Jan 14, 2017

When You Look Back On The Crime, You Can't Say "The Dog Didn't Bark"

I wrote this before the election, but never printed it. So I guess you did hear the dog bark, slammed the door in the Clinton's face and locked out the lawless felons. I only hope we didn't welcome in the clowns. 

Common Sense Commentary: In investigating crimes, Law Officers not only consider the positive clues which are left at the scene, a finger print, a hair, DNA on a glass, spent bullets or empty shell casings, but they also consider clues which are absent. That is, things which should be there, but aren't, stolen items, broken glass, a gun .... the absence of it. Those are called "negative" clues. Another of the negative clues is .... there was a watch-dog there, but the dog didn't bark. Why? did the dog know the perpetrator of the crime? Was the dog drugged or poisoned? The dog could be blind and deaf, and yet, the dog's sense of smell is a thousand times greater than a human's. It can smell the intruder outside the door and will put up a barking fit at a potential danger. The person at the door does not pass the smell test.

So, when the fog has risen, the smoke has cleared, the dust has settled, and a new President has been elected who turns out to be a disaster, as was true in the last two Presidential elections, and will also be true if Hillary is elected, those who voted for that person, of which ever party, will have responsibility for the disaster.  The watch dogs are all barking.  The watch dogs are sounding the alarm so open that Presidential door very prayerfully... RB


Jan 13, 2017

800,000 Illegal Voters In California, The Trendsetter State?

Common Sense Commentary: The left coast, i.e. California, is so far to the left on the political and social spectrum of the U.S. that if they move out another inch, they will fall into the abyss of hopeless heresy. California's state debt of $400 Billion can't be blamed on its ditzy four U.S. Congresswomen, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein and Maxine Waters. The California breed of Socialist politicians have led the state in all kinds of illegal and asinine, "trend setting" deviations. But the one that will eventually do the most harm to the entire nation is its Tower of Babel policies on illegal aliens. San Francisco is not only one of the most beautiful city settings in America, it is the leader in defense of sodomy, same sex marriage, sanctuary cities for illegals, and it is teetering on a hair triggered earthquake fault ... long overdue. There are three million illegal aliens in California. Nearly a third of those now have "legal" California Drivers Licenses.  This is another trend setter for the nation.  Judging from past experience, if the Republicans do not force California to realign itself with Constitutional Law, those illegals will almost certainly vote in 2020, 90% for the Leftwing Democrat Presidential Candidate. Hillary was behind in the national popular vote until California was counted,

This from Constitution
Defending the union from threats foreign and domestic

Report: 800,000 Illegal Voters in California?

A law passed two years ago could mean there might soon be thousands of illegal voters.
When California passed its “motor voter” law, Judge Andrew Napolitano warned of illegal voters affecting U.S. elections.       
Napolitano’s warning has now been confirmed.

The San Jose Mercury News reported,...

On the day that California officials implemented a controversial law that allows undocumented residents to obtain driver’s licenses, DMV offices throughout the state were packed with immigrants looking to take advantage of the opportunity.

Two years after the implementation of AB 60 on Jan. 1, 2015, an estimated 806,000 undocumented residents have received driver’s licenses, according to Department of Motor Vehicles statistics this month. About 14,000 of these licenses were issued in November alone, the DMV said.

The law has allowed undocumented residents to come out of the shadows and drive safely in their neighborhoods, according to Maricela Gutierrez, executive director of the immigration advocacy organization, SIREN.

“Many of them have been able to drive their kids to school and to run errands, when many times they were taking buses that would take them up to three hours to get from point A to point B,” she said. “It opened up new opportunities.” Supposedly, these illegal alien drivers aren’t able to vote… yet. Califoria’s “motor voter” law doesn’t apply until next year. But if 800,000 illegal aliens have already got legal driver’s licenses, what will be the situation in the 2020 election?

The article says that “state officials” claim there are “safeguards” in place to prevent illegal voters from participating in elections. But this contradicts what else is claimed in the article.

Many of those who received driver’s licenses under the law now fear they’ll become deportation targets if federal immigration authorities can access their DMV information, despite assurances from state officials that it won’t happen.

“We have definitely been hearing about a lot of fear from our community, especially with a new administration coming on board and the anti-immigrant rhetoric that’s been out there,” said Gutierrez. “Everything is theoretical as we speak, but we are definitely taking precautions.”

The organization hosts workshops to inform immigrants of their rights and has advised AB 60 recipients to be cautious on the road.

The law aimed to ease deportation fears that proved a barrier for undocumented residents to be tested and licensed to drive, a potential safety concern in a state that is home to an estimated 3 million illegal immigrants. Access to a license also makes it easier for those residents to find work and put their kids in public school.

The DMV said law enforcement agencies, including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, can obtain driver’s license information — such as name, gender/description, address, date of birth and driver license number — through certain data-sharing systems. But the information doesn’t indicate their immigration status or whether they received licenses under AB60. If the data gathered from illegal aliens who drive is so private, how can they be prevented from voting? What exactly are the safeguards that protect us from illegal voters?

Jan 12, 2017

New Study: Liberals Far More Likely To Commit Crime

Common Sense Commentary: Any adult American with one eye and half sense already knew this. The high percentage of police case records and incarcerated criminals identifying themselves as Democrats is all that's needed to prove the point. Ask people walking the sidewalks in high crime districts what political party they prefer or if they are Liberal or Conservative. Regardless of the Liberal Fact Check, left footed dance around these studies, if you clear your mind and think about it, the likelihood of it being true is 100%. But the Snopeses of this world will, no doubt throw heaps of rotting refuse on the facts which are more obvious than a Hell's Angel Biker at a country Baptist Church.  RB

This from Constitution (Defending the union from threats foreign and domestic)

New Study Shows Liberals far More Likely to Commit Crime than Conservatives

The results of a new study conducted by researchers from the University of Cincinnati, Florida State University, and Pennsylvania State University are sending shockwaves across the nation. These are Liberal not Conservative Universities

Four researchers sought to discover whether or not political ideology could predict involvement in criminal activity, but what they found could upend our entire political and criminal justice systems. 

Political ideology represents an imperfect yet important indicator of a host of personality traits and cognitive preferences. These preferences, in turn, seemingly propel liberals and conservatives towards divergent life-course experiences. Criminal behavior represents one particular domain of conduct where differences rooted in political ideology may exist. Using a national dataset, we test whether and to what extent political ideology is predictive of self-reported criminal behavior. Our results show that self-identified political ideology is mono-tonically related to criminal conduct cross-sectionally and prospectively and that liberals self-report more criminal conduct than do conservatives. We discuss potential causal mechanisms relating political ideology to individual conduct. The data was gathered through “self-reported” behavior and it therefore cannot be trusted as a fool-proof result, but it is instructive in explaining important cultural differences between conservatives and liberals. The data gathered and research presented seems to indicate a very strong correlation between political ideology and willingness to commit criminal behavior! 

The researchers do caution against assuming a “causal relationship between liberal political ideology and criminal conduct,” but they also observe that there is corresponding research that shows political conservatives are more closely associated with reduced criminal behavior. 

There is apparent scholarly agreement that conservatives more strongly value social order, respect for authority, and social conformity and that conservatives are more religious, more conscientious, and demonstrate higher levels of self-control. These traits and values likely influence lifestyle choices in ways that better insulate conservatives against criminal behavior. Moreover, conservative narratives about “free will, personal responsibility, and morality may gel into cognitive scripts that condemn criminal conduct as immoral and worthy of social sanctions. The researchers also point out that academics and philosophers are realizing more and more that political ideology may play a larger role in our daily life than most people realize. In fact, political ideology may indicate what a person believes, thinks, and does in more places than just the voting booth. 

Overall, our study joins a growing stream of empirical assessments that document differences between liberals and conservatives. Collectively, these studies show the potent yet often unexamined role political ideology plays in everyday life. Political ideology represents more than disparate views on the proper role of government and adherence to refined political theories. Ideology rejects an assortment of correlated beliefs and narratives about behavior that are internalized by individuals. These narratives likely impact individual choices, making some choices more likely and other choices less likely. Criminal behavior may also reject choices rooted in ideological narratives—narratives that promote or reduce the occurrence of crime.

Jan 11, 2017

Divorce Agreement Between Conservative, Taxpaying Americans And All The Takers & Fakers

Common Sense Commentary: Here is a young man who has a brilliant future in America if we, the 50% remnant of tax paying, working, Constitutional, Conservatives can keep the door of freedom open for him. He is an under 20 idealist who also has a brain to keep his emotions under control. He has an internal  treasure which is sadly lacking in that "other 50%". A thing called ... Common Sense, logic, the power of reasoning ... to guide his intelligence. He is very young but on the right track. RB

The person who composed this instrument is a college (law) student. Perhaps there is hope for us after all. "Lord multiply his number".

DIVORCE AGREEMENT 

Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Obama supporters, et al: We have stuck together since the late 1950's for the sake of the kids, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has clearly run its course.

Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right for us all, so let's just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own ways.

Here is our separation agreement: 

Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by landmass each taking a similar portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes.

We don't like redistributive taxes so you can keep them.

You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU.

Since you hate guns and war, we'll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military.

We'll take the nasty, smelly oil industry and the coal mines, and you can go with wind, solar and biodiesel.

You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore and Rosie O'Donnell. You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them.

We'll keep capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, WalMart and Wall Street.

You can have your beloved lifelong welfare dwellers, food stamps, homeless, homeboys, hippies, druggies and illegal aliens.

We'll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO's and rednecks.

We'll keep Bill O'Reilly, and Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood .

You can make nice with Iran and Palestinians and we'll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us.

You can have the peaceniks and WW2 protesters. -- When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we'll help provide them security.

We'll keep our Judeo-Christian values.

You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism, political correctness and Shirley McClain. You can also have the U.N. but you will be paying the bill.

We'll keep the SUV's, pickup trucks and oversized luxury cars. You can take every Volt and Leaf you can find.

You can give everyone healthcare if you can find any practicing doctors willing to take everyone.

We'll keep "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "The National Anthem."
I'm sure you'll be happy to substitute "Imagine", "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing", "Kum Ba Ya" or "We Are the World".

We'll practice trickle-down economics and you can continue to give trickle up poverty your best shot.

Since it often so offends you, we'll keep our history, our name and our flag.

I'll bet you might think about which one of us will need whose help in 15 years.

Sincerely, John J. Wall .... Law Student and an American

P.S. Also, please take Ted Turner, Sean Penn, Martin & Charlie Sheen, Barbara Streisand, ( Hanoi ) Jane Fonda with you.

P.S.S. And you won't have to press 1 for English when you call our country.

Jan 10, 2017

This Immigrant Has It ... Common Sense - Send Us More

He Recognizes Honesty And Justice ...


Common Sense Commentary: I am all for immigration, into the U.S., of honest, healthy, talented, self supporting, hard working, tax paying, lovers of America. We need replacements with that kind of folks to take the place of dishonest, drug addicted, untalented, leaches, greedily raking in workers' tax money as gov. handouts. They disrespect America and hate straight arrow, good citizens. I think the working half of America would vote to export (what is the opposite of immigrate, outgrate ingrates?) who feel "entitled" to be taken care of by taxpayers. In Muslim nations they would quickly learn to work and convert to Islam or pay exorbitant infidel taxes. Or to Africa, where they could get what their character deserves, or to China where they would work or starve. I love the Vietnamese immigrant below. He is more like our forefathers than all the Democrat whiners listed above, all of whom voted for Obama and Hillary. If you are one of those, I will pray for your repentance and salvation and do my best to introduce you to Jesus, but otherwise, I am not your friend, because your kind is rapidly destroying our country and literally sucking the blood out of it with your lazy, unquenchable greed. I saw one of you Saturday checking out at Sam's Club with two carts stacked high. One with tenderloins, gobs of candy and ice cream, and the best of everything in one cart, which she paid $217 for with a gov. food stamp card. The second cart was also stacked high with two cases of beer, several bottles of wine, three cartons of cigarettes and boxes of every sort of non-food items which she paid for with $251 cash. This lady wasn't starving, she would have made 6 or 8 of my wife, Bettie. If she didn't have a job, where did she get the cash?   My brother, Tom, has a neighbor who told him, "The next time you need $100 in groceries, I'll pay for it with my food stamp card if you will buy me two cases of beer." This country isn't going to hell... its already there. Sickening! We should accept all immigrants like the one below and outgrate an equal number of ingrates. If you think that's not very nice, and I should keep quiet, tax paying American workers have kept quite for years while our country descended from greatness into a drug addicted, gluttonous, entitlement obsessed majority of losers. Its time for the truth. Positive thinking doesn't work in hell. RB

Here is the kind of immigants we need....
VIETNAMESE IMMIGRANT -- Well Done  The difference between legal and illegal.  This is something everyone in America should read.  VIETNAMESE IMMIGRANT It looks like we did some good after all!

On Saturday, July 24th, 2010 the town of Prescott Valley, AZ, hosted a Freedom Rally. Quang Nguyen was asked to speak on his experience of coming to America and what it means. He spoke the following in dedication to all Vietnam Veterans. Thought you might enjoy hearing what he had to say:

Start Quote: 
35 years ago, if you were to tell me that I am going to stand up here speaking to a couple thousand patriots, in English, I'd laugh at you. Man, every morning I wake up thanking God for putting me and my family in the greatest country on earth.  I just want you all to know that the American dream does exist and I am living the American dream. I was asked to speak to you  about my experience as a first generation Vietnamese-American, but I'd  rather speak to you as an American.

If you hadn’t noticed, I am not white and I feel pretty comfortable with my people. I am a proud U.S. citizen and here is my proof.
It took me 8 years to get it, waiting in endless lines, but I got it, and I am very proud of it. 

I still remember the images of the Tet offensive in 1968, I was six years old. Now you might want to question how a 6-year-old boy could remember anything.  Trust me, those images can never be erased.  I can't even imagine what it was like for young American soldiers, 10,000 miles away from home, fighting on my behalf.

35 years ago, I left South Vietnam for political asylum. The war had ended.  At the age of 13, I left with the understanding that I may or may not ever get to see my siblings or parents again.  I was one of the first lucky 100,000 Vietnamese allowed to come to the U.S. Somehow, my family and I were reunited 5 months later, amazingly, inCalifornia. It was a miracle from God. 

 If you haven't heard lately that this is the greatest country on earth, I am telling you that right now.  It was the freedom and the opportunities presented to me that put me here with all of you tonight.  I also remember the barriers that I had to overcome every step of the way. My high school counselor told me that I cannot make it to college due to my poor communication skills. I proved him wrong.  I finished college. You see, all you have to do is to give this little boy an opportunity and encourage him to take and run with it.  Well, I took the opportunity and here I am.

This person standing tonight in front of you could not exist under a socialist/communist environment. By the way, if you think socialism is the way to go, I am sure many people here will chip in to get you a one-way ticket out of here. And if you didn't know, the only difference between socialism and communism is an AK-47 aimed at your head. That was my experience. 

In 1982, I stood with a thousand new immigrants, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and listening to the National Anthem for the first time as an American. To this day, I can't remember anything sweeter and more patriotic than that moment in my life. 

Fast forwarding, somehow I finished high school, finished college, and like any other goofball 21 year old kid, I was having a great time with my life. I had a nice job and a nice apartment in Southern California. In some way and somehow, I had forgotten how I got here and why I was here.

One day I was at a gas station, I saw a veteran pumping gas on the other side of the island. I don't know what made me do it, but I walked over and asked if he had served inVietnamHe smiled and said yes. I shook and held his hand. The grown man began to well up.  I walked away as fast as I could and at that very moment, I was emotionally rocked. This was a profound moment in my life. I knew something had to change in my life. It was time for me to learn how to be a good citizen. It was time for me to give back.

You see, America is not just a place on the map, it isn't just a physical location. It is an ideal, a concept. And if you are an American, you must understand the concept, you must accept this concept, and most importantly, you have to fight and defend this concept. This is about Freedom and not free stuff. And that is why I am standing up here. 

Brothers and sisters, to be a real American, the very least you must do is to learn English and understand it well. In my humble  opinion, you cannot be a faithful patriotic citizen if you can't speak the language of the country you live in. Take this document of 46 pages - last I looked on the Internet, there wasn't a Vietnamese translation of the U.S. Constitution. It took me a long time to get to the point of being able to converse and until this day, I still struggle to come up with the right words. It's not easy, but if it's too easy, it's not worth doing.

Before I knew this 46-page document, I learned of the 500,000 Americans who fought for this little boy. I learned of the 58,000 names inscribed on the black wall at the Vietnam Memorial. You are my heroes. You are my founders.

At this time, I would like to ask all the Vietnam veterans to please stand. I thank you for my life. I thank you for your sacrifices, and I thank you for giving me the freedom and liberty I have today. I now ask all veterans, firefighters, and police officers, to please stand. On behalf of all first generation immigrants, I thank you for your services and may God bless you all. 
Quang Nguyen
Creative Director/Founder
Caddis Advertising, LLC
"God Bless America"
“One Flag, One Language, One Nation Under God”   
For those who understand, no explanation is needed.
For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.



Jan 9, 2017

This Wasn't An Election It Was A Revolution

Common Sense Commentary: We should be thankful to the Lord for all the Conservative Bloggers, writers, talk show hosts, and pastors who spoke out, about the corruption of the Clintons and Democrat party, leading up to the November election. Here is one of those, who is a journalist. He is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, and is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. His name is Daniel Greenfield. Daniel, who was born in Israel is now in the lion's den ... New York City. Pray for Daniel that he might see the Jewish Messiah, Jesus Christ, there in the den with  him. He is under vicious attack by the Liberal Media and the Clinton and Obama machines. RB

Everything is about to change This wasn’t an election. It was a revolution.
It’s midnight in America. The day before fifty million Americans got up and stood in front of the great iron wheel that had been grinding them down. They stood there even though the media told them it was useless. They took their stand even while all the chattering classes laughed and taunted them.
They were fathers who couldn’t feed their families anymore. They were mothers who couldn’t afford health care. They were workers whose jobs had been sold off to foreign countries. They were sons who didn’t see a future for themselves. They were daughters afraid of being murdered by the “unaccompanied minors” flooding into their towns. They took a deep breath and they stood.
 
They held up their hands and the great iron wheel stopped.
  The Great Blue Wall crumbled. The impossible states fell one by one. Ohio. Wisconsin. Pennsylvania. Iowa. The white working class that had been overlooked and trampled on for so long got to its feet. It rose up against its oppressors and the rest of the nation, from coast to coast, rose up with it.
 
They fought back against their jobs being shipped overseas while their towns filled with migrants that got everything while they got nothing. They fought back against a system in which they could go to jail for a trifle while the elites could violate the law and still stroll through a presidential election. They fought back against being told that they had to watch what they say. They fought back against being held in contempt because they wanted to work for a living and take care of their families.
 
They fought and they won.
  This wasn’t a vote. It was an uprising. Like the ordinary men chipping away at the Berlin Wall, they tore down an unnatural thing that had towered over them. And as they watched it fall, they marveled at how weak and fragile it had always been. And how much stronger they were than they had ever known.
 
Who were these people? They were leftovers and flyover country. They didn’t have bachelor degrees and had never set foot in a Starbucks. They were the white working class. They didn’t talk right or think right. They had the wrong ideas, the wrong clothes and the ridiculous idea that they still mattered.
 
They were wrong about everything. Illegal immigration? Everyone knew it was here to stay. Black Lives Matter? The new civil rights movement. Manufacturing? As dead as the dodo. Banning Muslims? What kind of bigot even thinks that way? Love wins. Marriage loses. The future belongs to the urban metrosexual and his dot com, not the guy who used to have a good job before it went to China or Mexico.
 
They couldn’t change anything. A thousand politicians and pundits had talked of getting them to adapt to the inevitable future. Instead they got in their pickup trucks and drove out to vote.
  And they changed everything.
 
Barack Hussein Obama boasted that he had changed America. A billion regulations, a million immigrants, a hundred thousand lies and it was no longer your America. It was his.
  He was JFK and FDR rolled into one. He told us that his version of history was right and inevitable.
 
And they voted and left him in the dust. They walked past him and they didn’t listen. He had come to campaign to where they still cling to their guns and their bibles. He came to plead for his legacy.
  And America said, “No.”
 
Fifty millions Americans repudiated him. They repudiated the Obamas and the Clintons. They ignored the celebrities. They paid no attention to the media. They voted because they believed in the impossible. And their dedication made the impossible happen.
 
Americans were told that walls couldn’t be built and factories couldn’t be opened. That treaties couldn’t be unsigned and wars couldn’t be won. It was impossible to ban Muslim terrorists from coming to America or to deport the illegal aliens turning towns and cities into gangland territories.
 
It was all impossible. And fifty million Americans did the impossible. They turned the world upside down.
  It’s midnight in America. CNN is weeping. MSNBC is wailing. ABC calls it a tantrum. NBC damns it. It wasn’t supposed to happen. The same machine that crushed the American people for two straight terms, the mass of government, corporations and non-profits that ran the country, was set to win.
 
Instead the people stood in front of the machine. They blocked it with their bodies. They went to vote even though the polls told them it was useless. They mailed in their absentee ballots even while Hillary Clinton was planning her fireworks victory celebration. They looked at the empty factories and barren farms. They drove through the early cold. They waited in line. They came home to their children to tell them that they had done their best for their future. They bet on America. And they won.
 
They won improbably. And they won amazingly.
  They were tired of ObamaCare. They were tired of unemployment. They were tired of being lied to. They were tired of watching their sons come back in coffins to protect some Muslim country. They were tired of being called racists and homophobes. They were tired of seeing their America disappear.
 
And they stood up and fought back. This was their last hope. Their last chance to be heard.
  Watch this video. See ten ways John Oliver destroyed Donald Trump. Here’s three ways Samantha Bee broke the internet by taunting Trump supporters. These three minutes of Stephen Colbert talking about how stupid Trump is owns the internet. Watch Madonna curse out Trump supporters. Watch Katy Perry. Watch Miley Cyrus. Watch Robert Downey Jr. Watch Beyonce campaign with Hillary. Watch. Click.
 
Watch fifty million Americans take back their country.
  The media had the election wrong all along. This wasn’t about personalities. It was about the impersonal. It was about fifty million people whose names no one except a server will ever know fighting back. It was about the homeless woman guarding Trump’s star. It was about the lost Democrats searching for someone to represent them in Ohio and Pennsylvania. It was about the union men who nodded along when the organizers told them how to vote, but who refused to sell out their futures.
 
No one will ever interview all those men and women. We will never see all their faces. But they are us and we are them. They came to the aid of a nation in peril. They did what real Americans have always done. They did the impossible.
 
America is a nation of impossibilities. We exist because our forefathers did not take no for an answer. Not from kings or tyrants. Not from the elites who told them that it couldn’t be done.
  The day when we stop being able to pull of the impossible is the day that America will cease to exist.
 
Today is not that day. Today fifty million Americans did the impossible.
  Midnight has passed. A new day has come. And everything is about to change.

Jan 6, 2017

How To Overcome Life's Impossible Obstacles

Keep Moving Forward And Up ... Don't Look Back ....
Keep Your Eyes On The Future, Your Heart On The Lord

When...
Your life's partner leaves you for someone else...
Keep your eyes on the future and your heart on the Lord.
Your child runs wild, breaks your heart and hates you....
Keep your eyes on the future and your heart on the Lord.
Your friend betrays you, jumps ship and lies about you...
Keep your eyes on the future and your heart on the Lord.
Your employer lays you off, fires you or closes down....
Keep your eyes on the future and your heart on the Lord.
Your nation sinks into lawlessness and then falls apart....
Keep your eyes on the future and your heart on the Lord.
Your hero or mentor betrays your trust and quits the fight. 
Keep your eyes on the future and your heart on the Lord.
Your health breaks and you are unable to do your duty....
Keep your eyes on the future and your heart on the Lord.
But if you wake up in hell, there is no remedy for that....
So look now to the future and give your heart to the Lord.
Just don't quit .... RB

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow -
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It might be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

"Don't Quit" is thought to be by Edgar A. Guest

Jan 5, 2017

This Post Strictly For You Genius Future National Leaders

Common Sense Commentary: It is too long and deep for most humans. I reprint it as a matter of historical record in case all the other bloggers and news services lose it. I don't agree with everything Kunstler says, but everything he says here must be recorded for posterity and future leaders. These secular predictions of 2017 will not all come to pass but most of them are in harmony with Biblical descriptions of the last days, and this from a strictly human, non spiritual viewpoint. RB

Jesus said...."And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light." Luke 16:8


Forecast 2017: The Wheels Finally Come Off

By James Howard Kunstler

American Notes 

Apart from all the ill-feeling about the election, one constant ‘out there’ since November 8 is the Ayn Randian rapture that infects the money scene. Wall Street and big business believe that the country has passed through a magic portal into a new age of heroic businessmen-warriors (Trump, Rex T, Mnuchin, Wilbur Ross, et. al.) who will go forth creating untold wealth from super-savvy deal-making that un-does all the self-defeating malarkey of the detested Deep State technocratic regulation regime of recent years. The main signs in the sky, they say, are the virile near-penetration of the Dow Jones 20,000-point maidenhead and the rocket ride of Ole King Dollar to supremacy of the global currency-space.

I hate to pound sleet on this manic parade, but, to put it gently, mob psychology is outrunning both experience and reality. Let’s offer a few hypotheses regarding this supposed coming Trumptopian nirvana.

The current narrative weaves an expectation that manufacturing industry will return to the USA complete with all the 1962-vintage societal benefits of great-paying blue collar jobs, plus an orgy of infrastructure-building. I think both ideas are flawed, even allowing for good intentions. For one thing, most of the factories are either standing in ruin or scraped off the landscape. So, it’s not like we’re going to reactivate some mothballed sleeping giant of productive capacity. New state-of-the-art factories would require an Everest of private capital investment that is simply impossible to manifest in a system that is already leveraged up to its eyeballs. Even if we tried to accomplish it via some kind of main force government central planning and financing — going full-Soviet — there is no conceivable way to raise (borrow) the “money” without altogether destroying the value of our money (inflation), and the banking system with it.

If by some magic any new industrial capacity were built, much of the work in it would be performed by robotics, not brawny men in blue shirts, and certainly not at the equivalent of the old United Auto Workers $35-an-hour assembly line wage. We have not faced the fact that the manufacturing fiesta based on fossil fuels was a one-time thing due to special historical circumstances and will not be repeated. The future of manufacturing in America is frighteningly modest. We’ll actually be lucky if we can make a few vital necessities by means of hydro-electric or direct water power, and that will be about the extent of it. Some of you may recognize this as the World Made By Hand scenario. I’ll stick by that.

Similarly for “infrastructure” spending touted by the forces of Trump as the coming panacea for economic malaise. I suspect most people assume this means a trillion-dollar stimulus spend on highways and their accessories. Well, that also assumes that we expect another fifty years of Happy Motoring and suburban living. Fuggeddabowdit. We’re in the twilight of motoring anyway you cut it, despite all the chatter about electric cars and “driverless” cars. We won’t have the electric capacity to switch over the Happy Motoring fleet from gasoline. The oil industry itself is already headed for collapse on its sinking energy-return-on-investment. And our problems with money and debt are so severe that the motoring paradigm is more prone to fail on the basis of car loan scarcity and unworthy borrowers before the fueling issues even kick in. Every year, fewer Americans can afford to buy any kind of car — the way they’re used to buying them, on installment loans. The industry has gone the limit to help them — seven-year loans for used cars! — but they have no more room to maneuver. The car financing system is broken. Bear in mind the original suburbanization of America back in the 20th century — along with its accessory automobiles — must be regarded as the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world. So, a rebuild of all this stuff would represent more and possibly even greater malinvestment. We could have applied our post-WW2 treasure to building beautiful walkable towns and cities with some capacity for adaptive re-use, but we blew it in order to enjoy life in a one-time demolition derby. Life is tragic. Societies make poor choices sometimes, and then there are consequences.

We also might have been in better shape now if, beginning twenty years ago, we began a major rebuild of our railway infrastructure. But we blew that off, too, and shortly it will be very difficult to get around this geographically large country by any mechanical means. It may be too late now to do anything about that for the financing reasons already touched on — and which I will elaborate on next. The bottom line is that President Donald Trump will be overwhelmed by a sea of financial troubles from the very get-go, and here’s why.

Designated Bag-Holder 

The American people have been punked by their own government and their central bank, the Federal Reserve, for years and the jig is now up. In 2017 both will lose their authority and legitimacy, a very grave matter for the survival of this republic.

Insiders surely have seen this coming for a long time. The people running this so-called Deep State of overblown and overgrown institutions probably acted at first with the good intentions of keeping the national lifestyle afloat. But in the end (now approaching) they stooped to too much duplicity and deceit in the desperate attempt to not just preserve the system, but to protect their own reputations and personal perquisites. And now there ought to be some question with the election of 2016 that they have engineered all of this system fragility to blow up on Mr. Trump’s watch, so they can blame him for it. It was going to blow up anyway. But had Hillary Clinton won the election, at least the right gang would have had to take the blame — the people in charge for the past twenty years. Instead, Donald Trump has been elected Designated Bag-Holder.

About That “Big Fat Ugly Bubble” and its Consequences Part 1: History Lesson 

The USA ran out of growth capacity around the turn of the millennium because we ran out of affordable energy to run our techno-industrial economy. It was hard to see this with seemingly plenty of oil available. And, of course, the computer tech fiesta was blossoming, but for all that glitzy stuff to attract dwindling real capital, other old stuff had to go, and did go, and when all was said and done the computers did not generate much wealth or social value. In fact, the diminishing returns and blowback of computer tech were arguably more damaging than beneficial to society and its economy. Look at where the middle class is today. Computer tech gave the magical appearance of growth while actually undermining it.

By affordable energy I mean energy with a greater-than 30-to-one energy-return-on-investment, which is the ratio you need for the kind of life we lead. That’s what the now-ridiculed Peak Oil story was really about: not running out of oil, but not getting enough bang for our bucks pulling the remaining oil out of the earth to maintain our standard of living. I’ll return to this issue in more detail later. But that was what provoked America’s 21st century economic malaise. Everything we’ve done in finance since then has been an attempt to compensate for our fundamental problem with debt — borrowing from the future to maintain our current (unaffordable) standard of living. Our debt has grown ever larger and faster each year, and our methods for managing it have become more desperate and dishonest as that occurred.

The culprit at the center is America’s central bank, the Federal Reserve, which is actually not a government agency as it seems, but a consortium of the nation’s biggest private banks, lately known as Too-Big-To-Fail. The Fed was created in 1913, when the complexities of capital finance were multiplying in step with the complexities of industrial production, which, remember, was a new and evolving phenomenon of human history. Mankind had no prior experience with industrialism. We discovered toward the end of the 19th century — decades of unprecedented industrial growth — that the system’s dynamic produced booms accompanied by very destructive busts. The operations of banking usually outran the cycles of trade, industry, and war that were coloring evolving Modernity. So the Fed was created to smooth out these cycles. It had two basic mandates for this: acting as the lender of last resort between banks during financial panics so that some money would always be available in an emergency; and stabilizing the money supply and prices in the system. The Fed failed spectacularly to smooth out the cycles of boom and bust and to maintain the value of the dollar over time.

Sixteen years after the Fed’s creation, America entered its worst economic downturn ever, the Great Depression, which was only mitigated by the colossal abnormality of World War Two. America emerged from that episode as the last industrial society standing amid everyone else’s smoldering ruins. That gave us an extraordinary advantage in world trade lasting roughly thirty years. That high tide of the era of seeming “normality” — the 1950s and 60s, which the Trumpian-minded might recall as “great” — started unraveling in the 1970s, which was not coincidentally the moment of America’s all-time oil production peak.

In 1977, the Fed was given a third mission of promoting maximum employment with a trick-bag of tools for manipulating the money supply and credit creation that have proven to be fatally mischievous. This new task elevated Fed officials, and especially its chairperson, to the status of viziers — magicians using occult mathematical models and formulas — to cast spells capable of controlling the macro economy the way wizards are thought to control external reality. Their pretenses seemed to work for reasons unrelated to the spells they were learning to cast.

It is still largely unrecognized that America recovered from the financial disorder of the 1970s not because of the charms of “Reaganomics” but for the simple reason that the last giant finds of oil with greater than 30-to-one energy-return-on-investment came on line in the 1980s: Alaska’s North Slope, Britain and Norway’s North Sea fields, and Siberia. That allowed the USA and the West generally to extend the techno-industrial fiesta another twenty years. As that bounty tapered down around the year 2000, the system wobbled again and the viziers of the Fed ramped up their magical operations, led by the Grand Vizier (or “Maestro”) Alan Greenspan, who worked the control rods of interest rates as though the financial system were a great nuclear powered pipe organ that could be revved up and tamped down by a wondrous Fed control panel. This period of Fed spell-casting was characterized by ever more systemically complex finance, growing systemic fragility, pervasive institutionalized accounting fraud, and ever-greater bubbles and busts. Deregulation, especially the 1998 repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1932, sealed America’s financial fate.

Debt was the meat-and-potatoes of the Fed’s wizardry, but the “secret sauce” of Fed magic was fraud, in the form of market interventions, manipulations, regulatory negligence, and just plain systematic lying about the numbers that defined the economy. It amounted to nationalized financial racketeering. Under the consecutive Grand Vizierships of Greenspan and Ben Bernanke, control fraud (using official authority to cover up misconduct) was perfected by banking executives, eventuating in the mortgage securities fiasco of 2008, which took down the housing market and the economy. (That housing market, by the way, was made up mainly of suburban houses, the sine qua non of the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world.)

Of course, nobody paid a criminal penalty for any of this misconduct besides the maverick Ponzi artist Bernie Madoff, and a few other small fish. The regulators looked the other way, on orders from their bosses. Unlike the earlier Savings and Loan bank crisis of the late 1980s, none of the leading bank officer perps went to jail. The damage of the 2008 crash was epic and never repaired, only papered over with more debt, more deceit, and more racketeering.

The supposed remedy, the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, was a cover for continued pervasive fraud and the institutional “capture” of government by the banking industry and its handmaidens, really a fascist melding of banking and government, a swindle machine in which anything goes and nothing matters. The frauds have only been rechanneled since 2008 into college loans, car loans, corporate stock buyback monkey business, currency arbitrage shenanigans, private equity asset-stripping, and the gigantic black box of derivatives trading.

About That “Big Fat Ugly Bubble” and its Consequences Part 2: 2017, the Year of Living Anxiously

Under Bernanke’s successor, UC-Berkeley Professor Janet Yellen, the emphasis in Fed policy has been an elaborate game of “data-dependent” foot-dragging — a lot of talk with no action — with the data itself largely fraudulent, especially the easily gamed employment and GDP numbers that supposedly determine the rise or fall of interest rate policy. In short, the racketeering continues while the authorities quail in the face of accumulated and now inescapable debt quandaries ever more certain to end in systemic collapse.

Get this: the Fed is completely full of __it. It is terrified of the conditions it has set up and it has no idea what to do next. The “data” that it claims to be so dependent on is arrantly fake. The government’s official unemployment number at Christmas 2016 was 4.6 percent. It’s a compound lie. The 4.6 percent does not include the 95 million people out of the workforce, most of them able-bodied, who have simply run through their unemployment benefits and given up looking for work. Nor does it figure in the fact that roughly 90 percent of the new jobs created are part time jobs, many of them held by people working several jobs (because they have to, to pay the bills). Nor does it detail the quality of the jobs created (minimum wage     it jobs.)

That 4.6 unemployment figure is the main pillar of the Fed’s “data.” They interpret it as meaning the economy is roaring and has their full confidence. They‘re lying about that, of course. They have been touting “the recovery” (from the crash of 2008) continually and heralding a program of “normalizing” interest rates upward for two years. In 2015 they didn’t do anything until the very last Fed meeting of the year when they raised the Fed Funds rate 25 basis point (that’s a measly one-quarter of a percent). They raised, they said, because they were “confident” about the economy. No, that’s not why. They did it because they talked about it all year without doing anything and their credibility was on the line. They also promised four rate hikes altogether in 2016, which they then failed to carry out.

After that December 2015 rate hike, the stock markets tanked 10 percent. By springtime, the markets appeared to be bouncing back, so the Fed started talking about more rate hikes again. They talked it up all year without acting, an impressive act of fakery. The surprise Brexit vote gave them the heebie jeebies. They laid low. Meanwhile, the US election season was on. The Fed denies this, but they did not raise interest rates for eleven months in 2016 solely because they wanted to make the Democratic administration look good heading into the November vote, and they knew the economy was fragile. Once Hillary was nominated they were determined to usher her into the White House on a high tide of fake good economic news.

When she lost the election the stock markets surprised everyone by entering a super-bubblicious Trumpxuberance rally. There is a narrative for that too in the media chatter and it is simpleminded nonsense based on the sheer hope that Trumponomics will be great for business. More on that below.

Roaring stock markets were a secondary pillar of the Fed’s economic world-view. The post-election 2000 point upsurge in the Dow, along with the historically low 4.6 unemployment number, gave the Fed the opportunity on December 15 to do the same thing they did the previous year: cover their asses and preserve some credibility by hiking the Fed Funds rate one-quarter percent. You’d think if they were really confident in the economy — especially given the year–end rally — they would venture to raise by half a percent or more. They are not confident. They are lying with their fingers crossed.

The Fed Funds rate is one thing. As it happens, the Fed does not directly control the interest rates on US treasury bonds, and they have been rising shockingly through the second half of 2016. The crucial ten-year treasury rate has gone up a hundred percent since the summer. Because bond values move inversely to bond rates, the price of treasuries has tanked, inducing trillions of dollars in losses to bond-holders around the world. The bond market is many times larger than the stock markets. Bonds have been in a bull market since the early 1980s and that bull rolled over in mid-2016. A bear market is now on, meaning bond-holders are dumping their bonds. China and Saudi Arabia are among the leading dumpers of US Treasuries because they need the money for one reason or another. They will dump more in 2017 because both countries are in deep economic trouble. Too many bond sellers and not enough buyers in the market drive interest rates up. Rates have a lot of room to move up, since they started at near-zero. Accordingly, their value has a long way to fall.

Bonds, of course, represent debt. Total US debt has doubled under President Obama from around ten trillion to twenty trillion dollars (as it doubled under Bush Two from five to ten trillion dollars). The reason, as stated above, is that we don’t produce enough to cover the cost of our national way of life, so we have to borrow continually at ever-greater volume. Every year, the Treasury has to pay interest on all that debt. It’s a lot of money. This year, with interest rates starting out at historically unprecedented lows (not seen ever in recorded history), the Treasury paid over a quarter-trillion dollars in interest. By the way, the government borrows money to make these interest payments too. An interest rate rise of one percent, would drive the annual US debt higher by $190 billion. As the late, great Senator Everett Dirkson (R-Ill) once pungently remarked: “…a billion here, a billion there, sooner or later you’re talking about real money.”

A sharply rising interest rate on the ten-year Treasury bond will thunder through the system. A lot of other basic interest costs are keyed to the ten-year bond rate, especially home mortgages, apartment rentals (landlords hold mortgages), and car payments. When the ten year bond rate goes up, so do mortgage payments. When mortgage rates go up, house prices go down, because fewer people are in a position to buy a house at higher mortgage rates, and rents go up (more competition among people who can’t buy a house). Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP), in force for ten years, has driven house prices back to stratospheric levels. They are now primed to fall, perhaps severely, leaving many homeowners “underwater,” with houses worth way less on the market than the amount of mortgage left to pay off. The re-financing market is dead. Housing starts were already down by a stunning 19 percent in November. Automobile sales are rolling over. Manufacturing and retail sales numbers are down at year end. What’s up: stocks, stocks, stocks.

Yet investors did not execute the usual end-of-year profit-taking in the expectation that Trump would lower the capital gains tax in 2017, so why sell now? You can wait until January 3, 2017 to sell, and then not have to pay tax on your profits until April of 2018. Will investors start dumping in the first trading days of 2017? I think so. And will that selling beget a stampede for the exits? And what will happen if the interest rate on the ten-year bond hits three percent? (It doesn’t have far to go). Or maybe even four percent? What happens is the stock markets go down in the first quarter of 2017. My forecast is 20 percent down on the S & P. That will only be a preview of coming attractions once Trump gets his mitts on the levers of power. A still bigger crash ahead later in the year!

Why Trump Can’t Pull a Reagan 

When Reagan came into office in 1981, inflation was raging largely because of the effects of the oil crises of 1973 and 1979, which had produced the “stagflation” that confounded the reigning economists’ models (they knew nothing about the relationship between energy dynamics and capital formation). The Fed Funds rate was almost 20 percent in 1981. It had a lot of room to move down. The national debt was less than one trillion (Reagan eventually ran it up to $2.8 trillion). Reagan was able to endure a sharp recession early in his first term — and voodoo economics got him through all the rest of his tenure, with both inflation and interest “normalizing” — as mentioned earlier, he enjoyed the bonanza of the last great non-OPEC oil discoveries coming on-line during his two terms, which ramped up economic activity and growth.

Today, the US is in a box and Trump comes on the scene with nowhere to move. Too much debt can only be managed if interest rates are kept low. Everybody and his mother around the world is dumping US Treasuries. With a bear market in bonds on, the Fed as buyer of last resort will have to sop up whatever comes on the market to keep the interest rate from rising above three percent on the ten-year, and even that may not prevent it. Trump’s vaunted infrastructure stimulus plan will be impossible to carry out without the Fed monetizing the necessary debt. So stimulus implies bigger deficits, which means more bonded debt that nobody wants to buy. The result will be inflation and accordingly further upward pressure on interest rates. Higher interest rates, in turn, will negatively impact economic activity, lowering tax revenue, inducing larger fiscal imbalances and greater instability.

Trump may never even get the stimulus he seeks. The Republican controlled-congress has vowed not to increase the national debt. How can Trump fulfill his pledge to cut taxes and bring on stimulus without hugely increasing the debt? If there is war over spending between Trump and Congress, Congress is likely to win, since they control the fiscal purse strings. Of course, Donald Trump cannot abide not winning. Hostilities between them may become permanent early in Trump’s term and bring on even more dangerous paralysis of governance.

Also early in 2017, the Fed will abandon its “dot plot” talk about further interest rate hikes. They may also surrender their credibility in the process. The system can’t take the strain of three interest rate rises in 2017. It may be that Janet Yellen has raised the Fed Funds rate a total of one-half a percent in two years solely to be able to lower them again when the real economy finally tanks under that strain of incessant central bank chicanery. By the second quarter of 2017, following a 20 percent stock dump, the Fed will start making noises about Quantitative Easing 4 (QE), or they will cook up some other program that accomplishes the same thing under a new cockamamie label. More QE (or something like it) will drive the dollar back down and gold back up. The housing market will be in the toilet and the rest of the economy will follow it down the drain. By the end of Trump’s first year in office, there will be another, greater, dump in the stock markets after the initial 20 percent drop in the first quarter. America will be great again, all right: we’ll be entering a depression greater than the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Desperate Measures 

One of the other big and dark trends of the past year has been the move of governments around the world — and among the economist / necromancers who advise them — to ban cash from the scene in order to herd all citizens into a digital banking system that will allow the authorities to track all financial transactions and suck every possible cent of taxes into national coffers. It would also be an opportunity for the bank-and government cabal to impose negative interest rates (NIRP) on bank accounts so that money herded into the digital system could be surreptitiously “taxed” by charging account holders just for being there (against their will). It’s a little hard to see how that might happen just now in a broad rising rate environment, but it would be the natural accompaniment to banning cash — and renewed aggressive QE (QE forever!) might do the trick.

Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff literally wrote the book on this (The Curse of Cash; Princeton University Press, 2016), a mendacious argument that cash money merely enables drug dealers and terrorists to operate and has no useful place otherwise in a regular economy. Rogoff appeared to be angling for the Treasury slot in Hillary’s cabinet, and would have fit in perfectly with this totalitarian assault on the public’s financial liberty — but, as we know, Hillary didn’t make it.

Efforts to eliminate cash are already underway around the world. The EU officially discontinued the €500 note from circulation. Ken Rogoff’s Harvard colleague, Larry Summers, was calling for abolition of the $100 bill a year ago. Sweden is successfully herding its people out of fiat krona. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi pulled a fast one in November by banning the 1000 and 500 rupee note (worth respectively $14 and $7), and threw India’s economy into an epileptic seizure. The idea was to discipline tax evaders who operate in a cash economy. The catch was that more than 85 percent of India’s economy operates on a cash basis among people too poor to have bank accounts and credit cards — including millions of truck drivers and ordinary laborers. Naturally, the Indian economy froze. Nobody could get paid. Food rotted in stalled trucks. ATM withdrawals were limited to a few day’s walking-around-money. Citizens could not even exchange their 1000 and 500 rupee notes at the banks without going through onerous time-consuming bureaucratic rigmarole, including fingerprinting and the submission of tax records. The process caused discouraging long queues to form at the banks, and was probably designed to discourage the exchange of the 1000 and 500 rupee notes altogether and instead just retire them from circulation — which means a lot of poor people lost the minimal cash savings they had.

It’s hard to see the US government banning cash as clumsily as India did, but they have other ways to herd the multitudes into the black box of all-digital banking. Financial author James Rickards calls this the “Ice-Nine” program, in reference to the isotope of water in Kurt Vonnegut’s sci-fi novel Cat’s Cradle that freezes the world in a horrifying chain reaction. Rickards’ Ice-Nine financial nightmare would include features like freezing bank accounts, bail-ins (confiscation of accounts), limits on ATM withdrawals, and the “gating” of investment funds. Ice-Nine would be invoked in a banking emergency — say, a derivatives “accident” that took out some Too-Big-Too-Fail giant, or really anything that triggered the extreme fault lines in the ultra-fragile system that the world’s money elites have cobbled together to keep the garbage barge of global finance from sinking. In his recent book, The Road to Ruin, Rickards reminds readers that the emergency act signed by Bush Two after 9/11 has remained in effect under Obama, so that America is “just one phone call away from martial law.”

Another method for depriving citizens of their financial liberty would be for the government to declare that retirement accounts had to contain a set percentage of US Treasury paper — once again herding people into a financial corral against their will — in order to prop up the value of bonds and tamp down interest rates. David McAlvany (his excellent podcast here) makes the interesting point that if herding the public into the digital financial corral was a key ingredient to “making America great again,” who could object? — because now you’d be opposing American greatness! Trump inherited a much bigger problem than Barack Obama did in 2009. Obama still had enough soft-soap left in the machine to blow more bubbles. Trump arrives on the scene with the machine out of bubble-blowing mojo. He’ll be overwhelmed by financial disorder in 2017 and then the nation’s focus will turn to a tumultuous political scene

Wild in the Streets

The public is just plain ______ off, and remains ______off after the Trump Victory. Their anger has been fermenting for decades as their economic prospects dwindled and they began to understand how it all worked against them. The battered middle class might have gotten a temporary thrill from the election, but an awful lot of them are still out of work, or working at the humiliating ___ jobs that replaced their old lost jobs in the old real stuff economy. Worse is coming their way in 2017. Theirs is a true existential crisis.

Even under the most favorable circumstances, a stimulus program would not likely get out of congress until much later in 2017, and I personally doubt that it will get through at all. The so-far-fortunate retirees plugged into pensions represent another potential trouble spot. Pension funds are going bust all over the country from the incapacity to stay solvent in a near-ZIRP environment. In 2016, fissures started to show in places like the Dallas Police and Firemen’s Pension fund, when pensioners’ redemptions were shut down. There are pension funds all over the country floundering from the same conditions, since the Fed took the “fix” out of “fixed income.” In the absence of decent “yield,” the pension funds have been herded into risky stock markets, and if those markets blow up, the pension funds are going to blow with them… and then the pensioners’ lives are going to blow up… and then maybe civil order dissolves around the country.

That may be the moment when President Trump and his militarily-weighted cabinet appointees opt for martial law. What a ........ mess that will be. There is no civilized country on earth with as many small arms per capita than the USA, and despite the fearsome appearance of militarized police forces, you cannot overstate how much deadly mischief a small number of ______off people can make with automatic rifles, rocket-propelled-grenades, Semtex plastic explosive, and other fun stuff. It could morph easily to a literal war on bankers and Wall Street in particular, especially if Ice-Nine goes into effect. Bear in mind that a lot of veterans of the endless Middle East wars belong to this suffering economic class, and they actually have some training in the warrior arts.

Their political counterparts in the Democrat / Prog coastal elite, hardcore Hillary, PC-and-unicorn crowd are moving through their post-election Kubler-Ross Transect-of-Grief from denial to anger too. So both sides are quite ......... primed for conflict. The Left will certainly do everything possible to oppose Trump and try to make him look bad, whether it’s in the public interest to do so or not. They will throw every monkey-wrench possible into the machinery of governance, up to and including the (mostly Democratic Party weighted) Federal Reserve hierarchy, whose interest rate “dot plot” could be truly a plot to exact revenge on Trump. Of course, that would blow up in their faces since proportionately the coastal elites own much more stock than the Trumpenlumpenprole red-staters, and they could be wiped out in a significant market crash triggered by rising interest rates. But that’s the thing about political rage: it’s the opposite of rational.

There’s no sign that the Democrat / Progs have recognized that their poisonous identity politics played a significant role in their electoral defeat. They will not abandon that endeavor in 2017. They will double-down on it. And as that happens, the Democratic Party will go the way of the Whigs in 1856 — with a whimper, not a bang. God knows who or what will replace them as a credible opposition to Trumpist crypto-Republicanism, although Trump himself stands a good chance of leading that party to oblivion, too, if my forecast of a big financial blow-up comes to pass.

The Red Guard-like action on campus may continue, though it’s hard to imagine the “Snowflakes” besting their infantile hijinks of 2016. What they are demonstrating now is that coercive identity politics is just a new form of leisure-time recreation on campus, like Ultimate Frisbee and the beer blasts of old! Have fun wrecking faculty careers and basking in the Facebook feed! A few still-sane people of all political persuasions are sick of their censorious attacks, reckless persecutions, and insults to reality — such as the mandatory “white privilege” trainings and gender identity personal pronoun crusades. I predict that there will be a revolt among the university trustees and boards of directors against college presidents and deans who pander to the Maoist hysteria, as the damage to higher education and intellectual freedom more generally finally manifests in dropping enrollments and the loss of public funding.

There is every sign that black and white racial conflict will grow worse in the year ahead. The week after Christmas 2016 saw an impressive number of shopping mall mass melees of black teens all over the country. For years, the media went along with the hyperbolic story that innocent black men were being killed by police for no reason — when the overwhelming majority of those cases involved victims brandishing guns or grossly misbehaving in some way liable to get themselves in trouble. Victimology still rules in America. It’s a psychological defense mechanism to relieve the Dem / Prog’s shame and anxiety with the outcome of the long civil rights campaign — namely, black family disintegration, educational failure, and a shocking rate of black-on-black murder. A subsidiary grievance industry, lately led by Black Lives Matter, fans the flames of vengeance against the universal villain, Whitey, whose “privilege” keeps other people down (except, notice, immigrants from China, Korea, Vietnam, India, and other places where Whitey is absent.)

So, now Left and Right are both equally ______ off. It also means you have two adversarial groups who might give themselves permission to turn violent to justify their grievances. If the financial markets tank and the economy freefalls, it is easy to imagine the potential for violent conflict between the Dem / Progs with their Black Lives matter proxies against the Trumpista lumpenproles. It would be a terrible tragic distraction from the business of repairing the common weal, the economy, and the common culture — but so was the Civil War

The Oil Quandary

The reports of Peak Oil’s death are exaggerated, to borrow a gag from Mr. Twain. It’s just been playing out in ways that many of us didn’t quite anticipate and it is still at the heart of our economic predicament — which is that you can’t rationalize an annual debt growth rate of 8 percent if your actual economic growth rate is under 4 percent (paraphrasing Chris Martenson at Peak Prosperity.com).

We haven’t run out of oil, but we have run out of oil that is rationally economical to pull out of the ground. The so-called “shale oil miracle” extended the oil age a few years by debt-financed legerdemain. Yes, we drove US oil production way up, almost back up to the 1970 peak production level around 10 million barrels-a-day (b/d). The trouble was that the companies producing it didn’t make a red cent in the process. They just ran up a huge amount of debt to pursue the shale project. The pursuit was on wholeheartedly beginning around 2006, because (1) the Peak Oil story was scaring folks, including folks in the oil industry, and (2) the market price of crude oil soared after 2004 and shale looked like a possibly winning venture — especially since conventional exploration in recent years was turning up almost nothing of significance.

Vagrant Thoughts on Geopolitics 

As I write just before New Year’s Eve, President Obama is trying to start World War Three with Russia as a parting gift to the voting public. I’m among the skeptics who think that the “Russia Hacks Election story” is a ruse to divert the public’s attention from the stupendous failure of the Democratic Party to win, as expected. Rather, Wikileaks should get the Pulitzer Prize for revealing so much about the nefarious workings of the Clinton Foundation and the Democratic National Committee.

Regular readers know I didn’t vote for Trump, that I heaped considerable abuse on him in the campaign commentaries. But I didn’t take any comfort in the nostrum about being “better off with the Devil you know (Hillary) than the one you don’t know (Trump).” Both candidates were awful, and the condition of the country is pretty awful as we turn the corner onto 2017. Readers also know from these commentaries and from my books that I expect we will have to make big changes in our living arrangements up ahead as the techno-industrial fiesta winds down. I won’t reiterate the particulars here, but 2017 is the hinge year for that. The strains on global finance are so spectacular that something’s got give. President Trump is sure to be overwhelmed by epic dislocations in markets, currencies, debt, and misguided central bank efforts to hold back the tides of a necessary re-set — a re-set which will see a lot of wealth vanish and a lot of pain inflicted on the losers of wealth, including whole societies.

We have three major European elections to look forward to in 2017: The Netherlands and France in the Spring, and Germany in the fall. Geert Wilders (a member of the Trump Big Hair Club), is virulently against the “Islamisation” of his country. He has campaigned previously to leave the European Union and for the return to the old guilder currency. Should the right-wing Marine LePen win in France, the EU experiment will likely end — she has made express promises to take France out of the EU. Angela Merkel has made herself impressively unpopular by opening the gates to a flood of immigrants fleeing the breakdown zones of the Middle East and Africa. And then, because of the Schengen Agreement (free passage across EU borders), the immigrants were unleashed on the rest of Europe.

Those of us paying attention may have easily lost count of the terror atrocities carried out across Europe by Islamic fanatics. Charlie Hebdo, Bataclan, the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice, the Brussels airport, the Berlin Christmas Market were only the most recent and spectacular. For years, individuals have been stabbed, had their heads cut off, throats cut, been blown up, machine-gunned. Take a look at this comprehensive list going back to 2001. You may be astonished. In that light, it’s pretty hard to keep waving the “diversity” banner, and I sense that Europe has had enough of it. One big question is whether the new European right-wing leaders will actually move as far as mass deportations. I rather think they will.

The UK “Brexit” vote was surprise all right. (I hit a white-tailed deer on the Maine Turnpike at 70mph that June morning, uccchhh, and lived to tell about it.) Now there’s a fair chance that Parliament will find a way to wiggle out of Brexit. Noises are also emanating out of Brussels to the effect that the EU could loosen up some of their rules — e.g. the Schengen Agreement — to induce Britain to stay in the EU. But there are so many other fissures and fragilities in that system that the Brexit may not matter anymore. The European banking system is melting down and there is absolutely no way to rescue it on the macro EU scale. Italy was heading for a banking crackup before Christmas. Deutsche Bank has been whirling around the drain for a couple of years. When the US markets and banks shudder in 2017, Europe will get the vapors. Hence, I’ll forecast breakup of the EU by this time next year.

We’ve come to the pass where “all that is solid melts into air,” in the poetic phrase of old Karl Marx. Marx was referring to the “specter” of communism that loomed over burgeoning industrial society of the mid-19th century, and indeed it turned into quite a world struggle through the century that followed. But now communism is down for the count and we begin to see what is truly melting into air: Modernity itself, this colossal, hulking, grinding, machine of destruction that threatens the global eco-system, and all its sub-systems including the human realms of money and politics.

The idea that Modernity itself might go down is inconceivable to those in thrall to the Religion of Progress, which declares that the world (and life in it) only gets better and better every year. This would appear demonstrably untrue, just in the visible damage to the landscape and the living things that struggle to dwell there. The most obvious problem with Modernity has been human population overshoot. The truth is, we’re not going to do a darn thing about it. There won’t be any policy or protocol, despite the good intentions of the groups inveighing against it. It will just go on… until it can’t, to paraphrase the late Herb Stein. Of course, people still have sex under conditions of hardship, so the population may plateau for a while until we are well into the long emergency. But the usual suspects of starvation, disease, and war are all still out there, doing their thing, and will only ramp up their operations.

The reason the Middle East and North Africa are melting down most conspicuously is because they are geographically among the places least well endowed for supporting the swollen populations they acquired over the past two hundred years. Iraq, Syria, the whole Arabian peninsula. Egypt, Libya, et. al. are all deserts artificially supported by the perquisites of Modernity: cheap energy, fertilizers made from that, irrigation,  money derived from it, and continuing life-support subsidies from even wealthier modern nations outside the region. In recent years that life-support has flipped into deadly violence imposed from both within and without, as homegrown Sunni and Shiite vie for supremacy and their puppeteers in the First World rush in with bombers, rockets, and small arms to “help.”

Iraq and Libya were already goners in 2016. They’ll never be politically stable again in the modern sense. Egypt is still headed down the drain despite the grip of General al-Sisi and his army. In all these places the “youth bulge” has no prospects for earning a living or supporting a family. The young men, especially, put their energy into Jihad, revolution, and civil war because there’s nothing else to do. Making war may be thrilling, but it won’t lead to a better future because those benefits of Modernity are running out and there’s nothing to replace them.

Syria is the current goner-du-jour. Whatever it ends up being, either under Assad or someone else, it will not be stable the way it was. The USA ended up arming and funding the Sunni Salafist “bad guys” there because they opposed Shiite Iran and its regional proxy Hezbollah plus Assad. Russia eventually came in on that side on the theory that another failed state is not in the world’s interests. President Obama blinked after he drew his infamous “line in the sand” years ago and now America is too spooked to act directly. In fact, the Russians and Assad have the best chance of restoring a semblance of order, but America’s support for the “moderate” Salafists will necessarily keep undermining that. In the meantime, all this activity has sparked a demographic emergency as refugees flee the country for Europe and elsewhere, creating greater tensions where they land. Trump could stop the flow of US arms to our favored maniacs in Syria. He may see the practical benefit of letting Russia be the policeman on the beat there, and maybe he can sort out the underlying competing interest between the Russian-sponsored gas pipeline proposed to cross Syria and the American-sponsored one — a dynamic underlying all the mayhem there — and make some kind of “deal.”

The situation will grow increasingly acute in Saudi Arabia, where population growth outstrips the ability of oil production to pay for it. Their old “elephant” oil fields are aging out and they know quite well that they cannot depend on oil wealth many decades ahead. The trouble is, they have no realistic replacement for it, despite noises about creating other industries. The truth is, the country was cursed by its oil. It grew its population too much too fast in one of the most inhospitable corners of the globe, and it will take only a modest decline in oil income to destabilize the place altogether. To buffer that, Saudi leaders plan an IPO for shares in Saudi Aramaco — which was originally composed of American and western oil companies nationalized decades ago. That may get them a few hundred billion or so in walking-around money that won’t last very long considering that just about everybody in the nation is on the dole.

The big news in that corner of the world last year was the collapse of Yemen, which occupies a big slab on Saudi Arabia’s southern border. That poor ___ country is the latest Middle East basket-case and Saudi military operations there continue to date, using airplanes and weapons supplied by Uncle Sam — just another case of feeding Jihadist wrath.
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I had to cut this short. The entirety is about oil, Russia and China here:
http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/forecast-2017-wheels-finally-come-off/

My Comment:
So where is all this havoc leading up... or down to? The goal line. End of game. Final groanings of Earth, The Red Zone of evil against good. The last days of the human race. The Rapture of the Bride of Christ. The short reign of Antichrist. The 1000 year Millinial Kingdom of Christ on Earth. Eternal Hell and Eternal Heaven. Be sure your core beliefs are correct and in harmony with God's word. RB