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Archive by Author

KunstlerCast #63: Obama’s High Speed Rail Corridors

JHK Examines the Top 10 Rail Corridors in the US Released: May 7, 2009. James Howard Kunstler responds to a listener call about the 10 “high speed” rail corridors the Obama administration is seeking to restore in the U.S. The phrase high-speed rail is a little misleading, though, because what Obama is looking to do more »

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The Bottom

      Euphoria managed to out-run swine flu last week as the epidemic-du-jour, with “consumer” confidence jumping and the big bank stocks nudging up. The H1N1 virus fizzled for now, at least in terms of kill ratio, though we’re warned it might boomerang in the fall with a vengeance. No one was surprised to see Chrysler more »

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KunstlerCast #62: Swine Flu & Pirates

Are Some of JHK’s Predictions Coming True? Released: April 30, 2009. James Howard Kunstler talks about the recent outbreak of swine flu and the increased attention to modern-day pirates. Several bloggers have noted some similarities between current headlines and the scenario in Kunstler’s novel, World Made By Hand, in which a severe economic downturn is more »

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The Joker

          Things come out of the woodwork. All of a sudden it’s a mutant H1N1 swine flu, with bird and human DNA accessories. We don’t know where this is taking us. It could be a media blowover, like SARS, or it could be a big deal, shutting down travel and assemblies of humans. It more »

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KunstlerCast #61: Getting to Work

Planes, Trains, Boats, Bicycles and Telecommuting Released: April 23, 2009. Host Duncan Crary has been taking James Howard Kunstler’s ideas about water transport seriously. This Spring, Duncan is bringing back passenger riverboat commuting service to the Hudson River in Albany. On May 13, Duncan is hosting a day where people can commute to and from more »

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Note: Hope = Truth

          People of good intentions and progressive predilection are scratching their heads wondering just how President Barack Obama managed to turn himself into George W. Bush Lite with sugar-on-top just twelve weeks after that fateful walk down the US Capitol’s east stairway to the waiting helicopter. I’m hardly the first observer to note that more »

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KunstlerCast #60: Bad Behavior & Urban Policing

The Broken Window Theory, Car Cops and Rising Tensions in Tough Times Released: April 16, 2009. James Howard Kunstler often advocates for a return to urban living arrangements. But urban living often bring residents into close proximity to bad behavior. The situation can be especially frightening when people inhabit cities that aren’t fully repopulated yet. more »

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The Coming Siege of Austerity

     It’s a curious symptom of the consensus trance zombifying the American public and its auditors in the media that something like a “recovery” is now deemed to be underway. And, as events compel me to repeat in this space, it begs the question: recovery to what? To Wall Street booking stupendous profits by laundering more »

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KunstlerCast #59: The Role of Bicycles

Bicycle Commuting, Transportation & NYC’s Broadway Pedestrian-Bicycle Project. Released: April 9, 2009. James Howard Kunstler responds to a listener who doesn’t understand why Jim sounds kind of down on bicycle transportation. Kunstler clarifies his position on bicycles — he’s a big supporter of bicycle use, but he doesn’t know if Americans will support bicycle projects more »

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Strange Days

     Even while a wave of reflex nausea washed over America last week, and the unemployment rolls swelled by much more than another half million, the greatest stock market suckers’ rally in seventy years pulled in the last of the credulous. These are strange days. The earth is heaving and the buds swelling again — more »

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KunstlerCast #58: New Urbanism in South Africa

Kunstler Reports on His Recent Trip to Johannesburg Released: April 2, 2009. James Howard Kunstler reports on two recent trips he took. First he talks about his appearance at the annual Aspen Institute Environmental Forum, where talk of alternative fuel, and other ways to keep our happy motoring scene running, dominated the talks about peak more »

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Under a Fluorescent Moon

           Mr. Obama heads to Europe now where official hostility is rising against the Anglo-American method of pounding monetary sand down the rat-holes of “non-performing” debt, bankrupt enterprise, and bubble-levitated bonds. Our poised and charming Prez may escape personal obloquy from the quaint old-world street folk, but most of the other G-20 policy more »

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KunstlerCast #57: New Orleans Follow Up

Listeners React to Previous Podcasts Released: March 26, 2009. In this short podcast, James Howard Kunstler returns briefly to the topic of New Orleans. This time he discusses the future of the Port of New Orleans. In the second half of this program, we hear from listeners around the country. One listener from New Orleans more »

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Full Commanding Denial

          If central casting called for a poised, straight-talking, and capable-seeming president, it would be hard to come up with someone better than the Barack Obama who walked and talked around the White House grounds with Steve Croft on “60-Minutes” Sunday night. He may perfectly represent the majority who elected him, though, because he more »

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KunstlerCast #56: Virtual Walking Tour of Paris

JHK Gives a Walking tour of Paris using Google Street View Released: March 19, 2009. At the suggestion of a listener caller, James Howard Kunstler gives a virtual walking tour of Paris, France using Google Street View. Google Street View is an interactive photographic map that allows users to view photographs of streets and buildings more »

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Side Trip

    While evermore appalling shenanigans within the AIG corporation preoccupied the US media last week, I made a side trip to the Republic of South Africa. The travails of that country are best summed up in this song by the late pop singer Lucky Dube, who was murdered in a botched carjacking a year and more »

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KunstlerCast #55: Meaningful Work in a New Economy

Rickshaws, and Other Ways to Make a Buck Released: March 12, 2009. At the suggestion of a listener, James Howard Kunstler muses on the future of animal powered transportation in the future. He briefly describes the systems required to maintain a horse-drawn transportation system. The conversation leads to a discussion about finding meaningful work in more »

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Forget about “Recovery”

      At the risk of confirming my critics’ dumbest charge — that I am a “doomer” — the mandate of clarity requires me to ask: to what state of affairs do we expect to recover? If the answer is a return to an economy based on building ever more suburban sprawl, on credit card over-spending, more »

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KunstlerCast #54: Retooling Suburbia

Abandoned subdivisions and population decline Released: March, 5 2009. James Howard Kunstler explores the topic of building traditional town centers in suburbia, where town centers are typically absent. Though it may be possible to retrofit the suburbs, Kunstler doesn’t believe that Americans will have the money to remake some of the worst suburbs into more more »

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What Next?

      Isn’t that a question, though….       The Peak Oil story was never about running out of oil. It was about the collapse of complex systems in a world economy faced by the prospect of no further oil-fueled growth. It was something of a shock to many that the first complex system to fail would more »

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KunstlerCast #53: Incomprehensible Buildings

Anti-Social, Despotic, Architecture Released: Feb. 26, 2009. A listener asks James Howard Kunstler to react to the Feb. 9 fire that destroyed a Beijing building by Dutch starchitect Rem Koolhaas. Kunstler believes many famous architects, including Koolhaas, often strive to confound people in order to appear supernaturally brilliant. It’s all in the service of grandiosity more »

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The Abyss Stares Back

             The public perception of the ongoing fiasco in governance has moved from sheer, mute incomprehension to goggle-eyed panic as the scrims of unreality peel away revealing something like a national death-watch scene in history’s intensive care unit. Is the USA in recession, depression, or collapse? People are at least beginning to more »

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KunstlerCast #52: Rebuilding New Orleans

Cultural Programming and the Patina of Decay Released: Feb. 19, 2009. James Howard Kunstler discusses the issue of rebuilding New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. Legal disputes, government inefficiency and suburban mindsets have stood in the way of constructing traditional neighborhoods in New Orleans. While the charming urban fabric of the French Quarter and the Garden more »

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President’s Day

           A creepy feeling ushers in President’s Day this year as the suspicion grows that nobody in charge of anything knows what what to do next. The usual yin-yang consensus has solidified in congress along party lines, both equally idiotic. In the White House, Mr. Obama is under excruciating pressure to “do more »

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KunstlerCast #51: Seaside Revisited

The Future of New Urbanism is Urbanism Released: Feb. 12, 2009. James Howard Kunstler is back from a visit to the American South. He reports on two New Urbanist developments outside of Montgomery, Alabama. In many ways Kunstler believes that the new urbanist model of building 400 acre “traditional neighborhoods” out in the green fields more »

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