A partial explanation, with more to come

It seems I’ve touched a nerve. Maybe a couple of them.

Sometimes my attempts to stir the pot are not successful. And sometimes they result in shaking instead of stirring.
My most-recent post drew a couple unexpected responses, which was surprising if only because I’m not easy to surprise.
But first, here’s more evidence Obama knows about peak oil.
Over at Bucket-head Nation, Emma thought my post was “particularly snarly.”. And right here at home, eternally optimistic Court asks for clarification about neoconservatism (as distinguished from FDR’s brand of liberalism and Nixon’s conservatism) and Chris questions the evidence suggesting Reagan is Obama’s hero. Let’s take those issues one at a time.
Firstly, I appreciate the observation from Emma, and her use of language to explain the observation.
Secondly, I’ll respond to Court’s excellent question in a separate post. It requires some serious thought, and I’d like to give it some before firing off my usual ill-thought, reactionary response. But regarding Court’s optimism about the economy, Time magazine finally admitted the events of 29 September came within a whisker of bringing down the global industrial economy. Had the folks at Time been reading my blog, they’d have caught on a lot sooner: check out this post, from 29 October. Actually, had they been paying the slightest attention to the news, they would have figured it out a month sooner, when it was happening. Regardless, Time is finally figuring out what’s happening to the economy, even if they refuse to admit the underlying cause.
And finally, I’m not sure how to address Chris’s comment. Obama made nearly weekly references to Reagan on the campaign trail, all of them laced with adoration. So Obama is either a liar or a neocon. Which would you prefer? Personally, I strongly suspect he’s both. But within a few days, I’ll explain my conclusion that he’s a contemporary American politician, hence a neocon. Stay tuned.

Comments 15

  • Why does the media look at everything piecemeal, with no connecting of the dots, no asking the “experts” about known threats ahead, no digging beyond that which is revealed by the government? It could be very well that the financial experts are exactly like Obama and all the other Democrat and Republican politicians in Congress and high government employ. They know damn well what is going on and why but they are complicit in one way or another in the origin of the problems, are angling to set themselves up for safety ahead of the “Average Joe” on the street, and they are deliberately rationing information to avoid public panic while they fend for themselves.
    There are exceptions to the above which make it more puzzling. Why does Dennis Kuncinich not spill the whole pot of beans? Why not Barbara Lee?
    Maybe they have been threatened in some way.
    One thing is absolutely certain — if the truth is not told in full and in timely fashion to minimize further harm, it is not that it cannot be known.
    If columnists like Mike Whitney can figure things out, if economists like Michael Hudson can speak freely, if other economists like Nuriel Rubini can make public statements that are curiously overlooked by the mainstream, then there is no reason why the truth cannot be found and told in full, including what to expect as the system unravels further.
    The same was true regarding alleged Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and the testimony of Scott Ritter and other experts who knew of the fraud that was in progress and commented in real time.
    The same is true regarding the investigation of the events of 9/11/2001, which official investigation was an outright deliberate fraud.
    I happen to believe that Barack Obama has some good qualities of inner conscience. He probably cares to some extent about the issues his constituents have focused on as part of the change they have been waiting for.
    But the problem is that it is almost impossible for Obama to change the system, but relatively easy for the system to change him. His desire for power is his major weakness. The name of the game in that regard is to compromise, and the bigger the compromise the greater the success at wielding power. Pretty soon the original goals are forgotten completely and the entire mindset is changed from one of determined optimization to counterfeit profession of progress.
    I suspect that in four years Barack Obama will run for re-election on the premise of furthering the “change” that he has been working on. He will seek to define that “progress” and it would be interesting to initiate a project right now using video to catalog the practical expectations of one thousand or ten thousand or a hundred thousand voters who elected Obama and compare what they expected in the fall of 2008 versus the reality they find in 2012.
    Stan Moore
    Petaluma, CA

  • experience as a prerequisite for government change
    A thought occurs to me that I have not seen discussed elsewhere —
    While George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have values that are the opposite of mine and are fiercely opposed by me (and many others), one thing cannot be denied. They have been amazingly effective in implementing their agenda. They operated effectively with congressional support and with their party in the minority. They used executive orders to effect change. They used signing statement in connection with new laws to change the practical impact of the laws even as they were passed. They influenced Congress to do their bidding. They influenced the United Nationa, an organization they despise, just enough to create a space for them to launch a war or two. They recruited attorneys like John Yoo to write bizarre, but effective legal analyses to provide cover for illegal activities never tolerated openly in the history of the republic. Bush himself was hardly a veteran of executive government experience. It is doubtful that he personally strategized the accomplishment of the agenda, but there is little doubt in my mind that Bush understood the agenda completely and supported it 100%. His ace in getting things done, I believe, was Dick Cheney, who had many years of legislative and executive experience as advisor to Bush’ old man and others.
    Barack Obama has a platform of change. Some of the change expected of him is to reverse Bush policies. Obama is highly intelligent, but with little practical experience in governance, especially at the executive level. That is a parallel situation to that of George W. Bush. But minimal experience in governance did not stop George W. from successful accomplishment in substantially harming and weakening the nation in an unprecedented way.
    One of the unfortunate realities of political life in today’s America and today’s world is that it is much easier to do harm than to do good. Political power emanantes from wealth and greed and not from benevolance or altruism.
    So, Barack Obama, assuming his motives are pure, has very difficult challenges. He must find an effective team of strategist who can effectively manipulate the system, even in unprecedented ways. I would suggest that he have a political talk with Willie Brown, formerly the long-time speaker of the California legislature and later mayor of San Francisco. As a politician Willie Brown knew how to work within the rules, how to bend the rules, and how to ignore the rules in order to get his agenda done. That is exactly what George W. Bush did but in reverse. Barack Obama needs to very quickly learn how to get his agenda done, and he needs advice of experienced players and he needs to be willing to bend the rules towards the public interest and ingnore the rules when they violate the public interest.
    In short order, we will begin to fully understand what sort of change Barack Obama had in mind. Will the change be from Bush personnel to Clinton personnel? Will Obama find his own team of smart, new players devoted to an agenda unique to himself and expected by his partisans?
    Change for its own sake is not the expectation of the delirious masses at this point in time. Clinton had his two terms and he disappointed many by failing to use his awesome executive power to advance many environmental causes such as curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Clinton had a robust economy to work with, and Obama will not. The collapse of the economy under an Obama administration could be used creatively to intiative positive change under the theme of “Building an Economy that Works for All”. I suggest that Obama invent a “Jubilee Economy” focused on the redistribution of wealth amongst the entire population and away from the investor class.
    One thing is for certain, and that is that change is coming. It always comes.
    We are now facing extraordinary change that will be negative in terms of the familiar prosperity that trickled down the economic trophic levels, but might be rearranged to percolate from the bottom up with steady government supervision and some intervention. I could learn to be happy with that sort of change.
    Stan Moore

  • Well, regarding Obama, he isn’t a savior. If you want to know my thoughts on politicians in general, I’ll just say this: Have you ever seen The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas? Remember the character who tap-danced while singing the song “Do a Little Side Step”? There ya go, my opinion of politicians in a nutshell. I think they would be strangely comical, if it weren’t for the fact their decisions can cause suffering on a global scale.
    If the people want “change” they/we will have to BE it.
    As someone involved in my community volunteering, etc. I think there are a lot of people out there ready to do it. I just spent part of my weekend running around the neighborhood collecting bags of cans for recycling and a charitable fundraiser. I’m always amazed, when you go door to door asking people for things, or just talking to them earnestly, how much good there is out there. So much of it in hiding or distracted by the garbage and clutter of our culture.
    Almost all the moms I know freecycle, participate in seed exchanges, meal programs, shelters, etc. Let the spirit of service rise to “popularity” (instead of the unmitigated selfishness and hedonism we’ve seen in recent times) and I think humanity and the rest of the world will be birthed through this crisis to a much better beginning.
    If Obama’s oratory skills can do something for that, then I’m willing to put up with the smarmy-political-brown-nosing-et-cetera that go along with him.
    I’m still convinced ANYTHING is better than Bush and Palpatine…I mean Cheney.

  • Memo to Charlene:
    Madame Defarge,don’t neglect you knitting !!
    The Committee of Public Safety is counting on you.

  • Hearing Charlene’s talk about all the moms she knows, I would not be surprised within twenty years that we will be seeing a very nasty public debate about whether child bearing is a right or a privilege. In my view, clearly the world is drastically overpopulated with humans and has been for many years. My mentor in raptor research, Fran Hamerstrom, who was the only female graduate student of Aldo Leopold, said that she and her husband determined way back in the 1930s that the planet was already overcrowded with humans and they decided to have two children only.
    I would not be surprised to eventually see involuntarily sterilization in the U.S., though it will likely depend on the political impact of the increase of the Hispanic population, who are Catholic and heavy breeders and burgeoning heavy voters and a political force to themselves in U.S. politics. I think it is too late even now to change the U.S. Constitution which grants U.S. citizenship to everyone born here, even if their parents are here illegally. So, poor women from the South and from China and elsewhere continue to sneak into the country or do whatever it takes to get to a hospital in the U.S. and give birth to a U.S. citizen. From there, the immigrant rights people can bitterly resist deportation of the adults who are only too willing to abandon their citizen children in the U.S. with relatives or whomever until they become of age and can begin to arrange residency for those who bore them and the gillions of foreign born brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and grandparents and whomever. And it appears from here that the concept of overpopulation is as foreign to Hispanic people as “wealth re-distribution” is to John McCain.
    So, as I sort of think this out, it seems likely that the aforementioned debate will NOT occur because they Hispanics will drown it out. And maybe the Pope will appoint a President by 2024 who is anti-abortion, bilingual, a proponent of recyling, got wealthy in the diaper service business, loves little babies, and possibly a pedophile, too. God works in mysterious ways if you believe in religion — but we have already touched on that debate :)
    But since we are headed towards planetary collapse with tons of human suffering and death, the bottom line is that a million or a billion more human carcasses on the landscape will not affect the end result that much. And the California condors may experience a population boom feeding on human remains before all is said and done.
    Stan Moore

  • Memo to Frank:
    I don’t think I’m the knitting type, but if I did, it would be a la Hildur Bjarnadottir (I dare you to say that three times fast):
    Stan, I don’t know who defiled your Wheaties this morning, but I’m sorry it happened, nonetheless. You’ll be in my prayers. ;)
    As for mothers, the title applies to a diverse group of people–especially, with regard to the people I know. Yes, even some vegan Buddhists are “breeders” (atheists, too).

  • Technological advances in hygiene(a euphymisim for the seperation of safe drinking water from sewage)and medicine,has
    allowed the disastrous population explosion.Since technology was used to produce the human overpopulation,it is only fitting and proper that technology should be used to reduce it.There is nothing sacred about human life.A human is no
    more valuable than any other mammal,such as a dog,cat,rat,ect.Thinking people would not be against using any means available to reduce overpopulation in rodents.We should use any means possible to also reduce the greatest scourge on earth—the human population.
    Therefore we should use all means possible to reduce the human population such as abortion,suicide,euthanasia,infanticide or what have you.
    Madame Defarge,notice how superbly Saint-Just compliments your issues !!

  • Correction: That should read “complements” your issues.My evil twin brother Igor,caused that error,as he does every time it appears I’m in error.There is nothing insidious in Hildur Bjarnadottir work as there is in Madame Defarge’s !! It’s never about the knitting My Dear.The Committee of Public Safety understands.

  • By the way, aside from the lack of skill in knitting, I wouldn’t make a particularly good villain. A sidekick. Some comic relief? Not a villain, though. Or maybe just a part of the scenery–an extra digitally pasted in? After all, I am just a poor, dirty prole :)
    I’m a happy one, though, so I can’t complain too much.

  • Madame Defarge, you must apologize to Saint-Just for that untoward remark about his Wheaties.I agree with him completely. Remember he is the prime ececutioner for The Committee of Public Safety.

  • That is “executioner” above–darn that Igor.

  • So, to straighten this little ball of twisted yarn out:
    You seem to be suffering from the notion that Stan Moore is Louis de Saint-Just and somehow I am cast in the role of Madame Defarge.
    The machinations of your mind should come with Cliff Notes.

  • you guys have way too much time on your hands,
    stop blogging about the silly old world
    and ride a bike and plant a tree

  • Guy, I’ll be looking forward to that explanation. I’ll hold off any pre-emptive criticism till I read it. I fail to see how BHO citing Reagan on the campaign trail makes him a neocon, though, – particularly as I don’t think Reagan was a neo-con, at least not as I understand the term.
    As far as the state of the economy goes, I never said the situation was sunshine on my shoulder. It’s looking worse by the day. But insofar as the president has anything to do with it, surely the prospects would have been worse under a McCain administration …? Thus my optimism, as it were.

  • Memo to Charlene:
    Yes, of course–and I would love to read the Cliff Notes on my mind.
    Thank you for your consideration.