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Terry Dyke
It's late, and it's getting interesting...
It's late, and it's getting interesting...

Terry's posts

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Referring to Trump as "fascist" seems to be the strongest term available to revile him, and yet it falls pitifully short. It ascribes an evil to him that is way too organized. After all, fascism being an "ism," a philosophy, it would at least mean there's something consistent and systematic, however inhumane, governing his actions.

That's certainly not the case. This fool, this man-baby, this astonishing bag of incontinent id has exactly zero guiding principles beyond pure whim.

Instead, we have to go further back in history to find something closer to the mark. Simply put, Trump is a tyrant. He's Caligula, but without the style.

Obama said that Trump is unqualified to be President. Granted. Consider some further implications, less about partisan animus and more about institutional function.

It's the function of a party to identify and select a qualified presidential candidate. So by selecting Trump, the Republican Party is showing itself to be unqualified in fulfilling its function. To that extent, it is now dysfunctional as a party.

We don't really know yet whether this is due more to its nature as a Republican organization or its nature as a party.

If the latter, we may be learning something about the natural life-cycle of a political party that could very well apply to the Democratic Party at some point. Interesting times.

A quiz for Independence Day 2016:

Why would it be wrong for Britain to want its independence from the Union? Consider America when it wanted independence from the Empire.

Are there fundamental differences? If independence is okay for the US, when is it okay for anyone else?

(Extra credit for answers that do not involve the idea of "voluntary" -- with the US union, southern states entered voluntarily, just as Britain did with the EU).

With apologies to more tender sensibilities, ever since Occupy Wall Street gave us "Shit's fucked up and stuff," it's increasingly clear that there is not much "nice language" that is comprehensive and accurate enough to identify the predicament we've gotten into.

In the same vein but more detail, we're having to cope with:
- Social crapification
- Economic grift
- Political fuckery

And on it goes. For a final bit of vulgarity, note that there are those who actually prefer things this way. So we have to ask them a rude question: How much longer?

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Several Blasts Rock Aramco Oil Facilities
Yemeni missle attacks pinpoint Saudi oil facilities.

Saudi Arabia, politically shaky as it is these days, chose to get involved in Yemen's civil war. As their Iraqi neighbors know, war is very bad for oil production.

Loss of Iraqi oil was bad enough for the world's petrophiles, but if Saudi Arabia even stumbles, the world is a giant step closer to the post-petroleum future -- but not in a good way.

Aramco oil facilities have come under repeated missile attacks by the Yemeni army and popular forces in the last several months. The Yemeni forces targeted the oil company in Jizan with Qaher-I ballistic missiles twice from mid to late December.

" The missile precisely hit Aramco oil company on Monday night," the Arabic-language media outlets quoted an unnamed Yemeni army official as saying after the second December attack. He reiterated that the missile attack came in retaliation for the Saudi-led aggressors' violation of the UN-sponsored ceasefire.

The monster Saudi state energy company Saudi Arabian Oil Co. – better known as Aramco, with its 261 billion barrels in reserves and 60,000 staff, has confirmed rumors that it is considering offering investors an initial public offering (IPO) on a small percentage of the company (around 5%), as part of a broader package of economic reforms.

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In case you were wondering what the heck is going on in this country, it's about Dixie. Again. Still.

... The South’s current drive to impose on the rest of the nation its opposition to worker and minority rights—through the vehicle of a Southernized Republican Party— resembles nothing so much as the efforts of antebellum Southern political leaders to blunt the North’s opposition to the slave labor system.

... the South’s efforts to spread its values across America are advancing, as Northern Republicans adopt their Southern counterparts’ antipathy to unions and support for voter suppression, and as workers’ earnings in the North fall toward Southern levels. And now as then, a sectional backlash against Southern norms has emerged that, when combined with the Southern surge, is again creating two nations within one.

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Much to our detriment, a conquered people doesn't just "get over it" in a few generations.

Just because they got defeated, we clearly didn't win their hearts and minds. So now we expect them to forgive and play nice?

At this point, the South has effectively completed a merger with the Republican Party, whose principal task since 1994 has been to gridlock Washington right out of the governing business.

Call it "Dixie's Revenge."
Happy Appomattox Day! The South lost 150 years ago -- get over it already.

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The party of Dixie

The "Conservative Revolution" of 1994, staged by Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey and other like-minded Southerners, was effectively a takeover of the Republican Party by Southern interests and leadership, and has stayed that way right up through the present.

Recently, the media trumpeted the defeat of "last Democrat" Mary Landrieu, a final milestone in the GOP's merger with the South.

The brand of "conservatism" they're promoting could more accurately be termed "Southernism," a particular mix of values that are essential to Dixie, but distinctly un-American -- patriarchy, theocracy, aristocracy, and caste.

The Republican crusade to force these values on America is actively supported, of course,  by the one percent, who appreciate the "aristocracy" part.

Washington has always been the South's nemesis, even before the Southern bid for independence was suppressed by force of arms in 1865. We shouldn't be puzzled that they never quite got Americanized -- a conquered people doesn't just "get over it" in a few generations.

So for 150 years, we've basically been stuck with a cold civil war.

The Southernized GOP has no use for Washington, saying right up front that "government is the problem," that it should be "drowned in the bathtub," and generally gridlocking Washington right out of the governing business. Call it "Dixie's revenge."

Constantly undermining the American government the way they do, and refusing to "compromise" -- i.e., to take part in governing -- stops looking like mere legislative opposition and starts looking more like fifth-column subversion.

It's getting to the point where the GOP should no longer be considered a legitimate political party. It is functioning more like an insurgency, and they need to be dealt with for what they are.

Then, maybe, we can turn our efforts to the root problem of this deep and endless divide in our country, the Southern question. Dixie wanted to be its own country, a different country, but we forced them to stay, and that has backfired horribly. Now what?

We need some workable answers, because all those irreconcilable differences keep getting in the way of having a truly American society -- prosperous, democratic, egalitarian, and secular.

  #GOP   #fifthcolumn   #Dixie   #ColdCivilWar #dividednation

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Energy, complexity and the cornucopian myth

John Michael Greer revisits Overshoot and brings some historical perspective to our ecological predicament.

White’s Law, one of the fundamental principles of human ecology, ...holds that a society’s economic development is directly proportional to its consumption of energy per capita.

[Fossil fuels] boosted the concentration of the energy inputs available to industrial societies by an almost unimaginable factor...

If you have a highly concentrated energy source and don’t yet know how to use it efficiently, your society isn’t going to become as complex as it otherwise could. Over the three centuries of industrialization, as a result, the production of useful knowledge was a winning strategy, since it allowed industrial societies to rise steadily toward the upper limit of complexity defined by the concentration differential.

...inevitably, industrial societies ended up believing that knowledge all by itself was capable of increasing the complexity of the human ecosystem.

Since there’s no upper limit to knowledge, in turn, that belief system drove what Catton called the cornucopian myth, the delusion that there would always be enough resources if only the stock of knowledge increased quickly enough.

#energy #energydecline #overshoot #peakoil #transition #sustainability

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