Let's compare the peak oil situation to three scenarios for which most large organizations have already prepared contingency plans: (1) a widespread flu pandemic, (2) a serious incident of workplace violence, and (3) a fire in a work related building. The calculations shown below are rough-and-ready, use a back-of-the-envelope style, and are intended only to make the point asserted in the title of this article.
Saturday, November 07, 2009
The Flatt and Scruggs Preservation Society
Legacy - Doc Watson and David Holt
The Doc Watson Guitar Home Page - Doc's Guitar
Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy - Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2009
Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy - Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2009
(Some comments critical of Opus Dei left at Rorate Caeli by a traditionalist. He also claims that Dominus Iesus "is at odds with the traditional doctrine of the unicity of the Church." Even if some of his criticisms of the hype surrounding Opus Dei are valid, his other statements serve to discredit them.)
Jim Witkin, New York Times
Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) - Home Page
Energy Self-Reliant States: Second and Expanded Edition (Designing Rules as if Community Matters The New Rules Project)
The modern view of liberty rejects this ancient theory. On almost every count, modern theory – though it called itself “republican” – rejected these ancient prescriptions for the achievement of res publica, the inculcation of “public things.”A Straussian critique?
Whereas liberty according to ancient theory was the achievement of self-government, liberty according to the modern teaching was understood to be the condition in which ever greater opportunities for the satiation of desires is made possible. Of course, modern thinkers such as Machiavelli and Montesquieu shared the view of the ancients that human appetite was limitless. Machiavelli had noted that “desire is always greater than the power of acquisition,” an insight that Montesquieu further developed by observing the human propensity not to find satisfaction in any objective measurement of accomplishment, but only by comparative measurement to others, which ceaselessly gives rise to “more desires, more needs, more fantasies.” Both anticipated the fruition of this notion in the phrase that promised “the pursuit of happiness” without its likely attainment. However, this observation, rather than being an argument against efforts for the governance of appetite, was in fact a recommendation for its embrace, the redirection of activities that had formerly sought to achieve an education in self-restraint for one that sought the unleashing of frenetic activity aimed at an always imperfect fulfillment. Accompanying this unleashing of appetite were modern theories of the state that were expansionist, not only in the physical space that they occupied, but further, in their devotion to the ever-greater increase of human power directed at the control over nature.
If the economy gets even worse before the Senate votes on the bill... maybe this can be stopped. Did the pro-abort Democrats really fight the pro-life moderate Democrats over the restrictions on abortion? Or were the told to muzzle it as much as possible, for the sake of passing the bill?
Christopher Check comments on a post by Dr. Fleming:
There is another elephant in the room, although, I hope in time, the facts will be made clear and the elephant will disappear. Let’s imagine that Hasan was carrying two semiautomatic pistols, though General Cone confirmed that only one was semiautomatic; presumably he meant that the other could have been a revolver (If true then my elephant is even bigger.) Still, let’s say he had two pistols carrying 15 rounds each (eg.,magazine of an M9 holds 15). This means he had to change magazines, at a minimum, one time to fire off 45 rounds to cause 43 casualties. I fired expert every year that I was in the Marine Corps with the M9 (it is a very forgiving pistol!), but that was standing still at a range holding the weapon with both hands. Not the same environment in which Hasan was shooting. (By the way, I am guessing a 9mm round because some victims were hit multiple times and are still alive; a 45 round that hits you in the big toe takes off your leg) Even at the very close range from which he must have been firing (some must have been point blank), that is a very high percentage of hits. I’m guessing he changed magazines at least one time in each pistol–very likely more times. During the interludes of magazine changing and pulling back the slide assembly to chamber a new round (a quick enough action, but one requiring two hands), not one of these soldiers, men about to deploy to a combat theater made a move for Hasa to overpower him, much less a group of them? One question, had I been present at Cone’s initial press conference, would have been “what was the sex of the victims?” Of the few names that have been released, three are females. Was the group of soldiers attacked disproportionately female? Was at last subdued when he had nearly exhausted his ammunition? It is one thing to hope that victims of a campus shooting might rally to subdue a shooter, but am I being unfair to wonder what these soldiers about to deploy for combat were doing? I hope that some data will come to light to show that my speculations about the soldiers on the scene are unfair. I’ll be happy to say so in this space if they are.So were there any attempts made by the soldiers there to take down Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan? Or did they decide that it was better to stay low and avoid being shot by police officers at the scene? Or is it representative of the training that soldiers in support units (POGs) receive in today's Army, that they are unable to take the initiative and respond to an attack?
As for the police sergeant who incapacitated Hasan -- the article does not say whether she is married or not, but she is a mother of one. How different is she from the young women and mothers who are currently serving in the U.S. military?
The Fort Hood Massacre by William Murchison
Thinking Housewife: Our Feminized Military
Friday, November 06, 2009
Kathy Freston, alternet
Eating Animals - by Jonathan Safran Foer
Edit. Melkimx informs me of this piece written by Natalie Portman about the impact this book has had upon her: Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals Turned Me Vegan
Sharon Astyk, Casaubon's Book
I think the question of land access may end up being the central political issue of the coming century. In both the rich world and the poor world, we’ve systematically deprived people of easy access to land. We have driven up the price of land in the rich world by encouraging sprawl, and thus forced out agrarian populations that previous fed cities. We have pushed people into cities in the name of globalization and industrialization, and claimed their land for speculation.
Dr. Albert Bartlett's "Laws of Sustainability"
Gail Tverberg, The Oil Drum
At the Denver ASPO conference, I had the good fortune to meet Dr. Albert Bartlett. Afterward, Dr. Bartlett e-mailed me some material he had written over the years. The "Laws of Sustainability" were included in this material. They are part of Al Bartlett's contribution to the anthology The Future of Sustainability by Marco Keiner, published in 2006.
We have the kind of government we have because we have the kind of economic system we have. So long as there is a concentration of economic power, there will be a concentration of political power; the one depends on the other. One might talk of European or Japanese “socialism,” but in fact the differences between our governments are differences of degree rather than of kind. Hence I believe that when one talks of political reform, one must at least be conscious of the need for economic reform. Even is power were suddenly devolved back to the states and the cities, you would have business entities with far more power than any one, or any combination, of these political entities, and the situation might be at best the same. At worst, the political order would be even more crippled in relation to the economic order. My own modest contribution to the question of economic reform can be found here.
Speaking of political reform apart from economic reform implicitly endorses the fracturing of “Political economy” into its political and economic components, a split that occurred in the late 19th century. This unfortunate split deprived politics of its economic base, and economics of its political and moral foundations; both sciences were thereby impoverished and rendered incapable of dealing fully with their own subject matters.
But at this point, we come to a great problem for conservatives, for while there is a general consensus on political goals (a consensus somewhat weakened by “neo-conservatism”) there is no consensus on the economic goals. In fact, we see incompatible economic philosophies thrown together in an alliance that is at best uneasy. This has been a long standing problem for conservatism, at least since the 50’s when William Buckley and Frank Chodorov tried to unite the warring factions under the banner of The National Review. There was a tension between the various contributors that gave TNR a great deal of its intellectual depth. However, while the journal helped unite the factions politically, it could never reach an resolution on economic goals. It is interesting to note here that one of the long-standing conservative institutions, The Intercollegiate Studies Institute, was originally called the Intercollegiate Society of Individualists. However, Russell Kirk objected to that name, and it was changed. Kirk was a personality, but certainly not an individualist.
On the economic side of the equation, the major conservative “contenders” are distributism, mutualist libertarianism, and Austrian libertarianism. Some of these debates have been played out in the pages of FPR and have generated heated discussions, which is good. But until some broad economic consensus can be reached, conservatism will have a schizophrenic character about it.
Obama’s credibility is shot. And so is Congress’s, assuming it ever had any. The US House of Representatives has just voted to show the entire world that the US House of Representatives is nothing but the servile, venal, puppet of the Israel Lobby. The House of Representatives of the American “superpower” did the bidding of its master, AIPAC, and voted 344 to 36 to condemn the Goldstone Report.United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza conflict
In case you don’t know, the Goldstone Report is the Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict. The “Gaza Conflict” is the Israeli military attack on the Gaza ghetto, where 1.5 million dispossessed Palestinians, whose lands, villages, and homes were stolen by Israel, are housed. The attack was on civilians and civilian infrastructure. It was without any doubt a war crime under the Nuremberg standard that the US established in order to execute Nazis.
Goldstone is not only a very distinguished Jewish jurist who has given his life to bringing people to accountability for their crimes against humanity, but also a Zionist. However, the Israelis have demonized him as a “self-hating Jew” because he wrote the truth instead of Israeli propaganda.
US Representative Dennis Kucinich, who is now without a doubt a marked man on AIPAC’s political extermination list, asked the House if the members had any realization of the shame that the vote condemning Goldstone would bring on the House and the US government. The entire rest of the world accepts the Goldstone report.
Advance Edited Version
The Goldstone Report
Every truck stop, every diner, every mall offered its tumid diorama of human hippos. We’re talking every age group here – starting with humpty-dumpty adolescents and ascending through the decades to 50-year olds, gigantic, stertorous and grey of countenance. My friend Wilbur who runs a trailer park in South Carolina told me there’s a woman in one of his double-wides who’s up around 400 pounds and can’t get through the door even if she wanted to. She sits and watches tv all day and when she passes, Wilbur will have to get a giant can opener to rip open the side of the trailer to winch out her remains.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Tim Jackson, the ecologist
(via EB -- EB also includes a link to Small Deposits Add Up: Savings, not just loans, factor into microfinance formula, by Suzie Boss, Worldchanging.)
Fifteen years since work began and at a cost of between US$8 billion to $27 billion, the water level in the reservoir behind the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River will soon reach its final height of 175 meters. Officials, though, aren't celebrating too loudly: as China searches for new forms of renewable energy, the dam has become a monument to obsolete ambitions. (Nov 3, '09)
Gene Logsdon, The Contrary Farmer
Billy Blundermacher was maybe not the smartest farmer in Winsome County but contrary to what politicians, prophets, preachers and pedagogues were saying, he knew that 1 plus 1 always equaled 2. Often he wished fervently it were not so, that numbers existed only in the fantasy realm of the Federal Reserve, not the real world.
Just months after well-received speeches in Turkey and Egypt, setbacks from Afghanistan to the West Bank to Pakistan, Iraq and Iran have seen belief plunge in the Muslim world over United States President Barack Obama and his plans for progress. With this, anti-US sentiment is back on the rise. - Jim Lobe
Hmmm. John Bentley's Restaurant in Redwood City. Would Pete Takeshi like this place?
Contra Costa Times Recent Restaurant Reviews
The principles underlying states’ rights and secession are ideas many writers here sympathize with. And as “localists,” we can’t separate ourselves from association with these terms. This is particularly true of “states’ rights.” What else do we mean when we talk about greater local autonomy and power, but states’ rights? What is subsidiarity, but the moral argument for the devolved power of states’ rights? What is federalism? We can avoid certain terms, in preference for others with less baggage, but we can’t avoid their meaning when their meaning is our own.
All talk of local autonomy, all calls for devolution of power from a central government, must in the end be calls for the rights of states to oppose and if necessary nullify federal overreaching. Otherwise those calls are just hot air. That is because politics is first and last about power, not highway beautification or universal health coverage. Anyone who has tried to argue with representatives of a federal agency—with, say, the U.S. Forest Service about the illogic of cutting down the woods the agency exists to manage—should know that earnest requests for an obvious good can have little effect on a large bureaucracy which exists to protect not woodlands but itself. The people who work for the Forest Service will follow a logic in making their decisions, but it will be the logic of their budget, not of the forest or the forest’s neighbors or the Indiana bat.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
A shorter (more popular?) work: The Inheritance of Rome.
Book review by Andrew Roach of 'Framing the Early Middle Ages'
Review: The Inheritance of Rome by Chris Wickham
The Inheritance of Rome by Chris Wickham - review - Telegraph
The Inheritance of Rome Chris Wickham Michael Patrick Brady
Plz be respecting feudalizm: further opinions from Chris Wickham
' Worst economic collapse ever'
Chant of Benevento - Pascha Nostrum
Chant of Benevento - Laudamus te Christe
Ambrosian chant - Ecce apertum est Templum tabernaculi
Ambrosian chant - Tecum principium in die virtutis tue
Ambrosian chant - Ecce quam bonum et jocundum
wiki on Ambrosian Chant, Beneventan Chant
The Beneventan Chant by Thomas Kelly (see also Plainsong in the Age of Polyphony, which he edited)
CE on Ambrosian chant
Ambrosian Chant - Home Page
CANTO AMBROSIANO - SPARTITI
Google Books: Western plainchant: a handbook
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
The show is definitely open to hear alternate points of view. But does its openness to stories about the paranormal and UFOs undermine its credibility?
U.S. political objectives in the Middle East will Fail
From 2004: Election myths and the Asian challenge
How public education cripples our kids, and why
Mass schooling of a compulsory nature really got its teeth into the United States between 1905 and 1915, though it was conceived of much earlier and pushed for throughout most of the nineteenth century. The reason given for this enormous upheaval of family life and cultural traditions was, roughly speaking, threefold:
1) To make good people.
2) To make good citizens.
3) To make each person his or her personal best.
These goals are still trotted out today on a regular basis, and most of us accept them in one form or another as a decent definition of public education’s mission, however short schools actually fall in achieving them. But we are dead wrong. Compounding our error is the fact that the national literature holds numerous and surprisingly consistent statements of compulsory schooling’s true purpose. We have, for example, the great H. L. Mencken, who wrote in The American Mercury for April 1924 that the aim of public education is not
to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence… . Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim.. . is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States … and that is its aim everywhere else.
Because of Mencken’s reputation as a satirist, we might be tempted to dismiss this passage as a bit of hyperbolic sarcasm. His article, however, goes on to trace the template for our own educational system back to the now vanished, though never to be forgotten, military state of Prussia. And although he was certainly aware of the irony that we had recently been at war with Germany, the heir to Prussian thought and culture, Mencken was being perfectly serious here. Our educational system really is Prussian in origin, and that really is cause for concern.
This is an abridged version of the essay, "Against School."
Lautsi v. Italy (application no. 30814/06)
CRUCIFIX IN CLASSROOMS:
CONTRARY TO PARENTS’ RIGHT TO EDUCATE THEIR CHILDREN IN LINE WITH THEIR CONVICTIONS AND TO CHILDREN’S RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF RELIGION
Zenit: Vatican "Regrets" European Court Ruling on Crucifix and Crucifix Ruling Seen as Severing Italy From Roots.
Brussels Journal: European Human Rights Court Rules Against Crucifixes
The Christian Science Monitor: Italians outraged as European court rules against crucifixes
I have been following with interest the discussions surrounding Alex Steffen’s piece at WorldChanging in which he critiques Transition. I am honoured that someone so widely respected as a writer on sustainability issues saw fit to engage in discussions around Transition, but, as a critique of Transition, it leaves a lot to be desired.
Today was election day -- just local offices and issues. At first I didn't want to vote for any of the candidates, since they represent what is wrong with Cupertino and California in general, but there were some who might be slightly better than the others. Reading candidates' statements for the school board was particularly painful. I was thinking of what would happen if someone were to criticize American public education for what it is -- I think that person would face an overwhelmingly negative reaction from the electorate here in California. He would be considered even more of a quack than those who criticize the Fed or the banking/financial system.
When I arrived at my sister's house tonight, I found a home-made ouija board on the sidewalk, near the driveway. What a disturbing sight. I'm tempted to burn it, but I don't know where the matches are. Where's some holy water when you need it? It probably blew over from the house of one of the neighbors. Still, what kind of parent lets their children make and play with a ouija board?
Vatican exorcist Amorth speaks on Satan's smoke
Monday, November 02, 2009
Sunday, November 01, 2009
"Unmarried Ministers Must Submit to the Norm of Clerical Celibacy"
Who is correct in their narrative and evaluation of the government of South Africa, its culture and peoples, and Apartheid? The liberals? Or the white and Afrikaner nationalists? How much is white policy and racism to blame for the rise in crime against them? If a demographic race leads to conflict, were the whites justified in trying to hang on to power as much as possible? And could a harmonious, multicultural society really have been created in S. Africa?