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.
In recent weeks, he’s been interviewed as much as twice a day about his predictions. “It’s a record,” says Prof. Panarin. “But I think the attention is going to grow even stronger.”
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.
But it’s his bleak forecast for the U.S. that is music to the ears of the Kremlin, which in recent years has blamed Washington for everything from instability in the Middle East to the global financial crisis. Mr. Panarin’s views also fit neatly with the Kremlin’s narrative that Russia is returning to its rightful place on the world stage after the weakness of the 1990s, when many feared that the country would go economically and politically bankrupt and break into separate territories.
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. … – wsj
I doubt the USA will disintegrate unless we get the bad end of the stick in another world war. I won’t be surprised by another great depression, however, thanks to Bush looting the treasury to pay for his wars.
A year ago, the Oregon Department of Transportation announced it had demonstrated that a new way to pay for roads — via a mileage tax and satellite technology — could work.
Now Gov. Ted Kulongoski says he’d like the legislature to take the next step.
As part of a transportation-related bill he has filed for the 2009 legislative session, the governor says he plans to recommend “a path to transition away from the gas tax as the central funding source for transportation.” … “The concept requires no transmission of vehicle travel locations, either in real time or of travel history,” the report said. “Accordingly, no travel location points are stored within the vehicle or transmitted elsewhere. Thus there can be no ‘tracking’ of vehicle movements.”
Also, the report said, under the Oregon concept of the program, “ODOT would have no involvement in developing the on-vehicle devices, installing them in vehicles, maintaining them or having any other access to them except, perhaps, in situations involving tampering or similar fee evasion activities.”
Equipment for the Oregon test was developed at Oregon State University… – gtimes
They say they don’t monitor locations or where you drive, but how would anyone verify that? Here is an example of one GPS tracking device which seems to show exactly where you went and when.
BANGKOK: It is the latest version of the famous Thai smile – motorcycle policemen with a bright red goofy grin painted onto their white anti- pollution masks.
For the first week of the year – and longer if people seem to be smiling back – highway policemen in Thailand will wear the masks “to lift the mood of motorists,” according to police officials.
“For our highway policemen, we have the policy that the police must be friendly and smiling all the time, but the problem is, when we’re tired, it’s hard to keep smiling,” said Colonel Somyos Promnim, the Highway Police commander.
It has been a rough year in Thailand, with revolving governments, restless mobs and a weeklong takeover of Bangkok’s airports that frightened away tourists from the country that keeps on calling itself “The Land of Smiles.” … – iht
Rather than spending the last few days trying to find someone to kiss on New Years Eve,–I’m the one out of five, I guess–I’ve been organizing, going through everything I own, throwing things away. I’m down to just this one pile of crap on my kitchen table, after several days work.
I’ve found some interesting things I thought were lost forever: my Leatherman Micra tool, the Venus Vibrance vibrating women’s razor I was going to give to a friend, a remote controlled flying disk, a Salvador Dali calendar, the rubber aligator from my friend BC in Florida, the Miller Planisphere for 40 degrees North latitude, Frankincense and Myrrh (yuck), my Albert Einstein action figure, a real looking Rodent of Unusual Size, and some odd books like “The Giza Death Star”, David Icke’s “The Biggest Secret”, Jacques Vallee’s “Fastwalker”, Ruppert’s “Crossing the Rubicon”, and Sauder’s “Underwater and Underground Bases”.
Oh, and one of my favorite items, the coat hook that looks like a finger sticking out of your wall.
And speaking of “out with the old,” hats off tonight for George, a Sacramento local who was, up until today, America’s oldest man. The photo is from his 112th birthday!
George Francis, the nation’s oldest man, who lived through both world wars, man’s first walk on the moon and the election of the first black president, has died. He was 112. -msnbc
The world’s official timekeepers have added a “leap second” to the last day of the year on Wednesday, to help match clocks to the Earth’s slowing spin on its axis, which takes place at ever-changing rates affected by tides and other factors.
The U.S. Naval Observatory, keeper of the Pentagon‘s master clock, said it would add the extra second on Wednesday in coordination with the world’s atomic clocks at 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds Coordinated Universal Time, or UTC. …
UTC is the time scale kept by highly precise atomic clocks around the world, accurate to about a billionth of a second per day, the Naval Observatory says. For those with a need for precision timing, it has replaced Greenwich Mean Time, or GMT.
Tonight I’m trying something called Freenet, (0.7) an anonymous encrypted network running over the Internet. I downloaded the 3MB file for Windows and ran the install. Then I removed the service following the instructions here:
Unabomber Manifesto: Political manifesto of radical environmentalist Theodore Kaczynski, aka The Unabomber. (last updated 2008-07-17)
Fuck The RIAA: Links to songs that the RIAA sued over. (last updated 2007-12-06)
Publish!: Quick instructions for freesite insertion. (last updated 2008-03-24)
There were plenty of boring sounding blog titles too. The only one I visited was Occam’s Rasor. It runs in FireFox and looks like any other web page, but with a long URL pointing at your own computer.
I’ll check out the TimeCube if I get it working again, but then I’ll probably delete the whole thing since there is quite a bit of terrorist stuff. I don’t want to support a network that helps people learn how to make poisons and bombs, obviously.
But the point is, this exists. And the way it works, you supposedly can’t track down who posted the stuff or who is reading it. This is only scary because we are still a morally primitive species.
Ah, the TimeCube site finally loaded. Mr. or Ms. Ray is paranoid and bigoted, but certainly someone who thinks outside of the box. Here is an interesting graphic from the site:
You are not allowed to know truth – that in one rotation of Earth, there are: … There are 4 simultaneous 24 hour days within a single rotation of the Earth. You may be too damn evil to accept it. … I lectured and debated at MIT, and have 2 hour video proof. You are but mindless dumb asses. – freenet
Gene, the Voyager spacecraft and many other probes would have registered the time distortion as they left the Earth’s time cube if your theory were correct. Please email me to arrange payment of my $1000. – Xeno