Sunday, June 26, 2022

National Citizens Conferences Part Two


Last post I mentioned one author who says that Trump's followers are fascists.  I then took some time to describe what 20th Century fascists believed in.  I pointed out that a lot of the fascist agenda was agreeable to "conservative" elites.  Fascism itself came to prominence as a result of the political-economic chaos in Italy and (moreso) Germany.  (Italian fascists were initially more excited about their country obtaining the extra territories they thought it was due for having fought on the winning side of World War I.  Italy had sacrificed 650,000 soldiers lives ... primarily due to the incompetence of its generals ... and fascists felt betrayed.)  Extreme times produce extremist political movements.  Germany would not have produced a Hitler were it not for the immense misery and dislocation caused by defeat in the war, a series of economic depressions and hyper-inflation, and the rise in socialism (that frightened many conservatives).

Saturday, June 25, 2022

National Citizens Conferences


Over 70-million US-Americans voted for Trump.  According to CounterPunch's Paul Street they are all hopeless fascists. (So far as I can tell it, Street's agenda is to write venom-filled journal entries about his country's downfall until his own mortal limitations kick in or civilization has completely collapsed around him.)  But what does it mean to be a "fascist"?  Fascism is a 20th-Century political movement that espoused national unity under an authoritarian dictator who is, himself, also the leader of a mass movement.  This mass movement represents the leader's hodge-podge of ideas with some of the most important being national greatness, racial purity, anti-socialism, anti-capitalism and anti-semitism and other forms of racism. [What's that you say?  "How can fascism be both anti-socialist and anti-capitalist?"  Hitler and Mussolini believed that industry had a part to play in building their societies.  They also believed people had some sorts of rights with regards to their individual property.  But they also believed that the free-market and capitalism were excessively individualistic and that capitalists had to be controlled for the benefit of the nation-state.  Industry and finance could be told what needed to be produced, their profits could be heavily taxed but for the most part there was no expropriation and the wealthy got to remain wealthy.  Think of it this way: Hitler really did sit down to breakfast with the newspaper and if he read about a criminal being convicted of something and he thought the sentence was too lenient he would call up the judge and tell him what the sentence should be and the judge would have to impose Hitler's decision.  It was the same thing with the economy.  Everything would trundle along as before, with the capitalists still in charge of their firms, but if Hitler wanted them to do something, then they would have to do it.]

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Biden Enlists Human Rights Champions Israel & Saudi Arabia to Fight Putin


This meme was probably made by a right-winger.  Perhaps the Democrats shouldn't make it so easy to mock them?

Just to hammer home the stupidity and the hypocrisy of all the shit-head liberals musing about their willingness to entertain nuclear war to stop Putin, ... Joe Biden, the senile corporate whore who stole the primary from Bernie Sanders, is going to Saudi Arabia to plead with Clown-Prince Bonesaw to increase oil production in order to lower fuel prices and thereby injure Putin's Russia.  You see, Putin must be stopped for his provoked invasion of the Ukraine.  So says the USA which illegally invaded Afghanistan and Iraq around twenty years ago and in Afghanistan until 2020 and which still has bases in Iraq.  The USA which also destroyed Libya and tried to destroy Syria through the use of Jihaadist mercenaries.

Joe Biden is so morally certain that Putin must be punished for his aggression and for his overall anti-democratic, authoritarian, corrupt ways that he is turning to an unelected monarch of a state that uses extremist religious obscurantism to deny the rights of the female half of its population; a state that still practices beheadings as well as the death penalty for "apostasy," blasphemy, homosexuality and a few more truly bizarre reasons.  A state that has been conducting a genocidal war of aggression on its impoverished neighbour Yemen, in which civilian infrastructure has been targeted, as well as civilians themselves either as target practice or through starvation as food imports are destroyed.

[That reminds me: Biden continues to keep monies stolen from Afghanistan where people were already starving before food prices started to soar because of the conflict in the Ukraine.]

Biden wants Saudi Arabia to pump out more oil because the disruptions caused by the Russian invasion and the subsequent self-defeating sanctions imposed by the USA's puppet-governments in the EU have raised the price of oil.  Biden wants more oil to be pumped out in any case because the demented dimwit doesn't really grasp that global warming is a reality.

Biden is also stopping over in Israel, the racist apartheid state that has been torturing the Palestinians and stealing their land for longer than I've been on this planet.  Israel which tortures and robs the Palestinians and occasionally subjects them to a mass slaughter. He has asked them not to murder any more American journalists or commit any other atrocities while he's there.  They can get right back to it after he leaves.

Because Biden (and the USA's ruling class in general) are amoral psycopathic assholes.

If Russia backed Hawaiian nationalists to stage a coup in Hawaii and they did and tried to give Russia the use of the Pearl Harbour naval base, ... what do you think the USA would do?

If Russia talked about getting Canada or Mexico to join a military alliance against the USA and flooded us with weapons and military trainers, ... what do you think the USA would do?

Since we KNOW that the USA would not surrender Pearl Harbour but would re-invade Hawaii; since we KNOW that the USA would destroy any Canadian or Mexican government that tried to join an alliance with Russia, we should dispense with the nonsense that the Biden administration didn't know what would happen, ... and that goes for all the US politicians and functionaries who have meddled in the Ukraine since at least 2014.

Biden's criminality, the bipartisan serial violations of international law, the USA's blood-soaked record in Latin America, its support for Israel's racist barbarism and its friendship with the disgusting House of Saud, ... all of this and more gives the lie to the morality of that country.  If you believe otherwise you are brainwashed and have nothing of value to contribute.

Friday, June 17, 2022

A Comprehensive Look At The Lead-Up To Russia's Invasion of Ukraine


This essay from "Rise Like Lions" might sound like Putin-apologetics but that would only be because you're brainwashed.  Everything said about the USA's foreign policy elite psychopaths seeking to weaken, or even destroy Russia is true.  The USA's oligarchic leadership seeks to achieve "Full Spectrum Dominance" against any and all rivals; these being at the moment Russia and China.

If you're brainwashed, you might say: "Well Russia is a corrupt, authoritarian hell-hole and China is an authoritarian, ecocidal, racist (anti-Tibetan/anti-Uyghur) hell-hole.  So what if the USA takes them down a couple of notches?"  But that viewpoint would ignore the corruption and violence of the USA's oligarchs with their prison-surveillance state, their denial of basic human rights to their own majority, their super-corruption and racism, their employment of death-squads to enforce their will in client-states.

I've said it before and I'll say it again; There is nothing to choose from between the USA's rulers and Russia's or China's rulers.  We need world-wide democracy and rooting for any of those teams is worse than a waste of time.  

And it is NOT "rootin' for Putin" to point out that Russia has been targeted by the USA.  Putin might behave like a reckless imperialist expansionist were Russia in a different space-time continuum that made Russia the enormously wealthy super-power and not the United States.  But such a different space-time continuum would have so many other differences that Putin might not have even been born in it.  It's useless speculation.  Russia does not have the wealth to behave the way that the USA behaves.  It's as simple as that.

NOTE:  I would have liked "Rise Like Lions" to have mentioned the precedent for recognizing Crimean and Donbas separatists of the USA's recognition of Kosovo's independence following an internal referendum.  (Something I doubt Canada or Spain would tolerate in the cases of Quebec or the Basques.) 

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Sympathy For The Imperialists


Is it possible that our incompetent, amoral, psychopathic overlords continued to insist that they were "winning" in Afghanistan mainly because they wanted to believe that they were?  In the same way that progressives are forever celebrating their inconsequential and sometimes completely imaginary victories?  (You know, the "victories" here and there that culminate in the working class being worse off with each subsequent year?)

Maybe it ain't cynical propaganda.  Maybe the little darlings just can't take off their rose coloured glasses.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Andrew Nikiforuk Tries To Save Humanity


The Tyee has posted Andrew Nikiforuk's two-part essay about the very real energy crisis that is upon us and how we need to radically transform our societies to reduce our energy demands.

Nikiforuk starts off by saying how the recent surge in fuel prices, though given a big push by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, is actually part of a long-term trend and that things are only going to get worse.  Remember "Peak Oil"?  The argument that we have passed the point where the most readily accessible fossil fuels are used up and it will be increasingly harder to find further sources.  The more difficult it is to find this energy the more expensive it will be.  We were spared the increase of fuel costs temporarily due to the fracking boom and the OPEC price war that was waged against it.  This price war inflicted a heavy toll on the fracking industry but I recall reading more than a few sources who said that fracking was nevery viable in the long-term.

This is very important because fossil fuels are still the major source of energy for our industrial societies.

Despite effusive rhetoric about an “energy transition,” fossil fuels still account for 79 per cent of all energy spending in the global economy.

Whenever the price of those fuels rises, so too does the cost of food, housing, clothing and transportation, renewables and electric cars.

Art Berman has repeatedly underscored the basics: “Energy is the economy. Money is a call on energy. Debt is a lien on future energy.”

For decades now economists have mostly preached a different gospel. Their models pretend that money, labour or technology make the world go around. But this profession largely has been ignorant of the central role that energy plays in the rise and fall of civilizations. Whatever the economists might say, physical reality still rules. Growth doesn’t happen unless the per capita energy spending of fossil fuels increases. Period.


Meanwhile rising oil prices affect the cost of dinner, directly and indirectly. Whenever the price of diesel goes wild so too does the cost of our food, much of which travels far to our pantries. As the energy ecologist Vaclav Smil has calculated it takes the energy equivalents of five cups of diesel fuel (from fertilizers to herbicides to transportation) to put one kilogram of imported tomatoes on the table.

In fact we live in a wasteful civilization that thinks it is entirely acceptable to burn 10 calories of mostly fossil fuels to make one calorie of food, and all by employing fewer than one per cent of the population. Prior to the colonization of farming by fossil fuels, agriculture was local, small, low energy (employing human or animal muscle), inefficient and nutritious. Now it is global, big, high energy, efficient and tasteless.

The inflationary problem doesn’t stop with food. Most people, for example, still don’t understand that one barrel of oil does the equivalent work of 4.5 years of human labour.

As a consequence current oil consumption equals the employment of 500 billion fossil fuel “energy slaves” in our economy. This vast disruptive army has enabled the level of global consumption responsible for the relentless poisoning of oceans, the degradation of forests, the depletion of fisheries, the erosion of soils, the disruption of nutrient cycles and the destabilization of the climate.

So the truth is this: Civilization largely has used fossil fuels to destroy robust natural ecosystems and to replace them with artificial and fragile ones.

I mean, we have to cut back anyway due to the environmental damage caused by fracking, and the apocalyptic consequences of global warming.  But regardless of all of these realities, as a collective, humanity wants to continue on auto-pilot, wants to sleep-walk into the future, wants to continue to live in Dreamland.

One of the ways we're doing this is by deluding ourselves that we can continue to make and consume all of the crap that we're doing and grow the economy and build more unsustainable shit for all of humanity simply by switching to renewables like wind and solar:

Meanwhile the green technocrats offer an equally distorted narrative about the state of things. They get climate change, but pretend a transition to renewables can be achieved without a massive investment of fossil fuels (try making a solar panel or windmill without oil) and the brutal mining of rare earth minerals. They even pretend that inflation, which makes every renewable more expensive, is not a barrier.

They also ignore that it took 160 years to build the current energy system at a time when petroleum and minerals were abundant and cheap. Now they propose to “electrify the Titantic” as ecologist William Ophuls puts it, at a time of expensive fossil fuels, indebted financial systems and mineral shortages.

The techno-greens also pretend that civilization can substitute fossil fuels, which are densely packed with energy, with renewables, which are less energy dense — and do so without subsequent reductions in demand or changes in behaviour.

Power density can’t be taken for granted. It measures how much a particular form of energy can flow from a given unit area. Art Berman recently explained what a shift from high density to low density energy sources means. In basic English, “it takes two coal workers, 169 solar workers and 1,100 wind workers to equal the work of one natural gas worker.”

Low density energy not only requires more materials but occupies a larger physical space on the land. It also delivers smaller energy returns. If a forest spends more energy growing fewer leaves to conduct photosynthesis, it must either shrink or collapse.

An in-depth 2021 study by Simon Michaux at the Geological Survey of Finland illustrated this inconvenient reality. It calculated that to replace a single coal-fired powered plant of average size producing seven terawatt-hours per year of energy would require the construction of 213 average sized solar farms or 87 wind turbine array facilities. Renewables just have to work harder.

The global economy currently operates 46,423 power stations running on all types of energy, but mostly fossil fuels noted Michaux. To green the sector up and still keep the lights on will require the construction of 221,594 new power plants within the next 30 years.

So it's nonsense.  Global warming is real.  Fossil fuels are running out in any case.  Renewables are not up to the task.  (Nuclear energy is still problematic.)  And we are a wasteful civilization consuming more than we need and destroying the earth's ability to sustain us on numerous levels.  We have to reduce our consumption levels.

There is, of course, a third narrative which no one wants to discuss. Lovelock, who is famous for postulating the Gaia hypothesis for how Earth’s systems are regulated in synch, urged in 2005 that we embrace “a sustainable retreat.”

An economic retreat means shrinking fossil fuel spending by at least one third, which means the end of economic growth. (One recent study suggested high income states probably need to cut their resource use by 70 per cent.)

So what does shrinkage look like? It means returning to standards of living prevalent in the 1960s and 1950s. It means deglobalization. It means slow living instead of fast consumption. It means walking instead of flying. It means more people growing food on smaller plots. It means relocalizing life. It means making changes most of us are not yet willing to talk about, let alone make.

This is an enormous task and, sadly, it is my observation that the Left (the political demographic that most accepts all these realities) has so far not progressed beyond identifying the problem; petitioning our overlords to change; and grumbling about how our overlords continue to only pay lip-service to changing.

Friday, June 3, 2022

Who Votes For Doug Ford?


A culture that believes nuclear war might be justified in light of Russia's invasion of the Ukraine.  A culture that believes wearing a mask during a viral, airborne, respiratory pandemic is an intolerable assault on liberty.  (Mustn't forget the people who do wear a mask but leave their noses uncovered because they don't understand the concept of breathing.)  A culture that believes that the so-far toothless measures to deal with global heating are Stalinism but agrees wholeheartedly in the surveillance/torture state constructed in the Great Bullshit War on Terror.

A culture that forgets how Ford's first instinct upon hearing that Ontario seniors were dying in droves from COVID-19 because their for-profit long-term care home owners were pursuing profit over their goddamned responsibilities, and who (it was quickly revealed) had been leaving their clients to live in filth and squalor for years, ... Ford's first instinct was to protect these long-term care profiteers (including his filthy, murderous, super-corrupt predecessor Mike Harris) from legal liability.

A culture with a media system of scumbags and airheads that works night and day to make a scumbag shithead like Doug Ford seem like a regular guy.

Obviously our anti-democratic First Past the Post electoral system is working as our elites think it should.