2020: The Year Things Started Going Badly Wrong

How today’s energy problem is different from peak oil

Many people believe that the economy will start going badly wrong when we “run out of oil.” The problem we have today is indeed an energy problem, but it is a different energy problem. Let me explain it with an escalator analogy.

Figure 1. Holborn Tube Station Escalator. Photo by renaissancechambara, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The economy is like a down escalator that citizens of the world are trying to walk upward on. At first the downward motion of the escalator is almost imperceptible, but gradually it gets to be greater and greater. Eventually the downward motion becomes almost unbearable. Many citizens long to sit down and take a rest.

In fact, a break, like the pandemic, almost comes as a relief. There is suddenly a chance to take it easy; not drive to work; not visit relatives; not keep up appearances before friends. Government officials may not be unhappy either. There may have been demonstrations by groups asking for higher wages. Telling people to stay at home provides a convenient way to end these demonstrations and restore order.

But then, restarting doesn’t work. There are too many broken pieces of the economy. Too many bankrupt companies; too many unemployed people; too much debt that cannot be repaid. And, a virus that really doesn’t quite go away, leaving people worried and unwilling to attempt to resume normal activities.

Some might describe the energy story as a “diminishing returns” story, but it’s really broader than this. It’s a story of services that we expect to continue, but which cannot continue without much more energy investment. It is also a story of the loss of “economies of scale” that at one time helped propel the economy forward.

In this post, I will explain some of the issues I see affecting the economy today. They tend to push the economy down, like a down escalator. They also make economic growth more difficult.

[1] Many resources take an increasing amount of effort to obtain or extract, because we use the easiest to obtain first. Many people would call this a diminishing returns problem.

Let’s look at a few examples:

(a) Water. When there were just a relatively few humans on the earth, drinking water from a nearby stream was a reasonable approach. This is the approach used by animals; humans could use it as well. As the number of humans rose, we found we needed additional approaches to gather enough potable water: First shallow wells were dug. Then we found that we needed to dig deeper wells. We found that lake water could be used, but we needed to filter it and treat it first. In some places, now, we find that desalination is needed. In fact, after desalination, we need to put the correct minerals back into it and pump it to the destination where it is required.

All of these approaches can indeed be employed. In theory, we would never run out of water. The problem is that as we move up the chain of treatments, an increasing amount of energy of some kind needs to be used. At first, humans could use some of their spare time (and energy) to dig wells. As more advanced approaches were chosen, the need for supplemental energy besides human energy became greater. Each of us individually cannot produce the water we need; instead, we must directly, or indirectly, pay for this water. The fact that we have to pay for this water with part of our wages reduces the portion of our wages available for other goods.

(b) Metals. Whenever some group decides to mine a metal ore, the ore that is taken first tends to be easy to access ore of high quality, close to where it needs to be used. As the best mines get depleted, producers use lower-grade ores, transported over longer distances. The shift toward less optimal mines requires more energy. Some of this additional energy could be human energy, but some of the energy would be supplied by fossil fuels, operating machinery in order to supplement human labor. Supplemental energy needs become greater and greater as mines become increasingly depleted. As technology advances, energy needs become greater, because some of the high-tech devices require materials that can only be formed at very high temperatures.

(c) Wild Animals Including Fish. When pre-humans moved out of Africa, they killed off the largest game animals on every continent that they moved to. It was still possible to hunt wild game in these areas, but the animals were smaller. The return on the human labor invested was smaller. Now, most of the meat we eat is produced on farms. The same pattern exists in fishing. Most of the fish the world eats today is produced on fish farms. We now need entire industries to provide food that early humans could obtain themselves. These farms directly and indirectly consume fossil fuel energy. In fact, more energy is used as more animals/fish are produced.

(d) Fossil Fuels. We keep hearing about the possibility of “running out” of oil, but this is not really the issue with oil. In fact, it is not the issue with coal or natural gas, either. The issue is one of diminishing returns. There is (and always will be) what looks like plenty left. The problem is that the process of extraction consumes increasing amounts of resources as deeper, more complex oil or gas wells need to be drilled and as coal mines farther away from users of the coal are developed. Many people have jumped to the conclusion that this means that the price that buyers of fossil fuel will pay will rise. This isn’t really true. It means that the cost of production will rise, leading to lower profitability. The lower profitability is likely to be spread in many ways: lower taxes paid, cutbacks in wages and pension plans, and perhaps a sale to a new owner, at a lower price. Eventually, low energy prices will lead to production stopping. Without adequate fossil fuels, the whole economic system will be disrupted, and the result will be severe recession or depression. There are also likely to be many job losses.

In (a) through (d) above, we are seeing an increasing share of the output of the economy being used in inefficient ways: in creating deeper water wells and desalination plants; in drilling oil wells in more difficult locations; in extracting metal ores that are mostly waste products. The extent of this inefficiency tends to increase over time. This is what leads to the effect of an escalator descending faster and faster, just as we humans are trying to walk up it.

Humans work for wages, but they find that when they buy a box of corn flakes, very little of the price actually goes to the farmer growing the corn. Instead, all of the intermediate parts of the system are becoming overly large. The buyer cannot afford the end products, and the producer feels cheated by the low wholesale prices he is being paid. The system as a whole is pushed toward collapse.

[2] Increasing complexity can help maintain economic growth, but it too reaches diminishing returns.

Complexity takes many forms, including more hierarchical organization, more specialization, longer supply chains, and development of new technology. Complexity can indeed help maintain economic growth. For example, if water supply is intermittent, a country may choose to build a dam to control the flow of water and produce electricity. Complexity tends to reach diminishing returns, as noted by Joseph Tainter in The Collapse of Complex Societies. For example, economies build dams in the best locations first, and only later build them at less advantageous sites. These are a few other examples:

(a) Education. Teaching everyone to read and write has significant benefits because it allows the use of books and other written materials to disseminate information and knowledge. Teaching a few people advanced subjects has significant benefits as well. But after a certain point, the need for additional people to study a subject such as art history is low. A few people can teach the subject but doing more research on the subject probably won’t increase world GDP very much.

When we look at data from about 1970, we find that people with advanced education earned much higher incomes than those without advanced degrees. But as we add an increasing large share of people with these advanced degrees, jobs that really need these degrees are not as plentiful as the new graduates. Quite a few people with advanced degrees end up with low-paying jobs. The “return on investment” for higher education drops increasingly lower. Some students are not able to repay the debt that they took out in order to pay for their education.

(b) Medicines and Vaccines. Over the years, medicines and vaccines have been developed to treat many common illnesses and diseases. After a while, the easy-to-find medicines for the common unwanted conditions (such as diabetes, high blood pressure and inflammation) have already been found. There are medicines for rare diseases that haven’t been found, but these will never have very large total sales, discouraging investment. There are also conditions that are common in very poor countries. While expensive drugs could be developed for these conditions, it is likely that few people could afford these drugs, so this, too, becomes less attractive.

If research is to continue, it is important to keep expanding work on expensive new drugs, even if it means completely ignoring old inexpensive drugs that might work equally well. A cynical person might think that this is the reason why vitamin D and ivermectin are generally being ignored in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Without an expanding group of high-priced new drugs, it is hard to attract capital and young workers to the field.

(c) Automobile Efficiency. In the US, the big fuel efficiency change that took place was that which took place between 1975 and 1983, when a changeover was made to smaller, lighter vehicles, similar to ones that were already in use in Japan and Europe.

Figure 2. Estimated Real-World Fuel Economy, Horsepower, and Weight Since Model Year 1975, in a chart produced by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Source.

The increase in fuel efficiency between 2008 and 2019 (an 11 year period) was only 22%, compared to the 60% increase in fuel efficiency between 1975 and 1983 (an 8 year period). This is another example of diminishing returns to investment in complexity.

[3] Today’s citizens have never been told that many of the services we take for granted today, such as suppression of forest fires, are really services provided by fossil fuels.

In fact, the amount of energy required to provide these services rises each year. We expect these services to continue indefinitely, but we should be aware that they cannot continue very long, unless the energy available to the economy as a whole is rising very rapidly.

(a) Suppression of Forest Fires. Forest fires are part of nature. Many trees require fire for their seeds to germinate. Human neighbors of forests don’t like forest fires; they often encourage local authorities to put out any forest fire that starts. Such suppression allows an increasing amount of dry bush to build up. As a result, future fires spread more easily and grow larger.

At the same time, humans increasingly build homes in forested areas because of the pleasant scenery. As population expands and as fires spread more easily, forest fire suppression takes an increasing amount of resources, including fossil fuels to power helicopters used in the battles. If fossil fuels are not available, this type of service would need to stop. Trying to keep forest fires suppressed, assuming fossil fuels are available for this purpose, will take higher taxes, year after year. This is part of what makes it seem like we are trying to move our economy upward on a down escalator.

(b) Suppression of Illnesses. Illnesses are part of the cycle of nature; they disproportionately take out the old and the weak. Of course, we humans don’t really like this; the old and weak are our relatives and close friends. In fact, some of us may be old and weak.

In the last 100 years, researchers (using fossil fuels) have developed a large number of antibiotics, antivirals and vaccines to try to suppress illnesses. We find that microbes quickly mutate in new ways, defeating our attempts at suppression of illnesses. Thus, we have ever-more antibiotic resistant bacteria. The cost of today’s US healthcare system is very high, exceeding what many poor people can afford to pay. Introducing new vaccines results in an additional cost.

Closing down the system to try to stop a virus adds a huge new cost, which is disproportionately borne by the poor people of the world. If we throw more money/fossil fuels at the medical system, perhaps it can be made to work a little longer. No one tells us that disease suppression is a service of fossil fuels; if we have an increasing quantity of fossil fuels per capita, perhaps we can increase disease suppression services.

(c) Suppression of Weeds and Unwanted Insects. Researchers keep developing new chemical treatments (based on fossil fuels) to suppress weeds and unwanted insects. Unfortunately, the weeds and unwanted insects keep mutating in a way that makes the chemicals less effective. The easy solutions were found first; finding solutions that really work and don’t harm humans seems to be elusive. The early solutions were relatively cheap, but later ones have become increasingly expensive. This problem acts, in many ways, like diminishing returns.

(d) Recycling (and Indirectly, Return Transport of Empty Shipping Containers from Around the World). When oil prices are high, recycling of used items for their content makes sense, economically. When oil prices are low, recycling often requires a subsidy. This subsidy indirectly goes to pay for fossil fuels used to facilitate the recycling. Often this goes to pay for shipment to a country that will do the recycling.

When oil prices were high (prior to 2014), part of the revenue from recycling could be used to transport mixed waste products to China and India for recycling. With low oil prices, China and India have stopped accepting most recycling. Instead, it is necessary to find actual “goods” for the return voyage of a shipping container or, alternatively, pay to have the container sent back empty. Europe now seems to have a difficult time filling shipping containers for the return voyage to Asia. Because of this, the cost of obtaining shipping containers to ship goods to Europe seems to be escalating. This higher cost acts much like diminishing returns with respect to the transport of goods to Europe from Asia. This is yet another part of what is acting like a down escalator for the world economy.

[4] Another, ever higher cost is pollution control. This higher cost also exerts a downward effect on the world economy, because it acts like another intermediate cost.

As we burn increasing amounts of fossil fuels, increasing amounts of particulate matter need to be captured and disposed of. Capturing this material is only part of the problem; some of the waste material may be radioactive or may include mercury. Once the material is captured, it needs to be “locked up” in some way, so it doesn’t pollute the water and air. Whatever approach is used requires energy products of various kinds. In fact, the more fossil fuels that are burned, the bigger the waste disposal problem tends to be.

Burning more fossil fuels also leads to more CO2. Unfortunately, we don’t have suitable alternatives. Nuclear is probably as good as any, and it has serious safety issues. In my opinion, the view that intermittent wind and solar are a suitable replacement for fossil fuels represents wishful thinking. Wind and solar, because of their intermittency, can only partially replace the coal or natural gas burned to generate electricity. They cannot be relied upon for 24/7/365 generation. The unsubsidized cost of producing intermittent wind and solar energy needs to be compared to the price of coal and natural gas, not to wholesale electricity prices. There are a lot of apples to oranges comparisons being made.

[5] Among other things, the growth of the economy depends on “economies of scale” as the number of participants in the economy gradually grows. The response to COVID-19 has been extremely detrimental to economies of scale.

The economies of many countries changed dramatically, with the initial spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, we cannot expect these changes to be completely reversed anytime soon. Part of the reason is the new virus mutation from the UK that is now of concern. Another reason is that, even with the vaccine, no one really knows how long immunity will last. Until the virus is clearly gone, vestiges of the cutbacks are likely to remain in place.

In general, businesses do well financially as the number of buyers of the goods and services they provide rises. This happens because overhead costs, such as mortgage payments, can be spread over more buyers. The expertise of the business owners can also be used more widely.

One huge problem is the recent cutback in tourism, affecting almost every country in the world. This cutback affects both businesses directly related to tourism and businesses indirectly related to tourism, such as restaurants and hotels.

Another huge problem is social distancing rules that lead to office buildings and restaurants being used less intensively. Businesses find that they tend to have fewer customers, rather than more. Related businesses, such as taxis and dry cleaners, find that they also have fewer customers. Nursing homes and other care homes for the aged are seeing lower occupancy rates because no one wants to be locked up for months on end without being able to see other members of their family.

[6] With all of the difficulties listed in Items [1] though [5], debt based financing tends to work less and less well. Huge debt defaults can be expected to adversely affect banks, insurance companies and pension plans.

Many businesses are already near default on debt. These businesses cannot make a profit with a much reduced number of customers. If no change is possible, somehow this will need to flow through the system. Defaulting debt is likely to lead to failing banks and pension plans. In fact, governments that depend on taxes may also fail.

The shutdowns taken by economies earlier this year were very detrimental, both to businesses and to workers. A major solution to date has been to add more governmental debt to try to bail out citizens and businesses. This additional debt makes it even more difficult to maintain promised debt payments. This is yet another force making it difficult for economies to move up the growth escalator.

[7] The situation we are headed for looks much like the collapses of early civilizations.

With diminishing returns everywhere, and inadequate sources of very inexpensive energy to keep the system going, major parts of the world economic system appear headed for collapse. There doesn’t seem to be any way to keep the world economy growing rapidly enough to offset the down escalator effect.

Citizens have not been aware of how “close to the edge” we have been. Low energy prices have been deceptive, but this is what we should expect with collapse. (See, for example, Revelation 18: 11-13, telling about the lack of demand for goods of all kinds when ancient Babylon collapsed.) Low prices tend to keep fossil fuels in the ground. They also tend to discourage high-priced alternatives. Unfortunately, all the wishful thinking of the World Economic Forum and others advocating a Green New Deal does not change the reality of the situation.

About Gail Tverberg

My name is Gail Tverberg. I am an actuary interested in finite world issues - oil depletion, natural gas depletion, water shortages, and climate change. Oil limits look very different from what most expect, with high prices leading to recession, and low prices leading to financial problems for oil producers and for oil exporting countries. We are really dealing with a physics problem that affects many parts of the economy at once, including wages and the financial system. I try to look at the overall problem.
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2,805 Responses to 2020: The Year Things Started Going Badly Wrong

  1. Kowalainen says:

    Well, happy new year 2021 to all OFW doomsters, with best of wishes for a glorious future from an expat Laplander in Scania, Sweden.


  2. MG says:

    A blessed end of the world in 2021 from CE, in the memory of Great Britain:

    • Tim Groves says:

      That’s a brilliant haunting song. but as a memorial to the old country, this one is more apposite.


      Oh! England, my Lionheart,
      I’m in your garden, fading fast in your arms.
      The soldiers soften, the war is over.
      The air raid shelters are blooming clover.
      Flapping umbrellas fill the lanes–
      My London Bridge in rain again.

      Oh! England, my Lionheart!
      Peter Pan steals the kids in Kensington Park.
      You read me Shakespeare on the rolling Thames–
      That old river poet that never, ever ends.
      Our thumping hearts hold the ravens in,
      And keep the tower from tumbling.

      Oh! England, my Lionheart!
      Dropped from my black Spitfire to my funeral barge.
      Give me one kiss in apple-blossom.
      Give me one wish, and I’d be wassailing
      In the orchard, my English rose,
      Or with my shepherd, who’ll bring me home.

      • MG says:

        They played Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush on a Czech Christian radio Proglas yesterday ini a broadcast before midnight. One of the persons from the radio staff said that this song was played on his wedding based on the recommendation of his friend – a music expert.

        The chorus is really an energy story:

        “Heathcliff, it’s me, Cathy, I’ve come home
        I’m so cold, let me in your window
        Heathcliff, it’s me, Cathy, I’ve come home
        I’m so cold, let me in your window”

        • Wuthering Heights is the tale of an imposter creating havoc and the Order winning in the end.

          Interesting that a Czech station played it, because within the decade, Czechia, etc will all be re-integrated into some kind of Central European Union (the name for the Fourth Reich in a politically correct name) , which was always the natural order of things.

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      ‘Not with a bang but a bottle’?

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      Just because it’s New Year and I love Kate Bush – this will soothe away the hangover:


  3. Benjamin Jansssen says:

    Hi Gail,

    Do you think a carbon tax at any point in the demise of this fossil fuel economy would have been beneficial if done right or would that just dissipate the structure sooner? I’ve been wondering how inevitable the human predicament is.

    • There have always been a lot of taxes on fossil fuels. A carbon tax would be another such tax.

      There is really no substitute for fossil fuels. Complexity (more efficient cars, for example) can be helpful, but complexity reaches diminishing returns too. Electric cars relay on materials that have reach diminishing returns as well. There really is no solution.

      I think most of what a carbon tax does is send manufacturing to other countries. This isn’t too bad, if there is a lot of international trade going on, so finished goods (made from fossil fuels) can be imported from elsewhere. If there is a lot less international trade, countries will need manufacturing done locally. But, once manufacturing is sent elsewhere, it is gone.

      Of course, if a country has virtually no energy supplies, it is forced to send its manufacturing elsewhere. A carbon tax makes it sound like the country is doing something for a good cause.

    • I have been trying to figure out what this is about.

      Wikipedia has an article about Fairview (surveillance program)

      According to it:

      Fairview is a secret program under which the National Security Agency cooperates with the American telecommunications company AT&T in order to collect phone, internet and e-mail data mainly of foreign countries’ citizens at major cable landing stations and switching stations inside the United States. The FAIRVIEW program started in 1985, one year after the Bell breakup.

      Theintercept.com has a 2018 article called The Wiretap Rooms: The NSA’s Hidden Spy Hubs in Eight US Cities

      In fact, the image you show seems to be from this article. According to this article,

      Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. In each of these cities, The Intercept has identified an AT&T facility containing networking equipment that transports large quantities of internet traffic across the United States and the world. A body of evidence – including classified NSA documents, public records, and interviews with several former AT&T employees – indicates that the buildings are central to an NSA spying initiative that has for years monitored billions of emails, phone calls, and online chats passing across U.S. territory.


      Under a Ronald Reagan-era presidential directive – Executive Order 12333 – the NSA has what it calls “transit authority,” which it says enables it to eavesdrop on “communications which originate and terminate in foreign countries, but traverse U.S. territory.” That could include, for example, an email sent by a person in France to a person in Mexico, which on its way to its destination was routed through a server in California. According to the NSA’s documents, it was using AT&T’s networks as of March 2013 to gather some 60 million foreign-to-foreign emails every day, 1.8 billion per month.

      Without an individualized court order, it is illegal for the NSA to spy on communications that are wholly domestic, such as emails sent back and forth between two Americans living in Texas. However, in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the agency began eavesdropping on Americans’ international calls and emails that were passing between the U.S. and other countries. That practice was exposed by the New York Times in 2005 and triggered what became known as the “warrantless wiretapping” scandal.

      The article goes on to talk about how all US calls are funneled through one of these eight nodes, so that they can be reviewed. It also says that the agency looks at emails that even mention a name or phone number that is of concern, because of a foreign connection, even of a US resident. In fact, they may look at all emails from such a person.

      I don’t know what Nashville’s role in all of this is. An article on the Nashville explosion that hit the AT&T building says:

      Flames broke out in the building and 3 feet of water pooled in the basement. Temporary battery power kept services intact in the hours following the explosion, but fire and flooding damaged backup power generators to power those batteries.

      The disruption brought communications in the region, from Georgia to Kentucky, to a halt, affecting 911 call centers, hospitals, the Nashville airport, government offices and individual mobile users. Issues with credit card devices hamstrung businesses big and small.

      I doubt that the problem is completely resolved at this point.

      • Kowalainen says:

        I also doubt it, this specialized type of gear is having some lead times.the same goes for sensitive gear in the grid.

        Cant just print out electronics willy nilly when there’s semiconductors that can’t be had due to fully booked factory lines.

  4. Harry McGibbs says:

    “COVID-19 shook, rattled and rolled the global economy in 2020.”

    Yes, it did – but we’re still here. Happy New Year, all.


  5. Harry McGibbs says:

    “China’s top credit-rating firm was banned from rating new bonds for three months, after an investigation found it ignored red flags at a state-owned coal miner whose default last month rattled the country’s bond market…

    “The series of events spooked investors, triggering price declines that pushed up bond yields and raised borrowing costs for other companies.”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “…if China were to make the RMB fully convertible, money would first flow in to take advantage of interest rates, but then it would flow out to hedge against poor fundamentals and cash out.

      “Then the Chinese economy could easily collapse, bringing down the political system, as happened to Indonesia or the Philippines in 1998, with the Asian financial crisis, where a similar mechanism was at play.”


      • The article also talks about reducing trade with Australia being a lose-lose proposition. In fact, reducing trade is lose-lose for the world as a whole. Of course, if there is less in the way of energy supplies, then there is no choice but to reduce trade. The thing that makes reducing trade seem attractive is the possibility of raising coal prices, so that extraction becomes economic for more companies. But even this doesn’t work well for long, because with high priced coal, electricity and steel become high cost to make. The either electricity and steel makers lose money, or consumers find that they must cut back on other consumption, to work around the high cost of electricity/steel. Diminishing returns is a problem everywhere!

  6. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The US will impose new import taxes on some French and German goods as part of a long-running trade dispute.

    “It announced tariffs on aircraft manufacturing parts along with certain non-sparkling wine, cognac and other grape brandies.”


  7. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Britain’s blue-chip share index has suffered its worst year since the 2008 financial crisis, as the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit uncertainty hit stocks during a turbulent 12 months for investors.

    “The FTSE 100 index of top shares listed in London fell by 14.3% during 2020, the poorest performance among the largest international stock indices, and its biggest decline since 2008.”


  8. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Central bankers will spend 2021 trying to tame the debt monsters they made in 2020. The pandemic-induced market meltdown forced Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell to buy corporate debt for the first time, while European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde unveiled plans to spend an unprecedented 1.85 trillion euros propping up markets.

    “Yet in helping resolve the crisis, rate-setters sowed the seeds of the next one.”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “An overwhelming majority (83%) of institutional investors in the eurozone, the UK, the US and Canada among other countries see a risk of a global financial crisis as the world deals with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, new data has revealed.”


      • Harry McGibbs says:

        “An overwhelming majority (83%) of institutional investors in the eurozone, the UK, the US and Canada among other countries see a risk of a global financial crisis as the world deals with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, new data has revealed.”


        • It certainly is easy to see that a problem is likely ahead. Timing is the big issue. The article says,

          Block-Builders, which publishes forecasts and investment news, cited a survey of 500 major investors from 29 countries which found 60% of respondents expect a serious crisis in the next one to three years, with a majority of experts believing that risks from the pandemic are not yet sufficiently priced into the market.

          It certainly doesn’t look far away.

          • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

            yes, “risks from the pandemic” have not been priced into the markets for this entire year.

            and noted above, the Fed and the ECB are propping up the markets.

            it does look like there will be major financial problems in 2021, but these prop ups should continue for another 365 days at least, so the problems won’t be in slumping markets.

            prediction: markets at least as high at the end of 2021, since the “risks” can be ignored for another year, as long as CBs keep propping up, which they can and will do.

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        Whoops; apologies for double-post – in a hurry as usual!

        “A quieter crisis seems to be gaining momentum in the financial sector. Even without a Lehman moment, it could jeopardize prospects for economic recovery for many years to come.

        “The high leverage of countless firms on the eve of the pandemic will amplify the financial sector’s balance-sheet problems in the coming year.”


        • This is a Carmen Reinhart article. She is one of the co-authors of the book, This time is different. She now works for the World Bank. She says,

          Balance-sheet damage takes time to repair. Previous overborrowing often results in a long period of deleveraging, as financial institutions become more cautious in their lending practices. This muddling-through stage, usually associated with a sluggish recovery, can span years. In some cases, these financial crises develop into sovereign-debt crises, as bailouts transform pre-crisis private debt into public-sector liabilities.

          She always assumes that there is a way to fix these problems; it just takes time. Actually, it takes cheap-to-produce energy supplies, and we are out of those.

          • Dennis L. says:

            Isn’t money cheap to produce? These numbers can be balanced in a second, print more money and distribute to the debtors, instant repair of a paper balance sheet.

            The real balance sheet is hopeless, the beauty of accounting is matching the real world – it is a model. But the model assumes money is of constant value, if the debtor holds an asset with some productive value, that individual wins, the holder of a paper claim can not use that claim to replace spent energy as it were.

            Dennis L.

            • Right! At some point, the money is worth less. In fact, it may become pretty close to worthless.

              It is not just the money that it printed that is a problem, it is all of the other promises that are made, but aren’t represented as debt. Social Security and Medicare are pretty much pay as you go. If there is a shortfall, taxes (or more debt) need to make up the difference. Guarantees on bank accounts don’t have any liability attached. If there is a problem, somehow the government will have to figure out a way to make up the difference, generally with more debt. The same goes with nuclear power plant guarantees. If there is a problem, the government will figure out a way. So the outstanding amounts are truly unknown.

              My concern is that at some point, the international banking system won’t work. Nearly every country is printing money quickly, but at different rates. Countries will stop trusting each other. Or it may be that individual businesses cannot get Letters of Credit, guaranteeing that they will fulfill their contracts. International trade will drop dramatically. The shelves in stores will be much less full than they are today.

  9. Very Far Frank says:

    The view from a weakening EU:

    What does 2021 hold for the European Union? At the end of 2020 Brussels has gone out of its way to engage in unity-signalling, announcing that all 27 members will begin vaccination on the same day and feigning a united front in the face of the UK’s new strain of coronavirus. But in truth its 27 member states are confronted by serious structural divisions in three fundamental areas: economics, culture, defence.

    Deep economic divisions surfaced in the EU after the 2008 financial crash along a north-south axis. The split between the richer ‘frugal’ northern economies and the ‘profligate’ southerners was starkest in 2012-13 over Brussels’ treatment of Greece. Papered over at the time, the structural economic weaknesses of the so-called ‘Club Med’ of Greece, Spain, Italy, even France, erupted again with coronavirus. Financing economic protection against the pandemic and re-launching individual economies was feasible for the northern states, but fiscally perilous for the southerners, who were among the most indebted countries in the developed world. By June 2020, according to EU statistics, Greece’s national debt to annual GDP ratio stood at 187.4 per cent, Italy 149.4 per cent, Portugal 126.1 per cent, France 114.1 per cent. The battle to mutualise a small part of the debt has again pushed to one side the fundamental structural problem with the EU, the Euro: undervalued for some (Germany and the northern states) and overvalued for others (Italy and the southern states).

    A 2019 German think tank report, entitled ‘20 Years of the Euro; Winners and Losers’, costed the single currency’s impact on individual states. From 1999 to 2017, only Germany and the Netherlands were serious winners with the former gaining a huge € 1.9 trillion, or around €23,000 per inhabitant. 
In all other states analysed the Euro has provoked a drop in prosperity, with France losing a massive €3.6 trillion and Italy €4.3 trillion. French losses amount to €56,000 per capita and for Italians €74,000. Without fundamental reform the nineteen-member single currency’s divide between high-debt, high-unemployment southern states and their low-debt, low-unemployment northern counterparts will widen. The next crisis will come as the ECB’s quantitative easing programme ends and southern debt ceases to be sucked up by the Bank.

    Structural fissures are also opening from east to west in the philosophical and cultural underpinnings of the EU project. Hungary and Poland’s vetoing of the EU’s €1.8 trillion budget and recovery package brought a cultural war into the open. Eastern states took issue with Brussels’ political requirement for the fund’s distribution to be tied to adherence to the ‘rule of law’. They already felt aggrieved by western member states’ imposition of their one-size-fits-all ‘progressive’ values on their states. During the 2015 migration crisis their ‘regression’ to national borders and refusal to take migrants, followed by restrictions on the role of the media and the judiciary, irritated western leaders insistent that such practices contravene EU values. Eastern leaders rightly point to their policies being popular and supported by strong democratic mandates in recent elections. Whatever the respective merits, Brussels’ cultural hegemony risks drawing a new Iron Curtain across the EU, not to mention that many of these states preserve their national currencies.

  10. MG says:

    What is unique about the Christianity is the connection of non-revolt with martyrism in the name of love: bothe these aspects are about the energy – as the system implodes, there is no way you can escape the consequences of energy decline, but… but the probability is higher that you will be saved when you do not spend energy revolting, fighting or doing any violence.

    • MG says:

      Today, we can see the people panicking because their worlds are crumbling, some even adpoting self-destruct mode hoarding things that will have no value.

      It is really strange: you see them rushing towards the hard wall/over the cliff, stuck in their erroneous worlds and when they greet you, you feel like some zombies are talking to you.

    • such bullshit has ended for most Westerners. No one will go to martyrdom now. Sorry, everyone will go down fighting.

      After the two world wars, westerners no longer believed in God or heaven anymore

      • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

        I’ve seen data where C believers are only about 4% in Europe.

        here in the USA, maybe 15 to 20 %, though that could include many formerly younger believers who are now non believing older adults.

        the Catholic Church is nowtorious for not deleting inactive adults, and their “official” numbers of 60+ million are far above realistic numbers.

        belief is in steep decline, and USA numbers are indeed heading towards that 4% level, which seems to be a baseline where the message is believed, despite huge amounts of internet info about the manmade origins of all religions.

        anyway, this could reverse after a collapse of IC, where there would be a return to more primitive conditions, and no longer the vast counter information to established religions, which will then grow unhindered by vast amounts of real knowledge.

        though these beliefs have helped societies to bind together in the past, and would be helpful in the future, even if not literally true.

        cycles of religion.

  11. MM says:

    Not stable yet, but the Ivermectin story is gaining momentum:
    We will see how this develops………

    • This is a very fine presentation by Dr. Andrew Hill of the University of Liverpool, England regarding Ivermectin studies that they have analyzed to date. It also includes information on the additional studies going on around the world that they plan to add to their data base in the next month or so.

      The video is only 12 minutes long. It is well worth watching.

    • horseisahorseofcourseofcourse says:

      Thank you great video. Valuable dosage vs outcome information. Video references considerable double blind studies around the world. Vidio mentions 5x double blind studies results available in a month totaling several thousand treatments.

      Look forward to a report from CNN sometime in 2038.

  12. Mirror on the wall says:

    The British are hitting the bottle hard during c 19.

    A quarter of the population admits to being psychologically dependent on alcohol intoxication to cope with everyday life.

    Boozing had been rising over the past decade anyway and over 1.2 million per year end up in hospital due to alcohol abuse, one way or another.

    Britain is in a very bad place psychologically, even before c 19. A sizable percentage of the population can expect to be hospitalised due to out of control drinking at some point in their life. The number arrested for public drunkedness and violence must be astronomical.

    My advice: sober up and abstain. Britain does not drink, it ‘problem drinks’.

    > Alcohol-related hospital admissions rise by 45 per cent in a decade, as charities warn of further cuts to treatment services

    In 2018-19 there were 1,261,907 hospital admissions where the primary or any secondary reason for admission was linked to alcohol in England, compared to 863,300 in 2008.

    In further research, Alcohol Change UK found that in a study of 1,230 drinkers, close to one in three (29 per cent) said that they have drunk more in 2020 than in 2019.

    One in five (22 per cent) have felt concerned about the amount they have been drinking since COVID-19 restrictions began in March this year.

    A similar proportion have found themselves drinking earlier in the day (26 per cent), drinking more often (31 per cent), and drinking ‘to try and cope’ (23 per cent).

    Hilary Henriques MBE, CEO of NACOA – the National Association for Children of Addiction, said: “During lockdown we’ve had an increasing number of calls from children whose parents have started to drink again.


    • Well, Karma is a bitch, huh? Britain liberated the HIndus from Muslim rule, and it will presumably enjoy being ruled by the people it liberated and tried to make into good English gentlemen.

      • Bei Dawei says:

        Wot, are the English supposed to be higher class than deshis? And the royals are a bunch of Germans and Greeks.

    • The US CDC is reporting Overdose Deaths Accelerating During COVID-19

      Over 81,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States in the 12 months ending in May 2020, the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in a 12-month period, according to recent provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

      While overdose deaths were already increasing in the months preceding the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the latest numbers suggest an acceleration of overdose deaths during the pandemic.

      “The disruption to daily life due to the COVID-19 pandemic has hit those with substance use disorder hard,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield, M.D. “As we continue the fight to end this pandemic, it’s important to not lose sight of different groups being affected in other ways. We need to take care of people suffering from unintended consequences.”

      Synthetic opioids (primarily illicitly manufactured fentanyl) appear to be the primary driver of the increases in overdose deaths, increasing 38.4 percent from the 12-month period leading up to June 2019 compared with the 12-month period leading up to May 2020.

      So the problem is not just alcohol; it is other drugs as well.

      • Mirror on the wall says:

        Thank you Gail, that is a very good point.

        I made a decision at the outset of the lock down to avoid all intoxicants and I still think that was a very wise decision.

        Alcoholism has been identified as a serious problem in Britain for centuries and it is wise to avoid that side of the culture.

        Alcohol does not solve problems, it tends to multiply and amplify them, and drinking to ‘cope’ with life can very rapidly turn into daily drunkardness and ruin.

        My advice would be to put the bottle down and to get a clear head but the rates of alcoholism and related hospitalisations just keep rising here.

        • JMS says:

          “Alcohol does not solve problems”.

          Of course not. But do you know anything that can solve our “problem”, better said, our overshoot predicament? You don’t, because there isn’t none.

          If I thought I was going to live another twenty years and die old in a comfortable hospital bed, I would stop drinking. But as I don’t believe in that possibility at all, why abstain from alcoohol? To get healthy on my deathbed? It would be foolish. I intend to reach last days with my body fully rotten, with my organs in such a condition that not even vultures would want them. That’s my life plan, and i deem it a very clever one!

          • Kowalainen says:

            Booze is quite wank when compared with opiates. Yeah, I got those injected in my butt cheek when I was quite seriously injured in my youth. However, the hangover is out of this world. Cant have the good without the bad seems the general rule of the limbic system.

            When I broke my collarbone a few years ago, I got some painkillers prescribed. Nope, straight to the trash can. The pain is real, in bed hurting and peeing in a PET bottle to avoid getting to the toilet and upsetting the healing. Picture that, oh the glory. 🤣👍

            Before a surgery I had in my youth (due to various 2-wheeler escapades, as per usual), I asked the anesthesia nurse to cut out the morphine because of the suck that comes with it. Wasn’t gonna happen, standard procedure for a medically induced coma. Ok, fuck me, here we go again. Last time I was at the dentist, nope sir, no anesthesia thanks. Let ’er rip.

            Suffering is pain refusing to leave the body. Fortunately it left my body, and it’s all right.

            The moral of the story? Fuck the booze, dope, fake and hurting that comes with it. The world is shit enough.

            I enjoy reading your comments. Keep it up.


            • JMS says:

              My take on pain:
              Physical pain is useless, annoying and I avoid it by all means and ASAP. Zero patience to physical suffering.
              Emotional pain can bear all kind of nice fruits later, and favors personal maturation and strenghtening.
              Moral/Intellectual pain is simply the unavoidable side-effect of a wonderfull stimulant called curiosity.

            • Kowalainen says:

              You don’t think there is a lesson in the pain?

              Natures way of saying, don’t do that again and now I’ll tech you the consequences of your actions and failings in a brutal way.

              Did that stop me, hell no. Only idiots persist in folly, because of curiosity in the nonlinear dynamics of hazardous vehicles used for play.


          • Xabier says:

            Salud, JMS!

            Anyway, it would be positively criminal of you not to drink your native wine, and indeed any other that came within reach.

            Our ancestors turned to dust, and we drink the blood-red wine made from the grapes harvested from the vines that grow in that dust….

            All very nice and Omar Khayyam-ish.

            • JMS says:

              True, Xabier, here wine is cheap and good, which a find a happy (and rare, in this world) combination.
              Besides, half of my family comes from the Douro valley, in fact my father still has his little vineyard there. So, not drinking wine here would be worse than criminal, it would be an offense to the family and the sacred spirit of the ancestors! The happiest 2021 possible for you and everyone here!

          • Tom says:

            I agree JMS. I work out like a fiend but if my liver gives out before the collapse so be it. We are positively rolling in cash due to all the helicopter money so nothing but the best wine and top shelf scotch, Irish whisky and bourbon. I just bought three cases of Schramsberg bubbly to toast in the new year.

      • Ed says:

        Deaths of despair. I believe many of those “overdoses” are suicides.

        • gkgkjjhjk says:

          Ah you get it but dont. Suicide is a sin. Being a pathetic junkie is not.
          Get It?
          Its a accident.
          Get it?
          People using fent lips turn blue quite often. Not a OD if you can stay on your feet.
          One thing is certain. If you didnt have reason to check out before you start on the fent you will soon after.
          On the plus side fent is so potent and cheap its getting sold as all sorts of things like cocaine. Hipsters are scared to snort anything.

          • Kowalainen says:

            The sanctimony is scared of dope while in lockdown?

            The hurting must be real. Alone, with your own mind as only “f(r)iend”. The horror of nothingness.staring at you from the abyss of despair while stumbling upon OFW, surfing the web of boredom.


      • justsayno says:

        Fentanyl is primarily manufactured in China. It is part of Chinas multifaceted attempts to subvert the USA. China could shut down Fentanyl production in a hour.

        The primary Chinese action is to addict the USA not to fentanyl but to goods for dollars created out of nothing.

        Secondary Chinese action is to use the dollars they get to peddle influence in politics media and wall street.

        Fentanyl is a minor play but significant.

    • Slow Paul says:

      Alcohol, used in moderation, is a gift. I could probably count on one hand the number of days in 2020 I didn’t touch it. Obviously if you just sit around all day with nothing to do, alcohol and other drugs can become a problem.

  13. Mirror on the wall says:

    Re: Brexit deal – total surrender

    The UK’s oldest ‘conservative’ think tank, the Bow Group, that was close to Thatcher, has pointed out some ‘failings’ of the Brexit ‘separation’ deal.

    – Free trade on goods (for which EU has massive surplus) and none on services (for which UK has a massive surplus)

    – UK still subject to European Convention on Human Rights and to European Court of Human Rights

    – UK still committed to EU military-building through European Defence Fund

    – Near total surrender of UK waters and fish

    – EU ‘annexation’ of NI aligned to SM/ CU and border with Britain; EU staff at sea border

    – Continued regulatory alignment of Britain

    – No sovereign control over taxation and state subsidies

    – Zero time for parliament to scrutinise the deal

    One might also add:

    – City of London cut out of financial services in EU

    – UK will still face administrative barriers up to 10% of the value of goods

    – UK must also maintain EU standards on goods, labour and environment in its deals, which other countries do not adhere to

    – UK can only make its own trade deals if a certain percentage of the components in goods bound for EU are sourced in UK, which will be difficult given supply dependencies and trade commitments

    – Complete failure to attain legislative consent from Holyrood and Stormont

    The actual negotiating position of TP has been that any deal is better than no deal, and the EU was free to offer UK whatever EU wanted to. UK remains hegemonized to EU – and now without any say or veto.

    • Britain fucked Europe for centuries. Now it is time for it to get fucked.

      Abolish Trafalgar Square, rename Waterloo bridge, etc. So it can be part of Europe again. They will be renamed into some Hindi names within the century anyways.

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      Former TP PM T. May has chimed in against Boris’ farcical ‘trade deal’.

      > She urged him to return to the negotiating table and fight for better arrangements for the service sector which makes up 80 per cent of the UK economy.

      “We have a deal in trade, which benefits the EU, but not a deal in services, which would have benefited the UK,” she told MPs.

      Ms May said that the zero-tariff, zero quota arrangements which Mr Johnson boasts of as the main achievement of his deal were already contained in the political declaration which she agreed with Brussels in 2018.

      Ms May added: “It is no longer the case that UK service providers will have the automatic right of access to provide services across the EU. They will have to abide by the individual rules of state.

      “And the key area is financial services. In 2018 in Mansion House I said that we wanted to work to get a financial services deal in the future treaty arrangement, and that that would be truly groundbreaking. It would have been. But sadly it has not been achieved.

      “We have a deal in trade, which benefits the EU, but not a deal in services, which would have benefited the UK.”


      • Mirror on the wall says:

        The British side was absolutely hopeless – they did not have a clue what they were doing. EU has given UK far worse terms than it has recently given other countries. This diagnosis is worth reading in full.

        > 5 reasons the UK failed in Brexit talks

        Tony Blair’s former chief of staff argues the UK has performed disastrously in Brexit negotiations.

        I have spent the last 40 years involved in international negotiations of one sort or another, and I have never seen a British government perform worse than they did in the four years of negotiations that concluded with the Christmas Eve Brexit agreement.

        We have ended up with an agreement which is more or less where the EU started. It is true that there have been a few sops to the U.K. position on the dynamic alignment of state aid and the role of the European Court of Justice. But on every major economic point, even including fisheries, the EU has got its way.

        First, we massively overestimated the strength of our negotiating position. It is true we are equally sovereign as the EU, but we are not sovereign equals. They are much larger, and we depend on them much more for trade than they do on us. That is why we have had to back down every step of the way, accepting EU insistence that we agree the divorce agreement first, putting a trade border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K., accepting a single legal treaty and finally Boris Johnson caving in just before the end-of-year deadline. The same disparity of strength exists with the U.S., and we should bear that in mind during trade negotiations with Washington.

        …. In any international agreement, from the NATO treaty to the Good Friday Agreement, a state limits its sovereignty, but it usually does so in return for practical benefits.

        With this agreement with the EU, we have done the opposite. We have defended the theoretical possibility of doing things we don’t actually want to do, like lower our environmental standards or support failing industries, in return for giving up measures that would increase our prosperity. So we have spent the last weeks fighting (and losing) over fishing, which represents 0.1 percent of our economy, while accepting that services, which represents 80 percent of our economy and where we have a competitive advantage, is excluded from the agreement. We have therefore ended up with a free-trade agreement which is worse in substantive terms than many others the EU has recently concluded. And we have certainly not secured “no non-tariff barriers,” as Boris Johnson has claimed.

        …. Fifth, and most unforgivably, we never developed a strategic plan for the negotiations. It is a strange thing — you would never enter into a military or political campaign without a strategy — but the government seemed to think it was alright to turn up for these talks and hope things would work out. As a result we were constantly reacting to EU positions throughout and even agreed to negotiate from an EU text rather than a U.K. one. Unsurprisingly, the agreement ended up being mostly what the EU wanted.


        • Ed says:

          One can only negotiate if one is willing to walk away.

          • Robert Firth says:

            Exactly, Ed. I used to teach this stuff. Never even walk into the room without a BATNA: “Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement”. Without that, the other side will demand concessions but never reciprocate: every concession will be used as a lever to extract more concessions. Which is exactly what the EU has done for the past four years.

          • Kowalainen says:

            Or possessing the capability to burn it all down, while bringing pictures of their perversions, crimes, children and property to the negotiations table.

            Being an owner does not necessarily mean being filthy rich, but rather capable laying down the siege, owning your ass by proxy.

            I’d prefer belonging to the latter group. So much more fun. However, I’d rather go on my own merry way, for sure it must be exhausting to outmaneuver perverted trash. Imagine reading and watching those crimes, pictures and videos of horror all day long.


        • Tim Groves says:

          Cheer up chaps. The UK-Japan Free Trade Agreement comes into force today.

          Two great tea-drinking island monarchies that drive on the wrong side of the road and hate being considered as continentals have further enhanced their warm friendship and eliminated a lot of tariffs.

          And this is just the first step on Britain’s path to becoming a great and fully independent nation of shopkeepers again.

    • Worldwide, we should expect that “goods” production will hold up better than “services” production. The UK was disproportionately in services, which was a big part of its problem.

      In the US, New York City has been a big supplier of Financial Services. Silicon Valley in San Francisco area has been a big supplier of creative/programming services. These have already seen big outflows of population.

      The loss of negotiating capacity that the UK is experiencing is consistent with this pattern.

      I wonder whether educational and medical services are next in line for downsizing. In the US, Boston has been a big supplier of medical services. Rochester, Minnesota, is also known for its medical services. We have a lot of cities and towns that revolve around colleges and universities.

      In the UK, service cutbacks will be necessary. I wonder whether education and healthcare will be on the chopping block. Zoom education for the masses, and more limited healthcare, for example.

  14. Tim Groves says:

    Coincidence, correlation or causation?

    Note the timeline
    December 8, 2020

    A UK grandmother has become the first person in the world to be given the Pfizer Covid-19 jab as part of a mass vaccination programme.

    Margaret Keenan, who turns 91 next week, said the injection she received at 06:31 GMT was the “best early birthday present”.

    It was the first of 800,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine that will be dispensed in the coming weeks. Up to four million more are expected by the end of the month.


    December 14, 2020

    A new variant of coronavirus has been found which is growing faster in some parts of England, MPs have been told.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said at least 60 different local authorities had recorded Covid infections caused by the new variant.

    He told MPs in the House of Commons that over the last week, there had been sharp, exponential rises in coronavirus infections across London, Kent, parts of Essex and Hertfordshire.
    “We’ve currently identified over 1,000 cases with this variant predominantly in the South of England although cases have been identified in nearly 60 different local authority areas.

    “We do not know the extent to which this is because of the new variant but no matter its cause we have to take swift and decisive action which unfortunately is absolutely essential to control this deadly disease while the vaccine is rolled out.”


    Subsequently, the BBC reported that the new variant had been detected in September. But you can’t trust the BBC about timing. Remember back in 2001 when they reported that Building 7 had collapsed over half an hour before the actual event?

    • If “the new variant had been detected in September,” it certainly has been spread around well by now. Stopping flights from one place to another at this late date will do nothing. If the variant was detected in September, it likely was around earlier, say July or August.

    • Well. I’m just back from the docs

      My right arm hasn’t fallen off

      And so far Bill Gates hasn’t sent round any of his henchpersons to take me away now that I’ve sold my soul to him

      though it might be a bit early yet

    • Xabier says:

      Exactly, Tim.

      The ‘highly alarming’ new (long known about) mutation in the UK is the prod to make unthinking people, worn down by a year of stress, willingly be vaccinated.

      All so crude and so obvious.

      And it serves as a pretext for a new level of long-term lock-downs – in Tier 4 (and SAGE are pushing for a Tier 5 clearly) – making it yet another stick to beat the dumb donkey with.

      How any reflecting and informed person can take one of these untested vaccines at this stage beats me – maybe the kind who are desperate go on holiday in 2021?

      So many better-off people have said as much to me, that ‘normality’ is being able to go on holiday!

      Anyone who takes a vaccine now, without compulsion, is letting down the side of reason, logic and medical ethics.

      • Tim Groves says:

        How any reflecting and informed person can take one of these untested vaccines at this stage beats me

        It beats me too, although I guess it’s a matter of faith. I recall Jonestown and the Kool-Aid and also that scene from Conan the Barbarian when the bad guy cult leader Thulsa Doom beckons a follower and she leaps to her death.

        Norman, if your typing arm is still functioning, can you enlighten us?


        • thank you for your concern Tim

          yes, typing arm still functions-it also lifts food and drink to mouth, and phone to ear, am off for an hour’s swim later, which I try to do 3 times a week, about 1.5m. swimming with one arm would send me round in circles I think. Which is roughly what trying to discuss this subject does anyway.

          forgive my dismissal of Jonestown and Conan the barbarian references, the uk health service has its faults, but I think we can rely on it above that level. Had you not had to use those as ‘references’, some adult discussion might have been possible.

          I asked about a patience booster shot as well, to deal with all this nonsense. Sorry, they said, yer on yer own there.

          I think its important to get rid of the plots and hoax thing- (wishful thinking on my part)–Gates really is not using the vax program to take over the world. Neither is Pelosi/Clinton et al part of an international child trafficking ring. (I see John Roberts has now been included in that)

          Looking back, I find the people who tell me Gates is an evil global mastermind, are the same people who told me the moon landings and WTC thing were also part of a global plot-scam-hoax. They told me Covid didn’t exist, or if it did it was a Chinese hoax–or something. Just part of the nuttilist.

          Remember the crazy rantings about it from FE and his (you know who you are) acolytes? Before he was re-abducted?
          That I was too stupid to understand? That I wouldn’t change my mind no matter what ‘evidence’ was presented. Sheeesh—

          • oiuuhjkl@aol.com says:

            If the vaccine isnt mandatory there are no problems everyones happy! Enjoy the new year and your new DNA.

            Swimming great exercise! Maybe the next shot will grow you some gills. 🙂

            • I already have webbed toes and fingers

              I wouldn’t want to alarm the other keep fitters too much

            • Tim Groves says:

              I’m unclear about the swimming pool regulations in the UK. Which ones are open and which are closed, and on what pretext?

              But I guess the main point of the changing restrictions is to emphasize that the authorities are in charge and they have the power to determine who among the proles and plebs gets to do what and who doesn’t—for your own good you understand.

        • Tim Groves says:

          Norman, first off, it’s great that you are unaffected by the jab. Perhaps you got lucky and received the saline solution placebo?

          Putting Bill Gates’s supposed megalomanic tendencies aside fro a minute, the lockdown he’s advocating right now for a disease that is officially not very dangerous for 99.9% of healthy people under 65, is ruining the livelihoods of millions of people in the developed world and literally starving millions of people in the developing world—the very same people he claims he wants to save.” Altogether, 265 million people could be pushed to the brink of starvation by year’s end” – quote from Chief Economist at the UN World Food Program, in the NYTimes, Apr 22.

          Here’s a video of recent Gates interviews with Chris Anderson and Anderson Cooper on the pandemic, together with some insightful comments from a body language expert. Bill’s obviously as excited about this pandemic as my Dad used to be when Lester Piggot was leading in the Derby with four furlongs to go.


      • Interguru says:

        Thanks for getting out of line so I can get my shot earlier, I’m a numbers guy. I’ll take the theoretical risks of the vaccine over the very real risks of covid any day.

        • Tim Groves says:

          Be our guest!

          It takes considerable courage to face the Jabber-doc—especially since we don’t know what precisely they are going to be injecting into our trusting flesh.

          We who prefer to stay on the sidelines and avoid playing Russian Roulette with our immune systems salute you!

  15. Lidia17 says:

    Worthwhile short video slices of a PPT presentation given re. the GA election, in particular highlighting the recording of negative votes:

  16. In a sense, this pandemic is a social darwinist’s dream.

    The world will leave behind several billion people who won’t be thriving in the new civilization with intergalactic travel and unlimited transhumanism.

    Fewer people means there will be less energy constraints. The Georgia Guidestones overestimated the people needed by at least 5 times and the builders erected a stone in , for example, Swahili. I think they were trying to be politically correct.

    We are going to the days before 1914, when only the upper class had any kind of comfort and the poor are relegated to tenements where they met nasty, brute and short lives.

    Henri Barbusse, who is now only remembered for the book “Under Fire” he wrote while fighting in the trenches, wrote L’enfer (hell), about how the lowlives in Paris lived on 1908 (It actually became more famous during the Great War, and its peak sales year was 1917 when the French Army was mutineering). I don’t think it is known at all in the English speaking world.

    We are just going back to these age. We could have reached there before and reached the stars if a few people who thought they were defending their country but instead were significantly benefitting the colonies (later the Third World) did not fuck up, but we are finally getting there without the people who are not suited for the new era.

    • Kowalainen says:

      There you have it. Crazy idealism.

      A mindless breeding program. For what? A fscking overpopulated and polluted earth? Didn’t they read LTG? There must have been some voices among TPTB objecting to the delusions and wondering if this really was a good idea.

      Most likely these utopianisms were spawned in some LSD trip, combined with the promise of fusion power and some badly misunderstood eastern mysticism.

      They for sure didn’t predict the semiconductor and software era to go absolutely blindingly bonkers, relegating most of mankind into irrelevance.

      Then that little pesky debt and oil problem started to knock on the doors of bitter reality.

      TPTB of the 70’s and 80’s for sure sucked donkey balls, gave you Reagan and unfettered consumerism.

      Now what? A fscking pandemic and brutal return to LTG scenario 3. Enjoy coming down from that LSD trip into the dictates of objective reality. Gaia always wins over dumb shit hallucinated in rapacious primate brains, with and without dope.

      As I told you, it is a return to LTG scenario 3, early this year.

      • Yup. Then back to the belle epoque. Although the stock lost in the wars of 20th century will never be replaced.

        I myself do not mind being killed during this transition, having no family and having no regrets.

        • Kowalainen says:

          Yup, I’m expecting a short end of the stick too. I’d probably make the same mistakes that were made in the past.

          Easily swayed, halfwit herd trash. 😢

          Still got food, electricity, music and can you believe, a rather interesting job.

    • Tim Groves says:

      They misunderestimated how difficult it would be to stop the poor and destitute from breeding.

      When Henry Kissinger called Bangladesh “a basket case”, the population of that land was on the order of 60 million. Today it’s 164 million and growing by well over a million a year.

      Nigeria is up from 45 million in 1960 to 208 million today and growing by 4, 5 or 6 million a year.

      The Middle East/North African region’s current population is 578 million and growing by 1.6% per annum. Today these countries are heavily reliant of food imports and falling oil prices have impacted their ability to pay for them.

      • Kowalainen says:

        Not far from the target of those guidestones. Keep going, all clear. Let’s send all of humanity to the next planet using giant space ships after we are done raping and pillaging this planet.

        Right, we got no spaceships, real ones, luckily Elon’s playing with that fireworks piece, any time now.., no other livable planet than earth, running low on everything. Anything else going according to the “plan” inscribed on the stones of lunacy and in our deluded minds?

        Smart people are just wrong faster than average people.
        Hope isn’t a plan.

        No humans will leave earth. Forget about it at once. It will not happen. If anything colonizes planets, it will be an AI together with microbial life onboard. That’s how colonization is done. It could very well be the way earth was “colonized”. You might disagree with me, but then you’d be wrong.

        As for me, the self-appointed spokesperson of the biosphere.
        Make it so. And while at it, stop being so self obsessed chauvinists, it is nauseating.


      • zoolander says:

        Bangladesh makes India and Pakistan look uptown.

      • Thanks to Joe Gallieni and Chuck Fitzclarence, the Great War was prolonged and the Entente used a lot of soldiers from the colonies, and the colonials began to demand their share of blood.

        So concessions were made, and it didn’t help that the Entente was now highly indebted and had less ability to project power to the periphery.

        And USA acted ambivalently to the colonies, and actually messed up attempts to restore colonialism after WW2 ended, a mistake USA paid at Vietnam.

        I personally do think the overpopulation in Third World will be corrected, although the method will be extremely politically incorrect.

        That aside, time is up for the world’s poor, including those in the so called First World.

    • ssincoski says:

      ‘We are going to the days before 1914, when only the upper class had any kind of comfort and the poor are relegated to tenements where they met nasty, brute and short lives’

      Totally agree. That is why so much of the PMC are so desperate to lick the boots of the 1% before they pull the ladder up. As in: please let us come along. We can be useful!

      Everyone else gets thrown under the bus,

      • Xabier says:

        Let’s not forget Christine Lagarde’s letter from years ago: ‘Please make use of me….’

        I’m considering re-training as a butler. And blackmailer.

        • Kowalainen says:

          Haha, the mouthpieces of the sanctimony is feeling the burn. Deepfake videos, GPT-3 generated text and news articles, smart ass chat bots running wild on the net, AI’s taking their roles by the thousands if not millions.

          Check out deepfake Luke Skywalker in the Mandalorian finale. Also that video of the queen posted not long ago.

          Makes me wonder, exactly what is their role going to be in the technofeudality? Peddle wares and narratives that no longer is realistic? I’m sure Billy G, Bezos, Musk, Brin, Page and the other lightly autistic show pieces isn’t that easy to brown nose.

        • Tim Groves says:

          There was no “Please” about it. Only a plea.

          The name Nicolas Sarkozy is crucial to unraveling what Lagarde really stands for. Her loyalty to the former president of France went far beyond the call of duty, to the extent that she once sent him a very personal note saying: “Use me for as long as it suits you, and suits your plans and casting call.”

          The excruciating handwritten correspondence was leaked to Le Monde as recently as 2013, and also included the pledge: “If you decide to use me, I need you as a guide and a supporter: without a guide, I may be ineffective and without your support I may lack credibility.”

          • Kowalainen says:

            Peddler of sanctimony detected. An empty shell running the narrative with those godawful pretensions and air of superiority handed as blessings from the show piece at the helm.

            What’s news here? Nothing. Clear as the day. Watch them, then take a good long look at society in common. It’s eerily.

            Now the problem is two fold and of a fundamental nature, they cannot comprehend the owners. It’s out of their league by some margin. Then AI is coming for their asses. Now all they do is act as nameplates, badge engineered wank.

            Next. 🥱

  17. Dennis L. says:

    Nothing left to lose, it does not seem to be improving. Interesting times. BMW mobbed in NYC.

    Link to video:



    This sort of thing is sobering indeed.

    I wonder if it was more fun to sing about this sort of thing when hope was possible. It is incredible how some people can catch the spirit of the time and still be somewhat relevant after what, almost fifty one years?

    Janis Joplin and Bobby McGee

    Bobby was a girl, the song by Kris Kristofferson(We should be so lucky to have his talent, out of site.)

    ““For some reason, I thought of La Strada, this Fellini film, and a scene where Anthony Quinn is going around on this motorcycle and Giulietta Masina is the feeble-minded girl with him, playing the trombone. He got to the point where he couldn’t put up with her anymore and left her by the side of the road while she was sleeping. Later in the film, he sees this woman hanging out the wash and singing the melody that the girl used to play on the trombone. He asks, ‘Where did you hear that song?’ And she tells him it was this little girl who had showed up in town and nobody knew where she was from, and later she died. That night, Quinn goes to a bar and gets in a fight. He’s drunk and ends up howling at the stars on the beach. To me, that was the feeling at the end of ‘Bobby McGee.’ The two-edged sword that freedom is. He was free when he left the girl, but it destroyed him. That’s where the line ‘Freedom’s just another name for nothing left to lose’ came from.”

    • That’s because it was the old days and both the Anthony Quinn character and the narrator of the song you cited had a little bit of compassion to the one they abandoned.

      Such kind of emotion died a long time ago.

    • Ed says:

      When I was a student at Columbia in NYC in the 70s we lost at least one student per year too murder by the locals. I say these NYC snowflakes need to toughen up.

      • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

        The other two teens, Weaver and Lewis, who were 14 at the time of the alleged attack, have been charged as adults in Majors’ death.
        Their cases are still pending in Manhattan Criminal Court.
        The juvenile was 13 years old when he and two other teenagers, Rashaun Weaver and Luchiano Lewis, were accused in the fatal stabbing of Majors during a mugging gone wrong last December in Morningside Park, steps from Barnard College.
        Majors, 18, was stabbed several times before she staggered up a flight of stairs and uttered, “Help me, I’m being robbed,” authorities said.
        Happened on in February 2019

        ABC News

        Perhaps Snowflakes should not and instead not resist

        • Ed says:

          Evolution in action. An 18 year old girl goes into a park to buy drugs from three feral animals and they kill her.

          • And chances are she was already engaging in activities with such ferals before. At least she probably died before reproducing with them

            • Ed says:

              When I lived there as an 18 year old male six feet tall in good shape I knew to NEVER go into the parks. I am still alive.

              Maybe we should view her as dying from woke theology. Blacks are all good, whites are all bad. So as she bleed out she may have died happy knowing she was evil and justice was served?

            • Kowalainen says:

              Why care about that BS? It is an artificial agenda, a construct, rammed in your sorry ass to get your limbic system spinning with rage.

              Enjoy the muppets and loonies have a go at each other, it’s by design. When they come for you, make preparations for the grande finale, but not before being an obnoxious twat seeing straight through the smoke and mirrors.

              Besides, no black person fire bombed Dresden, nuked in Japan, blitzed London, dive bombed and torpedoed in Pearl Harbor, participated in the Holocaust and various Commie constructs of genocide and murder.

            • @Kowalainen

              The blacks did not nuke or bomb other countries because they lacked the technology. However, at Rwanda, they did their fair share of killing with machetes.

            • Kowalainen says:

              kulm, I’m not glorifying blacks or any other color for that matter. It is just the same loonie business.

              However, whitey and yellowy for sure can scale up the crazy to unprecedented heights.

              While being fscking obstinate with it given the crystal clear knowledge that cheap shit is running out at an alarming rate.

              “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
              — Some smart ass

            • hkeithhenson says:

              > kulm, I’m not glorifying blacks or any other color for that matter. It is just the same loonie business.

              > However, whitey and yellowy for sure can scale up the crazy to unprecedented heights.

              There is a reason. Both paid dearly in the selection that made them the way they are.

            • Kowalainen says:


              Most of the price paid is in the currencies of lunacy and status quo.

              These are the new rules for Mankind:
              #1. Mother Earth is the supreme ruler
              #2. In Her evolution we put our trust
              #3. When we want to feel superior to our brethren, see #1. & #2, then meditate.
              #4. You are wrong, see #1, #2 & #3, then meditate some more
              #5. When you feel a bit insignificant and weak, harden the fuck up, then embrace #1.
              #6. Do not deviate from the Rules
              #7. If unsure, follow Rules #1-#7

              All right, easy enough. Questions on those?
              Otherwise, make it so.


          • fghjhjkjgf says:

            Some truth to that. Dont make it right. People need to trust their intuition. The real fact check. Where did that girl learn to not trust her intuition?

  18. Very Far Frank says:

    **Predictions for 2021?**

    My speculation: Contrary to how many are qualifying their ‘Happy New Year’ this week with “It can’t be worse than 2020…”, it in fact does get worse. Every political movement following this year can best be seen from the perspective of needing to decomplexify the economy.

    *Sidenote on COVID: I wouldn’t suggest that COVID isn’t a genuine virus, but that the degree of co-ordination between world governments in implementing lockdown and lack of proportionality in the response suggests that it’s being used as a excuse to gradually level-down the economy because what monster would argue against protecting public health?

    The lockdowns have destroyed many of the brick and mortar businesses and shifted the majority of economic activity in the developed world to the digital and remote working. This may have bought BAU some time before hard physical energy constraints are met, but the debt mountain is larger than ever, and will require a debt compact negotiated at the global level in order to lessen the burden. The average person will be ‘bought’ off with promises of debt forgiveness- debt that could have been paid through inflation anyway. In return, the average person will find themselves bound closer to and dependent on government for basic necessities. And while everything they knew and valued falls apart around them, they won’t be able to fight back against the problems because they’re too used to knowing where their next meal comes from.

    This will be very damaging psychologically, and expect the constant degradation of the economy and dependence on a patently failing government to cause suicides to increase, and cultural malaise to set in as all those who held out optimism that things would get back to normal, realise the crisis isn’t going to end.

    After a significant shift in world economic policy to deal with the necessary debt defaults, naturally world leaders will have to create a further distraction to explain why, despite economic an monetary reforms, the growth has stopped completely. The most convenient way to do this is to blame political tensions and the stalled economy on mutually-enforced sanctions. This is an easier explanation if it isn’t one-way (the West sanctioning the East), and indeed China has stopped buying Australian coal just to spite them, so there is certainly progress on that front.

    That is where I will stop for 2021, with future years getting progressively more conflictual on the world stage. One possibility is a ramping up of limited military engagements with Iran, led by Israel, and the beginnings of ‘grand coalitions’ just like the good old days, centered around the US and China.

    This 2014 review of how LTG paper tracks real life gives an approximate year of 2024-25 for when things become really dicey, but expect a poor excuse for life in the interim:


    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      lucky me, 2020 was a good year personally, and nowhere near “a poor excuse for life”.

      dicey by 2024 or 2025?

      it’s dicey in many countries right now, and the list will grow each year. This looked predictable many years ago, as the system is configured for the core countries to continue to stand stronger than smaller weaker peripheral countries.

      prediction for 2021: first world countries will be no worse 365 days from now.

      • VFatalis says:

        At least poor countries have the freedom of treating their covid patients with cheap and effective drugs, a luxury that 1st worlders don’t have anymore
        Predictions for 1984: a very hot summer.

        • They might have the cheaper drugs but with their economies having collapsed they will face a worse enemy – starvation.

        • factcheckedmypopo says:

          Health care has been a lot better in countries that dont charge their doctors a million dollars for their education, dont have standard of care BS, and dont have operating room chasing lawyers for a long time. Plus you dont get I am a god syndrome from the doctors near as much.

          To be fair I have also ran into a lot of incredibly incompetent doctors in the third world but for the most part have recieved far better medical care in the 3rd compared to the 1rst. South America being the best experiences.

          But I better do fact check and led MSM decide for me.

          • My father (who is no longer alive) used to complain endlessly about the other doctors in their small town practice. Some of them never looked at a medical journal. They were interested in maximizing patient revenue, even if it meant doing procedures that weren’t really warranted. He would complain about new doctors, too. They have been taught to “test, test, test.” They were not taught about carefully observing symptom, for clues as to what was wrong.

            My father found a recording teaching hypnosis and taught himself how to hypnotize his patients. He learned to use hypnosis for pain control, when delivering babies and other times during his practice. This is another technique that hasn’t caught on. Not much money to be made.

            • Xabier says:

              Hypnosis was much used in treatments by the Ancient Greeks and Arabs, I believe.

              Also dream therapy: accessing the unconscious (a ‘god’) to heal.

              But you are right, nothing that can be exploited by Big Pharma.

            • yearoftheox says:

              It sounds like your father was brilliant. Why am I not surprised? Thank you for sharing. When someone practices a art they learn the discipline. Then a true artisan finds their style ONLY after learning the discipline. The bad never step outside the discipline. The worst never learn the discipline. Nowadays doctors are taught “by the book”. They get their ass sued off if they dont.

              They have made it very risky to help people nowadays.

              Enough complaining, Happy new Year Gail!

              Long Live BAU! seems a bit hollow this year,,,

          • I get my health care from Kaiser Permanente. In fact, I have used them for many years. They are the closest thing that we can find to government health care in this country. They charge a fixed amount per person; if the person uses less services, Kaiser Permanente comes out ahead. They are not known for using the most radical new treatments. They don’t encourage surgery for everything that is wrong. I have found their care very adequate.

      • ssincoski says:

        I think what you meant to say is that for the top 10% in first world countries, things will be ok.

    • Tim Groves says:

      I wouldn’t suggest that COVID isn’t a genuine virus

      I go here and there and speak to people who claim to know, and everywhere I go I ask questions. One of the questions I am asking these days is, “what proof do you have that COVID-19 is a diseased caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus?” Another is, “what evidence do you have that the COVID-19 coronavirus exists?”

      So far I haven’t been offered any vaild proof or valid evidence whatsoever. I regard this as an enormous red flag.

        • Xabier says:

          The Guardian published a feel-good piece about four average people (one very old, one black, an heroic nurse, etc) who just can’t wait to get the vaccine.

          Very crude, and funded -‘sponsored’ – by the ‘All Together’ government propaganda campaign.

          Totally Soviet – but such planted pieces have become ever-more obvious over the last few years, initially related to creating the desired perception of Russia and Syria.

          The Guardian is in such a bad state financially these days it will take money from any source.


  19. Lidia17 says:

    Speaking of which… here’s what’s happening with the current GA run-off election, where people are early-voting now:

    “Breaking GA: @JovanHPulitzer just announced that as we speak machines have been compromised in GA – they are connected to the internet and shouldn’t be.”

    Nobody could have predicted!

  20. So, it seems the game plan is trickling down the cascade to ever lower levels of bureaucracy:

    “There will never be a vaccine against CO2. So we need measures for tackling climate change that are similar to the restrictions of personal freedom in the pandemic.”

    Karel Lauterbach
    German SocDem MP

    //as appeared today on Kremlin’s gremlin news TV channel

    • Kowalainen says:

      Yup, just send them home and then downsize by offering unemployment benefits that inevitably transpire into subsistence-UBI as the debt and energy situation gets dicier.

      When the inevitable default looms in the horizon. Time for a fire sale of all state owned productive assets, such as hydro power stations, mining operations, railways. That should buy another few years. After that.

      Full blown low-econ high-tech techno feudalism, with the Machine running the show behind the smoke and mirrors of whoever the owner might be.

      We’ll pretend “democracy” all the way and into to serfdom.

      Anyone in doubt? Your choices are stated below:

      1. You have no choice, they own you and you are a liability

      Choose wisely.

      • JMS says:

        That’s seem to be the plan, Will it work? Maybe. For how long? We’ll see (or maybe not!)
        Anyway, exciting time to be alive.

    • Someone is actually saying this!

  21. Ed says:

    Are Dominion voting machines used in UK?

    • Kowalainen says:

      If computers are involved in the voting process the brand won’t matter. Which basically means all western “democracies”. It’s all smoke and mirrors.

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      yes, so don’t be surprised when the next Prime Minister is Joe Biden.

  22. JMS says:

    1. Angry nurse scolds Homo moronis
    2. Rude singer explains where they can stick their new order.


    Of course, these fringe protests will be just as effective as the massive demonstrations against the Iraq war in 2003. Protesting is still legal, but politicians have long ceased to fear the masses. They have everything under tight control. The herd will be led to the precipice, since what was the alternative anyway? We overgraze all the green pastures of yesteryear.
    In fact, the protesters of the second video could also chant:

    “We overgraze the green pastures of the Loooord,
    And are now all being led to abattooooir”

    • Yorchichan says:

      Another good anti tyranny track:

      • JMS says:

        The guy who wrote the lyrics to this song may be a terrible musician (I’ve always despised hip pop and rap), but he’s clearly not a dumb, doesn’t seem to graze in the propaganda meadows, and he knows what’s the right question: “What you gonna do when the grid goes down?”

        • Yorchichan says:

          I don’t know my Rap from my Hip Hop, even though I’ve had the difference explained to me on numerous occasions. I don’t like driving without music so, over seven years as a taxi driver, I have created many playlists. The playlist that took by far the longest to create was Rap, given I know so little about it and I’m not a fan either. The two Public Enemy tracks that made it onto the list were “Harder Than You Think” and “He Got Game”.

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      I was listening to this glacial ambient release this afternoon as I read your comment and the two dovetailed.

      The defiant track titles are perhaps ironic given the image of the placid herd with its simple and few needs – or vice versa. Ambient affords a certain ambiguity anyway. The herd has been bred for its docile utility.


      1. Not Yours to Build 07:52
      2. Not Yours to Say 07:52
      3. Not Yours to Give 07:52
      4. Not Yours to Know 07:52
      5. Not Yours to See 07:52
      6. Not Yours to Find 07:52
      7. Not Yours to Keep 07:52
      8. Not Yours to Take 07:52
      9. Not Yours to Rule 07:52
      10. Not Yours to Break 07:52

      • Kowalainen says:

        I find the herd more terrifying than the owners, that is saying a lot, and I am not the only one. Just look at the BLM craze and the Trumpists going wild on the promises of two ideals with consequences that quite frankly are abhorrent and has no place in a post BAU world.

        “When the chips are down, they’ll eat each other”

        “Their morals, their code- dropped at the first sign of trouble”

        — The Joker

  23. Mirror on the wall says:

    Westminster is to vote on the Brexit deal today and that will highlight divisions in the UK.

    Every MP in NI will vote against the deal, including DUP who campaigned for Brexit and propped up T. May’s government. NI is now economically integrated with ROI and EU and it has a sea border with Britain – certainly not what DUP thought they were campaigning for lol.

    Nearly all MPs in Scotland will vote against it, including SNP, Labour and Lib Dems, leaving just 6 TP MPs out of 59 Scottish MPs to vote for it.

    The Plaid will vote against it in Wales and Labour MPs in Wales may individually vote against it; TP has 14 seats of 40.

    On the other hand, the vast majority of MPs in England will vote for it, TP and LP, with dozens of votes against it expected from individual LP MPs.

    > DUP MPs to vote against Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit trade deal

    It means all of Northern Ireland’s MPs sitting at Westminster look set to reject the agreement.

    MPs are due to vote on Wednesday on the British government’s deal after it was finalised on Christmas Eve with the European Union.

    The Northern Ireland Assembly is also set to be recalled to discuss the Brexit trade deal.

    The DUP supported Brexit but rejected last year’s Withdrawal Agreement, which included specific arrangements for Northern Ireland aimed at avoiding a hard border with the Irish Republic.

    The Protocol keeps Northern Ireland in the EU’s single market and involves applying EU customs rules at its ports, meaning that goods arriving from Britain may face additional checks from January 1.

    The DUP holds eight of the 18 MP seats for Northern Ireland….


    • Mirror on the wall says:

      Correction: the 1 LP MP in Scotland will vote for the deal – that will not go down well for LP come the May Holyrood elections. Likely it would leave LP with 0 MPs in 2024 but Scotland is likely to have left UK by then anyway.

      > Ian Murray has landed Scottish Labour in even more trouble, pollster warns

      SCOTTISH Labour will face a struggle at next year’s Holyrood election after the party’s only MP votes today to pass Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, according to a leading pollster.

      Polling researcher Mark Diffley said the SNP would seize on Ian Murray’s support for the agreement in the months running up to the Scottish Parliament’s poll in May to portray their opponents as a party which backs leaving the European Union.

      He added the message of Labour support for Brexit was unlikely to go down well in Murray’s Edinburgh South, which voted by 78% to remain in the 2016 referendum, making it one of the most EU-supporting constituencies in the UK.

      While Labour are voting in favour at Westminster, Scottish Labour MSPs are set to reject the deal today with only the Tories backing it when Holyrood is recalled to debate the deal.

      “Ian Murray is in a very difficult situation,” said Diffley.

      “UK-wide, the party wants to move on from Brexit. You hear Keir Starmer saying ‘we’re not fighting to remain or go back into the EU’.

      “So Ian Murray doesn’t want [to go] against his party but he will have to bear the consequences in terms of his constituency, which is one of the most Remain-supporting in the UK.”


    • Mirror on the wall says:

      The Brexit deal has cast a deep shadow over the centennial ‘celebrations’ of the partition Ireland, and the sense is that the Irish government is making preparations behind the scene for the likely reunification of the island of Ireland over the next decade. DUP finds itself, along with TP, as having done more for Irish unity than SF could ever have dreamed of achieving in such a short time. All of the NI parties will vote against the deal and Stormont is to be recalled to discuss the situation, along with Holyrood in Scotland.

      > 2021 will be the most important year since 1921 for Northern Ireland

      The North will mark its centenary at a time when nationalists sense the union is doomed

      …. The Northern Ireland Protocol, agreed by Boris Johnson last year (and reaffirmed in December), means the North remains in line with the single market and customs union when the rest of the UK leaves. This necessitates checks on goods crossing the Irish Sea and some customs infrastructure at northern ports; and treating the North so differently from Britain inevitably raises questions about the fragility and future of the UK, whose present form, dating from 1921, is being celebrated next year.

      That celebration is difficult for unionism: a difficulty heaped upon it by Boris Johnson, the man cheered at a DUP conference when he pledged to save the North from semi-colonial status, then was later propped up by the DUP when he became prime minister. Yet it is Johnson who has shifted the North from its “place apart” status into the much more precarious position of becoming the constitutional equivalent of a granny flat. The North is now, arguably, in a weaker constitutional position than at any time since 1921, pushed there by the actions of the very man in whom the DUP invested so much trust.

      …. I suspect their absence is rooted in a belief – common across nationalism – that the UK is hurtling towards inevitable dissolution, starting with Scotland, and followed by a successful Border poll in the North. In other words, they don’t think it’s worth talking to unionists about the union because they think the union is doomed. And one of the reasons they believe the Northern Irish wing of the union is doomed is precisely because the Northern Ireland Protocol has placed the North outside the constitutional ambit of Great Britain.

      All of which means unionists must face the reality that a Border poll, while not inevitable, is certainly more likely than not. Both Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin take the line that now is not the time for a poll, yet in the question-and-answer session after his recent speech about the Coalition’s Shared Island approach, Martin mentioned a couple of times about not wanting to consider such a poll for at least five years. Five years is the blink of an eye in political terms. Civic nationalism in the North, along with Sinn Féin and the SDLP, is focusing a lot of attention on unity right now. And while the Irish Government doesn’t have the issue at the top of its agenda, I think it would be remarkably complacent of unionism to assume that work isn’t being done in the background. My assumption, for what it’s worth, is that the Irish Government is now proceeding on the basis that a combination of circumstances will make the demand for a poll irresistible….


      • The expectation is that countries will become smaller and smaller over the next ten years. Hence, unlikely that Northern Ireland will reunite.

        • Mirror on the wall says:

          Yes, it will be interesting to see whether Ireland unites before devolutionary trends set. It has a much smaller population, 7 million, than UK, 66 million, so it would still be a relative small population. The energy consumption per capita of ROI is pretty much the same as UK although its GDP per capita is double. It is certainly envisionable that Ireland would devolve into a federation at some point, perhaps along the lines of the 4 historic provinces. Obviously the crystal ball gets fainter with the details the further ahead we look.

          The devolutionary trends within UK are set to get further impetus if LP gets in at the 2024 GE, although Scotland is likely to have left UK by then. At the moment the policy of Starmer’s LP is intended to try to keep Scotland in UK but it is likely to have effect in England with more power devolved to the English regions and to Wales. The north of England is the region that does least well out of UK and it is the most likely to look at its own independence prospects.

          > Mayor’s Joint Statement on Keir Starmer Devolution Speech


        • Dennis L. says:

          Thanks, that might make it difficult to invest and control large amounts of money across various jurisdictions as in my observation regarding nominal wealth of very wealthy individuals and their controlling large areas of real, nonabstract wealth.

          A guess in the Cities, people became mad and simply burned capital to the ground, perhaps they could not afford to live in it, use it, it was of no use to them so thus no one would be able to use it.

          An example, there was a fairly large business in the Lake Street area, after the disturbances millwrights came to remove the equipment, they were prevented from doing so by the locals, police did not come, the capital was/is stranded in that area, value less than zero as taxes on facility must be paid, salvage value less than zero.

          Is this perhaps why some cities across the world have become war zones, all capital destroyed, nothing for anyone but tears.

          Dennis L.

          • Kowalainen says:

            Is there any productive capital at all in let’s say, Manhattan? Man, that place must be the epitome of useless eatery, second only to London, Hong Kong, Stockholm and all the other money laundry centers of toxic vile.

            Cant be a single piece of productive equipment within a rather large radius of that definition of uselessness.

            If any arbitrary city does not have a factory within 10 minutes of walking distance. Burn it. 🔥

            • Dennis L. says:


              Can’t speak currently, but when I visited Hong Kong it was an incredibly vibrant with much small scale manufacturing especially along Causway Bay.

              Cities are located where they are for a reason, West points out how hard it is to kill them. The business may change, but the reasons for the location do not. NY will come back, different, but it will be back.

              Graft, corruption has been with us since Biblical times, it is overhead, sometimes it needs adjusting.

              Dennis L.

            • Kowalainen says:

              Dennis, fair enough. Then they fit in the 10 minute walking distance radius from the city center. 🙂

              You know, after a while you start to wonder if they aren’t as smart as you imagine they are. Then it hits you, they got nobody to talk to. The thoroughly corrupt and decadent useless eaters, of all ranks and positions refuses and can’t understand. Survival instinct, pfft, fsck that shit. MOAR!!!

              “Houston, we got a problem here, Ghawar doesn’t seem to hold much longer”. “Silence.” “Houston…” “Radio noise.”

              “Ok, nuke the fuckers from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.”


              But what do I know.

          • In similar vein the recent flight of the largest MNCs out of Cali into Texas could be not merely about tax structure and overall biz friendlier area but also about larger prospects should it eventually come to some real secession brawls in the cards for the mid / long term future..

        • I did not know you were in the league of people who would rather nuke the entire world before seeing Ireland uniting.

          • ???? I think you are making things up.

          • Tim Groves says:

            “would rather nuke”? Exaggeration of this order, unless followed by a /sarc tag, will get you nothing but a reputation for overstating your case.

            My two new pence worth: Ireland should never have been partitioned upon independence. I would have been in favour of the whole island remaining in the UK, but failing that, independence for the whole island would have been preferable to the division that persists to this day.

            The British and Irish are dealing today with problems bequeathed to us by people a century ago who kicked the can down the road.

            Let’s have a nice round of referenda after trying to talk some common sense into all the people of the Land of Ire, to be sure—while keeping our expectations modest bearing in mind that they never got around to creating a unitary state before the British invaded.

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      Stormont has assembled. An SDLP motion was passed by a majority, opposing Brexit, condemning the trade deal and refusing legislative consent. DUP found itself isolated in Stormont and fumed at by all parties including UUP. Of course there is little that Stormont can do about anything while NI remains in UK.

      “The successful SDLP motion rejected Brexit in line with the referendum result in Northern Ireland, called for the implementation of the protocol, for the Assembly to “decline legislative consent to the British Government to impose the European Union (Future Relationship) Bill, their inferior trade deal and their Brexit against the will of the people of Northern Ireland.””


      Similar events took place at Holyrood, with all MSPs bar TP refusing legislative consent. They too will be overriden by Westminster.

      LP is in disarray as it voted for the Bill in Westminster and opposed it at Holyrood; the Senedd in Wales, under LP control, approved the bill. That will be a very difficult sell for LP come the Holyrood elections in May, and it may well boost the SNP vote even further. LP can no longer function as a UK-wide party in Scotland (or at all there, basically).

      There were calls for the TP leader in Scotland to resign. She will be off to the house of ‘lords and ladies’ and she could not care less what anyone thinks of her.

      “The FM said: “Not long ago, Ruth Davidson made it known that she would resign rather than support a differential deal for Northern Ireland.

      “It is amazing what the offer of a place in the House of Lords can do to the merest whiff of a Ruth Davidson principle.””


      All in all it was a very dramatic day for UK and for the impetus of independence movements. Two of the devolved parliaments have refused legislative consent to Westminster – only to be overriden. Brexit has made clear that the devolved parliaments, and the peoples of those countries, cannot govern their own countries, even on the most fundamental matters, while they remain in UK.

      Scots are set to elect SNP, on the platform of an independence referendum, in May 2021. Stormont elections, in which SF needs to gain just two seats to take a plurality of seats and to gain the FIrst Minister, will be held in May 2022; Unionists lost their majority of seats in Stormont in 2017 and demographic trends continue toward a Republican majority. SF is now the opposition party in the south and it is polling 30% there; the south will vote again in 2025.

  24. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Investment banks across the world have generated a record $124.5bn in fees this year as companies raced to raise cash to outlast the pandemic.

    “The windfall came as lenders earned all-time high fees underwriting debt and equity offerings for clients like aeroplane maker Boeing, property rental site Airbnb and telecoms group SoftBank, according to data provider Refinitiv.”


  25. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Iran Cuts Power Supply To Iraq On Unpaid Debt:

    “Iran has reduced exports of natural gas to its neighbor Iraq claiming the latter owed it more than $6 billion for supplies already made. The cuts were made two weeks ago, and further cuts will be made, Iranian officials said.”


  26. Harry McGibbs says:

    “In November, the Institute of International Finance (IIF) came out with some chilling numbers… The IIF expects global debt to exceed $277 trillion in 2020 or 365 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP). The 320 percent of global GDP it represented in 2019 already constituted a mountain of debt.

    “The situation looks particularly grim for emerging markets…”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Kenya is staring at an economic crisis. Already, there are concerns that the government may not meet its obligations, such as paying salaries, servicing debts and other recurrent expenditures.

      “But this has been building up for years, and only worsened by the coronavirus pandemic, which has shrunk economies as productive ventures collapsed.”


      • Harry McGibbs says:

        “A landlocked country in southern Africa, and the world’s second-largest copper producer, Zambia has been lashed by a plunge in commodity prices.

        “Starved of income, the government announced in mid-November that the country would no longer pay creditors — and the prices of basic goods began to rise.”


        • excellent reference on what is happening in Zambia

          but the killer line is the last line

          I’m voting this government out.——

          the certainty that their problems are political, when in fact they are part of ‘Business Earth’, where the planet has been turned into (now bankrupt) property.

        • plunger says:

          HUH? Plunge? Dispute causal given in article.

          • We use more and more debt to build more and more buildings, all using more copper, to try to keep the system from collapsing. This keeps copper prices up fairly high. I imagine that depletion sends the needed copper prices even higher.

            • Kowalainen says:

              Rather electrifying everything conceivable. Autos, bicycles, trains, even commuter aircraft. Naturally a lot of electric motors and conductors need copper windings.

            • Too bad we don’t have the electricity to operate those things.

            • Kowalainen says:

              Hello! Gail, didn’t you get the memo? Wind turbines blown with the hot air of MSM, combined with radiant pink unicorns that delivers photons of hopium shone onto solar panels will fix that puny little issue.

              Yes, don’t worry, you can install any fantasy into the programmable minds of the herd. Time to call up the disgusting narrative peddlers of the sanctimonious hypocrisy and dictate. 📱🤢🤮

              If that doesn’t work, bring out the big stick, Greta Thunberg. Include Malena and Svante for good measure.


            • Even under Green / Brown Deal scenarios we have enough electricity for some baseload to run fast trains and regional / local trains, plus hop on /off ebicycles or lite scooters from that station to final destination..

              Autos used only for core services / infrastructure upkeep or as natural gas plugin hybrids at that.

              Big trucks, and planes at today’s volume impossible though, here is Gail correct.

              Recently they showed prototype electric dump truck and it was ~fast charging at ~300kW ! That’s perhaps 6x smaller passenger sized EVs at their mid rapid charging session combined.. The TSLA semi trucks will suck even more kW but they also haul more cargo / volume at highway speeds. And you can’t depend on slow off peak nightly charging exclusively, there will have to be some daily fast charging allowance, and that’s the problem as shown by these numbers.

              To reserve 300kW per one truck is insanity for any grid system and will never work at scale (unless some utopia cheap energy scaling up scenario pans out).

            • Keeping the electrical grid working will be a huge problem. We can see California’s problems already. Claiming to phase out fossil fuels will only make the situation worse.

              There will be many power outages. This means that trains using electricity will have to stop, which is more OK for goods than people.

              I understand that electric trains are expensive to build. I don’t think we have the resources (or rather, high enough prices for the resources) to build electric trains with electrified rails. The timing would be very slow, as well.

            • Kowalainen says:

              Worldof, yep, but building capacity and stuff that is useless is one of the hallmarks of crazy. Expect more of it.

              Yes, trains a infinitely much better than long-distance hauling cargo on batteried trucks.

              Anecdote time, the iron ore trains that head south from the mining town of Malmberget toward Luleå, some 250km to the south, rarely need to open the semiconductor gates and basically applies the brakes all the way, due to superior low air resistance and low friction, steel on steel contact points, combined with the help of the rather large cargo weight. The elevation difference is some 400 meters.

              By the way, isn’t bitumen/asphalt needed to maintain roads? As for rail, steel and coal. And much, much less if it.

              What’s this obsession with hauling shit on flimsy trucks? Jobs? The factories can build rails, locomotives and railway cars instead. Rail must be the easiest picking for automation known to man, if it’s even relevant given the enormous capacity for heavy haulage. Applying emergency brakes on an iron ore train is basically meaningless, since the braking distance is measured in kilometers.

              When local wildlife enters on the tracks, the engineer/driver just switches on the windscreen wipers.

            • The rail guys once told me “the world” is running out of suitable gravel for the upkeep of existing railroads. It has to be exchanged regularly (well likely less frequently than say repairing highways). They have got in he fleet specific “combine” train set which is at once performing these tasks of digging up the old stuff and pushing under the new gravel bed.

        • Hideaway says:

          Zambia is not the second largest copper producer in the world, so what else in the story is fake??

        • Dennis L. says:

          Harry, just looked, Cu is at five year highs. There was a dip in early 2020, but other than that has been over 2015- 2016 prices continually.


          Dennis L.

  27. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Smaller Chinese companies and those in the retail industry are struggling to access credit amid a weak recovery in consumer spending, according to China Beige Book International, a provider of independent economic data…

    “The CBBI’s analysis provides a more subdued picture of China’s economic recovery than official data show, pointing to still weak consumer spending.”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “…[in November China’s] consumer price index fell into negative territory for the first time in over a decade…

      “The persistent weakness of Chinese prices indicates subdued household demand and poses a challenge for the People’s Bank of China as it tries to manage the recovery in other areas of the economy, analysts said.”


      • Harry McGibbs says:

        “Karen Kong has not got a restful night’s sleep in the past half a year, after learning that her mother invested all of the family’s savings – more than 1 million yuan (US$153,000) – in a little known peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform.

        “Worries soon turned into anger and despair as the Beijing-based Jieyue United made its way onto the Chinese government’s liquidation list, and the chance of getting their money back appears to be dwindling.”


        • People who were fleeced by get rich quick scams are endless. Move on.

        • There are even worse cases, like the guy who divested from TSLA a decade ago.. contemplating suicide each day till his eventual death bed moment at very high age..
          /sarc off

          • Kowalainen says:

            Sort of reminds of dad. Stares on numbers at the computer screen (stocks, money), with less than stellar health.

            I use to tell him, don’t worry dad, when you kick the bucket I will buy dope and hookers for your money. The rest will be wasted. I’m wasn’t sure he got the reference, so I had to tell him.

            Being poor sucks. I guess it is hardwired all the way to the deathbed, even when it clearly no longer makes sense to worry about it. Old habits die hard.

        • Harry McGibbs says:

          This isn’t going to help China’s coal shortages:

          “Apart from the resurgence of the coronavirus that has confined many Beijingers at home, local residents now have another reason to stay indoors – the bitter wind and extreme cold as the city saw its coldest recorded December day in 42 years at -26 C, with residents astonished at the sudden temperature drop.

          “”The forecast for Beijing is even colder than the North Pole,” a netizen on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo said early on Wednesday…”


          • Again, as explained numerous times previously, China is building massive arrays of next gen coal in their W deserts..

            • transportation costs will kill any benefits

            • It’s burning cleaner and away from cities, hence they suck up the eff. loss on multi thousand km connectors and expensive upkeep.. (for now) .. long term viability after several decades of deGrowth / chaos is another thing.. there I’d agree..

            • A big issue is keeping prices high enough. The refusal of Australian imported coal and the long queue of boats waiting to offload coal supplies seem to be related to the need to get prices higher. They have indeed risen, I understand. Of course, then the problem is keeping electricity prices affordable for the many poor people.

            • If I am not mistaken, the Australian coal issue was more about the coal blend for Chinese steel making furnaces not necessarily the power plant mix..

            • The first article I found on this issue would suggests that it is more the power plant mix that is the issue (or perhaps both). Power plants use low quality coal; steel making requires high quality coal for “coking.” Power plant coal is sometimes called “thermal coal.”


              A big problem with power plant coal (thermal coal) is low prices. According to the article:

              According to the office [of Australia’s chief economist] , thermal coal prices have stabilised at their lowest level in 14 years this year and, at current prices, “around one-third of mine production supplying the seaborne thermal coal market … is uneconomic,” and “a significant proportion of Australian thermal coal is loss-making”.

              Elsewhere the article says,

              “Europe and South Korea are looking to reduce thermal coal consumption, while the world’s two largest consumers (China and India) have signalled their intention to reduce thermal coal imports by increasing domestic production,” it said.

              This is the whole issue of needing to get the internal price of low quality coal up, so that coal produced in China can be profitable.

              An article in the Sydney Herald makes it clearer that all coal from Australia is being banned. Australian coal blocked indefinitely by Beijing

              According to this report:

              The state media report is the most direct statement to date of an outright ban on Australia’s third largest export to the country. In October state-owned energy providers and steel mills were given verbal instructions to stop importing Australian coal.

              Thus, it is steel mills as well that are not importing coal from Australia.

              The reason given is

              The decision aims to reduce the price for state-linked firms as Beijing continues to punish Australia economically for its push for a coronavirus inquiry, and criticism of China’s human rights records and national security legislation.

              Perhaps China can get the coal cheaper elsewhere. And keeping the quantity down helps raise internal prices.

            • Kowalainen says:

              It’s easy to spot that somethings up when the response is out of proportion with the allegations.

              Whinging at China for some BS well known to everyone on the planet, and *blam* coal import blockade.

              Really? 🤣👍

              The rest of Asia will burn that coal if they insist on the folly of BAU. However, most likely that shtick is over.

              How about fixing that outrageously dumb ass CCP Commie construct, with that godawful firewall, into something more contemporary Sino, like Taiwan?

            • expending raw energy delivers employment
              doesn’t matter if you’re piloting a passenger jet or walking behind a plough horse

              the rule remains the same and no politician or economist can escape it, no matter what fine words and promises are forthcoming.

              any attempt to tread another path causes the economic system to collapse

          • I don’t think that Beijing is set up for -26C = -15F temperatures.

            The average minimum in December is -6C = 21F.

            The average minimum in January is -8C =18F.

            The city in the US that seems to have low temperatures similar to Beijing is Denver. (Also in a mountainous area, low humidity, away from the coast).

            Denver’s average minimum in December is -8C = 18F

            Denver’s average minimum in January is -8C = 18F

            If I look at Oslo, Norway average temperatures in winter, they are quite a bit higher than those of Beijing.

            The average minimum in December is -5C = 23F

            The average minimum in January is also -5C = 23F

            In general, Europe seems to have very warm low temperatures, compared to the US and Russia. I am sure that this helped Europe in the past. Bicycling becomes much easier to do, for example. Winter heat is not as necessary in Europe as in many parts of the world.

          • Robert Firth says:

            As we approach the Grand Solar Minimum, get ready for the “global warming” panic to mutate into an “ice age” panic. Memes can mutate faster than viruses.

            I hope Greta is good at hunting mink; she will need their fur.

          • Harry McGibbs says:

            “Sinopec Corp pledged on Tuesday to maximise domestic gas productions and raise imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to record rates as a cold spell hitting large parts of the country this week lifts demand for the winter heating fuel.”


        • Pennystocknot says:

          You can take your shekels to the casino and lose m that way or stick em in the mattress and lose them to dilution. Your choice! Freedom!
          The notes do retain 8 btu in the wood stove.
          Best choice IMO. Index fund. Best way to play the ponzi.

      • According to the FT article:

         “We think low inflation is not only because of low food and oil prices, but because there is still some weakness on the demand side,” said Jingyang Chen, an economist at HSBC. She added that China “is still in the middle of an uphill battle to achieve a full recovery in domestic demand”.

        Unlike many western economies, China has taken limited measures to prop up household spending, and has instead focused on supply-side measures to boost its economy combined with a strict approach to virus prevention that limited new reported cases to a trickle.

        Also, it sounds like a lot of the migrant workers have little or no employment. This is a big part of what holds demand down. The wealthy still borrow and pump up stock market prices.

    • China sounds a lot like the US, with credit problems for the retail industry.

  28. Harry McGibbs says:

    “This fiscal year alone, the issuance of new Japanese government bonds (JGBs) will be about ¥112 trillion — the highest ever… Japan will need to start seriously discussing how it will be dealing with its debt once the pandemic eases — otherwise, it may face severe ramifications…

    “The idea of promoting government spending, known as modern monetary theory (MMT), has been gaining traction recently.”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga came to office on a wave of popularity, pledging to combat the coronavirus and fix Japan’s languishing economy…

      “[But] on Monday, the Nikkei financial newspaper said its latest survey found approval ratings for Suga’s government had sunk more than 30 points to 42% from 74% in late September.”


    • It is too bad that Japan’s debt problem is really an energy problem. It is not fixable.

      • Japan’s ww2 started because of an energy problem

        I don’t think they have that option this time round

      • Dennis L. says:

        The oil states had all the wealth in the world and yet never achieved what Japan did in the seventies and eighties, they created nothing. As long as Japan could take energy and produce something of value, there doesn’t really seem to be an energy problem.

        Perhaps the issue is growth requires ever grated innovation per West, Japan reached the point where everything was best and couldn’t be improved.


        Dennis L.

      • Tim Groves says:

        Perhaps Japan, like everywhere else, has simply run out of Chijo-no-hoshi (Earthly Stars)—people who really shine with perseverance, diligence, innovation and ingenuity to get the job done right?

        From WIkipedia: “Earthly Stars (Unsung Heroes)” (地上の星, Chijō no Hoshi) is a song that Japanese musician Miyuki Nakajima composed and recorded for the country’s acclaimed television documentary program Project X -Chōsenshatachi-, which aired on NHK during the first half of the 2000s. It was released in July 2000 and reached the number-one spot after 30 months, becoming one of the longest running singles in history of the Japanese Oricon chart started in 1968.

        Released 20 years ago when the sun was already setting on the era of high economic growth, this song is a hymn of nostalgia about those times and was dedicated to the people who overcame immense technical and financial challenges to achieve “miracles”. Project-X series was a long-running documentary series that looked at specific examples of innovation, including the team that built the Seikan Tunnel between Hokkaido and Honshu, the team that developed the first Japanese language word processor, the company that came up with that futuristic toilet that warms the seat, automatically flushes and works as a bidet—yes, they were Chijo-no-Hoshi too.

        The song, which remains very popular in Japan, speaks of people who shone like Sirius, Venus, Pegasus and Jupiter but who we used to be able to meet on the street corner. Where are they now? When we look up all we can see now is the sky. So we ask the swallow, flying high in the sky, to tell us where the Chijo-no-Hoshi have all gone.

        Well, it sounds better in the original. And it’s not bad for a TV theme song.


  29. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Boarded-up shops and cafés, food banks under pressure, unemployment rising sharply: the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic in Portugal has reawakened painful memories of the European debt crisis just as they were beginning to fade.”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Italy’s main banking and industry associations have urged European Union authorities to temporarily ease EU bank rules on loan defaults and credit provisioning to help businesses cope with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic…

      “Italy, which has suffered the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in Europe, is also facing a major economic shock with GDP set to drop 9% this year, according to government forecasts, putting the future of thousands of companies at risk.”


    • JMS says:

      Only the tourist boom of 2010-19 managed to lift the country out of the debt hole it fell into after 2007. In 2019 tourism represented almost 16% of Portuguese GDP and the country had a budget surplus (o,2%) for the first time in 50 years.
      Of course the tourism bubble has definitely burst and will not inflate again. Those easy days are gone for good.

  30. Harry McGibbs says:

    “People around the world want governments to spend more to help economies survive the coronavirus as they ponder a bleak outlook for their own finances in the coming year.”


  31. Harry McGibbs says:

    “A Nation’s Economy Divided [US]: Breadlines vs. Bread Makers:

    “People once in the middle class are struggling to secure food, shelter and a decent income. At the same time, others are enjoying rising home prices, new models of work and the pleasures of baking bread. This is America in 2020…”


  32. Harry McGibbs says:

    We ain’t seen nothing yet:

    “In a year of general upheaval, 2020 also gave rise to mass protests around the world. Though some tackled familiar themes like democratic freedoms, women’s rights and racial justice, others found new causes to rally behind as the emergence of Covid-19 sparked demonstrations against government lockdowns and mask mandates.”


    • Robert Firth says:

      “… democratic freedoms, women’s rights and racial justice …”

      In other words, the freedom to silence and destroy those who disagree with you; the continued elevation of women’s rights at the expense of men’s, and racial injustice for those who built the country for the benefit of those who will tear it down. Quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat.

  33. MG says:

    Some interesting news from Slovakia:

    The former police president attempted to hang himself while detained. His state is critical: his heart beats but his brain is already dead.


    The current Minister of Education in Slovakia is a former hair stylist and a gay with tattoes. However, the registered partnership have not be adopted in Slovakia, yet.



  34. Ed says:

    Wont one of you please buy Boris a hair brush.

  35. davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:
  36. davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    2020 Worst Year Ever?


    • So says:

      Why are people blaming the year? Cursing it, bashing it? Wishing it to go?
      Now what, things will get better once it ends? Was it the cause of the virus, the lockdowns, your sad life?

    • The big question in my mind is whether the international trade system and the international financial system can continue to operate. Or are there other parts that fall apart? Rich vs poor is only a bit of the problem.

  37. Rodster says:

    So now people such as Nora O’Donnell in the Media are beginning to ask questions regarding the Covid vaccines and watch Bill Gates as he starts to squirm and lie out of his mouth.

    “80% of People Taking Maderna Vaccine Had Significant Side-Effects”


      • I will not accept the great vaccine plot until it is confirmed by Homer Simpson

        • Yorchichan says:

          I expect you believe Mr Burns is a benevolent character too.

          • I do I do

            caricature has always summed up, and destroyed, the beliefs of the gullible

            • Yorchichan says:

              Substitute “reinforced” for “destroyed” and you’d be closer to the truth.

            • Tim Groves says:

              caricature has always summed up, and destroyed, the beliefs of the gullible

              Well bowled, Norman!

              Your own caricaturing of Trumpy as the next Adolf being a case in point.

            • you miss the point

              the don could never be the fascist leader, just a wannabe

              he paved the welcoming way for the one who will arise through a halo of promises in 2024

              Biden cannot deliver because the means to do so do not exist

              the chorus of ‘lock her up’ will have been noted by someone out there. The fascist leader always needs people to do his dirty work.
              They are his waiting volunteers.

            • Tim Groves says:

              Looking at the news reports, it seems as if almost everyone in US politics is being threatened with jail time these days. It’s really hard to keep up.

              Incidentally, Norman, how is your house arrest going in the UK? Any chance of parole in the short term?

              Here in Japan the mood is pretty sombre, but as of this moment we are still allowed to walk the streets, go out shopping, dining, drinking and even singing karaoke without some uniformed official barking at us to get masked up. Even the bowling alleys and the churches are open.

            • Funny you should ask Tim

              my doc called this morning to see if I wanted my vax injection, , so after I’ve had that I shall be under the mind control of mr gates, and off to the Solent green factory this afternoon

              will keep fellow doomsters informed of my condition

  38. texarkanafool says:

    If Scotland can leave does that mean Texas can also?

  39. Fred says:

    Excellent article interviewing a practising surgeon who highlights all the anomalies in the response to COVID. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/12/29/asymptomatic-covid-testing.aspx

    The article concludes the only possible reason for the irrational response and fear mongering is various agendas being pushed.

    • People were scared by the apparently high percentage of deaths, when only reported cases were used in the denominator. No one explained that this fear was irrational.

      • hkeithhenson says:

        ” irrational.”

        I think there are two fear factors going here. The governments don’t want something like what happened in Ecuador, where cases totally overwhelmed the medical facilities. Families were reduced to wrapping the dead in plastic and setting them out on the curb. A political type who let this happen on their watch would have a difficult time being elected again.

        The other is personal fear. Dying alone on a ventilator sounds like a horrible way to go. It has motivated me to go out as little as possible since mid March.

        Then there is a chance the virus might mutate into a much more deadly form. The related MERS virus has something like a 70% death rate.

        Irrational fear? The virus (so far) has killed about 1 person in a thousand in the US. If airlines or cars killed that many, per trip, I suspect people would travel a lot less. It’s a trip we didn’t ask for and can’t avoid.

  40. Ed says:


    This guy loos just like my Dad!!!

    He believes
    1) vax is cover to implant chips, of course
    2) there is a secret plan to enslave the world, of course

    It is the Slavic people who will save the world.

  41. Ed says:

    The UK can not have all the separatist fun.

    A Republican state lawmaker proposes slicing New York into three autonomous regions in order to end the stranglehold that New York City liberals have on the rest of the Empire State.

    David DiPietro, a former mayor of East Aurora and now the assemblyman for New York’s 147th District, even introduced a bill last month to divide the state after witnessing mismanagement by Democrats in New York City who pass policies at the expense of residents in other communities.

    The proposed bill would divide the state into three regions, each controlled by a governor and legislature. But unlike in California, where secessionist movements frequently pop up, DiPietro’s bill would keep the sovereignty of the broader state intact.


    According to the outlet, the bill would create three regions, one including New York City and its boroughs, a second – dubbed the Montauk region – consisting of the downstate counties of Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland and Westchester, and the rest of the state named “New Amsterdam.”


  42. Ed says:

    3) end medicaid, welfare, food cards, medicare, social security, get back to work or die

  43. Ed says:

    Biden is selected.

    1) Taiwan to China and Ukraine to Russia
    2) half of all US food production to China, food prices double in US

    • Bei Dawei says:

      1) Oh noes!
      2) That means more food for us, right? So,,,yay?

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      split Ukraine; the eastern half to Russia.

      • Robert Firth says:

        Agreed. The easter two thirds returns to the Rodina; the western third was never historically part of the Ukraine and should be returned to the countries from which the Molotov Ribbentrop pact stole it: Lithuania, Poland, and a restored Galicia. Poland should then return the former German provinces, with all they contain, as reparations for her mass genocide of German civilians after WW II.

        And the Anglo Saxon powers should swear on the Tomb of Charlemagne a solemn oath never again to interfere in the affairs of Europe.

        • Kowalainen says:

          As long as the the central/north European loonies swear on the grave of the lebensraum to leave Eurasia the fsck alone in all matters except trade, tech and cultural exchange. While at it, nuke the EU.

          Just to make sure that the loonie ideas and perversions won’t resurface, keep a rather hefty arsenal of big sticks while shaking hands with Putin, pretending to be enemies in MSM, across the Bering strait.

    • JesseJames says:

      I agree that China will retake Taiwan with Biden in office. Biden is beholden to them and compromised. But I think the Biden cabinet warmongers will pick a fight with Russia over Ukraine. It is the easiest point to create a new Shadow war against them. Russia is the holder of all the resources they want to claim. They will war against Russia throughout Eurasia.

      As the world no longer wants to trade in T Bills, my expectation is that the US will export food as payment for goods in the future. We can generate a lot of food, at least for now, and the rest of the world values that quite highly. Prices in the US for food be dammed. They will go up significantly.

  44. Ed says:

    Biden was selected by the bankers, the military, the media and the rich. America continues to be a republic serving the rich and powerful.

  45. Ed says:

    Biden has been selected as president by the bankers, the military, the media, and the rich. America continues to function as a Republic. That serves the rich and powerful.

    How will CCP get rid of the useless eaters of both the right and the left and the stupid.

  46. stevejcoyle says:

    The same dynamics that created the current US system grew, flourished, declined, and reemerged for centuries, though now with a superior level of manipulation, sophistication and technology. That’s the reality. Many of us are both victims and predators. Rather than lament about a system where people exist mostly in one or the other camps, sell we not strive for a balance not between those two, but in a working around those strange attractors? That’s what you propose, I believe, though to excerpt from what my friend Bruce writes, “we use too much because we’ve been Bernaysed into overconsumption”. Thus not being either victim or predator.

    • Kowalainen says:

      I’ll give it a shot if people flip their stupid cars into the dustbin of history, and start cranking out the wattage, applying copious amounts of Rule #5, while dropping that godawful sanctimonious hypocrisy, and even worse competition in vanity with the joneses.

      Either accept the reality of living on a finite planet and act accordingly. Or watch the owners showing an abysmal amount of mercy on your asses. As I would have done in their clothes.

      What are you waiting for?

  47. The Atlanta Journal Constitution has an above-the-fold, front page article today:

    Voting Official left state job, got $200K contract: As independent manager, he oversaw rollout of new voting machines.

    Next to his photo, it says, “Gabriel Sterling’s contract has been 75% higher than his government salary.”

    According to the arcticle,

    Sterling, a lifelong Republican, even drew praise from Democrats for his comments, and he received flowers and handwritten notes from voters across the country.

    But his independent status prompted questions from state legislators and critics who have asked why oversight of the state’s voting machines is being managed outside Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s payroll.

    Since they are all Republicans, maybe everything is OK. Or not.

  48. Mirror on the wall says:

    Major German daily leads with ‘so long and thanks for all the fish’.


    • Mirror on the wall says:

      > Scotland faces cuts to cod and haddock fisheries under Brexit deal

      Scotland’s fishing fleets face cuts to valuable fisheries such as cod and haddock under the Brexit deal negotiated by the UK, the Scottish government believes.

      It said its analysis showed there would be increases in the quota available for Scottish trawlers in only five of 13 fishing areas around or close to Scotland, with clear falls in several of the largest such as North Sea cod.

      Fergus Ewing, the Scottish cabinet secretary for the rural economy, said that despite claims by the UK government that the deal would greatly increase the catch for domestic trawlers, many fleets and ports would experience adverse impacts. That was “deeply troubling”, he said.

      “This is a terrible outcome for Scotland’s coastal communities. The small gains in quota for mackerel and herring are far outweighed by the impact of losses of haddock, cod and saithe – and that threatens to harm onshore jobs and businesses too linked to harbours, fish markets and processing facilities.”



      Boris made fish a totemic issue.

      Scottish voters in the NE were staunch supporters of Scottish independence before the Brexit referendum, because they lost fish to EU, and they became unfavourable to it when they thought that they would get fish back.

      Boris was boasting last week in the media about how he was going to give Nicola S. ‘plenty’ of fish for Christmas. Well it did not turn out that way.

      Boris has let down the fisherman and let down UK. That will only encourage NE voters to switch back to support for SI – with just six months to go before the Holyrood elections.

      Well done, Boris.

      • Very Far Frank says:

        Wait, wait, wait… Are you saying- are *you* saying, that Fergus Ewing, a Scottish National Party politician, opposes something Boris Johnson did?!

        Say it ain’t so…

        Honestly though Mirror, I do enjoy the fact that you type up ‘walls’ of text every day, only to have no one assent to what you’re saying- it is comforting.

        I acknowledge that’s churlish, but that’s ideology for you.

        • Mirror on the wall says:

          Perhaps the point went over your head. What will count is what the people of Scotland think of the deal, especially as they opposed Brexit in the first place.

          Fish – fishermen – voters?

          Still over your head?

          You think that only SNP criticise the deal? You should try reading something beyond the DM.

          You would be mistaken if you thought that most English want Scotland to stay in UK – that is not what the polls show.

          Gail has explained the energetic basis of a devolution of the DS and her analysis is very insightful.

          If you think that you can avert discussion of the break up of UK through personal hostilities then you are mistaken. That might work in the playground but not in the real world.

          • Very Far Frank says:

            Any personal hostility I have is reserved for individuals whose views are actually influential.

            What I’m hearing from you, day after day, is not that devolution or increased localism would have a good outcome for the people of Scotland, or even that it’s energetically inevitable- which no doubt it eventually is- but that you categorically *want* the breakup of the UK, and you’ll drone on and on about how awful Westminster is and how every decision they make is the worst they could make.

            Boris- however stuck he is in your mind, is a sideshow to what’s actually interesting.

            From the perspective of someone who enjoys factual information and the theory around the connection between energy and society, the constant political sniping from your posts adds absolutely nothing to these threads, and take up altogether too much room below the line.

            Maybe its the repetition of the irrelevant; its well known polls have supported Scottish independence since Brexit, but that’ll be immaterial for the next 5 years while the Conservative super-majority is in.

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      As Gail points out, access to resources are often the bottom line for humans – and the Scottish fishing industry is absolutely fuming at the Brexit deal.

      > Fishermen will be ‘absolutely worse off’ under post-Brexit trade deal, warns industry boss

      The chairman of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations said he feels ‘betrayed’ by the Prime Minister

      The chairman of the UK’s leading body for fishermen has warned the Government’s post-Brexit trade deal will leave UK fishermen “absolutely worse off”.

      Andrew Locker, from the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday the industry had been “betrayed” by Boris Johnson.

      He added: “I am angry, disappointed and betrayed. Boris Johnson promised us the rights to all the fish that swim in our exclusive economic zone and we have got a fraction of that.

      “We are absolutely worse off. When we were within the EU we used to trade fish with the EU. We used to swap things we didn’t use with fish that they didn’t use and that enabled us to put together an annual fishing plan.”

      ‘A fraction of what we were promised’

      Under the deal, the UK becomes an independent coastal state next week, but EU trawlers will still be able to fish in British waters.

      “What we have got now is a fraction of what we were promised through Brexit. We are going to really, really struggle this year,” Mr Locker added.

      “When Boris Johnson and his Government promised Brexit to the fishermen he promised none of us would be worse off. There is a considerable amount of fishermen – small families, small communities – absolutely worse off by this deal.”


      • This outcome certainly won’t make Boris popular.

        • Mirror on the wall says:

          Quite right, Gail.

          The Guardian is leading with an editorial on how Boris is now at the nexus of converging factors that are liable to precipitate the breakup of the UK – c 19, Brexit and his own centralist stance – combined with his already deep unpopularity north of the border.

          Boris already had a poll rating of -44 in Scotland in Dec and the fishing fiasco will further confirm that Scotland is not a priority for Westminster. He himself made fishing a totemic issue for UK unity – and he then failed to deliver, in order to get other priorities.

          His attitude is to roll back power from Scotland, contrary to the established trend toward devolution throughout the UK, and contrary to the overwhelming will of Scots. As you point out, declining energy consumption per capita will tend the society toward devolution rather than centralisation – and he will only strain the ties by pulling in the opposite direction.

          Meanwhile his Brexit policy has left NI economically integrated with ROI and with a sea border with Britain, and the Welsh parliament has emerged as an independent and popular force in Welsh politics during the c 19 period. Boris likes to pose as a force for the Union but all of the signs are that he is incapable of doing anything but accelerate the breakup.

          > The Guardian view on the future of the union: Britain faces breakup

          The combination of Boris Johnson, Covid and Brexit is creating a constitutional crash that is waiting to happen in 2021

          …. When Mr Johnson became prime minister in 2019, he gave himself the title of “minister for the union”. There has been zero evidence in his handling of Brexit that he takes this to mean the adoption of a more emollient approach. Instead, Mr Johnson’s unionism has proved more centralist and less pragmatic than the unionism of his two Tory predecessors, David Cameron and Mrs May. To Mr Johnson, the Brexit slogan of “take back control” translates into a project that aims to rebuild a Westminster-centred UK sovereignty, not, as Keir Starmer advocated last week, a policy of pushing more powers out and down from Westminster to the UK nations or to English regions and cities.

          Mr Johnson’s approach is creating a crash waiting to happen. He made his real views startlingly clear when he told a private meeting of the “blue wall” Conservative MPs in November that devolution had been “a disaster north of the border” and that the 1997 devolution settlement was Tony Blair’s “biggest mistake”. Coming six months before such important Holyrood elections, this was an incendiary thing to say, as well as a self-inflicted wound for the Tories and a Christmas gift to the SNP. Mr Johnson’s comments about a devolution disaster cannot be laughed away as an idiosyncratic Johnsonian accident. The comments expressed what he really thinks.

          Mr Johnson appears confident that he can successfully refuse to authorise a second referendum in the face of a demand for one from Ms Sturgeon. But there may not be as much appetite for undemocratic obduracy as he supposes….


          • Robert Firth says:

            If the Guardian says so, it must be a pack of their usual politically correct lies. And Scottish devolution *has* been a disaster; the pseudo government in Edinburgh has wrecked most of the public services, and spent the money (largely of course England’s money) on themselves and their toadies.

      • Erdles says:

        Oh Dear, ‘Yawn’.

      • Mirror on the wall says:

        This is worth reading in full for a succinct analysis of the failings of the Brexit deal – and its implications for UK.

        Moeller makes the pertinent point that Brexit amounted to a reversion to a UK free trade model over a European social democratic model of society – while Scots are deeply committed to the latter. Thus the post-Brexit British model is exactly what is most likely to alienate Scots from the UK. Everything that TP does is practically intended to break the UK.

        His other criticisms of the deal are quite telling: UK will have free goods access for which EU has a massive trade surplus, and no services access for which UK presently has a massive surplus – and the City is cut off from financial services; UK goods will still face custom barriers up to 10% of their value. UK can only make its own trade deals if a certain percentage of the components in goods bound for EU are sourced in UK, which will be difficult given supply and trade dependencies; UK must also maintain EU standards on goods, labour and environment in its deals, which other countries do not adhere to – and other countries are likely to refuse access for services. The Brexit deal is about as bad as it could have been.

        > Brexit Deal: Will it Make the UK Stronger?

        Brexit may be done, but there are a number of unanswered questions. The future of the UK looks very much in doubt. A retired diplomat gives us his take.

        …. Scotland looks to Europe and in particular Northern Europe with social welfare societies instead of the Conservative Party’s courtship of the free market. The dissatisfaction of being together with the predominantly conservative England opened the door first for devolution (1999), then a referendum about independence (2014) with 55.30 percent opting for staying as a member of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

        Brexit has exacerbated the tendency to turn an otherwise smooth relationship into an adversarial one. The Scots are not amused that the English drag them away from the rest of Europe and even worse into a socio-economic model they resent.

        …. Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon heading the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP), reacted to the Brexit agreement saying it was time for Scotland to be “an independent, European nation.” It is more likely than not that Scotland succeeds in getting a second referendum and this time gives the green light for independence. The latest opinion poll reveals support for independence running at 58 percent.


  49. talkischeap says:

    All this talk of war being inevitable is cute until a WP round goes off in your vicinity.

    • I am wondering if this time, war will be enabled by taking down the internet and the many things that depend on the internet, at least in parts of the world.

      I don’t know to what extent taking out the internet, or just cloud storage, is possible. It is scary when electricity depends on the signals being transmitted over the internet. I imagine quite a few other things do, as well.

      • Ed says:

        Gail, the internet backbone is run by ATT for the US government. All it takes to stop the internet in the US is the right person typing the right command into a computer. I would guess there is one provider in EU. I would guess Russia and China are the same except the controlling government is Russia and China respectively.

        • The bombing last week in Nashville was directed at a local AT&T station. My sister-in-law complained to me that her internet was out as a result of the bombing. Her telephone connection when I talked to her on the phone was pretty iffy as well. I had to call back a couple of times, when the connection was lost.

          • Azure Kingfisher says:

            Intriguing. The bombing as a ritual act marking the rebirth of the god Mithras:

            • December 25th identified with Mithras

            • Sunrise on December 25th, identified with Mithras’ birth

            • AT&T uses Mithras as its official symbol

            • Accused bomber from Antioch, which shares name with Antiochus, founder of Mithraism

            • There was the Great Conjunction of Jupiter-Amun and Mithras on the 21st.


            • Bei Dawei says:

              * The Mithraic iconography includes the Tauroctony or bull-slaying, and the leontocephalic (lion-headed) deity.

              * Donald Trump is often compared to a lion (due to the hair, I think), and called “GEOTUS” (God Emperor of the United States) by his supporters.

              * Some scholars interpret these images as astrological references to the precession of the equinoxes, which in the geocentric cosmology of the ancients would have suggested the existence of a heretofore unknown god capable of shifting the entire cosmos

              * The Christian cross featuring Christ as Cosmocrator (Ruler of the Cosmos) and the animal symbols of the four evangelists may have the same origin, with the cross representing the intersection of the celestial equator with the plane of the eccliptic

              * The Apostle Luke is traditionally represented by a bull

              * This year witnessed the slaying of a global bull market

              * Bull is also short for BS, which is what this post is

            • Robert Firth says:

              Sigh. Mithras was revered in both Persia and India well before 2000 BC. He predates Zoroastrianism, which tried to abolish the bull sacrifice. His main proponent in the Roman Empire was Septimus Severus; Antiochus IV Epiphanes has no connection with him whatsoever.

              And the conjunction was between Jupiter (Zeus) and Saturn (Cronos); Mithras was a solar deity and so connected with neither planet.

      • full scale physical wars (re WW1-2) require cheap surplus energy

        we no longer have that

        • Xabier says:

          Exactly, Norman: the EU didn’t ‘bring peace to Europe’ – it was too exhausted to fight anymore.

        • gpdawson2016 says:

          Good observation Norman. Of course we are already at war, my hundred year old grandmother said so the other day. Feels like war…don’t it? Gail herself said here recently that Peak Coal preceded WWI in Britain and the same for German WWII. So you’re lying in bed one night in(pick your city) with every light out due to the threat of an air raid…do you cheerily inform your neighbours that this is all due to an energy crisis? This is how you know your at war…the State dictates how you think.

          • not quite

            we elect politicians on the basis of our desires and expectations

            If those desires lead us into war, poverty, collapse, or a utopian infinity, we are stuck with a process that we ourselves imagine we chose.

          • Tim Groves says:

            We are at war for sure. War—good good, y’all—is good for executing organized theft. As long as there is something worth stealing there is always something worth going to war for.

            The term “full scale physical wars” is a bit of a misnomer. Invoking them is reminiscent of the “no true Scotsman” fallacy. How are we going to define “full scale” and “physical”?

            When your butt is on the line, if you want to survive you are going to give it your all. Every warrior know this! No true Yanomami would avoid fighting on the grounds that “we simply don’t have the resources.”


        • Ed says:

          Nukes and bio weapons are low energy

      • Xabier says:

        The indirect approach to war is ancient.

        The Mongols of the 13th century won battles and took cities by slaughtering people: but they cemented their victories by destroying infrastructure, especially irrigation systems.

        This is why I am inclined to say that most of us, if unlucky, will starve quietly.

        • It takes at least ~7-15yrs to turn depleted or fallow land into upstarting lush productive “Eden” if all stars are aligned including extraordinary competent people.

          But it takes only few hours, say a day, to burn, chop or otherwise destruct it to the ground by an imbecile.

          So in a way, why bother, as there will be always that one extra, marginal, volatile malcontent around, hell bent on destruction for vindictive, pillaging or other unfathomable reasoning.

          • Xabier says:

            Yep, worldof, decades of work can be undone in just hours and days. This, I suppose, is why people were grateful for strong rulers: even the Mongols kept the peace once they were masters.

            In ancient warfare, and all through the Middle Ages, it was standard practice to fell orchards and olive groves as one progressed through enemy lands on big raids – horrific when one thinks of the time and labour that it takes to get such trees productive!

            The ghastly Germans did this in WW1, when they fell back rapidly in 1918, trying to wreck French agriculture in the lands they had occupied since 1914 and which had been untouched – too far behind the front lines to be shelled. I think the Brits may also have done the same thing on the NW Frontier when ‘punishing the tribes’, not quite sure about that but it would be in character and make sense.

            There were few very ancient olive trees in our valley in Spain, Yerri, as it lay on the usual invasion route taken by Arab slave-raiding armies from Cordoba until the 13th century. I have found confirmation of this in Arab chronicles, they called it ‘punishing the barbarians’ and took our heads back to hang on the city walls into the bargain.

            But then in the late 20th century when olives didn’t fetch enough and cereal crops got more cash, all the medieval olive groves once owned by my family were felled by the people who bought our land.

            Then, a decade or so ago, they turned to olives again, just rather pathetic young trees still.

            I’m inclined to give up on Mankind.

            • Duncan Idaho says:

              The Israelis are currently doing this to the Palestinians.
              Anyone cutting down an olive tree needs to be eliminated.
              I’ve planted and harvested many.

        • Destroying irrigation systems sounds like it would work. So would destroying bridges and dams.

          • Ed says:

            The US army always starts with electric power plants, water treatment, sewage treatment, and communication switching centers. Yes, also bridges so no food may be delivered.

          • Robert Firth says:

            The subject of a splendid war movie called “The Dam Busters”, made in 1955, about the destruction of the Ruhr dams by our gallant RAF heroes. No sarcasm intended: many of them believed it was a suicide mission, but volunteered anyway.

            Except the real hero was Barnes Wallis, who perfected the “bouncing bomb” that did the job. Wallis also designed the R100, the best (and simplest) rigid airship ever built. Reference: Nevil Shute, “Slide Rule”.

        • Lidia17 says:

          a number of train derailments have been in the news recently…

    • Kowalainen says:

      Yup, people lack the concepts of modern warfare, or anything kinetic/dynamic at all for that matter. Go to the shooting range for one day and try shooting a .308 or 30-06. And that is the abysmal minima of projecting anything in 21’st century. You wouldn’t want anyone to train the business end of one of those at you ever… 😳

      I find this crazy talk of warfare inevitable terrifying. Are you fscking nuts. You’ll see concentration camps, curfew and martial law for the useless eaters before any kinetic warfare takes place among owners in the west.

      Do you really think the owners will fly bullets against each other before they have taken care of the decadence and useless eatery first? Forget about it.

      • Ed says:

        Princes do not kill princes because next time it might be them. Exile to a luxury resort in an out oof the way location yes.

        • Robert Firth says:

          “Princes do not kill princes …” unless they can get away with it. As Henry Tudor did, when he ordered the murder of the Princes in the Tower, and then had it blamed on Richard III.

      • TIm Groves says:

        This is why I see Eddy’s idea for free Fentanyl for the masses as a solution for the useless eaters. It would save the authorities the bother of concentrating them and save them the bother of camping.

        • Kowalainen says:

          Junkies litter the streets, no thanks. How about a perpetual pandemic, curfew and martial law.

          Watch UBI be introduced on a bare subsistence level. If the useless eaters gets rowdy, open the biotech can of goodies again and let em rip.

        • Denial says:

          Who would be the useless eaters? Everyone over 50?😢

          • Kowalainen says:

            Useless people. No talents, no skills. But carriers and super spreaders of sleaze and sanctimonious hypocrisy they for the most part are oblivious of. Turn on the Telly, take a good long look at the faces and listen to the BS, then watch out for the same pattern in real life. No shortages of that pretentious stink, right?

            Of course excluding the handicapped, old and sickly. You know, people that life generally don’t treat well.

            Nah, I’m just exaggerating to prove a point. How about subsistence income for the nonproductive? Is there a way around that? I doubt it. Besides, the sanctimonious hypocrisy and overpopulation is just another logical outcome of excessive socialist engineering in the path of prosperity. The garbage, dust and cruft keeps on collecting on the floors in the workshops of IC if there is no built-in purging mechanism.


      • Thierry38 says:

        People think with ideas from the past, that’s all they know.
        They can’t imagine what they don’t see.

      • Robert Firth says:

        I remember that! I was a 15 yr old schoolboy when I took my marksmanship test with a Lee Enfield .303. Put six bullets through a target the size of a human heart at 300 yards distance. I doubt I could do it now, but I did it then, and proudly sewed the sharpshooter badge on my OTC uniform. A lesson that echoed the sentiments of my School: “Bellum est ultima ratio regum”. A vanished world, but perhaps a better one than the world of Boris and Brussels.

        • Kowalainen says:

          Robert, right, however, they are only as bad as the world allows them to be.

          I use to practice with a pellet gun. Less fuss, cheaper, just move the target closer, skip the lead pellets.

          Standing at approx 15m, using a scope, I can poke a dent in a 1€ coin with my el cheapo Weihrauch. Average stuff compared with the sharpshooter mad skills of your youth. 👍

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