Tag Archives: Collapse

27th April 2010 | Interesting Random Blogs

Why then are there no slogans saying “No blood for opium!”? Afghanistan’s major product is opium and opium production has increased remarkably during the present war. The current NATO action around Marjah is clearly motivated by opium. It is reported to be Afghanistan’s main opium-producing area. Why then won’t people consider that the real agenda of the Afghan war has been control of the opium trade?
WASHINGTON — On the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, Richard Canny, CEO of pioneering electric car company THINK, is setting the record straight on electric vehicles. Here are Canny’s top 10 EV myths, busted.
Buried within the New Start treaty, which saw the decommissioning of nuclear warheads, was an interesting provision as a result of Russian demands: the US must ‘decommission one nuclear missile for every one’ of a new type of weapon called Prompt Global Strike ‘fielded by the Pentagon.
‘ The warhead, which is ‘mounted on a long-range missile to start its journey,’ would be ‘capable of reaching any corner of the earth from the United States in under an hour. … It would travel through the atmosphere at several times the speed of sound, generating so much heat that it would have to be shielded with special materials to avoid melting. … But since the vehicle would remain within the atmosphere rather than going into space, it would be far more maneuverable than a ballistic missile, capable of avoiding the airspace of neutral countries, for example, or steering clear of hostile territory. Its designers note that it could fly straight up the middle of the Persian Gulf before making a sharp turn toward a target.’

We’re all in agreement that Social Media is a valuable tool – one of many – and certinley not “THE answer”. We all preach that it’s extremely important to take things offline and that face to face interaction is still paramount. But, my question to you is, do you actually believe that and put it into practice? Do you see us getting away more and more from the old school? Will coffee shops eventually be obsolete once we’re all meeting via Skype?

The City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia (Spain)

The construction of the City of Art and Science began in 1991, and was completed by 2004. It consists of a Science Museum, Planetarium, an Opera House and Promenade. It was designed by the famous Architect Santiago Calatrava.

Doctors Who Prey? Medical Profession or Predatory Syndicate?

I am a patient of Dr. XXXXX’s, who came in for a first visit two months ago and was fitted for an Aircast that day. Your billing system was down, so I did not see the invoice until my next visit a month later.

At that time I realized your office charged me $480 for the Aircast. This struck me as odd, since I had broken the same bone in my other foot a year earlier and a different doctor charged me about $100 for an aircast for my other foot.

I mentioned to the woman processing my payment that it was available elsewhere and online for $80-$100 and she told me the those prices were not for the model I was given. When I returned home, I researched the specific model I was provided by your office (Aircast FP Walker 01F-L) and found that very same model was indeed being sold all over the internet for between $75 and $100.

The Magnificient Victoria Tower, Stockholm, Sweden

Sweden is one of the most prosperous of Scandinavian nations in Europe. It has a long history of traditions and cultural heritage.  Sweden is famous for its amazing Swedish Cheese. Stockholm is a beautiful city, and its latest jewel would be the new Victoria Tower. It would be the second highest building in Stockholm after the Kaknästornet.

A 13-minute film of a cable car/trolley ride down Market Street in 1905 San Francisco reveals much about energy consumption.

A Thesis on the Nature of Religion

Human beings have created the psychological construct of religion essentially as a defence mechanism to enable them to cope with the realization of their own mortality. (This is a basic hypothesis of this theory).

The essence of this coping mechanism is the hope that death is not the end of an individual human’s existence but merely the end of this particular phase of existence. Death is a readily apparent phenomenon. The hope of life after death is therefore an extension of the survival instinct.

Concern over the welfare of loved ones is also a universal phenomenon. The loss of a loved one is a traumatic and threatening psychological experience for any who experience it. It is therefore universally sensible and attractive to believe that a departed loved one is not gone but merely residing in another place. This is a psychological defence mechanism to assuage one’s sense of loss. As such it is a natural part of the grieving process.

Fighting against food waste

Each year people in the UK throw away 8.3 million tonnes of edible food. If that food wasn’t wasted the carbon emissions saved would be the equivalent of taking one in four cars off the road. As well as household food waste, retailers and commercial operations bin a huge amount of food that is past its sell by date – but still perfectly edible.

Orlov’s 5 Stages of Collapse

Stage 1: Financial collapse. Faith in “business as usual” is lost. The future is no longer assumed resemble the past in any way that allows risk to be assessed and financial assets to be guaranteed. Financial institutions become insolvent; savings are wiped out, and access to capital is lost.

Stage 2: Commercial collapse. Faith that “the market shall provide” is lost. Money is devalued and/or becomes scarce, commodities are hoarded, import and retail chains break down, and widespread shortages of survival necessities become the norm.


The Federal Government must have Checks and Balances

The Oil Drum | DrumBeat: September 23, 2008

Madisonian Federalism has three branches and three levels, which we all should have learned in High School Civics or not been allowed to graduate. Anyway, there are a few other countries who have taken the number of branches and expanded them to four and five, while some have added another level. (Okay refresher time: Branches–Legislative, Executive, Judicial; Levels–Local, State, Federal/National.) Madison’s theory of Checks and Balances included another actor that was amended out of the Constitution in an act I belive ensured the system would become corrupted: The losing candidate for President became Vice-President in an attempt to mimic the Roman Republic’s dual Counsels who could veto each other’s decisions. What myself and others have discussed is the need for additional branches to provide more checks and balances at the national level (provided one wants to retain a national government). Most important is that officers for the new branch(es) be elected, not appointed. And because US history proves the greatest abuses of power arise in the Executive branch, the Executive will have its powers pared and duties reformulated.

Clearly, the biggest failure of the Executive is its role as regulator and law enforcer. The Departments and agencies that do this work, like the Justice Department, will be removed from the Executive and become another branch, with the Departmental heads being elected to two-year terms and their chief aides subject to congressional approval for two-year terms (the same will apply in the other executive departments, too). The same treatment will be provided for the Treasury Department and its new bank–the FEDs replacement. And if we make ourselves collectively responsible for ourselves’ wellbeing through singlepayer-universal heathcare, I would also suggest we do this for all other usual insurance–home, life, vehicle–while allowing private insurance to provide esoteric policies like special liability applied to franchise sports players, for example; and I would place this new Department alongside the new Treasury Department.

The above changes leave the President to manage defense and veterens affairs, energy and transportation, commerce and labor, interior and agriculture, and state, while one–homeland security–and parts of others will be eliminated, all will lose their regulatory agencies as noted above, and others will be merged together–Heath and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development and Education would be merged into the new Treasury complex. Implied by these moves is repeal of the 1946 Full Employemt Act which gave the president responsibility for maintianing full employment and thus the health of the economy and other similar statutes.

Tainter probably wouldn’t like this solution as it makes the federal government more complex, but it also makes it more democratic and accountible, and greatly reduces the opportunities for corruption. Likewise, the Legislative side also needs to be modified by adding a third house which would be totally resposible for oversight of all aspects of the federal government. It would be limited to introducing only legislation related to its oversight capacity, but it would also vote on all other legislation and be subject to the supermajority rule for over-ridding vetoes.

Aside from the new legislative branch, the overall size of the federal government should remain about the same, and in some respects it should become much more efficient and accountible. It merely expands upon Madison’s mechanisms for balancing power within government, which are now quite clearly out-of-whack. It removes a considerable amount of power from the president and makes him/her subject to greater accountibility. It would be nice to design a new government from scratch, but I think a reformulation is easier for people to accept as most of the institutions remain. My point personally is to reformulate government so it can fulfill its rationale as made clear in the Preamble:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Please note how little of the above is taking place currently or has over the past 28 years. Much of what’s occurring now is actually a crisis of governmental structure as its design wasn’t made for these times or for political parties or for the amount of corruption corporations and their amorality can inject into government. That no discipline of corporations has occured for their excesses is also a crisis related to the structure of government. The great majority of the structural problems and related corruption exists in the Executive. In most states, the main executive officers are elected; the same must happen at the federal level as Congress has proven unable to disapprove of a plethora of bad nominees over the years, with the most recent bunch being the worst I can recall. I would also make the Justices of the Supreme Court subject to direct election for terms of 6 years. I believe we need more democracy, and we need it in a hurry.