Monday, November 6, 2023

Monday Night Links


  • The regime is caught in quite a pickle as the tools it used to quash its domestic competition are now crippling it in the geopolitical struggle of great powers. Its policies of industrial outsourcing, regional military recruitment, becoming a service based economy, subsidizing mass college enrollment, mainstreaming white racial guilt and finally mass immigration, were either designed to or by chance weakened and neutered their only non patronage class "white working class and middle class Americans". While these policies solidified their hold on power, got them filthy rich and marginalized their political rivals, it also has greatly limited their capacity to compete with rival great powers. Countries rich with natural resources and national pride are chewing up US hegemony at a rapid pace and our leadership has no counter. Years of abandoning merit for identity quotas, risk averse safetyism, dumbing down academic standards, creating a cartelized command economy that stifles innovation, and zero accountability for failures has collapsed [their] ability to stop decline. In order to stave off a USSR style collapse, the regime would have to empower and economically reward its white conservative constituents who could then form a politically powerful bloc. It's the ultimate catch 22 for them. [Jim Sharp]
  • They can't remain a superpower without rebuilding the country's manufacturing base and arms industry. But that means transferring a lot of wealth and power into the arms of the Red States and working class; their two main domestic political enemies. And a asset-light economic zone without strong military and industrial base to support that military is a target, not an empire. So yeah, they're screwed. [Carolina Lion
  • [I]t’s an iron law of history that revolutions never, ever come out of popular uprisings. The wheels of history are turned by political entrepreneurs — individuals or close-knit groups who notice ahead of everybody else that the world has changed in some fundamental way. This unstable situation where material conditions have shifted but society keeps rolling in its groove creates a sort of potential energy, like a charged electric field or a boulder perched at the top of a cliff. In the world of business we call this a market opportunity, and we admire those with the gumption to seize them. In the world of war and politics, market opportunities often look more like a forest full of dry tinder, and the would-be entrepreneur needs an additional quality, fanaticism, that enables him to calmly light a match and flick it over his shoulder. [Mr. and Mrs. Psmith’s Bookshelf]
  • Holston Army Ammunition Plant is the *only* plant in the US producing high explosives. It was built in 1943, and has been barely modernized. Feast your eyes on the glory of HSAAP. Some more funny pics from the sole HE plant. That guy bagging? That's moving C-4 between work stations. [Tokyo Morose]
  • In case you are wondering how bad the US bottleneck is when it comes to military production there is exactly one factory producing high explosives for the United States and it is very outdated when it comes to machinery. [Carolina Lion]
  • A pattern I've noticed is the New York Times' fear and loathing of prosperity in North Dakota. It's weird. The normal human reaction to a cold, emptying-out place finally getting a lucky break would be, "Oh, that's nice." But to the NYT, North Dakota is an endless horrorshow of cashiers making $24 per hour and other atrocities. [Steve Sailer]
  • Gender dysphoria has sailed up as the number one socially induced psychological disease of our time. About a decade ago, apparently out of nowhere, people started questioning their gender identity. Since gender dysphoria is fashionable here and now, it is talked about as something very particular. A book called Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche (2011) by journalist Ethan Watters suggests it isn't. Psychological disorders have always been sensitive to trends. Watters presents the way Western-style anorexia reached Hong Kong as his main example. [Wood From Eden]
  • Charles Taylor wrote a very long book about “disenchantment,” which is the secularizing process that made people stop thinking of the universe as being full of ghosts and demons and miracles and purposes, and start thinking of it as a collection of self-contained particles bouncing off each other. But he curiously underemphasizes the extent to which it was a scientific revolution that made that whole process intellectually plausible. We all know how that story ends — with quantum mechanics, Gödelian incompleteness, and the rest of it all filling the universe with ghosts again. But even the quantum universe and the relativistic universe are just elaborations on Newton’s “System of the World” and abide by its basic philosophical premise: that the universe is like a big computer that takes its current state, applies certain rules, and produces a next state. In fact this assumption is so pervasive, the revolution has been so thorough, most physicists cannot even form the thought that there could exist a conceptually well-defined alternative. [Mr. and Mrs. Psmith’s Bookshelf]
  • [T]he welfare state requires an endless supply of young people to produce more, consume more, and generate ever more taxes for bureaucrats to distribute. A prolonged shortage of young bodies will stress the social safety net to the breaking point. Expensive retirement and health insurance schemes are likely to collapse. The marginal will slip into poverty—the poor will grow desperate—but government will lack the funds to do much about it. The political consequences are unfathomable. My guess is that crime and turbulence will be a constant background noise but not revolution, since the minimum levels of testosterone needed for that kind of venture will be lacking. Economically, a world dominated by the old will be less innovative, less dynamic, and more risk averse. The only way to compensate for a shriveled workforce will be through technology—but that’s just what you won’t get from the geezers in charge. [Martin Gurri]


  • In the U.S. & Canada, RevPAR rose more than 4 percent, with many urban markets showing outsized growth.  Group and business transient saw mid-single digit hotel revenue gains in the quarter, largely driven by rate increases.  Leisure transient demand in the region has also remained solid, leading to 4 percent hotel revenue growth for the segment compared to the year-ago quarter. [Marriott International]
  • Our world class assets delivered top tier operational and financial results in Q3/23 with average quarterly production volumes of approximately 1,394,000 BOE/d, which is the highest quarterly volumes in the history of the Company, including record quarterly production volumes for both liquids and natural gas of approximately 1,035,000 bbl/d and 2,151 MMcf/d respectively. Following the completion of planned turnarounds at our Oil Sands Mining and Upgrading assets, synthetic crude oil ("SCO") production was strong, averaging approximately 491,000 bbl/d during Q3/23, capturing robust SCO pricing at a premium to WTI. Additionally, as a result of strong execution in our thermal assets, production growth was ahead of plan, as Q3/23 average thermal production volumes increased by approximately 44,000 bbl/d to 287,000 bbl/d from Q3/22 levels. As a result of our focus on effective and efficient operations, the Company had strong liquid netbacks in Q3/23, similar to Q3/22 netback levels when commodity prices were much higher. This resulted in significant free cash flow for the Company. [Canadian Natural Resources]
  • "NRP had another robust quarter with $80 million of free cash flow generated in the third quarter of 2023 as a result of continued strong performance from our mineral rights assets and a significant cash distribution from our soda ash investment," said Craig Nunez, NRP's president and chief operating officer. "We also made noteworthy progress towards our goal of eliminating all preferred units and warrants by redeeming $50 million of preferred units at par with cash and repurchasing a total of 1.46 million warrants for $56 million in cash. I am proud of the NRP team for the continued strong performance and am confident our strategy to retire all outstanding debt, preferred equity, and warrants while maintaining common unit distributions will continue to maximize long-term unitholder value.” [Natural Resource Partners LP]
  • CVE currently trades at a debt-adjusted cash flow multiple of 5.1-times versus a 6.6-times multiple for CNQ and a peer group average of 6.3-times, according to RBC. CVE’s third-quarter results suggest its relatively low trading multiple discount is unwarranted. The shares are also cheap from a free cash flow perspective. Third-quarter results indicate that Cenouvs is capable of generating roughly $2 billion of free cash flow with WTI in the low-$80s per barrel and the WTI-WCS spread in the $12-$13 range. We believe the company is capable of generating $10 billion of free cash flow, or $5.30 per share, at $90 per barrel WTI, which is where we expect prices to trade over the coming years. At $40 per share, they would trade at a free cash flow yield of 13.3%. This share price is equivalent to $29.20 for the U.S.-listed shares. [HFI Research]


Anonymous said...

Is the regime evil or just stupid?

Considering how bellicose the elites are, you would think that if they were smarter than they are evil, they would attend to mundane matters like producing ammunition and not giving their own soldiers myocarditis-inducing vaccine shots.

But if they are dumber than they are evil, they wouldn't.

And perhaps being "dumber than evil" originates from a number of cognitive biases and incentive problems that the elite have:

*ignorance and contempt for the tangible world and old economy (wordcel lawyers);
*belief in modern monetary theory and fiat currency economics;
*political misalignment between the elites and the types of people who would own, and work in, these factories producing things for the defense sector; and
*voracious hunger for welfare transfer payments.

Still, refusing to build ammunition and high explosive capacity when you are an aggressive imperialist is like refusing to mine copper when you are an electric vehicle transitionist. The good news is that if the elites are dumber than they are evil, the pendulum is more likely to swing back. They will have a series of delegitimizing episodes as their delusions crash on the rocks of reality.

Anonymous said...

Q. Is the regime evil or just stupid?

A. Both