Friday, July 29, 2016

Gary Johnson Keeps a Low Profile

"While Jill Stein Rallies Sanders Supporters, Gary Johnson Keeps Low Profile."

Sports Authority in Hilo is Now Closed

An article on the panic in the retail industry set off by Sports Authority's bankruptcy.

Yesterday was the last day Sports Authority in Hilo was open. I happened to be at the Plaza around noon, so I checked it out. Signs announcing merchandise was now 90% Off, but hardly anything was left. The store itself was almost completely empty. Not even shelves. Whether people were loading up at these rock-bottom prices or it was a liquidator who already removed merchandise is anyone's guess. I asked a saleswoman what time the store closed. She said seven p.m. Then I left.

The space could be filled again soon, if a Dick's Sporting Goods or a similar-sized outfit comes to the Plaza. More likely, it will stand empty, maybe for years, the way it did when Woolworth's closed in the early `90s.

It's not that Sports Authority wasn't popular in Hilo, it was. But the Sports Authority bankruptcy means all of its stores nationwide will close.

Pacific Business News: Sports Authority to Close All of Its Hawaii Stores.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Kanye West: "Ultralight Beam."

From The Life of Pablo.

In Hawaii. we call this "make a$$" #pit-tee #puating

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Bill Kreml, Green Party Presidential Candidate

Bill Kreml is also running for the Green Party presidential nomination.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party

Max Blumenthal's book of several years ago was premature. The Republican Gomorrah moment is now.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Is he from Hawaii?

Kunstler: The Odious Versus the Tedious

Kunstler: The Odious Versus the Tedious.

You thought the Republican convention was a ghastly spectacle of royal Trumpery (and Iago-style backstabbing featuring the arch-asshole Ted Cruz)? Now comes the Democratic Annunciation of I’m-With-Her-It’s-My-Turn, the incarnation of crony corruption in our late-state Republic of Racketeering. Remember that old movie, The Exorcist, with its demonic spewage of projectile vomit. Expect something like that on the grand scale in Philadelphia this week as the Exalted-Breaker-of-Glass-Ceilings steps forth to accept her victory tiara.

The New York Times is blaming the Ruskies for releasing those thousands of new emails disclosing the perfidy of the Democratic National Committee staff in pimping for Hillary against Bernie and trafficking with the major network news operations to manage and spin things Her way — and especially to rig the electoral machinery against Sanders. How much will his supporters Feel the Bern this week in Philly as the party attempts to put on an appearance of unity (Ha!) behind HRC? How can it conceivably be possible now for Bernie to stand by her side for the crucial unity photo op? I suspect he’d rather chew his right arm off.

For my money, the Ruskies should get the Nobel Peace Prize if they were behind the email release. What higher service to democracy than to expose the anti-democratic workings of the party that affects to call itself Democratic? The sudden appearance of 20,000 smoking guns made party chairperson Debbie Wasserman-Schultz vamoose faster than you can say Debbie Wasserman Schultz, though her replacement, Donna Brazile is every inch just another blatant HRC foot-soldier. Perhaps she’ll have to orchestrate the proceedings with smoke signals or invisible ink instead of emails.

As the conventions rolled out, the aggregate miasma we call the news industry resorted to that tired trope of Optimism Versus Pessimism. Translation: you can’t handle the truth so somebody please bring out the rainbow-leaping unicorns. The American zeitgeist is a tattered garment worn by a three hundred pound tranny in a diabetic coma. It’s probably beyond salvation at this point. Somebody please put it out of its misery. Hence: Trump Versus Hillary, the odious versus the tedious, the election to end all elections.

I derived scant enlightenment listening to the Republican nominee Trump’splainin’ just how he will make America great again. As sheer oratory, Trump made Warren G. Harding look like Pericles. “I am your voice,” he bellowed to the assembled delegates dressed in costumes that made them appear like rodeo clowns from another planet. And that speech was carefully crafted by supposed professionals and mounted on a telepromper. Now Trump will go forth speaking in his usual incoherent vernacular as he vies to become the first president removed by a military coup d’├ętat for blundering incompetence.

Hillary countered by showboating her vice-presidential pick, Tim Kaine of Virginia, America’s new high school Spanish teacher. I was only surprised that she didn’t choose Lebron James. Ambition called and Tim Kaine answered and you wonder just how he will regret picking up the phone as the campaign heats up and he has to Kaine’splain the growing allegations of Hillary’s misdeeds. Can a running mate up and quit before the election? It’s never happened before.* But Kaine might be concerned about his reputation.

So, gird your loins for the awful pageantry of the week to come: kind of a road company version of The Manchurian Candidate. The election is now between the borderline personality Mommy and the arch-narcissist Daddy for the hearts and minds of a public sore beset by the initial spasms of economic and cultural collapse. Perhaps Big Brother is waiting in the wings.

*A reader reminds me that George McGovern’s running mate in 1972, Sen. Tom Eagleton of Missouri, stepped aside when it became public that he’d been hospitalized for mental illness earlier in life and subjected to electroshock therapy. My bad.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Various Tweets

Someday, I'd like to write about the malls of Hilo, and maybe the island. We went to a matinee last week Wednesday and afterwards, we walked around the Plaza. I looked in at Sports Authority, now set to close in a few days. Already, the store was emptying out. The shoe section was consolidated elsewhere; the shelves and merchandise were gone from its original location. Woolworth, the last store to occupy the space, closed ca. 1994. There was a kids' play area set up in part of the former store, but nothing fully replaced Woolworth until Sports Authority opened in 2012. Whether another big store comes along soon or never is anyone's guess. I know that the old Safeway at the Plaza stands empty years after the supermarket relocated to a new, bigger building in 2011.

More later.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Sunday, July 17, 2016

On occasion I check out the blog of Cooz1edad, who used to comment frequently at until late last year. Whether he was exiled by Nancy or just decided to quit the blog, I cannot say. No one could spew vitriol as copiously and ostentatiously as he, and sometimes fellow commenters got splashed. Nowadays, he gnashes his teeth away in Person County, North Carolina.

This is from the other day.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

But by offering to step aside if Bernie wanted to run as the Green candidate, Jill Stein has diminished herself, if only a little.

Friday, July 15, 2016

I've stopped regularly watching the cable news shows a long time ago. We have before us a paltry choice of candidates for President, and I see many people not voting this year.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Sequence

Wendy Williams this morning reported that Angie Stone was upset about not being invited to the VH-1 Hip Hop Honors show. It turns out she belonged to The Sequence, (one of) the first female rap groups.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Monday, July 11, 2016

Kunstler: Lit and Sputtering

Kunstler himself is lit and sputtering today.

Kunstler: Lit and Sputtering.

You can see where the trajectory of events is leading. The country will be distracted by racial strife this summer while the global banking system implodes, disabling trade relations and the super-long supply chains we depend on for all common goods from oil to fresh food. Unless the remnants of the Republican Party act responsibly and find a way to replace Trump with a capable candidate, the nation will get what it deserves: a clown in the white house at the climax of the Fourth Turning.

The racial events of recent days resonate in a fog of cognitive dissonance. What really happened in those two incidents involving Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge Louisiana? Too many people pretend to know exactly why these two men were shot by cops. The video recordings of the incidents are ambiguous. In the Castile case, the recording doesn’t start until just after the deed is done.

Given the universal hyper-awareness of the current mood around the country, I doubt that policemen would throw away their livelihoods for a few thrilling seconds of malice. They know exactly what happens after the gun comes out: suspension, investigation, end-of-career, possibly civil prosecution, lawyers and more lawyers, a special hell of lawyers, and no way to make a living in the meantime. In a word: ruin.

These two incidents were followed by the shootings in Dallas by one Micah Johnson of twelve cops, five of whom died. That matter was not so ambiguous. The authorities quickly determined what happened and why. It is likely to lead to more assassinations and bushwhackings of police because a peculiar social mechanism gives people permission to re-enact atrocities once certain lines are crossed. We saw that in the political assassinations that commenced in the 1960s. The Jihadi beheadings and other monstrosities work similarly.

The possibilities for mayhem around the upcoming party conventions (Philadelphia and Cleveland) now look much darker than just a few weeks ago. Hillary took advantage of last week’s racial strife to deflect the blows she took from FBI Director James Comey in his public remarks about Hillary’s email problem. She went into full pander mode, blaming “white privilege” for the recent enormities involving guns and police. Of course, that will only fuel the “narrative” that whites are wholly responsible for black dysfunction, a false story that will lead to more conflict.

The legal spectacle surrounding Hillary and the FBI left many thoughtful Americans scratching their heads. The most superficial angle was how FBI Director Comey let Hillary off the hook because her “extremely careless” actions involving the email server did not include any “intent” to break the laws. The trouble is, the federal statutes pertaining to the case do not require any evidence of intent; the actions alone are enough to warrant a criminal referral. Mr. Comey skated over this matter. One cute theory circulating is that he didn’t dare to alter history by setting in motion events that would elevate Trump to power. Who knows…?

Much more remains to be seen in the Hillary email matter, because the real issue is not whether she maintained a private email server against regulations but whether she used that email server to stuff the bank account of the Clinton Foundation with money grifted while serving as Secretary of State. You can be sure we have not heard the end of that issue, and beyond that are the questions surrounding her gigantic speaking fees from Too-Big-Too-Fail banks, the texts of which she has resolutely refused to publically disclose.

This latter issue will become increasingly of interest to voters this summer and fall as trouble in the European banks provokes a contagion of banking failures that will thunder around the planet and begin to cause very serious practical problems for daily life in all the so-called advanced economies. Nobody in and around power in America these days is equipped to manage this epochal calamity, especially while we stumble and blunder our way into race war.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

A Goal

I've found some really interesting books over the past few months, even the other day, about ecology. And I'd like to get them, read them, and post a substantial review.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Kunstler: New Column, New Book, New Podcast

Kunstler: "Out Out, Damned Email!"

Also, this week is published The Harrows of Spring, the last book in Kunstler's tetralogy of World Made by Hand novels. In other words, the fourth and final book in the World Made by Hand series about a post-oil America.

And Kunstlercast 278: Alice Friedemann--When the Trucks Stop Running. Alice J. Friedemann is the author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the future of transportation.”

Monday, July 04, 2016

I've never heard of Prairie Belt, but I like the label.

Nancy freaks out because she sees a teenager reading an actual newspaper, and not just skimming the sports page. What, kids shouldn't read the paper? I've been reading the paper daily since at least I was ten, and probably before then.

6 July update: The Pew Research Center's overview of the American newspaper industry.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Times are Tough But Opportunity Presents Itself.

I can't blame Kunstler for seeming to be concerned with money. Times are tough all over.

From Peak Oil Review: A Midweek Update, 30th June 2016:

The situation in Venezuela, however, is a major threat to the world’s oil supply. So far there have been no reports of a major decline in Caracas’s oil production, but the oil service companies which are owed some $2 billion in back payments have announced reductions in operations. Some US companies have been supporting the Venezuelan oil industry for nearly 100 years. What little food left in the country is going to those with lots of money, political clout, or guns, and widespread starvation is likely unless there is massive foreign intervention with relief supplies in the next few weeks. A societal collapse in Venezuela is likely to be more serious and longer lasting.

The country has been producing about 2.3 million b/d. The government and national oil company are keeping quiet about the current situation amidst fears that the country will default on its bond payments in the 4th quarter when some $4 billion comes due. A loss of a large part of the country’s oil production would obviously have a serious impact on the global oil supply and move prices higher.

More later.