What Are the Odds that the 2020-2022 Olympics Will Be Cancelled?

In the modern era (1896-present), the Olympics have only been cancelled in wartime: 1916 (World War I), 1940 and 1944 (World War II). But world war is not the only circumstance that could derail the Olympics; a global crisis in energy, finance or geopolitics could send the risks and costs of the Olympics beyond the reach of most participants.

The key to understanding the odds of an Olympic cancellation is Liebig’s Law of the Minimum, which states states that “growth is controlled not by the total amount of resources available, but by the scarcest resource.”

As I have outlined elsewhere, the three resources that will become increasingly scarce globally going forward are:

1. Geopolitical stability

2. Energy abundance (i.e. abundant and affordable to the bottom 95%)

3. Financial/currency stability

A global scarcity of any of these three could sink the Olympics in 2020 and 2022. I’ve discussed the geopolitical, financial and resource risks in four recent posts:

The Odds of a Global Food Crisis Are Rising

The Deep State’s Catch-22

Here’s Why Wages Have Stagnated–and Will Continue to Stagnate

The Ultimate Long Game: Autarky and Resilience

The current confidence that everything will remain stable for years to come is based on a misleading extrapolation of current trends. Just because the global status quo has managed to maintain a facade or normalcy for the past eight years does not mean the New Normal (central banks pumping $180 billion a month into the global financial system to keep it afloat) is identical with the pre-crisis Old Normal.
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U.S. Invades Syria, And Warns Russia

Eric Zuesse

On Monday, August 22nd, the United States government — which demands the overthrow of the internationally-recognized-as-legal government of Syria — officially announced that America’s military forces in Syria will continue to occupy Syrian land, no matter what the Syrian government says, and will shoot down any Syrian planes that fly over U.S. forces there and that attack them.

As reported on Monday by Al-Masdar News:

The Pentagon has announced that the USA is ready to down Syrian and Russian planes that they claim threaten American advisers who by international law are illegally operating in northern Syria.

On Friday, Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis claimed that US jets attempted to intercept Syrian planes to protect the American advisers operating illegally with Kurdish forces in Syria after Syrian government jets bombed areas of Hasakah when Kurdish police began an aggression against the National Defense Force.

On Monday, another Pentagon spokesman, Peter Cook, said, “We would continue to advise the Syrian regime to steer clear of those areas.”

“We are going to defend our people on the ground, and do what we need to defend them,” Cook told reporters. 

This means that the U.S. government will not allow the Syrian government to expel or otherwise eliminate U.S. forces in Syria. The Syrian government never invited U.S. forces into Syria, but the U.S. now officially dares the Syrian government to assert its sovereignty over the areas where America’s troops are located.

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Detroit Has Gone From Being The Greatest Manufacturing City In The World To A Global Joke

By Michael Snyder, the Economic Collapse Blog.

The Ruins Of Detroit - Photo by CsmcmIn 1960, the city of Detroit was the greatest manufacturing city that the world had ever seen.  Nearly two million people lived there, and it had the highest per capita income in the United States.  That may be hard to believe, because today it actually has one of the lowest per capita incomes of all of our major cities.  Over the decades more than a million people have left the city, and thousands of abandoned homes have been torn down.  But there are still tens of thousands of abandoned dwellings that remain standing, and some have sold for as little as one dollar in recent years.  Once Detroit was the envy of the entire planet, but now it has become a global joke and in other countries they love to do news stories about “the ruins of Detroit” to show how rapidly America is rotting and decaying.  Sadly, Detroit is far from alone, because there are other formerly great manufacturing cities that have declined just as fast as Detroit has.

Earlier today, I came across a video that contains footage that someone recently captured as they drove through the city of Detroit at night.  To say that the footage is disturbing would be a tremendous understatement

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Whirled Politics: Would you rather be Trumped or Pillaried?

By David Haggith, the Great Recession Blog.

By DonkeyHotey [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

I’ve never seen anything so surreal as the United States’ current political circus of unelectable and undelectable candidates offered as each party’s top of the crop. I can’t stop wondering if the Trump is Clinton’s decoy, gathering all the Republiducks into one place so the Democats can slaughter them. Yet, as surely as Trump looks like he’s trying to throw the election, Hillary looks like she’s going to fall over unconscious from a brain aneurysm on the dawn of election day … or on midnight after the votes are in and counted, depending on which conspiracy you like best.

Equally weird is the certain fact that the Democrat’s Chosen One was assured her party’s worship through inside engineering. I’m not surprised such maneuvering happens inside political parties but that, after it came fully into the open, Hillary seems more likely to win.

That she was able to take the Democrat who was most to blame (and who resigned because of it) and raise her quite publicly and immediately to the top of her campaign goes to show how voters believe this is just the way party politics works all the time. Hillary made that move openly, knowing that most people in her party couldn’t care less about such things. She even got a big bump in popularity after the move. That’s how little such shenanigans mattered to her supporters.

By DonkeyHotey [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By DonkeyHotey [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Our Society Is Sick, Our Economy Exploitive and our Politics Corrupt

In noting that our society is sick, our economy exploitive and our politics corrupt, I’m not saying anything you didn’t already know. Everyone who isn’t being paid to deny the obvious in public (while fuming helplessly about the phony cheerleading in private) knows that our society is a layer-cake of pathologies, our economy little more than institutionalized racketeering and our politics a corrupt auction-house of pay-for-play, influence-peddling, money-grubbing and brazen pandering for votes.

The fantasy promoted by do-gooders and PR hacks alike is that this corrupt system can be reformed with a few minor policy tweaks. If you want a brief but thorough explanation of Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform, please take a look at my book (link above).

If you want an example of how the status quo has failed and is beyond reform, it’s instructive to examine the pharmaceutical industry, which includes biotech corporations, specialty pharmaceutical firms and the global corporate giants known as Big Pharma.

I hope it won’t come as too great a surprise that the pharmaceutical industry isn’t about cures or helping needy people–it’s about profits. As a Big Pharma CEO reported in a brief moment of truthfulness, We’re in Business of Shareholder Profit, Not Helping the Sick
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As Predicted, Obamacare Is Absolutely Killing The Middle Class

By Michael Snyder, the Economic Collapse Blog.

Obamacare Frustration - Public DomainThe critics of Obamacare have been proven right.  The Obama administration promised that health insurance premiums would go down.  Instead, they have absolutely skyrocketed.  The Obama administration promised that Obamacare would not kill jobs.  Instead, firms are hiring fewer workers because of suffocating health care costs.  As you will see below, even the Federal Reserve is admitting this.  The Obama administration also promised that the big health insurance companies would love the new Obamacare plans and would eagerly compete with one another to win customers in the new health insurance marketplaces.  Instead, many of the big health insurance companies are now dropping Obamacare plans altogether.

We witnessed the latest stunning example of this phenomenon just a few days ago.  It turns out that Aetna has been losing hundreds of millions of dollars on plans sold through the health exchanges, and now they plan to pull out of the program almost entirely

Earlier this week, Aetna, which covers about 900,000 people through the health exchanges created under Obamacare, announced that it would dramatically reduce its presence those exchanges. Instead of expanding into five new states this year, as the insurer had previously planned, the company said that it would drop out of 11 of the 15 states in which it currently sells under the law.

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More About a U.S.-and-Allied Hoax Against Assad

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 10.01.02 AM

UPDATE OF: U.S. Gov’t. Refused U.S. Entry to Jihadist It Employs for Overthrowing Assad

Eric Zuesse, updated from his original post at strategic-culture.org

On August 18th, the terrific “Moon of Alabama” blogger posted his brilliant exposé of an operation that the U.S. and its allies support and are lobbying to win the Nobel Peace Prize, but that’s really just a group of people who help Syria’s anti-Assad jihadists by medicating their injured jihadists, and by carrying off and disposing of the jihadists’ victims’ corpses. The headline is “The ‘Wounded Boy In Orange Seat’ — Another Staged ‘White Helmets’ Stunt”. This story concerns staged (faked) photos by that Western-funded-and-backed jihadist organization — photos which have prominently been spread in Western ‘news’ media (and here’s an example of that Western propaganda on August 20th, from NPR’s sanctimonious sucker Scott Simon, quoting the New York Times’s sanctimonious sucker Nick Kristof, both of them suckers of their own government’s hoax, and passing it on to their fools who trust their deceived and propagandistic ‘reporting’). It’s all being done in order to fool Western publics to support their governments’ financial and military assistance to (actually) the jihadists who have been imported by the U.S. and allied governments into Syria to overthrow Assad, who is supported by the majority of Syrians, while the United States and the jihadists it backs are despised by 82% of Syrians. They’re imported to conquer land there, and to help bring down the Assad government and to replace the existing secular Syrian government with a ‘pro-Western’ government run by ‘our’ jihadists, who (unlike the secular government of Bashar al-Assad) will allow the fundamentalist-Islamic royal families who own Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to pipeline through Syria into the European Union, their oil and gas, so as to supplant Russia’s oil and gas in Europe — the biggest-of-all energy-market.

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