The Real Dolchstoss

May 24, 2007

Ah irony of ironies, it’s not coming from the feckless Dem Congress (redundancy?), which doesn’t even have the gumption to stab the military juggernaut in the back, but from a country which owes its very existence to recent US military intervention. Kuwait’s act of decoupling its currency from the dollar also has a certain resonance for those who are familiar with the Vietnam War’s effect on the dollar and the financial factors involved in the US’s withdrawal from the previous quagmire in American overseas military history. If one of the only countries in the world which should have a genuine interest a continuing US occupation of Iraq–at least if conventional wisdom is to be believed–finds it can’t even be inconvenienced any more to support the petrodollar, then one really has to wonder just where the questioning of our premises should begin. Incidentally, all this brings to mind the following masterpiece of political theatre:

Rob Newman’s History of Oil

Set aside a solid 45 mins to watch this, because it’s really impossible to stop once you get into it.

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One of the very few I’ve heard who really put it all together. All except the energy/environmental situation, which would only add urgency to his message, but then, no one person can be a universal scholar anymore. The reason it would have fit well into this interview is that, according to much of what I’ve read, intelligence professionals within the US, looking back on the Soviet collapse in hindsight, connected it to falling levels of petroleum production. If you don’t believe that was a possible factor, see the pictures of Baku in Crude Awakening.

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Covering Sen. Mike Gravel’s announcement of a legislative plan to end the Iraq war, Dana Milbank of the Washington Post* wrote:

The notion of Clinton or Barack Obama demanding passage of the Gravel plan was amusing, but no more than Gravel’s other foreign policy views. He asserted that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “much smarter than our president” and said Iran is “not a threat to us.” The United States, he said, should tell Iran “we’re sorry for what we did in 1952. . . . It’ll work like magic.”

Until the SC debate and this announcement, the Gravel campaign was being ignored by the MSM, and now is being cited as comic relief, so I guess we’re right on Mohandas K. Gandhi’s schedule:

First, they ignore you.
Then they laugh at you.
Then they fight you.
Then you win.

Just think about the point the system has reached, when proposition as obvious as the following are considered too hilarious to take seriously within “polite society”: that a) the ostensibly anti-war party (D’s) ought to be using its Constitutional powers to end the war it “opposes” and b) that the leader of a country (Putin of Russia) who, since 2000, has unquestionably improved the strategic and economic position of his nation against all odds is more astute than the leader of a country (Bush of the US) who squandered all his initial advantages and irreparably damaged his country’s previously high standing. Such a system is like a hollow husk, ripe for the first gust of wind to disintegrate it.

I feel a warm breeze coming from the Gulf….

*no link, because I no longer promote malignant tumors within the body politic.

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The recent events surrounding the presidential campaign of Mike Gravel, though not of earth-shattering importance in and of themselves, encapsulate three trends that, though at the moment still subterranean, promise to burst out into the open in the next few years. All three involve in various ways the diminishing ability of the elite and elite opinion to steer the course of the political process. The elite has primarily its own neglectful or malign actions to blame for each of these trends, for reasons I will point out specifically in each case. On the surface one might expect, because each of these trends are to a large extent initiated by the young and the open-minded, that the leading edge of the Left should have no reason to do anything but rejoice. However, each of these trends also opens up a “Pandora’s Box” that could cut any of several ways in the end, especially if its significance is not appreciated early on.

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Two great public addresses by P. Lang and JH Kunstler laying out the basics of their respective messages:

Lecture at the Miller Center by Lang.

Commonwealth Club of CA lecture by Kunstler.

Each link is to an .mp3 that can be streamed or, by right clicking and choosing “save link as…” downloaded to your system.

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Solar Energy Links

March 17, 2007

Good place to start for the basics: Wikipedia articles on solar cells, solar power, photovoltaics.

Some blogs I’ve come across that might be worth following on this (and other renewable energy resources): The Energy Blog, Alternative Energy Blog, a guy who calls his site
“The War Against Oil” (how could I pass up linking to a title like that?).

Other organizations and companies to look at: the solar energy page of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (which I’d never even heard of until a few days ago), a company that makes quantum dots and has some flash presentations explaining them in simple terms.

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Ideological Discipline

March 10, 2007

It must have been tough, the but the Times’ reporter got through an entire article on falling output from Mexico’s oil fields without so much a mention of the finiteness of the geological resource or (God forbid!) Peak Oil. Even when the evidence of it is staring her in the face in the form of the ever more scientifically advanced and costly efforts that Pemex (the state oil company) is forced to undertake, to search out ever deeper and less accessible petroleum deposits, in an effort to replenish its reserves. Does the MSM have a Little Black Book that gives them the watchword on petroleum?

It is not surprising in the least that the Beacon for Neo-liberalism on the Hudson would instead try to blame the falling output to Big Government and Labor.

My question is more of whether this sample of propaganda represents the best thinking of the supposed “oil experts” in the financial and energy industries? Are they all this blinkered? Or do they know better and feel content to pass off this fairy-tale version onto the masses through media conduits?