Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Tue 27 Sep 11 12:15
I was just catching up - this discussion reads like a sequel to "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome"! I know that things could fall apart, but will they? Dystopia scenarios (and, for that matter, utopian scenarios) never quite seem to play out. As long as I can remember, I've seen cartoons of long-bearded men standing on street corners with signs that say "The end is near." Sometimes it's true: this or that part of the world may collapse or suffer catastrophe, but the world as a whole goes on. Day after day I see acts that are unselfish and caring, and as a result I'm hopeful.
Christian De Leon-Horton (echodog) Tue 27 Sep 11 15:06
We're not having a discussion about drifting into political collapse, exactly--more like a sudden slide. It's far from impossible.
Mark McDonough (mcdee) Tue 27 Sep 11 17:53
I don't think people in this country have become any less nice, but I think the ties that bind us together have really weakened. The 60s and 70s felt different. We all fought like cats and dogs, but we it still felt like we were in it together, however much we disagreed. Now, our most nominally patriotic Americans basically want to dissolve the government, and we've got a major presidential candidate who has openly talked of secession. People are cheering the idea of letting people without health insurance die. That's different.
J. Eric Townsend (jet) Tue 27 Sep 11 18:11
Yup. My neighbor down the street flies the Gadsen flag on major holidays instead of the US flag and the guy he voted for who became our Governor thinks slashing the education budget by %50 and not taxing Shale drilling companies is the way to fix the economy.
Jack King (gjk) Tue 27 Sep 11 19:17
I hung a huge yellow "Don't Tread On Me" rattlesnake flag on my living room wall shortly after Reagan's inauguration in 1981. My candidate, Ed Clark, had lost to that traitor Reagan. Gave it away a couple years later. Don't miss it one bit. It's become like the Stars and Bars. It means something mean now.
J. Eric Townsend (jet) Tue 27 Sep 11 21:00
That it does. I keep threatening to steal my neighbor's flag then daring him to call the local (union) police to file a complaint.
Christian De Leon-Horton (echodog) Tue 27 Sep 11 23:01
He'll just shoot you like a libertarian.
Gary Greenberg (gberg) Wed 28 Sep 11 02:53
And if you don't have insurance, he'll cheer while you die of your untreated wounds. Another metric of how things have gotten meaner: hitchhiked lately?
Ted Newcomb (tcn) Wed 28 Sep 11 04:03
If this is real, it's quite a sobering view of what's coming economically thanks to Goldman Sachs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqN3amj6AcE&feature=player_embedded Sounds right to me....this is exactly how traders and the big houses think.
Jack King (gjk) Sun 2 Oct 11 09:33
Infrastructure failure, one of my favorite subjects. Fortunately, it can't happen here. Homeland Security tries to shore up nations cyber defenses "This frantic but entirely simulated attack last week on a chemical plant demonstrated what U.S. officials and industry experts say is a little-understood national and economic security threat: the ability of malicious computer code to cripple critical systems that millions of people rely on for food, fuel, safe water and more." <http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/homeland-security-tries- to-shore-up-nations-cyber-defenses/2011/09/27/gIQAtQ6bDL_story.html>
Mark McDonough (mcdee) Sun 2 Oct 11 09:40
As I understand it, Jack, that sort of thing only happens in banana republics.
Ted Newcomb (tcn) Mon 3 Oct 11 04:52
I've been reading up on SCADA and IPv6 security problems. I get the impression it's not so much hackers as code errors themselves that can cause serious damage. Is that right? http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread757563/pg1 http://www.defcon.org/html/defcon-18/dc-18-speakers.html http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/oeprod/DocumentsandMedia/22-Impacts_of_IPv6 _on_CS.pdf
J. Eric Townsend (jet) Sat 8 Oct 11 10:49
Example of an single-failure point at the national level. It's gotten very little press, but the main manufacturer of calcium carbide in the US had a factory shutdown and there's been a shortage of acetylene, one of the most common gases for gas welding: <http://www.praxair.com/praxair.nsf/78f8cb7dc1379181852569730069e75d/59ccfafdf3 e8f7fd8525789a0059d2a8?OpenDocument>
Mark McDonough (mcdee) Sat 8 Oct 11 19:07
didn't practice being married in class (thansen) Sun 9 Oct 11 21:06
There is simply no reason, except monopoly capitalism run amok, for the United States to have only one Calcium Carbide manufacturer.
Christian De Leon-Horton (echodog) Mon 10 Oct 11 01:32
I wonder how many basic industrial products are tied up under industrial structures that maximize profit rather than decreasing vulnerability. Helium, for example, which is a non-renewable resource, has become the production responsibility of the oil and gas industry. But as a sideline product, it's often vented and wasted. We're selling off the United States helium reserves, and it's often considered non-profitable to recover helium from gas and oil fields. So what are we doing to do to support the requirement for helium in various industrial and scientific fields if we don't keep an eye on the stockpile now? I wonder how many other such products there are out there.
J. Eric Townsend (jet) Mon 10 Oct 11 07:57
There are apparently other producers, but this one plant manufactured over %75 of what the US consumed, according to some of the trades that I've read. I'm guessing the big "move to a service economy" thing has a lot to do with this. Reading some of the fabrication trades, it looks like "open a welding school" is the current way to print money. Westinghouse went so far as to buy a school as a way of making sure they get first crack at the graduates.
J. Eric Townsend (jet) Thu 13 Oct 11 20:16
John Robb's advice for the "cleanup" of #occupywallstreet: <http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2011/10/bloomberg-vs-occu py.html>
Gail Williams (gail) Sat 15 Oct 11 09:41
The comments are interesting too. Even better is what really happened, detailed on his next blog entry, here: http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2011/10/bloomberg-vs-occu py-a-knock-out-decision-ows.html His recap from that page includes: > To block the bank protest, Mayor Bloomberg initiated a plan to evict the Occupation from Liberty Square on the 14th of October. He claimed the city needed to "clean" the park. > In recognition of the threat, the Occupy movement gathers its strength. It makes a widely reported call to come to the park on the morning of the 14th to block the eviction. > Occupy then rapidly delegitimizes the complaint. It starts to deep clean Liberty Square with powerwashers, brooms, and mops (they even hired a dump truck). It even offers to let cleaners into the square to clean 1/3 of it at a time. > With the complaint delegitimized, the Occupy movement goes on the offensive. It personalizes the eviction move (already inside Bloomberg's OODA). It finds Bloomberg. He's at a gala dinner at Ciprianis (a Wall Street restaurant). They surround the restaurant and try to enter it to deliver a petition with 310,000 signatures. Bloomberg hides, departs from the rear. ... Again, the discussion is interesting.
Brian Slesinsky (bslesins) Sun 16 Oct 11 20:51
I am all for protests that leave places cleaner than they found them.
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