Cometh Civil War? & Cancelled Infrastructure

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of Thomas Lewis

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on The Daily Impact  February 5 & 8, 2017

Discuss these articles at the Kitchen Sink inside the Diner

Antidote to Civil War? Or Precursor?

New York attorney Gregory Locke boarded the subway last Friday night and was appalled by what he saw. Every window in the car, every advertisement and map, had been defaced with a swastika. And there were slogans, such as “Jews belong in the oven.”

“The train was silent,” he said in his Facebook post about it, “as everyone stared at each other, uncomfortable and unsure what to do. One guy got up and said, ‘Hand sanitizer gets rid of Sharpie. We need alcohol.’ He found some tissues and got to work. I’ve never seen so many people simultaneously reach into their bags and pockets looking for tissues and Purel. Within about two minutes, all the Nazi symbolism was gone.

 “Nazi symbolism. On a public train. In New York City. In 2017.

 “I guess this is Trump’s America,” said one passenger. No sir, it’s not. Not tonight and not ever. Not as long as stubborn New Yorkers have anything to say about it.”

Two Americas. Using the same subway car in close succession on a Friday night in February, each leaving their mark. Each with something very important to say to us.

First, consider the swastika drawers, who were not very good at it — they inadvertently drew the sacred Hindu character for “good fortune” (it has to be tilted 45 degrees to the right to become the Nazi icon). But that’s an important thing to understand about haters and bigots: they’re not very good at anything.

One of the first courses I took in Sociology 101 taught me an invaluable lesson I have never forgot. It was a study of inter-racial relations among the (primarily Vietnamese) shrimp fishermen and the people of South Florida. The study found a strong, direct and inverse relationship between the state of the local economy and the quality of the interactions among ethnic groups. When times were good people were tolerant and welcomed diversity. The worse the economy became, the more bigotry appeared, and if it got bad enough there were outbreaks of violence.

Everything I have seen in the ensuing decades has confirmed for me the simple fact that people choose racism primarily when they are experiencing financial hardship, and want — no, need — someone to blame. Some “other” kind of person. easily identifiable as an enemy. The worse the hardship, the more violent, widespread and prolonged the expressions of blame/hate.

Is this Trump’s America? Yes and no. It is remarkable that hate crimes, including attacks on synagogues and mosques, and the defacing of public spaces with swastikas, have increased dramatically since his election. But it would be a serious mistake to attribute this only to him and the people who voted for him.

Despite what they say, political leaders do not run the economy, they cannot “create jobs” or “bring back industries.” They cannot make better the severe conditions that bring out in us our impulses to blame and punish. What they can do is summon us to our best efforts, to our better natures, to the rational tolerance and good will that tamp down our more hateful urges.

Or they can do what tyrants and would-be tyrants do. By encouraging the notion that we are experiencing hard times because of the Jews/Mexicans/Muslims/terrorists, the WBT (Would Be Tyrant) can more easily make the case that he, and he alone, can save us. All we have to do is give him the power. Unrestrained, absolute power. Beyond energizing his supporters to bristle at the “others,” the WBT also enables — by hinting, repeating, winking, implying, berating and just saying — many others to allow barely-restrained frustration to blow sky high.

In my own neighborhood last week a young mother described on Facebook how her (colored) child was suddenly berated in a public place by another (white) child, a total stranger, and told to go back where he came from because nobody wants him here. The white child’s grandmother corrected the white child, not for being rude or expressing racism, but because “we don’t say those things outside the house.”

Don’t worry, little precious, soon you may be able to say all those things everywhere, while decorating everything with swastikas, when it truly is Trump’s America.

But maybe not. Consider the second group of people on the subway car, with their tissues and hand sanitizers. They live in the America that I have always lived in and loved, and they have signaled their determination to keep it. I wonder if we can.

 

The Great Recovery of America’s Infrastructure: Cancelled

 

 

 

Wondering what happens when you don’t maintain the Interstate Highway system? Wondering if we can get along without it? Minneapolis, 2007. (Wikipedia Photo)

 

 

 

Watch closely any group involved in dealing with a disaster — let’s say, a fire company battling a structure fire — and you may catch the moment when they share a glance that says, “You know what, we’re not going to win this one.” Their conduct changes almost imperceptibly from “balls to the wall, we can do this,” to “watch where you step, and back away from the walls, she’s gonna burn to the ground.”

Such a moment may well have come this week for the people who still believe — or have believed since Donald Trump was elected president — that we are going to experience a Great Recovery of this country’s rotting roads and decrepit bridges, which will in turn create millions of jobs, restore the middle class, eliminate poverty, homelessness and cancer, save the economy and make it 1958 in America once more. And Mexico is going to pay for it. (Actually, candidate Trump promised $50 billion for the purpose, double Hillary Clinton’s proposed spending. But neither of them explained where they were going to get the money.)

No one questions that this massive construction program is not only necessary but urgent. Our entire economy, all of it, travels on the backs of 18-wheelers, and if anything at all interferes with their tightly scheduled travel, we are all in the  soup, neck deep and right now.  The American Society of Civil Engineers, the people who would do this work if they were hired, has been warning us for years about the deterioration. The Interstate Highway system (900,000 miles) and all its bridges (600,000) and overpasses, came with an expiration date stamped on them, just like so many quarts of milk. Their life expectancy was 50 years when they were built — 60 years ago.

The civil engineers are very civil when they try to tell us why their hair is on fire: “by 2024, the U.S. will face an infrastructure funding gap of $1.4 trillion.” It’s not in their nature to draw pictures of empty stores, food riots, endless lines for gasoline, and various other civil insults, because they don’t want to trigger the general panic that the situation deserves. Instead, we will just agree that it’s a heckuva problem, Brownie.

And now there’s hope, right? Maybe the Child President will remember his concern about the roads (infrastructure is way too long a word, get outta here) long enough to try to do something about them. Maybe his excellent Cabinet can come up with a way to pay for fixing them (Rex Tillerson could just write a check, but that would probably be a conflict of interest).

But here’s the thing. In a few weeks, this massive project won’t even be possible, even if Canada pays for it in cash. Because the largest asphalt plant in the United States is shutting down for lack of business. According to Bloomberg, Axeon Specialty Products is converting to other uses a plant in New Jersey capable of producing 50,000 barrels of asphalt per day. U.S. consumption of asphalt has been hovering below 350,000 barrels a day since 2009.  To support a meaningful overhaul of the road system the county would need to manufacture at least an additional 200,000 barrels per day.

With Axeon’s New Jersey plant gone, there is no way that is going to happen. Even if Canada does pay for it.  The engineers are looking at each other funny — it may be time to back away from those walls before they fall on us.

 

 

 

3 Responses to Cometh Civil War? & Cancelled Infrastructure

  • JJGrey says:

    Asphalt isnt the only possible road surface, so closure of this one plant is not, by itself, that big a deal. It is however indicitive of something going on. 

    Where I live is on the outskirts of the oil boom, and of course during the oil boom times lots of roads were made, maintained and improved. However the county I live in now has LESS county maintained roads than before the boom, in fact there is discussion about abandoning at least part of the road I live on ( I could go 2 directions to get to pavement now, they are talking about abandoning the shorter but steeper route.)

    People still drive lots around here – 2 1/2 hours to the nearest walmart, 1 1/2 to nearest amtrack station or Uhaul rental location – but they are driving less often and having stuff delivered rather than picking it up where ever that makes sense. Recreational commuting is declining and people are taking bike or foot to get around town more when the weather is nice, and staying in more when it isnt as nice. 

  • Observer from afar says:

    Message to the Left

    If you don't want a civil war – don't start one.

    Trump won the election fair and square. If you are successful in getting rid of Trump you are going to regret it because the man that follows will be of Pinochet calibre if you are lucky, or literal death camps if you're not. 

    Look, nobody likes losing. But there's losing then there's losing. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

https://image.freepik.com/free-icon/musical-notes-symbols_318-29778.jpg

Support the Diner
Search the Diner
Surveys & Podcasts

NEW SURVEY

Renewable Energy

VISIT AND FOLLOW US ON DINER SOUNDCLOUD

" As a daily reader of all of the doomsday blogs, e.g. the Diner, Nature Bats Last, Zerohedge, Scribbler, etc… I must say that I most look forward to your “off the microphone” rants. Your analysis, insights, and conclusions are always logical, well supported, and clearly articulated – a trifecta not frequently achieved."- Joe D
Archives
Global Diners

View Full Diner Stats

Global Population Stats

Enter a Country Name for full Population & Demographic Statistics

Lake Mead Watch

http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/NA-BX686_LakeMe_G_20130816175615.jpg

loading

Inside the Diner

From the Roman Empire to our own Gilded Age, inequality moves in cycles. The future looks like a rough ride Today, the top one per cent of incomes in the United States accounts for one fifth of US earnings. The top one per cent of fortunes hold...

The Alps are mighty and magnificent. Or are they mighty and terrifying because they are beginning to crumble and tumble down into the valleys below? This question has been raised by the dramatic events of summer 2017 in the Swiss mountains. This has hi...

Kindergarten students, dressed as pilgrims and Native Americans, show their parents and grandparents how to do the "Mr T...

On November 4, a few hundred people gathered for the annual ultranationalist "Russian march" in Moscow. With chants like "Glory to Russia" and "Freedom for political prisoners", the demonstrators tried to march through the Lyublino neighbourhood of Mos...

Richard Spencer, a leader in the fringe movement that mixes racism, anti-Semitism and populism, speaks at the Texas A&M University campus in College S...

Recent Facebook Posts

The SurlyZone

The latest The SurlyZone! https://t.co/iPeTyiV19d Thanks to @BlockchainBuffs @BiodivMatters @its_a_shitshow #bitcoin #thanksgiving

1 hour ago

BBC Backs Report that Omitted Killings of Palestinians During Gaza Truce | Global Research - Centre for Research on Globalization

From Global Research:

2 hours ago

American Mercenaries Torturing Saudi Elites Rounded Up by Crown Prince, Blackwater Is Allegedly involved? | Global Research - Centre for Research o...

From Global Research:

2 hours ago

I Give Thanks for This

Charlie Pierce: I Give Thanks for This Two leaders we can still count on will meet discuss the forgotten issue of our time.

2 hours ago

Putin orders Russian companies to be ready for urgent transition to war-time operations

Putin orders Russian companies to be ready for urgent transition to war-time operations-

2 hours ago

Diner Twitter feed

Knarf’s Knewz

From the Roman Empire to our own Gilded Age, inequ [...]

The Alps are mighty and magnificent. Or are they m [...]

Kindergarten students, dressed as pilgrims and Nat [...]

On November 4, a few hundred people gathered for t [...]

Richard Spencer, a leader in the fringe movement t [...]

Diner Newz Feeds
  • Surly
  • Agelbert
  • Knarf
  • Golden Oxen
  • Frostbite Falls

EXCLUSIVE: WHAT TRUMP REALLY TOLD KISLYAK AFTER CO [...]

Fascinating stuff. I get what the author is saying [...]

I first encountered McLuhan as an undergraduate in [...]

EXCLUSIVE: WHAT TRUMP REALLY TOLD KISLYAK AFTER CO [...]

Doomstead Diner Daily 11/23- The Thanksgiving Day [...]

A VERY Furry Coyote Using his Fantastic Sense of S [...]

How Pipelines Put You In Danger For Profit! (w/Gue [...]

Now That Keystone XL Could Go Forward, Let's [...]

From the Roman Empire to our own Gilded Age, inequ [...]

The Alps are mighty and magnificent. Or are they m [...]

Kindergarten students, dressed as pilgrims and Nat [...]

On November 4, a few hundred people gathered for t [...]

Richard Spencer, a leader in the fringe movement t [...]

Now there's a soul with some serious karma to [...]

Quote from: Golden Oxen on November 16, 2017, 11:4 [...]

Quote from: Golden Oxen on November 16, 2017, 11:0 [...]

Charles Manson, leader of the murderous Manson Fam [...]

Quote from: RE on Today at 06:41:04 AMhttps://nypo [...]

http://grist.org/briefly/how-to-survive-thanksgivi [...]

https://nypost.com/2017/11/22/how-a-homeless-mans- [...]

Alternate Perspectives
  • Two Ice Floes
  • Jumping Jack Flash
  • From Filmers to Farmers

Taking a Pass on Gas – Wood Preferred - Part 2 By High Desert Homesteading   Part 1 of this article [...]

The Latest Sign of the Coming Apocalypse By Cognitive Dissonance   On occasion Mrs. Cog accuses me o [...]

Taking a Pass on Gas – Wood Preferred By High Desert Homesteading   We recently bought a 22 year old [...]

Small Town Mountain Living by Cognitive Dissonance   I'm a small town boy. Born and bred small [...]

An Act of Pure Evil By Cognitive Dissonance   This is being written the day after the mass shooting [...]

Event Update For 2017-11-21http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2017-11-20http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2017-11-19http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2017-11-18http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2017-11-17http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

From Filmers to Farmers is re-launched on the astounding open source blogging platform Ghost! [...]

The blogging scene is admittedly atrocious. Is there really no option for a collapse blogger to turn [...]

Sure, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is out to conserve our agricultural diversity, but who exactly [...]

Daily Doom Photo

man-watching-tv

Sustainability
  • Peak Surfer
  • SUN
  • Transition Voice

The Diamond Cutter at Apache Pass, Part 3: Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā"The things that are seen are temporal; the things that are unseen are eternal. — Saul of Tarsi [...]

The Diamond Cutter at Apache Pass, Part 2: Passage to India"Blindfolded, he spoke eloquently on the nature of emptiness."This is the second installme [...]

The Diamond Cutter at Apache Pass, Part 1: Cut the Tent"When we move, or we consume foods from outside our region, we are thwarting adaptation. Our ep [...]

Acceleration"We need to get to above-the-line climate solutions with the same urgency as beach communities [...]

Greening Apocalypse California"At some point the marble will fall into a warmer domain of equilibrium."This is one of th [...]

The folks at Windward have been doing great work at living sustainably for many years now.  Part of [...]

 The Daily SUN☼ Building a Better Tomorrow by Sustaining Universal Needs April 3, 2017 Powering Down [...]

Off the keyboard of Bob Montgomery Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666 Friend us on Facebook Publishe [...]

Visit SUN on Facebook Here [...]

Americans are good on the "thoughts and prayers" thing. Also not so bad about digging in f [...]

In the echo-sphere of political punditry consensus forms rapidly, gels, and then, in short order…cal [...]

Discussions with figures from Noam Chomsky and Peter Senge to Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama off [...]

Lefty Greenies have some laudable ideas. Why is it then that they don't bother to really build [...]

Democracy and politics would be messy business even if all participants were saints. But America doe [...]

Top Commentariats
  • Our Finite World
  • Economic Undertow

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-23/nfl-ratings-slump-worsens-espn-forced-slash-80-million-sala [...]

This sums up the situation at the time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtBy_ppG4hY [...]

If I could be granted entry into this 'few' --- I would promise to spend endlessly .... I [...]

The inevitable outcome of 'democracy'? The politicians who offer free lunches consistently [...]

Maybe he meant we have peaked on cheap to produce fossil fuels.... FORMAT: cancer as a metaphor for [...]

Keeping Up Appearances now UP on the Diner Blog. Sporting a brand spanking newly designed Triangle o [...]

If what is going to happen is that the entirety of the rest of the world is going to collapse first [...]

Jim Rickards is saying that every time that the Chinese devalue their currency that there is a drop [...]

I suspect that the "doom/collapse" that we all anticipated, dare I say hoped for, was the [...]

"All we doomers have is coming on a decade of following internet blogs, and going to our dead e [...]

RE Economics

Going Cashless

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Simplifying the Final Countdown

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

Discuss this article @ the ECONOMICS TABLE inside the...

Singularity of the Dollar

Off the Keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

SWISSIE CAPITULATION!

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Of Heat Sinks & Debt Sinks: A Thermodynamic View of Money

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Merry Doomy Christmas

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Collapse Fiction
Useful Links
Technical Journals

Changes in climate because of global warming during the 20th and 21st centuries have a direct impact [...]

This paper evaluates contributions to global temperature anomalies from greenhouse gas concentration [...]

Follow on our http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/