Another note here, in what has been quite a string lately. Here I am again, and I’m talking about public affairs, to the exclusion of other things, as things swirl around to the point where it’s virtually impossible to keep up. So, then, part of the problem is, most people are not, and they are not even trying. They just can’t, or won’t, as the case may be. There are other things I need to do, and would like to do.
Many things are all wound together. One of the big news stories in recent days was the passage of the spending bill in Congress that some are calling the “Cromnibus” bill.
One item that at least managed to get attention is the item slipped in that was totally unrelated to the business at hand, a regular trick in the congressional games to weasel in some item in the middle of bill or resolution that most in Congress will not want to vote against, coercing people to vote for something they don’t want, that’s stuck into the thing they think they must vote to approve. In this case, one such item was language to disable a part of the supposed “financial reform” law of the Dodd-Frank Act (which was a corrupted farce to begin with), that tried to regulate the contrived monstrosities of financial derivatives, a major component of the “Financial Crisis” that some claim was over some time ago, and in reality never really ended, is still unresolved. The matter of derivatives is one huge glaring problem item that has never been cleared up.
Keep that in mind as we continue.
Now, while this is happening, we have people all excited because they see gasoline prices at local stations lower than they have been for quite a while. The reason for that is simple enough. Crude oil prices have dropped dramatically recently, pretty rapidly. Most people don’t seem to question that much, about how and why, what’s going on, and what effects this might have. Mention effects, and most people think it’s just great. They spend less on fuel, which is good, and they figure it’s good economic news in general, which is true in some ways for obvious reasons, less of a burden in fuel costs for everything where fuel costs are involved, which is just about everything, directly or indirectly, these days, here in the US.
The drop in crude oil prices escapes notice of many people in terms of what that does to the increasingly expensive oil extraction activities revolving around what people have been sold as an “oil boom” and “energy independence” and so on in all sorts of relentless PR propaganda. In short, that stuff is in trouble when oil price dives downward. With the continuing games in finance and all the incomprehensible complexity and interwoven and interacting deals and arrangements, and given that much of the “oil boom” extraction activities of fracking and tight oil deposits are said to be dependent of continuous debt financing streams and junk bonds and god knows what, it’s probably going to be, shall we say, interesting. Add to that the whole madness of financial derivatives, which seem to be just as much of a hidden train wreck in waiting, only this time, instead of the “housing boom” in the middle of it, it’s the “oil boom”.
What we hear in the usual news media is chatter about how these low oil prices are great for “consumers”, and the economy in general, just in time for “the American consumer” to run out and spend a truckload more money on crap nobody needs, while the diving oil prices are chattered about every day now in terms of bad it is for Russia, Venezuela, Iran, and anyplace else where there is a nation that exports oil, and, by the way, “we” don’t like. (Which really has nothing to do with us, we, the people, but rather who the people in power in Washington don’t like, because those countries seem remarkably uncooperative with the US neocon cult plans to rule the world.)
That “Cromnibus” spending resolution?
So there’s the next item, which is that, while everybody was distracted, Congress voted to pass an outrageous abomination. Another one, yes.
Anybody who has been reading here (both of you! Hi!) will be aware of the Ukrainian clusterfuck horror show and that what we keep being told about it here in the United States (and much of Europe, evidently) is nothing like what has actually been happening.
It’s typical of what passes for a representative body governing in what pretends to be a functioning democratic republic that the monstrosity in question is called the “Ukraine Freedom Support Act“, when “freedom”, anybody’s freedom, has no relevance to the thing, or anything related to it. It’s an Orwellian dose of euphemism.
If things were truthful, it would be called something like “support of a coup government putting Nazis in power in Europe for the first time since World War II overthrowing an elected government and its military operations of ethnic cleansing to eradicate Ukrainian civilians refusing to accept the coup government and overthrow of a democratically elected leader“. But that would be a bit unwieldy, and very awkward.
Feeling dizzy yet?
It’s quite a tangled mess, and virtually nothing about any of it is reported or discussed honestly and realistically in the general public realm, in “news”, in government leadership, in business.