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Archive by Author

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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Poverty of Imagination

          Venturing out each day into this land of strip malls, freeways, office parks, and McHousing pods, one can’t help but be impressed at how America looks the same as it did a few years ago, while seemingly overnight we have become another country. All the old mechanisms that enabled our way of more »

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Road Trip

          “We will not apologize for our way of life….”      This unfortunate phrase from President Obama’s otherwise sturdy inaugural address, echoed through my mind last week as I cruised the suburban outlands of Montgomery, Alabama. All the usual commercial furnishings of consumerist America hugged the flattish ochre and dusty-green landscape of played-out cotton more »

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KunstlerCast #49: After the Plastic Fiesta

Goodbye Vinyl Siding, Hello Mr. Repair Man Released: January 29, 2009. Many everyday items in our lives are made from petroleum byproducts like plastic. But James Howard Kunstler believes that the rising costs of petroleum will change our relationship to plastic products. In the future, people might actually start repairing items rather than just throwing more »

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New Yorker Article Featuring Jhk

The New Yorker January 26, 2009 The Dystopians; Bad times are boom times for some. by Ben McGrath SECTION: FACT; American Chronicles; Pg. 41 Vol. 84 No. 46 LENGTH: 7208 words A year and a half ago, with real-estate prices falling, Dmitry Orlov, a forty-six-year-old software engineer from Leningrad, sold his apartment in the Brighton section of Boston, along more »

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State of Cringe

     Just as Mr. Obama has danced into the oval office, we’ve arrived at a moment when a lot of people have a hard time imagining the future. This includes especially the mainstream media, which has reached a state of zombification parallel to that of the banks. But even in the mighty blogosphere, with its more »

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KunstlerCast #48: From Suburbia to Peak Oil

Fossil Fuels and Our Built Environment Released: January 22, 2009. James Howard Kunstler tells the story of how he came to learn about peak oil while writing about suburban sprawl. Topics include The Yom Kippur War, The Hubbert’s Curve, the New Urbanists and the strong relationship between suburban sprawl and diminishing supplies of cheap fossil more »

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Hope and Fear

         Tomorrow at noon, Barack Obama steps into the shoes of Lincoln, FDR, Millard Fillmore and forty other predecessors — this time as the wished-for Mr. Fix it of a nation run into a ditch. Surely over the months of transition, someone with a clear head and a fact-laden portfolio has clued-in the new more »

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KunstlerCast #47: Credit Crisis

How the Suburbs Were Loaned into Existence Released: January 15, 2009. James Howard Kunstler believes the credit orgy that was the background and basis for our era is over. It will become increasingly harder to lend money into existence and Americans will probably have to pay as they go with what they have. Kunstler explores more »

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Out of the Woodwork

     When rocket attacks from Gaza were answered by Israeli air strikes, a great outcry of empathy for the beleaguered Palestinians rang out world-wide — along with growls of objurgation and anathema aimed at Israel from certain quarters in the USA. They showed up in my world as a raft of Jew-hating e-mails (read them more »

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KunstlerCast #46: Highway to Hell

The Campaign to Sustain the Unsustainable Released: Jan 8, 2009 A listener caller asks James Howard Kunstler about President-elect Barack Obama’s massive proposed stimulus package, which will probably be used to rebuild America’s highways. Along with the auto industry bailout, Kunstler thinks this major proposed investment in our highway infrastructure may be a last ditch more »

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Farewell GWB

           A prankish fate put George W. Bush in the oval office to keep America stupid. The nation was far from ready to see where it was going in the 21st century, and he was just the figure to keep it that way, with his void of curiosity, his allergy to reading, and more »

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KunstlerCast #45: JHK’s Resolutions 2009

Duncan Answers Questions about Podcast Released: Jan 1, 2009 In this abbreviated edition, James Howard Kunstler shares his New Year’s resolutions for 2009. He also sets some personal goals for finishing the sequel to his post oil novel, World Made by Hand, and gives some details on what that book will be about. For the more »

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Clusterfuck Nation Archives (2002 – 2008)

May 2008 to Dec 2008 Dec 2007 to May 2008 Sept 2007 to Dec 2007 April 2007 to Sept 2007 December 2006 to April 2007 October 2006 to December 2006 June 2006 to October 2006 April 2006 to June 2006 December 2005 to April 2006 September 2005 to December 2005 May 2005 to Sept 2005 more »

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Forcast for 2009

      There are two realities “out there” now competing for verification among those who think about national affairs and make things happen. The dominant one (let’s call it the Status Quo) is that our problems of finance and economy will self-correct and allow the project of a “consumer” economy to resume in “growth” mode. This more »

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