neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)

NaBloPoMo July 2012

Follow up to Nablopomo for July: Kids Week 3.

Here's the blurb I wrote to promote my blog in the comments to James Howard Kunstler's site.  This week's entry isn't up yet, so my flist here at Dreamwidth and LJ get to read it first.
As for the future of the Olympics, I'm sure they'll last until at least 2020 and maybe decades longer. After all, it took the Roman Emperor Theodosius banning the games to stop the original after more than 1000 years, and world wars to interrupt the modern version. They'll definitely have more longevity than the activity I described in last week's "Christmas in July," the videos for which have already been taken down from YouTube for copyright violation. I knew that would happen; I just didn't think it would occur that soon. After all, people in the First World, particularly Americans, are quite clear about their screwed up priorities. They want their entertainment to continue. Bread and circuses, everyone!

Over at Crazy Eddie's Motie News, I haven't blogged about the Olympics yet, although I have a post or two about the science of the games planned. Instead, I have a retrospective of one of my posts from last year that I did compose with the readers of this blog in mind, about how a group of artists and designers completely avoided the real problems of surburbia. Their solutions were quite impractical, but they did become an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art that is showing for another three weeks. By their standards, that would count as a success. I also posted some videos about sustainable agriculture I showed to my students, including one about the MetroFoodPlus project Michigan State University is planning in Detroit. I also continued my series about science crime scenes, space news, endorsements for the upcoming Michigan primary, and climate news. Finally, I razzed the best man from my first wedding, who trolled my blog asking for Jell-O recipes. I found a good one for him.
Now, the links to the posts.

The top post of the bunch was Christmas in July. Too bad the videos for it have been taken down.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)

This past week was the busiest so far at Crazy Eddie's Motie News, whether one measured it in terms of posts (14), page views (1577), or comments (13). This topped last week, where the comparable stats were eleven posts, 832 page views, and only five comments, itself a very good week. For comparison, this blog averaged 560 views/week during all of May and June, 486 views/week for April, May, and June, its first three full months, and 488 views/week the week before last. As I mentioned in Boosting the signal about Oak Park's "War on Veggies", I thank the readers of Oak Park Hates Veggies for making this possible, with 369 referrals last month, at least 216 of which came last week alone. This puts Julie Bass's blog in third place as the source of views for this blog throughout its history so far, behind only Kunstler's blog, where I have been promoting my blog every week since my first post here, and Google, which just happens to own Blogspot. Again, thank you, and keep reading!


This past week also saw another milestone--my first spam comments. I know a blog hasn't arrived until it gets enough traffic to make it a worthwhile target for spammers.That's the good news. The bad news is that I should be careful what I wish for.
Honestly, I'd like more comments. I could even deal with a couple of trolls, as I'm not above trolling my own comments sections.
Trolls I don't mind, as I can hold my own against them. Spammers are another matter. From July 13th:
This blog achieved a milestone today. It received its first spam comment. However, it's not such a milestone that it was worth saving. The spam was canned.
Now, July 16th:
This blog has arrived. I've gone from no spam comments to not one, but two spam comments in one week. I have advice for you. If you want to promote your blog or a relevant news story, fine. If you want to advertise for a commercial enterprise not germane to the topic of this blog (and education isn't really it), your comment will be hidden. Bye!
I don't make any money off this blog, so no one else gets to, either!

Enough of my swimming against the stream of spam--on to the week's posts in review. )

Above originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

neonvincent: For general posts about politics not covered by other icons (Uncle V wants you)


In James Howard Kunstler swims against the stream on marriage equality, I pointed out three areas, marriage equality, hard currency, and immigration, where Kunstlers ideas didn't square with his self-professed liberal identity. I emphasized his issues with immigration policy in Happy 4th of July from James Howard Kunstler's Tea Party!, in which I commented on the following passage from My Tea Party.
My tea party would reduce legal immigration to a tiny trickle and get serious about enforcing sanctions against people who are here without permission...The truth is that neither party really wants to do anything about the extraordinary influx of Mexican nationals because they want to pander to a growing segment of Hispanic voters (or secondarily want to maintain the pool of cheap labor for US businesses). My party does not believe in unbounded multi-culturalism. My party also views the lawlessness of the current situation to be corrosive of the rule-of-law generally. My party views the global population overshoot problem as a condition that requires a more rigorous defense of US territory, sovereign resources, and even whatever remains of American common culture.
One particular paragraph of my response bore directly on this paragraph.
There is already an answer to the Tea Party based on critical thinking. It's called the Coffee Party...They quite agree with Jim about the major parties being hostages to political money, and would also agree about many of his goals. The only thing they would not agree with Jim about would be severe restrictions on legal immigration, as Annabel Park, the Coffee Party's nominal leader, is Korean-American and would not get on board with any policy she sees as immigrant bashing.
Given that background, it should come as no surprise that Kunstler himself would bring up his zero tolerance stance on immigration, however indirectly, and that I would jump on him for it.
Old Allen Ginsburg got it right fifty years ago: "America, go fuck yourself with your atom bomb," he said. Even back then, in the age of purple people eaters and the weird neutered figure of Ozzie Nelson lurking in kitchen with nothing to do but drink endless cups of coffee, all was not so well. Freedom to cruise for burgers turned out to be a pretty trashy thing, considering all the blood and sacrifice that preceded those days of fun in the California sunshine. Look at California now: Nathanial West Meets Aztlan (coming soon on home video). Who put that locust in my burrito?
My response caught a lot of fish, including one that I kept and am putting on display as a trophy. )

Above originally posted at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: Lust for  for posts about sex and women behaving badly. (Bad Girl Lust)


I mirrored James Howard Kunstler swims against the stream on gender role equality, too to my LiveJournal, where a lively discussion resulted. In particular, pay attention to this thread, in which commenters provided even more examples of Kunstler's misogyny and masculism, such as Kunstler's review of "Master and Commander."

The commenter Nebris has a special perspective. Kunstler was his summer camp counselor at Camp Mascoma during the early 1960s, so Nebris known him for a long time. For his insights, I recommend you read his entry In Which Her Prophet Cogitates Upon The Deeper Motivations Of Two Doomers. One of the two doomers is Kunstler, and Nebris' observations take new meaning in light of what I wrote yesterday. The other is John Michael Greer, the Archdruid. Nebs has even more pointed things to say about him. I plan to post commentaries on Nebris' observations of both of them as part of this month's series on bloggers swimming against the stream. Nebs himself will not be immune. He'll have his time in the spotlight this month as well.

Originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: Lust for  for posts about sex and women behaving badly. (Bad Girl Lust)


A couple of days ago, I wrote this conclusion to my post about Kunstler's skepticism about marriage equality.
I already have my plate full with completing the sustainability linkspams and at least two more posts about Kunstler swimming against the tide, including even more gender fail.
That's right. Kunstler's skepticism about marriage equality was not the only gender equality fail in Man Down, as he defended his depiction of gender roles in his fiction in the very next next paragraph.
I had an interesting experience with my last two books (World Made By Hand and The Witch of Hebron), which were set in a post-oil, post economic collapse American future and depicted daily life in a way that was quite unlike the way we live right now. I received a heap of criticism from female readers - including peak oil activists - full of consternation that I did not present female characters in the kinds of dominant valorized roles that are favored today: the post-oil equivalent of CEO, news anchor, CIA-Ninja warrior, Presidential candidate. What struck me was their complete failure of imagination. They could not conceive of male / female relations that were different than today's, even in a world that had been turned economically upside down.
I had something to say about that paragraph, too. )

Above originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

neonvincent: Coffee Party USA logo from the Facebook page and website (Coffee Party)


I made two comments about what I'd post on July 4th. First, from the most recent weekly roundup:
I began July by wishing Detroit's neighbors across the river Happy Canada Day! It's the first of three patriotic holidays I celebrate on my blogs during the month of July, so expect greetings for July 4th and 14th as well.
Then, in part one of my sustainability news linkspams, I speculated on what I'd do for July 4th.
I might also make a special post on July 4th to observe Kunstler's My Tea Party, which was posted almost exactly a year ago. He's also swimming against the flow in that one. Since I'm a member of Coffee Party USA, I really can't leave that opportunity unexploited.
Why not combine the two?

First, happy U.S. Independence Day!

And now, James Howard Kunstler's My Tea Party, edited for clarity and Fair Use, with commentary afterwards. )

Above originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: For general posts about politics not covered by other icons (Uncle V wants you)

In my previous post on Crazy Eddie's Motie News, I made this programming note.
Another departure is that I won't be posting the sustainability linkspams one right after the other. I plan on interrupting them tomorrow with another post about bloggers swimming against the stream. This one will be about what Kunstler wrote regarding marriage equality in New York and will be a demonstration that I don't admire all bloggers who go against the flow.
Kunstler had the following to say about marriage equality.
Which brings me to the troublesome subject of gay marriage, which is lately up for debate in the legislature of New York State where I live, making it the public's business. I have an unpopular view of it for men of my demographic (Democrat, Boomer). I'm not in favor of it. I don't think it is a good idea. I don't have empirical proof, but I suspect that unsettling such an age-old and fundamental social arrangement will produce strange unanticipated consequences that we are not prepared for. I don't believe gay marriage is a genuine social justice issue. I think it is a bid for a kind of broad social approbation which does not require ritual enactment in law, and would be socially mischievous to pursue. Civil unions would cover the necessary legal issues. Otherwise, it is a case of unwarranted relativism, a Boomer weakness. Not all conditions or states of being in this world are the same. Some things are on the margins because they are marginal.

What fascinates me in the debate is the narcissism of Boomers, males especially, who advocate so earnestly in favor of gay marriage. Is it really about the law and social relations, or is it about making yourself feel good? Is it just more posturing for moral brownie points, for approval? Is your job and social position or maybe even sense of yourself at stake if you have a differing view?
As you can guess, this did not go over well. )

Above originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)
Meta note: I chose the following post to promote on Kunstler's blog this past Monday. There, I made the following editorial note.
I figured that you would write about President Obama, along with the rest of the International Energy Agency, releasing oil from their reserves. If I had written a Karnak predicts post, both of those topics would have been in it, but I didn't. However, I did write about that topic and predicted that you'd have something snarky to say about it, and I was right. Unfortunately, I buried the lede and made the title about falling gas prices in Detroit, when the story really was about Obama trying to stimulate the economy to help his re-election while at the same time kicking the oil companies and commodities speculators while the price goes down. So far, it's working.
It worked until yesterday, when the price for West Texas Intermediate went up $5/barrel. As a consequence, unleaded regular at the corner gas station from $3.49 to $3.58 as of yesterday. This morning, it rocketed up to $3.85. By this evening, it had dropped back to $3.79. Can you say overshoot? I knew you could.

Last week, I posted two entries about falling gas prices. From the second post.
If that price holds, AAA Michigan and the Detroit Free Press will have another price drop to report next week.
I'm sure they will, as the price of oil dropped 4% yesterday.
Not only did the price of gas drop this week, it will drop next week as well. On Monday, the price of North Sea oil (Brent Crude) fell because of worries about Greece (West Texas Intermediate had fallen earlier, but went up slightly). On Tuesday, the same two things happened, this time because of fears about Spain. West Texas Intermediate then fell on after-hours trading. As I keep repeating, a price drop like this is not entirely good news; it's a response to bad economic news elsewhere. This is true even for what happened yesterday.

Oil dives to 4-month low as emergency stocks unleashed )

neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)
So much for my plans.
Part three up later today, then a post for the readers of Clusterfuck Nation.
As you can see that didn't happen. I decided to watch TV with my wife, then played a MMORPG with her. Both of those deserve more attention, but not here. If you really want to know, read my LiveJournal or Dreamwidth accounts. Those activities fit perfectly this month's "Fan" theme for Nablopomo. Consequently, I'm posting part three today, not last night. Hey, I can't be all SRS BZNS all the time!

As for something special for Kunstler's readers, it's not going to happen this week. Not only did I not get around to writing one, but his blog has become more persnickety about links in comments, so I could only post a comment that had a bare link to the blog as a whole, not a formatted link to a particular post. Ah, well, Aimlow Joe and The Leibowitz Society are still going strong as commenters over there, so I'm not worried about being banned as a spammer. For starters, no one is complaining about me in comments; the trolls get all the attention. Second, Leibowitz Society and Aimlow Joe are good company. The first is a serious if eccentric sustainability blogger that I just followed. The second is more of a clown, but still worth reading. I'll review the former in a future post; the latter is worth reading, but not worth reviewing.

That written, I now provide a weekly roundup for the readers coming here from Kunstler's blog.

Three posts comment on sustainablity news from The Oakland Press. In Gas prices back above $4.00/gallon in metro Detroit, I describe the reasons and effects of the midwest's gas prices bucking the national trend of slowly falling prices. Gas is now cheaper, but the economic damage has been done. There's good news in Motie News Brief: GM's Orion plant to go green (crossposted to Dreamwidth and Livejournal)--good news as long as you like cars. Both of the above were originally supposed to be part of a larger linkspam, but I decided both of those items deserved their own posts. What remained of that planned linkspam were all the sustainability-related poltical posts, which ended up in Linkspam Leftovers: Sustainability News from The Oakland Press for June 6, 2011. All of the topics discussed about scrambling for pieces of a smaller pie, whether it's the rapid dissolution of the city of Pontiac, fights over school budgets, or the process of redistricting.

On a more cheerful note, one of my favorite local news sources is Model D. In Model D Media, fans of Detroit (crossposted to Dreamwidth and Livejournal), I let one of the founders describe the outlet's philosophy, which I summarize as "Optimism, but not business as usual," in his own words in a video.

Three more posts contain linkspams of news from major midwestern research universities and commercial sources outside metro Detroit. Part one, Sustainability news from Michigan's research universities for the week ending June 11, 2011, includes a treasure trove of research and announcements, including one about how anger motivates voters more than fear or hope. Keep that in mind when one is worried about the American people electing corn pone Fascists. Speaking of corn pone Fascists, both Representative Eddie Munster Paul Ryan and Governor Scott Walker made cameos in part two, Sustainability news from midwestern research universities for the week ending June 11, 2011. As you can see, I don't care much for either of them. Finally, I posted part three this morning as Weekly roundup and sustainability news from national commercial sources for the week ending June 11, 2011. The big stars there are stories about climate change, biodiversity, as archeology as an illustration that sustainability issues go back to the beginning of civilization. Nearly all of the stories in these three linkspams were originally posted to Daily Kos as Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (HIV/AIDS at 30 edition), along with a bunch of science news not related to sustainability.

Finally, there was the feature article that I posted the link to at Kunstler's blog last week, Detroit as a travel destination? The New York Times, BBC, and Financial Times think so. That one summarized three articles that protray Detroit, not as a disaster and not as a place being reborn from its ashes, but as a phoenix worth visiting. No, I'm not kidding. Detroit is now a place for the adventurous to visit and settle in. Looks like I'm not the only one who thinks that interesting things are happening here and wouldn't want to miss them for the world!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to play Rift with my wife. Ciao!
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)

Sustainability news from Michigan's Research Universities for the week ending June 4, 2011

Sustainability news from midwestern Research Universities for the week ending June 4, 2011

Sustainability News for the week ending June 4, 2011: National commercial sources

Wow, three posts in one day--looks like I'm not so burned out any more. I guess taking a couple days off helped!

Also, I posted about Michigan politics.

Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner--oh the possibilities!

As you can see, that one pressed my ambition button. I'll re-write that one and post it here on Dreamwith and LJ, as well as on Michigan Liberal and Daily Kos.

Finally, I promoted my most recent post on Kunstler's blog.

That's enough for this morning. Time to go back to bed!

neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)
Here's what I haven't been crossposting to my DW and LJ accounts:


Yes, I was so burned out that I didn't crosspost an entry about the Rapture that wasn't. That's bad.

Now the rest.

The New York Times reports on Troy's problems

This is my most popular post so far, thanks to a good sales job on Kunstler's blog.

Detroit's libraries not closing; accounting error caught in time

Sustainability News Linkspam for the week ending May 21, 2011

Gas prices dropping in Metro Detroit

It's been a good day for business as usual in Detroit

Model D Media: Optimism, but not business as usual

More for May from Model D Media: Optimism but not business as usual

Sustainability News Linkspam for the week ending May 28, 2011

Part 2 of Sustainability News Linkspam for the week ending May 28, 2011

The Buzz about Detroit for the week ending May 28, 2011 from Model D Media

As I wrote, I've been very busy, but it was burning me out. I'm glad I have only one post left to satisfy my committment of a post every day for Nablopomo this month. I'm looking forward to being fannish here on DW and LJ.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)

A few days ago, I described how oil prices dropped and stocks went up on news of bin Ladin's death. I also said that it wouldn't last, a view shared by Kunstler.
This morning, Bloomberg is putting out a story that the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil dropped - from $113 to 112 - because Bin Laden was tossed into the sea. How long will that state of affairs last, I wonder. Through eleven o'clock in the morning, Eastern time?
He called it, at least in the short run, as West Texas Intermediate rebounded to its Friday levels by noon. However, that price drop now looks like a preview of coming attractions.

Reuters: Oil crashes 10 percent in record rout
By Matthew Robinson
NEW YORK | Thu May 5, 2011 5:40pm EDT
Oil collapsed into free-fall on Thursday, diving as much as 10 percent and sending U.S. crude back under $100 a barrel as investors staged a nearly unprecedented stampede for the exits.

This could be interpreted as good news, as it means that gasoline prices are likely to drop soon. However, it isn't entirely good news, as it is a sign that the market became worried that the price was getting high enough to impede expansion.
Weak economic data from Europe and the United States fed concerns that have battered commodities all week. German industrial orders fell unexpectedly in March while U.S. weekly jobless claims hit eight-month highs, sparking a fourth day of profit taking in early trade.

The oil markets have been doing this dance for a year now. Just about every time oil's share of U.S. GDP starts to pass 4%, Hamilton's magic number for contraction, the price drops. The traders are acting as if they know what that 4% share (or the 6.5% of personal income spent on energy) means and they sell off.
But the onslaught of selling went far beyond any single cause.
I've also heard and read that the projected end of the second round of quantitative easing has let the air out of commodities, although Krugman disputes that it's just the dollar.  He even points out that the recent price rise in Euros has been even higher in percentage terms than it has been in US Dollar terms with the following graph.

Speaking of Europe, Brent crude also followed suit.
Brent crude plunged more than $12 at one point -- exceeding the sell-off that followed Lehman Brothers' collapse.

That's even better news for lowering gas prices, as a lot of the gasoline in the U.S. is refined from oil priced as Brent, not WTI.

So, how long will this trend last?

0"The longer-term bull cycle is still in place, but this correction may have a life span of several months, as weaker economic data is fueling this correction to a large part," said Sterling Smith, senior analyst for Country Hedging Inc in Minnesota.
Just long enough to the economy to expand some more, that's how long. If I were Obama, I'd hope oil prices and the U.S. economy keep doing their dance until November of 2012. Maybe they will.


Above originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News, along with videos about the effects of higher gas prices on the Detroit economy, both good and bad, and gas rising above $4.00/gallon for the first time since 2008.


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