Election

Doomstead Diner Election Coverage: Live Updates

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on November 8, 2016

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Check below for Live Updates through the day.

The Big Day has arrived at last!  Millions of Amerikans are streaming to the Polls to vote for the Imbecile of their Choice.  We *MAY* have a POTUS Elect by some time late tonight or tomorrow morning.  If we do, you'll hear it here first on the Diner, at least unless you are monitoring one of the same sites I am to get the latest results and who is calling a victory (or tie) in the popular vote.

I say may, because as we all know by now between Pussy Grabbing by The Donald and further Email crimes by Killary, the polls have been swinging wildly toward both sides, and WTF really knows what anybody will actually do when they get inside the booth and press the touch screen on the rigged voting machine which will be hacked by Vlad the Impaler?  Besides, even if the polls were not bouncing up and down like a Yo-Yo on Steroids, polling lately in all of these major popular contests has been notoriously wrong by a large margin, the BREXIT vote a prime example of that.

The possibility here also exists that neither major party candidate will get the required 270 votes from the Electoral College, thus throwing the election into CONgress to decide the final outcome.  Also possible is that vote tallies will be challenged as having been rigged, as was the case in Florida when Gore ran against Bush and the Supreme Court got in the act to make a final decision.  In that one, Gore did win the Popular Vote pretty handily, but by the time the SCOTUS got through with it, Bush got more Electoral votes.

As we go into this, I am currently of the opinion that the election will get thrown into the House, and then numerous fistfights will break out as some Repugnants Jump the Trump ship to vote for Killary.  Other Diners seem to think Killary still probably has more ways to win than The Donald, so it's a total tossup here.

If it does end up going to the House, whoever the LOSER is here is not going to be a happy puppy, especially if the loser actually got a plurality of either the popular vote or electoral college vote.  If the LOSER has a plurality of BOTH of those, but CONgress picks the other Imbecile as Puppet-in-Chief, then you'll really see post-election fireworks.

For those of us with a Collapse Focus (pretty much anyone who reads the Doomstead Diner), one does have to remember that regardless of which Imbecile gets installed in the Oval Office, Collapse will still proceed onward.  No worries that either of these clowns can possibly resolve the problems of resource depletion and population overshoot.  The only differences are perhaps in what the trajectory of the collapse will be and which one can make it go faster.

Besides the POTUS election, numerous seats are up for grabs in the House & Senate, and the possibility exists that the majority party there could change also, so we'll keep watch on these races too.

To conclude for now, unless a clear victory comes to one side or the other in the results coming down the pike here through Wednesday morning, the excitement and drama of human competion, the Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat in the Wide World of Sham Democracy will not be over that fast.

Check back below for regular updates as the results come in.

———————————————————–

Live Updates

9:20 PM

At the moment it looks like The Donald will be the new POTUS, and not only that the Repugnants will control both House and Senate, so the FSoA willbe full on Fascist-Righty as we spin down here.  Wall Street is currently unhappy, but likely will become happier when The Donald slashes Medicaire and Social Security.

It's not OVAH yet though, and because all these races were so tight I'm not sure it will be ovah by tomorrow morning either.  I think you can count on challenges to the vote counts, especially if Killary won the popular vote.

Not gonna stay up all night on this one.  Another nap is in order.  Perhaps when I wake up we'll have  a better idea here on who the next POTUS will be,

8:30 PM

It's looking ever more likely that we will have a Pussy Grabber for POTUS instead of a psychopathic liar and war criminal.  Is this a good thing?  Apparently the markets don't think so…

As the votes roll in across the U.S. and Donald Trump's chances for an upset win in the tight presidential election increase, the Dow Jones industrial average plunged more than 700 points in volatile futures trading and investors moved their money into safe havens like gold as as traders reacted to the possiblility of a Trump presidency.

Global markets were wildly volatile, with stocks, currencies and bonds swinging wildly as investors reacted to the possibility that the Republican businessman could best Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

On the upside for the Kollapsniks, maybe this will be the straw that broke the camel's back and the TBTF Banks will finally go tits up?

7:45 PM Alaska Time

The Donald is now projected to WIN Florida, Ohio and North Carolina by WaPo!  I am looking forward to the fistfights on the House Floor! 🙂

The presidential race was extremely close on Tuesday evening, with Republican Donald Trump — who entered the night as an underdog – seizing the advantage over Democrat Hillary Clinton in a series of battleground states.

By 11 p.m. Eastern time, voting had ended in 49 states, everywhere but Alaska. Together, they represented 535 of the country’s 538 electoral votes.

Trump was on track to prevail in Ohio, a key bellwether state that has backed the losing presidential candidate only once since 1944. The GOP nominee appealed directly to the sense of economic grievance in the Buckeye State, which has been buffeted by a declining manufacturing industry. Locking up the state’s 18 electoral votes boosts his options to getting to 270 electoral votes.

 

6:30 PM Alaska Time

According to CNN, Slate & Votecastr got this ALL WRONG and in their reality The Donald is out in front in FL by 150K Votes, and this is an"Epic Battle" in the swing states!

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are fighting an epic battle over the swing states that will decide who becomes the next president.

 

 

 

 

 

Trump has a narrow edge in Florida, a state he likely needs in his column to have a viable path to the White House. He leads by 140,000 votes with 93% of the vote counted. Trump is also leading in Ohio and North Carolina, though significant numbers of votes remain to be counted. The GOP nominee is running a surprisingly close race in Virginia, home to Clinton's running mate and a state that Democrats had felt was safely in their column.
The mood in the Clinton campaign has shifted dramatically as they frantically try to understand what's happening in Florida. A senior adviser conceded the campaign's modeling was off, but still believed Clinton has enough votes still out to take the state.
The tight contests suggest Trump has an increasingly possible path to the 270 electoral votes he needs to win.
So far, Trump has won 17 states, including Texas. Clinton has come out on top in New York and nine other states and the District of Columbia. Trump has come out on top in 17 states, including Texas. Trump has 136 electoral votes compared to 104 electoral votes for Clinton, according to CNN projections.

Slate & Votecastr on the other hand made their FINAL PREDICTION on the outcome of the swing states they are following:

VoteCastr’s Final Vote Estimates in All the States We’re Tracking

 

VoteCastr’s trackers have now submitted their final reports from the field in all seven states they were tracking today, so the numbers you see in our interactive shouldn’t change for the rest of the evening. For posterity, then, here are VoteCastr's final estimated vote totals in all seven states. We’ll be comparing these numbers to the official returns once they come in, at which point we’ll be able to draw some conclusions about this grand Election Day experiment.

Estimated votes in Florida as of final update:

Clinton: 4,959,569

Trump: 4,644,007

Estimated votes in Iowa as of final update:

Clinton: 659,498

Trump: 645,935

Estimated votes in Nevada as of final update:

Clinton: 504,108

Trump: 496,633

Estimated votes in New Hampshire as of final update:

Clinton: 311,833

Trump: 289,125

Estimated votes in Ohio as of final update:

Clinton: 2,534,965

Trump: 2,516,534

Estimated votes in Pennsylvania as of final update:

Clinton: 2,557,627

Trump: 2,401,513

Estimated votes in Wisconsin as of final update:

Clinton: 1,366,876

hTrump: 1,193,322

 

 

 

 

 

Slate appears to believe Killary will WIN just about every swing state, whereas CNN's numbers appear to indicate The Donald is in the Driver's seat!

Meanwhile, in the Senate race the latest is that the Repugnants have taken the Lead, and now are 44-42 over the Demodopes.

 

This is going to be a long night.

6 PM Alaska Time

WaPo has a significantly different take on this so far than Slaate does, and has The Donald leading in FL by about 100K Votes

As the polls closed Tuesday, anxious Americans awaited an indication of who would prevail at the end of a historically bitter presidential contest — whether Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton would hold on to her narrow pre-election lead or Republican Donald Trump would secure a stunning upset.

By 9 p.m. Eastern time, voting had ended in more than three dozen states that together represent 429 electoral votes.

Trump was showing surprising strength in the early battleground states, especially in Florida – where he held a lead of more than 100,000 votes with 90 percent of precincts reporting. That state remained too close to call.

Who to believe here?

The GOAL IMHO is to make the election as CLOSE as possible, so that just a few votes can swing it whichever way TBTB want it.

5 PM Alaska Time

The Senate Battle currently still has the Demodopes in the lead, 40 to 38, according to WaPo.  Goobernators and CONgress Critters appear to be leading in those races though.

Not sure what happens if you get a perfect 50-50 split in the Senate though?  Which party gets to have the Senate President Pro-Temp in this case?

Whatever the case is here, we are certain to have legislative lockup on about all issues.  Well, except the issue of Bank Bailouts.  Regardless who wins here, they'll keep doing those.

4 PM Alaska Time

BREAKING NEWZ!

Voting place Shoot-em-Up in California!

Wrong place, wrong time to cast your ballot!

1 dead, multiple people shot near Azusa polling station; active shooter heavily armed, officials say

3 PM Alaska Time

While the POTUS election is getting the most dominant coverage, the battle for control of CONgress is really more interesting, and more important too.  As far as the Senate goes, the Demodopes have 37 Senators not up for reelection this round, the Repugnants have 30. Senate total is 100 2 per state, so that leaves 33 Seats up for grabs in this election.  Nothing has been called in this battle so far.

On the current best guess that Killary is going to win POTUS, if she can get a majority for Demodopes in the Senate, this will make it much easier for her to push through her agenda, including getting who she wants for the new SCOTUS position approved.  No idea yet of course who that person will be, although I would like to see Liz Warren in that spot.  Liz did a lot of work for Killary as Chief Attack Dog on Twitter against The Donald, so she might get that juicy reward.  On the other hand, Killary' backers at Goldman might not like that.

We'll be following the Senate battle through the night I expect.  The POTUS decision should come much sooner.

2:15 PM Alaska Time

Latest numbers from the Votecastr Tracker show Killary leading across the board in all the key battleground states.  Turnout has already surpassed Obama-sama from 2012.  The only reason not to call the election now is Votecastr system is new and probably weighted toward the Demodopes since Slate is a partner. If it's a good system though and they're being honest, Killary has this in the bag.  No fistfights in CONgress. 🙁

http://media.fyre.co/OgTpsGpdSJyrnlGVE7wj_445OmbnibusGraphic.png

 

2PM Alaska Time

Guess where the most problems voting are coming from?

Tens of millions of Americans descended on the polls today as election watchdogs reported hours-long lines, sporadic equipment failures and confusion about polling places — but few signs so far of violence or vigilantism.

Problems cropped up Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and other key battleground states that could decide whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump wins the presidency. Most involved election administration issues that have plagued the polls for decades, however, rather than incidents of voter fraud or intimidation fueled by Trump's warning of a "rigged" election.

You guessed it, the poor neighborhoods.  It's not fraud you see, it's just that poor people are so disorganized.  This is why the game is set up so the voting is so close.  Only a few votes have to be "lost" or not counted in order to swing an election one way or the other.  The easiest place to do that is in poor counties, with the cheapest people to bribe.  This general favors Repugnants in winning, although in this cas may be favoring the Demodopes.

1PM Alaska Time

According to the latest exit polls from Slate, Killary is leading the horserace in FL, 48.6% to 45.2% for FL.  FL is supposedly a "must win" for The Donald, so not looking too good for the pussy grabber at the moment.  It certainly is ironic that one of the first states to sink under the rising sea level will likely decide our next POTUS!

9AM Alaska Time

OK, I need a nap.  The stress is wearing me out. lol.

By the time I wake up, should be near poll closing times on the East Coast of the Lower 48 and the REAL MARATHON BEGINS!  This sucker was just a warm-up in the Bullpen!

8AM Alaska Time

If you want to overload on video and have plenty of bandwidth, here's the livestream from Votecastr

7AM Alaska Time

Now we got the issue of "down ballot" voting.  You know, all those state legislatures, Goobernators and of course CONgress Critters subsidiary to the POTUS.  At least according to this map of the Down Ballot folks, I can't figure out HTF Demodopes have any say at all and how they managed to get Obama-sama elected when at the SAME time they manage to elect Repugnants everywhere else????  Here's a map from WaPo.

Based on this map, the majority of the FSoA ia Repugnant, by a LOONG shot.  Yea OK, the blue states have higher populations, but I STILL can't account for this one on the national level.  OK, honestly I know how it is done, through gerrymandering of districts and all of that, but then I ask myself, WHY are all these plebes Repugnant?

Then I read Joe Bageant and I know why.

6AM Alaska Time

From the WaPo, here is some more to convince you that YOUR VOTE IS IMPORTANT!  This gives you some clue as to how the statistician geniuses come up with these odds:

With a national election coming up, and with the publicity at its maximum, now is a good time to ask, is it rational for you to vote? And, by extension, was it worth your while to pay attention to whatever the candidates and party leaders have been saying for the past year or so? With the chance of casting a decisive vote that is comparable to the chance of winning the lottery, what is the gain from being a good citizen and casting your vote?

The short answer is, quite a lot. First the bad news. With over 100 million voters, your chance that your vote will be decisive in the presidential election is, at best, 1 in a million in a battleground state and much less in a noncompetitive state such as New York. The calculation is based on the chance that your state’s vote will be exactly tied, along with the chance that your state’s electoral votes are necessary for one party or the other to secure an electoral vote majority. Both these conditions are necessary for your vote to be decisive. So voting might at first not seem like such a good use of your time.

But here’s the good news. If your vote is decisive, it will make a difference for 300 million people. If you think your preferred candidate could bring the equivalent of a $100 improvement in the quality of life to the average American — not an implausible hope, given the size of the federal budget and the impact of decisions in foreign policy, health, the courts and other areas — you’re now buying a $30 billion lottery ticket. With this payoff, a 1 in 10 million chance of being decisive isn’t bad odds.

Excuse me?  Payoff?  What Payoff?  Whoever you vote for, unless you happen to be a member of the .01%, you're not gonna be PAID OFF here, you're going to be RIPPED OFF!  You got a 1 in a BILLION chance of making a difference in which POTUS candidate will fuck you up the ass and shift whatever money you still have left to the TBTF Banks, but either way, you still get fucked!

Have you ever seen ANY return on the Investment of your Vote in ANY election, regardless of which candidate of whatever party you voted for?

ROI on Voting is very low.

5AM Alaska Time

More subtle spin doctoring.  What happens if the LOSER doesn't "concede"?  According to NBC:

As Election Day begins, some are asking what would happen if Trump loses and declines to concede.

The answer is: Nothing.

There is no legal or constitutional requirement that a losing candidate publicly concede, experts told NBC News.

A refusal to concede in the face of a clear loss would certainly be unusual — and probably controversial — but it would not impact the formal results in any way.

"The act of conceding is not a legal act," political scientist Rick Hasen said.

"It doesn't have any legal effect as to whether or not someone is declared a winner," added Hasen, who runs the Election Law Blog.

Notice the spin here.  The assumption is that it is The Donald that is the Sore Loser here and pouts refusing to concede defeat.  But what if it's Killary that loses and won't accept defeat?  In either case, how long can the LOSER make hay and get coverage in the MSM that he/she REALLY won the election and deserves to be POTUS?

How about the LOSER declaring him/her self the TRUE WINNER here and setting up an Interrnet Election for a NEW CONgress and Senate, and declaring THEY are really the new Goobermint of the FSoA?  They can then appoint an entirely NEW SCOTUS to cover the legislative branch of Goobermint and have all the "checks & balances" that the Founding Fathers of the FSoA deemed necessary for a stable and representative Goobermint!  Then we can have the "Battle of Da Goobermints" as each Goobermint tries to prove they are REALLY the best Goobermint!

4AM Alaska Time

According to the Mathematicians-Statisticians Pierre Antoine Kemp and Andrew Gelman courtesy of Slate, here are the chances your vote will decide the POTUS Election:

161107_SCI_VoteMatters-Prob_MAP

WTF was the algorithm they came up with to generate this map?  Regardless of that, if you live in one of those bright YELLOW states, why are you going out to vote?  While you are at it there, buy a few Powerball Tickets!  You got a better chance of winning the Powerball and becoming an instant Billionaire than making a difference in this election.  If you are in a RED state, by all means, go out and vote!  You have a 1:1,000,000 chance of making a difference!

Notice Alaska & Hawaii aren't even considered on this map.  That's because the chances of anyone living in these states can make a difference is 1:10100. I worked that out scientifically.

Even IF your vote makes a difference in whether Killary or the Donald is the Winner, does this make a difference as far as whether Industrial Civilization will collapse or not?  OF COURSE NOT!  We are going down the toilet regardless of which Imbecile is Crowned as Marionette-in-Chief!

3AM Alaska Time

According to the NYT, there are  2 Paths by which the Election Might Proceed.  I think this is because the editors at the NYT can't count past 2.  Apparently though, we will need to wait quite a while, if ever for Killary to win the Popular Vote.

A Long Wait for the Popular Vote

If Mrs. Clinton wins the presidency, she might not take the lead in the national popular vote for hours. If she barely wins the popular vote, it could be weeks before she retakes the lead.

WEEKS!  ACCCKKKKK!  It could be WEEKS before we kow what this bullshit and manipulated result is!  Fucking Climate Change happens faster than this!

2AM Alaska Time

Early spin doctoring on Google Newz top headline has the Democraps "supremely confident" of a Killary victory.  Is this good or bad spin doctoring?  Does it inspire more Killary voters to go out to the polls or more Donald voters? Democratic insiders near-certain of Clinton win.

Reuters has now put the odds of a Killary victory at 90%. " With hours to go before Americans vote, Democrat Hillary Clinton has about a 90 percent chance of defeating Republican Donald Trump in the race for the White House, according to the final Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation project."

 

Divide and Distract: If Donald Trump Wins the Election He Loses, But if He Loses the Election He Wins (part 2/3)

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Published on From Filmers to Farmers on November 7th, 2016

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Try it and I'll bop you over the head with a metal chair!
(photo by Gage Skidmore)

For some time now I've been toying with the idea of Donald Trump as future triager-in-chief – instead of "you're fired!", "you're triaged!" I nonetheless couldn't help but think that said interpretation was likely the result of seeing the world through triage-coloured glasses and that I was perhaps missing out on some other underlying story. So I decided to err on the side of caution and avoided writing a post for a post's sake.

While then listening to the third debate, and upon hearing Trump's reply to Hillary Clinton's accusation of his making light of a physically disabled reporter – "Wrong!" – for the umpteenth time I couldn't help but burst out laughing at the inanity of it all. (Not to say that I'm some insensitive clod – the audience itself laughed [and was rebuked] upon Trump's declaration that "Nobody has more respect for women than I do. Nobody.") In fact, I laughed so hard and in such a way that it reminded me of how I used to laugh at the behaviour of an old friend of mine of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) notoriety, which then reminded me of Donald Trump's involvement with the WWE over the years. As I then mulled over (and explained in part 1 via my conception of World Electioneering Entertainment [WEE]), could it be possible that Trump's antics are actually a big act? Or more specifically, and to really go down the rabbit hole with this one, could it be possible that Trump already knows he's going to lose the election, and not simply so that the presidency can be handed to Clinton but to create a grandiose distraction? Yes, that's pretty far-fetched, but what's more zany – thinking this has all been real, or to think that a fair amount of what's been going on has been contrived?


Débutante Melania Trump is introduced to the WEE
(photo by Disney | ABC Television Group)

Anyway, for quite some time things have seemed slightly fishy to me about WEE 2016. Although I'd yet to make my WWE/WEE analogy, upon hearing that portions of Melania Trump's speech at the GOP convention lifted from a previous speech by Michelle Obama I immediately smelled the whiff of fishy #1 and called BS, recalling WWE-owner Vince McMahon's assertion: any attention is good attention. And while some journalists pondered the following:

Did Hillary Clinton's team point out the glaring similarities of the two speeches? I'd suppose so. It would be the smart thing to do, to call reporters and make the case.

I again screamed to myself "BS!" If it was Trump that concocted it all then it would make sense that it was Trump's team that called it in (or tipped someone off), not Clinton's. Wanting a way to make a spectacle out of the entrance of Trump's wife, discovery of the parallels in speeches certainly wouldn't have been left up to chance. For let's not forget Trump's assertion, motive, and uncanny ability:

I'm going to get in and all the polls are going to go crazy. I'm going to suck all the oxygen out of the room. I know how to work the media in a way that they will never take the lights off of me.

And suck he did. For following revelation of the parallels in speeches, the Trump campaign actually turned the tables and tried to shame the Democrats (much as how Trump actually demanded an apology from the New York Times for condemning his impersonation of its physically disabled reporter). Trump's campaign manager stated that

Once again, this is an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, she seeks to demean her and take her down,

while his spokeswoman stated that

This concept that Michelle Obama invented the English language is absurd.

Granted, I did realize that even just thinking that Trump and company manufactured the plagiarism drama was quite the stretch to make, and not just because the eventual fall-person would have to be sacrificially fired over it all and then secretly paid off, right? Right? Well as it turns out, not quite. As the junior aide who apparently inadvertently lifted part of Michelle Obama's speech put it,

Yesterday, I offered my resignation to Mr. Trump and the Trump family, but they rejected it. Mr. Trump told me that people make innocent mistakes and that we learn and grow from these experiences… I am honored to work for such a great family.


(image by Cass Anaya)

I mean really, who knew Trump had such a mushy-gushy heart? ("There's nobody that has a mushier-gushier heart than me. Nobody.")

Anyway, and much like the aforementioned retort given to Clinton, it doesn't need to be pointed out that Trump has been spewing out a ridiculous amount of completely obvious fabrications and absurdities this entire election. ("You know what my favorite [book] is? The Bible!", "I have the world's greatest memory", [which he then (hilariously!) stated half a year later that he couldn't recall having said that], etc.) This hasn't seemed to matter in the slightest though to legions of Trump supporters, people whose prolonged dismissal by the establishment as being expendable has resulted in their complete willingness to brush off all of Trump's fabrications if – and I'm now thinking that that's a dubious "if" – the purpose of those lies have been to bully government predators who have been bullying them for years on end. And Trump surely knows this.

Moreover, and not that I think that Trump likes to spend lazy Sunday afternoons reading up on semiotics any more than I do, but if we take a look at the late French philosopher Roland Barthes' 1957 essay on wrestling, "In the Ring", one can just about see a blueprint for this entire election.

As Barthes states in his first sentence, "The virtue of wrestling is to be a spectacle of excess." Hello! Or as Trump put it in The Art of the Deal,

The final key to the way I promote is bravado. I play to people's fantasies. People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That's why a little hyperbole never hurts. People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular. I call it truthful hyperbole. It's an innocent form of exaggeration – and a very effective form of promotion.

In his comparison between pro wrestling and boxing (neither of which he sees as morally superior to the other), Barthes then points out that

[The] public… is quite aware of the distinction between wrestling and boxing; it knows that boxing is a Jansenist sport, based on a demonstration of excellence; one can bet on the outcome of a boxing match; in wrestling, that would make no sense. The boxing match is a story constructed under the spectator's eyes; in wrestling, just the contrary, it is each moment which is intelligible, not their sum… The rational future of the combat does not interest the fan of wrestling, whereas on the contrary a boxing match always implies a science of the future. In other words, wrestling is a sum of spectacles, none of which is a function: each moment imposes the total knowledge of a passion which suddenly rises straight up on its own, without ever extending toward the consummation of an outcome.


(photo by Ted Eytan)

I admit that I'm not the sharpest when it comes to this semiotics stuff (I'm getting flashbacks from film school / university of the futility behind trying to not get bored out of my skull while being taught about all that signs and symbols stuff), but from what I gather, the gist is that for the pro wrestler it's all about energy. In other words, the wrestling fan isn't so much concerned with what is going on – a logical progression of events – so much as they're interested in the fact that something is going on. While Trump's opponents have been vainly attempting to fight a prim and proper boxing match, Trump is the pro wrestler who has been running circles around his opponents, bopping them over their heads with metal chairs. And the more passion he shows the more the audience eats it up.

As Barthes explains further,

Wrestlers are good at flattering the crowd's powers of outrage, going to the very limit of the concept of Justice, this farthest zone of confrontation, where it takes only a trifle to open the gates of a frenzied world. For the fan of wrestling, nothing is finer than the vengeful rage of a betrayed combatant who passionately attacks not a successful adversary but the stinging image of foul play.

Otherwise put, Trump generates the passion the audience seeks via crusading against, and serving justice upon, the evil forces – "crooked Hillary" and her email scandal, et. al.

Although correlation certainly doesn't imply causation, sometimes the comparisons even get cut and paste. Barthes explains that in boxing "the most conventional sign of propriety [is] shaking hands." In pro wrestling however, "foul play exists here only by its excessive signs:… refusing to shake hands with a partner before or after a match" – and yes, the media dutifully lit up the Twitterverse upon Clinton and Trump's refusal to exchange the accustomed pleasantries before the third debate. (This media of ours really has no shame.)

Not to belabour this all too much, but two more quotes of Barthes' provide a bit more food for thought. Firstly,

at this pitch, it no longer matters whether or not the passion being expressed is authentic. There is no more a problem of truth in wrestling than in theater.

That is, it doesn't matter whether what's going on is real or not. Imagine what might happen if somebody ran into the middle of a Wrestlemania ring and yelled out "it's all fake!" Similarly, what's happened when Trump has been called out for being an "entertainer" and/or host of a TV show? As every single one of Trump's opponents have found out, absolutely nothing. And more importantly, the audience loves it.


(photo by torbakhopper)

Finally, Barthes points out that "the wrestler's function is not to win but to perform exactly the gestures expected of him." By this Barthes means the two wrestlers in a match, but in this particular match there is one wrestler and one boxer, and they're both supplying their respective audiences with exactly what they want. Clinton's backers have observed the election from the point of view of a boxing match and so have seen her meticulous denunciations of Trump's antics as crowning her the clear winner. Conversely, Trump's supporters have been seeing it all through the prism of a wrestling match and so inevitably see his non-stop rambunctiousness as crowning him the clear winner.

Having conveyed all that, I don't necessarily mean to suggest that Trump has donned the wrestling persona with the impression that it'll win him the election. For starters, and to go along with all the rest of Trump's fabrications, might it be possible that Trump isn't as racist as he's lead us to believe (as others have questioned as well)? Might it be possible that Trump is "simply" an amoral sociopath that doesn't care either way, one who says whatever is expedient to rile up the audience?

Continuing with the hypotheticals, and as Michael Moore has suggested, might it be possible that Trump entered this election simply because he wanted a raise from NBC for hosting The Apprentice, and that he's been trying to find a way out after being immediately fired by NBC thanks to his incendiary remarks about Mexicans? I'm not so sure about that. Not only has Trump already lost plenty of business (and thus money) in the Middle East and other parts of the world, but he even stated himself that

If I lose some businesses overseas, it doesn't have any impact on me whatsoever. What I'm doing right now… is far more important than any single business that I own.

Which is, of course, hard to interpret as being anything else but another fabrication. But it's also hard to take somebody's ambitions for the presidency seriously after hearing them state that

I've given up a tremendous amount to run for president. I gave up two more seasons of Celebrity Apprentice.


(image courtesy of Derek Chatwood – All Rights Reserved)

If this is all mere nonsense, could it then be possible – as Jeb Bush and other Republicans have stated, and as even some Democrats have stated – that Trump is a plant by the Clintons in order to guarantee a GOP loss? I suppose so, but as we've readily seen, Trump's absurdities and insults have only worked to make his candidacy stronger and stronger. (Until, that is, the revelation of his comment made to Jeb and George Bush's little cousin that one should "Grab them by the hoo-ha". [Jeb: “Hey Billy, know of anything that could tank Trump’s campaign?” Billy: “Nope, nope, nothing at all.”])

Nonetheless, and supposing things are on the up and up, Trump could conceivably pull off an upset win in less than two days' time, and not simply because of diehard supporters and the FBI's recent reopening of the investigation into Clinton's email saga (which I'll get to in a moment), but due to the amount of closet Trump supporters (from gay Muslim students to countless others) and legions of ex-Sanders supporters who would "prefer chaos to stagnation." That is to say, if the fix is in and Trump's supposed to be blowing this election, he's not doing a very good job of it.

But what if it were a different kind of fix? To return to Michael Moore, his first film, Roger & Me, was based around the premise of attempting to score an interview with Roger Smith (CEO of General Motors at the time), an interview which Moore didn't get. But kind of did get. As Moore was forced to admit years later, yes, he did actually interview Smith, but that was apparently before work had started on Roger & Me. Which, I suppose, is plausibly possible. And as Moore then stated in response,

If I'd gotten an interview with him, why wouldn't I put it in the film?


(photo by Josh Jensen)

Why? Because – and as I'm sure Moore the entertainer and showman is well aware – if the "bad guy" gets caught then the chase – the spectacle – is over. And if the chase is over then the audience can't be strung along anymore. Trump, the student-excellente of the WWE and now media savvy performer in the WEE, is well aware of this. Unless you have explicit plans for there to be no further sequels, or you want to end the franchise, or you do not want to start a television show and career as a professional rabble rouser, then you certainly don't want to "win" (or catch the CEO).

It's for this reason that I'm not so sure about Moore's statement that

[Trump] cannot and WILL NOT suffer through being officially and legally declared a loser – LOSER! – on the night of November 8th. Trust me, I’ve met the guy. Spent an afternoon with him. He would rather invite the Clintons AND the Obamas to his next wedding than have that scarlet letter ("L") branded on his forehead seconds after the last polls have closed on that night, the evening of the final episode of the permanently cancelled Donald Trump Shit-Show.

This is possibly seriously underestimating Trump, presuming that he's nothing but a small-time, small-picture thinker whose mind doesn't go beyond that of money and winning or losing. Because what's been recently going through my mind is, What if Trump is a plant – not to simply lose the election, but to provide a distraction?

For starters, not only do we know that Trump adores attention, but we also know that he's going nowhere after this election, win or lose. First off, and as he stated in the third debate in response to whether or not he'd concede the election were he to lose,

What I'm saying is that I will tell you at the time. I'll keep you in suspense, okay?

Secondly, by making repeated claims that "millions of people… are registered [to vote] that shouldn't be," Trump is effectively laying the groundwork to contest a "stolen" election. As put by Salon, all he has to do is "get close enough to Clinton that he can plausibly claim that someone hacked a few voting machines or stuffed a few ballot boxes." Whether or not he then files lawsuits alleging voter fraud, the adoring crowds will eat it up, and who knows how long it can be drawn out for, even if just in unofficial manners (like all the birther stuff but at a whole different level).

To be more specific, this email scandal is likely to supply a perpetual amount of fodder for Trump, and it's here that I smelled fishy #2. Much like I said "oh come on!" to myself after the Melania Trump speech "scandal", I once again couldn't help but think the same thing after reading that Bill Clinton had chatted with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on an airport tarmac just before the FBI released its findings on the Hillary Clinton email investigation. Because really, in this day and age when a cell phone call would do just fine, why would you do such a thing – in broad daylight for all to see – unless your purpose was to either laugh in people's faces at how little you care about their recognition of your corruption, or, that you wanted to antagonize the opposition and supply them with more fodder, knowing full well that your (wife's) supporters will automatically give you all a free pass? Mentioning this to a friend I then said, "you know, now that I think about it, I wouldn't be surprised if this email scandal thing wasn't somewhat pre-planned and manufactured from the get-go." A minute after he said "but why would anyone actually do that?", I of course couldn't help but think "because Trump advised them to!" That is, Trump and company were going to need a never-ending story that could never actually get Clinton in trouble (like Obama and the birther thing) but which could provide a limitless supply of ammunition. And now FBI director James Comey re-opens the email investigation 11 days before the election, which said nothing and which nothing then came from? For real?

Suffice to say, and I don't know about you, but I can't help but now think that Trump is absolutely brilliant, and that somewhere out there Vince McMahon is laughing his arse off while occasionally shedding a few tears that only a proud father could.


(image by James Gill)

Anyway, and supposing there's plausibility to any of that, what is it that Trump could provide a distraction for? Well, like (not too many) others, for some time now I've wondered how cognizant the United States government, or at least certain parts of the United States government, are of peak oil and the collapse of industrial civilization (or in this specific case the decline and fall of the United States). For example, the German military released a report back in 2010 pointing out that social chaos could emerge once peak oil is reached. Surely other governments, including the United States government, are aware of this possibility as well. Having said that, I don't mean to suggest that we should hold our breaths in anticipation of federal governments (as opposed to local governments) engaging the public on these issues. If, as I've written on earlier, the bail-in in Cyprus and the triaging in Greece are to be taken as any kind of indication, then obfuscation is going to be the name of the game. Could it be possible then that Trump has moved up from the WWE and The Apprentice to provide a prolonged (and perpetual?) distraction from the underlying factors causing industrialism's collapse, thus morphing the notion of divide and conquer into divide and distract?

Because make no mistake about it, although Trump is (knowingly?) advocating what are essentially false hopes, he is nonetheless giving voice to many legitimate concerns of the marginalized, none of which can be dismissed due to Trump's repeated racist comments (be they genuine or not). How is that? Well put it this way: The Trump family sells a wine whose label shares their name (of course). Meanwhile, I don't doubt many Trump supporters like to imbibe every now and then. However, to then say that the only reason why anybody would support Trump is because they're a drunkard would be utterly ridiculous. Regardless, this is exactly the logic used when people dismiss all of Trump's supporters as being driven by little else than racial prejudice. (While questioning the sincerity of Trump's racist comments, I'll point out that while the Trump family may sell wine, Donald Trump is actually a teetotaller himself.)

So when Amanda Marcotte, a white affluent female liberal writer at Salon states in her article "The Mystery of Republican Women Backing Sexist Trump: They're Female Misogynists Who've Grown to Accept Oppression" that

Women are judged more by their sexuality or their submissiveness than their actual character. So someone gets more points for being a virgin or being a doting housewife than they do for being smart and talented at their job

– and then states in her article "Donald Trump’s No Leader — He’s Just the Voice that the Ugliest Americans Have Been Dying For" that

Trump is a big, orangey object that’s fun to look at… He’s the end result of years of conservatives growing angrier and angrier… about the diversification of America

– on top of being abhorrently condescending and falling directly into Trump's trap with "ugliest Americans" and "orangey object that's fun to look at" (thereby fortifying his appeal to the portion of the public he's reaching out to), what she is partaking in are dog whistles no better than the ones Trump has partaken in. And the code that Marcotte's dog whistles stand for is "wage class American". Firstly, it's a massive generalization to state that (doting and non-doting) housewives – particularly those that haven't kept up with the Joneses and all their progress – don't do their work smartly or aren't performing a job, any more than husbands (be they doting or not, and whose Norse origin of their namesake means house-bound) who don't work in offices and such aren't to be valued either. Secondly, let's not presume that some journalists (like some of those writing for Salon) aren't submissive to the status affluent quo of performing their progress-laden duty of pulling in decent enough salaries to help keep the economy growing in order to support the Ponzi scheming predation of the fractional-reserve and interest-bearing-debt banking system.


The steep increase over the past decade is due to fracking. Unlike
other sources of oil, fracked supplies increase quickly, but then crash
hard — coming soon to a country possibly near you (data: EIA)

In other words, what Marcotte and other writers of her ilk (read: strong Clinton supporters) often partake in is classist bigotry. In John Michael Greer's excellent interpretation, the American public can be generally understood as belonging to one of four groups: the investment class, the salary class, the wage class, and the welfare class. The investment and welfare classes have pretty much stayed where they are for decades now, although not so for the salary and wage classes, the former only maintaining its way of life at the expense of the latter. Reason being, in the period following the United States' peak of oil production in 1970, foreign markets were increasingly able to out-compete American production, putting a crimp into those middle and upper-middle class lifestyles. As Greer then puts it,

The only way for the salary class to maintain its lifestyle in the teeth of those transformations was to force down the cost of goods and services relative to the average buying power of the salary class. Because the salary class exercised (and still exercises) a degree of economic and political influence disproportionate to its size, this became the order of the day in the 1970s, and it remains the locked-in political consensus in American public life to this day. The destruction of the wage class was only one consequence of that project…

Specifically, the only way that the salary class could maintain their accustomed to ways of life was via measures such as the offshoring of wage class jobs, which then allowed for overseas slave labour conditions to keep the prices of their consumer products low. In effect, the wage class ("the ugliest Americans" and "doting housewives") has been progressively triaged from the economy by the salary class, and when Trump talks about Making America Great Again, this is what the naïve portion of his supporters believe is actually possible – that the United States can be returned to some former state where one full-time working class job was enough to pay for the upkeep of an entire family, something that even two working class adults going full-time today find hard to accomplish.

However – and here's the kicker – there's no way that the United States can be returned to its pre-1970 way of life. The majority of the oil supplies that once enabled America to be Great are gone forever and aren't coming back – unless Trump and the naïve portion of his supporters have plans to wait a few million years or so for some new oil wells to appear, a fossil fuel supply which would allow for another quick binge. Similarly, many of those getting university and college degrees are finding out that a lack of available jobs means that their graduating papers are about as valuable as one-ply toilet paper, and that the loans required for their education have saddled them with one-way tickets to debt serfdom. (If you don't believe me, just check out the subreddit r/lostgeneration.)

And it's precisely all that that makes me wonder. Are those such as the Clintons and Trump(s) and whomever else truly that daft regarding all this? Is it really a case of the blind leading the blind, or might those "in charge" actually have a grasp on the implications of peak oil and the limits to growth – namely, the protracted collapse of industrial civilization? Could keeping the people stupefied be their attempt to maintain some kind of (futile) grasp on control as things unwind?

For if it's not mere blindness at work here, then the shrewd play would be to drive a wedge between the boxing Amanda Marcotte's of the world and the wrestling Joe six-packs, all of which could keep them thoroughly clueless via incessant bickering (and even worse) with one another. Or in short, divide and distract.

Therefore, were Trump to win the election he (or whomever he assigned) would have to preside over the country, and the wrestling/boxing feud – the distraction – would be largely nullified. However, were he to lose (I don't trust voting machines one iota), then the distraction could go on for who knows how long. Because much like Toronto's late-mayor and wannabe-wrestler Rob Ford, Trump likely isn't going anywhere unless he too is pushing up daisies. This is why, obfuscation-wise, a loss for Trump is quite possibly a win for the status quo of ignorance regarding collapse.

Regardless of whether any of my far-fetched musings are true or not, millions of working class Americans who have had no political outlet for over half a century currently have the (false) impression that they've finally been given a voice. But when Clinton wins this election in less than two days' time, the group in the United States that has been hit harder by globalization and automation than any other – the white working class in the Rust Belt and the South – will be faced with the fact that the utopian visions and populist aims that they've been clinging to throughout WEE 2016 aren't going to happen. And whether the failure of the delivery of those (false) promises results in some of the aggrieved taking matters into their own hands remains to be seen.

That's been the second third of this story. I'll finish this off next week with a clarification on the obfuscation that Hillary Clinton is about to make regarding a ceiling that's about to have its glass shattered.

Dammit, It Should Be Bernie Running Against Trump

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on November 4, 2016

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If there is a place this election got stolen, it was in the Democratic primary.

Wikileaks has revealed a whole slew of dirty tricks the Clinton campaign played on Sanders during the primary campaign. I won't bother to try to list them all, but the evidence is there, for anybody who wants to look.

Maybe it was nothing illegal, but it certainly reinforced what I already thought, which was that the Sanders campaign was squashed using the muscle of a well-oiled party machine run by professional electioneering sharks, using the cooperation of a willing media, who were always willing to do what it took to discredit the honest socialist.

If Bernie had gotten the Democratic nomination, we'd be having an election with a clear choice, and one that would allow most ordinary Americans to find a comfortable position in one camp or the other, because Sanders and Trump were the real peoples choices, for sure. Many Republicans don't like Trump, but he IS the conservative people's choice. And much to Paul Ryan's chagrin, the Republican Party was not as good as the Democratic Party in preventing the people from getting the candidate they wanted.

A few clueless Democrats are as happy as a clam about Hillary. She's a woman, after all, and we haven't had a woman President, so obviously we should have one. Because diversity. It's the Correct choice. And she likes black people…at least in public. Those people are unaffected by Wikileaks. You can probably spot them out and about this week. They are the ones with their fingers in their ears, chanting La-la-la-la-la-la and smiling a nice Prozac smile. Most of them voted early, out of sheer joy.

But there are a whole bunch of really disappointed younger Americans, and a few older ones too, who were really happy to see a man with integrity and decent principles take a shot at it, and so what if he was a self-proclaimed Socialist. America is a socialist country already, just an extremely perverted version that can't own it's real feelings.

The younger generation embraces the idea of a social welfare state, for better or worse. The older generation is in denial, like that old queen Senator Lindsey Graham, who can't admit he's gay, even to himself. Don't try to take our Medicare, or our Social Security benefits. But we hate Obamacare. Did you hear about those Death Panels? Shocking.

The biggest gripe most people have about Obamacare is that somebody forced them to assume responsibility for a premium toward their medical bills. They had to pay money. I heard some Trump supporter on the radio the other day crowing that he'd have an extra $200 in his pocket every month if it weren't for Obamacare. The same guy, if he went in the hospital, would be happy to stick the rest of us for his million dollar hospital bill. That's socialism too, of a slightly different variety.

Me? I'm stuck between a rock and hard place on election day.  I see one candidate whose picture should be in the dictionary next to the definition of sociopath…whose track record is one of decades of slimy graft and corruption. Not to mention a history of poorly considered meddling in the affairs of other sovereign countries. The kind that end up with missiles and drones and bullets and human misery on a global scale. I see another candidate who knows how to pander to the lowest common denominator in our society. A clever bullshit artist who couldn't possibly deliver the goods on his promises. One whose one and only recommendation is that he isn't a part of the party machine.

I read today that Trump, if elected, intends to put his campaign money man in as Treasury Secretary. A money man whose credentials include a stint at…you guessed it. Goldman Sachs. And he used to work for the Soros fund.

Something tells me that six months after the election, Trump and Clinton will be pals again, just like they used to be, before The Donald decided to run for President.  Maybe sitting down together at some charity event, sharing a nice bottle of Pinot noir.

I miss Bernie.

…and the WINNER is…

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on November 1,, 2016

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We're down here to the last week before the big POTUS election, at last.  Whoever gets elected here, it will be a welcome relief from the insanity of electoral politics we have been suffering through for around 2 years now.  From the heady days when Jeb Bush was the "Front Runner" for the Grand Old Party to the meltdown of the Dark Horse Billionaire for Pussy Grabbing, from the Brief Shining Moment of the Bernie Sanders candidacy to Killary Clinton's emails and coughing fits, no election ever has been a better demonstration of the failure of Amerikan electoral politics and the purported "democracy" we live under.

https://toraradical.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/obama.jpg?w=474 Millions will rejoice as the nearly universally despised Kenyan Golfer finally leaves office, leaving behind a legacy of ever increasing war for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the failed reformation of the Medical Insurance industry known as Obamacare and a lot of expensive Hawaiian Vacations on the taxpayer dime.  Not to mention of course the Federal Deficit now pushing some $20T, not including all the unfunded liabilities simmering in the stew of a failing economic system.

Whoever they get to replace Obama-sama as Puppet-in-Chief, it's not going to matter much at all.  The President doesn't call the shots on when we go to war and with who, nor does he call the shots on who Da Federal Reserve dishes out funny money to either.  Those decisions are all made in the board rooms of the TBTF Banks and the major energy corporations of Exxon-Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell and British Petroleum.  All CONgress and the POTUS do is put their signatures on laws and policy papers drafted up by the legal departments of these corporations.  It doesn't matter which side of the Righty-Lefty divide the politician comes from, he's not going to get campaign funds if he doesn't put his John Hancock on these bills as they pass across his desk, and generally speaking neither he nor his constituents knows what is in those bills either in any detail.  Trade Agreements like NAFTA and TPP are thousands of pages of legalese nobody except a corporate lawyer paid to do it would ever work through.  Homeland Security bills like the Patriot Act and NDAA are signed off on pro forma, SECURITY is the #1 Priority, the Constitution be damned.  Any vestige of "Liberty" that once existed in the FSoA is long gone now, and neither of the POTUS candidates who have a chance of winning this election are going to put a stop to that.

Besides the fact that whoever is nominally "in-charge" in the White House doesn't really have all that much power and is mostly just a figure head, the other reason whoever gets elected doesn't much matter is that not even the Puppet Masters pulling the strings can do much other than try to maintain their own perks as the spin down progresses.  Collapse in one form or another is going to occur here, and it is doubtful any policy maker anywhere can control whether it goes nuclear or not.  Even without a nuclear denoument, on the grand scale it is unlikely there will be a very good outcome here for most of the Homo Saps currently walking the earth.

So why do people worry and obssess over who will be the next POTUS?  Does it really matter whether it is a Pussy Grabbing Billionaire or a Pathological Liar and Power Seeker with a philandering husband?  There's no chance either 3rd Party candidate can win, Green or Libertarian all those votes do is swing the voting in the major parties one way or the other.  A vote for the Green Party is a vote for the Donald, because it is one less vote for Killary.  A vote for the Libertarian Party is a vote for Killary, because it is one less vote for the Donald.  So if you are going to vote, why not just vote directly for the two major party candidates?  It all amounts to the same thing anyhow.

As regular Diners know, this is not a concern of mine, because I don't vote at all.  I have considered this so called "franchise" to be a travesty and rigged game since before I was even old enough to vote, and nothing has changed my mind in the intervening years.  I am not going to drop my vote (which is my "stamp of approval") on any of these candidates.  If I do that, I take some responsibility for what they then proceed to do in office, which is NEVER what they said they would do on the campaign trail.  Even if you voted for somebody who was halfway decent as a human being like Jimmy Carter, what good did that do?  It never made a difference, the trajectory of the Industrial Civilization has been an unstoppable juggernaut since the very beginning.  The power unleashed so great that a few nation-states that got in early in this game were able to roll over every other nation on earth by force, to raid them of resources and employ their populations as slave labor.

Now this paradigm is falling apart, both because most of the cheap energy resource has already been burned, and because the population of Homo Saps walking the earth was artificially inflated past its carrying capacity in the absence of the fossil fuel resource.  Beyond that, the extreme advantage that Western society had by getting to the resource first and building a war machine that uses it is also defunct.  At one time, the Europeans could go in and enslave stone age people with gunz and cannon.  Now everybody has gunz and cannon, and a whole lot more too, like cruise missiles.  You can't just roll over the Chinese or Ruskies like you can a small country like Syria or Afghanistan, and even that kind of small proxy war is a waste of time, money and energy.  Nobody "wins" these wars, they just go on interminably, bankrupting everyone who pursues them eventually.  But still they go on, regardless of who is elected POTUS and regardless of what the general population thinks of them or wants to do.

Nobody can win these wars, everybody loses.  Well, not EVERYBODY, there are always war profiteers running the biznesses of making munitions and uniforms for the cannon fodder who make a profit on the enterprise.  But at this point, what is there really left to WIN in any of these wars?  The landscape is already denuded of trees and agriculture has become impossible as water tables are depleted and there is nothing left to irrigate with.  The oil still left in the ground is mostly too expensive to still pump up and sell to your own increasingly impoverished population.  The countries are filled with impoverished populations who if you "win" said war become a liability on your own balance sheet, vast populations in need of support.  Why doesn't Putin go in and roll over the Donbass with his tanks and annex the Ruskie speaking people there who just WISH he would and get them out from under the thumb of the Neo-Nazis running Ukraine at the behest of their NATO masters?

Not because Vlad the Impaler is afraid of the consequences of such an adventure, if he saw a profit in it he would do it.  No, it is because he realizes that annexing Donbass is just adding more liabilities to his already overburdened balance sheet.  Right now, Mother Russia is better off than most places, they have their own energy resource, their own agriculture and for their size geographically, a realtively small population with a powerful military to protect and defend it.  Why would they want more?  They don't, they just want NATO to stop further encroaching on their borders, trying to steal what they still have left.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/external_clips/2111138/China8-1250x650_article.jpg?1475168786 The Chinese are another story altogether.  They do NOT have their own energy reserves to power their industrial machine, they are seriously into population overshoot even given they occupy a large portion of the land mass of the earth, and as a result of their rapid and basically unregulated dive into industrial production have thoroughly polluted both their arable land and their water table.  Beyond that, their banking system is a Ponzi scheme that puts Da Federal Reserve to shame, so who would expect this country to go anywhere but down the toilet as the industrial economy comes grinding to a halt?  They are entirely dependent on their export model, but who are they going to export to?  A few Ruskies in Moscow?  China is TOAST, it's an accident waiting to happen and I doubt the Ruskies can support them.  In this evolving War Phase though, they are allies of convenience, and so long as the Chinese are manufacturing good missiles and good electronic guidance systems for them, together with the Ruskies they are at least equal to the military power of the FSoA and NATO.  For either side to directly confront the other is mutual suicide, so one can only hope the folks running the show can see this and avoid it.

Which brings us back around to the upcoming POTUS election, where either Killary or The Donald will be appointed as the Public Overseer of the spin down, renege on any and every promise they made in their campaigns and do the very best they can to make sure that as it progresses downhill, the Rich stay Rich and the Poor stay Poor, with as little internal violence in maintaining this status quo as is possible.  Whoever is elected, if it is possible to do so the TBTF Banks will be bailed out still further in the attempt to keep BAU running.  Somewhere along the line here though, this charade will come to an end, the tide will run out and our leader will be left Naked and impotent to do anything about the mess they have made here.  Not a moment I look forward to by any means.  The thought of seeing either Killary or The Donald naked is not something I wish to witness.

http://abiyamo.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Naked-Portraits-Statue-Of-Hillary-Clinton-Released-By-Donald-Trumps-Fans-SHOCKING-PHOTOS-4.jpg   http://www.tinparis.net/thoisu16/Naked%20Donald%20Trump%20statue%20in%20Cleveland%20Ohio.jpg

Burnt Toast

gc2smFrom the keyboard of James Howard Kunstler
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Originally Published on Clusterfuck Nation  June 20, 2016

 


At a most troubled moment in history, both major political parties appear set to nominate time-bomb candidates for president with a fair percentage chance of blowing up their own campaigns and the parties themselves.

We’ve been living in the era of anything goes and nothing matters — that is, the era of no consequences — but at some point between now and November 8 someone surely will press FBI chief James Comey as to why his agency issued neither a criminal referral nor an explanatory memorandum in the matter of Hillary Clinton’s private email server and its role in the money-gathering activities of the Clinton Foundation while she was Secretary of State.

Hapless Bernie Sanders blew his chance to call her on that months ago — “The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails!” — but it’s absolutely certain that Trump will jump up and down and shout woo-woo-woo about it during the general election campaign, if he manages to not get dumped at the GOP convention. Or his as-yet-hypothetical replacement will.

The email issue won’t go away because it entails serious issues of racketeering in public office, not just niceties of security procedure. One of the Secretary of State’s duties is to approve weapons sales to foreign countries. During her three years at State, Hillary signed off on $165 billion worth of sales by private commercial arms contractors to Clinton Foundation foreign donors. On top of that was an additional $151 billion of separate Pentagon-brokered deals for 16 of the countries that gave to the Clinton Foundation. It also happened that the weapons contractors themselves and companies connected financially to them made substantial donations to the Clinton foundation — and paid whopping speaking fees to Hillary’s husband ex-president Bill, during her years at State.

Salon Magazine has also reported that in contradiction of a 1995 directive signed by then-president Bill against arms sales to nations violating human rights, Hillary approved such weapons sales.Salon’s David Sirota writes:

As just one of many examples, in its 2011 Human Rights Report, Clinton’s State Department slammed Algeria’s government for imposing “restrictions on freedom of assembly and association,” tolerating “arbitrary killing,” “widespread corruption” and a “lack of judicial independence.

That year, the Algerian government donated $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation and the next year Clinton’s State Department approved a one-year 70 percent increase in military export authorizations to the country. The jump included authorizations for almost 50,000 items classified as “toxicological agents, including chemical agents, biological agents and associated equipment.” The State Department had not authorized the export of any of such items to Algeria the year before.

There’s no way that the shady doings of the Clinton Foundation will not become a campaign issue whether Trump emerges as the eventual GOP nominee or not, and of course the other noisome matter of exactly what Hillary told Too-Big-To-Fail banks in exchange for many quarter-million dollar “speaking fees” still lurks behind all that. Hillary’s partisans at the The New York Times andThe WashPo have ignored these stories for months, but the telltale stench remains, like a dead body under the floorboards.. In contrast to her beaming victory lap after the California primary, all this stuff promises some serious frowny-face for Mz. It’s-My-Turn in the months ahead.

As for Trump, the hand-wringing and Maalox-gulping among GOP nabobs got a lot more intense since the Orlando Club massacre, and the (as usual) disjointed utterances by the presumptive Republican Party nominee. This guy is not just a loose artillery shell rolling around on the deck — he’s a dirty bomb wrapped in a smallpox blanket threatening to turn the Grand Old Party into a political Flying Dutchman. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan underscored his extremely conditionalendorsement of Trump on the Sunday TV chat forums, hinting that even if Trump got where he is playing by the rules, the rules can be changed at the convention.

That would set the stage for a melee both inside and outside the GOP convention in Cleveland a month from now. The tragedy of a legitimately irate populace vested in such an obviously inept champion will lead to a political explosion when the party poobahs try to maneuver him off-stage. The only worse alternative is if they actually go ahead and nominate the ham-headed sonofabitch. Either way, the Republican Party comes out as burnt toast.

Remember, too, the Black Lives Matter movement and its affiliates promised months ago to bring a disruptive presence to both conventions. Imagine how they will get on with thousands of outraged Trumpsters moiling in the streets. Add a dash of Mexican hot sauce to this farrago and you’ve got a perfect recipe for mayhem.

 


James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation. His novels include World Made By Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Maggie Darling — A Modern Romance, The Halloween Ball, an Embarrassment of Riches, and many others. He has published three novellas with Water Street Press: Manhattan Gothic, A Christmas Orphan, and The Flight of Mehetabel.

Feeling the Bern

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on March 28, 2016

Bernie Sanders at the Seattle Rally (photo credit off the Smart Phone of Son of K-Dog)

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I leave work, it is Friday night and Bernie is having his biggest rally ever about a mile away.   Normally I'd pass the stadium and hop on a cantilever called Edgar Martinez Way, getting on the western end of I-90 heading east over long Lake Washington then south on I-405 to home.  Generally it is twelve miles or forty five minutes, whichever comes first. 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ea/Downtown_Seattle_from_Kerry_Park.jpg/360px-Downtown_Seattle_from_Kerry_Park.jpg The trip around the south end of the lake, perhaps from twenty one to twenty five miles depending on how I decide to drive through the city takes closer to the forty five minutes traffic might mean the way north and across the floating bridge over the lake but always less than the stop and go traffic times that way can bring and a more consistent trip.  There are places to stop at for doggie treats.

Generally starting north to the stadium is the way to go but I've noticed the area in the last two days (SODO) has been crawling with law enforcement of every conceivable kind and some kinds of which you can't even conceive of.  A baseball game at the stadium can severely inter-fear with the commute as it is and I guessed with Bernie Sanders in town the northern route might be a bit dicey.  It was also Friday and stopping for doggie treats on the way home and avoiding stop and go traffic altogether is what I generally like to do on Fridays.

I headed south.  I knew Bernie would be arriving soon but I had no desire to rally and there is nothing Bernie could possibly say to make me a supporter because I already am.  I was not in the mood for circus.

One donut and coffee later get home and no Mrs. Dog.  Turns out she is with our son at the Sanders rally and they lucked out and got seating four rows back from the home plate stage about a hundred feet from Bernie.  A top seat and they get this in spite of deciding to go to the rally at the last minute.  Other people not so lucky had been lined up to get into the stadium since noon.  Fair Fortuna had been with my family.  The people outside had a festive time waiting for the doors to open and the weather was good.

After I spend a lonesome evening alone by myself I ventured out for a late night snack and when I returned Mrs. Dog and son had come home.  They were both animated and inspired muttering things like 'political revolution' and 'get out the vote'. 

With wry pleasure; knowing that neither one of them are morning people, I looked at their wide eyes and said to them.  'Since you are both so inspired you have to get up in the morning and get to the Democratic Party Caucus at Newcastle Elementary to see Bernie is chosen as the Democratic party candidate choice from our district then.'  I knew about the district democratic caucus in the morning only because a Sanders volunteer had called the house earlier in the evening urging me to be there for Bernie.  To be nice to him, I had said I'd think about it not telling him how protective I am about my Saturday mornings which usually involves at least a couple of hours laying about in a Hugh Hefner bathrobe being contemplative sipping coffee and that is all.  As I was talking to the Sanders volunteer the future with coffee was the future I was anticipating.  With my utterance about attending the caucus all that had changed.

That is the story of how I wound up at our local Democratic Caucus Saturday morning with Mrs. Dog.  Our son who had left later in the night to hook up with his girl friend must have gone to her Democratic Caucus because he wasn't at the Democratic caucus where he is registered to vote. 

It was an interesting experience.  Audience participation of a well thought out ceremony.  A retired but still well known Seattle sports announcer, Tony Ventrella now Digital Media Host for the Seattle Seahawks and a well know former sports announcer for Seattle television manned a microphone upon the convening of the caucus and read a letter about why we were there.  Tony lives in the area and was caucusing like everyone else who was there.  I have seen him at the local grocery store.

After a preliminary vote which would have given Bernie three of five delegates from our local precinct at a county wide caucus, the next step up of the caucus pyramid we talked at the precinct level.  After another vote and by following written instructions we had been provided on how to allocate the percentage of the vote that did not round to a candidate evenly Bernie wound up getting four of our five local delegates to the Democratic Caucus for King County from our district precinct.  One delegate went to Clinton.  King County is twice the size of Rhode Island.  I filled out paperwork and when my voter registration is checked I will be notified that I am a delegate and I'll know where to go and when.  I do know it is on a Sunday.

As one of the delegates to the King County Caucus I will be representing Bernie on behalf of the Democrats in my local district precinct after being duly elected to do so.

 :icon_sunny:

And as RE says, who couldanode?!


"Here's another fine mess you've  gotten me into Ollie!"


Bernie is on a roll.  The rally in Seattle was huge.  Bernie can take the entire West Coast if he keeps up his momentum and that will give him more delegates than Clinton and that is the plan!

 

Despite the media disparaging Bernie and building up Clinton every chance they get, the results in Washington show that some of us still have a few clues and don't drink the mass media Kool-Aid with as much abandon as has been assumed.  Mass media radio is spinning the Sanders win as 'he can't keep up the momentum so why bother'.  The voice of empire speaks to quell Sander's gains.  Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Utah, Washington State may be the beginning of a wave that will crest in California.  We shall see how bewitched people are to the siren song of media puppet string pullers who seek to crash the nation on the cliffs and rocks of Trump or Hillary to maintain their song of oligarchy.

Helping Bernie get that extra delegate was a rewarding experience.  I did some of the talking and helped change a few minds.  I'll have fun at the county caucus.  I might wind up being the dog that makes all the difference, because:

 

Videos off the Smart Phone of Son of K-Dog

I'M REPRESENTING !!!

After the King County Caucus some will go on to the Washington State Caucus as delegates and from there delegates to the D.N.C. will be elected.  That is my understanding of the process so far. 
 
If I bark for Sanders right I suppose I could wind up going to the Washington State Caucus without too much trouble.  I expect getting as far as the D.N.C in Philadelphia could wind up being a bit more 'political'. 
 
If I get to the D.N.C. I know someplace I'll be sure to visit.  Geno’s Steaks.  I think it is where Philadelphia cheese steaks started, I'm not sure.  Regardless I could spend several days in Philadelphia hunting cheese steak sandwitches.  They are my kind of doggie treat.
 
Saturday I did not compare Hillary to Rodan the Flying Reptile even once!  I figured I might be in a crowd where some people actually like her so I was careful what I said.  The most I went in any negative direction regarding Hillary was when I said.
 

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/15kdTQWTch0/hqdefault.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I don't think she is actually evil but ………

The overall feeling about Hillary behind the closed doors of the elementary school was that she is inconsistent.  A political deal maker who does not have consistency because she is always doing what 'the money' tells her to do.  She blows in the wind and was called a flip flopper.  Sanders was portrayed to be consistent in his positions with thirty years of solid experience working for principles of social inclusion that the Democratic Party takes seriously.  At least on the local level, from what I saw, this appears to be true.  We all know Democratic Party leadership has other priorities living as they do in a pragmatic stratosphere far above the people they represent but at my caucus on Saturday the principles of the Democratic party were explained along with the rules on what we were to do. 

Sanders was also felt to be a 'stronger' anti-war candidate.  I thought that was a good way to put it.  Nice and gentle, and non-confrontational.  One of the caucus rules was that you were not suppose to mention opposition candidates by name.  It is a good rule and it forced concentration on the relative strengths between Bernie and Hillary on their positions and records.  For the most part this rule was observed.  A few times a name or a couple of initials slipped out but when that happened it was always relevant to a point being made and no big deal.

I did point out that Bernie has a better chance of beating 'The Republicans' than Hillary does.

My son told me that he had thought about making it to the caucus on Saturday but he figured getting me to go was good enough.  This turned out to be true.  No way was Sanders going to take all the delegates from our district.  Four of five was the best we were going to do.  He figured the caucus would probably be closed by 4:30 PM too.  We had finished and all gone our separate ways by noon.

Had I checked the weeks mail before Sunday I would have known I had an invitation to Caucus for Bernie Sanders on Saturday March 26th at 9 AM waiting for me.  I might have clued my son in had I seen it but it was a general mailing and did not say where the caucus would be.  Mail is easily ignored anyway.  As things worked out it was all good. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RE & Steve Collapse Update 1

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the mics and cameras of RE & Steve

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on March 23, 2016

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By Popular Request from the Collapse Fans 😀 , Steve and I got together to do a "Collapse Update" show on Sunday, modelled after the old Saturday Night Live "Weekend Update".

  https://bjanecarp.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/ignorantslut.jpg

"RE, you Ignorant SLUT!"

In this episode, we discuss POLITICS, specifically the shenanigans going on in the POTUS election with The Donald, Shillary and the rest of the Clown Show running for Chief Marionnette.  On an international level, we discuss Vlad the Impaler's unexpected withdrawal of his penis from the conflict in Syria.

http://image.slidesharecdn.com/withdrawalmethod-090513203031-phpapp01/95/withdrawal-method-2-728.jpg?cb=1242246658

Let us know in the commentary what subjects you wish us to discuss in future editions of the Collapse Update Show. 🙂

The WORST POTUS Survey

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on July 25, 2015

Visit the New Diner News Page for Daily Updates from around the Collapse Blogosphere

survey-says-2

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I haven't dropped any new surveys onto the Diner since we had all the problems in June, which probably were not related to The Human Extinction Survey, but nonetheless it has made me skittish about using that plugin.

Besides that though, it doesn't have a means for doing a Ranking Answer, which is something I have been looking for in a Polling system.  I believe I finally found one!  It's off-site, so it poses no threat to the Diner server.  It's also FREE up to 50 responses anyhow.  :icon_sunny:

After you go to the page, you just slide the worst choice to the top of the list, the least worst to the bottom.  It's not a complete list of all possibilities, but I think I got most of the main contenders in the horse race to be the Leader of an Empire in Collapse for the next 4 years.

Once you are done with your sort, you hit the Finished Sorting  radio button and then the Finish Sorting submit button.

Who do you think is the WORST choice among this crowd to lead us down the Collapse Highway?

RE

Mittney, we hardly knew ye!

Off the keyboard of Morris Berman

Published on Dark Ages America on November 7, 2012

 

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Ay, Mittney, Mittney!

Who were you, anyway? You streaked across the dark, Obamaesque sky like a comet, and then just as quickly–you we’re gone. A nation weeps.

You were, like the man who defeated you, an empty person, a Nowhere Man. Basically, a shmuck with a haircut. But there is one crucial difference: whereas your rival stands for nothing at all, and thus got filled up with Wall St. and the Pentagon–in other words, wound up as a corporate shill and a war criminal–you did have a philosophy. True, it wasn’t much–warmed-over Reaganism, really–but you believed it. You believed that 47% of the American public were worthless layabouts; that the government is there to promote the rich and grind the poor into the dust; and that we should project American power to every corner of the globe, just for the hell of it. You probably think trees cause pollution, that ketchup is a vegetable, and that the homeless are homeless because that’s what they really want for themselves. Pretty thin gruel, intellectually speaking, but at least it was something.

Of course, your rival has done enormous damage to America in four short years. He shredded the Bill of Rights, institutionalized kill lists and destroyed thousands of civilian lives in Pakistan and Afghanistan, increased hatred and bitterness toward the US, funneled $19 trillion into the pockets of bankers while the real unemployment rate stood at 18%–man, the list goes on and on. He even murdered American citizens on a whim, and has probably implemented the torture of many more. But what bothers me about your defeat, O Great Mittney, is that you could have done more, you could have made things even worse, and faster, too. And that’s what America really needs, O My Mitt: to just fucking get it over with, instead of dawdling around with social/economic and cultural disintegration. So we’ll continue slouching towards Bethlehem, committing suicide in piecemeal fashion, where you might have put us on the fast track to hell. This is indeed a sad day for our great nation, as you sat in your hotel room eating meatloaf, and composing your concession speech.

Who will remember you, in a month’s time, O Mittney? Who remembers John Kerry? Who the hell was John Kerry? You get my point. Ay, Mittney: we hardly knew ye!

On the Eve of the 2012 Election

Off the keyboard of William Hunter Duncan

Published on Off the Grid in Minneapolis on November 6, 2012

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Today, America elects a President. You’re a fool if you think there won’t be cheating on both sides. If you want to know about the integrity of our political system, look to Lance Armstrong. He didn’t want to win seven consecutive Tour d’ France titles, more than the American political machine wishes to maintain global hegemony. Juiced on cash and crude, prepared to treat Americans like it would any people in any country.

The Dems have a long history of cheating, but in this election my expectation is of preeminent Republican malfeasance. Not so much with the traditional Dem, mob-like stuffing of ballot boxes, but more like tinkering with the process, and maybe slowing the process. Do you expect to see liberals intimidating suburban moms? How about Tea Partiers and various paid operatives stirring up trouble in Latino and black neighborhoods? Remember too, people have been voting for awhile. Every day a vote sits around, that’s one more day for somebody to do what people will do.

Which is mostly, treat the electoral process, the nuts and bolts at the local level, with integrity. It is run remarkably well, for a thing primarily volunteer. Really, as corrupt as the Republican and Democratic Machine is, I don’t worry about cheating changing the course of this election. The political, financial, corporate, military machine that is Amerika, will continue to do what it was created to do, achieve global hegemony, regardless this election. Which is to say, the presidential vote in this election will do nothing to alter the course of empirical overshoot, and the general trend toward total State surveillance. The only thing that will prevent that, is collapse, or some kind of awakening, the American people seem ill-equpped and certainly not well enough informed to make.

“Superstorm”* Sandy I think has the potential to weaken New York in a way that 9/11 could not. There are now estimates into the hundreds of thousands, people who have been made homeless. Living so close to the sea, I think we can safely assume most of them had jobs, which they are presumably no longer doing, which is lost economic activity. It seems clear to me the estimates of the cost are grossly under-estimated. They reflect a gross estimate of rebuilding as it was. Every time I look at pics, I think, who thought it was a good idea to build all those houses on a fucking sand bar? Shall we talk about a gross misapplication of resources? I think if I were God and I heard Right-wing “Conservatives” yammering on about the great hand of God that is the Market, I’d be pissed. Any market that builds houses on a sand bar on the ocean or a river, has it’s head up its ass. Or rather, it is run by scoundrels. But don’t-ya-know, it’s gay peoples fault?

Good God the Whole Country needs to get STONED; And of course I mean, smoke pot, not throw rocks at each other.

Really, Benghazi? At this point, when there are men of think-tank level influence speaking openly about killing Americans to incite Americans to war against Iran, because they know the MSM won’t report it, which they haven’t, it is impossible to say anymore whether or not that attack in Libya was somehow facilitated directly or indirectly by the CIA, not when we know al Qaida practically is the Syria Free Army funded by America, directly or indirectly. That’s during an Obama Admin, BTW, and your an idiot or worse if you think a Repub Admin isn’t MORE likely of it. LOL. Notice, the only country where we are engaged, the mainstream media isn’t whore enough to associate with al Qaida? An American ambassador died by ambush and they don’t say it was al Qaida! After 9/11, it was like 24 hours. Ad infini-dumb-dumb/ad nauseum for a fucking decade.

The great tragedy of this election for me, is the failure of Americans to recognize, that growth, as our economy has come to depend on it, is at an end. And that is having profound ramifications, and we are pointing our fingers at everything but reality. We are not having an adult conversation about what seven billion people adding 80 Billion people every year, MEANS on a finite planet. GOOD GOD, how infantile the message, lower taxes to generate growth/tax the rich. What has the message given us? Sandy! Billionaire Hedge Fund managers who don’t pay taxes, indistinguishability between Treasury/FED/Wall Street, a grotesquely inflated people physically and economically dependent on a grotesquely inflated State, a hundred million yearly prescriptions for anti-depressants, kids drugged with pharmaceuticals by their parents and people in jail and disenfranchised for smoking the flower of the most useful plant on the planet.

It’s likely to be a contested election, one way or the other. How contested depends on many other factors, not least the progress on the east coast. That nor-easter portends ill. It might be a thing for the nation to rally around beforehand, but it’s almost election day as I write this, and I assume the storm will have begun to hit by then. Consider the rest of November, a languishing relief effort in the east as the nation rages about a contested election. I admit I hesitate to imagine a republican controlled Congress and the presidency (much because the so-called Republicans are controlled by maniacs,) though I console myself that the party would probably be faced with the choice of preventing the 2014 election from happening, and being destroyed politically as a Party forever, but of course that is not really a choice. More, it looks like a Dem Senate, Repub Congress and maybe, eventually, a Repub Prez. Or Obama. Which means more gridlock, as we muddle our way along the seemingly spiral path of industrial dissolution.

(It’s useful I think, to think about the spiral, when faced with the anxiety inevitable, contemplating TEOTWAWKI. The square, rigid world we have built won’t withstand THAT spiral. Best to think about flow.)

Who am I voting for? Mostly I’m voting against my state Minnesota tending toward control, against the marriage and ID-Voter red herrings. For Prez, I’m going to vote for Jill Stein. Partly because I don’t expect the office of the President will ever be inflicted upon her, but mostly because she was arrested bringing sustenance, treats and attention to the sitters, protecting the earth and the land, preventing the dozing of the Keystone II pipeline right-of-way that isn’t yet supposedly a done deal.

Because this election should be about a choice. And really that isn’t so much about a choice, as a conversation, about the fact that any further thrust of the current economic paradigm, of the kind of progress we have grown accustomed to, depends on destroying much of what remains of the vitality of the earth and the biosphere, and only seems to feed the attitude of CONTROL.

* If Spiral Theory is correct, then one might expect to think of Sandy as a pale precursor of what is to be come, climate-wise.

Stooge Time: Scripting the Empire

Off the keyboard of Phillip Farruggio

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Memories of the glorious 70s, at least compared to these terrible times, occasionally flow through me. I can recall the manager of the local pub near our small business that would regularly make the same announcement late each afternoon. “Stooge time!!”  He would shout from behind the bar. It was time again for the re-runs of The Three Stooges Show. Well, aren’t we lucky to be able to see stooge time with regularity this election cycle? All one needs to do is tune in any Congressional debate and watch the stooges operate. Last night this writer was channel surfing and caught the debate for Virginal Senator between Allen and Kaine. Once again, the two candidates parroted each of their respective political party’s script on every issue presented to them. What really irritated me was when they discussed, as all debates do, foreign policy and military spending. The Republican candidate will go right to the Fox channel’s retorts about the attack on our embassy in Libya. They will use this to strengthen the argument for increasing our military presence worldwide… to stop the terrorists. Then the Democrat will laud how this president has curtailed Al Qaeda and has them on the run… oh yeah, we finally got Bin Laden under a Democrat’s watch. Then, both candidates will argue as to which party and which candidate is tougher on terrorism and a friend of the Military Empire. And many of you serfs will run out and vote for one of these two gangs of liars, hypocrites and….stooges.

 

In my almost 40 years of sales experience, I know that the old adage of KISS is relevant: Keep it simple stupid. Well, it is quite simple if you really wish to change the direction and conditions of our great nation. Before we can deal with the multitude of peripheral issues, the paramount one is staring us in the face… as this writer has written about perhaps too much. We need to pull back our Military Industrial Empire, drastically cutting the funding first, and then getting the hell out of the over 100 nations with our over 800+ bases. Imagine if instead of the 56 cents of each federal tax dollar sent to Uncle Sam going towards military spending, the figure was dropped to 30 cents. Translated: we would have tens of billions more each year to help our states and cities with the infrastructure upgrades and improvements to soften the blows of any natural disaster. Ask the folks in New Orleans and the NYC metro area about that. Instead we get twiddle dee and twiddle dum vying for your precious votes, and then handing it over to the ‘friends of the Military Empire’. How many weapons systems does one nation need to perform overkill? How many precious lives and precious dollars need we waste in invading and occupying countries that pose NO threat to our survival… only to that of our corporations?

 

Step # 1 is to stop voting for either of these two phony corporate run parties. Step # 2 is to get out regularly and let your neighbors and elected officials know that enough is enough! Do it with love in your heart, but with righteous anger. The more we get to join us, the quicker change may come. The stake of our nation and of the entire planet is dependent upon us.

PA Farruggio

November 4th, 2012

 

 

{Philip A Farruggio is son and grandson of Brooklyn, NYC longshoremen. He is a free lance columnist (found on Information Clearing house, Doomstead Diner, Op Ed News, Dandelion Salad, Activist Post, Dissident Voice and many other sites worldwide). Philip works as an environmental products sales rep and has been an activist leader since 2000. In 2010 he became a local spokesperson for the 25% Solution Movement to Save Our Cities by cutting military spending 25%. Philip can be reached at paf1222@bellsouth.net }

Frankenstorm Snor’eastercane Sandy

Off the Keyboard of RE

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In the long standing Diner tradition of covering major Weather events, along with the Pro Meteorologists the Diners are looking at Sandy as a BIG ONE.  Mostly we discuss these events inside the Diner, but this one appears to me to be sufficiently impressive in scope that I am going to Blog it also.

To begin, a few of my initial comments inside the Frankenstorm Snor’eastercane Sandy thread inside the Diner:

  • Another new weather phenomenon to go with the Haboobs.  And no, that’s not a description of Raquel Welch’s tits.
  • The Mets are gettting all excited now. “Perfect Storm” Metaphors etc, Wet Dream for a Weatherman. LOL.
    DUD or Weather Doom?  Place your Bets here in the thread before Sandy makes landfall!
Quote

Many forecasters are warning that Sandy could be more destructive than last year’s Hurricane Irene, which caused billions of dollars in damage across the U.S. Northeast.

According to all the Top Mets like Jeff Masters of Weather Underground, Sandy is set up to be even BIGGER than Irene, which just last year caused $Billions$ in damages up through the East Coast corridor, one of the most densely populated techno-societies anywhere, with endless miles of Electrical and Communications wire and fiber optics strung around the neighborhood.

Up in Vermont after Irene, numerous towns were CUT OFF, as many Historic Covered Bridges went washing down the Raging Rivers.  We don’t know to this day how many miles of roadway were repaired, regraded and repaved, but we DO KNOW that in the aftermath of that Hurricane FEMA was essentially TAPPED OUT of funds, and one wonders where they are getting their next infusion of Funding to repair AGAIN many of the SAME roads and SAME miles of Electrical cable strung up around that neighborhood?

How about all those folks living in various towns in NJ that suffered record flooding from Irene, but who resolutely hang out in them (because where do they have to GO afterall?), and who now seem quite likely to get a Repeat Performance this year?  How many times can we Rinse & Repeat this scenario before people just get TIRED of it and start streaming out of these neighborhoods looking for somewhere to go?

Where “Safe” to go INDEED is the question.  With these massive precipitation events, Mountains are not real safe due to Flash Flooding and Landslides.  Head Inland to the Great Plains, where Drought is killing the Corn and Soybean crops?  Head to the West Coast and the Hotel California, where you can Check Out but you can Never Leave?

I have little doubt that Da Goobermint will conjure up another few $Billion$ here to clean up after Sandy finishes dumping the water vapor sucked up from the Heating Atlantic ocean.  The Wires will be restrung again.  Happy days I suspect for Construction Workers and Linemen for the County called back in to work for a few months in the Cleanup.
Of course, when they can’t get Diesel to run the Heavy Equipment, the Cleanup is going to be a whole lot more difficult.  When the Lights stay OFF for more than a Week, REALITY is going to start setting in here, and we will move into the next stage of Industrial Civilization Collapse.

It won’t be pretty, that is for sure.

 

Looks like the Big Apple is set to take a Direct Hit again, this time at Full Moon High Tides.

Zero Hour looks to be Tuesday Morning, a week before the POTUS Election.  Its a slow moving storm too, so if there are mass power outtages they may still be persisting to Election Day.  Reschedule the Election?  Can you IMAGINE the “irregularities” that will occur?  This will be worse than Bush-Gore.

This is going to be a GREAT WEEK for Doomering!

 

NY Shity is going to shut down the Subways AGAIN.

Wind field size on Sandy is HUGE, and a very BIG fetch on the inbound track it is taking.

Water temps are at all time highs for this time of year (big surprise there), So Sandy will likely crank up a bit tomorrow.

Let’s first look here at Sandy’s projected Track:

 

 As you can see, Sandy stays well offshore until the Dogleg to the Northwest for final approach.  Quite different than Irene, which hugged the coast and actually made a landfall in the Outer Banks before making a second landfall in NY Shity and so had a lot of power sapped out of it.  Circulation around the central low pressure zone of Sandy has nothing to disturb it until it crashes into NY Shity Harbor, assuming it follows this track and just about all the Models agree on this one.

Also, this track takes Sandy over just about the same stretch of NJ and PA that got so badly flooded from Irene.  Impossible to predict Rainfall totals here, currently the Pro Mets are talking 5-8″, but this is highly dependent on how fast Sandy moves and how much water vapor she collected up on the fetch inward.

What REALLY makes Sandy different from Irene though is the “Perfect Storm” confluence of meeting up with another Weather System that is approaching from the West carrying a lot of cold air.  In higher elevations and in the more northern sectors once Sandy rolls over NY, VT and NH, this could be a MAJOR snowfall event measured in FEET.  In Buffalo where they often get dumped on by HUGE snowfalls in normal circumstances because of Lake Effect snow, it could be truly Record Breaking.  Buffalo ALSO is the first place Edison wired up for Electricity, fittingly enough since a huge Blackout situation is pretty much a GUARANTEE here.

On a Political Level, Sandy’s arrival RIGHT before the POTUS election means the Political Significance of this storm is extraordinary.  The East Coast is the most populous are of the FSofA, and how Obama-sama handles the Disaster can easily sway this election.  If a significant portion of the East Coast is still without Power by Election Day, there is about no way the O-man can win.  Then of course is the question of whether they will hold the election at all or delay it, as I mentioned in one of my posts.

 

 

 

 

Alaska HAARP ARRAY

Finally, for the Conspiracy Theory crowd, there is an awful lot of RARE COINKIDINK here.  Hurricanes hitting the East Coast at this time of year are pretty rare occurrences, rarer still are “Perfect Storm” scenarios of 2 major weather systems meeting up like this.  Then for all that to occur on PRECISELY the week the POTUS election is scheduled…well the statistical chances of this being a Random Event seem mighty small to me.  Much has been written about HAARP and the possibility that weather systems can be created at will now by the Military-Industrial Complex.  I have my doubts this is possible, but such a remarkable COINKIDINK makes me VERY SUSPICIOUS.

RE

Update: Will the Subways Flood?

Jeff Master’s article on his Wunderground Blog highlights the biggest single economic danger from Sandy, the possibility that the Storm Surge will overtop the seawalls in southern Manhattan and flood the vast network of underground tunnels and electrical conduits beneath the city streets.

Anyone who has ever been to NY Shity knows there are no High Voltage Power lines on poles above ground bringing electric power to the NYSE and Goldman Sacks-the-taxpayer, all of these lines are below ground in lower Manhattan, well protected from Wind Damage but extremely vulnerable to flooding.  In this case with seawater, a fabulous electrical conductor and also extremely corrosive.

If the seawall is overtopped, the many Tunnels out of lower Manhattan that connect it to the Mainland and to Long Island could fill with water.  Estimates are it would take a month to pump them out and get them operational again.  Without these tunnels operational, it would be just about impossible to commute into and out of Wall Street.

Besides that, although many of their computer centers are now remotely located, it would be about impossible to run many of the Bloomberg Terminals on Emergency Generator Power for more than a few days.  Getting the fuel to run said generators into lower Manhattan itself would be a nightmare.

Just the repairs alone would cost $Billions$, and the inability to “do bizness as usual” for a full month would cost many billions more in lost ttax revenue and so forth.

Sandy’s projected track puts the maximum Storm Surge straight into NY Shity Harbor.  Jeff Masters gives it a 30% chance of overtopping the Seawalls.  I think he is being generous there, not to seem too Doomerish but at the same time covering himself if it does flood.

This is one question which will be answered fairly rapidly, since it will/will not occur inside a few hours when Sandy makes Landfall.  If it does overtop, you’ll get the same kind of dramatic footage that occurred when the levees were Breached during Katrina.

NY Shity is highly dependent on the subways and light rail lines for moving around so many people in that machine.  Many do not even OWN carz.

If the Subways FLOOD, this is a Black Swan of immense proportions.  Wall Street will have to move their operations to data centers on the mainland, and that will be very hard to do since those DCs are not set up for people to commute to.

The Clock is Ticking on a Time Bomb here.  Wall Street is a CENTRAL NODE for all International Trade, and disruption of those operations at this level for a month is a domino that will cascade through the entire Global Financial system.
Not $Billions$ in losses there.

$TRILLIONS$

 

RE

Sandy 1997 Westchester County “Simulation”

For you HAARP Conspiracy theorists out there, this is Grist for the Mill.

Next: The Local Drill Up: WESTCHESTER COUNTYNY ARES/RACES Previous: The Rye Plan

The Hurricane Simulation

Westchester County Communications Officer Sandy Fried, an Amateur Radio operator and ODES staff member, had recently attended a training seminar at the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Part of the training was a simulation using data from the Hurricane of 1938 that caused major losses on Long Island and in Westchester. The texts of the simulated bulletins, forecasts, discussions and strike probabilities along with the hurricane’s track were sent home with the seminar attendees. We named the simulated hurricane after Sandy, who incidentally was nine years old during the real Hurricane of 1938.

These texts were used as the drill stimulus. They were time-shifted to simulate land-fall around 6pm on Saturday, October 4th. Working backward from this time, we used these texts to generate and automatically update a World Wide Web status page (http://www.weca.org/SET) and send email to the Westchester ARES/RACES email reflector and fax to the County Emergency Operations center at the times that the National Weather Service would normally have sent them.

   Figure 4:Web Page at 5 a.m. October 3, 1997

   Figure 5:Simulated Hurricane Sandy Track at 2 p.m. October 4, 1997

   Figure 6: Simulated Hurricane Sandy Bulletin at 5 a.m. October 4, 1997

 

RE

Wipeout!

Frankenstorm SNor’Eastercane Sandy: WIPEOUT!
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2012, 10:02:05 PM »

The latest animation from NHC of the satellite imagery shows that Sandy is getting better organized and has developed a well defined eyewall now.

The NYSE now will NOT open up after all, as the Illuminati who make these decisions now think it will be too difficult to run the show from remote locations.  Closed through Tuesday at least.

The biggest aspect of this Frankenstorm hasn’t even really begun here yet, it’s the merger with the 2 other Winter Storms coming in from the North and West that make this scenario much different than the “typical” Northeast Hurricane track.
Normally shortly after making landfall the Hurricane would lose most of its wind speeds, then the remenants of the storm would sweep up and out over new England to the Atlantic again.  Not so with Sandy.

Because of the merger with the other systems, Sandy is expected to undergo “Baroclinic Enhancement” and the powerful winds will persist well inland and for several days.  In fact they are prediciting 26′ waves around CHICAGO off Lake Michigan.  That is Waiamea Bay surfing on a LAKE.  New Nature indeed, eh?

WIPEOUT!

The “good newz” here is that the ground is not as saturated as it was when Irene hit, so they currently don’t expect as much inland flooding.  However, I think this really depends on just how many days of torrential rains they actually get and how it all actually collects up in the watershed.

Besides rain also in this situation is the fact it is going to come down as snow in the higher altitudes and inland north.  Estimates are they might get 3 FEET of snow in the Smokies and Blue Ridge Mountains.  With lots of trees still in Leaf, this means a lot more power lines down, and also harder to get the Cherry Picker trucks moving around.
The main question in my mind is whether the power outtages will all be local or whether the whole grid will get compromised with loss of the big transformers in Upstate NY.  That could bring on an India style Blackout of 100M people taking out the whole Eastern Seaboard.

All in all, Frankestorm Sandy is shaping up to be the Storm of the Century.

RE

The Empire’s ‘Servants’ Debate’… Round 1

Off the keyboard of Phillip Farruggio

Discuss this article at the Epicurean Delights Smorgasboard inside the Diner.

We got to see fantastic theater last night. Obama and Romney, servants of the empire and spokesman for their respective parties, the Repugnants and the Demoncrats, danced to the same tune, with but different lyrics. If you notice, neither of the two candidates, or their countless minions in the media and general public, ever discussed the real cause or our economic downfall: The Military Industrial Empire! You won’t hear Obama or Romney mentioning the obscene levels of military spending… record breaking levels that rake in over half the federal income taxes we suckers send to Uncle Sam. After all, the subject was about the economy, and what really is bankrupting it was and will never be mentioned. Is our economy affected by the 800+ military bases we have in over 100 different countries which drains both our treasury and our prestige as a nation internationally? Or that our drone attacks kill more innocent civilians than the targeted terrorists they claim to be after. How about our fine young soldiers dead or wounded for life in that desert heat, for a cause that many still doubt?

No issue has as lasting influence on our daily way of life, the way of life for us working stiffs, than this Military Industrial Empire… which both parties serve so well, and always have. Abortion and contraceptive choice are very vital issues for all of us. Yet, to elect a man president because he agrees with you on that, and then to watch him serve the interests of a War Machine that drains your wallets…. You got me on that one.

I love how the two servants of the elite interests argued back and forth on health care. Obama was so proud for his Affordable Care Act, that he liked it when Romney referred to it as Obamacare. Bottom line: both political parties are in bed with the private health insurance industry, and what little reform they will make is just that… little! This writer is against Obamacare, but for vastly different reasons than Romney. What could have and should have been done was for the president and the Congress to push for an option for anyone under retirement age to buy into the current Medicare system. This could be done in a similar fashion as we do with our FICA taxes. The more you earn (up to an income ceiling to be determined) the more you pay into the kitty. Regardless of what the actual costs would be, they could never equal the premium costs and restrictions (and deductibles) that a private plan entailed. The president’s new Obamacare plan, even with most of us being put into large pools, would perhaps save around maybe 20-25%. So, a plan that a husband and wife now pays for fairly decent coverage (with maybe deductibles of $ 1000, which is actually low nowadays) that currently would cost $ 12,000 to $ 15,000 yearly, would be discounted 20-25%. So what? Who in the hell can afford $ 1,000 a month, plus an out of pocket initial $ 1000 deductible? No, Obama and his corrupt party could have used the bully pulpit to say to Americans: “Hey, if you wish to come into this plan, fine. If not, then you can stay with private insurers. And, private insurers, we are not going to do anything to you legislatively… just to compete with you.” When this approach was taken by local towns that were fed up with the monopoly cable television company in their area, back around 10-12 years ago, the results were astounding! Local towns and cities went into the cable television business, nonprofit, and competed with the local for profit carrier. Soon after, when all the smoke cleared, the prices and service restrictions by the private carrier were lowered dramatically! Obama and Romney: competition works!

Imagine if we had a multi party system in place, and legitimate third party candidates and platforms were part of the debate process. Why in this the 21st century is that not the case here in America? Who is controlling things so that we cannot hear differing voices and differing ideas and solutions? The empire’s representatives were on that dais last night, and the guy asking the questions had his handlers as well. The deck has been stacked for so long, dear fellow citizens, that many of you do not even read the cards anymore. Sad.

PA Farruggio

October 4th, 2012

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