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Keeping Both Eyes Open As The West Stumbles Into A Chaotic Brave New World

Updated: 2018-03-17T06:36:08.109-06:00




For my U.S. readers - go vote tomorrow. Do it. That is all.

The Biggest FU in Recorded History


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Michael Moore is actually listening. Color me stunned. We'll see if the Donald will actually pull it off, but as I keep saying - the rage is real. Trump doesn't have "support" so much as he is seen as a way to blow up the necrotic hand of corruption and oppression that has strangled Deplorable Country for decades.

Mood matters.

Is There an Economically Sustainable Price for Oil?


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Here is a quick hit for you from Chris Martenson and Gail Tverberg.

Some thoughts to ponder while watching the video:
  1. Keep in mind the demand levels and flows are based on an assumption of continuing to "do business as usual" in terms of the civilian transport. How does the equation change if rationing were imposed to limit fuels for civilian transport, while keeping fewer limits on things like fuels used for agriculture or military purposes, say in the wake of a badly managed war that left the US with a restricted ability to import petroleum?
  2. If you disagree with the premise and think a high oil and gasoline/diesel price is sustainable - and thus able to drive the incentives most economists think exist to substitute alternative fuels for transport - how does that play out for the lower 50% of the economy?
  3. If the answer to question 2 is "badly" - how many men and women in that lower tranche of the economy have served in the military and are conversant in urban counter-terrorism operations from their time in Afghanistan or Iraq?
  4. If we take the premise as reasonably accurate, how will your area of the country fare if/when shortages or restrictions on fuels availability affect you?
  5. How fast can local economies shift back towards less-intensive fuel use patterns, say on the order of 1950? Or 1930?
We talked to some of this in Catastrophic Abundance as well. Dust off your scenario planning skills, friends. Methinks time is short.

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The Curtain Falls?


allowfullscreen="" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="" frameborder="0" height="266" src="" width="320">The EndLong silence on this end. Partially due to the pressures of life. Partially due to the fact that all the things we've discussed for years here at FutureJacked are coming to life. All this planning is no longer an academic exercise.Let's take a look over the landscape.The KingdomWhat's been our Rule #1 for most of 2016? That's right, look to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the bellwether for what is to come.SASEIDX for 18 October 2016 via BloombergHere are a selection of stories worth your time if you have not already seen them:Saudi Bank Stress Builds as Cash Injection Falls ShortIndebted Saudi Construction Sector "Piles Pressure on Banks"Saudi Firm Tells Staff to Forget Owed Pay if They Want Passports BackUnpaid Hospital Staff on Labor Strike in Saudi Arabia I won't even go into the war in Yemen as it is a bloody mess of conflicting interests and disinformation. Just know that the Saudis have a real fight on their hands and the Iranians are happy to keep them focused on the Houthis.Before the Kingdom falls, you might make sure you have a plan in place for high gas prices or even shortages...RussiaHere is another area rife with misinformation, lies, truth, anger, historical grievances, political pandering, and bullshit. I'll re-state a few things I've said in the past before moving ahead:Putin is a bad manThe Russia of 2016 is not the Soviet Union of 1986Russia has interests in having influence in territories close to its bordersRussia sees a value in pushing back on the globalist/banker/Anglo-US world system as it regards being plugged into that system as equivalent to allowing the West to loot her natural resources and keep her as a vassal state (my interpretation and pretty much what Russia was under Yeltsin)The Russians have been able to change the calculus in Syria and Ukraine, so far without tipping it into a shooting war with the US, NATO, et alJust because I can acknowledge that the Russian state sees itself as having legitimate interests in Ukraine, Syria, etc. (much as the US has interests in Canada, Mexico, and Cuba) does not mean I am a Russian apologist. I am looking at this from the point of view that the West seems to be talking itself into a war with Russia (and potentially China) and that in my opinion we are not ready for such a war (see the F-35 and the USS Ford)In short, I do not buy the narrative being shoved down the throats of anyone who consumes US media - whether as part of the Presidential campaign or as part of coverage of foreign events. In my opinion, we are seeing the curtain call of not just the neo-liberal consensus in place since the 1980's, but the post-WWII architecture of the West. This set of realities seems to be driving the Western elites insane. And I am not kidding around. Look at not just the rhetoric, but the policy implementation, the corruption (not just the defense corruption - which is going to wind up killing a lot of US soldiers, sailors, and airmen - but the political corruption in which a certain Foundation stands as a shining example of pay-to-play and utter lawlessness). This is has the stench of an end-game about it.If Russia thinks that President Clinton (v2.0) and the neo-cons who make up a big part of her foreign policy brain trust are staging to roll back the Bear in Ukraine, Syria, etc. then this could go from proxy war to hot war quickly.For my review of Russian war planning policy as it relates to nuclear weapons, please re-read Nuclear Weapons and Social Mood. The idea of using a nuclear strike to "warn" an opponent to back off was looked at in the 1970's, with a general assumption that limited use will almost certainly evolve into a full-blown nuclear exchange. Just sayin'.Why do I think this is something to actively worry about and prepare for? The Rus[...]

What Will You Do in Post-Coup America?


USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll 28 July 2016On July 19, 2016, The Los Angeles Times, a highly credible and influential U.S. News organization, published the following Op-Ed by James Kirchik, entitled If Trump Wins, A Coup Isn't Impossible Here in the U.S. If you haven't, please take time to read it. There will be nothing new in it if you've been following the election via the twitter feeds and articles from America's formidable array of highly credentialed and well-regarded media establishment. It's not the content, but the framing I want to draw your attention to. You have a prominent media figure floating a trial balloon in the sort of "I'm not sayin', but I'm just sayin'..." style that you see when someone under intense stress is talking themselves into doing something very challenging and very life-altering. Imagine for a moment a major U.S. news organization publishing such a thing in 2008, positing such an event if Obama were to beat McCain...Next, please dip your toe into the media circus that erupted after The Donald made the following statements during one of his many strolls he continues to make through the head-space of the Democratic National Convention and HRC's campaign - a palace in which he lives rent-free: "Russia, if you're listening,I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing; I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."This generated the kind of response The Donald planned on - an enormous firestorm of outrage and accusations Trump was a Putin's best buddy and all but on his payroll. It also kept the story about slipshod cyber-security practices on the part of HRC and the DNC out in front of the media, in the midst of the Democratic National Convention. The DNC is nothing if not predictable. HRC's campaign staff is nothing if not easily manipulated and continues to play a "me-too" reactive game with The Donald. And Trump is is nothing if not highly tactically skilled at pushing the right buttons to elicit a response.Next came howls that Trump is being propelled by those who do not trust HRC and regard The Donald as the "lesser evil" or that plan to vote Third Party as a way of avoiding voting her in. Again, flat out wrong. Channeling John Michael Greer on this topic, I would say again, the elites are missing this one completely. The strength of Bernie Sanders should have shown them the real answer - we popped the seal on this whole back-and-forth of "lesser evils" that shaped elections from 1988 through 2012. Voters haven't been grudgingly deciding to vote for Trump or Bernie - they've been actively excited. They have visions that something new is possible or at least that they can burn this sucker to the ground and rebuild on the ashes. (Note - this is not me, as I huddle here in the corner of the basement at FutureJacked Headquarters, saying either vision would "work" or be better, I'm just saying both candidates in their own way have changed what voters see as possible.)And then we have the stories which have followed the Russia-related comments that began to line up under the same conceptual banner - that Trump is a Russian-loving traitor and a next-generation Manchurian Candidate:Democrats Accuse Trump of Disloyalty Over Clinton EmailsIs Trump a Manchurian Candidate? Or Maybe the 1919 White Sox? Democrats Question "Loyalty to US" of "Treasonous, Traitor" Trump(As an aside, for those of you alive during the last decade or so of the Cold War, feast on this - vast swaths of major media outlets and credible journalists are accusing a Republican presidential candidate of being pro-Russkie and a Russian mole. May you live in interesting times indeed...)These articles aren't being posted on These articles are on CNN, CNBC, the Washington Post, and other mainstays of the information establishment. Dwell on that a moment and then let's wonder if The Donald has been too clever by half. What if his insurgency and the rhetoric he is using [...]

FOREX Free Week from EWI


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The Cost of Disruption Continues to Collapse


The Disruption by CAVARTWORKSOne of the themes we continue to harp upon here at FutureJacked is that the settled and orderly life (and the systems set up to support that orderly existence) that so many (not all, but many) in the Western Industrial World have enjoyed for decades is coming unraveled as the foundations upon which it was built upon wash away under the changing tides of net negative social mood and a shift in technology allowing small groups to wield significant power to destroy.The Old World, built as it was during an era of intensely positive social mood, governed by bureaucracies that were at least moderately efficient in not killing the goose that lays the golden eggs of good jobs and stable investment environments, and leveraging technologies of violence that tilted in favor of large-scale organizations (generally the thesis described in brief in Catastrophic Abundance) is dead. The vast majority just have not woken up to that fact. When they do, they will look around see a world with its infrastructure all laid out in nice, shiny, easily disrupted locations because of the assumptions made back in an era of peace and trust.As mood continues to darken, things like this will continue to intrude on the psyche of that majority, reinforcing the downturn:Threatening Robo-Calls Evacuate Thousands of Students in U.S., U.K. SchoolsThousands of students in several dozen schools across the United States and Great Britain were evacuated Monday after what appeared to be coordinated recorded threats of violence were called in, according to news reports and law enforcement officials who spoke to NBC News...The formal response modern institutions are locked into guarantees widespread disruption at the most minor of perceived threats. It's as if society has an auto-immune disease and the slightest trigger can set off a cascading set of costly, disruptive, and time-consuming responses. And this particular incident didn't even involve a bomb or a gun. Imagine the disruption ramped up from here if a pipe bomb (even a fake one) had been planted as part of this Op...John Robb has done a lot of work in this space over the years and you should be following his stuff.But don't just read and think about it. There's more than sufficient evidence out there right now for you to realize you must - must - become more resilient. Grow a garden, have a little extra food on hand. Know what to do if the power goes out for four days, know your neighbors. Life is going to get much more unsettled in the coming decades. Act now to prepare so you are not caught like a deer in the headlights when things go off-script. [...]

Threat Board May 2016


Crumble Canyon by Clay BrooksIn my last post, I mentioned I'd be hashing out some thoughts on structures to help us navigate the storm building up all around us. It's proving tougher than I thought. More to come and we may just muddle through it together.In the meantime, we need to give another look at our threat board. Rule #1: Check the Saudi Stock MarketI cannot continue to stress this enough - check the trend of the Saudi stock market (SASEIDX). Here is the one-year chart for perspective:SASEIDX, BloombergThey continue to hold the line, but take a look at it from the perspective of the 5 year chart and you'll see what looks to me to be an unhealthy pattern. For you technical analysts out there, especially those who use the Elliott Wave toolkit, chart your own waves or have EWI do it for you and make up your own mind, but considering this news tidbit from Bloomberg today, looks like the "fundamentals" are beginning to reflect the chart:Saudi Arabia Considers Paying Contractors With IOUsSaudi Arabia has told banks in the country that it is considering giving contractors IOUs to settle some outstanding bills, according to people with knowledge of the discussions.A projected budget deficit this year is prompting the government to weigh alternatives to limit spending. Contractors would receive bond-like instruments to cover the amount they are owed by the state which they could hold until maturity or sell on to banks, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.Contractors have received some payments from the government in cash and the rest could come in "I-owe-you" notes, the people said...I'll just leave that there for you to ponder. If you've ever had cash flow challenges, whether with your personal budget or in running a business, you know what this means.As goes the Kingdom, so goes the Middle East. The Russian Nuclear BogeymanPutin is a bad man. Noted. But the absolutely mad rush by the Western elites to set Russia up as the next Great Satan is, in my mind, absolutely antithetical to US national interest and, frankly, the main interests of the major Western Powers, such as they are today.Recently, we have a former UK general talking about how we are likely to see nuclear war with Russia in the near future.  This is on the heels of countless other articles churned out the various think tanks, policy offices, and government agencies, all equating Russia's attempts to re-assert her primacy in what she calls the Near Abroad to the full-court press of the old Soviet Union.Russia is not the USSR. The idea you would expect Russia to quietly fold itself into a world system run by corporate chieftains and bankers whose brilliance was laid bare for all to see 2007-2008 and be pleased with march of NATO to within a few hundred kilometers of St. Petersburg is to misread Russian psychology and history with a level of mendacity not seen since the senility of the Spanish Empire. But you know what, our elites are just the men and women for that job.My analogy continues to be, what would the US response be to China toppling the governments of Mexico and Canada, and installing their own puppet regimes there?Somehow, the Western elites have managed to craft a policy that has aligned Russia with the radical Islamists in Iran and the Chinese. In a world where we should be aligned with Russia to face growing threats out of the Middle East and as a bulwark against he rise of China, we instead have actively worked to isolate her and drive her into the arms of our enemies.Sadly, the worst part is, I actually agree with General Shirreffs from the article above - we very well may see a nuclear war with Russia. A war that even now is completely preventable. That was one of the driving reasons I wrote Nuclear Emergencies - we could very well see it within the next ten years.Ranting aside, when analyzing the[...]

Europe: Why It's Going to Get a Lot Worse Before It Gets Better


(Interview) Don't Be Fooled: News Does NOT Drive the Markets

See a fresh example in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index

By Elliott Wave International

Mark Galasiewski, the editor of our monthly Asian-Pacific Financial Forecast, explains how using the news to predict the markets is "meaningless."

You can read Brian's commentary comparing Germany to the Greek god Atlas as part of our report, Deflation and the Devaluation Derby.

Here's what you will learn:

  • How Europe's biggest economies are screeching to a halt
  • Currency devaluation's role in the developing global crisis
  • How the self-reinforcing aspect of deflation is already apparent in commodities trading
  • Why the top 1% of earners are in for a rude awakening
  • The hair-raising future for U.S. stocks

Just recall how swiftly the 2007-2009 financial crisis unfolded. We anticipate that the next global financial crisis could be even more sudden and severe.

Prepare now with our new report, Deflation and the Devaluation Derby.


This article was syndicated by Elliott Wave International and was originally published under the headline (Interview, 4:32 min.) Europe: Why It's Going to Get a Lot Worse Before It Gets Better. EWI is the world's largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts led by Chartered Market Technician Robert Prechter provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.

Socionomic Trendspotting for 2016


2016 is already shaping up to be quite a show. Let's pick out some of the major themes which have been developing and see what socionomics has to tell us about them.Nuclear TestingSocionomics has long looked to nuclear weapons tests as a marker for social mood. It is my opinion that they are even more important as a mood marker now than in the past, as the major proof-of-principle and development tests have been completed for a variety of weapons systems by the major nuclear powers. Any full-blown nuclear tests by an established nuclear power would be part of a larger geopolitical struggle or messaging than a strictly technical test.Other powers seeking nuclear weapons might be expected to continue limited testing. What's quite interesting is that North Korea led the year off with the detonation of what they claimed was a hydrogen bomb at their test facility at Punggye-ri (sometimes referred to as P'unggye-yok).First, a quick detour. Their claims that they set off a hydrogen bomb have largely been derided. It is almost certain they did detonate a nuclear weapon of some sort. I find it highly unlikely they have been able to construct a classic hydrogen bomb due to issues of complexity as well as the need for specialty items and substances required to make such a device work. That said, it is plausible that North Korea did test a device that utilized fusion as part of a primarily fission weapon. This is known as a "boosted weapon" and in short, it means a nuclear warhead based on fission (much like the weapons detonated at Hiroshima and Nagasaki), but laced with materials which, when subjected to the intense energy of a nuclear explosion, also fuse, adding even more power to the blast.Details aside, what I wish to draw your attention to is the use of nuclear tests as socionomic markers. I propose you keep the following list of what I regard as ranking potential nuclear tests in mind as we navigate 2016:Baby BearNorth Korean nuclear tests do correlate with other negative mood indicators, but in my opinion should not be solely relied upon. North Korea has other factors it is dealing with - including a still relatively new leader as well as tensions with not only the US and South Korea, but China, Russia, and Japan. A one-off nuclear test of North Korea should be noted, but such an event does not necessarily correlate with intense levels of negative mood outside of the region.Momma BearThe next level up in concern would be any test or tests by Pakistan or India. These are regional rivals who have fought a number of wars since the middle of the last century. A weapons test by one, the other, or both, should be noted with alarm and taken in the context of any other geopolitical situations. These would be, in my opinion, markers of not only regional negative mood, but potentially a negative mood marker for the larger world system.Poppa BearThe last time Russia tested a nuclear weapon was 1990, when it was still part of the Soviet Union. The last US test was in 1992. The last UK test was 1991, and China and France conducted their last tests in 1996.Were one or more of the Big 5 to test a nuclear weapon I would regard this as an intensely negative mood marker. As stated earlier, while there are plenty of engineers and physicists in these countries' weapons programs who want to test to confirm the weapons would still behave as expected, political considerations to refrain from testing overwhelm this desire - currently. Should a country such as Russia conduct an underground test, consider it not only a "message" to the West, but as a flashing negative socionomic indicator.Charts to WatchSASEIDX - BloombergCheck the Saudi index every week. I cannot stress this enough. Should the House of Saud go the way of the Bourbons, then the conflict we see in Syria will be little more than a warm-up for [...]

Pulling Another Brick from the Wall


Wall CollapseThe little things build up.We've had a year in the United States where the fabric of civil society continued to unravel in many public ways. Much of the expressions of this unraveling continued to match up with how socionomics describes negative mood eras. From campus protests, to the Black Lives Matter movement, to a deepening divide among partisans of the two main political parties, to the Donald Trump phenomenon - it looked and sounded like a country in the grip of negative mood. The DJIA managed to start the year at around 17,800 and finish around 17,500, and though that change doesn't look like much, it encompassed a year where we swung from 18,351 to 15,651 and back again.While I'll save my projections for 2016 for a later post, I did want to draw your attention to an issue that is getting some press and which I think matters deeply for reasons beyond the headlines. I want you to think a bit about the fact that the United States is on the cusp of withdrawing recognition of the identification documents issued by a handful of states which make up the Union.As Ars Tehcnica put it:TSA may soon stop accepting drivers’ licenses from nine statesThe citizens of several US states may soon find that they can't use their drivers' licenses to get into federal facilities or even board planes.Enforcement of a 2005 federal law that sets identification standards, known as "Real ID," has been long-delayed. But now Department of Homeland Security officials say enforcement is imminent. The "Real ID" law requires states to implement certain security features before they issue IDs and verify the legal residency of anyone to whom they issue an ID card. The statute is in part a response to the suggestion of the 9/11 Commission, which noted that four of the 19 hijackers used state-issued ID cards to board planes......The law was originally scheduled to go into effect in 2008 but was subject to repeated delays. In recent months, DHS has been telling states those delays are over and that the law will be implemented in 2016. However, any restrictions on air travel won't go into place without at least 120 days' notice, and no state has received such a notice yet. In several states, however, restrictions on entering federal buildings could kick in as early as January 10... The latest list (as of 31 December 2015) from the DHS has the following states shown as non-compliant and subject to enforcement as of January 10, 2016:IllinoisMissouriNew MexicoWashingtonMany articles address the initial concerns for people who hold ID cards from these states. The main issue on most people's minds is that they won't be able to be used as an ID to get past TSA for air travel. It also means they won't be able to get into federal facilities using their valid driver's license to boot.We'll see how it works out in practice, but let's also think beyond the hassle factor and the clown show way popular media will deal with it (on the one hand, crazy state level conspiracy nuts won't abide by a sane law passed for our own good - on the other hand, this is yet another federal overreach and unfunded mandate put to the states with no real positive outcome other than an expansion of Big Guvmint). Socionomics tells us to expect anger and separatism in negative mood eras. Now imagine setting up lines at airports where Americans from non-compliant states need a passport to travel internally (via airlines) or are treated for all intents and purposes as foreign nationals before they can visit federal facilities. How is that going to play? Some of us with day jobs in one of the non-compliant states listed above who have to travel to D.C. on occasion to work with regulators are wondering just how we are supposed to meet with the feds if we [...]

Risk ON? Risk OFF?


While I am still cooking some longer posts that will go in-depth on some of the macro-level issues that a negative Socionomic mood era can produce, I'd like to share the following from EWI.

As usual, I regard a lot of what they produce as not only interesting, but actionable.

- - -

Here is the opening paragraph of the just-published, subscriber-level report from our friends at Elliott Wave International, the world's largest independent financial forecasting firm.
[We have] been tracking a steady global shift to greater financial conservatism over the last 18 months. As we noted in October, the long duration of the transition from a "risk on" to a "risk off" attitude suggests that the next decline will "go deeper and last longer than that of 2007-2009," which was the biggest bear market since the Great Depression. The relationship between the MSCI Emerging Markets Index and the MSCI World Index on this chart shows a trend away from risk that will gradually ...
Now, I'm sorry, but I have to cut it off there, because the next part shares EWI's big-picture forecast, typically reserved for paying subscribers (but we have arranged for you for free at this link).
EWI's subscribers pay $59 per month to read insights like these and others, so they would string me up if I copied and pasted them right here into this email. But for the next week only, you can read their urgent new report in full, 100% free. It will be on your screen in about one minute.

Follow this link to unlock the rest of this report now -- free this week only >>

About the Publisher, Elliott Wave International
Founded in 1979 by Robert R. Prechter Jr., Elliott Wave International (EWI) is the world's largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.

Nuclear Strike of the Month (December 2015): Target Dabiq


Daesh and the Apocalyptic Battle at DabiqNote on the Nuclear Strike of the Month Series: In this series I want to illustrate various ways attacks using nuclear weapons can play out.  I will be using Dr. Alex Wellerstein's online NUKEMAP tool to generate the estimates of the blast and follow-on effects and we'll be turning to concepts found in Nuclear Emergencies to help evaluate consequences.My rationale is to show a wide range of nuclear attack scenarios short of all-out thermonuclear war. The idea is to give readers a feel for the destructive power of nuclear weapons, provide scenarios as thought experiments for your own planning, and to discuss what nuclear weapons can and (sometimes more importantly) what nuclear weapons can't do.For a variety of reasons, it is my opinion we will see nuclear weapons used in warfare sometime between now and 2030. We might as well brush up on the basics. Nuclear Strike of the Month:  DabiqThis scenario takes Daesh at its word and envisions a battle centering on the town of Dabiq. In this scenario, Daesh forces have assembled in the area for a major showdown with the forces of "Rome".  In this instance, one or more of the nuclear powers involved in the conflict in "Syria" and "Iraq" come to the conclusion that detonating a nuclear warhead over the site is warranted.In this scenario we are making an assumption that the various players in the multi-sided conflict in "Syria" and "Iraq" actually want to see Daesh defeated, or at least the nuclear powers have decided it is time. The ScenarioAfter taking Aleppo, Russian and Syrian forces loyal to Assad shifted focus to the south, rolling up various groups while holding a line extending to Raqqa. A new U.S. administration backs away from its support for the proposed Qatari pipeline through Syria and begins aiding Iraqi and Iranian-backed forces in Iraq substantially as well as coordinating closely with Russian forces, leading to a slaughter in Ramadi and a bloodbath in Mosul, which puts Daesh on the run.The roll-up of Daesh continued up and until the fall of Raqqa. Where an historic photo captures a U.S. Special Forces officer shaking hands with a Russian Spetznas officer over the dead body of an ISIS commander. Daesh forces retreat for a death-or-glory battle in Dabiq. In addition, sleeper cells in Russia, the U.S., the U.K., and France, conduct a series of near-simultaneous terrorist strikes against soft targets. Shopping malls, football stadiums, markets, and tourist hotels are targeted. The deaths number in the thousands.The Attack After joint consultation between the leaders of the four countries, including observers from China and India, the United States launches an SLBM armed with a W88 warhead and detonates it over Dabiq. Air Burst Over DabiqNot much to see in terms of this kind of attack modeling. The destruction would be vast. An air burst would allow for forces to move in post-detonation, though one would expect to give it a week or so just to minimize contamination.For an alternative view, here is what the detonation footprint and fallout pattern look like for a ground burst:Ground Burst at DabiqGround Burst at Dabiq, regional viewAs a ground burst would foul the headwaters of the Euphrates as well as deposit radionuclides in lakes and reservoirs Turkey depends upon, one would need to be very angry with Turkey (and Iraq to a degree) to contemplate a ground burst here. The AftermathI'll let you think about what an attack on what, to some of the Salafists, is the equivalent of Megiddo (that is, Armageddon) in their world view. The potential blowback in places like Saudi Arabia or Turkey could be immense. Thoughts and PlansMy thoughts on t[...]

Poking the Bear


Russian Plane Shot Down by Turkish F-16s

As I am sure any reader of FutureJacked is already well aware of, Turkish F-16s have shot down a Russian Su-24 fighter jet. They claim the Russian jet invaded Turkish airspace. The Russians disagree.

Take this opportunity to recall historical moments have a way of snowballing out of control during negative mood eras. The power play going on in Syria and Iraq has pulled in every major power on the planet except India.

Take time out to review your situation. If war - real war - comes, expect to see strict capital controls, a lockdown on social media and internet platforms, dislocations across all sorts of economic and service sectors (especially if China decided to halt certain exports, say of rare earths and other key components to the West), a potential spike in oil if critical refineries and transport nodes in the Middle East were hit.

Should this really mark the beginning of a downward spiral to a nuclear exchange, take time to review the Nuclear Strike of the Month series and wargame your current preparations.

While I'm not convinced this is the trigger to a global war, history can move at absurd speed when the proper conditions are in place.

Be prepared, friends. If you aren't prepared - get there.

Automation, Jobs, and What Comes Next


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In my recent post, Your Greatest Enemy, I emphasized the idea that as our current system continues to fly apart, being able to think creatively about how to handle this new environment will be critical. In that spirit, give a listen to Charles Hugh Smith and Chris Martenson in this excellent talk about automation, jobs, finance, and how might we go about building a new system of work, community, and governance - or at least thinking about it - before the final implosion hits us.

Nuclear Strike of the Month (November 2015): Target The Day After


The Day After (1983)Note on the Nuclear Strike of the Month Series: In this series I want to illustrate various ways attacks using nuclear weapons can play out.  I will be using Dr. Alex Wellerstein's online NUKEMAP tool to generate the estimates of the blast and follow-on effects and we'll be turning to concepts found in Nuclear Emergencies to help evaluate consequences.My rationale is to show a wide range of nuclear attack scenarios short of all-out thermonuclear war. The idea is to give readers a feel for the destructive power of nuclear weapons, provide scenarios as thought experiments for your own planning, and to discuss what nuclear weapons can and (sometimes more importantly) what nuclear weapons can't do.For a variety of reasons, it is my opinion we will see nuclear weapons used in warfare sometime between now and 2030. We might as well brush up on the basics. Nuclear Strike of the Month:  The Day After This month we will pick up where the other Nuclear Strike of the Month scenarios left off - the day after the detonation. We'll focus more on the "Thoughts and Plans" section rather than the attack scenario this time.I am shamelessly pulling the title from the 1983 TV Movie of the same name. I recall watching it as a young teenager in complete horrified fascination. If you find yourself with a few hours to kill, it is well worth your time to watch, if nothing else than for a snapshot of the way sociopolitical issues around nuclear war were being communicated in the early 1980's : allowfullscreen="" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="" frameborder="0" height="266" src="" width="320">The ScenarioIn keeping with the spirit of the TV Movie, this scenario will begin with a strategic nuclear strike on Kansas City. We will then discuss not so much the attack itself, but what steps might you have been able to take prior to the attack and what survivors on the ground would face in the aftermath.Any attack like the one envisioned here would almost certainly be part of a much larger series of strategic attacks on the United States (and we should assume, a significant retaliatory strike upon the country. I'm using nominal yields of 1 MT for the attacks. The AttackKansas City was struck across the entire metro area. The Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail yards, the downtown airport, and the bridges over the Missouri River were primary targets. To the north, the Kansas City International Airport was hit as well. To the south, the National Nuclear Security Administration's National Security Campus (known better as the Kansas City Plant), where non-nuclear components of nuclear weapons packages are fabricated, was another target, receiving a groundburst, in an attempt to destroy any subterranean facilities.NOTE: The permanent link to the attack scenario in NUKEMAP for some reason resets all the attacks as groundbursts, so if you follow the link and see the extra fallout paths, along with less (initial) casualties, it is an artifact of the program. Feel free to tinker with the scenario as you see fit.Four nuclear detonations over Kansas City, Missouri (1 MT each)The AftermathThe estimated death toll is just under 800,000 dead immediately, around a quarter-million injured - and this leaves out the further effects of radiation sickness from either the initial blast or from ingesting fallout, nor does it address hunger and thirst. As a reminder, here are what the color codes mean for the blast effects:And the effects of the fallout:The effects on i[...]

Socionomics and Marijuana Legalization


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As we continue to try and map the channels down which this new era of negative mood is going to flow, I suggest you set aside some time to watch the above video courtesy of the Socionomics Institute.

I think this issue encapsulates much of what we'll be facing - an issue long thought settled (marijuana has been a Schedule 1 drug for decades) is being reopened and fought against from the ground up, the public opinion on the illegality of pot has shifted dramatically and the governing structures in place are lagging significantly. While legalization has proceeded on a state-by-state basis, it is still illegal at the federal level.

This dynamic between the state-level approach to ending marijuana prohibition is fascinating and could inform the way other expressions of negative mood might get implemented. In short, having the states legalize this substance while still keeping it illegal under federal law - and letting the states go forward in this manner - is straight-up old school Nullification. Now, legally there is actually a bit more gray area as the states are not technically voiding Federal law, but the next step to replaying the Nullification Crisis isn't a big one and certainly not inconceivable should the next economic crisis prompt Federal laws which dramatically and negatively affect key states such as California, Texas, or Florida.

This tactic - of using state laws to neuter or otherwise render hard to enforce Federal laws - is also being tried with gun rights issues.

Makes you really wonder what else we might see in this arena. If cyber security becomes the next big bogeyman and the US moves in the direction of the UK as it attempts to ban all encryption that can't be compromised by the government, does California set up its own laws in defiance of a federal ban? What other areas do you see the states setting up in opposition to the Feds?

Your Greatest Enemy


Don't Believe Everything You ThinkA brief reminder from FutureJacked Headquarters - be very careful of your assumptions. As Will Rogers once put it,It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble. It's what we know that ain't so.We continue, day by day, to edge towards a social, political, economic and demographic earthquake which will shear the foundations of the post-World War II world and provide us with the opportunity to build again from the rubble.In the best of times you should always be ready to challenge your assumptions. To grab another quote, this time from a tome which alternately aggravates or inspires depending on your wiring: Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.In challenging times, clarity of thought is priceless.With this in mind, here is a recent Pop Trends, Price Culture podcast from the formidable Robert Folsom which is well worth listening to and pondering next time you are so sure you are "right" that no other options are even conceivable: frameborder="0" height="150" scrolling="no" src="" style="border: solid 1px #dedede;" width="220">I don't mean to say abandon all principles, but I do mean you should be flexible in your thinking and open to new solutions in a world where the assumptions built into the systems we all grew up with will be challenged. New solutions may involve radical changes in how you work and interact with your neighbors and your fellow citizens. Be mindful that a new world with new assumptions in the birthing. We may think the new baby is ugly, but we still have to deal with it.And for those of you who like to dig deeply into the source material, here is the Dunning-Kruger paper for your viewing pleasure: allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="510" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="//" style="border-width: 1px; border: 1px solid #CCC; margin-bottom: 5px; max-width: 100%;" width="477"> Unskilled and unaware of it how difficulties in recognizing one's own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments from AMPA Escola Garrigàs [...]

Nuclear Strike of the Month (October 2015): Target Middle East Tactical Exchange


150 kT Air Burst west of Baalbek, Lebanon, in the Bekaa ValleyNote on the Nuclear Strike of the Month Series: In this series I want to illustrate various ways attacks using nuclear weapons can play out.  I will be using Dr. Alex Wellerstein's online NUKEMAP tool to generate the estimates of the blast and follow-on effects and we'll be turning to concepts found in Nuclear Emergencies to help evaluate consequences.My rationale is to show a wide range of nuclear attack scenarios short of all-out thermonuclear war. The idea is to give readers a feel for the destructive power of nuclear weapons, provide scenarios as thought experiments for your own planning, and to discuss what nuclear weapons can and (sometimes more importantly) what nuclear weapons can't do.For a variety of reasons, it is my opinion we will see nuclear weapons used in warfare sometime between now and 2030. We might as well brush up on the basics. Nuclear Strike of the Month:  Tactical Nuclear Exchange in the Middle EastThis month we will examine how nuclear weapons might be used tactically, as part of a direct military campaign. With all the talk recently about the Iranian Nuclear Deal, and now with the intervention of Russia in the Syria mess, I want to postulate a situation where Israel feels compelled to use nuclear weapons on the battlefield to reverse severe setbacks on the battlefield. I'm not including a first strike on Israel by, say, a nuclear-armed Iran or even Russia, because the retaliation Israel is capable of would push any response into a strategic nuclear exchange of damn near old Soviet-US proportions. I'll admit the following scenario is a huge stretch - Israel is not going to lose a conventional engagement in my opinion, but for the sake of trying to see how nukes might get deployed in the Middle East, we'll at least postulate it here.We are using 150 kT warheads in this model. That may seem a bit on the high end for tactical weapons, and I admit it is a bit arbitrary, so feel free to alter the scenario if you like. I am modeling air bursts here as I am assuming the goal is to do maximum damage while avoiding intense long-term environmental issues and contamination. As usual zoom in and zoom out on the maps and see how exchanges like this compare to our analysis of a groundburst using multi-megaton warheads back in August.The ScenarioThings really began to go downhill for Israel's strategic situation when the Great Slaughter of Palmyra finished off the last of the Daesh forces in Syria. Assad's revitalized army, along with support from Russian airstrikes, military advisers and special forces, contingents of Hezbollah, and several units of Iranian "volunteers" had chased Daesh out of Aleppo, out of Raqqa (with heavy losses on both sides), ending in the encirclement focused on Palmyra. The other insurgent forces fell rapidly as well, with only a few groups holding out in the extreme North under the protection of Turkey.Iranian forces allowed a "back door" to remain open for a large number of Daesh forces as part of a Devil's bargain, giving them one chance at passage out of Syria, through Iraq, and into Saudi Arabia, which led several months later to the civil war which brought the House of Saud's focus back home and caused their support for Sunni forces in the general region to shrivel up.While Syria began the process of rebuilding, they were no longer masters of their own fate, with Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah playing influential roles in major policy decisions. While juggling those outside influences, Assad a[...]