Re: Title for sale

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Ben! Why aren't you worried about the current hunger crisis?? I am serious!

Hrm, okay, okay.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 6:57 PM
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How do you know I'm not?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 7:02 PM
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I don't know you're not. I am, that's all. Apparently increasing biofuels production has something to do with it; along with other things we knew about. But it's fucked. up. man. That the situation is being treated more in terms of internal security risks (the problem is "food riots," the people might riot, danger in the streets, we must threaten them with arrests, institute curfews) than as the travesty it is.

Okay, okay. As I said. Sorry.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 7:17 PM
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3: hey if you can think of a way to cheaply pacify the starving the government's all ears.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 7:31 PM
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can post anything? there is something about politics too, Ron Paul etc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBLGlb-MOGg
like the song from my 'collection' of the breakup songs, though with the ante thread you all do not need any music today :)


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 7:39 PM
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My knowledge of these things is poor. Perhaps western nations whose financial policies instigated the problem some time ago but are now actively exacerbating it might enact an emergency suspension of those policies.

From Le Monde -- I give the truthout link because it's translated.

The responsibility of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund is also considerable. For decades, these institutions have explained to emerging countries that the future of agriculture was behind it. So, emerging countries favored export crops in order to bring in foreign currency; they are harvesting the bitter fruits of that policy today. Thus does Senegal export food products - which Europe taxes when Senegal has the gall to want to process them domestically - but has to import 80 percent of the rice it consumes. Now not only has rice become scarce, but speculators are making its price climb as much as 30 percent in a day.

Speculators are making its price climb as much as 30% a day? We can't stop that somehow? I have no idea.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 7:43 PM
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the food shortage is so real, back home 2.5 yrs ago bread for example costed 300 in our currency, now it's full 800 they say, it's roughly equal to 80 cents, there's inflation of course, but still
i did not want to derail your discussion on purpose, sorry


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 7:45 PM
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Or how about something Hillary related?

Audio: Hillary Privately Blasted "The Activist Base Of The Democratic Party" For Caucus Defeats

"We have been less successful in caucuses because it brings out the activist base of the Democratic Party. MoveOn didn't even want us to go into Afghanistan. I mean, that's what we're dealing with. And you know they turn out in great numbers. And they are very driven by their view of our positions, and it's primarily national security and foreign policy that drives them. I don't agree with them. They know I don't agree with them. So they flood into these caucuses and dominate them and really intimidate people who actually show up to support me."

Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 7:48 PM
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read, where are you from? I'm sure somebody has asked that before, but I'm curious. I understand you work in a medical lab.


Posted by: ff | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 7:49 PM
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Tweety, the starvation is the problem, not the riots. Amartya Sen is a good place to go if you want to understand famines.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 7:49 PM
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Although MoveOn was formed to save Bill's sorry ass from a bogus impeachment attempt, now they are standing in the way of Hillary's bid for the White House and therefore are BAD PEOPLE.

Screw the Clintons. Go away now, Bill and Hill.


Posted by: Hillary, get lost | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 7:52 PM
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Well, now I feel like an asshole for posting recipes at my blog this morning. Hmpf.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 7:53 PM
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Well, now I feel like an asshole for posting recipes at my blog this morning.

Post fattening ones so people can bulk up in preparation for the coming shortages.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 7:56 PM
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9 i'm from Mongolia, thank you for asking
but thankfully famine does not threaten our country
like for real or traditionally, not many people, i mean population, a lot of livestock, even if there is no bread, we'll manage to survive somehow :)
one of my granduncles'd been to Gulags near the White Sea, i remember how he talked about how they ate soles, like in boots, in order to survive


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 7:59 PM
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read, thanks for the answer.

That's disturbing about your granduncle. I used to be a Communist, in the safety of the US.


Posted by: ff | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 8:04 PM
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12: Not to go all McManus, but if we don't at least acknowledge that this is part and parcel of what's been wrought in the last however long, and the shit is indeed already beginning to come down, we suck. I am wondering whether situations like this food crisis don't call for an end run around the ostensible rules, not unlike the call to have Yoo fired from UCal: on sheer moral grounds. As it stands we're hearing calls for charitable donations, for god's sake. That's pathetic.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 8:05 PM
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Here's another fun one.

Clinton Backer Distributes Essay On How GOP Would Link Obama To '70s Radicals


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 8:06 PM
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We'll see what happens when other countries stop trying to keep their currencies even compared to the dollar. On the one hand, fewer sweatshops. On the other hand, lower commodity prices and cheaper food.

It's a bit surprising how bad biofuels turned out to be in practice.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 8:10 PM
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I'll throw something in the McManus pot.

Oil prices are sky high, food riots, and our shitty financial meltdown is rippling throughout the globe. And don't forget that your real wages have gone down from 10 years ago.

My grandmother, who passed away at the end of last summer, was born in 1912. She often mentioned how much everything was reminding her of the run up to the Depression.

Get your drink on.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 8:11 PM
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ff, are you new to Unfogged, i think i never saw your handle before
when i was in Japan I had friends, Japanese communists, a very idealistic people, i even taught them Russian, to one class, Mongolian i could teach but for them it's a very difficult language i guess
everywhere i've been, i'mean every town, i met at least 2-3 people so interested in Mongolia, they kept bookcases full of the books on our history as if they were Mongols in their previous life :)
i was like ashamed to know so little about my country and her past


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 8:13 PM
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Get your drink on.

Oh, I have, thanks.


Posted by: middleclass mcbustedguy | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 8:14 PM
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Read, as time goes on you can study Mongolia. Your accomplishments in English, Japanese, Russian, and medicine are already impressive.

There are tonds of materials on Mongolia in Russian and Mongol, and I wish I could read it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 8:15 PM
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Every time I talk myself out of being really authentically hurt and upset at Hillary Clinton over her campaign tactics and rhetoric over the last three months or so, telling myself that it's just hard campaigning, and she's done so much for Democrats, and reminding myself that if she'd rolled to the nomination, I'd be happy with her as the nominee... she does something like that MoveOn comment. That's just retarded. Organizations like MoveOn, that work to get more people, especially younger people, involved in politics, and in Democratic politics, help secure the future of the party. There's a very real extent to which MoveOn is much more important to the future of the Democratic Party than Clinton herself is. And she seems to authentically regard them as unwelcome interlopers?


Posted by: NBarnes | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 8:19 PM
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oh, thank you, JE, how nice
you are among those people i feel ashamed before :)
i can teach you some Mongolian, but it's not Uigurjin Mongol, so no use for the historical texts i'm afraid


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 8:19 PM
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I appreciate that, read. As Cornelius Castoriadis put it very well, "The history of the USSR is not very long, but it weighs ten million pounds." For a leftist, that is.

Mongolia is a fascinating part of the world. The quantity of material in the old Soviet archives is amazing. Unfortunately, despite valiant effort to learn Russian, I can't read it.


Posted by: ff | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 8:24 PM
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she's done so much for Democrats

Yggles got this exactly right today.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 8:25 PM
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scratch those it sounds awkward that way, right?


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 8:25 PM
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23: It's not worth getting upset over Hillary Clinton any more. She's history. The suggestion that she's severely hurting the Democratic party for the national election and will usher in a McCain presidency is so much hyperbole.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 8:28 PM
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Goddamn, can't believe nobody's posted about this piece in the NY Times today:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/washington/20generals.html?hp

This has to be one of the best piece of journalism done all year. Read the whole fucking thing, and tell me you aren't a thousand percent outraged.


Posted by: A. Chandler Moisen | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 8:29 PM
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25 i'm new here too, ff, started to read and comment only 4-5 mo ago
Russian seems much easier to learn for the English speaking people, no? similar sentence structure etc, if you know the words you can just speak, except of course the articles
same with Mongolian and Japanese, though Japanese kanjis are really curse to learn, i knew only like 800 at the height of my Japanese learning, it's like only 4th grade level, now i'm forgetting it all, so so pity
spoken language is ok somehow, coz i talk everyday with my coworkers


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 8:39 PM
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I've met a guy named Pa/ul Bu/ell who reads Mongol, Chinese, Persian, Russian, and Turkish and is quite expert on the early Mongol Empire. He spent five years trying to get a tenure track position and then gave up and got some kind of IT job. He's written some excellent stuff on his own.

My final decision not to try grad school was partly because of what I knew about his career.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 8:42 PM
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My latest "god I hate the Bush Administration moment: turns out that their SCHIP policy actually violated federal law. Yet another "fuck the law" moment from Our Leader. In this case, the law took a back seat to making sure that private insurance companies didn't lose any profits.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 8:52 PM
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29: It's been mentioned here. What's most confounding is that it's not surprising in the least, but is the sort of thing that's been dismissed as crazy conspiracy theorizing, such that one was advised not to suggest it. Great, then, to see the NYT validating it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 8:58 PM
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29 is pretty damming. Not that most people are going to read an article that long, or that this particular sin of the Bush administration is even going to register on the public's radar.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 9:09 PM
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34: Spread the word, then. Mention it to everyone. I intend to.

32: Oh, wow. I had no idea, actually, that the SCHIP thing was just a policy directive letter for god's sake.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 9:16 PM
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Well, Bush vetoed Congress's vote to expand funding. And then he turned around and issued this "policy directive" making sure that individual states couldn't use what money they had to expand coverage.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 9:20 PM
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When I first saw this post, I misread its title as "Tittie for Sale".

How disappointing.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 9:21 PM
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But of what use is one tittie?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 9:23 PM
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I thought I might find a matching one on Ebay.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 9:29 PM
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36: Apparently I am retarded and didn't quite follow that. I mean, I sort of knew that, but I didn't see that it amounted to an extra-legal directive. I seem to be suffering from a shortage of outrage, and my attention span is to blame. Fuck.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 9:37 PM
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||

My wife really laid into my father this afternoon when he referred to Sen. Obama as "Obama Hussein".

He was rather taken aback, I think. It was pretty funny.

|>


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 9:41 PM
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||My sister is a Clinton militant. I've never seen her worked up about politics before. (I think she's in AFSCME). She's been repeating some really nasty stuff about Obama. I was able to calm her down, but soeone really got to her.

|>


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 9:44 PM
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When I first saw this post, I misread its title as "Tittie for Sale".

You and me both.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 9:53 PM
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I have no titties for sale presently, but I am willing to auction off right of first refusal on the next shipment.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 9:59 PM
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You people are sending me to my poetry shelves for relief. From the titties and the right-leaning and the rumors of xenophobia.

Ach. (Yeah, I read the post title that way as well.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 10:00 PM
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From the titties
and the right-leaning
and the rumors of xenophobia.
Ach


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 10:03 PM
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a shortage of outrage, and my attention span is to blame

You and everyone else.

One tittie is way more useful than none.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 10:13 PM
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You and everyone else.

Be it resolved, then. This tittie-distraction crap is for the birds.

As a friend of mine wrote a bit ago on his blog -- and I knew he was experiencing a dire moment in saying so: I am tired of pretty girls, I am tired of being tired.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 10:24 PM
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34: I know it shouldn't surprise me in the least. I've always figured exactly that was going on all along.

Yet seeing it all laid out in detail, perfectly documented... Somehow that makes it that much more outrageous.

I'm one who's really loathe to buy into the concept of pure evil, always wanting to believe every human has some scrap of decency.

But if there is such a thing as hell, there is most assuredly a special place there for these people...


Posted by: A. Chandler Moisen | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 10:28 PM
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34: I know it shouldn't surprise me in the least. I've always figured exactly that was going on all along.

Yet seeing it all laid out in detail, perfectly documented... Somehow that makes it that much more outrageous.

I'm one who's really loathe to buy into the concept of pure evil, always wanting to believe every human has some scrap of decency.

But if there is such a thing as hell, there is most assuredly a special place there for these people...


Posted by: A. Chandler Moisen | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 10:29 PM
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29: The really interesting thing about this is the NYT writer's betrayal of MSM standard operating procedure - including his own newspaper's standard operating procedure.

Judith Miller wasn't the only one who agreed to impart administration spin in exchange for access. This stuff with the generals is very routine. I guess the NYT guy got away with writing this article because he isn't pointing fingers at his own newspaper, or at individual professional journalists.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 10:37 PM
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30 : As indo-european languages go Russian seems pretty difficult. The thing people seem to have the most trouble with is verb aspect, and more broadly the generally mutating nature of the verbs particularly the motion ones.


Posted by: tkm | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 10:49 PM
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Speaking of starving countries and food riots, it was kind of surreal that Yglesias and Krugman picked now of all times to start going on about how quaint and obsolete Malthus is.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 04-20-08 7:15 AM
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Re: 29

See, when Noam Chomsky says this stuff, everybody's all "oooh, he's a loony lefty" but then the Times of all places comes out and gives you half the scoop 4 years late and it's "time to be outraged."

Just remember this the next time the centrists here are all "I don't like the administration, but government isn't all bad".

Speaking of food riots then, when you hear organics people and Permaculture people talking about problems with agribusiness and food production, maybe that's the clue to prick up your ears, d'j'y'think? Rather than waiting until the really bad shit comes down in the 2nd world or even the first.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04-20-08 8:32 AM
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Isn't there some law against propagandising the American public? I remember hearing something about it when the news broke about the Pentagon's inserting psyops articles into foreign press (which of course made its way immediately into US media); apologists were all "well, see, lying to foreign media is perfectly above board!"


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-20-08 8:35 AM
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55: Yes, here is a report to Congress that covers the issue. Page 5 of the report (pg. 8 in the .pdf) has the relevant laws followed by a discussion of why they are relatively toothless.

It is worthing reading Glenn Greenwald today on this as well. He gives some prior context specifically in regard to the Times itself.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-20-08 8:56 AM
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In some of these cases poor countries were encouraged to raise export crops and rely on imports for staples like rice and beans. If everything always went well this would be the best because of comparative advantage, but various sorts of disruptions (energy costs, exchange rates, commodity prices, reduced demand for exports) can put large numbers of already-poor people below subsistence, which seems to be happening. And the same people who encouraged growth of export crops also discouraged food subsidies for the poor.

Freemarket economists are Utopians trying to impose an ideal system without regard for the downside, and they also tend to be completely oblivious to the most vulnerable humans, since they are not very productive and don't show up in GDP stats. If trade with Zimbabwe were cut off entirely, the developed world would lose an inconsequential amount of luxury and specialty crops, and Zimbabwe would starve.

To an economists these two events are both bad, but they're equally bad because the dollar values are the same. Whereas to a non-economist these are two completely different events.

No economist admits to being a Malthusian, but a lot of them are just waiting for most of the poor people to just go away. Some of them have a Utopian free-market solution for global poverty, but there have been some disasters in its implementation.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-20-08 9:05 AM
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Somewhere in the article the American people are described as a target, specifically a target of PsyOps. The pretense of democracy is dropped -- the military is autonomous, and The People are just one of the things that they have to deal with.

Well informed people tell me that this kind of anti-democratic militarism is more the rule than the exception in DC (including many or most Democrats), among opinion-makers, and in the major media. The Clintons are pretty much on board, and what Obama said about Iran tells me that he might be too.

My two rules of politics are "The American People disagree with me about most things" and "Beggars can't be choosers".

Probably I should make "Another helpless beggar for Obama" bumper stickers, because that's the lottery ticket I've bought.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-20-08 9:12 AM
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Michael Pollan has a somewhat relevant piece (targeted more at global warming than food per se) in today's Times entitled Candide "Why Bother?", which touches on one of the threads of the SWPL discussion. Worth a read*.

Forget that it is in the "Green Issue", read it anyway.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-20-08 9:51 AM
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55: That was probably the Lincoln Group.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-20-08 10:27 AM
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The McManusians become quieter as the Apocalypses start to speak for themselves. We just wave our pitchforks until the ones who really know to use them get the idea.

You know, I hadn't really factored in the export agribusiness causes of the food crisis; even tho I knew about problems in Malawi, and Brad Plumer's
postPlanet of Slums influenced my thinking on globalization long ago. And don't read Quiggin.

Ya know the Oildrum, with its Drumbeat daily aggregator just drowns ya in accurate pertinent information. I could spend all my time there. It isn't all depressing info, just about 90%. Learned about winter vs summer gasoline last week. Anyway, what to do, besides waving your pitchforks?

The Specialization Trap

Re-Learn how to weave your own cloth;make soap;plow with a wooden plow & a human harness...acquire a pre-industrial skill. And don't worry!!!


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-20-08 1:37 PM
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This is worth flaunting the analogy ban.

Suppose that two years after taking office, George W. Bush discovered that because of the stress of his job, he had gained 40 pounds and was tipping the scales at 220.

The real-world Bush would immediately barricade himself in the White House gym, refusing all human contact or nourishment until the issue was resolved. But imagine that he regarded getting fat as seriously as he regards melting glaciers, rising oceans and drought and starvation around the planet. In that case, he would set a serious, management-type goal -- of, say, an 18 percent reduction in the rate at which he was gaining weight, to be reached within the next decade.

Cut to the Rose Garden in 2008 where partial victory is declared. "Over the past seven years, my administration has taken a rational, balanced approach to these serious challenges," the 332-pound chief executive announces. He delivers this good news sitting down.

2012: Bush hits his final goal and 400 pounds at approximately the same time.

I hope now you can appreciate just how useful the Bush global-warming initiative is. But the president isn't satisfied with merely delivering on his promises. In his Rose Garden address, he upped the ante, vowing to stop the growth of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions entirely by 2025.

Let us forget, for a second, that this is a man who's only going to be in office for nine months of the 17 years in question.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-20-08 1:50 PM
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59: Great article, thanks. Funny, I just finished reading a Wendell Berry article in Harper's, arguing roughly the same as is articulated in Pollan's piece.

I liked this: "Sometimes you have to act as if acting will make a difference, even when you can't prove that it will."


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-20-08 1:57 PM
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53:Word. But Parson Tom didn't have the math right, so today's economists...never mind. Just don't read Quiggin. He is really starting to annoy me.

10:Tweety, the starvation is the problem, not the riots

More's the fucking pity. Let's do the math, get cold like Lincoln, do a cost/benefit calculation on mass starvation vs world revolution/war. ...working my abacus...switching to old Hewlett-Packard calc...inputting algorithms into my desktop...

Revolution is a lot more fucking fun than starving, better for self-esteem, and even in failure is a quicker way to die.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-20-08 2:06 PM
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Bob, if only you didn't couch your points in such intentionally provocative terms ... are you afraid someone might actually listen?

In any case, rioting over skyrocketing food prices and economically engineered starvation strikes me as perfectly acceptable.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-20-08 2:19 PM
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65:Like sympathy or sector strikes, are "sympathy revolutions" ok?

Since, ya know, Bernanke and ADM are Egypt's problem, but our responsibility?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-20-08 4:11 PM
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65: re you afraid someone might actually listen?

Bullseye! But, alas, it does not even slow him down.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-20-08 4:44 PM
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I suppose that the hidden silver lining in the Bush administration is that its teaching us, the elite overeducated Americans of the world, what it's really like to feel completely helpless (alternatively, to realize that we are, in fact, completely helpless).


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-20-08 4:59 PM
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I read two pages of the "Why Bother?" article. maybe I should finish it.

I don't know, what is the healthy rational expression for the belief that in two-three generations the world will be in a pre-industrial condition? As one contemplates the transition...won't be pretty...and recognizes that it needn't happen. Now to say that the problem is only political-economic-social instead of technological...well, is like saying the Black Death might have been ameliorated if they could have gotten rid of that Manorial Christianity stuff. You think "Revolution" is ridiculous? I think, without Revolution, 5-8 Billion people will die this century.

Tell me to learn how to grow & spin flax? I think I'd rather just die.

Long ago, I here linked to a Tom Disch story outa 334. "Everyday Life in the Later Roman Empire" I think it's called.

Globalization? I think DeLong & Rodrik and the other economists are doing the best thing they can think of to the best of their abilities. The provinces need to become independent from the Empire mostly by trading with each other...and the Empire needs to be torn down.

Is globalization good for America? Unless America lashes out in its death throes, which is a pretty important consideration, I don't give a fuck.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-20-08 5:22 PM
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I read the "Why Bother" article out of a sense of duty, because I think others should read it: ones who fit the profile of those who find growing some of your own food, eating locally, changing your frickin' lightbulbs, biking, cutting out meat, and so on constitutes 'turning your life upside down,' as the article describes this early on.

Bob: you're responding to your own internal interlocutor. For example, I don't know what you mean about those who say that "the problem is only political-economic-social instead of technological" -- who is saying that, and what do they mean? I can find candidates, of course, but really, just say it rather than making me work for it.

Tell me to learn how to grow & spin flax? I think I'd rather just die.

A lot of people will agree with that sentiment, but I'm not sure they'll just die without a fight.

But now you're sucking me into your vortex, and that's enough for now.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-20-08 5:46 PM
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Bob, billions of people will die this century no matter what.

I often agree with Bob and always read his posts, but some screening has to be done.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-20-08 5:50 PM
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69

"... I think, without Revolution, 5-8 Billion people will die this century."

A fairly safe prediction since the current world population is about 6.8 billion and few of them figure to be alive in the year 2100.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-20-08 5:57 PM
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71,72:Jeez. Okay, Net?

Or better, I think the world population, sum total humans will be at most 2 billion in 2100.

90% of the decline will not be due to benignly controlled population control. Oildrum (some writers at) thinks that is what the world can support under imaginable technologies. My concern has more to do with co-operation vs conflict in an environment of declining resources. Jared Diamond.

Baba Sterling Newberry, usually prolix, is writing something like a ten-part series on energy economies at the Agonist. He studied the late Assyrians, an early muscle empire, for a few months as a preparation. His current work centers on the Mongols as the peak of muscle(horse) energy, and the structures that energy system developed that, he says, were instrumental in the Industrial Revolution. I think, etc. Newberry isn't just being academic.

Nor is the sudden interest of the Econblogs in Malthus & the genesis of the Industrial Revolution just academic.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-20-08 7:13 PM
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who is saying that, and what do they mean?

I am. I don't know, there was that DKos proiect. I don't go to Kos, but they had a good plan. I think it radically underestimated the dynamic costs (steel up 25% this YoY cause of enegry), but it was doable.

But to get absurd, if we socialized & militarized the entire US economy tomorrow, how long would it take to become carbon-energy free? I say five years, and I am pulling it out of my ass, but that is because the politics are kinda unimaginable.

What you want, a plan? Like, we dedicate all Texas to wind, and all the southeast to solar cell production, while the upper Midwest creates & converts to electric cars?

The larger point is that most energy transition plans are based on as little social, political & economic disruption as possible and under those constraints we get the ethanol and gas tax bullshit.

I want to go WWII on the problem.

You do realize that most of the oildrum crowd are into the flax-spinning survivalist scenario? I am the optimist.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-20-08 7:31 PM
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I want to go WWII on the problem.

So do I.

You do realize that most of the oildrum crowd are into the flax-spinning survivalist scenario?

The oildrum crowd? Well, I don't know what the dKos project is/was, but the survivalist scenario doesn't hurt.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-20-08 8:02 PM
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