A Geographic view of voting patterns in the recent US Presidential Election season

Much has been made recently in regarding the demographics of the contested 2016 US Presidential Election. Many studies have thrown up graphics that claimed that the Great Democrat ‘Blue Wall’ had been breached by the successful Republican candidate Donald Trump’s candidature. Swathes of Statewide Blue voting patterns were regularly used by both sides to reflect either the electoral ‘security’ of the Democratic North East and the West Coast Democrat heartlands or the task ahead for the Republicans. The Republican candidate claimed a landslide win within the electoral college, whereas the Democrat contender claims the raw demographic majority by some 2 million votes. Both a correct to some degree in their claims but the most electorally significant position has to be measured at the County sized electoral map. The ‘local ‘ county political landscape tells a very sober tale for the Democrat Party.

c46e52028eb8f845d6f1601f8a428356be7d7be6d3225e212a22dd25191bda76

The Electoral College was a mechanism that prevented high density urban areas exercising overarching political control, over the more sparsely populated areas of the US, thus ensuring national geographic unity. Looking at the electoral map through the lens of all of the counties within the US, a very interesting picture emerges. Though the Democrats claim the raw numbers by a margin of 2 million votes, the US counties map shows that Democrat support is extremely patchy and restricted to about half a dozen or so small, highly urbanised, geographic regions across the nation.

Continue reading

The New Economy in Liquid Fuels and Low Pollution Gas Fired Electricity Production

Hydraulic fracturing generated $3.5 trillion in new wealth between 2012 and 2014 in spite of falling oil prices, according to a new study, but today’s rising prices could be even better for the U.S. economy.
From 2012 to 2014, the shale oil industry generated 4.6 million new jobs due to an energy boom and the resulting low gas prices, according to a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) <http://marcelluscoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/NBER-paper.pdf> . Expensive energy could be a huge net positive for the U.S. fracking economy because rising oil prices mean more drilling.

oil-drilling-rig-3_2161275


Oil prices fell to a record low of $30 a barrel <http://www.macrotrends.net/1369/crude-oil-price-history-chart>  during the previous year, sharply reducing the industry’s profit margins, which are now rising again and have seemed to have stabilised at around the $50 a barrel  ‘sweet spot'<http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/15/oil-prices-edge-up-as-kuwait-cuts-supplies-by-more-than-expected.html> . Researchers estimate that new economic activity from fracking technology created around 4.6 million net new jobs, but only about 1.6 million of these new jobs were directly linked to the oil industry, while many of the rest were due to lower gas prices and the positive effect that had on the US economy.

Continue reading

The Spratlys heat up

anti-aircraft-south-china-sea-hughes-reef-reuters-640x480

The Chinese government appears to have accelerated its development of military assets in the South China Sea’s Spratly Islands, a territory claimed by the Philippines and Vietnam.
Citing new satellite images, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) reports that China appears to have installed “large anti-aircraft guns and probable close-in weapons systems (CIWS)” in the Spratly island chain. The photos track the development of construction on four of the islands in the chain, which all appear to boast some kind of military asset.

On some, CSIS notes that the nature of the military assets is clear, while on others, difficult-to-identify “objects without clearly visible barrels” can be seen. “These cannot be definitively identified, but are likely CIWS to protect against cruise missile strikes,” the organization notes.

“These gun and probable CIWS emplacements show that Beijing is serious about defense of its artificial islands in case of an armed contingency in the South China Sea,” CSIS concludes, adding that these appear to be in part “the last line of defense against cruise missiles launched by the United States.”

Continue reading

The Second Shoe Drops on Socialist Globalisation

Donald Trump winning the presidency based on his promise to torpedo globalism came exactly 27 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and represents the second leg down for “World Socialism.”

hero_image_main_2


Although U.S. history books declare capitalist United States the victor in World War II, it was World Socialism <https://www.wsws.org/> that ended up dominating most of the globe. Soviet Union and China carved out massive communist states, India adopted extreme socialism, and communist insurgencies were ascendant in Southeast Asia, Africa and South America.

Socialist governments controlled Western Europe and the idea that the state should play some kind of role in economic life was not seen as strange or unusual. Socialists differed on just how extensive the role of the state should be, but all agreed that “natural monopolies” like the railroad, phone service, health and electricity should be nationalised.

Continue reading

Chinese missile salvo warning

df-21-salvo-launch

China’s military conducted a salvo of 10 missile flight tests late last month in a show of force during the transition to the Donald Trump administration.

Chinese state media reported Thursday that the simultaneous flight tests of 10 DF-21 intermediate-range ballistic missiles were carried out in China.

The missiles “can destroy U.S. Asia-Pacific bases at any time,” the dispatch from the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The flight tests were disclosed by China Central Television on Nov. 28 and coincide with President-elect Donald Trump’s high-profile announcements of new senior government officials.

Continue reading