[A-List] The Queasy Season
nadjatesich at hotmail.com
Thu Aug 12 06:54:26 MDT 2010
Kunstler is such a good writer.
Many of us see what he sees but
still the number is small.
> Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2010 17:25:10 +0900
> From: shimogamo at ashisuto.co.jp
> To: a-list at lists.econ.utah.edu
> Subject: [A-List] The Queasy Season
> by James Howard Kunstler
> Comment on current events by the author of
> The Long Emergency (2005)
> www.kunstler.com (August 09 2010)
> A scarlet tinge colors the Virginia creeper, the Canada geese grow
> restless out on the fairways, an ominous canape fatigue spreads through
> the Hamptons, and cyclonic weather blobs march west across the Atlantic
> - you know that time of the year has arrived. Fall approaches on busy
> feet. The name itself suggests slippage. Though many government numbers
> lie, a dark reality still penetrates the fog of econometrics. Visions
> of tumbling indexes wither the spinal fluxes of nervous day traders
> praying to their little effigies of Jim Cramer that it's all just in
> their heads. Sometimes it seems as though the universe itself grows
> tired of suspense and yields to the zeitgeist. A cosmic groan fills the
> air from sea to shining sea as all eyes turn skyward. Was that the
> sound of the economy rolling over?
> Peak pretending now joins peak oil, peak credit, peak rare earths, and
> all the other peaks visible to us humble valley dwellers. Pretending
> bought America two years of respite from the ravages of fraud and
> mismanagement, but now the true condition of this society reveals
> itself like the disfigured ghoul in the sewer lowering his mask.
> Further pretending is unnecessary now. We're even beyond the "modified
> limited hang-out" stance, as a long-ago presidential counselor once put
> his PR strategy in the face of crumbling public credulity. When nothing
> is believable, what's the point in even pretending?
> Here are some truths which I believe to be self-evident: that the USA
> has been running on fumes since the beginning of the 21st century. That
> you can't get something for nothing, and attempts to do so always end
> in tears. That massive expenditures of energy produce equivalent globs
> of entropy - which you can translate to "bad ju-ju" or the tendency of
> whatever can go wrong to go wrong. That because we're unwilling to
> re-scale and reform the things we do, nature is about to do it for us.
> That America has transformed itself from a nation of earnest, muscular,
> upright citizens to a land of overfed barbarous morons ruled by
> grifters. That what has been economics is about to turn dangerously
> The greatest loss of the last decade was not in 401-Ks or manufacturing
> jobs or foreclosed houses, but the rule of law. Without genuine rule of
> law, anything goes and nothing matters. As a consequence of that,
> finally, everything goes. The rule of law is what kept foreigners
> buying our debt all these years (the fumes we've been running on). They
> kept buying because they believed, when all was said and done, that
> Americans would enforce contracts and regulate behavior in the
> direction of fair dealing - not for its own sake but because it made
> things work better. But when the rule of law goes here, the rest of the
> world will notice its absence. They'll stop believing in our money and
> our future. They'll cash out and we'll wash out. Then, as human tribes
> are wont, they may just turn around and kick our ass because we're down.
> The comprehensive failure of leadership deepens every week, as does the
> gulf between what people like Barack Obama and Mitch McConnell say and
> what is really happening on-the-ground in the arena of everyday life.
> Storyline: last week, Mr Obama hailed the revival of the automobile
> industry with the debut of Chevrolet's new electric car, the Volt.
> Reality: at $41,000 retail, nobody outside lower Manhattan, Hollywood,
> or K Street will have enough money to buy one. Storyline: Mitch
> McConnell inveighs against a bill to require corporations to take
> responsibility on camera for their political advertisements; he says it
> will lead to job losses. Reality: the Senate Minority Leader is
> shilling for corporations that want to run massive, unlimited ad
> campaigns in support of corporate agendas - such as off-shoring jobs.
> The failure of leadership extends through government to the news media
> to business to the universities to the courts. All authorities are
> suspect. All are dishonest and cowardly. When the attempt to enforce
> some basic rules of decency in banking ends up in legislation that runs
> two-thousand pages, the rule of law is dishonored. Anyway, adding that
> much unneeded complexity to a system that is already too excessively
> complex to function anymore must be an obviously bad move. The
> Glass-Steagall act was under forty pages. Why not just correct the
> mistake we made eleven years ago and vote it back into existence?
> Somebody must know where it is - in some back filing cabinet of the
> Library of Congress.
> In times like these politics gets very crazy. The public forgets how
> misled and confused it is and develops vicious certainties that do not
> necessarily jibe with reality. The public becomes a mob and democracy
> turns into a kangaroo court, which is to say: a mockery of the rule of
> law. I suspect we'll see a correlation of turbulence in politics and
> markets as the weeks pound forward toward Halloween. By election day,
> democracy itself will be in disrepute and the streets will run with mad
> dogs. When this sucker goes down (to paraphrase a past president) it's
> going to be like a fire in a circus tent. Don't expect much from the
> clowns' bucket brigade. We'll be lucky if they don't toss gasoline into
> the grandstands.
> I doubt I'm the only one who senses something in the air - and not just
> the impressive heat and humidity. Anyway, I'm going off for a few days'
> vacation this week to do no more than walk around in the salt air
> beside the ghost-filled ocean.
> A sequel to my 2008 novel of post-oil America, World Made By Hand, will
> be published in September 2010 by The Atlantic Monthly Press. The title
> is The Witch of Hebron.
> Mr Kunstler's biography is at http://kunstler.com/bio.html.
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