Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Kunstler.com: New and Improved!

If you haven't gone to Kunstler.com recently, you should, if only to check out the great revamp of his website. Below is an excerpt from his latest column:

...The appeal of this program is obvious in the consumer-democracy of recent times. The stupendous aggregate wealth ginned up at the climax of the cheap energy fiesta made everyone an aristocrat. As Tom Wolfe has pointed out, the average American roofer or insurance adjuster of these times has enjoyed a more comfortable life than Louis XIV. They certainly bathe more regularly, in sumptuous vinyl tubs, with motor-drive water jets, and possess refrigerated larders of delicacies from thousands of miles away (not to mention access to colonoscopies and periodontics).

This luxurious life is a fragile thing, though. The fragility is actually expressed in the houses themselves, which are uniformly constructed from materials that would not seem to have a glorious destiny: wood-chips, glue, and vinyl. Anyone who visits the Palatine Hill in Rome must be impressed by the way stone blocks and masonry walls melt away over time. Imagine what would happen to a box made of chip-board over fir studs after a few decades of poor maintenance. You can even state categorically that the vinyl cladding was not designed to be maintained, only replaced. And in as much as vinyl siding is made from petroleum byproducts, one can easily foresee future replacement problems. ...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Friday, November 09, 2007

The Long Emergency in Hawaii

As much as I find Kunstler relevant and fascinating, his point of view is that of a mainlander. He doesn't say how Hawaii, or other island places, would fare during the Long Emergency, except to say we'll be even more isolated than now. But Juan Wilson predicts in detail what will happen on Kauai (and, by extension, the other islands) over the next few decades as oil becomes scarce.


Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Ron Paul Phenomenon


An excerpt:

Regardless of one's ideology, there is simply no denying certain attributes of Paul's campaign which are highly laudable. There have been few serious campaigns that are more substantive -- just purely focused on analyzing and solving the most vital political issues. There have been few candidates who more steadfastly avoid superficial gimmicks, cynical stunts, and manipulative tactics. There have been few candidates who espouse a more coherent, thoughtful, consistent ideology of politics, grounded in genuine convictions and crystal clear political values. Here is what Jon Stewart said to Paul on The Daily Show:

You appear to have consistent principled integrity. Americans don't usually go for that.

There is never a doubt that Paul actually believes what he is saying, nor is there any doubt that what he believes is the by-product of critical and rational thought grounded in genuine political passion.

Perhaps most importantly, Paul is the only serious candidate aggressively challenging America's addiction to ruling the world through superior military force and acting as an empire -- not by contesting specific policies (such as the Iraq War) but by calling into question the unexamined root premises of these policies, the ideology that is defining our role in the world. By itself, the ability of Paul's campaign to compel a desperately needed debate over the devastation which America's imperial rule wreaks on every level -- economic, moral, security, liberty -- makes his success worth applauding.

Oil Crash Movie