After the demolition accident
caused the death of 6 people in Philadelphia in the beginning of this month, it was brought to light that a resident issued a complaint with Licenses and Inspections
regarding unsafe working conditions at least two weeks prior to the building collapse. Tragically, the LNI inspector took his own life
, feeling responsible for the accident. Now Philadelphia City Council is denying liability
for the accident stating it is not responsible for the work of private contractors, despite the flawed LNI inspection of the demolition site as well as the laughable demolition requirements
established by the city,
posted by Suffocating Kitty
on Jun 19, 2013 -
Apocalypse Soon: Has Civilization Passed the Environmental Point of No Return?
Four decades ago, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology computer model called World3 warned of such a possible course for human civilization in the 21st century. In Limits to Growth, a bitterly disputed 1972 book that explicated these findings, researchers argued that the global industrial system has so much inertia that it cannot readily correct course in response to signals of planetary stress. But unless economic growth skidded to a halt before reaching the edge, they warned, society was headed for overshoot—and a splat that could kill billions.
posted by j03
on May 23, 2012 -
The Soviet Collapse
"The document which effectively concluded the history of the Soviet Union was a letter from the Vneshekonombank in November 1991 to the Soviet leadership, informing them that the Soviet state had not a cent in its coffers."
posted by bitmage
on Nov 19, 2010 -
It is not our role to take power. It is our role to make the powerful frightened of us. And that's what we've forgotten. Give up that dream!
Chris Hedges talks neoliberalism and neofeudalism, the civil rights movement, Camden, Obama, Clinton, Tea Parties, moral nihilism, inverted totalitarianism and corpocracy, NAFTA, welfare reform, health care, labor, poverty, Yugoslavia, post-industrial capitalism, economic crisis, imperial collapse, socialism, and democracy, among other things. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog
on Apr 24, 2010 -
Chronic budget deficits, compounding debt and unfunded liabilities suggest the US financial situation will not be remedied, wiping out military funding. Surplus world oil production could disappear entirely by 2012, and reach a 10 million barrel a day shortfall by 2015. Coalition military operations would become essential to protecting US national interests. According to this year's remarkably candid United States Joint Forces Command Joint Operating Environment report (PDF)
posted by falcon
on Apr 7, 2010 -
"Although the word “entitlement” fits, it’s been used so frequently as to have become inadequate to capture the preening self-regard, the obliviousness to the damage that high-flying finance has inflicted on the real economy, the learned blindness to vital considerations in the pay equation. Getting an education, or even hard work, does not guarantee outcomes. One of the basic precepts of finance is that of a risk-return tradeoff: high potential payoff investments come with greater downside.
But how did that evolve into the current belief system among the incumbents, that Wall Street was a sure ride, a guaranteed “heads I win, tails you lose” bet?"
Yves Smith writes an essay
on 'indefensible men.'
posted by ennui.bz
on Mar 19, 2010 -
SLJaredDiamondOp-Ed: As part of my board work, I have been asked to assess the environments in oil fields, and have had frank discussions with oil company employees at all levels. I’ve also worked with executives of mining, retail, logging and financial services companies. I’ve discovered that while some businesses are indeed as destructive as many suspect, others are among the world’s strongest positive forces for environmental sustainability. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog
on Dec 11, 2009 -
There have been a lot of descriptions of our new president, but being in "full commanding denial" is a new and, sadly, insightful one. Clusterf*ck Nation's Jim Kunstler observes that the bailout "is predicated on the idea that the mechanisms of wealth production -- even of illusory wealth, such as the fortunes created by trading securitized unpayable debt -- can keep chugging along, spinning off limitless additional suburban villas, chain stores, car trips, and deep-fried snacks."
For a different view, the folks over at the excellent Baseline Scenario have been doing some interesting thinking about The Cultural Costs of Bailout Nation
. For an even bigger big picture view, Dmitry Orlov's original analysis of the USSR vs. USA collapse in Superpower Collapse Best Practices
seems to be even more resonant in his recent appearances
. Maybe it's time to give Full Commanding Denial another chance ....
posted by Adamchik
on Mar 25, 2009 -
Second Great Depression? We should be so lucky.
Or so Dmitry Orlov says. Orlov, an engineer who watched the collapse of the Soviet Union, argues that the United States is well into a similar process of collapse. In Orlov's model, collapse is divided into five stages: financial, commercial, political, social and cultural. The first one is currently happening, and the next two are guaranteed to follow; as for cultural collapse, that happened a long time ago, but people were to narcotised by consumerism to notice. And things look set to get very, very dire indeed, with runaway hyperinflation, shortages, the breakdown of political institutions, the fragmentation of the US, and, if the "social collapse" stage is reached, roaming gangs and ethnic cleansing.
posted by acb
on Dec 3, 2008 -
Russian professor and information warrior, Igor Panarin
, has predicted the collapse and breakup
of the USA. (Potential artists' renderings 1 2
) The interview was originally reported in the Russian newspaper, Izvestia
. (Google Translated) The prediction has been met with varying levels of credulity, scoffed
at by some and embraced
. The prediction, which goes so far as to speculate exactly how the US might reorganize
, was posted to Drudge
and has offended many bloggers
who, while excited by the prospects of secession, are insulted by the insinuation that the south may go Hispanic and not Confederate.
posted by Telf
on Nov 26, 2008 -
It could have been the greatest disaster in US history. On January 18, 1978, 30 years ago today, the 1400 ton 2 1/2 acre roof of the Hartford Civic Center
, covered by a blanket of snow and ice, suddenly and completely collapsed
, damaging almost all of the seats underneath. Just four hours earlier there was a basketball game packed with 5000 fans. Had it collapsed then, many, if not most, of the fans and players could have died. [more inside]
posted by eye of newt
on Jan 18, 2008 -
Miracles You’ll See In The Next Fifty Years
Some more up-to-date predictions: science
, space travel
, mental health
, smart machines
, robots, mind uploading
What is your prediction
posted by MetaMonkey
on Oct 5, 2006 -
Collapse of civilization: Not necessarily a bad thing
Many will no doubt find the foregoing discussion of collapse depressing or pessimistic. In “How Civilizations Fall: A Theory of Catabolic Collapse”, John Michael Greer hints at why this is, writing, “Even within the social sciences, the process by which complex societies give way to smaller and simpler ones has often been presented in language drawn from literary tragedy, as though the loss of sociocultural complexity necessarily warranted a negative value judgment. This is understandable, since the collapse of civilizations often involves catastrophic human mortality and the loss of priceless cultural treasures, but like any value judgment it can obscure important features of the matter at hand.” Greer goes on to characterize collapse in terms of ecological succession.
…Collapse happens precisely because it improves our lives—and it happens when the alternative is no longer tolerable.
posted by halekon
on Dec 27, 2005 -