Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 08, 2022

The MoA Week In Review - NOT Ukraine OT 2022-61

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

> Last Summer’s adoption of Renminbi by Europe, and significant food aid from the countries of the African Union have stabilized, to a degree, the macroeconomic situation. It should be noted, however, that due to the severe difficulties of collection of information and inability of Staff to travel to the Formerly Belligerent Areas (FBAs) (separately), all National Account data have to be taken with a great dose of caution.
Labor and social issues. Staff note that in the conversation with all  FBA (separately), it has been pointed out to the massive high-skill labor shortages. In the United States, the number of people with college degree has been reduced by an estimated two-thirds (in line with the overall casualty rate), but the outflow of high-skilled workers to other countries has additionally exacerbated the problem. It was thus estimated by the Bismarck authorities that the US has lost more than 80% of its college graduates. The US authorities mentioned the plan to build a wall which would stop further outflow of skilled labor but the costs of construction (especially given extremely high level of US foreign indebtedness; see below) are prohibitive. <

Other issues:




Use as open - Not Ukraine - thread ...

Posted by b on May 8, 2022 at 14:04 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

@pretzelattack #95
The problem with your thesis is: why now and not before?

Why has the industry/OPEC/OPEC+ not hit upon the brilliant strategy of not overproducing in the 60 years since OPEC was founded? And which managing production vs. demand is precisely the founding purpose of OPEC?

Let's not forget that there were literal oil embargoes in the 1970s etc, so it isn't like OPEC hasn't flexed its muscles before.

There are only 2 factors that are different this time from all the past ones: COVID and ESG.
COVID is "over" but capex expenditures are not increasing. That leaves ESG.

Posted by: c1ue | May 10 2022 20:35 utc | 101

For those that want to calculate the deaths, and extent of a nuclear explosion in their neighbourhood. Older saved site so I don't know if the quantities are still correct.,5,1.5&therm=_3rd-100,_1st-50&zm=11

(sorry long link - couldn't make it smaller)

Posted by: Stonebird | May 10 2022 21:10 utc | 102

Any other way to get to read the Alastair Crooke article at SCF? I cannot access it at my locale.

Posted by: Kouros | May 8 2022 19:16 utc | 32

You could try

Strangely The Wayback machine website wasn't working properly for me for the Alastair Crooke article.

Or Tor.

Posted by: Mighty Drunken | May 10 2022 21:56 utc | 103

Younger dryas event and some Antonio Zamora publications on utoob.

For barflies that contemplate life before the last beer ;)

Flooding of the Mediterranean Basin at the Younger Dryas Boundary June 30 2021.

Mother Lode of Carolina Bays May 9 2022.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 10 2022 23:30 utc | 104

Cyril @48:
"To the nutcases in Washington DC: How would a dead Europe help you in the fight against China?"
This is called "scorched earth", better a dead Europe than a Europe that can trade with the enemy.

Return of the king (must read):
"...Very likely, what Europe can deliver to the United States would exceed what Russia can deliver to China, so that a loss of Russia to China would be more than compensated by the gains from a tightening of American hegemony over Western Europe..."

This is the wrong comparison. It would be better to compare:
US <---> Russia
Europe <---> China
Europe, like China has a few nukes but it's puny compared to the US arsenal. Same with China in respect to Russia. Europe is under US nuclear protection like China is tacitly under Russian nuclear protection. So, it's more like what can China deliver to Russia compared to what can Europe deliver to the US. So far, unlike Europe cutting itself from Russia, China is not cutting itself from the US. But that's actually what the US wants, so that will happen sooner or later.

Posted by: Robert Macaire | May 11 2022 3:56 utc | 105

Below is a Xinhuanet posting reporting that the US State Dept. has changed the wording about Taiwan on its web site

BEIJING, May 10 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Tuesday slammed the United States for changing wording related to Taiwan on its State Department website, saying the move will hollow out the one-China principle and will backfire.

Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks when asked to comment on a recent update to the Taiwan fact sheet displayed on the website of the U.S. Department of State, which removes wording both on not supporting Taiwan independence and on acknowledging China's position that Taiwan is part of China.

"There is but one China in the world, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory, with the Government of the People's Republic of China as the sole legal government of China," Zhao said, noting that these facts are the consensus of the international community and are universally recognized norms governing international relations.

"The U.S. has made solemn commitments on the Taiwan question and the one-China principle in the three China-U.S. joint communiques," Zhao noted, saying that changing the wording on Taiwan is an act of political manipulation and an attempt to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, which will backfire and the U.S. itself will get burnt.

Zhao urged the United States to abide by the one-China principle and the stipulations of the three China-U.S. joint communiques, as well as the political commitments it made to China on the Taiwan question.

"The U.S. side should put into practice President Biden's statement that the U.S. does not support 'Taiwan independence,' and cease all political manipulation on Taiwan-related issues or any attempt to contain China with the Taiwan question," Zhao said.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 11 2022 5:35 utc | 106

As predicted, gasoline prices have surged past the previous record high. Diesel, after almost 2 weeks of multiple cent increases per day, has been increasing only fractions of a cent for the last several days albeit still increasing its record high every day.


Current Avg. $4.404

Yesterday Avg. $4.374

Week Ago Avg. $4.226

Month Ago Avg. $4.114

Year Ago Avg. $2.985


Current Avg. $5.553

Yesterday Avg. $5.550

Week Ago Avg. $5.428

Month Ago Avg. $5.042

Year Ago Avg. $3.125

But the interesting question now is: will gasoline prices catch up?
As you can see above - the difference between gasoline and diesel prices was about 4% a year ago.
This means gasoline would have to be $5.30 or so to approximate the same differential.
Or conversely, diesel prices would have to fall to $4.61 - but does anyone see that happening?
Put another way - as Oiprice notes - the differential between diesel and gasoline prices is the highest ever seen including the 2008 spike when the price differential was $0.98 vs. the $1.249 today.

As for the impact on the US economy:
The US uses about 100 billion gallons of gasoline a year. The increase in gas prices means net payout for gasoline has increased $140 billion from 1 year ago.
The US uses about 40 billion gallons of diesel per year. The increase in diesel prices equates to about $96 billion more payout vs. 1 year ago.

$236 billion more in payout vs. roughly $21 trillion in personal spending = over 10% increase from energy alone.

Now combine that with Fed taper to come (QT) and interest rate increases.

The Fed has said it would let $47.5B per month in its Treasuries mature and not be rebought from June through August 2022, and $95B per month from September through December 2022. Contrast this with the Fed buying $120 billion net per month prior to November 2021 - this is a $167.5 to $215 billion dollar (per month) reduction in liquidity for the US overall.

Wolfstreet noted that a median house bought in 2021 vs. today would have a 50% increase in monthly payment. Harris Kupperman is saying the structural shortfall in housing spend will lead to continued booming in housing company earnings, but I think the overall conclusion is more like: the rich will buy regardless of interest rates but the plankton will drop off (regular people, first time homebuyers etc).

Interesting times.

Posted by: c1ue | May 11 2022 14:20 utc | 107

Brazil is quite a different nut than Libya, with regards to what Ghadafi proposed for a gold-backed African Dinar.

What do leftists there who would side with Bolsonaro's challenger think of Bolsonaro's backing of Putin and Russia? Is this not good enough for them? What is Bolsonaro's popularity and does the challenger stand any chance?

If anything, it looks like that, similarly to the DJT phenomenon, Bolsonaro is shifting the Overton Window in South America by bucking the west wrt Russia. Seems like some kudos are in order to the alleged Fascist Dictator in Bolsonaro.

Any thoughts?

Posted by: NemesisCalling | May 10 2022 18:32 utc | 97

IMHO, Bolsonaro is first and foremost the friend of the big business in Brazil, and they include agribusiness and iron ore miners, exporting largely to China. Seems that agribusiness needs fertilizers, and this is something that Russia has and sells, apparently, only to "non-hostile" countries, primarily, India and Brazil. Russia also has a surplus of fuel oil, and Brazil may need it too. What makes Bolsonaro a total oddball is the comparison with EU+UK, where the interests of agribusiness and other businesses are enthusiastically ignored. Since that every Wednesday is now dedicated to a new packet of sanctions on Russia (at least this should give the process some regularity, somewhere I read "six sanction package", so they could devote a day of the week for this).

So here Lula and Bolsonaro can be on the same page (as is Modi, another friend of big business). After all, if you represent the working class, you may want business (and owners) to pay more decent wages, pay more attention to the environment (like the fate of folks living dowstream from mud dams, but perhaps also burning less of Amazon), pay its share of taxes, but with all of that, it is better if the business does not broke but actually pay etc.

BTW, fuel oil shortage. Perhaps for decades, natural gas was at least twice cheaper than oil in energy equivalent, so where you just needed a fuel and you could pipe it to the location, natural gas was preferred. Otherwise, you could just as well use fuel oil or even coal. It is still the case in places like USA and Russia, but not in most of the world. Especially in non-Russia part of Europe, but the same holds for India, Japan etc. In other words. The problem is that natural gas can be used almost as is (and the "cleaning" is done closer to the exploration sites), but petroleum as fuel needs refining, hence shortage of capacity to do so. ESPECIALLY if you do not want to buy Urals oil and Russian fuel oil/diesel (almost the same, I guess the same refining facility should be able to make both). Actually, there are some grades etc.

Some regions of USA suffer from insufficient pipeline capacity, like New England (and California?), pipelines were declare satanic in some regional religions. I think that diesel is still more expensive than NG in USA, but the availability of NG varies.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 11 2022 14:36 utc | 108

May 11 2022:

Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Ghebreyesus says China's zero-Covid policy isn't sustainable and the country should "shift" to another strategy.

Xi Jinping doesn't like to be criticized, facts be damned!! He has to be re-elected in October and "zero-covid" is his baby to prove that he was right and will be again in the future....

Posted by: Antonym | May 11 2022 16:28 utc | 109

The validity of the correspondence between atmospheric CO2 and global temperature came up this week -- a venerable subject, but never stop questioning! A pretty darn good statistician named Tamino has focused on stuff like this for awhile. In this recent, brief article, Tamino establishes the "undeniable" statistical significance of CO2 climate forcing and global temperature:

The correlation coefficient between the two variables is a whopping 0.9467, but what really counts is its statistical significance (which is not guaranteed by a large coefficient). In this case the significance is undeniable (with a p-value < 10-15).

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 11 2022 20:53 utc | 110

Sorry about typographical confusion. That a p-value of 10 to the negative 15, not 10-15.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 11 2022 20:55 utc | 111

Antonym #109

Xi Jinping doesn't like to be criticized, facts be damned!! He has to be re-elected in October and "zero-covid" is his baby to prove that he was right and will be again in the future....

On the other hand there are two stark realities facing chinese people:

1/ The UKUSA is determined to perfect CBW through global participation in a biolab network spanning the planet. The evidence emerging in the past few months of the intense research in Ukraine is alarming - for all humans.

2/ China has been attacked multiple times by CBW. Through the Japanese occupation, the Korean war and recently with swine fever, chicken virus and fall army worm. All costing the nation dearly.

It is not that the Chinese leadership is paranoid - the observant people in the world can see that they are the target of genome specific modified virus (as are the slav people).

The odds for further attacks are very high in any sane estimate.

The entire Chinese leadership response to the previous and current coronavirus outbreaks is training their people to be alert, know the safe behavioral responses and trust the state to do the utmost to protect and supply medication and health support services. That is much more than we witness in many other western nations.

This strict approach is also a preparation for chinese people to be alert and report as early as possible the next attack if it comes.

Internationally the Chinese have earned high regard for their compassionate concern and rapid response in support of their society throughout the covid mayhem. The West has lost an enormous amount of respect for its ugly, clumsy response and the lingering suspicion of its culpability.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 11 2022 22:22 utc | 112

"Any other way to get to read the Alastair Crooke article at SCF? I cannot access it at my locale."

Posted by: Kouros | May 8 2022 19:16 utc | 32

Sorry to be late getting here, Kouros - over at the open-Ukraine thread (has taken me 2 days to get through it) I copied the following:

I'm not sure what comes before all of that, but it may be enough to do a search with. Sorry I didn't write down who offered that where on the thread, but perhaps you can do a search there.

I am much behind as a consequence of my readthrough taking so much time. It will necessitate for me more lurking, less posting. But on that thread there are several commendations for the latest Michael Hudson video, to which I would add mine as well. The subject is his new book, and the interview is generous enough to be an excellent review of same.

Posted by: juliania | May 11 2022 23:54 utc | 113

@ uncle tungsten | 112

China, Ukraine, Georgia etc. let USA funded and steered weaponisation of viruses in on their own soil; Russia did not. No way Xi Jinping had no clue about this; as a chemical engineer he is on top of everything, specially science. It might explain his fear for Covid even 2 years later. Plenty of Chinese live abroad and there is no evidence that it specially targets Chinese DNA, not that the human immune system could deal with it given time. But his ego is massive: he has to be 101% "right" so 0 covid.
It is know he doesn't like Shanghai's liberals: will he lockup manderin/bureaucrat filled Beijing as absurdly harsh as Shanghai?
IF the Xi meteor burns up this fall it might be a bad omen for equivalent & admiring Western total power freaks, and thus making it a good development.

Posted by: Antonym | May 12 2022 3:59 utc | 114

I keep writing about the financial precipice we are on and Wall Street On Parade has a posting the supports that position

Senator Tells Treasury Secretary Yellen that Crypto Market Is Now Larger than Subprime Market that Triggered Global Financial Crisis

Take away quote

As we reported yesterday, as of Monday’s closing price of $30,930, Bitcoin futures have plunged 55 percent from their high of $69,355 last November.

And that $1.4 trillion market cap for crypto that European Central Banker Fabio Panetta spoke about last week was a $2.9 trillion market cap last November, and a $2.2 trillion market cap as recently as April 2. It’s melting as fast as a snow cone in July.

The most amazing aspect of this hearing is that the one word that encapsulates the greatest and most imminent threat to the stability of the United States’ financial system was not uttered once from the mouth of any Senator from either party. That word is derivatives. Yellen used the word just once and then only in relation to the transition away from the interest rate benchmark Libor.

What was not questioned at all by Senators on the Banking Committee that oversees the Wall Street megabanks was the $234 trillion in notional (face amount) derivatives sitting on the books of these megabanks that are being called out every quarter in the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s Report on Bank Trading and Derivative Activities. Table 14 of this report (see page 19) indicates that just five bank holding companies are responsible for $200.18 trillion of that exposure or 86 percent of the total. Those mega bank holding companies are: JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America. Each of these banks required bailouts during and after the financial crisis of 2008 and several would have completely collapsed without that assistance. Each of these Wall Street banks also own a deposit-taking bank that holds massive sums of federally-insured deposits.

If one wants to talk about “concentrated” risk, why not talk about $200 trillion of risk in derivatives in addition to $1.4 trillion of risk in crypto?

But hey! There is still $40 billion for Ukraine and none for you......because Russia/China

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 12 2022 6:07 utc | 115

To add to my comment 115 there is the issue I also keep writing about which is foreign purchase of US Treasuries.

I am reading some indication that there is less foreign demand for US Treasuries in the latest rollover sales. If/when there exists an alternative Reserve Currency for nations to store their foreign exchange reserves, (less needed with new bi-lateral trade agreements), I posit that the demand for US Treasuries will plummet.

Perhaps then, the shit show will end.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 12 2022 6:23 utc | 116

On the first page, some barflies were discussing Mexico. If it's not too late for me to throw in my 20 centavos' worth...

I too have been thinking of Mexico as well, albeit as an alternative should any travel between the US and Russia be hampered in some way.
Half a year ago, a website called Kayak stated that Mexico's borders were open to USAian visitors, no COVID vaccination or quarantine required. There were also times when Russia's borders were either closed off entirely or open only to the vaccinated. (The situation is different now, and might differ again after this writing, but I think you'd get the idea).

Mexico had entered my radar relatively recently compared to Russia and China, so it raises some concerns.

* GMOs are labeled if not restricted/banned in Russia, unlike in Mexico. Why hasn’t Mexico begun labeling GMOs yet?

* Soft drinks sold in Russia, as with the rest of Europe, use cane sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup. “Mexican Coke”, previously known for its lack of HFCS, ended up switching to HFCS some years back. How frequently is HFCS used in Mexican-sold foods (not just soft drinks) compared to USian ones?

* Russia’s public transport is said to be better than the USA’s (assuming the USA even has it in the first place). With Mexico being a ‘New World’ nation, what’s the public transport there like? How well can one get around an average Mexican city/town (e.g. buy groceries) without a car? How much of it is bike-friendly?

* I’ve seen complaints about news media in the US being owned by billion-dollar corporations that makes Russian news media look more reliable. Does a similar situation exist in Mexico? And what’s the integrity of Mexico’s state broadcaster?

* Russian laws are such that LGBT pride parades are illegal, and so is any presentation of LGBT relationships in children’s media. At least one of us may have complained of LGBTQ+ indoctrination in certain Western countries (in the form of e.g. Drag Queen Story Hour). Is it different in Mexico?

* Marijuana has been illegal in Russia for some time. Is it still illegal in Russia? What is the legal status in Mexico?

* Are elections free and fair like in Russia, or are politicians hand-picked like in the US, Canada and Europe?

Posted by: joey_n | May 12 2022 8:26 utc | 117

@joey_n #117
I've traveled to Mexico multiple occasions; the land routes via foot - they don't even check a passport. There's a bag check for contraband/stuff that is taxable, but that's it.
Needless to say, no passport check, no vax check.
Mexico does have a vaccination policy though for its citizens.
The air route: I came in on a flight from South America and discovered my connection was between terminals, including passing through immigration/customs. They did look at my passport that time but this was pre-COVID.

As for food: I wouldn't make any assumptions about food there being that much different than the US anymore in terms of preservatives and sugar added outside of what you get in a roadside food stand.

Public transport exists, but I don't see many people using it. Taxis and cars are quite ubiquitous in the places I have been, but none were the relatively super-dense big cities.

Didn't watch any TV - can't speak to independence of media. But in general, there is no real major independent media in Central/South America; what isn't directly government operated is owned by billionaires.

Alphabet people stuff: no, parades aren't illegal per se. But they are heavily discouraged because waving that in front of many Russian men invites a punch in the face. Such parades still occur though. Russian TV is all approved channels only - but that means they do things like have an all-children's cartoon channel, have a channel that shows almost nothing but black and white or sepia age Russian movies, etc etc. From what I have seen, it is by far more diverse of opinion than anything I see in the US, UK or EU - people actually argue about things they strongly believe without resorting to name calling, and such discussion shows involve multiple minute, back and forths between participants as opposed to 10 second or less blips.

In Mexico - I didn't see any mention of alphabet people, period. Don't forget that Mexico is a fairly heavily Catholic country, but I get a strong sense of "don't ask, don't tell" as opposed to the Inquisition.

Marijuana: people who want to, can get drugs in Russia. Or the US. Or Mexico. Or pretty much anywhere. But you can't run around puffing skunk odor into everyone's faces like you can in the "legal" states in the US...

Elections in Russia: the US says they're not fair; everyone else says they are. There is zero disparity between sentiment towards Putin I hear directly from people vs. what is reported as election results, and being a multi-decade incumbent would already be a huge disadvantage for any opponent to overcome. There are multiple opposition parties who openly criticise Putin and his policies - including both Atlanticist laissez faire sexual/economic views and outright Communist views and which get visible percentages of the vote.
On the other hand, the numbskulls who represent the US' direct interests (or at least, get the US' open support) like Navalny get a pathetically low percent of the vote. For that matter, it seems their godfather has left - Chubais quit his government posts and fled to Israel while his lone remaining highest ranking pupil in the Russian government, Kudrin, is there to console him temporarily, supposedly.

If you want to visit Russia, there isn't going to be a better time. No European tourists to speak of during White Nights is something I wish I had time to go take advantage of. Pre-COVID/Ukraine, it would cost $1000/night in St. Petersburg top hotels in normal peak season (which has just about begun). Of course, you'd then have a Russian stamp on your passport (and visa)...

Posted by: c1ue | May 13 2022 0:37 utc | 118

(My initial question about election fairness was with regards to Mexico. Sorry if I didn't make that clear at first.)
I never actually thought anyone would read my comment and respond. But anyway, thanks for the useful info @c1ue (118). Or should I say, Gracias por la informacion util :-)

Posted by: joey_n | May 13 2022 8:52 utc | 119

Zionist IDF attacking the Pall bearers carrying the dead body of Shereen at the Hospital.
Totally disgusting.

Posted by: Stonebird | May 13 2022 12:00 utc | 120

@ 108 Piotr

Thank you very much for the overview. I wonder if Bolsonaro has any big ideas for S. America similar to Ghadafi? Certainly the writing is on the wall wrt the global reserve currency's influence on the wane and the result will mean choices for larger, more powerful nations.

@ c1ue

A continuing thanks for your worldly-experience which you so generously share here.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | May 13 2022 20:09 utc | 121

Posted by: c1ue | May 13 2022 16:19 utc | 223
(from Ukraine thread)

Maybe different from tipping points but:
What about those deep frozen mammoths found with half digested food in their intestines indicating rapid deep freeze event?

Or a single fossilized tree trunk suspended vertically in sedimentary Rock layers which supposedly took millions of years to form (try shaking jar of earth with pebbles and clay content to see such layers form in an hour).

Or fossilized fish with another fossilized fish half-swallowed in its mouth?

Clearly some big things (including possibly mountain formations) happen in moments not millenia.

What we don't know about climate and its history dwarfs what we do know. Further we lack the technical ability to evaluate natural versus anthropogenic variations as the useless models keep demonstrating.

What is needed is less polluting processes, smarter remediation, soil-building versus soil-depleting agriculture. Can easily feed 70 billion with proper methods. Main problem is corrupt governments dominated by corrupt corporate/oligarchic networks (aka fascism). The science runs distant second and in any case is useless. Common sense far more helpful.

Posted by: Scorpion | May 13 2022 21:49 utc | 122

@Scorpion #122
Mammoths: I don't know about you, but I've frozen 10 pounds chunks of meat.

There are no circumstances, including say immersion in dry ice once for kicks because I had a pile for which I had zero conceivable use (temperature -109 degrees F) which causes said amount of meat to "flash freeze", much less a multi-ton mammoth. The main reason these mammoths are said to be "flash frozen" is that somehow they have recognizable vegetation in their systems. Well, the real reason this vegetation is recognizable is because it isn't digested, and there are lots of ways a mammoth could die quickly before vegetation inside it is digested - such as drowning.

So no, can't say mammoths are a good example of "tipping points".

All of your other examples are equally simply explained:

the tree: a giant solid chunk of fossilized tree is like a rock in a field. Rocks in plowed fields migrate up all the damn time; presumably they can migrate down too. I can easily see a single large rocky object shifting about from completely natural causes, much less situations like where a tree falls into a deep pile of mud which in turn the tree and different layers of the mud turn into rock at different time rates.

The fish eating a fish - that's trivial. A fish chokes to death after trying to eat too big a fish. I've had many fish in aquariums that did this, especially when I used to live on a tropical island and would stock my tank with wild caught random batches of fish. I once had a scorpionfish swim around for literally 5 days with a "just right sized" damselfish stuck in its mouth, before it died. And no, I was not gonna try and extract a fish from said poisonous, spiny scorpionfish's mouth. All that was missing at that point is convenient mud and a million years or so...

Mountains in a moment: nope, sorry, never once have I ever seen or heard of anything approaching a mountain in a moment. There are volcanic eruptions all the time, some of whose lava flows form islands but these ain't mountains. There are mountains that disappear in a relative moment though via volcanic eruption.

All in all, I think you should really read up on just how mud turns to rock - and how long it takes. A lot can happen in that enormous period of time.

As for the remaining:

less polluting processes, smarter remediation, soil-building versus soil-depleting agriculture. Can easily feed 70 billion with proper methods.

I would be all for these processes if they work. And if they work, you should trivially be able to prove it by showing everyone.

I am not the least bit convinced that it is corrupt government standing in the way if the processes you espouse really are superior. Again, you should trivially be able to prove it be showing everyone. So why don't you?

What I have personally seen, instead, is artisanal farming mistaken for superior food production. There is an enormous difference between a boutique farm selling 100x more expensive organic food to rich people vs. an industrial farm producing food so cheap it would not be happening if it wasn't for the miracle of cheap transport via fossil fuels.

For example: here in California, there are cheap grapes available pretty much year round. This is because California is on the same coast as Chile. What I buy, on sale, in Safeway for $1.99/lb was sold in Chile for an average cost in 2019 of $1.36/kilo = $0.62/lb, vs. the non-sale Safeway CA price of $2.99 to $3.99 per pound. These grapes are just as available anywhere else in the US - but they get progressively more expensive on the East Coast and the interior of the US because transport times and costs increase - and grapes are perishable.

My mother, in contrast, lives in central California where literally grapes are grown. When I was a kid, you could get locally grown grapes for $0.99/lb trivially. Now you literally can't, even in peak grape harvest season. But do remember talking to people who farmed grapes back then - they told me that they got $0.15/lb for the $0.99/lb grapes I was eating. It is apparent from market pricing that grapes grown 200 miles away are more expensive than grapes grown in Chile (6000 miles away).

So cheers for a wonderful desire which I support, but meaningless unless and until you prove it by doing - as opposed to just talking about it... or worse, repeating nonsense other people spout.

Posted by: c1ue | May 13 2022 22:35 utc | 123

I'm copying someone else's comment, with which I agree (especially the boldface), from a story on CD about Shireen Abu Akleh's casket:

Apartheid Israeli Zionism is NOT the same as Judaism, no matter what the lying propagandists of the ADL, AIPAC, and other Zionist supporters claim about anti-Zionism being equal to anti-Semitism.

Zionism: Palestinians are not human, and their land belongs to us.

Judaism: “Do not do unto others that which you hate done unto yourself – that is the entire Torah. The rest is commentary, go and study it.” - Hillel

Something very interesting is going on in USA-Israel relations, I believe, and you can tell by an entirely novel tone in stories about Israel lately -- not just the casket atrocity, an AP story about settlements yesterday contained the word "apartheid", and violated a half-dozen other previous taboos. ABC Nightly News showed an insane police riot: black-clad thugs attacking a funeral with nightsticks for no reason.

It's certainly not the worst atrocity from Israel, but we in USA have never seen such hostile coverage of Israel from our media. Our state-sponsored media -- we now know as we see them parroting every ridiculous lie out of Zelensky's mouth, on behalf of USA PTB. I can't help thinking there's much more going on between USA & Israel than meets the eye, here.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 14 2022 6:25 utc | 124

Attention Australian barflies, Patroklos, uncle tungsten, Peter Au1, et al

I have been watching the ABC coverage of the murder of Shireen Abu Aklah and the brutal Zionist terrorism of mourners at her funeral.

I am reminded of the fundmential change to "The Charter of the ABC" in the 1980's by the uber zionist PM, Bob Hawke, and the subsequent stacking of the boards of ABC and SBS by both corrupted political parties.

That deliberately led to this miserable and biased coverage. Make no mistake, the Hawke Labor government changed the 'ABC Charter' to supposedly 'REFLECT COMMUNITY STANDARDS'' A semantic device that is meaningless, unless we support war crimes.

I note that the Palestinian flag is the exact same flag of the WW1 ARAB revolution, supposedly supported by the British government and their allies, now the flag is a forbidden symbol by the new occupiers.

British aeroplanes were dropping leaflets over Ottoman lines promising 'independence' to Arab conscripts in WW1.

Before the British occupied Palestine they offered the World Zionist Movement Palestine in exchange for US entry in WW1. The Balfour Declaration.

The more things change the more thing stay the same .">https://">


Viva the new Intifada.

Posted by: Paul | May 14 2022 13:38 utc | 125

Posted by: Paul | May 14 2022 13:38 utc | 125

Thank you for posting this, Paul. It deserves attention. And I think it would encourage a return to elements of that seminal movie "Lawrence of Arabia" as great parts of that movie paid attention to the Arabian cause. Alec Guiness, wow; Anthony Quinn, wow.

I went a while back to a book review party for the novel "Dune" which caused me to read it for the first time. I was not impressed, seeing it as a takeoff on "Lawrence", a fictional remake perhaps, (particularly as the hero of the Dune series was being described.) Folk in the group were shocked by my assessment, insisting that "Dune" predated "Lawrence".

They were wrong. Still, it must be why we had a remake of "Dune" while "Lawrence" is left by the wayside. Reality stings; we can't have that.

Posted by: juliania | May 14 2022 14:53 utc | 126

Posted by: juliania | May 14 2022 14:53 utc | 12

I have not heard of "Dune". Is it another "Exodus' or worse another fraud like 'the Joan Peters affair' book. The Zionist hasbara handbook. Complete fabrication.

The 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom' is Orientalist but the final part is valuable because it describes the final betrayal of the Arab cause by Allenby and the British after Prince Faisal's capture of Damascus, hours before General Chauvel's Australian Light Horse Brigade.

Hello Tabulum, NSW, home of Chauvel and the Australian Light Horse

I recommend 'The Gun and the Olive Branch, the roots of violence in the Middle East' David Hirst, "Balfour in the Dock, JMN Jeffries and the Case for the Prosecution", Colin Andersen. If you really want to get into the evil, "Feisal of Iraq" by Ali A. Ilawi, Yale University Press.

Also of interest is "With Lawrence in Arabia" by Lowell Thomas.

Lest we forget "Bitter Harvest", by Sami Hidawi. a Christian Palestinian patriot,. The last chapter is so moving and personal.

Posted by: Paul | May 14 2022 16:05 utc | 127

Texans being asked to conserve energy

After six power plants went down unexpectedly Friday — and with hot weather expected across Texas this weekend — the Electric Reliability Council of Texas on Friday evening is asking consumers to conserve electricity through Sunday.


The power plant failures led to a loss of about 2,900 megawatts of electricity, which is enough to power more than 580,000 homes.


Power grids must keep supply and demand in balance at all times. When Texas’ grid falls below its safety margin of excess supply, the grid operator starts taking additional precautions to avoid blackouts. The first precaution is to ask the public to cut back electricity usage. [the next step is brownouts]

Now, this is interesting because Texas has a lot of wind/solar alternative energy. Is the problem because these plants aren't generating enough?

Texas Wind and Solar electricity production

Wind and solar in Texas was producing well over 4000 megawatt-hours of electricity over "schedule" in its latest hour at 10 am on 5/10 (The graph shows actual production vs. projected production (total generation was over 10553 megawatt hours for wind and 8184 megawatt hours for solar)

So why the shortfall? Well, this is where name-plate capacity vs. capacity factors come into play. Even though Texas has installed 32,686 Megawatts of wind and solar, this doesn't translate into 32,686 Megawatt hours even for all the hours the sun shines/wind blows. Capacity factors for wind are typically 35% or less, for solar they are 20% or less. As you can see above - cap factor for 10 am on 5/10 was 57% vs. name plate generation capacity.

Capacity factors for fossil fuel plants, on the other hand, are 60% to 80%.

So the 2900 Megawatts of fossil fuel plants generate between 41,760 and 55,680 Megawatt-hours on average and 69,600 megawatt hours on a typical operating day. (the average numbers are for downtimes, largely due to scheduled maintenance but not all).

Squaring variability of wind and solar vs. relative invariability of consumer demand, plus relative invariability of time of day of consumer demand, is an enormous problem that will never be solved without very cheap electricity storage capability.

Posted by: c1ue | May 14 2022 16:20 utc | 128

Juliania @ 12


This may be of interest to KIWIS. Particularly regarding the fabrication of history, see comments [the bogus propaganda stamps were withdrawn at the request of the NZ, Canberra ]

Posted by: Paul | May 14 2022 16:28 utc | 129

Posted by: Scorpion | May 8 2022 17:14 utc | 16

A quick fact check on this statement ""1/ VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA: Premier Dan Andrews is passing a bill that prohibits people from growing their own food."

Alas, it fails all basic "Occam's Razor Tests".

Reality, this is an amendment law. "make amendments to 11 separate acts to deliver improvements across biodiversity and food safety, veterinary practice, agricultural chemical use” While the bill prohibits the sale of “diseased plants” and “pest animals,” it does not make any mention of outlawing the growth of one’s own food in any capacity.

as for "AWN". Neither "google/duckduckgo/wikipedia" show any official 'internets' web site. Basically it is a page "404" furphy/dud like a bent penny.

One could possibly infer "The AUTHOR of this furphy. Suffers from "READING IS A LUXURY SYNDROME".

Many thanks for providing a good laugh...... :)

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | May 15 2022 4:06 utc | 130

I must say the mainland 'Yankees' are easily bamboozled and fleeced by their own ignorance and inability to do even basic fact checks. Many appear to have the memory span time limit of a goldfish.

Oil lease sales cancelled. Gulf of Mexico and Cook Inlet, Alaska.

Lease sale Cook Inlet, Alaska. The pro team completely ignores the reality of the real world. The sea floor of Cook Inlet is riddled with major and minor "Ring of Fire" fault lines of varying depth. Source USGS Alaskan earthquake map. Answer a very poor prospect for locating oil dome style structures.

Gulf of Mexico, are deep water ones with soft sediment sea floor layers. let's ignore the realty of a 95% chance of a probable blow out "BP Deepwater Style". Reality check shows a large percentage of oil from that disaster is flowing around the sea floor bottom of the gulf. Sight unseen.

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | May 15 2022 4:34 utc | 131

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