Oy…

Failed publisher of a governmet subsidized right-wing rag

I really have neither the time nor the patience to pick and sort through this concatenation of excrement to demonstrate what a shallow and seriously twisted little partisan hack Ezra Levant is, but allow me to highlight just one of many egregious turds in this morning’s desperate apologetic regarding Harper’s catastrophically awful budget.

But perhaps the most important reason why conservatives shouldn’t be too depressed by this budget is that it doesn’t create any new, permanent government programs that will continue to drain the treasury for generations to come. There are no new “product lines,” such as a national daycare or pharmacare program that would be difficult to uproot. The bulk of the spending is in tangible one-off programs, such as rebuilding roads and bridges and low-cost housing.

There you go… Low-cost, affordable housing for average working families is regarded by this smarmy, hypocritical prick as a “one-off” program. Do I really have to explain what’s entirely wrong with that?

It’s funny (in a curious and ironic way) that while Levant joyously celebrates the fact that Harper’s budget “doesn’t create any new, permanent government programs that will continue to drain the treasury for generations to come” he simultaneously revels in the fact that “the GST cuts continue to pour $12-billion a year back into consumers’ pockets.”

Wow. Can’t you just feel your, um, “pockets” swelling as you read this?

69 Comments

Filed under Economy

69 responses to “Oy…

  1. he’s look great in that pic if he had a top hat and moustache a la Snidley Whiplash.

    or maybe a fist shaped bruise

  2. Jay

    Just looking at him makes me throw up a little in mouth.

  3. It wasn’t really my intent to highlight that, but he does come across in that pic as something of a stereotypical villain, doesn’t he?

  4. News flash: Canada could lose 325,000 jobs this year: TD Bank

    Meanwhile Harper’s $85 billion deficit over 4 years will create a mere 189,000 jobs?

    Perhaps a Fiscal Update is required of Ezra Levant, latter day economist and new found expert on all things budgetary.

  5. Ti-Guy

    U-huh-gly.

  6. He looks like a “plump” Ray Liotta from “Goodfellas”. Too much pork from the Federal “Con” trough? Probably. He looks stuffed, but a tad unhappy (maybe even constipated)… Oh wait… aren’t these neoCons ALWAYS supposed to be “unhappy” and “constipated”? That’s right – what was I thinking?

  7. He looks like he got busted with a “dirty mag” behind his Standard

  8. That might account for his swelling pocket.

  9. Tomm

    You guys are so proud of yourselves.

    We need a “stimulus” package a magnitude greater than what the treasury could ever afford. That means that the real stimulus can only come from the private sector, yet everybody here is happily prancing around Ezra Levant, calling him names and making fun of his looks.

    Totally forgetting that what he is saying represents the truth about the recovery.

    You’re probably all a bunch of Leaf fans.

  10. Not even close. Swing and a miss there, Tomm.

  11. Lorraine

    Are we talking NET jobs? The difference between job positions being cancelled (lay offs) and jobs being created.

    So, if the unemployment rate was 8.1 or so in 2005 and is now 6.4 or so does that mean that we could go back to the same unemployment we had in 2005?

    Is this all relative? The Bay near me will lay off staff while a whole whack of retail jobs in the same mall are having trouble finding staff. How much of this will all even out?

  12. Tomm

    Canucks then. Not much of a stretch. Pretty much the “Lotus Land Leafs”.

  13. Tomm

    Lorraine,

    These are good questions. Even if you are right and there is a portion of this that is a job “correction”, the re-structuring of retail jobs will be a negative switch for the employee. Kind of like the 80′s when hospital boards laid off nurses without actually needing fewer nurses. They gave some more overtime (burn-out) and hired back others as casuals saving some of the longterm commitment and benefits packaging. So that there was no change to net hours but a saving to the hospital boards in nursing wages.

  14. Tomm — That it. Unemployment is an illusion. This whole “recession” is all make-believe. Ezra is a genius and Harper is a brilliant economist, not to mention a fearless and visionary leader!

  15. Tomm

    RT,

    It took so long for you to come around.

    Welcome!

    Keep walking toward the light…

  16. At what point is it revealed that the “light” is actually a wood-chipper?

  17. Tomm

    haha.

    Seriously, I read Levant’s column and the only thing that puzzles me is his contention that the recession is half over. I guess we’ll know soon enough, but quite frankly I would be quite surprised if this is not a multi-year mess.

    This may hurt Ezra’s credability. Perhaps not with you and your posters, but others. You know, “others”.

  18. That’s just one of many specious contentions Ezra makes in his article. Yes, it could be half over, or it could just be the first inning. Heck, just a couple of months ago, the Dear Leader was denying we were even in recession… that is before he started claiming we were on the brink of the next Great Depression… and until he then changed his mind and said things weren’t that bad… before then saying they were awful and drastic measures had to be taken.

  19. Weeeell, the recession isn’t over, or half over, but the bottom of the stock market has been hit. Things will go sideways until the credit markets loosen up. It could be a long time or a short time.

    Reality is that there are still people who can, and who want to buy cars and houses, etc…. but no one can get car loans, leases, mortgages. Most people need to be able to make monthly payments, but with the demise of GMAC, the average person is screwed, not to mention small businesses who can’t get operating credit, or mid-range businesses who can’t get investment cash.

    Loosen up the credit, and things will get better very very quickly.

  20. This banter is meaningless. It is the ongoing Lib/Con debate over which colour deck chairs to put out on the decks of the Titanic. If you wish a more cerebral metaphor imagine yourselves bumping around inside a Socratic cave.

    The good times are over…and they are not coming back. Heralding the arrival of the Iggy sock puppet, chanting refrains of O Canada, nor eating an extra bowl of maple leafs for breakfast is not about to alter that.

    As I did several weeks ago, I will again plug Chris Martenson’s Crash Course. It is a good finger-painting introduction to what is, as opposed to the plethora of brain farts in search of what might be.

    http://www.chrismartenson.com/

    While prattle such as this is going on, the State of New Hampshire takes a major secessionist shot across the bow of the Obama Administration with HCR 0006:

    http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2009/HCR0006.html

    It would seem that some citizens know how to live free or die. With each passing day the option of remaining a useless eater or assuming the responsibility of becoming an accountable human being crystalizes.

    It is over. It is finished. It is done. Deal with it.

  21. I like affordable housing it gives me tons of pleasure that while I go to work and cannot afford cable or all the house repairs I need.

    I get warm fuzzies that people in affordable housing get free cable I pay for while cutting back RRSP’s.

    And If I have to put off house repairs to pay for people who are too lazy to work this lifetime well it’s my right is it not?

    Socialism means someone always has the right to my money before me.

  22. Put on a little weight and LeRant looks like Newman on Seinfeld.

    Ronin – trying to look intellectual or something. Depressing blather, again. Why the need to put people down?

    Tomm has hockey puck in the head brain.

    It’s not nearly over – it’s just getting started in Canada…..they layoffs are beginning.

    Anyone get 10%r’s recently from the CPC? I’ve got my second one this year and it’s only the beginning of February – it’s claiming that the coalition is undemocratic with Harper quotes and a “poll” on our taxpayer dollars – do you like tax cuts?

    I’m saving them. Actually, it’s the 3rd because I received a junky parliamentary calendar with my MP’s name on every page as well.

    Yup, being so careful with taxpayer dollars.

  23. wow the Werther’s Grandpa (Tomm) really ruined his thread with his shitty as usual commentary.

    Hey little boy wanna taste my Werther’s.

    For the record Tomm I don’t cheer for the Leafs or Canucks but I can guarantee my favourite team has one more Stanley Cups than yours. So blow it out your ass once and for all.

    And while your doing that take a look around for your sense of humour.

  24. RuralSandi, re “Ronin – trying to look intellectual or something. Depressing blather, again. Why the need to put people down?”

    I am not “trying” anything. I, like the rest of us, do what we do. “Trying” is a recipe for failure.

    What I “put down” (as you phrase it) is a frame of mind…a particular perception to what is going on out there. It is fair comment…and fair game. Should you fall into that frame of mind, then so be it.

    With each passing day events are pointing more and more towards perceptions and analyses such as mine and away from the redundant and deceivingly safe cocoons of a bygone era…yet still those swathed in the cocoons vainly proclaim “depressing blather.”

  25. Socialism means someone always has the right to my money before me.

    Funny that sounds more like Reaganism to me

  26. Hey Red can you devote a blog post to alternative concepts of succession and separatism in North America just so Sebastian can get his message off his chest and talk about something else? At least then he gets a chance to express what he wants in a discussion dedicated to it instead of bringing it up in every thread?

  27. Look at Newman’s (LeRant) picture carefully – is he wearing eyeliner? Looks like it to me.

  28. Dino — I get warm fuzzies that people in affordable housing get free cable I pay for while cutting back RRSP’s.

    What planet do you live on?

  29. Well, if there is anymore evidence that the Conservatives are economic illiterates and are mere socon fascists, I don’t know what it is.

    I mean besides dinosour’s ignorant and deluded comment. Notice what he did? He lied about what affordable housing is (free cable? wtf?) and at the same time laid the ground work for the Harper home repair bribe credit.

    I am of the opinion that we don’t need stimulus because I am not a Keynesian. I think we should let bad businesses go out of business and the government should cut back and keep it books balanced (or as close as possible) just like I do at home.

    So far, all we’ve gotten is the public purse being pillaged by any number of special interests and pet project, all meant merely to bribe people into voting Conservative. Its about clinging to power by giving us our own damn money back.

    It nothing more than using the economic crisis as an excuse to rob the government blind.

  30. Jamie — Actually, Sebastian’s contemptuous sneering at the “brain farts” of others and his usual gloomy doom-mongering aside, the link to Chris Martenson is quite interesting and well worth checking out.

  31. I am of the opinion that we don’t need stimulus because I am not a Keynesian. I think we should let bad businesses go out of business and the government should cut back and keep it books balanced (or as close as possible) just like I do at home.

    If you mean laissez-faire as an alternative then no thanks for me. That has caused us enough problems to date.

  32. sharonapple88

    I like affordable housing it gives me tons of pleasure that while I go to work and cannot afford cable or all the house repairs I need.

    It’s advised that people shouldn’t spend more than 25% of one’s gross income in rent (gross income, so this is before taxes). I don’t know anyone who actually manages this. Going by the price of a $800 for the average apartment in my local area — a person needs a $20/hour job to support it. This is a big gap between this and the $9.50/hour of minimum wage that will kick-in in March of this year.

    When there’s this big a gap between housing and income for the low-end jobs, you can get farcical solution of busing in low-income workers to man the counters and sweep up your floors. Or else you hear a lot of stories of people having to choose between food and rent.

    No one’s arguing that someone should afford luxuries on a low-end job, but we have to ask ourselves, how low do you want people to be on them? After a while it becomes a joke — we can’t pretend that people can survive at minimum wage. At what point is this simply punitive? We expect people to live at dirt-levels because they didn’t get an university degree or college.

    (Could throw in an article that notes that rent increased at a higher rate than inflation while incomes have been flat.)

  33. Red, I’ll give it a look. I just wish he wouldnt wrap it in dialogue that sounds like a sales pitch for tin foil hats so often. (I shouldn’t really complain as he’s a way more interesting and intelligent person than Tomm)

  34. Mike — If it was simply a matter of allowing “bad businesses to go out of business” I’d certainly agree with you there, but it’s considerably more complicated than that. So, just as “Dino” reduced the issue of social housing to an irrelevant (and wholly untrue) non-sequitur about “free cable” (wtf, indeed), by the same token, it’s not fair to reduce the “stimulus” to the notion that it’s all about propping up failing businesses… because it’s not.

  35. exactly and noone seems to moan about giving the banks money without conditions.

  36. Sharon — I happen to pay exactly the amount you cited, not including the cost of utilities, which brings the amount to more like $950/mo. Add to that the cost of cable and phone which is another $200/mo. That’s a fair whack of money for a single person who’s self-employed. Not to mention the pesky matter of food and other consumables. Anyway, enough whining about that.

    What I was alluding to with reference to low-cost, affordable housing was perhaps that the government (at various levels) should be providing developers with incentives to build more for this segment of the market. I suppose they could mandate that a certain percentage be deemed as such within new projects, but there are problems with that approach (it’s officially the policy in this area, but rarely adhered to and usually the developers manage to make some trade-off with the city to get around it). As it is, here in Victoria the vacancy rate is practically zero, the average house price is $650,000 and the stock of “affordable” housing is minimal at best (usually older, pretty crappy properties in undesirable areas).

    I’m all for the “free market” and all that rot but it’s not the answer to everything. Here it’s resulted in lots of luxury condos being built that sell for ridiculous prices, many of which are bought as speculative investments and end up being empty for most of the year. Meanwhile, there’s almost no interest on the part of developers to build for the bottom end of the market. It’s just not worth their while, apparently.

  37. “If you mean laissez-faire as an alternative then no thanks for me. That has caused us enough problems to date.”

    When have we had laissez-faire? As I understand it, we’ve been doing Keynes since at least WWII?

    exactly and noone seems to moan about giving the banks money without conditions.

    Actually, lots and lots of people have, from the guys at Reason (which Red links to on occasion) to people like Lew Rockwell and lots of other libertarians. The only folks that seem to want to give the banks money are well, Conservatives and Liberals, Republicans and Democrats.

    I don’t want my tax dollars going to banks so they can be rewarded for crappy business decisions, or to Ford and GM to be rewarded for making cars no one wants to buy.

    If there is to be “stimulus” then it goes to individuals – regular people – to spend as they see fit. Not to the people that caused the problems in the first place. I like Jon Stewart’s “trickle up” approach more than anything, and if we must have “stimulus” that is it.

    What we have right now is mere undirected pillaging of the public treasure for years to come, all excused in the name of “stimulus”. And I can’t go for that.

  38. We stopped doing Keynes when Reagan got in. Its been Reaganomics since 1980.

    Glad to see it ending personally

  39. Lew Rockwell? Like I didn’t hear enough from the Ron Paul gang a couple of years ago.

  40. “I don’t want my tax dollars going to banks so they can be rewarded for crappy business decisions, or to Ford and GM to be rewarded for making cars no one wants to buy.”

    Didn’t Red correct this fallacy a short while back?

  41. Mike — The bail-out money that’s gone (and more of which will soon be going in the form of “TARP2: Attack of the Bad Banks!”) to the financial sector needs to be considered separately from any “stimulus” that’s intended to re-invigorate the demand side of the equation… These are actually two different (but of course deeply interrelated) aspects of the problem and shouldn’t necessarily be conflated.

  42. Jamie — Didn’t Red correct this fallacy a short while back?

    Yes and no. It’s wrong to say that the “big three” automakers simply don’t make cars that people want to buy because this just isn’t true. You can confirm that easily enough by looking at the cars on any given street to see what people are driving. There’s still lots and lots of American (or Canadian) made trucks, SUVs, and sedans around. That said however, they do have a lot of a product lines and models that are woefully bad performers sales-wise and they’ve tended to gamble more heavily on the kinds of vehicles that most people are shifting away from as demographics and attitudes shift… In other words, they seem out of touch (or out of synch might be a better way to put it) with market demand.

  43. J@simpleposie

    I’m a Leafs fan and I like the Canucks too.

  44. sharonapple88

    I’m all for the “free market” and all that rot but it’s not the answer to everything. Here it’s resulted in lots of luxury condos being built that sell for ridiculous prices, many of which are bought as speculative investments and end up being empty for most of the year. Meanwhile, there’s almost no interest on the part of developers to build for the bottom end of the market. It’s just not worth their while, apparently.

    It probably isn’t. The problem with the free market is that it chases the money, and unfortunately most of the cash is in the hands of a small segment of the population. The richest 1% of the population have more money than any time before the Great Depression right now.

    I’ve seen the argument thrown out there that this situation helps the housing market since it frees up units, but as an economist noted about New York — the buyers are moving from a luxury unit to another luxury unit. It’s not as though the poor or the middle-class can afford the places the rich are leaving behind. (And it’s not as though the rich can buy all of the units that are coming into the market either, so there’s a damn glut out there too.)

    (As for rent and income, it’s insane in the GTA too. Have a friend who once said that the problem with straight people is that we should be more into community living — buy a house and split the damn mortgage several ways. I’m starting to agree with her.)

  45. Years ago we used to live in a co-op (which is now in a very ritzy area of town surrounded by high-end condos funnily enough — it wasn’t at the time…) and that was a very good arrangement. Unfortunately, there aren’t many of them around.

    But yes, a community living set-up would be a good solution for many people, but they can be problematic and it also requires a change in mindset which tends to stress “individualism” above all else.

  46. Well, I’d lose more sleep thinking about children living on the streets, or no heat or food than being vexed by my taxpayer dollars going to help them.

    But hey, CPC followers and their on your own views – pretending to care about values/children.

  47. Hmm, I was hoping for an approach to housing that integrated low middle and upper income families in the same area, perhaps by not building official affordable housing sites, which tend to be stigmatized, but by giving the lower income people rent subsidies or helping them with down payments and doing a rent-to-own scheme so they have a stake in the property.

    In Toronto the most successful housing areas are like that—the St.Lawrence market area actually. They are redoing Regent Park that way as well.

    For example, there are a lot of empty apartments and condos here in decent buildings, and rents have come down a lot compared to 10 years ago, but they are still pretty high. If the government made up the difference to the private landlord, then really, wouldn’t that be easier than spending years getting approvals, and all this capital outlay? And because the neighbourhood is mixed, we get better public health outcomes, more stability, etc…

    Won’t happen though, because the left is convinced all private business is scum, (??), so they prefer to build giant neighbourhoods full of poor people all in one place, with a big fat stigma on their heads, and the Socons are horrified at giving money to poor people and even more horrified that poor people might move in next door.

    Until both sides budge a little off their respective positions, I don’t think anything will change.

  48. Aurelia, I’m with you mixed use/purpose etc housing is really the way to go.

  49. In my experience, the best places to live are usually the ones that are the most diverse… with a mix of different strata of society, various cultures, ages, etc.

    Unfortunately, there’s been a trend over over the past few decades towards the creation of largely homogeneous ghettos, gated communities, and other forms of voluntary segregation that are, quite frankly, very disturbing steps backwards.

  50. I have a BBC documentary about the first gated community twenty-some years later. The show detailed how crime and social dysfunction were significantly higher within the gated community and how a malicious pecking order had evolved amongst members of the community.

    Seeing the people that live in those communities made me wonder if they were created specifically to exclude those members from day to day society for the rest of us.

    I live in a neighbourhood where more than 100 languages are spoken daily. Ive also grown up in multicultural Canada and compared to the less diverse parts it’s a heck of a lot more enjoyable. There’s a depth to a community not achievable when the majority of the residents have Stepford Wife type attributes.

    An added bonus is these neighbourhoods often are conservative-lite. Diversity and a sense of humour.

  51. Pingback: Today’s Levant-Jaunt

  52. jsrothwell, re “Hey Red can you devote a blog post to alternative concepts of succession (sic) and separatism in North America just so Sebastian can get his message off his chest and talk about something else?”

    The meta-condition is Peak Oil. Consensus within that community points towards the fact that we (the global “we”) have slipped off the plateau and are into the initial stages of the descent.

    Industrial nation-state fragmentation will be a consequence of this historic event. As with this devolution, all of the more serious topics that Red throws up for discussion, on a smaller scale, are also consequences of Peak Oil. It is the meta-condition. So there is a choice: either “sweat the small stuff” or tackle the actual driver that generates the symptoms, i.e. financial meltdown, latent economic depression, your own skyrocketing energy and foods bills, etc.

    Also, re “I just wish he wouldnt (sic) wrap it in dialogue that sounds like a sales pitch for tin foil hats so often.”

    The “tin foil hats” barb comes with the turf, i.e. first they ignore you, then they laugh at you. I take it that you are familiar with the last two stages of the four-stage process. Furthermore, the barb could easily be juxtaposed with a shot/reference to dunce caps as worn by cornucopians and coincidence theorists. But I shall resort to tempered tactics this morning, as per crimson suggestions to be nice. (The Blue Meanies were nice!) ;-)

    In times such as these a psychic 2 x 4 laid on between the eyes does no harm and, in most cases, is called for. I make no apologies for that. I am conscious of my role and how it needs to be applied. One could fall back on the Nietzschian maxim of needing to “philosophize with a hammer.”

    Is it gloom and doom? Well, yeah and no. Is it not positive to advocate the need for preparation? But prior to preparation there must be acknowledgement. This is what is not coming from political and institutional “leaders” of any stripe. A journalist once asked me the same gloom and doom question. I responded: “I am not here to blow sunshine up peoples’ assholes.” The look on his face left me wondering if I had three heads instead of the usual two. The quote did not make it into his article.

    http://www.ngnews.ca/index.cfm?sid=115945&sc=49

  53. I’m still working through the “Crash Course” — very interesting stuff. Thanks again for that.

    It does explain much and confirms many of the things we should all have been aware of.

    For instance, the way the inflation stats are routinely gamed by means of “substitution” and “hedonics” was particularly amusing (Max Keiser tipped me off to this some time ago).

  54. Martenson’s three-E trilogy is brilliant in its composition and in its presentation. Let me qualify further: it is marketing brilliance. The Course is exactly the type of simple package (containing complex ingredients) that is going to turn on quite a few “light bulbs” over peoples’ heads, as is made evident from the traffic he gets…about 2,500 hits/day and growing.

    He just held a workshop in Maine (I believe that’s where he lives) which, relative to a trusty vehicle and a bit of disposable income, is just a spit away. Alas, neither of the two “pre-conditions” apply to me right now. :-)

    From what I can gather, my only personal gripe with the Course right now is that the bulk of demographic that seems to be piling on board are financial analyst types with an attitude of, “Yeah, well things are fucked, but Chris is pointing us in the right direction and all will be baseball, mom and apple pie at some future point.” Again personally, I don’t think that was Martenson’s intent with launching the Course.

    He wrote an article a couple of month’s ago for the Vermont Commons (circulation 10,000 with an editorial mandate supporting Vermont secession). I talked with the editor recently and asked him if Martenson was “on board.” He replied, “No…not yet.” ;-)

  55. Red, re “It does explain much and confirms many of the things we should all have been aware of.”

    Yeah, well life is full of couldas, wouldas, and shouldas, yes? IMO, the fact of the matter is that “we” are aware, but only at a deep, subliminal, subconscious, etc. level, i.e. there’s something that stinks here…stinks in a way it never has before.

    Martenson goes a significant way towards drawing a picture and connecting some dots for that “sense.” Of course, the other media for connecting dots is to tap into Peak Oil sites/info. BTW, if you have not yet, I strongly recommend reading Crossing The Rubicon, by Michael C. Ruppert.

    Back to the “shouldas” and being subliminally aware. People are not stupid, merely uneducated towards a new perception, that existential flavour of the decade, the “new paradigm.” Usually what prevents anyone from going there is they more than often hold onto a worn and tired precondition to making breakthroughs: fear. In other words, as long as the condition is not seriously looked at and analyzed, then presto ergo, it does not exist! It’s the perennial head in the sand. Becoming the hole in the donut (Ohmygod, it’s all fucked and I’ve lived my entire life ass backwards!) is not exactly a pleasant encounter. It is though, IMO, the only springboard towards true humility and courage.

    A cute acronym for fear: Fuck Everything And Run.

  56. The “tin foil hats” barb comes with the turf, i.e. first they ignore you, then they laugh at you.

    Good to see that I didnt surprise you. Actually I’m not laughing at you. I lived north of a lot of “tin foil” hats that were from Northern Idaho. You’ve got nothing on them but I have heard all the arguments over and over and over.

    I think my issue with you is the way that you are very patronizing when you try to express your views. It’s an opinion plain and simple and being condescending means you turn off any potential listeners.

    “With each passing day the option of remaining a useless eater or assuming the responsibility of becoming an accountable human being crystalizes.” Uhhuh and I guess I should prepare for Slestak attacks as well.

  57. jsrothwell:

    As soon as you incorporate the word “issue” into a statement, you expose a particular worldview. “Issue” and “person” are two of several words that I consciously boycott from my vocabulary so as not to be affiliated with that worldview and the demographic which holds it.

    You do not strike me to be young enough (just a guess) to be a Millennial. So stroking with a fairly wide brush, there is now a whole generation out there obsessed with their “issues.” They have “issues” with just about everything. It doesn’t seem to dawn on them that if they dealt with their “issues” then they wouldn’t have any. It is self-centered.

    Coupled with this, the latter generation which has never heard the word “No” from parent, to teacher, to employer, is now about to get whacked over the head with “No” in spades. As a generation, is it prepared to have its liberal buttresses removed at the knee caps? How much hurt can they handle before it dawns on them that they have been lied to?

    Continuing from “issue” if you feel patronized by the way I present my argument, how is this my problem? I make you feel nothing. I have no control over your feelings. Sorry to burst this one on you, but it’s all yours.

    Lastly, two trillion barrels (geologically given)minus one trillion barrels (over 100 years) equals one trillion barrels (depletion over a projected 30-40 years) and the social consequences this situation holds, etc. is a perception, not an opinion. It has been gained through looking at the information and hammered out on the anvil of a university education.

    If one takes it upon themself to feel “patronized” by the statement, “With each passing day the option of remaining a useless eater or assuming the responsibility of becoming an accountable human being crystalizes,” again, is not my problem. It is a political statement. If it makes one feel uncomfortable, good. Let them squirm. Guilt usually has a way of inverting itself through self-righteous rationalization. Deal with the problem and the feeling of being patronized may just resolve itself.

    Have a great day out there on the great plains!

  58. SR — Yeah, well life is full of couldas, wouldas, and shouldas, yes?

    Indeed. And also full of possibilities.

  59. Have a great day out there on the great plains!

    Keep moving West Sebastian. No flatland where I live.

    You don’t make me uncomfortable and to be honest you’ve made a lot of rather broad assumptions about me (starting off with labeling me a prairie resident)

    “Continuing from “issue” if you feel patronized by the way I present my argument, how is this my problem? I make you feel nothing. I have no control over your feelings. Sorry to burst this one on you, but it’s all yours.”

    Well actually the point I was trying to make is you are defeating your own argument by being so patronizing. I have no emotional investment in what you say Sebastian, though you say it often and sometimes you confuse opinion with perception. Yes, people ignore you and have a laugh at you, but it’s not because you’re on the right path. It’s because you’re de-legitimizing your argument with such a haughty tone.

    “You do not strike me to be young enough (just a guess) to be a Millennial.”

    Well you’re right there. I’m a Gen X-er (banish the term) and I’ve lived through recessions, Mulroney, and long term unemployment. I always thought it was part of the life cycle of being Canadian but that could just be the cynic in me.

    “It has been gained through looking at the information and hammered out on the anvil of a university education.”

    Yeah yeah you’ve read MOUNTAINS OF BOOKS. Heard it before. I’ve got a degree too but I don’t see the need to wank all over it.

    “It is a political statement. If it makes one feel uncomfortable, good. Let them squirm. ”

    Actually it makes me roll my eyes and and think “oh please, spare me from the “squirm””

    “Guilt usually has a way of inverting itself through self-righteous rationalization. Deal with the problem and the feeling of being patronized may just resolve itself.”

    Well good to see that you have rationalized your guilt. What exactly is the feeling of being patronized? You were using a tone in your communication not invoking feelings. Try a more open-ended and less judgmental way of presenting your case Sebastian, and you might not be rebuked.

    Greetings from rainy Vancouver.

  60. Jamie, re “I lived north of a lot of “tin foil” hats that were from Northern Idaho. ” Got it…past tense.

    For what it’s worth, a quote from Jenna Orkin out of to-day’s From The Wilderness blog:

    “If you think there’s a snowball’s chance in Hell of saving anyone, you grab them by the lapels, treat them like adults and tell them what they need to do. If you don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance, you treat them like children and try to make the inevitable as painless as possible.”

  61. Dude it’s Friday. I’ve got a life. Go back to your batcave and preen yourself accordingly.

  62. SR — Just out of curiosity, will you be disappointed if/when the economy eventually recovers and life goes on in much the same way it stubbornly tends to?

  63. Red, unfortunately the question is a non-starter. I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that pretty well everything is at the tipping point; the crisis is upon us. To reiterate for anyone gawking in to this exchange, this is not an opinion. It is a political stance.

    Just out of curiosity, have you read the paper “Post-Peak Oil and NAmerican Regional Secession?” Quite possibly, the answers to some/most of your questions are in there.

    I agree that accepting the notion that we live within the death gasps of a civilization is a big pill to swallow. The assumptions of growth, progress, etc. (these are ideological determinants) are deeply ingrained…and are all energy dependent. Aternative perceptions of how things may shake out are limited. It is a clean slate. Nothing is guaranteed. Quite simply re “if/when the economy eventually recovers and life goes on in much the same way it stubbornly tends to.” We cannot get there from here. The IEA is trolling a possible 8% depletion rate, as opposed to more conservative 4%-5%. That directly reflects the scope of the meltdown. It is compound interest in reverse! We owe the natural world a debt, and it is coming to collect in spades.

    Take yourself. Every now and then you pop your head up/away from your standard post and “dangle” something contentious for your readers. You probe the horizon, see what is latent, yet do not particularly like it. Liking it, agreeing with it, etc. are beside the point. Accepting it for what it is, is what matters. You retreat to your standard fare, which is your prerogative, because it is what your readers wish to “hear”…plus it guaratees your 1,000 hits +/- per day.

    With all due respect, this is not a fucking rehearsal! It’s the real McCoy. To be alive at such times is a great priviledge. Accountability and responsibility trump any vacuous notions of liberal (lower case captures Lib/Con/Dipper/Green) ontology. It is essential to analyze the cause and determine appropriate action, as opposed to “debating” on redundant political lines the consequences.

  64. That’s pretty much the response I expected.

    Yes, I do operate within the conventional political narrative for the most part and while I peer into the abyss from time to time, I find that constantly dwelling on that particular view of things is intolerably depressing.

  65. I do not “dwell” on it. It is my perception of how things are. It is not so much a matter of right or wrong (those being human value judgments), it just is in the here and now. Based on that perception, I go forth with my conduct. Yes, it can be depressing…but you are not without power. Let me clarify, you are not without latent power, as is each individual. If you tap it or not is another matter. As much as this “particular view” can be depressing, it can also be highly exhilirating. There is choice.

  66. SR — I wasn’t applying a value judgment to that POV. Certainly, there’s plenty of good cause to be pessimistic, but I don’t happen to find that attitude as “exhilarating” or empowering as you apparently seem to.

    I suppose there’s some joy to be derived from confidently predicting the imminent collapse of industrial civilization, but it’s not something that I care (or can afford) to venture on.

  67. Red, again, for me, it’s not a matter of “joy” or “depression.” It is seeing it for it is (as I and others see it) and then, having determined the perception, being in a much better place, relatively, to prepare for it…both on individual, community and social levels.

    I cannot retract nor modify something that I believe. Take an example out of your own life…your marriage. Notwithstanding the separation, conditions that lead to it, wagging fingers of right/wrong, yadda yadda yadda, none of these can detract from the love that you hold for your wife. You know it to be true, no matter how much “stuff” may point against it. It is a belief and for someone to ask you to modify it, etc. is ludicrous, yes?

    A similar, if not exactly the same thing, with the position I hold on a Post-Peak Oil world. This is my stance; I own it. I need not, and will not, temper it down just because it happens to get noses out of joint, disrupt some feelings, or raise cluck, cluck, clucking issues. ;-)

  68. SR — The “joy” thing was simply my impression based on your writings and the rather smug and contemptuously dismissive way that you’ve responded to commenters in the past. So maybe “joy” wasn’t the best word to describe it, but in any case, I’m not making a value judgment on that. Whatever floats your boat, as my kids used to say.

    Also, I’m not suggesting that you “retract or modify” something that you quite passionately believe in, although the resolution to never do so seems far too dogmatic for my taste. In my experience, once people have determined that they’ve arrived at ‘THE TRUTH” about something, then attempting to dispute this with them is usually an exercise in futility. Of course you’re entitled to believe whatever you want based on your apprehension of the available “facts” and different interpretations of the data that appeals most compellingly to you. I’m not entirely certain that your terminal worldview is right, but nor could I definitely say you’re wrong.

    I was simply sharing my emotional reaction to it.

  69. It is also interesting to note that 80% of men with impotence problems have a physical reason for having them. So my recommendation is that if you are having a problem with impotence that is causing you concern at least go to your doctor to get the physical reasons out of the way.

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