Monday, February 28, 2011

Obama Likes Public Unions, Hates Business

Manufacturers could shift production out of the US to Canada or Mexico as a result, warned George Buckley, chief executive and chairman of 3M.

“I judge people by their feet, not their mouth,” he told the Financial Times. “We know what his instincts are – they are Robin Hood-esque. He is anti-business.” _FT
In fact the entire bureaucratic structure of the US government has become anti-business, without necessarily intending to. If you combine the anti-business attitude of Obama with his promotion of "energy starvation" policies and his massive debt growth, then you should begin to understand how impossible a meaningful economic recovery will be as long as Obamaesque policies rule the US government.

Not surprisingly, Obama loves government worker unions. He even lent his campaign apparatus to bus in demonstrators to Madison Wisconsin, to shut down meaningful government reforms there. Aided by his mega-media enablers, Obama is grandstanding his support for "union rights of collective bargaining." But is union collective bargaining closer to monopolistic trusts -- something that is illegal in every other area of commerce?
Labor unions like to portray collective bargaining as a basic civil liberty, akin to the freedoms of speech, press, assembly and religion. For a teachers union, collective bargaining means that suppliers of teacher services to all public school systems in a state—or even across states—can collude with regard to acceptable wages, benefits and working conditions. An analogy for business would be for all providers of airline transportation to assemble to fix ticket prices, capacity and so on. From this perspective, collective bargaining on a broad scale is more similar to an antitrust violation than to a civil liberty. _WSJ
There is something quite corrupt and totalitarian at the same time, about government unions and the chokehold they can hold on a tax-paying electorate. Obama wants to teach Wisconsinites a lesson -- that no matter who they elect to office, it will always be the government unions who are in charge. Even if he must institute intimidation, violence, and monopolistic practises to enforce that lesson.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Big Government Unions Hasten Collapse of the State

Public sector unions have an insatiable appetite for public funds. Governments cannot possibly balance their budgets and also keep big government unions happy. Something is destined to crash and burn, and if unions have anything to do with it, they will bring everything down with them when they go.
On the state level, public employment promises the full socialist ideal to a small minority-paid for with tax money looted from a larger, productive private economy. But the socialist utopia of public employment has crossed the Thatcher Line: the point at which, as the Iron Lady used to warn, you run out of other people's money.

The current crisis exposes more than just the financial unsustainability of these programs. It exposes their moral unsustainability. It exposes the fact that the generosity of these welfare-state enclaves can only be sustained by forcing everyone else to perform forced labor to pay for the benefits of a privileged few.

This is why the left is treating any attempt to fundamentally reform the public workers' paradise as an existential crisis. This is why they are reacting with the most extreme measures short of outright insurrection. _RealClearPolitics
Outright insurrection is not completely off the table, for these thuggish intimidators. They want to hold that option as a last resort. Before it comes to that, people who appreciate the advantages of a free, orderly, and lawful society may want to shut government down temporarily for some much-needed maintenance overhaul work.
America fast approaches several tipping points. Taxes have grown steadily more progressive across successive presidencies including numerous redistributionist credits ensconced in the tax code. Per the Heritage Foundation, “the country may be rapidly approaching a point where one-half of ‘taxpayers’ do not pay taxes, while receiving generous federal benefits.” These folks have no real interest in fiscal discipline.

Welfare, social security, food stamps and other entitlement measures have surpassed one-sixth of personal income. Entitlements of $2 trillion grow annually and promise to explode as Baby Boomers retire. Social Security has already crossed its tipping point and will henceforth remain forever in the red.

At all levels, governments now employ approximately twenty-two million workers. There are millions more dependent on government contracting for their livelihood. An unhealthy portion of us rely on government for sustenance. As the state’s reach smothers America, many millions are now nestled up to the public breast. Too many voters exhibit a keen interest in sustaining the unsustainable.

Frederic Bastiat observed, “The state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.” _Forbes

With all government functions shut down except for the bare essentials, it will be easier for voters to see how unessential -- and downright counter-productive -- most government functions truly are.
Unions will have a harder time proving that their loss is American loss. That is partly because unions are a partisan issue. Gallup recently asked Americans whether government workers unions are generally more helpful or more harmful to their states. Two-thirds of Democrats said helpful. Two-thirds of Republicans said harmful. Independents split.

There is no longer a union mandate. Gallup regularly asks Americans about their confidence in more than a dozen institutions. Labor unions rank near the bottom, though still above big business. _RealClearPolitics

There are powerful forces seething just beneath the visible surface of everyday life, seeking to overthrow the established order in order to throw society into chaos. From the far left anarchists, to the lefty-Luddite green dieoff.orgy energy starvationists, to the budget-busting public sector unionists, to the pro-totalitarian leftist contingent controlling many university administrations and humanities faculties and media newsrooms -- the left is teeming with well-funded clusters of goons and zombies eager to "bring it all crashing down."

As long as Obama's regime is in power, the forces of chaos have friends in high political places. As long as the financial reign of big-money leftist agents provocateurs continues, these zombie-goons will have monetary resources to rely upon. In terms of sponsoring terrorism and societal sabotage within the US, there is no longer a need for foreign states such as the late USSR. Such sponsors of chaos have become the mainstream.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Economic Conditions in US Worsening as Debt Builds

Images via Financial Armageddon
Image Source

Economic conditions for everyone in the US -- except perhaps for protected government employees and special private sector friends of the government -- appear to be worsening. This is despite a massive growth in the size of government and overall government spending and debt. If the US government's intent was to invest in the future, it has clearly missed its mark. Only special interests are benefiting from this government spree.
Image Source
Government spending as a percent of US GDP continues to rise as more spending is of a "fixed and non-discretionary" type, and debt levels spiral out of all control.
US rankings for economic and other measures of societal well-being have done nothing but decline under the Obama regime.

Despite the artificial suppression of US interest rates by the Federal Reserve, new business investment remains low. Ominously, large investors are once again looking to high-risk investments -- just like in 2005 before the crash.

Gold and precious metals prices continue to rise, as persons at all levels of wealth and income lose confidence in their governments.

State and local governments across the US are beginning to feel the pain, and find themselves struggling against the death-grip of public sector unions just to survive.

Beneath everything else, there is the demographic collapse among the best educated, most skilled, and most intelligent populations of the developed world. Japan is showing the results a bit sooner than most other developed nations. And most observers who are fed a steady diet of mainstream media pablum are likely to never understand the crucial effect of the demographic implosion upon their lives. But smarter people will factor it into their plans.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.

Images via Financial Armageddon

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Obama's Many Chickens to Come Home to Roost

Over the past two years, US President Obama has led a one-man Alinsky-style revolutionary attempt to subjugate the US Constitutional rule of law beneath a steamroller-style of top-down big government. In the course of overseeing and stimulating that revolution, Mr. Obama has released a lot of diseased, scurvy chickens into the barnyard. These chickens are looking to come home now, to roost.
The Battle of Madison, where Obama, Pelosi, the AFL-CIO, Jackson, the teachers unions and the Alinskyite left are refusing to accept the results of the 2010 election and taking to the streets to break state governments, is shaping up as the first engagement in the Battle for America. What will be decided?

Can the states, with new governments elected by the people, roll back government to prevent a default? Or will the states be forced by street protests, work stoppages by legislators, and strikes by state employees and teachers to betray the people who elected them? Will they be forced to raise taxes ad infinitum to feed the government's insatiable appetite for tax dollars?

In short, does democracy work anymore in America?

What Obama has done will come back to haunt him. He has encouraged if not incited an angry and alienated left that lost the country in a free election to overturn the results of that election by street protests and invasions of state capitols. _Buchanan
What Mr. Obama and his teleprompter apparently fail to understand, is that such tactics should only be used when in possession of overwhelming popular support -- or as a last resort.

Obama's attempt to force state governments to accept their own economic demise is not likely to succeed. It is a question of how badly Obama's Alinskyite tactics will fail, and how disastrously these failures will boomerang back to hurt his own standing in national and international circles.

There are times when a wise person should choose not to fight, or to choose to fight a more covert war. This would seem to be such a time, when ordinary taxpayers are already stressed to their limits by government overspending, mismanagement, and overtaxation and overregulation.

For Obama and his thuggish allies to double down on their own stupidity may be typical of the breed, but played out on a national and international stage it is an insanely foolish tack.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The New US Civil War: Government Sector Workers Vs. the People

How far will the Obama astro-turfed public sector union thuggocracy go to push their aristocratic entitlements? To the point of violence, of open warfare pitting the public sector against its private sector slaves and servants?
These teachers are not protesting for liberty, freedom or to change the government. Rather, they are protesting because they want things to remain the same. They simply don't want anyone to mess with their pay. Well, the truth is that none of us ever wants to experience a pay cut. It is not a lot of fun. But sadly, states like Wisconsin are so broke that they have to find cuts somewhere. Someone is going to have to make a sacrifice. The teachers in Wisconsin just want to make sure that it is not them.

In the United States today, state and local governments are facing unprecedented budget crunches. Tax revenues are way down and expenses are way up. State and local government debt has reached at an all-time high of 22 percent of U.S. GDP, and many state and local governments are teetering on the brink of insolvency.

States like Wisconsin have to do something or else they will collapse financially. Wisconsin is facing a $3.6 billion budget deficit (which for that state is huge), and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the Republicans in the legislature are attempting to make some tough cuts.

In particular, they want public employees to pay a little more towards their health care premiums and pension programs. In fact, what the Republicans are proposing would still leave Wisconsin public employees contributing far less to health care and pensions than their private sector counterparts. _EconomicCollapse_via_Intelhub

It is not just a US Democratic Party problem -- although most of the government officials who find themselves in the pockets of public sector labour unions are members of the USDP. If local and state governments in the US begin to collapse due to public employee overshoot, more private citizens will begin to sit up and take notice. It is bad enough that real unemployment in the US is approaching 20%. When things really start to fall apart thanks to government debt, people will begin to wake up.

No, it is best to let sleeping dogs lie. If the public sector union fat cats had at least half a brain, they would know that this is not a battle they want to win at any cost. Read the whole thing.

More -- Obama's ties to the SEIU go back to his days as a community organizer. In his own words:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wisconsin: Ground Zero for the Effort to Prevent Fiscal Armageddon

Governor Walker of Wisconsin has proposed a few modest reforms for public sector unions which are long overdue. President Obama and the unions are angry about that, and bussed in thousands of paid demonstrators who combined with public sector union workers playing hooky from their jobs, to put on a most disgusting show of littering and attempted intimidation. Governor Walker appears to be unfazed.

Meanwhile, the Tea Party movement put on a protest in Madison which attracted thousands of unpaid, very tidy demonstrators, who -- unlike the union thugs and rent-an-activists -- know how to clean up after themselves.
Thousands of Tea Partiers gathered in Madison on Saturday, in an effort to rally support for newly elected Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s deficit reduction plan.

Likely 2012 presidential candidate Herman Cain, local Madison and Milwaukee conservative radio host Vicki McKenna, Gateway Pundit blogger Jim Hoff, Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher and conservative media guru Andrew Breitbart each took their shots at the union bosses who were gathering their supporters on the other side of the state capitol building.

McKenna kicked it off calling for the Tea Party movement to stay strong and committed.

“They want to think that you don’t matter,” McKenna said, adding that she thinks the union bosses want Tea Partiers to “submit.” “Are you going to submit, Wisconsin? Are you going to bend over Wisconsin?” McKenna asked to resounding “no’s” from the crowd

Cain followed McKenna saying that what’s going on in Madison is “Ground Zero” for what’s going to happen around the rest of the country. Cain said that union bosses and their crews represent only 10 percent of the population and that they use intimidation tactics to get noticed.

“My assessment of what’s going on out there right now is that the unions, which represent 10 percent of the workforce, they are getting 90 percent of the attention,” Cain said in an interview with The Daily Caller. “The 90 percent of the workforce, which works for the private sector, that voice has not been heard. I’m glad to see that the people here wanted to do something to get the other side of the message out.”

Tea Partiers echoed the message, too, that the reason that they hadn’t showed up in Madison to support Walker yet has been because they were working. The union protesters are supposed to be at work, so they are effectively protesting on the taxpayers’ dime, the Tea Partiers said.

Public sector unions and their thuggish allies seem to wish to push things to their limits. That is not a wise strategy, on their part.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Stuxnet the Leading Edge of Sophisticated Espionage and Sabotage

Natanz Nuclear Enrichment Defense Iran
Stuxnet appears to have been developed in the US and refined in Israel, before being introduced into Iranian computers by shadowy import-export companies. More from Wired:
In August 2009, Iran agreed to let the IAEA install surveillance cameras outside the enrichment facility to monitor any equipment that moved in or out. Suddenly, over a six-month period beginning late 2009, U.N. officials monitoring the surveillance images “watched in amazement” as Iranian workers “dismantled more than 10 percent of the plant’s 9,000 centrifuge machines used to enrich uranium,” according to the Washington Post. “Then, just as remarkably, hundreds of new machines arrived at the plant to replace the ones that were lost.”

Investigators described the effort as a feverish attempt to contain damage and replace broken parts, suggesting the centrifuges had indeed been operational when they broke.

“That it was 1,000 centrifuges and that it happened over a short period of time and the Iranians were upset about it” indicates the centrifuges were spinning or under vacuum – a preparation stage – when they broke, says Albright. “Because of the surprise and rapidity of all this happening, it indicates this.”

One other piece of information suggests Iran’s nuclear program was the target of Natanz. Last week security firm Symantec released a report revealing that the Stuxnet attack targeted five organizations in Iran that were infected first in an effort to spread the malware to Natanz.

Because Natanz’s PLCs are not connected to the internet, the best hope of attacking them – short of planting a mole inside Natanz – was infecting other computers that could serve as a gateway to the Natanz PLC. For example, infecting computers belonging to a contractor in charge of installing software at Natanz could help get the malware onto the Natanz system.

Symantec said the companies were hit in attacks in June and July 2009 and in March, April and May 2010. Symantec didn’t name the five organizations but said that they all “have a presence in Iran” and are involved in industrial processes.

Albright managed to glean from discussions with Symantec that some of the companies are involved in the acquisition and assembling of PLCs. What’s more, Symantec researchers told Albright that they found the names of some of the companies on suspect entity lists – lists of firms and organizations suspected of violating non-proliferation agreements by procuring parts for Iran’s nuclear program. _Wired
No one will shed tears for the Iranian nuclear weapons program, nor for the international companies which are illegally aiding the Iranians. But this attack is just the tip of the iceberg, and a mere suggestion of the wave of more sophisticated forms of sabotage, espionage, and covert warfare which is on the way.
Targeted acts of sabotage disrupt, but the real pay-off comes from identifying the human and technical links in the chain of command. Observing who responds – and when – to worm-driven destruction helps illuminate who really runs Iran’s nuclear infrastructures. Real-world Iranian responses offer critical clues as to which scientists, administrators and engineers are trusted and who is suspect. The chance to monitor Iran’s response would be of great interest to Mossad, the International Atomic Energy Agency, America’s CIA and/or Britain’s GCHQ.

Crafting a worm that generates potential insight into all those issues represents an intelligence coup. It is as potentially revelatory as a WikiLeaks data dump. That is why interpreting Stuxnet as desperate stop-gap or one-off intervention almost certainly misunderstands its purpose. Sabotage here is a means to an end; it is a gambit to make Iran’s nuclear processes more transparent.

Iran’s nuclear elite and Ministry of Intelligence know this. It is no secret now to the mullahs that their responses to the Stuxnet breach were closely monitored by external intelligence agencies. Their internal security is furiously trying to assess what information might have inadvertently been revealed. _FT

Stuxnet's sophistication is considered to be unprecedented. But from now on, Stuxnet will be the benchmark against which future spyware and malware will be gauged.
Mr Salem [of Symantec] said new technology and new approaches are needed.

"I run the largest security company in the world. I get up and people say I have a vested interest (in pushing this line). But my job is to protect and provide security and when we say critical infrastructure is under attack, it is real."

Mr Salem mapped out a number of strategic steps that need to be taken to guard against the next major cyber attack. They include an early warning system, better intelligence on what attacks could happen, better protection, the ability to anticipate what any threat could look like and the ability to clean up after an attack.

He also pointed to a role for government that might involve a counter attack or strike.

The idea of a kill switch to allow the government to switch off the internet if it is under attack is one he did not seem overly enthusiastic about.

"The ability for us to turn something off like that and not cause other massive disruption would be very hard. We are becoming more and more dependent on the internet. There are better approaches than trying to shut off the internet. _BBC
This growing dependency on the internet can be seen at all levels of every society in the advanced world. It represents a growing vulnerability -- given the revelation of what malware like Stuxnet can do -- and needs to be addressed now, before societies move to depend upon an even more vulnerable "smart grid" power system.

The threat is real, and the threat is now.
More than 100 foreign intelligence agencies have tried to breach United States defence networks, largely to steal military plans and weapons systems designs, a top Pentagon official said. _NZHerald
Consequently, the US Pentagon is seeking half a billion US dollars to develop new cyber technologies -- including powerful new defenses to guard agains the powerful new cyber-attack threats.
The $500 million is part of the Pentagon’s 2012 budget request of $2.3 billion to improve the Defense Department’s cyber capabilities. At a Pentagon news conference yesterday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates called the research money, to be spent through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or Darpa, “big investment dollars, looking to the future.”

The military is reaching out to commercial companies for the latest technologies and technical experts to safeguard the Pentagon’s computer networks from attacks and espionage, Lynn said. The effort is part of a “comprehensive cyber strategy called Cyber 3.0,” he said. _Bloomberg

The djinn is long out of the bottle, wreaking havoc on uranium enrichment centrifuge cyber systems. Similar djinns will soon fly out, based upon similar advanced cyber technology, with wider mission profiles and less selective targeting.

But regular readers of Al Fin blogs will understand that this cyber threat -- for all its potential for disruption and destruction -- is only the visible and more imaginable problem. More creative and malicious destructors are on the way, as advanced sciences and technology merge with unimaginably sophisticated hardware and software.

This is the start of the long war, which may either result in humans sinking to a pre-technological level for hundreds or thousands of years, or in humans transcending their monkey natures on the way to the wide-open next level. Watch and see.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Obama Wonderland by Popular Demand

videos via News Alert

Obama's budget will add at least US$7 trillion to US national debt over 10 years

Are Obama and friends trying to set of a new civil war, hoping to reap the spoils? As wealth and resources are transferred from the private to the public sector at an accelerating rate, that unfortunate event grows more likely. The close proximity of the impoverished to the enriched in modern cities, threatens to light the short fuse.
"We certainly are approaching a crisis with public employee costs and benefits," said Adam Summers, a policy analyst with Reason Foundation, a conservative think tank. "The recent economic troubles only revealed what had been concealed by a period of exceptional growth, fueled by the housing and financial bubbles ... Many governments are still in a state of denial."" _StarTrib

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Archibald WUWT

The graphic above is from a PDF slide presentation by David Archibald. It provides a look at global temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels over the past 600 million years. As you can see, modern CO2 levels are quite low compared with historical levels. If you go to the Watts Up With That posting of Archibald's slide show, you can see that modern temperatures are not particularly high in comparison with historical temperatures. You will also see that the correlation between temperature levels and CO2 levels is far from perfect.
The above graphic provides both the source for CO2 data and the source for temperature data. It includes the geologic time scale as well as the temperature and CO2 curves.

The climate of Earth is not constant -- it is in fact chaotic. Climate is affected by orbital, solar, terrestrial, oceanic, and atmospheric phenomena, as well as by extra-solar phenomena. But it is kept within bounds by a complex system of feedbacks, both positive and negative.

When planning for the future, it is best to stay firmly grounded in reality, but to allow the imagination significant leeway within those bounds.

Unrealistic speculation and devious quasi criminal deceptions -- such as we see from the IPCC and climate grifters with their hands in the till -- should be slapped down as quickly and as hard as possible.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Why Did Snopes Lie About Obama and Justice Kagan?

Update: More on Snopes' slippery concept of facts as relating to Soros and Obama is a fact-checking website which claims to present the unvarnished and unadulterated truch regarding rumours and unsubstantiated information and opinions. Now, Snopes has been caught lying outright about the crucial relationship between President Obama and a US Supreme Court justice. Apparently, Snopes is not to be trusted on political topics at least.
I went to Snopes to check this out and they said it was false and there were no such dockets so I ‘Googled’ the Supreme Court, typed in ‘Obama-Kagan,’ and guess what? Yep you got it. Snopes lied. Everyone of those dockets are there.

So Here is what I wrote Snopes:

Referencing the article about Elena Kagan and Barak Obama dockets: The information you have posted stating that there were no such cases as claimed and the examples you gave are blatantly false.

I went directly to the Supreme Court’s website, typed in Obama Kagan and immediately came up with all of the dockets that the article made reference to.. I have long suspected that you really slant things but this was really shocking.

Thank You, I hope you will be much more truthful in the future.


That being said, I’ll bet you didn't know this.

Kagan was representing Obama in all the petitions to prove his citizenship. Now she may help rule on them.

Folks, this is really ugly.

Chicago Politics; and the beat goes on and on and on...

Once again the US Senate sold us out!

Well, someone figured out why Obama nominated Elana Kagan for the Supreme Court.... Pull up the Supreme Courts website, go to the docket and search for Obama.

She was the Solicitor General for all the suits against him filed with the Supreme Court to show proof of natural born citizenship.

He owed her big time. All of the requests were denied of course. They were never heard. It just keeps getting deeper and deeper, doesn't it?

The American people mean nothing any longer. It's all about payback time for those who compromised themselves to elect someone that really has no true right to even be there.

Here are some websites of the Supreme Court Docket:

You can look up some of these hearings and guess what?? Elena Kagan is the attorney representing Obama!!!

Check out these examples:

[Several other docket links at source link below ...]

If you are not interested in justice or in truth delete this. However,If you hold sacred the freedoms granted to you by the U.S. Constitution…By all means, please… PASS it ON! _Source_via_imsb_via_rumormill_via_astute

The assertion by the sites linked above is that Snopes,, Media Matters, and other "fact checking" websites and media outlets are actually financed by George Soros, billionaire financier and strong backer of US President Obama.

When a "fact checking" site such as Snopes refuses to disclose its funding sources, it should be viewed with scepticism by intelligent readers. When it is caught in an outright lie (or two), its credibility has been completely destroyed.

Big government, big finance, big media. A circular jerkular of many interlocking filaments.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Much Ado About Egypt: Islam is about Submission, not Freedom

How odd that in support of the brave secular protestors in the streets of Cairo, we are already talking about not demonizing the Muslim Brotherhood — the existential enemies of every idealist now trying to win a free society from Mubarak, the dictator/non-dictator who must go now!, very soon, after he transitions a new government in the summer, when a new president is elected in the fall, or, as future events dictate, not at all. _VDH_PJMedia
Western journalists and pundits -- to say nothing of politicians -- have missed one crucial core fact about recent unrest in Egypt: It is largely backed by Islamists, and Islam is about submission -- not freedom! This is no Tiananmen Square moment for Egypt. It is far closer to an Iranian Islamic Revolutionary moment, a la Jimmy Carter and other clueless leftists of the time.
Hillary was right about her 3AM slur, and Obama is acting as any 2-year Senate veteran might in such a crisis. There is no consistent support from the left for democracy movements overseas. Strongmen like Gaddafi, Ahmadinejad, and Assad are weirdly seen as either untouchable or genuine in a way a Mubarak or a Jordanian king is not. And the latter are vulnerable only when it looks like they may fail; if they seem stable, we hear not a peep from Obama about their human rights records.

In short, the left has not yet sorted out its adherence to multiculturalism and its supposed support for human rights, which are usually antithetical. It apparently believes that any pro-democratic criticism of Obama’s tepidness is not worth the damage that might accrue to his agenda of universal health care, more entitlements, and left-wing domestic appointments. Whereas on the right there are three fissures over Egypt — neocon support for the protestors, realist support for Mubarak to keep a lid on things and change slowly, isolationist desires to keep the hell out of another costly obligation — on the left these days it is basically trying to explain postfacto Obama’s herky-jerky policies as coherent, successful, and idealist.

Predictions? I think unfortunately we may go the 1940s “we can work with Mao”/1970s “no inordinate fear of communism”/2000s “jihad can mean a personal struggle” route, where liberals believe that totalitarian nationalists somehow admire the American Revolution and our lack of a colonial heritage, and, as closet moderates, wish to work with us. That translates into a backdoor courtship with the Muslim Brotherhood, in the fashion we did with Khomeini, and ends in a decade or so with a Sunni Ahmadinejad and the betrayal of the present protestors — again, in the manner we did the Iranian moderate reformers in 1979-80 and again in 2009. _PJMedia
There is not much the US can do to help the Egyptian people at this time. Egypt is a low-IQ society permeated by religious fanaticism and ethnic and political hatred against outsiders. Resentment is never far beneath the surface for huge numbers of Egyptians.

Part of the problem is proximity to Gaza and the many decades long influx of Palestinians bearing deep resentments and grudges. Part of the problem is decades of oppressive government and many centuries intermittently under fanatical Islamic clerics. And a big part of the problem is a killing poverty associated with a human capital that is irrevocably sinking into a permanent Idiocracy.

If you can think of something that will help the Egyptian people, by all means, let everyone know about it.

Friday, February 04, 2011

As European and East Asian Populations Crash, Who is Left?

Japan is notable for being one of the most advanced on the curve of population implosion, among advanced nations.
AT 60, Hiroshi Ikeguchi wryly describes himself as one of the youngest in his district. He has lived his whole life in Irifune, just above the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyard. But like his ageing neighbours, the Nagasaki suburb is collapsing around him. A dozen houses have been left to rot after their owners have died.

...Since the 1960s a brain drain has sucked people towards Osaka and Tokyo. Young people who left to find jobs elsewhere never came back. Even now, seven in ten college students leave to study, and over half of young people find jobs elsewhere.

The brain drain reinforces a demographic trend. The prefecture’s working-age population has shrunk from over 1m in 1990 to 874,000 in 2008, a result both of the exodus and a declining birth rate. The prefecture of 1.45m is shrinking and ageing so fast that one of Nagasaki’s main department stores, Tamaya, has closed down its children’s department and stocked up on undergarments and hearing aids. With shrinking investment, and fewer jobs and young families, new house-building has fallen by half in the past ten years. _Economist
Similar trends are occurring in other Japanese cities and towns -- and in towns across North America and Europe. Eastern European (former Soviet bloc) nations are particularly advanced along the downward curve. South Korea is following the same path as the Japanese. What about China?
Neil Howe and Richard Jackson, with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, wrote in the Washington Post about China's demographic plight:

Consider China, which may be the first country to grow old before it grows rich. For the past quarter-century, China has been "peacefully rising," thanks in part to a one-child policy that has allowed both parents to work and contribute to China's boom. But by the 2020s, as the huge Red Guard generation born before the country's fertility decline moves into retirement, they will tax the resources of their children and the state. China's coming age wave -- by 2030 it will be an older country than the United States -- may weaken the two pillars of the current regime's legitimacy: rapidly rising GDP and social stability. Imagine workforce growth slowing to zero while tens of millions of elders sink into indigence without pensions, without health care and without children to support them. China could careen toward social collapse -- or, in reaction, toward an authoritarian clampdown.

Howe and Jackson aren't alone in their assessment of China's future. AT's Thomas Lifson notes that because Chinese parents widely prefer that their one child be a male, aborting female fetuses, there will be about 40 million bachelor males in 2020 unable to find a female spouse. Not only does this reduce births, it provides an ample supply of unattached males suitable for military service.

Rodger Baker wrote recently at Stratfor about the end of China's economic miracle in the "not-so-distant future." But the Baker article chiefly addresses the evolution of the Chinese military into a broader leadership role within the country.

Global aging is affecting all of the advanced, affluent nations with educated populations. It is only in the backward third world that populations continue to explode upward and outward. This outbursting of uneducable third worlders is threatening the peace not only in their own backward nations, but in the more wealthy -- but rapidly aging -- centers of more advanced civilisation.
By the 2020s, an ominous new conjuncture of demographic trends may once again threaten widespread disruption. I am, of course, talking about global aging, which is likely to have a profound effect on economic growth, living standards, and the shape of the world order.

Long-time readers of Outside the Box are familiar with the work of Neil Howe (PDF), co-author of one of the most prescient books of the last few decades, The Fourth Turning (written in 1997), which described and indeed virtually nailed our current social climate. _JG
Many violent social upheavals are taking place around the world which are considered to be coincidental, but which are actually direct and indirect consequences of the demographic transition described above.

Intelligent populations experienced industrial growth, affluence, widespread education, and expansion of "universal rights". As women in particular grew more educated, politically influential, and no longer impeded sexually by pregnancy or societal disapproval, birth rates plummeted and populations of more educable groups often began to shrink.

As more intelligent and educable humans abandon the field, younger populations less afraid of breeding and less capable of providing for themselves spring into the picture -- eager to seize the affluent lifestyle which the more advanced groups are leaving behind, as they disappear from the scene.

Demographic changes that took place inside Lebanon -- and are taking place inside Israel -- provide a helpful preview to what will happen in fitful and violent stages across Europe, North America, and Oceania.

The weak and appeasing nations of Europe, such as Sweden and Belgium, will be first to be overrun and subjugated. European people more resistant to the change will be taken over province by province. It is inevitable in many parts of Europe, since many areas, just like Japan, have passed the point of demographic return.

The people of the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of South and Central America, may have been warned early enough to prepare fortified enclaves of resistance to the billions of untrainable and unassimilable third worlders pouring out of their home countries. Governments will have to be muzzled and restrained, in order to allow the spirit of the people -- their goals and aspirations -- to be expressed through their natural talent and energy.

But if the people allow themselves to die out, their dreams and aspirations will die with them.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Peak Oil Makes a Good Scary Bedtime Story for Child-like Minds

Childish minds need scary stories to occupy their time. Peak oil doom, carbon climate catastrophe, resource scarcity disaster and starvation, overpopulation breakdown, etc. But OPEC may have as much reserve capacity as 10 mbpd or more. While most of that would come from Saudi Arabia, several other OPEC members are jostling to pump up their reserves.
...what are the reasons behind the recent upwards spiralling of reserves claims? Some say it’s related to OPEC’s outdated quota system, others that is just the natural result of more exploration taking place throughout the world following peak oil hysteria. And of course, politics always has something to do with it.

“I wouldn’t expect it to be linked to the quota system,” said Chatham House’s John V Mitchell, an expert in energy security and OPEC. “All countries are approaching a point where increases in production require more reserves and many countries haven’t been exploring for decades. Their reserves have been depleted so they need exploration and that produces more reserves or more recovery from existing reserves.”

For others though, Iraq’s expected huge boost in production after decades of underinvestment, which could add as much as 10 million barrels a day, even if not for another decade, will force the cartel to update its quota system.

With that in mind, countries are positioning themselves, some believe, even if the rule of thumb in OPEC to determine quotas is no longer about reserves, but about production and spare capacity.

Manouchehr Takin, head of upstream research in the Center for Global Energy Studies, sees Iran’s reserve increase as a reaction to Iraq’s increase, among other reasons because there is an unwritten rule that both countries should share similar quotas, one that no doubt will change.

And what will be the Saudi reaction when Iraq reaches its full potential, giving it significant spare capacity? Will it also increase its reserves and if so, by how much?

That is where politics also fits in the Middle Eastern question. Iran and Iraq, individually or together, could be trying to capture a bigger deciding power within OPEC from Saudi Arabia, although this will not materialize until both increase spare production capacity.

For others, like Venezuela, politics seems to be the driving force of its reserve increase, not just as promise of wealth to its citizens, but as geopolitical tool to attract investment, namely from China, expected to become perhaps the largest single recipient of this oil. _EnergyTribune

World oil reserves -- not just OPEC -- have been rising inexorably over the years. And remember -- proved oil reserves are the resources which are economical to produce under current market conditions. Which means as long as the price of oil remains inflated -- as currently -- proved reserves will continue to rise. In fact, new global oil discoveries are still out-pacing global oil consumption. (more information at Al Fin Energy)

There are certainly serious hazards to human societies in the modern age. Most of them arise from lefty-Luddite dieoff.orgy enthusiasts or a desert moon goddess religion's suicidal virgin-seekers.

Here's the real problem with energy resources: In the nations with high intelligence and modern infrastructure, the birth rates among more educated and intelligent persons has fallen rapidly. In other words, skilled manpower resources are falling quickly at just the time that a broad spectrum of technological and scientific challenges demands more skilled and intelligent humans, not less.

The great human dieoff that is the goal of lefty-Luddites everywhere may actually come about as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Bright women stop having babies out of fear of an overpopulation catastrophe, thus reducing the ability of societies to support the populations which already exist -- much less all the growing future populations of ever less intelligent persons from the lower classes of the third world.

It is a problem of human capital, human substrate. Some people cannot learn to operate a nuclear power plant or an offshore oil rig, a power grid, or an advanced farming and distribution system, no matter how you try to teach them. And it is that group of people who are expanding in numbers. The engineering, scientific, and professional classes are not reproducing in numbers fast enough to replace themselves -- much less fast enough to keep up with the needs of untrainable third world people.

Peak human expertise, and peak human imagination. Those are the really scare things that few media people, academics, or political people bother to mention.