Friday, March 12, 2021

"Previews of Coming Attractions"

"Previews of Coming Attractions"
by Jim Kunstler

"How reassured were you by Joe Biden’s speech to the nation Thursday night? The more his managers pretend that he’s in charge of anything, the more unlikely it actually seems. So, they wound him up - Adderall would be my guess, to fortify the attention span - and rolled him out like the mummy of Amenhotep III, and one could just imagine the leaders of this-and-that foreign nation cringing (or cackling) in their seats to see this embodiment of collapsing America go through his spiritless ritual motions.

Mostly what did not fly is the idea that the Covid-19 virus can still be used as a cattle-prod for herding citizens into feedlots of compliance - Americans are buffalos, not steers. They are determined now to take care of business, and the main business of people with any initiative will be to rig up some sort of gainful occupation while the lumbering old systems break down. They will do it despite orders to operate at fifty percent capacity, or close at nine o’clock, or be handcuffed by rinky-dink regulations. They’ll have to get creative to figure out ways around all the official impediments to making a living. This group of the not-yet-undead will resist further attempts to restrict their liberty and to steal the fruits of their own enterprise to pay for other people’s failures or lack of enterprise.

The federal government is one system visibly working to destroy itself with epic giveaways of money it pretends to command and the Covid-19 Stimulus bill will only accelerate its loss of credibility. A $1,400 check won’t “solve” the problem of someone a year behind on mortgage payments or rent. It sure won’t solve the problems of their creditors and landlords. And if you think shortchanging that class of people is a good idea, you’re beating a path straight to the death of credit per se, and then of our money, the dollar, which is based on credit.

Taxpayers are not so stupid that they’ll fail to notice who is being asked to bail out bankrupt states, irresponsible cities, and pension funds and there’s going to be trouble over that. The trouble will express itself both in political strife and in the further decay of the relationship between work and wealth. It means a collapsing standard of living for most people. Turning the one-shot $1,400 into a monthly Guaranteed Basic Income can only be a short-term shuck-and-jive when a loaf of bread goes from $5 to $15 to $50 - which can happen easily, and quickly, too, as lots of “free” money chases crashing productivity. Wait for it.

Meanwhile, the party in charge of things is squandering the last of its moral authority in stupid and tyrannical Woke crusades against free speech and free thought. They went after Washington and Jefferson last year. This month, it’s a purge of cartoon characters, starting with an auto-de-fe over at the Warner Brothers’ Loony Toons lot. Disney better watch out because they’ll be coming after Mickey Mouse next - for “acting white.” Which brings us to the 800-pound gorilla in the room: the abysmal condition of race relations in the USA, expressly sponsored by the Democratic Party.

The Left’s promotion of the supreme “conspiracy theory” du jour, that “white supremacy” stifles and suppresses people-of-color in everything they endeavor, has inspired provocations so dastardly that they are driving the country to racial war. The rioting and looting season is upon us again, and the perfect stage-set for the opening offensive is Minneapolis, where the trial of officer Derek Chauvin just kicked off this week. Black Lives Matters is marshalling its troops outside the courthouse to intimidate jurors and threaten mob violence against an outcome they may not like.

The facts of the case suggest that former officer Chauvin has a sturdy defense, starting with Minneapolis Police training films that show officers how to apply the same knee restraint that Chauvin used on George Floyd. It was in their instruction manual, too. Add to that the forensic reports that show fentanyl levels in Mr. Floyd’s bloodstream several times above what would likely kill a normal person, plus meth, plus marijuana. He had an enlarged heart and was Covid-19 positive at the time of his death. And, of course, he was not complying with the cops’ orders during his arrest, which is exactly what led to him being physical subdued.

None of that will matter to BLM because the video of Mr. Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck was such a perfect poster for the white supremacy meme, whatever the reality of the situation was, and it’s just too rich in coercion value to let go of. I’d predict trouble in the streets no matter which way the Chauvin trial ends up, just because energies are up and the weather is good. It will be infectious in cities across the nation again because the dividend of getting to loot is such a temptation, and last time that happened, the authorities did nothing to stop it.

How will it go this time? By now, shop-owners in Minneapolis (and elsewhere) must have gotten the message that the police are not interested in defending their places of business - their bosses, the politicians, ordered them not to. Some business owners may opt for defending their property themselves. Imagine the cognitive dissonance that will make for as Nancy Pelosi’s Congress tries to pass new gun control laws. If Joe Biden is even around, will he step up and tell BLM and Antifa to cut it out? Or will he just ignore all that as he did during the election campaign last year? Half the country, at least, won’t stand for it anymore.

In the meantime, Gawd knows what will be happening in financial markets and banks as all that new money floods an economy that can’t produce enough to absorb it. Racial war and runaway inflation… not a good recipe for political continuity."

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