The Tides of Event

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Published : November 05th, 2012
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( 24 votes, 3.6/5 ) , 4 commentaries
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Mitt Romney's sickening insincerity was on full view Sunday night as CNN served up both candidates complete finish-line pitches to the Ohio crowds thought to hold the fate of the election in their fickle sway. Romney has consistently proved one thing over the whole, long, nauseating course of his campaign: that he will say anything to get a vote, no matter how hollow, fatuous, craven, or at odds with reality the utterance is.

Last night he went on about how the USA would become "energy independent" when he opens all federal lands to oil drilling. This plays on some lamebrain notion that there are vast fields of easy-to-get oil sitting out under the Wyoming hardpan waiting to be tapped. Surely Mitt know better.. or does he? The reality is that these lands fell into federal ownership largely because they had so little value in the first place. If there was another Spindletop lurking under the sagebrush you can be sure it would have been found long before now, so Mr. Romney is just preying on the public's wishful ignorance (or his own) when he says these things.

Which gets to the larger issue of what the "drill drill drill" mantra really means: namely, that Mitt Romney has no idea where history is taking us. The public may be very nervous about how they will pay for gasoline needed to live in the suburban matrix, but the reality of the situation is that the suburban matrix is the problem and doing everything and anything we can to prop it up is going to destroy the nation. Mr. Romney is oblivious to this reality and so you can be sure that his mysterious "plan" for leadership is an empty promise. A reality-based plan, for instance, would be the rapid rebuilding and electrification of the regular railroad system, both as an economic development measure and a national security issue, along with the spirited promotion of walkable neighborhoods and the rebuilding of our small towns and small cities. But Mitt is "a car man," as he likes to say.

President Obama was on display, too, a little later making dubious claims about his accomplishments and distinctions. (Jon Corzine is still at large.) There's no evidence that he understands the true nature of the implacable economic contraction underway and how it will change everything about how we live on this continent. But I think there is a better chance that he could get a clue in the next four years than is the case for Mr. Romney. Also, I don't trust Mr. Romney to deal intelligently with foreign nations, while the specter of yet another arch-conservative idiot on the Supreme Court of the type that would rule affirmative on something like the Citizens United case gives me the vapors... so I have to pull the lever for Mr. Obama.

Finally, I just don't like Mitt Romney. He's the over-eager twerp in the classroom with his arm always sticking up. He's the missionary bozo in a necktie ringing your doorbell to sell a fairy-tale cult religion dreamed up in the 1820s by another over-eager con artist. He's obviously using the national stage to work out his father issues (George Romney ran for president in 1968, blundering his way out of the race early on). He shamelessly panders to the worst elements of his own party - the ignorant, militaristic, punitive-minded Nascar evangelicals - and dissembles so automatically that there is nothing left of whatever core beliefs he might have theoretically developed earlier in his career. He's too chicken to engage with the realities of climate change, so visibly on display this season. He's spoiling to rumble with China, apparently oblivious to the fact that China's leader-in-waiting, Xi Jingping, is an army brat. I pray at my little alter of ecumenical totems that the tides of history will sweep Mitt Romney out to the seas of retirement from public life, where he can enjoy his Medicare entitlements secure in the guarantee that he will not be hassled over any pre-existing conditions.

Speaking of tides, we are now a week past the awful depredations of Hurricane Sandy and a lot of people are yet sitting in the cold and dark. The story is still developing - in a way similar to Hurricane Katrina - in the sense that the ordeals of individual suffering and loss are slow to emerge from the chaos of the moment into public awareness. For instance, it took weeks after Katrina for many property owners to learn that the loss of their house was attributed to "flooding," which is generally not covered in home insurance policies. There are still vast neighborhoods, such as Long Beach, Long Island, where the issue hasn't even come up yet, at least not in the news media. When it does, it will be much bigger deal politically than was the case in Biloxi, Mississippi, or the 9th Ward of New Orleans, where people were more accustomed to the cruel boot of authority, not to mention the frequent tantrums of a subtropical ocean.

I don't know how Sandy will affect the electoral results in New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, but even if polling places can be set up in ruined, blacked-out districts one would think the eligible voters have a lot more urgent matters on their minds.

Anyway, once this dreadful election is over the floodgates of events will open up and we will once again be forced to reckon especially with the epochal forces that seek to shatter the financial system. Sandy was a kind of preview of coming attractions for a different sort of wreckage to come.



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James Howard Kunstler has worked as a reporter and feature writer for a number of newspapers, and finally as a staff writer for Rolling Stone Magazine. In 1975, he dropped out to write books on a full-time basis. His nonfiction book, "The Long Emergency," describes the changes that American society faces in the 21st century. Discerning an imminent future of protracted socioeconomic crisis, Kunstler foresees the progressive dilapidation of subdivisions and strip malls, the depopulation of the American Southwest, and, amid a world at war over oil, military invasions of the West Coast; when the convulsion subsides, Americans will live in smaller places and eat locally grown food.
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Nuclear power is clean and most Greenies are utter hypocrites
There has been no rise in world temperature for the past 16 years.
The planet is colder now than a thousand years ago ( medieval period)
It matters little if Oil runs then cars,engines and everything else will be running on something else.
It matters little who wins your USA election...the final economic collapse will just be a little slower coming if Obama wins.
It is unusual for a first time Pres. to not get a second term.
SHIT aka Sandy happens and whilst I consider myself lucky to have left NYC about 2 weeks before it hit,i would bet everyone there will be much better off in comparison to any other place on the planet.
200 foot high tsunamis have hit the coast of NSW in ancient times and gone 50 miles inland. This had nothing to do with global warming or cooling for that matter.
The Antarctic is not melting. Polar bears can swim 60 miles.
Ocean levels are not rising at the Maldives.
ARGO was a pretty good film.
Rate :   8  0Rating :   8
Kunstler makes this highly intelligent comment about Romney: "Finally, I just don't like Mitt Romney. He's the over-eager twerp in the classroom with his arm always sticking up. He's the missionary bozo in a necktie ringing your doorbell to sell a fairy-tale cult religion dreamed up in the 1820s by another over-eager con artist."

An 'over-eager twerp'? 'Bozo'? What a creative mind Kunstler has!!!!

Now why all this invective? Kunstler has been ranting for years about the end of oil, the coming return to the dark ages of men and women rubbing grubby hands over campfires while wolves howl in the night. In point of fact there is oil as yet undiscovered that will fuel our civilization for at a hundred years longer. Long enough for an alternative to be economically viable. Romney knows that and would do his best to increase drilling on public lands. Already such drilling on private lands (much to the dismay of Kunstler) has greatly increased supply.

Romney's prediction of American energy independence in 8 years (if he's elected) is a real possibility -- which explains why Kunstler calls him an 'over-eager twerp." Such over-eagernes is what the world needs.

Rate :   13  1Rating :   12
Predictably, Jim C. hits all the usual sour notes in his weekly anti-Kunstler diatribe. How can anyone listen to Romney and not think of "Bozo?" Romney's bluster and constantly shifting positions have all the elements of a clown act, a John Wayne Gacy clown act at that. The only difference is the shrill warmongering Romney will send far more young men to their deaths than Gacy ever dreamed of. Jim C. exhibits his usual self delusional tunnel vision regarding energy. Just "drill baby, drill" and once again we'll be able to drive our 8 MPG Ford Expeditions and Chevy Suburbans 65 miles to work and back every day on $1.50 a gallon gasoline. Even if we drill 50 wells in Jim C's backyard, it's highly unlikely that's ever going to happen. Whether the sociopathic Romney or the closet Marxist Robert Mugabe wannabe take the stage for the next four regretable years, we'll be stranded at sea in an ocean of dog doo doo (sorry, Jim. I didn't mean to offend your tender sensibilities.).
Rate :   5  2Rating :   3
Its ironic that Romney is in Ohio canvassing to win their votes, when he didnt even manage to win there fairly in the Republican race!...........Ron Paul was conned out of his win there by the now all to familiar dirty tricks campaign.

Romney should change his name by deed poll to George Mitt Bush the third as thats exactly what America is going to get if their dumb enough to vote for him,............ mind you as they didnt vote for him in Ohio and he still won anyway Its possible another highly dubious Bush/Gore scenario is heading our way....................................NEVERMIND.
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Predictably, Jim C. hits all the usual sour notes in his weekly anti-Kunstler diatribe. How can anyone listen to Romney and not think of "Bozo?" Romney's bluster and constantly shifting positions have all the elements of a clown act, a John Wayne Gacy  Read more
Tom B. - 11/6/2012 at 5:21 PM GMT
Rating :  5  2
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