Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Ridiculously Good Explanation of the "Bailout"

From one of the best writers on the planet, channeling the spirit of Hunter S. Thompson, but with populist overtones and an unerring eye for the follies of the Empire in decline, our friend Joe Bageant just outdoes himself in this post. If you've been paying attention to current events, you won't read this account in your local fishwrap, or the MSM, or anywhere else. The man set up shop in Belize; he has serious cred as well as the gift of expression. Read it at your peril...

Funny Stuff: To Prevent Inebriated Email...

As a measure of the ubiquity of the internet and the resultant interaction with the monkeys who use it, comes this most excellent example of a solution to a problem of which you may not have been previously aware: drunken typing, and the subsequent sending of a message, later to be regretted in the harsh light of the dawn. In brief, this program requires users to solve a series of math problems in 60 seconds between the crucial hours of 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m., or be locked out of the email program. That there is a need for such stuff is hilarious...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Some Ideas About Food: Changing The System

Chaos has previously remarked upon the food writer Michael Pollan, and his books and occasional articles in the nations paper of record. This new piece is excellent in summarizing the state of the industrial food system, how dysfunctional it is in accomplishing its intended purpose, and what might be done about it, in a nation where enormous corporations do not control the votes of "elected" representatives, regulatory agencies are not captives of the industries they purport to oversee, and the public (outside of a small percentage) actually gave a damn about what they put in their bodies. In other words, some other country besides the US. Read it anyway.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

New Economy Post: The Mother Of All Garage Sales

Chaos urges you, in this new financial reality in which the world has stepped, to refrain from needless purchases of tangible goods, save for those directly related to vital needs. The reason is that, over the next few years, the destruction of money (deflation) will relentlessly depress prices of many assets (think houses, vehicles, rvs, motorcraft of every kind, and much more) to the point that those with cash will be able to avail themselves of some very cheap bargains. Chaos has very little knowledge of economics and finance (that has been amply shown in the past few weeks...to much chagrin), but this is a no-brainer.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Is Your Bank Solvent?

In the old economy (i.e., that existing prior to a couple of months ago), inquiries as to a bank's financial standing were regarded as needless and paranoid. In the new reality residents of the US now find themselves, where one's cash deposits reside has assumed critical importance. If you have questions about your bank's health, you may find this FDIC site useful. Another new feature of the financial debacle, of course, is that you are entirely on your own, government having proven beyond all doubt that it is entirely incompetent to even identify the problems, much less issue solutions that don't make the situation worse.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Motorcycle Instruction

Not much of a surprise that one practical response to Peak Oil and the inevitable rising gas prices is increased reliance on motorcycles. Chaos has ridden for many many years, so has no need of instruction, but for novices, this site is quite good. Doing some of the recommended exercises might even alleviate the need to take an actual course (although if its required by your state, you'll need to take it anyway to obtain motorcycle license). Lots of other good info on riding gear, maintenance, and other subjects.

The Good News Filter (The Pollyanna Post)

If for some reason, you just can't stand to read any more bad news, you might try running your internet stories through this site; it'll just block any upsetting language in the article, so you'll only read the positive stuff. Works for other subjects besides the recession. Recommended for ostriches everywhere...

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Unflinching Gaze: Automatic Earth

Chaos rarely finds new sites compelling enough to recommend wholeheartedly to readers, but the brilliance and unvarnished truth of this one begs attention. If you are able to stomach the frightening implications of the usual subjects of this blog, you should be getting your daily dose of economic reality (along with Mish, of course) from The Automatic Earth. Written by two Canadian contributors to The Oil Drum, the analysis is unique, chilling, and insightful. Economics having temporarily eclipsed Peak Oil, it is and will be on most everyone's mind, at least those who are paying attention. (Chaos could remark on the cognitive dissonance of immersion in the vast business as usual local economy, which is still building homes and developing commercial properties at an astounding rate, but this is perhaps the subject of another post...)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Another Alternative: The Defazio Plan

In case you needed more ideas to that evil Shock Doctrine bailout plan which was recently killed (but is trying to rise from the dead), here's a nice one from, of all people, a Congressman. It's simple, it's easy, it's cheap, and it might work, which, of course, is why it won't be implemented (actually, it won't bail out the extreme capitalists who got the country into this mess, is the real reason why it's a nonstarter). But hey, if the spirit moves you, go ahead and write/phone/fax your Congress rep (or someone else's, or both, or better yet, all of them).