Category Archives: Politics

Forecast 2015 — Life in the Breakdown Lane

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Note from Tim: about a week ago, everyone’s favorite Sloper BDI encouraged me to read an entry on his Stealthflation blog, which I did. The article, by James Howard Kunstler, was so indecently rich, I felt like a starving man who had just been handed five superbly-crafted cheesecakes. There is so much rich goodness in it, it’s almost impossible to believe. I’m leaving this post up all day. Please read it. It is superb, and I thank BDI for getting permission from Mr. Kunstler to republish it here on Slope:

Submitted by James Howard Kunstler – KlusterFuckNation

“Don’t look back — something might be gaining on you,” Satchel Paige famously warned. For connoisseurs of civilizational collapse, 2014 was merely annoying, a continued pile-up of over-investments in complexity with mounting diminishing returns, metastasizing fragility, and no satisfying resolution. So we enter 2015 with greater tensions than ever before and therefore the likelihood that the inevitable breakdown will release more destructive energy and be that much harder to recover from.

I don’t know how anyone can trust the statistical bullshit emanating from our government reporting agencies, or the legacy news organizations that report them. Yet the meme has remained firmly fixed in the popular imagination: the US economy has recovered! GDP grows 5 percent in Q3! Manufacturing renaissance! Energy independence! Cleanest shirt in the laundry basket! Best-looking house in a bad neighborhood…!

¡No hay problema!

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Bullet Doddged

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The Tim of years ago would probably never have believed that he supported and applauded anything that Democrats were doing, but………he is. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I am living my political life backwards. The old saying, “If you’re young and conservative, you have no heart, and if you’re old and liberal, you have no brain” speaks to the normal, assumed political path of American citizens: you start off a hippie-dippie left-winger and, through the years, become a curmudgeonly radical-right conservative.

I’m doing it precisely the opposite way: as a teenager, I had a terrifyingly laissez-faire, dog-eat-dog, every-man-for-himself attitude. I was a hard-core libertarian (and, deep down, probably still am) and saw all Democrats as welfare-loving, tax-and-spending, union-worshipping socialists.

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Quayle Quotes

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Just for the hell of it………a political blast from the past – – favorite Dan Quayle quotes:

  • “Welcome to President Bush, Mrs. Bush, and my fellow astronauts.”
  • “One word probably sums up the responsibility of any vice president, and that one word is ‘to be prepared.'”
  • “Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things.”
  • “I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future.”
  • “We are going to have the best-educated American people in the world.”
  • “People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history.”
  • “For NASA, space is still a high priority.”
  • Shortly after Bush announced the Space Exploration Initiative, which included a manned landing on Mars, Quayle was asked his thoughts on sending humans to Mars. In his response he made a series of scientifically erroneous statements: “Mars is essentially in the same orbit [as Earth]….Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe.”
  • “You all look like happy campers to me. Happy campers you are, happy campers you have been, and, as far as I am concerned, happy campers you will always be.” (In a speech to American Samoans, April 1989)

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Democracy In Action

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This is a riot: watch the gubernatorial debate in Florida as the two candidates have a pissing match over………….a fan. One of the candidates wanted a fan for a little bit of cooling, and the other guy insisted it was against the rules of the debate (in point of fact, the rules forbid “electronics” like, oh, say, having a personal computer or iPhone during the debate, which makes sense – – – most folks agree a small electric fan does not qualify as “electronics”). Pull up a chair, grab a Coke and popcorn, and enjoy:

The Great Deformation

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This is going to be a review of David Stockman’s 768-page tome The Great Deformation, and 0831-deform
although I never thought it was possible, it makes me angry to write this book review.

I’m not angry because I don’t like the book. On the contrary, this is the best economics book I’ve ever read. Indeed, it may be the best and most influential book I’ve ever read in my life. I only wish I had read it the moment it was published in April 2013. I only finished reading it today, and for the entire time I’ve been plowing through it, I’ve been trying to think of what I would say in this review.

Why am I angry, then, to write this? Bluntly stated, because nothing I can say will make what I want a reality. And what I want is for every literate person in the United States to read this book, cover to cover. I want them to read it. I want them to understand it. I want them to agitate for the changes that it recommends. (more…)