(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Another three-ton object hurtles from its decaying orbit towards Earth, so today must be another day ending in “y”. Dying in the brimstone of space junk, however, is not our most pressing matter by a long shot. Not that space junk crashing into other space junk is a minor concern, given our dependence on global communications that the fragile “junk-o-sphere” makes possible. A critical mass of fragment-generating collisions could be a real game changer, and is yet just another reminder of our seemingly infinite human ability to err on the side heedlessness.
We seem to be experiencing precisely our fair share of catastrophic contingencies, including “mass extinction events” as we forge ahead heedlessly into the eventualities of the Anthropocene. Predictably, over-population, environmental intoxication, famine and resource wars are upon us. It’s almost funny that as we enter the vaunted century of biology we are exterminating life on the planet at a pace that defines a whole new quaternary of geological time.
Oil production has plateaued, as predicted. And we all know that GDP is a strict linear function of energy use. That means we have reached the age of the End of Growth. In truth, we needed something to stop us, and it wasn’t going to be sound reason and judgment, so, “Yay!” Except for the massive and painful and lethal contraction to follow, which promises to be less than utopian.
I realize that far too many still believe that throwing money at the ground will create oil – it will not – but even pretending they are right for one half-second:
We don’t even have the money to keep the street lights on in Detroit. We can’t even afford essential services. Pretty soon we’ll have to call up Kevin Costner to deliver the mail. The global depression is a major attraction, coming to a hell-hole near you.
Why? Because on top of all of our calamitous hijinks over the past oil-soaked, blood-caked, land o’ plenty century, “the powers that be” lost control of the entire global economy and consigned us to an economic apocalypse at a time when we really needed to use our waning energetic opulence to get our act together instead.
And heedlessness is not really the right word to describe the flat-out criminal abandon that has gripped “the leaders of the Free World.”
Perhaps Congress, what Mr. Smith accurately refers to as “that pullulating snakepit of hardened criminals,” can pass some legislation to fix it, no? Another unconstitutional free trade agreement, or three to destroy the environment and labor? You can’t imagine my relief when Tim Geithner announced imminent prosecutions for Wall Street. Perhaps Clarence Thomas will stop rigging democracy and decide to follow the law and pay his taxes so people can have street lights, but I find it more plausible that President Star Chamber simply orders the executions of all the surplus eaters. I’m hoping, but not optimistic that this presidency ends as “merely” the most imperceptible “dead cat bounce” of the new quaternary – people swear they saw the bounce, but what I saw was 180 lbs of moist clay slapping and sticking to the pavement . For my money, the rest of the fanged and teeming squirmers can pass into oblivion completely unnoticed, as well. But that seems unlikely.
The stupidity appears “immune to correction.” Am I right?
The “resource wars,” aka “war crimes,” are certainly not going as planned. Shaking down the planet and killing millions of people for oil must be easier on paper, because the execution of “full-spectrum dominance” is really dragging on, and is less fully spectral than anticipated. Tallying up just a few things — losing Iran in ’79, exceeding the Soviet’s failure in Afghanistan, being humiliated in Iraq, losing control of North Africa, destabilizing Pakistan, being increasingly disliked by Turks and Saudis, and eye-balling an ever-shortening time horizon for Israel — it would seem the entire Middle East strategy since FDR is in shambles. Maybe a renewed attack on Iran will make everything just so fucking hunky dory. Fuck it! Throw in Central Africa, too!
I read that psychopaths are frequently intelligent and at least superficially charming, but apparently that need not be the case.
In addition to abject criminality, the ranks of the elites exhibit a frightening prevalence of garden variety stupidity. Let me illustrate how the proto-typical “stupidity cycle” operates:
After bringing humanity to the brink of extinction through sheer stupidity, are education cuts really the best way to pay for the damage?
Here are some more simple lessons on how NOT to win the future brought to you by William Black and the letter “D”: deregulation, de-supervision, and de facto decriminalization of accounting fraud. In fact, the committee to save the world was warned repeatedly and waved it off. It’s hardly the first time the blood suckers crashed the entire system. There is apparently no learning curve for repeated failure. The “justification” for throwing humanity into the pit of depression was “I want to make more money faster,” which is not so much a moral justification, i.e., neither moral nor justification, as it is a hijacking of incentive motivation by super-normal stimuli, setting up a positive feedback loop between “wanting” and “getting”. Greed is simply another form of crack addiction. And Wall Street looters are the biggest “crackheads” on the planet. If you need a picture explaining the feedback loop between wanting money and getting money, see the stupidity cycle above.
Recovery requires growth. But there will be no real growth, much less sustained growth, much less long periods of robust growth. It’s like being four cards into the hand and you still need all five different cards to make the royal flush.
Greek bonds are paying
150% 170% (and climbing), so perhaps their GDP will soon grow at a similar annual pace. And it’s the same story across the “developed” world, dominoes all the way down. Credit events beget credit events, like space junk crashing into space junk, until critical mass is achieved, and “ka-boom.” The utterly undeserved retribution we are bringing to Afghanistan, one of the poorest nations on Earth, is coming home to roost, finally. It could not happen to a meaner, more formerly-affluent people. Until, of course, that same retribution of biblical proportions comes to Wall Street like a plague of flesh-eating locusts, except rather than locusts it’s an impossibly large troop of heeled chimpanzees having the skills and urges to rip fingers, faces and genitalia right off. No questions asked. Let god sort ’em out, as retrograde war-mongers are fond of saying.
When Armando expressed surprise at his daughter’s political awakening, Susan Gardner correctly noted that, “Kids are kicking so much ass these days…” I totally agree. Most other “adults in the room” still aren’t quite getting it.
Anyone who expressed difficulty seeing or understanding what motivates these protests revealed many things about themselves. None is flattering. The only thing that’s surprising is that these protests didn’t happen sooner and that they’re not more widespread and intense. I think it’s become increasingly clear that that is likely to change, and soon. Like the Arab Spring, the rapid growth of these protests should be a permanent antidote against defeatism. It’s unclear what these protests will accomplish – that still depends on how many people join them and what they cause it to be – but, already, they prove that the possibility always exists for subverting even the most seemingly invulnerable power factions. That hasn’t happened yet, but the possibility that these protests are only in their incipient stages is one of the more exciting and positive political developments in some time. It’s been clear for quite awhile that unrest and disruptions – and the fear which they alone can put in the hearts and minds of those responsible for widespread ills – are absolute prerequisites for meaningful reform (our fundamentally corrupted electoral process certainly can’t and won’t accomplish that). These protests at least reflect the possibility, the template, for that to happen. And anyone expressing confusion about why these protests are erupting is almost certainly someone invested in keeping things exactly the way they are.
The failure is comprehensive. And it isn’t covered by Allstate. The Washington Consensus is a criminal conspiracy in the eye of the storm of overshoot and collapse. The debt is not payable.
Have friggin’ video, dammit. Your number has been called. Your time is now. You’ve got to be the best.