Dark Age Watch

What is a dark age?

Sunday, August 13, 2006
Food prices would soar in biofuels switch, says Unilever Innovation Failure? You try to solve the energy problem without a qualitatively new level of scientific innovation, you simply create the more serious problem of soaring food costs. Note: this appears similar to America's "corn" into ethanol craze where more energy is used to produce a gallon of ethanol than is enjoyed when burning it, all made economically possible by generous taxpayer subsidies to existing agri-business and certain politically powerful rural demographic interests. To this observer, a moderate amount of government "pork" to special interests is endemic to political society, but when a society faces what could amount to an existential threat, the fun and games need to stop. If a society, for whatever reason, can't find real solutions to serious problems, it goes into decline.** See also One of the UK's biggest offshore wind farms is producing less than a third of the electricity it should be

Israeli cabinet backs truce deal "A ceasefire between Israel and Lebanese militant group Hezbollah is due to come into force at 0500 GMT on Monday." International cohesion? Admittedly, few expect this to succeed in the long term.

Berlin exhibition stirs painful memories ""It's probably not well-known outside Germany that at the end of World War ll, around 12 million Germans had to leave their homes in the former eastern German provinces and elsewhere," said Wilfried Rogasch, the curator of the exhibition. "It was the largest forced migration in the history of modern Europe. We show this in European context." But the exhibition has angered many people in Poland and several dozen Poles staged a demonstration outside the gallery in Berlin on the opening night. " International discohesion The WW2 losers are increasingly fed up with apologising for their past. Hitler's claims to Silesia were not without a certain logic.

'Tent city' shames Paris into helping its homeless "Small communities of eight to 10 tents, emblazoned with the Médecins du Monde logo, sprang up along the Quai d'Austerlitz and the Canal Saint-Martin. Some Parisians complained but many others empathised with the homeless in their neighbourhoods and bought them the tents, which retail for only about €40 (£27). As a result, Médecins du Monde estimates there are about 500 tents on the streets of Paris." Internal disorganisation

India's foray into Central Asia "India has become the fourth power after Russia, the US and Germany to have a base in Central Asia. As a small but not insignificant player in the "New Great Game" in Central Asia, India announced that it had interests beyond its immediate neighborhood." International disintegration Setting the stage for the coming macrowars.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

3.8m people in Niger facing food shortage, warns UN African dark age This is indicative of international disorganisation, disintegration and discohesion, and ultimately of the failure of the western hegemon. You see, an ascendant civilisation spreads order, wealth and a sense of belonging around the world.

Shuttles ready to complete space station: NASA "NASA says it is ready to resume regular space shuttle flights to complete construction of the International Space Station (ISS) after three years of trying to eliminate safety flaws which led to the 2003 Columbia disaster." Anti-innovation failure But perhaps too little too late?

Why the Islamists will never win "Their loathing for the "decadence" of Western society prevents the terrorists from knowing their enemy" Internal discohesion? Pah, these Islamists with their loathing for Western "decadence" - come on, the London wank-a-thon was just a piece of fun....One thinks of the ancient Roman tract, "Why the Christians will never win". It seems very likely that Britain will one day be an Islamic country, in fact. While the Church of England struggles to survive, Islamic congregations grow inexorably. Some of the accused bombers were recent converts to Islam.

Deadly clashes flare in Sri Lanka Internal disintegration

Petrol bombs thrown at officers "Dozens of petrol bombs have been thrown at police during a night of disturbances in Londonderry." Internal disintegration We continue to see Northern Ireland as leading Europe into the dark age.

Padua builds wall in drugs battle "The wall, surrounding six apartment blocks, is three metres (10ft) high and runs for 84 metres (275ft). The area sealed off is home to some 1,500 people, many of whom are immigrants from Africa." Internal disintegration The emergence of defensive installations in a growing number of places are signs of disintegration.

to Marc: I thought we might integrate a few illustrations:

Tunnelers Hit Something Big: A Milestone "It was a major step forward for the tunnel, which was authorized in 1954, begun in 1970 and then halted several times for lack of money. The completion of the second stage will nearly double the capacity of the city’s water suppl (...)" Innovation failure? The long time necessary for the completion of this project is symptomatic of America's ageing infrastructure.

Italian cuts leave planned bridge to Sicily in doubt "The government said this month that the bridge was one of 19 infrastructure projects, proclaimed with great fanfare under Mr Berlusconi, whose future was under review because of a €115bn ($147bn, £77.4bn) shortfall in available funds." Innvation failure

City tackles violence by legalising brutal gang "The deputy mayor said that the Latin Kings would receive “the same treatment as other associations” and be eligible for local government grants “depending on the repercussion of their activities”...Anthropologists have estimated that up to 5 per cent of the 50,000 Latin Americans in Barcelona belong to a gang." Internal disintegration The growth of the illegal economy won't be stopped by registering criminal gangs as cultural associations.

Friday, August 11, 2006
Real IRA admits city bomb attacks "The dissident republican Real IRA has claimed responsibility for the firebomb attacks on stores in Newry this week." Internal disintegration Small stuff.

UK threat level remains critical...New airline restrictions may be here to stay...Indian cities on alert after US terror warning Expanding world/internal disintegration/high tech vulnerability Roman sources of the fifth century make it clear that travel was becoming more dangerous and less pleasant.

China and US to Enhance Global Co-operation International cohesion

Thursday, August 10, 2006
Criminals freed because we've run out of cells Internal disintegration

Airports battle new security threats "Across the world, airport operators and airlines have been forced to bring in increasingly stringent security measures to try to ensure safety in the air. But nothing has been as draconian as the steps taken in the UK following the discovery of a suspected plot to blow up several planes in mid-air." Expanding world It gets increasingly difficult to move around. See also American Airlines drops Glasgow-Chicago route.

Ethiopian commander joins rebels "Brig Gen Kemal Geltu told the BBC he had crossed the border into Eritrea with more than 100 soldiers to join the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). He said his hopes of peace had been dashed after last year's turmoil that followed disputed elections." African dark age

Rising casualties and criticism of the army "Despite initial assertions that Hizbullah would be suppressed quickly using air power and limited incursions with ground troops, after 29 days the militia is still inflicting casualties on the IDF and raining scores of rockets on northern Israel." International disintegration "A ghost ist stalking the corridors of general staffs and defense departments all over the 'developed' world -- the fear of military impotence, even irrelevance." (Martin van Crefeld, The Transformation of War, 1991)

Troops in Iraq 'under-equipped' "The all-party defence committee said the soldiers needed more helicopters and better-protected patrol vehicles to shield them from roadside bombs. Committee members visited Iraq in June and also say operations in Afghanistan are being done on a "shoe string"." International disintegration Imperial overstretch.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Knife muggings leap 75pc in one year Internal disintegration One does not place too much faith in crime statistics, of course.

Native Americans reject legal basis of European occupation "Today (August 3, 2006) is the third day of the Summit of Indigenous Nations, a gathering of more than forty delegations of indigenous, spiritual and political leaders, as well as NGO’s who have gathered in the Black Hills Mountains of South Dakota. Today these delegations signed the “Resolution of the Summit of Indigenous Nations Calling for a Rescission of the Conceptual Doctrine of Discovery and Related Documents, Specifically the Inter Caetera Bull (Papal Bulls) of 1493 and the 1496 Royal Charter of the Church of England.” This Papal Bulls have been the basis for the extinguishment of aboriginal title and the subjugations of indigenous peoples of Abya Yala (North and South America). The papal bulls evolved in the United States through the Supreme Court decision of Johnson v. McIntosh (1821) and contains the legal basis for the denial of aboriginal title to Indian lands in the United States." Internal discohesion The white European-derived population of America is veering towards minority status. Maybe one day it will be driven back whence it came. In the long run, no gains are permanent.

Breakthrough in Nepal arms talks: "The Nepalese government and Maoist rebels have reached agreement on the supervision of their weapons, an issue that has impeded their peace talks." Internal cohesion The bigger picture though is that of international disintegration - the British Empire once guaranteed the peace in Nepal, but today it is nowhere to be seen.

The rising sun rising again "And new dramatic offensive capabilities are on the horizon. Japan is acquiring an in-flight refueling capability so that its air force can conduct long-range bombing missions...Japan spends more on defense than any other country with the exception of the United States, Russia and China...Japan reportedly could produce an arsenal of nuclear weapons in as little as six months." International disintegration ahead

More oil staff seized in Nigeria "The kidnapping of two Norwegians and two Ukranians is the latest in a string of assaults on foreign contractors. The rise in attacks by militants has reduced Nigerian oil production by 25%. Militants demand more local control of the Delta's rich oil resources." Internal disintegration-disorganisation coupling

Tuesday, August 08, 2006
How China's secret deals are fuelling war - As Israel and Hezbollah exchange bombs and missiles, oil-hungry Beijing plays out its sinister strategy: "For decades China has been building up influence in the Middle East. It suits China’s strategy well that coverage has been almost non-existent. As Deng Xiaoping once put it, China must “hide brightness and nourish obscurity . . . to bide our time and build up our capabilities”. As China develops into the role of global power, its influence on the region is no longer obscure; it cannot now be ignored." Macro-wars coming soon This writer betrays his partisan view - China's business deals to secure its economic growth constitute a "sinister strategy". The US in invading Iraq and (as this writer contends) using Israel as a proxy to fight Syria and Iran, is not following a sinister strategy but presumably acting in the best interests of the human race (which from this author's perspective may not include the Muslim world or the people of China). Nevertheless, notwithstanding such partisanship, the article points to the WW3 scenario that lies behind the current conflict in Lebanon.

Petrol price to rise after closure of US oilfield "The leak was due to severe corrosion and will close Prudhoe indefinitely. It has been producing since 1977 and was responsible for eight per cent of the US's output." Innovation failure

Italy attempts to tackle immigration " “The island has become a militarised zone,” said Totò Martello, the island’s former mayor. “The sound of helicopters is deafening. No one does anything except talk about the immigrant landings. Tourists are going to other places.” " Barbarian invasion See also: Two worlds collide as Tenerife sunbathers rush to help migrants

Police kill 4 as gang violence continues "But police said there were fewer attacks than the previous night, when gangsters attacked almost 100 targets in and around Sao Paulo. The unrest marks the third time in four months that a powerful organized crime group has stirred mayhem in the state (...)." Internal disintegration

Gunmen kill Italian businessman, abduct wife "Haiti experienced relative calm after President Rene Preval's February election. Since May, however, dozens of foreigners and Haitians have been kidnapped, and gang fighting has forced hundreds to flee their homes in the capital." Expanding world

Chilling threat as Syria offer to join with Hezbollah "SYRIA'S foreign minister yesterday offered to join militant group Hezbollah in its fight against Israel and said a regional war would be "most welcome" as more than 30 people in Israel and Lebanon were killed on one of the worst days since the conflict began." Wars coming soon? Violent conflict has been around for the last few thousand years. As the west's resilience continues to decline, wars on the periphery of the global system will begin to have a greater impact. This is also due to high scale ("globalisation").

Uribe sworn in amid high security "Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe has been sworn into office for a second term as tens of thousands of police patrolled the capital, Bogota. The ceremony took place amid tight security with tanks on the streets and military helicopters overhead." Internal integration or disintegration? Modern technology offers a lot to security and military forces. The forces of disorder are, however, equally keen to exploit its benefits for their separate agendas.

Police seize officers not cocaine "Police spokesman Sean Tshabalala said the police had acted within their rights in arresting the Scorpions' officers on suspicion of themselves being involved in a smuggling ring...The Scorpions were established in 1999 in an effort to control South Africa's high levels of serious organised crime." Internal disintegration The (intended) solution turning into a new problem.

Madonna "crucified" in Rome, Vatican protests "In a sold-out stadium just a mile from Vatican City, the lapsed-Catholic diva wore a fake crown of thorns as she was raised on a glittery cross during the Rome stop of her worldwide "Confessions Tour"." Internal discohesion Anything goes. Madonna intends to stage the same thing in Moscow in September over the objection of the Russian Orthodox Church. Her success, or lack of it, in Moscow may tell us something about the internal cohesion of the West's great competitors.**

Monday, August 07, 2006
Bio passport 'hacked' "A computer expert is claiming to have hacked into a biometric passport used by Britain and other countries...Herr Grunwald said: "If there is an automatic inspection system, I can use this card to enter any country."" Internal disintegration

Lonely nation "In bleak nursing homes and vibrant college dorms, in crowded cities and spread-out suburbs, Americans confront an ailment with no single cause or cure. Some call it social isolation or disconnectedness. Often, it's just plain loneliness. An age-old ailment, to be sure, and yet by various measures -- census figures on one-person households, a new study documenting Americans' shrinking circle of intimate friends -- it is worsening." Internal discohesion The down-side of the individualist philosophy. We can break out of the small community and go where we want and deal with whom we want, but then we have no ready-made support structure. However, new forms may already be emerging via the internet, bringing people back in touch.

Raise air travel tax, report says "Taxes on air travel and "gas guzzling" cars should be increased to cut greenhouse gas emissions, a committee of MPs has recommended in a report...The report also called for speed limits to be dramatically cut or rigorously enforced on motorways and trunk roads." Internal disorganisation Or more directly, an attack on scale. An attempt to ensure an expanding world, slowing people down, stopping them from travelling about. The failure of imagination is enormous. We humans will solve our problems by moving forward, not by retreating into the caves and letting grass grow back over the runways and motorways. (Falling speed limits is one of the aspects of life in a declining civilisation that I least like - MW.)