There's a difference, of course, between
what this country thinks it needs and what it's going to get. The world has a
way of dragging you, kicking and screaming, to where it wants to take you.
think we need more American oil so we can "end our dependence on foreign
oil." Despite the PR bullshit you see on CNBC, the oil is not really
there in a form that will flow sufficiently to support our completely insane
mode of living in cars. I get letters from crazy people every week who tell
me that shale oil from the Bakken Formation in
Dakota will keep this racket going. Forget about it. Marcellus shale gas?
Similar story. These are phantom energy reserves. And we don't have enough
capital to throw at it.
world wants to take us to the place where you don't have to use a car eleven
times a day, a different arrangement of things on the landscape than what
we're currently stuck with in most of the United States. The American people
are not disposed to taking this idea seriously, but we'll get to that place
eventually. The first kickings and screamings are exactly what's
coming out of the Tea Party. These are people who don't want to change the
sacrosanct American Way of Life, but they don't want to have to pay for it
either, so the contradiction produces a sound and fury.
week, President Obama is on the spot to deliver a Santa Claus sack of
"job initiatives." What a sad assignment. We're leaving behind that
kind of economy, with secure salaried plug-in positions provided by giant
corporations and governments. We're headed into a world not of
"jobs" but of vocations, trades, crafts, situations, and a lot of
casual labor, largely self-guided by those with who possess a functioning
internal compass. Obama can pretend to keep the old way going, but that
pretense will be along the same lines as keeping insolvent banks going. The
Federal Government can pay people to work repairing highways and bridges but
the road system is too big now for even an additional "jobs" crew
to stay ahead on maintenance, plus why are we putting these capital and labor
resources into gold-plating a car-and-truck system that is going to be
functionally obsolete in a few years?
called it right. His aim was true. Perestroika... restructuring. The Soviet
Union was thoroughly corrupt, incompetent, and insolvent. I suppose Gorby thought he could guide his country through a
transition, but the system he headed was so astonishingly flimsy that it just
fell apart in a few months, and even left him behind. Still, I regard it as
one of the major miracles of history that Russia did not trip into a bloody
civil war. Maybe Russia had enough blood-spilling with Stalin and World War
Two. Otherwise, it was a kind of magic moment in 1990 when the whole rotten
edifice crumbled neatly into its own grave.
followed there was an impromptu and extremely half-assed melding of organized
crime, unorganized crime, gestures to the rule of law, and a lot of leftover
habits, paranoia, lethargy, and sheer will to live - with an overlay of
mystical oriental intrigue. Russia staggers on with its oil and mineral
reserves propping up what remains of modernity there. Their future will
arrive on sleds.
should be so lucky here. Given the situation, it's not unthinkable that
self-styled Texas secessionist Rick Perry could be the next president. On top
of that, the guy is a Christian Dominionist nut.
This outfit wants to capture all politics, culture, and media in what is now
the USA and turn them into a sci-fi nightmare of correct thinking. You have
no idea how dangerous and determined this group is. The Left ignores them at
the peril of everyone. They are the corn-pone Nazis I've been warning you
is not the kind of restructuring that is going to help this country. At the
moment we're trapped in our own gigantism and the "jobs" pitch is
surely going to be just another page out of that. I'd like to hear Mr. Obama
tell this country that Job Number One for us is getting more Americans into
agriculture at the small, local scale. Translation: dismantle agri-business.
Otherwise, we're going to have a lot of starving people across this land.
That might seem like a strange destination for America, but I suppose that's
why there's all the kicking and screaming.
Post-script: While everybody's eating burgers
today, or cleaning the mud out of their kitchen, or playing Resident Evil
5, Europe is on the brink of its own decisive moment. Nobody there can
decide what to do about the debt-bomb and the fuse is sparking away. There
are no solutions to the problem of the Euro Club, but the idea of no Euro
Club is making a lot of Euro people kick and scream. Whatever happens there
will affect us hugely, you may be sure.