Thursday, April 24, 2008

another skeletor type

Attorney General says mobsters pose new global threat
Also alarming is growing evidence of what Mukasey described as mobsters infiltrating and corrupting global gas and energy markets — potentially destabilizing parts of the U.S. economy. He cited cases of organized criminals increasingly smuggling immigrants and contraband — such as counterfeit money and drugs — into the United States.

Here we have in Mukasey another skeletor type, yet freshly presented. Untainted in the public mind by the scorch marks and glub glub of Abu Graib.

The storyline is new, even though the package is shopworn propaganda. Misdirection, fear, perfect to be sopped up by the media.

The storyline du jour externalizes oil prices on somebody - anybody - except those who are running the United States into the ground.

Filling your hummer got you down? Blame mobsters.
Cost of milk making you cringe? International rings of criminals.
Natural Gas bill more than you can afford? Viktor Bout! Rockets and AK-47s!

Can't blame Osama - need him for weekly radio addresses.
Can't blame Saddam - hung by the neck until dead.
Can't blame ourselves -

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

buttered regrets

Japan's hunger becomes a dire warning for other nations
Japan's acute butter shortage, which has confounded bakeries, restaurants and now families across the country, is the latest unforeseen result of the global agricultural commodities crisis.

While soaring food prices have triggered rioting among the starving millions of the third world, in wealthy Japan they have forced a pampered population to contemplate the shocking possibility of a long-term — perhaps permanent — reduction in the quality and quantity of its food.

Those pampered Japanese. Not that the rest of the western world is any different. There exists everywhere a lust for buttered goods. Why buy a cow? When the milk isn’t cheap. I’m no prognosticator, but I sense trouble on the horizon.

Short on butter, but not guns, the Japanese might choose to go to war to secure a supply. Recent history tells us this isn’t totally out of the question. And, butter is a vital part of any future fuel - - green wash the biodiesel, use food renewably squirted from a land whale and add a fatty richness to ones exhaust.

Anyone driving in the wake of such exhaust will become envious and hungry.

First, the Japanese hordes will come marching off their shores for the butter, then clotted cream. This will be followed by a quest for pure maple syrup, on account of the high sugar content which makes for a great ethanol blend. And you guessed it - - a pleasing aroma.

If one were a Japanese warm-monger in this thought experiment, one might really brighten the day of someone in Haiti, just by driving past them.

“What’s that delightful smell?” A Haitian child will ask, wiping the dirt off her lips as a Japanese convoy drives up.

Not comprehending the language, but graciously understanding, a Japanese soldier then gestures towards the back of his vehicle.

“Corn – Butter – Maple Syrup – Sugar Cane – French fry Grease – Grass. Why, we’ve got a little slice of God's green earth in our fuel tanks! Now which way are the Blue Mountains – we must secure a supply of coffee to keep our cows producing...”

Thursday, April 10, 2008

the economist

Ok, so I've got to borrow a story from Big Gav because it is so grand. I've got a few essays of my own chillin' on ice, and there they will stay for a few more days while I attempt to intersect time and effort.

"The strategy the economists used was as simple as it was absurd—they substituted economic variables for physical ones. Utility (a measure of economic well-being) took the place of energy; the sum of utility and expenditure replaced potential and kinetic energy. A number of well-known mathematicians and physicists told the economists that there was absolutely no basis for making these substitutions. But the economists ignored such criticisms and proceeded to claim that they had transformed their field of study into a rigorously mathematical scientific discipline.
The external resources of nature are largely inexhaustible, and those that are not can be replaced by other resources or by technologies that minimize the use of the exhaustible resources or that rely on other resources [...] If the environmental crisis did not exist, the fact that neoclassical economic theory provides a coherent basis for managing economic activities in market systems could be viewed as sufficient justification for its widespread applications.

This model of economists, that is, the one where their model sucks, resonates. The biggest, most painful lie that western civilization has been living with, the BIG LIE, is the lie wherein the world systems are boundless. Delivered to your door as a Pop Tart forever.

A cornucopia of uranium, diamonds, bananas for ethanol, forests for wood or rubber, and mucho third world types to exploit. An ocean-all to flush our plastic, carbonic acid and phosphorus. Forever and ever, a perpetual motion economy, with the cash flying out of your town into someone's grey pocketss, yessss...

But now the trash has piled up so high we can smell it everywhere. And money can't buy as many grits of rice or corn - - much less happiness.

It figures.

Stupidityness is the only human endeavor that can be effectively modeled as a closed system.

Stupidityness is the only human endeavor that can be effectively modeled as a closed system. -monkeygrinder