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The Real War
I continue to be somewhat dumbfounded that some conservatives seem to believe that Vladimir Putin is their enemy. Tucker Carlson last night explained masterfully that the real enemy of the America we grew up in—with its vibrant middle class—is coming from our ruling class. While the roots of this war on the American middle class run deep, the pace of the rape and pillage of America—morally as well as financially—accelerated in virtually exponential fashion in 2008.
CTH picked the Tucker video up and Andrea Widburg at American Thinker calls it Perhaps Tucker Carlson's most profound monologue ever. Widburg transcribes a portion of Tucker’s monologue, which I’ll take advantage of before embedding the video. As you’ll see, Tucker begins by explaining the extraordinary undeclared war the Zhou administration has put in motion against a nuclear power, without any semblance of consultation with the nation. How does that work in a constitutional republic? and, Are we the next targets? are the important questions he asks.
But let’s be fair—this reckless flirting with war is decidedly a Uniparty event:
And now 42 Republican Senators want to bail Joe Biden out. 42 GOP Senators called on Joe Biden to send MiGs to Ukraine to bomb the hell out of Russians.
Incredible. Certain things really should be beyond politics—like, national security. Yet 42 out of 50 GOP senators signed on to a patently insane policy. Rather than demanding to know what in God’s name Zhou thinks he’s doing. That’s what you get with the best government money can buy.
So, Widburg’s partial transcipt:
At exactly the moment when the emergency powers they awarded to themselves to fight COVID started to wane, our leaders began pushing for conflict with Russia. And then, on the basis of that conflict, they assumed historic war powers.
Without even pausing, the Biden administration declared total economic war on a sovereign country. No American had been killed. The United States had not been invaded or attacked. And yet, with no meaningful public debate or congressional authorization, the Biden administration destroyed that country's currency, then removed it from the international banking system, then impoverished its population. Then the administration began seizing the property of people affiliated with that country, without a trial or due process of any kind, without even bothering to explain exactly what crime they had committed.
No American government had ever done anything like that before. If there was one thing the U.S. government long stood for it was the rule of law. The integrity of the system was always the most important thing. But not anymore. That turned out to be an era and that era is gone. Because the target is Russia, very few Americans have noticed any of this. They support it. Virtually no one has paused to ask him or herself where this might be going. How long until our leaders do something similar to their domestic enemies here in the United States? How long before they accuse you of collusion or disloyalty or some other hard-to-define crime, declare you an enemy of the state, and then confiscate your bank account? Something very much like that just happened in Canada.
But that’s just the beginning. Carlson moves on to our inflation crisis, and the crisis of a regime that systematically gaslights it’s subjects. Then, shortly after the 5 minute mark, he gets to the real meat (my transcript, now):
But it [government printing too much money in 2021] isn't the whole story. It did not start with Zhou Baidan, to be fair. In the months after the 2008 financial crisis, the Federal Reserve assumed emergency powers to respond to the financial collapse. Now, if you're noticing a theme here--people in charge giving themselves emergency powers in the face of a crisis they created--you may be on to something.
And note something else. Vladimir Putin didn’t come to America, assume emergency powers, then start jerking us all around every which way, and canceling all dissent. It was our rulers who did that to us. So, please, listen carefully and consider what Carlson is telling you—it’s an easy to follow guide to who your real enemies are:
Now, for those who remain in denial, who somehow believe in the face of the facts, that Russia is somehow about to get crushed by our sanctions, here are two articles that were linked in comments today, one by me and the other by Ray So-Cal. The idea that the sanctions will “eventually” cause Russia to collapse is highly dubious on any account, but becomes even more so when we realize that we are systematically destroying the financial system that has enabled the US to bully most of the world since the GWOT began—and quickly morphed into Globalism’s War On Everyone We Don’t Like.
The excerpts are severely shortened from the originals:
Ukraine and Russia may only account for a small proportion of the imports of major manufacturing nations like Germany and the US, but they are essential suppliers of raw materials and energy for many crucial supply chains.
While a complete suspension of Russian gas flows is unlikely at the moment, even small disruptions will have a significant impact. Global gas reserves are low due to the pandemic and energy prices are already rising sharply, impacting consumers and industry.
Russia and Ukraine together account for more than a quarter of global wheat exports, while Ukraine alone makes up almost half of exports of sunflower oil. Both are key commodities used in many food products. If harvesting and processing is hindered in a war-torn Ukraine, or exports are blocked, importers will struggle to replace supplies.
With global transport already severely disrupted in the aftermath of the pandemic, a war could create further problems. The transport modes likely to be affected are ocean shipping and rail freight.
Russia and Ukraine lead the global production of metals such as nickel, copper and iron. They are also largely involved in the export and manufacture of other essential raw materials like neon, palladium and platinum.
Fears of sanctions on Russia have increased the price of these metals. With palladium, for example, the current trading price of almost US$2,700 per ounce, up over 80% since mid-December. Palladium is used for everything from automotive exhaust systems and mobile phones to dental fillings. The prices of nickel and copper, which are used in manufacturing and building respectively, have also also been soaring.
Shortages of microchips were a major problem throughout 2021. Some analysts had been predicting that this problem would ease in 2022, but recent developments might dampen such optimism.
As part of the sanctions towards Russia, the US has been threatening to cut off Russia’s supply of microchips. But this rings hollow when Russia and Ukraine are such key exporters of neon, palladium and platinum, all of which are critical for microchip production.
About 90% of neon, which is used for chip lithography, originates from Russia, and 60% of this is purified by one company in Odessa. Alternative sources will require long term investments prior to being able to supply the global market.
Chip manufacturers currently hold an excess of two to four weeks’ additional inventory, but any prolonged supply disruption caused by military action in Ukraine will severely impact the production of semiconductors and products dependent on them, including cars.
The blowback from sanctions won’t happen “eventually”. As I write Russia is preparing comprehensive counter sanctions that will bite very quickly.
As for the financial system—which we discussed last night and this morning— knowledgeable people are predicting a major transformation that will negatively affect the dollar’s position as the world’s reserve currency. A virtual Bretton Woods III that will, in a sense, reverse the Bretton Woods II framework. Very little in this world, in terms of human institutions, is forever. Let me put this upfront, which will be part of the excerpt below:
If you believe that the West can craft sanctions that maximise pain for Russia while minimising financial stability risks and price stability risks in the West, you could also believe in unicorns.
Credit Suisse short-term rate strategist Zoltan Pozsar, a former United States Federal Reserve and US Treasury Department official, in a report said the US is in a commodity crisis and this will give rise to a new world order that will weaken the US dollar and create higher inflation in the western world.
Here are the key takeaways from his note titled Bretton Woods III
— We are witnessing the birth of Bretton Woods III – a new world (monetary) order centered around commodity-based currencies in the East that will likely weaken the euro-dollar system and also contribute to inflationary forces in the West.
— A crisis of commodities is unfolding. Here commodities are collateral, and collateral is money, and this crisis is about the rising allure of outside money over inside money. Bretton Woods II was built on inside money, and its foundations crumbled a week ago when the G7 seized Russia’s FX reserves.
— What we are seeing at the 50-year anniversary of the 1973 OPEC supply shock is something similar but substantially worse – the 2022 Russia supply shock, which isn’t driven by the supplier but the consumer.
— The pattern is concerning. It’s a buyers’ strike. Not a seller’s strike. Every crisis is about the core vs. the periphery, where someone, somehow must always provide a backstop – or an “outside spread”. If we are right, and if this is a “crisis of commodities” – a 2008 of sorts thematically, if not in terms of size or severity – who will provide the backstop? We see but only one entity: the PBoC [People’s Bank of China]!
— If China does not have enough storage capacity on the mainland, it will store Russian commodities on vessels floating on the seas, encumbering not balance sheet (the PBoC is funding all this by printing money) but shipping capacity, which, for the rest of the world, will also be inflationary.
— If you believe that the West can craft sanctions that maximise pain for Russia while minimising financial stability risks and price stability risks in the West, you could also believe in unicorns. When this crisis (and war) is over, the US dollar should be much weaker and, on the flipside, the renminbi much stronger, backed by a basket of commodities.
— From the Bretton Woods era (backed by gold bullion), to Bretton Woods II (backed by inside money, i.e. Treasuries with un-hedgeable confiscation risks), to Bretton Woods III (backed by outside money i.e. gold bullion and other commodities); After this war is over, “money” will never be the same again… …and Bitcoin (if it still exists then) will probably benefit from all this.
Guess what? The rest of the world won’t thank the US for this. And that lack of gratitude will form itself in the context of a new Bretton Woods III based on gold bullion and commodities.