Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Tuesday Night Links

  • The biggest antitrust violation in history may be in plain sight. Wall Street banks and money managers are bragging about their coordinated efforts to choke off investment in energy. It’s nearly impossible to raise money to explore for oil and gas right now, and we may all be experiencing rising energy costs because of this market manipulation. Russian and Chinese aggression overseas also is exacerbating inflation. [Mark Brnovich]
  • In regard to Russia's military invasion of Ukraine, it is beneficial to recall a certain context— Russia, and Putin, just spent the last two years in near-perfect lockstep with the rest of the global regime, pretending there was a deadly plague ravaging the world. [Schwab]
  • When you fire a prince, you fire all those who staked their fortunes on his rise; among the opponents of MBS are foreign governments who had planned for the reign of King MBN, and Saudis whose wealth and influence flowed from him. MBN’s chief adviser, Saad al-Jabri, fled to Canada. He alleges that MBS sent a team there to kill him. MBS’s government alleges that al-Jabri stole a massive fortune and is bankrolling efforts to defame the crown prince. (Both parties deny the claims.) “MBN survived al-Qaeda,” al-Jabri’s son Khalid told me. “But he couldn’t survive his own cousin.” [Graeme Wood]
  • If our project is to make American culture and life enviable again, then we are going to have to start by manifesting it in agricultural form. What I will lay out in this essay is one idea of how we might go about it — in the form of a recipe for protein-rich, post-workout health food ice cream made of only three ingredients. This idea could be exchanged for others, but its underlying principles are non-negotiable. These are, among others, that agriculture must be the art of stewardship, not the practice of extraction. That it should be motivated by a sense of national pride in the peerlessness of our soils and our products, rather than by profit-seeking. And that we should maximize and cherish the freely given gifts of God, namely sunshine and rainwater, rather than compensating for their wastage with artificial means, sold to us at inflated prices by entities that only value America and its people as a parasite value its host. [William Wheelwright]
  • Framed photographs of assorted Kennedys, Thatchers, Reagans and Laffers look down upon me, surrounded by the four dogs (two Cane Corsos, a Great Dane and a Peek-A-Pom – that’s a Pekingese Pomeranian), who are now asleep. Several times, we are interrupted by calls from one of Laffer’s six children and 13 grandchildren. “Happy Turkey Day to you, my darling. I’m just sitting here with a reporter from the Financial Times. Can I call you back?” [FT Magazine]
  • The Republicans have the federal government--for now. But we've got Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, New York City (Bloomberg is a Republican in name only), and every college town in the country. We're everywhere any sane person wants to be. Let them have the shitholes, the Oklahomas, Wyomings, and Alabamas. We'll take Manhattan. [The Stranger]
  • “But, innovation!” the green bulls reply, theorizing that future technological leaps will make up for the current shortcomings. In doing so they assume the physics of energy are governed by something akin to Moore’s law, leading to exponential efficiency gains over time. But the physics of energy is a slave to very different laws like the Shockley-Queisser and Betz Limits. These show current levels of converting photons into electrons and capturing kinetic energy from the wind are rapidly approaching the point of significantly diminishing returns. To illustrate this, let’s suppose the efficiency of a lithium-ion battery followed the exponential efficiency of Moore’s Law. In that case, after almost 50 years of development a lithium ion battery the size of a briefcase should be able to power a transcontinental jet flight.  Instead, if done today the required battery would be 8X heavier than the plane itself. [Robert Mullin]
  • First a bloody military operation was waged against Belgrade, without the UN Security Council’s sanction but with combat aircraft and missiles used in the heart of Europe. The bombing of peaceful cities and vital infrastructure went on for several weeks. I have to recall these facts, because some Western colleagues prefer to forget them, and when we mentioned the event, they prefer to avoid speaking about international law, instead emphasizing the circumstances which they interpret as they think necessary. Then came the turn of Iraq, Libya and Syria. The illegal use of military power against Libya and the distortion of all the UN Security Council decisions on Libya ruined the state, created a huge seat of international terrorism, and pushed the country towards a humanitarian catastrophe, into the vortex of a civil war, which has continued there for years. The tragedy, which was created for hundreds of thousands and even millions of people not only in Libya but in the whole region, has led to a large-scale exodus from the Middle East and North Africa to Europe. A similar fate was also prepared for Syria. The combat operations conducted by the Western coalition in that country without the Syrian government’s approval or UN Security Council’s sanction can only be defined as aggression and intervention. But the example that stands apart from the above events is, of course, the invasion of Iraq without any legal grounds. They used the pretext of allegedly reliable information available in the United States about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. To prove that allegation, the US Secretary of State held up a vial with white powder, publicly, for the whole world to see, assuring the international community that it was a chemical warfare agent created in Iraq. It later turned out that all of that was a fake and a sham, and that Iraq did not have any chemical weapons. Incredible and shocking but true. We witnessed lies made at the highest state level and voiced from the high UN rostrum. As a result we see a tremendous loss in human life, damage, destruction, and a colossal upsurge of terrorism. Overall, it appears that nearly everywhere, in many regions of the world where the United States brought its law and order, this created bloody, non-healing wounds and the curse of international terrorism and extremism. I have only mentioned the most glaring but far from only examples of disregard for international law. [Putin]
  • For fully 55 years, Mr. North wrote, edited or published some 50 books and churned out countless articles — all the while exasperating more mainstream conservative, libertarian and free-market politicians and policymakers with his relentless, if quixotic, embrace of old-time religion under the umbrella of Christian Reconstructionism. In “Introduction to Christian Economics” (1973), he wrote, for instance, that in his envisioned society no form of government welfare payments “will escape the ethical limits” of the Apostle Paul’s dictum in II Thessalonians that “if any would not work, neither should he eat.” His economic agenda opposed inflation, high taxes and big government and favored a return to the gold standard because, he said, “God would prefer gold to paper money.” [NY Times]
  • Murray Rothbard observed remorsefully after 1991 that nobody in the libertarian movement had ever sat down and devised a transition program for the Soviet Union, on the assumption that the Soviet economy would collapse, and there ought to be a program to make the transition to free-market capitalism. That had never been attempted. It was not implemented. And so the Russian economic system is basically a version of Keynesianism. The central bank dominates. Bureaucracy dominates. The markets are not free. The system is rigged. It is simply Western crony capitalism superimposed onto the old Soviet bureaucracy, which was what Lenin imposed on the old Czarist bureaucracy. Russia is still essentially a top-down bureaucratic economy, with productivity coming from the bottom. What is different today is this: with capitalism, there is greater productivity in Russia than there ever was in the Soviet Union or Czarist Russia. [Gary North]
  • Broadly speaking, dose 3 seems to have been worse than dose 2, and dose 2 worse than dose 1. Many, many of the vaccinated among you caught Corona following vaccination. There are the preponderance of infections in the week following the first and third doses, which we already knew about, but these are but a fraction of post-vaccine infections overall. Probably a big thing that has stalled the political momentum driving mass vaccination, is the prevalence of bad booster reactions followed by breakthrough infection. Another point that emerged from your letters, is the generally high threshold for obtaining an exemption from further vaccination following an adverse reaction. It was disturbing to read several stories of people who were essentially vaccinated to death – dying after dose 3, following a rough reaction to dose 1 and a near-miss with dose 2. Finally, almost all of you were vaccinated under duress. Some of you accepted vaccination simply to end the medical surveillance or to win back some freedom of movement. That was surprisingly uncommon, though; those who gave in to the petty harassments of the vaccinators generally said they didn’t appreciate the risk of the vaccines, or the outrageousness of the legal regime surrounding them, until later. Most often, people gave in to keep their jobs or to appease insistent family members. Some parents accepted vaccination so that they could attend school events involving their children; other people wanted to see elderly relatives in hospital or care homes. [eugyppius]
  • Since 2014, the Ukraine has been experiencing a quiet civil war, between the Ukrainian majority in the west, and a Russian minority concentrated in the east. The ethnic Ukrainian side in this conflict has been co-opted by the supranational global imperial monolith. This is the cadre of western elites that determines political, medical and cultural orthodoxy across the world. They control not only all major political parties in most western countries, but also global international consortia from the United Nations to the World Economic Forum to the European Union to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Their goal is to further squeeze Russia by turning Ukraine – including the Russian-speaking eastern regions – into another political constituent of American globalism. To the Russians – many Russians – this is unacceptable. After the Soviet Union collapsed, the globalists descended upon Russia to rape and pillage. In the years after 2000, NATO expansion was used to hem in Russia along the Baltic. These were hard years, but Russia finally reasserted its sovereignty. Since then, the western globalists have considered unaligned Russia to be their enemy, and they have adopted Ukraine as a convenient proxy against her. Ukraine is useful for this purpose, because it has considerable strategic significance, whether as a gateway to Russia through the open Ukrainian plains, or as a staging ground for American missiles. [eugyppius]
  • Once you follow someone, start tracking in the back of your mind whether seeing their posts is making your life better or worse. If it turns out you’ve made a mistake, you’ll want to quickly correct it, either demoting to a list or eliminating entirely. It’s mostly a lot easier to figure this out all at once before you start, so I try to focus on that, but that can give you the wrong idea. It’s also a good idea to periodically review your list of people you follow and remove those who you realize no longer belong or are not pulling their weight. As a rule of thumb, once you get above about 300 people, you should be very suspicious that you are following too many. [Zvi]

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