Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

So much to do and ponder. For today and tomorrow, it's about Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving to you, your family, and friends. One thing I'm thankful for is the respite from rain we've enjoyed the past two days. And the rainfall we've had this year to date (120.98 inches as of 1 p.m. yesterday) comes up short to the 200-plus inches we had twenty-five years ago. I'm also thankful I went to college when and where I did.

Monday, November 23, 2015

"Gawker is still Gawker."

Friday, November 20, 2015

VITAS - Седьмой элемент / The 7th Element

On Fossil Fuel Divestment

"A critical appraisal" of the fossil fuel divestment movement.

Kunstler has never addressed fossil fuel divestment as far as I know. He'd probably say it distracts from the larger issue of preparing society for a post-oil future. More later.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


Legend needs a less pretentious title (one that doesn’t interfere with Tom Cruise’s Ridley Scott fantasy) and Hardy needed a genius British director—Ken Russell, Alex Cox, maybe Edgar Wright—who could appreciate his nuances and balance a nation’s authentic fascination and shame.

Portentous movie titles are the thing now. Compare the title Legend with the straightforward The Krays of 1990.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Stanford students call for full divestment from the fossil fuel industry. (As Kunstler has said, it will be less feasible to extract fossil fuels, especially oil, and society will feel the effects.)

Depending on where you stand, this will thrill or appall you. The Koch intelligence agency.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


I got a Ben Carson robocall too. I called the toll-free number that showed up on my caller ID and chose the do-not-call option.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Kunstler: There Are No Safe Spaces.

Kunstler: There Are No Safe Spaces.

I ’m not persuaded that world opinion will ever “make sense” of the Paris attacks. The non-linear rules the day. So-called Fourth Generation Warfare works because there are so many small arms loose in the world and any band of maniacs with a few machine guns and a pound of Semtex plastic explosive can create the equivalent of a war zone in a given locality.

As for the French military, the obvious first move was to bomb the ISIS “stronghold” of Raqqa. But haven’t the US and Russian air forces been doing exactly that for some time now? Either they’ve already bombed the place and everything in it to gravel, or air power is not what it’s cracked up to be — and we have plenty of reason to believe the latter after a decade of selectively pounding jihadists from Afgahnistan to Libya with nothing to show for it except a refugee crisis.

One thing seems assured: hard-line governments are coming soon. Politically, the West had boundary problems that go way beyond the question of national borders to the core psychology of modern liberalism. When is enough of anything enough? And then, what are you really willing to do about it? The answer lately among the Western societies is to do little and do it slowly.

The behavior of college administrators and faculties in the USA these days is emblematic of this cowardly dithering. Intellectual despotism reigns on campus and the university presidents roll over like possums. They don’t have the moral strength to defend free speech as the campus witch-hunts ramp up. The result will be first the intellectual death of their institutions (brain death), and then the actual death of college per se as a plausible route to personal socioeconomic development. The financial racketeering that has infected higher education — the engineering of the gargantuan college loan scam in tandem with the multiplication of “diversity” deanships and tuition inflation — pretty much guarantees an implosion of that system.

The cowardice in the college executive suites is mirrored in our national politics, where no persons of real standing will dare step forward to oppose the juggernaut of Hillary-the-Grifter, or take on the clowning Donald Trump on the grounds of his sheer mental unfittedness to lead a government. In case you haven’t noticed, the center not only isn’t holding, it gave way some time ago. The long emergency is showing signs of morphing into something like civil war. The Maoists on campus apparently want to turn it into race war, too.

So many forces are in motion now and they are all tending toward criticality. The European Union may not survive the reestablishment of boundaries, since it was largely based on the elimination of them. Spain and Portugal are back to breaking down politically again. The Paris bloodbath has discredited Angela Merkel’s plea for “tolerance” — of what is proving to be an intolerable alien invasion. The only political figure on the scene who doesn’t appear to be talking out of his ass is Vlad Putin, who correctly stated at the UN that undermining basic institutions around the world was not a good idea.

None of this is good, either, for a global economy constructed around long, hyper-complex, and fragile chains of obligation, the most critical being global finance and global energy lines. You think the Paris attacks were bad? Just wait until a few maniacs lob some explosives at the giant Ras Tanura oil refinery and shipping terminal on Saudi Arabia’s Persian Gulf coast. Imagine if that happens in the middle of winter, when Europe is freezing. Do you suppose the Big Brains in the Pentagon think about that? The West itself, including America, is a circus of soft targets. The softest ones are between our ears.

Happy Tenth Anniversary to Hattie's Web!

13 November 2005: The Beginning of Hattie's Web.