The John James Newsletter No. <197>

John James Newsletter0

The John James Newsletter 197

16 September 2017

The population accepts the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding they remained sane

George Orwell

The White House is rapidly earning a reputation for chaos, mindless meandering, twittering the nation to death, failing in every effort to legislate its priorities on the budget, infrastructure, tax reform, health care, even the wall with Mexico. So far, it has demonstrated ineffectual and blundering leadership unmatched by any White House in our nation’s history, and it is increasingly ignored by the Congress that, itself, can’t do anything, either

Gordon Adams

History will be kind to me for I intend to write it

Winston Churchill

Science is telling us that impacts of global warming are now happening much more quickly than we anticipated …. I underestimated the risks

Sir Nicholas Stern

How long can the world’s biggest borrower remain the world’s biggest power?

Larry Summers

There are causes worth dying for, but none worth killing for

Albert Camus

Unchecked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernisations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity.  These failures of political leadership endanger every person on Earth

World Clock

We have three choices: Give up, give in or give it all you’ve got

Fire fighters code

US Debt Tops $20 Trillion for First Time; Jumps $317,645,000,000 in 1 Day

Late last week the debt ceiling crisis came to a temporary armistice as the government agreed once again to temporarily suspend the debt limit. Overnight, the national debt soared hundreds of billions of dollars as months of ‘unofficial’ borrowing made its way on to the official books. The national debt is now $20.1 trillion. That’s larger than the size of the entire US economy.  Four items – Social Security, Medicare, Military, and, interest on the debt – account for nearly 90% of all US government spending, while the national debt is growing much faster than the economy. History is full of examples of once-dominant civilizations crumbling under the weight of their rapidly-expanding debt, from the Ottoman Empire to the French monarchy in the 1700s.

Why Are US Universities Arming Themselves With Grenade Launchers? 

At least 117 colleges and universities felt they needed military gear and are now armed and armored. This is the state of higher education in the US.

Look Around: The Costs of Not Acting on Climate Are Adding Up Fast

From major hurricanes and flooding to droughts and fires, the refusal to accept the science of global warming is getting very expensive

What lies beneath: The dangers of understating climate risks

Today, despite the diplomatic triumph of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, debate around climate change policy has never been more dysfunctional, indeed Orwellian, particularly in Australia.

Read the full report – well worth it!

Human-induced climate change is an existential risk to human civilisation: an adverse outcome that would either annihilate intelligent life or permanently and drastically curtail its potential

Destabilizing Egypt; Ethiopia’s Nile River Dam

The dam, to be completed next year, will take 40% of the Nile River’s water every year for the next 5 years as it fills up. How is Egypi going to survive for the next 5 years without almost half the Nile’s water when the country is presently suffering serious water and hydroelectric shortages, never mind crippling inflation, growing hunger and a terrorist insurgency?

Venezuela Is About to Ditch the Dollar in Major Blow to US: Here’s Why It Matters

A theory advanced in William Clark’s Petrodollar Warfare – and largely ignored by the mainstream media – asserts that Washington-led interventions in the Middle East and beyond are fuelled by the fear for the US dollar if oil-exporting countries sell oil in alternative currencies. In 2000, Iraq announced it would no longer use US dollars to sell oil and adopted the euro instead. By February 2003 Iraq had netted a “handsome profit” after making this policy change – then the US invaded and immediately switched the sale of oil back to the US dollar.

China Readies Yuan-Priced Crude Oil Benchmark Backed By Gold

The world’s top oil importer, China, is preparing to launch a crude oil futures contract denominated in Chinese yuan and convertible into gold, potentially creating the most important Asian oil benchmark and allowing oil exporters to bypass US-dollar denominated benchmarks by trading in yuan

China sees new world order with oil benchmark backed by gold

Yuan-denominated contract will let exporters circumvent US sanctions by trading in yuan. To further entice trade, China says the yuan will be fully convertible into gold on exchanges in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Gold Trade Between Russia and China – A Step Closer Towards De-Dollarization?

Venezuela’s Maduro says will shun US dollar in favour of yuan

The oil-rich nation is undergoing a major economic and social crisis, with millions suffering food and medicine shortages and what is believed to be the world’s highest inflation.

Adani gets to work on 170MW solar farm in Queensland coal country

Indian energy giant Adani Group – the company behind controversial plans to develop Australia’s largest coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin – is set to begin work on the major solar plant it is building in the heart of Australian coal country: a 100-200MW affair south-west of Moranbah in Queensland’s Bowen Basin.

Turnbull’s energy obstructionism is Abbott’s climate denial revisited

There is a grim precedent for the Australian Coalition government’s decision to push for coal and ignore the majority of expert opinion by rejection of climate science. Like his predecessor Malcolm Turnbull is refusing to listen.

Our advice was pretty straight forward, we need dispatchability

“We need flexible capacity that can be switched on and off, and we need to transition to a new generation of Australia’s principal energy market. Our advice was fairly pragmatic, for we are concerned that on a 45°C day if we lose a generator (which is quite likely) we want reserves in the system to be able to respond.’

The Genocide Of The Rohingya: Big Oil, Failed Democracy And False Prophets

The rivalry over Burma’s unexploited wealth is at its peak. It is this wealth – and the need to undermine China’s superpower status in Asia – that has brought the west back, installed Aung San Suu Kyi as a leader in a country that has never fundamentally changed, but only rebranded itself to pave the road for the return of ‘Big Oil’. The Rohingya are paying the price.

Out Of Africa: Labor, Libs Help Oz Miners ‘Save’ A Continent And Destroy The World 

There are now more Australian mining corporations operating in Africa than from any other nation.  The most galling aspect is the wilful blindness both sides of politics to the impact of Australian mines on African communities. Not one of the leaders present at this week’s conference – Australian or African – will address the environmental or human rights abuses that are the stark and brazen elephant in the room.

British arms sales to repressive regimes soar to £5bn since election 

The huge rise is largely down to a rise in orders from Saudi Arabia, but many other countries with controversial human rights records – including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Venezuela and China – have also been major buyers.

Washington’s elite call Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner ‘irrelevant’ 

‘What is off-putting about them is they do not grasp their essential irrelevance… They think they are special’.  Their appointments were criticised as an unprecedented display of nepotism, yet the couple were seen by some liberals as a potentially moderating force in a strongly conservative White House.

Grenada – The invasion that drove North Korea to develop nuclear weapons

North Korea will never abandon its nuclear weapons program, because it believes that without it, nothing would deter an American invasion aimed at regime change. North Korea will not even establish a dialogue with the US if the Trump administration insists on Kim Jong Un dropping his nuclear weapons program.

North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests

Over 150 missile and nuclear tests since 1984. Over half since 2011 when Kim Jong-un came to power.

What We Saw in North Korea Goes against Everything Western Media Wants Us to Believe 

We visited a new 300 bed Children’s Hospital, across the road from Pyongyang’s Maternity Hospital. A boy was having a cranial CT scan with a German Siemen’s machine. That test, like all health services, is free and at state expense. But the new sanctions regime means they can no longer buy such machines or parts for them. North Koreans put a brave face on their self-reliance, and they do produce most of their essential medicines; but individual doctors expressed outrage.

The many, many times the world has come close to doomsday 

The Doomsday Clock rarely been closer to midnight than now. Earlier this year, the Board decided to move the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock 30 seconds closer to catastrophe”. At 21Ž2 minutes to midnight this is the closest our planet has been to annihilation since 1952.

New DNA Evidence Confirms Existence of Female Viking Warriors Hard Science

Iconic mid-10th century Swedish Viking Age grave in Birka proves that female Viking warriors existed, and that war for Vikings was not exclusive to men. Excavated in the 1880s, the remains and artefacts from the gave include the warrior and her two glorious steeds, a sword, armour-piercing arrows, and a complete set of gaming pieces with a board.

Taking on Murdoch Lies – sign the petition!

The Australian launched eight recent front page attacks against the GetUp movement, littered with errors, falsehoods and flat out lies.

. Falsely reporting that GetUp “organised” a petition against a doctor for her views on marriage equality; then using that falsehood to call us “political dictators” and “a thought police bully”.

. Sourcing a false Wikipedia entry (no kidding!) to further the right-wing conspiracy theory that GetUp received donations from overseas billionaire George Soros, who supports many progressive causes.

. Writing repeated stories about major donor funding from more than 12 years ago, while refusing to report that 97% of GetUp’s donations are under $100, from everyday people.

. In a classic “red scare” campaign, claiming GetUp took money from a “group linked to Soviets” 15 years after the Soviet Union ceased to exist.

It’s clear the Murdoch Press is ignoring the truth to weaken GetUp, and damage our ability to bring progressive change. Sign the petition!

UN slams Israel for ‘de-development’ of Palestine

New report reviews effects of Israel’s 50-year occupation of the Palestinian territories and settlement growth. “2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem; the longest occupation in recent history. For the Palestinian people, these were five decades of de-development, suppressed human potential and denial of the basic human right to development, with no end in sight.

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