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.

 

 

 

One Response 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. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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

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

4 Tactics Used by Monsanto to Undermine Potential Link Between Glyphosate and Cancer By Genna ReedGenna Reed   [img width=25 height=30]http://www.createaforum....

Quote from: Palloy2 on Today at 03:18:32 PM When ISIS is finally destroyed and peace is declared, Syria will be left a broken and divided state, and Russia-China-Iran will have to pick up the pieces.Somehow, I ...

The folks Joe Bageant used to write about.REhttp://www.greanvillepost.com/2017/03/30/reviews-white-trash-both-a-book-and-trump-revolution/[size...

Kerry said this before, and now Tillerson confirms it on behalf of the Trump administration.  Presumably that's what Turkey's announcement means as well.  Saudi Arabia probably won't say anything publicly.  When ISIS is finally destroyed and peace is d...

Diner Twitter feed
Knarf’s Knewz

Quote from: knarf on Today at 09:14:55 AMYep, I go [...]

Quote from: knarf on March 29, 2017, 05:47:04 AMI [...]

Yep, I got hooked on Alex Jones about 6 years ago. [...]

Yes, Soros has invested in many political organiza [...]

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

Helena Norberg-Hodge: Trump Traumahttps://voxpopul [...]

Quote from: Eddie on March 29, 2017, 06:18:24 AMSo [...]

Sounds like work for the admin. [...]

COLLAPSE.GLOBALOK Diners, the Newz Page has been r [...]

Oh the wicked web we weave..... [...]

Quote from: knarf on Today at 09:14:55 AMYep, I go [...]

Quote from: knarf on March 29, 2017, 05:47:04 AMI [...]

Yep, I got hooked on Alex Jones about 6 years ago. [...]

Yes, Soros has invested in many political organiza [...]

Zero HedgeShandong Gold Group, China’s second bigg [...]

2017-03-26 - Brazil handing over the Amazon rainfo [...]

Second State In Less Than A Month Challenges Fed, [...]

Health Freedom Victory: How a Small Supplement Com [...]

I just want enough Smack to go out the EZ and rela [...]

Quote from: azozeo on March 27, 2017, 11:24:54 AMQ [...]

Quote from: azozeo on March 27, 2017, 07:49:50 PMI [...]

I love the mine car scene, thanks... [...]

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

It Hurts When I Do This By Cognitive Dissonance   “Well, then don’t do that” is the proper response [...]

Standard Issue Incompetence - More Evidence of Imperial Decay (Time for Fight or Flight?) By Cogniti [...]

By Cognitive Dissonance   de·lu·sion·al dəˈlo͞oZH(ə)nəl/ adjective: delusional Characterized by or h [...]

By Cognitive Dissonance Back in the days of sword and sail, warships mounted heavy cannon on their d [...]

This issue of my Patreon Newsletter is open to the public. Please enjoy the article. (I now have a P [...]

Event Update For 2017-03-28http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2017-03-27http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2017-03-26http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2017-03-25http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2017-03-24http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

The sounds of the Romanian countryside, unleashed by Fanfare Ciocărlia for twenty years and counting [...]

Fanfare Ciocărlia's lead vocalists (and trumpet players) Radulescu Lazar and Costică "Cima [...]

When I finally made the first steps to end my abstention after more than ten years in the "musi [...]

All digital reproductions are equally made with zeroes and ones, although some zeroes and ones are m [...]

The appearance of the music industry's various formats, plotted along M. King Hubbert's 19 [...]

Daily Doom Photo

man-watching-tv

Sustainability
  • Peak Surfer
  • SUN
  • Transition Voice

Rescuing Los Angeles"How can we use our hard wiring to communicate to the herd that it is time to veer off from a r [...]

Wetiko"When we visited Los Angeles, what we were seeing was not so much a collective neurosis as a co [...]

The Sheer Wall"A system that places monetary value on products and services but places little value on their [...]

Climate Ecoforestry"Want to leap the social barrier to cool living? Behold: a stargate."  In 2008 we asked Fr [...]

Cicero and the Summer of 45"Happiness, Cicero said, is not dependent on things that pleasure the body, but on pleasures of [...]

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

Visit SUN on Facebook Here [...]

Click here to visit Sustaining Universal Needs’ YouTube Channel! [...]

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post. [...]

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 [...]

A new book argues that, in order to survive climate change and peak oil, the global money economy ne [...]

Top Commentariats
  • Our Finite World
  • Economic Undertow

Yep feeling very 2007ish on so many levels... https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-28/ame [...]

The problem, I think, is that many people deal with their own mortality by being an important part o [...]

Yep, screened porches, especially south west oriented are neat and *affordable hack how the gain som [...]

Well, you don't. We have heat accumulation system these days for home and midsized industrial a [...]

Perhaps you should, since they nowadays provide the majority of all nuclear installations in the wor [...]

We all are standing that way. That's why I sometimes wear a dress for gardening. [...]

"My feet are standing in both worlds!" Me too!!! I think I just ripped the crotch of my pa [...]

Eyeores, my list is not for suvival. When BAU is over, JIT is over and we are f.....es. It is for my [...]

Thanks for the great post Eeyore. The system is obviously going to take this cycle of exploitive mad [...]

Elmar - Sure it all sounds good butttttttt!!!! I produce about maybe a quarter of what our three per [...]

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

This paper examines the effects of climatic and non-climatic factors on cassava yields in Togo using [...]

Climate is one of the single most important factors affecting watershed ecosystems and water resourc [...]

Municipalities are important actors in the field of local climate change adaptation. Stakeholders ne [...]

The Global Climate Model (GCM) run at a coarse spatial resolution cannot be directly used for climat [...]

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