September 5, 2010 archive

The Collapse of Everything?

In case you missed it, RawStory on September 01 published an article by Daniel Tencer.

German military report: Peak oil could lead to collapse of democracy

Peak oil has happened or will happen some time around this year, and its consequences could threaten the continued survival of democratic governments, says a secret Germany military report that was leaked online.

According to Der Spiegel, the report from a think-tank inside the German military warns that shrinking global oil supplies will threaten the world’s economic foundations and possibly lead to mass-scale upheaval within the next 15 to 30 years.

International trade would suffer as the cost of transporting goods across oceans would soar, resulting in “shortages in the supply of vital goods,” the report states, as translated by Der Spiegel.

The result would be the collapse of the industrial supply chain. “In the medium term the global economic system and every market-oriented national economy would collapse,” the report states.

The first Rule of Holes: When you’re in one, STOP digging.

The first Rule of Holes: When you’re in one, STOP digging.

—  Molly Ivins

Stop Digging?   Check!

Heck, even Erin Burnett (of CNBC) admitted the Stimulus is working, today on MTP … that

“Without the stimulus we would be significantly worse off than we are now.

— any serious economist says so. …  She has the charts.

so do we.

Open Paint


Timing IS Everything. Look to Labor.

I had a surprise knock on my door yesterday. Cindy Denby is our MI House State Representative, and she is running for re-election. Truth be told? When I heard the car door, and saw her plodding up my walk, I thought, someone lost a dog or something. She handed me her doorknocker sized pamphlet, and started to introduce herself. I glanced down at the picture and the bright red “Conservative Republican” and said, “Oh, honey, I’m sorry, never going to happen, I’m a wild liberal!” She actually laughed. “Wild?” I wished her a nice day anyway. I suppose on a better day, a day I was remotely in the mood for people, I would have taken that chance to ask her in for coffee and debated with her. She seemed pleasant enough. I have to give her credit for going door to door herself. I must be growing soft, I didn’t even have the remote desire to rip her spine out through her mouth. I totally blew off the chance to get on my soapbox and ask if supporting the Rich really was good for the People.

Other than hunkering down with our immediates and stockpiling toilet paper, what is it we can do? That’s the question the far-left keeps asking. Communes are a pretty pipe dream, but post-oil Armageddon? We could suggest the survivors all do the pilgrimage back to the Georgia Guidestones, and renew the World with our new angelic ways. But Georgia has Georgians, and they know the lie of the Land. Ever seen Deliverance? I’m pretty sure the area is tropical swamp. It has lots of fresh water, 887 thousand kinds of poisonous snakes, and the mosquitoes have gunner pilots on board. Besides, most of us are old fucks and couldn’t survive the 3 year walk it would take to get there.

( map wouldn’t work here…)

View Larger Map

So what now, Diane? You blow off change from within, and you won’t let us think we have special powers to survive, find one another and live happily ever after. Hell, you won’t even let us hunker down and wallow in self-gratification as the Empire burns. Just when you thought your porn collection and stockpiled heirloom weed seed would come in handy!

Don’t despair. I have an angle. I always have an angle. You did read the Title, yes?

The Collapse of American Liberalism

Also at Antemedius and at dKos.

Real News Network – September 5, 2010

Chris Hedges: “When you have bankrupt liberalism you descend into moral nihilism”

This is Part 1. I’ll post each part of this interview as they become available.

Docudharma Times Sunday September 5

Sunday’s Headlines:

Democrats plan political triage to retain House

Efforts Afoot to Oust Assange as WikiLeaks Leader


The post-9/11 life of an American charged with murder

Oil dispersant effects remain a mystery


Tough lessons: How teachers are seeking answers at Auschwitz

Mafia cash in on lucrative EU wind farm handouts – especially in Sicily

Middle East

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani to be lashed over newspaper photograph

Middle East peace process: High-level talks but with low expectations


‘Millions’ without aid in Pakistan

Resentment Simmers in Western Chinese Region

Latin America

Tortured Mexican kidnap victim says: ‘I would sit there wondering how people could be that bad’

Late Night Karaoke

The Ideal Democrat

Apparently, I am a purist. I believe in some ideal Democrat that no one could ever live up to and so I fail to acknowledge the real world distinctions that make the real world Democrats so much better than the real world Republicans. Or so I have been told.

Let me introduce you to my ideal Democrat.

My ideal Democrat is probably corruptible, wholly flawed, and possibly even takes a bribe or a kickback on occasion. And when he or she drinks way too much, I’m pretty sure my ideal Democrat says things that would get him or her in lots of trouble if the press found out. Maybe my ideal Democrat sleeps with hookers or got her husband a cush job somewhere in the Fish and Wildlife agency – anything to get him out of the house. Or maybe he or she is a fucking saint. Regardless, I’m still pretty sure I wouldn’t want my ideal Democrat to babysit my children. I’ve never much liked politicians.

Oh, and one more thing. My ideal Democrat is completely fucking wrong about a couple of issues I care about.

But it is true. I am a purist. For there is one thing upon which my ideal Democrat cannot waver. One line that can never be crossed, come hell or high water, no matter what. And that is this: He or she must remain forever loyal to the common people of this country above all others. And when the situation demands, as it most often does, that he or she must choose between serving the common people or serving the entrenched interests of the few, even at risk of personal sacrifice, my ideal Democrat will always serve the interests of the former. To choose the latter would be unthinkable.

Now, I know Bush kinda made the whole, “either you’re with us or against us” thing unpopular. He said that in the context of a fictional “war” on an abstract idea (terrorism) that imposed a foreign policy position most sane people saw as untenable, to say the least.

But there are, indeed, times when one must draw a line in the sand. And this is certainly one of those times. As I said before, our nation is under attack. There’s no other way to describe it. A powerful elite with horrifying and vast resources have set their sights on destroying our society, seizing our system of government, looting our resources and turning us into veritable slaves in a corporatocracy.

Either you are working for us, or working for them. There is no in between.

Now, it was predictable, but a few people weren’t quite able to get past the title of my last post. And as such, they appeared to not to be willing to dig in to the substance of what I was really getting at enough to understand that I wasn’t talking about letting Republicans win over real Democrats™. I was talking about letting Republicans win over these sold our sacks of shit disguising themselves as Democrats while they facilitate the destruction of everything that once made this country worth living in. My point was that the ideal Democrat is pretty much extinct and even if you find a few, the system will devour them. Look how Alan Gtrayson and Dennis Kucinich folded like paper dolls on the Corporatecare plan.

So let’s pull the sheep outfits off the wolves, shall we? No one should wear white after Labor Day (which, by the way, I’m going to celebrate by watching a bunch of movies about the plight of the labor movement on the History Channel.)

I hope that clarification was helpful.

Oh, and for those with a more visual synaptic proclivity:

Is it COKE!™? Or is it a brown, carbonated corn syrup beverage?

Obama’s Arabian Night Shade

(Cross-posted from The Free Speech Zone)

Arabian Night Shade: When in the 69 position, and the male is on top, and both testicles end up covering the eyes.


Sources say that the final section of 14,000 combat troops in Iraq, the United States Army’s 4th Stryker Brigade, based at Fort Lewis, Washington, have made their way across the border between Iraq and Kuwait, formally ending combat operations within Iraq.

Around 50,000 troops will remain in Iraq to assist Iraqi armed forces training in Operation New Dawn, ending late 2011.…


“I’m going to sacrifice something that I really love”

Stoneleigh swirling in the Big Picture Pantomime

Many of us puzzle over why Obama is such a…disappointment.

Some lay it entirely on his character, or lack thereof:

To tell you the truth, though, I’m still not convinced that Obama actually wants anything, at least not in a political sense. He seems to me an utter blank. He’s a self-propelling election device that exists solely to get itself elected. It continues to amaze me that so many people somehow thought this empty suit was a savior. Even his campaign message was just a recycled leftover from one of Axelrod’s earlier clients.

Possible, but I still have a hard time believing Obama is that emotionally bleached.  Others attribute his apparent paralysis to systemic issues, which rings truer, to me:

My own guess is that he’s been informed that the system is so fragile that if he dares to disturb even one teensy-weensy part of it — for instance, by throwing some executives from Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, et cetera, into federal prison — that said system will fly to pieces in a fortnight. So Obama’s main task for a year and a half has been to desperately apply baling wire and duct tape to the banking system while telling fibs to the public about a wished-for recovery to a prior state. Unfortunately that prior state is the ecstasy of a self-swindle in the moments before it unravels… the sublime feeling of having gotten something wonderful for nothing. We’re beyond that now and nothing on the age-old shelf of nostrums, spells, prayers, and miracle-cures will avail to bring that moment back, though the public does not know this.

The latter view makes much more sense if one can wrap one’s head around the Big Picture reality, which is all too slowly dawning upon us all.

Nicole Foss, aka “Stoneleigh,” former editor of The Oil Drum, and current co-editor of The Automatic Earth, talks about “The Biggest Big Picture,” of politics, finance, and carrying capacity.  She dishes on deflation, oil, debt servitude, socioeconomic complexity, and collapse…Pow!  Right in the kisser!

The radio format is probably not the easiest introduction to these ideas, as she hits the ground running and alights on many dense topics as if swirling in the pantomime, but it’s worth a listen (If the extemporaneity is overwhelming, She and Ilargi have primers on most topics at their blog.)

Update:The transcript is now here.

could affect tourism … but finding the truth is more important

Gulf Coast Communities Investigate Oily Sea Mist

by Debbie Elliott, NPR — September 3, 2010

Orange Beach city hall has been inundated with calls from residents with complaints – foam that they think is dispersant, a gray-metallic slick in back bays or seaweed that looks oiled. There’s a heightened sense of environmental awareness, and local officials are looking for a way to determine what’s going on.

Mayor Tony Kennon says that’s why the town hired independent scientists to test the air, water and soil.


Orange Beach is using grant money from BP for the testing, and posting the data on the town’s website. Mayor Kennon says negative results could affect tourism in the short term, but finding the truth is more important.

Kudos to Mayor Kennon for taking a stand, for what’s right!

The Major is a man of his word.

Monitoring, he is.