Last post of the year? Maybe. Best? Maybe.

"As if Things Weren't Bad Enough, Russian Professor Predicts End of U.S.
In Moscow, Igor Panarin's Forecasts Are All the Rage; America 'Disintegrates' in 2010

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 based the forecast on classified data supplied to him by FAPSI analysts, he says. 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.

...The professor says he's convinced that people are taking his theory more seriously. People like him have forecast similar cataclysms before, he says, and been right. He cites French political scientist Emmanuel Todd. Mr. Todd is famous for having rightly forecast the demise of the Soviet Union -- 15 years beforehand. "When he forecast the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1976, people laughed at him," says Prof. Panarin." LINK


"Yellowstone National Park was jostled by a host of small earthquakes for a third straight day Monday, and scientists watched closely to see whether the more than 250 tremors were a sign of something bigger to come.

Swarms of small earthquakes happen frequently in Yellowstone, but it's very unusual for so many earthquakes to happen over several days, said Robert Smith, a professor of geophysics at the University of Utah.

"They're certainly not normal," Smith said. "We haven't had earthquakes in this energy or extent in many years." LINK

Doomed. Sooner!

"The United States faces the possibility of much more rapid climate change by the end of the century than previous studies have suggested, according to a new report led by the U.S. Geological Survey.
The survey -- which was commissioned by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and issued this month -- expands on the 2007 findings of the United Nations Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change. Looking at factors such as rapid sea ice loss in the Arctic and prolonged drought in the Southwest, the new assessment suggests that earlier projections may have underestimated the climatic shifts that could take place by 2100.
...In one of the report's most worrisome findings, the agency estimates that in light of recent ice sheet melting, global sea level rise could be as much as four feet by 2100. The IPCC had projected a sea level rise of no more than 1.5 feet by that time, but satellite data over the past two years show the world's major ice sheets are melting much more rapidly than previously thought. " LINK

the horror.... lol

Ok, so every third article everywhere right now is about the recession/depression whatever, and how to be thrifty, crafty and wise, so there's a LOT of terrible ideas floating around, but this might be the worst.
From the crackpots at CNN, offering suggestions for budget holiday decorating comes this shocker:
"Tree topper
Crown your tree with this fun topper: Just ball up aluminum foil and weave silver ribbon in and out of the foil."

Sadly, there was no accompanying picture. One can only dream of it.


This is bizarre and horrible and fills one with foreboding.

" Up and down the East Coast, residents and naturalists alike have been scratching their heads this autumn over a simple question: Where are all the acorns?

In far-flung pockets of northern Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and other states, scientists have found no acorns whatsoever.
"I can't think of any other year like this," said Alonso Abugattas, director of the Long Branch Nature Center in Arlington, Virginia.

..."WHAT IS GOING ON?" posted a resident of Maplewood, New Jersey. "Now we are finding dead squirrels! SHOULD WE ALL BE CONCERNED?"
Not necessarily, naturalists say. Last year Garris reported a bumper crop of acorns, which scientists say may be one clue to this year's scarcity. Virginia extension agent Adam Downing said acorn production runs in cycles, so a lean year is normal after a year with a big crop.
"It fits with the physiology of seed reproduction. The trees are exhausted, energy wise, from last year," Downing said.
But even he is surprised at the complete absence of nuts in parts of Virginia.
"There are plenty of acorns in most of the state, but zero acorns in some pockets," he said." LINK

Hell in a handbasket. Ayup.

Well, just because I haven't had time to breathe doesn't mean that the Doom has slowed down. Au contraire- the world is getting weirder, scarier, and darker faster than anyone could keep up, let alone me in my own weird mental state (kind of like Nebraska but a little more desolate and with more vicious wolverines chasing me).

So. To sum up:

Cocaine-fueled terrorists took Mumbai for a few days, Americans ignored it and ate turkey and trampled a part-time Wal-mart employe to death in their frenzy to buy more crap made in China, and now residents of Kashmir are worried about potential retaliation. "I have asked my children to pay attention and be vigilant if shelling starts," said one woman.

Riots in Nigeria killed at least 400, and Thailand is "Feeling like a country on brink of civil war".

In economic news, Ford would like 9 billion dollars please, to stay in business, and we are officially in a recession. Bush is "sorry" that the financial crisis is hurting Americans.

As we turn to the environment, Venice is so flooded that fools are surfing in Saint Mark's Square, the Wilkins Ice Shelf is breaking off of Antarctica,
and the UN Comittee on Climate Change just warned ""Further expansion in the same style will generate global threats of really great intensity - huge droughts and floods, cyclones with increasingly more destructive power, pandemics of tropical disease, dramatic decline of biodiversity, increasing ocean levels," said Mr Nowicki.
"All these can cause social and even armed conflict and migration of people at an unprecedented scale."


Happy Tuesday!