperor has no clothes but still he tries to portray himself as the only authority in town. Well The Chines ,Russians and the Iranian’s are not having any of this obvious extortion .

    Read More
  18. @Robert Magill

    it’s highly unlikely to ‘stop the United States in its tracks’.
     
    True, Russia can't do this, but China can. A gold backed Yuan would turn the might dollar into a mighty liability overnight. Is there a five year plan with the exact date in red ink on Xi's desk right now?

    http://robertmagill.wordpress.com

    Or if you take the view that the only “real” backing for US $ is the need to hold it to buy commodities (particularly oil) and for international trade, then oil producers could start the ball rolling by denominating oil in Euros = holding Euro balances.

    I see the Euro as the only real alternative to the Dollar (for now).

    Read More
  19. I like to say that Putin was the first leader leading a popular rebellion against the oligarchs/kleptocrats/neoliberals/neocons/whatever other name is given to the predatory 1%.

    He was merely the first in a line stretching from Putin to Farage to Haider to Tsipras to Trump to Hofer to Petry to LePen . . . and more to come.

    Some have failed to win their elections (Hofer, Petry) some who did manage to get elected were co-opted once they were placed in a deep-state-hammerlock (Trump, Tsipras) one guy (Haider) was taken out with extreme prejudice (car “accident” followed by official statements gleefully trumpeted by the MSM around the world that he was drunk/had a gay lover.)

    Farage is still in the game, although under siege. And the only one who has thus far succeed in saving his country from the grip of kleptocrat disaster is Putin.

    Read More
  20. The propaganda of MSM is so powerful that even the writer of this piece falls for it.

    Two examples: “The western media claims that Putin is responsible for a number of crimes including the killing of well-known journalists and political rivals”.

    The writer doesn’t know but just by repeating this lie is doing the MSM job. He is spreading propaganda and it doesn’t matter that he doesn’t believe it. The MSM, of course isn’t interested in the truth or democracy otherwise proven criminals(Neo-Nazis in Ukraine) and dictatorship (Saudi Arabia) wouldn’t be supported by the western propaganda machine.

    Second example: “There have been no victories in the War on Terror”

    Well, there is no ” war on terror”. War is by definition terror and “the biggest terrorist state” in the world (sometimes Noam Chomsky is honest), can’t wage “war on terror’. It’s a contradiction.
    If you are not blind, you know that most terrorist groups are financed, trained and armed by the USA and its master: Israel. And of course the MSM defend them…They are called “rebels” and they have “white helmets” to tell the world they are fighting for “human rights”.

    Read More
  21. Putin is very popular in the USA. When surveyed by “journalists,” however, most Americans will say they don’t like Putin, simply because they don’t want to be put under government surveillance.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RobinG
    Somebody told me this article is important. (Sadly, my eyes glazed over.)

    http://thebulletin.org/how-us-nuclear-force-modernization-undermining-strategic-stability-burst-height-compensating-super10578

    How US nuclear force modernization is undermining strategic stability: The burst-height compensating super-fuze
  22. the game has always been about the control of opinion.

    this is why the elites are so frightened at present.

    they have largely lost the control of opinion over the societies they rule.

    david hume wrote about this in 1754

    Nothing appears more surprizing to those, who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye, than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few; and the implicit submission, with which men resign their own sentiments and passions to those of their rulers. When we enquire by what means this wonder is effected, we shall find, that, as Force is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support them but opinion. It is therefore, on opinion only that government is founded; and this maxim extends to the most despotic and most military governments, as well as to the most free and most popular.

    Read More
    • Agree: Beefcake the Mighty
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    > this is why the elites are so frightened at present.
    >
    > they have largely lost the control of opinion over the societies they rule.

    This is why you're hearing the early rumblings of the approaching war on the internet.

    They will fight tooth & nail to try to regain control of the levers of propaganda.

  23. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @paraglider
    the game has always been about the control of opinion.

    this is why the elites are so frightened at present.

    they have largely lost the control of opinion over the societies they rule.

    david hume wrote about this in 1754

    Nothing appears more surprizing to those, who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye, than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few; and the implicit submission, with which men resign their own sentiments and passions to those of their rulers. When we enquire by what means this wonder is effected, we shall find, that, as Force is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support them but opinion. It is therefore, on opinion only that government is founded; and this maxim extends to the most despotic and most military governments, as well as to the most free and most popular.

    > this is why the elites are so frightened at present.
    >
    > they have largely lost the control of opinion over the societies they rule.

    This is why you’re hearing the early rumblings of the approaching war on the internet.

    They will fight tooth & nail to try to regain control of the levers of propaganda.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Escher
    Yup. The internet enables the hoi polloi to bypass the MSM and get news and opinions from different perspectives.
    It will likely be highly regulated in the near future, and sites like this will be banned, will disappear from search results, or will find their access slowed down.
  24. @Erebus

    it’s highly unlikely to ‘stop the United States in its tracks’.
     
    Agreed.
    Rather, it looks like the Russian / Chinese strategy is to run out the clock - play rope-a-dope until the Zempire punches itself out. Meanwhile, build alternative financial and security structures in preparation for the US/West's internally caused collapse.
    If that's Plan A, Plan B is to allow Plan A to work for long enough to build their military power to the point where should the US insist on a direct confrontation they'll be in a position to administer a coup de grace, putting it out of its misery.

    I think neither will succeed, and that we're heading for a bi-polar, and then a tri-polar world.

    {…to build their military power to the point where should the US insist on a direct confrontation they’ll be in a position to administer a coup de grace, putting it out of its misery.}

    Where is US going to confront either China or Russia directly?
    Russia has more nukes than US.
    Its ICBMs are newer and better than US’s as of now.
    China also has enough nukes to hit back US on our mainland, if US goes nuclear.

    US can’t win a conventional war with either Russia or China in their back yards.

    US tried to destroy Russia economically by driving the price of oil down and damaging the ruble, but that didn’t work.
    US can’t or won’t damage China economically, because by now US depends too much on Chinese-made products.

    So I don’t understand where you get the notion that US is going to confront either of those countries _directly_.
    US doesn’t confront large, strong countries directly.
    Hasn’t since WW2.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
    There is the tale about the scorpion and the frog.
    The scorpion asked the frog 'could you bring me to the other side of the river ?'.
    The frog said 'no, you will kill me'.
    The scorpion answered 'but then I will drown'.
    The frog said 'yes, you're right'.
    And so the frog began swimming across with the scorpion on its back.
    But nevertheless the scorpion killed the frog.
  25. So I don’t understand where you get the notion that US is going to confront either of those countries _directly_.

    Well, the reason you don’t understand it is that I don’t and never have gotten “the notion that the US is going to confront…”. Rather, the possibility of it is something prudent states note and prepare for. I will say that it seems much closer to possible today than it did a few years ago. Since then the Russians have snatched a couple of meals out of the US’s gaping maw, and the Chinese finished building some islands under the US’s nose. The US has been caught asleep at the switch, and they’re embarrassed. Unfortunately, they’re also juvenile enough to react accordingly.

    US can’t or won’t damage China economically, because by now US depends too much on Chinese-made products.

    The US that needs China, and the US that may damage it economically and/or otherwise, are two different USs. The salient one couldn’t care less.

    US doesn’t confront large, strong countries directly.
    Hasn’t since WW2.

    True enough, but the do-or-die, Either/Or moment will soon be upon it. It will either face them “directly”, or it will have to shrink back to its N. American homestead and be satisfied with bullying the Canadians, Mexico and whatever Central American states they can reach.

    Read More
  26. @Maxim Amplikov
    Putin is very popular in the USA. When surveyed by "journalists," however, most Americans will say they don't like Putin, simply because they don't want to be put under government surveillance.

    Somebody told me this article is important. (Sadly, my eyes glazed over.)

    http://thebulletin.org/how-us-nuclear-force-modernization-undermining-strategic-stability-burst-height-compensating-super10578

    How US nuclear force modernization is undermining strategic stability: The burst-height compensating super-fuze

    Read More
  27. @Mao Cheng Ji
    Yes, the guy appears to be smart and well-meaning, and he's improved a lot in recent years.

    However, I wouldn't expect too much of him in terms of "stopping the United States in its tracks". He doesn't impress me as being exactly firm and decisive; neither in Ukraine, nor in Syria. When it comes to dealing with the West, he's all about 'jaw-jaw', never 'war-war'. He'll give in, I think. Prepare to be disappointed.

    Putin knows exactly how he strong is, ie, not very, and how “strong” the US is, very, very. He also knows exactly what the situation is in Syria, whereas the US dreams the situation, hence its dismal failures – in reality.
    Putin also knows he’s fighting to save Syria, whereas the US is in Syria, first, to “blow stuff up” for folks back home watching CNN; second to waste munitions and require their expensive replacement, ie profits and dividends for the 1%.
    It’s not working for US dreamers who thought they were fighting a cripple but awoke to find a leopard. A leopard might not kill you but it can tear strips off your hide.

    Read More
  28. @Mao Cheng Ji

    Plan B is to allow Plan A to work for long enough to build their military power to the point where should the US insist on a direct confrontation they’ll be in a position to administer a coup de grace, putting it out of its misery.
     
    In the strategic sense, I don't think they can even come close to matching the US militarily. They are surrounded by US military formations equipped with nuclear weapons and anti-missile interceptors, while they themselves have pretty much zero meaningful military infrastructure outside their own borders.

    And as far as your Plan A, should the West come close to the point of internal collapse, a nuclear confrontation seems all but inevitable to me (I hope I'm too pessimistic). I think a slow decline accompanied by gradual adjustments would be much more preferable.

    Excellent analysis Mike W!

    @mao Cheng ji,
    What are your thoughts about the extreme financial pressures or even financial bankruptcy of the west gradually brought onto the west by China and Russia? I believe the MIC in the west will collapse under those conditions bringing military supremacy of the west to a halt!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    What are your thoughts about the extreme financial pressures or even financial bankruptcy of the west gradually brought onto the west by China and Russia?
     
    What 'financial pressures'? As long as US Dollar remains the main world currency, the US has no financial pressures. The US government borrows in dollars, while at the same having a total monopoly on creating new dollars at any rate they choose. This is unbeatable financial strength; bankruptcy is not possible.
  29. In my opinion Putin now is the one and only man in the world who saves us from the USA yoke.
    Maybe the Chinese are doing the same, but it is less clear.

    The means by which Putin prevents complete USA world domination are the 1600 intercontinental ballistic missiles, each with four or five atomic heads.
    No USA “shield’ will be able to intercept all of them.

    Alas I’m not sure if the war loving crackpots in USA understand this.
    I suppose they did not read Neville Shute’s On the Beach, 1953, the New Zealand government issuing suicide pills, when the radio active dust from the N hemisphere reaches the island.

    Read More
  30. @Avery
    {...to build their military power to the point where should the US insist on a direct confrontation they’ll be in a position to administer a coup de grace, putting it out of its misery.}

    Where is US going to confront either China or Russia directly?
    Russia has more nukes than US.
    Its ICBMs are newer and better than US's as of now.
    China also has enough nukes to hit back US on our mainland, if US goes nuclear.

    US can't win a conventional war with either Russia or China in their back yards.

    US tried to destroy Russia economically by driving the price of oil down and damaging the ruble, but that didn't work.
    US can't or won't damage China economically, because by now US depends too much on Chinese-made products.

    So I don't understand where you get the notion that US is going to confront either of those countries _directly_.
    US doesn't confront large, strong countries directly.
    Hasn't since WW2.

    There is the tale about the scorpion and the frog.
    The scorpion asked the frog ‘could you bring me to the other side of the river ?’.
    The frog said ‘no, you will kill me’.
    The scorpion answered ‘but then I will drown’.
    The frog said ‘yes, you’re right’.
    And so the frog began swimming across with the scorpion on its back.
    But nevertheless the scorpion killed the frog.

    Read More
    • Replies: @bluedog
    And as the frog was dieing he said why did you kill me for I brought you across the river, and the scorpion reply I did because its my nature and thus it is for we are the scorpion...
  31. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Cuba and a few other places are all “rogue” nations in Washington’s eye. Their real crime? They will not acquiesce to US global geo-political hegemony. What Washington considers an “ideal” country is something like Germany, Japan, Canada, South Korea, etc. Countries that will do pretty much whatever the USA wants them to, especially in international relations.

    Read More
  32. @Fidelios Automata
    Unfortunately most of the people I know -- I'm an engineer, so I know a lot of smart people -- believe the lying mainstream news about Putin being some kind of Mafia don. When I defend Putin and Russia, they say I've been reading "fake news." Smart people can be very gullible. As for me, I voted for Trump in hopes he might be just a little bit like Vladimir. What a disappointment!

    Well, FA, a non seq there. You’re an engineer, ie smart, yet you voted for Trump, ie very dumb? I’m a BSc MechEng (real university), reasonably smart, yet could see through that conman in a second. I’d further suggest that your friends aren’t all that bright either given their opinions.
    Trump is obviously an odious punk, a smarmy con artist, as is his daughter, from her interviews. If they ever produce off spring, apparently Donald’s suppressed desire, the result would be hideous, if it survived.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig
    So what were we supposed to do, Sherlock? Vote for Hellary? Abstain? Soil our ballots? Basically, the nature of our choice was this: Hellary, who was certain doom, and Trump, who was uncertain doom. Under those circumstance, voting for uncertain doom is surely the more rational choice. By way of analogy, I am not the type that normally plays Russian Roulette. But if an executioner gave me a choice between playing Russian Roulette and death by firing squad, well of course I'd play. At least that way, I'd have some chance of survival.
    , @Daniel Chieh
    Still better than Hildabeast.
    , @Alden
    The hysteria, dismay, angst and horror of the liberals commies and Jews from November 2016 to March 2917 was enough for me. Just to see the weeping and wailing of the enemies of the White race was enough for me. I don't care what he does or does not do as president.

    The same liberals, commies and Jews who hate him hate me. His was the first blow against the enemy since summer of 1944 when the combination of southerners and northern labor unions forced commie front dying of heart disease FDR to dump commie front Henry Wallace and nominate Truman as his Vice President.

    Trunp won't be able to do much because the judiciary rules the legislature and executive and the judiciary are completely against Trump and the most important part of the commie liberal Jewish coalition

    I'll vote for him again just to annoy the enemies of Whites.

    You say you don't like his daughter Ivanka? Why? She was a registered democrat until Trump ran for president. Most of her views are very liberal.
  33. Magnificent and sober. Good job Mr. Whitney. I’ve long said Putin is one of the few rational and moral leaders in the world. America has been the rogue state for the last fifteen years. We have been the biggest state cause of terror and death. It was so refreshing, and difficult to believe, when Trump spoke truth to this during the campaign.

    Putin has reacted with alarm at each of our misadventures. I’ve hoped Trump would partner with him. The Syria missile episode a couple weeks ago was most unfortunate, terrible judgement on Trump’s part, and I hope not a harbinger of his going full neocon. I hope. I think Putin could be a great ally.

    Read More
  34. @Anonymous
    > this is why the elites are so frightened at present.
    >
    > they have largely lost the control of opinion over the societies they rule.

    This is why you're hearing the early rumblings of the approaching war on the internet.

    They will fight tooth & nail to try to regain control of the levers of propaganda.

    Yup. The internet enables the hoi polloi to bypass the MSM and get news and opinions from different perspectives.
    It will likely be highly regulated in the near future, and sites like this will be banned, will disappear from search results, or will find their access slowed down.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RobinG

    It [the internet]will likely be highly regulated in the near future, and sites like this will be banned, will disappear from search results, or will find their access slowed down.
     
    Right, and it seems to start with "Net Neutrality" as a target.
    From a petition drive,
    "Last week, news reports revealed that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wants to give up the FCC’s role in protecting internet users and instead ask companies to voluntarily police themselves. If he’s successful, the hard-fought victory to protect our rights on the internet will be lost."
  35. @Mao Cheng Ji

    Plan B is to allow Plan A to work for long enough to build their military power to the point where should the US insist on a direct confrontation they’ll be in a position to administer a coup de grace, putting it out of its misery.
     
    In the strategic sense, I don't think they can even come close to matching the US militarily. They are surrounded by US military formations equipped with nuclear weapons and anti-missile interceptors, while they themselves have pretty much zero meaningful military infrastructure outside their own borders.

    And as far as your Plan A, should the West come close to the point of internal collapse, a nuclear confrontation seems all but inevitable to me (I hope I'm too pessimistic). I think a slow decline accompanied by gradual adjustments would be much more preferable.

    No argument from me that the US/NATO military resource base dwarfs Russia’s. Nevertheless, it’s almost useless for invasion purposes. They simply can’t bring enough conventional force to bear quickly enough to be of use. In a protracted war, sure. In a short, extremely violent war, the formations you speak of would be obliterated in hours, if not minutes. If there’s a confrontation, I expect it to be more like the latter than the former.

    As for collapse, I expect it to be like Hemingway’s bankruptcy – slow at first, then sudden. I further think we’ve been in the slow stage for at least two decades, and that the sudden part is looming as the Zempire is facing both geo-political and financial challenges that it will not be able to push back for much longer. Another 2008 GFC is looming, but this time it’s had a decade of steroid abuse under its belt so I expect it will be much, much worse. A nuclear exchange becomes a distinct possibility, due simply to the apparent madness prevalent amongst the denizens of Washington’s halls of power.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
    He is wrong as usually about Russia but you are not far behind. America cannot fight and win against Russia neither long or short term anymore. It is dangerous illusion based upon decades of self promotion. Check US military track record and compare it to Russian first and foremost.
    , @Mao Cheng Ji

    Nevertheless, it’s almost useless for invasion purposes.
     
    Yes, but invading Russia is never an option; invading Russia fails no matter what. What works, however, is containing it, while destroying it from the inside. That's the standard approach, since George Kennan.
  36. First, there are three great powers Russia, China and the US. Russia has boosted its staus of late, yes. But Russia remains a militarily powerful but basically backward region, as it has been for half a millennium. China is going to be far more powerful and probably rival the US soon. Russia is the great power which is likely to decline in status, because they lack innovation and productive capacity, so Russia is a potential future ally against China.

    The post is rather confused as to its thesis. Is the US dominating the globe with military force or failing to achieve any of its objectives? Can’t have it both ways. Here is the thinking of McMaster, Trump’s pick for welding US power on the limitation and military force for achieving anything and the unavoidable costs associated with it .

    These fallacies persist, in large measure, because they define war as one might like it to be rather than as an uncertain and complex human competition usually aimed at achieving a political outcome.https://www.iiss.org/en/militarybalanceblog/blogsections/2014-3bea/october-831b/thinking-clearly-about-war-and-the-future-of-warfare-6183

    I suggest you read the whole thing, because it will help you to understand that the US military and political leadership are disabused of war being a quick and easy fix.

    Read More
  37. An excellent piece, touching on one of the most basic and most crucial problems of our time – how do we deal with pervasive propaganda that is so effective the people it targets don’t even realise it is propaganda. The US film and media operations of the past century have been without question the most effective propaganda machine humanity has so far encountered, bar none, aided admittedly by the colossal wealth of the US in comparison to the rest of the world in that period. It’s become less effective recently in particular in domestic politics, for which people are commonly quite cynical about the media, or at least the half of it that operates for the nominal “other side” of the elite consensus (“left” versus “right”), but the same people who express the most profound cynicism about the way that part of the system works will often fall hook, line, and sinker for the war propaganda that passes for foreign affairs coverage.

    This is why I think that the stories about Putin killing journalists are nonsense. It seems very improbable to me that a man who believes in universal health care, creative labor, ending poverty and “investing in all priority areas of human development” would, at the same time, murder political rivals like a common gang-banger. I find that extremely hard to believe.

    I don’t doubt Putin would have a reporter, or anyone else, killed if he thought it were necessary to do so. Then again I’ve watched Obama and Trump murder countless people because they considered it necessary to authorise their people to kill them. I have no doubt they could and would have people who threatened their hold on power killed, if they thought they could get away with it without a disproportionate risk of it coming to light or otherwise being used against them.

    The reason to doubt that Putin was involved in most of the cases is simply the pettiness and stupidity of the motivations that are attributed to him for it. That is why, in most cases, Whitney’s presumption that these allegations are just propaganda from his enemies is most likely correct.

    Read More
  38. @Fidelios Automata
    Unfortunately most of the people I know -- I'm an engineer, so I know a lot of smart people -- believe the lying mainstream news about Putin being some kind of Mafia don. When I defend Putin and Russia, they say I've been reading "fake news." Smart people can be very gullible. As for me, I voted for Trump in hopes he might be just a little bit like Vladimir. What a disappointment!

    You will probably appreciate this Unz article by Jonathan Revusky, where he outlines his theory of the the HIQI, the High IQ Idiot: http://www.unz.com/article/battling-the-matrix-and-freeing-oneself-from-the-roger-rabbit-mental-world/

    Read More
    • Agree: L.K
    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    Hey, thanks for reminding us of that fabulous article. It is a classic!!
    , @edNels
    Right! I was going to make almost the same comment. But I was thinking BDQ, or Revuski's Bull shit Detection Quotient deficiency as far as all those ''Smart Fellers'' that were mentioned (engineers, etc.) Who always buy into a bunch of crap story, because… they are paid to not question stuff, so much so, that they maybe lose whatever BDQ that god gave 'em!

    High ''IQ'' idiots, overeducated morons, HIQI's indeed, Dime a Dozen!

    Putin is handling that Bear in the photo!!
  39. The US wasn’t “stopped in Ukraine,” because the US wasn’t there in the first place. Nor has the US been “Stopped in Syria.” You’ve swallowed Putinist propaganda whole, with little thought.

    Read More
    • LOL: Bill
    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    The US wasn’t “stopped in Ukraine,” because the US wasn’t there in the first place.
     
    Wrong.

    ” You’ve swallowed Putinist propaganda whole, with little thought.

     

    Putinist propagnda? ROFL.

    With comments like those, a better handle would be "Millimaster."

    , @Sam J.
    "The US wasn’t “stopped in Ukraine,” because the US wasn’t there in the first place. Nor has the US been “Stopped in Syria.”..."

    The Jews, you, lie so much and so blatantly that there's no use in believing anything they say. In the past once this is know and your deprivations of the country you're tormenting at the time become known you have always been able to scoot off to another country. This time...not so much. The Chinese and the Indians are certainly onto you and the same with most Asians countries. The (((mass media))) narrative is breaking down in the West. Even with your fooling us into the Drumph/Kushner control unit. You know as well as I do it's only temporary.

    It is possible, since the Jews are a tribe of psychopaths and have no moral compass at but enslaving everyone to the Jews, that the Jews are setting up a situation where there's a Russia/China vs USA nuclear blood feast where they kill off their primary competitors.

    The Jews are the greatest threat to the USA, Russia and China.
    , @annamaria
    Another comment from the zio-nulandist quarters. You should have stayed with your favorite New York Times' & Washington Post' presstituting parrots "guided" by the State Dept and CIA.
    http://thefreethoughtproject.com/ulfkotte-cia-media-dead/
    http://www.aim.org/special-report/how-obamas-cia-manipulated-the-media/
  40. @Seamus Padraig
    Another good one from Mike Whitney!

    This is why I think that the stories about Putin killing journalists are nonsense.
     
    Also: they never seem to have any evidence of Putin's involvement.

    The globalization project IS in crisis ...
     
    Oh yeah, baby! It's in crisis big time. In fact, that's about the only good news these days.

    The Russian president might have to take a few steps backward to avoid WW3 ...
     
    My main concern here is that Putin's various attempts at de-escalation in Syria and Ukraine could be taken for weakness and only encourage more aggression from Washington. I believe that the day fast approaches when Putin's going to have to take a stand and risk it all.

    I believe that the day fast approaches when Putin’s going to have to take a stand and risk it all.

    Pre WW2 Japanese moderates found themselves in a very similar situation as well. The parallels are quite striking.

    Two days after the Hull ultimatum, Counselor Terasaki of the embassy, in a note transmitted to Roosevelt by Dr. Jones, pleaded, “Don’t compel us to do things, but make it possible for us to do them. If you treat us in this way, we will reciprocate doubly. If you stretch out one hand, we will stretch out two. And we cannot only be friends, we can be allies.”

    There was no response, nor any relaxation of the pressure. As Dr. Jones says, “Our ultimatum … put Japan in a box. She had to knuckle under or else fight us.”

    - George Morgenstern, Pearl Harbor: The Story of the Secret War, Chap 7 “Back Door to War,” pg 102

    https://mises.org/system/tdf/Pearl%20Harbor%20The%20Story%20of%20the%20Secret%20War_3.pdf?file=1&type=document

    One can give the global moneyed elites credit for at least a couple of things besides arrogance, greed and ruthlessness; consistency as well as persistency*.

    * Note to grammar Commies and Scrabble players.: “Persistency” is a valid word even in this context.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Fortunately the situations of Japan in 1941 and Russia today are significantly different. Japan, already committed to war in China, was in desperate need of the resources, oil in particular, that the US was effectually cutting off. No such pressure affects Russia.
    , @Seamus Padraig
    But of course! It worked not only against the Japs, but also against the Spaniards ("Remember the Maine!"), against the Vietnamese (Gulf of Tonkin incident), and even against Saddam Hussein in 1990 ("We take no position on Arab disputes. We are interested in expanding and deepening the relationship."). As long as the same ruse keeps working, they'll keep using it over and over.
  41. @JGarbo
    Well, FA, a non seq there. You're an engineer, ie smart, yet you voted for Trump, ie very dumb? I'm a BSc MechEng (real university), reasonably smart, yet could see through that conman in a second. I'd further suggest that your friends aren't all that bright either given their opinions.
    Trump is obviously an odious punk, a smarmy con artist, as is his daughter, from her interviews. If they ever produce off spring, apparently Donald's suppressed desire, the result would be hideous, if it survived.

    So what were we supposed to do, Sherlock? Vote for Hellary? Abstain? Soil our ballots? Basically, the nature of our choice was this: Hellary, who was certain doom, and Trump, who was uncertain doom. Under those circumstance, voting for uncertain doom is surely the more rational choice. By way of analogy, I am not the type that normally plays Russian Roulette. But if an executioner gave me a choice between playing Russian Roulette and death by firing squad, well of course I’d play. At least that way, I’d have some chance of survival.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond

    Basically, the nature of our choice was this: Hellary, who was certain doom, and Trump, who was uncertain doom.
     
    Should have spoiled your ballot. Elections really aren't that important. Inner state and so on. Better to tell the people the truth than to prettify the class enemy.
  42. Aug 19, 2016 Putin: How America checkmated Russia

    Oh, you thought the Ukrainian conflict was about “democracy and freedom”, and the Ukraine’s potential entry into the EU? The US-funded government coup in the Ukraine was about preventing the economic integration of the Eurasian Union, that could rival that of the EU and its Atlanticist masters.

    Read More
  43. @Seamus Padraig
    Another good one from Mike Whitney!

    This is why I think that the stories about Putin killing journalists are nonsense.
     
    Also: they never seem to have any evidence of Putin's involvement.

    The globalization project IS in crisis ...
     
    Oh yeah, baby! It's in crisis big time. In fact, that's about the only good news these days.

    The Russian president might have to take a few steps backward to avoid WW3 ...
     
    My main concern here is that Putin's various attempts at de-escalation in Syria and Ukraine could be taken for weakness and only encourage more aggression from Washington. I believe that the day fast approaches when Putin's going to have to take a stand and risk it all.

    Also: they never seem to have any evidence of Putin’s involvement.

    Not only that. Check CPJ (Committee to Protect Journalists):

    https://cpj.org/killed/europe/russia/

    Compare the last 5 years of the US-ZOG puppet Yeltsin 1995 – 2000, and the Putin years 2000 – present.
    Reduction of about 50 percent in killings.
    Would anyone anywhere except Russia believe you if you said the situation improved by this much under the pre-Trump avatar of ‘literal Hitler’? Even if an American organization claimed it?
    That’s where we are, gentlemen. False journalists SHOULD become a bit scared.

    Read More
  44. @Seamus Padraig
    You will probably appreciate this Unz article by Jonathan Revusky, where he outlines his theory of the the HIQI, the High IQ Idiot: http://www.unz.com/article/battling-the-matrix-and-freeing-oneself-from-the-roger-rabbit-mental-world/

    Hey, thanks for reminding us of that fabulous article. It is a classic!!

    Read More
  45. @Quartermaster
    The US wasn't "stopped in Ukraine," because the US wasn't there in the first place. Nor has the US been "Stopped in Syria." You've swallowed Putinist propaganda whole, with little thought.

    The US wasn’t “stopped in Ukraine,” because the US wasn’t there in the first place.

    Wrong.

    ” You’ve swallowed Putinist propaganda whole, with little thought.

    Putinist propagnda? ROFL.

    With comments like those, a better handle would be “Millimaster.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Che Guava
    Well said. Jaques.

    I do like Mike Whitney's tone and facts, it is a wonder that he is not in exile from e.g. Counterpunch.

    Not that he is the only good writer on their books, they always have a tenth to a sixth or so worth reading among the sewer of the rest.

    Since our dear host, Mr. Unz, has a crush on Princess Arriba Chomsky, I would like to see Ron take it further and get the three-dollar bill Andre Vltchek to post an article on Unz Review. I am sure that the Vltchek, a fake who complains about his suffering in five-star hotels in Japan (quite expensive, wonder who pays?), would refuse.

    ... but the comments thread would be fun!
  46. I have beeo trying to find all the passages you say are quotes from Putin’s speech to the Vaĺdai International Discussion Club. They certainly are not those emphssised by the Russians according to Wikipedia. Would you please help with a trustworthy link.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Che Guava
    I would trust Mike Whhtney's account.

    He is bright.

    ... but you are always pretty dim.

    Do you not know that the Wikipedia is a function of political bias?

    One would guess that, given your naivete and silly ideas, you spend time when not assigned to this minor forum as a Wikipedo admin.
    , @RobinG
    To the Olde Wizzer: You've got nothing better to do, sitting in your cabana chair. Try primary sources for a change.

    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/24034
    Speech and the Following Discussion at the Munich Conference on Security Policy

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5PrHfh2A5s
    Putin`s speech on Valdai Discussion Club Sochi 27.10.2016

    Etc., etc....
  47. @jacques sheete

    I believe that the day fast approaches when Putin’s going to have to take a stand and risk it all.
     
    Pre WW2 Japanese moderates found themselves in a very similar situation as well. The parallels are quite striking.

    Two days after the Hull ultimatum, Counselor Terasaki of the embassy, in a note transmitted to Roosevelt by Dr. Jones, pleaded, "Don't compel us to do things, but make it possible for us to do them. If you treat us in this way, we will reciprocate doubly. If you stretch out one hand, we will stretch out two. And we cannot only be friends, we can be allies."

    There was no response, nor any relaxation of the pressure. As Dr. Jones says, "Our ultimatum ... put Japan in a box. She had to knuckle under or else fight us."

    - George Morgenstern, Pearl Harbor: The Story of the Secret War, Chap 7 “Back Door to War,” pg 102

    https://mises.org/system/tdf/Pearl%20Harbor%20The%20Story%20of%20the%20Secret%20War_3.pdf?file=1&type=document
     
    One can give the global moneyed elites credit for at least a couple of things besides arrogance, greed and ruthlessness; consistency as well as persistency*.




    * Note to grammar Commies and Scrabble players.: "Persistency" is a valid word even in this context.

    Fortunately the situations of Japan in 1941 and Russia today are significantly different. Japan, already committed to war in China, was in desperate need of the resources, oil in particular, that the US was effectually cutting off. No such pressure affects Russia.

    Read More
  48. @Seamus Padraig
    Another good one from Mike Whitney!

    This is why I think that the stories about Putin killing journalists are nonsense.
     
    Also: they never seem to have any evidence of Putin's involvement.

    The globalization project IS in crisis ...
     
    Oh yeah, baby! It's in crisis big time. In fact, that's about the only good news these days.

    The Russian president might have to take a few steps backward to avoid WW3 ...
     
    My main concern here is that Putin's various attempts at de-escalation in Syria and Ukraine could be taken for weakness and only encourage more aggression from Washington. I believe that the day fast approaches when Putin's going to have to take a stand and risk it all.

    Give Iran some hypersonic anti-carrier missiles that can’t be intercepted, nice disincentive to mindless war.

    Read More
  49. @Erebus
    No argument from me that the US/NATO military resource base dwarfs Russia's. Nevertheless, it's almost useless for invasion purposes. They simply can't bring enough conventional force to bear quickly enough to be of use. In a protracted war, sure. In a short, extremely violent war, the formations you speak of would be obliterated in hours, if not minutes. If there's a confrontation, I expect it to be more like the latter than the former.

    As for collapse, I expect it to be like Hemingway's bankruptcy - slow at first, then sudden. I further think we've been in the slow stage for at least two decades, and that the sudden part is looming as the Zempire is facing both geo-political and financial challenges that it will not be able to push back for much longer. Another 2008 GFC is looming, but this time it's had a decade of steroid abuse under its belt so I expect it will be much, much worse. A nuclear exchange becomes a distinct possibility, due simply to the apparent madness prevalent amongst the denizens of Washington's halls of power.

    He is wrong as usually about Russia but you are not far behind. America cannot fight and win against Russia neither long or short term anymore. It is dangerous illusion based upon decades of self promotion. Check US military track record and compare it to Russian first and foremost.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Erebus
    If we are restricting the discussion to conventional (non-nuclear) hostilities, then America/NATO would surely win over the long haul. This is simply because they draw on a much larger economic and military resource base. They can bring, and can keep bringing, so much more into the field than Russia, and they can open a variety of fronts to exacerbate Russia's shortfall in men and materiel.

    Eventually, the Russians simply run out of SAMs, fighter aircraft, cruise missiles, tanks, and men. The Russians may indeed have extraordinarily advanced weaponry and well trained, well led men, but they simply don't have enough of it. That is why Russia's stated policy is to go to nukes as soon as they sense that national integrity is in danger.

    Of course, as soon as nukes are in play, all bets are off, but even conventional war should be unthinkable except to the "crazies in the basement". Any "victory" would be Pyrrhic, if not mutually destructive for both Europe and Russia.

    In all seriousness, all parties are aware that the West's fragile financial system, and not its military, is its Achilles Heel. As several commenters have noted, the US will be dominant as long as it controls the world's primary reserve currency.
    , @Mao Cheng Ji

    He is wrong as usually about Russia
     
    Look, Krieger, if you have a different opinion, that's perfectly fine, and I'd be happy to hear it. No need to be bitter and hostile.
  50. @JGarbo
    Well, FA, a non seq there. You're an engineer, ie smart, yet you voted for Trump, ie very dumb? I'm a BSc MechEng (real university), reasonably smart, yet could see through that conman in a second. I'd further suggest that your friends aren't all that bright either given their opinions.
    Trump is obviously an odious punk, a smarmy con artist, as is his daughter, from her interviews. If they ever produce off spring, apparently Donald's suppressed desire, the result would be hideous, if it survived.

    Still better than Hildabeast.

    Read More
  51. @jacques sheete

    The US wasn’t “stopped in Ukraine,” because the US wasn’t there in the first place.
     
    Wrong.

    ” You’ve swallowed Putinist propaganda whole, with little thought.

     

    Putinist propagnda? ROFL.

    With comments like those, a better handle would be "Millimaster."

    Well said. Jaques.

    I do like Mike Whitney’s tone and facts, it is a wonder that he is not in exile from e.g. Counterpunch.

    Not that he is the only good writer on their books, they always have a tenth to a sixth or so worth reading among the sewer of the rest.

    Since our dear host, Mr. Unz, has a crush on Princess Arriba Chomsky, I would like to see Ron take it further and get the three-dollar bill Andre Vltchek to post an article on Unz Review. I am sure that the Vltchek, a fake who complains about his suffering in five-star hotels in Japan (quite expensive, wonder who pays?), would refuse.

    … but the comments thread would be fun!

    Read More
  52. @jilles dykstra
    There is the tale about the scorpion and the frog.
    The scorpion asked the frog 'could you bring me to the other side of the river ?'.
    The frog said 'no, you will kill me'.
    The scorpion answered 'but then I will drown'.
    The frog said 'yes, you're right'.
    And so the frog began swimming across with the scorpion on its back.
    But nevertheless the scorpion killed the frog.

    And as the frog was dieing he said why did you kill me for I brought you across the river, and the scorpion reply I did because its my nature and thus it is for we are the scorpion…

    Read More
    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
    Thanks, I wonder if the USA generals are wiser than the scorpion
  53. @Wizard of Oz
    I have beeo trying to find all the passages you say are quotes from Putin's speech to the Vaĺdai International Discussion Club. They certainly are not those emphssised by the Russians according to Wikipedia. Would you please help with a trustworthy link.

    I would trust Mike Whhtney’s account.

    He is bright.

    … but you are always pretty dim.

    Do you not know that the Wikipedia is a function of political bias?

    One would guess that, given your naivete and silly ideas, you spend time when not assigned to this minor forum as a Wikipedo admin.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    You succeed only in consistency. Fact free gratuitous insult expressed in fluent but slightly dodgy English (tour guide rather than diplomat...). And then the logical failure. That Mr. Whitney may be bright has nothing to do with a reader's desire to be able to refer to his sources. A fortiori that the reader might be dim - or that some editors of Wikipedia, as I in fact pointed out recently on a UR thread, are politically motivated**.

    **It is really beyond ludicrous that you suggest I am ignorant of the weaknesses of Wikipedia when I have just pointed to the selective quotes that I had found there. Talk about not being able to join the dots!

    *** *** ***
    As a lightweight you have got off lightly. If you want to try being a higher level fool (not even noticing that I had effectually asked for a primary source) consider RobinG and my reply #73.

  54. @Monty Ahwazi
    Excellent analysis Mike W!

    @mao Cheng ji,
    What are your thoughts about the extreme financial pressures or even financial bankruptcy of the west gradually brought onto the west by China and Russia? I believe the MIC in the west will collapse under those conditions bringing military supremacy of the west to a halt!

    What are your thoughts about the extreme financial pressures or even financial bankruptcy of the west gradually brought onto the west by China and Russia?

    What ‘financial pressures’? As long as US Dollar remains the main world currency, the US has no financial pressures. The US government borrows in dollars, while at the same having a total monopoly on creating new dollars at any rate they choose. This is unbeatable financial strength; bankruptcy is not possible.

    Read More
  55. @Erebus
    No argument from me that the US/NATO military resource base dwarfs Russia's. Nevertheless, it's almost useless for invasion purposes. They simply can't bring enough conventional force to bear quickly enough to be of use. In a protracted war, sure. In a short, extremely violent war, the formations you speak of would be obliterated in hours, if not minutes. If there's a confrontation, I expect it to be more like the latter than the former.

    As for collapse, I expect it to be like Hemingway's bankruptcy - slow at first, then sudden. I further think we've been in the slow stage for at least two decades, and that the sudden part is looming as the Zempire is facing both geo-political and financial challenges that it will not be able to push back for much longer. Another 2008 GFC is looming, but this time it's had a decade of steroid abuse under its belt so I expect it will be much, much worse. A nuclear exchange becomes a distinct possibility, due simply to the apparent madness prevalent amongst the denizens of Washington's halls of power.

    Nevertheless, it’s almost useless for invasion purposes.

    Yes, but invading Russia is never an option; invading Russia fails no matter what. What works, however, is containing it, while destroying it from the inside. That’s the standard approach, since George Kennan.

    Read More
    • Replies: @annamaria
    At the end of his long life, George Kennan tried to educate the US "deciders" about the futility and danger of confrontation with Russia. None of the high-echelon ignoramuses paid any attention to his words.
  56. Jun 27, 2016 Russian Nuclear Strategy

    As of today, Russia has the largest nuclear weapons arsenal in the world, with only that of the United States approaching it in size. What are Russia’s intentions for its nuclear weapons? What are the Kremlin’s modernization plans, its strategy, and its view of the role of nuclear weapons in its security policy? And what does all of that mean for the prospects for arms control when the next U.S. President takes office in 2017?

    Read More
  57. @JGarbo
    Well, FA, a non seq there. You're an engineer, ie smart, yet you voted for Trump, ie very dumb? I'm a BSc MechEng (real university), reasonably smart, yet could see through that conman in a second. I'd further suggest that your friends aren't all that bright either given their opinions.
    Trump is obviously an odious punk, a smarmy con artist, as is his daughter, from her interviews. If they ever produce off spring, apparently Donald's suppressed desire, the result would be hideous, if it survived.

    The hysteria, dismay, angst and horror of the liberals commies and Jews from November 2016 to March 2917 was enough for me. Just to see the weeping and wailing of the enemies of the White race was enough for me. I don’t care what he does or does not do as president.

    The same liberals, commies and Jews who hate him hate me. His was the first blow against the enemy since summer of 1944 when the combination of southerners and northern labor unions forced commie front dying of heart disease FDR to dump commie front Henry Wallace and nominate Truman as his Vice President.

    Trunp won’t be able to do much because the judiciary rules the legislature and executive and the judiciary are completely against Trump and the most important part of the commie liberal Jewish coalition

    I’ll vote for him again just to annoy the enemies of Whites.

    You say you don’t like his daughter Ivanka? Why? She was a registered democrat until Trump ran for president. Most of her views are very liberal.

    Read More
  58. @bluedog
    And as the frog was dieing he said why did you kill me for I brought you across the river, and the scorpion reply I did because its my nature and thus it is for we are the scorpion...

    Thanks, I wonder if the USA generals are wiser than the scorpion

    Read More
    • Replies: @bluedog
    Not from what I have seen of them as they are always bucking for another star so they can get a plushy job at some corporation I don't know about the Russian generals but ours haven't shown much since WW2,Korea Nam both lacked any kind of leadership and were the main cause of our high KIA and WIA and the Mid-East has seen no better..
  59. @Escher
    Yup. The internet enables the hoi polloi to bypass the MSM and get news and opinions from different perspectives.
    It will likely be highly regulated in the near future, and sites like this will be banned, will disappear from search results, or will find their access slowed down.

    It [the internet]will likely be highly regulated in the near future, and sites like this will be banned, will disappear from search results, or will find their access slowed down.

    Right, and it seems to start with “Net Neutrality” as a target.
    From a petition drive,
    “Last week, news reports revealed that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wants to give up the FCC’s role in protecting internet users and instead ask companies to voluntarily police themselves. If he’s successful, the hard-fought victory to protect our rights on the internet will be lost.”

    Read More
  60. @Seamus Padraig
    You will probably appreciate this Unz article by Jonathan Revusky, where he outlines his theory of the the HIQI, the High IQ Idiot: http://www.unz.com/article/battling-the-matrix-and-freeing-oneself-from-the-roger-rabbit-mental-world/

    Right! I was going to make almost the same comment. But I was thinking BDQ, or Revuski’s Bull shit Detection Quotient deficiency as far as all those ”Smart Fellers” that were mentioned (engineers, etc.) Who always buy into a bunch of crap story, because… they are paid to not question stuff, so much so, that they maybe lose whatever BDQ that god gave ‘em!

    High ”IQ” idiots, overeducated morons, HIQI’s indeed, Dime a Dozen!

    Putin is handling that Bear in the photo!!

    Read More
  61. @Wizard of Oz
    I have beeo trying to find all the passages you say are quotes from Putin's speech to the Vaĺdai International Discussion Club. They certainly are not those emphssised by the Russians according to Wikipedia. Would you please help with a trustworthy link.

    To the Olde Wizzer: You’ve got nothing better to do, sitting in your cabana chair. Try primary sources for a change.

    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/24034

    Speech and the Following Discussion at the Munich Conference on Security Policy

    Putin`s speech on Valdai Discussion Club Sochi 27.10.2016

    Etc., etc….

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    I thought Australians are usually sitting on the beach beside a tanned blonde with a beer.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    Well no trouble working out why you didn't get tenure. You are your own primary source for that.

    Thanks for the link to a transcript. However...

    Evidently you didn't bother to check the linked transcript and when i did searches for key passages from Whitney's article they simply weren't there. Try a search for "in their euphoria" or "sociological" for examples.

    Not that I am suggesting that Whitney falsified anything, but it's good to be able to check whether the selected quotes are selected fairly. And it may have occurred to some that Putin was speaking Russian so the question of which Russians produced and tidied up the English translation should be of some interest to anyone who has been introduced by Mr Whitney to this very important source for the first time.

    When you sffect the high ground and the right to haughty criticism de haut en bas it is a good idea to be right if you are to avoid being the patsy in a slapstick farce of your own composition.

    , @Agent76
    In addition be aware of this information RobinG.

    DECEMBER 25, 2015 NATO: Seeking Russia’s Destruction Since 1949

    In 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, U.S. president George H. W. Bush through his secretary of state James Baker promised Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev that in exchange for Soviet cooperation on German reunification, the Cold War era NATO alliance would not expand “one inch” eastwards towards Russia.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/12/25/nato-seeking-russias-destruction-since-1949/
  62. @jilles dykstra
    Thanks, I wonder if the USA generals are wiser than the scorpion

    Not from what I have seen of them as they are always bucking for another star so they can get a plushy job at some corporation I don’t know about the Russian generals but ours haven’t shown much since WW2,Korea Nam both lacked any kind of leadership and were the main cause of our high KIA and WIA and the Mid-East has seen no better..

    Read More
  63. @Robert Magill

    it’s highly unlikely to ‘stop the United States in its tracks’.
     
    True, Russia can't do this, but China can. A gold backed Yuan would turn the might dollar into a mighty liability overnight. Is there a five year plan with the exact date in red ink on Xi's desk right now?

    http://robertmagill.wordpress.com

    There isn’t enough gold in the world to ever back any major currency again. I don’t buy that goldbug nonsense of gold going to 5000 dollars an ounce to make it usable again.

    As long as the US government demands taxes paid in dollars and wages paid in dollars, dollars will have value in the US. The US is one of the few countries in the world that could be completely self sufficient if it wanted to be. The US will continue to make products that other countries want.

    These goldbugs have been predicting the end of the dollar for 40 years now. The pound is still around 70 years after it ceased to be the world’s reserve currency. That is because, for all Britain’s ups and downs, the Brits still make things other people want and Britain is still a decent place to live.

    Read More
    • Replies: @bluedog
    The problem is we are making less and less of what the world wants, our industrial base shot where even much of what the military wants comes from other countries, and as the import export shows we are importing billions more than we export one only needs to drive around the country with its rusting hulks that use to be very productive and profitable plants and mills to see just how hallowed out are manufacturing really is, and just how long it would take to really become self sufficient...
    , @Realist
    'There isn’t enough gold in the world to ever back any major currency again. I don’t buy that goldbug nonsense of gold going to 5000 dollars an ounce to make it usable again."

    That is silly. The value of gold would go as high as was necessary. Gold can have any value except 0.
  64. @Realist
    Being gullible is not intelligent.

    Maybe if your acquaintances were scientists they would be a little more inquisitive.

    Your saying this on Unz, the home of pointing out academic stupidity where we regularly highlight the nonsense that only college professors could believe?

    Believing propaganda doesn’t make you stupid. In fact, a lot of well developed thought sometimes goes into those ridiculous International Communist Conspiracy stories I used to hear working at Hughes by those 50s and 60s era vets.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Realist
    "Believing propaganda doesn’t make you stupid."

    That is correct....genetics makes you stupid. People who can't think for themselves believe propaganda.
  65. @RobinG
    To the Olde Wizzer: You've got nothing better to do, sitting in your cabana chair. Try primary sources for a change.

    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/24034
    Speech and the Following Discussion at the Munich Conference on Security Policy

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5PrHfh2A5s
    Putin`s speech on Valdai Discussion Club Sochi 27.10.2016

    Etc., etc....

    I thought Australians are usually sitting on the beach beside a tanned blonde with a beer.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Yep, and still able to find a raised finger for prats - see #73.
  66. @Seamus Padraig
    Another good one from Mike Whitney!

    This is why I think that the stories about Putin killing journalists are nonsense.
     
    Also: they never seem to have any evidence of Putin's involvement.

    The globalization project IS in crisis ...
     
    Oh yeah, baby! It's in crisis big time. In fact, that's about the only good news these days.

    The Russian president might have to take a few steps backward to avoid WW3 ...
     
    My main concern here is that Putin's various attempts at de-escalation in Syria and Ukraine could be taken for weakness and only encourage more aggression from Washington. I believe that the day fast approaches when Putin's going to have to take a stand and risk it all.

    The English have a long history of demonizing Russian leaders, even when allied with them. The great exception is Joe Stalin, whom the English press dubbed ‘Uncle Joe.’

    That English history, which our WASP Elites inherited whole cloth, combined with the nearly universal Jewish hatred of all things Russian guarantees that the US will hate Putin and Russia.

    Read More
  67. @Mao Cheng Ji
    Yes, the guy appears to be smart and well-meaning, and he's improved a lot in recent years.

    However, I wouldn't expect too much of him in terms of "stopping the United States in its tracks". He doesn't impress me as being exactly firm and decisive; neither in Ukraine, nor in Syria. When it comes to dealing with the West, he's all about 'jaw-jaw', never 'war-war'. He'll give in, I think. Prepare to be disappointed.

    Is it in Russia’s interests to absorb east Ukraine? No.

    And what are Russia’s interests in Syria? To stop the Qatari pipeline is obvious but is it also to enable an Iranian one?

    Russian blood to be shed for only Russia’s interests. Thankfully Putin understand that.

    Go look for a super hero elsewhere.

    Read More
  68. Thank you Mr. Whitney for a well thought of article. Yours is the 3rd article I have read in the last week that “breaks through” the MM propaganda and false demonization of what could be the premier statesman of the last 50 years. I am hopeful!
    For some of the interlocutors that advocate some form of war with Russia they are forgetting the 3 rules of war : 1) Do not march on Moscow, 2) Do not march on Moscow and 3) Do not march on Moscow…
    After the Donald Cook and its Aegis weapons systems were disabled in the Black Sea…the Russians have simulated no less than 12 “real” attacks on the vessel…until it turned back… the crew panicked…
    I am afraid the Russians are determined not to fight another war on their own soil…

    Read More
  69. @RobinG
    To the Olde Wizzer: You've got nothing better to do, sitting in your cabana chair. Try primary sources for a change.

    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/24034
    Speech and the Following Discussion at the Munich Conference on Security Policy

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5PrHfh2A5s
    Putin`s speech on Valdai Discussion Club Sochi 27.10.2016

    Etc., etc....

    Well no trouble working out why you didn’t get tenure. You are your own primary source for that.

    Thanks for the link to a transcript. However…

    Evidently you didn’t bother to check the linked transcript and when i did searches for key passages from Whitney’s article they simply weren’t there. Try a search for “in their euphoria” or “sociological” for examples.

    Not that I am suggesting that Whitney falsified anything, but it’s good to be able to check whether the selected quotes are selected fairly. And it may have occurred to some that Putin was speaking Russian so the question of which Russians produced and tidied up the English translation should be of some interest to anyone who has been introduced by Mr Whitney to this very important source for the first time.

    When you sffect the high ground and the right to haughty criticism de haut en bas it is a good idea to be right if you are to avoid being the patsy in a slapstick farce of your own composition.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bill
    The correct transcript is here. I checked, casually and incompletely, one passage Whitney quotes, and it seems to be correct. Both of your suggested search phrases are in the speech. All that was necessary to find it was to put "transcript Valdai" into the search box at the top of the web page RobinG directed you to. As far as who did the translation, it seems reasonable to assume that this transcript represents the official (to whatever extent that there is such a thing) translation into English by the Russian government.

    Incidentally, I promise you that making minor errors in citation does not inhibit one from getting tenure. Only lawyers and middle level bureaucrats get excited about that.

    Oh, and "you are your own primary source for that" makes no sense. You meant to have said "you are my primary source for that."

    To get some idea of the effort Whizzy is putting in to his search for this speech, just copy the first para of one of Whitney's quotes (the one starting "Yes, formally speaking" is the one I chose) into google and look at all the citations to this speech which come up, including one from memri.org, the Valdai club itself, and the Council on Foreign Relations. One wonders what Whizzy's "trying to find all the passages you say are quotes from Putin’s speech" consisted of?
  70. @Daniel Chieh
    I thought Australians are usually sitting on the beach beside a tanned blonde with a beer.

    Yep, and still able to find a raised finger for prats – see #73.

    Read More
  71. @Che Guava
    I would trust Mike Whhtney's account.

    He is bright.

    ... but you are always pretty dim.

    Do you not know that the Wikipedia is a function of political bias?

    One would guess that, given your naivete and silly ideas, you spend time when not assigned to this minor forum as a Wikipedo admin.

    You succeed only in consistency. Fact free gratuitous insult expressed in fluent but slightly dodgy English (tour guide rather than diplomat…). And then the logical failure. That Mr. Whitney may be bright has nothing to do with a reader’s desire to be able to refer to his sources. A fortiori that the reader might be dim – or that some editors of Wikipedia, as I in fact pointed out recently on a UR thread, are politically motivated**.

    **It is really beyond ludicrous that you suggest I am ignorant of the weaknesses of Wikipedia when I have just pointed to the selective quotes that I had found there. Talk about not being able to join the dots!

    *** *** ***
    As a lightweight you have got off lightly. If you want to try being a higher level fool (not even noticing that I had effectually asked for a primary source) consider RobinG and my reply #73.

    Read More
  72. @Realist
    Being gullible is not intelligent.

    Maybe if your acquaintances were scientists they would be a little more inquisitive.

    I dispute your diktat on usage.

    “You are [he is] remarkably gullible for an intelligent [a smart] person” is commonplace idiomatic English; n’esr-ce pas?

    Read More
    • Troll: Che Guava
    • Replies: @Realist
    People who can't think for themselves are gullible.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    Check.
  73. @MarkinLA
    There isn't enough gold in the world to ever back any major currency again. I don't buy that goldbug nonsense of gold going to 5000 dollars an ounce to make it usable again.

    As long as the US government demands taxes paid in dollars and wages paid in dollars, dollars will have value in the US. The US is one of the few countries in the world that could be completely self sufficient if it wanted to be. The US will continue to make products that other countries want.

    These goldbugs have been predicting the end of the dollar for 40 years now. The pound is still around 70 years after it ceased to be the world's reserve currency. That is because, for all Britain's ups and downs, the Brits still make things other people want and Britain is still a decent place to live.

    The problem is we are making less and less of what the world wants, our industrial base shot where even much of what the military wants comes from other countries, and as the import export shows we are importing billions more than we export one only needs to drive around the country with its rusting hulks that use to be very productive and profitable plants and mills to see just how hallowed out are manufacturing really is, and just how long it would take to really become self sufficient…

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    It is only because we are deluding ourselves into believing we are getting something for nothing. US weapons manufacturing is world class. We could be world class in a very short time in anything we wanted to be. It is just an issue of people believing they are better off importing.
  74. This post sounds like the recent William S. Lind with his ideas of a great power love in and military cooperation by Russia , America and China to fight non state actors like Isis together.. But international peace and security with Russia, the US, and China all being on friendly terms is an impossibility. The more secure one country feels, the less secure others do–and they are right to. If the US stayed home and strictly minded its own business, Russia and China would simply take advantage to increase their power–and they would be fools not to. Its a zero sum game and the world hates the US for being top dog, but had they America’s strength all these countries complaining about America would act no differently than America does. It is the structure of the international system and the fact sovereignty that means a country must always look out for number one. There is no higher authority to call on when a state gets into trouble, so they are careful never to seem like a soft touch. Of course this is never made explicit, so we get all this rhetoric.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jake
    "If the US stayed home and strictly minded its own business, Russia and China would simply take advantage to increase their power–and they would be fools not to."

    Spoken like an American or German or Brit. And wrong.

    What in history tells you that China would act like the New British Empire (which is the USA) and play global overlord? Chinese history says clearly that the Chinese do not have a sense of global empire. The Chinese do feel they are best off if they rule a few non-Chinese peoples who live right on their border. But China has never acted to conquer the Indian subcontinent and then head westward. The only Chinese attempt to conquer Japan came when Mongols had control of China - which means that action was Mongol and not Chinese.

    How many times in history has Russia, not allied with Western powers and with their blessings, their entreaties, marched into Central Europe? Russia's territorial ambitions have never been about conquering the world, not even under Stalin (who was Georgian and culturally anti-Russian in many ways). Russia now would not want to conquer and rule Germany.

    Russia acting to protect other Slavs from Germans and Americans - that is something else entirely. Russia acting to keep the American Empire from setting up shop right on Russia's border not only makes sense; it also may be necessary to prevent nuclear exchange at some point.

    America is guilty of gross overreach based on predictable Anglo/Yank self-righteousness. That overreach has caused a great deal of unnecessary loss of life and destruction of property and economies.
    , @Che Guava
    No, we all love the USA, not the polity and military, not SF, LA., or NY, but my radio just cut out on a one-hour setting, it was all old songs, The Carpenter's We've Only Just Begun was the peak.

    Was the depth of her voice from anorexia?

    I used to be acquainted with a skeletal lady, actually a man I think, from the voice, but it is hard to tell, however, it was clearly a man.

    The really bizarre thing was that this anorexic (man, I think) was running a shop called 'Mother Earth', a cafe.

    拒食症、
     
    Yeah, yeah, yeah.

    Unz kamaraden, excuse my slightly drunken post, but, if you have never seen it, Superstar, the Karen Carpenter Story, mainly done with Ken and Barbie dolls, and banned for decades between Richard Carpenter and the Mattel Corporation, is a masterpiece.

    Still on-line in a low-res. state, last I checked.
    , @annamaria
    "It is the structure of the international system and the fact sovereignty that means a country must always look out for number one."
    This is a perfect ziocon spiel explaining out current woes.
    Why don't you take a look at the Nuremberg protocols that your country of Israel has been so fond of, but only in relation to the "chosen?"
    , @Bill
    Right. Morality doesn't exist. Well, except when the bad guys come for you, of course.
  75. @Mao Cheng Ji
    Yes, the guy appears to be smart and well-meaning, and he's improved a lot in recent years.

    However, I wouldn't expect too much of him in terms of "stopping the United States in its tracks". He doesn't impress me as being exactly firm and decisive; neither in Ukraine, nor in Syria. When it comes to dealing with the West, he's all about 'jaw-jaw', never 'war-war'. He'll give in, I think. Prepare to be disappointed.

    I think he is dealing with the situation exceptionally well. You have to remember he is facing absolutely crazy, dangerous people. The AngloZionists are like a psychopath who might snap at any time, very unstable an unpredictable. Russians are more like Asians when it comes to strategy, they think long term. In fact, I’d say that while the East is acting strategically, the West is doing so only tactically.
    The US will eventually brought down economically by killing the Dollar. That is what BRICS and the gold currency is all about. I think it will be ready within three years and then let’s see what will happen to the United States.

    I feel really sorry for the American people, because what they’re heading for is what Germany had to face during the Great Depression or after WW2, or what Russia had to face during the 1990s, but with a mighty chance for Civil War.

    Putin knows that war and aggression is not the solution, but clever maneuvering is, plus honesty. In Germany we have a saying: Ehrlich währt am längsten. It’s hard to translate, but it means two things: that honesty might take long to get results, but that these results will last the longest.

    Read More
  76. @MarkinLA
    Your saying this on Unz, the home of pointing out academic stupidity where we regularly highlight the nonsense that only college professors could believe?

    Believing propaganda doesn't make you stupid. In fact, a lot of well developed thought sometimes goes into those ridiculous International Communist Conspiracy stories I used to hear working at Hughes by those 50s and 60s era vets.

    “Believing propaganda doesn’t make you stupid.”

    That is correct….genetics makes you stupid. People who can’t think for themselves believe propaganda.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    How does anybody know what is propaganda and what is the truth?
  77. @MarkinLA
    There isn't enough gold in the world to ever back any major currency again. I don't buy that goldbug nonsense of gold going to 5000 dollars an ounce to make it usable again.

    As long as the US government demands taxes paid in dollars and wages paid in dollars, dollars will have value in the US. The US is one of the few countries in the world that could be completely self sufficient if it wanted to be. The US will continue to make products that other countries want.

    These goldbugs have been predicting the end of the dollar for 40 years now. The pound is still around 70 years after it ceased to be the world's reserve currency. That is because, for all Britain's ups and downs, the Brits still make things other people want and Britain is still a decent place to live.

    ‘There isn’t enough gold in the world to ever back any major currency again. I don’t buy that goldbug nonsense of gold going to 5000 dollars an ounce to make it usable again.”

    That is silly. The value of gold would go as high as was necessary. Gold can have any value except 0.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    Yeah, I have heard that a million times from the gold bugs. Gold has to have some true intrinsic value for it's price to go to the moon and it has almost none. By that I mean there has to be some use that no matter how high the price, somebody has got to just suck it up and pay it. Thanks to digital photography, silver's intrinsic value has gone down significantly.
    , @Erebus

    That is silly. The value of gold would go as high as was necessary. Gold can have any value except 0.
     
    Exactly. Its value is whatever is agreed on in the same way common shares are valued at whatever the market is paying for them, regardless of their fundamentals.

    I doubt, however, that gold will back any currencies in the traditional, hard sense. With currency swaps there's simply no need for that. OTOH, I can see gold having a role in trade account settlement between Central Banks under a currency swap regime.
  78. @Wizard of Oz
    I dispute your diktat on usage.

    "You are [he is] remarkably gullible for an intelligent [a smart] person" is commonplace idiomatic English; n'esr-ce pas?

    People who can’t think for themselves are gullible.

    Read More
  79. One cause of the intense hatred for Putin among the Anglo-Zionist elites is his manifest superiority to them, both as leader and as a statesman. Not only that, Putin surrounds himself with men and women who are quite brilliant in their own right, of the caliber of Lavrov, Shoigu, Glazyev, etc. Our own leaders, particularly Obama and Hillary Clinton, detest true greatness and brilliance (as it makes them look bad) and surround themselves with disgusting and pitiful sycophants and stooges, such as Huma Abedin, Susan Rice, Valerie Jarret, John Podesta, etc. It is not insignificant that the current Chancellor of NATO-Germany, is a frumpy, dumpy female. The sterile female and the male eunuch are archetypes of the western political elites, who hate Putin because, when he is together with them, he is like a lion in a den of Daniels. And Daniel, it should be remembered, was a eunuch.

    Read More
  80. Once the dollar goes back to its true value then it won’t take near as much gold I was reading a short time ago that only about $5 trillion of out GDP is actual GDP the rest is all financial, and sooner rather than later its going to be a long bitter ride to the bottom and probably long overdue…

    Read More
  81. @Klokman
    Brzezinski.

    One of the founders of the Trilateral Commission. (Who or what commissioned him??)

    The source for all international policy and strategy toward not just one government, but one civilization and culture.

    The people who learned from the ancients the effectiveness of polarizing the people, and the use of the "White Knight" as part of the polarizing process.

    Sorry Mikey, but this is all just part of their strategy.

    Precisely.

    Putin has stated his desire for a unified global currency a la XDR; to be managed by BIS/World Bank/IMF. Sadly he is also a tool of the one worlders.

    Read More
  82. @bluedog
    The problem is we are making less and less of what the world wants, our industrial base shot where even much of what the military wants comes from other countries, and as the import export shows we are importing billions more than we export one only needs to drive around the country with its rusting hulks that use to be very productive and profitable plants and mills to see just how hallowed out are manufacturing really is, and just how long it would take to really become self sufficient...

    It is only because we are deluding ourselves into believing we are getting something for nothing. US weapons manufacturing is world class. We could be world class in a very short time in anything we wanted to be. It is just an issue of people believing they are better off importing.

    Read More
    • Agree: Sam Shama
    • Replies: @bluedog
    Well no the F-35 and some of our new ships come to mind as we dump billions upon billions into useless projects, while our country continues its downhill spiral and of course just how many years would it take to build new plants, train workers and create some kind of work etic where little remains, with our I don't give a shit mentality low wages and few benefits, where workers are treated more like rabble then any kind of benefit to corporations and companies.
    I think you have bought into the we are exceptional the shinning light on the hill bullshit/propaganda and of course as we try to re-build out manufacturing base train the workers re-program the business elites, other countries like Russia and China will jump further ahead yet, so we can play catch up for the next twenty years...
  83. @Realist
    "Believing propaganda doesn’t make you stupid."

    That is correct....genetics makes you stupid. People who can't think for themselves believe propaganda.

    How does anybody know what is propaganda and what is the truth?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Realist
    With American propaganda it's easy. The scenario is so stupid even people with average intelligence should see through it. Almost every statement from our federal government is bullshit.
    , @Realist
    Read this!

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-01/thinking-hard-horror-deep-states-plan-exposed
  84. @Realist
    'There isn’t enough gold in the world to ever back any major currency again. I don’t buy that goldbug nonsense of gold going to 5000 dollars an ounce to make it usable again."

    That is silly. The value of gold would go as high as was necessary. Gold can have any value except 0.

    Yeah, I have heard that a million times from the gold bugs. Gold has to have some true intrinsic value for it’s price to go to the moon and it has almost none. By that I mean there has to be some use that no matter how high the price, somebody has got to just suck it up and pay it. Thanks to digital photography, silver’s intrinsic value has gone down significantly.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Realist
    Gold, at least, has intrinsic value which is more than the dollar. The dollar can go to an exchange value of zero. Any government issued currency can go to zero....many have.
  85. @Sergey Krieger
    He is wrong as usually about Russia but you are not far behind. America cannot fight and win against Russia neither long or short term anymore. It is dangerous illusion based upon decades of self promotion. Check US military track record and compare it to Russian first and foremost.

    If we are restricting the discussion to conventional (non-nuclear) hostilities, then America/NATO would surely win over the long haul. This is simply because they draw on a much larger economic and military resource base. They can bring, and can keep bringing, so much more into the field than Russia, and they can open a variety of fronts to exacerbate Russia’s shortfall in men and materiel.

    Eventually, the Russians simply run out of SAMs, fighter aircraft, cruise missiles, tanks, and men. The Russians may indeed have extraordinarily advanced weaponry and well trained, well led men, but they simply don’t have enough of it. That is why Russia’s stated policy is to go to nukes as soon as they sense that national integrity is in danger.

    Of course, as soon as nukes are in play, all bets are off, but even conventional war should be unthinkable except to the “crazies in the basement”. Any “victory” would be Pyrrhic, if not mutually destructive for both Europe and Russia.

    In all seriousness, all parties are aware that the West’s fragile financial system, and not its military, is its Achilles Heel. As several commenters have noted, the US will be dominant as long as it controls the world’s primary reserve currency.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
    You have a lot of false assumtions making your opinion. Firstly you think that bringing those forces necessary to start and sustain hostilities is easy. Remember, there is no NATO. There is USA. You also forget that Russia has dealt with previous NATO versions already twice against Napoleonic France and Nazi Germany. Let's see. It took USA 6 months to bring about 600 000 troops into Iraq. America would have to bring a lot more in Russia case. Do you really think To Russia will allow this to happen? I have strong feeling USA and NATO will run out of ships necessary to carry everything, of moral necessary to fight and of people willing to go there and fight before Russia will run out of missiles, resources and people. You probably don't think so, but in trms of ability and experience fighting this kind of conflict USA is not even on same page as Russia. Us military never operated under conditions which are awaiting them in case of war with Russia. Being bombed, hit with artillery on massive scale, having communications disrupted and dealing with force far more operationally capable than American one close to her base. I will be blant, but Russia will not allow USA to bring necessary forces across the ocean . Few brigades is one thing but massive scale.... No. It is easy for armchair warriors to make assumptions but when NATO forces will face massive losses on hundred thousand and more scale and suffering utter defeats it will be different thing. Your assumption is most probably that Russia GDP is smaller than that of italy considering you expect Russia to run out of munition. You should not worry as Russia GDP is about same or larger than Germany and structured in a way to sustain military effort.
  86. @Seamus Padraig
    So what were we supposed to do, Sherlock? Vote for Hellary? Abstain? Soil our ballots? Basically, the nature of our choice was this: Hellary, who was certain doom, and Trump, who was uncertain doom. Under those circumstance, voting for uncertain doom is surely the more rational choice. By way of analogy, I am not the type that normally plays Russian Roulette. But if an executioner gave me a choice between playing Russian Roulette and death by firing squad, well of course I'd play. At least that way, I'd have some chance of survival.

    Basically, the nature of our choice was this: Hellary, who was certain doom, and Trump, who was uncertain doom.

    Should have spoiled your ballot. Elections really aren’t that important. Inner state and so on. Better to tell the people the truth than to prettify the class enemy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig
    No, I disagree. Even if elections have only symbolic value, symbols matter. Because the system expended so much of its own credibility demonizing Trump, he is now going to make a very ineffective spokesman for their cause, and he may help to weaken their credibility still more.
  87. @Realist
    'There isn’t enough gold in the world to ever back any major currency again. I don’t buy that goldbug nonsense of gold going to 5000 dollars an ounce to make it usable again."

    That is silly. The value of gold would go as high as was necessary. Gold can have any value except 0.

    That is silly. The value of gold would go as high as was necessary. Gold can have any value except 0.

    Exactly. Its value is whatever is agreed on in the same way common shares are valued at whatever the market is paying for them, regardless of their fundamentals.

    I doubt, however, that gold will back any currencies in the traditional, hard sense. With currency swaps there’s simply no need for that. OTOH, I can see gold having a role in trade account settlement between Central Banks under a currency swap regime.

    Read More
  88. @Wizard of Oz
    I dispute your diktat on usage.

    "You are [he is] remarkably gullible for an intelligent [a smart] person" is commonplace idiomatic English; n'esr-ce pas?

    Check.

    Read More
  89. Gold has to have some true intrinsic value for it’s price to go to the moon and it has almost none. By that I mean there has to be some use that no matter how high the price, somebody has got to just suck it up and pay it.

    Yeah, just like Twitter or Facebook stock.

    Look, if we agree that the current fiat scheme, wherein almost every currency is a derivative of America’s debt, is inherently unstable and cannot be sustained, it will fail. What can’t go on, won’t. What then?

    I’m no expert on these matters, but here’s how it looks to me…
    An increasing number of currency swap deals are being made. Whether in anticipation of a currency system failure, or in order to precipitate one, there is little doubt that these are not dollar friendly. Currency swap deals are made between trade partners, and allow each country to pay for goods from the other with the originating country’s currency, or its own. The problem with currency swaps shows up when trade is unbalanced, as it will inevitably be in any given year.
    Trade partners under a currency swap regime have strict rules regarding governance of their respective currencies. One can’t just print more to make up a trade deficit. If trade deficits are systemic, what better way to re-balance the account than by “trading” gold. Voila! Look ma, no trade imbalance!
    If your partners are demanding that you settle accounts in Gold, Gold will have whatever value it takes to do that. Why? Well, conveying hard value for hard value received is its “use”. Everybody will be happy to “just suck it up and pay it”.

    In other words, gold will be both the reference value against which currencies and goods are measured, and serve to balance trade just as it did 150 yrs ago. There is no need for it to back a currency, and indeed in the case of well managed currencies and economies, gold should drop in price. Countries running positive trade balances need hold no gold at all.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama

    The problem with currency swaps shows up when trade is unbalanced, as it will inevitably be in any given year.
    Trade partners under a currency swap regime have strict rules regarding governance of their respective currencies. One can’t just print more to make up a trade deficit. If trade deficits are systemic, what better way to re-balance the account than by “trading” gold. Voila! Look ma, no trade imbalance!
     
    Interbank currency swaps (that is what shows up at the end) need to be collateralised based on the volatility of each member of the currency pair. Overwhelmingly, the chosen collateral is the USD. Gold has some limited role in this regard today.

    A trade deficit occurs when the value of exports differ from imports, the values themselves measured by a common denominator, e.g, the dollar or SDR. The current account deficit itself is mirrored by the opposite in capital accounts, but the deficit in the c/a is not somehow mitigated by "trading gold" whatever that means.

    Trade imbalances, systemic ones, emerge on account of deliberate devaluation to aid extreme mercantilism paired with a policy of internal devaluation (labour wage reductions or suppressions). i.e China with the implicit nod from the United States over the many decades. You might say that this was a deliberate bilateral goal. It was good for China (gdp rose without a pause for decades) and for U.S. corporations (higher profits) and U.S. consumers (cheaper goods) but ultimately bad for Chinese and U.S. labour after decades of this cycle.

    The biggest flaw of gold is that it would fail totally in any business cycle, especially in a deep one, leading to a unrecoverable economic loss.

    Ultimately, the value of a reserve currency or any currency for that matter, depends on what the related economy can produce. Gold has precisely zero influence on it, it being a function a function of the country's natural resource endowment, labour productivity and technological prowess. How many nations can come close to the U.S. on those measures?

    [On a sidenote, the U.S. including its deposits in the IMF holds more than 12k tonnes of gold, dwarfing all others. U.S+Germany are unassailable. China has about 1k tonne. So if one is persuaded that somehow the market for gold and its price clears imbalances - it cannot - the largest supplier is still the U.S.]

  90. His words are wise, a bad thing is he does not think his critique applies to Russia and to himself. As if the problems he’s mentioned do not exist in Russia at all. While what he’s saying about others, he’s saying actually about himself as well. How is it called in psychology, projection?

    I do not mean that there is no problem, everything he said is true, but Putin is a part of the problem, a member of that global clique. Don’t let him deceive you that he is different, he and his oligarch buddies are the 1%.

    Read More
  91. @Realist
    Being gullible is not intelligent.

    Maybe if your acquaintances were scientists they would be a little more inquisitive.

    Maybe if your acquaintances were scientists they would be a little more inquisitive.

    The vast majority of academics are left-wing liberals who sincerely believe the mass media. The highly-educated class is both a devoted consumer and a driving force of liberal propaganda.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Realist
    "The vast majority of academics are left-wing liberals who sincerely believe the mass media."

    Left-wing academics are mostly involved in low IQ studies that shouldn't be offered in colleges. Aceademics in high IQ studies (STEM) are much less liberal.
  92. @Sergey Krieger
    He is wrong as usually about Russia but you are not far behind. America cannot fight and win against Russia neither long or short term anymore. It is dangerous illusion based upon decades of self promotion. Check US military track record and compare it to Russian first and foremost.

    He is wrong as usually about Russia

    Look, Krieger, if you have a different opinion, that’s perfectly fine, and I’d be happy to hear it. No need to be bitter and hostile.

    Read More
  93. @MarkinLA
    How does anybody know what is propaganda and what is the truth?

    With American propaganda it’s easy. The scenario is so stupid even people with average intelligence should see through it. Almost every statement from our federal government is bullshit.

    Read More
  94. @MarkinLA
    Yeah, I have heard that a million times from the gold bugs. Gold has to have some true intrinsic value for it's price to go to the moon and it has almost none. By that I mean there has to be some use that no matter how high the price, somebody has got to just suck it up and pay it. Thanks to digital photography, silver's intrinsic value has gone down significantly.

    Gold, at least, has intrinsic value which is more than the dollar. The dollar can go to an exchange value of zero. Any government issued currency can go to zero….many have.

    Read More
  95. @Erebus
    If we are restricting the discussion to conventional (non-nuclear) hostilities, then America/NATO would surely win over the long haul. This is simply because they draw on a much larger economic and military resource base. They can bring, and can keep bringing, so much more into the field than Russia, and they can open a variety of fronts to exacerbate Russia's shortfall in men and materiel.

    Eventually, the Russians simply run out of SAMs, fighter aircraft, cruise missiles, tanks, and men. The Russians may indeed have extraordinarily advanced weaponry and well trained, well led men, but they simply don't have enough of it. That is why Russia's stated policy is to go to nukes as soon as they sense that national integrity is in danger.

    Of course, as soon as nukes are in play, all bets are off, but even conventional war should be unthinkable except to the "crazies in the basement". Any "victory" would be Pyrrhic, if not mutually destructive for both Europe and Russia.

    In all seriousness, all parties are aware that the West's fragile financial system, and not its military, is its Achilles Heel. As several commenters have noted, the US will be dominant as long as it controls the world's primary reserve currency.

    You have a lot of false assumtions making your opinion. Firstly you think that bringing those forces necessary to start and sustain hostilities is easy. Remember, there is no NATO. There is USA. You also forget that Russia has dealt with previous NATO versions already twice against Napoleonic France and Nazi Germany. Let’s see. It took USA 6 months to bring about 600 000 troops into Iraq. America would have to bring a lot more in Russia case. Do you really think To Russia will allow this to happen? I have strong feeling USA and NATO will run out of ships necessary to carry everything, of moral necessary to fight and of people willing to go there and fight before Russia will run out of missiles, resources and people. You probably don’t think so, but in trms of ability and experience fighting this kind of conflict USA is not even on same page as Russia. Us military never operated under conditions which are awaiting them in case of war with Russia. Being bombed, hit with artillery on massive scale, having communications disrupted and dealing with force far more operationally capable than American one close to her base. I will be blant, but Russia will not allow USA to bring necessary forces across the ocean . Few brigades is one thing but massive scale…. No. It is easy for armchair warriors to make assumptions but when NATO forces will face massive losses on hundred thousand and more scale and suffering utter defeats it will be different thing. Your assumption is most probably that Russia GDP is smaller than that of italy considering you expect Russia to run out of munition. You should not worry as Russia GDP is about same or larger than Germany and structured in a way to sustain military effort.

    Read More
    • Agree: bluedog
    • Replies: @Erebus

    You have a lot of false assumtions making your opinion.
     
    Actually, only one assumption, and it may be hypothetical but hardly false. Namely, the discussion assumes that the West/NATO and Russia decide to settle their differences with blood & iron.
    The obvious corollary to that is a Western decision to act in concert, and to put their combined economic, financial, industrial, socio-political and international political resources on a war footing in support of their military. Naturally, Russia would do the same.

    What you seem to be arguing is that the West couldn't put their combined resources on a war footing. Fair enough, but if so they wouldn't opt for war and that would be the end of it, and of the discussion.

    I don't really expect that West could do that either, but what I think may well happen is that Russia will find itself facing an Either/Or in Syria that they may be stressed to handle. In fact, they may already be past that point.

    , @NoseytheDuke
    Ah yes, but will the Russian soldiers be able to listen to rap music on their personal music players while going into battle? Will the Russians be able to go back to base and eat at McDonald's, Pizza Hut and Dunkin' Donuts? Will the Russians be on Skype chatting with their families half way around the world after a hard day on the battlefield? I think not.
  96. @MarkinLA
    How does anybody know what is propaganda and what is the truth?
    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    Zero Hedge has travelled a short path; from predicting hyperinflation in the U.S. within a few years and U.S. bonds defaulting (in 2009, and intermittently thereafter) to becoming a full-blown purveyor of conspiracy theories today. Needless to mention, none of it has come true, almost a full decade since.

    Propaganda (congregating to propagate faith) has always existed, easier today than at any other time courtesy of social media, and, not to put too fine a point on it, all opinion is propaganda. Yes, therefore by definition all states propagandise. Choosing which ones to lend credence to separates the various levels of madness?
  97. @Sean
    This post sounds like the recent William S. Lind with his ideas of a great power love in and military cooperation by Russia , America and China to fight non state actors like Isis together.. But international peace and security with Russia, the US, and China all being on friendly terms is an impossibility. The more secure one country feels, the less secure others do--and they are right to. If the US stayed home and strictly minded its own business, Russia and China would simply take advantage to increase their power--and they would be fools not to. Its a zero sum game and the world hates the US for being top dog, but had they America's strength all these countries complaining about America would act no differently than America does. It is the structure of the international system and the fact sovereignty that means a country must always look out for number one. There is no higher authority to call on when a state gets into trouble, so they are careful never to seem like a soft touch. Of course this is never made explicit, so we get all this rhetoric.

    “If the US stayed home and strictly minded its own business, Russia and China would simply take advantage to increase their power–and they would be fools not to.”

    Spoken like an American or German or Brit. And wrong.

    What in history tells you that China would act like the New British Empire (which is the USA) and play global overlord? Chinese history says clearly that the Chinese do not have a sense of global empire. The Chinese do feel they are best off if they rule a few non-Chinese peoples who live right on their border. But China has never acted to conquer the Indian subcontinent and then head westward. The only Chinese attempt to conquer Japan came when Mongols had control of China – which means that action was Mongol and not Chinese.

    How many times in history has Russia, not allied with Western powers and with their blessings, their entreaties, marched into Central Europe? Russia’s territorial ambitions have never been about conquering the world, not even under Stalin (who was Georgian and culturally anti-Russian in many ways). Russia now would not want to conquer and rule Germany.

    Russia acting to protect other Slavs from Germans and Americans – that is something else entirely. Russia acting to keep the American Empire from setting up shop right on Russia’s border not only makes sense; it also may be necessary to prevent nuclear exchange at some point.

    America is guilty of gross overreach based on predictable Anglo/Yank self-righteousness. That overreach has caused a great deal of unnecessary loss of life and destruction of property and economies.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    True enough, China wasn't territorially aggressive. And the result was foreign armies from the other side of the world marching all over China

    Emperor Wilhelm II in 1900, when he bade farewell to German soldiers sailing to China to put down the Boxer Uprising - and urged them to be ruthless, and to take no prisoners.
    "Just as 1,000 years ago, the Huns made a name for themselves, so shall you establish the name of Germans in China for 1,000 years, in such a way that a Chinese will never again dare to look askance at a German," he said.
     
    There were also British and Americans shooting Chinese in China at back then..After WW1 Russia was not only invaded by puny Poland but occupied by British and America troops. The British in Russia used poison gas on the Reds Then the Japanese invaded China (10X larger) where they killed zillions of Chinese..

    Now, what lesson do you think the Chinese and Russians ought to take from their history of not being aggressive, and getting stomped for their trouble? I think they will conclude they were guilty of gross under-reach, and they shouldn't be so passive in future.

  98. @MarkinLA
    It is only because we are deluding ourselves into believing we are getting something for nothing. US weapons manufacturing is world class. We could be world class in a very short time in anything we wanted to be. It is just an issue of people believing they are better off importing.

    Well no the F-35 and some of our new ships come to mind as we dump billions upon billions into useless projects, while our country continues its downhill spiral and of course just how many years would it take to build new plants, train workers and create some kind of work etic where little remains, with our I don’t give a shit mentality low wages and few benefits, where workers are treated more like rabble then any kind of benefit to corporations and companies.
    I think you have bought into the we are exceptional the shinning light on the hill bullshit/propaganda and of course as we try to re-build out manufacturing base train the workers re-program the business elites, other countries like Russia and China will jump further ahead yet, so we can play catch up for the next twenty years…

    Read More
    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    It isn't really wise to expect too much from a person that believes that the twin towers fell due to fires cause by planes crashing into them flown by arabs armed with box cutters.
  99. @Quartermaster
    The US wasn't "stopped in Ukraine," because the US wasn't there in the first place. Nor has the US been "Stopped in Syria." You've swallowed Putinist propaganda whole, with little thought.

    “The US wasn’t “stopped in Ukraine,” because the US wasn’t there in the first place. Nor has the US been “Stopped in Syria.”…”

    The Jews, you, lie so much and so blatantly that there’s no use in believing anything they say. In the past once this is know and your deprivations of the country you’re tormenting at the time become known you have always been able to scoot off to another country. This time…not so much. The Chinese and the Indians are certainly onto you and the same with most Asians countries. The (((mass media))) narrative is breaking down in the West. Even with your fooling us into the Drumph/Kushner control unit. You know as well as I do it’s only temporary.

    It is possible, since the Jews are a tribe of psychopaths and have no moral compass at but enslaving everyone to the Jews, that the Jews are setting up a situation where there’s a Russia/China vs USA nuclear blood feast where they kill off their primary competitors.

    The Jews are the greatest threat to the USA, Russia and China.

    Read More
  100. @RobinG
    To the Olde Wizzer: You've got nothing better to do, sitting in your cabana chair. Try primary sources for a change.

    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/24034
    Speech and the Following Discussion at the Munich Conference on Security Policy

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5PrHfh2A5s
    Putin`s speech on Valdai Discussion Club Sochi 27.10.2016

    Etc., etc....

    In addition be aware of this information RobinG.

    DECEMBER 25, 2015 NATO: Seeking Russia’s Destruction Since 1949

    In 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, U.S. president George H. W. Bush through his secretary of state James Baker promised Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev that in exchange for Soviet cooperation on German reunification, the Cold War era NATO alliance would not expand “one inch” eastwards towards Russia.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/12/25/nato-seeking-russias-destruction-since-1949/

    Read More
  101. Mar 23, 2015 How Putin Is Trying To Destroy The U.S Dollar

    Putin and Russia are making geopolitical moves that threaten the U.S Petro Dollar and its global economic hegemony.

    https://youtu.be/kJmcA5yZSNM

    Read More
  102. @Sergey Krieger
    You have a lot of false assumtions making your opinion. Firstly you think that bringing those forces necessary to start and sustain hostilities is easy. Remember, there is no NATO. There is USA. You also forget that Russia has dealt with previous NATO versions already twice against Napoleonic France and Nazi Germany. Let's see. It took USA 6 months to bring about 600 000 troops into Iraq. America would have to bring a lot more in Russia case. Do you really think To Russia will allow this to happen? I have strong feeling USA and NATO will run out of ships necessary to carry everything, of moral necessary to fight and of people willing to go there and fight before Russia will run out of missiles, resources and people. You probably don't think so, but in trms of ability and experience fighting this kind of conflict USA is not even on same page as Russia. Us military never operated under conditions which are awaiting them in case of war with Russia. Being bombed, hit with artillery on massive scale, having communications disrupted and dealing with force far more operationally capable than American one close to her base. I will be blant, but Russia will not allow USA to bring necessary forces across the ocean . Few brigades is one thing but massive scale.... No. It is easy for armchair warriors to make assumptions but when NATO forces will face massive losses on hundred thousand and more scale and suffering utter defeats it will be different thing. Your assumption is most probably that Russia GDP is smaller than that of italy considering you expect Russia to run out of munition. You should not worry as Russia GDP is about same or larger than Germany and structured in a way to sustain military effort.

    You have a lot of false assumtions making your opinion.

    Actually, only one assumption, and it may be hypothetical but hardly false. Namely, the discussion assumes that the West/NATO and Russia decide to settle their differences with blood & iron.
    The obvious corollary to that is a Western decision to act in concert, and to put their combined economic, financial, industrial, socio-political and international political resources on a war footing in support of their military. Naturally, Russia would do the same.

    What you seem to be arguing is that the West couldn’t put their combined resources on a war footing. Fair enough, but if so they wouldn’t opt for war and that would be the end of it, and of the discussion.

    I don’t really expect that West could do that either, but what I think may well happen is that Russia will find itself facing an Either/Or in Syria that they may be stressed to handle. In fact, they may already be past that point.

    Read More
    • Replies: @annamaria
    " Russia will find itself facing an Either/Or in Syria that they may be stressed to handle. In fact, they may already be past that point."
    As another commenter has already pointed out, Russia's actions Syria are defensive and thus are much better thought out and tenacious than the profiteering schemas of the DC opportunists.
  103. @Realist
    Read this!

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-01/thinking-hard-horror-deep-states-plan-exposed

    Zero Hedge has travelled a short path; from predicting hyperinflation in the U.S. within a few years and U.S. bonds defaulting (in 2009, and intermittently thereafter) to becoming a full-blown purveyor of conspiracy theories today. Needless to mention, none of it has come true, almost a full decade since.

    Propaganda (congregating to propagate faith) has always existed, easier today than at any other time courtesy of social media, and, not to put too fine a point on it, all opinion is propaganda. Yes, therefore by definition all states propagandise. Choosing which ones to lend credence to separates the various levels of madness?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Realist
    "Zero Hedge has travelled a short path; from predicting hyperinflation in the U.S. within a few years and U.S. bonds defaulting (in 2009, and intermittently thereafter) to becoming a full-blown purveyor of conspiracy theories today. Needless to mention, none of it has come true, almost a full decade since. "

    Zero Hedge reposted it. It originated fro Burning Platform

    " ....all opinion is propaganda. Yes, therefore by definition all states propagandise. "

    That is a nonsensical statement the government is not suppose to give their opinion, just facts as is the news media plan and simple.
  104. @Sean
    This post sounds like the recent William S. Lind with his ideas of a great power love in and military cooperation by Russia , America and China to fight non state actors like Isis together.. But international peace and security with Russia, the US, and China all being on friendly terms is an impossibility. The more secure one country feels, the less secure others do--and they are right to. If the US stayed home and strictly minded its own business, Russia and China would simply take advantage to increase their power--and they would be fools not to. Its a zero sum game and the world hates the US for being top dog, but had they America's strength all these countries complaining about America would act no differently than America does. It is the structure of the international system and the fact sovereignty that means a country must always look out for number one. There is no higher authority to call on when a state gets into trouble, so they are careful never to seem like a soft touch. Of course this is never made explicit, so we get all this rhetoric.

    No, we all love the USA, not the polity and military, not SF, LA., or NY, but my radio just cut out on a one-hour setting, it was all old songs, The Carpenter’s We’ve Only Just Begun was the peak.

    Was the depth of her voice from anorexia?

    I used to be acquainted with a skeletal lady, actually a man I think, from the voice, but it is hard to tell, however, it was clearly a man.

    The really bizarre thing was that this anorexic (man, I think) was running a shop called ‘Mother Earth’, a cafe.

    拒食症、
     
    Yeah, yeah, yeah.

    Unz kamaraden, excuse my slightly drunken post, but, if you have never seen it, Superstar, the Karen Carpenter Story, mainly done with Ken and Barbie dolls, and banned for decades between Richard Carpenter and the Mattel Corporation, is a masterpiece.

    Still on-line in a low-res. state, last I checked.

    Read More
  105. @Erebus

    Gold has to have some true intrinsic value for it’s price to go to the moon and it has almost none. By that I mean there has to be some use that no matter how high the price, somebody has got to just suck it up and pay it.
     
    Yeah, just like Twitter or Facebook stock.

    Look, if we agree that the current fiat scheme, wherein almost every currency is a derivative of America's debt, is inherently unstable and cannot be sustained, it will fail. What can't go on, won't. What then?

    I'm no expert on these matters, but here's how it looks to me...
    An increasing number of currency swap deals are being made. Whether in anticipation of a currency system failure, or in order to precipitate one, there is little doubt that these are not dollar friendly. Currency swap deals are made between trade partners, and allow each country to pay for goods from the other with the originating country's currency, or its own. The problem with currency swaps shows up when trade is unbalanced, as it will inevitably be in any given year.
    Trade partners under a currency swap regime have strict rules regarding governance of their respective currencies. One can't just print more to make up a trade deficit. If trade deficits are systemic, what better way to re-balance the account than by "trading" gold. Voila! Look ma, no trade imbalance!
    If your partners are demanding that you settle accounts in Gold, Gold will have whatever value it takes to do that. Why? Well, conveying hard value for hard value received is its "use". Everybody will be happy to "just suck it up and pay it".

    In other words, gold will be both the reference value against which currencies and goods are measured, and serve to balance trade just as it did 150 yrs ago. There is no need for it to back a currency, and indeed in the case of well managed currencies and economies, gold should drop in price. Countries running positive trade balances need hold no gold at all.

    The problem with currency swaps shows up when trade is unbalanced, as it will inevitably be in any given year.
    Trade partners under a currency swap regime have strict rules regarding governance of their respective currencies. One can’t just print more to make up a trade deficit. If trade deficits are systemic, what better way to re-balance the account than by “trading” gold. Voila! Look ma, no trade imbalance!

    Interbank currency swaps (that is what shows up at the end) need to be collateralised based on the volatility of each member of the currency pair. Overwhelmingly, the chosen collateral is the USD. Gold has some limited role in this regard today.

    A trade deficit occurs when the value of exports differ from imports, the values themselves measured by a common denominator, e.g, the dollar or SDR. The current account deficit itself is mirrored by the opposite in capital accounts, but the deficit in the c/a is not somehow mitigated by “trading gold” whatever that means.

    Trade imbalances, systemic ones, emerge on account of deliberate devaluation to aid extreme mercantilism paired with a policy of internal devaluation (labour wage reductions or suppressions). i.e China with the implicit nod from the United States over the many decades. You might say that this was a deliberate bilateral goal. It was good for China (gdp rose without a pause for decades) and for U.S. corporations (higher profits) and U.S. consumers (cheaper goods) but ultimately bad for Chinese and U.S. labour after decades of this cycle.

    The biggest flaw of gold is that it would fail totally in any business cycle, especially in a deep one, leading to a unrecoverable economic loss.

    Ultimately, the value of a reserve currency or any currency for that matter, depends on what the related economy can produce. Gold has precisely zero influence on it, it being a function a function of the country’s natural resource endowment, labour productivity and technological prowess. How many nations can come close to the U.S. on those measures?

    [On a sidenote, the U.S. including its deposits in the IMF holds more than 12k tonnes of gold, dwarfing all others. U.S+Germany are unassailable. China has about 1k tonne. So if one is persuaded that somehow the market for gold and its price clears imbalances - it cannot - the largest supplier is still the U.S.]

    Read More
    • Replies: @bluedog
    Who says the U.S. has 12 thousand tons of gold for when Germany wanted its gold back uncle said well not right now but maybe in 7 years, then I read where Germany had got its gold back right after we looted the Ukraine's gold and Libya, to my knowledge our gold at Ft. Knox and West Point hasen't been audited in years for the last time it was they found that well some of those bars weren't gold at all
    , @Erebus

    Interbank currency swaps (that is what shows up at the end) need to be collateralised based on the volatility of each member of the currency pair. Overwhelmingly, the chosen collateral is the USD.
     
    ... and it will be, until it won't.

    ... the deficit in the c/a is not somehow mitigated by “trading gold” whatever that means.
     
    "Trading gold" is indeed not happening today, but I'm positing that it will be some time post USD-repudiation.

    Trade imbalances, systemic ones, emerge on account of deliberate devaluation to aid extreme mercantilism paired with a policy of internal devaluation (labour wage reductions or suppressions). i.e China...
     
    China is an unusual case. Trade imbalances happen for all kinds of reasons -eg: Saudi Arabia.

    The biggest flaw of gold is that it would fail totally in any business cycle, especially in a deep one, leading to a unrecoverable economic loss.
     
    Not sure what you're driving at here. I cannot see any disadvantage for trade vs the USD. Please elaborate.

    Ultimately, the value of a reserve currency or any currency for that matter, depends on what the related economy can produce. Gold has precisely zero influence on it...
     
    That is the USD's problem today. The US economy is producing very little. Estimates of the "real", productive economy range in the $5-7T region, with the rest being F.I.R.E. Its value today consists of the inertia developed over 40 years in the global financial system, and its ability to project power to promote the "stability" that global finance requires. Both of those are seeing considerable stress nowadays, which is why analysts from the IMF & the WB, on down to lowliest blogger sees the writing on the wall. The questions being asked are what comes the day after.

    As for your 12kT of gold, the number seems rather inflated. The UST claims to hold 8.5kT, and the IMF holds 2.8kT. So, even if the US was to confiscate the entire IMF holding, it would still fall shy of the 12kT. The ambiguities surrounding the UST's gold holdings notwithstanding, it is actually frightfully small compared to the number of dollars floating around the world. As the dollar is nothing more than an expression of "the full faith and credit of the United States", that gold would be gone pretty quickly should the faith and credit get called.

    As for the dwarfing part, Chinese holdings, based on the import data, are suspected to be on the order of the UST's. Germany has repatriated its gold, or the bulk of it (I haven't checked) so I'm not sure what role its gold would play in saving the USD even if it remained in its current role as lickspittle vassal.
  106. @Stephen R. Diamond

    Basically, the nature of our choice was this: Hellary, who was certain doom, and Trump, who was uncertain doom.
     
    Should have spoiled your ballot. Elections really aren't that important. Inner state and so on. Better to tell the people the truth than to prettify the class enemy.

    No, I disagree. Even if elections have only symbolic value, symbols matter. Because the system expended so much of its own credibility demonizing Trump, he is now going to make a very ineffective spokesman for their cause, and he may help to weaken their credibility still more.

    Read More
  107. @jacques sheete

    I believe that the day fast approaches when Putin’s going to have to take a stand and risk it all.
     
    Pre WW2 Japanese moderates found themselves in a very similar situation as well. The parallels are quite striking.

    Two days after the Hull ultimatum, Counselor Terasaki of the embassy, in a note transmitted to Roosevelt by Dr. Jones, pleaded, "Don't compel us to do things, but make it possible for us to do them. If you treat us in this way, we will reciprocate doubly. If you stretch out one hand, we will stretch out two. And we cannot only be friends, we can be allies."

    There was no response, nor any relaxation of the pressure. As Dr. Jones says, "Our ultimatum ... put Japan in a box. She had to knuckle under or else fight us."

    - George Morgenstern, Pearl Harbor: The Story of the Secret War, Chap 7 “Back Door to War,” pg 102

    https://mises.org/system/tdf/Pearl%20Harbor%20The%20Story%20of%20the%20Secret%20War_3.pdf?file=1&type=document
     
    One can give the global moneyed elites credit for at least a couple of things besides arrogance, greed and ruthlessness; consistency as well as persistency*.




    * Note to grammar Commies and Scrabble players.: "Persistency" is a valid word even in this context.

    But of course! It worked not only against the Japs, but also against the Spaniards (“Remember the Maine!”), against the Vietnamese (Gulf of Tonkin incident), and even against Saddam Hussein in 1990 (“We take no position on Arab disputes. We are interested in expanding and deepening the relationship.”). As long as the same ruse keeps working, they’ll keep using it over and over.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RobinG
    Thank you! [[(“We take no position on Arab disputes. We are interested in expanding and deepening the relationship.”)]]

    Mention of 1990 US opting for GHWB Gulf War is appreciated, as is reminder that we are still in that war, continued throughout 1990's by Clinton and Albright via genocidal punitive sanctions and "No-Fly Zone" enforced by bombing Iraqi air fleet on the ground, leaving "W" a thoroughly decimated Iraqi defense to attack in 2003. Clinton, Albright, the Bushes, war criminals all.

    Next door in "Washington's Long War on Syria," US meddling since 1950's to effect regime change, clearly explained by Canadian author.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8p-292uSgX4
    Stephen Gowans launches new book

    If you prefer reading:
    https://gowans.wordpress.com/2017/04/30/the-real-defenders-of-democracy-syria-and-the-struggle-against-the-international-despotism-of-wall-street/
  108. @Jake
    "If the US stayed home and strictly minded its own business, Russia and China would simply take advantage to increase their power–and they would be fools not to."

    Spoken like an American or German or Brit. And wrong.

    What in history tells you that China would act like the New British Empire (which is the USA) and play global overlord? Chinese history says clearly that the Chinese do not have a sense of global empire. The Chinese do feel they are best off if they rule a few non-Chinese peoples who live right on their border. But China has never acted to conquer the Indian subcontinent and then head westward. The only Chinese attempt to conquer Japan came when Mongols had control of China - which means that action was Mongol and not Chinese.

    How many times in history has Russia, not allied with Western powers and with their blessings, their entreaties, marched into Central Europe? Russia's territorial ambitions have never been about conquering the world, not even under Stalin (who was Georgian and culturally anti-Russian in many ways). Russia now would not want to conquer and rule Germany.

    Russia acting to protect other Slavs from Germans and Americans - that is something else entirely. Russia acting to keep the American Empire from setting up shop right on Russia's border not only makes sense; it also may be necessary to prevent nuclear exchange at some point.

    America is guilty of gross overreach based on predictable Anglo/Yank self-righteousness. That overreach has caused a great deal of unnecessary loss of life and destruction of property and economies.

    True enough, China wasn’t territorially aggressive. And the result was foreign armies from the other side of the world marching all over China

    Emperor Wilhelm II in 1900, when he bade farewell to German soldiers sailing to China to put down the Boxer Uprising – and urged them to be ruthless, and to take no prisoners.
    “Just as 1,000 years ago, the Huns made a name for themselves, so shall you establish the name of Germans in China for 1,000 years, in such a way that a Chinese will never again dare to look askance at a German,” he said.

    There were also British and Americans shooting Chinese in China at back then..After WW1 Russia was not only invaded by puny Poland but occupied by British and America troops. The British in Russia used poison gas on the Reds Then the Japanese invaded China (10X larger) where they killed zillions of Chinese..

    Now, what lesson do you think the Chinese and Russians ought to take from their history of not being aggressive, and getting stomped for their trouble? I think they will conclude they were guilty of gross under-reach, and they shouldn’t be so passive in future.

    Read More
  109. @Sam Shama
    Zero Hedge has travelled a short path; from predicting hyperinflation in the U.S. within a few years and U.S. bonds defaulting (in 2009, and intermittently thereafter) to becoming a full-blown purveyor of conspiracy theories today. Needless to mention, none of it has come true, almost a full decade since.

    Propaganda (congregating to propagate faith) has always existed, easier today than at any other time courtesy of social media, and, not to put too fine a point on it, all opinion is propaganda. Yes, therefore by definition all states propagandise. Choosing which ones to lend credence to separates the various levels of madness?

    “Zero Hedge has travelled a short path; from predicting hyperinflation in the U.S. within a few years and U.S. bonds defaulting (in 2009, and intermittently thereafter) to becoming a full-blown purveyor of conspiracy theories today. Needless to mention, none of it has come true, almost a full decade since. ”

    Zero Hedge reposted it. It originated fro Burning Platform

    ” ….all opinion is propaganda. Yes, therefore by definition all states propagandise. ”

    That is a nonsensical statement the government is not suppose to give their opinion, just facts as is the news media plan and simple.

    Read More
  110. @Boris N

    Maybe if your acquaintances were scientists they would be a little more inquisitive.
     
    The vast majority of academics are left-wing liberals who sincerely believe the mass media. The highly-educated class is both a devoted consumer and a driving force of liberal propaganda.

    “The vast majority of academics are left-wing liberals who sincerely believe the mass media.”

    Left-wing academics are mostly involved in low IQ studies that shouldn’t be offered in colleges. Aceademics in high IQ studies (STEM) are much less liberal.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bill
    Much less? No. A bit less. Engineers, in particular, are only a moderate amount to the left of the average American. But they are almost as right wing as academics get, STEM or no STEM. Only business school professors are to their right, and even they are noticeably left of center, on average.
    , @Boris N
    Don't you know if there are studies which would compare Humanities vs STEM academics, like who vote whom or what policies they support. It would be interesting. Right now my general knowledge is Western academics and campuses in general are rather left-wing both socially and economically.
  111. @Realist
    "Zero Hedge has travelled a short path; from predicting hyperinflation in the U.S. within a few years and U.S. bonds defaulting (in 2009, and intermittently thereafter) to becoming a full-blown purveyor of conspiracy theories today. Needless to mention, none of it has come true, almost a full decade since. "

    Zero Hedge reposted it. It originated fro Burning Platform

    " ....all opinion is propaganda. Yes, therefore by definition all states propagandise. "

    That is a nonsensical statement the government is not suppose to give their opinion, just facts as is the news media plan and simple.

    Should read…. plain and simple.

    Read More
  112. @Sam Shama

    The problem with currency swaps shows up when trade is unbalanced, as it will inevitably be in any given year.
    Trade partners under a currency swap regime have strict rules regarding governance of their respective currencies. One can’t just print more to make up a trade deficit. If trade deficits are systemic, what better way to re-balance the account than by “trading” gold. Voila! Look ma, no trade imbalance!
     
    Interbank currency swaps (that is what shows up at the end) need to be collateralised based on the volatility of each member of the currency pair. Overwhelmingly, the chosen collateral is the USD. Gold has some limited role in this regard today.

    A trade deficit occurs when the value of exports differ from imports, the values themselves measured by a common denominator, e.g, the dollar or SDR. The current account deficit itself is mirrored by the opposite in capital accounts, but the deficit in the c/a is not somehow mitigated by "trading gold" whatever that means.

    Trade imbalances, systemic ones, emerge on account of deliberate devaluation to aid extreme mercantilism paired with a policy of internal devaluation (labour wage reductions or suppressions). i.e China with the implicit nod from the United States over the many decades. You might say that this was a deliberate bilateral goal. It was good for China (gdp rose without a pause for decades) and for U.S. corporations (higher profits) and U.S. consumers (cheaper goods) but ultimately bad for Chinese and U.S. labour after decades of this cycle.

    The biggest flaw of gold is that it would fail totally in any business cycle, especially in a deep one, leading to a unrecoverable economic loss.

    Ultimately, the value of a reserve currency or any currency for that matter, depends on what the related economy can produce. Gold has precisely zero influence on it, it being a function a function of the country's natural resource endowment, labour productivity and technological prowess. How many nations can come close to the U.S. on those measures?

    [On a sidenote, the U.S. including its deposits in the IMF holds more than 12k tonnes of gold, dwarfing all others. U.S+Germany are unassailable. China has about 1k tonne. So if one is persuaded that somehow the market for gold and its price clears imbalances - it cannot - the largest supplier is still the U.S.]

    Who says the U.S. has 12 thousand tons of gold for when Germany wanted its gold back uncle said well not right now but maybe in 7 years, then I read where Germany had got its gold back right after we looted the Ukraine’s gold and Libya, to my knowledge our gold at Ft. Knox and West Point hasen’t been audited in years for the last time it was they found that well some of those bars weren’t gold at all

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    Your "reading" of things, self-admittedly, has caused you to mistake important facts for whatever you chose to believe. Are you sure no "boo boo" (isn't that what you called it?) this time?

    Here is the accounting of U.S. gold reserves (not including her stock at the IMF)

    https://www.fiscal.treasury.gov/fsreports/rpt/goldRpt/current_report.htm
  113. The power and energy of the youth has always forged progress in society. In the US, the boomers, in the 60’s and 70’s, brought about legislation for civil, labor, food safety, women’s and environmental rights. The blowback for daring to enter the political arena and demand these rights and protections came at a cost in the enforcement of the brutal economic policy of neoliberalism (economic fascism).

    Neoliberalism of the past 40 years handed over 97% of all money creation to the private banks which resulted in a $200 trillion global private debt crisis. We need to demand a mixed economy again. Both fiscal (government) and monetary (private bank) money creation works best. All countries who have mixed economies enjoy the highest living standards.

    Economics students should all demand that pluralism (different economic models) is taught as well as economic history. The sooner we come together and end neoclassical economic thought and dispel all of the financial myths that have been bandied about for decades, the sooner we will see real change.

    We must become financially literate and learn about how the economy really works by researching MMT (modern monetary theory). That is the only way we can get them to stop spewing their tired, obnoxious lies.

    http://www.realprogressivesusa.com/news/economic-issues/2017-01-13-what-the-government-doesn-t-want-you-to-know-it-can-fully-fund-anything

    Read More
  114. @Mao Cheng Ji

    Maybe more talking instead of more war is what world want?
     
    Sure. Except that, like I said, it's highly unlikely to 'stop the United States in its tracks'.

    “…it’s highly unlikely to ‘stop the United States in its tracks.”
    Do you suggest a preemptive nuclear strike by Russia or what?

    Read More
  115. @Quartermaster
    The US wasn't "stopped in Ukraine," because the US wasn't there in the first place. Nor has the US been "Stopped in Syria." You've swallowed Putinist propaganda whole, with little thought.

    Another comment from the zio-nulandist quarters. You should have stayed with your favorite New York Times’ & Washington Post’ presstituting parrots “guided” by the State Dept and CIA.
    http://thefreethoughtproject.com/ulfkotte-cia-media-dead/
    http://www.aim.org/special-report/how-obamas-cia-manipulated-the-media/

    Read More
  116. @Mao Cheng Ji

    Nevertheless, it’s almost useless for invasion purposes.
     
    Yes, but invading Russia is never an option; invading Russia fails no matter what. What works, however, is containing it, while destroying it from the inside. That's the standard approach, since George Kennan.

    At the end of his long life, George Kennan tried to educate the US “deciders” about the futility and danger of confrontation with Russia. None of the high-echelon ignoramuses paid any attention to his words.

    Read More
  117. @Sean
    This post sounds like the recent William S. Lind with his ideas of a great power love in and military cooperation by Russia , America and China to fight non state actors like Isis together.. But international peace and security with Russia, the US, and China all being on friendly terms is an impossibility. The more secure one country feels, the less secure others do--and they are right to. If the US stayed home and strictly minded its own business, Russia and China would simply take advantage to increase their power--and they would be fools not to. Its a zero sum game and the world hates the US for being top dog, but had they America's strength all these countries complaining about America would act no differently than America does. It is the structure of the international system and the fact sovereignty that means a country must always look out for number one. There is no higher authority to call on when a state gets into trouble, so they are careful never to seem like a soft touch. Of course this is never made explicit, so we get all this rhetoric.

    “It is the structure of the international system and the fact sovereignty that means a country must always look out for number one.”
    This is a perfect ziocon spiel explaining out current woes.
    Why don’t you take a look at the Nuremberg protocols that your country of Israel has been so fond of, but only in relation to the “chosen?”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    Mearsheimer is my preferred authority, he is no friend of Israel while he correctly predicted Russian agression against Ukraine 20 years before the event he has been understanding of Russian concerns and wants better relations with them https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Mearsheimer#Nuclear_weapons_and_Ukraine

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-navarro-and-greg-autry/mearsheimer-on-strangling_b_9417476.html Most Americans don’t think about this, but the reason that the United States is wandering all over God’s little green acre, sticking its nose in everybody’s business, is because we are free to roam. We have no threats in the Western Hemisphere that pin us down.

    Now if China is free to roam because it’s a potential hegemon, it can roam into the Western Hemisphere. It can develop friendly relations with a country like Brazil or country like Mexico. It could put a naval base in Brazil much the way the Soviets were putting troops in Cuba, right?
     


    https://chomsky.info/unclesam09/

    .
     


    https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/05/19/what-guilt-does-the-us-bear-in-guatemala/guatemalan-slaughter-was-part-of-reagans-hard-line
    In 1966, the U.S. Army’s Handbook of Counterinsurgency Guidelines summarized the results of a war game waged in a fictitious country unmistakably modeled on Guatemala. The rules allowed players to use “selective terror” but prohibited “mass terror.” “Genocide,” the guidelines stipulated, was “not an alternative.”

    A decade and a half later, genocide was indeed an option in Guatemala, supported materially and morally by Ronald Reagan’s White House
     

    The US uses human rights as a wedge, just as it once used anti communism as a wedge, but underneath it all is a simple calculus of relative power: no country not an ally of the US is to be allowed to get even the slightest gains in the zero sum game that is international politics.. No leader of the US worth his salt could act differtly and Putin is only beating about non interference and soverienty because he connot do anything more effective.

    Trump as leader of the US is interfering in Syria because Assad is going to win otherwise and the US cannot afford to let them. Human rights (anti-slavery against every other power, especially France, and protection of Jews in the newly independent countries formerly oppressed by the Ottoman Empire) were a wedge Britain used to interfere when it was the world champion country. The US is now the wold superpower, and so it uses human rights as a wedge to interfere and keep rivals weak. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-navarro-and-greg-autry/mearsheimer-on-strangling_b_9417476.html

    Fortunately the US is not in the (domestically unavowable) death squad slaughter and napalming of children business, at present. The reasons given for strikes on Syria are hardly discreditable so let people believe in it and be proud of their country. The strikes are necessary to “Make America Great Again” or rather keep America well and truly on top. It was President Ronald Ray-Gun who originated the slogan “Make America Great Again”and Reagan would not have let Russia , Soviet or not, initiate a World Order.

  118. @Erebus

    You have a lot of false assumtions making your opinion.
     
    Actually, only one assumption, and it may be hypothetical but hardly false. Namely, the discussion assumes that the West/NATO and Russia decide to settle their differences with blood & iron.
    The obvious corollary to that is a Western decision to act in concert, and to put their combined economic, financial, industrial, socio-political and international political resources on a war footing in support of their military. Naturally, Russia would do the same.

    What you seem to be arguing is that the West couldn't put their combined resources on a war footing. Fair enough, but if so they wouldn't opt for war and that would be the end of it, and of the discussion.

    I don't really expect that West could do that either, but what I think may well happen is that Russia will find itself facing an Either/Or in Syria that they may be stressed to handle. In fact, they may already be past that point.

    ” Russia will find itself facing an Either/Or in Syria that they may be stressed to handle. In fact, they may already be past that point.”
    As another commenter has already pointed out, Russia’s actions Syria are defensive and thus are much better thought out and tenacious than the profiteering schemas of the DC opportunists.

    Read More
  119. @Sergey Krieger
    You have a lot of false assumtions making your opinion. Firstly you think that bringing those forces necessary to start and sustain hostilities is easy. Remember, there is no NATO. There is USA. You also forget that Russia has dealt with previous NATO versions already twice against Napoleonic France and Nazi Germany. Let's see. It took USA 6 months to bring about 600 000 troops into Iraq. America would have to bring a lot more in Russia case. Do you really think To Russia will allow this to happen? I have strong feeling USA and NATO will run out of ships necessary to carry everything, of moral necessary to fight and of people willing to go there and fight before Russia will run out of missiles, resources and people. You probably don't think so, but in trms of ability and experience fighting this kind of conflict USA is not even on same page as Russia. Us military never operated under conditions which are awaiting them in case of war with Russia. Being bombed, hit with artillery on massive scale, having communications disrupted and dealing with force far more operationally capable than American one close to her base. I will be blant, but Russia will not allow USA to bring necessary forces across the ocean . Few brigades is one thing but massive scale.... No. It is easy for armchair warriors to make assumptions but when NATO forces will face massive losses on hundred thousand and more scale and suffering utter defeats it will be different thing. Your assumption is most probably that Russia GDP is smaller than that of italy considering you expect Russia to run out of munition. You should not worry as Russia GDP is about same or larger than Germany and structured in a way to sustain military effort.

    Ah yes, but will the Russian soldiers be able to listen to rap music on their personal music players while going into battle? Will the Russians be able to go back to base and eat at McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Dunkin’ Donuts? Will the Russians be on Skype chatting with their families half way around the world after a hard day on the battlefield? I think not.

    Read More
  120. @bluedog
    Well no the F-35 and some of our new ships come to mind as we dump billions upon billions into useless projects, while our country continues its downhill spiral and of course just how many years would it take to build new plants, train workers and create some kind of work etic where little remains, with our I don't give a shit mentality low wages and few benefits, where workers are treated more like rabble then any kind of benefit to corporations and companies.
    I think you have bought into the we are exceptional the shinning light on the hill bullshit/propaganda and of course as we try to re-build out manufacturing base train the workers re-program the business elites, other countries like Russia and China will jump further ahead yet, so we can play catch up for the next twenty years...

    It isn’t really wise to expect too much from a person that believes that the twin towers fell due to fires cause by planes crashing into them flown by arabs armed with box cutters.

    Read More
  121. @Seamus Padraig
    Another good one from Mike Whitney!

    This is why I think that the stories about Putin killing journalists are nonsense.
     
    Also: they never seem to have any evidence of Putin's involvement.

    The globalization project IS in crisis ...
     
    Oh yeah, baby! It's in crisis big time. In fact, that's about the only good news these days.

    The Russian president might have to take a few steps backward to avoid WW3 ...
     
    My main concern here is that Putin's various attempts at de-escalation in Syria and Ukraine could be taken for weakness and only encourage more aggression from Washington. I believe that the day fast approaches when Putin's going to have to take a stand and risk it all.

    I agree 90% with you, except for your last comment: “[...] Putin’s going to have to take a stand and risk it all.”
    I’d say: be careful what you wish for! To risk (it all), also implies that you might lose (it all). And I think we both agree about what “it all” includes: life on planet Earth (or at least a decent and humane form of life for Homo Sapiens).
    Putin (being a master on the “Grand Chessboard”), has outmanouvered Washington many times now in the Ukraine and Syria, leaving Washington caught with their pants down for all the world to see. I believe (at least I hope) that eventually reallity will sink in (also with the rest of the nations of our world) that the king has no clothes anymore and Washington has to tone down.
    In the forseable future, the US empire might well collapse in on itself (just like the Soviet Union did in the late 1980s, early 1990s), after which Washington won’t have the means anymore to fight hegemonic (world) wars.
    Meanwhile, I believe, it would be very unwise for Russia to “risk it all” now, because in times of economic crisis, that would be just the red herring Washington needs to rally the people behind their flag and march off to WW-III and the anihilation of our present human civilisation.

    Read More
    • Replies: @annamaria
    "I believe (at least I hope) that eventually reallity will sink in (also with the rest of the nations of our world) that the king has no clothes anymore and Washington has to tone down."
    The collection of opportunists and ignoramuses in DC has been guided by the veracious opportunists of MIC, major corporations, financial squid-in-charge, and by the ziocons. The latter segment (namely, their psychopathic believe in Jewish supremacy and so forth) makes one rather pessimistic about the redeeming factor of reality.
  122. @Sam Shama

    The problem with currency swaps shows up when trade is unbalanced, as it will inevitably be in any given year.
    Trade partners under a currency swap regime have strict rules regarding governance of their respective currencies. One can’t just print more to make up a trade deficit. If trade deficits are systemic, what better way to re-balance the account than by “trading” gold. Voila! Look ma, no trade imbalance!
     
    Interbank currency swaps (that is what shows up at the end) need to be collateralised based on the volatility of each member of the currency pair. Overwhelmingly, the chosen collateral is the USD. Gold has some limited role in this regard today.

    A trade deficit occurs when the value of exports differ from imports, the values themselves measured by a common denominator, e.g, the dollar or SDR. The current account deficit itself is mirrored by the opposite in capital accounts, but the deficit in the c/a is not somehow mitigated by "trading gold" whatever that means.

    Trade imbalances, systemic ones, emerge on account of deliberate devaluation to aid extreme mercantilism paired with a policy of internal devaluation (labour wage reductions or suppressions). i.e China with the implicit nod from the United States over the many decades. You might say that this was a deliberate bilateral goal. It was good for China (gdp rose without a pause for decades) and for U.S. corporations (higher profits) and U.S. consumers (cheaper goods) but ultimately bad for Chinese and U.S. labour after decades of this cycle.

    The biggest flaw of gold is that it would fail totally in any business cycle, especially in a deep one, leading to a unrecoverable economic loss.

    Ultimately, the value of a reserve currency or any currency for that matter, depends on what the related economy can produce. Gold has precisely zero influence on it, it being a function a function of the country's natural resource endowment, labour productivity and technological prowess. How many nations can come close to the U.S. on those measures?

    [On a sidenote, the U.S. including its deposits in the IMF holds more than 12k tonnes of gold, dwarfing all others. U.S+Germany are unassailable. China has about 1k tonne. So if one is persuaded that somehow the market for gold and its price clears imbalances - it cannot - the largest supplier is still the U.S.]

    Interbank currency swaps (that is what shows up at the end) need to be collateralised based on the volatility of each member of the currency pair. Overwhelmingly, the chosen collateral is the USD.

    … and it will be, until it won’t.

    … the deficit in the c/a is not somehow mitigated by “trading gold” whatever that means.

    “Trading gold” is indeed not happening today, but I’m positing that it will be some time post USD-repudiation.

    Trade imbalances, systemic ones, emerge on account of deliberate devaluation to aid extreme mercantilism paired with a policy of internal devaluation (labour wage reductions or suppressions). i.e China…

    China is an unusual case. Trade imbalances happen for all kinds of reasons -eg: Saudi Arabia.

    The biggest flaw of gold is that it would fail totally in any business cycle, especially in a deep one, leading to a unrecoverable economic loss.

    Not sure what you’re driving at here. I cannot see any disadvantage for trade vs the USD. Please elaborate.

    Ultimately, the value of a reserve currency or any currency for that matter, depends on what the related economy can produce. Gold has precisely zero influence on it…

    That is the USD’s problem today. The US economy is producing very little. Estimates of the “real”, productive economy range in the $5-7T region, with the rest being F.I.R.E. Its value today consists of the inertia developed over 40 years in the global financial system, and its ability to project power to promote the “stability” that global finance requires. Both of those are seeing considerable stress nowadays, which is why analysts from the IMF & the WB, on down to lowliest blogger sees the writing on the wall. The questions being asked are what comes the day after.

    As for your 12kT of gold, the number seems rather inflated. The UST claims to hold 8.5kT, and the IMF holds 2.8kT. So, even if the US was to confiscate the entire IMF holding, it would still fall shy of the 12kT. The ambiguities surrounding the UST’s gold holdings notwithstanding, it is actually frightfully small compared to the number of dollars floating around the world. As the dollar is nothing more than an expression of “the full faith and credit of the United States”, that gold would be gone pretty quickly should the faith and credit get called.

    As for the dwarfing part, Chinese holdings, based on the import data, are suspected to be on the order of the UST’s. Germany has repatriated its gold, or the bulk of it (I haven’t checked) so I’m not sure what role its gold would play in saving the USD even if it remained in its current role as lickspittle vassal.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama

    … and it will be, until it won’t.
     
    You can say that of anything at all. Therefore, a well-reasoned prediction for the timeline of these dollar-distress events is required. Otherwise, it is all lazy speculation

    Trade imbalances happen for all kinds of reasons
     
    Yes, but systemic ones, as I mentioned, happen principally due to deliberate and concerted internal and external devaluations (Japan earlier, China, and EU now to some extent)

    Not sure what you’re driving at here. I cannot see any disadvantage for trade vs the USD. Please elaborate.
     
    A great deal has been written on this subject, starting with the unrivalled persuasions of J.M. Keynes. The main insight being the pro-cyclical "fetters" it attaches to monetary policy: deepens recessions and speedens inflationary episodes.

    Here are two of my prior posts:
    http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/the-war-against-the-world/#comment-1396961

    http://www.unz.com/mhudson/the-financial-invasion-of-greece/?highlight=Gold+Standard#comment-1432657

    That is the USD’s problem today. The US economy is producing very little.
     
    That sounds like opinion, not facts in evidence:

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/INDPRO [Industrial Production]

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/IPDCONGD [IP Durable Consumer goods]

    Financialisation has indeed occurred and I agree its effects are not entirely benign. Yet I suspect that has more to do with rapid technological progress leading to unbalanced concentrations of wealth in fewer hands than an actual loss of productive capacity.

    and its ability to project power to promote the “stability” that global finance requires. Both of those are seeing considerable stress nowadays, which is why analysts from the IMF & the WB, on down to lowliest blogger sees the writing on the wall. The questions being asked are what comes the day after.

     

    By all objective measures, the USD is the strongest reserve currency today (I know you assert it isn't likely to remain so.), UST yields are at historical lows signalling an unrelenting desire to hold U.S sovereign debt, and the VIX Index of market volatility is the lowest ever!

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/VIXCLS

    As for your 12kT of gold, the number seems rather inflated. The UST claims to hold 8.5kT, and the IMF holds 2.8kT. So, even if the US was to confiscate the entire IMF holding, it would still fall shy of the 12kT.
     
    https://www.fiscal.treasury.gov/fsreports/rpt/goldRpt/current_report.htm [Not including IMF]

    it is actually frightfully small compared to the number of dollars floating around the world. As the dollar is nothing more than an expression of “the full faith and credit of the United States”, that gold would be gone pretty quickly should the faith and credit get called.
     
    That is fear and opinion not in sympathy with global asset markets for as long as data on gold vs. dollar has existed. Even in the comical scenario where the U.S. natural resource stock (2k years worth of coal deposits, oil, gas, etc, etc) plus technology endowment are all ignored (who else has as much please?), and the entire "faith" somehow accrues to gold, U.S. still has the largest reserve! So?

    China has bought gold over the decades, as any expanding-economy central bank does, in order to keep the ratio of reserve currencies and gold to GDP at steady levels. The rest of the breathless talk is just the usual conspiracy-tinged nonsense.
  123. Is it me or do others not see history repeating itself? I recall in the first part of the 20th century a man came into power. His words were strikingly similar to Putin. He was resented due to his popularity with his people. He like Putin reversed the economic catastrophe on his country and its people in a short time. He did not preach racism but instead preached nationalism and equality for all nations. He was hailed in the western press only to find himself vilified for not bowing to the same usurious gangsters of his time as those seeking to cower Putin and the Russian people. All intelligent humans seeking liberation from the economic slavery enforced by the International Bank of Settlements (IBS) and other gangster controlled entities held empathy with his words. All men gathered to him seeking freedom from usurious practices much the same way as Putin’s many supported both domestic and international. His popularity within the west took a sharp turn when he withdrew from the IBS and declared his country would only barter in real goods. He was demonized by the cabal and a war was declared in 1933 by those who stood the most to lose from his actions. This was the start of preparations to invade and enslave his country by those very same international gangsters the descendants of which who now demonize Putin and no doubt are planning the same for Putin and Russia. The parallels are too close to assume coincidence. Stalin’s Jewish dominated Soviet Union no longer exists. The descendants of that murderous regime are now on the other side of the the world and implementing the same systematic Gulag doctrine on those who deposed that great man of the 20th century. I cry not for those people. It is poetic justice that they suffer for what their fathers and grandfathers did to destroy that great people and its culture. No, I fear for Russians. Those Russian who have rallied to the great National Socialist Leader of this century, Vladimir Putin.

    Read More
  124. @Wizard of Oz
    Well no trouble working out why you didn't get tenure. You are your own primary source for that.

    Thanks for the link to a transcript. However...

    Evidently you didn't bother to check the linked transcript and when i did searches for key passages from Whitney's article they simply weren't there. Try a search for "in their euphoria" or "sociological" for examples.

    Not that I am suggesting that Whitney falsified anything, but it's good to be able to check whether the selected quotes are selected fairly. And it may have occurred to some that Putin was speaking Russian so the question of which Russians produced and tidied up the English translation should be of some interest to anyone who has been introduced by Mr Whitney to this very important source for the first time.

    When you sffect the high ground and the right to haughty criticism de haut en bas it is a good idea to be right if you are to avoid being the patsy in a slapstick farce of your own composition.

    The correct transcript is here. I checked, casually and incompletely, one passage Whitney quotes, and it seems to be correct. Both of your suggested search phrases are in the speech. All that was necessary to find it was to put “transcript Valdai” into the search box at the top of the web page RobinG directed you to. As far as who did the translation, it seems reasonable to assume that this transcript represents the official (to whatever extent that there is such a thing) translation into English by the Russian government.

    Incidentally, I promise you that making minor errors in citation does not inhibit one from getting tenure. Only lawyers and middle level bureaucrats get excited about that.

    Oh, and “you are your own primary source for that” makes no sense. You meant to have said “you are my primary source for that.”

    To get some idea of the effort Whizzy is putting in to his search for this speech, just copy the first para of one of Whitney’s quotes (the one starting “Yes, formally speaking” is the one I chose) into google and look at all the citations to this speech which come up, including one from memri.org, the Valdai club itself, and the Council on Foreign Relations. One wonders what Whizzy’s “trying to find all the passages you say are quotes from Putin’s speech” consisted of?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Beefcake the Mighty
    The Wiz's game is to find minor misstatements and pounce on them, triumphantly announcing that further points can be safely dismissed. (He's unable to do it in any kind of concise manner, however.)
  125. @Sean
    This post sounds like the recent William S. Lind with his ideas of a great power love in and military cooperation by Russia , America and China to fight non state actors like Isis together.. But international peace and security with Russia, the US, and China all being on friendly terms is an impossibility. The more secure one country feels, the less secure others do--and they are right to. If the US stayed home and strictly minded its own business, Russia and China would simply take advantage to increase their power--and they would be fools not to. Its a zero sum game and the world hates the US for being top dog, but had they America's strength all these countries complaining about America would act no differently than America does. It is the structure of the international system and the fact sovereignty that means a country must always look out for number one. There is no higher authority to call on when a state gets into trouble, so they are careful never to seem like a soft touch. Of course this is never made explicit, so we get all this rhetoric.

    Right. Morality doesn’t exist. Well, except when the bad guys come for you, of course.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    Individually yes, people up against it are the fervent believers in religion, community and nation, because they want to be seen as altruistic people and thus be able to call on others for help, while billionaires don't believe in anything, because they don't need others' help. But that argument has nothing to do with the case, because I was speaking of interactions between nations and nations have no higher authority to call on when they are in trouble.

    For example, Ukraine ignored Professor Mearsheimer's advice and gave up its nukes at the behest of other states, and in return was given security guarantees from all sorts of Western states, but when a bloody great BEAR attacked Ukraine and started ripping country's flesh from its bonesrt, the unwisdom of relying on morality became all too apparent, because the guarantees from the oh so moral West were morally valid but resulted on only moral suport: in practical terms they were completely worthless.

  126. @bluedog
    Who says the U.S. has 12 thousand tons of gold for when Germany wanted its gold back uncle said well not right now but maybe in 7 years, then I read where Germany had got its gold back right after we looted the Ukraine's gold and Libya, to my knowledge our gold at Ft. Knox and West Point hasen't been audited in years for the last time it was they found that well some of those bars weren't gold at all

    Your “reading” of things, self-admittedly, has caused you to mistake important facts for whatever you chose to believe. Are you sure no “boo boo” (isn’t that what you called it?) this time?

    Here is the accounting of U.S. gold reserves (not including her stock at the IMF)

    https://www.fiscal.treasury.gov/fsreports/rpt/goldRpt/current_report.htm

    Read More
    • Replies: @bluedog
    Well not really important facts for anything the government puts out is suspect regardless of the subject (jobs report actual GDP weapons of mass destruction etc) the greater question is where is Iraq's gold Libya's gold Ukraine's gold seeing we seem to be keeping it for safe keeping.
    The last time the gold reserve/holdings were checked was in the late 80's but that was not considered an audit.
  127. @Realist
    "The vast majority of academics are left-wing liberals who sincerely believe the mass media."

    Left-wing academics are mostly involved in low IQ studies that shouldn't be offered in colleges. Aceademics in high IQ studies (STEM) are much less liberal.

    Much less? No. A bit less. Engineers, in particular, are only a moderate amount to the left of the average American. But they are almost as right wing as academics get, STEM or no STEM. Only business school professors are to their right, and even they are noticeably left of center, on average.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Realist
    So you are saying the farther right the lower IQ?
    , @Boris N

    Only business school professors are to their right, and even they are noticeably left of center, on average.
     
    My feeling that they're right-wing only economically, that is pro-capitalist laissez-faire, while they're, like all the others, left-wing socially, that is for diversity, immigration, PC, LGBT, etc.
  128. @Sam Shama
    Your "reading" of things, self-admittedly, has caused you to mistake important facts for whatever you chose to believe. Are you sure no "boo boo" (isn't that what you called it?) this time?

    Here is the accounting of U.S. gold reserves (not including her stock at the IMF)

    https://www.fiscal.treasury.gov/fsreports/rpt/goldRpt/current_report.htm

    Well not really important facts for anything the government puts out is suspect regardless of the subject (jobs report actual GDP weapons of mass destruction etc) the greater question is where is Iraq’s gold Libya’s gold Ukraine’s gold seeing we seem to be keeping it for safe keeping.
    The last time the gold reserve/holdings were checked was in the late 80′s but that was not considered an audit.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    I fear rational conversation comes to an end when you've conjured a world in which all government agencies are engaged in little else but fabrications. So the fact U.S. gold reserve data is received from the U.S. Mint, Federal Reserve banks, and the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, is rejectable in your fantasy.

    I'm curious, is there anything in the U.S. public or private sector you consider not fake?
  129. @Erebus

    Interbank currency swaps (that is what shows up at the end) need to be collateralised based on the volatility of each member of the currency pair. Overwhelmingly, the chosen collateral is the USD.
     
    ... and it will be, until it won't.

    ... the deficit in the c/a is not somehow mitigated by “trading gold” whatever that means.
     
    "Trading gold" is indeed not happening today, but I'm positing that it will be some time post USD-repudiation.

    Trade imbalances, systemic ones, emerge on account of deliberate devaluation to aid extreme mercantilism paired with a policy of internal devaluation (labour wage reductions or suppressions). i.e China...
     
    China is an unusual case. Trade imbalances happen for all kinds of reasons -eg: Saudi Arabia.

    The biggest flaw of gold is that it would fail totally in any business cycle, especially in a deep one, leading to a unrecoverable economic loss.
     
    Not sure what you're driving at here. I cannot see any disadvantage for trade vs the USD. Please elaborate.

    Ultimately, the value of a reserve currency or any currency for that matter, depends on what the related economy can produce. Gold has precisely zero influence on it...
     
    That is the USD's problem today. The US economy is producing very little. Estimates of the "real", productive economy range in the $5-7T region, with the rest being F.I.R.E. Its value today consists of the inertia developed over 40 years in the global financial system, and its ability to project power to promote the "stability" that global finance requires. Both of those are seeing considerable stress nowadays, which is why analysts from the IMF & the WB, on down to lowliest blogger sees the writing on the wall. The questions being asked are what comes the day after.

    As for your 12kT of gold, the number seems rather inflated. The UST claims to hold 8.5kT, and the IMF holds 2.8kT. So, even if the US was to confiscate the entire IMF holding, it would still fall shy of the 12kT. The ambiguities surrounding the UST's gold holdings notwithstanding, it is actually frightfully small compared to the number of dollars floating around the world. As the dollar is nothing more than an expression of "the full faith and credit of the United States", that gold would be gone pretty quickly should the faith and credit get called.

    As for the dwarfing part, Chinese holdings, based on the import data, are suspected to be on the order of the UST's. Germany has repatriated its gold, or the bulk of it (I haven't checked) so I'm not sure what role its gold would play in saving the USD even if it remained in its current role as lickspittle vassal.

    … and it will be, until it won’t.

    You can say that of anything at all. Therefore, a well-reasoned prediction for the timeline of these dollar-distress events is required. Otherwise, it is all lazy speculation

    Trade imbalances happen for all kinds of reasons

    Yes, but systemic ones, as I mentioned, happen principally due to deliberate and concerted internal and external devaluations (Japan earlier, China, and EU now to some extent)

    Not sure what you’re driving at here. I cannot see any disadvantage for trade vs the USD. Please elaborate.

    A great deal has been written on this subject, starting with the unrivalled persuasions of J.M. Keynes. The main insight being the pro-cyclical “fetters” it attaches to monetary policy: deepens recessions and speedens inflationary episodes.

    Here are two of my prior posts:
    http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/the-war-against-the-world/#comment-1396961

    http://www.unz.com/mhudson/the-financial-invasion-of-greece/?highlight=Gold+Standard#comment-1432657

    That is the USD’s problem today. The US economy is producing very little.

    That sounds like opinion, not facts in evidence:

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/INDPRO [Industrial Production]

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/IPDCONGD [IP Durable Consumer goods]

    Financialisation has indeed occurred and I agree its effects are not entirely benign. Yet I suspect that has more to do with rapid technological progress leading to unbalanced concentrations of wealth in fewer hands than an actual loss of productive capacity.

    and its ability to project power to promote the “stability” that global finance requires. Both of those are seeing considerable stress nowadays, which is why analysts from the IMF & the WB, on down to lowliest blogger sees the writing on the wall. The questions being asked are what comes the day after.

    By all objective measures, the USD is the strongest reserve currency today (I know you assert it isn’t likely to remain so.), UST yields are at historical lows signalling an unrelenting desire to hold U.S sovereign debt, and the VIX Index of market volatility is the lowest ever!

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/VIXCLS

    As for your 12kT of gold, the number seems rather inflated. The UST claims to hold 8.5kT, and the IMF holds 2.8kT. So, even if the US was to confiscate the entire IMF holding, it would still fall shy of the 12kT.

    https://www.fiscal.treasury.gov/fsreports/rpt/goldRpt/current_report.htm [Not including IMF]

    it is actually frightfully small compared to the number of dollars floating around the world. As the dollar is nothing more than an expression of “the full faith and credit of the United States”, that gold would be gone pretty quickly should the faith and credit get called.

    That is fear and opinion not in sympathy with global asset markets for as long as data on gold vs. dollar has existed. Even in the comical scenario where the U.S. natural resource stock (2k years worth of coal deposits, oil, gas, etc, etc) plus technology endowment are all ignored (who else has as much please?), and the entire “faith” somehow accrues to gold, U.S. still has the largest reserve! So?

    China has bought gold over the decades, as any expanding-economy central bank does, in order to keep the ratio of reserve currencies and gold to GDP at steady levels. The rest of the breathless talk is just the usual conspiracy-tinged nonsense.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Erebus

    ... a well-reasoned prediction for the timeline of these dollar-distress events is required. Otherwise, it is all lazy speculation
     
    Even the IMF's researchers, having reasoned for 100s of pages on the dollar's future, haven't deigned to predict the timeline in anything other than vague terms. My simple explanation for that is that Central Banks have proven themselves extraordinarily innovative (even cunning), in extending that timeline. EG: Who would have thought the FRB would have a $4T balance sheet, and survived? Or that the JCB would become Japan's pre-eminent shareholder?
    One thing that they all seem to agree on, however, is that collapse is imminent. In broad strokes, within the decade.
    Re: your links to FRED data, I have found myself largely ignoring those as I long ago lost track of the morphing definitions. "CPI", "unemployment", "productivity" have all become unrecognisable. Who knows (or cares) what they're calling "durable consumer goods" nowadays. Breakfast cereal? Apples? Software? God knows it ain't air-conditioners, washing machines, CNC milling machines, or TVs. The reality is that America's manufacturing sector, whatever its "production capacity" may be, has been slammed and the numbers show up everywhere except the FRED.

    A great deal has been written on this subject, starting with the unrivalled persuasions of J.M. Keynes.
     
    So far as I know, Keynes has never written on gold being used as "collateral/referent" in a currency swap trade regime. Your linked comments don't either, so I don't know what you're on about other than tilting at the Gold Standard windmill. I still see gold having only advantages over USTs in the said role, at least for non-US countries.

    [Not including IMF]
     
    Umm, the bottom line (cut 'n pasted) says:

    Total - U.S. Government Gold Reserve 261,498,926.230 $11,041,059,957.46
     
    The first number is "Fine Troy Ounces" the 2nd is the dollar value of that at the statutory price of $42.22/Toz. 261,498,926.230 Toz works out to 8,133.71
    MT. So, again I am at a loss as to what you're on about with this. BTW, I'd be interested to know why you think the US still values its gold at that price.

    China has bought gold over the decades, as any expanding-economy central bank does, in order to keep the ratio of reserve currencies and gold to GDP at steady levels.
     
    "Has bought" doesn't seem to cover it, frankly. See Koos Janson's research into gold movement into China. They seem to be buying whatever/wherever/whenever they can, on top of buying 100% of their own world leading production.
    What's more, one wonders why gold would figure into any country's reserve at all. That is, if the US Treasury bill was such a stable and strong store of value what the hell is gold doing in the recipe? Why are all member Central Banks of the ECB mandated to hold not less than 15% of their reserves in gold? Perhaps you could comment on that.
  130. @bluedog
    Well not really important facts for anything the government puts out is suspect regardless of the subject (jobs report actual GDP weapons of mass destruction etc) the greater question is where is Iraq's gold Libya's gold Ukraine's gold seeing we seem to be keeping it for safe keeping.
    The last time the gold reserve/holdings were checked was in the late 80's but that was not considered an audit.

    I fear rational conversation comes to an end when you’ve conjured a world in which all government agencies are engaged in little else but fabrications. So the fact U.S. gold reserve data is received from the U.S. Mint, Federal Reserve banks, and the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, is rejectable in your fantasy.

    I’m curious, is there anything in the U.S. public or private sector you consider not fake?

    Read More
    • Replies: @bluedog
    Run a few by me and then I can give you a better answer and we can start with the JFK murder and the towers and who were behind them then we can work our way up..
  131. @Seamus Padraig
    But of course! It worked not only against the Japs, but also against the Spaniards ("Remember the Maine!"), against the Vietnamese (Gulf of Tonkin incident), and even against Saddam Hussein in 1990 ("We take no position on Arab disputes. We are interested in expanding and deepening the relationship."). As long as the same ruse keeps working, they'll keep using it over and over.

    Thank you! [[(“We take no position on Arab disputes. We are interested in expanding and deepening the relationship.”)]]

    Mention of 1990 US opting for GHWB Gulf War is appreciated, as is reminder that we are still in that war, continued throughout 1990′s by Clinton and Albright via genocidal punitive sanctions and “No-Fly Zone” enforced by bombing Iraqi air fleet on the ground, leaving “W” a thoroughly decimated Iraqi defense to attack in 2003. Clinton, Albright, the Bushes, war criminals all.

    Next door in “Washington’s Long War on Syria,” US meddling since 1950′s to effect regime change, clearly explained by Canadian author.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8p-292uSgX4
    Stephen Gowans launches new book

    If you prefer reading:
    https://gowans.wordpress.com/2017/04/30/the-real-defenders-of-democracy-syria-and-the-struggle-against-the-international-despotism-of-wall-street/

    Read More
  132. @Sam Shama
    I fear rational conversation comes to an end when you've conjured a world in which all government agencies are engaged in little else but fabrications. So the fact U.S. gold reserve data is received from the U.S. Mint, Federal Reserve banks, and the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, is rejectable in your fantasy.

    I'm curious, is there anything in the U.S. public or private sector you consider not fake?

    Run a few by me and then I can give you a better answer and we can start with the JFK murder and the towers and who were behind them then we can work our way up..

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    Start with this, the most apropos, in which you declare that the U.S. gold reserves are not based on fact with the unambiguous implication that the Fed Mint accounts are fraudulent.

    Your evidence and arguments are?
  133. @Hans Zandvliet
    I agree 90% with you, except for your last comment: "[...] Putin’s going to have to take a stand and risk it all."
    I'd say: be careful what you wish for! To risk (it all), also implies that you might lose (it all). And I think we both agree about what "it all" includes: life on planet Earth (or at least a decent and humane form of life for Homo Sapiens).
    Putin (being a master on the "Grand Chessboard"), has outmanouvered Washington many times now in the Ukraine and Syria, leaving Washington caught with their pants down for all the world to see. I believe (at least I hope) that eventually reallity will sink in (also with the rest of the nations of our world) that the king has no clothes anymore and Washington has to tone down.
    In the forseable future, the US empire might well collapse in on itself (just like the Soviet Union did in the late 1980s, early 1990s), after which Washington won't have the means anymore to fight hegemonic (world) wars.
    Meanwhile, I believe, it would be very unwise for Russia to "risk it all" now, because in times of economic crisis, that would be just the red herring Washington needs to rally the people behind their flag and march off to WW-III and the anihilation of our present human civilisation.

    “I believe (at least I hope) that eventually reallity will sink in (also with the rest of the nations of our world) that the king has no clothes anymore and Washington has to tone down.”
    The collection of opportunists and ignoramuses in DC has been guided by the veracious opportunists of MIC, major corporations, financial squid-in-charge, and by the ziocons. The latter segment (namely, their psychopathic believe in Jewish supremacy and so forth) makes one rather pessimistic about the redeeming factor of reality.

    Read More
  134. It appears that yesterday he agreed – in principal – to those ‘no-fly zones’…

    Read More
  135. @annamaria
    "It is the structure of the international system and the fact sovereignty that means a country must always look out for number one."
    This is a perfect ziocon spiel explaining out current woes.
    Why don't you take a look at the Nuremberg protocols that your country of Israel has been so fond of, but only in relation to the "chosen?"

    Mearsheimer is my preferred authority, he is no friend of Israel while he correctly predicted Russian agression against Ukraine 20 years before the event he has been understanding of Russian concerns and wants better relations with them https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Mearsheimer#Nuclear_weapons_and_Ukraine

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-navarro-and-greg-autry/mearsheimer-on-strangling_b_9417476.html Most Americans don’t think about this, but the reason that the United States is wandering all over God’s little green acre, sticking its nose in everybody’s business, is because we are free to roam. We have no threats in the Western Hemisphere that pin us down.

    Now if China is free to roam because it’s a potential hegemon, it can roam into the Western Hemisphere. It can develop friendly relations with a country like Brazil or country like Mexico. It could put a naval base in Brazil much the way the Soviets were putting troops in Cuba, right?

    https://chomsky.info/unclesam09/

    .

    https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/05/19/what-guilt-does-the-us-bear-in-guatemala/guatemalan-slaughter-was-part-of-reagans-hard-line
    In 1966, the U.S. Army’s Handbook of Counterinsurgency Guidelines summarized the results of a war game waged in a fictitious country unmistakably modeled on Guatemala. The rules allowed players to use “selective terror” but prohibited “mass terror.” “Genocide,” the guidelines stipulated, was “not an alternative.”

    A decade and a half later, genocide was indeed an option in Guatemala, supported materially and morally by Ronald Reagan’s White House

    The US uses human rights as a wedge, just as it once used anti communism as a wedge, but underneath it all is a simple calculus of relative power: no country not an ally of the US is to be allowed to get even the slightest gains in the zero sum game that is international politics.. No leader of the US worth his salt could act differtly and Putin is only beating about non interference and soverienty because he connot do anything more effective.

    Trump as leader of the US is interfering in Syria because Assad is going to win otherwise and the US cannot afford to let them. Human rights (anti-slavery against every other power, especially France, and protection of Jews in the newly independent countries formerly oppressed by the Ottoman Empire) were a wedge Britain used to interfere when it was the world champion country. The US is now the wold superpower, and so it uses human rights as a wedge to interfere and keep rivals weak. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-navarro-and-greg-autry/mearsheimer-on-strangling_b_9417476.html

    Fortunately the US is not in the (domestically unavowable) death squad slaughter and napalming of children business, at present. The reasons given for strikes on Syria are hardly discreditable so let people believe in it and be proud of their country. The strikes are necessary to “Make America Great Again” or rather keep America well and truly on top. It was President Ronald Ray-Gun who originated the slogan “Make America Great Again”and Reagan would not have let Russia , Soviet or not, initiate a World Order.

    Read More
    • Agree: Sam Shama
    • Replies: @RobinG
    Since there was no 'aggression' against Ukraine, Mearsheimer's prediction was not correct.
    , @annamaria
    "...he correctly predicted Russian agression against Ukraine..."

    Has he also predicted that the descendants of East European Jews (Holocaust! Holocaust!) would go into open collaboration with neo-Nazis? By the way, you repeat these specific descendants' PC-line re Ukraine, and this line is a lie. The interview of the badly aged and opportunistic Amanpour with the intelligent Le Pen is one of the easy steps to familiarize yourself with what has happened in Ukraine under the watchful eye of the Sate Dept. in 2014. http://theduran.com/crimea-always-russian-frances-marine-le-pen-schools-cnn/
    Another important point that the ziocons don't want other people to know (though one can easily find this information on the internet) that the Crimeans had three (3) popular referenda when they overwhelmingly voted either for greater autonomy from Ukraine or, during the last popular referendum, for unification with Russia (similar to reunification of like East Germany with West Germany).
    The despicable Carl Gershman (President of the CIA-directed NED), who is always on guard with regard to antisemitism, wrote verbosely about "Ukraine's successes" without mentioning once the role of neo-Nazis in the US-installed government. For anyone who has ever read about the Jewish victims of fascism in Ukraine, the behavior of zionist Gershman, as well as of the whole Kagans' clan (Frederick, Robert, Victoria and more), is unfathomable. What a shame! A profoundly shameful, unforgivable behavior.
    http://www.salon.com/2014/02/25/is_the_us_backing_neo_nazis_in_ukraine_partner/
    There are parades commemorating Bander and f 14th Waffen SS Division in the newly "US-liberated" Lvov and Kiev: http://russia-insider.com/en/how-ukraine-commemorates-holocaust/5867
    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/384213411933917522/

    , @annamaria
    More on the Ukrainian neo-Nazis and the mess that Nuland made in Kiev:

    "...the probability of large-scale collisions increases many times on May 9th. A number of Ukrainian Nazis are in power (for example, Shkiryak, adviser to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine; Abroskin, police chief of the Donetsk region) and in the opposition (the OUN - Organization of Ukrainian nationalists, an heir of the Bandera OUN, Kochanivsky, and the leader of Azov and the party if “National Corps” - Biletsky). These people have said that they will not allow such a "sabbath" [Day of Victory over fascism] to dominate Ukrainian streets. Kokhanivsky, for example, called on the "patriots", that is, the Nazis, to take to the streets of Kiev and disrupt the procession of veterans of the Great Patriotic War."
    http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/05/victory-day-2017-expect-more-violence.html
    Wow. This is some historical monument to the Kaganas' clan of warmongers.

    Should we wait when Anto-Dedamation League, NED, AIPAC, The Simon Wiesenthal Center, and other fighters with "antisemitism" turn their attention to the scandalous results of the zocons' meddling into the matters of the formerly sovereign Ukraine? How about the Jewish mass graves in Ukraine from the WWII? Or these graves are OK now, in the context of the tragedy in Odessa where "the Ukrainian government was an accomplice in the terrorist attack, and the Ukrainian Nazis - only performers."

    https://consortiumnews.com/2015/07/13/the-mess-that-nuland-made/
    "To see what Ukraine's future may be, just look at Lviv's shameful past:" http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/to-see-what-ukraines-future-may-be-just-look-at-lvivs-shameful-past-9178968.html

  136. @Bill
    The correct transcript is here. I checked, casually and incompletely, one passage Whitney quotes, and it seems to be correct. Both of your suggested search phrases are in the speech. All that was necessary to find it was to put "transcript Valdai" into the search box at the top of the web page RobinG directed you to. As far as who did the translation, it seems reasonable to assume that this transcript represents the official (to whatever extent that there is such a thing) translation into English by the Russian government.

    Incidentally, I promise you that making minor errors in citation does not inhibit one from getting tenure. Only lawyers and middle level bureaucrats get excited about that.

    Oh, and "you are your own primary source for that" makes no sense. You meant to have said "you are my primary source for that."

    To get some idea of the effort Whizzy is putting in to his search for this speech, just copy the first para of one of Whitney's quotes (the one starting "Yes, formally speaking" is the one I chose) into google and look at all the citations to this speech which come up, including one from memri.org, the Valdai club itself, and the Council on Foreign Relations. One wonders what Whizzy's "trying to find all the passages you say are quotes from Putin’s speech" consisted of?

    The Wiz’s game is to find minor misstatements and pounce on them, triumphantly announcing that further points can be safely dismissed. (He’s unable to do it in any kind of concise manner, however.)

    Read More
  137. @bluedog
    Run a few by me and then I can give you a better answer and we can start with the JFK murder and the towers and who were behind them then we can work our way up..

    Start with this, the most apropos, in which you declare that the U.S. gold reserves are not based on fact with the unambiguous implication that the Fed Mint accounts are fraudulent.

    Your evidence and arguments are?

    Read More
    • Replies: @bluedog
    Based on no audits in years the last audit they took showed some bars that were not up to standard, so they switched from a flake sample to a core sample, re-melted those bars and then strange but after the re-melt those bars were up to standard as far as the word of any agency or department of this government they best be taken with a grain of salt,you know like the weapons of mass destruction or the yellow cake or attack on an American ship that got us into Nam, and of course your proof outside of what they put out that the gold reserves are as they state...
  138. @Sean
    Mearsheimer is my preferred authority, he is no friend of Israel while he correctly predicted Russian agression against Ukraine 20 years before the event he has been understanding of Russian concerns and wants better relations with them https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Mearsheimer#Nuclear_weapons_and_Ukraine

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-navarro-and-greg-autry/mearsheimer-on-strangling_b_9417476.html Most Americans don’t think about this, but the reason that the United States is wandering all over God’s little green acre, sticking its nose in everybody’s business, is because we are free to roam. We have no threats in the Western Hemisphere that pin us down.

    Now if China is free to roam because it’s a potential hegemon, it can roam into the Western Hemisphere. It can develop friendly relations with a country like Brazil or country like Mexico. It could put a naval base in Brazil much the way the Soviets were putting troops in Cuba, right?
     


    https://chomsky.info/unclesam09/

    .
     


    https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/05/19/what-guilt-does-the-us-bear-in-guatemala/guatemalan-slaughter-was-part-of-reagans-hard-line
    In 1966, the U.S. Army’s Handbook of Counterinsurgency Guidelines summarized the results of a war game waged in a fictitious country unmistakably modeled on Guatemala. The rules allowed players to use “selective terror” but prohibited “mass terror.” “Genocide,” the guidelines stipulated, was “not an alternative.”

    A decade and a half later, genocide was indeed an option in Guatemala, supported materially and morally by Ronald Reagan’s White House
     

    The US uses human rights as a wedge, just as it once used anti communism as a wedge, but underneath it all is a simple calculus of relative power: no country not an ally of the US is to be allowed to get even the slightest gains in the zero sum game that is international politics.. No leader of the US worth his salt could act differtly and Putin is only beating about non interference and soverienty because he connot do anything more effective.

    Trump as leader of the US is interfering in Syria because Assad is going to win otherwise and the US cannot afford to let them. Human rights (anti-slavery against every other power, especially France, and protection of Jews in the newly independent countries formerly oppressed by the Ottoman Empire) were a wedge Britain used to interfere when it was the world champion country. The US is now the wold superpower, and so it uses human rights as a wedge to interfere and keep rivals weak. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-navarro-and-greg-autry/mearsheimer-on-strangling_b_9417476.html

    Fortunately the US is not in the (domestically unavowable) death squad slaughter and napalming of children business, at present. The reasons given for strikes on Syria are hardly discreditable so let people believe in it and be proud of their country. The strikes are necessary to “Make America Great Again” or rather keep America well and truly on top. It was President Ronald Ray-Gun who originated the slogan “Make America Great Again”and Reagan would not have let Russia , Soviet or not, initiate a World Order.

    Since there was no ‘aggression’ against Ukraine, Mearsheimer’s prediction was not correct.

    Read More
  139. @Bill
    Right. Morality doesn't exist. Well, except when the bad guys come for you, of course.

    Individually yes, people up against it are the fervent believers in religion, community and nation, because they want to be seen as altruistic people and thus be able to call on others for help, while billionaires don’t believe in anything, because they don’t need others’ help. But that argument has nothing to do with the case, because I was speaking of interactions between nations and nations have no higher authority to call on when they are in trouble.

    For example, Ukraine ignored Professor Mearsheimer’s advice and gave up its nukes at the behest of other states, and in return was given security guarantees from all sorts of Western states, but when a bloody great BEAR attacked Ukraine and started ripping country’s flesh from its bonesrt, the unwisdom of relying on morality became all too apparent, because the guarantees from the oh so moral West were morally valid but resulted on only moral suport: in practical terms they were completely worthless.

    Read More
    • Troll: bluedog, Mao Cheng Ji
    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig
    One suspects NATOstan wanted a Russian 'attack' on Ukraine. Otherwise, what would lead them to believe that they could get away with a coup in Kiev? Did they think the Russians wouldn't notice? Did they think the Russians were just going to site idly by while NATO carted off with Sebastopol?

    Either NATO wanted trouble with Russia, or else they were far more inept than even their worse detractors would claim.

    My theory: both Berlin and Washington wanted a new cold war with Russia. Berlin wanted one in order to prevent the Russians from gaining more and more commercial (and political?) influence over Europe. The US wanted it, of course, to keep control of Germany--and therewith all of Europe.

  140. @RobinG
    Since there was no 'aggression' against Ukraine, Mearsheimer's prediction was not correct.

    Putin’s New World Order, get the T shirt.

    Read More
    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    What a creative solution to your inability to counter RobinG's statement. It didn't actually work for me and probably not for many other Unz readers either but you do get a point for trying and another for consistency, 2 out of ten might well be a record for one of your comments.
  141. @Bill
    Much less? No. A bit less. Engineers, in particular, are only a moderate amount to the left of the average American. But they are almost as right wing as academics get, STEM or no STEM. Only business school professors are to their right, and even they are noticeably left of center, on average.

    So you are saying the farther right the lower IQ?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bill
    Not really. English Dept, Biology Dept, and X studies types tend to be both stupid and left-wing. Engineers and business school types are right-wing, for academia, and have intermediate intelligence. Math, physics, etc are highest on-campus IQ and are left of business and engineering (though right of the English Dept types). I don't think IQ has much to do with politics on campus.

    It's contact with the business world which does it. Business school guys study and consult in the business world, and engineers consult in the business world a lot.
  142. @Sean
    Mearsheimer is my preferred authority, he is no friend of Israel while he correctly predicted Russian agression against Ukraine 20 years before the event he has been understanding of Russian concerns and wants better relations with them https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Mearsheimer#Nuclear_weapons_and_Ukraine

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-navarro-and-greg-autry/mearsheimer-on-strangling_b_9417476.html Most Americans don’t think about this, but the reason that the United States is wandering all over God’s little green acre, sticking its nose in everybody’s business, is because we are free to roam. We have no threats in the Western Hemisphere that pin us down.

    Now if China is free to roam because it’s a potential hegemon, it can roam into the Western Hemisphere. It can develop friendly relations with a country like Brazil or country like Mexico. It could put a naval base in Brazil much the way the Soviets were putting troops in Cuba, right?
     


    https://chomsky.info/unclesam09/

    .
     


    https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/05/19/what-guilt-does-the-us-bear-in-guatemala/guatemalan-slaughter-was-part-of-reagans-hard-line
    In 1966, the U.S. Army’s Handbook of Counterinsurgency Guidelines summarized the results of a war game waged in a fictitious country unmistakably modeled on Guatemala. The rules allowed players to use “selective terror” but prohibited “mass terror.” “Genocide,” the guidelines stipulated, was “not an alternative.”

    A decade and a half later, genocide was indeed an option in Guatemala, supported materially and morally by Ronald Reagan’s White House
     

    The US uses human rights as a wedge, just as it once used anti communism as a wedge, but underneath it all is a simple calculus of relative power: no country not an ally of the US is to be allowed to get even the slightest gains in the zero sum game that is international politics.. No leader of the US worth his salt could act differtly and Putin is only beating about non interference and soverienty because he connot do anything more effective.

    Trump as leader of the US is interfering in Syria because Assad is going to win otherwise and the US cannot afford to let them. Human rights (anti-slavery against every other power, especially France, and protection of Jews in the newly independent countries formerly oppressed by the Ottoman Empire) were a wedge Britain used to interfere when it was the world champion country. The US is now the wold superpower, and so it uses human rights as a wedge to interfere and keep rivals weak. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-navarro-and-greg-autry/mearsheimer-on-strangling_b_9417476.html

    Fortunately the US is not in the (domestically unavowable) death squad slaughter and napalming of children business, at present. The reasons given for strikes on Syria are hardly discreditable so let people believe in it and be proud of their country. The strikes are necessary to “Make America Great Again” or rather keep America well and truly on top. It was President Ronald Ray-Gun who originated the slogan “Make America Great Again”and Reagan would not have let Russia , Soviet or not, initiate a World Order.

    “…he correctly predicted Russian agression against Ukraine…”

    Has he also predicted that the descendants of East European Jews (Holocaust! Holocaust!) would go into open collaboration with neo-Nazis? By the way, you repeat these specific descendants’ PC-line re Ukraine, and this line is a lie. The interview of the badly aged and opportunistic Amanpour with the intelligent Le Pen is one of the easy steps to familiarize yourself with what has happened in Ukraine under the watchful eye of the Sate Dept. in 2014. http://theduran.com/crimea-always-russian-frances-marine-le-pen-schools-cnn/
    Another important point that the ziocons don’t want other people to know (though one can easily find this information on the internet) that the Crimeans had three (3) popular referenda when they overwhelmingly voted either for greater autonomy from Ukraine or, during the last popular referendum, for unification with Russia (similar to reunification of like East Germany with West Germany).
    The despicable Carl Gershman (President of the CIA-directed NED), who is always on guard with regard to antisemitism, wrote verbosely about “Ukraine’s successes” without mentioning once the role of neo-Nazis in the US-installed government. For anyone who has ever read about the Jewish victims of fascism in Ukraine, the behavior of zionist Gershman, as well as of the whole Kagans’ clan (Frederick, Robert, Victoria and more), is unfathomable. What a shame! A profoundly shameful, unforgivable behavior.
    http://www.salon.com/2014/02/25/is_the_us_backing_neo_nazis_in_ukraine_partner/
    There are parades commemorating Bander and f 14th Waffen SS Division in the newly “US-liberated” Lvov and Kiev: http://russia-insider.com/en/how-ukraine-commemorates-holocaust/5867
    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/384213411933917522/

    Read More
  143. @Sam Shama
    Start with this, the most apropos, in which you declare that the U.S. gold reserves are not based on fact with the unambiguous implication that the Fed Mint accounts are fraudulent.

    Your evidence and arguments are?

    Based on no audits in years the last audit they took showed some bars that were not up to standard, so they switched from a flake sample to a core sample, re-melted those bars and then strange but after the re-melt those bars were up to standard as far as the word of any agency or department of this government they best be taken with a grain of salt,you know like the weapons of mass destruction or the yellow cake or attack on an American ship that got us into Nam, and of course your proof outside of what they put out that the gold reserves are as they state…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    Allright, I am getting a clearer picture of your world. I suppose you are a climate change denier as well?
  144. @Sean
    Mearsheimer is my preferred authority, he is no friend of Israel while he correctly predicted Russian agression against Ukraine 20 years before the event he has been understanding of Russian concerns and wants better relations with them https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Mearsheimer#Nuclear_weapons_and_Ukraine

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-navarro-and-greg-autry/mearsheimer-on-strangling_b_9417476.html Most Americans don’t think about this, but the reason that the United States is wandering all over God’s little green acre, sticking its nose in everybody’s business, is because we are free to roam. We have no threats in the Western Hemisphere that pin us down.

    Now if China is free to roam because it’s a potential hegemon, it can roam into the Western Hemisphere. It can develop friendly relations with a country like Brazil or country like Mexico. It could put a naval base in Brazil much the way the Soviets were putting troops in Cuba, right?
     


    https://chomsky.info/unclesam09/

    .
     


    https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/05/19/what-guilt-does-the-us-bear-in-guatemala/guatemalan-slaughter-was-part-of-reagans-hard-line
    In 1966, the U.S. Army’s Handbook of Counterinsurgency Guidelines summarized the results of a war game waged in a fictitious country unmistakably modeled on Guatemala. The rules allowed players to use “selective terror” but prohibited “mass terror.” “Genocide,” the guidelines stipulated, was “not an alternative.”

    A decade and a half later, genocide was indeed an option in Guatemala, supported materially and morally by Ronald Reagan’s White House
     

    The US uses human rights as a wedge, just as it once used anti communism as a wedge, but underneath it all is a simple calculus of relative power: no country not an ally of the US is to be allowed to get even the slightest gains in the zero sum game that is international politics.. No leader of the US worth his salt could act differtly and Putin is only beating about non interference and soverienty because he connot do anything more effective.

    Trump as leader of the US is interfering in Syria because Assad is going to win otherwise and the US cannot afford to let them. Human rights (anti-slavery against every other power, especially France, and protection of Jews in the newly independent countries formerly oppressed by the Ottoman Empire) were a wedge Britain used to interfere when it was the world champion country. The US is now the wold superpower, and so it uses human rights as a wedge to interfere and keep rivals weak. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-navarro-and-greg-autry/mearsheimer-on-strangling_b_9417476.html

    Fortunately the US is not in the (domestically unavowable) death squad slaughter and napalming of children business, at present. The reasons given for strikes on Syria are hardly discreditable so let people believe in it and be proud of their country. The strikes are necessary to “Make America Great Again” or rather keep America well and truly on top. It was President Ronald Ray-Gun who originated the slogan “Make America Great Again”and Reagan would not have let Russia , Soviet or not, initiate a World Order.

    More on the Ukrainian neo-Nazis and the mess that Nuland made in Kiev:

    “…the probability of large-scale collisions increases many times on May 9th. A number of Ukrainian Nazis are in power (for example, Shkiryak, adviser to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine; Abroskin, police chief of the Donetsk region) and in the opposition (the OUN – Organization of Ukrainian nationalists, an heir of the Bandera OUN, Kochanivsky, and the leader of Azov and the party if “National Corps” – Biletsky). These people have said that they will not allow such a “sabbath” [Day of Victory over fascism] to dominate Ukrainian streets. Kokhanivsky, for example, called on the “patriots”, that is, the Nazis, to take to the streets of Kiev and disrupt the procession of veterans of the Great Patriotic War.”
    http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/05/victory-day-2017-expect-more-violence.html
    Wow. This is some historical monument to the Kaganas’ clan of warmongers.

    Should we wait when Anto-Dedamation League, NED, AIPAC, The Simon Wiesenthal Center, and other fighters with “antisemitism” turn their attention to the scandalous results of the zocons’ meddling into the matters of the formerly sovereign Ukraine? How about the Jewish mass graves in Ukraine from the WWII? Or these graves are OK now, in the context of the tragedy in Odessa where “the Ukrainian government was an accomplice in the terrorist attack, and the Ukrainian Nazis – only performers.”

    https://consortiumnews.com/2015/07/13/the-mess-that-nuland-made/
    “To see what Ukraine’s future may be, just look at Lviv’s shameful past:” http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/to-see-what-ukraines-future-may-be-just-look-at-lvivs-shameful-past-9178968.html

    Read More
  145. @Sean
    Putin’s New World Order, get the T shirt.

    What a creative solution to your inability to counter RobinG’s statement. It didn’t actually work for me and probably not for many other Unz readers either but you do get a point for trying and another for consistency, 2 out of ten might well be a record for one of your comments.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    I wasn't trying to counter him. I was disengaging from what would be a fruitless thread through a funny image, which wasn't really a slam against Russia. I can provide the most below the belt and nasty slam on Putin's reputation and standing imaginable; say if would like that and I'll post the video of Putin's 'stroke you like a kitten" moment with a little boy's nether regions, whereby anyone with eyes to see can draw their own conclusion (what Alexander Litvinenko publicly did shortly before his erstwhile FSB friends gave him a "cup of tea").
  146. @Sean
    Individually yes, people up against it are the fervent believers in religion, community and nation, because they want to be seen as altruistic people and thus be able to call on others for help, while billionaires don't believe in anything, because they don't need others' help. But that argument has nothing to do with the case, because I was speaking of interactions between nations and nations have no higher authority to call on when they are in trouble.

    For example, Ukraine ignored Professor Mearsheimer's advice and gave up its nukes at the behest of other states, and in return was given security guarantees from all sorts of Western states, but when a bloody great BEAR attacked Ukraine and started ripping country's flesh from its bonesrt, the unwisdom of relying on morality became all too apparent, because the guarantees from the oh so moral West were morally valid but resulted on only moral suport: in practical terms they were completely worthless.

    One suspects NATOstan wanted a Russian ‘attack’ on Ukraine. Otherwise, what would lead them to believe that they could get away with a coup in Kiev? Did they think the Russians wouldn’t notice? Did they think the Russians were just going to site idly by while NATO carted off with Sebastopol?

    Either NATO wanted trouble with Russia, or else they were far more inept than even their worse detractors would claim.

    My theory: both Berlin and Washington wanted a new cold war with Russia. Berlin wanted one in order to prevent the Russians from gaining more and more commercial (and political?) influence over Europe. The US wanted it, of course, to keep control of Germany–and therewith all of Europe.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    Mearsheimer has been very critical of US actions in Ukraine, but then again, according to his 2001 book The Tragedy of Great Power Politics:

    Given the difficulty of determining how much power is enough for today and tomorrow, great powers recognize that the best way to ensure their security is to achieve hegemony now, thus eliminating any possibility of a challenge by another great power. Only a misguided state would pass up an opportunity to be the hegemon in the system because it thought it already had sufficient power to survive.
     
    The US involvement was not dictated by Neocons but the aforementioned structure of the international system, which mandates seeking to undermine rivals. The US got drawn in to Ukraine by the dictates of old fashioned power politics, but yes, I agree it was stupid of US policymakers to think Russia would tolerate a US backed coup against a friendly-to-Russia regieme in Russia's traditional backyard .
    , @Cyrano
    Probably the main reason why US got involved in Ukraine’s coup was because of that moron Zbig. Why the Americans still listen to this imbecile is beyond me. Zbig theorized (and terrorized the minds of those stupid enough to listen) that the only ingredient that Russia is missing in order to be a superpower is – Ukraine. Let me tell you something, Russia doesn’t need Ukraine in order to be superpower.

    Why do they put so much trust in the theories of one stupid Polack? When was the last time Poland has produced any remarkable diplomat or leader of any kind? For a country that’s sandwiched between two giants – Germany and Russia, you’d think that at some point in time it would have crossed the mind of someone in Poland that it might be a good idea to be an ally of one of those great powers. Instead, the mighty Poland throughout the history chose to antagonize its two powerful neighbors.

    With that kind of DNA background, how did Brzezinski gain such a prominence in shaping US foreign policy? After all, this is the moron who thought that it would be a great idea to outsource the fight against USSR to the Taliban. Look how well that worked out. His theory that Russia should be prevented at all costs from acquiring Ukraine because it will make them a superpower is baloney. Russia IS a superpower – at least militarily – with zero need of help from Ukraine. If anyone needs someone it's Ukraine which needs Russia not the other way around.

  147. @NoseytheDuke
    What a creative solution to your inability to counter RobinG's statement. It didn't actually work for me and probably not for many other Unz readers either but you do get a point for trying and another for consistency, 2 out of ten might well be a record for one of your comments.

    I wasn’t trying to counter him. I was disengaging from what would be a fruitless thread through a funny image, which wasn’t really a slam against Russia. I can provide the most below the belt and nasty slam on Putin’s reputation and standing imaginable; say if would like that and I’ll post the video of Putin’s ‘stroke you like a kitten” moment with a little boy’s nether regions, whereby anyone with eyes to see can draw their own conclusion (what Alexander Litvinenko publicly did shortly before his erstwhile FSB friends gave him a “cup of tea”).

    Read More
    • Replies: @annamaria
    "I can provide the most below the belt and nasty slam..." - and you have proceeded exactly with that, with the slam and insinuations.
    Why don't you look for some confirmed evidence for your statements? Even the US government does it sometimes. For instance: "US Congress ends funding for Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov Battalion." You see, the FACTS of the abhorrent behavior of Nuland/McCain' neo-Nazi buddies have become impossible to ignore. However, neither Anti-Dedamation League, nor NED, nor The Simon Wiesenthal Center and other fighters with “antisemitism” made any condemning statements on the scandalous involvement of the US government with the neo-Nazis: http://theduran.com/us-congress-ends-funding-for-ukraines-neo-nazi-azov-battalion/
    By the way, the UK tabloids stopped pummeling Putin re Litvinenko' sorry story because RF warned the tabloids with the legal steps against slander. In other words, the ridiculous story that features the traces of plutonium all over London was concocted by UK russophobes and it does not have any factual support for accusations against Russian federation. Therefore, your version of events re Livinenko radioactive poisoning is a slander, a lie. You are either very naive and thus trust religiously the MSM "information," or your russophobia clouds your judgement.
    Also, the end of finding for Ukraine's neo-Nazi Azov Battalion should have included an inditement of Mr. Kolomojsky, a former financier of the Azov battalion at the time when battalion was involved in burning a score of civilians alive in Odessa. Kolomojsky has Ukrainian and Israeli citizenships.
  148. @Seamus Padraig
    One suspects NATOstan wanted a Russian 'attack' on Ukraine. Otherwise, what would lead them to believe that they could get away with a coup in Kiev? Did they think the Russians wouldn't notice? Did they think the Russians were just going to site idly by while NATO carted off with Sebastopol?

    Either NATO wanted trouble with Russia, or else they were far more inept than even their worse detractors would claim.

    My theory: both Berlin and Washington wanted a new cold war with Russia. Berlin wanted one in order to prevent the Russians from gaining more and more commercial (and political?) influence over Europe. The US wanted it, of course, to keep control of Germany--and therewith all of Europe.

    Mearsheimer has been very critical of US actions in Ukraine, but then again, according to his 2001 book The Tragedy of Great Power Politics:

    Given the difficulty of determining how much power is enough for today and tomorrow, great powers recognize that the best way to ensure their security is to achieve hegemony now, thus eliminating any possibility of a challenge by another great power. Only a misguided state would pass up an opportunity to be the hegemon in the system because it thought it already had sufficient power to survive.

    The US involvement was not dictated by Neocons but the aforementioned structure of the international system, which mandates seeking to undermine rivals. The US got drawn in to Ukraine by the dictates of old fashioned power politics, but yes, I agree it was stupid of US policymakers to think Russia would tolerate a US backed coup against a friendly-to-Russia regieme in Russia’s traditional backyard .

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig

    ... great powers recognize that the best way to ensure their security is to achieve hegemony now, thus eliminating any possibility of a challenge by another great power.
     
    As long as we have nuclear weapons, we are safe from attack. In fact, we could pull out of the Eastern Hemisphere completely and still be safe from attack. Russia's historic hegemony of her 'near abroad' is indeed an attempt to bolster her security; but our messing around on the other side of the world is a very different animal.
  149. @bluedog
    Based on no audits in years the last audit they took showed some bars that were not up to standard, so they switched from a flake sample to a core sample, re-melted those bars and then strange but after the re-melt those bars were up to standard as far as the word of any agency or department of this government they best be taken with a grain of salt,you know like the weapons of mass destruction or the yellow cake or attack on an American ship that got us into Nam, and of course your proof outside of what they put out that the gold reserves are as they state...

    Allright, I am getting a clearer picture of your world. I suppose you are a climate change denier as well?

    Read More
    • Replies: @bluedog
    No you lost out on another one for climate change is here be it man made or a normal cycle our world is shrinking and changing, and in another 100 years will look very different.Interesting but I was just reading about where the Nazi gold went after WW2 my guess would be it ended up in our coffers,do you have any comments on that?...
  150. @Sean
    Mearsheimer has been very critical of US actions in Ukraine, but then again, according to his 2001 book The Tragedy of Great Power Politics:

    Given the difficulty of determining how much power is enough for today and tomorrow, great powers recognize that the best way to ensure their security is to achieve hegemony now, thus eliminating any possibility of a challenge by another great power. Only a misguided state would pass up an opportunity to be the hegemon in the system because it thought it already had sufficient power to survive.
     
    The US involvement was not dictated by Neocons but the aforementioned structure of the international system, which mandates seeking to undermine rivals. The US got drawn in to Ukraine by the dictates of old fashioned power politics, but yes, I agree it was stupid of US policymakers to think Russia would tolerate a US backed coup against a friendly-to-Russia regieme in Russia's traditional backyard .

    … great powers recognize that the best way to ensure their security is to achieve hegemony now, thus eliminating any possibility of a challenge by another great power.

    As long as we have nuclear weapons, we are safe from attack. In fact, we could pull out of the Eastern Hemisphere completely and still be safe from attack. Russia’s historic hegemony of her ‘near abroad’ is indeed an attempt to bolster her security; but our messing around on the other side of the world is a very different animal.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean

    As long as we have nuclear weapons, we are safe from attack.
    In fact, we could pull out of the Eastern Hemisphere completely and still be safe from attack.
     
    The US need hardly any aircraft carriers or conventionally armed ships then, a few nuclear missiles to annihilate anyone who approaches the homeland will suffice

     

    Nato spent much money on conventional weapons like ground attack planes, artillery and tanks. So they did not apparently believe that nuclear weapons made them safe from a conventional Soviet attack. The US and Russia still spend a lot of money on tanks . Nuclear weapons are a deterrent to nuclear war, yes. But the threat of a conventional attack under a nuclear standoff is real enough that every country spends vast sums on conventional weapons to guard against ever having to get into a non conventional exchange. One little nuke, even a mine, would signal the end of the conventional fighting and the side stronger in conventional weapons would surely also be strongest in nuclear armament. The conventional loser would face unlimited destruction if it used a nuke to try and avoid defeat. Nuclear weapons have no military purpose beyond deterring nuclear attack, wars cannot be won with nuclear weapon, and it is far from probable that a successful conventional invasion could be turned into a thermonuclear weapons fool's mate. because it would simply destroy the country it was intended to save.

    Russia’s historic hegemony of her ‘near abroad’ is indeed an attempt to bolster her security; but our messing around on the other side of the world is a very different animal.
     

    Of the gods we believe, and of men we know, that by a law of their nature wherever they can rule they will, This law was not made by us, and we are not the first who have acted upon it; we did but inherit it, and shall bequeath it to all time, and we know that you and all mankind, if you were as strong as we are, would do as we do. So much for the gods; we have told you why we expect to stand as high in their good opinion as you. And then as to the Lacedaemonians when you imagine that out of very shame they will assist you, we admire the simplicity of your idea, but we do not envy you the folly of it. The Lacedaemonians are exceedingly virtuous among themselves, and according to their national standard of morality. But, in respect of their dealings with others, although many things might' be said, a word is enough to describe them, of all men whom we know they are the most notorious for identifying what is pleasant with what is honourable, and what is expedient with what is just. [.]

    But what encourages men who are invited to join in a conflict is clearly not the good-will of those who summon them to their side, but a decided superiority in real power. To this no men look more keenly than the Lacedaemonians; so little confidence have they in their own resources, that they only attack their neighbours when they have numerous allies, and therefore they are not likely to God their way by themselves to an island, when we are masters of the sea.

    The Melian Dialogue
    [Excerpted from Thucydides, Benjamin Jowett, tr. A. P. Peabody, ed. (Boston: D. Lothrop & Co., 1883), bk. 5] https://www.shsu.edu/~his_ncp/Melian.html
     

  151. @Realist
    So you are saying the farther right the lower IQ?

    Not really. English Dept, Biology Dept, and X studies types tend to be both stupid and left-wing. Engineers and business school types are right-wing, for academia, and have intermediate intelligence. Math, physics, etc are highest on-campus IQ and are left of business and engineering (though right of the English Dept types). I don’t think IQ has much to do with politics on campus.

    It’s contact with the business world which does it. Business school guys study and consult in the business world, and engineers consult in the business world a lot.

    Read More
  152. @Sean
    I wasn't trying to counter him. I was disengaging from what would be a fruitless thread through a funny image, which wasn't really a slam against Russia. I can provide the most below the belt and nasty slam on Putin's reputation and standing imaginable; say if would like that and I'll post the video of Putin's 'stroke you like a kitten" moment with a little boy's nether regions, whereby anyone with eyes to see can draw their own conclusion (what Alexander Litvinenko publicly did shortly before his erstwhile FSB friends gave him a "cup of tea").

    “I can provide the most below the belt and nasty slam…” – and you have proceeded exactly with that, with the slam and insinuations.
    Why don’t you look for some confirmed evidence for your statements? Even the US government does it sometimes. For instance: “US Congress ends funding for Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov Battalion.” You see, the FACTS of the abhorrent behavior of Nuland/McCain’ neo-Nazi buddies have become impossible to ignore. However, neither Anti-Dedamation League, nor NED, nor The Simon Wiesenthal Center and other fighters with “antisemitism” made any condemning statements on the scandalous involvement of the US government with the neo-Nazis: http://theduran.com/us-congress-ends-funding-for-ukraines-neo-nazi-azov-battalion/
    By the way, the UK tabloids stopped pummeling Putin re Litvinenko’ sorry story because RF warned the tabloids with the legal steps against slander. In other words, the ridiculous story that features the traces of plutonium all over London was concocted by UK russophobes and it does not have any factual support for accusations against Russian federation. Therefore, your version of events re Livinenko radioactive poisoning is a slander, a lie. You are either very naive and thus trust religiously the MSM “information,” or your russophobia clouds your judgement.
    Also, the end of finding for Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov Battalion should have included an inditement of Mr. Kolomojsky, a former financier of the Azov battalion at the time when battalion was involved in burning a score of civilians alive in Odessa. Kolomojsky has Ukrainian and Israeli citizenships.

    Read More
  153. @Sam Shama
    Allright, I am getting a clearer picture of your world. I suppose you are a climate change denier as well?

    No you lost out on another one for climate change is here be it man made or a normal cycle our world is shrinking and changing, and in another 100 years will look very different.Interesting but I was just reading about where the Nazi gold went after WW2 my guess would be it ended up in our coffers,do you have any comments on that?…

    Read More
  154. @Sam Shama

    … and it will be, until it won’t.
     
    You can say that of anything at all. Therefore, a well-reasoned prediction for the timeline of these dollar-distress events is required. Otherwise, it is all lazy speculation

    Trade imbalances happen for all kinds of reasons
     
    Yes, but systemic ones, as I mentioned, happen principally due to deliberate and concerted internal and external devaluations (Japan earlier, China, and EU now to some extent)

    Not sure what you’re driving at here. I cannot see any disadvantage for trade vs the USD. Please elaborate.
     
    A great deal has been written on this subject, starting with the unrivalled persuasions of J.M. Keynes. The main insight being the pro-cyclical "fetters" it attaches to monetary policy: deepens recessions and speedens inflationary episodes.

    Here are two of my prior posts:
    http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/the-war-against-the-world/#comment-1396961

    http://www.unz.com/mhudson/the-financial-invasion-of-greece/?highlight=Gold+Standard#comment-1432657

    That is the USD’s problem today. The US economy is producing very little.
     
    That sounds like opinion, not facts in evidence:

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/INDPRO [Industrial Production]

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/IPDCONGD [IP Durable Consumer goods]

    Financialisation has indeed occurred and I agree its effects are not entirely benign. Yet I suspect that has more to do with rapid technological progress leading to unbalanced concentrations of wealth in fewer hands than an actual loss of productive capacity.

    and its ability to project power to promote the “stability” that global finance requires. Both of those are seeing considerable stress nowadays, which is why analysts from the IMF & the WB, on down to lowliest blogger sees the writing on the wall. The questions being asked are what comes the day after.

     

    By all objective measures, the USD is the strongest reserve currency today (I know you assert it isn't likely to remain so.), UST yields are at historical lows signalling an unrelenting desire to hold U.S sovereign debt, and the VIX Index of market volatility is the lowest ever!

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/VIXCLS

    As for your 12kT of gold, the number seems rather inflated. The UST claims to hold 8.5kT, and the IMF holds 2.8kT. So, even if the US was to confiscate the entire IMF holding, it would still fall shy of the 12kT.
     
    https://www.fiscal.treasury.gov/fsreports/rpt/goldRpt/current_report.htm [Not including IMF]

    it is actually frightfully small compared to the number of dollars floating around the world. As the dollar is nothing more than an expression of “the full faith and credit of the United States”, that gold would be gone pretty quickly should the faith and credit get called.
     
    That is fear and opinion not in sympathy with global asset markets for as long as data on gold vs. dollar has existed. Even in the comical scenario where the U.S. natural resource stock (2k years worth of coal deposits, oil, gas, etc, etc) plus technology endowment are all ignored (who else has as much please?), and the entire "faith" somehow accrues to gold, U.S. still has the largest reserve! So?

    China has bought gold over the decades, as any expanding-economy central bank does, in order to keep the ratio of reserve currencies and gold to GDP at steady levels. The rest of the breathless talk is just the usual conspiracy-tinged nonsense.

    … a well-reasoned prediction for the timeline of these dollar-distress events is required. Otherwise, it is all lazy speculation

    Even the IMF’s researchers, having reasoned for 100s of pages on the dollar’s future, haven’t deigned to predict the timeline in anything other than vague terms. My simple explanation for that is that Central Banks have proven themselves extraordinarily innovative (even cunning), in extending that timeline. EG: Who would have thought the FRB would have a $4T balance sheet, and survived? Or that the JCB would become Japan’s pre-eminent shareholder?
    One thing that they all seem to agree on, however, is that collapse is imminent. In broad strokes, within the decade.
    Re: your links to FRED data, I have found myself largely ignoring those as I long ago lost track of the morphing definitions. “CPI”, “unemployment”, “productivity” have all become unrecognisable. Who knows (or cares) what they’re calling “durable consumer goods” nowadays. Breakfast cereal? Apples? Software? God knows it ain’t air-conditioners, washing machines, CNC milling machines, or TVs. The reality is that America’s manufacturing sector, whatever its “production capacity” may be, has been slammed and the numbers show up everywhere except the FRED.

    A great deal has been written on this subject, starting with the unrivalled persuasions of J.M. Keynes.

    So far as I know, Keynes has never written on gold being used as “collateral/referent” in a currency swap trade regime. Your linked comments don’t either, so I don’t know what you’re on about other than tilting at the Gold Standard windmill. I still see gold having only advantages over USTs in the said role, at least for non-US countries.

    [Not including IMF]

    Umm, the bottom line (cut ‘n pasted) says:

    Total – U.S. Government Gold Reserve 261,498,926.230 $11,041,059,957.46

    The first number is “Fine Troy Ounces” the 2nd is the dollar value of that at the statutory price of $42.22/Toz. 261,498,926.230 Toz works out to 8,133.71
    MT. So, again I am at a loss as to what you’re on about with this. BTW, I’d be interested to know why you think the US still values its gold at that price.

    China has bought gold over the decades, as any expanding-economy central bank does, in order to keep the ratio of reserve currencies and gold to GDP at steady levels.

    “Has bought” doesn’t seem to cover it, frankly. See Koos Janson’s research into gold movement into China. They seem to be buying whatever/wherever/whenever they can, on top of buying 100% of their own world leading production.
    What’s more, one wonders why gold would figure into any country’s reserve at all. That is, if the US Treasury bill was such a stable and strong store of value what the hell is gold doing in the recipe? Why are all member Central Banks of the ECB mandated to hold not less than 15% of their reserves in gold? Perhaps you could comment on that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama

    One thing that they all seem to agree on, however, is that collapse is imminent. In broad strokes, within the decade.
     
    I've certainly missed that "agreement" wherever you claim to have read it! Perhaps worth asking Mme Lagarde, I'd say.

    My simple explanation for that is that Central Banks have proven themselves extraordinarily innovative
     
    Yes, they innovation and better co-ordination is key

    Who would have thought the FRB would have a $4T balance sheet, and survived?
     
    Most economists did. In fact Bernanke convincingly suggests the Fed need not shrink its balance sheet here on as the country grows into it. Fed has mostly replaced maturing securities and will use the short end from now on.

    Re: your links to FRED data, I have found myself largely ignoring those as I long ago lost track of the morphing definitions. “CPI”, “unemployment”, “productivity” have all become unrecognisable. Who knows (or cares) what they’re calling “durable consumer goods” nowadays. Breakfast cereal? Apples? Software? God knows it ain’t air-conditioners, washing machines, CNC milling machines, or TVs.
     
    I'm speechless. I think you'll be surprised if you check what durable goods are in the NAICS definitions

    Motor Vehicle and Motor Vehicle Parts and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers: NAICS 4231
    Furniture and Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers: NAICS 4232
    Lumber and Other Construction Materials Merchant Wholesalers: NAICS 4233
    Professional and Commercial Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers: NAICS 4234
    Metal and Mineral (except Petroleum) Merchant Wholesalers: NAICS 4235
    Electrical and Electronic Goods Merchant Wholesalers: NAICS 4236
    Hardware, and Plumbing and Heating Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers: NAICS 4237
    Machinery, Equipment, and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers: NAICS 4238
    Miscellaneous Durable Goods Merchant Wholesalers: NAICS 4239


    What’s more, one wonders why gold would figure into any country’s reserve at all. That is, if the US Treasury bill was such a stable and strong store of value what the hell is gold doing in the recipe?

     

    You could ask the same of other major currencies, why do they feature in SDR (EUR, JPY etc). Diversification.

    Tbh, I've never been able to convince myself through rational arguments, why gold features at all. Legacy? That is about it.

    US T-bill is stable. Observing that reduces to tracing the volatility of T-bill yields. I could offer the series from FRED but you don't set much store by that data. Do you have any other objective sources which claim otherwise?


    Why are all member Central Banks of the ECB mandated to hold not less than 15% of their reserves in gold? Perhaps you could comment on that.
     
    It's a tradition or continuation of old customs I suppose. Or, similar to the human body which despite evolution still retains useless appendages like the Appendix, remnants of the simian tail, etc?

    Fact is, the EUR has been for the non-German periphery nations, much like a fixed currency regime (GS type), which has forced Spain, Greece, Italy (to an extent), Portugal, Ireland to go through painful monetary contractions when the reverse was indicated.

  155. US, Israel, Jordan, UAE, Qatar, Haus of Saud, Daesh, Al Nusra, Al Qaeda, Turkey, Nato, Syrian Kurds out for a Korean ‘solution’?
    Yes, i think so! How about the rebels? I do not know and i am not going to guess their stance towards wholeness of Syria or its dismemberment.

    But, finally [did anybody expect it?] we are now in an even battle for the Planet by the two sides: Nato-US and China and Russia.

    Libya, Iraq, Palestina fell; much destroyed; rendered dysfunctional, but not yet Syria! So, no more easy devilry by the two world top classes; it is either more effort by the two dictatorial world classes or maybe peaceful co-existence????

    Read More
  156. @Erebus

    ... a well-reasoned prediction for the timeline of these dollar-distress events is required. Otherwise, it is all lazy speculation
     
    Even the IMF's researchers, having reasoned for 100s of pages on the dollar's future, haven't deigned to predict the timeline in anything other than vague terms. My simple explanation for that is that Central Banks have proven themselves extraordinarily innovative (even cunning), in extending that timeline. EG: Who would have thought the FRB would have a $4T balance sheet, and survived? Or that the JCB would become Japan's pre-eminent shareholder?
    One thing that they all seem to agree on, however, is that collapse is imminent. In broad strokes, within the decade.
    Re: your links to FRED data, I have found myself largely ignoring those as I long ago lost track of the morphing definitions. "CPI", "unemployment", "productivity" have all become unrecognisable. Who knows (or cares) what they're calling "durable consumer goods" nowadays. Breakfast cereal? Apples? Software? God knows it ain't air-conditioners, washing machines, CNC milling machines, or TVs. The reality is that America's manufacturing sector, whatever its "production capacity" may be, has been slammed and the numbers show up everywhere except the FRED.

    A great deal has been written on this subject, starting with the unrivalled persuasions of J.M. Keynes.
     
    So far as I know, Keynes has never written on gold being used as "collateral/referent" in a currency swap trade regime. Your linked comments don't either, so I don't know what you're on about other than tilting at the Gold Standard windmill. I still see gold having only advantages over USTs in the said role, at least for non-US countries.

    [Not including IMF]
     
    Umm, the bottom line (cut 'n pasted) says:

    Total - U.S. Government Gold Reserve 261,498,926.230 $11,041,059,957.46
     
    The first number is "Fine Troy Ounces" the 2nd is the dollar value of that at the statutory price of $42.22/Toz. 261,498,926.230 Toz works out to 8,133.71
    MT. So, again I am at a loss as to what you're on about with this. BTW, I'd be interested to know why you think the US still values its gold at that price.

    China has bought gold over the decades, as any expanding-economy central bank does, in order to keep the ratio of reserve currencies and gold to GDP at steady levels.
     
    "Has bought" doesn't seem to cover it, frankly. See Koos Janson's research into gold movement into China. They seem to be buying whatever/wherever/whenever they can, on top of buying 100% of their own world leading production.
    What's more, one wonders why gold would figure into any country's reserve at all. That is, if the US Treasury bill was such a stable and strong store of value what the hell is gold doing in the recipe? Why are all member Central Banks of the ECB mandated to hold not less than 15% of their reserves in gold? Perhaps you could comment on that.

    One thing that they all seem to agree on, however, is that collapse is imminent. In broad strokes, within the decade.

    I’ve certainly missed that “agreement” wherever you claim to have read it! Perhaps worth asking Mme Lagarde, I’d say.

    My simple explanation for that is that Central Banks have proven themselves extraordinarily innovative

    Yes, they innovation and better co-ordination is key

    Who would have thought the FRB would have a $4T balance sheet, and survived?

    Most economists did. In fact Bernanke convincingly suggests the Fed need not shrink its balance sheet here on as the country grows into it. Fed has mostly replaced maturing securities and will use the short end from now on.

    Re: your links to FRED data, I have found myself largely ignoring those as I long ago lost track of the morphing definitions. “CPI”, “unemployment”, “productivity” have all become unrecognisable. Who knows (or cares) what they’re calling “durable consumer goods” nowadays. Breakfast cereal? Apples? Software? God knows it ain’t air-conditioners, washing machines, CNC milling machines, or TVs.

    I’m speechless. I think you’ll be surprised if you check what durable goods are in the NAICS definitions

    Motor Vehicle and Motor Vehicle Parts and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers: NAICS 4231
    Furniture and Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers: NAICS 4232
    Lumber and Other Construction Materials Merchant Wholesalers: NAICS 4233
    Professional and Commercial Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers: NAICS 4234
    Metal and Mineral (except Petroleum) Merchant Wholesalers: NAICS 4235
    Electrical and Electronic Goods Merchant Wholesalers: NAICS 4236
    Hardware, and Plumbing and Heating Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers: NAICS 4237
    Machinery, Equipment, and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers: NAICS 4238
    Miscellaneous Durable Goods Merchant Wholesalers: NAICS 4239

    What’s more, one wonders why gold would figure into any country’s reserve at all. That is, if the US Treasury bill was such a stable and strong store of value what the hell is gold doing in the recipe?

    You could ask the same of other major currencies, why do they feature in SDR (EUR, JPY etc). Diversification.

    Tbh, I’ve never been able to convince myself through rational arguments, why gold features at all. Legacy? That is about it.

    US T-bill is stable. Observing that reduces to tracing the volatility of T-bill yields. I could offer the series from FRED but you don’t set much store by that data. Do you have any other objective sources which claim otherwise?

    Why are all member Central Banks of the ECB mandated to hold not less than 15% of their reserves in gold? Perhaps you could comment on that.

    It’s a tradition or continuation of old customs I suppose. Or, similar to the human body which despite evolution still retains useless appendages like the Appendix, remnants of the simian tail, etc?

    Fact is, the EUR has been for the non-German periphery nations, much like a fixed currency regime (GS type), which has forced Spain, Greece, Italy (to an extent), Portugal, Ireland to go through painful monetary contractions when the reverse was indicated.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Erebus

    I’ve certainly missed that “agreement”
     
    Try here to start: http://www.imf.org/external/np/pp/eng/2011/010711.pdf. Or, for a more unique and interesting perspective, try this: http//www.chinascope.org/archives/6458/76
    I'm sure you can find more....

    I’m speechless.
     
    Apparently, your voice fails only when it comes to answering questions about gold. Otherwise, parroting the party line at length. Perhaps you're an economist.
    Be that as it may, using "legacy", "old customs", "appendixes" & "simian tails" to explain why the ECB's member CBs are legally bound to hold not less than 15% of their reserves in gold, and in fact list gold as Line Item 1 in their balance sheets, is preposterous on its face. It's as lazy and/or dishonest as Bernanke's sheepish mumbling about "tradition" in the Senate.

    Though you didn't address the fact that the UST values its gold at $42.22/Toz (while all other CBs mark to market), I suppose you'd chalk that up to nostalgia as well. However, I'd warrant that there are more substantial reasons. $42.22 was the price of gold when Nixon defaulted on the UST's gold obligations. Foreign redemptions of US gold at that price were unilaterally, temporarily denied, but (afaik) never settled. You can probably see the implications...

    US T-bill is stable...
     
    The UST has indeed been stable, but over the rather short haul since petro-dollar recycling began in the 70s. That stability is more than a little dependent on the political & geo-political stability and position of the US. Whether it remains politically stable domestically remains to be seen, but the stability of its geo-political position is deteriorating visibly.

    I've always felt that the USD will lose its primary reserve currency status when it finally sheds enough of its domestic and international political capital, and not for purely economic/financial/monetary reasons. It has been abusing both at an accelerating pace, but the Chinese-Russian initiative to unify the Eurasian continent into a common economic space presents an existential challenge to its geo-political capital.
    The countries along the New Silk Road(s), knowing the hostility with which the US, and by extension the entire West, views the project will need to insure themselves against politically motivated manipulation of their reserves. I'd guess they hold similar views of the Yuan. Ergo, an agreed, politically neutral, referent/collateral asset underpinning currency swaps is a must-have. The spice must flow.
    Interestingly, and perhaps to that end, 60 countries have signed up to China's "Silk Road Gold Fund". Established 2 yrs ago, it will invest in gold mining and create a network of physical gold trading hubs, presumably to ensure that the 60 signatories' respective central banks can get their hands on it when they need it.
    Just an extraordinarily virulent outbreak of nostalgia, or is the notion that they're looking to use gold as referent/collateral in a currency swapping Eurasian trading system more plausible?
  157. More in the amazing ziocon/neo-Nazi collaboration in Ukraine:
    http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/05/press-release-of-eleonora-forenza.html
    Press release of Eleonora Forenza, Italian Member of Europarliament in Donbass: “Ukraine has unfortunately become a laboratory for neo-fascist organizations, in the heart of Europe, with the complicity of the West.”

    On the same topic: “The Kagans Are Back; Wars To Follow”
    “http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-21/kagans-are-back-wars-follow

    Read More
  158. @Seamus Padraig
    Another good one from Mike Whitney!

    This is why I think that the stories about Putin killing journalists are nonsense.
     
    Also: they never seem to have any evidence of Putin's involvement.

    The globalization project IS in crisis ...
     
    Oh yeah, baby! It's in crisis big time. In fact, that's about the only good news these days.

    The Russian president might have to take a few steps backward to avoid WW3 ...
     
    My main concern here is that Putin's various attempts at de-escalation in Syria and Ukraine could be taken for weakness and only encourage more aggression from Washington. I believe that the day fast approaches when Putin's going to have to take a stand and risk it all.

    What is most dangerous about America and Anglo-Saxons in general is the fascist streak in their character. American use of atom bombs on 2 Japanese cities is a testimony to that.
    Putin illustrated it well when he said that Stalin, even if he had atom bombs at his disposal and with tens of millions of Russians killed in the war, would never have used them in revenge against a defeated Germany.
    This is what Americans did to the Japanese, even though their war casualties were minimal compared to the Russians’. And the British did as much without atom bombs, which they didn’t have, in obliterating German cities through massive, indiscriminate bombings.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    What is most dangerous about America and Anglo-Saxons in general is the fascist streak in their character.

    “The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.” D.H. Lawrence

    "I've finally worked out why I don't like Americans ... Because everyone there is either a Jew or a hick." Kingsley Amis
    , @Beefcake the Mighty
    Excellent point. Anglo-American sanctimony over the justifiability of their terror bombing (which they, not the Germans, initiated) is just appalling. They love to point to exaggerated (if not fabricated) German crimes which were not even directed against the West.
  159. @Aren Haich
    What is most dangerous about America and Anglo-Saxons in general is the fascist streak in their character. American use of atom bombs on 2 Japanese cities is a testimony to that.
    Putin illustrated it well when he said that Stalin, even if he had atom bombs at his disposal and with tens of millions of Russians killed in the war, would never have used them in revenge against a defeated Germany.
    This is what Americans did to the Japanese, even though their war casualties were minimal compared to the Russians'. And the British did as much without atom bombs, which they didn't have, in obliterating German cities through massive, indiscriminate bombings.

    What is most dangerous about America and Anglo-Saxons in general is the fascist streak in their character.

    “The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.” D.H. Lawrence

    “I’ve finally worked out why I don’t like Americans … Because everyone there is either a Jew or a hick.” Kingsley Amis

    Read More
  160. @Aren Haich
    What is most dangerous about America and Anglo-Saxons in general is the fascist streak in their character. American use of atom bombs on 2 Japanese cities is a testimony to that.
    Putin illustrated it well when he said that Stalin, even if he had atom bombs at his disposal and with tens of millions of Russians killed in the war, would never have used them in revenge against a defeated Germany.
    This is what Americans did to the Japanese, even though their war casualties were minimal compared to the Russians'. And the British did as much without atom bombs, which they didn't have, in obliterating German cities through massive, indiscriminate bombings.

    Excellent point. Anglo-American sanctimony over the justifiability of their terror bombing (which they, not the Germans, initiated) is just appalling. They love to point to exaggerated (if not fabricated) German crimes which were not even directed against the West.

    Read More
  161. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    “Putin said Stalin wouldn’t have used atomic bombs.”

    HOW THE F*** does he know what Stalin would have done? The Katyn massacre shows his evil.

    Inany case Stalin was a monster who murdered tens of millions. To the mountains of dead he is responsible for, we could possibly add those of the two atomic attacks. Japan had contacted the USSR indicating its desire to end the war. Had Stalin passed this information on to the USA, it is just possible the attacks might not have happened. See the book, Stalin and the shaping of the Soviet Union.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Beefcake the Mighty
    The Japanese had ALSO reached out to the Americans (through Sweden in September '44 if I recall) with peace offers, and were rebuffed. The Americans were fixated on unconditional surrender and were determined to find a way to use the bombs.
    , @Avery
    {HOW THE F*** does he know what Stalin would have done?}

    When Nazi Germany invaded USSR their stated goal was to exterminate all Slavs in Western USSR to make room for Hitler's Lebensraum.
    Nazis murdered about 10 million Soviet citizens, not counting Soviet KIA and Soviet POWs deliberately starved to death by Nazi invaders (about 15 million total).
    If Nazis had won the war in the East every Slav West of the Volga river would be exterminated.

    When the Red Army finally entered Germany, there was no Wehrmacht left. Only underage boys and elderly were left to face the Red Army steamroller. They of course were simply brushed aside.
    If they had the intent, Soviets could have flattened Germany and killed most of German population. They could have done 1,000s of Dresdens and nothing and nobody could stop them. The Red Army was about 15 million strong at that time: tough, battle hardened men who had crushed the mighty Wehrmacht. Soviet war production was at its peak.



    { The Katyn massacre shows his evil.}

    Sure does, doesn't it?
    Stalin ordered a massacre of Polish officers and soldiers. So?
    US & UK air forces deliberately firebombed a civilian target - Dresden.
    Special bombs were used to create firestorms which cooked civilians alive. Up to 100,000 were killed (US & UK say only 20K or so.)

    US Air Force firebombed Tokyo killing about 200,000 civilians.
    Special incendiary bombs were used to start fires in wooden Japanese houses and create a firestorm: deliberate murder of civilians.
    This in addition to the two atomic bombings.

    , @annamaria
    On the Katyn massacre and Ukrainian Waffen-SS: http://russia-insider.com/en/new-polish-blockbuster-about-ukraine-nazis-pr-disaster-kiev/ri8904
  162. @anon
    "Putin said Stalin wouldn't have used atomic bombs."

    HOW THE F*** does he know what Stalin would have done? The Katyn massacre shows his evil.

    Inany case Stalin was a monster who murdered tens of millions. To the mountains of dead he is responsible for, we could possibly add those of the two atomic attacks. Japan had contacted the USSR indicating its desire to end the war. Had Stalin passed this information on to the USA, it is just possible the attacks might not have happened. See the book, Stalin and the shaping of the Soviet Union.

    The Japanese had ALSO reached out to the Americans (through Sweden in September ’44 if I recall) with peace offers, and were rebuffed. The Americans were fixated on unconditional surrender and were determined to find a way to use the bombs.

    Read More
  163. @anon
    "Putin said Stalin wouldn't have used atomic bombs."

    HOW THE F*** does he know what Stalin would have done? The Katyn massacre shows his evil.

    Inany case Stalin was a monster who murdered tens of millions. To the mountains of dead he is responsible for, we could possibly add those of the two atomic attacks. Japan had contacted the USSR indicating its desire to end the war. Had Stalin passed this information on to the USA, it is just possible the attacks might not have happened. See the book, Stalin and the shaping of the Soviet Union.

    {HOW THE F*** does he know what Stalin would have done?}

    When Nazi Germany invaded USSR their stated goal was to exterminate all Slavs in Western USSR to make room for Hitler’s Lebensraum.
    Nazis murdered about 10 million Soviet citizens, not counting Soviet KIA and Soviet POWs deliberately starved to death by Nazi invaders (about 15 million total).
    If Nazis had won the war in the East every Slav West of the Volga river would be exterminated.

    When the Red Army finally entered Germany, there was no Wehrmacht left. Only underage boys and elderly were left to face the Red Army steamroller. They of course were simply brushed aside.
    If they had the intent, Soviets could have flattened Germany and killed most of German population. They could have done 1,000s of Dresdens and nothing and nobody could stop them. The Red Army was about 15 million strong at that time: tough, battle hardened men who had crushed the mighty Wehrmacht. Soviet war production was at its peak.


    { The Katyn massacre shows his evil.}

    Sure does, doesn’t it?
    Stalin ordered a massacre of Polish officers and soldiers. So?
    US & UK air forces deliberately firebombed a civilian target – Dresden.
    Special bombs were used to create firestorms which cooked civilians alive. Up to 100,000 were killed (US & UK say only 20K or so.)

    US Air Force firebombed Tokyo killing about 200,000 civilians.
    Special incendiary bombs were used to start fires in wooden Japanese houses and create a firestorm: deliberate murder of civilians.
    This in addition to the two atomic bombings.

    Read More
  164. @Seamus Padraig
    One suspects NATOstan wanted a Russian 'attack' on Ukraine. Otherwise, what would lead them to believe that they could get away with a coup in Kiev? Did they think the Russians wouldn't notice? Did they think the Russians were just going to site idly by while NATO carted off with Sebastopol?

    Either NATO wanted trouble with Russia, or else they were far more inept than even their worse detractors would claim.

    My theory: both Berlin and Washington wanted a new cold war with Russia. Berlin wanted one in order to prevent the Russians from gaining more and more commercial (and political?) influence over Europe. The US wanted it, of course, to keep control of Germany--and therewith all of Europe.

    Probably the main reason why US got involved in Ukraine’s coup was because of that moron Zbig. Why the Americans still listen to this imbecile is beyond me. Zbig theorized (and terrorized the minds of those stupid enough to listen) that the only ingredient that Russia is missing in order to be a superpower is – Ukraine. Let me tell you something, Russia doesn’t need Ukraine in order to be superpower.

    Why do they put so much trust in the theories of one stupid Polack? When was the last time Poland has produced any remarkable diplomat or leader of any kind? For a country that’s sandwiched between two giants – Germany and Russia, you’d think that at some point in time it would have crossed the mind of someone in Poland that it might be a good idea to be an ally of one of those great powers. Instead, the mighty Poland throughout the history chose to antagonize its two powerful neighbors.

    With that kind of DNA background, how did Brzezinski gain such a prominence in shaping US foreign policy? After all, this is the moron who thought that it would be a great idea to outsource the fight against USSR to the Taliban. Look how well that worked out. His theory that Russia should be prevented at all costs from acquiring Ukraine because it will make them a superpower is baloney. Russia IS a superpower – at least militarily – with zero need of help from Ukraine. If anyone needs someone it’s Ukraine which needs Russia not the other way around.

    Read More
  165. @Sam Shama

    One thing that they all seem to agree on, however, is that collapse is imminent. In broad strokes, within the decade.
     
    I've certainly missed that "agreement" wherever you claim to have read it! Perhaps worth asking Mme Lagarde, I'd say.

    My simple explanation for that is that Central Banks have proven themselves extraordinarily innovative
     
    Yes, they innovation and better co-ordination is key

    Who would have thought the FRB would have a $4T balance sheet, and survived?
     
    Most economists did. In fact Bernanke convincingly suggests the Fed need not shrink its balance sheet here on as the country grows into it. Fed has mostly replaced maturing securities and will use the short end from now on.

    Re: your links to FRED data, I have found myself largely ignoring those as I long ago lost track of the morphing definitions. “CPI”, “unemployment”, “productivity” have all become unrecognisable. Who knows (or cares) what they’re calling “durable consumer goods” nowadays. Breakfast cereal? Apples? Software? God knows it ain’t air-conditioners, washing machines, CNC milling machines, or TVs.
     
    I'm speechless. I think you'll be surprised if you check what durable goods are in the NAICS definitions

    Motor Vehicle and Motor Vehicle Parts and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers: NAICS 4231
    Furniture and Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers: NAICS 4232
    Lumber and Other Construction Materials Merchant Wholesalers: NAICS 4233
    Professional and Commercial Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers: NAICS 4234
    Metal and Mineral (except Petroleum) Merchant Wholesalers: NAICS 4235
    Electrical and Electronic Goods Merchant Wholesalers: NAICS 4236
    Hardware, and Plumbing and Heating Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers: NAICS 4237
    Machinery, Equipment, and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers: NAICS 4238
    Miscellaneous Durable Goods Merchant Wholesalers: NAICS 4239


    What’s more, one wonders why gold would figure into any country’s reserve at all. That is, if the US Treasury bill was such a stable and strong store of value what the hell is gold doing in the recipe?

     

    You could ask the same of other major currencies, why do they feature in SDR (EUR, JPY etc). Diversification.

    Tbh, I've never been able to convince myself through rational arguments, why gold features at all. Legacy? That is about it.

    US T-bill is stable. Observing that reduces to tracing the volatility of T-bill yields. I could offer the series from FRED but you don't set much store by that data. Do you have any other objective sources which claim otherwise?


    Why are all member Central Banks of the ECB mandated to hold not less than 15% of their reserves in gold? Perhaps you could comment on that.
     
    It's a tradition or continuation of old customs I suppose. Or, similar to the human body which despite evolution still retains useless appendages like the Appendix, remnants of the simian tail, etc?

    Fact is, the EUR has been for the non-German periphery nations, much like a fixed currency regime (GS type), which has forced Spain, Greece, Italy (to an extent), Portugal, Ireland to go through painful monetary contractions when the reverse was indicated.

    I’ve certainly missed that “agreement”

    Try here to start: http://www.imf.org/external/np/pp/eng/2011/010711.pdf. Or, for a more unique and interesting perspective, try this: http//www.chinascope.org/archives/6458/76
    I’m sure you can find more….

    I’m speechless.

    Apparently, your voice fails only when it comes to answering questions about gold. Otherwise, parroting the party line at length. Perhaps you’re an economist.
    Be that as it may, using “legacy”, “old customs”, “appendixes” & “simian tails” to explain why the ECB’s member CBs are legally bound to hold not less than 15% of their reserves in gold, and in fact list gold as Line Item 1 in their balance sheets, is preposterous on its face. It’s as lazy and/or dishonest as Bernanke’s sheepish mumbling about “tradition” in the Senate.

    Though you didn’t address the fact that the UST values its gold at $42.22/Toz (while all other CBs mark to market), I suppose you’d chalk that up to nostalgia as well. However, I’d warrant that there are more substantial reasons. $42.22 was the price of gold when Nixon defaulted on the UST’s gold obligations. Foreign redemptions of US gold at that price were unilaterally, temporarily denied, but (afaik) never settled. You can probably see the implications…

    US T-bill is stable…

    The UST has indeed been stable, but over the rather short haul since petro-dollar recycling began in the 70s. That stability is more than a little dependent on the political & geo-political stability and position of the US. Whether it remains politically stable domestically remains to be seen, but the stability of its geo-political position is deteriorating visibly.

    I’ve always felt that the USD will lose its primary reserve currency status when it finally sheds enough of its domestic and international political capital, and not for purely economic/financial/monetary reasons. It has been abusing both at an accelerating pace, but the Chinese-Russian initiative to unify the Eurasian continent into a common economic space presents an existential challenge to its geo-political capital.
    The countries along the New Silk Road(s), knowing the hostility with which the US, and by extension the entire West, views the project will need to insure themselves against politically motivated manipulation of their reserves. I’d guess they hold similar views of the Yuan. Ergo, an agreed, politically neutral, referent/collateral asset underpinning currency swaps is a must-have. The spice must flow.
    Interestingly, and perhaps to that end, 60 countries have signed up to China’s “Silk Road Gold Fund”. Established 2 yrs ago, it will invest in gold mining and create a network of physical gold trading hubs, presumably to ensure that the 60 signatories’ respective central banks can get their hands on it when they need it.
    Just an extraordinarily virulent outbreak of nostalgia, or is the notion that they’re looking to use gold as referent/collateral in a currency swapping Eurasian trading system more plausible?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    Good sir, you dispatch to me - with a hint of impatience which runs through the rest of your post - Reza Mogadham's paper on SDRs. I am intimately familiar with the creation and potential roles a composite global reference instrument such as it can perform. I draw your attention, mildly, to this, my earlier remark which you possibly missed:

    your query:


    What’s more, one wonders why gold would figure into any country’s reserve at all. That is, if the US Treasury bill was such a stable and strong store of value what the hell is gold doing in the recipe?
     
    response:
    You could ask the same of other major currencies, why do they feature in SDR (EUR, JPY etc)? Diversification.

     

    The idea of an: international, diversified, stable, relatively insensitive to rates duration, countercyclical, unmanipulable, instrument, has featured in monetary discussion circuits since at least the collapse of Bretton Woods. It is beastly difficult if not an impossible object!

    Wishing that any single currency, let alone the impractical metal (which will never reach the status it once had, yet continue to have a place) to fulfil all those criteria is to ask for something which is at the heart of central banking's objectives. Yet the SDR as it stands today, is rather limited in use or acceptance in international flows, for reasons arising from the array of goods and services not derivatively sourced by this referential unit.

    Acceptance is thus key. The day when oil, gas, microchips, technology etc, in general, gets exchanged in SDRs is the day one can finally declare the beginning of a truly single Monetary Regime.

    I wonder if people realise what that means? It means the world then possesses the common currency of an entity which, backed by the assets of the entire globe; protected by the entire apparatus of a global central power; subject to the fiscal rules of a central government; conducts the commerce and functions of member states.

    In other words, we then have a flexible currency regime which can respond to business cycles. SDR in its present form cannot begin to approach that obviously. Gold? Clearly not, since it is the very icon of inflexible, procyclical systems and really, the world has moved so greatly that there simply isn't enough gold to collateralise all the functions needed today.

    The 2 most important observations from Moghadam's paper:


    Risks to the stability of the IMS should neither be exaggerated nor readily dismissed.
    The SDR, if used more in its various guises—official composite reserve asset, unit of account,
    and possibly new class of reserve assets—could potentially contribute to the long-term stability
    of the system, alongside other reforms that have their limitations too. The paper presented a
    number of options to this end, many coming with question marks as to their effectiveness or
    feasibility (see Annex 1).


    It is impossible to accurately replicate or hedge the SDR risk due to the mismatch between
    the maturity structure of the interest rate basket (3-month interest rates), and the weekly
    fixing of SDR. 3 While this is clearly a problem, from the investors’ point of view, an even
    bigger problem is that the (current) SDR practically does not have a maturity at all
     

    It is entirely possible, indeed desirable, that the Renminbi occupies a more significant role as a member in the set of reserve currencies; an outcome which relieves much pressure on the USD in offsetting current account, and thus disinflationary imbalances, arising from Chinese mercantilism. The Fed has spoken of this ad nauseum, yet that can only come about when the Chinese economy is far more internal consumption driven than today (there are clear trends in that direction of course)

    ECB’s member CBs are legally bound to hold not less than 15% of their reserves in gold, and in fact list gold as Line Item 1 in their balance sheets, is preposterous on its face.
     
    Gold still has a place mainly on account of its historical role. Further integration/co-ordination of international monetary policy is likely to reduce it further. It will likely continue to occupy a space, not dissimilar to that which digital currencies such as Bitcoin are likely to.

    Though you didn’t address the fact that the UST values its gold at $42.22/Toz (while all other CBs mark to market), I suppose you’d chalk that up to nostalgia as well.
     
    MTM has its place, central banking A/L and sovereign accounts not being the best areas to implement that rule. I'm sure you understand why. The purpose of having a lender of last resort, which is an agency of the federal government, possessing, therefore, the implicit force of the national assets behind it, requires that its fiat not be subject to the same vagaries of market volatility as are unleashed during business cycles and other episodes stemming from pure emotional responses of trading markets. In other words, it's of no use having a backstop of last resort subject to the same emotions which drove markets in the first place. Second, and for similar reasons, over the long run, this would be counterproductive to growth.

    That stability is more than a little dependent on the political & geo-political stability and position of the US. Whether it remains politically stable domestically remains to be seen, but the stability of its geo-political position is deteriorating visibly.
     
    Agreed that it depends on geopolitical stability. Deterioration of the U.S' geopolitical position is objectively measured by what? the USD?Or the volume of Internet traffic in gold buggery and liquidationism (ala Ron Paul)?

    I’ve always felt that the USD will lose its primary reserve currency status when it finally sheds enough of its domestic and international political capital, and not for purely economic/financial/monetary reasons. It has been abusing both at an accelerating pace, but the Chinese-Russian initiative to unify the Eurasian continent into a common economic space presents an existential challenge to its geo-political capital.
     
    USD might lose its primary reserve status. Someday. Such a day is not at hand and likely not in the long foreseeable future. Chinese-Russian initiative to unify Eurasia will eventually take a significant load off from USD/EUR/JPY - an outcome beneficial for all.

    Just an extraordinarily virulent outbreak of nostalgia, or is the notion that they’re looking to use gold as referent/collateral in a currency swapping Eurasian trading system more plausible?
     
    I think that fund was set up with the goal of raising $16b for gold related investments. Part of the whole Silk Road initiative. The Silk Road initiative can certainly be beneficial for Eurasian trade. The World economy grows. There is space for this.

    Lastly,


    Perhaps you’re an economist.
     
    Not professionally. More a practitioner.
  166. @Realist
    "The vast majority of academics are left-wing liberals who sincerely believe the mass media."

    Left-wing academics are mostly involved in low IQ studies that shouldn't be offered in colleges. Aceademics in high IQ studies (STEM) are much less liberal.

    Don’t you know if there are studies which would compare Humanities vs STEM academics, like who vote whom or what policies they support. It would be interesting. Right now my general knowledge is Western academics and campuses in general are rather left-wing both socially and economically.

    Read More
  167. @Bill
    Much less? No. A bit less. Engineers, in particular, are only a moderate amount to the left of the average American. But they are almost as right wing as academics get, STEM or no STEM. Only business school professors are to their right, and even they are noticeably left of center, on average.

    Only business school professors are to their right, and even they are noticeably left of center, on average.

    My feeling that they’re right-wing only economically, that is pro-capitalist laissez-faire, while they’re, like all the others, left-wing socially, that is for diversity, immigration, PC, LGBT, etc.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bill
    Yes. That's right. Not only are there essentially no right-wing (properly speaking) professors in America, but there are essentially no right-wing (properly speaking) people in America. We kicked out and dispossessed all the actual right-wingers back in the 18th C, and they have never come back.

    Above, I was using right wing to mean right-liberal/libertarian. Which is wrong, of course. But, on the other hand, it's the way Americans use the word.
  168. This is an interesting article on Saker, which contains this simple yet powerful statement: “…only real, traditional Islam, can defeat Takfirism.”
    “The future of Islam in Western Europe,” by The Saker: http://thesaker.is/the-future-of-islam-in-western-europe/

    Read More
  169. @anon
    "Putin said Stalin wouldn't have used atomic bombs."

    HOW THE F*** does he know what Stalin would have done? The Katyn massacre shows his evil.

    Inany case Stalin was a monster who murdered tens of millions. To the mountains of dead he is responsible for, we could possibly add those of the two atomic attacks. Japan had contacted the USSR indicating its desire to end the war. Had Stalin passed this information on to the USA, it is just possible the attacks might not have happened. See the book, Stalin and the shaping of the Soviet Union.

    Read More
  170. @Erebus

    I’ve certainly missed that “agreement”
     
    Try here to start: http://www.imf.org/external/np/pp/eng/2011/010711.pdf. Or, for a more unique and interesting perspective, try this: http//www.chinascope.org/archives/6458/76
    I'm sure you can find more....

    I’m speechless.
     
    Apparently, your voice fails only when it comes to answering questions about gold. Otherwise, parroting the party line at length. Perhaps you're an economist.
    Be that as it may, using "legacy", "old customs", "appendixes" & "simian tails" to explain why the ECB's member CBs are legally bound to hold not less than 15% of their reserves in gold, and in fact list gold as Line Item 1 in their balance sheets, is preposterous on its face. It's as lazy and/or dishonest as Bernanke's sheepish mumbling about "tradition" in the Senate.

    Though you didn't address the fact that the UST values its gold at $42.22/Toz (while all other CBs mark to market), I suppose you'd chalk that up to nostalgia as well. However, I'd warrant that there are more substantial reasons. $42.22 was the price of gold when Nixon defaulted on the UST's gold obligations. Foreign redemptions of US gold at that price were unilaterally, temporarily denied, but (afaik) never settled. You can probably see the implications...

    US T-bill is stable...
     
    The UST has indeed been stable, but over the rather short haul since petro-dollar recycling began in the 70s. That stability is more than a little dependent on the political & geo-political stability and position of the US. Whether it remains politically stable domestically remains to be seen, but the stability of its geo-political position is deteriorating visibly.

    I've always felt that the USD will lose its primary reserve currency status when it finally sheds enough of its domestic and international political capital, and not for purely economic/financial/monetary reasons. It has been abusing both at an accelerating pace, but the Chinese-Russian initiative to unify the Eurasian continent into a common economic space presents an existential challenge to its geo-political capital.
    The countries along the New Silk Road(s), knowing the hostility with which the US, and by extension the entire West, views the project will need to insure themselves against politically motivated manipulation of their reserves. I'd guess they hold similar views of the Yuan. Ergo, an agreed, politically neutral, referent/collateral asset underpinning currency swaps is a must-have. The spice must flow.
    Interestingly, and perhaps to that end, 60 countries have signed up to China's "Silk Road Gold Fund". Established 2 yrs ago, it will invest in gold mining and create a network of physical gold trading hubs, presumably to ensure that the 60 signatories' respective central banks can get their hands on it when they need it.
    Just an extraordinarily virulent outbreak of nostalgia, or is the notion that they're looking to use gold as referent/collateral in a currency swapping Eurasian trading system more plausible?

    Good sir, you dispatch to me – with a hint of impatience which runs through the rest of your post – Reza Mogadham’s paper on SDRs. I am intimately familiar with the creation and potential roles a composite global reference instrument such as it can perform. I draw your attention, mildly, to this, my earlier remark which you possibly missed:

    your query:

    What’s more, one wonders why gold would figure into any country’s reserve at all. That is, if the US Treasury bill was such a stable and strong store of value what the hell is gold doing in the recipe?

    response:
    You could ask the same of other major currencies, why do they feature in SDR (EUR, JPY etc)? Diversification.

    The idea of an: international, diversified, stable, relatively insensitive to rates duration, countercyclical, unmanipulable, instrument, has featured in monetary discussion circuits since at least the collapse of Bretton Woods. It is beastly difficult if not an impossible object!

    Wishing that any single currency, let alone the impractical metal (which will never reach the status it once had, yet continue to have a place) to fulfil all those criteria is to ask for something which is at the heart of central banking’s objectives. Yet the SDR as it stands today, is rather limited in use or acceptance in international flows, for reasons arising from the array of goods and services not derivatively sourced by this referential unit.

    Acceptance is thus key. The day when oil, gas, microchips, technology etc, in general, gets exchanged in SDRs is the day one can finally declare the beginning of a truly single Monetary Regime.

    I wonder if people realise what that means? It means the world then possesses the common currency of an entity which, backed by the assets of the entire globe; protected by the entire apparatus of a global central power; subject to the fiscal rules of a central government; conducts the commerce and functions of member states.

    In other words, we then have a flexible currency regime which can respond to business cycles. SDR in its present form cannot begin to approach that obviously. Gold? Clearly not, since it is the very icon of inflexible, procyclical systems and really, the world has moved so greatly that there simply isn’t enough gold to collateralise all the functions needed today.

    The 2 most important observations from Moghadam’s paper:

    Risks to the stability of the IMS should neither be exaggerated nor readily dismissed.
    The SDR, if used more in its various guises—official composite reserve asset, unit of account,
    and possibly new class of reserve assets—could potentially contribute to the long-term stability
    of the system, alongside other reforms that have their limitations too. The paper presented a
    number of options to this end, many coming with question marks as to their effectiveness or
    feasibility (see Annex 1).

    It is impossible to accurately replicate or hedge the SDR risk due to the mismatch between
    the maturity structure of the interest rate basket (3-month interest rates), and the weekly
    fixing of SDR. 3 While this is clearly a problem, from the investors’ point of view, an even
    bigger problem is that the (current) SDR practically does not have a maturity at all

    It is entirely possible, indeed desirable, that the Renminbi occupies a more significant role as a member in the set of reserve currencies; an outcome which relieves much pressure on the USD in offsetting current account, and thus disinflationary imbalances, arising from Chinese mercantilism. The Fed has spoken of this ad nauseum, yet that can only come about when the Chinese economy is far more internal consumption driven than today (there are clear trends in that direction of course)

    ECB’s member CBs are legally bound to hold not less than 15% of their reserves in gold, and in fact list gold as Line Item 1 in their balance sheets, is preposterous on its face.

    Gold still has a place mainly on account of its historical role. Further integration/co-ordination of international monetary policy is likely to reduce it further. It will likely continue to occupy a space, not dissimilar to that which digital currencies such as Bitcoin are likely to.

    Though you didn’t address the fact that the UST values its gold at $42.22/Toz (while all other CBs mark to market), I suppose you’d chalk that up to nostalgia as well.

    MTM has its place, central banking A/L and sovereign accounts not being the best areas to implement that rule. I’m sure you understand why. The purpose of having a lender of last resort, which is an agency of the federal government, possessing, therefore, the implicit force of the national assets behind it, requires that its fiat not be subject to the same vagaries of market volatility as are unleashed during business cycles and other episodes stemming from pure emotional responses of trading markets. In other words, it’s of no use having a backstop of last resort subject to the same emotions which drove markets in the first place. Second, and for similar reasons, over the long run, this would be counterproductive to growth.

    That stability is more than a little dependent on the political & geo-political stability and position of the US. Whether it remains politically stable domestically remains to be seen, but the stability of its geo-political position is deteriorating visibly.

    Agreed that it depends on geopolitical stability. Deterioration of the U.S’ geopolitical position is objectively measured by what? the USD?Or the volume of Internet traffic in gold buggery and liquidationism (ala Ron Paul)?

    I’ve always felt that the USD will lose its primary reserve currency status when it finally sheds enough of its domestic and international political capital, and not for purely economic/financial/monetary reasons. It has been abusing both at an accelerating pace, but the Chinese-Russian initiative to unify the Eurasian continent into a common economic space presents an existential challenge to its geo-political capital.

    USD might lose its primary reserve status. Someday. Such a day is not at hand and likely not in the long foreseeable future. Chinese-Russian initiative to unify Eurasia will eventually take a significant load off from USD/EUR/JPY – an outcome beneficial for all.

    Just an extraordinarily virulent outbreak of nostalgia, or is the notion that they’re looking to use gold as referent/collateral in a currency swapping Eurasian trading system more plausible?

    I think that fund was set up with the goal of raising $16b for gold related investments. Part of the whole Silk Road initiative. The Silk Road initiative can certainly be beneficial for Eurasian trade. The World economy grows. There is space for this.

    Lastly,

    Perhaps you’re an economist.

    Not professionally. More a practitioner.

    Read More
  171. @Boris N

    Only business school professors are to their right, and even they are noticeably left of center, on average.
     
    My feeling that they're right-wing only economically, that is pro-capitalist laissez-faire, while they're, like all the others, left-wing socially, that is for diversity, immigration, PC, LGBT, etc.

    Yes. That’s right. Not only are there essentially no right-wing (properly speaking) professors in America, but there are essentially no right-wing (properly speaking) people in America. We kicked out and dispossessed all the actual right-wingers back in the 18th C, and they have never come back.

    Above, I was using right wing to mean right-liberal/libertarian. Which is wrong, of course. But, on the other hand, it’s the way Americans use the word.

    Read More
  172. @Seamus Padraig

    ... great powers recognize that the best way to ensure their security is to achieve hegemony now, thus eliminating any possibility of a challenge by another great power.
     
    As long as we have nuclear weapons, we are safe from attack. In fact, we could pull out of the Eastern Hemisphere completely and still be safe from attack. Russia's historic hegemony of her 'near abroad' is indeed an attempt to bolster her security; but our messing around on the other side of the world is a very different animal.

    As long as we have nuclear weapons, we are safe from attack.
    In fact, we could pull out of the Eastern Hemisphere completely and still be safe from attack.

    The US need hardly any aircraft carriers or conventionally armed ships then, a few nuclear missiles to annihilate anyone who approaches the homeland will suffice

    Nato spent much money on conventional weapons like ground attack planes, artillery and tanks. So they did not apparently believe that nuclear weapons made them safe from a conventional Soviet attack. The US and Russia still spend a lot of money on tanks . Nuclear weapons are a deterrent to nuclear war, yes. But the threat of a conventional attack under a nuclear standoff is real enough that every country spends vast sums on conventional weapons to guard against ever having to get into a non conventional exchange. One little nuke, even a mine, would signal the end of the conventional fighting and the side stronger in conventional weapons would surely also be strongest in nuclear armament. The conventional loser would face unlimited destruction if it used a nuke to try and avoid defeat. Nuclear weapons have no military purpose beyond deterring nuclear attack, wars cannot be won with nuclear weapon, and it is far from probable that a successful conventional invasion could be turned into a thermonuclear weapons fool’s mate. because it would simply destroy the country it was intended to save.

    Russia’s historic hegemony of her ‘near abroad’ is indeed an attempt to bolster her security; but our messing around on the other side of the world is a very different animal.

    Of the gods we believe, and of men we know, that by a law of their nature wherever they can rule they will, This law was not made by us, and we are not the first who have acted upon it; we did but inherit it, and shall bequeath it to all time, and we know that you and all mankind, if you were as strong as we are, would do as we do. So much for the gods; we have told you why we expect to stand as high in their good opinion as you. And then as to the Lacedaemonians when you imagine that out of very shame they will assist you, we admire the simplicity of your idea, but we do not envy you the folly of it. The Lacedaemonians are exceedingly virtuous among themselves, and according to their national standard of morality. But, in respect of their dealings with others, although many things might’ be said, a word is enough to describe them, of all men whom we know they are the most notorious for identifying what is pleasant with what is honourable, and what is expedient with what is just. [.]

    But what encourages men who are invited to join in a conflict is clearly not the good-will of those who summon them to their side, but a decided superiority in real power. To this no men look more keenly than the Lacedaemonians; so little confidence have they in their own resources, that they only attack their neighbours when they have numerous allies, and therefore they are not likely to God their way by themselves to an island, when we are masters of the sea.

    The Melian Dialogue
    [Excerpted from Thucydides, Benjamin Jowett, tr. A. P. Peabody, ed. (Boston: D. Lothrop & Co., 1883), bk. 5] https://www.shsu.edu/~his_ncp/Melian.html

    Read More
  173. Axiom!
    Monopoly in principle does not work, because it is self defeating. It does not permit competition.
    Actually it was US government that issued anti monopoly laws.
    One world government is insanity.
    Putin is naturally correct in principle.
    But as politician he spoke only when he had previous confirmation of his ideas.

    Read More
  174. @Fidelios Automata
    Unfortunately most of the people I know -- I'm an engineer, so I know a lot of smart people -- believe the lying mainstream news about Putin being some kind of Mafia don. When I defend Putin and Russia, they say I've been reading "fake news." Smart people can be very gullible. As for me, I voted for Trump in hopes he might be just a little bit like Vladimir. What a disappointment!

    I am an architect and know a lot of dumb people including engineers. Most of them know nothing about the world. Less about history. Their only care is for the next project. The client’s identity is just a detail.

    Listen to Putin’s speeches. Whole sentences. Concrete discussion of actualities. Cogent analysis. Now tell me you voted for the orange oligarch and you really thought it might be similar…..

    Like my old daddy used to say, “an engineer is just an architect with all his brains kicked out”.

    Read More
Current Commenter says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Mike Whitney Comments via RSS