Monday, January 07, 2008

IMHO, nobody can quite nail it like Jim Kunstler at CFN. Is there anyone in Milwaukee who could shut him up?

Beyond 'Coming Together'

The Iowa caucus set into motion a curious self-reinforcing feedback loop of inspiration -- that an African-American political leader could win an important primary contest in a Wonder Bread state, and that all Americans (especially white Americans) could "feel good" about living in a country where such a thing is possible. This is an understandable sentiment. Whatever else Americans have been conditioned to be lately -- blubbery, debt-crushed, tattoo-etched, Jesus-haunted, multiply-addicted TV zombies -- a residual kernel of fairness seems to persist underneath all that cellulite and avarice....(the rest)

JHK writes a blog article like this one, and posts it every Monday morning. He's been tub-thumping on familiar themes, and his weekly riffs expand his outrageous takes on a familiar topic--the inevitable coming apart of the sub- and ex-urban land o' tract mansions-- when fossil fuels grow really scarce and costly.

Which makes me think about a useful and enlightening community event we ought to cobble together: let's bring Kunstler to town for a debate. A genuine, give-and-take argument of the affirmative and the negative positions on a Well defined topic:
The Crisis in Energy. Can the United States Live with an Insatiable Thirst for More Fossil fuels?

This topic was recently vetted, carefully briefed, and is being weighed as a potential topic for the world of interscholastic/intercollegiate debate in the US for the coming season. The wording of the topic is carefully drawn to permit sufficient ground for both negation and affirmation.

The coming ten months will be full of trash "debates,"--the sort of nonsense talking points and "gotcha" lines that mock the ancient art of argument in American Presidential election years. It will be great entertainment, more dignified (by a hair) than mud-wrestling, and a chance for a fearless and acidic local partisan--whom I now nominate to make the affirmative case--to think on his feet.

Are you up for it, Mr. McIlheran?

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Of the biblical allotment of three score and ten I have lived only three of them more than a bicycle ride from one of the Great Lakes. I grew up ten blocks from Lake Erie in the (once Irish/Italian ghetto, now newly-hip) "Near West Side" of Cleveland. I can still cycle to the Milwaukee lakefront in an hour and a half; but, a round-trip has always been more than I would (noror ever did) attempt. -0- I'm a "...somewhat combative pacifist and fairly cooperative anarchist," after the example of Grace Paley (1922-2007). -0- I'm always cheerful when I pay my taxes (having refused--when necessary--to pay that portion of them dedicated to war). -0- And I always, always vote.