2016: Onward Toward Disaster

by William Skink

Don’t let the calendar fool you. There will be nothing new in the coming year to change the economic, geopolitical and environmental trends leading us toward cataclysm.

Up North, as in the North Pole, a “freak storm” caused temperatures to be 50 degrees higher than usual, making it colder here in Montana than in the arctic. Add that to intense flooding in the midwest and a flurry of tornadoes and snow in Texas, one might wonder what more needs to happen to compel action.

If talk was tantamount to action, it would appear progress toward averting disaster is happening. But when one unpacks the rhetoric of, say, Democrat Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, the reality becomes depressingly clear. While Whitehouse bashes Republican climate deniers, he’s also doing this:

As the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak continues to spew into the air, Rhode Island’s small hamlet of Burrillvillle is now facing the chance to be the future site of such a catastrophe. With the help of a key Democratic Party endorsement and accession from labor union bosses who should know better, Rhode Island may soon host a fracked natural gas plant rather than the saner move of a sustainable electric plant.

2016 will likely be dominated by election year politics. Anything that happens, either domestically or abroad, will be filtered through the lens of America’s reality television show we might as well call Presidential Idol. Donald Trump’s numbers show no sign of weakening, which is great news for Democrats because they can focus on the Trump boogeyman instead of their own terrible candidate, Hillary Clinton.

But let’s not forget Donald is a scary racist fascist who says terrible things like this:

In my opinion, we’ve spent $4 trillion trying to topple various people that frankly, if they were there and if we could’ve spent that $4 trillion in the United States to fix our roads, our bridges, and all of the other problems; our airports and all of the other problems we’ve had, we would’ve been a lot better off. I can tell you that right now.

We have done a tremendous disservice, not only to Middle East, we’ve done a tremendous disservice to humanity. The people that have been killed, the people that have (been) wiped away, and for what? It’s not like we had victory.

It’s a mess. The Middle East is totally destabilized. A total and complete mess. I wish we had the $4 trillion or $5 trillion. I wish it were spent right here in the United States, on our schools, hospitals, roads, airports, and everything else that are all falling apart.

Man, that is some scary shit. So let’s elect the cackling Clinton who celebrates the sodomizing and execution of heads of state, right?

Economically, 2015 was terrible. Despite that reality, the Fed simply had to raise interest rates to maintain the illusion that it can responsibly manage monetary policy. The S&P 500 ended the year in the red, highlighting the reality that, throughout the economy, major indicators are once again (as they did in 2007) warning that the wheels are about to come off the bus.

Here is a term that could rear its ugly head in 2016: bail-in (because bail-out is like so totally 2008):

It has now been more than two and a half years since the Cyprus Steal, the first “bail-in” perpetrated in the Western world, occurred. Before reviewing the history of this newest financial atrocity, it is necessary to define the terms.

The term “bail-in” describes a scenario in which a bank confiscates private property to indemnify itself for losses it has suffered. A bail-in is a totally lawless theft of assets, as there is no principle of law (of any kind) that could authorize such a seizure of private property. And in fact, there are many principles of law that demonstrate the lawlessness at work here. As with much of the financial crime jargon, “bail-in” is simply another gibberish euphemism like “quantitative easing” or “derivatives.”

There was a chance at the beginning of Obama’s reign to address the criminal syndicate known as Wall Street, but that didn’t happen. Instead Obama brought in the criminals and explained that his administration was the only thing standing between them and the pitchforks. Anyone who thinks another corporate coddling Clinton will do a damn thing about these criminals is pathologically delusional.

Maybe 2016 will be the year we hit bottom as a nation and start the long, difficult path toward a sane and sustainable future.

Personally, I’m still holding out hope that aliens will descend to provide a cosmic intervention before we destroy the ability of our species to live on this planet because short of something miraculous like that happening, I don’t see how we will change course before it’s too late.

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About William Skink

I'm a poet and political cynic living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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10 Responses to 2016: Onward Toward Disaster

  1. “Instead Obama brought in the criminals …”

    I think quite the opposite is true. Before he was suggested to us as the next president (in 2004 no less), he was selected, and Wall Street has a large hand in the process.

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  2. JC says:

    Nothing short of a miraculous energy revolution — maybe easily built, cheap small scale cold fusion reactors — is going to keep the planet from depleting all of its hydrocarbon fuels before any serious alternative technologies are going to be promoted. The hydrocarbon lobby (including all Montana Dems who think it is ok to keep digging coal or expanding the Bakken) isn’t going to give anything but lip service to alternatives.

    But fear not. OPEC is losing control of the oil market and pricing:

    “As oil prices wallow near multi-year lows, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the new cartel controlling oil prices is not OPEC but world credit markets [banks]. From Saudi Arabia’s record $100 billion deficit to shale oil’s continuing reliance on cheap credit funding, it’s clear that no major oil producer or company in the world right now is economically self-sufficient based on oil revenues alone. This situation has left the flow of oil and the decision on when to stop pumping the increasingly tarnished black gold in the hands of banks rather than oil men.

    I think they call that going from the frying pan into the fire.

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    • JC says:

      I’ll leave the geopolitical ramifications of this to people’s imaginations for now. A new era of global robber barons is pretty much locking up all the leverage they need to…

      Like

  3. Big Swede says:

    Sustainable? Like a $20 Billion debt is sustainable?

    Like

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