News & Politics

Signal to Noise With Richard Fernandez

Signal to Noise With Richard Fernandez
(Image via Unsplash)

Rather than using social media as a notebook, it seemed better to establish a separate optionally accessible site: Signal to Noise. The benefit of a members-only site is it reduces trolling. The Belmont Club will remain open and free, as usual. To keep the length manageable, I will start a new notebook every week or so. Sign up here to become a VIP member.

Quit his energy day job and now spending the savings

Goldman Sachs says global oil reserves release ‘a drop in the ocean’– Reuters. Never bring a drop to a barrel fight.

The dreaded future

Fictionalized BBC Special Report of NATO-Russia conflict. One thing that is certain is that conflict didn’t come under past presidents. The past is a known quantity. If you can read this you’ve made it this far. But to-morrow is another day.

A South China Sea Flare-Up Renews Attention on the U.S.-Philippine Military Pact

Real. The Biden administration is weighing sending military advisers and new equipment including weaponry to Ukraine as Russia builds up forces near the border and US officials prepare allies for the possibility of another Russian invasion. — CNN

Danger is always but competence is a sometime thing.

The 21st century is well underway

Rolls-Royce gets funding to develop mini nuclear reactors — BBC “The firm said a plant would have the capacity to generate 470MW of power, which it added would be the same produced by more than 150 onshore wind turbines.” Ouch.

This is a realmake of the 1990s Bruce Willis movie. SpaceX to conduct ‘humanity’s first planetary defense test’ to redirect asteroid.

Windmill farm choked in European red tape. Maybe this is what’s causing Global Stilling.

Ford, GM Step Into Chip Business. Stung by semiconductor shortage, Detroit’s two biggest car companies are looking to align with computer-chip makers to develop and potentially manufacture chips — WSJ. Not everyone is convinced “it’s temporary”

While politicians focus on spending and mandating the world soldiers on

Taiwan’s Space Startups are Creating a Global Sandbox for Low-Earth Orbit. While politicians dream of one world, reality creates another

Samsung to announce Taylor, Texas, site for its $17 bln chip plant -source. The political class proposes, economics and risk management disposes.

Before the existing narrative can catch up and realize it, the phone book people will have created a surprise 21st century.

Joe in survival mode

Why Biden picked Powell? — Politico. Because he’s afraid the progs will snap the already stretched rubber band

With gas prices near decade high, Biden taps nation’s strategic oil reserves for relief. Joe reaches for the Panadol. The oil reserve pain killer will wear off unless the US continuously produces more cheap energy, by new or old technology. Otherwise the bottle will run dry and the admin reduced to shaking out the drops.

Things fall apart slowly then all of a sudden

Public safety is literally defunct in the Bay Area and Los Angeles as well. Evident from their actions, the district attorneys of SF and LA have multiple times more sympathy for criminals than their victims, rich or poor.

I don’t have to remind readers how this attitude has already metastasized across the country, resulting in city after city recording skyrocketing murder rates.

In less than a year, the incompetent, ideologically-driven (or is it obsessed) Joe Biden administration has done something few would have thought possible.

They have made the United States of America almost unlivable.

Nevertheless, we do our best to soldier on as if we were already accustomed to living in an American version of Germany’s Weimar Republic, inflation, unmitigated license, and all. — Roger Simon

When you are touchingly grateful there’s merchandise on the shelves again.


Vehicle attacks parade in Waukesha

Yemen’s Houthis say they attacked Saudi cities, Aramco facilities

Yemen’s Battleground Shifts in Favor of Iran-Backed Houthis. Saudi Arabia is scrambling to defend oil-rich city against group, as Biden administration debates whether to back Riyadh in Yemen civil war — WSJ

Slow-motion collapse along the Horn of Africa

Iran-backed Houthis take Yemen port as Saudi forces pull back — US News

Secretary of State Antony Blinken making 1st trip to Africa amid growing crises in Ethiopia, Sudan — ABC News

Watch this space, it could be another disaster in the making

Europe faces cold as Germans delay Russian gas

When Germany announced this week that it had suspended the process of certifying a controversial new Russian gas pipeline called Nord Stream 2, the response in energy markets was immediate. European natural gas futures finished almost 18% higher. — CNN

Highly vaccinated Germany in a winter Covid crisis as cases ever higher — CNBC

Also: “Biden Asks FTC to Examine Oil, Gas Companies’ Role in High Gasoline Prices. Biden Asks FTC to Examine Oil, Gas Companies’ Role in High Gasoline Prices
President cites ‘mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior’ by oil-and-gas companies” — WSJ

This stuff was supposed to happen under the Orange Man, not Brandon

Iran Resumes Production of Advanced Nuclear-Program Parts, Diplomats Say Activity takes place at site that U.N. atomic watchdog is unable to monitor — WSJ

But the UN will succeed with Climate Change. I know everything’s so good but why does everything feel so bad?

China has fact-checkers too

China’s History Is Revised, to the Glory of Xi Jinping. “The resolution shows no hints of Mr. Xi’s acknowledging any missteps in his own nine years in power. On the contrary, much of the resolution describes his successes in stamping out corruption, reducing poverty and eliminating political opposition to Communist Party rule in mainland China, as well as in Hong Kong.” — NYT

Two fantasy superpowers bestride the globe.

It used be said of the USA that it was free at home and authoritarian abroad. It is time, some feel, to reverse that.

The future comes at you fast

Dramatic recording captures moment ISS crew are told to get to safety after Russian anti-satellite missile blast created 1,500 pieces of debris as NATO condemns Moscow’s ‘reckless act’ — Daily Mail

The assurances are not so assuring

It’s getting harder to believe that everything is OK

More bad luck

“The White House hoped its concessions to the Houthis would prompt them to negotiate an end to the war, but they have responded by pressing their advantage.” — WSJ

Dang. How unlucky can a guy get?

Fake all the way down

Climate pledge data at Cop26 fake, from a parallel universe Wapo

How come so much bad luck?


Potential Kabul 2  as Houthis get set to win

Houthis storm US embassy facility, take hostages

The administration is focusing on the “near enemy”, the deplorable populists, while ignoring all the “far enemies” and the economy. What choice do they really have? The Left is increasingly all that remains to them, sullen thought it may be and the economy can’t be quickly fixed. Biden is being pushed left.

Portable nukes in the news again

Watch “SpaceX’s INSANE Portable Nuclear Reactor Will Change EVERYTHING!” on YouTube

Until then …

Africa’s Leaders Say Rich Countries Need to Quit Oil and Gas First – The New York Times

China, India and Other Developing Nations Seek $1.3 Trillion a Year in Climate Finance — WSJ

Quit stalling says Boris — CNN India to Boris: “I switched glasses when your back was turned! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders – The most famous is ‘never get involved in a land war in Asia’ – but only slightly less well-known is this: ‘Never go to a UN conference when the economy is on the line!'”

Jekyll and Hyde policy

Jitters in Europe as Russia shows no sign of increasing gas supplies — Reuters

  1. Stop producing fossil fuels to save the planet!
  2. Stop using oil as a weapon!


The vision: in a world ravaged by Climate Change, mankind’s sole refuge is Zuckerberg’s world. In a world …

On public embarrassments

Politics is hungry for young candidates because they rarely drool or have toilet accidents in public. We like our political soaps to be superhero dramas featuring champions vs the Evil One. Then we learn the champion has faked muscles and wonder if the Evil One really was.

But in reality politics is an activity for people with bad breath. The founders knew this. “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.”

“The war situation has developed not necessarily to our advantage”

“Inflation so far this year represents, to me, much more than a ‘moderate’ overshoot of our 2 percent longer-run inflation objective, and I would not consider a repeat performance next year a policy success,” said Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida.

No choice for progressives but to keep marching left

If Democrats return to centrism, they are doomed to lose against Trump — Guardian. “Biden was once touted as the ‘New FDR’. That ambition is fast dying – as are Democrats hopes of remaining in power”

Joe Biden’s best hope of retaining power is Trump, the ogre under the bed — Guardian

The only chance is to serry the ranks. Testudo. But what if even the base starts to desert Joe? ‘Yalla Brandon!’—the Jewish Vote May (Finally) Be Changing — Roger Simon

Hit in the stomach

World food prices surge 30% in a year – CNN

Food prices in China up every week of October, commerce ministry says — CNBC

Woke Math raises eyebrows in California

Proposed guidelines in the state would de-emphasize calculus, reject the idea that some children are naturally gifted and build a connection to social justice. Critics say math shouldn’t be political. — NYT

The most well-known story is a tale from when Gauss was still at primary school. One day Gauss’ teacher asked his class to add together all the numbers from 1 to 100 … He was shocked when Gauss, after a few seconds thought, wrote down the answer 5050.

The teacher couldn’t understand but 8 year old had added the numbers in pairs – the first and the last, the second and the second to last and so on, 1+100=101, 2+99=101, 3+98=101, …so the total would be 50 lots of 101, which is 5050.

Now what were the politics of this insight? Can math be political and still be math?

Biden dips into oil savings to stave off hikes

Following OPEC rebuff. “(Bloomberg) — U.S. President Joe Biden “is looking at” a potential release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to bring down gasoline prices after OPEC+ rejected his request to increase crude production.”

It’s like the political elite in their hubris, have unleashed an economic monster they don’t know how to stop.

China plans to go nuclear while the West opts for ‘renewables

Maybe the Western Greens and their political allies are wrong

Is Biden starting to flinch?

Biden Says Payments to Families Separated at the Mexico Border Are ‘Not Gonna Happen’ — WASHINGTON—President Biden said the U.S. wasn’t going to pay immigrant families who were separated at the Mexico border during the Trump administration, throwing into doubt settlements the Justice Department has been negotiating to resolve legal claims by the families. “That’s not going to happen,” Mr. Biden told reporters at the White House on Wednesday.

The only way to find out what people said

Is apparently to listen to fact checkers.

Only a flesh wound

Glenn Youngkin Wins Virginia Governor Race. WSJ “Seeking both to energize the GOP base and win over key suburban swing voters, Mr. Youngkin focused heavily on education. He pledged to ban the teaching of critical-race theory and emphasized the importance of parents having a role in shaping school curricula.”

Joe Biden: we’ll win.

What will the metaverse look like?

  1. Mark Zuckerberg Sets Facebook on Long, Costly Path to Metaverse Reality – WSJ

The coming nuclear-hydrogen economy?

Green is a code word for ending an old way of life and creating a new. Few are asking: what people, professions and countries are headed for the boneyard?

  1. Hydrogen production is a large and growing industry: with as of 2019 about 70 million tonnes of dedicated production per year, larger than the primary energy supply of Germany … hydrogen is mainly produced (>90%) from fossil sources.
  2. Nuclear ‘Power Balls’ May Make Meltdowns a Thing of the Past
  3. Pentagon awards contracts to design mobile nuclear reactor

Clearly a new energy economy implies a different set of winners and losers.