Author Topic: Documentaries  (Read 46479 times)

November 29, 2017, 04:37 PM
Reply #40
If you're assessing our age, check this out..

Things aren't as they should be, "Freedom & Justice for All" and stuff..
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said “Surah (chapter of) Hud and its sisters turned my hair gray"

Hud (11)

November 29, 2017, 07:44 PM
Reply #41
For more understanding of the matter, two books by a great investigative journalist:

-The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright

-The Terror Years: From al-Qaeda to the Islamic State by Lawrence Wright


-Milestones by Sayyid Qutb

Milestones is a controversial & pivotal book. It along with commentary on the Holy Quran (In The Shade of The Quran) got the Author a death sentence in 1965 Egypt. The book was written in a prison cell and was smuggled out in papers gradually until completion. It's considered by some a constitution for Islamist's, and it's one of the most misunderstood books of our time. This book & other published works by Mr. Qutb remain in the spotlight even decades after coming to print. There are many studies around this book and the thought of Sayyid Qutb, many of which link the origin of modern Islamic radicalism to his writings. But is that true?

- Sayyid Qutb and the Origins of Radical Islamism [1 ed.] by John Calvert


You should also check out the writings of Michael Scheuer who is an expert on the matter, as he was in charge of the CIA unit after Bin Laden.

-Through Our Enemies' Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the Future of America [1st ed.] by Michael Scheuer

-Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror by Michael Scheuer

-Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq [Reprint ed.] by Michael Scheuer

-Osama bin Laden [1 ed.] by Michael Scheuer
« Last Edit: July 21, 2019, 05:39 AM by scarface »
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said “Surah (chapter of) Hud and its sisters turned my hair gray"

Hud (11)

November 30, 2017, 12:08 PM
Reply #42
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Scarface, you're not happy unless everything in the world is bad and getting worse. You said I had no fact to back up my contention that things are better than ever.

Well, you are not totally wrong, but I’m not hunappy because of what I say. And I'm not saying that living standards have worsened, but it's only because we are depleting the main resources that we can achieve such standards. In fact, thanks to oil, every American people has somewhere between 200 and 8,000 energy slaves.
A class 8 truck can carry 50,000 pounds of goods 500 miles in one day. This would take 1,250 people carrying 40-pound backpacks walking 16 miles a day for 31 days. If the people ate 2,000 kcal of raw food a day, they’d burn 77.5 million kcal (and even more energy if the food is cooked). The truck needs 31 times less energy: at 7 mpg, that’s 71 gallons of diesel containing 35,000 kcal per gallon. Trucks carried over 13.182 billion tons of goods, equal to 329 million people each carrying 40 pound packs.
The problem is, we are already facing the end of oil. If oil companies are producing oil with tar sands, it's because the production of conventional already peaked 10 years ago. And the collapse of modern societies will probably happen in the next 10 years.

Understandably, the oil-rich Islamic nations of the Middle East deeply resent the controlling economic hand of the non-Muslim world, and America’s leading role as both banker and war-monger.  Just like the USA, their demographic explosions are artificially maintained by oil income, pending a catastrophic decline which will almost  certainly come after Peak Oil. In the short-term, those glorious days of petrodollar recycling of the 1970s must seem like something from the Persian Nights tales of legend, to populations of which 50% were born after 1970, many of which have recently known increasing poverty and humiliation. America’s ‘uncontrollable’ demographic growth is through the floodgate of immigration, which daily adds to the imperative to seek more energy by dominating geoeconomics, and Islam’s fertility has spawned populations of young men and women with nowhere to go and nothing to lose.

In fact, we’re dealing with an anxiety-provoking subject. That’s why it is taboo. In Franche-Comté, an association asked the permission to hold conferences in schools about this matter, that’s to say about the accelerating destruction of habitats and species, resources depletion, increase in social inequalities...Permission was denied.
Then, we have several ways to see this. Most people are in denial. They don’t know and they don’t want to know. In your messages I’ve noticed that you were not among the brainless mass. Maybe thanks to your Cuban background. And for those who want to look further into this issue, there are those who can understand we won’t withstand a collapse. If you watch the video above, that’s basically what the lecturer says. For the others, the belief in the potential of technological progress will be a way to overcome this predicament. Note that I’m talking about predicament here. In French we have the same word for problem, with the same meaning, but there is no byword for predicament. Maybe we could talk about an inextricable situation (une situation inextricable in French).
Because there is no solution to address resources depletion.
Depletion is the true elephant in the living room of our age: it is a gigantic problem but it is rarely - if ever - recognized. Few people understand that depletion does not mean that we run out of anything. It means that producing a mineral commodity becomes so expensive that fewer and fewer people can afford it.
For example, the gold mining industry literally devours energy to produce an ounce of gold.  In the past decade, fuel consumption at the top gold miners more than doubled, but the actual energy cost grew at a much higher rate.
You can think that thanks to progress we are making bigger trucks to extract gold, but it’s just symptomatic of gold depletion.

Actually, as open-pit mines age, they deepen which forces the haul trucks to travel longer distances at a higher grade.  One of the largest haul trucks in the world is the Caterpillar 797F.  These haul trucks are massive and can transport 400 metric tons of ore in a single trip.

December 01, 2017, 01:58 PM
Reply #43
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Tonight, I'm going to hold a conference about cotton. Maybe some of you have been wondering where the cotton of your clothes was made.
Uzbekistan is one of the world’s largest cotton exporters, and the government of Uzbekistan uses one of the largest state-orchestrated systems of forced labor to produce it.

In 2015 and 2016, the government of Uzbekistan forced more than a million people, including students, teachers, doctors, nurses, and employees of government agencies and private businesses to the cotton fields, against their will and under threat of penalty, especially losing their jobs.
The government of Uzbekistan has increased the use of forced adult labor, apparently to compensate for fewer children. Massive mobilization of teachers, doctors, nurses and other adults to the cotton harvest has degraded education and health services. It has also led to widespread extortion of individuals and businesses.
Daewoo International, General Motors, Teliasonera, Telenor, Nike, zara, H&M and other multinational companies operating in Uzbekistan are benefitting from forced labor.

Here is an exceptional documentary about it.

December 01, 2017, 10:32 PM
Reply #44
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Well, you are not totally wrong, but I’m not hunappy because of what I say. And I'm not saying that living standards have worsened

I DEFY you to tell me a time in history when things were better than they are now.

December 02, 2017, 08:35 AM
Reply #45
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I DEFY you to tell me a time in history when things were better than they are now.

Well. From this slant you are probably right.
But Im not talking about living conditions. It's not a value judgement either. Im just saying that resources depletion will trigger an economic collapse pretty soon, that's my point.
Let's go back to electric cars for example. Governments are aware that oil is going to be a big problem. China is increasing its strategic reserves. And yet the electric cars market remains a niche market. Less than 1 car out of 100 is an electric vehicle. And for obvious reasons it won't increase much. Today there is already a six-month waiting list to buy a tesla. And they are very expensive. The reason is quite simple, it's getting harder to find lithium, cobalt and rare minerals...

December 14, 2017, 03:12 PM
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Tonight, I'm going to hold a conference about the decline of the welfare state in the United States.
(in 2 messages since it's too long).

The American welfare state was created in 1935 and continued to develop through 1973.  Since then, over a prolonged period, the capitalist class has been steadily dismantling the entire welfare state.

Between the mid 1970’s to the present (2017) labor laws, welfare rights and benefits and the construction of and subsidies for affordable housing have been gutted.  ‘Workfare’  (under President ‘Bill’ Clinton) ended welfare for the poor and displaced workers.  Meanwhile the shift to regressive taxation and the steadily declining real wages have increased corporate profits to an astronomical degree.

What started as incremental reversals during the 1990’s under Clinton has snowballed over the last two decades decimating welfare legislation and institutions.

The earlier welfare ‘reforms’ and the current anti-welfare legislation and austerity practices have been accompanied by a series of endless imperial wars, especially in the Middle East.

In the 1940’s through the 1960’s, world and regional wars (Korea and Indo-China) were combined with significant welfare program – a form of ‘social imperialism’, which ‘buy off’ the working class while expanding the empire.  However, recent decades are characterized by multiple regional wars and the reduction or elimination of welfare programs – and a massive growth in poverty, domestic insecurity and poor health.

The 1930’s witnessed the advent of social legislation and action, which laid the foundations of what is called the ‘modern welfare state’.

Labor unions were organized as working class strikes and progressive legislation facilitated trade union organization, elections, collective bargaining rights and a steady increase in union membership.  Improved work conditions, rising wages, pension plans and benefits, employer or union-provided health care and protective legislation improved the standard of living for the working class and provided for 2 generations of upward mobility.

Social Security legislation was approved along with workers’ compensation and the forty-hour workweek.  Jobs were created through federal programs (WPA, CCC, etc.).  Protectionist legislation facilitated the growth of domestic markets for US manufacturers.  Workplace shop steward councils organized ‘on the spot’ job action to protect safe working conditions.

World War II led to full employment and increases in union membership, as well as legislation restricting workers’ collective bargaining rights and enforcing wage freezes.  Hundreds of thousands of Americans found jobs in the war economy but a huge number were also killed or wounded in the war.

The post-war period witnessed a contradictory process:  wages and salaries increased while legislation curtailed union rights via the Taft Hartley Act and the McCarthyist purge of leftwing trade union activists.  So-called ‘right to work’ laws effectively outlawed unionization mostly in southern states, which drove industries to relocate to the anti-union states.

Welfare reforms, in the form of the GI bill, provided educational opportunities for working class and rural veterans, while federal-subsidized low interest mortgages encourage home-ownership, especially for veterans.

The New Deal created concrete improvements but did not consolidate labor influence at any level.  Capitalists and management still retained control over capital, the workplace and plant location of production.

Trade union officials signed pacts with capital:  higher pay for the workers and greater control of the workplace for the bosses.  Trade union officials joined management in repressing rank and file movements seeking to control technological changes by reducing hours (“thirty hours work for forty hours pay”).  Dissident local unions were seized and gutted by the trade union bosses – sometimes through violence.

Trade union activists, community organizers for rent control and other grassroots movements lost both the capacity and the will to advance toward large-scale structural changes of US capitalism.  Living standards improved for a few decades but the capitalist class consolidated strategic control over labor relations.  While unionized workers’ incomes, increased, inequalities, especially in the non-union sectors began to grow.  With the end of the GI bill, veterans’ access to high-quality subsidized education declined.

While a new wave of social welfare legislation and programs began in the 1960’s and early 1970’s it was no longer a result of a mass trade union or workers’ “class struggle”.  Moreover, trade union collaboration with the capitalist regional war policies led to the killing and maiming of hundreds of thousands of workers in two wars – the Korean and Vietnamese wars.

Much of social legislation resulted from the civil and welfare rights movements.  While specific programs were helpful, none of them addressed structural racism and poverty.

The 1960’a witnessed the greatest racial war in modern US history:  Mass movements in the South and North rocked state and federal governments, while advancing the cause of civil, social and political rights.  Millions of black citizens, joined by white activists and, in many cases, led by African American Viet Nam War veterans, confronted the state.  At the same time, millions of students and young workers, threatened by military conscription, challenged the military and social order.

Energized by mass movements, a new wave of social welfare legislation was launched by the federal government to pacify mass opposition among blacks, students, community organizers and middle class Americans.  Despite this mass popular movement, the union bosses at the AFL-CIO openly supported the war, police repression and the military, or at best, were passive impotent spectators of the drama unfolding in the nation’s streets.  Dissident union members and activists were the exception, as many had multiple identities to represent: African American, Hispanic, draft resisters, etc.

Under Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, Medicare, Medicaid, OSHA, the EPA and multiple poverty programs were implemented.  A national health program, expanding Medicare for all Americans, was introduced by President Nixon and sabotaged by the Kennedy Democrats and the AFL-CIO.   Overall, social and economic inequalities diminished during this period.

The Vietnam War ended in defeat for the American militarist empire.  This coincided with the beginning of the end of social welfare as we knew it – as the bill for militarism placed even greater demands on the public treasury.

With the election of President Carter, social welfare in the US began its long decline.  The next series of regional wars were accompanied by even greater attacks on welfare via the “Volker Plan” – freezing workers’ wages as a means to combat inflation.

‘Guns without butter’ became the legislative policy of the Carter and Reagan Administrations.  The welfare programs were based on politically fragile foundations.

Private sector trade union membership declined from a post-world war peak of 30% falling to 12% in the 1990’s.   Today it has sunk to 7%.  Capitalists embarked on a massive program of closing thousands of factories in the unionized North which were then relocated to the non-unionized low wage southern states and then overseas to Mexico and Asia.  Millions of stable jobs disappeared.

Following the election of ‘Jimmy Carter’, neither Democratic nor Republican Presidents felt any need to support labor organizations.   On the contrary, they facilitated contracts dictated by management, which reduced wages, job security, benefits and social welfare.

The anti-labor offensive from the ‘Oval Office’ intensified under President Reagan with his direct intervention firing tens of thousands of striking air controllers and arresting union leaders.  Under Presidents Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush and William Clinton cost of living adjustments failed to keep up with prices of vital goods and services.  Health care inflation was astronomical.  Financial deregulation led to the subordination of American industry to finance and the Wall Street banks.  De-industrialization, capital flight and massive tax evasion reduced labor’s share of national income.

The capitalist class followed a trajectory of decline, recovery and ascendance.  Moreover, during the earlier world depression, at the height of labor mobilization and organization, the capitalist class never faced any significant political threat over its control of the commanding heights of the economy.

The ‘New Deal’ was, at best, a de facto ‘historical compromise’ between the capitalist class and the labor unions, mediated by the Democratic Party elite.  It was a temporary pact in which the unions secured legal recognition while the capitalists retained their executive prerogatives.

December 14, 2017, 03:12 PM
Reply #47
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The Second World War secured the economic recovery for capital and subordinated labor through a federally mandated no strike production agreement. There were a few notable exceptions:  The coal miners’ union organized strikes in strategic sectors and some leftist leaders and organizers encouraged slow-downs, work to rule and other in-plant actions when employers ran roughshod with special brutality over the workers.  The recovery of capital was the prelude to a post-war offensive against independent labor-based political organizations.  The quality of labor organization declined even as the quantity of trade union membership increased.

Labor union officials consolidated internal control in collaboration with the capitalist elite.  Capitalist class-labor official collaboration was extended overseas with strategic consequences.

The post-war corporate alliance between the state and capital led to a global offensive – the replacement of European-Japanese colonial control and exploitation by US business and bankers.  Imperialism was later ‘re-branded’ as ‘globalization’.  It pried open markets, secured cheap docile labor and pillaged resources for US manufacturers and importers.

US labor unions played a major role by sabotaging militant unions abroad in cooperation with the US security apparatus:  They worked to coopt and bribe nationalist and leftist labor leaders and supported police-state regime repression and assassination of recalcitrant militants.

‘Hand in bloody glove’ with the US Empire, the American trade unions planted the seeds of their own destruction at home.  The local capitalists in newly emerging independent nations established industries and supply chains in cooperation with US manufacturers.  Attracted to these sources of low-wage, violently repressed workers, US capitalists subsequently relocated their factories overseas and turned their backs on labor at home.

Labor union officials had laid the groundwork for the demise of stable jobs and social benefits for American workers.  Their collaboration increased the rate of capitalist profit and overall power in the political system.  Their complicity in the brutal purges of militants, activists and leftist union members and leaders at home and abroad put an end to labor’s capacity to sustain and expand the welfare state.

 Trade unions in the US did not use their collaboration with empire in its bloody regional wars to win social benefits for the rank and file workers.  The time of social-imperialism, where workers within the empire benefited from imperialism’s pillage, was over.  Gains in social welfare henceforth could result only from mass struggles led by the urban poor, especially Afro-Americans, community-based working poor and militant youth organizers.

The last significant social welfare reforms were implemented in the early 1970’s – coinciding with the end of the Vietnam War (and victory for the Vietnamese people) and ended with the absorption of the urban and anti-war movements into the Democratic Party.

Henceforward the US corporate state advanced through the overseas expansion of the multi-national corporations and via large-scale, non-unionized production at home.

The technological changes of this period did not benefit labor.   The belief, common in the 1950’s, that science and technology would increase leisure, decrease work and improve living standards for the working class, was shattered.  Instead technological changes displaced well-paid industrial labor while increasing the number of mind-numbing, poorly paid, and politically impotent jobs in the so-called ‘service sector’ – a rapidly growing section of unorganized and vulnerable workers – especially including women and minorities.

Labor union membership declined precipitously.  The demise of the USSR and China’s turn to capitalism had a dual effect:  It eliminated collectivist (socialist) pressure for social welfare and opened their labor markets with cheap, disciplined workers for foreign manufacturers. Labor as a political force disappeared on every count.  The US Federal Reserve and President ‘Bill’ Clinton deregulated financial capital leading to a frenzy of speculation.  Congress wrote laws, which permitted overseas tax evasion – especially in Caribbean tax havens.  Regional free-trade agreements, like NAFTA, spurred the relocation of jobs abroad.  De-industrialization accompanied the decline of wages, living standards and social benefits for millions of American workers.

The New Deal, the Great Society, trade unions, and the anti-war and urban movements were in retreat and primed for abolition.

Wars without welfare (or guns without butter) replaced earlier ‘social imperialism’ with a huge growth of poverty and homelessness.  Domestic labor was now exploited to finance overseas wars not vice versa.  The fruits of imperial plunder were not shared.

As the working and middle classes drifted downward, they were used up, abandoned and deceived on all sides – especially by the Democratic Party.  They elected militarists and demagogues as their new presidents.

President ‘Bill’ Clinton ravaged Russia, Yugoslavia, Iraq and Somalia and liberated Wall Street.   His regime gave birth to the prototype billionaire swindlers: Michael Milken and Bernard ‘Bernie’ Madoff.

Clinton converted welfare into cheap labor ‘workfare’, exploiting the poorest and most vulnerable and condemning the next generations to grinding poverty.  Under Clinton the prison population of mostly African Americans expanded and the breakup of families ravaged the urban communities.

Provoked by an act of terrorism (9/11) President G.W. Bush Jr. launched the ‘endless’ wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and deepened the police state (Patriot Act).   Wages for American workers and profits for American capitalist moved in opposite directions.

The Great Financial Crash of 2008-2011 shook the paper economy to its roots and led to the greatest shakedown of any national treasury in history directed by the First Black American President.  Trillions of public wealth were funneled into the criminal banks on Wall Street – which were ‘just too big to fail.’  Millions of American workers and homeowners, however, were ‘just too small to matter’.

The Age of Demagogues

President Obama transferred 2 trillion dollars to the ten biggest bankers and swindlers on Wall Street, and another trillion to the Pentagon to pursue the Democrats version of foreign policy: from Bush’s two overseas wars to Obama’s seven.

Obama’s electoral ‘donor-owners’ stashed away two trillion dollars in overseas tax havens and looked forward to global free trade pacts – pushed by the eloquent African American President.

Obama was elected to two terms.   His liberal Democratic Party supporters swooned over his peace and justice rhetoric while swallowing his militarist escalation into seven overseas wars as well as the foreclosure of two million American householders.  Obama completely failed to honor his campaign promise to reduce wage inequality between black and white wage earners while he continued to moralize to black families about ‘values’.

Obama’s war against Libya led to the killing and displacement of millions of black Libyans and workers from Sub-Saharan Africa. The smiling Nobel Peace Prize President created more desperate refugees than any previous US head of state – including millions of Africans flooding Europe.

‘Obamacare’, his imitation of an earlier Republican governor’s health plan, was formulated by the private corporate health industry (private insurance, Big Pharma and the for-profit hospitals), to mandate enrollment and ensure triple digit profits with double digit increases in premiums.  By the 2016 Presidential elections, ‘Obama-care’ was opposed by a  45%-43% margin of the American people.   Obama’s propagandists could not show any improvement of life expectancy or decrease in infant and maternal mortality as a result of his ‘health care reform’.    Indeed the opposite occurred among the marginalized working class in the old ‘rust belt’ and in the rural areas.  This failure to show any significant health improvement for the masses of Americans is in stark contrast to LBJ’s Medicare program of the 1960’s, which continues to receive massive popular support.

Forty-years of anti welfare legislation and pro-business regimes paved the golden road for the election of Donald Trump

Trump and the Republicans are focusing on the tattered remnants of the social welfare system:  Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security.   The remains of FDR’s New Deal and LBJ’s Great Society— are on the chopping block.

The moribund (but well-paid) labor leadership has been notable by its absence in the ensuing collapse of the social welfare state.  The liberal left Democrats embraced the platitudinous Obama/Clinton team as the ‘Great Society’s’ gravediggers, while wailing at Trump’s allies for shoving the corpse of welfare state into its grave.

Over the past forty years the working class and the rump of what was once referred to as the ‘labor movement’ has contributed to the dismantling of the social welfare state, voting for ‘strike-breaker’ Reagan, ‘workfare’ Clinton, ‘Wall Street crash’Bush, ‘Wall Street savior’ Obama and ‘Trickle-down’ Trump.

Gone are the days when social welfare and profitable wars raised US living standards and transformed American trade unions into an appendage of the Democratic Party and a handmaiden of Empire.  The Democratic Party rescued capitalism from its collapse in the Great Depression, incorporated labor into the war economy and the post- colonial global empire, and resurrected Wall Street from the ‘Great Financial Meltdown’ of the 21st century.

The war economy no longer fuels social welfare.  The military-industrial complex has found new partners on Wall Street and among the globalized multi-national corporations.  Profits rise while wages fall.  Low paying compulsive labor (workfare) lopped off state transfers to the poor.  Technology – IT, robotics, artificial intelligence and electronic gadgets – has created the most class polarized social system in history.  The first trillionaire and multi-billionaire tax evaders rose on the backs of a miserable standing army of tens of millions of low-wage workers, stripped of rights and representation.  State subsidies eliminate virtually all risk to capital.   The end of social welfare coerced labor (including young mother with children) to seek insecure low-income employment while slashing education and health – cementing the feet of generations into poverty.  Regional wars abroad have depleted the Treasury and robbed the country of productive investment.  Economic imperialism exports profits, reversing the historic relation of the past.

Labor is left without compass or direction; it flails in all directions and falls deeper in the web of deception and demagogy.  To escape from Reagan and the strike breakers, labor embraced the cheap-labor predator Clinton; black and white workers united to elect Obama who expelled millions of immigrant workers, pursued 7 wars, abandoned black workers and enriched the already filthy rich.  Deception and demagogy of the labor-liberals bred the ugly and unlikely plutocrat-populist demagogue:  labor voted for Trump.

The demise of welfare and the rise of the opioid epidemic killing close to one million (mostly working class) Americans occurred mostly under Democratic regimes. The collaboration of liberals and unions in promoting endless wars opened the door to Trump’s mirage of a stateless, tax-less, ruling class.

Who will the Democrats choose as their next demagogue champion to challenge the ‘Donald’ – one who will speak to the ‘deplorables’ and work for the trillionaires?

Maher and Vasudev can try to go to the US, but in my opinion, even the Taliban have a better life in Afghanistan. I think you'll be treated as slaves, and you'll work as barman for 5$ an hour. This is the American dream.
I know someone in Florida who sells cars for a living. He's 65. And he has no money for the dentist (he'll go to Colombia because instead of paying 25000$ it's 5000$ over there).

Below, You can see an interesting town, and there are fields everywhere. For sure the people are not starving there. Lately, I've seen a documentary about people in Bihar, India, eating rodents because they have nothing else, it's probably not the case there.
This town is not Los Angeles. It's Jericho, one of the oldest towns in the world, in Palestine.
I wish I could leave Paris to go there with Maher and humbert.  I think that the economic collapse is approaching, I guess the people of this town will be spared.

« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 03:16 PM by scarface »

December 31, 2017, 12:36 AM
Reply #48
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The world according to Subway.

Subway, these are 44,000 burger shops in the world. Number 1 in fast food, before McDonald's! Multimillionaire, Fred de Luca, the American founder of the brand, based its success on a marketing promise: Subway sandwiches, including raw vegetables, would be very low calorie diets. In 2014, US First Lady Michelle Obama joined Subway to promote her campaign against obesity.
But 50 years after its creation, the brand is going through a bad patch: in the United States, a university study has shown that Subway customers composed sandwiches as caloric as a full menu at McDonald's! Another concern: the brand would overexploit its franchisees. Finally, Subway set up a system of tax optimization allowing it to pay very little tax, especially in France.

It’s difficult to make a fortune by buttering Subway sandwiches. The Capital monthly magazine did the math. Of the approximately 200 franchisees who filed their accounts in the last two years, 35% are losing money. And many are earning only a few thousand euros. "Among the competitors of the fast food restaurant, when one counts 5 to 7% of losing units, it is the end of the world", analyzes Bernard Boutboul, director of Gira Conseil. A third of restaurants in the red? "Maybe, I did not look at the numbers," says Marc Kreder, Europe director of Subway.
This will be his last word. The chain has beautiful shops open on all corners of the street, but it does not like to communicate.
And yet, This does not prevent them from opening many Franchise-owned restaurants. And, surprise, without doing market research. Because they don't care if the Business is profitable or not, unlike McDonald's. Subway wants to open as many franchises as possible because they earn royalties paid by the franchisees.

In its franchise agreement, Subway clearly announces the color: "We do not know what types of locations offer the best chance of success." A franchisee who opened in 2011 in an isolated city of the South of France testifies to have "simply counted the number of passersby for a day". So his sandwich shop, even though it’s open seven days a week, is losing money. We understand better why 45% of restaurants have changed hands between 2008 and 2010.

Be careful however: franchisees do not have any exclusivity on their area. This is how many historic members of the network, whose business was profitable (it happens of course), have seen their activity plunge right from the opening of a rival nearby. "I have no way to oppose it," says one of them. Without finding an ear to talk to. In case of problems, Subway invites its members to re-read the manual of the good franchisee.

Rather discreet in the accompaniment of his flock, Subway claims no less than 12.5% royalties, levied each week. Much more than the use in the sector: Golden brioche is 5%, Paul 6%, Bread apple 7%. One-third of this fee is used to fund advertising. That's 7 million euros last year, compared to the 208 million invested by McDo. Obviously, it's hard to be heard.

From there to publicly express their discontent, the Franchisees don't dare to talk. "The Subway franchise contract is designed to stifle any potential litigation," sighs the lawyer of one of these rebels who plans to fight. Any dispute must indeed be settled in English ... by a referee from New York. However, the franchise agreement is governed by the law of the Netherlands, where the European headquarters of Subway is located. And the company is registered in avoid taxes.

My advice:
If you want to eat junk food, You have the choice between Mcdo or Subway.
You are unemployed? You want to lose money and enrich the De Luca family? Open up a Subway Franchise-owened restaurant (but in France you won’t be able a get a loan from a bank if you say you want to open a Subway, it’s too risky and they know it).
« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 07:46 AM by scarface »

January 07, 2018, 01:35 PM
Reply #49
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Tonight, I'm going to paste here an interesting article reselased by Nafeez Ahmed on 6 January 2018. But first off, some of you, like aa1234779, or usman, must be wondering who Nafeez is.

Nafeez Ahmed is a British author and investigative journalist who released a documentary in 2011 titled The crisis of civilization.
The majority of the movie features Mr. Ahmed addressing the viewer, with each point illustrated by a combination of news footage, darkly humorous animation, and clips ranging from B movies to public service announcements.
While the message of the film may be too controversial for some, the thoughtful and seemingly unbiased nature of the reporting should also win over its fair share of devotees.

Here is the documentary:

In his latest article, he's talking about the end of oil. And unlike most analysts, he explains that peak oil is more relevant than ever.

Brace for the oil, food and financial crash of 2018
80% of the world’s oil has peaked, and the resulting oil crunch will flatten the economy

By Nafeed Ahmed

Last September, a few outlets were reporting the counterintuitive findings of a new HSBC research report on global oil supply. Unfortunately, the true implications of the HSBC report were largely misunderstood.

The HSBC research note — prepared for clients of the global bank — found that contrary to concerns about too much oil supply and insufficient demand, the situation was opposite: global oil supply will in coming years be insufficient to sustain rising demand.

Here is the HSBC report:

Yet the full, striking import of the report, concerning the world’s permanent entry into a new age of global oil decline, was never really explained. The report didn’t just go against the grain that the most urgent concern is ‘peak demand’: it vindicated what is routinely lambasted by oil majors as a myth: peak oil — the concurrent peak and decline of global oil production.

Headquarted in London, UK, HSBC is the world’s sixth largest bank, holding assets of $2.67 trillion. So when they produce a research report for their clients, it would be wise to pay attention, and see what we can learn.

Among the report’s most shocking findings is that “81% of the world’s total liquids production is already in decline.”

Between 2016 and 2020, non-OPEC production will be flat due to declines in conventional oil production, even though OPEC will continue to increase production modestly. This means that by 2017, deliverable spare capacity could be as little as 1% of global oil demand.

This heightens the risk of a major global oil supply shock around 2018 which could “significantly affect oil prices.”

The report flatly asserts that peak demand (the idea that demand will stop growing leaving the world awash in too much supply), while certainly a relevant issue due to climate change agreements and disruptive trends in alternative technologies, is not the most imminent challenge:
“Even in a world of slower oil demand growth, we think the biggest long-term challenge is to offset declines in production from mature fields. The scale of this issue is such that in our view rather there could well be a global supply squeeze some time before we are realistically looking at global demand peaking.”

Under the current supply glut driven by rising unconventional production, falling oil prices have damaged industry profitability and led to dramatic cut backs in new investments in production. This, HSBC says, will exacerbate the likelihood of a global oil supply crunch from 2018 onwards.

Four Saudi Arabias, anyone?
The HSBC report examines two main datasets from the International Energy Agency and the University of Uppsala’s Global Energy Systems Programme in Sweden.

The latter, it should be noted, has consistently advocated a global peak oil scenario for many years — the HSBC report confirms the accuracy of this scenario, and shows that the IEA’s data supports it.

The rate and nature of new oil discoveries has declined dramatically over the last few decades, reaching almost negligible levels on a global scale, the report finds. Compare this to the report’s warning that just to keep production flat against increasing decline rates, the world will need to add four Saudi Arabia’s worth of production by 2040. North American production, despite remaining the most promising in terms of potential, will simply not be able to fill this gap.

Business Insider, the Telegraph and other outlets which covered the report last year acknowledged the supply gap, but failed to properly clarify that HSBC’s devastating findings basically forecast the longterm scarcity of cheap oil due to global peak oil, from 2018 to 2040.

The report revises the way it approaches the concept of peak oil — rather than forecasting it as a single global event, the report uses a disaggregated approach focusing on specific regions and producers. Under this analysis, 81% of the world’s oil supply has peaked in production and so now “is post-peak”.

Using a more restrictive definition puts the quantity of global oil that has peaked at 64%. But either way, well over half the world’s global oil supply consists of mature and declining fields whose production is inexorably and irreversibly decreasing:
“If we assumed a decline rate of 5%pa [per year] on global post-peak supply of 74mbd — which is by no means aggressive in our view — it would imply a fall in post-peak supply of c.38mbd by 2030 and c.52mbd out to 2040. In other words, the world would need to find over four times the size of Saudi Arabia just to keep supply flat, before demand growth is taken into account.”

What’s worse is that when demand growth is taken into account — and the report notes that even the most conservative projections forecast a rise in global oil demand by 2040 of more than 8mbd above that of 2015 — then even more oil would be needed to fill the coming supply gap.

But with new discoveries at an all time low and continuing to diminish, the implication is that oil can simply never fill this gap.
Technological innovation exacerbates the problem

Much trumpeted improvements in drilling rates and efficiency will not make things better, because they will only accelerate production in the short term while, therefore, more rapidly depleting existing reserves. In this case, the report concludes:

    “… the decline-delaying techniques are only masking what could be significantly higher decline rates in the future.”

This does not mean that peak demand should be dismissed as a serious concern. As Michael Bradshaw, Professor of Global Energy at Warwick University’s Sloan Business School, told me for my previous VICE article, any return to higher oil prices will have major economic consequences.

The HSBC report takes the position that prices will have to rise eventually, because the drop in investment due to declining profitability amidst the current glut will make a supply squeeze inevitable. Better and more efficient drilling creates a glut now: but it also accelerates depletion, meaning that the lower prices and oil glut today is a precursor of tomorrow’s higher prices and supply squeeze.

There’s another possibility, which could mean that prices don’t rise as HSBC forecasts. In this scenario, the economy remains too weak to afford an oil price hike. Demand for oil stays low because economic activity remains tepid, while consumers and investors continue to seek out alternative energy sources to fossil fuels. In that case, the very inertia of a weakening economy would pre-empt the HSBC scenario, and the industry would continue to slowly crush itself out of the market due to declining profitability.
Price spikes, economic recession

But what if the HSBC supply forecast is correct?

Firstly, oil price spikes would have an immediate recessionary effect on the global economy, by amplifying inflation and leading to higher costs for social activity at all levels, driven by the higher underlying energy costs.

Secondly, even as spikes may temporarily return some oil companies to potential profitability, such higher oil prices will drive consumer incentives to transition to cheaper renewable energy technologies like solar and wind, which are already becoming cost-competitive with fossil fuels.

That means a global oil squeeze could end up having a dramatic impact on continued demand for oil, as twin crises of ‘peak oil’ and ‘peak demand’ end up intensifying and interacting in unfamiliar ways.

The demise of fossil fuels

The HSBC report’s specific forecasts of global oil supply and demand, which may or may not turn out to be accurate, are part of a wider story of global net energy decline.

A new scientific research paper authored by a team of European government scientists, published on Cornell University’s Arxiv website in October 2016, warns that the global economy has entered a new era of slow and declining growth. This is because the value of energy that can be produced from the world’s fossil fuel resource base is declining inexorably.

The paper – currently under review with an academic journal – was authored by Francesco Meneguzzo, Rosaria Ciriminna, Lorenzo Albanese, Mario Pagliaro, who collectively conduct research on climate change, energy, physics and materials science at the Italian National Research Council (CNR) — Italy’s premier government agency for scientific research.

According to HSBC, oil prices are likely to rise and stabilise for some time around the $75 per barrel mark due to the longer term decline in production relative to persistent demand. But the Italian scientists find that this is still too high to avoid destabilising recessionary effects on the economy.

The Italian study offers a new model combining “the competing dynamics of population and economic growth with oil supply and price,” with a view to evaluate the near-term consequences for global economic growth.

Data from the past 40 years shows that during economic recessions, the oil price tops $60 per barrel, but during economic growth remains below $40 a barrel. This means that prices above $60 will inevitably induce recession.

Therefore, the scientists conclude that to avoid recession, “the oil price should not exceed a threshold located somewhat between $40/b [per barrel] and $50/b, or possibly even lower.”

More broadly, the scientists show that there is a direct correlation between global population growth, economic growth and total energy consumption. As the latter has steadily increased, it has literally fueled the growth of global wealth.

But even so, the paper finds that the world is experiencing:

    “… declining average EROIs [Energy Return on Investment] for all fossil fuels; with the EROI of oil having likely halved in the short course of the first 15 years of the 21st century.”

Crisis convergence

Seen in this broader scientific context, the HSBC global oil supply report provides quite stunning confirmation that for the most part, global oil production is already in post-peak. That much is incontrovertible, and derived from industry-validated data.

HSBC believes that after 2018, this is going to manifest in not simply a global supply shock, but a world in which cheap, high quality fossil fuels is increasingly hard to find.

We don’t need to accept this forecast dogmatically — the post-peak oil market, which HSBC confirms now exists, may function differently than what anyone can easily forecast.

But if HSBC’s forecast is accurate, here’s what it might mean. One possible scenario is that by 2018 or shortly thereafter, the world will face a similar convergence of global crises that occurred a decade earlier.

In or shortly after 2018, economic and energy crisis convergence would drive global food prices up, re-generating the contours of the triple crunch we saw ravage the world from 2008 to 2011, the debilitating impacts of which we have yet to recover from.

2018 is likely to be crunch year for another reason. 1 January 2018 is the date when a host of new regulations are set to come in force, which will “constrain lending ability and prompt banks to only advance money to the best borrowers, which could accelerate bankruptcies worldwide,” according to Bloomberg. Other rules to come in play will require banks to stop using their own international risk assessment measures for derivatives trading.

Ironically, the introduction of similar well-intentioned regulation in January 2008 (through Basel II) laid the groundwork to rupture the global financial architecture, making it vulnerable to that year’s banking collapse.

In fact, two years earlier in July 2006, Dr David Martin, an expert on global finance, presciently forecast that Basel II would interact with the debt bubble to convert a collapse of the housing bubble into a global financial conflagaration.

Just a month after that prescient warning, I was told by a former senior Pentagon official with wide-ranging high-level access to the US military, intelligence and financial establishment that a global banking collapse was imminent, and would likely occur in 2008.

My source insisted that the event was bound up with the peak of global conventional oil production about two years earlier (which according to the UK’s former chief government scientist Sir David King did indeed occur around 2005, even though unconventional oil and gas production has offset the conventional decline so far).

Having first outlined my warning of a 2008 global banking collapse in August 2006, I re-articulated the warning in November 2007, citing Dr. Martin’s forecast and my own wider systems analysis at a lecture at Imperial College, London. In that lecture, I specifically predicted that a housing-triggered banking crisis would be sparked in the context of the new era of expensive fossil fuels.

I called it then, and I’m calling it now.

Some time after January 2018, we are seeing the probability of a new crisis convergence in global energy, economic and food systems, similar to what occurred in 2008.

In the end, I might be wrong. The crash might not happen in exactly 2018. It might happen later. Or it might be triggered by something else, something unexpected, that the model outlined here doesn’t capture.

The point of a forecast is not to be right — but to imagine a potential scenario based on the data available that one can reasonably prepare for; and to adjust the model accordingly in light of new data.