Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Mad At Trump





















Monday, August 21, 2017

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Diaeresis



Mary Norris of The New Yorker does explain, however. (Search online with the terms "New Yorker diaeresis." It should be the first result.)

Friday, August 18, 2017

Second Thoughts

Julius Krein, founding editor of American Affairs, says he voted for Trump and sorely regrets it.

The New York Times, "I Voted for Trump and I Sorely Regret It."

The New York Times, "Talking Trumpism: A New Political Journal Enters the Fray."

From "Our Policy Agenda", American Affairs:

...[T]his journal, although in many ways provoked by the 2016 campaign, arose independently of the new administration. The extent of any affinity between the two remains to be seen.

Garbology

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Louise Hoffsten, "Yeah Yeah!"

I found this entirely by chance.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Honolulu Weekly

Ian Lind shares an article that reports the Honolulu Weekly archive is online through the eVols website at UH-Manoa. This is a real boon for anyone interested in Hawaii's contemporary history.

Honolulu Weekly at eVols (UH-Manoa).

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Friday, August 04, 2017

This Week's Kunstler Columns

Kunstler: Russiatosis.

Russia hysteria has become a full-blown national psychosis at a moment in history when a separate array of troubles poses the real threat to America’s well-being. Most of these have to do with the country’s swan dive into bankruptcy, but meeting them honestly would force uncomfortable choices on the grifters and caitiffs in congress. Meanwhile, the Treasury Dept is burning through its dwindling cash reserves, and all government activities will face a shutdown at the end of the summer unless congress votes to raise the debt ceiling — which may be way harder than passing the stupid Russia sanctions bill.

That bill, vaingloriously called The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act will only blow up in America’s face. This country’s actual trade with Russia is negligible, but the bill aims to interrupt and punish Europe’s trade, centering on oil and natural gas, which they need desperately. Mainly, the US bill seeks to interrupt a gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea that would bypass several of the Baltic Nations currently being used by America — under the NATO banner — as staging areas for unnecessary and provocative war games on Russia’s borders.

Germany is certain to not stand for it, and like it or not, they are the straw that stirs the European drink. The sanctions pretend to seek to isolate Russia, but the effect will only be to isolate the United States. Europe will laugh at the measure as impinging on their sovereign prerogatives to trade as they please. And Russia can turn around and sell all the natural gas it wants to customers in Asia. Left undiscussed in the moronic American media is the American gas industry’s hidden role in pushing the sanctions so it can sell liquefied gas overseas — which would only end up raising the price for American gas customers to heat their homes.

The stupid bill pretends to be a lever for improving relations between the US and Russia, but is actually designed to make relations much worse. In the meantime, the US Deep State military and intelligence matrix is engineering new crises and confrontations for absolutely no good reason. For instance, shoveling arms to Ukraine so it can step up conflict in the eastern Donbass region bordering Russia. The sanctions bill will also make it impossible for the US and Russia to coordinate an end to the conflict in Syria. Anyway, Deep State strategists in the State, Defense, and Intel departments are tacitly determined to create another failed state by insuring continuing chaos there.

Another interesting unanticipated consequence of the sanctions bill is that it will only intensify Russia’s effort, already well underway, to provide for itself many of the products it currently imports. Import replacement, as the process is called, is actually the same dynamic that led to the rise of the USA as a great industrial power in the 19th century, so the bill only prompts Russia to diversify and strengthen its economy.

So what exactly was Mr. Trump thinking when he signed the “deeply flawed” (his words) Russian Sanctions bill coughed up like a hairball by congress? It’s a ridiculous piece of legislation from any angle. It limits the president’s own established prerogatives for negotiating with foreign nations (probably unconstitutionally), and will only provoke economic warfare (at least) against the US that can easily lead to shattering global trade relations entirely. Some observers say he had to sign it because the vote for it in congress was so overwhelming (419 to 3) that they would only override a Trump veto. But the veto would have had, at least, symbolic value in the Jacksonian spirit that Trump pretended to want to emulate at the outset of his term. Perhaps he sees the Deep State endgame and is tired of resisting.

On the home front, Russia paranoia is at the center of Robert Mueller’s intensifying probe of Trump and his political associates as he calls a federal grand jury to hear testimony — which implies that he some lined up. This opens up all kinds of opportunities for prosecutorial mischief, for instance going after every business transaction Trump made as a private citizen before he ran for president, and coercing Trump intimates into immunization deals in exchange for testimony, real or cooked-up, to enable the establishment’s ultimate goal of shoving Trump out.

The “Russian meddling in our election” story hasn’t produced any credible evidence after a full year — and speaking to foreign diplomats is not a crime — but the Russian meddling juggernaut rolls on perfectly well, and might accomplish its ends, without it. Just repeating “Russian meddling” five thousand times on CNN has surely induced many poorly-informed citizens to believe that Russia changed the numbers in American voting machines though, in fact, voting machines are not connected to the Internet.

All of this psychotic political behavior screams for the rise of a new party, or more than one new party, composed of men and women who have not lost their minds. I’m sure they’re out there. Plenty of traces on the Internet attest to the existence of a higher and better political consciousness in this country. It just hasn’t found a way to congeal. Yet.


Kunstler: Narratives Are Not Truths.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Moderate Rebels, a New Podcast

Monday, July 31, 2017

Russia Responds to the Sanctions



L.A. Drives: Angeles Crest Highway

Sarah Records

Various Tweets



This would be news to many churchgoers in Hawaii.







Saturday, July 29, 2017

Liz Hogue, "Dream Lover."

Six-fifty-four as I post this. I've just heard of her and this song.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Kunstler: This Week's Columns

Kunstler: The Value of Everything.

The floundering non-elite masses have not learned the harsh lesson of our time that the virtual is not an adequate substitute for the authentic, while the elites who create all this vicious crap spend millions to consort face-to-face in the Hamptons and Martha’s Vineyard telling each other how wonderful they are for providing all the artificial social programming and glitzy hardware for their paying customers.

The effect of this dynamic relationship so far has been powerfully soporific. You can deprive people of a true home for a while, and give them virtual friends on TV to project their emotions onto, and arrange to give them cars via some financing scam or other to keep them moving mindlessly around an utterly desecrated landscape under the false impression that they’re going somewhere — but we’re now at the point where ordinary people can’t even carry the costs of keeping themselves hostage to these degrading conditions.

The next big entertainment for them will be the financial implosion of the elites themselves as the governing forces of physics finally overcome all the ruses and stratagems of the elites who have been playing games with money. Professional observers never tire of saying that the government can’t run out of money (because they can always print more of it) but they can certainly destroy the value of that money and shred the consensual confidence that allows it to operate as money.

That’s exactly what is about to commence at the end of the summer when the government runs out of cash-on-hand and congress finds itself utterly paralyzed by party animus to patch the debt ceiling problem that disables new borrowing. The elites may be home from the Hamptons and the Vineyard by then, but summers may never be the same for them again.

The Deep State may win its war against the pathetic President Trump, but it won’t win any war against the imperatives of the universe and the way that expresses itself in the true valuation of things. And when the moment of clarification arrives — the instant of cosmic price discovery — the clueless elites will have to really and truly worry about the value of their heads.

More here.

and

Kunstler: Words and Deeds.

The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine — in this case, inexorably toward the restorative medicine of the 25th amendment. There is, after all, that hoary old artifact called the national interest lurking somewhere offstage aside of all this colorful mummery, especially as the Russian Meddling gambit appears to be dribbling away to nothing. It’s more than self-evident that poor Trump is in so far over his head that he’s come down with something like the bends, a debilitating systemic disorder rendering him unfit to execute the powers of office. Decades from now, they’ll say he had “the tweets.”

This is a melodrama of a type the world has seen before in a hundred royal palaces and other centers of mis-rule. The need to get rid of the head of state becomes so painfully self-evident that idle chatter about it ceases and all intention is signaled in mere eye-rolls, sighs, portentous glances, and other fraught devices of body language. That’s what’s going on now in the senate, the agency executive suites, the terraces of Martha’s Vineyard, and surely the hallowed corridors of the White House itself. One way or another, the knives are coming out.

The most economical script would have Trump graciously “resign” and be allowed to return to his familiar money-grubbing activities in real estate, where he can really only do harm to his own bank accounts and family posterity. Or, he could be dragged kicking and screaming from the premises, shall we say, and thrown to the bloodthirsty beasts of Deep State justice. That will not be pretty. Either outcome could provoke a lot of mischief “out there” among those who voted for him.

In any case, I doubt that the polity can take much more of Trump after Labor Day — and I say all this as one who was never part of the so-called “Resistance.” I’m not even very much convinced that getting rid of Trump and installing his stand-in, Mike Pence, will leave the government any less dysfunctional. After all, the nation is riding a larger and scarier arc of history as the techno-industrial fiesta winds down, with all the awfully disruptive consequences that implies.

More here.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

DJ Hell, "Copa."



Two Things

I never cared for McCain, even back in 2000, when he was the maverick-y, supposedly moderate alternative to Bush.

But I always liked Bernie.


(Did you think I was talking about this one?)



Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Calexit Campaign Can Gather Signatures for Ballot Measure

The Sacramento Bee: "California Secession Campaign Can Start Gathering Signatures."


The Los Angeles Times Essential Politics newsletter: "Backers of Another Shot at a 'Calexit' Ballot Measure Can Now Gather Signatures."

Supporters of a plan for California to become independent from the United States are now allowed to gather signatures for their ballot measure.

On Tuesday afternoon, Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra's office released an official title and summary for the initiative, now called the "California Autonomy From Federal Government" initiative.

The website of the California Freedom Coalition.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Attack at June 30, 2017 Hilo Peace Vigil

I just found this while browsing:

http://malu-aina.org/?p=4782

Attack at June 30, 2017 Hilo peace vigil

For the record. At approximately 3:30PM June 30, 2017 a late model 4 door Honda, dark grey or black was parked at the curb near the Hilo Post office with a male driver (white, long haired and beard. Looked similar to Dog the bounty Hunter.) As I walked on the side walk back to my corner leafleting post from using the Post office rest room the man held up his middle finger inside his closed window. I didn’t react at all just kept walking. A little while later the car pulls up to the traffic light. I noticed the same man driving and holding his middle finger up again inside his closed window. I saw a woman in the passenger seat. The car was first in line at the traffic red light with me on the corner sidewalk. Then the man’s power window came down. and he said in a strong southern accent. “Since you hate America so much why don’t you just leave the country?” And then he opens his car door and I immediately moved north back down the sidewalk toward the post office. The man proceeds to yell (unintelligible) and then kicks down our plywood sign that says “Stop the Bombing.” He then gets back in his car and drives off. I didn’t get the license #. Malie Sellers and I were the only two there at the vigil at the time. Others had not yet arrived. Malie was down under the shade tree sitting in a chair quite a distance away and did not see what happened.

The times they are a changing and for the worst. I urge all who can to come join the weekly Hilo peace vigil 3:30 -5PM on Fridays at the downtown Hilo Post office with set up at 3PM. There is more safety for all in numbers.
Mahalo.



Jim Albertini

Spyro Gyra, "Patterns in the Rain."

This has a nice light reggae flavor.

Saturday, July 22, 2017


Friday, July 21, 2017

Kunstler: Meow.

Kunstler: Meow.

For all his blunders and stumbles in his first half-year as President (cough cough), Donald Trump seems to have more lives than Schrödinger’s Cat. Or maybe it just seems that way. Or maybe he isn’t really there at all (like the news these days). Maybe Trump only represents one comic probability in an infinite number of universes of probability, both comic and tragic. I begin to understand why the folks in Hollywood are having a whack attack over the chief executive: you can’t storyboard this bitch; it’s like leaving The Three Stooges on their own in a sound stage to re-make Gone With the Wind.

But then, you begin to wonder: is Russia really there, or is it, too, just another figment of possibility? Don’t try to figure that out by reading the oracular observations of The Washington Post. These days Russia seems to be at once everywhere and nowhere, like the Devil north of Boston in 1693. For example, this fellow Jeff Sessions. Have you noticed that his name rhymes with Russians? Hmmmm. And wasn’t he caught chatting with the Russian Ambassador at the very same convocation of Republicans that picked notorious colluder Donald Trump to stand for President? That’s enough of your damn evidence right there!

Yes, things are passing strange in the world’s greatest democracy these days. To me, seeing the thing through an historical lens, it’s looking more and more like the Salem Witch Frenzy meets the French Revolution with a spin of quantum confusion on top. Right now we’re in the first phase, sheer political lunacy. Beliefs have become ungrounded from the facts of life. The guy whom fate or a prankish deity put in the White House doesn’t even fit the template of the world’s most infamous heads-of-state. I’m sorry to dredge up old Adolf, but really, Hitler himself seemed to have a much firmer idea about what he was doing than Trump does.

The ObamaCare reform fiasco looks like a tipping point toward a strain of toxic political paralysis that might literally kill the government as we’ve known it. Over the many months of debate, congress never even got around to raising the salient issue: that the 18-or-so-percent of the economy “health care” represents consists largely of outright racketeering. Well, they sure blew that one. The major parties are disintegrating before our eyes, despite the seeming sense of decorum that senators present on TV. The public may seem to be mentally on vacation, snoozing on the beach in the midsummer doldrums, but something vicious is in the wind offshore.

I’d actually go further now than the “soft coup d’état” scenario that has Trump run over by the 25th amendment. It will happen, of course, but it will not satisfy anybody. Mike Pence will prove to be as ineffectual and unpopular as Trump, and he will be drowning in financial and fiscal problems, and he will get no help from the legislature in resolving any of it, and before too long there may be a general in the White House — or attempting to run things from someplace else, if he can. The whole nauseating spectacle will be attended by violent popular revolt of region against region and tribe against tribe in a great civil explosion of long-suppressed angst.

Too many nasty forces are vectoring in on the scene to overthrow the dream state America has been languishing in. Most of them involve money (or “money”) and the questions of how can we possibly keep paying for the way we live in this country, and who exactly has been fobbing off with the former wealth of every rusted and busted community in the land? It’s going to start in the stock and bond markets and it will be soon. And then the US Treasury will destroy the dollar trying (again) to save the banks. And the bank accounts will be frozen. And the loans will stop being paid. And the SNAP cards are going to stop working, and pretty soon the just-in-time deliveries to the supermarkets, and the resupply to the gas stations, and there won’t be much that Mike Pence can do about it. He’ll be shoved aside and the military will have to try to restore order in the land. When they do, it will not be the same land we sang about back in the fifth grade. Up in a cloud somewhere over Ohio, maybe, Schrödinger’s Cat will be gazing down on us, grinning.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Leeches



On leech therapy.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Various Tweets



Going through the channels this afternoon, I saw Max was on Tucker Carlson:












Sunday, July 16, 2017

Two Barbers

All they have in common is their surname.



Friday, July 14, 2017

Kunstler's Columns This Week

Lately, Kunstler has taken on the country's intellectual/chattering classes. To him, not only are they concerned with the wrong things, they try to narrow debate. Of course, I disagree with Kunstler's stances on gender and race relations. (He seems to think gender-variance is an example of modern decadence. But examples of such occur throughout history: Here. And Hawaii's own mahu phenomenon.) He is strongest on the importance of (cheap) energy to running modern civilization.

Kunstler: We're Good People, Really We Are!

The disgrace of America’s putative intellectual class is nearly complete as it shoves the polity further into dysfunction and toward collapse. These are the people Nassim Taleb refers to as “intellectuals-yet-idiots.” Big questions loom over this dynamic: How did the thinking class of America sink into this slough of thoughtlessness? And why – what is motivating them?

One path to understanding it can be found in this sober essay by Neal Devers, The Overton Bubble, published two years ago on TheFuturePrimaeval.net — a friend turned me on to it the other day (dunno how I missed it). The title is a reference to the phenomenon known as the Overton Window. Wikipedia summarizes it:


The Overton Window, also known as the window of discourse, is the range of ideas the public will accept…. The term is derived from its originator, Joseph P. Overton (1960–2003), a former vice president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy….

Devers refines the definition:


The Overton Window is a concept in political sociology referring to the range of acceptable opinions that can be held by respectable people. “Respectable” of course means that the subject can be integrated with polite society. Respectability is a strong precondition on the ability to have open influence in the mainstream.

This raises another question: who exactly is in this corps of “respectable people” who set the parameters of acceptable thought? Primarily, the mainstream media — The New York Times, The WashPo, CNN, etc. — plus the bureaucratic functionaries of the permanent government bureaucracy, a.k.a. the Deep State, who make and execute policy, along with the universities which educate the “respectable people” (the thinking class) into the prevailing dogmas and shibboleths of the day, and finally the think tanks and foundations that pay professional “experts” to retail their ideas.

...

Here is an alternative list of matters [the thinking classes] are not generally concerned about or interested in:
•The energy quandary at the heart of our economic malaise.
•The enormous debt racked up to run society in the absence of affordable energy inputs.
•The dangerous interventions and manipulation in markets by unelected officials of the Federal Reserve.
•The extraordinary dysfunction of manipulated financial markets.
•The fragility of a banking system based on accounting fraud.
•The dysfunction and fragility of the American suburban living arrangement.
•The consequences of a catastrophic breakdown in the economy due to the above.
•The destruction of planetary ecology, threatening the continuation of the human race, and potentially all life.

More here.

and

(Note that I don't share his general pessimism.)

Kunstler: Holy Hell.

The abiding enigma of this tormented era remains: why has the thinking class of America abandoned thinking? The answer is: it’s the reaction to their own failure. Failure to do what? To produce the utopia that Gnostic liberalism promised — a perfect world based on altering human nature.

The result is an essentially religious hysteria, like the witch frenzies of Medieval Europe that were sometimes provoked by ergot poisoning — a fungus with toxic psychotropic properties that grew on the harvested rye, inducing frightful hallucinations in the villagers, who then lashed out at their perceived supernatural antagonists. Trump in our time is the ergot on the bread of our politics. And Russia is the witch.

Like other operations of the human mind, this collective fugue-state has a big subconscious module in it: the deep, poorly articulated fear that the signal notion of Progress behind progressive politics in the industrial era has reached a dead end. The world is clearly not becoming a better place, but rather reeling into disorder and ecological crisis, despite all the rational programs and politics of modern democracy, and political failure is everywhere.

More here.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Tucker Carlson vs. Max Boot (and Ralph Peters)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017





But would he be amenable to having a lei placed round his neck?

The End of Aviation

The End of Aviation.

This article is nearly a decade old but still worth reading.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Garbage Collectors

Nancy links to and discusses an essay by a journalist who married a garbage-truck driver. Incidentally, last night on TCM they showed a Finnish movie, Shadows in Paradise, about a garbage-truck driver and his budding romance with a supermarket cashier.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Kunstler's Columns This Week

Kunstler: Lighten Up to Tighten Up.

Perhaps the presidency has been an overly solemn office since, oh, the days of Millard Fillmore, the dreary weight of all that mortal responsibility — slavery, war, more war, depression, yet more war, nukes, we shall overcome, terror, Lehman Brothers, Ferguson, Russia here, there, and everywhere…uccchhh….

And so, at last: a little comic relief. I mean, imagine Grover Cleveland putting the choke-slam on Thomas Nast. Dwight Eisenhower punching out Edward R. Murrow. Jack Kennedy applying the Macumba Death Grip to Walter Lippman. Nahhhh. But Donald (“The Golden Golem of Greatness”) Trump versus CNN! Now that’s a matchup worthy of the WWF Hall of Fame. I just kind of wish the big fella had gone all the way and put in Anderson Cooper’s mug instead of the CNN logo box. Make it truly up front and personal since, let’s face it, Andy has been the most visible conduit of Jeff Zucker’s animadversions.

More here.

and

Kunstler: Suicide by Stupidity.

One has to wonder, though, about the editors who serve up this baloney. Are they mere servelings of the Rand Corporation, Raytheon, and other parties with an interest in the war business, or can they possibly believe their own extrusions of fabricated agit-prop?

For instance, the imputed Russian “annexation of Crimea,” as if the place was some kind of nostalgic, sore-beset Ruritania of independent princes, colorful peasants, and earnest postal clerks cruelly enslaved by bloodthirsty Cossacks. No, Crimea had been officially a province of Russia since exactly 1783 — which was, by the way, the same year that the American Revolution officially ended via the Treaty of Paris.

After the Russian Revolution (1917) the Crimean peninsula became an autonomous province of the Soviet Union, meaning it remained a part of what was then Russia. In 1954, Nikita Khrushchev turned the administrative duties over to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which was then also a province of the greater USSR, i.e. Russia. Through the entire modern era, Crimea has been the site of the USSR’s, and now Russia’s, only warm-water naval bases. Ask the average American college student why that is, and you will surely receive a blank stare.

Crimea is a peninsula on the Black Sea, which connects to the Mediterranean Sea. Hence Crimea’s strategic value. For a few short years in the 21st century, following the breakup of the USSR, the now-independent Ukraine had possession of Crimea and essentially rented the existing naval bases to Russia. That provided a much needed revenue stream for the struggling country, which was also utterly dependent on imported Russian natural gas supplies, which Ukraine had to pay for.

When the elected president of Ukraine, Victor Yanukovych, was overthrown in 2014, with the help of the US State Department and CIA, Russia was obliged to secure its naval bases in Crimea — where the overwhelming majority of citizens were culturally and linguistically Russian anyway. A referendum ratified the transfer of Crimea back to Russia. Apart from these procedural details, it must be obvious that Russia would never have ceded its strategic naval bases on the Black Sea to Ukraine, especially when that beleaguered country was being manipulated by the USA and NATO into becoming an adversarial presence on Russia’s border.

More here.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Happy Fourth of July!

The Declaration of Independence in 76 Tweets.







Monday, July 03, 2017

Who Knew?

The Washington Post: "Who Knew? Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is a Harley Rider."

I didn't know till just now.

Max Blumenthal

3 July update: I asked Hattie her thoughts on Max:

Re: your retweet of this:
https://mobile.twitter.com/marcushjohnson/status/881712703424933889?p=p

What do you think of Max Blumenthal nowadays?

Posted by: Poppa Zao | July 03, 2017 at 02:26 PM


Hattie


Huh. He and his friends need to understand that only a broad center-left coalition can save us.

Posted by: Hattie | July 03, 2017 at 09:21 PM
----------

Will this develop into a giant West Side Story-style dance off between alt-left and centrist factions?











Friday, June 30, 2017

"Oral History Research Method" and "Oral History in the Digital Age."



and





Number One on the Billboard Charts, Then and Now



Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer, "No More Tears (Enough is Enough."



Three Songs About California





"How Gotham Gave Us Trump."

How Gotham Gave Us Trump," a Politico article that also provides an overview of a different time and place.

"What DID Happen to Peak Oil?"



Here.

The Ice Archive

Greta Van Susteren Out at MSNBC




I never watched Greta on CNN, Fox News, or MSNBC.



That's the first time I've heard of "BSNBC." But I've heard it called "MSLSD" and "MSDNC" countless times.

Galliano, "Jus' Reach."

En Vogue, "Give It Up Turn It Loose."



From Funky Divas, 1992.

Kunstler: The Technicolor Swan and When the Deal Goes Down.

Kunstler is a registered Democrat but despises the modern party. Perhaps he could register as an independent.

Kunstler: The Technicolor Swan.

I registered as a Democrat in 1972 — largely because good ole Nixon was at the height of his power (just before his fall, of course), and because he was preceded as party leader by Barry Goldwater, who, at the time, was avatar for the John Birch Society and all its poisonous nonsense. The Democratic Party was still deeply imbued with the personality of Franklin Roosevelt, with a frosting of the recent memory of John F. Kennedy and his brother Bobby, tragic, heroic, and glamorous. I was old enough to remember the magic of JFK’s press conferences — a type of performance art that neither Bill Clinton or Barack Obama could match for wit and intelligence — and the charisma of authenticity that Bobby projected in the months before that little creep shot him in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel. Even the lugubrious Lyndon Johnson had the heroic quality of a Southerner stepping up to abolish the reign of Jim Crow.

Lately, people refer to this bygone era of the 1960s as “the American High” — and by that they are not talking about smoking dope (though it did go mainstream then), but rather the post World War Two economic high, when American business might truly ruled the planet. Perhaps the seeming strength of American political leaders back then was merely a reflection of the country’s economic power, which since has been squandered and purloined into a matrix of rackets loosely called financialization — a criminal magic act whereby wealth is generated without producing anything of value.

Morehere.





Kunstler: When the Deal Goes Down.

Who needs Russia when the Tweety-Bird-in-Chief is hacking his own presidency into a global joke? Or at least it might be a joke if the USA weren’t such a menace to international order, and to itself, by the way. Interestingly, the 25th amendment allows for the removal of a president from office on account of incompetence or disability, but not for being an embarrassment to the nation.

They may come after him anyway with the 25th, especially as the financial system unravels later this year, because this time, unlike 2008-9, central bank interventions will not avail to rescue the faltering money system from nine years of previous central bank interventions. All it takes is for the “liquidity” flows to seize up and before you know it, there’s no food in the supermarkets because everything in our just-in-time economy is exquisitely calibrated to the sure expectation of getting paid, and when that goes, it all goes.

More here.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Monday, June 26, 2017

Various Tweets



I didn't know.







Surprising. But West Virginia, according to this, is not really part of the Bible Belt.






(Via @msscheffer)


You'll never know what you'll find at the free-materials cart at the local library. A few days ago I picked up this very issue therefrom.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Roberta Flack, "Making Love."



Kunstler: Rain Dance. (Plus, McCain.)

Kunstler: Rain Dance.

Think of the ObamaCare reform debate now playing in the US Senate as the final gurglings of polity that knows it is whirling around the drain. They’re pretending to attempt to fix a racket that comprises eight percent of the American economy. Yikes! How did that happen? At the beginning of the 20th century it was one-quarter of one percent (.25 percent) of the economy.

...

The standard explanation is that, first, Medicare jacked up overall healthcare activity in the 1960s, hauling in a customer-base of old folks who previously received no special treatment and were, generally, less well than non-old folk. Secondarily, technological innovation opened up so many new methods of disease control for everybody, young and old, that we’re able to treat more sickness in more complicated ways — and that drove costs up way further.

The greater part of the story remains neatly concealed within the matrix of rackets erected around the money-flows since the big cost bump-up in the 1960s, and these involve insurance companies, Big Pharma, corporatized doctors’ practices, hospital monopolies, and, of course, politicians on-the-take dividing amongst each other a colossal pool of grift that exists mainly for one simple reason: the cost of everything is hidden from public view.

Nobody has any idea what anything costs. Certainly not the patients, sometimes called “customers” or “consumers” — but really hostages. If you go into the hospital for a stent in the left descending coronary artery, nobody will tell you what it costs, starting with the doctors who have performed the procedure a thousand times. They can’t even estimate the cost (or won’t), though they could probably give you a pretty good ballpark number for the cost-and-installation of a new fuel pump on their BMW-28i.

Charges for medical care are never discussed with the patient. Doctors especially pretend to regard such a proposition as beneath the dignity of their profession, rather like British aristocrats regarded all questions pertaining to money in the Downton Abby scheme of things — a filthy business better left to the servants, like disposing of the table-scraps. Of course the “servants” in the hospital scheme of things are a fantastic hierarchy of dangerously overfed clerks overwhelmed by the anomie of spending countless hours typing fictitious numbers into their work stations. A more pointless life can hardly be conceived. If you ask the ones who “interface” with you at the check-out counter how your bill was toted up exactly, you will receive nothing more than a pitiless stare of contempt — which is actually aimed inward at their own existential quandaries, a pathological dynamic that perhaps deserves attention from the research funding troughs.

The cost of everything medical is worked out in a private rain-dance between the aforementioned manifold concerned parties on the basis of what they think they can get away with in any particular case. In hospitals, this is enabled by the notorious ChargeMaster system which, to put it as simply as possible, allows hospitals to just make shit up.

More here.

-------
Edit: And might I say that I've never cared for McCain, not even in 2000, when the media was chattering about him as an alternative to George Bush. This is just another reason why. #mccaintheweathervane

Monday, June 19, 2017

Kunstler: Absent Without Leave.

Kunstler: Absent Without Leave.

It ain’t bragging if it’s true. I’ve said repeatedly on this blog for years that the federal government would only become more impotent, more incompetent, and more ineffectual as The Long Emergency rolled out. And here we are now, at just such pass in history. More here.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Nancy Nall's New Typeface

I visited NancyNall.com a few minutes ago, and I love the new cursive typeface. I'm going to hazard a guess that it's Vanilla Daisy Script.

20 June update: JC Burns replies:

Spectral is indeed the body copy font, designed specifically for extra screen legibility for long reads—and the wacky summer-y script font is Pacifico (also sourced from Google web fonts.)

About Spectral.

About Pacifico.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly vs. 60 Minutes



I haven't watched 60 Minutes in ages, except for its feature on Bruno Mars. I don't plan to watch Megyn Kelly.


---------

I never had any use for Megyn Kelly. Unlike the people I referenced in my first sentence, she’s capable of coming around to humane positions on some issues, as long as they affect her personally. [Emphasis mine.--P.Z.] She was against mandated maternal leave until she had children; she was dismissive of sexual harassment claims until the late Roger Ailes started creeping on her. If, God forbid, one of her kids ever gets shot at school, I doubt she’ll have Alex Jones on her show again. --bitter scribe, NancyNall.com

---------
19 June 2017: CNN: The interview ratings. The hullabaloo didn't make too many people watch.



















Friday, June 09, 2017

Kunstler: Moby Trump.

Kunstler: Moby Trump.

He breached out of the horse latitudes in the Great Sea of Politics last spring and destroyed all the lesser whales with his mighty flukes, but now the Democratic Pequod, with its diverse and inclusive crew has vowed to chase him to the ends of the earth until he spouts black blood and rolls dead out. It’s Moby Trump! Skin your eyes for him men (and women, and intersectional non-binary zhes, theys, and hirs)! Do ye see a Bitcoin nailed to yonder mast? It goes to ye who raises me that whale of white privilege!

Who is Ahab in this story? Why The New York Times, of course. Such is the vastness of its pious obsession with the cosmic malignity of Moby Trump, who chomped off Ahab’s limb — fondly known as Hillary — the last time the Pequod set sail. With Jim Comey as Starbuck, the ever-upright Quaker mate, cool, aloof, marinated in rectitude, yet deadly with his lance.

And so the great American tragedy plays out on C-Span.

Remember, though, that in the original tale penned by the loser (never made a buck) Herman Melville, the white whale sank the Pequod in a final, desperate, whorl of vengeance, while Ahab drowned entwined in his own harpoon lines, pinned upon the very hump of his inscrutable quarry. And I alone am left to tell thee….

More here.




Tuesday, June 06, 2017



I don't know about lifeless but creepy, yes





------


The Chrises, from left to right: Pine, Hemsworth, Evans, Pratt.

Forthcoming: "Why Kunstler?"

In the near future I plan to post "Why Kunstler?" in which I figure where I agree and disagree with Kunstler (and his supporters and detractors).

Monday, June 05, 2017

Kunstler: Gimme Shelter

Kunstler essentially sees Russia as a country with its act together.

Kunstler: Gimme Shelter

“Have you all lost your mind?” Vladimir Putin replied to one of Megyn Kelly’s thrusts about alleged Russian perfidy toward the US in the gala interview that debuted her new Sunday Night star-chamber on CNN [Actually, she's now on NBC--P.Z.]. Old Vlad put his finger on something there. His view of the late goings-on in America is like that of the proverbial detached Martian observer of strange Earthly doings, rattling his antennae and clicking his mouth-parts in mirth.

To which retort, by the way, one would have to answer, ”Yes, absolutely.” The toils of slow economic collapse, accompanied by the ceaseless effort by various arms of the Deep State to spin “the narrative” around the voting public’s collective head, has driven the polity insane. And this, of course, is on view in the bedlam that US politics has become, Trump and all. I’m waiting for The New York Times to run the three-column headline that says Russia Racist, Misogynist, and Islamophobic to finally bring together the programmed paranoia of NeoCon / DemProg alliance with the esprit de corp of the new collegiate Red Guard.

Mr. Putin does not have to lift a finger to detonate the groaning garbage barge of US domestic affairs. It’s already ignited and is faring toward a very peculiar species of civil war. You can be sure that the NeoCon / DemProg axis is determined to get rid of Trump at all costs. Impeachment requires some sort of high crime or misdeamenor. So far, going on a year, they haven’t come up with any evidence that the Golden Golem of Greatness acted as a Russian agent in some fashion, and that itself has got to be a little suspicious, considering the thousands of clerks in the spinning mills of those legendary seventeen Intel outfits the government runs. How could they fail to come up with a video of the Donald and Vladimir swatting each other playfully with birch switches in a Moscow banya? Five TV sitcom writers could surely come up with an angle — as long as it was a plausible entertainment.

More here.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

The Griffin Thing

is another manufactured controversy/much ado about nothing/a consequence of foolish behavior/a golden opportunity for grandstanding and shilling merchandise.

6 June update: From September 2014, Splitsider.com: "Reappraisals: The Passion of Kathy Griffin."

Octave Minds feat. Chance the Rapper, "Tap Dance."

Friday, June 02, 2017

Kunstler: The So-Called Resistance and Covfefe Land

This week (Monday and today), Kunstler posted two columns about the anti-Trump Resistance movement. He finds both the Resistance and the pro-Trump movements severely lacking in what it takes to deal with the real problem: a contracting economy due in part to oil scarcity.

Kunstler: The So-Called Resistance.

Entropy never sleeps. It works remorselessly to transform things of value into useless, dissipated waste and heat. Complexity stokes it especially as the law of diminishing returns multiplies the wheels of futility spinning down to zero. Hence, the intellectual decay of American life in which spin is everything, anything goes, and nothing matters.

The latest manifestation of this dynamic is the curious movement that styles itself The Resistance, lately adopted by the grotesque handmaiden of the Deep State that the Democratic Party became in the regency of Hillary Clinton. Its mission is to undo the results of the last national election by claiming that Russia undid it. It pretends to seek the restoration of something — but what? Of dissipated power relations within the Deep State itself?

President Trump is actually taking care of that by turning government management over to his generals and the minions of Goldman Sachs. The generals are reinvesting in the strategic black hole of our military adventures overseas. The Goldman Sachs appointees are making Wall Street safe for the continued asset-stripping of the USA. The last time I checked, Hillary’s gang did not oppose either of these endeavors.


Kunstler: Covfefe Land.

The extraordinary thought disorders of this moment in history are equally distributed across the political spectrum. They’re an inevitable product of what Sigmund Freud identified as the discontents of civilization, but they grow especially acute as that civilization enters an economic crack-up zone. The craziness is equally distributed while the nation’s wealth is not. The old middle, or center, is imploding both economically and psychologically, concentrating distortions of reality at each end, Left and Right.

The disordered thought in Trumpism is as self-evident as (a) covfefe, though it came into being out of the authentic pain of those classes that bear the brunt of accelerating collapse. The thought disorders among Trump’s adversaries interest me more, because they emanate from the far more educated ranks of society, the place where rational leadership is supposed to spawn. If you can’t depend on those people to think straight in difficult times, then it raises the question of what exactly is the value of an advanced education?

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Friday, May 26, 2017

Kunstler: No Exit.

Kunstler: No Exit.

A most curious feature in the current low state of American politics is the delusional thinking at both ends of the political spectrum. Both factions have gone off the rails mentally, and the parties they represent race toward oblivion like Thelma and Louise in their beater car. More ominously, there are no new factions with a grip on reality even beginning to form anywhere in the background — as in the 1850s when the Whigs foundered and the party of Lincoln segued into power.

To see the Democrats go on about “Russian collusion” you would think we were watching a rerun of the John Birch Society in its heyday. Americans who have done business in Russia as private citizens are being persecuted as though they were trading with the enemy in wartime. Newsflash: we are not at war with Russia, which, by the way, is no longer the Soviet Union. It is one of many European countries that Americans are entitled to do business in — even in the case of General Mike Flynn accepting a $20,000 speaking fee from the RT news company. Has anyone noticed that Ben Bernanke routinely takes $200,000-plus speaking fees in many foreign countries whose interests are not identical to ours and no one is persecuting him.

More here.

Thursday, May 25, 2017





Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Is Arundhati Roy India's answer to Joyce Carol Oates?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Various Tweets













He looks like the kind of guy who loves using profanity in news articles.







Monday, May 22, 2017

Lucy Jones's Doomsday Earthquake Scenarios

Kunstler: Do You, Mr. Jones...?

Kunstler: Do You, Mr. Jones...?

In case you wonder how our politics fell into such a slough of despond, the answer is pretty simple. Neither main political party, or their trains of experts, specialists, and mouthpieces, can construct a coherent story about what is happening in this country — and the result is a roaring wave of recursive objurgation and wrath that loops purposelessly towards gathering darkness.

What’s happening is a slow-motion collapse of the economy. Neither Democrats or Republicans know why it is so remorselessly underway. A tiny number of well-positioned scavengers thrive on the debris cast off by the process of disintegration, but they don’t really understand the process either — the lobbyists, lawyers, bankers, contractors, feeders at the troughs of government could not be more cynical or clueless.

The nation suffers desperately from an absence of leadership and perhaps even more from the loss of faith that leadership is even possible after years without it. Perhaps that’s why so much hostility is aimed at Mr. Putin of Russia, a person who appears to know where his country stands in history, and who enjoys ample support among his countrymen. How that must gall the empty vessels like Lindsey Graham, Rubio, Schumer, Feinstein, Ryan, et. al.

So along came the dazzling, zany Trump, who was able to communicate a vague sense-memory of what had been lost in our time of American life, whose sheer bluster resembled something like conviction as projected via the cartoonizing medium of television, and who entered a paralysis of intention the moment he stepped into the oval office, where he proved to be even less authentic than the Wizard of Oz. Turned out he didn’t really understand the economic collapse underway either; he just remembered an America of 1962 and though somehow the national clock might be turned back.

The industrial triumph of America in the 19th and 20th century was really something to behold. But like all stories, it had a beginning, a middle, and an end, and we’re closer to the end of that story than the middle. It doesn’t mean the end of civilization but it means we have to start a new story that provides some outline of a life worth living on a planet worth caring about.

For the moment the fragmentary stories of redemption revolve around technological rescue remedies, chiefly the idea that electric cars will save the nation. This dumb narrative alone ought to inform you just how lost we are, because the story assumes that our prime objective is to remain car-dependent at all costs — when one of the main features in the story of our future is the absolute end of car dependency and all its furnishings and accessories. We can’t imagine going there. (How would you, without a car?)

More here.