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A new Cenex feed store is going in behind Nichols Brothers Boatyard next to the highway. The water is Holmes Harbor.
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Zoe and I went to the mainland today to see her mom. It was beautiful Sunday and the Sunday riders were out in force. They ride the loop from the mainland to Deception Pass on the top of Whidbey Island and down the Island to the ferry. This is on the ferry on the way to the mainland.
"Ok, everyone’s talking about the oncoming recession. What it is is the second downleg of the depression we’ve been in since the financial crisis.
"All of this has been baked in since 2009. Since January 2009, when Barack Obama announced his stimulus, which was not just too small, but put together so badly that it was evident it would not kick the economy out of the doldrums. The stimulus would be seen to fail (it doesn’t matter how many jobs it “saved” what matters if it created a good economy.) Meanwhile Obama made it clear he had no intention of restructuring the economy, shutting down any of the major banks or of disrupting the paper for oil securitization game.
"So, anyway, what’s happened since 2009 was baked into the cake. What is happening is what anyone halfway competent should have expected to happen and that includes the massive wave of austerity in the developed world, the high commodity prices, and the continued liquidation of public assets to feed private greed. If anything it’s slightly worse than I expected. I would have hoped that some nation other than Iceland would prove to have enough guts to tell the vultures to fuck themselves, but apparently we’re all eunuchs or morons these days, and the Greeks still aren’t rioting amongst the mansions of the rich, I notice. So who cares what they think, anyway?
"I suppose it’s tiresome to keep saying “I told you so”. Certainly I’m tired of it, but the point is that this could all be predicted, was all predicted (well, not all, I didn’t get the revolutions in Arab countries, though I know someone who did and the clues were there.) Assume that what is happening is, essentially, what your lords and masters are at least ok with having happen. If they weren’t, it wouldn’t be happening. This isn’t a case of incompetence, they didn’t even try to make this stuff not happen.
"The future you’ve got coming from you is a future of unconventional oil extraction: aka fracking. The play is to get back to cheapish oil and make that run for as long as it can. That is what WILL happen. That is baked into the cake. The only economy these people want to run is an petro economy. They will do whatever it takes to run one and continue to use their position in control of legacy capital to extract rent and tax the future. There will be more controls on so-called intellectual property (a contradiction in terms if there ever was one). There will be more security theater. There will be more austerity, which means taking public assets and turning them into what appear to be revenue producing private assets.
"This will go on until the last drop of cheapish conventional oil has been pumped and the last suburb built. Americans, and apparently the developed world, will do whatever is required to see this happen. They will kill whoever they have to kill. That’s what the developed world is, now. This is only compounded by stupidity like Germany going off nuclear without a clear plan of how to replace the energy. Remember, boys and girls, yes, there is blood mixed in with that oil. A lot of it."
"Here’s the good news about energy: thanks to rising oil prices and deteriorating economic conditions worldwide, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that global oil demand will not grow this year as much as once assumed, which may provide some temporary price relief at the gas pump. In its May Oil Market Report, the IEA reduced its 2011 estimate for global oil consumption by 190,000 barrels per day, pegging it at 89.2 million barrels daily. As a result, retail prices may not reach the stratospheric levels predicted earlier this year, though they will undoubtedly remain higher than at any time since the peak months of 2008, just before the global economic meltdown. Keep in mind that this is the good news.
"As for the bad news: the world faces an array of intractable energy problems that, if anything, have only worsened in recent weeks. These problems are multiplying on either side of energy’s key geological divide: below ground, once-abundant reserves of easy-to-get “conventional” oil, natural gas, and coal are drying up; above ground, human miscalculation and geopolitics are limiting the production and availability of specific energy supplies. With troubles mounting in both arenas, our energy prospects are only growing dimmer.
"Here’s one simple fact without which our deepening energy crisis makes no sense: the world economy is structured in such a way that standing still in energy production is not an option. In order to satisfy the staggering needs of older industrial powers like the United States along with the voracious thirst of rising powers like China, global energy must grow substantially every year. According to the projections of the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE), world energy output, based on 2007 levels, must rise 29% to 640 quadrillion British thermal units by 2025 to meet anticipated demand. Even if usage grows somewhat more slowly than projected, any failure to satisfy the world’s requirements produces a perception of scarcity, which also means rising fuel prices. These are precisely the conditions we see today and should expect for the indefinite future.
"It is against this backdrop that three crucial developments of 2011 are changing the way we are likely to live on this planet for the foreseeable future."
"This series visually traces the lives of Bombay’s disappearing single-screen cinema halls."
"There are many familiar symbols that represent the United States of America. There is the flag, of course. There is the strange eye above the unfinished pyramid on the back of the dollar bill. There are the myriad iconic buildings in Washington as familiar to us as the back of our hands.
"Well, the moment has arrived to add a new symbol to the list, one that represents the sad state of our national politics, the ridiculous media coverage of same, and the deranged condition the American people find themselves in today. I suggest Janus, the ancient two-headed Roman god whose faces look both forward and backward simultaneously. In representing the American people, Janus would be a perfect depiction of a person who wants two things at once, and hasn't yet figured out how to do it.
"To wit: every available scrap of poll data indicates that a large majority of Americans are stoutly opposed to the Ryan plan that seeks to end Medicare...and every scrap of poll data also indicates that a majority of Americans are dead-set against raising the debt-limit ceiling.
"Who the what the where the when the why the hell is that?"
ain't science wonderful?
"There are four things most people don’t know, or simply don’t appreciate, about physics: 1) the right answer to a question is sometimes surprising; 2) it’s simpler than you think sometimes; 3) that simplicity can spawn terrible complexity; and 4) in simplicity, complexity, and the border in between lies great beauty.
"For example, I bet if you went up to people on the street and asked them why different pendula (I prefer Latin plurals) swing with different times, they’d say it was the weight of the bob at the end. But it’s not that at all: it’s actually the length of the pendulum itself that is the major factor in determining the swing time (called the period) — the mass of the bob has nothing at all to do with it! A heavy bob and light bob will still have the same period if the length of the string is the same (try it yourself).
"Surprising and simple, right? So what about the other two things, complexity and beauty? Well, here’s a perfect example of that:"