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June 01, 2011


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As I noted in the Palin Blog. I am saving my 4 wheeler for the coming Mad Max wars.

"The Dream of Scipio", 2002, by Iian Pears, say it all.

Do you know what it was like to be away from all forms of electronic communication devices for a week, then upon my return to "civilization" my senses are bombarded by story after story after story about a tweeted photo of someone's weimar-weiner???

This is the advancement of mankind in the twenty-first century??

Hows bout a club meet.
Saturday at Urban bean.

"How's that hopey-changey thing working out for you"

Dumb people are really good at parroting GOP talking points.

I think historical analogies can be lightly overlaid contemporaneous reality without damaging either history or logic. The trouble usually starts when people insist that the correlations are always determinative. Actually, patterns almost always falsify since reality itself is far too complex for neat formulas. We are not Rome or Germany. What we are is a nation facing its own unique and future-threatening crisis with an idiotic citizenry and a feckless elite. Depression-era America, by contrast, was an oasis of rationality and self-restraint.

There are two pincers moving in tandem to an unhappy conclusion. One is a debt crisis that demands economic growth to either prevent or diminish. The other is an energy crisis that threatens to magnify the debt crisis by making growth impossible. We cannot grow our way out of our fiscal predicament since cheap energy is the necessary predicate.

The political theater is all Sturm und Drang but it's the street outside that will eventually see the real action. As it stands, the "haves" are locking in their current advantages by insisting that they cannot be taxed at any higher rate. This ideological fillip is really a fundamental claim to their superior status as property-owning Americans. The "have nots" are demoralized and incapable of mounting much if any protest.

I frequent right-wing websites to more fully understand this crisis. What I sense increasingly is the righteousness of their victimology. Like Weimer if to a lesser degree, the Dolchstoss explanation is the most evocative expression of their collective grievance. We were a happy and prosperous nation until liberals started giving everything away to blacks (or Mexicans. Or unions. Or environmentalists. Or lesbian PC cops in HR departments).

Total explanations totally deceive but they're absolutely necessary if citizens are going to find the will to do the unthinkable. That's why Republicans have been so busy constructing an alternative reality, immune from facts, ordinary empiricism, and reasonable debate. It's why zealotry is the new norm for its presidential candidates. And it's why a sense of certitude squashes all doubts. A party this enthralled is not going to behave as if bipartisanship is either good or even productive in the short term.

Mainstreaming extremism was the unique accomplishment of our neutered media. And this is where we stand at this particular crossroads as the abyss approaches. There is no looking back, because the darkness on the horizon is like a line of tornadoes on a nice spring day in the bucolic Midwest. We wonder lazily what could go wrong. We are about to find out.

Good stuff soleri.


Somewhere in the middle of the African plains, one million years ago. A mid-level tribesman notices a young lady eyeballing his private area. (known as his public area back during pre-clothing times). He walks up to her and says, "Ooga mooga, uunga mogumba". Which is African plains talk means, "Why don't you take a picture, it'll last longer".

Fast forward one million years and a mid-level tribesman tweets a photo of his privates under his whitey-tighties.

and ...................


( : - )

Brilliant writing and thinking, Soleri

Ok Soleri, U can break that down and explain over coffee. And advise me if the rich superiority is not glued together with the belief in survival of the fittest and you can tell who's going to heaven by accumulation of wealth. And the rich have sold this opiate to enough not so rich tea party types to foment a revolution that will kill off the weak and poor. God is on the side of the guy with the gold and the guns.

Intresting:The protagonist in a typical Sturm und Drang stage work, poem, or novel is driven to action—often violent action—not by pursuit of noble means nor by true motives, but by revenge and greed. Goethe's unfinished Prometheus exemplifies this along with the common ambiguity provided by juxtaposing humanistic platitudes with outbursts of irrationality.[7] The literature of Sturm und Drang features an anti-aristocratic slant while seeking to elevate all things humble, natural, or intensely real (especially whatever is painful, tormenting, or frightening).


about that "lightly overlaid contemporaneous" thing.

I find dark humor in the fact that when you read a book about the life and times of Will Rogers, his quotes and statements about the politics of this country during his time, still fit our current politics as if he were here witnessing this madness in person.

Why are we not evolving? We appear to be stuck in a destruction loop.

Azrebel, Will Rogers didn't have to communicate with a nation opiated on TV and fast food, or one that was living in anonymous housing pods near monster freeways, and bereft of a nurturing social matrix or any semblance of actual community. America of 2011 is vastly different than the America of 1930. Look at the photographs of Dorothea Lange or Walker Evans. Consider that America was still a primarily agrarian society, and that those who worked in factories actually made things. The slippage over the past 80 years has been devastating and irremediable. This is why politics can't be compartmentalized away from everything else. And it's why the right is at least half right when they say "it's the culture, stupid". What they won't say is that they were entirely happy to see ordinary life become yet one more commodity to be bought and sold. When you read Kunstler, you get that our real problem has more to do with the fundamental insanity of modernism itself. We didn't decide this for ourselves. It happened. And the rest is noise.

Nice one soleri, but I'm going with the Weimar Republic anyway after my latest no harm, no foul $181/$221 speeding ticket this morning (in front of the location of my old high school no less). It's all about separating the "others" from the "righteous". Rome had much the same attitude (separating the "Barbarian (uncivilized)" from the "Romans (righteous and civilized" -- although Terry Jones' Barbarbian Lives on the History Channel did a good job of debunking this). But there is no Barbarian Horde waiting to take out the US. We will have to implode like Germany, but should this happen, I think it will be like glass shattering. There will be no more USA. Only unhappy, oppressive fiefdoms.

WTF:The Obama administration is making George Bush, the kid, look pretty liberal. Most recent glaring bull shit from Obama’s crew: Gil Kerlikowske the white house drug czar, said the report of the Global Commission on Drug Policy “was misguided.” This is a world group comprised of at least two conservative republicans and a number of astute business folks that said, “The war on drugs has failed." The report goes on to recommend more humane and business like recommendations that make a lot of sense and have since I held these same views as a Narc in the early seventies. Views that almost got me tossed out of the narcotic enforcement division. A division where there was no limit to your overtime. I wasn’t making the bucks the drug dealers were but I was doing really well for a honest and uneducated farm boy.

I have never known a cop who won't say, at least off the record, that drugs should be legalized.

You'd think a nation blessed with such an exceptional endowment of resources as the US would be able to deal with its problems. But the "longage of expectations" (Nate Hagens) and decades-old ongoing decline present a mental turmoil. One would hope that this phase of adolescence will pass (though with some political displacements) and result in a healthy adjustment of priorities. The US can muddle through as it has often done so in the past.
Can it realistically happen that way?

In all probability, the rest of the endowment is set to be exceptionally frittered away to sustain the status quo. Hatred of government - the reverse-Leninism - is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy and resulting in civilizational dysfunction. People will bumble from crisis to crisis while hitting the landings of the stairs down. The growing insecurity will need some outlets: there is always some chaos and violence when living standards drop 30-50%. I fear America is too brash and centrifugal to accept the end of empire gracefully.

"too brash and centrifugal to accept the end of empire gracefully."

I'll see your "brash and centrifugal" and I'll raise you 200,000,000 privately owned firearms that will help the union end rather

Thank you, AWinter, for the Hagens reference. I Googled and was blessed with this: http://www.postcarbon.org/blog-post/322207-complaining-about-mosquito-bites-while-a

The debt/energy crisis has been staring us in the face for some time. Our political class seems utterly oblivious to the problem, so why should Joe Sixpack not feel begrieved? The last president to really address the problem was Jimmy Carter, whose name is now a two-word description for ineffectual. There are some mutterings from Tom Friedman, so this might go mainstream in the next decade or so.

Please forgive my takeoff on a serious discussion, but I keep thinking that we've now entered THE WEINER REPUBLIC! Last month, Donald Trump, last week Sarah Palin, now Anthony Weiner is front and center, what's next?

Weinergate was only a matter of time and hyperjournalism...


How about, Hey, that Palin is a hot chick, she gives me a Boehner.

Not Rome.
Not Weimar...
We're Yuma...

A bunch of old farts with guns and grievances and shriveling neo cortices. And bad teeth too because we ain't got no stinking gubnint dental care.

To wit: "God damn it, I'm sick and tired of it all. It's hot in this fucking trailer too. Where's my official AZ state firearm? Bang Bang. Problems solved. That'll learn 'em. Just like they do on "Sons of Anarchy." Bastards deserved it. Fuck 'em all to hell."

How about instead of "A new order of the ages"
We latinize: "A new order of rages."
Put that on a gold coin with Palin in cameo...

Which is all to say history may rhyme like a rap. If you want to understand where a culture is trending, look at its language. We seem to be hieing towards a nation of:

Fuck you.
No fuck you!

I see the anger of Weimar coupled with the guns of Rome. And if Palin should come to power we'll have World War 3. I'm glad Talton and Knustler sounded off...

Someone had too.

Today’s the day they blew up Don Bolles thirty five years ago. It seems to me just yesterday. Today the world is even worse than then. Time was you didn’t kill cops or reporters, now it’s just another sport. But for Most Arizonans it's just another day in the land of the Sandman and the cons. Go to sleep folks and the sandman will visit and you will be poorer by morn. Thank you Jon for being out there as it seems the world of good investigative reporters is rapidly shrinking. Killed off by violent monsters and greedy corporate moguls.

Saturday at 2 PM, a few of us here will be having a cup of Joe at Urban Bean.

Here is the core issue: There are no jobs.

People like me are going to starve to death, while the right-wing curses us and says that we deserve it.

It is HOLODOMOR. The US government is deliberately pushing its own people to the edge of starvation by setting up an economic system that demands slave labor.

Millions of Americans are going to starve, and millions more will die from the withholding of health care.

In Florida, diabetes patients on Medicaid can't get insulin, because Rick Scott wants to cut expenses. So the payments are delayed and they can't get insulin. The result is that their health fails. If the governor withholds enough insulin, people will die, and that will save money.


maybe it's not the end of the Union but the country is informally divided into cultural zones such as the West coast, Sunbelt/Dixie, Heartland, and (North)East Coast. If it does come, the split will happen when federal and state governments become too ineffective too hold it together. Interstate bickering for the remaining scraps is what I see in that case, no full out war. The US can go on as a formal entity for a long time.

The guns will ensure that the ever-present background violence (at already ungraceful levels) will increase and sometimes erupt in sunny protuberances.

Another problem: as Kunstler likes to say there is an inability to get to a consensus about reality. Economics is the obvious example. As we wade deeper into the unchartered waters of this inflection point in history and leave the assurances of recent modernity behind, the need for some answers causes pseudo-scientific macro economics to degenerate into post-modern priesthood. One doesn't even need amateur economists like Ferguson for that. The professionals and academics are doing a fine job at parsing the tea leaves for a better future. I suppose that kind of post-modern superstition (and more feudalism) will be a resident feature.

Why can't we form a third party with this platform?

1) We will immediately withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq.

2) The core focus of our government's efforts will be job creation.

3) The income tax on incomes above $10 million will be raised to 1965 tax rates.

4) Immigration will be completely frozen until US unemployment is below 5%. Exception: anyone with unusual or rare talent, whom you are willing to pay $250,000 a year or more. Otherwise, hire an American instead.

5) No more bailouts, TARP,etc..

6) All of our trade agreements would be rewritten so that we are not sending jobs to other nations in exchange for foreign-made goods.

7) We will create a new version of the WPA and build light rail, fix dams, highways, and bridges, in order to improve our infrastructure and put Americans to work. To work on such a project, a person must me a US citizen or legal resident.

This would actually work.

The central problem of the US is that there are no jobs. We must fix this immediately.

I am sure others could add to this list.

If the meeting at Urban Bean uncovers any suggestions for where to find a job, post it and I will give it a shot.

Our job market sucks.

Feudalism is it. There will be the few that own everything and wallow in wealth inside the castle.

The rest of us will starve to death in the mud outside the castle.

It is the Republican dream world. A plantation economy. Slave labor. Holodomor.

John Boehner is officially a traitor. He apparently is conspiring to allow more immigrant tech workers into the United States to steal American jobs.

The result will be that tech companies will fire American workers, typically older folks, and replace them with younger immigrants.

There are hundreds of thousands of US engineers and programmers who are begging for jobs. There are thousands of new college graduates with freshly-earned degrees in technical fields who cannot get jobs. In Orlando, FL, many of the people who work in BestBuy have MS degrees in engineering, and cannot get engineering jobs.

Very soon, about 15,000 or so workers are going to be fired from the Kennedy Space Center. Where are they going to work?

They will be told to clean toilets at Wal-Mart, so that immigrants get the tech jobs.

The purpose of importing tech workers from other countries is to cut wages in the United States. It will only increase unemployment and put more Americans out of work. It will put a lot of older American engineers on Food Stamps.

"Immigration Reform" is just socialism for Big Business. This is how the government helps corporations fire Americans, especially middle-aged workers, and replace them with immigrants who work for less.

Boehner is a filthy traitor, just like George Bush.


Perhaps Weimar, perhaps Rome, but moreso Byzantium...

That long empire commenced its slow decline when it abandoned its freeholding Anatolian farmers, landholdings consolidated into grand estates, and its slave economy grew.

Did no one understand that "The River" was the prequel to "The Road Warrior"?

I'm sure gonna miss chocolate. :(

Thanks, terry dudas, I'll give 'Scipio' a look to find out what "it all" is.

Mick, I've recommended here before the documentary, "Manufactured Landscapes". There are several equivalent U.S. populations of urbanized 20- and 30-somethings in Asia that want nice things.

maybe Friedman is useful as a precursor to reality or as mental baby bath water. I'm not sure people (including me) are ready for the real austerity that is energy austerity.
Whenever Friedman talks about debt problems, where the numbers are more obvious, it's a bit more credible than usual. Which is in stark contrast to his mutterings about the energy predicament which he doesn't really talk about. He prefers to go on about petro dictators and energy technology (E.T. in his words - extraterrestrial indeed) in the context of entrepreneurial techno salvation. It is a bit more advanced than the Schwarzenegger story ('Green Hummers') but woefully behind the real situation.

We make small steps towards reality but reality makes great leaps towards us.

I know our thirty year run of prosperity was the result to some extent of the devastation of Europe's infrastructure and the deal we made with the Devil to create wealth from weaponry-mostly made here by American workers-but I've also come to believe that prosperity was "shared," and a middle-class was allowed to develop as a showcase for competing methods of social organization. After Communism "collapsed" the Capitalists no longer needed to share the prosperity, and so we are where we are. Now they have this new problem with the Social Democracies of Europe, who allow their populaces to live in economic dignity. Can't attack them or even accuse them of being a threat, because they're, well, white people, and even tea-baggers are Euro-centric. So our media and "leaders" can only spew crap about how they are "failing" because of high taxes and regulation. I think about how it must have been for the average citizen in those countries when they to were Empires, compared to life for the citizenry now, and I have to ask: wouldn't it be swell if our Empire could collapse, so we too could have decent jobs, healthcare and education?

"maybe Friedman is useful as [...]" - AWinter

Tools are useful.

"I'm not sure people (including me) are ready for the real austerity that is energy austerity."

If we and our children are not ready, imagine how unprepared our children's children will be.

Seven generations.

Visionless (Lite-)Green Incrementalism (e.g. US Green Building Council) is as dangerous as Big Fossil Fools.

"As I noted in the Palin Blog. I am saving my 4 wheeler for the coming Mad Max wars." - cal

In The World After Abundance


Nice link to Hagen soleri.

azrebel, sadly Bachmann is more my style!

Thanks for the Druid report ratecrimes.
I am keeping my recumbent too. Hope to c U for java?

Sorry, cal, I'm as far away from AZ as one can be.


I'm eyeballing the globe and it looks like somewhere off the southern coast of Madagascar is the furthest point from Arizona. So the question begs, what the hell are you doing off the southern coast of Madagascar?? Are you one of them pirate dudes??

You know you are in trouble when...

Six people get shot dead in Yuma by a disgruntled old fart and it gets buried on page five of Tucson's paper.


Given that placement, I guess we'll never know if he was a wing-nut pumped full of Limbaugh resentments towards lawyers. And I guess we will never know if he used the state-approved firearm. As I hear tell that gun leaves a fine hole according to our state lawmakers...

azreb, I'm much further away spiritually than physically.


Just saw a TV clip of Palin destroying history again. She said Paul Revere rode through the streets firing shots to "warn the British" that we were ready for them and they better not try anything with us. I guess he brought his six shooter instead of the lanterns.

You know we're missing out on fun that Palin and Bachhman are having rewriting history. I want to play too.

So here is my take of what happened. Paul Revere and the Raiders were getting ready to play a concert that evening. Paul was the spoiled kid of the famous Revere ware plate and china company. Anywho, they noticed that a bunch of British guys were trying to sneak into the concert without paying, so they told security to flash one light if they paid or two lights if they didn't pay. As we all learned in history, they didn't pay, so security flashed two lights, the Green Lantern showed up with his lanterns and threw the British guys back into their boat and threw all their tea into the water as punishment. The End.

History is fun.

Tomorrow's lesson: Why they had to glue Washington's feet so he wouldn't fall out of boats.

The third unofficial meeting of the Talton grupo took place at Urban Bean today. The shop now has a wine and beer license to go with its coffee and pastries. A good time was had by all and all the worlds problems were put into a capsule and spun into outer space.
Hasta luego

Yup. Good time. Good coffee. Good company.

Good night.

WHat? There was beer available!?


The Taltonians discussed Lady Gaga vs Madonna, Milt Graham and Dennis DeConcini, Saint Janet protecting Joe Arpaio, the futility of e-mailing Montini, police manners, celebrity plastic surgery, and Jerry Vale.

Left unsaid: whether the Urban Bean tends to Weimar or Rome. I vote the former.

"The shop now has a wine and beer license to go with its coffee and pastries."

We can now expect either a precipitous decline in the quality of the commentary here . . . or a sudden, brilliant flourishing.

Palin is standing by her version of the Paul Revere story and I am standing by my version.

As promised, today's history lesson about George Washington.

As we all know, Washington commuted to the Revolutionary War by boat. He had a bad habit of standing in the boat as it crossed the river. His staff came up with an idea of using glue on his shoes to hold him in place. They found a glue maker named Elmer who put glue on the bottoms of the shoes while Washington thought he was getting a shoe shine. Elmer died a bitter man after Washington made a habit of throwing a dollar across the Potomac to pay for his "shoe shine". The coin never made it across the river and Elmer died of exposure diving in the river for his coins.

This has been a true Palin inspired history lesson of our country and our Four Fathers.


Jerry Foster!

"Depression-era America, by contrast, was an oasis of rationality and self-restraint." -Soleri

Yes, aside from black lynchings, Gentleman's Agreements, Operation Wetback, segregation, and things like this:
Americans then were pretty rational and showed much restraint... Our country did great things emerging from the depression but it inflicted wounds that still linger today. Slowly, those vestiges will fade and the real maturation of American culture will take root. It has taken longer than imagined but the insanity and stupidity of people like Palin can only be tolerated for so long.

Most Americans, even if dumb, have to know that she is talking out of her ass. As mentioned before, the type of American that truly believes in the Palin's of today have to be a minority; a very loud one at that but not capable of taking down an entire nation. If I am wrong then we won't have too long of a wait: 2012 is right around the corner. I hope I won't be inserting my foot in mouth.

"Slowly, those vestiges will fade and the real maturation of American culture will take root."

Not sure about that. More and more the "maturation" level of America looks like a sequel to "Animal House".
(My apologies to John Belushi)

Jerry Foster the talking helicopter!

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