Saturday 28 September 2019

Reflections on the contradictory nature of Reality

Reflections on the contradictory nature of Reality

I can hardly begin to describe what producing this video has cost.

In recording the segments last night I filmed on Zoom until the app stopped working.

This morning I spent a long time formatting the video on editing software. When it came to uploading the file the upload stalled at EXACTLY 31% - not once but THREE times.

When I went to my laptop as Plan B after bringing the files over I found I couldn’t operate the software I had downloaded so I went about downloading the same editing software. When I transferred the app over to my laptop I found it would not work on the earlier OS so I decided to pay to download it.

Believe me when I say that was no easy task. Everything that COULD go wrong did go wrong!

Anyway, here we are with my attempt to bring the strands together and reflect on various aspects of our predicament.

Friday 27 September 2019

Chris Trotter: What god has Greta Thunberg offended?

The Curse Of Cassandra.

Chris Trotter

Unheeded: What god has Greta Thunberg offended, I wonder, to be afforded so many opportunities to deliver so many chilling warnings of climate catastrophe to so many world leaders – to so little effect? Like the Trojan seeress, Cassandra, she looks into the future and sees the ruin that awaits her generation, bears witness fearlessly to the truth, and is viciously derided for her trouble.

27 September, 2019

IT WAS CASSANDRA’S divinely administered curse: to see the future – but not to be believed. To secure the daughter of the King of Troy’s affections, the god Apollo bestowed upon her the gift of prophecy. When Cassandra, unsecured, refused his amorous advances, the angry god spat into her mouth: corrupting his own gift and sealing the princess’s fate.

Poor Cassandra, when the people of Troy, delirious at their “victory” over the Greeks, hauled within the city walls the mighty wooden horse left behind by their erstwhile besiegers as a “gift”, the seeress ran at it with axe and fire. The angry Trojans restrained Cassandra – calling her mad. The Greek warriors hidden in the horse’s belly, fated to kindle the proud towers of Ilium, were spared.

What god has Greta Thunberg offended, I wonder, to be afforded so many opportunities to deliver so many chilling warnings of climate catastrophe to so many world leaders – to so little effect? Like the Trojan seeress, she looks into the future and sees the ruin that awaits her generation – and bears witness fearlessly to the truth.

Oh how she speaks! Sometimes with the cold detachment of the judge who looks down upon the convicted killer in the dock, conscious only of her duty to pass the sentence mandated by Mother Nature’s, immutable laws.

On other occasions, such as her speech to the Climate Summit in New York on Tuesday morning, Greta’s ice is mixed with fire. The pig-tailed 16-year-old’s voice trembles with emotions that threaten to overthrow her at any moment. Somehow, she regains control of herself, of her voice. Enough to pronounce her crushing judgement upon the generation who, by their obdurate inaction, have stolen their children’s future.

We will never forgive you!”

Greta Thunberg is not the only player in the Climate Change tragedy upon whom has been laid the dreadful burden of Cassandra. Apollo has also spat into the mouths of the scientists.

All over the world they have laboured to collect the data. New Zealand scientist, Dave Lowe, started recording the slow but steady rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide as far back as 1973. For more than forty years these men and women of Science have watched the evidence accumulate. Knowing that the possibility of their being in error was getting smaller and smaller with every paper that was presented, every report that was published.

They have peered into the future. They know what lies ahead. The melting ice caps; the rising seas; the deadly storms. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Famine, Pestilence, War and Death have all acknowledged their foresight with a studied nod of their terrifying heads. The scientists, too, have cried out a warning but, like Cassandra – and Greta – they have not been heeded.

Poor Greta. On Tuesday morning she told the assembled leaders of the world’s nations:

You say you hear us and that you understand the urgency. But no matter how sad and angry I am, I do not want to believe that, because if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil and that I refuse to believe.”

No, not evil, Greta. Say rather that we are enchanted. We can hear you but we cannot act. In the fairy tales you invoked so angrily in your speech, characters rendered so unaccountably immobile would be said to be “spellbound”.

What sort of spell could possibly be powerful enough to bind the whole of humanity: commoners as well as kings? To that question Greta’s speech also contained an answer:

People are suffering. People are dying and dying ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is the money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth”.

Ah, yes – the money. And more than the money. The dream of wealth without consequences; power without restraint. That is the spell, Greta. That has always been the spell. And we cannot break it.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet, Edward Arlington Robinson (1869-1935) was also captivated by the legend of Cassandra. In his eponymous poem he writes:

The power is yours, but not the sight;
You see not upon what you tread;
You have the ages for your guide,
But not the wisdom to be led.

Certainly not by a 16-year-old schoolgirl.

PROBLEM, so many men 
freaking out about the tiny 
Swedish climate demon

Is she the brainwasher or brainwashee?

First Dog on the Moon

Pressident Rouhani at the UNGA

Live: Iran's president Hassan
Rouhani holds press 
conference in New York

Crisis in the Real Economy

"Chaotic Mess:" Global 
Shipping Industry Rattled By 
US Sanctions On China 
Tanker Firms  

26 September, 2019

The global shipping industry was thrown a curveball on Wednesday when the U.S. imposed fresh sanctions on Chinese entities and people who it accuses of deliberately purchasing oil from Iran in violation of Washington's sanctions against Tehran, Bloomberg reported.
The U.S. Treasury Department announced new sanctions on five Chinese nationals and six entities, including a unit of COSCO Shipping Corp., who were knowingly violating restrictions on purchasing Iranian petroleum.
"And we are telling China, and all nations: know that we will sanction every violation," Pompeo said at a conference on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in NYC.
Bloomberg spoke with oil traders who canceled bookings with sanctioned entities and let provisional charters lapse as they wanted to avoid being caught up in the fight between Washington and Tehran.
Oil traders are concerned about the cargoes that have already been loaded on vessels and don't know if they have to transfer loads to unsanctioned tankers. It's a chaotic mess, traders said.
"The sanctions this time are more direct and will have an immediate effect on anyone chartering sanctioned tonnage," said John Driscoll, chief strategist at JTD Energy Service Pte. "These latest moves are likely to add more inconvenience and result in higher costs. Anyone time-chartering tonnage from a sanctioned owner better have a Plan B."
Recent missile and drone attacks on Saudi Aramco oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, mostly blamed on Iran, have boosted oil prices, and driven up concerns about a regional war. Iran has since denied responsibility.
"The more Iran lashes out, the greater our pressure will and should be," Pompeo said. "That path forward begins now with two new actions."
In a speech at the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, President Trump said he would continue pressuring Iran's economy with sanctions until Tehran collapses.
Ahead of trade talks with China, slated for early October, the new round U.S. sanctions on Chinese companies could complicate negotiations. China has clearly stated that it would like all economic duties and sanctions removed before it would consent to a deal, something that the Trump administration isn't likely to do. The trade war is more about crushing China, and it's about defending the American empire against a rising power, that is China, so the idea of removing all sanctions and making a deal with the communists isn't likely in the next few weeks.
"The U.S. disregards the legitimate rights and interests of all parties and arbitrarily wields the stick of sanctions," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang at a daily news briefing in Beijing earlier this week. "It is a gross violation of the basic norms of international relations."
The sanctioned Chinese firms include China Concord Petroleum Co., Kunlun Shipping Co., Pegasus 88 Ltd., and COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Seaman & Ship Management Co. All have been charged with violating restrictions on transporting Iranian crude and petroleum products. Additional restrictions were also imposed on executives at some of the companies sanctioned.
Several shipbrokers and charterers spoke with Bloomberg, who asked not to be named, said several tankers operated by COSCO had their bookings dropped, while others saw provisional charters canceled.
Sanctions against Iran and anyone who purchases crude and petroleum products from the Middle Eastern country are aimed at economically destroying Tehran.
China imported 788,000 tons of crude from Iran in August, that compares with a monthly average of 2.4 million tons last year.
And the probabilities of a trade deal between the U.S. and China this year continue to move lower as China has explicitly said it wouldn't tolerate increasing duties and or sanctions, indicating that the only way to make a deal is the complete removal of all duties and or sanctions.

World headlines - 25 -26 September, 2019

These headlines are from yesterday

Posting will be light until the rice crop is in.

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Tour company Thomas Cook collapses, global bookings canceled

Negative Interest Rates Are Social Political Poison
The interest rate business model is dead. Negative interest rates killed it, with no replacement in sight.
Financial Storm Clouds Gather
The price of this "solution"--the undermining of the financial system--will eventually be paid in full.
Strains that sank Thomas Cook weigh on European airlines
The collapse of travel group Thomas Cook and a trio of subsidiary airlines, leaving 600,000 holidaymakers stranded, is unlikely to be the last failure among Europe’s struggling second-tier carriers.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
• War on Iran
One deadly week reveals where the immigration crisis begins — and where it ends
In one week, thousands of migrants overwhelm the U.S. border. We reveal their dangerous journeys and the broken immigration system that awaits them.
## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Buildings torched as fresh unrest erupts in Indonesia's Papua
Is Aramco Lying About Its Damaged Oil Infrastructure?
Repairs at the Khurais field and the Abqaiq processing facility may take several months rather than the ten weeks tops that Aramco had initially estimated, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing foreign contractors working with the Saudi state giant.
The second photograph in this article shows the severe buckling of the solar panel support structure. -- RF
Who's going to guard this stuff after society collapses? -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Tech giants beef up body to fight extremist content
Tech companies led by Facebook on Monday joined world leaders in ramping up an industry body to weed out extremist content online, giving it a permanent staff.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Let’s Talk About Saudi Arabia
It absolutely will get bad, everywhere. When people get hungry, the mood quickly turns ugly. -- RR
• War on Huawei
Canada says officials did not act improperly when arresting Huawei CFO
There is no evidence Canadian border officials or police acted improperly when Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou was detained and arrested at Vancouver’s airport nearly 10 months ago, the attorney general of Canada said in a filing released on Monday.