January 5th, 2009

garfield mondays

Change of gears

I'm not sure exactly when things changed and this blog became just another one of those places where a person documents their daily activities to the general indifference of the world at large. That's not to say that things were better back when I spent most of my time commenting on the news and world events. I just never thought I would be one of those daily event bloggers. Upon further thought, I think I know when this cancer started. A while back I had posted a poll asking people what sort of entries they wanted to see more of and a foolish majority wanted more of a personal touch. God knows why. If I'm generally bored by my own life, I can't imagine why it would be any interest to relative strangers. Besides, there were other downsides to the change. I find that I'm less informed than I used to be. I used to constantly minnow my way through newspapers and news containing websites, looking for things of interest. I just don't do that as often anymore and I end up missing certain gems that I don't find out about till weeks after if ever.

Here's one example. There's some Russian academic boob who's come up with a theory that the US is going to dissolve within a couple years. The idea is completely asinine, but he seems to be completely credulous. It's hard not to take it as some sort pet theory hatched by The Onion. Well, take a look for yourself.

MOSCOW -- For a decade, Russian academic Igor Panarin has been predicting the U.S. will fall apart in 2010. For most of that time, he admits, few took his argument -- that an economic and moral collapse will trigger a civil war and the eventual breakup of the U.S. -- very seriously. Now he's found an eager audience: Russian state media.

Prof. Panarin, 50 years old, is not a fringe figure. A former KGB analyst, he is dean of the Russian Foreign Ministry's academy for future diplomats. He is invited to Kremlin receptions, lectures students, publishes books, and appears in the media as an expert on U.S.-Russia relations.

A polite and cheerful man with a buzz cut, Mr. Panarin insists he does not dislike Americans. But he warns that the outlook for them is dire.

"There's a 55-45% chance right now that disintegration will occur," he says. "One could rejoice in that process," he adds, poker-faced. "But if we're talking reasonably, it's not the best scenario -- for Russia." Though Russia would become more powerful on the global stage, he says, its economy would suffer because it currently depends heavily on the dollar and on trade with the U.S.

Mr. Panarin posits, in brief, that mass immigration, economic decline, and moral degradation will trigger a civil war next fall and the collapse of the dollar. Around the end of June 2010, or early July, he says, the U.S. will break into six pieces -- with Alaska reverting to Russian control.

He predicts that economic, financial and demographic trends will provoke a political and social crisis in the U.S. When the going gets tough, he says, wealthier states will withhold funds from the federal government and effectively secede from the union. Social unrest up to and including a civil war will follow. The U.S. will then split along ethnic lines, and foreign powers will move in.

California will form the nucleus of what he calls "The Californian Republic," and will be part of China or under Chinese influence. Texas will be the heart of "The Texas Republic," a cluster of states that will go to Mexico or fall under Mexican influence. Washington, D.C., and New York will be part of an "Atlantic America" that may join the European Union. Canada will grab a group of Northern states Prof. Panarin calls "The Central North American Republic." Hawaii, he suggests, will be a protectorate of Japan or China, and Alaska will be subsumed into Russia.

Insanity, right? It's hard to understand how someone this pig ignorant could actually be taken seriously. It shows a complete and fundamental ignorance about this country and Americans in general. There's a strong sense of nationalism in general and very little state or regional loyalty compared to the former. How many places can you think of where people actually identify themselves by their state before they do their country? Texas? Vermont? I certainly don't think of myself as a New Jersian before I would think of myself as an American and I would bet dollars to donuts that that sentiment would generally hold true across the country.

I'd like to believe that we could all gather around in 2 years and laugh at this asshole when his prediction fails to manifest, but I figure by then he'll have crawled back under some rock. Even better, I'd love to offer him odds. He claims that this senario of his is 50-60% likely. I would love to bet him some money, even at 4 or 5 to 1. You'd be hard pressed to find a safer investment anywhere in the world right about now.

Oh, and I should have mentioned that there's a map:

The more you look at it the more insane it seems. Can you just imagine Mexico ruling anything? It has the GDP on par with fucking Utah. I could see the Southern states annexing Mexico but hardly the reverse.

Anyway, look up your state and see who your new overlords are.
dr horrible pain is like

It's like an addiction for which there's no methadone

You just get used to it like Pavlov's dog. The minute I start feeling something resembling really unpleasant pain, I automatically want to make a LJ entry complaining about it. This jaw thing is driving me crazy and won't go away. It's always worst whenever I have to chew something or upon waking where I must be spending a lot of time chewing or yawning in my sleep. I wonder if there's the offchance I've actually done it some permanent damage. There could be a muscle tear or something that wouldn't be quick to heal. I'm just not sure how I could tell the difference between that and a normal everyday sprain. It's hard not to almost wish that if it were really screwed up it'd just fall off or something. I'm pretty sure if half of my jaw detached from my head, that would be a clear indication something was wrong.

Even if it were just a sprain, I'm not sure if I'm making it worse every single time I eat something or go to sleep. Maybe I should try to make it so that I only consume liquid nutrients for the next couple of days. That would hardly be an easy thing to do and I have no clue if it would be worth the effort. Besides, I'm sure I would get pretty annoyed at drinking my meals when the only liquid nutrition in this house right now is a half gallon of orange juice.

God. The trials and tribulations of my life seem so incredibly banal sometimes. It's still making a mess of things though.