Open Thread May

Open Thread May

Capitalists and Other Psychopaths

– May 13th

In other words, Enron, BP, Goldman, Philip Morris, G.E., Merck, etc., etc. Accounting fraud, tax evasion, toxic dumping, product safety violations, bid rigging, overbilling, perjury. The Walmart bribery scandal, the News Corp. hacking scandal — just open up the business section on an average day. Shafting your workers, hurting your customers, destroying the land. Leaving the public to pick up the tab. These aren’t anomalies; this is how the system works: you get away with what you can and try to weasel out when you get caught.

Absurd Foreign Policy  – May 7th, 2012

Iran’s Tactical Strength  – May 2nd, 2012

Iran has Chinese sea-skimmer models and has also developed its own variants. Again, U.S. warships have countermeasures, but sustained attacks at sea level combined with missiles that approach their targets vertically from high altitude could cause considerable casualties. In the earlier Millennium Challenge war games carried out in 2002, a combination of Iranian cruise missiles and swarming small boats employing innovative tactics and operating on internal lines defeated a much larger U.S. Navy squadron. The result was so disturbing that the game was canceled before it was concluded. 

War with Iran Would Be Madness – May 10th, 2012

223 Replies to “Open Thread May”

  1. i was talking with my (college-loan saddled) nephew at the graduation party my sister threw for him. He was making a distinction between college life and the “the real world” of work and commerce and stuff. But the real world is really what you see when you take a hike a few miles into a wilderness.

  2. all are various degrees of sheltering provided by man’s ingenuity and of course, granted by mother nature until the lease runs out.

  3. yeah, i don’t know. if i remember right, someone figured that humans now use about %40 of all the worlds primary productivity, maybe just the land based variety, i think that would make more sense. anyhoo, the point is, we inhabit a man made world,. i guess. for the moment anyway.

    me an’ joohn reeh were riding through some big agriculture country a couple of days ago. she commented on how different it was from the northeast, where every scrap of land is “used up”. i said, ‘every scrap of land is used up here too, just for different things. i guess.’

  4. somewhere around here i posted a link to a UCSD professor, i think it was a Prof. Murphy (apt name) who is an ERoEI expert. he said that thermodynamically, we cannot push our energy use too much moron, because we will run up against the heat dissipation limit for the planet, i.e. we all cook in our own waste heat.

    some say that is essentially what global warming is all about. anyhoo, his point was, say we tap OTEC in a big way, or perfect nuclear fusion power. we start using those energy sources in a big way and we end up cooked in our own oven, another version of yeast in the wine vat at about the 15% EtOH limit.

    too many consumers.

  5. That’s not even a bear, it my sister’s little pet dog Roscoe. Git in the kitchen, Roscoe, don’t let that eurotrash girl sit on you like that. oh wait….nevermind.

  6. back in the day, my motto was “disco sucks”. but that was directed at the bee gees a whole lot moron than donna summer.

  7. a lot of criticism of science is misdirected. it’s usually misuse of the products of scientific investigation in the technology produced, e.g., fukushima, which is just one of the more glaring, recent examples. ongoing, i might add.

  8. After my trip this last week end to Chicago I can concure with JHK some cities are worse off then others. Holy crap batman. The number of abanded buildings was crazy. The rat problem according to one of the hotel workers I talked with is at epademic levels. No one wants to tear them down either lots of toxic waste too. Some real estate bozos also think they can make more money selling burnt out crap to make more condos so there is opposition to tearing them down. What a joke.

  9. That was one of my ideas too. The doom of us all will be some sort of plauge. Those how will die off the most are the obeise/ diabetics and those addicted to pharma drugs.

  10. But condos collect more taxes then people actually working. Thus the death trap stays.

  11. fuck jaczko. chernoble and fukushi are no where near the mark. those reactions have been contained. at least chernobly has. i’m not sure about fukushi, we need a whole bunch of uncontrolled meltdowns and uncontained reactor cores dotting the landscape. only then will have nuclear power delivered on it’s full potential.

  12. some say jerry died for our sins. dunno. but then i think jesus was assassinated by a jewish bankster cartel representing the 1% of biblical times, so what do i know?

  13. “It ain’t what we don’t know that hurts us . . .it’s what we know that ain’t so.” – Attributed to Mark Twain

  14. Karl Marx wrote in “Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right” that religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature and the opium of the people. For some, it’s just another recreational drug.

  15. today, democracy is the opium. people vote, instead of pray. i guess.

    some still pray to old scraps of paper. so they got that going for them. i guess.

  16. jg, once said that he became afraid to say anything on stage, cause people might take him seriously. or something like that, i think.

  17. If someone or something IS coming back, they’re likely to be pissed at the fucking mess we’ve made.

  18. “today, democracy is the opium. people vote, instead of pray. i guess.”

    Somebody elses money/fiat is a popular brand of the new opium dave. Voting is just a form of self-medication.

    “some still pray to old scraps of paper.”

    Constitution. You’re talking about the Constitution.

  19. “At some point in our life, either by age or other circumstance, the death penalty no longer acts as much of a deterrent” – paraphrasing Remus the Elder.

  20. Another American who can not comprehend the basics of what some else writes. A nonfan posting on one of JHKs pages on Facebook

    “Ironic, I would classify Kunstler’s home in suburbia (apparently from his blog it was too expensive to live in the actual city in Saratoga, NY) so why does he expect anyone else to?”

    the more aparent irony which can be created about JHK using technology seems to have been missed

    I also freinded (tried) JHK on one of his pages. I dont know if he actually accepts freinds on these pages but annoying is one of my best personal traits.

  21. Kunstler has said small cities and towns with local or regional economies work better than mega-cities, suburbia and globalism. He also says what we’ve built is ugly. Things presently are what they are, and he lives in it just like everyone else. In his case in a small town.

    I haven’t heard him hold himself up as an example of the post-industrial post-carbon man. If there’s any irony here it isn’t very rich. I guess a lot of people demand that wisdom be dispensed only from irony-free carbon-nuetral ascetic monks. Acorn-fed.

    Thoreau delivered the goods in this regard I guess, and many think his writings were great. Why? Did people decide to live differently because of Thoreau’s best-seller book? Hell no.

  22. I’m here in reverend moon land and about to go out for dinner. hey, he made a fortune selling flowers and chewing gum. if he can do it, why can’t the rest of us? he’s 92 years young and shooting for eternity. stayed in one of his 5-star hotels in yeosu–nice and neat.

  23. i guess moon is still pretty big in asia. not many moonies out selling flowers around here anymore. i don’t think.

  24. I met a nice, pretty, female world-destroyer at the co-op a couple days ago. Great skin. Likes to garden. It was a pleasure chatting with her.

  25. “world destroyer” – sounds like a comic book super hero, or super villian. i think that you’re giving yourself too much credit. i guess.

  26. “man is the missing link between apes and human beings.” konrad lorenz

    i always thought that to be kind of pithy.

  27. dave, any thoughts on the “Oath Keepers”? Some previous posts have me curious.

    No, I am not a member.

  28. oath keepers – well, many religious sects split and resplit over various “true” interpretations of the gospel truth. means nothing to me. these “oath keepers”, so called, are just worshiping thier (a minority) interpretation of the scared scraps of paper. i wish them well. i guess.

    when i was in the navy, i was often fed the rehtoric that the primary duty of the officer corps ( i was commissioned) was to protect the freedoms as guaranteed by the constitution, etc. etc. my responce, more often than not, was something like, “well, judging from our actions, as opposed to our deeds, the primary concern of the officer corps is to protect the privilages of the officer corps.” i was roundly censured, in subtle ways.

  29. my questions have often been something like: why is there some document in the first place? what gives this document legitimacy? why only certain proscribed rights? how, or who should defend said rights? why, as individuals, have we placed ourselves at the mercy of any collective, and, agreed to only such rights as may be spelled out in the sacred scraps of paper? etc.

    I have my own answers to these and other questions. but they’re mine, and not exaclty widely accepted.

  30. “I have my own answers to these and other questions. but they’re mine, and not exaclty widely accepted.”

    Which of course should be no surprise to any ZK regular.

    Your posited questions & subsequent answers would quite possibly make for interesting conversation. Or post.

  31. hmm, a complete, or even approaching complete, exposition of my ideas on this subject is way beyond both my abilities and ambitions at this point. anyway, the questions i ask are not new. back in the 1500’s, the dawn of modernity, similar questions were being asked. the hugonauts, the “oath takers” of the moment, argued that men should not submit to unjust tyrany. i’m sure they had thier own ideas of just what unjust might look like.

    a young lawyer, etienne de la boetie, asked: why do men submit in the first place? his answers remind me of when biologists used the word “protoplasim” to distinguish the living from the non-living. they had no idea of the underlieing genetics and psysiology. but thier (19’th century biologist’s) explanation has always satisfied me.

    i’ve always been a big picture kind of guy. this propencity does not serve well in a junoir officer.


  32. Curious then as to the motivation for accepting a commission. My own enlistment avoided the draft, allowed control over the branch of service I served in (USAF), served as a vehicle for escaping a future dead-end world of unionized drone work and the USAF offered the potential for technical training in jobs that had similar civilian equivalents, particularly in the field of computers and electronics. At the time, a college education was not an option.

  33. writing this from a nice hotel in a crowded asian city where everybody appears employed and reasonably happy, with little to no crime. humans subject themselves to general rules to get along (co-exist) in crowded situations. it really is that simple. when alone or in a small band or family group, many things can go on with little serious consequence, like shooting your high-powered weapon in all directions. if you try that shit here, in the crowded asian city, the police will soon either capture or kill your sorry ass.

    so all this society bs is just humans attempting to live reasonably well in a crowd. if you don’t like all the rules, then move until to find a place where you can be alone to practice life on your own terms, like shooting your high-powered weapon in all directions, or marrying your daughters, playing your stereo at high volume all night, making and testing portable H-bombs, etc. of course, with human overpopulation, it’s getting harder to find such places.

  34. remus, you made the right choices under the circumstances. i chose college, and maintained a B or better GPA there ’68-’72 to avoid the draft and certain service in the army in Vietnam. when Nixon’s lottery finally got me after graduation, thank de lord i got a high enough number—179—the number you never forget—to avoid being drafted by the San Bernardino County Draft Board.

  35. motivations? i wanted to travel. i didn’t want look for a job. the navy had given me a scholarship of sorts, so i was on the hook.

    i remember being sworn in and repeating the oath. did i pay attention to what i was saying? no. was it somehow “meaningful”, or something like that, to me at the time? no. could i tell you what the oath contained? no

    i enjoy the ambiguous. i like to let the world unfold before me without preconceptions. such attitudes don’t often fit well within a military organization, or any organization for that matter. i guess. at least that’s been my experience in life.

    i did about 4.5 years on active duty, then got out.

  36. yeah, when a breeding population reaches dunbar’s number, human’s seem to switch, or start to switch, from personal relations to some form of institutional hierarchy, for lack of better words at the moment. i guess.

  37. Well doom, not all of us aspire to be Ted Nugent or Woody Allen.

    I never knew my draft number or cared actually – I turned 18 on active duty.

  38. oath keepers creed – any atrosity, as demanded by our handlers is ok, as long as it fits within our interpretation, or we can be shown how it fits within our interpretation, of the sacred scribbles, or something like that, i guess.

  39. dave, there is such a thing as being too cynical. I see Oath Keepers as just another list. I am on enough of those already, I am sure. I am betting TPTB have Oath Keepers et al “priced in”, as it were.

  40. i really have never considered myself to be cynical. the different perspectives just seem to offer themselves up. something of a muse attached to my right shoulder, i guess.

    but you have admit, it is kind of funny. “oh, let’s consult the constitution before we irradiate falusia, or downtown baltimore maybe.” i guess.

  41. Fuck GM. BUT, if true, it is the best @#$%@$ idea those wankers have had in a long time. Big question is who makes the diesel.

  42. LT was indeed probably the finest one ever created back in her prime. the really good ones don’t need to be blonde to devastate.

  43. Big question is who makes the diesel.

    i would guess that gm would make the motor. they make diesel engines for a lot of thier trucks. i think.

  44. My guess is that it’s an Isuzu diesel in the Cruze. the GM truck DuraMax is a whole different enchilada.

  45. My guess is that it’s an Isuzu diesel in the Cruze.

    as good a motor as any, i guess. do you see that as some sort of detraction from the car?

  46. as good a motor as any, i guess. do you see that as some sort of detraction from the car?

    No. It would be a plus as assuming GM doesn’t already have a small diesel plant with a proven track record capable of being or is certified for the US market.

  47. is this GM diesel move seen as an admission that few can afford the Volt coal car? should we care about failed car company executive motives?

  48. i think that anyone involved with the volt will never “admit” to anything stupid or bad about it.

    in my own mind, i think, that if there is any type of future for the motorcar, it will be with light wieght diesel powered vehicles. but, what i really think, i guess, is that 20 years from now only a very select few will own motorcars of any sort. i guess.

  49. the roads could get dicy, as few funds wil be available to keep them in a high state of repair. think central america, as a model. maybe a diesel truck 4 x 4 with an extended cab as the car of the future. with gun racks.

  50. I think 20 years from now motor cars will have to drive on severely broken pavement chunks and mud/dirt. It might not be worth it even if you can afford the gas.

    FYI. I rented a 4 cyl Puegeot 308 turbo-deisel in France few years ago. By my rough calculations I got about 60 mpg+. Some have claimed 75 mpg or more. But I’ve also heard those little Puegoets aren’t built to last, don’t age well, e.g. oil gel/gunk in engine etc. If I recall it actually was a Ford engine. I also recently rented a Citroen with a Ford 4 cyl deisel that was pretty good. In Tunisia I drove a small 4 cyl Renault. Total crap car. I swapped it out for a Mercedes C Class.

  51. “maybe a diesel truck 4 x 4 with an extended cab as the car of the future. with gun racks.”

    Toyota Hilux.

  52. my fav car of all time was a Toyota Corolla 5-speed sedan that back in the day one could get as a cheap rental car in Hawaii. Fast, light, could go anywhere with great cornering and suspension. it must have gotten good mileage, as well. for two people, it was comfortable, with bucket seats.

    better than my BMW 2002, except perhaps for the suspension. the damn beamer was a money pit, black hole, but easy on the eyes. like some girls i’ve known.

  53. i heard a funny story in korea. it seems they have a population problem there. the place is totally saturated with people and the women, sensing this to be the case, have backed off having more than replacement level kids. fully logical and good for the planet, you might agree, but for their western-style capitalist economy, this is a bad situation for “growth”.

    so the punchline: because they have so few new koreans, they have begun a policy of importing people from other asian countries. this policy, in turn, is creating friction in an otherwise homogeneous, peaceful society and now crime is on the rise. (sounds familiar, no?)

    so I had to laugh out loud at the irony and stupidity of it all, me being an inconsiderate, ugly-type americano.

    another good one: the koreans were complaining to me about the chinese tourists, because they’re always so obnoxiously loud in public! they’re missing us already.

  54. ironically, Korea has banned all beef from the USA because of the threat of mad cow disease. i wonder if the fear of Fukushima contamination is behind the FDA ban of shellfish?

  55. No its has to be retaliation for the beef. I have seen the report. Saddly typical poor FDA work. The FDA claimed to have studied the farming practices of the the fishing industry there and found a lot of polution from Korea was making it into the farm. Near the end of the report you read they only had been to two farms and never met with US fishing companies with operations in Korea much less visit those operations.

    I had forgoten about the beef ban thus explaining what I should have realized in the first place.

  56. from what little i saw, the koreans are meticulous people and are expert at all things aquatic. that said, they do indeed have pollution issues as they are a relatively small country trying to produce first-world industrial products like cars and advanced electronics. these are pollution producers and pose a threat to their seafood production, which is highly prized. i doubt that they would want to poison themselves, so i suspect you are right about the retaliation for the beef ban. koreans eat a lot of beef and seafood.

    there’s further irony in the reasons for my recent visit there, but i want to make the spooks who eavesdrop here work for their information, so that will have to be all for now.

  57. I’m a believer that unwinding will accelerate to break neck speed and that rebound and recovery of natural systems will also be rapid. If someone is born today or next couple decades and lives to be 100 they will witness unimaginable change I think.

    However, the new “reforested” landscape will be quite different than what was there before we trashed it all. Where complex ecosystems and diversity once existed there will instead be awkward and messy transitional psuedo-ecosystems. They won’t be very interesting for awhile. Fallow human environments. Tired land needing a couple centuries of rest and recovery, rebuilding of soil horizons and chemistry. In the mean time a vast weed patch inhabited by occasional small bands of dirty smart monkeys picking at the ground for grubs and dandelions, and stalked by packs of feral dogs.

    Balanced systems and diversity for efficiently servicing all the niches will take many centuries. It will help as CO2 drops and temperate climates can better do their good work. It will be a long time before there is again such a variety of large mammals. An ice age might help the process in a lot of ways, in the long run.

    Its all just a hunch. I have no data.

  58. Hitler and Stalin killed about 6 million ethnic jews and gypsies each, IIRC. Altogether about 40 million humans died in WWII in Europe. Since many in those days were farmers and peasants, that must also have had a greening effect.

    My speculation is there will be a massive deforestation in temperate zones, as folks go back to firewood to keep warm and cook, for a brief period. As most of those will die off, as a result of exposure, hunger, disease, violence, then will follow a reforestation and general greening as you described. WMBH.

  59. I’ll bet further that you can already perceive a slight change in the slope of the atmospheric CO2 curve, thanks to the global depression from peak oil. americans and europeans will lead the way, with the chinks playing catchup, as those copy cats always do. other than inventing beer, fireworks, rockets, long walls, fast horses, tea, silk clothes and cheap, tasty food, what have they done?

    america—first in everything, including depravity and dieoff. no. 1. yeah.

  60. i would never argue with a vision of the future, as long as that vision recognizes the end of industrialism and consequential human dieoff. the only thing i would say is that temperate forests can grow back pretty fast, whatever that means. i guess.

  61. I agree. In temperate areas with normal rainfall and adequate fertility the greater problem faced by most will be keeping the continual regrowth and succession of woody plants at bay given a scarcity of petroleum. If you live in the eastern US, for example, and your street, yard and garden are now a tangle of kudzu, multiflora rose, virginia creeper, sumac and poison ivy. I don’t think you are going to be clearing it for any reason, least of all for fuel.

  62. and haiti is comparable to, say, the eastern third of the us in what ways?

    as an aside, i don’t know the origin of the picture. but i’ve always found it to be odd. for example, why did the supposedly desperate haitians stop denuding the forest at some arbitrary border with the obviously not so desperate dominicans?

  63. of course climate change, and the climate, like everything else, is always changing, could turn the eastern us into a desert of some sort. i guess.

  64. because the not so desperate dominicans will shoot the sorry ass of the haitians for stealing their stuff? you guys are funny about east coast deforestation. don’t you know it’s happened before there, in the mid-late 1800s before coal was mined at scale? ironically, coal mining saved what remained of the forests, until some smarties invented mountain top removal, to save on labor costs, no doubt.

    of course, we’re speaking in generalities, not all old growth forest was cut down, just most of it in most places. a lot of the UK remains deforested from the days of wooden sailing ships, unless you define forest as anything resembling a tree. recall the sherwood forest? it’s all gone now. greece remains a desert from the days of the ancient greeks, north africa from the romans, etc. the vikings fucked up iceland so bad that it’s still trying to get its forests back. yucatan bounced back from the mayan deforestation. depends on the rainfall, and how badly the soil was depleted relative to bedrock regeneration rates and what species will grow there. even in the tropics, soils can take a long time to develop.

  65. well, yeah, my point exactly. large portions of the northeast were denuded, have been denuded more than once. 30 or so years later, whole new forest. maybe not a climax sucession, or something like that, but a perfectly suitable forest nonetheless. so, a bunch of desperate suburbanites cut down a bunch of trees to stay warm. maybe they even do it for a couple of years. after they die out; new forest. no problem.

    also, please note that i generally have confined my comments to temperate forests zones. the middle east, iceland, etc. are not temperate, in my mind.

    finally, come on, there are domicans out there in the middle of nowhere defining a neat line of tree taking? nah, there’s something else going on with that picture.

  66. around here it’s easy to watch vacant lots, even those stripped of topsoil go from grassy weeds, to vines and shrubs, to small conifers and bushes, to small swamp maples, in a matter of years. in fact i personally, consider most maples to be weeds. i actively try to eliminate them.

  67. point taken on that picture. it’s probably doctored, but i was using it to make a point. if i had used a moron realistic photo, and they do exist on the net, it would have seemed out of context without a lot of explanation.

    so i’m guilty of trying to be like dave, and use as few words as possible to make a point. recall your use of a nuke sub photo way back when? I still remember the point, but not the exact context.

    your point about the bunch of desperate suburbanites is also well taken.

    greece, north africa, iceland, UK (sherwood) were all climax forests. the point about them is they are/were very fragile and do not grow back quickly. climate change adds complexity to this, but it’s all good old human influence.

  68. Google earth shows the story in Hati its all gone on that side of the border. The dominican republic is better but more like the rest of us. Little pockets of natural ‘preserves” woo hoo. Hati has been lucky so far. No direct hits from mother nature. Bad ones for sure, but no Katriana’s yet.

  69. say, does amyone know how to legally measure the goings & comings of cars & trucks in a given parking lot? i have an instrument that measures CO2, CO, NO, and other atmosperic gases. we want to calibrate it against some real-world pollution sources. ideally, something like Google Earth but with a faster refresh rate. i guess surveillance cameras, but they may not be legal to use for other than safety, police-type stuff. then again, since when did the police state care about people’s rights to privacy?

  70. yeah, if you google map haiti, and then toggle between map and satalite views, you can see that extreme forestestation extends well into the dr. my own guess is that the picture doom posted depicts an internal dr border, the border between one of it’s national parks, and areas just outside the park. i guess, for whatever any of that is worth.


    there’re all different kinds of traffic count devices out there. probably the best is a monkey with a clipboard, a counter, and spread sheet. iow, you have a grad student sit in a lawn chair and count the vehicles as they pass a certain point of interest.

  72. i really liked what that one guy had to say: “they’re trying to be important by being loud.” or something like that.

  73. thanks for the tips dave. i agree that the monkey with a clipboard, lawn chair and counter is probably the most effective. i have a grad student in mind. i’ll tell her to lather up and work on her tan at the same time.

    then again, she might cause some traffic accidents doing it that way. damn that heisenberg uncertainaty principle.

  74. Vermont was nearly completely cleared of trees by the late 1800s. Between 80% and 90% deforested. It looked like Scotland by the Civil War. It was only suitable for sheep. With the trees gone they mined the rock. The land became exhausted and people went west. By WWII it was 50% in forest. Now VT is 80% forested. The Champlain Valley of course remains largely in agriculture.

  75. Anyone here of a nuke plant leak in Ohio? I think the nebraska possible moon pool breach last fall by flood waters has morphed into an all out alex jones type panic. It possible there was a leak .


    What types of weapons will use self-replication (which in this context means the ability to easily and rapidly make exact copies of themselves on a massive scale without human oversight)?

    Here’s a really simple taxonomy. All of these use rapid, very difficult to counter self-replication to do massive damage. I thought it was interesting that it tied pretty well into apocalyptic imagry (I used this imagry as a way to explain what these categories represent, please don’t read any more into it than that).

    Weaponized computer worms/viruses/malware. Legal bot networks that control/manipulate society and markets (think in terms of quant hedge funds). That’s the White horse. Conquest.

    Drones/robots. Weaponized drones that at first self-perpetuate by acquiring fuel from the environment. Weaponized drones that can self-replicate ala 3-D fabrication and scavanged materials (think rep-rap). That’s the Red Horse. War.

    Superbugs/superweeds (some may be aided by engineered modification, but all get their start due to the stupidity of growing food in monocultures). Organisms that can wipe out monocultures and cause the loss of productive farmland and crops ond a global scale. That’s the Black Horse. Famine.

    Plague. Genetically modified weapons, laboratory mistakes, or naturally occuring disease (due to too much physical proximity) that result in plagues. That’s the Pale Green horse. Death.

    Again, folks. The only long term counter to self-replication is through the smart decentralization afforded by networked resilient communities.

    Communities that produce most of what they need locally. Communities that can physically disconnect themselves as needed. Communities that aren’t dependent on complex global computer systems that can be corrupted. Communities that use diverse polycultures to produce their food.

  77. If the date is correct on this video, which I hope it is not, but heads will role at the US Forrest service if it is correct.The vid is posted by a end times noob which poke a stick at in the comments.

  78. Sooo, are the fire-fighting water-drop aircraft the end-times sign or is it the fires in AZ & NM?

    I am holding out for the sun rising in the east.

  79. ya gotta wonder, with all those monkey humping opportunities over the ages, why there are no monkey-cats running around, chasing young birds, staying up late, hanging around in trees, fooling and making noise all night… oh wait,…

  80. the former DC-10 passenger plane turned NPS water tanker was either: (a) demonstrating its abilities for the air-show crowd; (b) attempting to cool said crowd with water droplets; (c) all of the above; (d) none of the above. heads will roll. see roach’s conspiracy theory.

  81. @ remus,

    we actually saw the sun set twice in one night back in 1995 in the Galapagos. the first sun set was actually the sun setting. the second one, about a hour or so after the first, was actually an eruption of Fernandina Volcano, which was located west of our camp site on Sierra Negra Volcano, on the island of Isabella.

    do that count as End-Times stuff?

  82. “As serious as China’s population pressures and environmental woes are, there must still be a more compelling internal and external force driving individuals out of China. There must exist an irresistible motivation shaped by circumstance that draws and drives an enormous mass of Chinese into Africa.

    We believe that force can be found coming from an unsuspecting source – the Chinese “one-child” policy. ”

  83. china, traditionally, has solved it’s population problems through famine. i think that it’ll stick to tradition, with some minor, industrial inspired, variations.

  84. remus, i liked the analogy of the “wandering jew” exodus out of the former holy roman empire to frontiers like poland and germany. so the chinese want to migrate to africa, which they see as a modern “frontier” full of natural resources and currently populated by backward, “indigenous peoples” not properly exploiting them. well, we know how that works out, for the current africans.

    it’s the same old story. the game is called “takeover” (Catton, 1980). irony is the “wandering africans” (chinese) are going back home for a final conquest before exploiting all mother Earth has to offer.

    meanwhile, in the home of the wandering buffalo herds…

  85. doom, I found that interesting as well, but I am not sure one can equate contemporary rank & file chinese to 18th century european jews. And in the case of takeover, the chinese exercise, shall we say, a bit more finesse than the ham-fisted europeans and their cousins.

    dave, you may be right, but Ithink there is are environmental issues now that means famine will cut a lot deeper than they may want and persistent net loss in crop yields.

    Hell, we should have had off-world capability a long time ago.

  86. interesting thought. what if Mars or Venus were in the “habitable zone”? had they been as nice (or nicer) than Earth, I guess by now we would have colonized them in route to further overshoot and dieoff.

    it’s that old al bartlett exponential function argument. the one that made nudge wanna puke.

  87. The Sonoran Desert in AZ until about a decade ago, with some time as a child at the edge of the Sahara in Morocco.

  88. “Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison has reached a deal to buy 98 percent of the island of Lanai from its current owner, Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie said Wednesday.” -AP

    That can’t be good.

  89. apparently, per my wife this AM, the people of Lanai are rejoicing the sale. my guess is it will be another case of “out of pan, into fire” for them.

    but i’m such a rotten, negative person…

    that guy is smart to convert his soon-to-be-wroth-less fiat cash into something tangible, assuming the little people don’t unite and put his head on a pike, like dubya.

  90. 7 billion +, 60 kg primates running around on one planet is rediculous. that’s all i have to say.

  91. true story (just observe and life will fill your brain pan with interesting shit).

    yesterday morning, we are late to work, as usual. the wife is bitching about being late to work, as usual. the neighbor across the street, a rich medical doctor, a highly-paid professional at putting people to sleep (for us, it is a free service, but i digress), marches across the street to us as we attempt to board our car. it seems for the past several days a strange small truck has been parking in front of his house and his neighbor next door, the equally rich or richer banker finance guy. the truck belongs to a business selling imported frozen beef. it is covered with business info, like telephone and email address, web site, license numbers, they take all known credit cards, etc., but the doctor and the banker think this may be a stake out to break & enter/steal their (no doubt) stash of fiat money or precious metals reserves, or at least the custom Bushido-blade samurai sword the doctor so proudly displays on the wall in his den, or his international collection of fine and rare vodkas, i don’t know.

    so i’m pointing out that this is indeed a very strange way to B&E stake out a place, with a truck with all the signage on it. my suggestion is perhaps it belongs to a neighbor down or up the street that cannot park his truck in front of his house because so many others are already doing so there. we have at least one rental unit up the street that has multiple “house guests”, all working stiffs (see dave’s comments above) with their professional slave cars/trucks/vans in the driveway and in the street in front.

    meanwhile, the wife decides to call the number on the truck with her cellphone. i’m like WTF? i thought we were late? the guy answers and he goes nuts and she spends the first 5 minutes denying his assumptions about her call, the truck’s driver, his reasons for parking on the street, etc. then, (this is pure local island stuff) they are now instant friends and he keeps her on the phone for another 10-15 minutes “talking story”.

    meanwhile, i have to make polite conversation with an obviously delusional, out-of-his-mind, ultra-right-wing nutcase doctor neighbor. i try to break the boring conversation with a trip to the truck to see what the banker neighbor has written on a paper placed on the windshield of the truck. the note sez: “next time, try to park your truck in front of *your* house!” i learn from the doctor that the banker has already called the police and the guy on the phone with my wife (her new buddy), and has had the police mark the car for towing and has threatened the meat sales guy on the phone with a tow away.

    the phone call finally ends about 45 minutes later. when i later confront the wife with why, she sez she was “just curious”. I threaten to tell both the idiot doctor and banker that their property line ends at the inner sidewalk and that they don’t own the sidewalk, curb or public street in front, it all being public property. i am told to cease and desist, least I arouse them (which BTW, i think is tacit agreement that they are both nut-jobs).

    my supposition was correct, the truck guy is staying with friends in the rental house up the street temporarily, as he is having some “family troubles” per the wife’s new friend. end of story.

    if things go south up here, we’re doomed with these neighbors across the street.

  92. quite a story. i have a brother who’s an anestitheologist. but he lives in sc.he makes a lot of money and can be kind of uptight. but then again, compared to me, most people are up tight. i guess.

  93. yeah, all life on earth? i don’t think so. i do absolutely believe that human agriculture as we know it, will be knocked out of the ring in the next 20 to 100 years, for all kinds of reasons, not just climate change. human population will shrink to under 500 million in some relatively short time period, say 20 to 100 years. after that i don’t know. but i am fairly confident that in 20 or 30 million years, the earth will be covered with all kinds of living stuff, i guess.

  94. Best mixed fruit jam: gooseberries, red raspberries, currants and blueberries…great flavor, nice reddish purple color.

    Life on earth would not be worth living without berries.

    1. oh i’m certain that the planet and life on it will continue. it might get set back a bit, like at other mass extinction event boundaries.

      what will the berries do without us and the bears?

      meanwhile, i’m gonna get me some of them delicious berries.

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