End of Summer Blues


     In my larval, pre-blogging days, I always faced the back-to-school moment with abject dread.  It meant returning to a program of the most severe, mind-numbing regimentation in the ghastly New York City public schools after a summer of idyllic unreality in the New Hampshire woods, where I went to a Lord of the Flies type of summer camp.  And so here I am, many decades later, still uneasy as the final page of the August calendar flies away in a hot Santa Ana wind, and a great hellfire closes in on the far eastern reaches of Los Angeles, and the American money system falls into a peculiar limbo, and every fifth person is out of work, or going bankrupt, or glugging down the seawater of default, or being denied coverage by health insurance that he-or-she has already shelled out ten grand for this year, or getting shot in a trailer park.

     I was in Los Angeles for a few days last week, as chance had it, marveling at the odd disposition of things there.  I've been there many times over the years, but you forget how overwhelmingly weird it is. Altogether the LA metro area has the ambience of a garage the size of Rhode Island where someone happened to leave the engine running.  To say that LA is all about cars is kind of like saying the Pacific Ocean is all about water.  But one forgets the supernatural scale of the freeways, the tsunamis of vehicles, the cosmic despair of the traffic jams.  The vistas of present-day LA make the Blade Runner vision of things look quaint in comparison.

      You motor out of the LAX airport - personally, I love the name "LAX" because it so beautifully describes the collective ethos of the place - and you discover quickly that the taxi cab's windows are not that dirty, it's the air itself colored brown like miso soup.  Going north on the 405 freeway, you see the looming Moloch of the downtown skyline through the brown miso soup. And you begin to understand why the products of the film industry are so fixated on the theme of machine apocalypse.  Downtown LA looks like just such a gigantic machine as the FX crews would dream up, as if a day will come when those gleaming mirrored office towers will pull themselves out of the ground from their roots and begin lumbering, crunch crunch crunch, north toward the Hollywood Hills seeking to exterminate the vile humanity responsible for making the place what it is.

     I happened to be camping out briefly in West Hollywood, in a scene-ster hotel where tiny bubbles of show biz mega-success wafted around amidst a background odor of failure, and an impossibly thin line was drawn between being pampered and being asked to go die in the gutter, please.  The place is not without a certain decorum. I couldn't help but imagine how lovely Hollywood must have been in, say, 1923, when 92 percent of all the hopeless crapola now on the ground there had not yet been built, when there were no freeways, and fewer cars than currently found in Lincoln, Nebraska, you could go out to the Pacific Ocean on a "Big Red" streetcar, and on a clear day you could see from La Cienga out to Mount Wilson, and the movie "industry" was like a college theater department. What a fabulous giggle it must have all been - apart from poor Fatty Arbuckle - in that romantic desert at the edge of the world.

     The whole "Dream Factory" myth has become such an awful cliché, but what remains interesting now is how it utterly infected every other organ, byway, and lost corner of American life, to the degree that the life of this nation became little more than a "narrative," a story-board, a montage of wishes superimposed over the harsher mandates of reality.  Hollywood now is a mere cartoon of what Wall Street and Washington have turned into.  We're a civilization of fluff now, riding on a river of toxic sludge.

      I found Hollywood utterly exhausting.  On morning walks down in the buzzard flats below Sunset Boulevard you almost never saw a human being outside the protective carapace of a car.  I think I was the only person who ever walked down Melrose Avenue this calendar year.  There were a lot of fresh store vacancies in the endless one-story strips, as if the retailers had just packed up and left Dodge under the cover of night.  There were obvious, if lame, attempts to pedestrianize the major surface boulevards with fancy crossing pavements, but traffic flowed on them at sixty off the rush hours, and you felt like a marmot in a buffalo stampede out there.  For solace, I listened to Bruce Molsky sing "I Ride an Old Paint" on the iPod.  The fiddle part is lovely.

     The city of Los Angeles, indeed the whole state of California, seems exhausted too. Apocalypse is probably such a rich theme out there precisely because everything about that particular way of life seems to be nearing its end - whether it's the fiscal fiasco or the water supply, or the aerospace economy, or the music industry, or the once-great university system, or the Happy Motoring fantasy of cruising for burgers in what Tom Waits called the dark, warm narcotic American night.  I went to the movies there one hot afternoon - Tarantino's latest, Inglourius Basterds, a completely crazy but enjoyable revenge romp against Hitler & Co. - and before the feature, they showed a "trailer" for Roland Emmerich's forthcoming apocalyptathon. 2012, in which virtually every global landmark from the Vatican to the White House is destroyed, and mankind's last hope is John Cusack riding a spaceship to worlds unknown....  If that isn't shooting your wad as a movie-maker, I'm not sure what is.  Maybe next time out, Roland will step back and make a movie about a puppy.

     I had my fill of apocalypse by the time I left the place, only to find myself back in a real nation really dissolving into a puddle of goo.  In the strange new ether of the Web, a consensus grows that we're in for a rocky autumn, as if the signal event will be something like a hurricane of shoes dropping - bank failures galore, repudiation of US debt instruments by America's former patrons, foreclosures to the farthest horizon, jobs and incomes terminated, and all the good intentions of the folks in charge coming to naught in the face of historic forces.  We're off to that kind of a start this morning, with the Dow dropping eighty points and the news that Disney Inc has just paid four billion for the rights to the Marvel Comics posse - Spiderman and his homeys.  As if America needs more childish fantasy.

321 Comments

1st,again,maybe!

Alas, I see the same reminders of life and business sinking in the northern Connecticut strip malls and businesses of all sizes. I drove by a strip mall that had room for 8 shops... All were empty, grass was growing high in the formerly neat lawns and flower beds were now loaded with weeds of all species. Obviously, this strip mall was part of the next bubble to burst, the commercial property industry.
In my job, I see folks of all persuasions and job descriptions. The common and constant lament of people losing hours and jobs has been a steady torrent over the last year. My job depends on their jobs and they are sinking fast. It's been a hard year for me with another on the horizon. While near retirement, I deeply fear for the future of this country. Obama's war is not going well, either. We are starting to look like a deflated country. Very depressing indeed.

Mr. Kunstler,

On the YK2 grunt, I worked for a major computer manufacturer in the build up to YK2 and can confirm that they took the risk very seriously, large teams of programmers and engineers were deployed to check the code in great depth.

The company had systems installed in many of the worlds major banks, airlines and government departments. I am not going into any further detail because I am bound by certain confidentiality clauses in my employment contract (even though I no linger work for them).

So I guess my question now Jim is "what now"? In some ways you are just singing to the chorus, although I have no doubt that newly enlightened folk come aboard at all times. But what I can't figure out is that while we know what the problem(s) is(are), is this perhaps unsolvable?

Friends and I have been having some good talks on this issue recently, along the lines of how on earth do we actually do anything about population numbers, climate change, fossil fuel use,the economy, etc- we just don't see the momentum there to enable us to do the hard work that needs to be done. Changing out a lightbulb or two, taking cloth bags to the market, etc, touted tothe public as easy fixes, while good ideas won't solve the problem. So what now?

I for one am sort of getting used to the idea that maybe the problem is too huge and that it is not
solvable. We will merely have to just go along with whatever comes down and ride the waves......

"in a scene-ster hotel where tiny bubbles of show biz mega-success wafted around amidst a background odor of failure, and an impossibly thin line was drawn between being pampered and being asked to go die in the gutter, please."

Now THAT, is a phrase, my friends...

"Hollywood now is a mere cartoon of what Wall Street and Washington have turned into. We're a civilization of fluff now, riding on a river of toxic sludge."

Even BETTER.

America is Dead. Run the corpse through a high-speed chipper and burn what cannot be chipped. Begin with Washington DC during a joint session. One line, one at a time this way for Special Treatment...

Thanks JHK. I knew you had some darkness in you...

Went out to LA once in 1991. Remember it was pretty-much that color then as well. However, it was nice in Santa Monica as the sea breeze was pushing the smog inland, i s'pose. Atlanta has its bad days during the summer but it's nothing like LA. Perhaps because with all the trees and kudzu Atlanta has more of a way to absorb the CO2. Particulate matter keeps things pretty dusty, though.

Oops, almost forgot. JHK, No Comments re: Bernanke reappointment by Chairman MaObama?

Think of it like this: You send your darling innocent child that you have worked, saved and dreamed your entire life of by playing by the rules and being a somewhat honest and forthright person, off to school in the yellow bus and the bald headed-bearded driver, Ben, arrives drunk and whacked out on speed. Ben then collects the rest of his charges and begins his way to the schoolhouse. Bens' driving instructor, Alan, taught Ben it was a good thing to blindfold yourself once and awile while driving the kids in. Ben then decides to park the bus on the railroad tracks and go shoot some more speed. While Ben is away and the bus is locked up (so no child can 'get lost') The train then bears down on the bus while blowing the whistle over-and-over, and then proceeds to ram the locked bus,(while the children inside go insane trying to get out but they are powerless since Ben locked the doors and windows) the impact rips the bus apart like a sardine can being opened with a key and kills all the children dead as a mackarel.

Ben is brought up before Congress on heinous multiple charges. Ben testifies with the help and support of Alan, his mentor. Congress issues its punisgment...

They give Ben a new route, with additional hazards to navigate with a BIGGER bus to drive...

Ladies and Gentlemen, prepare well for financial armageddon brought to you by the Joker, Ben and Alan, Little Lost Timmy and host of Goldman Sachs authorized crew of losers, pimps and shills.

Have a Nice Die-Off.

Ani,

I don't think it's fixable. I don't drive, have energy saving lightbulbs installed, grow what I can, recycle what I can. When I first became aware of peak oil a few years ago I kind of ran round like a headless chicken, trying to raise awareness.

Now I just enjoy my life as best I can while it lasts...

Great article, JHK. I used to "visit" Cali for over 20 years as I was a long-distance mover with a major van lines. You wondered what it was like in 1923, well, I moved folks that where born there and saw the orange groves in Orange County before they were turned into housing tracts and before the freeways were built. They said it was wonderful, but once the freeways came, then came the cars to fill them, so to speak. They were getting the hell out and this conversation happened 20 years ago! I moved them to Vermont. The warehouse where I parked the truck was in West Hollywood (corner of Silverlake blvd and Bellview). What a gritty, dangerous place! The gangs controlled everything. So to make my point in an otherwise pointless walk down memory lane.....LA is what America was destined to become before it was doomed by PO. So, see, the oil crash is our friend! All we have to do now is live though the coming horror.

The American Dream is now a big corporate mouse planning on projecting more comic book hero characters onto the minds of the brainwashed who seem to be attending cosmic kindergarden. Is this the real economy now or has the day to day lineup of driving the new and improved box on wheels in the concrete jungle turned into a GAStly nightmare?
Don't forget to hurry up and slow down.

The next time you come to Los Angeles I invite you to visit the Los Angeles Eco-Village, an oasis created by gardeners and cyclists.

Hollywood has played a huge role in the desruction of America with its endless tales of hedonism, minority grievance, and quest for rights without duty or responsibility. To be good, one has to be an oppressed minority of some kind-only White Men are denied this; they are the Enemy. White Women have joined the Minority Carnival-an incredible defeat for America and victory for the puppet masters.

How is all this possible? Because as Sigmund Freud's nephew realized, the deep mind cannot distinguish between reality and what's seen on the screen. Once this dynamic is established through repeated and early viewing, the Screen becomes more real because of the concise aspect. A whole story is developed and conculuded in an hour or two. The boy meets girl, the bad guy gets caught etc. When in real life do we have such clear cut truth and such closure? The deep mind likes this and is easily addicted.
So we became infinitely programmable. And what did the puppet masters want to give us? Minority moral superiority, female superiority, and White Male evil. Look at every commerical: White Men being shown to be fools before Blacks and White Women.
They live, we sleep.

Nice post. I read all of your posts.

Given that only hindsight is accurate I wonder what makes a person right about the future. Probably luck.

Anyhow, I drove cross country from North Carolina one year to Oregon. I went up most the California coast after crossing the entirety of Texas on my way. I skipped Vegas(I would rather give money away) and when I saw L.A. brownly looming in my path I turn tail and fled. It really is a man-made disaster.

So I agree with the premise that society must and will change. Yet something tells me it could be very very slow. The government which does run this movie production we call 'America' is making strong efforts to do precisely that. Slow the revolution to the point that no politician or Goldman Sachs banker loses a job. Like the book "Brave New World" we are given constant distractions to avoid anyone getting uppity. Like "1984" the war in Oceania is going well "...all major combat operations have ended."

About answers, however interesting, funny, and enlightening are JHK's rants, he certainly hasn't offered any real answers other than fix up the choo choos and make walkable cities. Hmmmm... ain't gonna happen.

Here is an online book that identifies the same problems, but actually offers solutions. There have been 8 chapters put up already.

Surviving Off Off-Grid

It beats chewing the nails while sinking into the "goo".

Neil Lori thinks Jim is right on about the banks.

The FDIC is nearly out of money. This means that we the citizen-taxpayers will be on the hook for the greedy actions of the corporatos and banksters.

The FDIC has 416 troubled or problem banks on a list, but will not let us know which ones they are. That is unnacceptable bullcrap.

The FDIC releases bank failures on Fridays. There have been 83 so far and more are on the way. This helps explain why the media under-reports and/or buries bank failures.
Neil Lori
maverick17761784@yahoo.com

Neil Lori thinks Jim is right on about the banks.

The FDIC is nearly out of money. This means that we the citizen-taxpayers will be on the hook for the greedy actions of the corporatos and banksters.

The FDIC has 416 troubled or problem banks on a list, but will not let us know which ones they are. That is unnacceptable bullcrap.

The FDIC releases bank failures on Fridays. There have been 83 so far and more are on the way. This helps explain why the media under-reports and/or buries bank failures.
Neil Lori
maverick17761784@yahoo.com

Jaego Scorzne,

I don't know where you're from, but please go back!

Neil Lori on why the media under-reports newsworthy stories about bank failures.

The banks are major advertisers especially in newspapers. The newspapers do not want to piss off their corporato-bankster customers. This is a disservice to people who read the newspapers.

The alternative news especially bloggers keep us informed as to the banking crisis.

Note: the media will not be able to ignore or under-report a major bank failure/failures which are likely to happen before November.

Note 2: the media will not be able to cover up the FDIC's collapse either.

I was born in LA back in 1960. I remember orange trees, dairy farms with Holstein cows, and gathering grunion as they spawned on the clean beaches. I remember sleeping in the summer in the backyard under the stars. Climbing city park trees. Eating abalone. The smell of flowers and the warmth of the sun. Endless summer indeed.

We moved to Montana in 1966 after the riots. I returned to LA for brief visits to my grandparents for decades afterwards. They lived in Paramount, by Bellflower, Downey, Compton. We had moved to Montana. Lonely, cold, wintery Montana. Such a treat when we drove in January ice and within 2 days we were again in the sun on green grass. It was magic.

But during the 70s, I watched the air turn into brown soup all the time, not just during late August-Sept. The helicopters whirred overhead with searchlights all the time and we had to be home safely behind barred windows by dark. The parks were strewn with diapers and garbage. You couldn't wear certain colors walking down the street and certain neighborhoods were off limits entirely. I haven't been to Paramount since 1991 when my grandpa died.

And now I see change here, in Montana. The same creeping infection. People fleeing from other places, come here as a refuge. And then they begin to turn it into the same disease of box stores, honking horns, and "gotta have my starbucks, F-- you buddy!" As the Eagles sang, "Call someplace 'Paradise', kiss it goodbye."

As vile and ugly as our culture,economy, and civilization is, it has given most of us our heart's desires and for that reason most Americans are conflicted over just what to do (or not do) about it.

It's not just that we are being fed so many ready-made impossible daydreams and fantasies, it's that we have lost any capacity to imagine anything
different using our own minds.

This incapacity to create our own stories and figure out what we might actually do to bring them to pass, puts us at the mercy of swallowing the poisonous mercinary fantasies of others.

Consultant,

Jaego Scorzne,

I don't know where you're from, but please go back!

We've begged, pleaded, cajoled...it's best to just skip his rants :-)

I wonder if JHK has seen the movie "Idiocracy"? I just say it and came away somewhat shaken. The plot is about a man who is put into suspended animation and awakes 500 years from now, in a world where people are barely intelligent enough to continue breathing. The subtext: we're really not that far from this nightmare.

But it contains many of JHK's pet peeves: monster trucks, big box stores, a benumbed populace.

Let me be clear: the movie is stupid, because it's about stupidity.

Money, money, money...everybody's worried about the money while the social fabric of this country is being torn to shreds by the growing and growling
violence that used to be restricted to gangs but is now spreading into the mainstream thanks to the carefully plotted rabble rousing from our
dear friends on the right who are feeding the rage and the frustration of the dumbed-down peckerwoods packing the town halls. If it's allowed to continue, we may be too busy dodging gunfire to worry about the economy.

LA really is a figment of the imagination. If you've never been there, it is not what you think it is.

What it is, is what America has become; a servant to the car and runaway growth. On many days, you can't SEE the city. It's obscured by smog. There are beautiful places here and there, but most of the architecture is amazingly plain and even ugly. The place is far more crowded than most imagine, with commercial and residential structures pushed up against each other. It's like a low rise New York without the benefit of architectural discipline to give some period composition and uniformity to neighborhoods. The result is a kind of jarring juxtaposition of different housing styles mixed in with ugly commercial strips.

There are sidewalks and straight streets, but little walking.

I've visited LA every few years since 1970. The place today is hardly recognizable from that period. When I talk to native Angelenos with long roots in the area, there is uniform sadness about what has happened to Southern California.

As Kunstler might say, we did what we did because we could.

And now I see change here, in Montana. The same creeping infection.

The same thing has happened here in Maine. People move here and immediately forget why they moved here. Of course, the local rubes all want access to Best Buy, Walmart, Tim Hortons and the rest that our insane retail hell has to offer, and it only makes for a terrible combination of destructive construction that has lead to the uglification of numerous small towns.

People wonder what to do. I don't know as that we can save the country OR the world, but we do like Gandhi said and BE the change we want to see.

1. Be kind to people, in small things. Remember birthdays. Let a stranger HAVE that parking spot, then smile genuinely and wave. Open the door for that guy carrying too much. Play it forward.

2. Anything practical you know how to do: sew buttons, cook oatmeal, dig beets, tell a fairytale, do it for its own sake and do it well.

3. Enjoy this moment. It may be your last. Not enjoy it as in "buy more stuff." Enjoy it as savor that cold glass of water. Enjoy playing with your kids in the backyard. Take a walk with your dog. Look at the impossibly beautiful clouds.

That's all I have. The rest will come on its own.

I agree, this is not fixable. I'm a retiree, I own next to nothing, live very frugally in a small apartment, I don't drive, always cook at home, wear my clothes till they're threadbare, use computers at the public library. Like you, I'm just trying to get through the time I've got left as painlessly as possible. The end is always ugly, we all die like dogs. I've complained and ranted for 30 years about many of the same things as Mr Kunstler. People don't care about anything except immediate satisfaction. They don't give a damn about the generations to come, the physical environment, the state of their country, their civilization, nothing except stuffing their own faces. The hell with it.

Sudden change in direction needs a catalyst. The Egg and Sperm Civil Union Compromise can be that catalyst, if just a few people push for it, it can suddenly reach Congress and be easily enacted as Congress looks for a way to revisit DOMA. It would have the immediate effects of stopping same-sex marriage, stopping genetic engineering, preserving individual procreation rights, and getting equal protections to same-sex couples in state Civil Unions, but it would have more far-reaching effects too, as people reflected on the new landscape where we weren't putting all our faith in Technology to save us and create the next generation, and we had to live within our means again.

James, enacting the Egg and Sperm Civil Union Compromise is essential to facing the Long Emergency.

I've been to LA quite a few times over the years, but it wasn't until maybe 5 years ago that I really got out of my car and walked around "downtown." I think it deserves the quotation marks...

Anyway, I wanted to take a peek at the lovely old Bradbury Building and roam around a bit. (though it's perhaps ironic that an apocalyptic episode of "The Outer Limits" was shot in that building many years ago)

Other than the sheer "you're not in the U.S. anymore" feel of the place, I noticed something interesting. On nearly every decrepit building and chain-linked alleyway, you'd find a sign that said, "Want to rent this location for your film or commercial? Call....."

LA has created its very own apocalypse and it's not available by the week or day !

My only

LA - the west portico of Babylon - of Revelations. And Jimmy brings it all to life here.

Hal-hal-hallelujah!

Evidence of the one mind, again! A cumulative, direct, impressionist post, mon Dieu.
You know the 24-hour ribbons of lights gliding up and down the canyons, outlining the lay of the biofuel pastures, where do they all come from, where are they going? ... inside each set of lights are breathing bodies, with minds, with opinions, with goals, with deceits, the overstuffed pockebooks and shoulder bags of the reinvented representative selves, mayo smeared, lip gloss blessed In and Out burger wrappers, the boring arguments and bored tantrums unfolding at 85 mph bumper to bumper in blind trust no one would, they wouldn't dare, just jam on the brakes. Its mind blowing how this is the accepted norm, and mushrooming, how easily excused and weirdly desirable, moving along 85 mph bumper to bumper on its way to everywhere, yes, even kudzu corner. All the better for hiding stuff.

LA is a "dead culture". Reading Jimbo this week, I was reminded of a recent posting to the Energy Bulletin by Robert Jensen, a journalism professor down at the University of Texas at Austin, titled "Life in a Dead Culture":

http://www.energybulletin.net/print/49685

Jim, at last I get to talk about where I live, the lovely city of Los Angeles. Well, I actually live in Torrance which is an upscale suburb of the great metropolis on the Pacific.

Should I begin by talking about watching a young man get shot point blank 5 times with a .38 revolver? Should I mention the young Hispanic girl covered in blood while her boyfriend lay on the street bleeding out on the sidewalk? I witnessed both of these events while (surprise) driving by in my car.

There are certain areas here that you simply don't go to if you value your life. I was almost killed once in Compton when two thugs tried to drag me out of my buddy's car. Fortunately, my friend put his Camaro into reverse and dragged one guy about half a block down the street until he fell off. It looked just like a scene from Starsky and Hutch. We got into this mess because we happened to witness a nasty hit and run and my friend wanted to play the hero and catch the culprits. Bad move.

If you come to Los Angeles, get out a map and plan your trip well and make sure you don't wander off into our version of the badlands. In certain suburbs here, you can hear gunfire at night on a nightly basis.

I spent part of my life in a rural part of Mississippi so the contrast with this place couldn't be more profound. Next year my wife and I are going up to Oregon to look at some land and then we're going to retire there. My wife says she can't wait.

At one time I thought I was "commenting". Now I realize that the CFN blog readers constitute a kind of peanut gallery. Well, I suggest we make the best of it, folks. I would encourage all of you to treat each other with respect. It won't kill you. Fall all over yourselves to be nice, WILL YOU??!

Now read my stupid blog:

http://sbillinghurst.wordpress.com

HOW TO MAKE METHAMPHETAMINE

Hey you guys! Notice Kunstler dips into the well of kicking Los Angeles around. Ha ha. Hollywood and London can get along just fine over and above and bypassing that stinking Brooklynese cesspool known as New York City. Am I right? Fuck that place, fuck Rockefeller, and fuck the whole state. Attica, Attica, Attica!

James Kunstler doesn't get anything right when he talks about LA. I live here. It would take a considerable time and a lengthy read to correct all the mistakes. Notice how this writer is a human, so, he is up on two legs, but he is not technical. He is covering up with WORDS, What he doesn't know about the subjects he covers would fill volumes.

Didn't you catch how the writer's personal slave says the writer wants to know how the Y2K predicters, who number one person, Kunstler, didn't even get it right, but that her job being precisely keeping from getting fired by an egotistical poisonous rat of a writer mean that she EDITS the part where her and the writer call Kunstler an idiot. No! Kunstler's insane, but he becomes lucid sometimes, and then he is just stupid (notice that's a joke, Number 334 to be precise).

Look how other 'savvy' people do it-it is in the arts, thus, these people decided a long time ago if they had to work, they'd starve. They're born scammers-

"Every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints"

Rolling Stones

Hey, I think I'll write and I'll take off an "S" and call the publication "Rolling Stone". Nobody'll notice.

No, it's,
"Every cop is a criminal
And all the criminals are INFORMANTS"

sing it

Yo, Jimbo.

Come up to San Fran sometime and ride with us in the Critical Mass, a monthly gathering when hundreds of cyclists take over downtown. Fun times!

"To say that LA is all about cars is kind of like saying the Pacific Ocean is all about water."

So true.

Jim said:

The vistas of present-day LA make the Blade Runner vision of things look quaint in comparison.

The future sure ain't what it used to be, is it? From the extreme art deco grandeur of our collective modernist dream, to the gritty but inhabitable industrial decay of Blade Runner, to now--and perhaps finally--the cannibal nightmare of zombies run amok. Our imaginations have atrophied irretrievably from prozac and hard core video game violence, celebrity-fetish-lust and junk food binges. We cannot see anything for the future except the zombie apocalypse, with flesh-hungry gangs lurching from one crime scene to the next, except now the cops have got the taste for human flesh, too, with punishment reserved for the victims, who are too shattered by the sudden nightmare plunge from ordinary despair to total societal breakdown to even try and run away. And where to run, ultimately? There's nowhere to go, is there? California burns, New Orleans will drown again, New York awaits its final judgment, the rural villages are already giving way to the zombie plague of meth-addled poverty--where to go?

Funny thing is--or not so--is how much many of our younger hipsters really dig this zombie vision, blogging up humanity's end as if it were an amusement park ride for discriminating doom fetishists. Sad thing is, they don't realize that the only world we can live in is the one we imagine, and if our imaginations have surrendered to the Cannibal Banquet at the End of Time, then so be it. We will, in the end, get the future we so richly deserve.

Jimmy,

LA and Southern California in general are scary places in general. You should come up to Nor Cal and commune with the redwoods, at least as long as Governator allows us into the state parks.

JHK wrote: "...you could go out to the Pacific Ocean on a "Big Red" streetcar."


A fellow I know says that The Global Warming will sink down all the roads, and have us all living by the water like the salamanders and the toads.

Forget the train, I'll be catching the waves on a boat. Again.

I really appreciate a Monday morning wake up call from JHK. I,too,am just muddling through. But I have actually experienced great relief from stress as I stopped looking for a political solution. Ah, freedom!

Why do I have to click on a tab five times to get it to open? This blogging software is questionable!

Seb,

Unlike your stupid blog Mr Kunstler is readable.

Order, freedom, chaos. Rocking while LA burns.

I was born and raised in LA, Pico Rivera, to be exact.

It wasn't clear in the 60's. I don't know what that Montana guy is talking about. I choked on the air my entire life. I loved when it rained, because you could see the mountains for a few hours.

downtown LA was nice at one time. Big department stores and Union Square had people literally on soapboxes. (Pre-bloggers).

My Dad and I went to the library every week. I loved that library. It was covered with murals and had many floors of books. Outside it had a park, with koi ponds on different levels. They ripped out the koi ponds and gardens to put in a parking lot. (No shit)

Paramount was "country" later than the other suburbs, so maybe that is Montana boy's perception.

I remember there was a dairy in Whittier, called the Pelisser dairy, but it was gone by the 70s. There were still orange groves when I was a child, but they are long gone.

The person talking about bumper to bumper traffic going 85mph is also clueless. Traffic in LA doesn't go 85mph. If you have an automatic car, traveling on the freeways involves taking your foot off the brake and coasting a few feet,then putting your foot back on the brake. If you have a stick shift, it's worse. I preferred to wait until there was enough space to make it worth my while to shift into first gear. This pissed off people behind me beyond any rational understanding. apparently, they thought that if there was a few feet of open space, we should get there really fast! Plus, people stuck in the other lanes would rush into any open space, so they could stop there, instead of their lane.

I hate LA!!!
http://wagelaborer.blogspot.com/2009/06/cars-killing-locally-killing-globally.html

My mother remembers the Red Line, and going to Long beach on them as a child. She remembers no smog.

My uncle, who worked in the "industry" had a movie that I saw as a child, of him in the rumble seat of an old car, reeling down Hollywood Blvd. there were no other cars on the road! Amazing.

Jim,
You are, of course, right that California is running on fumes (as are Florida, Nevada and Rhodes Island among others), but the fire sales you foretold for this summer are not to be seen, unless, that is, you took advantage of the "cash for clunkers" stimulus or some other governemntal program like the one designed to help first time home-buyers take on more debt. Digital money seems to have legs, for now. GM and Chrysler have emerged from bankruptcy. So we can all relax and go back to happy motoring. Can't we? The football season and the baseball playoffs loom large. Congress is on vacation and their internecine blow torches are, for the moment, relatively quiet. The stock market continues to advance on good or bad news. It's momentary nirvana (unless you're one of those still looking for a job).

So, catastrophe on a macro scale is postponed, it seems. The big banks know they are backstopped and the little banks will be swallowed and come back as part of big banks. Meanwhile, the rest of the world wants to prop up the world's best "engine of growth," that is, the U.S. economy. Great to have such good friends!

Ani,
What now?
See cluborlov.com
Read the blog entries and listen to the lectures, especially. We are much less "prepared" (mentally and physically) than the Soviets were, but if you pay attention you can get going in that hyper-cynical direction. It will be important to discard false hopes and get damn good and real. FOOD, SHELTER, SECURITY, TRANSPORTATION; that's all mes amis!

"It won't matter what you're wearing when the reality-party comes crashing through the front door..."

"...and all the good intentions of the folks in charge coming to naught in the face of historic forces."

Still an Obama believer? There are no good intentions from those in charge, unless you're a major bank. Then it's all good intentions.

Obama is not being overwhelmed by historic forces, he is embracing the status quo that Bush left him. Same cloth, same clothes.

To Urban Underclass (evocative of the gritty and the nicotine-stained):

Mr. Urbane,

This sales contract for your purchase of the Brooklyn Bridge is quite "readable".

Just read the labels on the drugs, please. Do what the doctor says. That'll get the doc on the links by twelve.

Thomas99,

I took the time to read the article and thought it excellent. It is for pointers like this that I read this list.

I'm going to re-print the URL:
http://www.energybulletin.net/print/49685

I wonder will any of the right-wing ranters on this list bother to read it and come up with an intelligent critique?

Seb,
A gritty and nicotine-stained, streetwise, class warrior. That's me.
As for the rest of your comment, like your blog, I could make no sense of it.

Oh, I give up! Your inability to slow down long enough to comprehend makes not even a speed bump in my path.

You go exactly one letter before going off course. My name is not Sebastian, Seb for short; my intials are S.E.B., so, try for two letters.

That would be an improvement.

JHK, Would you write the forward to my band's upcoming coffee table book about survival after gasoline: "Apocalypse, How?"

SEB,

Are you a character in a Philip K Dick novel?

All,
Another thing that I think will be important to discard: GET RID of that insane notion that politicos are there to "help you out". I think that's been [mostly] proven to be dangerously false.
When you're being dragged underwater, having a lazy, loudmouthed parasite toss you an anvil is probably not what you need. (...Plus, they'll probably get some damn fool flunky to toss you that anvil, as that would be too much like "work" for a politician to dirty their hands with. ;o) )

"Altogether the LA metro area has the ambience of a garage the size of Rhode Island where someone happened to leave the engine running."

That is probably the best description of LA I have ever read. Having lived there (albeit on the western edge) for 5 years, it seems like little has changed except the gas prices.

Sorry about the dual posting... the comment interface internals could use some work.

"on the western edge"

Houseboat?

i had the ill fate to wash up in the LA bus terminal in 1970. when i ventured outdoors my eyes stung. i retreated back inside. happily i had an aunt that lived in pico rivera who rescued my sorry ass, spent a weed showing me the sights and packed me on a plane back to NY a week later. i never want to see LA again!
yesterday i had occasion to ride lpng island's sunrise hwy. from bellport to rockville centre, some 40 miles. the blight is profound. n. bellport homes and stripmalls abandoned. countless building along sunrise hwy vacant. i have spent the last 24 hrs. attempting to recover by strolling the vacant remaing woodlands and beaches on the n. shore detox and rehab. travel here broaden the mind to where you can't get your skull out the door. w's finished!

"spent a weed"

Sounds fun. ;)

Not quite so cool... Santa Monica.

It's all part of the sprawl, though.

After Perot finished charting the numbers for us in '92 & '96, and things got back to normal, I figured it would end like this... not with some devastating event(s) per say, but with a slow, crawling, crumbling destruction-like finish. When that first plane hit the WTC, I knew that was it. It'd be all downhill from there. They'd finally called our bluff. Our entire mega-military couldn't even muster enough resistance within an hour and a half to defend its home base. Think about that.

I visited LA in the early '70s and the air was terrible. My eyes burned, the skies were brown, and I was glad to leave. I've never been back.

Last week I felt a curious need to watch "Animal Farm, "V", and lastly, "Falling Down".

I must have been channeling JHC.


Turkle, to acknowledge that you are bringing up a science-fiction writer who had a reputation for his addiction to amphetamines, author of "Minority Report", consider yourself so acknowledged.

But no, I am THREE dimensional. When you are up a level of abstraction like that, the creation of a recognizable character falls far short of the possibilities inherent in the promise of life.

I was already writing this reply before I read your comment. To get back to that, and focus now on the previous annoyance, the witty and sophisticated street bum with long, yellow toenails, "Urban_Underclass", yes, you: You commented on my blog at that site, saying, "Nice picture!", and then here you say you don't understand ME. I know you know where the italics are. I am capping it instead. Umm, Mr. Kunstler has stated previously that the colorful writing that he uses here and the motive behind it is that the readers are at an UNSOPHISTICATED level and NEED heavy mental pictures or they don't grok shit. How does that feel? You are being pitched at the fourth-grade level. Kunstler could write different styles whenever he chose to. Your elementary school consulted with experts to give you things you could digest. You never noticed, see?

Now, comprehension is not my baliwick. I write a blog on how to make speed. I am interested in seeing how far I can push the envelope. I know there is an A.C.L.U. in this country, and it is my belief that my First Amendment rights are important.

However, I am less-than-convinced that Jim Kunstler's whole talent derives from research and scholasticism and prognostication with no component of clairvoyance. Admit it, Jim. When you move around the room with the typewriter in it, there's a little whirlwind sometimes. You have a poltergeist?

So yes, I am a figment of the imagination of one Philip K. Dick, Esq.

RE: Life in a dead culture

Saying X is dead while it is still alive and kicking is foolish.

The Ottoman Empire is dead, as is the longbow. America is still around for the time being, in all its Who Wants To Be A Millionaire glory. Let's not get histrionic.

Of course, a famous economist once said that in the long term, we're all dead. All things must pass. There is nothing constant but the change. The sun burns out. Life on earth is extinguished.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves here. More properly, you could say America is dying. Everything is dying, but some things more rapidly than others.

SEB,

I was thinking more along the lines of A Scanner Darkly.

Atlanta does have a lot of trees, even though I worry for the ones that remain. LA might be a tad worse in most respects, but the particulars here are acutely horrible. HUGE pollen counts in the Spring that coat EVERYTHING including your lungs and nasal passages. Never-ending sprawl and "development" that makes the already LA- like traffic worse by the minute. Intractable racial discord with deep Southern roots. Christian conservatism that has so penetrated the state political system that our Governor had everyone "pray" to end our drought. Always on the top-five-worst states for education (don't even talk about the city schools; even their administrators were caught cheating trying to raise test scores). Worst infrastructure and repair thereof of any city I've lived in. An energetic, pro-car, pro-road-building crowd. A freakishly large cohort of "prosperity gospel" followers. More fat people per capita than almost any city. More old black dudes on scooters and wheel chairs with missing legs than you would believe (type-two diabetes). And so much more! And I did say racial discord:

http://www.insideradvantagegeorgia.com/restricted/2009/August%2009/8-31-9/Baxter_Mayoral83119661.php

Best bit of writing I've read lately on the sort of issues which should be and sometimes are the topic of conversation here:

http://www.oftwominds.com/survival-plus1.html?ref=patrick.net

Truth be told, the visible air pollution in L.A. was worse in 1975 then it is now. Still, I agree wouldn't want to live there. Can be fun to visit if you stay over around UCLA etc. Saw the Dalai Lama there in 93. Beautiful in isolated areas.

Ahhh.....regarding Dalai Lama, that was 97.

Diggety Dale,

Good to see that the trolls didn't permanently put you off. Welcome back. :)

"Beautiful in isolated areas."

Well put. Spots around Griffith Park, Pacific Palisades and bits of Mulholland Drive are quite pleasant. There was actually a place (where I was working on-site) on Mulholland where I felt perfectly safe leaving my car unlocked with the window down.

Of course, without the Red Line (bought and ritually killed by Big Oil/Auto) you can't really get far without a car in LA. There are some minor mass transit options: the Santa Monica Blue (bus) Line was good when I was there, but I couldn't use it to commute to work.

I was born in Inglewood, grew up on Los Angeles, and moved to metro Detroit just before I turned 30. I've been here 20 years now. Your story just confirmed why I'd rather be in Detroit than Los Angeles. At least the people here are real and the streets may actually be safer, if for no other reason than the city is being depopulated. Welcome to the home of urban agriculture.

As for JHK, you could actually see downtown L.A. out of the passenger's side window while driving north on the 405? If so, that's one really clear summer day out there! Are you sure you weren't looking at Century City or that you got confused and were really describing what you saw heading east on the Santa Monica Freeway (I-10)?

"...thanks to the carefully plotted rabble rousing from our
dear friends on the right..."

Hey Fucktard,

Today's rant is about how fucked up LA is. Who do you think currently controls and has controlled LA for the lion's share of time? It ain't your "dear friends" (Fucking NOT!) on the right. Blow me. That is all, bumwad.


Copy that (written, circled).

The deal is that in your timeline, a glaring red herring is the Sun burning out. Come on, Turkle, that isn't even burning, number one, and injecting the fiction of what it is, a nuclear punching, a magnetic storm-swirling, annhilated matter squeaking the skull-knuckles of every observer, black batlike blips flying out of the warping, saw-playing musical dry/hot cold flat-fractured color-drained Pacific Test Site,...well, it has skirts. Things decay into other things. Or, as the hacks put it, the center won't hold!

So it isn't burning, and number two is that the distance to it and the power of it to support life prove in themselves the age of it. I know, smacking you with a math book won't make you learn math. Alas!

What we do appreciate is the large size of our moon compared to us, meaning Earth. Destruction of the country is all too easy to bandy about. I want to see the continent sunk. It's not like it hasn't happened before.

You need to read, "Assembling California", by John McPhee, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and it was geology.

Notice the fine island arcs about to crash into the mainland as Alaska continues to be built. Think of what hides under six counties in the drowned river valley of the SF Bay Area. Back off until a crater in South America comes into view.

Or, not read but listen to the opening notes of the song quoted by JHK three-four weeks ago: "There's something happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear." CBS News, personal friend of JHK, could play the MUSIC to go with it. It has the technology for audio. It was the instrumental opening that told the tale for that song. CBS News borrows it AFTER Kunstler quotes it, as if they pay very close attention to what he says. JHK, pulse of America!

Then, notice (a human thing, noticing that your incredibly adept balance fails when you're drunk) that the Sun never burns out; it bloats. Instead of the limb of the moon matching the edge of the solar disk, now the bloated red thing covers half the sky every day. Then you know your time's short. It's like watching a little moon traverse the disk the way things should be.

Yup... quite a chance from these wonderful LA Woman days http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMVnEGcMsFs to the pits today.

And remember Bladerunner the film depicting a dystopian Los Angeles is only 10 yrs away ;)

whoops chance = change

You forgot to include how the geography and climate of southern California contribute to the smog. From May until September or October, the breeze comes in from the ocean and blows smog against the 8,000-10,000 foot tall mountains that rise above the inversion layer, trapping the pollutants in the Los Angeles Basin and allowing the notorious photochemical purple haze to collect and obscure the view. It's not until the Santa Ana winds blow in the fall and winter that the pollutants can exit out over the ocean. Of course, Santa Ana winds bring their own problems, such as massive brush fires that burn down into developed areas.

Without those combinations of climate and geography, not to mention half the population of L.A. Atlanta cannot possibly compete in the smog department.

That said, Atlanta definitely has its own problems, as you detailed. The amazing thing is that African-Americans are actually moving into the city from the North, including Detroit. They really think the place has a future.

NO! L.A. is in fumes, from 80,000 acres at its edged burning

so cal is nice if yr rich, but then again so is Moscow!

Woe to those who enact unjust laws
and issue oppressive decrees!
Woe to those who rob the poor of their rights
and deprive the helpless of justice!
They prey on the widows and plunder the orphans.
What will you do on the day of punishment?
Where will you flee for help when disaster suddenly comes?
Where will you save your wealth?
You can do nothing but cringe
among the captives and exiles
or fall down among the slain.
Yet for all this Yahweh's anger does not subside,
his hand is poised to strike.

Isiah 10 (1-4)

UC, you forgot the part where he butt-raped the kids before he locked the bus up and left.

Right!
'We are much less "prepared" (mentally and physically'

WE ALSO HAVE MUCH MORE TO LOSE AND ARE LESS PREPARED FOR ANY KIND OF CHAOS

'The amazing thing is that African-Americans are actually moving into the city from the North, including Detroit. They really think the place has a future.'

maybe they get their info from TV

The story i was told is the natives avoided the valley
said ghosts lived there
i dunno

the population grows and the days of Orange groves in orange co are mostly way behind us!

JIM

Marvel went for like 8 MILION just 10 or 15 years ago

Disney Inc has just paid four billion for the rights to the Marvel Comics posse - Spiderman and his homeys

When I was a kid, I used to love to go to Inglewood. I lived in Hawthorne and Inglewood had better movie theatres, restaurants and department stores. And the homes were nicer there (much better than in Hawthorne).

I've never been to Detroit so I can't make any comments about the city or the people. I think it's pretty sad that so many people lost their jobs and the city is being de-populated. I will bet that the folks in Detroit are a lot friendlier than the people here. Los Angeles keeps coming up as the unfriendliest city in the country based on those surveys they do at all the airports. When I first arrived here years ago as a kid, I was walking down the street and I said "good morning" to an older couple walking toward me on the sidewalk. They both looked at me like I was a creature from another planet. Little did I know that this was to be my introduction to L.A.'s style of socialization. I think the unfriendliest place I ever survived was U.C.L.A. I graduated from there and also attended graduate school. Those people wouldn't give you the time of day if they were starving to death and you were dangling a Twinkie in front of their face. When I retire, I think I'm going to redeem myself by signing up for grad school at Oregon State. In the meantime, I hope things work out for you in Michigan.

"African-Americans are actually moving into the city from the North, including Detroit. They really think the place has a future."

The demographics of The ATL remain curious. Even with a current unemployment rate of 10.7%, BOTH whites and blacks are moving here. The great grandsons and granddaughters of the first northward migration are coming back, and the city has a sizable black middle class. Much of the latter, however, have moved and/or settle in the established black suburbs OUTSIDE the city. As is the case with many gentrifying cities, the vacuum is filled by gays, artists, young hipsters, and people without kids. These groups are mostly white, making some with political power fear a new white mayor.

If one were to ignore JHK and read only the stuff on the City of Los Angeles Web Site, you would think the former was misinformed. According to Villaraigosa, it's all about a new subway (not the restuarant chain), higher student test scores, and reductions of CO2 emissions. Hmmmm. What do we have here? Why should we believe JHK over LA's Mayor? Is there a middle ground, or is it all really doom and gloom a la Kunstler and his minions? I actually can be part of the latter sometimes, especially since I studied geography in college and have lived in VERY different cities (Boston, Chicago, Hunstville AL, and now Atlanta). But JHK has got to be the wettest towel out there. I suppose we need such doses of reality, but after a while of reading his stuff, you think "WTF? I really should just kill myself."

http://mayor.lacity.org/index.htm

Yes, I can relate. I've been trying by living off-grid, farming organically, teaching environmental science, energy groups, the works but I don't see where it makes any difference. I have concluded that the incremental difference I make is so little. Not that I am going to start driving a Hummer and jetting around the world or anything, but I am realizing that perhaps no matter what I do it is all so much bigger than me.

Given that perhaps I should just try to live my life as well as I know how, enjoying it while I do. What is going to happen is going to happen and I'm only going to make myself crazy in a futile attempt to effect change. I sort of hate to believe this, having long believed in that whole "be the change you wish to see in the world" mantra.... But maybe the world is so much bigger and it seems as if the whole process is out of control.

It is frustrating however as I know so many people point to the latest eco-village or urban garden or community currency system and see hope in it but I guess I no longer see how that will in the end be enough. Which then leaves us collectively with the issue of do we just give up? Or perhaps I am just burnt out from trying and I need to just go play a lot of music and bake some good bread and let others take up the cause.......??

I don't think you're referring to any comment I made.
(I didn't make the bus driver one anyway).

ANI,

Yeah, I'm trying to stop tub thumping and just live as well as I can. Everyone should know by now that the economy and ecology are messed up. But people don't seem to want to take any personal responsibility and certainly seem to be unwilling to make any major lifestyle changes.

I have submitted a relevant comment 3 times and it has not appeared. Does that mean I'm censored?

Urban_underclass,

See Tragedy of the Commons.

http://dieoff.org/page95.htm

turkle,
It's bedtime here but I've bookmarked it and will check it out tomorrow.

I know that a lot of folks seem to get bummed out over JHK's comments but the sad truth is that it looks like this country is beginning to fall apart right in front of our eyes. I would like to know how many other folks see their neighborhoods slowly (or quickly) falling apart. My wife is a teacher and they just laid off all the school's aides and they cut my wife's hours. She's lucky she didn't get axed.

My neighborhood has all these vacate/for lease signs up everywhere. If you drive down Hawthorne Boulevard (which is our main street), it looks like one of those end-of-the-world movies. Last week when I drove by our local Costco, my wife freaked out because they just cleared out this huge brand new car dealership and put up for-lease signs. I have lived here for decades and I've never seen anything like this.

"I have submitted a relevant comment 3 times and it has not appeared. Does that mean I'm censored?"

No, it just means this blogging software is a POS and doesn't work too well with your browser.

"Yes, I can relate. I've been trying by living off-grid, farming organically, teaching environmental science, energy groups, the works but I don't see where it makes any difference. I have concluded that the incremental difference I make is so little. Not that I am going to start driving a Hummer and jetting around the world or anything, but I am realizing that perhaps no matter what I do it is all so much bigger than me.

Given that perhaps I should just try to live my life as well as I know how, enjoying it while I do. What is going to happen is going to happen and I'm only going to make myself crazy in a futile attempt to effect change. I sort of hate to believe this, having long believed in that whole "be the change you wish to see in the world" mantra.... But maybe the world is so much bigger and it seems as if the whole process is out of control.

It is frustrating however as I know so many people point to the latest eco-village or urban garden or community currency system and see hope in it but I guess I no longer see how that will in the end be enough. Which then leaves us collectively with the issue of do we just give up? Or perhaps I am just burnt out from trying and I need to just go play a lot of music and bake some good bread and let others take up the cause.......??"

You're making too much of a leap there Ani. It's like thinking, hey, I'm an honest guy but everybody's a liar, so I feel like a chump for being honest. Being honest is ITS OWN GOOD. So what if everyone in the world is a liar and you are the only one who is honest? But don't get all prideful either. Just do the right thing BECAUSE it's the right thing, not because things will change or you'll get rewarded.

The problem is that you are thinking, "well, I'm doing my part, and there is no change, so I'm gonna give up." That, Ani, is hubris. Thinking that little old me can change the world by being the change, that's just a very big leap...there are lots of kinds of hubris, not just the one.

DO the right thing because it IS the right thing. That's it.

You never give up. The right thing is good unto itself.

There is a story of a mouse that wanted to sail East to find its king on a certain island. Everyone told the mouse not to, that it would surely be lost and drown and die. The mouse said this:

"I shall sail my ship East. And if a storm overtakes me and it sinks, I shall get into my rowboat and row East. And if the rowboat leaks and sinks, then I shall swim East. And if I tire and begin to sink and drown, then I shall die with my nose pointed to the Sunrise!"

Torrance?


land of the million dollar tear down?

where?

Figaro, you are one dumb fuck. Only a dimwit like you can take the easy way out and condemn the right wing idiots, as you state, for all the wrongs of the country and world. Lazy people like you are prone to these faux pas. Obama, your friend, benefactor, and source of infinite wonderment, is currently fucking up the country at warp speed. Do you ever see what is happening or are you fixated with how stupid the town meeting folks are all the time? Not prone to conspiracies, right, but you insist these town meetings are attended only by plants from former VP Cheney's stable, right? Are you going to blame W for everything until the end of time, you fool? Rome burns while you insist the right, bereft of political power at present, is causing all the grief we see as a result of past experience. In other words, W is worse than Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot put together, right, buffoon? Get over it.
The party in power with it's nightmarish majority and idiot President is currently fucking up things at a record clip.They fucked you up in less than a year, Fig. Bet you still display your Obama-Biden bumper sticker, right? My, you are one proud rooster.
Enjoying Obama's war? Your son expecting to get drafted? You'll hit your speed bumps soon and realize the freak in the WH will be our ruination. You've been watching too many reruns of "Deliverance", Figs. Working people at town meetings are obviously too plebeian for you, aren't they?

I don't know if "hubris' is the correct word to use here to describe what I'm trying to say Lance. I have never believed that I was powerful enough to effect radical change; more just like trying to do what I do in hopes of living in as sustainable a way I could manage while being a resource for others. It is just that I look at how huge the problems are and what it would take to change the path we have taken for so many years in terms of our indutrialized system, the basic tenets of our ecconomic system,our near 7 bil. population etc. This is what gets to me really; the enormity of the problem and that I don't see a clear "solution".

Someone, I think it was Michael Greer on his blog if I recall it correctly who said there is a difference between "problem" which has solutions, and "predicament" which basically is unsolvable but something we need to learn how to deal with as it comes. I am more and more believing that all of these issues we are grappling with are perhaps better classified as "predicament" as there are no readily available solutions to resolve them.

"The party in power with it's nightmarish majority and idiot President is currently fucking up things at a record clip."

Is that so? Do tell...

I agree with both of you. You do the right thing because it is the right thing, but the infrastructure of our country insures that most will choose to continue to destroy our environment. And trying to tell the average person about it will get you only ridicule or hostility.

Because I grew up choking on LA smog, I have never driven unless necessary (in my mind). Plus, when I did drive, I drove fuel efficient cars. So I have used less oil than a lot of people in this country. And a lot more than probably 6 billion other people around the world.

I try to live lightly on the Earth, but it's very difficult in this society. I don't have a lot of hope for the ecosystem.

So the only thing to do is to live as lightly as you can and enjoy your ride on planet Earth as much as you can without hurting anyone else.

The future may suck totally for many people in the US. Remember that it has sucked totally for many people in the past and our life went on.

The US is responsible for around 40 million deaths in other countries since WWII, and it didn't impact us at all.

Our destruction doesn't mean that the remaining peasants and hunter gatherers will be worse off. They'll probably be better off when the US can no longer destroy their lands and forests for profit.

I doubt that humans will be totally wiped out. There will be pockets remaining and they won't miss the ones gone anymore than we miss the dead Vietnamese, Salvadoreans, Panamanians, Iraqis, Afghans, Indonesians, Congolese, etc., etc.,etc.

"Your comment has been received and held for approval by the blog owner."

I have received the message above each time (now 8 or 9) that I have submitted my comment. I appreciate Turkle's response, but it looks like something other then technical difficulties at this point. I have submitted without difficulty several times in the past.

It's hilarious when people write something like, "You can't blame Bush, the Right, or the Republicans," and then they proceed to blame all of America's current problems on Obama and the Democrats. Recognizing one's own hypocrisy is not the strong suite of most Americans, I guess.

BECAUSE America needs more childish fantasy...

I've live in SoCal my whole life, the smog was much worse in the 1970s than it is today, thanks to unleaded gas and catalytic converters. (Catch an L.A. skyline scene in a 1969 episode of "Mannix" or "The Mod Squad" and you'll see a thick rust brown ring running around the horizon of L.A.---no more ring around the collar here, haven't seen that since the early 80s). No more grunion though, and no more suburban lizards and horned toads--all died out. No more Helms Bakery trucks making home deliveries, no more Red Devil and Black Cat firework stands (fireworks bad, cause fires). However, the entire city seems to be burning around me as I type this, so they might as well let children play with fireworks. Childhood was definitely more fun in L.A. in the 1970s, even if Squeaky Fromme did follow me and my friends to school from time to time (my friend's father was a Manson Family trial juror). Gotta go close the windows from all the smoke outside, oh god, I can't breathe.

Hi Ani - I think I feel the same way you do. I don't recall the source, but I apply the "theory of anyway". Case in point - plastic shopping bags. They are now deemed a great evil. Using your own, or preferably purchasing new "branded" reusables from your retailer, is the new greater good.

The costs, benefits, ethics, etc. have been argued through and through for either plastic or reusable.

I have used reusable cloth bags most of my life anyway. And I'm starting to use public transport more anyway. I read JHK's essays anyway. And sometimes things don't go the way you wish for, anyway...

"...in a 1969 episode of "Mannix" or "The Mod Squad"

Two of my favorite shows!! Music is AWESOME!

WOW! Why are those shows so much more cool than today?

James,

I've left comments on your site a number of times, often critiquing the premature end-of-the-world hysteria that tends to dominate your screeds ... however I've got to admit that this particular essay of yours is a minor masterpiece. Really well written. Bravo.

Damn, I wish I could capture the essence of that weird, apocalyptic, dysfunctional and depressing environment of L.A. the way you did. I was in L.A. for the first time in 20 years last month, and my impressions nearly same as yours. Our sojourn on Santa Catalina Island was a delight, but L.A. itself is, indeed, the Moloch that Allen Ginsburg wrote about ... now run amok over the landscape and through the collective human psyche.

Never have I been in a place where people are simultaneously so obsessed with their image (the cars they drive, the tans they cultivate, the boobs they've had surgically implanted) while simultaneously being so vapid and miserable.

LA is a society full of people trying to claw their way to the top -- resulting in a sweet life for the fortunate 5% who end up at the top of the heap and never have to venture out of their BMW's long enough to actually encounter the other 95% ... i.e., those who work in their factories, nanny their kids, and mow their lawns.

And now California as a general entity is going broke and on fire. It's decline, I fear, is going to be long, nasty, and brutish.

With luck and work the rest of America might avoid its fate, but I'm not optimistic. California refugees are moving into my state as they are apparently moving into every other, bringing with them their neuroses and their self-indulgent consumerist mentalities and their mini-malls. The infection is spreading.

Inocculate yourselves now.

And now I see change here, in Montana. The same creeping infection. People fleeing from other places, come here as a refuge. And then they begin to turn it into the same disease of box stores, honking horns, and "gotta have my starbucks, F-- you buddy!" As the Eagles sang, "Call someplace 'Paradise', kiss it goodbye."

Ah Lovecraft gains more traction in the minds of men-and women. His mythology predicts the decay and the fact that his writing increases in influence all the time is proof that our mythology is changing.

Even when one has not read hm, he permeates our thinking and perception, the way we think and feel.

Lovely Kerouac prose. Thanks.

Donny-Don,

What makes you think that people in LA are more miserable than anyone else?

Actually, most people on the West Coast seem quite happy. That's part of the problem. The weather's great all the time. The people are good looking. There's always something to do outdoors. Thus, there is always something to do, while the state government falls apart and LA burns.

I'm almost there with you. Toynbee describes the coping mechanisms of citizens as their empire disintegrates.

I guess art, writing, witnessing and rescuing can work.

"self-indulgent consumerist mentalities and their mini-malls"

Right, like the rest of the country is so different...not.

Most people in California are from someplace else, anyways.

1.Open 2 browsers
2.Read on one
3.sign in and comment on the other then submit
4 go back and forth this way when your comment gets posted you can be reading on down
5. never hit preview NEVER

"it looks like something other then technical difficulties at this point."
-------------------------------

It is something other then tehnical difficulties. JHK, like Q, is so ticked off at people who don't know the difference between then and than that he just decided to ban them.

P.S. Asoka/Rico/Zzz delendus est.

Wagelabourer - you're so right. Even now, the narrative coming out of the US is how your society appears to be on the verge of social collapse, so, once again, it's all about Americans.

Assuming things do come to the worst, the rest of the world - well, the participant Western economies at least - will suffer. But many are suffering now, macro-economically, because of the implacable fall in the US dollar, which is, unfortunately, still the currency in which most tradable commodities are priced. This pushes up the exporters' exchange rates and significantly depresses their local currency income. Dang.

As far as most of the planet is concerned, we'd all be better off if

a) The US populace gets the wake-up call it so desparately needs, which would be best served up by
b) dropping the fake, photocopied US Dollar's status as the proxy for a "reserve" currency which would release the Asian-Pacific region to create a more rational global reality.

Yes, I think so too. No answers here in my little rural neon red town.

I think the fact that all the king's men and all the neighbors couldn't "see" little Jaycee Dugard is indicative of the level of stupidity in being unable to connect dots that we call intelligence in the US of A.

I think you are meditating in the right direction. Intentional communities could be a safer place from which to watch.

"There are areas you simply don't go if you value your life"-you mean like the Black areas? Piltdownman said, "your not in the United States anymore feel of the place"-you mean because of the Mexican invaders?

Liberal friends: don't take refugee in euphemisisms and double talk, speak the Truth and then the problems can be dealt with. As Alexander Solzhenitzen said, "Live not by lies." Once the psychological suppresion is overcome, then we can question the sacred cows of our times like multiculturalism. How are these peoples enriching Los Angeles, California, or the United States as a whole?

What is needed is solidarity among people to effect a change, even if it's just for themselves. People do not know how to cooperate. Not even here on a blog.

Poor Jaycee Dugard is a perfect example of how many morons are around. It just took a woman issuing permits to sniff the smell of something wrong. And as a campus policewoman to run a background check, then to call the parole officer mentioning the two girls.

And he says, "Maybe they were his grandchildren." Trying to make an excuse even then.

So the kidnapper, rapist, killer comes to a parole officer's office and brings her in so figure that out. and I guess when she is asked her name, she doesn't know how to lie and just says it.

She rescues herself.

I noticed it vividly in St. Charles MO about 2 years ago. All the trendy stores were going out, some junk shops coming in but mostly everything was empty.

In my rural neon red town all the stores are empty. Two have renovation going on but I kow they are doomed before they even finish. No one has any vision as to what is needed or how to make money. Just hopeless morons and nasty too.

They have unrealistic high rents and prices and the ones who have dropped down on their prices still can't sell. They were so greedy they thought everything was going to continue up. S just wait and you'll get more for it. Now they figure they will hold on and eventually sell. But they won't. Young people have left in droves.The enrollment at the high school is dropping like an anvil in that water someone was talking about.

Ani, I guess all I am saying, and perhaps with not much grace, so I apologize, is that I think we are past the tipping point too. I don't think it is solvable. However I choose to be a stoic about this and plan my death with as much integrity as I can.

The Lakota war cry, "It is a good day to die" isn't about despair or hopelessness. It is rather stoic and zen. It means "today is as good a day to die as any other, because all of the good things in my life are here, today."

Thanks for this post. I hadn't stripped off my Obama sticker so I just went out and put 3 big X's across his name. I think that says it better anyway, don't you.

I had such hopes for him too. Boy did I get suckered.

Man I loved Helm's Bakery trucks. The little -what was it- a honk? a tone? a whistle?- that let you know they were there in their yellow truck. Then you go up to the back door of the truck and they'd pull out little drawers with cookies and donuts...the best glazed donuts...and sugar cookies. MMmm. Thanks for reminding me about Helms!

Snce I read Toybee's History about 2 years ago (took me a year to read it) I have felt I understand. I also have read all of Bernard-Henri Levy and Houellebecq and a lot of Lovecraft (all my recent readings).

We are in a window between fascism and totalitarianism. It is going to be one-world. And think of all the babies and children who are absolutely familiar and comfortable wth being watched all the time. They will not object to this intrusion when they are adults. It is as familiar as a glass of milk-from the supermarket. They are being shaped for it in the schools, the home, the culture. Nothing can be done except to see it, understand it and choose what options remain to you. You cannot change it. It is unchangeable.

The fact that Lovecraft is the most influential writer for other writers since Homer is proof that it is going down. His mythology is our new mythology, as we are in paradigm change.

JHK is OK and he has been in the right place at the right time to popularize it. But it has all been written about long ago. See the new art coming out of Germany. You will tremble at its implications. We are being told and warned. It won't happen fast. Sinking is a long process that we will adjust to in degrees. Just keep raising your level of consciousness so you won't fall asleep.

hehe, I guess that's true, it does sound Lovecraftian, although it was not a conscious choice!

I did really enjoy Lovecraft and Howard in my teens and 20s, reading them in my dad's old "Weird Tales."

Certainly one could merge the Cthulhu mythos and what's happening in our world's state of psychic decay ("This is my last entry..." he wrote in desperation, shut in his tiny dingy room as dark and shapeless winged things began scratching at the door and driving him into panic and madness...)

Atlanta will be the capital of Black America when the United States breaks up. So in that timeline, it has a future, a Black Future. But there is no guarante that the whole system wont implode or blow sky high before that can happen. And if does happen, it still wont have a future because of the contradictions of the industrial system. Plus Blacks aren't too good at running cities-Detroit for example.

I blame Obama because he was so charismatic, so intelligent, so politically together, so charmng, just so everything and not only in contrast to that moron dyslexic dolt of a Bush. And he was able to pack congress with 60 votes to override a filibuster. An opportunity of the century to make good changes in this country.

And he throws it all away because he just doesn't understand the political climate he is in. He has completely underestimated his strength with the people.

And all those shits around him don't want him to ever know. His bubble is intact. This is a bourgeoisie family with little creativity and out of the box anything kind of thinking.

Don't get me started.

So many people read hm when young, forgot about him, and he just sank into their (your) consciousness to spread around. Most former readers are unaware of how deeply he has affected our perceptions and thinking. Houellebecq recently wrote a book about him in the early 90's. He has great admiration for him and sees the demise of western civilization. He is also quite in agreement with Jaego on a number of issues. And of course Lovecraft was an incredible racist and elitist and not without reason. But coming to Lovecraft after a lifetime of education and reading I can see his pronounced influence just about everywhere I look.

The wonderful Joyce Carol Oates was the first one who came to my mne. I think she is the American Balzac. And when I went to order his books online, what do you know? She has edited a fine collection of his work.

Do you know much about his life?

If you can get your hands on those old Weird Tales, you have a fortune in your hands. They are priceless, especially the ones with his stories.

Nyarlathotep comes. Can you hear? Creeping chaos. The rail tracks with disappear, the buildings will crumble, the hoards will march in unison.

Actually that story at the end echoes Solzhenitsyn's Ivan Denisovitch, his Gulag and Victor Herman's autobiography when they trudge out in the snow in the dark of night to go into the forests to cut down trees in the dead of winter in Siberia. While they are starving.

It just occured to me we could have an apocalypse without an antichrist. That's right he could not show up. Imagine that we'll all watch our world go up in smoke secure in our knowledge that until the evil one makes his appearance on the world stage we are safe. This is all as queer as Bill O'Riley repeated references to drinking the kool aid ala Jim Jones and Guyana fame. Christians are inherently sadist else explain how Passion of the Christ could do so well, the pornographic example of sadism on the big screen. Oh if Mel had only played the dark prince himself. How narcotic would that have been?

For the doomers, I suggest you read A Paradise Built in Hell, by Rebecca Solnit.

Even if the fecal matter hits the fan, it turns out that humans tend to form communities and start sorting out the mess. More often than not it's the establishment and the government who are responsible for atrocities.

The thing we really need to fear is elite panic; they're the ones with the armies and the police.

The great thing about peak oil is that it give the plebs a relative advantage.

What now?
The bad of problems is that the bigger they are, the more difficult it looks the solution, and the good of problems is that if you do not solve them, they will solve by themselves.
I do not think that the economical crisis means the apocalipse of humanity, even if it could look like that to the ones who own three SUVs and are used to spend as much money as possible charging credit cards and living with means they do not have.
It takes much less than that to survive and that is the ultimate goal.
Isn´t it?

A great video of Bill Maher interviewing rapper Jaz-Z that illustrates the lowering of artistic standards -- as well as general cultural decay --brought on by Hollywood industries:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQ6MSTK4rug

Motzart died a pauper in his day and, if he existed now, he would probably die a pauper again. It's sad that the likes of Jay-Z make millions just for putting out something with their name on it, while so many other truly talented people with soemthing worthwhile to say (including unknown black rappers) are ignored by both the industry and masses. Seriously, how many more times can we hear about how badass a guy is and how many cars he has?

When the archaeologists of the 25th Century uncover our ruins, our stretched Hummers, plastic water bottles and gaudy rap videos will tell them all they need to know about us.

Another indication of decay can be found at the box office: the undoubtedly bad fourth or so sequel to the mediocre 1990s flick Final Destination has just surpassed Inglourious Bastereds in ticket sales.

Actually, I've always figured that when the archeologists of tomorrow unearth all the "happy-meals" toys at the dump; well that will tell them all they need to know about us......

Well that would basically support trying to enjoy life to the fullest and live each day as it comes...

I've basically pretty much come round to this way of thinking; I've stopped fixating so much on trying to find a way through work to "save" society etc- and am thinking more about doing work that I find fulfilling and creative and will hopefully pay the bills even :)

I guess that what has been the hardest thig for me has been to try to let go of the idea that we can produce enough change to really turn things around; the incremental change we are producing (cash for clunkers?) is just not going to cut it. That's when I wonder if I am just giving up, not visionary enough or something, or am I just seeing reality without those rose-colored glasses that others are still wearing?

I do wonder whether Kunstler himself, for all that he writes about all that ails us, whether he in fact believes that enough change is possible and that the will to do what needs doing can be harnessed, or whether his role is to just point out the enormity of the problem but that it is unsolvable in any regard?

Unfortunately our basement flooded in the early 80s and Dad's old collection of magazines, including the "Weird Tales" with Howard and Lovecraft, along with his other sci-fi stuff like Analog etc., were a casualty of mold :-( But in a way, isn't that Lovecraftian?

I certainly admit to being a devotee when I was young and that it has influenced my thinking. It has merged with other influences:

1. The earliest book I remember looking through was my Dad's old Air Force Survival Guide in the flexible blue cover, with all the bomb shelter info and what to do if shot down behind enemy lines. The cold war fatalism/survivalism is embedded in our national consciousness, along with giant irradiated tarantulas (the Creeping Horror!)

2. My family was poor and earned every thin dime by breaking our backs, and my grandpa told about his father's family in Missouri who used to be visited by the James gang after the Civil War when they needed to water horses and get food; one of the family at that time ("Uncle Dave") was supposed to have been a Missouri guerilla fighter with Quantrill-- he died from an infected saddle sore on the run from the Union after the war. We were never part of the power structure and although I am pretty fair, I have an innate distrust of any power structure and the rich.

3. On my grandma's side I got my Indian blood; I am an enrolled member of a tribe, and one bloodline ancestor was Black Hawk the Sauk chief, who fought the US in the 1832 war. So part of my heritage already saw the "end of the world" with the destruction by disease, etc. so it's in my DNA there too. We have lots of prophecies that the end of the world is coming soon through the destruction of the environment due to the endless greed for more of the mainstream culture; I grew up hearing this prophecy from Lakota, Maya, and Hopi sources, as well as other tribes.

4. The Bible- of course we all know about its influence on our collective psyches to expect Armageddon/Apocalypse.

5. And being raised in Montana no doubt adds to all of this !

Reading Lovecraft certainly added to this narrative...

Before you cut down the trees if you are starving, be sure and peel away the bark and eat the inner cambium layer. It was "starvation food" for tribes. I have eaten it. It is sweet and not bad. Also, boil the bright green tips of pine, fur or spruce for a refreshing tea full of Vitamin C.

Could you cite an example of this art from Germany? A link would be great. Your comment is so portentious is has sparked my interest!

I like reading Kunstler. For all his invective, I still think he believes in his fellow man.

But, and this is only my opinion, I think he has become trapped by his own success. Let me explain.

When a person is an artist (writer, etc.), it is near impossible to achieve that first solid pattern of success in the market. You try to do some wonderful things and it doesn't matter to many. Look at the comment in the post about Maher and Jay-Z. All those unknown black rappers that might have something original to say besides the usual "Look at me, I'm a bad rich man with lots of ho's for booty calls." Boring. But occasionally you get a glimmer of something real, like that old school rap, "It's like a jungle sometimes, Sometimes I wonder how I keep from goin' under...hahaha."

But all the market wants is stuff like "look at my rims and I'll cap your ass." Boring. PT Barnum in play, "no one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the public." So when you get success, notoriety, money...then that's all they want to hear from you. If you as an artist got your first success painting pink dolphins, you paint more pink dolphins to keep food on the table. There comes a time you want to paint green turtles, and "hey, that's nice and all, but you're the pink dolphin guy." So in the end, your success becomes your prison.

I don't know much about JHK except a little through this blog.I know he was a noted critic of mindless development and MacMalls, along with the Y2K issue before this effort caught fire, along with "World Made by Hand." Doomer scenarios are a good niche market, always have been part of our psyche, and can be a way to make a living...especially if it is true! Be sure and read Jared Diamond's "Collapse" (I am an archaeologist by training).

JHK, for all his acidity, is not a hateful man. He is a curmudgeon sure, but like some of us, it's his expectation that people have better in them and so he has hope for them that drives him to gnash his teeth. He probably started as a critic because he wanted better for people (I think he still does, as he doth protest...) If we didn't care, we wouldn't still be coming back here and to Orlov, Sharon, Greer, week after week.

But JHK is now trapped by his success. Whether he believes we can address the mess or that we are past the tipping point hardly matters. He has bills to pay and agents to feed. And even if he wanted to do or say something else, at this time it would be tough. He is that pink dolphin guy, even if he harbors any desire to occasionally paint a green turtle.


JHK, what do you think of this article ?

http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,439766,00.html

I can respond by three observations:

1) The "daring", "hard working", "risk taking" behavior of the USA compared to other countries was due to a window of time during the 20th century, where technology and science still had a very long road ahead in terms of improvements, inventions, venture capitalism funding new ideas and whole new industries especially from the 70s on with the Microprocessor revolution, the the PC - computer - software revolution and finally with the internet revolution each generating real or fake companies and jobs by the millions, money and optimism etc. But technology has now mostly "PEAKED", most inventions linked to individual talent have been made, now societies can adavance and become richer through behavioral changes like mass transit, universal health care, basic social salary for everyone, cheap rents, etc. The US has more than 10 million homes empty and a growing population of homeless.

2) Extreme form of competition "against" others, of individual competition as I win and you loose, and completely lacking any idea of common good, of any social altruism, except for what the rich hand out to charities making themselves feel right and good. This explains why the USA is a country without mass transit, public transportation and universal health care. That makes many people strive hard and work very hard to beat the other guy, to win especially because the other guy loses, especially so that the other guy suffers. This kind of subtle warfare of each against each other has created powerful industries and innovation, but in the long run has created more and more wealth in the hands of fewer and fewer. But this is deemed ethically correct, religiously correct in the USA, everyone who doesn't succeed is mostly a failure, not good enough, not deserving and should suffer as in homelessness and no health care. This indeed is the major religion of the USA that sets it apart: "GREED is GOOD", hating others in the long wrong is OK, "WAR IS GOOD" beating up the bad guys as in Irak is OK, is right, hence the Christian fanatics who are very christian by hating anyone who is weak.

3) As for children of the world, that is BS, there are few countries who are really less international than the USA. It knows very little of the outside world and more important cares very little for it. Who went to the USA, went because of poverty, the same reasons millions have gone to the EU, UK, Gernmany from India, Turkey, etc. Povery, need, no opportunity in the lands of origins.

Your description of L.A. is pretty close to reality, especially the part about the traffic. As one who has frequently had to drive past L.A., I've always thought they should build a freeway just for that purpose, with no exits to the city itself. Wouldn't that be metaphorical?

As to the air quality, believe it or not, it's far better than it used to be. I remember back in the seventies, the air was so foul you could smell it as you approached the city. When we'd visit my grandmother who lived there, the foul air was the one thing that I dreaded. My parents, who worked in downtown L.A. in the fifties said the air was so bad sometimes one couldn't see across the street! Pollution controls on automobiles (not to mention deindustrialization) have done wonders for the air quality.

Dave - Erstwhile Urban Wanderer

Interesting. Yes, Kunstler has for quite a while now made his rep and no doubt paid the bills doing what has worked for him which is the whole trash-talking doomer thing(no offense Jim; just calling it as I see it). I've heard him speak several times and have chatted with him at talks and I find him to be a good social critic who I have no doubt is genuinely pained by what we have become as a society and a country. His rants on suburbia and the suburban wasteland precede his focus on peak oil.

I do agree that people in general are quite fascinated by armagedden sorts of stuff- there seems to have always been portents of destruction and "end of the world" ideology. I just wonder whether that is all we can do; endlessly point to the mess we have made and decry it. Is it really just a whole bunch of problems in other words that with enough effort we can tackle and solve or is it too big and out of control? These are my thoughts these days......

I mean even if one wanted to just tackle LA, the subject of his latest post- and this is just one small piece of the world really- what could you do to turn it around, make it livable, end the pollution and contamination? It just doesn't seem enough to me anymore to just point to the messes- what is the use if we cannot fix them? If we cannot even manage to muster the political will in this country to provide universal health-care, what hope have we of fixing climate change and peak oil and all the rest which are magnitudes larger in scope?

y2k was a fun time to be a marginally competent database applications programmer -- work was plentiful, rates were high, the mood in the consultant pits was festive to the point of hysterical. i was at a company wh even a child could know was dressing itself up for sale -- to cook its expenses, it had fired more than half of its permanent info-tech workers and replaced them with me and my scabforce brethren.

the infinite joke was that most of the y2k guys were old cobol progs who had been thrown out by the cost-cutters of the 80s... these men weren't just old, they were old school, having come from a pre-nasdaq economy in wh people tended to earn a wage commensurate with an honest day's work.

when the clinton-lewinski story broke, my colleagues all agreed: not bad for a fifty year-old man, getting blown by a twenty-something. somehow the whole scandal was emblematic of the y2k bonanza

the y2k zero-error mods seem like a smashing success: everything kept humming right along. still, no-one mentions all the other errors unearthed along the way, i'm talking gradeschool arithmetic failures: management wanted nothing changed, since god forbid that would render decades of numbers invalid. (incidentally, an oft-cited reason for no-one detecting bernie madoff's fraud is that the bogus statements actually footed-out. this has become the gold standard of data processing?)

Dolan,
In response to your inquiry about how things are in other places, this is how I see it in Boise, ID.;

Given the level of unemployment in the country at large and the leaving of at least two major corporate headquarters here, I would have expected to see wholesale vacancies in the downtown core area. Isn't happening....not yet anyway. While the vacancy rate is definitely up, and I hear stories of landlords who will rent for anything, there is no shortage of new restaurants opening up where others have failed etc. Business activity appears pretty good.

On the residential side, there are lots of homes on the high end which have been "for sale" for two and even three years, still, somehow, they and their owners are often still solvent.

If we are seeing the onset of a depression then it is definitely a slow motion version of one. Perhaps that is always how it unwinds.

We were too poor to buy Helm's, but we used to go to the bread factory behind the soap factory in Commerce. I don't remember the name of it, but they sold day old bread very cheaply.

We used to buy a bunch and freeze it. I still have a fondness for frozen bread.

trapped by his own success......ox excess?

In any case was JHk last novel such a success?
I read TLE but not the novel

Boise, ID

isnt it more tech and yuppy than the rest of the area?

Here are some things I have tried:

1) I voluntarily gave up having kids to reduce resource consumption and reduce environmental pollution. I had my vasectomy, as a sacrifice for mother earth, shortly after Earth Day 1969.

2) Oppose military spending as it is a big TRILLIONs of dollars government run corporate welfare program, and as someone noted, did not protect us from the largest attack on USA (on W´s watch)

3) Become a vegetarian, vegan, or fruitarian. I only lasted four months as a fruitarian, but had more energy than ever.

4) Become carless if possible, or buy one fuel efficient car every 20 years.

5) Join a cohousing community to achieve even more ecologically sound, community building advantages.

6) Develop a spiritual practice. Guns and gold are worth zero if you live in fear and hatred, in perpetual cynicism and with an attitude of doom.

You may be well armed, but you will have lost your life. What will it profit you to gain the whole world (or physical security) if you lose your soul? We are not immortal.

The US is responsible for around 40 million deaths in other countries since WWII, and it didn't impact us at all.

CAN YOU GIVE A BREAK DOWN?

I only lasted four months as a fruitarian, but had more energy than ever.


AND I KNOW SOMEONE WHO DIED OF STARVATION ON AN ORGANIC ALL FRUIT DIET

Asia, I live in north Torrance and they are tearing down homes around me and then replacing them with McMansions. My home was just appraised for $470,000 but my wife told me recently that she was sure when we sell it, they will tear it down and build something else. Sounds absolutely asinine to me but I can't argue the point with her because they keep tearing these homes down around me. The fact is that I live in an old home built in 1953 and some yahoos are willing to pay close to a half a million dollars for it. I think these real estate people around here need to be locked up in a mental facility.

all the neighbors couldn't "see" little Jaycee Dugard

BAAAAA

Erika Pratt called the police when she saw 3 girls living in tents
it was the police etc who fumbled

and she fumbled too,,,,she knew
she coulda called the DA and 1 800 child hotline
she coulda held his feet to the fire till someone in govt did something

The Twin Towers coming down did affect us a little. When you kill 40 million people you might expect a little push back.

Read the book, Blowback, Second Edition: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire (American Empire Project), by Chalmers Johnson.

http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/42462850&referer=brief_results

Really!

with real estate having dropped 50% in LA
and torrance not ' beverlyhills adjacent'

Asia said: "AND I KNOW SOMEONE WHO DIED OF STARVATION ON AN ORGANIC ALL FRUIT DIET"

Check out the obituaries in your local community. Those people dying every day are meat eaters.

The point I was making is that a vegetarian/vegan diet is one way to reduce impact on the environment.

Animal agriculture is linked to climate change, water pollution, land degradation, and a decline in biodiversity.

Animal-based diet uses more land, water, and energy than a vegan diet.

It is a simple change we can easily make, with great consequences for mother earth.

"6) Develop a spiritual practice."
-------------------------------

In the past month or so I seem to recall your mentioning that you are an atheist. If so I am curious how you tie this in with "spiritual practice." Do you believe spirits exist but just not an all powerful creator?

What is the nature of your spiritual practice?

P.S. Asoka/Rico/Zzz delendus est.

Dolan,
Take that bet with your wife. I'm willing to wager that the era of tearing down $470K homes to build new McMansions is over, for a decade at least.

While JHK was suffering in California Hell, I was enjoying a California Garden of Eden, the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center. (Find with a Google search.)

At OAEC, instead of wringing their hands and dishing the doom, people are teaching "what to do," and have been for 15 years.

Though I was there for a landscape painting class, I learned from one of my classmates about the Transition Towns movement, which ANYONE can do in their own neighborhood. (Find with a Google search.)

My neighborhood already has two functioning groups, and I am going to see if my neighbors are interested in the Transition ideas. Other things we neighbors are doing are a garden-vegetable-and-fruit exchange and a creek-bed cleanup.

I am 65+ but at OAEC saw many young people busy at growing and preparing organic fruits and vegetables, learning and teaching permaculture, water conservation, group process, intentional community building. They are the yeast in the bread of the future. I love to see them and witness the gentle ways they interact.

Meanwhile, I obtained my 2009 salvage-title Prius at $10K below Kelley Blue Book, and my next step is to connect with Plug-in Supply regarding a battery pack. (Find with a Google search.)

The Prius is an engineering marvel and has made me a believer in Intelligent Design.

I am harvesting some 20 pounds of produce daily from my garden, and have just planted my winter vegetables. I found some recycled redwood for a new raised bed, in which to plant some spuds (first time in 30 years for growing spuds).

Next on the agenda--a rainwater harvesting system. My grandparents had one in the house they built in 1904, and it worked for them for sixty years.

No social change happens instantly. There are always visionaries, early adopters, and laggards. We DO have some choice in which group to join, wherever we live, and whatever our stage of life.

(AKA Observer) Trying this for the dozenth time--this time with no links.


Okay, so it worked without links. Webmaster take note. I was bolding the links, based on your note about HTML. The links looked fine on the Preview, which I used only a couple of times, out of my dozen or more tries (I started when there were 34 comments--back on p.4.) Now I understand the complaints.

An email to JHK was answered, but he said he couldn't help. An email to the "Postmaster," was NOT answered. Clearly, despite the goofy message I kept getting, JHK was not censoring, and there is a glitch in the link system. I tried everything, including signing up with a new username.

Jaego, it just so happens that the two mammoth thugs who almost killed me in Compton happened to be two huge white guys. They were dressed like folks from the old TV program Green Acres but I have no idea what was inside their heads other than the thought of killing me and my buddy.

The family that got nailed in the the hit-and-run was black. My buddy thought he could somehow make things right by chasing down the culprits but he should have turned around and went back to see what kind of injuries the family received.

However, it is true that Compton has been overrun by Hispanics (illegals) and that has forced a large percentage of the black population to move elsewhere. I don't have many illegals in my neighborhood but that's because these folks are naturally drawn to areas that they can afford and also hide out in. But, there is one thing for sure. Illegal aliens are helping destroy California. I'm not talking about the legal Mexican-American mom and dad who own the mansion across the street from me (I live in an overpriced hovel), own three local businesses and whose daughter attends a local college class with my son. Illegal aliens are currently draining our state resources and leading us into never ending yearly fiscal black holes. And if anybody thinks I'm a racist, then they ought to meet my family members: Hispanic, Filipino, Indian (not Native-American), African-American and Caucasian. When we get together for our weekly Sunday dinners, it looks like a U.N. convention.

Your description of southern California has made my day. I live here in So Cal and wonder why on a daily basis. Your macabre depiction of this idiotic, unsustainable mess made me laugh. It helps to know I’m not alone in my rumination. Thank you for taking the time to document it so succinctly.

" I had my vasectomy, as a sacrifice for mother earth, shortly after Earth Day 1969."

Wrrrrrrong. You had your vasectomy as a kindness to mankind. Thank you for not reproducing.

Sweet Jesus...I'm still laughing. A sacrifice to mother earth? Bwa ha hahahhahahahahhahahahhahah.

you'd have recommended castration ?

The cultural anthropologist Jules Henry wrot eabout this subject in his Culture Against Man. He starts with its roots in the school system. IA did the problem correctly and wins and B did not so she loses.

Then he goes on to say, and I am paraphrasing, that if you love your brother, then you cannot compete against him and drive hm out of business.

I think one of the successes of the Kennedy family is that the brothers supported one another. Without Bobby helping him on the Cuba Bay of Pigs, JFK might have folded to his military who all wanted to go to war. But the brothers figured out that Khrushev was playing chess with them and responded in kind.

Obama has no one really he can trust like that.

Again no offense, but JHK is not an original thinker. He has served a wonderful function in popularizing the situation we are in. Toynbee has predicted it in his History as I have said many times. Every empire faces challenges. If they face it, solve the problem, then they go onto the next challenge. This is the behavior of an empire in growth. china is facing a severe challenge now. If they fail, the challenge is represented, again and again until they fall into disintegration or until and unless they overcome and solve the problem. Every empire has gone through this and we have been in the rout and rally phase for a long time. It is always difficult to see when you are in the midst of it exactly where you are. As I see it we are no longer in rout and rally (challenge solved and we move on to grow a little more). We are in the disintegration phase. I am not going to go into all the symptoms he lists and details but they are all around us.

And no empire has fallen because of weather, outside invasion,or anything other than the loss of integrity of its people. Their disintegration comes before that of the empire.

I believe our challenge was war and reliance on military prowess. Very like the Assyrians, who were unconquerable for hundreds of years because they kept innovating military strategies and weapons which kept them ahead of everyone else. They did not rest on their laurels. But we have almost copied them in their strategies without learning from them. Wars lead to bankruptcy and that is where we are.

As for China her economic boom has depended on making plastic kitsch for us and nw we don't want it and can't afford it. So their trained workers, factories, raw materials and export which depended on us has come to a dead stop. I am betting they will correctly analyze what they did wrongly and correct it for the future.

Theirs is a rather benign totalitarian government considering. Our government is a democracy that depends on educated and informed citizens. Well they are no longer educated and informed, so it looks like some form of totalitarian order will come into being. And we have been educated for obedience and rote learning of unnecessary garbage and then entertained by TV, so we are ripe. And we are ripe for the Universal State, but we are not going to get even that. I think Kunstler and the sci-fi people are correct. We are going to get chaos, instability, and a breakdown of civilization as we know it. Think Obama is going to be so charming when he knows he is glued up to his neck?

China and India and the rest of Asia is in the ascendancy. They are all growth nations. They are semi or totalitarian. They are the future. Don't expect them to be any kinder to us than we were to them.

Then there are all the different coping mechanisms the citizens of the empire engage in while it is in disintegration. That's what we talk about here. That's the only choice we have now. It is not up to us anymore.

It was in operation before Obama and before Bush. Bush greased the skids, and Obama has been handed an infinity of baggage all sliding downhill. He cannot stop it either, but he could (can now?) have slowed it. I was hoping he could do forus what Augustus did for Rome: establish the Universal State to give us some time before it all went into chaos. That isn't gonna happen either.

And yeah people lived through the fall of Rome and all the other crashing empires. They will live through this one too.

Western civilization is at stake. Opening the doors to unskilled immigrants just to have cheap labor, keep some prices down, has had its consequences. It has increased in other dimensions the cost of living.

As long as they have a place to run to, they will not change things where they are. I mean would you?

The American way is just to move away.

Coping behavior may just be to start organic gardening. That is a positive response to all this. But if wide spread food shortages occur and you have put up a lot of food, expect to protect it with guns, not butter, until the masses out number you. And they will. Better to study wild edibles.

What did someone tell me? Cut off the bright green tips of pine and evergreen? Make a delicious tea. Then you can teach a skill rather than defend property.

No offense taken, and I would like to suggest that JHK is original vis-a-vis Toynbee in that Toynbee sees "problem", versus JHK who implies "predicament". This distinction was brought up earlier in the comments this week via Greer's writings. The distinction is subtle, but important. My interpretation of JHK's essays and grunts is through the lens of predicament, and as such, essentially a tragic narrative. Toynbee's lens of problem enables a heroic narrative.

Regardless of the over-arching tragic narrative, it does not require me to wallow in self-pity. Predicament can be faced with personal dignity and active participation by living now.

Problem/predicament is just a language game. Wittgenstein spent a lifetime analyzing language concluding that all problems are language caused. Just using different labels won't change this mess. During rout and rally you would be correct, that something could still be done. Disintegration has gone too far now. So it is a matter of what shall we do? There are quite a few options as a matter of fact. As long as one knows that the old way will not be resuming, they can make plans. If you are in denial you can't make plans.

For example: anyone thinking they can take up the old real estate game of buy/fix up/resell will fail.Most of you don't remember that real estate only went up a few percentage points a year from the 30's almost through the 60's. It took the hippies to see the game of shell/renovate/resell and keep piling up capital.

We are in a different world now, so money making games will have to be different. I think now you can work at something you love and are skilled at and have a good life. Without feeling like a chump because everyone you know is playing a financial game and cleaning up.

Or you can study finance and see how to do it that way. Soros is making money and Buffet is not.

Some rambling random comments/observations/replies:

Someone criticized Asoka for apparently promoting spiritually while being (allegedly) an atheist. I don't think the two need to be mutually exclusive. To think that something as beautiful as our universe (and, possibly, other universes) could exist due to mere chemical chance and is not simply the result of the whims of a spiteful space god is pretty damn cool. That would mean that life itself is the purpose of life -- I don't know how you can get more spiritual than that.

Also, someone made the astute observation that we are prime for a totalitarian system, which, the poster pointed out, is serving the Chinese government well. That could be true, for not only have we lowered our standards when it comes to work by shipping our jobs off to a Third-World, fuck-the-envionment, fuck-human-rights hell hole, we've also lowered our standards when it comes to governing by supporting such a regime. If it can be a race to the bottom when it comes to work, why not government?

Lastly, the G-20 summit is coming to Pittsburgh on Sept. 25 and 25, and various progressives are pushing for a big protest there. Chris Hedges of Truthdig is one of them. His article "Go to Pittsburgh young man and defy your empire" is a good read: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090831_hedges_pittsburgh_g20_defiance/

He says this is our last chance to take a stand against the banks that are looting and subverting the system. Sadly, I bet the showing will be sparse.

Despite the banking fiasco over the past year, the people who truly got it right -- the Naders, the Kuciniches, the Pauls -- are more marginalized than ever.

And the fact that JHK points to the clusterfuck every week and pokes fun of it, truly shows how, deep down, un-cynical the guy is. He really cares.

Those who don't have nothing to say, or they're in marketing.

Some rambling random comments/observations/replies:

Someone criticized Asoka for apparently promoting spiritually while being (allegedly) an atheist. I don't think the two need to be mutually exclusive. To think that something as beautiful as our universe (and, possibly, other universes) could exist due to mere chemical chance and is not simply the result of the whims of a spiteful space god is pretty damn cool. That would mean that life itself is the purpose of life -- I don't know how you can get more spiritual than that.

Also, someone made the astute observation that we are prime for a totalitarian system, which, the poster pointed out, is serving the Chinese government well. That could be true, for not only have we lowered our standards when it comes to work by shipping our jobs off to a Third-World, fuck-the-envionment, fuck-human-rights hell hole, we've also lowered our standards when it comes to governing by supporting such a regime. If it can be a race to the bottom when it comes to work, why not government?

Lastly, the G-20 summit is coming to Pittsburgh on Sept. 25 and 25, and various progressives are pushing for a big protest there. Chris Hedges of Truthdig is one of them. His article "Go to Pittsburgh young man and defy your empire" is a good read: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090831_hedges_pittsburgh_g20_defiance/

He says this is our last chance to take a stand against the banks that are looting and subverting the system. Sadly, I bet the showing will be sparse.

Despite the banking fiasco over the past year, the people who truly got it right -- the Naders, the Kuciniches, the Pauls -- are more marginalized than ever.

And the fact that JHK points to the clusterfuck every week and pokes fun of it, truly shows how, deep down, un-cynical the guy is. He really cares.

Those who don't have nothing to say, or they're in marketing.

Damn, sorry for the double-post. The Pittsburgh G-20 protest is Sept. 25 and 26, not, obviously, Sept. 25 and 25.

Interesting review of Pynchon's new book Inherent Vice over at huffpo. Here's his description of the LA freeway:

"... the Eastbound lanes teemed with VW buses in jittering paisleys, primer-coated street hemis, woodies of authentic Dearborn pine, TV-star-piloted Porsches, Cadillacs carrying dentists to extramarital trysts, windowless vans with lurid teen dramas in progress inside, pickups with mattresses full of country cousins from the San Joaquin, all wheeling along together down into these great horizonless fields of housing, under the power transmission lines, everybody's radios lasing on the same couple of AM stations, under a sky like watered milk, and the white bombardment of a sun smogged into only a smear of probability, out in whose light you began to wonder if anything you'd call psychedelic could ever happen, or if -- bummer! -- all this time it had really been going on up north."

You can check out the rest here:

http://tinyurl.com/loytc4

Yep, it was me that said boil the tips for vitamin C. Rosehips too, but evergreen needles are more plentiful in many areas. And that the cambium layer under the bark is starvation food. The lichen that hangs from limbs can be boiled and is much like edible algae. And don't turn one's nose up at rodents and insects.

I watched "The Devil and Daniel Webster" tonight. A beautiful film with many lessons to be learned. For we are all indeed brothers.

Obama is sending troops to Central and South America. Here is Toynbee's challenge being re-presented.

http://tinyurl.com/l4hnag

Thanks for the honesty. Yeah, there are bad Whites, but White people generally want their trash to go to jail. Most other people seem to want to excuse their people, especially if the crime involved another race. East Asians may be more like Whites though. In a famous murder case, a Japanese man said he wished he could committ suicide. His Father back in Japan said he wished he could give him a knife.

As for your family: no civilization can be maintained with that kind of diversity. It's a feast for the senses, I know: I've lived in multicultural neighborhoods. But for the deeper and more enduring satisfaction that comes from a real neighboorhood, country, and civilization-you need unity not diversity. Don't buy the lie-diversity is weakness.

Real men circumcise themselves with rusty razors. Castration is for heroes who want to become heroines.

Many lament the fact tht it is all doomer talk, no proposals, etc. The truth is many things can be greatly improved very, very quickly if the political powers were in the hands of a progressive left that would immediately do the following:

1) Invest and put up a very huge public transportation network through BUSES, even company BUSES, and even private companies, a few billion dollars could cover alot of the major urban areas of the USA with thousands of BUSES, simple BUSES. Force people to ride them by increasing gas prices every month, no BS, you must ride the BUSES, you are free to ride your car, but it will cost you more and more.

2) Universal Health Care, right away, managed by local and federal government. Enough BS on private profit in health care.

3) Very cheap rents, provided by local and federal governments in good areas. CHEAP RENTS, not buying houses. Incentives to make people rent homes and not buy.

4) A standard guranteed social salary, like about a thousand dollars a month for a family of 4. This must be given to everyopne as a right, as a god given right to a minimum standard of living. No BS, the money was there for banks, the money is always there for wars, the money is always there for billionaires, so give the basics to everyone. No BS.

Now in order to do this you have to fight head on all the right wing interests, all the private corporation's interest, all the interests of the rich. You have to fight the idiotic capitalist brainwashing that has been done to the masses, such as making them believe they will all become rich by this fantasy called "hard work", especially when work no longer exists and has been automated out of existence by computers. So either you are on the side of the poor or on the side of the rich, either you are for maintaining the status quo, or for fighting it.

So it is a fight, a class struggle, a choice, there is no in between, eihter the lower and poorer classes win and the rich and coprporations lose, or the corporations and rich win. Up until now in the USA, the rich and corporations have always won hands down.

Toynbee sounds great but did he have any environmental awareness? To say that the environment never ends a civilization is just a little too sweeping for me. The Maya were in disarray by the time the Spanish came. Some of the city states had been abandoned. Alot of people think they overwhelmed their environment. The Aztecs were also under severe strain-probably one reason they developed the huge human sacrafice cult was for the meat. After the heart was cut out, the Priests would topple the body down the steps to the waiting butchers. As far as we know, these cultures didn't have livestock. And obviously hunting can't support populations this large.

From what little I've read I know he talks about harsh vs easy environments and how civilizations can start in either one. But often it's the harder ones that stimulate the rise of a civiliatation. But environmentalism per se I don't remember seeing; how cultures can master an environment and then over fill it. The best writer I know for this subject is Jared Diamond.

External conquest never ends a civilization? Again, too sweeping. Many Hindu and North African Christian lands were conquered by Islam. The Muslims were just too good when it came to battle. And they didn't just want booty, they wanted souls. So I suppose you could say that conquest is a severe test of a Civilization. The Balkans stayed Christain even when conquered. But Byzantium proper was lost.

The social scientist Robert Putnam of Harvard describes Los Angeles as the most diverse environment on Earth. And the result is the most alienation. Putnam, the celebrated author of "Bowling Alone", hated the results of his study and sat on it for years because he didn't want to give ammunition to the anti-immigration lobby. See what good Maoists we are! We have learned to suppress ourselves. Political Correctness is a religion not science. Any real science it does it will try to distort to make it fit into its preconceptions.

I would like to add some corollaries:

1) These same problems and solutions are applicable to JAPAN and the EU.

2) The present state of these societies, the USA, EU and JAPAN make it impossible for this political program to be implemented because the majority of the people are relatively well off, want to protect the status quo, do not want home prices to go down, and they should go down hugely, like in all 3 areas the USA, EU and JAPAN a 1200 sq ft (100 sq meter) house should cost no more than 100,000 dollars or rent out to no more than 300 dollars a month. But these societies have a majority of middle class, conservative, pro right wingers and a minority of poor. So the majority will always win and continue protecting the status quo. It is the next generation, and only a small part of them (those that won't inherit their parent's property) that are cut off forever, and the poor.

A majority of rich and a minority of poor is exactly what the capitalist system has always strived for and has been hugely successful in obtaining it.

Many lament the fact tht it is all doomer talk, no proposals, etc. The truth is many things can be greatly improved very, very quickly if the political powers were in the hands of a progressive left that would immediately do the following:

1) Invest and put up a very huge public transportation network through BUSES, even company BUSES, and even private companies, a few billion dollars could cover alot of the major urban areas of the USA with thousands of BUSES, simple BUSES. Force people to ride them by increasing gas prices every month, no BS, you must ride the BUSES, you are free to ride your car, but it will cost you more and more.

2) Universal Health Care, right away, managed by local and federal government. Enough BS on private profit in health care.

3) Very cheap rents, provided by local and federal governments in good areas. CHEAP RENTS, not buying houses. Incentives to make people rent homes and not buy.

4) A standard guranteed social salary, like about a thousand dollars a month for a family of 4. This must be given to everyopne as a right, as a god given right to a minimum standard of living. No BS, the money was there for banks, the money is always there for wars, the money is always there for billionaires, so give the basics to everyone. No BS.

Now in order to do this you have to fight head on all the right wing interests, all the private corporation's interest, all the interests of the rich. You have to fight the idiotic capitalist brainwashing that has been done to the masses, such as making them believe they will all become rich by this fantasy called "hard work", especially when work no longer exists and has been automated out of existence by computers. So either you are on the side of the poor or on the side of the rich, either you are for maintaining the status quo, or for fighting it.

So it is a fight, a class struggle, a choice, there is no in between, eihter the lower and poorer classes win and the rich and coprporations lose, or the corporations and rich win. Up until now in the USA, the rich and corporations have always won hands down.

I would like to add some corollaries:

1) These same problems and solutions are applicable to JAPAN and the EU.

2) The present state of these societies, the USA, EU and JAPAN make it impossible for this political program to be implemented because the majority of the people are relatively well off, want to protect the status quo, do not want home prices to go down, and they should go down hugely, like in all 3 areas the USA, EU and JAPAN a 1200 sq ft (100 sq meter) house should cost no more than 100,000 dollars or rent out to no more than 300 dollars a month. But these societies have a majority of middle class, conservative, pro right wingers and a minority of poor. So the majority will always win and continue protecting the status quo. It is the next generation, and only a small part of them (those that won't inherit their parent's property) that are cut off forever, and the poor.

A majority of rich and a minority of poor is exactly what the capitalist system has always strived for and has been hugely successful in obtaining it.


It is amazing though how so many economists keep on blattering about "flexibility", "competition", the future work in research, innovation, when the truly real flexible and innovative things and ideas, those that would really improve the economy greatly like cheap rents, social salary, public transit, etc are never mentioned. This shows exactly how the economists just keep on furnishing the same old ideology of protecting the rich and corporations. Never do they mention that today CONSUMPTION is way more important than LABOR or WORK, work is the least important aspect of this economy, consumption is the most important so a social salary and cheap rents would go a long way in improving consumption. Also companies want flexibilty so they can hire and fire, again having a home as a property goes completely against this, but corporations never say we want cheap rents for our workers. I wonder why ?

this may be old but hey what you wrote reminded me of it

Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter

Not Los Angeles rather

Floods, Fires, Earthquakes, and Riots

Cheers

Jerry

Another reason why the west wants to protect the status quo with all means is because it knows that the bonanza, the pay and conditions of work that existed in the USA, EU and JAPAN during the boom decades from 1955 towards the 90s will never come back. Real estate freezes past work, cristallizes past work in the form of high values of homes. Since past work can never again be matched, the only way to protect this one time bonanza that has come and gone, this one time free ride is to lock that past work into the price of real estate. This is even more true in the EU and JAPAN. No crisis will ever change the money needed to buy or rent, just look at JAPAN, they have been in a depression for decades, but homes are not available for the young at a decent price. Unless they inherit.

It is kind of like a game of monopoly, of the first ones that conquer a territory: well all those homes were a territory to conquer, the first wave of millions of conquerers now have a lock on them and will never again relinquish them. Just like Microsoft and google and others have a monopoly on markets, so does the western middle class. No social mobility anymore.

The Real Wealth of a country can be measured by two numbers: Minimum Wage and price of Minimum Rent. Well in the USA, EU and JAPAN this has become so that rents are higher and often much higher than minimum wage. A sign of a decaying society, a society that can no longer offer opportunity. A society growing old and insecure, must protect their "past".

Also the USA bet on the idea that they could create markets and monopolies, since the real name of the game of capitalism is the creation of power and monopolies and none other, by selling intellectual products, by selling their research, their know how locked into some kinds of products and services. The rest of the world can manufacture products, the USA will invent them, especially since by inventing them they tie up the result of the "intellectual" construction to "individual" talent therefore feeding the ideology of inequality, of merit, of one person being better, deserving more because of talent, as a justification for ineqaulity through intellectual work. So Bill Gates is a hero the other 200 million slobs in america are all loosers who deserve nothing, to become homeless and with no health care.

But there is only so much you can really invent and only so many intellectual monopolies that can be created. It is getting harder and harder to create and impose new ones: MS with windows, google, intel in the area of CPUs, APPLE, drug companies, but lets face it there won't be many new inventions, monopolies available to conquer in the future.

Ever feel like you are living in a dream?

When all reflections from society send you the message that your every perception and feeling about what is happening is just wrong?

You are not alone.

More often in my daily actions my mind recollects the movie The Stepford Wives. I go to meetings with seemingly intelligent people, many with blank stares on their faces. Others with the faint smile of nervousness they find impossible to hide.

When they speak they proclaim their intent to accomplish that which is not possible. It is after all what is expected of them.

When something goes awry it is not an issue, easy enough to cover it up or forget to include one or two minor details.

Frequently they move at the speed of slow. As if they are waiting for their inaction to redeem them. Somewhere inside they know the truth. They know they have failed before they even started.

They know of no other way. They are stuck in the delusion of a culture that rejected all others and told them to disregard everything that was different.

It is of fear they are born into and it is to fear they will die. This is the way of much of the US today.

True hope and faith are deemed the currency of the religious fanatics. They cannot be the indulgences of the common man. It would be too unsettling and too inconvenient.

I'd say that what JHK is doing is acting as a lightening rod of sorts- which while it does get him lots of attention for the cause, also exposes him to plenty of vitriol. And again I come back to my notion that what he is doing is calling attention to the "predicament" we are now in, and not a means of solving a problem which well may be usolvable at this scale. And again another poster a bit back waxed poetic over how the young people near him were doing Transition Town stuff and permaculture and all of that, and yes, I do think that is just peachy, but it is just decorative icing at this point I am afraid. One TT or two or four will not save this world from where it is heading. Just as eco-villages and community gardens are all really cool too but are way too small to survive the onslaught of problems coming our way- imho for what that's worth-not that I wouldn't like to believe otherwise.

And yes, history does have a way a repeating itself- a good read of Tainter as has been mentioned in another post, or Jared Diamond's "Collapse" or the authors you cite are in order.

I do think that somehow people in the US in particular have somehow come to believe that just like the banks and AIG, we are "too big to fail". Add to that a dollop of how "special" we are and how much much of the country is sure that god loves us in particular, and the sheer wealth of resources that we had(and have managed to plunder in so short a time)- a prescription for the rather insane belief that it cannot happen here. I think Europe does not hold that level of magical thinking as they have witnessed the collapse of empires in the past as well as the destruction of both World Wars at home.

So very, veery perceptive. And so helpless is our culture to see or admit to how hamstrung we are by our good intentions.

It's become evident that equally as obstructive to progress among us is the mass of educated progressives who are well schooled in their particular area of grievance and whose blind focus on it leaves them every bit as oblivious to the general condition of disappearing work and untenable living arrangements as any plutocrat or mindless developer would be.


"..you'd have recommended castration ?"

For asoka? No, he took care of the matter himself. Now in your case I would recommend castration. Then a lobotomy.


"The Real Wealth of a country can be measured by two numbers: Minimum Wage and price of Minimum Rent."

If your measurement of wealth is tied to minimums you are no longer talking about wealth...you are talking about subsistence. (Fucking MORON.)

And what the FUCK does "minimum rent" even mean, you imbecile? How about a definition of "minimum rent"?

OBAMA RECOVERY PLAN SUCCEDDING

"The U.S. economy is beginning to show signs of improvement, with many economists asserting the worst is past and data pointing to stronger-than-expected growth. On Tuesday, data showed manufacturing grew in August for the first time in more than a year. "There's a method to the madness. We're getting out of this," said Brian Bethune, chief U.S. financial economist at IHS Global Insight.

Much of the stimulus spending is just beginning to trickle through the economy, with spending expected to peak sometime later this year or in early 2010."

SOURCE: Wall Street Journal, Sept. 2, 2009

Q said: "In the past month or so I seem to recall your mentioning that you are an atheist. If so I am curious how you tie this in with "spiritual practice."

Yes, I am an atheist, and yes I have a spiritual practice. Many of the worlds religions are atheist, for example Buddhists, Taoists, Advaitan Vedantists, Jains, etc.

There is no need to believe in invisible beings or creation deities to have a spiritual practice.

I do like some of the creation deities though, my favorite being the blue-skinned, dancing, flute-playing god of Hinduism. Hare Krishna!

TAT TVAM ASI

It would be nice if so cal had a few rains that were close to floods
no its dry and was it 2007 or 2008 that was the dryest 10? months ever recoded here.

a flood of cars and exhaust

Spiritual can include God
or can mean SPIRIT

dont see why someone would say atheists cant be spiritual

Buddism doesnt mention god

"As far as we know, these cultures didn't have livestock."

It has been speculated that the ancestors of the Chihuahua were sometimes used for meat. To me, that would explain a lot about Chihuahuas.

I know it's a Wikipedia link, but it matches what I read in Jared Diamond's Collapse.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogs_in_Mesoamerica

According to traditional Western philosophy and theology (for example, Saint Bonaventure) humans are composed of body, mind, and spirit. It is human nature.

We are physical, intellectual, and spiritual beings.

Whether God exists or does not exist is irrelevant.

Believe what you want... or believe nothing.

Choice of belief does not affect the reality of human nature.

At least the American public has come to a consensus that the good old days of unlimited growth are over and everyone had better prepare for a much lower standard of living. Up here in Canada we still can't decide if we should prepare for a radically different future where every facet of daily life will have to be down-scaled or continue happily pretending that we're living in the 1950's. If history is any indication, Canadians will continue to live in a state of complete denial until the bitter end when every big box outlet, strip mall franchise and fast food emporium goes belly up and we finally realize that we are a much poorer nation that we've been led to believe.

Yes, Ok, True, but you are expressing it a misleading way. These religons are "not theistic"-the prefix "a" means not-but they have nothing to do with what Westerners call atheism. These religons believe in both non material realms and non material (invisible to our eyes) beings. They just don't believe the ultimate reality is a personal god-that's what their "not theism" amounts to. Their ultimate reality is a non personal Spirit or Principle which they call Tao, Brahman, Buddha Nature, City of Peace, etc. The ultimate reality of Western Atheism is atoms. Big difference.

Yeah like Ozzy says, it's a dream withing a dream. If we awake from this consensus nightmare, we will still have ther regular dream of creation to wake up from. As Chuang Tzu said, am I a man dreaming he is a butterfly or a butterfly dreaming he is a man? Do they actually like butter I wonder?

I've always been horrified by intelligent people gathered around pie charts-as if it matters whether Ben and Jerry's beats out other ice cream companies. In the high culture of Merrie Old England, it was considered vulgar to advertise. Everything was word of mouth and everyone had his own specialty. But then the Jews returned with William of Orange and put an end to all such inefficiency. The proud yeomanry were turned into paupers and their grandsons became slaves and whores in the cities. As Blake says, at the mill with the slaves.

British Petroleum just announced a new big oil find in the Gulf of Mexico. They predict that they can extract about 1 billion barrels but that they won't start sucking it up until sometime in the next decade. That certainly gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. Some spokeshole from Brewin Dolphin says that this will ease all our concerns about peak oil. I'm surprised he didn't say that we should all go back to watching American Idol and make sure we get our votes in early.

George, I would disagree with your statement that the American public has come to a realization that the era of unlimited growth is over. I don't believe that the American public is any closer to accepting cold hard reality than the Canadian public.

You wouldn't believe what is being spewed forth down here on the American airways. Yesterday on Tech Ticker some mouthy little twerp was exclaiming that our federal government should be borrowing and spending many more trillions than we already are. He was basically saying that the sky was the limit in America right now. When I watch these jackasses who regularly show up on our news shows, I suspect that a lot of our good genes moved north after the American Revolution.

The other thing I believe is that people don't really change until they are forced to change and the force always involves some form of pain. So Canadians and Americans will continue on doing asinine things until "the hurting starts" as the country-western song says so eloquently.

'many economists asserting the worst is past and data pointing to stronger-than-..blablaaaaa

SINCE WHEN DID ANYONE HERE EXCEPT YOU EXPECT THE TRUTH FROM CORPORATE MEDIA?

they always say ' the worst is over' or whatever they can get away with saying!

Do they offer any proof?
7 million jobs gone..the worst is yet to come

you heard that first here pal

The Marvel Super Heroes are golems-creations not of Rabbi Loew but of Jewish artists. They have always stood for Truth, Justice, and the American Way. Back in the 40's and 50's, they fought Nazis and Commies. Now they will fight Muzzies and Ruskis (the new Nazis). They serve to narrow the American Imagination until young kids just find themselves naturally signing up to get their legs blown off. Not one American in a hundred knows that the Founding Fathers would have been against both WW1 and WW2, and of course Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The Traveling Red, White, and Blue Death Machine-got to love it. And with Obama at the helm there is no telling how many people we can kill.

"There is no need to believe in invisible beings or creation deities to have a spiritual practice."
------------------------------

Asoka,

I begin this reply knowing it is unlikely to bear fruit ... but ... what the hay:

Following are definitions that most closely fit my concept of spirit and spiritual:

spirit: conscious, incorporeal (i.e. immaterial) being
spiritual: of or pertaining to the spirit or soul

If you reject these definitions there would not be much sense in reading my questions below.

But, if you accept these definitions, then, what is the nature of your "spiritual practice?" Prayer? (If so, to whom?) Animal sacrifices? Bowing toward Mecca? Attendance at church/ temple/ mosque/or the like? Meditation, incense, candles? Foregoing of eartly pleasures? Chanting, signs of the cross, genuflections, prostrations? Good works? Spinning prayer wheels? Closing your eyes and affecting solemnity while cupping your hands momentarily above your food prior to partaking?

What ever it is that you do ... do you feel/believe that you are communing with a conscious, non-material being(s)?

Once I have some idea of what you consider to be a spiritual practice I will, no doubt have some follow-up questions.

P.S. Asoka/Rico/Zzz delendus est.

Asia, I work for a large multi-billion dollar international corporation that I can't mention by name. Last week, we received a letter from corporate headquarters that lauded us for all our good work, warned us about all the obstacles in our way of making hundreds of millions again in profits this year and then reminded us of the fact that the company's current 10,000 employee layoff was only half way completed. I sat and stared at my computer screen for a few minutes. Since I came on board with this company, we have shed about 40,000 employees. You don't have to convince me that the hard times are truly ahead.

I've been noticing a whole lot of "yes, but what can we do?" comments this week, and I would like to present a different tack on it.
I have also been seeing a lot of newspaper articles decrying the falling fertility rates in the developed world and China(I haven't checked recently, but it's possible that even the US, the outlier of the group is now below replacement). We ARE actually doing something: having fewer children. We need to encourage this pattern, and to instill the idea that this is an opportunity, not a problem. That it is an opportunity to change the world: to scale back the human enterprise. (And to all you doomers out there, The fertility rate is also falling in the 3rd world. Do some reading before you try to refute me). There is something called demographic inertia: once you start changing the size of a population in one direction, it takes decades to turn it around. When you start to look at the math, you start to see interesting things. The one that interests me the most is that, like exponential population growth, you can also get exponential population decline- if you are having one child per couple with minimal immigration, the numbers 60 to 80 years out look very interesting- massively reduced populations without Malthusian die-offs. And that one child per couple is not far from the 1.2 to 1.4 child fertility rates you see in developed societies.
The problem is that you tend to get a very large, very old population just before they die off (leaving a much smaller cohort hopefully planned for a sustainable population level), and that our economic system isn't set up to handle contraction (or "negative growth" to put it into context). Capitalism is a Ponzi scheme where the greater fool (in this case, the last one born) is paying for the previous investors. Admitting this would be political suicide. Also, the Catholic Church and other conservative religions have a vested interest in population growth and in denying overpopulation.
So, what do I think this all means? I think we should be aiming for a Controlled Demographic Transition. We should be considering that the populations of the developed countries will be shrinking, and that we should be encouraging this, as well as encouraging the third world to reduce it's fertility rate. We should be anticipating the time when population sizes decrease, and planning for it, with everything from National policy (financial incentives for smaller families (which would allow for more accurate planning)) to local policy (zoning laws that would discourage new construction of, say, apartment buildings over 5 stories and encourage building types that could be used as loft housing and repurposed after the population is reduced(these are just back of the envelope ideas to show direction)). If these ideas were introduced tomorrow, it would still probably be too late to avoid Malthusian catastrophes, particularly in Asia. On the positive side, however, population decline is inevitable now because of demographic inertia: there are not enough women in the developed world willing or able to support 5 or 6 children to enable us to avoid population decline in 30 or 40 years. The question is whether we try to maximize the population contraction to reduce global warming and resource depletion, and make the necessary adjustments to our society to allow the change to run as smoothly as possible (because economic and population contraction is a huge unknown). I do believe it is a better solution than a Malthusian die-off. Whether it can happen in a non-totalitarian society is the question. I believe China is better off today than it would be without the one-child policy. Can we make a society that thinks in yearly profit increases as the sole measure of success, and wants to spend the last third of their life playing golf, plan for the well being of members of their society who haven't even been conceived yet? To plan for a worst-case scenario (which is probably a best-case scenario) that will require comparative sacrifice now? And which will probably only blunt the disasters heading our way? Probably not unfortunately. But to my mind, it's better than what the "Electric Suv" set and the "let's hole up in Montana with guns and freeze dried food" types, and the "it's Wall Street's fault and we're just plain fucked. Didn't you see this morning's paper?" types are offering. So there you have it: Controlled Demographic Transition. What do you think?

To add to what Dolan mentioned above:

“BP makes giant oil find in Gulf of Mexico”
http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE58133V20090902
(2 Sept 2009)

Looks like a remake of the following chain-letter scam seen almost exactly 3 years ago:

“US oil reserves get a big boost”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/05/AR2006090500275.html
(6 Sept 2006)

Can someone please flag this BS for the Snopes.com people?

I say, let the lower birth rate and/or Malthusian die-off begin the moment I croak and have received the last of my needed SS checks.

P.S. Asoka/Rico/Zzz delendus est.


Sounds like Countrywide, or any of 100s of others!

What ya dont believe the WSJ like Ashok?

the rich get richer and we get taxed!

remember when JHK hoped for hope thru Obama?

I totally agree with you that conservative religious groups are really hurting the planet with all their anti-abortion/let's have a billion kids rants. I also believe that what you call Controlled Demographic Transition would be a positive thing if it could be incorporated into the real world. Unfortunately, I don't believe this will come to pass and I know that a lot of folks will say that I'm just a "doomster."

However, I do believe in a survival mentality and I don't mean the kind where you hide out in Idaho with an arsenal of weapons and a barn full of freeze dried food. My wife and I are moving to Oregon but it isn't so we can hide out from people. We hope to associate and befriend the neighborhood folks and live in harmony with them. If you read JHK's latest novel, you see this sort of necessary survival mechanism taking place with the remaining citizens of the small town of Union Grove, N.Y.

I believe the one thing that we have control over is our own deeds and actions. I'm not looking for the U.S. government or the U.N. to bail us out of this problem. I spent a bunch of my childhood in rural Mississippi and I actually witnessed farm families helping each other out with all sorts of things. I remember watching my mom and dad give aid to some very poor folks in our community. So, there is no need to think that the end of the world is coming. We can adjust to it but I don't think we can convince world populations to have more or fewer children. Our governments can't even control our own currencies or economies so I don't think they are going to control our populations unless they do it thru some horrific types of warfare or genocide. I truly hope that doesn't happen.

Yes, I don't recall the exact numbers off the top of my head, but in fact if everyone were to have 1 child only for a couple of generations we could get our worldwide population way down to a managable and potentially sustainable billion or two- then people could go back to having 2 kids/couple and the population would remain stable at that number.

It would obviously need either extreme force such as in China, or a whole lot of buy-in for this to happen. As well there would as you noted, be a lot of changes in terms of the demographic situation that would result for a while as there would be a huge elderly population and a small younger population. This could be managed imo- it just needs to be planned for. I have only had 1 kid- so I guess I've signed up for it and am not asking anyone to do what I wouldn't/haven't!

" Roland Emmerich's forthcoming apocalyptathon. 2012, in which virtually every global landmark from the Vatican to the White House is destroyed, and mankind's last hope is John Cusack riding a spaceship to worlds unknown"

Well, from that tiny synopsis I would judge John Cusack's character's desertion of our planet to be an unqualified act of wimpdom. 'Course, I wasn't "there".

Well, here's a glitch in the Matrix for you...

Ima-ima-imagine if you will, "...that George W. Bush had been allowed a third term as president, had run and had won or stolen it, and that we were all now living (and dying) through it".

"With the Democrats in control of Congress but Bush still in the Oval Office, the media would certainly be talking endlessly about a mandate for bipartisanship and the importance of taking into account the concerns of Republicans. Can't you just picture it?"

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175109/david_swanson_the_more_things_change

You should get the motherfuck out of California bra, seriously now.

I just had to mention this which was on my mind since this afternoon. Now that Bush et al are gone Bill Mahr (SP ?) is resurecting fucking Bill Moyers as a talk host. Is this fucked in the ass or is it just me?

"Is this fucked in the ass or is it just me?"
---------------------------------

It's just you.

And re your previous (9:21PM) post who the motherfuck fuckin motherfuck are you fuckin talkin to ... motherfucker?

P.S. Asoka/Rico/Zzz delendus est.

Hey asshole George Bush didn't steal dankle we fucking elected him. ELECTED him ass hole, ok?

Suck it up people, sck hard now. People.

Hey Rico orwhatever, I detect a taint of wop? or is that possible? Then that explains your fucking gunieass wop language, Wop Lifers, accept your destiny then welcome back to the human race (non- wop eh?) Love, ME

Or is is Spic? I get confused.

Or is it Spic? I get confused with all this mixing going on. How about "dark skinned?" That should cover it.

Hey, JMNYC ... suggestion: if you've got some point you're trying to make, try writing a few coherent sentences without using the word "fuck" 'cause I have no idea what your talking about. If anybody else knows ... well ... I'm amazed.

P.S. Asoka/Rico/Zzz delendus est.

(From New York Times Magazine 6/29/08)ONE DAY IN MARCH, I was standing on a platform at the top of a smokestack attached to a defunct sausage factory in the German city of Dessau, looking out on a ragged urban landscape: derelict factory buildings, brick homes and shops, a railroad track snaking through a swath of grass and dirt. Even the brilliant spring weather didn’t improve the view. But the bearish middle-aged man beside me was full of enthusiasm. He waved an arm expansively, indicating a distant tree line. “From here you see that the city is embedded in a protected nature area,” he said through an interpreter. “We will bring that into the city.” Listening to Karl Gröger, director of the city’s department of building, is disorienting; where local politicians are supposed to cheer development, he was standing in the midst of his city’s industrial infrastructure and saying, in effect, “Someday all of this will be wilderness.”

Like Laviano, Dessau is a harbinger of the demographic decline the rest of Europe faces. But where Rocco Falivena went natalist in an attempt to confront the issue of decline head-on, a consortium of 17 cities in this part of Germany has adopted a more innovative strategy. A decade or so after the fall of the Berlin Wall, politicians and town planners in eastern Germany were forced to realize that the growth they were expecting with the turn to capitalism and representative government wasn’t coming. They were in the crosswinds of two European phenomena: the economic malaise of the former Communist states and plummeting birthrates across the Continent.

“This was the first time in human history that cities started to shrink rather than grow,” Dr. Karl-Heinz Daehre, minister of land development and traffic for the province of Saxony-Anhalt, told me — with a trace of hyperbole — as we sat in his office in the provincial capital of Magdeburg. “There was a mental barrier that people had to overcome, that we had to tear down parts of our cities in order to grow, or to move forward. We understood that this wasn’t a Saxony-Anhalt problem, or even a German problem, but was part of an international problem. So we sought help.”

It so happens that Dessau is the city where, in 1926, the architect Walter Gropius planted the Bauhaus school of design, which embraced — and to some extent defined — Modernism and tried to mesh design and architecture with the ways people lived and worked in the 20th century. “Nothing seemed more logical to us than to remember the 1920s and Gropius and the Bauhaus,” Daehre said.

The original Bauhaus building still stands in Dessau. It is sleek and cool and simple, with retro touches that remind you of every 1950s-era school building, every mid- or late-20th century office or factory, because it is in a sense the granddaddy of them all. The current director of the Bauhaus Institute, Omar Akbar, greeted me in his office there. Akbar is a dapper man and a gentle visionary who was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and immigrated with his parents to Germany as a small boy. He talked about the high-flying ideals of Gropius and his colleagues, and how their approach to design was so revolutionary it became politically dangerous (it was considered “un-German” by the Nazis).

Akbar said that after officials approached him, he came to see the demographic challenges of Europe as a renewed opportunity for the Bauhaus Institute, a chance for it once again to play a role in defining the modern. “We said to the government of Saxony-Anhalt, ‘Shrinkage is a completely new phenomenon,’ ” Akbar told me. “We have to look for new ways to deal with it.” According to some, a declining population presents certain opportunities: to increase efficiency and livability, to change lifestyle and environment for the better. The plan that Akbar’s team came up with was for 18 cities in the region (two cities now share one government) to submit to an exhaustive process of review and soul-searching under the direction of Bauhaus planners and, by the year 2010, to come up with long-term redevelopment strategies appropriate to each — to find a way for each city to shrink constructively.

Dessau itself, Akbar said, had two distinctive features. One, as Karl Gröger indicated from the sausage-factory lookout, is that it is surrounded by protected national forest. The other is that it has no historic town center (80 percent of the city was destroyed in World War II) and thus no core. The plan, therefore, calls for demolishing underused sections of the city and weaving the nature on the periphery into the center: to create “urban islands set in a landscaped zone,” as Sonja Beeck, a Bauhaus planner, told me. “That will make the remaining urban areas denser and more alive.” The city has lost 25 percent of its population in recent years. “That means it is 25 percent too big,” Gröger said. “So far we have erased 2,500 flats from the map, and we have 8,000 more to go.” Beeck and Gröger walked with me through an area where a whole street had been turned into a grassy sward. Many residents were dubious at first, they told me, but as we walked, a woman recognized the government official and marched up to chat about when promised trees and flowers would be planted in front of her building.

Eisleben, another of the cities in the consortium, has a picture-perfect 16th-century downtown but is losing people fast, and many of its historic buildings have been long unused and uninhabitable. Eisleben’s shrinkage strategy centers on history: it happens to be the birthplace of Martin Luther. The city is laying out a tourist route — from the house in which Luther was born to his first church to the church in which he gave the last sermon before he died — that shows off its old center and turns its many derelict buildings and empty lots into art installations related to the father of Protestantism. The idea is to attract more tourists and money and build up the locals’ pride in their history. There is a certain paradox here: thanks to its Communist heritage, this part of Germany has the distinction of being one of the least religious places on earth. Eisleben gets 100,000 religious pilgrims a year, but only 14 percent of its population are churchgoers, and hardly anybody expects a turnaround.

But while few locals themselves may feel religiously inclined, the thinking is that if religious pilgrimage is the best card in your hand, you play it. This notion — embrace shrinkage in order to revitalize your economy, rather than trying to coax women to have more babies — is, according to more than a few observers of the European scene, the right tack. Or better said, it is one part of the best overall strategy — one that embraces population decline. For there are those who argue that low birthrate in itself is not a problem at all. Paul Ehrlich, the Stanford scientist who warned us about the “population bomb” in the 1960s, is more certain than ever that the human race is catastrophically straining the planet. “It’s insane to consider low birthrate as a crisis,” he told me. “Basically every person I know in my section of the National Academy of Sciences thinks it’s wonderful that rich countries are starting to shrink their populations to sustainable levels. We have to do that because we’re wrecking our life-support systems.”

Low birthrates and an aging population, according to Vladimir Spidla, director of employment, social affairs and equal opportunities for the European Commission, “is the inevitable consequence of developments that are fundamentally positive, in particular increased life expectancy and more choice over whether and when to have children.”

Alasdair Murray of CentreForum made the case this way: “There is an error whereby birthrate is being blamed for future economic woes. The European population is declining, and I don’t see that you can do much about that. But the real question is: How necessary is population growth to economic growth? I say not much. A huge number of people in Europe are underemployed or out of work. Get them back in the labor force, and some of these problems are mitigated. That should be the first target, rather than getting people pregnant.” To this end, there are efforts afoot to increase working life at both ends of the spectrum. In the Netherlands, for example, where thanks to early-retirement plans, only 20 percent of people over age 60 are working, the government has recently mounted a campaign to get people used to the idea of working to age 65.

Those inclined to see the glass as half-full include some people who are closest to the numbers. James W. Vaupel, founding director of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany, looking in particular at Germany’s demographic status, is downright sunny on the future. He, too, says that the shrinking and graying of European societies is inevitable, but he suggests that “on balance, the future will probably be better than the past. People will probably live longer, healthier lives. Continued economic growth, even if at a slower pace than in the past, will further raise standards of living.”

I put this to Carl Haub of the Population Reference Bureau, who monitors global fertility on a daily basis from his perch in Washington. Is it possible that these are basically “good problems,” that Europeans, having trimmed their birthrates, are actually on the right path? That all they have to do is adjust their economies, find creative ways to shrink their cities, get more young and old people into jobs, so that they can keep their pension and health-care systems functioning?

Haub wasn’t buying it. “Maybe tinkering with the retirement age and making other economic adjustments is good,” he said. “But you can’t go on forever with a total fertility rate of 1.2. If you compare the size of the 0-to-4 and 29-to-34 age groups in Spain and Italy right now, you see the younger is almost half the size of the older. You can’t keep going with a completely upside-down age distribution, with the pyramid standing on its point. You can’t have a country where everybody lives in a nursing home.”
(end of article)

Russell Shorto (author of the above) is a contributing writer for the magazine. His most recent book, “Descartes’ Bones: A Skeletal History of the Conflict Between Faith and Reason,” will be published in October.
*****
The Germans, unlike our fellow Americans (and many of the people who post on this blog) seem to be able to talk to each other in a civil manner and make novel and realistic plans for a civil future with genuine civic life. Dessau is a place I would like to visit every ten years.

I understand that forty percent of the money that California raised to close it's massive budget deficit came from accounting procedures, i.e. gimmicks. They'll pay expenses on a different fiscal year.

Another thing they did was take money that belongs to the cities and claim it for their own. Some of the municipalities are threatening to take the state to court over that.

Unbelievable, they're facing financial destruction and all they can come up with is playing games with money.

They look like a dying drug addict, who is so fucked up that he doesn't even know where he is, but has these incredible delusions that he isn't an addict and everything is fine.

Most of the people running things look like this to me.

The secret of Western survival is simple: we've already lowered our birthrates enough, now we have to keep out the high breeding aliens who are sucking us dry. They are Muslims and Europe and Mexicans in North America. Yes there will be a heavy burden on the generation coming up, but it can be handled if people understand what's at stake and with a bit of sacrafice. The answer is not to put the burden on Aliens even if legal. That is the path of gradual destruction.

The Japanese have made great use of robots.

The race between utopia and catastrophe has already been won-by catastrophe. It's true that well to do people have fewer children, but we can't possibly make enough people well to do quick enough to save us. Also both the Mexican and Islamic invaders embrace high reproduction as a strategy of conquest-Consciously. And with an obliging welfare state, they're off to the races. Mexican women are having more children in the US than in Mexico. On our dime. The only hope for America and Europe is to expel the Brown People.

Not much meat on a Chihuahua, better to stick to people. The Papuan cannibals of New Guinea say that Japanese people taste the best. Whites are apparently too dry and salty. Papuans are in the middle. I'm not sure whether they got a chance to try Blacks. I wonder if this is genetic or is it to do with our diet. Is this something we want to work on? After all, maybe tasting bad has been genetically selected for.
A group of Abos in Australia ate hundreds of Chinese in the 1800's who were working on the railroad. Perhaps they focused on the Chinese because they tasted better than Whites.

Thank you, Canuckistani and Observer, for your information.

I knew that Europe, Japan and the US had low birthrates, but not the rest of the world. that is good news.

It amazes me that anyone could think that we need population growth to sustain a decent standard of living. Indeed, many people have pointed out the opposite. And yet, when populations start to drop, the governments act with alarm. WTF? The days of producing 10 kids to work the farm are over. And we overproduce goods in capitalism. That is the crisis of overproduction. That is starvation in the midst of plenty. That is capitalism. 30 years ago we had 100 million fewer people than we do now. Are people seriously arguing that we were worst off? We have massive unemployment now. We don't need more babies.

The birth rate dropped during the Depression, even without reliable birth control, because not many people want to bring a child into the world just to watch them starve.

Those who think that governments need to coerce lower birthrates are totally missing the point.

People all over the world are making rational decisions about their own lives, and it adds up to lower birthrates.

The problems are not tied up to population or resourses not being there: the problems are tied up to the fact that some people want more than others, and when they start wanting more, they start wanting more big time. So you want a bigger house, good, but then you start wanting it even bigger and even farther away from those you think are too low class, or not your ethnic group, or not in a good school district, etc. So you end up wanting a McMansion, the same with cars, TVs, bank accounts and especially power.

There is enough space and resources on the earth to easily support in great comfort and with great luxuries and a very high standard of living more than 100 billion people easily. It is greed, it is right wing ideology of me being better than you and deserving more, it is inequality, it is power structures, as in I can make you suffer as I have more power, that creates conflict and poverty. It is the desire to beat the other guy, to rank each other against others: in fact most work today, in offices, in services is just a ranking game, is just a power game, since work is discretionary now, not really needed, what is needed is the desire to impose one's will on another, to make them work hard, not because there is a real technical or organizational need, but just to create pain, and rank the power structure. That is why telecommuting never took off: I have to see the guy who works for me so I can constantly judge, impose my will, relate as in power games and rankings, not because there is a very precise job with a clear input - manipulation - output scheme that must be performed.

But the right wing ideology of "hard work", of being better, of "competition", etc is way too ingrained in most of the world. The desrie to fight and beat up each other is way too strong. Notice how Asian societies are often much more advanced than others, have a much higher standard of living even though their GDP value appears low, because they are more civilized, socialized, they are less obsessed wth beating each other up as in the USA. In fact public transportation is a fact of civilization, measures the degree of civilization a population has, measures how much anonymous people can simply support each other. So the USA (and other western nations) is in fact very uncivilized because people can't stand each other, can't stand to be on the same BUS with the other perceived piece of crap.

With technology and present day know how, in no possible way should health care, shelter and food be not available to everyone FOR FREE. The level of production, the excess capacity to produce industrial goods, the ease with which millions of homes can be built, the number of high quality doctors, high quality and well informed workers, is mind boggling worldwide. But there is this absurd, primitive urge to beat up each other to not except the fact that it is all available to everyone, that there is no longer any need to fight for resources. But the neural circuits of most people have been programmed for an age of a pre TECHNOLOGICAL CIVILIZATION, In fact most problems today stem from the fact that people are not evolved enough to really distribute and make good use of the present day level of technology.

If you like to read Kunstler, try www.suburbanempire.com for a blow by blow take on this great land of ours, the United Estates at America; worlds biggest suburb!

Q said: "Once I have some idea of what you consider to be a spiritual practice I will, no doubt have some follow-up questions.

P.S. Asoka/Rico/Zzz delendus est."

I would prefer not to continue communicating with someone who signs off with the necessity of my destruction.

If you can learn civil communication, there is a chance I might respond civilly as well.

Dear Ani,
I appreciate your question about what can we do to take action and are the problems we face too big. I think it is encouraging that you have a group of friends who are already talking about these issues, and I would add that it is likely that building a local community of people with common beliefs and sustainable lifestyles will be crucial in finding the solutions necessary to transition in the coming decades.

My personal suggestion would be to approach your community with the objective of establishing your own self sustaining networks of food, shelter, and transportation. Think about how you and your neighbors can produce your own food, what energy you actually need to survive and how you can create it, and how to use the least amount of energy in transporting yourselves. Let your solutions be formed through cooperation and teamwork between you and your neighbors. It seems far too often that we look for an isolated quick fix or something that we can buy that will fix the problem, greater consumption and band-aids will not solve the problems we face, lifestyle changes and building communities that support these lifestyles will.

Don't worry if you won't reach your ultimate impact tomorrow, or the day after that; we have enough time to build up the type of relationships and the local community practices that will sustain us. My advice, keep it local, keep it simple, and start in your own backyard with your neighbor's help. Think globally, act locally!

As I said in my earlier post "Asoka, I begin this reply knowing it is unlikely to bear fruit" and I was right.
------------------------------

If you do not believe a "spiritual practice" requires belief in a concious, non-material being then whatever you do is more akin to a football practice, a medical practice or an accounting practice.

Asoka, you are on my shit (delendus est) list exactly because of these inconsistant and slippery statements you make ... such as portraying yourself as engaging in a spiritual practice.

P.S. Asoka/Rico/Zzz delendus est.

Oh come on, it's not "right wing ideology" that makes people want more than others. It just human nature at this point in our evolution. Do you think Barbara Streisand and Yoko Ono and all the other millionaire socialists are going to give up what they have and come down with the rest of us? Do you think the Muslims don't want more than they have? Or the Japanese and Chinese?

Yes many cultures are more group oriented than our's-in which case they want more for their group not for everyone. Is competition in the animal kingdom for resources also "right wing ideology"?

This kind of communist ideology is the result of years of brainwashing. It reaches its perfection in Graduate School. By the time people have advanced degrees they think that illegal immigrants should vote and that America has a duty to save Black Africa from itself to the tune of billions of dollars every year.

It amazes me that you didnt notice the corporate media pushing this on people from the day they are born hence they believe it

THE Wall St J had an article on how immigrants will 'save ' socila security

they also had one on how Obama isnt of euro heritage

wrong on both WSJ

JHK mentioned it in TLE..we are called 'consumers'
and pun intended some folks buy it

'It amazes me that anyone could think that we need population growth to sustain a decent standard of living. '

idiot

the conservatives control
middle east
asia
africa

where most of the population is growing..by the billions????


youd prefer the UN to do more population culling
via wars and legal infanticide?

yr a f'in idiot

Q said: "Asoka, you are on my shit (delendus est) list exactly because of these inconsistant and slippery statements..."

Thanks for the explanation. There I will have to remain.

I have no belief in a conscious, non-material being, yet I have a spiritual practice. I gave you hints... you figure it out. And, of course, continue calling for my destruction.

CHENEY/PALIN 2012

Indeed!

Like fidel castro...who supposedly has 10 million in a swiss banc account

NO HE DOESNT INVEST IN CUBA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and Oliver Stone and Yoko Ono
who went to cuba to meet fidel and talk about making a movie of the life of their hero!

yr wrong on one or 2 counts
' the growth they were expecting with the turn to capitalism and representative government wasn’t coming. They were in the crosswinds of two European phenomena: the economic malaise of the former Communist states and the growth they were expecting with the turn to capitalism and representative government wasn’t coming. They were in the crosswinds of two European phenomena: the economic malaise of the former Communist states and plummeting birthrates across the Continent.
across the Continent'

NEVER TALK GROWTH...CEPT IN CANCER
growth is the coprporate world...talk Quality of life

'plummeting birthrates '

NAAAA europe will be EurRabia..
whites have 1 child families and muslims 7 to 10

Read
' the dark side of man'
'how to want what you already have'
or any books on evolutionary psych

'But the right wing ideology of "hard work", of being better, of "competition", etc is way too ingrained in most of the world'

Fool...its genetic

Asia you said:

the conservatives control
middle east
asia
africa

where most of the population is growing..by the billions????

If I had turned in anything like this to my professors at U.C.L.A., I would have received a big fat 'F' for my troubles. I have no idea what you are even talking about. What conservatives? The Republican party, Rush Limbaugh, etc.? WTF?

You proceed to call me an idiot a couple of times after you accuse me of somehow wanting the U.N. or world governments to commit genocide. If you noticed my last comment about the possibility of governments doing horrible things to world populations, I stated "I truly hope that doesn't happen." What do you think I am, some kind of facist freak? I don't know if you have lost your mind or simply your ability to comprehend what you are reading.

What ? 100 billion people easily? Are fucking insane? we now have about 50 people per square kilometer on earth without Antarctica.
With a 100 billion it would be over 700 per square kilometer.
Nice place to live I would say. Do you know how much garbage they would produce? How much food they would eat?
And then you think there are enough resources for them when we wont even have enough for 7 billion at the current rate of consumption.
CONSUMPTION AND OVERPOPULATION IS THE PROBLEM FOR FUCKSAKES NOT THE SOLUTION!!

Oh gosh - all these problems. But what about oil?

What are we going to do about oil?

Nearly everybody uses it - and some people use a lot of it.

Who decides who gets how much? Should the "market" provide global discrimination of who gets how much? If not on a global scale - should the "market" be the only discriminator of nation-wide oil consumption?

Is "oil" the first resource to define the inherent weaknesses and strengths of socialistic government strategies and "free market" capitalism on a global scale?

Socialism, Capitalism, Communism all the same. We have to work, produce and consume to be happy and support the state. And to fulfill our true destin destroy Earth.

I live in Germany and I am sorry to say but Dessau is not the standard but an exception. Like everyone else in the world we love growth and try everything to destroy natural environments and let people live like cattle.
But we love it, like almost everyone else in the world. Why else would we have it that way?

"Oh gosh - all these problems."
-----------------------------

Oh gosh? GOSH!? That's a good one. Come on Budi, ya gotta get tough. Who's gonna pay attention to a pansy word like GOSH. HaHaHa. You need to begin with something like "Holy Jesus H. fucking Christ, all these fuckin problems!!!!!

P.S. Asoka/Rico/Zzz delendus est.

"Here are some things I have tried:"
------------------------------

Following are some comments on your six-point program:

Only your first point is expressed in the past tense. i.e. you have actually had a vasectomy. However, I don't believe it had anything to do with reducing resource consumption nor that you did it as a sacrifice for mother earth. My guess is you could not face the travails of parenthood and knew intuitively you'd make a lousy parent. In this sense you did a good thing ... not everyone is cut out for the hardest job in the world ... raising children.

The other five points are stated more like goals.

2) "Oppose military spending." BTW, the big money spent on military defense did protect us from the largest attack on USA (on W´s watch). 9/11 was a mere fire cracker. Few know about the attack that was foiled (thanks to high-cost high-tech equipment) that the govt dare not reveal or it would certainly touch off WWIII.

3) "Become a vegetarian, vegan, or fruitarian." Another name for a fruitarian is a fruit isn't it? Be that as it may ... read Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. Here are a few excerpts: Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn. Life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living. Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit. The body, these waterheads imagine, is a temple that should not be polluted by animal protein. It's healthier, they insist, though every vegetarian waiter I've worked with is brought down by any rumor of a cold.

4)"Become carless if possible, or buy one fuel efficient car every 20 years." BS, you'll do what all of us do ... buy a reasonably fuel efficient car and trade it in for a new one when you perceive that repairing it is no longer worth it.

5) "Join a cohousing community" Was the house you built in Country X within a cohousing community or was that all a bunch of BS?

6) "Develop a spiritual practice." More BS ... see my prior post. "What will it profit you to gain the whole world (or physical security) if you lose your soul?" Did you forget that you don't believe in conscious, non-material beings?

P.S. Asoka/Rico/Zzz delendus est.


Qshtik.

Point #2.

It is a secret. We could tell you, but then we'd have to kill you.

Spiritual practice? Religion is BUNK.

Jules Henry Culture Against Man details this. He was a cultural anthropologist that you will want to read sometime. Also his Pathways to Madness is great also.

Brothers who love each other cannot compete to drive one another out of business. It starts in school when I get the answer correct, but you, you dummy, didn't.

There are thousands of intentional communities doing just this all over the world. They are always looking for like minded people to join them.

hahahahahahahahah

fruitarian?
Become a vegetarian, vegan, or fruitarian."

Ashok talks of that which he knows NADA

I had a friend, living on Kauai
died of starvation on a fruit diet

EVERYONE i know who tried nearly died on it

so maybe advise asok to live on fruit for 2 years
see if he lives!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jaego, you said:

Not much meat on a Chihuahua, better to stick to people. The Papuan cannibals of New Guinea say that Japanese people taste the best. Whites are apparently too dry and salty. Papuans are in the middle. I'm not sure whether they got a chance to try Blacks. I wonder if this is genetic or is it to do with our diet. Is this something we want to work on? After all, maybe tasting bad has been genetically selected for.
A group of Abos in Australia ate hundreds of Chinese in the 1800's who were working on the railroad. Perhaps they focused on the Chinese because they tasted better than Whites.

I don't claim to be an expert on the history of cannibalism (I don't even know if there is such a thing) but I could make a couple of guesses about what was going on.

Your comments about the Papuan cannibals of New Guinea loving to devour the flesh of Japanese has to be related to what happened there during World War II. A close friend of mine (he died last year) served in the New Guinea campaign during the war. He said that the Japanese infantry used to shoot and kill the local natives just for fun. It seems that the soldiers of the rising sun also drove them off their lands and they fled to the American lines where they were treated by U.S. medics and given food by the G.I.'s. My older friend watched all this take place. So, my guess is that these folks simply followed the trail of Japanese bodies that our troops were leaving behind and feasted. It makes perfect sense to me. They probably thought the meat tasted better since they were really getting revenge on the people who had made their lives a living hell.

As far as the Chinese laborers getting killed and devoured in Australia, I would guess that they were easier to overpower than the whites who probably had access to lots of guns.

There is enough space and resources on the earth to easily support in great comfort and with great luxuries and a very high standard of living more than 100 billion people easily.

Let me get that envelope over there... Ok, America has 5% of the world's population, but uses 25% of the resources. Lets say America can have 'great luxuries' at only 10% of the world's resources, 'cuz we can be all efficient and stuff. Let's do the math:
300,000,000 * 333.33 = 100,000,000,000
so, 100 billion is 333.33 times greater than US population

10% * 333.33 = 33.33


This means we need to find 33.33 more planet Earths to exploit to provide 100 billion people with American lifestyle, even if we are 2.5 times more efficient than now, and, we ignore the disparities in wealth present in America today.

Qshtik dumbassedly left this dumbass comment allegedly made by Anthony Bourdain (whom I admire, sometimes): "Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn."

Replace Bourdain with a used car salesman and the possible buyer someone who's interested in a fuel-efficient vehicle and it's the same thing.

If child prostitution were legal in this country, the companies dealing in it would do their best to decry the "un-american" folks who protested it. Moved, I am not.

I heed no advice about animal cruelty from a guy who, though he has personality, makes his living from animal cruelty.

Cain loved Abel and Smeagol loved Deagol, but both killed their brother. There are cultures that value egalitarianism, but generally they are unimpressive. Our vices are the price of our virtues. No dark side allowed-no machines. No kill brother-no Apollo Spacecraft. As Rilke said when he declined psychoanalysis, I fear if my devils are exorcised, my angels will take flight as well. Any attempt to quash egotism will just result in mediocrity. Individuals have to decide to do this for themselves-not schools and goverment officials. This overcoming is just the negative side of the spiritual quest.

Yeah the Papuans ate one of the Rockefellers once. He was on a an art/anthopology safari to gether some of their totem pole type artifacts. Apparently, they are quite the carpenters. But he was never seen again. There had been ethnic strife and rumors said that he had been eaten.
An Austalian Professor told me about the Chinese incident. Apparently it is kept under wraps and considered a national disgrace. I assume you're correct that the Chinese were easier victims. But perhaps the Whites let it happen-thus the shame. Or it might be just more crazy political correctness-after all I doubt whether the Aboriginees feel bad about it.
I'm surprised the Papuans haven't been brought over to America yet to infest our cities. I expect it to begin any day. They will do well-small but very muscular and fierce. They should wrack up an impressive score of White Victims.

"Now I realize that the CFN blog readers constitute a kind of peanut gallery. Well, I suggest we make the best of it, folks. I would encourage all of you to treat each other with respect."

@SEB-

Brother, I mostly just observe now.

I just read. I look for certain writers. SEB. OEO. ZsaZsa. You know what I'm saying.

I stole all the good writers long ago.

Hey Man. Don't Crash Here. Don't Crash Here. Don't Lean on Me Man. Cuz You Can't Afford The ticket. Back to Suffragette City.

Awwwe. Wham Bam. Thank You Maam.

SEB. Hang in there.

We are watching and we like you. We are coming to the rescue.

Even Brandon cannot refrain.

Hi, just here to read the meter, looks like everything is fine, carry on----

quote "Qshtik | SEPTEMBER 2, 2009 11:30 PM | REPLY
Hey, JMNYC ... suggestion: if you've got some point you're trying to make, try writing a few coherent sentences without using the word "fuck" 'cause I have no idea what your talking about. If anybody else knows ... well ... I'm amazed.

P.S. Asoka/Rico/Zzz delendus est.

"unquote

Huh?

Wot?

What?

Dude?

Listen to who you are questioning.

Dude.

Rico?
OEO?

You sure you don't wanna hang yourself?

OEO is the toughest mofo that has ever lived and I have his flank. Both of them.

Dude. [Rico shaking his head]

[WTF?]

Steal This:

What has happened is a strange turn of expectations: during the 70s, 80s and 90s the high tech sector and many other service sectors did create many companies, jobs and often well paid jobs, a sense of abundance, of future being better than past. And that perception was justified, was true, was real. Inequality was accepted (and often still is) because these high tech inventors, venture capitalists did indeed create new markets, new applications, software, computers, networks, cell phones etc. It was really quite a ride, and in fact the point is exactly this: I feel that it was really a ONE TIME QUIRK, a one time bonanza, just a window in time that made all these things come on line all at the same time. It is due only because in those decades, at that exact given time with technology at that exact phase of development, with society in that exact state and combination of forces, with globalizaiton still not at full throttle, when many manufaturing jobs were still in the West (USA, EU and JAPAN) there was so much that could be done, so many attempts could be made, so many companies could try their luck.

The idea is that a number of companies, by inventing and selling new devices and services, were working for the "general good", were doing good to "society". What they were really doing is actually programming people. They create new behaviors, new things people do, since what MS and google and ORACLE really do is invent new lifestyles, new habits, new things people do and didn't do before: they invent new activities, they actually program the neural circuits of people to act in a certain way, to interact in a certain way. For example, during the 60s who would have imagined seeing so many millions of people tied so strongly to their "telephone" the cell phone ? Or staring all day long at a "computer" ? Or playing "video games" ? This is kind of coarse, but the idea is that the future consists in inventing new behaviors, new ways of acting, new interactions between devices and people. And this line of work is infinite becuase the neural networks of people can be programmed in an infinite number of different ways (like Facebook and Twitter).

So inequality was OK, since they were creating all these new things and everyone was getting richer, they were doing good to "society". So a few thousand geeks who got rich was perceived as making all of society rich. This in part was true, but ultimately it was a decepetion, and the present crisis exposes this deception.

Now in order for society to advance to a new level, to create further wealth, systems wide changes must be made, people must change their behaviors in a different way: we need public transporation and mass transit, cheap rents and a guaranteed social salary.


Now people in the USA are worried about health care, pensions, etc.

The End Of Summer Blues.

Her name was Katya.

I wanted to fuck her six ways from Sunday.

Her name was Katya.

Good point eightm. That culture-wide we have reprogrammed our neural patterns to fit TV, cell phones, video games, and computers since the 1960s is pretty self-evident.

I will be 50 in a few months. I remember the 1980s (when I was in my 20s) being ONE of the transition points. MTV was part of the reprogramming points. I don't know how it did it, but I definitely see the difference in people's attention spans, if they had achieved neural maturity before or after the late 1980s.

On the one hand, we pre-MTV generation folks were not as fast paced in our reactions and could tolerate far less constant stimulus. Before MTV the quick, jittery, flash-style camera and sound-byte style was fairly rare and done only for specific effect. With MTV, the hand-held constant stimulus fast-flash became de rigeur.

This had two effects on the younger generation. 1. Kids born in the 1980s or after ON AVERAGE are higher-stimulus, quicker-response adapted in their neural programming/ preferences/ behavior. Not because of DNA, but because of constant conditioning by TV/ music/ computers/ video/ cell phones. This means they are better than us pre-80s (and not just because of our age...I am comparing 20 year olds of the 1980s to the 20 year olds of the 2000s and afterwards) at picking up quick-neural-responses such as video gaming, subliminal flashing on TV, etc. But the downside is they get bored much easier and have less patience because they need more stimuli background noise. Now not EVERY person is like this, but enough that I can see the pattern. Again, I am not comparing old vs young today or yesterday, but 20 year olds from 1980 (when I was 20) vs 20 year olds of 2000 and later.

I am not saying I haven't also been neural-shifted, it's just that because I am older, I can directly recognize the pre-80s difference in society as a whole. The -rampant- aggression/ hostility on the highways and here in this forum among people who have never even met each other face-to-face is one of the fruits of this societal neural shift.

This is tweakable, as we are adaptable, but it means the neural-shifted have to forgo all TV/ fast music/ cellphones and texting/ computers, etc. for at least 2-3 months before they notice the real difference. And there is a severe withdrawal period that is very hard to bear, before their neural net shifts (notice how people behave when their computer crashes etc.- much like a junkie denied a needed fix).

What we EACH need to do to prepare, besides farming, energy, food, etc. is critical.

1. We need to prepare for a world with much less stimulus. This will be hard. Mental, philosophical. and spiritual disciplines will help a lot. Building patience with self, others, and circumstances are critical. -This is equivalent to creating a store of rice, beans and canned goods and water, and getting in better shape physically.

2. People who can't email or whose televised sports event gets interrupted immediately feel frustration and rage. People in withdrawal from expected stimuli -no cellphones, no TV, no etc.- will be acting out in severe ways, like meth addicts. The individual responses will vary from rage and anger, to apathy and depression, to even psychotic breaks, but there will be such responses to this kind of withdrawal society-wide. And people will need to prepare not only for their own withdrawal but that of others. Dealing with folks in withdrawal will be tough, but it is imperative. How do you deal with a "crazy person" when everyone, including yourself, has gone crazy?

Cultivate a spiritual discipline of some kind, whether you believe in God, Jesus, Wall Street, the Wizard of Oz, or Nothingness. That is essential now. And have "no-tech days" -no phone, no TV, no computer, no video, no movies, no music-devices, no video games, nothing- JUST for one day, morning to the next morning -Sat morn to Sun morn, or Sun morn to Mon morn, just to get a feeling for what it is like. I bet there are many here who cannot or would not do that, even for one 24-hour period. But if you are curious, try it. See what your own brain feels like without the drug of electronics.

I'm sure it's been said before, but the only thing supporting the American spending spree this past decade and more was the housing ATM phenomenon. And that game is played. Absent hyper-inflation (which comes with its own problems), we will likely never see realty prices at such heady heights again in our lifetimes. The key housing issue in the future will be, How do you escape an upside-down house so that you can move to where a new job awaits (but without just dumping it back on the bank and losing your entire investment)?

The "experts" who sit around scratching their heads and wondering when-oh-when consumers will start spending again, miss this key point. Most Americans are quite tapped out. Dramatically rising "productivity" -- i.e, a return to Victorian sweatshop working relationships -- means rising wages won't replace the housing ATM, and still-rising unemployment will enshrine this new and more severe wage-slavism as the 'new normal'.

Long story short, it's only "when," not "if" the Kunstler view of social and economic breakdown will ensue. The only real variable is, How will the masses respond? Will they turn on the government? Or will they respond to the past 30 years of media conditioning and turn on one another?

Sadly, the latter seems most likely.

"Brother, I mostly just observe now."
----------------------------

Without question, we are all thankful for that! But we encourage you to take the next step ... give up even observing and just GO AWAY!

Frankly, your weekly drop-ins to kiss OEO, SEB et al smack on the asshole ( * ) are tiresome. What on earth do you imagine you are accomplishing on this blog other than cementing your reputation as the biggest asshole in cyberspace? Don't bother responding ... the question is rhetorical.

The very sight of the name Jennie Rico reminds me to re-order my delendus est shit list. You belong ahead of Asoka.

P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

PREACH, NANCY, PREACH!

"“President Obama has said that a public option will keep the insurance companies honest. If someone has a better idea for promoting competition and reducing health care costs, they should put it on the table,” Pelosi said. “But for the past month, opponents of health insurance reform have demonstrated that they are afraid of the facts. They have only offered distortions, distractions and misrepresentations to try to kill this historic legislation.”


“A bill without a strong public option will not pass the House,” Pelosi said. “Eliminating the public option would be a major victory for the insurance companies who have rationed care, increased premiums and denied coverage.”

THANK GOD (IF SHE EXISTS) FOR NANCY PELOSI!

CHENEY/PALIN 2012 (please, God, let them run)

There was an interesting article the other day about the impacts of multi-tasking; those who did a lot of multi-tasking such as texting on their cellphone while watching a video or whatever, performed lower on tests that required attention. Thus those who multi-tasked the most were least able to concentrate on anything that did require undivided attention, which could be driving, reading difficult papers, working through math problems etc.

This could be related to what you are referring to- although I think that in fact it started with Sesame Street and not MTV; huge difference between the pace of Sesame Street and say Mr.Rogers- in fact lots of kids found Mr Rogers to be very boring after a while- guess the Sesame Street fast-action was addicting or something.I always kind of liked Mr. Rogers however- and have never been into multi-tasking......

"Can anyone seriously claim that we’ve lost 6.7 million jobs because fewer Americans want to work? But it was inevitable that freshwater economists would find themselves trapped in this cul-de-sac: if you start from the assumption that people are perfectly rational and markets are perfectly efficient, you have to conclude that unemployment is voluntary and recessions are desirable." --Paul Krugman, NYT

CHENEY/PALIN 2012

Krugs has got to be the most over rated commentator in America today. His ubibquitous presence is a testament to the Jewish dominance our society. It is such that even Jews of mediocre intelligence can get high positions. Add to that the selective Adam Smith ideology and you have the perfect blend of idiocy which he blathers forth regularly. And this is giving him the benefit of the doubt. This is assuming he's not an Adam Greenspan type sell-out to the Dark Forces of Goldman Sachs/Rothschild.

After all, not all nerds are smart. Someone like Krugs adopted a nerd persona in imitation of really smart kids-a junior high survival strategy. He got into economics were someone like him can say dumb things and get away with. You can't hide like this in the hard sciences.

An even more egregious example: John Kerry. Kerry (not an Irish name, real name Kohn) packages himself as a high brow but got even lower marks than George W Bush in college. His IQ is probably a little bit below average. Krugs is at least average but devoid of any common sense or creativity. Kerry has a bit of common sense that steadies him and also good political survival instincts-not a nerd like Krugs.

My Dad commented in the 80s "this is getting to be a mean, mean country"

The 80s was when it started, in my opinion. Not just MTV, but the hatefulness as public policy.

I saw Max Blumenthal on Democracy Now today talking about the rise of the Christian Right - during the 80s. And James Dobson - ubiquitous during the 80s, with his "beat your child for Jesus" radio show, books and movies shown at churches and public schools - funded by right wing fundamentalists, at the same time they were funding right wing fundamentalists in Central America to stop the Liberation Theology priests, and in Afghanistan to stop the revolutionary government from improving the lives of the Afghan people.

Max Blumenthal points out that the generation brought up in the sado-masochistic James Dobson pattern become right wing Republicans as adults. Wilhelm Reich pointed out the same thing about Germans decades ago.

It was a conscious plot.

As for what happens when the electricity goes out, my town had an inland hurricane in May and the electricity went out for days.

The young people had bonfires and hung out with each other; and swamped the places with generators to charge their cell phones!

As for the effect of mass unemployment on a communtity, look at the ghettoes of the Rust Belt, where workers lost their jobs decades ago. Again, thanks to Reagan.

They aren't storming the gated communities. The murders that happen are local and usually, personal.

As long as they pass out the food, people will adjust to lower standards of living without blaming the rich bloodsuckers draining the economy.

And, to quote my Dad again, the belief that the unemployed are lazy means that you have to believe that 7 million people got lazy in the last few years. Thousands at a time at some closed plants.

I have access to a lot of cable stations so I naturally channel surf all the time. I just love going to those religious channels and watching the freak shows. I noticed that both Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart are back on the air. However, they seem to have been supplanted in popularity by a new host of miscreants. Their themes all seem to be about "shame and blame" and their rants are always directed to all those liberals and non-believers who have turned our lovely America into a living hell. Blah-blah-blah.

The interesting thing is that I grew up in what one could call a very conservative church atmosphere. A bunch of my uncles were Baptist ministers and my one brother became a Southern Baptist minister. I'm talking about the 50's, 60's and 70's so you can already figure out that I'm an old geezer. However, I don't ever remember all those church folks saying mean and hateful things about other races or political parties/people. But, they did say some very derogatory things about Catholics. I will agree with you that this nation has turned into a bunch of mean and nasty haters. All you have to do is turn on those church channels and you'll get enough hate in one afternoon to last a lifetime.

"Frankly, your weekly drop-ins to kiss OEO, SEB et al smack on the asshole..."

Not possible. Your head is up my asshole. Not certain why guess you are searching for your next meal.

Squished-dik sez:

"What on earth do you imagine you are accomplishing on this blog other than cementing your reputation as the biggest asshole in cyberspace?"


Not possible. YOU are the biggest asshole in cyberspace. The can only be one bro, and you am it.

Krugman sez:

"if you start from the assumption that people are perfectly rational and markets are perfectly efficient..."

Who the FUCK, aside from a MORON, starts with any such assumption. I knew by second grade (slow learner) that people are not perfect.

Try not to source MORONS as you experts, asoka-the-producers. It only illustrates that you drink from a deep well of imbecilic, nit-wits. It shoots holes in your arguments not strengthen them.

I see that in a desperate bid for attention Jaego is replying to his own comments.

Zzz, I expect you'll be hearing from Asoka shortly that you have completely balled up the meaning of the quote from Krugman. (What else is to be expected from that microcephalic head of yours?) Apparently Krugman's style is a bit too subtle for your small mind ... see, he actually believes as you do.

Let me take you through it slowly: Krugman is contemptuous of, not in agreement with, the so-called freshwater school of economists who, according to Krugman, believe that people are perfectly rational and markets are perfectly efficient because to believe so would lead them to conclude erroniously that unemployment is voluntary and recessions are desirable.

That explanation probably sailed right over your small head so I will leave it to Asoka to follow up with something more in the fashion of "see spot run."

P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.


Qshtik,

I learned two new words from your last comment, microcephalic and delendus. I should have know delendus from Latin in school, but it was a long time ago and I have forgotten lots.
You sure have a way with words.

Thanks for the compliment Urb.

I picked up microcephalic from Kunstler. I think he was putting down parking lot attendants in one of his rants a few months ago. I got delendus (actually, delenda) from a neighbor who is a physics prof at Rutgers Univ. He seems to know a lot about almost everything. Somehow in a conversation I said something about Carthage being destroyed by Rome and the Romans making sure the job was done right by pouring salt in their fields. Without a moments hesitation the prof says "Carthago delenda est." (Google it for the the rest of the story.) For awhile I was adding "P.S. Rico delenda est." to all my posts until some one informed me that Latin is gender sensitive and if Rico was a male the word should be delendus. As you may have noticed I expanded my delendus shit list to three names. See below.

P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

See a spooky article online about 'TRADIO'

lA Times staff writer P.J. Huffstutter ETC

'they actually program the neural circuits '

NOW YR SOUNDING LIKE LA ROUCHE!

And some have said that apple/mac is a lifestyle..shared with others in that bracket

Corporate Commentators are over rated. period..


liars...like greenspan saying the economy is 'sound'

"Her name was Katya. I wanted to fuck her six ways from Sunday."
---------------------------

... but she said "ha ... I wouldn't have a cup of coffee with that asshole. I'd sooner fuck George Sodini."

P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

an old post of yrs:

Jaego Scorzne replied to comment from asoka | August 18, 2009 2:46 AM | Reply

Yeah and that's why smart consumers will avoid Black Doctors if at all possible. Affirmative Action is the antithesis of meritocracy. How on Earth can Blacks feel good about themselves giving into that kind of temptaiton. Deep inside, they know they've betrayed anything real they could have ever been-and then they just hate us more. We are the eternal scapegoat/devil in Black Cosmology. There can never be peace between us. Never. You don't want it. You want to be us, but to do that you have to get rid of us somehow

hahahah JGO

dont ya know Us doctors are asian
often imported from india?

theres a place in el segundo thats doin huge biz..importing md's

i can get the name and phone # for you

2..yes 2 unrelated neighbors of mine worked there

as one said
' smelly indians that have been on a plane for a day or 2'

Notice who wins the national speling B's?

Yeah I know all about that...Do you like it? Thus your moniker? The trajectory of America unless altered is an Jewish/Old Wasp Business and Polictical Elite, an Asian Medical and Technical Elite, and a Mexican and Third World labor force. Not too much left over for ordinary Whites and Blacks. So if you identify as Native American and want gloat go ahead. But you and all the liberals who hate regular White people wont laugh long. You're not going to like how all this turns out.

Old saying in the West Indies: Englishmen used to terrify their Black slaves by threatening to sell them to a Dutchman. Dutchmen would terrify their Black Slaves by threatening to sell them to a Black. The moral? There are far harsher peoples than the Anglo-Celts. For some reason, you don't seem to know this, even though you seem to be a conservative. Well you will find out the hard way.

Does ol Maxie talk about the ubiquitous revenge fantasies that so many Jews harbor? That lead to millions of deaths under communism in Eastern Europe? The secret police and the gulag system were top heavy with Jews. Many of the Jews participated in the questionings-they had a hands on approach so to speak.
Most of the Nazis put on trial at Nuremberg were tortured. Many had their testicles destroyed. Is this ok with you and Max?

Aw you're just sore cuz I kicked your ass last week. But I still love you man. You can be my pet Obama Zombie. I'll keep you chained up in my garage and feed you saltines at midnite.

I'm sure you're trying to make a point, but I don't know what it is.

Actually, I believe many Asian Indians are considered Caucasians.

Anyway, the whole affirmative action thing brings me to something a professor told me years ago: affirmative action is good, but because it's based on race, it creates conflicts that are damaging to society. First (1) some minorities who've made it don't like it because it puts a cloud of suspicion over their accomplishments(look at Jaego's comments for proof), (2) often those who benefit from it are those who don't necessarily need a leg up in society (say, Johnny Cochran's kids or the president's kids), and (3) some lower-class whites can become disgruntled.

Therefore, my professor argued, affirmative action should be based on income, that way the cloud of suspicion would be erased, the racial tension would be no more because all races would benefit, and those minorities who truly are underprivelaged will benefit.

He had some good points.

Your post is one reason why I think Jaycee Dugard's confinement was not 100% bad. She seems to have educated her two girls and herself with only an 11 year olds schooling to do it all with. She seems to have read some interesting books. She had a shelf of cat books, among them one with the title How Cats Think which I find intriguing. I also find the backyard tents lacking, but only in relation to a modern house. Actually it was upscale camping out. So who is to judge, really.

More than half the world lives far worse. Middle east and African girls are sold in marriage to old men to bear children who will take care of him in his old age. I don't see much difference and yet we are tolerant of another culture who routinely does this and all bent out of shape when it happens here. Yes she was kidnapped. But how many African girls (Darfur) and mid eastern girls are "kidnapped" also. And let's not even get into India, rural China, and so on.

Yet our skin crawls when we think of Jaycee Dugard living that way for 18 years. Being repeatedly "raped" just as all those other girls were and are. And none of us escapes the fact that we are all here because thousands of women ancestors lived exactly that way. Perhaps that is where the horror comes for us in a primitive fear of it in our collective unconscious.

Her mother says they are fragile. Maybe they are just quiet and not hyped up. Stimulus deprived, yes, but that has its blessings.

I lived 1 1/2 years on a homestead without running water (from the roof tho), no electricity and wood heat. The quiet was phenomenal and I was able to read books I could not read before (Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag) and make art I really liked as I am the world's worst critical observer of art, others and my own.

And yes there were lots of times I felt deprived, but all in all it was a wonderful time for my psyche and physical self.

Regarding Jaycee's confinement and subsequent repeated rape, the fact that hundreds of millions of human females are forced to live this way does not make it less horrible.

We as a species are finally cognizant of the horror of millions of lives being stolen and their owners consigned to whatever hell their captors design for them, whether it's girls sold into marriage at the age of 10 or so, or entire races of people condemned to slavery because of their race or ethnicity. We have always known on a deeper level that any form of slavery is wrong, thus the strenuous attempts to justify it and the use of heavy force to maintain it.

Had it not been for the slavery of girls and women in most societies throughout history, we might not now be so overpopulated that a steep die off, with all the horror of that, can scarcely be avoided. Women would have reproduced under conditions of freedom, ownership of their own lives, and marriage at an appropriate adult age, but they would have done it more slowly, with fewer kids, and in conditions that give the kids a greater chance of survival.

But because most societies employed force to enable "alpha" men to reproduce at will and with little responsibility for the results, we are now so grossly overpopulated that a steep die off is almost inevitable.

Caucasians include not only the Whites of Northern Europe, but also North Africans, South Asians, and some of the Turkic Peoples in between. Indians are mixed in with other strains such as the ancient Australoids and Negritos. Turkic People are very mixed with the Mongoloids.
None of these people are threatened with extinction except us-the Whites, the creators of this Civilization.

Good points about a rational affirmative action. As you know, it's not going to happen. The Blacks and Hispanics are not going to give back the illicit privledges they have been granted. And they will continue to vote for thier corrupt enablers, the Democratic Party.

Of course you don't. Otherwise you would have to explain why you think Jewish Communists had the right to exterminate millions of White Eastern European Christians. And you want to put us on the couch and examine our psyches? As if your crowd is moral or even sane?

Yes someone said, history is a nightmare from which I am trying to awaken. Was it Goethe or James Joyce? Anyway, part of that nightmare was and is the domination of women by men. But where feminists loses it is the failure to acknowledge that White Men under Christianity have done the most to mitigate these abuses. Instead, they focus their venom on White Men and Christianity. This is because feminism is a Marxism and thus isn't a humanism-to answer Sartre's question. Any concern for actual women is peripheral at this point. The main thing, the issue that trumps all others, is the dispossesion and destruction of the Western Civilization.

And as you know, this guarantees not Utopia but the triumph of Islamic Barbarism-which will reverse in a day centuries of progress for women. But their hatred is such that they don't see or perhaps don't even care-truly the very image of Luciferian rebellion. One Feminist Professor in Norway cackled triumphantly at the high rate of Muslim rape in Oslo and Malmo. Norway is a multicultural country she shrieked. Norwegian Women are going to have to adapt to the new conditions and stop tempting Muslim men.
In Sweden, which is even worse, girls are now dying their hair brown if they are blonde. Less harrasment. In the Netherlands, girls put on veils if they have to go to certain places.

Things may not seem so dire here, but destruction is not far off. Casting off responsibility, American Women aren't even having enough babies to replace us any more. Feminism invariably throws the baby our with the bathwater so to speak. Based on hatred of traditional femininity, it tries to emulate men-sometimes even the worse aspects of men. And things like having babies get shunted off for later or never. Well at this rate, we will be pushed aside by traditional peoples like the Mexicans who don't despise femininity and whose women don't hate men. There is alot of brutality in their culture-not as bad as Islam though. But it will be a far fall from what could have been if Feminism hadn't sold its soul to the Marxist Devil and thus condmened White America to death.

AA exacerbates racial tensions and is a form of governmental racism

Its been noted since it started 35? 40 years ago that it increases racism

and yes its a pass for middle class blacks or who ever to get things poor whites cant..like into UCLA

that being said UCLAs freshman class is like 1000+ asians and maybe 80 blacks

id rather laugh then cry over it

nothing I can do about it.......

Marx, "History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake."

Ah yes, Marx the great hater. His remedy for History-end it with a people's revolution that would creat utopia. Besides being wrong, Marx was so incredibly crude in his understanding and in his personal features. That so many intelligent people were and are taken in by Marx is a tribute to the extent of human foibles. And it is proof that there can be no utopia at this point in human evolution.

What an incredibly insightful response. It's right up there with your "I disagree" when I talked about the Algonquin Teaching on Race. If you didn't want to talk about the issue, why did you bring it up? I mean going back weeks to one of my earlier posts seems to indicate a real desire to discuss. But alas no, you just wanted to get in my face.

Re Marx
--------------------

Jaego and Abbey,
Here is a personal tidbit of no particular interest to anyone at this blog other than myself:

Marx died in 1883. My paternal grandfather (of German heritage but first generation born in America) was born in 1883. His middle name is Marx, my father's middle name is Marx and my brother's middle name is Marx. Their whole names are identical, thus Sr, Jr and III. When my great-grandfather gave his son the middle name of Marx it surely held some great meaning for him - Workers of the world unite, or whatever. The subsequent use of Marx as a middle name, as far as I could tell, reflected no political or philosophical leanings.

Ooops, forgot.

P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

Sometimes I think that commenters here are joking.

You can't possibly believe that being kidnapped at age 11, held in a tent and repeatedly raped is a great chance to read books!

You can't possibly believe that the white European males who burned millions of white women at the stake for being witches, and fought women's struggle for freedom with beatings, prisons, and forced tube feedings were a force for women's rights!

You can't possibly believe that affirmative action would be OK with unemployed white men as long as it was income based! Only full employment will stop resentment based racism.

I'm starting to think that this forum is an elaborate joke by JHK to see how much nonsense we can continue to read.

Marx is one of the genius's of his time. Freud another. You cannot understand the 20th century without understanding both of them. Class warfare is a concept without parallel in one's mental apparatus. Really irreplaceable.

Jaego has the bad habit of taking Marx's idea of utopia, focusing on it, and damning him and all the rest of his contributions in the same bathwater.

Utopian ideas have to go. They are totalitarian. So do fascist ideas. Secular democracy is about the best we can do.

Our way of life depends on an educated citizenry and we don't have that. We have a lot of internal barbarians to say nothing of the outside barbarians at our gates.

I've read all of Bernard-Henri Levy and can't find any better way to think about things. And my late in life discovery of Lovecraft is crushing me. I am awestruck by the amount of scholarshp surrounding his lfe and writings. Surely no one else writing can compare with his influence.

I didn't mean to imply what you took from what I said. I am more influenced by Hindu thinking: that all action leads to good and evil consequence; hence, their preference to sit and meditate like the Buddha. But even the Buddha advised returning to the world to lift the consciousness of mankind.

Most women in the world live as Jaycee lived. Our horror is coming from our cultural belief system. No absurdly tolerant liberal believes we ought to wage any aggression necessary to free these women from being sold into marriage as basically handmaidens to produce children. There are puppy factories and children factories.

Women in India live in cardboard and scrap wood "boxes" by the side of the road with their children, and never have I seen such conscious mothering in my life. They are awesome to watch, each interaction so full of awareness. But then all they have is time.

Yes her raping and imprisonment is horrible. But many women live in "prisons" that are invisible to them. She taught her girls to read. They can go outside at night and name constellations. I bet they are in the 1% of their age range who can do that. She read books on How Cats Think a topic most pet owners have never even thought about. The tents and sheds are better than a lot I have seen here in the Ozarks and far better than anything in east asia.

I have known women my age who now say that their husbands had sex with them every single night and they simply accepted that. That's rape too in a way. And I think after awhile Jaycee learned how to do that. Most women do, you know, unless they decide to assert themselves.

That doesn't detract from its awfulness. What I want to scream out loud is Why the fuck isn't everyone outraged at all the other women in the world suffering exactly the same as Jaycee? Why is it Ok for us to be tolerant of their stupid religions and cultures that aid and abet this behavior. No we are not projecting our outrage for one little girl who endured what females have always endured unless we damn it wherever it is happening.

The only time I cheered for Bush was when I saw the film Osama about a little girl in Afghanistan as the Taliban came to power. The Kite Runner is anther BTW. These people just need to be wiped off the face of the earth. Nothing is going to change them or make them treat others with dignity. Nothing. We have to get that through our heads.We have to stop being tolerant of them.

Wagelaborer, I am outraged at the vicious treatment of women in other countries, and it's always been a matter of amazement and outrage that so many men can so hate and disparage their own mothers, sisters, and daughters.


The IS a feminist and defender of Roman-Greco-Anglo-Saxon culture who is outraged at the conditions surrounding women in traditional society and is fully capable of waging the aggression necessary to free women from these conditions. She is in fact waging such aggression to the extent her limited power permits.

Her name is Hillary Clinton, who many men,sadly including our blog host, who refer to her as a "harpy". More sadly, we chose the silver-tongued Obama in preference to this uncharismatic but extremely principled woman who also has a demonstrated understanding of money and how to manage it, most unlike our current clueless leader.

Would it be we could redo the election of 2008. We clearly made the wrong choice in the democratic primary. You can lay many faults at Clinton's doorstep, but insouciant tolerance of oppression isn't one of them. Neither is financial cluelessness, or the inability to make hard but necessary decisions regarding the need for armed aggression.

Wagelaborer, I am outraged at the vicious treatment of women in other countries, and it's always been a matter of amazement and outrage that so many men can so hate and disparage their own mothers, sisters, and daughters.


The IS a feminist and defender of Roman-Greco-Anglo-Saxon culture who is outraged at the conditions surrounding women in traditional society and is fully capable of waging the aggression necessary to free women from these conditions. She is in fact waging such aggression to the extent her limited power permits.

Her name is Hillary Clinton, who many men,sadly including our blog host, who refer to her as a "harpy". More sadly, we chose the silver-tongued Obama in preference to this uncharismatic but extremely principled woman who also has a demonstrated understanding of money and how to manage it, most unlike our current clueless leader.

Would it be we could redo the election of 2008. We clearly made the wrong choice in the democratic primary. You can lay many faults at Clinton's doorstep, but insouciant tolerance of oppression isn't one of them. Neither is financial cluelessness, or the inability to make hard but necessary decisions regarding the need for armed aggression.

"Here is a personal tidbit of no particular interest to anyone at this blog other than myself:"

You are absolutely right you moronic twit. So why bother to post it?

"So why bother to post it?"
---------------------------

To get your goat you poor sap. Hahahaha!

P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

Joke's on you commie. Million of women being burned alive by White Men-sure it's a good tale, but it's not true. A few thousand people were burned over three centuries or so. Most of them were Christians of other denominations than the one in power then and there. Many of them were men. I'm surprised to see this myth here. Usually this one is believed by overweight feminist wackos of the Wiccan persuasion. Wiccan Scholars have denied it-but whatever their magical powers, they can't alter the idiocy of the average feminist Wiccan.

Any time someone starts talking about "women and children"-the hatred is usually not far behind. Women and children live in boxes-yes Abbey, and the men live there too. They work to support them. Why do you leave them out? That's pure hatred as is implying that all wives are prisoners and are being raped. So we should go on a crusade to liberate women from their bodies-as the feminists said in the 60's? We've already opened an abortion clinic in Kabul-earning utter hatred from the decent people of that land.

Just because I didn't mention the prison men live in (and they do) doesn't mean I do not think they are in containers. Every relationship is spoiled by capitalism, turned into a commodity of sorts. Capitalism is pac-man, eating its own constantly.

"Usually this one is believed by overweight feminist wackos of the Wiccan persuasion."
------------------------------

Perhaps it is mean-spirited of me to break into tears of laughter at the expense of people I don't even know but the above line is the kind that does it for me.

Till I googled it, I didn't know a Wiccan from Shinola. The first thing that popped into my head was George Castanza's father and his "festivus for the rest of us."

Good line Jaego!

P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

When I was visiting downtown Santa Ana, I had the most horrifying experience. It was about 11pm and my friends and I were standing on what we thought was a safe sidewalk.

Out of the blue, a drunk/drugged man holding a knife in each hand approaches the group. He seemed like a zombie with blood on his face and clothes. We ran.

I'm a pedestrian and bicycle advocate, but I understand why no wants to walk/bike in LA.

How about we build new cities where cars are banned?

Santa Ana is not in Los Angeles but OC, si?

and BelAire banned sidewalks, not cars, presumably because it does not like pedestrian people

acorn...

Another Black Conservative: ACORN Baltimore Prostitution InvestigationSep 10, 2009 ... ACORN Baltimore Prostitution Investigation. The stunning videos below come to us from Brietbart's new site BigGovernment.com that launched ...
anotherblackconservative.blogspot.com/.../acorn-baltimore-prostitution.html


Like me, 20-year-old Hannah knows ACORN is a corrupt, fraudulent organization, so she and a male friend decided to do something about it, capturing it all on tape. (I've include the link to the video below, so you see for yourself.) What she and her friend did were not only a brave, but dangerous as well, so it is important to keep this young girl and her male friend in your thoughts and prayers. Hannah went into an ACORN office, under the alias of "Kenya," a prostitute along with her male friend, who played the role of her "pimp" and captured the events on camera. According to Fox news, "Kenya" told the two ACORN employees that she wanted to get help in securing housing, so that she could continue to run her prostitution business. Now, instead of telling "Kenya" that her plans were not only wrong, but illegal, these women began the process of helping her secure a house so she could run her brothel. Disguised as "Kenya," Hannah went on to tell the ACORN employees that she and her "pimp" wanted to bring over 13 illegal young girls from El Salvador that they planned on importing over to the U.S. so that they could work for "Kenya" as prostitutes.

According to Fox News, "An ACORN official told the couple how to falsify tax forms and seek illegal benefits for 13 'very young' girls from El Salvador that they said they wanted

acorn 2


According to Fox news, "Kenya" told the two ACORN employees that she wanted to get help in securing housing, so that she could continue to run her prostitution business. Now, instead of telling "Kenya" that her plans were not only wrong, but illegal, these women began the process of helping her secure a house so she could run her brothel. Disguised as "Kenya," Hannah went on to tell the ACORN employees that she and her "pimp" wanted to bring over 13 illegal young girls from El Salvador that they planned on importing over to the U.S. so that they could work for "Kenya" as prostitutes.

According to Fox News, "An ACORN official told the couple how to falsify tax forms and seek illegal benefits for 13 'very young' girls from El Salvador that they said they wanted to import as prostitutes." Now, while Hannah and her male friend were playing a part and making up a story, they are heroes because the have further exposed an organization that should no longer be allowed to open its doors to the public. How could a group that is obviously performing illegal activities continue to receive funding from the government? Wake up Washington! You were elected to serve the people, but in not investigating ACORN, you are doing us a HUGE disservice! According to Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News senior judicial analyst, "Though no tax forms were filed and the child prostitutes didn't exist, the ACORN official engaged in 'numerous acts of criminal facilitation.'" You think? While the good news is that the two ACORN employees involved in this incident will most likely face charges, the bigger, underlying issue has to do with the way in which ACORN continues to be an open door for more criminal activity. How many more situations like the one above have existed? How many illegals has ACORN helped into this country? How many others have they helped with tax evasion? I agree with Glenn Beck when he discussed the serious implications that this mock event may have on America as a whole.

Napolitano went on to say in the filed Fox News story:

"Criminal facilitation occurs whenever a person encourages, enables, entices, or explains to another how to commit crimes with the real purpose of helping that person to commit those crimes" — a violation the ACORN employee 'committed in full.'"

Not only did these women clearly break the law, but they have given us even more proof of an organization that simply says it "just wants to help people." Yeah, I bet they do- they've just given a whole new meaning to the word "help." It is important to note that at least one good, brave congressman is speaking out on this issue. Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) said,

"Taxpayers should be outraged that their money has gone to an organization that, in addition to facing charges of voter fraud and tax violations, is willing to facilitate prostitution.... As this video confirms, ACORN continues to operate as a criminal enterprise."

The good congressman couldn't be more right. Instead of funding reputable organizations, our government continues to fund fringe groups, yes I said fringe groups. We, Americans, should be outraged that an organization that insists it wants to fight on the side of social justice is doing no such thing, which makes me wonder why we are continuing to find this corrupt organization? Why isn't our government ordering a full-on investigation of ACORN and all its business practices? Is Acorn the only fringe group that we funding, or are there other so-called community organizing groups that are also performing illegal activities?


You all need to watch the video! I couldn't believe what I was watching. Throughout the entire tape, you will see the ACORN workers tell "Kenya" and her "pimp" that their secret is safe with them, that they will help them find housing, and that the 13 illegal, underage girls will be brought over to the United States. According to the Fox News story, one of the ACORN employees, who identifies herself as an accountant said, regarding "Kenya" and her pimp's intentions,

"It's illegal. So I am not hearing this, I am not hearing this.... You talk too much. Don't give up no information you're not asked."

This made-up-story of sorts has made me question just who is looking out for me and you as well. If these two workers were so fast to help "Kenya" and her "pimp," just how much illegal activity have other employees gone to in their goal of "working for social justice and stronger communities"?


This group rakes in millions in federal grants each year (They could receive as much as $8.5 billion in stimulus money.), so WE as Americans have EVERY RIGHT to know what this business is doing behind closed doors, but instead of urging those to investigate this group, our commander in chief, a former community organizer, has not even issued a statement regarding ACORN and its practices. As a concerned citizen, this makes me wonder if a) does the president really care? And b) as a former community organizer himself, if he really doesn't care because he already knows this is REALLY what community organizing is about. I'm sorry, but unethical, illegal practices are not the criteria for enacting social justice. I guarantee the information that brave Hannah and her friend have uncovered is just the tip of the iceberg. As citizen journalists, it is up to us to find out the truth. The only media outlets reporting this story are Fox News, Glenn Beck, "The Weekly Standard," and a couple other conservative online news agencies. While the media are too busy mocking Sarah Palin or reporting on the congressman who yelled "you lie" at the president (Representative Joe Wilson was correct in his assessment by the way), they are blinded to the REAL NEWS. This should not surprise you one bit. The journalism of the Obama era is the most biased, corrupt, in-the-tank bunch of bumbling idiots I have ever seen in my 28 years on earth. The fair, honest, objective journalism I studied in college is dead. It is hard to think that, just a four years ago, when I was in college the honorable journalism I studied would be in extinction come the 2008 presidential election.


It is important to note that while "Kenya" and her "pimp (her cameraman)" didn't actually fill out tax forms with false information, the workers still performed illegal acts in giving them a plan to go about securing a house and bringing over the illegal, young girls. The two employees also collected a $50 fee, for services, which at least brings about a conspiracy charge, according to a defense attorney who spoke with Fox News. Perhaps the central issue should be if ACORN will finally be investigated for this unethical incident because, it is very possible that, this incident may lead to many other similar, incidents that have actually happened. Unless the government cuts off the funding to ACORN and investigates this organization, ACORN will continue its illegal practices, and whether we like it or not, we


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