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Kunstler: A View from the Brink

Public Policy

Welcome to the world where things don’t add up. For instance, some people did some things to the Saudi Arabian oil refinery at Abqaiq over the weekend. Like, sent over a salvo of cruise missiles and armed drone aircraft to blow it up. They did a pretty good job of disabling the works. It is Saudi Arabia’s largest oil processing facility, and for now, perhaps months, a fair amount of the world’s oil supply will be cut off. President Trump said “[we] are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!” Exclamation mark his.

How many times the past few years has our government declared that “we have the finest intelligence services in the world.” Very well, then, why are we waiting for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to tell us who fired all that stuff into Abqaiq? Whoever did it, it was unquestionably an act of war. And, of course, what are we going to do about it? (And what will some people do about it?)

Let’s face it: the USA has had a hard-on for Iran for forty years, ever since they overthrew their shah, invaded the US embassy in Tehran, and took fifty-two American diplomats and staff hostage for 444 days. On the other hand, the Arabians and Iranians have had a mutual hard-on for centuries, long before the Saud family was in charge of things, and back when Iran was known as Persia, a land of genies, fragrant spices, and a glorious antiquity (while Arabia was a wasteland of sand populated by nomads and their camels).

The beef was formerly just about which brand of Islam would prevail, Sunni or Shia. Lately (the past fifty years) it has been more about the politics of oil and hegemony over the Middle East. Since the US invaded Iraq and busted up the joint, the threat has existed that Iran would take over Iraq, with its majority Shia population, especially the oil-rich Basra region at the head of the Persian Gulf. The presence of Israel greatly complicates things, since Iran has a hard-on for that nation, too, and for Jews especially, often expressed in the most belligerent and opprobrious terms, such as “wiping Israel off the map.” No ambiguity there. The catch being that Israel has the capability of turning Iran into an ashtray.

The world has been waiting for a major war in the Middle east for decades, and it might have one by close of business today. Or perhaps some people will do nothing. The Iran-backed Houthi rebels of Yemen supposedly claimed responsibility for the attack. That’s rich. As if that rag-tag outfit has a whole bunch of million-dollar missiles and the knowledge and capacity to launch them successfully, not to mention the satellite guidance mojo. A correspondent suggests that the missiles were fired from a pro-Iranian military base in Iraq, with the Houthis brought in on flying carpets to push the launch buttons.

President Trump is trumpeting America’s “energy independence,” meaning whatever happens over there won’t affect us. Well, none of that is true. We still import millions of barrels of oil a day, though much less from Saudi Arabia than before 2008. The shale oil “miracle” is hitting the skids these days. Shale oil production has gone flat, the rig-count is down, companies are going bankrupt, and financing for the debt-dependent operations is dwindling since the producers have demonstrated that they can’t make a profit at it. They’re trapped in the quandary of diminishing returns, frontloading production, while failing to overcome steep decline curves in wells that only produce for a couple of years.

It’s also the case that shale oil is ultra-light crude, containing little heavier distillates such as diesel and aviation fuel (basically kerosene). Alas, American refineries were all built before shale oil came along. They were designed to crack heavier oil and can’t handle the lighter shale. The “majors” don’t want to invest their remaining capital in new refineries, and the many smaller companies don’t have the ability. So, this makes necessary a high volume of oil swapping around the world. Without diesel and aviation fuel, US trucking and commercial aviation has a big problem, meaning the US economy has a big problem.

With the new crisis in the Middle East, benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil is up from around $55-a-barrel to just over $60 at the market open (European Brent crude is just above $70). That’s a pop, but not a spectacular one, considering that a whole lot more damage might ensue in the days ahead. China, Korea, and Japan stand to lose bigly if the players in the Middle East really go at it and bust up each other’s assets. If that happens, the world will never be the same. You can kiss the global economy goodbye for good. Let’s hope some people don’t do something.


82 Comments on "Kunstler: A View from the Brink"

  1. Davy on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 6:20 am 

    “Blackout hits 4 nations in Central America, affects millions” abc

    “A failure in Central America’s electrical grid left millions of people without power for hours in at least four countries Monday. Honduras was the country hardest hit, with the entirety of its territory and its more than 9 million inhabitants affected. Traffic snarled as more than 600 stoplights went dark in the capital, Tegucigalpa. Leonardo Deras of Honduras’ state electric company said at a news conference that the problem arose from an overload at a substation on the Caribbean coast. Salvador Mansell, president of Nicaragua’s state power transmission company, Enatrel, said the blackout hit his country’s capital, Managua, and its main departments, or provinces. There are about 600,000 paying customers for electricity in the country. Internet service and water distribution in parts of the capital, which relies on pumps, were also knocked out. Power began to be restored in the afternoon. Honduras’ government said the process would take three or four hours.”

  2. Davy on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 6:31 am 

    “The drought is now so severe it is biting in even the greenest corners of the country” abc

    “Farmers along Australia’s normally green eastern coast are reeling from the worst drought they have ever seen and face a tough summer if it doesn’t rain in the next few months. But the region has been in drought for two years now and farmers say it is starting to bite. “We normally get 40 inches of rain [a year] and I think we are up to around 8 inches,” fourth-generation beef farmer Tony Saul told 7.30. “And that might be all we’re going to get for the year.” He is standing in a dry river bed that stretches for hundreds of metres through his property near Kempsey. It’s usually full of water where his cattle drink. “This is the longest and the driest it’s been since I can remember and I’ve been here for my whole life,” Mr Saul said.”

  3. Davy on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 6:43 am 

    “What It’s Like Living in One of the Hottest Cities on Earth—Where It May Soon Be Uninhabitable” time google map

    “Jacobabad may well be the hottest city in Pakistan, in Asia and possibly in the world. Khosoo shakes his head in resignation. “Climate change. It’s the problem of our area. Gradually the temperatures are rising, and next year it will increase even more.” The week before I arrived in Jacobabad, the city had reached a scorching 51.1°C (124°F). Similar temperatures in Sahiwal, in a neighboring province, combined with a power outage, had killed eight babies in a hospital ICU when the air-conditioning cut out. Summer in Sindh province is no joke. People die.”

  4. Davy on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 6:51 am 

    “China’s yuan makes little progress to dethrone the US dollar as global currency, survey finds” scmp

    “China’s effort to promote the yuan as a global currency has made only marginal progress in the last three years, according to an international survey conducted by the Bank for International Settlements. The yuan kept its ranking as the world’s eighth most-traded currency, with a daily average turnover of US$284 billion, up from US$202 billion three years ago, according to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) triennial survey of foreign exchange, indicating that it is evolving into an international currency very slowly. The yuan’s share of all currency trades rose to 4.3 per cent from the 4.0 per cent in the 2016 snapshot, the survey showed. By comparison, the US dollar retained its place as the world’s dominant currency, with a turnover of US$5.82 trillion. The US dollar was on one side of 88 per cent of all currency trades, little changed from three years ago. It was also the second currency in 95 per cent of all yuan-denominated transactions. The euro was the second most-traded currency, involved in 32 per cent of all transactions, while the Japanese yen remained in third place with a share of 17 per cent. Analysts said the fact that yuan-based transactions had changed so little over the last three years indicated that the Chinese currency would not overtake the US dollar any time soon, with the data showing that the US dollar remained the currency of choice for invoicing trade transactions by most countries. With strict capital controls in place, China is gradually opening its domestic markets up to foreigners. Progress in having international central banks include yuan-denominated assets in their foreign exchange reserves was slow, traders and asset managers said. “No matter how much money inflows you are encouraging, the currency is still not very free if you do not allow outflows,” said Eugenia Fabon Victorino, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken’s head of Asia strategy. “It takes much more than opening the capital account to make the yuan an invoicing currency.”

  5. Davy on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 6:54 am 

    Oops, sorry for all the off topic copy and paste spam everyone.

  6. Davy on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 7:16 am 

    Back on topic dumbasses

    “Is The Trump Administration Losing The Narrative Battle Over Iran?” zero hedge

    “I’m expected to write something about the Trump administration’s warmongering against Iran over an attack on a Saudi oil refinery, because that’s typically what I do in this ongoing improvisational exercise of mine: I write about the behavior of the US war machine and the propaganda that is used to bolster it. It’s what my readers have come to expect. But honestly I find the whole thing extremely tedious and I’ve been putting off writing about it for two days.”

    “This is because from a propaganda analysis point of view, there’s really not much to write about. The Trump administration has been making bumbling, ham-fisted attempts at manufacturing public support for increasing aggressions against Iran since it initiated withdrawal from the JCPOA a year and a half ago, yet according to a Gallup poll last month Americans still overwhelmingly support diplomatic solutions with Tehran over any kind of military aggression at all. In contrast, most Americans supported a full-scale ground invasion of Iraq according to Gallup polls taken in the lead-up to that 2003 atrocity. With the far less committed Libya intervention, it was 47 percent supportive of US military action versus 37 percent opposed.”

    “The reason I’m able to spend so much time writing about war propaganda as part of my job is because war propaganda is happening constantly, and the reason war propaganda is happening constantly is because it’s absolutely necessary for the perpetuation of the US-centralized empire’s slow-motion third world war against unabsorbed governments. In other words, the propaganda apparatus of the empire works constantly to manufacture consent for military aggressions because it absolutely requires that consent.”

    “When I say that the imperial war machine requires public consent before it can initiate overt warfare, I’m not saying that the US government is physically or legally incapable of launching a war that the public disapproves of, I’m saying that it is absolutely essential for the drivers of empire to preserve the illusion of freedom and democracy in America. People need to feel like their government is basically acting in everyone’s best interest, and that it is answerable to the will of the electorate, otherwise the illusion of freedom and democracy is shattered and people lose all trust in their government and media. If people no longer trust the political/media class, they can’t be propagandized. Without the ability to propagandize the masses, the empire collapses.”

  7. fucktard juanPaultard on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 7:17 am 

    Bn the ID theft

    Davy said Oops, sorry for all the off topic copy and paste s…

  8. Ban the Bitch on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 7:19 am 

    and fill in, you get that the server is hosted by Cloudflare:
    Cloudflare is one of the last bastions of free speech, under lefties also known as “hate speech”. It is very sad that the admin of this site doesn’t seem to want to take the trouble to log in to his server dashboard and active a few presets, enforcing posters to post under a unique username/password combination. That doesn’t eliminate garbage under fake identities that JuanP is using, but at least it stops JuanP identity theft and that would make a hell of a difference. If possible, you could also enforce that one IP-address can only post under a single identity. Please admin, invest an hour of your time to get this right.”

  9. Miami Bech Maggot on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 7:20 am 

    JUAN Paultard ID theft:

    Davy said Back on topic dumbasses “Is The Trump Administrati…
    Davy said Oops, sorry for all the off topic copy and paste s…

  10. Davy on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 7:24 am 

    I am spending less time on this lame unmoderated forum to concentrate on my own blog. I do want to thank all those who have attacked me with giving me material for growth.

    Anyway fuck my enemies and many thanks to those who contributed to my metamorphous.

  11. fuckturd juanPalturd on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 7:25 am 

    ID theft

    Davy said I am spending less time on this lame unmoderated f…

  12. JuanP on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 7:26 am 

    This is Fun. LMFAO

  13. DerHundistLos on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 7:53 am 

    As a lifelong philatelist, I like to stay current on new stamp issues.

    The stamp designs that have emerged from the Trump administration are unparalleled in their juvenile stupidity. Here is a current sampling of recent stamp issues:

    1. Popsicles of different colors;

    2. Scooby-Doo

    3. A Lemon coil

    Is any further commentary necessary?

  14. The Very Reverend Cleophus Robinson on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 8:07 am 

    “DAVY is of HIS father the GRAND MASTER of HELL, and the desires of HIS father HE covets. DAVY was a FORNICATOR (ebony) from the beginning, and does not stand in the TRUTH, because there is no TRUTH in him. When DAVY speaks a LIE, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a LIAR and the father of it.” John 8:44

  15. Ban the lunatic JuanPaultard on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 8:58 am 

    The lunatic juanPaultard has both a sexual deviancy and a religious fetish. Ban the fucking mental case please site owners.

    “The Very Reverend Cleophus Robinson said “DAVY is of HIS father the GRAND MASTER of HELL, a…”

  16. JuanP on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 8:59 am 

    Are you guys having fun yet? Do you see how clever and artistic I am? I will give you some muzzie fun later today.

  17. Superetard obv. on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 9:07 am 

    Are you guys having fun yet? Do you see how clever and artistic I am? I will give you some muzzie fun later today.

  18. Cloggie on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 9:09 am 

    Australia gradually becoming a Chinese satellite:

    “Australia’s China Challenge”

  19. Cloggie on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 9:15 am 

    UK: away from Europe back to Anglosphere:

    “Tory government ‘looking at’ granting Australians freedom of movement denied to EU citizens after Brexit, cabinet minister Liz Truss says”

    Eurasia vs Anglosphere

  20. Cloggie on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 9:17 am 

    Too white for Britain:

    “Polish ambassador tells Poles in Britain to ‘seriously consider coming home’ after Brexit”

  21. Cloggie on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 9:32 am 

    “Jokingly into Brexit chaos:”

    “Juxend in den Chaos-Brexit”

    Making fun of the British is all the rage lately. First the Luxemburg PM who next gets support from Macron. Now Juncker calls riotting Brexiteer MPs in EU parliament “his fans and groupies”..

    British war graves violated in the Netherlands:

    Only a matter of time before they do the same with US graves.

  22. MODS supremacist muzzie jerk on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 9:33 am 

    uppertard knows this forum is doing fine with a bunch of text. this will be free as long as BIG SIS allow it. BIG SIS is supertard and he works with BIG GOAT to run the show.
    It’s all controlled opposition

    ‘ ‘lo I’m a supermacist muzzie jerk. allah created me the best, and they are worse of creatures ‘

  23. I AM THE MOB on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 10:35 am 

    GOP State Senator Arrested For Child Sexual Abuse, Child Porn

    This is the end game for the radical right!

  24. Cloggie on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 12:40 pm 

    EU ultimatum to the UK: give us a credible Brexit plan within 12 days or we pull the no-deal plug

    “EU gives Boris Johnson ultimatum: Show us Brexit plan in 12 days or ‘it’s over’”

    The EU essentially giving the Brexiteers what they want, but can’t achieve themselves.

    The EU will free itself from Britain, and somewhat later from the US.

    The West is over.

    Europe will turn to Russia and if they are smart and brave, also to China. Simply withdraw from Anglo-globalist institutions, first and foremost the UN and forbid dollar transactions in Eurasia, that will be the center of the world again.

  25. Cloggie on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 1:08 pm 

    No-deal is voted down by British parliament. The big question is what they will do if BoJo doesn’t deliver, which he won’t.

    Will parliament revoke article 50 and stay in the EU?
    EU courts already determined that the UK has that right.

  26. Cloggie on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 1:16 pm 

    Watching German news now. No mention of 12 day ultimatum or in other Dutch or German media.

    “EU tells Boris Johnson ‘you have 12 DAYS to find a Brexit plan or it’s OVER’: Leaders order Britain to submit deal proposals by the end of the month or face No Deal”

  27. Cloggie on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 1:21 pm 

    Apparently the ultimatum comes from Macron. Unclear if he had EU backing. Good cop-bad cop tactics?

  28. Cloggie on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 1:53 pm 

    “This is the end game for the radical right!”

    Pathetic attempt to distract from the far greater (((Epstein))) scandal, that implicates many in the highest circles.

  29. Cloggie on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 2:40 pm 

    Leftist Spanish government collapses, new elections coming up:

  30. Cloggie on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 2:59 pm 

    First cracks in leftist Italian government: socialist heavyweight and ex-pm Renzi has left social-democrats party in order to start a new movement, directed against right-wing populists:

    Matteo Renzi against Matteo Salvini.

  31. Cloggie on Fri, 20th Sep 2019 7:48 am 

    The BBC puts very well the blame for the troubles at Thomas Cook at Brexit:

    “Thomas Cook: What’s gone wrong at the holiday firm?”

    “However, it warned of “further headwinds” for the rest of the year and said there was “now little doubt” that Brexit had caused customers to delay their summer holiday plans.”

  32. Cloggie on Sun, 22nd Sep 2019 3:53 am 

    Low-life BoJo latest:

    “Boris Johnson ‘enjoyed close friendship with US model and tech entrepreneur during his time as London Mayor and failed to declare potential conflicts of interest after she escorted him on overseas trips’”

    F* em where you can. Clinton, prince Andrew, Trump, BoJo, Farage… disloyal exploiteurs that can be bought for a handful of shekels and sex.

    Time to get rid of them.

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