Forecast 2010

The Center does Not Hold...

But Neither Does the Floor

Introduction 

     There are always disagreements in a society, differences of opinion, and contested ideas, but I don't remember any period in my own longish life, even the Vietnam uproar, when the collective sense of purpose, intent, and self-confidence was so muddled in this country, so detached from reality. Obviously, in saying this I'm assuming that I have some reliable notion of what's real.  I admit the possibility that I'm as mistaken as anyone else.  But for the purpose of this exercise I'll ask you to regard me as a reliable narrator. Forecasting is a nasty job, usually thankless, often disappointing - but somebody's got to do it. There are so many variables in motion, and so much of that motion is driven by randomness, and the best one can do in forecasting amounts to offering up some guesses for whatever they are worth.

     I begin by restating my central theme of recent months: that we're doing a poor job of constructing a coherent consensus about what is happening to us and what we are going to do about it. 

     There is a great clamor for "solutions" out there. I've noticed that what's being clamored for is a set of rescue remedies - miracles even - that will allow us to keep living exactly the way we're accustomed to in the USA, with all the trappings of comfort and convenience now taken as entitlements.  I don't believe that this will be remotely possible, so I avoid the term "solutions" entirely and suggest that we speak instead of "intelligent responses" to our changing circumstances. This implies that our well-being depends on our own behavior and the choices that we make, not on the lucky arrival of just-in-time miracles.  It is an active stance, not a passive one. What will we do?

     The great muddlement out there, this inability to form a coherent consensus about what's happening, is especially frightening when, as is the case today, even the intelligent elites appear clueless or patently dishonest, in any case unreliable, in their relations with reality. President Obama, for instance - a charming, articulate man, with a winning smile, pectorals like Kansas City strip steaks, and a mandate for "change" - who speaks incessantly and implausibly of "the recovery" when all the economic vital signs tell a different story except for some obviously manipulated stock market indexes. You hear this enough times and you can't help but regard it as lying, and even if it is lying ostensibly for the good of the nation, it is still lying about what is actually going on and does much harm to the project of building a coherent consensus. I submit that we would benefit more if we acknowledged what is really happening to us because only that will allow us to respond intelligently. What prior state does Mr. Obama suppose we're recovering to?  A Potemkin housing boom and an endless credit card spending orgy?  The lying spreads downward from the White House and broadly across the fruited plain and the corporate office landscape and through the campuses and the editorial floors and the suites of absolutely everyone in charge of everything until all leadership in every field of endeavor has been given permission to speak untruth and to reinforce each others lies and illusions.

     How dysfunctional is our nation? These days, we lie to ourselves perhaps as badly the Soviets did, and in a worse way, because where information is concerned we really are a freer people than they were, so our failure is far less excusable, far more disgraceful. That you are reading this blog is proof that we still enjoy free speech in this country, whatever state of captivity or foolishness the so-called "mainstream media" may be in.  By submitting to lies and illusions, therefore, we are discrediting the idea that freedom of speech and action has any value.  How dangerous is that?

Where We Are Now

     2009 was the Year of the Zombie. The system for capital formation and allocation basically died but there was no funeral. A great national voodoo spell has kept the banks and related entities like Fannie Mae and the dead insurance giant AIG lurching around the graveyard with arms outstretched and yellowed eyes bugged out, howling for fresh infusions of blood... er, bailout cash, which is delivered in truckloads by the Federal Reserve, which is itself a zombie in the sense that it is probably insolvent. The government and the banks (including the Fed) have been playing very complicated games with each other, and the public, trying to pretend that they can all still function, shifting and shuffling losses, cooking their books, hiding losses, and doing everything possible to detach the relation of "money" to the reality of productive activity.

     But nothing has been fixed, not even a little. Nothing has been enforced.  No one has been held responsible for massive fraud. The underlying reality is that we are a much less affluent society than we pretend to be, or, to put it bluntly, that we are functionally bankrupt at every level: household, corporate enterprise, and government (all levels of that, too).

     The difference between appearance and reality can be easily seen in the everyday facts of American economic life: soaring federal deficits, real unemployment above 15 percent, steeply falling tax revenues, massive state budget crises, continuing high rates of mortgage defaults and foreclosures, business and personal bankruptcies galore, cratering commercial real estate, dying retail, crumbling infrastructure, dwindling trade, runaway medical expense, soaring food stamp applications.  Meanwhile, the major stock indices rallied. What's not clear is whether money is actually going somewhere or only the idea of "money" is appearing to go somewhere.  After all, if a company like Goldman Sachs can borrow gigantic sums of "money" from the Federal Reserve at zero interest, why would it not shovel that money into the burning furnace of a fake stock market rally?  Of course, none of this behavior has anything to do with productive activity.

      The theme for 2009 - well put by Chris Martenson - was "extend and pretend," to use all the complex trickery that can be marshaled in the finance tool bag to keep up the appearance of a revolving debt economy that produces profits, interest, and dividends, in spite of the fact that debt is not being "serviced," i.e. repaid.  There is an awful lot in the machinations of Wall Street and Washington that is designed deliberately to be as incomprehensible as possible to even educated people, but this part is really simple: if money is created out of lending, then the failure to pay back loaned money with interest kills the system.  That is the situation we are in.

      The inertia displayed by our system - especially its manifest ability to keep stock markets levitating in the absence of value creation - is strictly a function of its size and complexity. It is running on fumes. I thought it would finally crash and burn in 2009. The Dow Jones industrial average certainly fell on its ass last March, bottoming in the mid-6000 range.  But then it picked its sorry ass off the ground and rallied back up again thanks to bail-outs and ZIRPs and really no other place to look for returns on the accumulated wealth of the past two hundred years, especially for large institutions like pension funds that need income to function.  I'd called for a Dow at 4000. A lot of readers ridiculed that call.  Was it really that far off?

     A feature of 2009 easily overlooked is what a generally placid year it was around the world. Apart from the election uproar in Iran, there were few events of any size or potency to shove all the various wobbly things - central banks, markets, governments, etc - into failure mode.  So things just kept wobbling.  I don't think that state of affairs is likely to continue.  With that, on to the particulars.

The Year Ahead     

     Just about everything which evaded fate via gamed numbers, budgets, and balance sheets in 2009 seems destined to hit a wall in 2010.  To pick an arbitrary starting point, it is hard to see how states like California and New York can keep staving off monumental changes in their scale of operations with further budget trickery.  Those cans they've been kicking down the street have fallen through the sewer grate.  What will they do?  They can massively raise taxes or massively lay off employees and default on obligations - or they can do all these things. The net result will be populations with less income, arguably impoverished, suffering, and perhaps very angry about it.  Welcome to reality.  Will Washington bail the states out, too?  I wouldn't be surprised to see them pretend to do so, but not without immense collateral damage in everybody's legitimacy and surely an increase in US treasury interest rates.

      But backing up a moment, I'm writing between Christmas and New Year's Eve. The frenzied distractions of the holidays ongoing for much of Q4-2009 are still in force.  In a week or so, when the Christmas trees are hauled out to the curbs (and it turns out that municipal garbage pickup has been curtailed for lack of funds) a picture will start to emerge of exactly how retail sales went leading up to the big climax. My guess is that sales were dismal. Reports of such will start a train of events that sends many retail companies careening into bankruptcy, including some national chains, leading to lost leases in malls and strip malls, leading to a final push off the cliff for commercial real estate, leading to the failure of many local and regional banks, leading to the bankrupt FDIC having to go to congress directly to get more money to bail out the depositors, leading again to rising interest rates for US treasuries, leading to higher mortgage interest rates for whoever out there is crazy enough to venture to buy a house with borrowed money, leading to the probability that there are few of the foregoing, leading to another hard leg down in house values because so few are now crazy enough to buy a house in the face of falling prices - all of this leading to the recognition that we have entered a serious depression, which is only a facet of the greater period of hardship we have also entered, which I call The Long Emergency.

      This depression will be a classic deleveraging, or resolution of debt. Debt will either be paid back or defaulted on.  Since a lot can't be paid back, a lot of it will have to be defaulted on, which will make a lot of money disappear, which will make many people a lot poorer. President Obama will be faced with a basic choice.  He can either make the situation worse by offering more bailouts and similar moves aimed at stopping the deleveraging process - that is, continue what he has been doing, only perhaps twice as much, which may crash the system more rapidly - or he can recognize the larger trends in The Long Emergency and begin marshalling our remaining collective resources to restructure the economy along less complex and more local lines. Don't count on that.

      Of course, this downscaling will happen whether we want it or not. It's really a matter of whether we go along with it consciously and intelligently - or just let things slide. Paradoxically and unfortunately in this situation, the federal government is apt to become ever more ineffectual in its ability to manage anything, no matter how many times Mr. Obama comes on television. Does this leave him as a kind of national camp counselor trying to offer consolation to the suffering American people, without being able to really affect the way the "workout" works out? Was Franklin Roosevelt really much more than an affable presence on the radio in a dark time that had to take its course and was only resolved by a global convulsion that left the USA standing in a smoldering field of prostrate losers?

     One wild card is how angry the American people might get.  Unlike the 1930s, we are no longer a nation who call each other "Mister" and "Ma'am," where even the down-and-out wear neckties and speak a discernible variant of regular English, where hoboes say "thank you," and where, in short, there is something like a common culture of shared values.  We're a nation of thugs and louts with flames tattooed on our necks, who call each other "motherfucker" and are skilled only in playing video games based on mass murder. The masses of Roosevelt's time were coming off decades of programmed, regimented work, where people showed up in well-run factories and schools and pretty much behaved themselves. In my view, that's one of the reasons that the US didn't explode in political violence during the Great Depression of the 1930s - the discipline and fortitude of the citizenry.  The sheer weight of demoralization now is so titanic that it is very hard to imagine the people of the USA pulling together for anything beyond the most superficial ceremonies - placing teddy bears on a crash site.  And forget about discipline and fortitude in a nation of ADD victims and self-esteem seekers.

     I believe we will see the outbreak of civil disturbance at many levels in 2010.  One will be plain old crime against property and persons, especially where the sense of community is flimsy-to-nonexistent, and that includes most of suburban America. The automobile is a fabulous aid to crime. People can commit crimes in Skokie and be back home in Racine before supper (if supper is anything besides a pepperoni stick and some Hostess Ho-Hos in the car). Fewer police will be on guard due to budget shortfalls.

      I think we'll see a variety-pack of political disturbance led first by people who are just plain pissed off at government and corporations and seek to damage property belonging to these entities. The ideologically-driven will offer up "revolutionary" action to redefine some lost national sense of purpose. Some of the most dangerous players such as the political racialists, the posse comitatus types, the totalitarian populists, have been out-of-sight for years. They'll come out of the woodwork and join the contest over dwindling resources. Both the Left and the Right are capable of violence. But since the Left is ostensibly already in power, the Right is in a better position to mount a real challenge to office-holders. Their ideas may be savage and ridiculous, but they could easily sweep the 2010 elections - unless we see the rise of a third party (or perhaps several parties). No sign of that yet. Personally, I'd like to see figures like Christopher Dodd and Barney Frank sent packing, though I'm a registered Democrat. In the year ahead, the sense of contraction will be palpable and huge. Losses will be obvious.  No amount of jive-talking will convince the public that they are experiencing "recovery."  Everything familiar and comforting will begin receding toward the horizon.

Markets and Money 

     I'll take another leap of faith and say that 6600 was not the bottom for the Dow. I've said Dow 4000 for three years in a row.  Okay, my timing has been off.  But I still believe this is its destination.  Given the currency situation, and the dilemma of no-growth Ponzi economies, I'll call it again for this year: Dow 4000. There, I said it. Laugh if you will....

    I'm with those who see the dollar strengthening for at least the first half of 2010, and other assets falling in value, especially the stock markets. The dollar could wither later on in the year and maybe take a turn into high inflation as US treasury interest rates shoot up in an environment of a global bond glut.  That doesn't mean the stock markets will bounce back because the US economy will only sink into greater disorder when interest rates rise.

        Right now there are ample signs of trouble with the Euro. It made a stunning downward move the past two weeks.  European banks took the biggest hit in the Dubai default.  Now they face the prospect of sovereign default in Greece, the Baltic nations (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), the Balkan nations (Serbia, et al), Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Iceland and the former soviet bloc of Eastern Europe. England is a train wreck of its own (though not tied into the Euro), and even France may be in trouble.  That leaves very few European nations standing.  Namely Germany and Scandanavia (and I just plain don't know about Austria). What will Europe do?  Really, what will Germany do? Probably reconstruct something like the German Deutschmark only call it something else... the Alt.Euro?  As one wag said on the Net: sovereign debt is the new sub-prime! The Euro is in a deeper slog right now than the US dollar (even with our fantastic problems), so I see the dollar rising in relation to the Euro, at least for a while. I'd park cash in three month treasury bills - don't expect any return - for safety in the first half of 2010. I wouldn't touch long-term US debt paper with a carbon-fiber sixty foot pole.

       I'm still not among those who see China rising into a position of supremacy.  In fact, they have many reasons of their own to tank, including the loss of the major market for their manufactured goods, vast ecological problems, de-stabilizing demographic shifts within the nation, and probably a food crisis in 2010 (more about this later).

     Though a seemingly more stable nation than the US, with a disciplined population and a strong common culture with shared values, Japan's financial disarray runs so deep that it could crash its government even before ours.  It has no fossil fuels of its own whatsoever.  And in a de-industrializing world, how can an industrial economy sustain itself? Japan might become a showcase for The Long Emergency.  On the other hand, if it gets there first and makes the necessary adjustments, which is possible given their discipline and common culture, they may become THE society to emulate!

     I'm also not convinced that so-called "emerging markets" are places where money will dependably earn interest, profits, or dividends.  Contraction will be everywhere. I even think the price of gold will retrace somewhere between $750 and $1000 for a while, though precious metals will hold substantial value under any conditions short of Hobbesian chaos. People flock to gold out of uncertainty, not just a bet on inflation. My guess is that gold and silver will eventually head back up in value to heights previously never imagined, and it would be wise to own some. I do not believe that the federal government could confiscate personal gold again the way it did in 1933. There are too many pissed off people with too many guns out there - and I'm sure there is a correlation between owners of guns with owners of gold and levels of pissed-offness.  A botched attempt to take gold away from citizens would only emphasize the impotence of the federal government, leading to further erosion of legitimacy.

            Bottom line for markets and money in 2010: so many things will be out of whack that making money work via the traditional routes of compound interest or dividends will be nearly impossible. There's money to be made in shorting and arbitrage and speculation, but that requires nerves of steel and lots and lots of luck.  Those dependent on income from regular investment will be hurt badly.  For most of us, capital preservation will be as good as it gets - and there's always the chance the dollar will enter the hyper-inflationary twilight zone and wipe out everything and everyone connected with it.

Peak Oil

      It's still out there, very much out there, a huge unseen presence in the story, the true ghost-in-the-machine, eating away at economies every day.  It slipped offstage in 2009 after the oil spike of 2008 ($147/barrel) over-corrected in early 2009 to the low $30s/barrel.  Now it's retraced about halfway back to the mid-$70s.  One way of looking at the situation is as follows.  Oil priced above $75 begins to squeeze the US economy; oil priced over $85 tends to crush the US economy.  You can see where we are now with oil prices closing on Christmas Eve at $78/barrel.

     Among the many wishful delusions operating currently is the idea that the Bakken oil play in Dakota / Montana will save Happy Motoring for America, and that the Appalachian shale gas plays will kick in to make us energy independent for a century to come.  Americans are likely to be disappointed by these things.

       Both Bakken and the shale gas are based on techniques for using horizontal drilling through "tight" rock strata that is fractured with pressurized water. It works, but it's not at all cheap, creates plenty of environmental mischief, and may end up being only marginally productive. At best, Bakken is predicted to produce around 400,000 barrels of oil a day.  That's not much in a nation that uses close to 20 million barrels a day.  Shale gas works too, though the wells deplete shockingly fast and will require the massive deployment of new drilling rigs (do we even have the steel for this?). I doubt it can be produced for under $10 a unit (mm/BTUs) and currently the price of gas is in the $5 range. In any case, we're not going to run the US motor vehicle fleet on natural gas, despite wishful thinking.

     Several other story elements in the oil drama have remained on track to make our lives more difficult.  Oil export rates continue to decline more steeply than oil field depletion rates.  Exporters like Iran, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, are using evermore of the oil they produce (often as state-subsidized cheap gasoline), even as their production rates go down.  So, they have less oil to sell to importers like the USA - and we import more than 60 percent of the oil we use. Mexico's Pemex is in such a sorry state, with its principal Cantarell field production falling off a cliff, that the USA's number three source of imported oil may be able to sell us nothing whatsoever in just 24 months.  Is there any public discussion about this in the USA?  No. Do we have a plan?  No.

     A new wrinkle in the story developing especially since the financial crisis happened, is the shortage of capital for new oil exploration and production - meaning that we have even poorer prospects of offsetting world-wide oil depletion.  The capital shortage will also affect development in the Bakken play and the Marcellus shale gas range.

            Industrial economies are still at the mercy of peak oil.  This basic fact of life means that we can't expect the regular cyclical growth in productive activity that formed the baseline parameters for modern capital finance - meaning that we can't run on revolving credit anymore because growth simply isn't there to create real surplus wealth to pay down debt.  The past 20 years we've seen the institutions of capital finance pretend to create growth where there is no growth by expanding financial casino games of chance and extracting profits, commissions, and bonuses from the management of these games - mortgage backed securities, collateralized debt obligations, credit default swaps, and all the rest of the tricks dreamed up as America's industrial economy was shipped off to the Third World.  But that set of rackets had a limited life span and they ran into a wall in October 2008. Since then it's all come down to a shell game: hide the giant pea of defaulted debt under a giant walnut shell.

       Yet another part of the story is the wish that the failing fossil fuel industrial economy would segue seamlessly into an alt-energy industrial economy.  This just isn't happening, despite the warm, fuzzy TV commercials about electric cars and "green" technology.  The sad truth of the matter is that we face the need to fundamentally restructure the way we live and what we do in North America, and probably along the lines of much more modest expectations, and with very different practical arrangements in everything from the very nature of work to household configurations, transportation, farming, capital formation, and the shape-and-scale of our settlements.  This is not just a matter of re-tuning what we have now.  It means letting go of much of it, especially our investments in suburbia and motoring - something that the American public still isn't ready to face.  They may never be ready to face this and that is why we may never make a successful transition to whatever the next economy is.  Rather, we will undertake a campaign to sustain the unsustainable and sink into poverty and disorder as we fight over the table scraps of the old economy... and when the smoke clears nothing new will have been built.

       President Obama has spent his first year in office, and billions of dollars, trying to prop up the floundering car-makers and more generally the motoring system with "stimulus" for "shovel-ready" highway projects.  This is exactly the kind of campaign to sustain the unsustainable that I mean.  Motoring is in the process of failing and now for reasons that even we peak oilers didn't anticipate a year ago. It's no longer just about the price of gasoline.  The crisis of capital is making car loans much harder to get, and if Americans can't buy cars on installment loans, they are not going to buy cars, and eventually they will not be driving cars they can't buy. The same crisis of capital is now depriving the states, counties, and municipalities of the means to maintain the massive paved highway and street system in this country. Just a few years of not attending to that will leave the system unworkable.

     Meanwhile President Obama has given next-to-zero money or attention to public transit, to repairing the passenger railroad system in particular.  I maintain that if we don't repair this system, Americans will not be traveling very far from home in a decade or so. Therefore, Mr. Obama's actions vis-à-vis transportation are not an intelligent response to our situation.  And for very similar reasons, the proposal for a totally electric motor vehicle fleet, as a so-called "solution" to the liquid fuels problem, is equally unintelligent and tragic. Of course something else that Mr. Obama has barely paid lip-service to is the desperate need to retool our living places as walkable communities. The government now, at all levels, virtually mandates suburban arrangements of the most extremely car-dependent kind. Changing this has to move near the top of a national emergency priority list, if we have one.

     Even with somewhat lower oil prices in 2009, the airlines still hemorrhaged losses in the billions, and if the oil price remains in the current zone some of them will fall back into bankruptcy in 2010.  Oil prices may go down again in response to crippled economies, but then so will passengers looking to fly anywhere, especially the business fliers that the airlines have depended on to fill the higher-priced seats. I believe United will be the first one to go down in 2010, a hateful moron of a company that deserves to die.

     My forecast for oil prices this year is extreme volatility.  A strengthening dollar might send oil prices down (though that relationship has temporarily broken down this December as both oil prices and the dollar went up in tandem for the first time in memory). So could the cratering of the stock markets, or a general apprehension of a floundering economy.  But the oil export situation also means there is less and less wiggle room every month for supply to keep pace with demand, even in struggling economies if they are dependent on foreign imports. Another part of the story that we don't pay attention to is the potential for oil scarcities, shortages, and hoarding. We may see the reemergence of those trends in 2010 for the first times since 1979.

Geopolitics 

     The retracement of oil prices in 2009 took place against a background of relative quiet on the geopolitical scene.  With economies around the world sinking into even deeper extremis in 2010, friction and instability are more likely. The more likely locales for this are the places where most of the world's remaining oil is: the Middle East and Central Asia. The American army is already there, in Iraq and Afghanistan, with an overt pledge to up-the-ante in Afghanistan. It's hard to imagine a happy ending in all this. It's increasingly hard to even imagine a strategic justification for it.  My current (weakly-held) notion is that America wants to make a baloney sandwich out of Iran, with American armies in Iraq and Afghanistan as the Wonder Bread, to "keep the pressure on" Iran. Well, after quite a few years, it doesn't seem to be moderating or influencing Iran's behavior in any way. Meanwhile, Pakistan becomes more chaotic every week and our presence in the Islamic world stimulates more Islamic extremist hatred against the USA. Speaking of Pakistan, there is the matter of its neighbor and adversary, India. If there is another terror attack by Pakistan on the order of last year's against various targets in Mumbai, I believe the response by India is liable to be severe next time, leading to God-knows-what, considering both countries have plenty of atom bombs.

      Otherwise, the idea that we can control indigenous tribal populations in some of Asia's most forbidding terrain seems laughable. I don't have to rehearse the whole "graveyard of empires" routine here. But what possible geo-strategic advantage is in this for us?  What would it matter if we pacified all the Taliban or al Qaeda in Afghanistan? Most of the hardest core maniacs are next door in Pakistan.  Even if we turned Afghanistan into Idaho-East, with Kabul as the next Sun Valley, complete with Ralph Lauren shops and Mario Batali bistros, Pakistan would remain every bit as chaotic and dangerous in terms of supplying the world with terrorists. And how long would we expect to remain in Afghanistan pacifying the population?  Five years?  Ten Years? Forever? It's a ridiculous project. Loose talk on the web suggests our hidden agenda there was to protect a Conoco pipeline out of Tajikistan, but that seems equally absurd on several grounds.  I can't see Afghanistan as anything but a sucking chest wound for dollars, soldiers' lives, and American prestige.

     What's more, our presence there seems likely to stimulate more terror incidents here in the USA. We've been supernaturally lucky since 2001 that there hasn't been another incident of mass murder, even something as easy and straightforward as a shopping mall massacre or a bomb in a subway.  Our luck is bound to run out.  There are too many "soft" targets and our borders are too squishy. Small arms and explosives are easy to get in the USA.  I predict that 2010 may be the year our luck does run out.  Even before the start of the year we've seen the attempted Christmas bombing of Northwest-KLM flight 253 (Amsterdam to Detroit). One consequence of this is that it will only make air travel more unpleasant for everybody in the USA as new rules are instated limiting bathroom trips and blankets in the final hour of flight.

      As far as the USA is concerned, I think we have more to worry about from Mexico than Afghanistan. In 2009, the Mexican government slipped ever deeper into impotence against the giant criminal cartels there. As the Cantarell oil field waters out, revenue from Pemex to the national government will wither away and so will the government's ability to control anything there. The next president of Mexico may be an ambitious gangster straight out of the drug cartels, Pancho Villa on steroids.

      Another potential world locale for conflict may be Europe as the European Union begins to implode under the strains of the monetary system. The weaker nations default on their obligations and Germany, especially, looks to insulate itself from the damage.  Except for the fiasco in Yugoslavia's breakup years ago, Europe has been strikingly peaceful for half a century.  For most of us now living who have visited there, it is almost impossible to imagine how violent and crazy the continent was in the early twentieth century. I wonder what might happen there now, with more than a few nations failing economically and the dogs of extreme politics perhaps loosed again.  History is ironical.  Perhaps this time the Germans will be the good guys, while England goes apeshit with its BNP.  Wouldn't that be something?

     One big new subplot in world politics this year may be the global food shortage that is shaping up as a result of spectacular crop failures in most of the major farming regions of the world.  The American grain belt was hit by cold and wet weather and the harvest was a disaster, especially for soybeans, of which the USA produces at least three-quarters of the world's supply.  Crops have also failed in Northern China's wheat-growing region, in Australia, Argentina, and India. The result may range from extremely high food prices in the developed world to starvation in other places, leading to grave political instability and desperate fights over resources. We'll have an idea where this is leading by springtime. It maybe the most potent sub-plot in the story for 2010.

Conclusions

     The Long Emergency is officially underway.  Reality is telling us very clearly to prepare for a new way of life in the USA. We're in desperate need of decomplexifying, re-localizing, downscaling, and re-humanizing American life.  It doesn't mean that we will be a lesser people or that we will not recognize our own culture.  In some respects, I think it means we must return to some traditional American life-ways that we abandoned for the cheap oil life of convenience, comfort, obesity, and social atomization.

     The successful people in America moving forward will be those who attach themselves to cohesive local communities, places with integral local economies and sturdy social networks, especially places that can produce a significant amount of their own food. I don't think that we'll be living in a world without money, some medium of exchange above barter, but it may not come in the form of dollars. My guess is that for a while it may be gold and silver, or possibly certificates issued by bank-like institutions representing gold-on-hand. In any case, I doubt we'll arrive there this year. This is more likely to be the year of grand monetary disorders and continued shocking economic contraction.

     Political upheaval can get underway pretty quickly, without a whole lot of warning.  I'm still waiting to hear the announced 2009 bonuses for the employees of the TBTF banks.  All they said before Christmas was that thirty top Goldman Sachs employees would be paid in stock instead of money this year, but no other big banks have made a peep yet.  I suppose they'll have to in the four days before New Years.  I still think that could be the moment that shoves some disgruntled Americans into the arena of protest and revolt.  Beyond that, though, there is plenty room for emotions to run wild and for behavior to get weird.

        President Obama will have to make some pretty drastic moves to salvage his credibility. I see no sign of any intention to seriously investigate or prosecute financial crimes. Yet the evidence of misdeeds piles higher and higher - just this week new comprehensive reports of Goldman Sachs's irregularities in shorting their own issues of mortgage-backed securities, and a report on the Treasury Department's issuance of treasuries to "back-door" dumpers of toxic mortgage backed securities. And on Christmas Eve, when nobody was looking, the Treasury lifted the ceiling on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's backstop money to infinity. Even people like me who try to pay close attention to what's going on have lost track of all the various TARPs, TALFs, bailouts, stimuli, ZIRP loans, and handovers to every bank and its uncle in the land.

     Good luck to readers in 2010. To paraphrase Tiny Tim: God help us, every one....

321 Comments

Jim, you have been right in the past, and much of what you say is probably dead on. Reading your stuff has made us some money, so we will continue to follow your thinking and pick through the glittering hyperbole to find the little gems of survival wisdom. More at http://www.thenothingstore.com

The new year will most probably bring many more surprises for those that are not paying attention to what is really happening in this world. Yes indeed, God help us.

"...even the intelligent elites appear clueless or patently dishonest, in any case unreliable, in their relations with reality."

Seems to me that these are the very ones who brought about this present mess. They've followed their belief system for quite a few decades, now--and, having learned nothing, are still following it.

Intelligence in governmental or corporate offices does not equate to common sense therein--which all pretty much went out the window since at least the LBJ tenure.

Anyhow, thanks for a pretty good analysis of our current world affairs and some quite-likely probabilities.

'Rat

Jim,

I thought you were a 'doomer'! But this sounds pretty optimistic.

/snark?

~Ruff

Me no get.

You say:

"There are too many "soft" targets and our borders are too squishy."

Then:

"We're in desperate need of decomplexifying, re-localizing, downscaling, and re-humanizing..."

Then:

"...the Right is in a better position to mount a real challenge to office-holders. Their ideas may be savage and ridiculous..."

The Right, for some time has been warning against our porous borders and the growing of our government. Two ideas which you seem to embrace. Yet their ideas are savage and ridiculous. Well welcome to the fold oh noble savage.


Here's my predictions for 2010, covering geopolitics, space, and climate change:

http://www.watchinghistory.com/2009/12/predictions-for-2010.html

While I see the same consequences as you do, the one prediction where I think you're wrong is in the people's tendency to revolt.

They won't revolt or even feel outrage, or even *feel* much as long as there's cheap food, cheap entertainment and cheap psychoactive drugs, Americans will sit happily on their collective rears believing whatever big media tells them. Only when these things run out, or become unaffordable, will you see significant political movement among the masses.

"Contraction will be everywhere. I even think the price of gold will retrace somewhere between $750 and $1000 for a while..." - wow Jim, you know peak oil, that's for sure but man o man...you really don't understand economics real well - if contraction is everywhere then money is rushing SOMEwhere and usually that's either treasuries or commodities...but more often the later and that would mean into gold.

Of course, I think you're right in terms of overall wealth destruction at some point - but the more the phantom instruments of smoke-and-mirror "wealth" vanish the more the tangible representations of wealth accure value. So, even if paper wealth is evaporating that doesn't mean that gold's value does too - quite the contrary, market forces dictate that gold's value goes up even MORE...(and silver, and other rare metals).

The truth of our situation is hard to see because we're in it. Mr. Kuntsler climbs up and out to give us the wider view. If it's too scary, just close your eyes and plug your ears. Otherwise, listen to the long view, keep your sense of humor, and get ready to try to help people who won't cope well with what's coming next.

Long time reader but first time commenting.

One doesn't have to agree with every point Kunstler makes but his opus speaks for itself. I know I look forward to reading his blog weekly. I think many readers miss the overall trajectory of Jim's comments and get a little too hung up on agreeing with every jot and tittle. I'm a former commercial banker and small town elected official (in the past thankfully) who saw that Kunstler "gets it", and got it before the so-called geniuses at the NYT's.......

Keep up the good work Jim and a healthy and happy New Year to all.

Humans are easily tempted. Until the species evolves past the primitive instinct to collect shiny things, these cycles of boom and bust will keep happening. The other possible endpoint for these cycles is when one of the "busts" is catastrophic to the species.

JHK said: "we are functionally bankrupt at every level: household, corporate enterprise, and government (all levels of that, too)."

Do "bankrupt" households INCREASE their savings rate?

Weak Economy Motivates Americans to Save More
http://bit.ly/5ZHr0X
Washington Post, Dec. 27, 2009

I would think "bankrupt" households in a "bankrupt" society run by a "bankrupt" government would not have a pot to piss in. Instead, the data show that personal savings levels are increasing.

I object to the use of the word "bankrupt" to describe economic reality in the majority of American households.

"Debt will either be paid back or defaulted on."

Let's try paid back. Good luck everybody in 2010.


http://freedomguerrilla.com

JHK,
It takes some courage to make predictions (especially about the future, as the old joke goes), and I enjoyed yours. Would argue with a couple, though.
First, it is in the rest of the world's interest to keep the zombie-like US economy staggering along. As long as the concept of "money" has any meaning, I suspect we'll see massive, co-ordinated efforts to keep our dysfunctional, consumer-based economy functioning. In other words, the wheels will stay attached a lot longer than we believe.
Second, like Ian above, I'm skeptical about the American citizen's propensity for violent revolt. Let's face it, we're an aging country of inactive baby-boomers, even a bit decrepit - witness the intense focus on health care. We don't have the demographics that lead to armed insurrection, unlike, say Mexico or Iran. Instead, I foresee skyrocketing depression and anxiety leading to more isolation and impotence. In a way, even worse than angry conflict.

Check out last night's 60 Minutes interview with the governor of California concerning water sources, water distribution, and the state budget. At one point, the governor literally waves away concern with "just numbers" that the interviewer brings up. Trying, perhaps, to be inspirational (seeking to maintain California as the best place to live on earth), the governor comes off looking truly delusional. On the positive side, he looked well, and ready for his closeups.

As I was sitting in my chair,
I knew the bottom wasn't there,
Nor legs nor back, but I just sat,
Ignoring little things like that.
~Hughes Mearns

My grandmother used to quote this poem fifty years ago, using it to explain her predictions of the eventual collapse of the global financial system. She was even more premature than Jim; both are right, I think.

Gresham's Law: the counterfeit drives out the good.

This principle operates on thought and belief systems as well.

It is a lot cheaper to believe in bullshit than to accept reality.

In 2011 California residents will be barred from purchasing ammunition - especially out-of-state, mail order, and through the Internet.

http://activerain.com/blogsview/1360101/california-gun-law-fingerprints-required-to-buy-ammo
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/postquery?bill_number=ab_962&sess=CUR&house=B&author=de_leon

You only truly own what you can hold in both hands at a full run. If you own weapons and ammunition suited to the task you own much more - and don't have to run. Blessed are the paranoid, for they shall have made backups.

JHK sez:
"Forecasting is a nasty job, usually thankless, often disappointing - but somebody's got to do it."

Very true, but I certainly thank you for giving it a comprehensive shot. (I think forecasters who are correct in predicting "bad outcomes" are especially reviled and soon forgotten as those outcomes materialize. Sad, but there it is.)

For some unknown(or unconscious) reason, I've been taking out, and enjoying western movies from the local library in the past couple of weeks.

These are instructive in what life might be like in the rapidly approaching post-oil world. People living by their wits, or banding together in close knit communities- some in towns,and others in more remote communal gatherings. One culture imposing itself on another. The culture that grew out of the land losing to one that is imposing itself on the land.

But, as I read and agree with JHK's prognostications and logic, the present-day inhabitants of North America, and the survivors of the downfall of fossil fuel culture have a long and hard road ahead. The land will once again dictate what culture will become. I'll give it fifty years to be back in balance, even if, there's a mass annihilation, some culture will rise.

The transition- Mad Max for those who still compulsively want to move around and not grow food, or Seven Samurai for the villages that do become self-sustaining, and face roving bands of bandits.

The lesson - The past is prologue, and it's been recorded and predicted in film and literature.

Greetings,

Jim talks about the lack of civility in our present times and I recently had an example of it that shocked me.

I frequent different sites - even ones where I may only agree with 25% of the ideology espoused. Anyway, I'm reading the blog of some radio personality (I wont name names)and the theme of his paper was that profit was the foundation of civilization. In other words, "greed is good".

I did not agree with the author and wrote to him in the same manner and language that I'm writing now. What I got back from this man was vile name calling. I believe he began by calling me an "idiot" and , furthermore, suggested that my "mommy" wrote him this letter because I was obviously too stupid to know how to write.

I wrote him back (politely) to suggest that name calling was not going to get us anywhere and, again, asked him for some evidence to prove that greed is the foundation of all history and civilization because he provided no examples in his paper.

What I received back from him was unbelievable. It was hateful, spiteful, mocking and infantile - which, sadly, is how a large percentage of this population will act once reality writes them a letter.

At this point, all we can hope to do is network with reasonable and like minded individuals. Unfortunately, the wacko right may, like the Brownshirts, become tools of the corporate elite and things could turn ugly fast.

It wouldn't surprise me.

Happy Holidays.

>This implies that our well-being depends on our own behavior and the choices that we make, not on the lucky arrival of just-in-time miracles.

What an utterly ridiculous notion. We just need some lollipops sunshine and happy graphs.

After having made the move to Sweden 22 tears ago, my brother (who then shared our rent-controlled Manhattan apartment - but who know owns his Upper East Side digs plus a house in Southampton) finally admits that I made the right choice. He made a fortune as a stock broker, had to quit in 2008 because of the risk for post-crash lawsuits and now is desperately holding on to what he's got.
I live an hour from Stockholm in a modest house by the sea (powered by hydro electricity) and commute to my job in the city in European-style comfort thanks to our stellar transit system; 100 bucks a month for unlimited travel within a radius of about 100 miles. I had a car for a few years when my daughter was a toddler but ditched it when she got big enough to use public transit with me - which she prefers. We ride with our laptops and mobile broadband, me clocking work hours and she learning math and language, or we read books or just talk (How many parents get 2 hours daily right next to their kid without having to clutch a steering wheel?). We have 3 different composts which transforms ALL our waste (yes, even human) into soil for our yard and garden. Before selling the car it had been used as a greenhouse in the Spring. Our summers are spent on a mahogany sailboat that sleeps 3 but requires no motor.
I dare say our quality of life is superior to my brother's life of luxury, which requires 2 cars and endless hours of six lane highway-driving. Yet I do it on about a fifth of the income. I get 7 weeks more than the standard European 5 week vacation, when comfortable, punctual trains will take me thousands of miles if I choose to travel. Healthcare, daycare and education are all free here (and we can choose on both fronts among a wealth of both public and private providers). Violent crime is infrequent, since guns are strictly controlled and American-style poverty is non-existant.
All told I pay about 50% of my income in taxes - about the same as my brother considering his tax bracket and property taxes in NYC and LI.
The tragedy is not only that it took my brother over 2 decades and an unprecedented economic crisis before realizing that there is a better "way of life", but that we had to lose each other's company so I could find it.

There are a lot of tipping points out there and 2010 might just be the year they start to converge in away that cascades down the slope too fast to Band-Aid.

Politically I think we’ll see the fracturing of the Democrats along the same lines we’ve seen the GOP go. Coming from the NY-23rd District, I think we’ll see much, much more of the same all across the country in the fall of 2010. Although it hard to think of Congress becoming more dysfunctional that it is now, it could well disintegrate further depending on who gets elected.

One hates to further castigate whores, but that bunch in the US Senate is giving them even worse names. One shudders to think what their corporate masters will require of them when we get into next year’s legislative agenda. The Senate is likely to go GOP given how poorly the Democrats are led and what they have served up so far.

We might as well focus like lasers on who we elect to local office since it looks very much like the best chance we have of getting any help – or useful planning - from the “government” will come at the county level or below, as the state and federal implosions continue. Water, land, shelter, tools, useful skill-sets, family & friends are all on the list of things to have or acquire now.

Jim doesn’t mention it, but another of the lurking dilemmas out there will be the weather and/or climate. We’ve seen how much damage is done in localities by errant weather patterns. A lot of smaller storms could well add up to the next Katrina, given how stretched our resources are now. Timing is everything, so if your neck of the woods is on the chopping block, better hope is happens sooner rather than later when all the resources are committed or exhausted.

We are well and truly in the End of Empire days. What – and who –comes out of this period will depend on how clearly (and quickly) one is ready to shed old myths and embrace the new realities.

With speculation on securitized bought-out life insurance policies and carbon offsets, who knows what spectacular crash may come, but maybe not within a year. I agree that we'll do well to become a part of building local relationships and supporting local economies. And instead of feeling depressed and full of trepidation we can do two other active things to prepare ourselves for contraction. Everyone can try growing a bit of food, even if just as a dry run, even in a few pots on an apartment balcony or a borrowed corner of a friend's yard. And everyone can scale back their way of eating, as a kind of practice of discipline to toughen us up. Anyway, that's what I'm doing.

Lynn
http://www.10in10diet.com/
Diet for a small footprint and a small grocery bill.

"The sheer weight of demoralization now is so titanic that it is very hard to imagine the people of the USA pulling together for anything beyond the most superficial ceremonies - placing teddy bears on a crash site."

Interesting reference and it is extremely indicative of our pathetic lifestyle that we desecrate the accident sites of "loved" ones with frankenflowers wrapped in oil products.

Pat, I'm interested in how you did it. I mean, how you got a job in Sweden (Do you work for a Swedish or American company? If Swedish, why would they hire an American? Did they take care of your work visa?). Do you rent your house or can Americans buy property there? As an American, are you able to get the same free health care and education that citizens get? (I assume from your comment that you can. How does that work?) Do you speak Swedish?

It sounds terrific.

I have a friend who has been trying to find a way to live and work in the UK for years. She says it's not easy for an American to get hired overseas, that there are many, many obstacles.

Luckily for all those bankrupt households, the "electrifying" Sarah Palin's runaway bestseller is available for only $4.97 for a limited time. Even cheaper than a pack of Maverick 100s!

>where hoboes say "thank you,"

I grew up in Middletown NY and my father grew up a few hundred yards from where the main railroad tracks run thru town. He told me once that in the 30's it was pretty common for there to be a knock at the back door nearing supper time and it would be a man, hat in hand, asking for a small meal, which my grandmother would provide. I understand that they said "thank you" and more.

"How dysfunctional is our nation? These days, we lie to ourselves perhaps as badly the Soviets did, and in a worse way, because where information is concerned we really are a freer people than they were, so our failure is far less excusable, far more disgraceful." In fact, we are even better liars than the Soviets ever were. The Russian nation continued to hold together through the convulsions brought on by the rise and fall of the Soviet state precisely because the average citizen knew better than any apparatchik that Communism was a giant scam and that the traditional social values were worth holding onto, no matter what the Politburo decreed. We in the West have so completely done away with the traditional values like honesty, integrity and justice in the name of "progress" that we have left to sustain us when the proverbial shit hits the fan. Another excellent blog by JHK.

It's axiomatic to most people here, from Kunstler on down, that the morale among the population is crushed, that the population is comprised of thugs and ignoramuses lacking in the most basic civility, and that people out here will foment violent insurrection as we continue the slide downhill.

That all may be true to some extent, among certain segments of the population. However, I would dispute that the entire population has reached the low of barbarism that Kunstler claims, or that people are boiling over with rage and discontent.

What I'm seeing on the ground where I live is rather more trouble from "problem" populations, but more civility, more gentleness and generosity, and a newly heightened sense of community among everyone else.

Most people out here know that the prosperity of the past 10 years was fake, and most people also know darn well that they've each played a part in creating our current situation. Most people know that you can't expect life to be a continual cornucopia and that we've been living pretty far over our heads..... and I sense that many people are just plain relieved that the circus of debt spending is over.

The attitude is "what did we expect?" and "I knew this was gonna happen."

It is obvious to anyone paying any kind of attention that the stock market WOULD have gone to 4,000 if not for the government pushing cash to wall street in enourmous sums to stabilize the stock prices of the major employer of this country's economy. Even JHK could not of expected that to happen! So his forcast of 4,000 was acurate except for the unexpected actions of the government.
The comment that sovergn debt is the new sub prime is extremely accurate and hiding the large pea under the large shell is obvious to anyone with basic fundamental economic knowledge. I do not fault Obama on his attempt to stabilize the economy in this time honored method, but the tranparency of this action is what will eventually cause the financial collaspe.
Now for the real problem, WATER!! How many of you out there know where you water comes from??
Are you dependant upon a public water system that is owned by a German holding company??
The American Water Company, that has been buying up water companies for quite sometime know they got you by the short hairs!
I am a director of a small publicly owned water district, and had the Germans, under the label of the American Water Company give their pitch on how much more efficent they could be at producing water and then a month later read how they were increaseing rates on the City water they had aquired 10 years before!!
You think peak oil is something to worry about, check out the peak water picture!
I believe Maslow's Hireachy put water first in line of basic needs!

Interesting predictions and thoughts Jim, although I fear you may be a mite optimistic at the notion of the slumbering American getting up from the Laz-y-boy chair and even demonstrasting let alone getting riled up enough to engage in any sort of violent protest. If Americans have been able to sit back and watch the decimation of any attempt to produce real progress changing the way health care is delivered, and to just sit and watch as both Dems and Repubs sell the people down the river, well I don't hold out much hope that "the people" will "get it" anytime soon.

As well the general public has been somewhat quiet an unengaged even as we entered into even more debt to bail out Wall Street, the auto companies, etc. People have short attention spans and short memories; bet the vast majority, when they vote, IF they vote, will just mindlessly pull the lever iregardless of how that rep or senator voted on the bailouts, health care, etc- and our political "leaders" are counting on this lack of engagement as they continue to not represent our best interests in Wash. DC.

Happy New Year though Jim.

Prediction, Its all good!
Even the bad experiences provide a learning experience!
Hope all have a good year,
Hope they discover oil off the coast of NY, biggest oil find ever!
Hope Chenney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfelt, all get indicted for treason,
Hope the wall street boys get theirs, sooner than later!
Hope cancer lets me have another good year,
Hope my grandsons live a full, happy life!
Hope is all we can have in a time of hopelessness!
Live it to the fullest gang! Smell the flowers, watch the sunrise and sunsets, kiss you wife morning and night!
Pray for the young boys that are in harms way!
Over and out!

I would love to make a comment on JHK's 2010 predictions, but I am too wrapped up in the movie Avatar and whether it's racist or not. Not to mention Charlie Sheen's latest arrest and Tiger's affairs.

Don't be distracting me with this complicated stuff, it hurts my head.

Great post Jim.

Up here in Canada our vile Prime Minister, fresh from his and our humiliation in Copenhagen, assures us that 2010 will see our economy prosper.

Meanwhile his Finance Minister warns us that now the crisis is over, he's ready to get back all those stimulus funds he gave his friends by hacking back our health care and few remaining social programs. He will be simultaneously giving tax cuts to the rich and corporations though; that being our Bush-lite government's favourite gift to the already over privileged.

Meanwhile, following delays at our own airports due to increased U.S. security at the border, the Right is already reviving the dreadful notion of some kind of blended border protocol with you guys, which is opening the door to the end of our own country. These types crave and envy all the dramatic flag waving, cheap food and guns you have, but they especially want to be not inconvenienced when they're trying to get to their condos in Florida.

Good luck with your knuckleheads, we have more than a few up here too.

I don't understand your comment about failing harvests:
http://brownfieldagnews.com/2009/11/10/usda-increases-soybean-production-estimate-lowers-corn/

"The 2009 U.S. soybean crop is seen at a record 3.319 billion bushels, compared to October’s estimate of 3.250 billion and the 2008 total of 2.967 billion bushels........

The USDA estimated the 2009 corn crop at 12.921 billion bushels, compared to October’s projection of 13.018 billion and the 2008 total of 12.101 billion bushels. If realized, this would be the second largest crop on record behind 2007."

Berry

I think there are some ideas that everyone needs to get rid of if we are to avert disaster. These ideas are as simple as can be but they are, in my opinion, a direct cause of the financial debauchery we're witnessing now.

One idea is that paying off a mortgage is forced savings. It is nothing of the sort. Paying down debt requires that you give your cash to someone else ie the bank or mortgage company. It is the opposite of forced saving, it is forced spending. Saving is when you put away your cash for yourself for future use, not when you pay it to someone else.

But paying down your mortgage increases the equity in your house. Right? It might. But if the value of your house is decreasing it may do nothing of the sort. In any case, the idea of home equity is based on an opinion about the value of your house, nothing more. It is no more than an opinion and, as we've seen, opinions can change and home equity and net worth can disappear like smoke. Home equity is not savings.

Savings are not based on an an opinion, savings are a hard fact based on a hard number. This number is the amount of cash you put away every month for future use whether you stuck it in your basement in a safe or in a bank account. If you put it in a bank account, the bank will have a legally enforceable obligation to pay you your money. This obligation is based on the cash you deposited with the bank and is verified every month on your bank statement. Value is an opinion, cash is a fact.

Another idea we need to get rid of is the idea that the value of publically traded company stocks is based on anything other than the dividends the stock holding entitles you to. What is a company share worth if it does not pay a dividend and has no hope of paying a dividend? In my opinion, the answer is zero.

People might ask so what if it doesn't pay a dividend. The stock provides a return because the value of it keeps increasing. But the stock is not providing a return. A return is exactly that, a return of cash from the company to the stockholders. This increase in price you might want to call a capital gain, but it's in no way shape or form a return.

But the increase in the price of a stock is based on the "value" of the company, right? And stockholders are the "owners" of the company right? But both assertions are meaningless. Nobody "owns" the company any more than anybody owns you. Stock ownership gives you certain rights like the right to have the company managed with a view to earning a profit and the right to your fractional share of dividends. But otherwise, in terms of rights, the stockholder is last in line when it comes to divvying up the money. The rights of suppliers, creditors, workers etc all come before those of the stock holder. The stock holder has no right to personal use and possession of any company assets and is not personally responsible for company debts. So how exactly do stockholders "own" the company. The simple answer is that they do not in any meaningful, commonsense way own the company.

So what about the "value" of the company? A company has no value. But company assets or company stock or company debt might. When you buy company assets or stock or debt you assess what you want to pay depending on the cash flow that ownership will provide you. Putting a value on a company is meaningless. Valuing assets or stock or debt based on cash flow is not.

Certain ideas were pushed by the real estate industry and Wall Street only for the purpose of separating you from your money. Don't be a sucker. Money matters are dead simple. But the bullshit artists on Wall Street and the real estate industry present them as all twisty turny upside downey where everything is so hard to get your head around. Use common sense. If something doesn't make sense it does not make sense. Mr Kunstler is dead right in that the way we do things is no way sustainable. But half the battle in sorting out our finances is just using plain old common sense.

Protest, action and violence never comes from the vast middle, but from the edges. The radical left is pissed because Obama hasn't converted the US to a command-economy, building electric cars, solar power, etc. The radical right is screaming about their issues. The lumpen middle grumbles at the TV and waits for the "experts" to fix things.

Action and violence from the left and right will come after something big happens that personally affects (or scares) the general population -- such as gas lines/shortages from disruptions in the supply chain, or food supply interruptions, or terror acts here in the US. Most people will still be sitting there in their livingroom waiting for the experts/government to "fix" things when the looters come crashing in to strip them of food and valuables.

Improve your odds by doing at least these:
Get real-world skills
Make local connections
Get weapons/ammo and learn how to use them
Stock up on food basics & prescriptions
Get gold & silver and other trade items

If you're not doing these, you're not making an "intelligent response" to reality.

Jim:

Excellent writing as usual. Sending it on to friends and relatives. Until a year and a half ago I didn't look forward to Monday mornings--now I do.

TO Uncle Al: Great comments. Also, where's that young lady from Chicago area, she's interesting as well.

To others here: Have the best year you can possibly have and keep the comments up. R.W. Emerson said: "The first wealth is health."

If this isnt sick! :

Blankfein Person of the Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Financial Times on Thursday named him its Person of the Year because:

“He has led for three years, not only navigated the 2008...................blabla'

and also ' govt health care'

HUH??

2009....US allowed 70? million visitors..WHAT BORDERS ?????????????????????

50 MILLION ILLEGALS AFTER AMNESTYS FROM REGAN TO CLINTON ...DID BUSH AMNESTY TOO?

there are more kidnappings in pheonix arizona than bagdad or fallujah..according to the news:


'As far as the USA is concerned, I think we have more to worry about from Mexico than Afghanistan. In 2009, the Mexican government slipped ever deeper into impotence against the giant criminal cartels there. As the Cantarell oil field waters out, revenue from Pemex to the national government will wither away and so will the government's ability to control anything there. The next president of Mexico may be an ambitious gangster straight out of the drug cartels, Pancho Villa on steroids.'

Various ahem..'right wing' sites have been warning us about JN...who vetod 50? bills to make the borders safer

fireandreamitchell,com

Filed Under Janet Napolitano, Terrorism, muslims
Comment

Janet Napolitano says the thwarting of a muslim terrorist attack on Christmas day proves “the system worked.”
I guess in the mind of liberals such as Napolitano, and this entire administration, this is what is considered “The system worked.”. This despite the fact the muslim Nigerian terrorist Abdul Farouk Umar Abdulmutallab was able to get on the flight in the first place. This also despite the fact he got on the flight after his father warned the Embassy back in November. Oh and the system works, even though the muslim was able to light his explosive, thankfully only giving himself 3rd degree burns. Yes, this is what this administration considers a working system per Polit

I believe that due to the explosion of government borrowing many fiat currencies are going to come into question in the next couple of years, and that's why I think one of the only safe assets to own is gold. I also recently came across another m&a story in the Canada gold mining sector at http://www.goldalert.com/gold-price-blog.php

Penmont trumped Goldcorp's offer for Canplats Resources for the 2nd time in less than a week. With all of the money printing the govt is doing, I think gold will continue to do well, which is gonna lead to more deals like this where the big gold mining companies and gold producers seek out the smaller gold exploration companies.

Thanks Jim for your efforts. Your passion is one of your most endearing attributes but I have the same feeling every year when you feel the need to lay out predictions for the next year. I mean, why do you bother. I tend to agree in a broad way with almost all of your opinions but the timing of your predictions hasn't worked out too well. Eventually I suspect you will be batting 8 or 900 but if you are going to play the prediction game, timing is pretty important and I think there are better ways to occupy your time than acting as the seer of Saratoga, or where ever it is you park your keyboard. I would rather you spend your time working on that sequel as I am getting tired of waiting! Give us another chapter preview. The government military/industrial/financial supertanker is not likely to be turned around by we concerned ants in our little anthills. They have the power and wealth and they aim on keeping it and if they can aim pilotless drones at targets in Pakistan controlled by joystick junkies in Langley, they can hit bloggers and malcontents back home just as well.My strategy is to continue to try to build local networks of services and supply and cooperation and ignore the talking heads in government and media. We are in full collapse mode but I think this really could drag out for years or decades. I don't see revolution against these modern day Bourbons being noticed except perhaps in some high density areas. Good luck and good writing in the new year.

The coming year certainly looks to be interesting. All this speculation about hardship and privation called to mind an episode from my childhood.

I lost both of my parents by the age of eleven, and while the legal process was playing itself out, I stayed with my uncle. He and my mother's whole side of the family grew up dirt poor in rural southern Ohio, and they survived by gardening, canning, and hunting. My grandfather drank away most of what he earned at the brickyard, and my grandmother was renowned for her thrift. My uncle continued to live that way his entire life, and paid off an eighty acre farm on factory wages.

The family my parents chose to care for me are suburbanites from the Detroit metro area. When they came to collect me, my cousin had just arrived at the house, carrying a groundhog he had just shot. It still had blood dripping from it, and my soon-to-be brother pointed at it, horrified. "What is THAT!?", he asked. My cousin grinned at him and growled "THAT is DINNER". My brother then begged to stay with an aunt.

I always laugh when I recall the episode, because it is a stark example of the difference between the two worlds I have known in my lifetime. It is comforting to know that there are still people in this world that know that food doesn't come from the grocery store. It comes from knowledge, hard work, skill, and cooperation.

I talk to my uncle regularly, and although he is aware of the economic convulsions going on, he is not really affected by it. The garden still gets planted at the same time every year, the cellar is still full of canned goods, and the freezer is full of meat and fish. The house is paid off, and if you get tired of the view, you can just walk over the hill.

The family that adopted me see him and people like him as a little backward, but I am thankful that I know someone that has that kind of knowledge. I think it is likely to pay dividends in the years to come.

I've never been to Racine, Wisconsin, but I sure have been to Skokie, Illinois, and let me tell you, there is probably more money in Racine.

Asoka, is putting away your credit card and school loan payments (instead of making them), so you can afford to file bankruptcy (like millions of people are busy doing), the same thing as REAL savings? What about market analysis that assumes that money not being spent on the economy must instead be going into savings? Especially if they are working with cooked unemployment numbers?

I'm going to go ahead and assume you're just playing the role of friendly devil's advocate on this issue...

Your grandmother was a sharp cookie. Love the poem.

Seems to me it depends on how you defne "profit" and "greed". Without profit, there is no capital for investment. Or, another way to view profit: Profit is that money over and above your fixed cost of living that is available as savings or "walking around money", disposable income.

To me, greed is an overblown, exaggeated drive to acquire "the pennies from a dead man's eyes".

Profit is a necessity; greed is not.

And I have lived by the notion that courtesy and politeness are Good Things. :-)

'Rat

(Include Nickelthrower in this one too)

Fortunately for humans, we are as much a part of Nature as the lowly brewing yeasts that so grace our lives with the products of their demise each weekend. But humans are not yeasts.

As astute as Jim is, I think he fails to take this physical law into account. I don't blame him for wanting to serve justice on the usurpers and greed-mongers, but the fact of the matter is, we just don't have that much energy left.

As soon as descent began, a new human ecosystem started evolving. And like any other ecosystem, limited and declining energy resources espouse a flourish of diversity and cooperation. Nature, in all its parts (including humans), is already recovering from the cancerous rampant growth of past economies. The evidence is there to be had if you look. And both Nature and isolated cases of human history are very clear on the matter.

The revolution has already begun, but not in the Michael Douglas "Falling Down" kind of way that Jim seems enamored by. There is a steady and surging undercurrent of productive, ethical people on this planet - permaculture, transition towns, slow food/money, etc - who are in the thick of constructing positive, procreative models of abundant living within a contractionary paradigm.

And here's the kicker: it's a riot! It's more satisfying than any aspect of growth ever was! So what will 2010 hold for intelligent humans? More hoarding of anti-social hardware? More tense stand-offs over the scraps of a dying way of life? Or the seeds of a fruitful future of abundance?

Growth is over. Reinvent your world. It really is your choice.

Tripp out.

RE: Airlines

Just wondering...what did United do to make you so angry?

I have airline tickets, bought back in the fall, from NM to NYC in January. After that flight, I'm planning for it be my last. We have spent years flying all over the world, but I have had it with the hooha. Patdowns? No bathrooms, no blankets, nothing in your lap the last hour? Are you really kidding me? The terrorist's dad calls to warn and he's even on a database. I'm a middle-age grandma with a heavy west Texas accent. Who decided profiling was such a bad idea?

Jim, don't feel bad about your 4000 prediction on the stock market. The value of the dollar is eroding faster than the Dow can overcome it.

According to today's Wall Street Journal, the inflation-adjusted Dow has been actually hovering around 500 all through the decade. Its current value of about 10500 would have to be over 13,400 just to regain its real 1999 value.

Quote, "Controlling for inflation takes extra work and makes stock gains look punier, so it is easy to see why stock analysts almost never do it. The media almost never do it either."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703991304574621903850508632.html?mod=rss_Today's_Most_Popular

(No line breaks in that link if you have to copy & paste)

So all these folks who brag about the money they're making on the market are really barely keeping up, if at all.

Heard the one about three stockbrokers marooned on a desert island?

When they were rescued, they were all billionaires from trading their hats.

"We're a nation of thugs and louts with flames tattooed on our necks..."

I'd add that we're increasingly terrified of losing our ever-crappier jobs, we're confused, and we're poorly informed by the "liberal" media. The middle class is being "had."

We're a nation of spectators, watching our government and corporations create their own Potemkin reality.

Education is the key. My sanity is saved by blogs like this one.

This is like JHK's All-Stars with excellent comments on an excellent post, Jim.

And Jim, as you know I think you've been more right than anyone.

I think it's more likely that many of your predictions will come true in the 2010s than in 2010 alone, or they'll be right anytime up to 2020 and beyond.

It's like play a three-dimensional chess with so many variables that you don't know what the individual moves will be, but you know which side will win (nature, the laws of science, reality).

In a one-year prediction it's understandable that you wouldn't mention climate change, but if your prediction were up through 2100 instead of merely 2010, you might say that while all the problems you describe are the initial jab breaking our nose, climate change combined with all other environmental impacts are the uppercut that puts us in a coma.

Synthesize all your concerns (and those of Heinberg and Greer, which are similar) with those of those who know climate and the environment best (James Hansen, James Lovelock, Stephen Schneider, Kevin Trenberth, Bill McKibben, Joe Romm) and you have a pretty complete picture of what's facing us.

To be succinct, visit here with Kunstler, John Michael Greer's weekly blog and Heinberg's monthly Museletter and combine those with Joe Romm's Climate Progress and you'll know more about what the future holds than all mainstream media combined.

We're never going to convince everyone of most, much or any of this, so we might as well form the mostly tightly-knit, working, productive, affectionate and kind communities of those who agree with us as we can.

JK's line on this stuff really has quite a bit in common w/ Immanuel Wallerstein, and to a different degree, David Harvey.

Jim's not ideologically left, as these guy's definitely are, but read this and tell me there's not some striking similarities:

http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/wallerstein151209.html

http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/harvey151209.html

Wallerstein in particular has been working out his version of the "long emergency" ("World Systems Theory") for decades, and I'd be interested to hear Jim react to it,especially given the global scope of this post here.

New Year's greeting from Dublin, Ireland.
I'd just like to weigh in on Jim's Europe forecast for 2010.

By all accounts, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Hungary, Greece - all are in considerably worse shape than the US right now. But social welfare payments are high - in Ireland the unemployed get the equivalent of USD300/week in cash, plus 75% of their rent paid, plus children's allowances, a fuel allowance and so on. The welfare state has, together with the bourgeois possibility of universal home ownership, has pacified the European population. Folks may be depressed and listless right now, but the anger is not going to 'boil over', so to speak, a few isolated cases of people losing it notwithstanding.

Many know about peak oil - each EU country has a target to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% of 1992 levels before 2020. Wind farms are being built, building energy ratings are mandatory for buying, selling or leasing real estate, all kinds of new regulations are squeezing the life out of all business activity that is not peak oil compliant. Hence massive job losses - but it's the oil economy that's dying in front of us.

It has to happen, and it's happening now. But civic-mindedness experiencing a renaissance under pressure here. It was only 60 years ago that 55 million people were killed here.

Check out a graph of Ireland's (north and south) population - 8 million in the 1841 census, 4 million in 1901, 5 million in 1950, 6.1 million in 2009.

Ireland has already crashed, with millions dead. Trust me on this - we are not going to freak out with what's coming, because the worst has already happened to us. Ditto Germany, Russia, Poland and many others. We're going to deal with the changes without murdering each other.

The one wild card is the UK. They were historically a maritime power, nowadays their wars in Eurasia alongside America are as a maritime imperial alliance. The UK fears the EU as a Franco-German takeover, with Germany controlling the euro from the ECB in Frankfurt and all political decision-making emanating from Brussels and Strasbourg, both French-speaking cities. The continental powers of Europe (France, Germany, etc.) are rapidly moving to renewable electricity generation (France 80% nuclear, German and Spanish wind power 20-25% of total electricity already).

There will be no pogrom of muslims in Europe, no matter what. There will be fighting and bitter disputes and tighter immigration controls, but Europe will not 'explode'. Jim's been to Europe - it feels like it never happened Jim because lessons in fact HAVE been learned.

Meanwhile, here's the population increase in Pakistan:
1987 - 100 million
1992 - 120 million
1998 - 132 million
2009 - 181 million

Check it out for yourselves. It's insane - it's going to 'explode'. All these young undereducated men with no prospects are joining the Taliban. India's population numbers are just as bad. The South Asian Hindu-Muslim rivalry is an accident waiting to happen.

PS my point about the UK being Europe's wild card was based on this:

The European Constitution (aka Lisbon Treaty) passed into law recently. The EU is now, to all intents and purposes, a superstate.

The executive and civil service of this superstate are based in the Berlaymont building, Brussels, Belgium ... a French-speaking city. The EU parliament is in Strasbourg, another Francophone city.

Result for France. After the reunification of Germany, the French offered control of a single European currency to Germany. Today, the ECB in Frankfurt is almost as powerful as the Federal Reserve in Washington. It may even become more powerful in the coming years.

That means Germany, in effect, is becoming a superpower to rival the US. And you thought it was China the next big thing! :)

The British pound may lose so much value that Britain is forced to join the euro, with interest rates set in Frankfurt.

The Golden Rule is 'whoever has (or makes) the gold makes the rule'. Well, Germany will have the gold, so to speak. Forever.

The looming German Eagle will indeed rule Europe's money supply.

Many Brits may freak out completely and vote for a nutter who wants to pull out of the EU. If that happens, Britain will be in a kind of trouble that would dwarf America's woes - there are 50 million people packed like sardines into tiny England, with a couple of million Pakistani and Indian muslims in the mix. That would not be a pretty scene at all.

Jim ... love you writing and observations re The Long Emergency, BUT, you got this wrong:

"Perhaps this time the Germans will be the good guys, while England goes apeshit with its BNP. Wouldn't that be something?"

That's not going to happen. You clearly haven't spent enough time in this neck of the woods or you'd realise what little prospect the BNP have of gaining any real traction in the UK. We've been here before with these idiots and few (a small minority only) are interested in their brand of neo-fascism.

@ Ani
"If Americans have been able to sit back and watch the decimation of any attempt to produce real progress changing the way health care is delivered, and to just sit and watch as both Dems and Repubs sell the people down the river . . ."

They can even sell mittens to Eskimos. It's going to take a lot more than JHK suggests before the average 'murican figures out all this BS eventually "trickles down" and adversely effects them. People are so selfish and dull as to only care about something when it finally kicks in the door, sits in their sofa, and grabs that bag of cheese doodles.

politicians these days may as well be Martians. We the people don't know and/or cannot imagine the world they live in and they have forgotten all about the world we average folk live in. Remember Joe-mentum talking flippantly and nonchalantly about how he was middle class? He owns, what? . . . 3 houses in different states. He has a driver and assistants to do everything for him from picking up his dry cleaning to getting his lunch. Yeah . . . that's typical middle class Joe!

So no, I don't see the civil unrest or uprising that JHK sees. The American electorate is sold the same steaming pile over and over, and swallows it whole every time.

There is another element in the mix that JHK has alluded to in recent interviews that I wish he would expound upon in the future. This is the feedback that occurs in a deluded society such as ours that actually produces change for the worst. A recent example is the botched hijacking on Christmas day which will cause the Government to respond by increasing the sham of airport security to an even more hysteric level. Every time something occurs that tends to frighten the masses, our faux Democracy responds by further limiting what little freedom we have left.

@BorderBoy

I don't see the BNP ever becoming a meaningful force in British politics. But you must admit that there is anything but consensus inside Britain about its future role in the EU, post-Lisbon.

Many Brits think M. Le Président Van Rompuy must be a joke ... but it's never going away. Nor is the euro - the political Elites will never, ever, ever let the eurozone fall apart due to historical memory of nationalist conflict and war. Never, never, never. But it's amazing how British and Americans often can't see this fact.

The Eurozone will remain intact no matter what pain it causes this or that population, because the consequences of it falling apart are too huge to contemplate.

So the euro will be to Britain like the various EU treaties have been for Ireland - put forward again and again and again until you 'get it right'. The GBP will hold out for some time yet, but Britain is in a corner in Europe, literally and figuratively, and I for one find the way Brits respond to that realization so , eh, nationalist-driven and more than a little unhinged that Britain deserves the 'wild card' status Jim correctly ascribes to it.

A wild card can go 'either way' (US-UK alliance or deeper EU
alliance).

Yes I agree the gig is up on America's dysfunctional economic system dependent on increasing debt, faux GDP growth, ponzi schemes and bubbles.

You should also read this provocative post by Edward Harrison

The recession is over but the depression has just begun
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/12/the-recession-is-over-but-the-depression-has-just-begun/

NET NET: When the government prop for the economy is taken away the second dip occurs and it will be nasty.

and Robert Reich perhaps has best headline to sum things up for this past year.

2009: Wall Street bounced back, Main Street got shafted
http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2009/12/28/wall_street/index.html


The price of all this is your personhood and your manhood. Swedes have to keep their eyes straight ahead as Muslim thugs shake people down and assault women. God help them if they intervened-they'd be thrown in jail as "Racists". Any criticism of the Muslims likewise results in fines and then jail. Hundreds if not thousands languish like this-the last remaining Men of Sweden.

As the Muslims breed like rabbits, you will also begin to pay even more than 50% of your income for an ever decreasing standard of living. Slowly, the Swedes will be turned into serfs for the new Muslim ruling class. A few years ago, the Goverment passed an edict stating that the Swedes were just another ethnic group in their own Country. So in a profound sense, they've already lost it.

How bad is it? In certain places, the rate of rape equals New York City. Almost all of it is Muslims against the Native Women of Sweden. And the evil feminists say nothing.

In 1994, convinced, like a good little Marxist, that capitalism could not possibly last much longer, I bought a house and 5 acres 2.3 miles from my job, so that if the oil ran out before my job did, I could walk to work.

My plan was to learn to live off the land.

Ha!

I planted an orchard, bought some chickens,and tried to garden every year.

So far, there hasn't been a year when I've grown enough to learn to can. (Another goal)

The chickens have produced multiple roosters, who crow and hen rape and fight all day. I've been saving them "for the depression", since we're vegetarians.

The fruit trees have grown from sticks to big trees. The peaches mold every year, the apples sometimes grow, the birds get the cherries the day they're ripe and I haven't had a plum or pear yet.

Two years ago we had warm winter weather followed by a late freeze. Even competent farmers lost out that year. No fruit, no wheat, no grapes.

This year we had a "freak" inland hurricane, which knocked over my apple trees. The only fruit trees I had which actually produced edible food.

Luckily, I've kept my job, so far. But I know I will starve if it comes to my ability to farm.

As for people rebelling, I agree with those who simply don't see it. People starve to death without rebellion all over the planet. Americans will do the same or attack each other.

http://wagelaborer.blogspot.com/2009/09/living-outside-green-zone.html

I should have spelled out my two points.

One- it's hard to predict the end of capitalism. They seem to be able to keep it going well past the time you'd think it would die.

Two- global warming can lead to crop failures. And never heard of inland hurricanes.

Pogrom? No one's taling trash like that Rob. Just deny them special rights and welfare rights and they'll leave. If that doesn't work, then a little persecution might be in order. The real pogrom is the on going replacement of White Populations. This must end. Britain is White and belong to the White Europeans and to none other.

How can we stop the Roosters from raping the hens? Do you think you could organize the local Mexican Feminists to form a Hen Union and get the chicks to go on strike? "Boy"cott Eggs-that come from Rape. And what of the Male Rooster Gaze? What to do? Can we make them Gay somehow?

Marxists are so alienated from Great Nature that it's not even funny. Each morning as they wake, they "pluck" at their own bodies crying, "What is this, what is this? How can it serve the Revolution"? Their infiltration of the Green Movement is nothing short of tragic. These two should have nothing in common. Greens should be tied to blood, soil, nation, volk, race-in short, Greens should be Fascists. Like unto Like, the Law of Nature, the Law of Life.

early indicators seem to point to strong(er) holiday sales

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aXNA2TUqPsSo&pos=1

Yes, Elizabeth, why indeed was that man allowed on the plane? When his own father had warned the authorities?

Here's Chris Floyd's take-

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Instant-Karma-New-US-War-by-Chris-Floyd-091227-655.html

However, I disagree that we need more screening. I believe that this proves the whole thing is a scam and a farce.

Jim,

I really enjoyed this week's post. You pointed out some very interesting facts to explain your predictions. Your point about the threat of Mexico as a failed state being far more potentially dire than that of Afghanistan, (if that would even have any dire consequences for us at all), was particularly insightful.

Do not feel bad about your Dow 4000 prediction not coming true. You would have been correct by September of 2008 had the US Government and Wall St. crime syndicate not bailed out the failed institutions and counterfeited trillions of dollars to reverse the free-fall.

I wonder even if you weren't right after all. In nominal terms the index may not have hit 4000, but given all of the counterfeiting that resulted in dollar devaluation, you may have been correct in real terms. Perhaps if you re-examine your prediction not as the index measured in dollars, but as measured in ounces of gold, you were right after all. I don't have the expertise to quickly and easily do that calculation, but maybe someone here does. Gold in March had rallied back to the high 900's while the Dow was at its 6.5K dollar valuation.

I share your view that another brutal leg of debt default/deleveraging/asset-re|devaluation will be upon us sometime in 2010. With all of the unemployment and government insolvency due to create even greater un and under-employment I don't see how hyper-inflation can be upon us - yet. I think that will come after more brutal and violent waves of default in the banking and home-title-leasing sectors.

Your predictions were as comprehensive as this format could allow. Good work. The only fuel to the deleveraging and asset re|de-valuation fire you may not have mentioned was 2010 as the beginning of the gravitational pull of baby boomer retirement. Ah yes! Don't forget to attach all of your ankle weights passengers. Bon voyage!

This is my fifth year of reading the Kunstler forecast for the coming year. Overall, although you are often not quite there in specifics, your general trends have been quite accurate and your basis for these predictions have largely been right on.

Thanks for this glimpse into the coming year. I hope you are wrong but suspect you are not.

Comrade Asoka -

You may object to the term bankrupt, but that doesn't offer proof that the term is not apt. I would be curious to see your argument that the US household is not insolvent.

The article you posted in reference did not provide any data at all that showed the overall US household balance sheet. The two households it focused on were as follows:

Household 1 - The father lost $70K in income. Computing the net capital outflow the family has decreased amounted to $12,400 annually. Let's assume that their use of thrift stores resulted in an additional $2K annual reduction in clothing expenses. That is still a net annual loss of $22,100 assuming the net on his $70K salary was $35K after taxes. They are spending less money, but are they saving? We also know nothing of their balance sheet in terms of mortgage-debt, credit card debt, auto-debt and other liabilities.

Household 2 - Again, we do not know how much cash they actually put aside at the end of every month or year. They do say that they have a goal of increasing the amount they put into their retirement accounts. That is just a goal, as yet unrealized. We assume that if they reach their goal of having enough left over to fund their IRA's, that that money won't be wiped out in nominal terms by market declines or in real terms by the counterfeiting operation being run by the Federal Reserve.

Michelle Andrews - She has put aside $1K toward buying a house. Uh, how much house could she get with $1K? It wouldn't likely even come close to covering her closing costs. Furthermore, it is likely that house prices have a long way to go before the market has cleared and we have found a bottom. How long would the $1K last if she lost her job or had a minor accident or her car broke down, had a relative who needed help ... ???

Of course, none of this analysis even addresses the issues of a now near $100 trillion dollars in total unfunded liabilities of our Federal Government alone. Divide that by our population. Most of the households that actually do have money saved in the form of cash and non-paper assets with no counterparty risk, (essentially physical gold and silver), would be wiped out if we had to pay off our debt or acknowledge it as a liability on our personal balance sheet. Effectively it is our personal liability.

Furthermore, all those who rely on a bankrupt government have no income once the debt is paid off. To pay off our public debts the government would have to tax the population at, I believe the number is, 68%, it might be higher. That would be political suicide and would destroy our economy. How many people could pay the interest on that debt out of their savings much less the principle?

Then there is the absurdity of the assertion that savings hurts the economy. Saving is what allows the economy to actually grow, because it is the source of sustainable and less risk-averse investment. The debt service economy is a Ponzi Scheme that has run its course. This is what Jim means by a campaign to sustain the unsustainable. Spending less is not saving. I wonder who cares to predict when Keynesian economics will be fully discredited in the eyes of the population - assuming more than a pitiful minority knows what Keynesian Economics even is.

Just because Old Major is serving poop with whipped cream on top for dinner, doesn't mean it will taste good once the cream has lost its flavor. Bon Appetite!

Here's the dookie without the whipped cream, cherry and silver plater - WE ARE BANKRUPT!! If you can definitively prove otherwise we would all love to see your proof.

I agree and well said Stud Duck - on the Dow 4000 prediction. See my later comment for more on why JHK can't be said to be wrong on that call.

Rob, are you the same person who used to post here under the name Urban Underclass?

I enjoy a lot of Kunstler's analysis, and I agree with his broad strokes, but he embarasses himself and the Peak Oil community when he comes out with his ridiculous, jump-the-gun, doomer predictions.

Talk is cheap. If Kunstler is willing to bet me real money, not the cheap electrons involved in typing out a vanity blog, I am willing to place a bet to see which of us is correct on Dec 31, 2010:

1. Kunstler predicts the DJIA will be at 4,000. I predict it will be at about 8,250. Whoever is closest on 12/31/10 is the winner.

2. Kunstler predicts that United will go belly-up in 2010. I predict they will still be a functioning company through the end of the year. Whoever is closest on 12/31/10 is the winner.

3. Kunstler does not predict that "China will continue to rise to a position of supremacy". I don't know how one measures such things, but I can't see any scenario in which the trend of the last 5 years doesn't continue for at least another year. For better or worse, China has real factories that produce real products, however trivial or unnecessary those products may be. North America doesn't. If that trend continues through 12/31/10, I am the winner.

The other troubling aspect of this blog is that it attracts a weird conglomeration of conspiracy theorists, racists, and Obama-haters. With posts that generally deteriorate into complete inchoate incomprehensibility as the conspiracy theorists, racists, and Obama-haters begin to turn on one another.

As for me, I think we'll muddle through another year. America is on a long, slow decline, but like it or not we still have a short-term surplus/overabundance of natural gas and enough creative individuals and (gasp!) even local politicians among the riff and the raff to potentially inch ourselves in a more positive rather than negative long-term direction.

Can't believe I'm saying all this, as all my friends consider me a cynic and a pessimist. But next to Kunstler, I'm a freakin' Pollyanna.

P.S.

I'm posting Kunstler's specific predictions on "Time versus Pundits" (wrongtomorrow.com), as it's one of the few places on the web where there's actual long-term "memory" and where bloggers can actually be held responsible for their wrong predictions, or praised for their correct ones ...

Jim,

curious that you'd equate civility with political passivity.

The same generation that had hoboes polite enough to say "thank you" also had sit-down strikes and bonus marches.

By the same token, the prototypical guy with the flame tattoo on his neck probably spends most of his time goggle-eyed and docile in front of a tube.

"One- it's hard to predict the end of capitalism."

Wage, it's not just hard, it's impossible because Capitalism ain't ending ... any more than human nature is ending.

"Two- global warming can lead to crop failures. And never heard of inland hurricanes."

First of all, thanks for your honesty about the trials and tribulations of farming. I really am quite sick of all the people at this blog passing around their farming tips as if that's all there is to it (like urine for fertilizer). I think back to a few months ago when Jaego Scorzne, now using the post-banishment handle Vlad (the Impaler) Krandz, was daydreaming out loud about moving to Montana, planting his fields in the cool of the mornings and harvesting them in the late afternoons and in-between doing target practice in anticipation of the brown hordes on their way (in Greyhound buses?) from Detroit and Atlanta to steal his crops. And with all his pent up energy from living the good life of fresh air, fresh vegetables and honest hard work he would then hop on and peddle his stationary bike - hooked to the electric grid - while re-reading Mein Kamph.

Absolutely no offense intended when I point out that you were an amateur farmer and you got the typical results of an amateur. It wasn't global warming nor inland hurricanes. Farming is hard. Being a professional farmer ... preferably from a generations long line of farmers would help. Others would be well advised to live near a Stop & Shop or a Piggly Wiggly.

"Now they face the prospect of sovereign default in Greece, the Baltic nations (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), the Balkan nations (Serbia, et al), Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Iceland and the former soviet bloc of Eastern Europe. England is a train wreck of its own (though not tied into the Euro), and even France may be in trouble. That leaves very few European nations standing. Namely Germany and Scandanavia (and I just plain don't know about Austria). What will Europe do?"

James, I think you should do a little more research on Europe. For a start, England isn't a train wreck, the United Kingdom is... and the only European economy still standing is, unbelievably, Poland - which is outside the Eurozone, still retains some vestiges of manufacturing, has a large internalised market and is still "growing". (though to be fair Poland is propped up by a massive input of capital from ex-patriot Poles and is reliant on Russian gas and oil to function, though does have plenty of coal).

I actually think we'll see a regional power shift towards central Europe in the near future. Central Europe, for all its faults (and there are many) is much better equiped to handle the long disaster than much of the developed world. The Soviets left behind a legacy of high density cities connected by public transport and a large, still functioning railway infrastructure. Moreover, poverty in the early 1990s means people there are more prepared for doom - and local, small scale farming still exists as the Soviets were far too incompetent to put western style agroindustry in place. What's more Eastern Europeans, especially Poles, have a much more defined sense of nationality than Americans or Western Europeans, and still do refer to each other as "pan" and "pani". They will (and did) rally around a national cause.

I agree with you that Western Europe and the Euro are going to implode, but somebody's going to take the reins.


Seems to me it depends on how you defne "profit" and "greed". Without profit, there is no capital for investment. Or, another way to view profit: Profit is that money over and above your fixed cost of living that is available as savings or "walking around money", disposable income.

To me, greed is an overblown, exaggeated drive to acquire "the pennies from a dead man's eyes".

Profit is a necessity; greed is not.

Greetings,

What you say is absolutely true but the author of the article I read really put the issue into "caveman" terms; profit=good, socialism=bad. I think the world is more complex than that.

See, if two people share a house with two bathrooms, they may eventually come to the conclusion that each deserves exclusive use of HIS bathroom. They may even draw up a Constitution where each person has this exclusive bathroom right protected by law.

This will work until a third or fourth person moves into the house. At first, they can build additional bathroom but eventually, if enough people move in, the house will be nothing but bathrooms.

What to do? Do the strongest and the richest get their own bathrooms and everyone else must share? They will then profit at the expense of everyone else - maybe the poorest have to go out in the alley.

The other solution is for everyone to share. This might require schedules and shorter showers but everyone then gets equal use of a bathroom.

I prefer the second solution - I call that cooperation.

That, to me, is the choice we face.


James, you put a great deal of thought into this assessment piece. It is very dire. The long term view is even more dire. The dark cloud of a looming depression might be closer than we think.

Around me I see people acting as if very little or nothing has actually happened to their pocketbooks: home additions, remodeling, new cars, etc.

I tend to agree that Obama is not going to make drastic new and dramatic changes in 2010. He is part of the same old same old. he pretends to talk change, but it is only talk. He is not capable of being a leader, who would demand reforms from Congress or else heads would roll. Congress continues to be ruled by lobbyists.

The fact remains that Obama is a coward. He is afraid to demand change because he hates conflict. He is a weak person. He will kill the Democrats and usher in more incompetent Neocons.

Fasten the seat belt and hold on to your pocketbook.

http://eye-on-washington.blogspot.com

"Right now there are ample signs of trouble with the Euro."

That is just typical American talking about Europe. If USA is f*cked up than it means everybody else must be equally or worse f*cked up, right?! Wrong, dead wrong!

Take for example Italy. They export about 550 billion dollars worldwide yearly with population of 60 million. Take two Italys, tiny Denmark and Finland (total population about 71 million) and you got more exports put together than coming from "superpower" USA! The Mighty USA exports only 1291 billion with 305 million, 3.5 times more people.

For more, nobody in Europe is talking about disintegrating of Euro because it has been hugely beneficial for all members. In the old days with 15 different currencies it WAS a mess, much worse than today.

About those loans to Eastern Europe...those did go mostly to expansion of WESTERN companies and infrastructure projects unlike in USA. In the land of the free and brave everybody with pulse got a loan or two to buy overpriced and many times lousily built house! Even worse, Americans used that house as ATM to get even more loans for spending like drunken sailors because real-estate always just goes up, right?!

You can't even remotely compare the problems of EU to USA. The problems of USA have been growing ever since 1970's ever bigger mainly because of overspending to all the wrong places (military, shopping malls, happy motoring, health care insurance mafia) and underspending to all the right places (public education, social services, and infrastucture).

Here's a thought:

In my past, whenever I've dreamed "I" have always been clear-headed and aware of what's going on. Not only that, but "I" had always been able to identify the surroundings by some place where I have been, and usually would return to. And sometimes it would be about something happening the next day.

This past week, I was confused with no idea where I was. Not only that, but everything was in some stuck, nonmoving present. And the only thing I knew was the confusion.

Based on that, I'm afraid for the next year. Not sure if it just affects me or if it affects the whole world, but I saw something in the dream and I don't like it.

Here's a thought: I wonder if the bomber was allowed onto the flight in order to tighten things up a bit more.

Like that gun nut with the sub-machine gun at an Obama rally...a plant to make Obama look threatened?

Just a couple of things that make me go "Hmmm..."

Donny-Don -

Congrats on your attempt to challenge two of JHK's predictions. May I suggest that for the first challenge you find some hard-asset based measure of the Dow. One problem with measuring it in nominal terms is that when the government is printing trillions of dollars a year and the dollar is devalued, the nominal amount of the Dow is not a good measure of the worth of the Dow from year-to-year.

Might I suggest tying the measurement to gold or oil or residential real-estate or a basket of hard assets like gold, oil, silver and possibly agricultural commodities and even residential real-estate. (Residential real-estate is tough though since in such an illiquid market true price discovery is hard to measure - especially with all of the foreclosure deferrment, government subsidies that artificially props up prices while simultaneously devaluing the dollar and thus the Dow ... ...) This will give you both a much more accurate measure of the dollar value of the Dow in terms of its real purchasing power and what it gained or lost in a given time period.

Secondly, I am curious as to what your definition of an Obama-hater is. Is it someone who is ardently opposed to nearly every policy that Obama has voiced his opinion on, suggested and/or implemented to date. More important is what he does and not what he says. A good example is a point JHK made about his lack of prosecution of the financial fraudsters. Of course, that makes sense when you understand his appointment of all of the architects and perpetrators of the Ponzi scheme debt economy thrown into hyper-drive by 1998. (See Summers, Geitner, Rubin support of Bernanke ... ...)

Does voicing disagreement with Obama's policies and actions make one an Obama-hater or an informed citizen who doesn't agree with his policies? (Should the president even be proposing or advocating policies? Should he faithfully execute the laws as passed by Congress and protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic and do little more if anything else?)

Conversely, if there is such a thing as an Obama-hater does that make all of his supporters Obama-lovers? If the world is divided into Obama-haters and Obama-lovers how does that make the world any different than GW Bush's, "you are either with us or against us", world-view? Is an Obama-lover like that date I went on where the woman said, "My President is the biggest rock star in the world!", while the humidity of the room rose. Or like the kids I overheard the other day saying how wonderful he is because, "Like, oh! my! god! He has, like, the softest hands and he seems so nice." Or would it be like the guy I heard after the election going goo-goo ga-ga for Obama saying, "Finally we have a great President again! I mean, all of his advisors are fully qualified and the best for the job." This was after Summers, Geitner, Rubin were appointed, and Bob Gates was invited to stay ... ... Is it like the Nobel Peace Prize committee awarding him the prize two weeks after his inauguration? Does being opposed to, if not frightened by, this sort of idolotrous hero-worship make one an Obama-hater? Or is it legitimate to find this sort of hero-worship dangerous and worthy of contempt?

Personally, I neither hate nor love Obama. I don't know him to make that judgement one way or the other. Furthermore, I don't think that judgement should be made with respect to politicians.

I do predict that if he: continues to preen around in his arrogant manner accepting Nobel Peace prizes with speeches that justify war at the exact moment he is expanding wars and bombing missions over sovereign states, continues his primary method of governance being in the form of perception management by press-release and TV appearances, continues to expand the imperial wars, continues to invoke state secrets ala GW Bush to protect the war criminals, continues the policy of insane deficit expansion, and on and on and on, an ever growing segment of our population will not merely disagree with him on whatever policies they disagree with him on, but they will come to loathe him every bit as much as GW Bush came to be loathed.

It isn't too late. He can stand up and start using his position to tell the truth. Another year of his presidency will go a long ways in answering the question all intelligent people must be asking themselves now:

"Is he an intelligent man with a real plan to help lead our nation away from the folly and fiscal and moral bankruptcy of imperialism? Or, is he a political opportunist who has no ideals or idea what our most pressing and solvable problems are and/or how to solve them, and whose preparations for holding office seem to have been the ability to captivate the minds of simple people through a very sophisticated and constant PR/propaganda campaign, and whose best qualifications can best be summed up as, 'this guy is the perfect combination of arrogance and ambition and charisma to put a much softer face on the same policies that we the elite want to continue at the expense of the citizenry/consumery'"

2010 will be a very telling year. I predict his recent decision on Afghanistan, assuming he decided anything using pure reason vs. caving to the desires of generals and DNC pollsters, will be his ultimate ruin. It will be so damaging to the nation financially that he may well leave office at least as unpopular as did Bush. Let's check back in 2012 on that one.

One more thing: I think we do agree about the scope of the impact of peak-oil. I think the biggest impact will be largely confined to the, "Happy Motoring", segment of society. There is ample affordable fuel for agriculture and specialized division of labor to continue for a while. However, jumping in a giant gas-guzzler, (or any car really), using suburban commute patterns in the realm of work, grocery shopping/essential-errands, and car based leisure will go the way of the dodo except for the case of extremely wealthy private individuals. In other words, the activities where resources are massively wasted will cease - altogether where they are wasted on non-essential uses, and massive increase of efficient use will become the norm.

The transition may be bumpy, but that is as close to Armageddon as we may come for 20 or 30 years as directly relates to peak-oil. Prices will cause us to conserve and behave more rationally in terms of the activities we as a society engage in. That will be a very good thing.

The debt deleveraging on the other hand will be far more jarring a shift in society's structure.

"Only when these things run out, or become unaffordable, will you see significant political movement among the masses."

And a great sense of unease amongst the more aware elites. For good reason.

JHK wrote:
"Forecasting is a nasty job, usually thankless, often disappointing - but somebody's got to do it."

So true: because they may laugh at you when you are wrong, but if you say nothing and are right, people will complain that you did nothing to warn them.

JHK also wrote:
"I maintain that if we don't repair this system, Americans will not be traveling very far from home in a decade or so."

Agreed. Places like Norco, California, may be better off than most, though it will also probably help being not too far from the rail yard near Ontario, California.

"the political Elites will never, ever, ever let the eurozone fall apart due to historical memory of nationalist conflict and war. Never, never, never. But it's amazing how British and Americans often can't see this fact."

Probably has something to do with the Continent swearing that it was done with war in 1918, and then falling off of the wagon in 1939.

Oh, and because the Norco link doesn't appear to be very obvious, here is the Wikipedia link (it's a neat town, a real anomaly by Southern California standards):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norco,_California

"People starve to death without rebellion all over the planet. Americans will do the same or attack each other."

I suspect it will be a little bit of both, starting about a week after the electricity goes off. I'm not looking forward to it.

He's wrong about crop failures in Australia. He also doesn't know much about Japan. How can it be possible to emulate Japan?
Why is there never any mention made of how easy it is to convert a diesel motor to run on gas.
The US will continue BAU until the interest bill on debt outweighs the govs ability to service it. This could take 10 years, maybe only 5.

"Their [Marxists] infiltration of the Green Movement is nothing short of tragic."

Agreed. The Sierra Club basically pretends that overpopulation has NOTHING to do with environmental degradation.

http://www.thesocialcontract.com/artman2/publish/tsc_17_01/tsc_17_01_lamm_sierra.shtml

Reading about this kind of thing makes me want to throw another spotted owl into the furnace that powers my baby seal clubbing machine.

"The other troubling aspect of this blog is that it attracts a weird conglomeration of conspiracy theorists, racists, and Obama-haters."

You left out the Commie Pinkos. And the unreformed hippies.

"Western Europe and the Euro are going to implode, but somebody's going to take the reins."

Anyone care to lay odds on whether or not that somebody will be named Vladimir Putin?

Jim.

Please.

You are being a complete Jackass. I used to have a little bit of respect for you. Now I have none.

When I say "complete Jackass"... I mean complete jackass.

You have lost all your old readers. The best writers among them actually refuse to read you. They actually think you are a clown.

This is your own fault. I have been telling you this for over two years.

The people that suck your dick have been doing this for no more than two weeks. Laura Lauazder is the best you got. And She or He or whatever it is - is batshit crazy.

Asoka is the smartest one you have left. But he lost faith in himself 20 years ago. I like Asoka. He needs to come to one of my parties when I have the Russian girls. Or Gurls, as I call them.

Your latest column sucked and everybody knows it.

Your predictions have been the worst for decades.

"somebody's got to do it"

Yeah. Anybody, please. Anybody but a pale, skinny, bald douchebag with no taste in music, no clue in the world and a non-selling, copycat novel about apocalypse.

Who reviews two movies a year. Avatar and 2012. great.

Missed "The Road", I guess. Didn't even read it, fucktard, Did you. Too busy polluting the globe, flying to every destination to give speeches to sold-out 20 seat amphitheatres about how cool your phrase "long emergency" is.

Sorry buddy.

You do a year worth of driving in one flight as far as the oil goes. But Only I know that. Cuz I have a calculator. Sincerely, Johnny Rico

I had a great time this weekend.

I stuck my middle two fingers into this women's pussy and asked her to tell me how to do it. She was telling me about her G-spot, and I admitted I had heard it was low (like 6 in military terms).

She said it was high.

I tried. But I was so fucking drunk. That was the problem in the first place. I had whiskey dick.

I sobered up. I drove her home (like the expert Kimi Raikonnen clone that I am). And we agreed to fuck later. The night before we get married

You, SIR, are a complete douche

Yes, please, some more horrible predictions.

The one you choose to self-analyze. Dow 4000?

Totally wrong. As wrong as wrong could be. You never give any range or detail what range or numbers mean in your predictions... but you do in your discussion of what happened. This means only one thing.

You are not a man.
You are a CUNT.

CUNT not in the feminine definition of CUNT. BUT in the Male Definition.

YOU are a CUNT.

What this means.

You have no PENIS. You need to start dressing in panties and a bra.

When you SEE a PENIS - think about sucking it.

When you SEE a CALCULATOR - think about learning how to use it.

When you see HIGH HEELS - think about how sexy you would look wearing them. Think about how sexy it would make you feel if Larry Summers' tongue wuz up yur ass.

So the Dow bottomed (good word for you) at 6500. It is now what? 10,000 plus. Yeah. Yeah. You were close, Jim.

I think you would have got that right, but several of your readers came in your mouth at the same time and you were new to Bukkake. It's understandable.

It's too bad guys like Bif and Holmes don't write for you anymore. You used to have a decent site

Taleb is a Man
You are a Cunt

JHK might be interested to know that there's been serious discussion down here in Detroit of turning the city's vacant land into "urban gardens" of some sort. What's most surprising about this discussion is one of the biggest boosters of "urban gardening" is the newly-elected mayor, Dave Bing. I say surprising because, since 1974, the mayor's office in Detroit has been occupied by men who ran the city as if it were a third-world country surrounded on all sided by hostile white suburbanites. The city's leaders expended huge sums of money building monuments like the Renaissance Center, now the home of a bankrupt General Motors, as a show of defiance to white suburbanites that black-run Detroit was still alive despite the exodus of the city's white population. Talk of turning vacant land into farmland or reducing the city's physical footprint was viewed as nothing less than treason by Detroit's black intelligentsia. That all changed after the "blacker-than-black" Kwame Kilpatrick disgraced the city internationally and led it into a ditch economically. So if there is hope for places like Detroit, maybe the future isn't so bad after all.

In support of the idea of the Germans being the "good guys"...http://www.wbgu.de/wbgu_presse_09_05e.pdf

Excellent piece James. In your 2009 predictions, you wrote:

"It will be a relief to have a president who speaks English correctly and has experienced something like real life prior to politics. Restoring credibility and legitimacy in leadership will be a big deal. If nothing else, we may recover a collective sense of consequence from a president who tells the truth, even the harsh truth."

We've had a chance to see past the political campaign, do you still hold the same opinion about Obama?

George, there is more hope for Detroit and other battered Midwestern and inland Eastern cities than there is for most other places in this country. These places have failed badly enough due to the loss of their core industries,suburbanization, and the destructive "urban renewal" programs of the 50s and 60s and 70s, to be open to redeveloping along lines suitable for emerging realities, such as permanent fuel depletion. Detroit has an excellent water supply and good water transportation routes, is about 500' above sea level, has fertile hinterlands, and lots of cheap property available in almost any neighborhood. I am really impressed with the beauty of the place even in ruin, and am staggered by the vast numbers of great houses and apartments at giveaway prices. It really is a beautifully built city and it's too bad so much has been lost.

Places like Detroit and Cleveland have a better chance of surviving the Long Emergency and becoming appropriately scaled cities that function the way cities used to- as centers of commerce containing dense networks of suppliers, middlemen, and manufacturers operating on a small scale, then do cities that are currently very successful, and therefore not open to changing ways that are about to become extremely obsolete.

In fact, the only thing that stands in the way of Detroit's renewal is it's citizens' cargo-cult like fixation on reviving the auto industry. Once your leaders and citizens alike get it through their heads that the domestic auto industry is over, then they need to learn how cities really work and function to be livable with much lower energy imputs.

But it won't happen if 5 years. It just plain takes longer than that for a real city economy to develop, and with it a local culture. It will take more like twenty, which is about what it took to really destroy it and other great American cities. That is another thing that municipal leaders and participating citizens need to learn: that you don't build a real city by Soviet-style plans and throwing trillions of dollars at developing instant neighborhoods that flop because they are designed in a way that does not accommodate the needs of their residents

Jim,
Are you sure about the wonderful behavior during the Great Depression and recovery years up to the 1930s? Crime became a way of life. Law enforcement was overwhelmed. Stoop laborers in the fields were violent gangs, and outlaws lived large. There was a great psychological burden on nearly everyone alive. What work of fiction about the 30's did you resource for that recollection??

The states you mention that are at the precipice of insolvency are blue states that embrace the socialist values; their governments are just to large and far reaching, some employing one out of four citizens. Look at Texas....small government, budget surplus, stable economy, low taxes...and don't take that as an invitation to immigrate! You voted for Obama you fool, and now you wonder why his oblique "change" model is really expansion of the federal government, socialization, and policies that will be impossible to change in the future??

Jim, the entropy model you predict will probably come to pass, but not in your lifetime. You always seem to want it to hurry along. Do you need that to seal your legacy before you kick? I know your ego must be as big as that Laurentide Glacier that once sat on top of the property you now own. But, you really tend to underestimate the resilience of Americans when you give your worm's-eye view of the future.

That glacier melted, and people moved on and thrived. What will happen, this I know: When America falters, people will die all over the planet. Bash America, attack her, despise her, but you will sorely miss her when the time comes. And the surplus humans creating all the mischief in the world will not be missed when we reserve and conserve our bounty of food, medicine, and resources. The Al-Quedans, Pashtuns, and other wormy low-lifes can ask their Allah for their daily bread, and I bet all they get is sand. And we can return to the days when two great oceans keep them where they belong.

I do agree with you on Mexico. All they need is a Hugo Chavez and we are in big trouble, but then again, Jim, when your grave sits under two miles of ice, who knows where we will live?

Wow, Nickelthrower.

Maybe 10th Jager is that radio personality you were talking about.

JK,

I think you look too intently on specifics that can't generalized. This results in always being mostly wrong, most of the time, about some but maybe not all you write.

The BIG news for 2010 is that global economic contraction is reordering oil consumption. Places lke the US are using less -and places like China and India are using more.

The other big news - the Banksters have demonstrated such enormous power that vitually all the world governments (excepting mide-eastern oil exporters) are playing along.

Something worth forecasting would be a timeline for when, where and how a rift develops between a major world government and the Banksters.

Worth investigation - how long can the dollar remain the world's "reserve" currency?

What circumstances will develop to continue and exacerbate the redistribution and consumption of oil to the nation's with the most productive work forces? (and the least debt)

As these economic realities emerge, when and how will the concepts of "The Long Emergency" affect America's social fabric?

Will the phrase "the long emergency" ever become as popular as the phrase "too big to fail?"



Elizabeth sez:

"Who decided profiling was such a bad idea?"

Why the very same MORONS that decided that you can spend your way out of debt, increase taxes in the middle of a horrendous recession, "fix" healthcare and declare the war on terror over and the war on CO2 just begun.

These fucktsicks can be found buried right next to an ostrich's head. Not to worry. The groundskeeper will be passing by with the lawnmower soon enough. Dinner will be ostrich steaks skewered with fucksticks. (Dining tip: discard fucksticks.)

Laura,

Most of us Detroiters know on an intellectual level that the Automobile business is over and will never employ people in the kinds of numbers that it did here, but emotionally, we're in shock. Growing up here, all my life, we have identified with cars, our parents, siblings, friends all worked in the the car business, and if they didn't the businesses they worked in depended upon the automotive business. I think only people in the Metro Detroit area mark time with what automobiles we owned, we take pictures of our new cars like they were family members, talk about them like we would our new babies. It's strange but true. Since I was a kid, I've listened to our leaders talk about diversifying Michigan's economy, well, I guess the time for talk has finally ended, but for around 30 years we've heard the same things over and over but now the Automobile business can no longer buy our politicians to prevent such diversification. It's now time to rebuild Detroit, Flint and points in between as has been discussed.

We're not stupid, at least most of us aren't, just shell-shocked.

jimmy sez:

""we are functionally bankrupt at every level: household, corporate enterprise, and government (all levels of that, too)."

Hogwash. I am not bankrupt nor functionally bankrupt. I know many, many, many others who are not as well. Ditto corporate entities. Governments? On the federal level we certainly are. My state is. My local government? Not.

See a pattern here? The higher up the food chain the more likely the entity is to act irresponsibly. Why? No accountability. You are too far removed from the "little people". Want to continue to cede control to Obama and his minions? Be my guest. Want a peak at your future? Put Haiti at the top of your vacation list.

That's how the people around here are about coal mining. It used to employ a lot of people at good wages. That's what they want back.

So if a coal company wants to open a mine, they flock to the hearings to testify that they don't care about mercury in the water or sulfur in the air. They want jobs.

So the mine opens with a few non-union jobs and pollutes without check.

Same with loggers in Northern California. Damn the owls. We want those jobs.

So the sawmill opens with two guys and a computer.

And the forests are clearcut.

tiny tim sez:

"That is just typical American talking about Europe."

At which point timmy tells us how much more USA is fucked up than Europe. Kettle to pot: "Black."

"And the forests are clearcut."

And replanted.

Forests are about the best managed crops in the world. There is no room for short term thinking in the forest industry. Planting to cut 30 to 50 years. Thats a hell of a commitment. Show me another industry with a similar time line?

Qshtik, although growing your own food isn't an easy thing, if people give it as much attention as they give to TV and other trivial pursuits, they could be successful. My wife has a small garden consisting of 10 raised beds each measuring 4'x8'. Not only does the garden produce most of the vegetables the two of us eat during the growing season, we freeze and dry enough vegetables so that we have some of them at most meals the rest of the year. And she uses no chemicals -- she's constantly improving the soil by composting everything she can, she controls most pests by hand. By extrapolating her productivity, I estimate we could supply at least 60%-70% of the food we eat by doubling the garden space, and using a few beds as low hoophouses to extend the growing season to December (we live in Ohio, and we just finished harvesting the last of Spinach and Brussel Sprouts and Kale and scalions).
Most Americans have enough lawn space to grow a substantial portion of their calories if they spent some of the time now consumed by TV on tending the garden. Read about the Victory Gardens and how much food people produced in them... When I was growing up, my family grew roughly 80-90% of all fruits and vegetables we ate throughout the year (my parents canned and preserved, pickled and brined and salted and cured and dried), all on about 1/2 acre of land.
Yes, the garden will fail if neglected or tended sporadically, but if tended with care and attention it could be a success for most folks most of the time.
Happy New Year to everyone here whatever your views are :)

"What is a company share worth if it does not pay a dividend and has no hope of paying a dividend? In my opinion, the answer is zero."
The value of an item is very different, depending on the label or the box.
Take for example a Hermes bag, 100% plastic, made in China, but sold by Saks Fifth Avenue and luxuriously wrapped.
It could easily reach a price over $1000.
The same item sold on eBay would have hundreds od people bidding and reach a very high price, if you can prove it was bought in the right shop.
The same, made in China, by the same manufacturer, with the same label, but lacking the code is worth maximum $5.
That for explaining how stupidity can change the price.
Nothing has an intrinsic value anymore.

I shouldn't have used the word "end". "Collapse" is more accurate. What I really meant was when things got bad enough that I personally would lose my job. Which looks more likely all the time.

I don't believe that an economic system that's only been around for 300 years is written in stone, though. Especially because it functions by destroying the natural wealth of the Earth (as Marx called it), and is essentially a Ponzi scheme writ large.

Profits can only come by expansion. They can't come from within the system, because, by definition, they are money above and beyond what has been paid out. Where can that money come from? Either from outside or from debt. We've tried both, and are hitting the limits of both.

I don't think that we'll switch to socialism. Too many hateful people. More likely it'll be barbarism.

I'm not insulted by you calling me an amateur farmer. I wouldn't even go that far. Amateur gardening is what I fail at. I grew up in the suburbs with non-gardening parents. Damn right I know nothing about farming.

One year I did try to grow soybeans. By coincidence, I was sitting the garden ripping my fingers apart trying to get those damn beans out of the fuzzy pods, when the farmer next door drove up in a giant harvester and harvested 10 acres of soybeans, filling 2 trucks, before I could finish my chore.

I have great respect for fossil fuels. I'm definitely going to miss them.

We lost electricity after the hurricane - for 3 days to 2 weeks.

I had a wind up radio, as recommended for emergencies. Who knew that all the radio stations would be knocked off the air?

The mayor announced a 9pm curfew (news spread by signs and word of mouth.)

I was automatically against the oppression, but then thought, yeah, why should people be driving around at night with trees over all the roads?

But, here's the thing. I work swing shift. No cops bothered me while I drove home at midnight.

This is a college town, with lots of young people. They responded to the lack of electricity by going outside and having parties, with bonfires cooking whatever was in their fridges. They couldn't use their cellphones (lack of chargers), so they hung out together and talked and cooked.

Yep. This is what the police cracked down on. No parties. Sit in your dark homes alone, people. The mayor has spoken.

I didn't find out about this until much later. Being in the midst of a disaster doesn't mean you know what is going on!

You have a point. Cash can be debased by a central bank, like the Federal Reserve, that misbehaves. You need competent, level headed bank governors. It's the old saying, inflation is always and everywhere created by central banks. They don't fight inflation, they create inflation. So you can't have Greenspan and Bernanke style yahoo-ism.

But if you buy assets like gold to protect yourself you're just as much a minnow in a shark tank because then you're at the mercy of speculators and other Wall Street bullshit artists. In 1980 gold was at $US 800 an ounce and according to everyone it had nowhere to go but up. If you drank that koolaid you got screwed.

All I'm saying is too many people think home equity is equivalent to cash savings. It's not. Don't drink the koolaid about stock holders being the "owners" of the company. They're not. And don't believe the bullshit about company stock having any value to the stock holder in the absence of cash dividends. With no money coming to the stock holder it's all smoke and mirrors.

This thought was presented:

"A botched attempt to take gold away from citizens would only emphasize the impotence of the federal government, leading to further erosion of legitimacy."

This presents and interesting thought, the "legitimacy" of a government. We see right now in Iran what happens when a dictatorship faces a general loss of legitimacy. massive civil unrest and murder in the streets. We saw something of that in the US, including the murder in the streets during the Vietnam era, ie, Kent State. We are capable of seeing it again. Perhaps not in 2010, but at some point in the not too distant future our military empire, Pax America, will start to collapse. History shows us that the faster an Empire grows, the faster it collapses and the US grew extraordinarily fast. We have the largest military in in the world, something like 2.5 million in uniform. What happens when we simply can no longer afford that large of a military, much of which is overseas? We bring these well-trained military types home and either release them to the civilian population with no hope of finding employment or keep them in uniform with no mission but to maintain homeland "stability". When your only tool is a hammer, every problem and task looks like a nail. Either case leads to a mighty sobering situation.

The key is maintaining the masses feeling good about their government's legitimacy. Let's see, because of massive economic collapse Obama is no longer considered as FDR's heir, but rather Hoover's. Because the typical US voter simply cannot come to grips with the changes at hand and is compelled to vote either Democrat or Republican the Republicans sweep into office in 2012. The task of reinforcing a good feeling, a coherent national legitimacy, is left to president Palin. I wish her well.

Cheers in 2010

10th (JC),

Before this this is removed, Shoot me your blog address.

not mommy (OEO)

Wagelaborer,
I understand that good advice on this blog is the easiest to avoid. Or that sure seems to be the trend anyway.

You had the right idea with your little farm close to town and work. You just need a better system.

Permaculture. It's a linking science that will revolutionize the way you tend your human ecosystem. I live on 1/7 of an acre, 1.5 miles uphill from downtown Spokane. Long, cold winters. And I grow an ass-load of food on it.

Seriously, an ass-load. I grew enough to can in my first season. More than we can eat. And the real genius of permaculture hasn't even taken hold yet...

Tripp out.

I appreciate the advice, tripp. Any sources on that?

I did try to grow nut trees, also. I think they're permaculture, right?

Not too much luck with them.

My luck with trees is better than the so-called forest replantations, though. I've seen them.

Little mostly dead sticks all over a mountain.

I don't call that a forest.

"And don't believe the bullshit about company stock having any value to the stock holder in the absence of cash dividends. With no money coming to the stock holder it's all smoke and mirrors."
--------------------------------

Cash, although I fully understand the point you are trying to make about stocks that pay dividends vs those that don't you have grossly overstated the case. Unquestionably the "little guy," wet behind the ears and generally lacking in market expertise, would be best off owning shares of companies that have paid (and raised) dividends continuously for decades. They might die of boredom in the meantime but would probably leave a larger estate for their dullard offspring to blow on God-knows-what.

There are companies that, without question, have value even though they don't pay dividends. A case in point is Apple which just yesterday morning hit its all all alltime ever highest price near $214/shr but has never paid a dividend. (Apple's been around more than 25 years and its stock has gone from under $2 to near $214.) I don't think any serious person would describe Apple as a company whose value is "all smoke and mirrors."

well gee..you talk facts and figures! India may be first antion on earth with 2 BILLION peeps...The Us already has 2 or 3 million Indians here....

DOES ANYONE KNOW HISTORY..US 1900 to 1950...did gov seal the border during the 2 WW? ..just wondering....

Unemployment in LA..official stats..12 or 13%.Remember LA is US largest city on west coast.

By May of 2009, the stock markets will resume crashing with the ultimate destination of a Dow 4000 before the end of the year. Meanwhile, jobs will vanish by the millions and companies will go bankrupt by the thousands, especially in the so-called service sector, and in all the suppliers of such, along with the landlords in all the malls and strip malls. -Jimmy K with last years (failed) predictions for 2009.

Jim's doomsday didn't happen. Jim's boner is still at full staff, waiting for an impending collapse. I just shopped at a strip mall a few days ago, and the stopped at TGI Friday's for some fried onion rings. Americana lives on, Fuck yuo, Jimmy!

and JHK...on Yahoo on of the ' realty bloopers' of 09 was THE SILVERDOME..built for mega millions on 200 acres of land...resold for about half million. however pontiac is said to be hell.

Jim:
'One big new subplot in world politics this year may be the global food shortage that is shaping up as a result of spectacular crop failures in most of the major farming regions of the world. '

WHICH IS WHY MULTINATIONALS HAVE BOUGHT LAND THE SIZE OF GERMANY OVER LAST 2 YEARS...africa..brazil...

Yeah looks like we have another dyke bullshitter here-like Janet Reno. During the Waco crisis, she sat at home. She didn't want to create the perception of a crisis by going into the office. Worthless affirmative action hires the both of them. Do women really belong in the armed services at all? So many women "find themselves" pregnant when it comes time for battle.

A million or so Mexican illegals were allowed in during WW2 to fill some of the gaps left by the GI's. Ike had them all rounded up and kicked out when they were no longer necessary after the war. Operaton Wetback, one of the few good things that shit eating SOB ever did.

You paint a very attractive picture; all to the good: I'm still trying to entice Wage to come live with me and be my love. But let's clarify and magnify a little: I've already begun gardening and am at least vaguely familiar with its joys and difficulties. The bliss I experienced, the energy rising up from the ground into my body, was real and not just my usual poetic license and blarney. How different from Chris Mathew's girlish lust for Obama focusing in his leg. My experience is righteous and noble, his unrighteous and ignoble.

When I get to the Northwest, I will sit on my porch at sunset like the Boers of Old, those good men betrayed by their English Friends and slaughtered by the Blacks whom they uplifted. In my rocking chair, I will have my Bible at my right hand, my Whiskey and rifles on my left. My dog, probably a Rhodesian Ridgeback or German Shepherd, will lay on my right side not in front of me lest I trip. One rifle will be a 12 gauge shotgun for heavy work (bears, dontcha know), the other a light rifle, what they call a varmaint rifle for shooting or scaring critters who come to eat crops. Inside I'll have an even more serious rifle but that need not concern us here. And yes, reading my Bible at the end of day and gazing out on God's Glory, I will be happy, lord of my own land and life-as ever man who can should be. God allows this, nay welcomes it in proper measure. Are we not made in his image? Or as the Muslims say, empowered to be His Vice Regents here on Earth? Notice I said lord not Lord. Mastery in humility is the goal.

On the astral plane, everything is reversed as in a mirror (see the annotated Alice in Wonderland by Martin Gardner), so it may seem that the Bible is on my left and the guns and whiskey on my right. But it will not be so. If the dog wants to lay on my left side, that will be OK.

I don't think I'll read while generating power on the bike. Probably listen to Beethoven or the Horst Wessel Lied. Horst Wessel was a valiant comrade killed by the Commies during the stuggle for Germany's Soul. All the papers and radio were owned by one ethnic group, so Patriots had to take to the streets to be heard. And when they did, they were viciously attacked by Communists. Exactly the situation today all over the Western World. Thank God for the internet at least-which may be taken away from us anytime.

Thank you for the chance to clarify and magnify my vision. However unwillingly, you serve me nonetheless.

Re: Stocks that don't pay dividends.

Chips in a poker game--at best. "Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em..." That game saw it's peak chair count with peak baby boomer.

Re: 2010

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the trigger of (possible sudden) collapse being the trigger of a gun; i.e., assassination Obama.

With all the gun-owning, Reagan worshipping wacko racists boiling over (as evidenced in so many YouTube videos), you'd think someone would have predicted assassination Obama by now. Must be fear of stating the truth in a facist state.

That would surely be a trigger though:

1. Obama assassinated;
2. Biden steps in, says "let's all hold hands and go buy an electric vehicle in his honor and everything will be OK; suspicion grows toward illuminati;
3. Al Qeuda is credited with the act via another "actual" Osama Bin Laden tape claiming credit; suspicion grows more against illuminati;
4. Cheney/Palin is suddenly a realistic ticket, which pressures Biden to, in classic Bidenesque impulsivity, OVER-threaten Iran (the new Al Queda homeland; coincidently, it turns out that "the Iraq thing was a mistake; it was Iran from day one"); Iran responds by cranking up the centrifuges; illuminati involvement confirmed by remaining bloggers that have internet connectivity;
5. Israel attacks Iran nukes; illuminati sells COOs (collateralized oil obligations via Goldman Sachs);
6. Iran permanently closes Suez and takes out processing towers in Saudi; Illuminati buys hedges on COOs and has steak dinner;
7. U.S. suffers fuel shortages 2nd day after Suez closed, as horders horde; U.S. strategic reserve unusable as trucks attacked by desperate hordes while en route; illuminati vacations on island;
8. U.S. collapses; oil consumption collapses; hedges on naked COO positions go to infinity; illuminati "comes out" Goldman...

"...global warming can lead to crop failures. And never heard of inland hurricanes."

Where's Gore when you need him {to see the truth}? Where I live it's 9 degrees, okay? Around here we could stand a little "global warming".

btw, you are talking about himmicanes {over land} see www.jmccsci.com

Global cooling {like I'm enjoying today} also causes crop failures. And believe it or not we have suffered a lot more from this than that, over the last few millenium.

I'd go so far as to point out that we need to develop { and sell} a way to restore the water canopy {the firmament} that used to protect and insulate this planet from UV and other bad radiation.

A thick layer of ice crystals at geosynchronous orbit would go a long way toward improving life on this dirtball. It would even out {up} the temperatures over the whole globe and places like where I live could grow crops year round. Icebergs are over-rated.

People like OSAKA are the biggest dopes. They believe this propagana about Americans increasing their savings. That is correct. Last year they saved $2 and the year before $1. Wow, that's a 100% increase. No wonder the recovery is on!

OEO (sorry, “not mommy”), Ronny Jico's (sorry, “tenth Jager's”) blog is at zulukilo dot wordpress dot com.

"Thank you for the chance to clarify and magnify my vision."
-------------------------

Your welcome.

Just so it's clear you're talking about a vision. My term was "daydream" but vision will do.

My vision of your future is more mundane. At, say, three score and 18 years you stop off at the ShopRite on the Northwest corner of the block you currently live on. (I know you have a thing for "the Northwest" so I've incorporated it in my vision.) You enter the produce aisle where for many years you have harvested your crops. You slip on a wet lettuce leaf and crack your head beyond repair. Ironically, a shaken Black produce clerk does what he can to comfort you till the ambulance arrives but all for naught. No Beethoven, no dog at your side, and you're not even packing heat ... not even a pea shooter.

CRACK! ... buh bye Jaego.

But if it gives you pleasure, hang on to your vision and pay my vision no mind.

Unemployment insurance payments have been propping up the consumer sector. The funds set aside have run out for many states and they have had to borrow from the Treasury to keep payouts flowing.

This is an untenable situation yet its continuation is distorted many forecasts about consumer spending and foreclosures. Add to this the MODs (more distortion). MODs depend upon income to facilitate. What we have is the little Dutch Boy with his fingers in the dike. Yet the rains keep coming and the water keeps rising and the dike is still springing more leaks.

The real down turn in consumer spending and a real up turn in both credit card and mortgage defaults will start when states hit the wall on supporting extended unemployment insurance benefits. UEI is not really tied to other state spending as borrowing to fund it is allowed under the current stimulus package. But it is borrowed... And the size and amounts will affect the credit ratings and will eventually affect the cost of other state borrowing.

I suspect that extended UEI payments will be supported thru the winter months and sometime in the later half of 2010 this castle built of sand will start blowing away.

The government is supporting spending thru many programs from this kind of support to special project support for roads, police, teachers and firemen. We all know it is unsustainable in the long run but none of us know when that point will be reached or what will trigger the change. All we know is that change is constant and when it is stalled, just like damming up a river with no outlet. The dam has to grow bigger and stronger and as the water rises.. You can not dam up an infinite amount of water nor can you borrow an infinite amount of money.

Ewww! first time commenting and I'm accosted by a white supremacy Neanderthal (notice I didn't say American, 'cause we've got some over here in Europe too).

My manhood, Vlad? Guess I forgot to mention the natural wealth of stunning, blond babes in Sweden.

kd: That's how I ended up here, after 3 years of EXTREMELY long-distancing my relationship with a gorgeous honey, I made the move. Sweden doesn't require marriage for permanent residency, which comes with all the perks of citizenship, besides being able to vote in Parliamentary elections. We eventually DID get married - then divorced, then I shacked up with my next love, then split and got married again...divorced again.
I learned Swedish so well I teach it now!

WOW, you must be a real prize:

Married
Divorced
Shacked up
Split
Married
Divorced

in a deflationary environment, cash grows in value because it purchases more as valuations decline. This is true whether it is a stock that once sold for $100 and eventually sells of $10 or a house that once sold for $300,000 that eventually sells for $50,000.

Dividends can't make up for the declining value. They do have a place though. They do show respect and appreciation by the management for the owners.

As for Apple... just look at MSFT which once traded around $50 and then a low of $15 and now $32 Or Lucent which isn't worth much of anything now. They invented the transistor and early micro chips. OR XRX (Xerox) which sold for $56 and now is $8.58 or EK (Kodak) which owned photography and sold for $68 and now is $4.31.

AAPL has GOOG, MSFT, AMZ, NOK and many others chipping away at it. It will not remain the leader for ever. Just look at the numbers of new Smart phones that have come to market in the last 6 months....

A high stock price is not much more than an high house price except that stocks are more liquid. But a price higher than its real utility is just selling to a greater fool IMO The real measure is the p/e ratio and EPS and return on capital. Plus dividends. Everything else is just smoke and hype,

A visit with a fortune teller in a parking lot in Simi Valley and predictions for the coming decade....

http://www.suburbanempire.com/front

Suburban Critical, Empire Chronicle...
Caustic, biting, oversimplified commentary.

"Dividends can't make up for the declining value. They do have a place though. They do show respect and appreciation by the management for the owners."
-----------------------------

Econ, no doubt you and I could have quite a discussion about the pros and cons of dividend payouts but I'm not too sure how interested other folks here would be.

I say "discussion" because it is not a debate. There is no single right or wrong answer.

I will, however, point out something that many people do not realize. If XYZ Company trades at $100/shr and then they pay out a $5/shr dividend the stock holder is not one cent richer than he was before the payout because the stock price instantly is valued at $95/ shr ... ceteris paribus. i.e. all other variables held constant. The $5 div only becomes worth $5 if and when over time (usually 3 mos) the stock grows itself back to $100. The thing about companies who(almost) never fail to pay a div each quarter is that by declaring a div they are expressing confidence that they will earn back that div, usually with room to spare. Such public expression of confidence is worth its weight in sound sleep to the stock holder.

A similar thing that is misunderstood by many people is stock splits. After, say, a 2 for 1 split the stock holder is not a penny richer - ceteris paribus - since he simply has twice as many shares, each worth half as much.

I know you already know these things but I am stating it for the benefit of others who may not be aware.

Q,

What you say concerning dividends may be true in a total cash accounting system where money spent reduces the balance sheet but I have looked at a lot of charts over the years and have not noticed any exact relationships concerning dividends and stock values.

For instance, pull up Chevron CVX and look at it. There certainly hasn't been a direct relationship between the dividend and any immediate 3.5-4% decline in value.. If any thing, dividend pay outs didn't appear to affect the price over time.

In the case of JNJ, there were many times it actually gapped up after the dividend pay out.

IMO dividend pay outs are like interest payments on investments and show that a company has strength and integrity. People can either take the dividend and spend them or re-invest them back into the company. This is much better for the stock holders than just giving the upper management higher and higher salaries.

The only other right thing to do is for the company to use its profits for growth. But that needs to reflect in actual after inflation share price increases. That hasn't happened for most companies in at least 10 years. So the management has been screwing the share holders in many companies. And the Financiers screwed every one too so there really has been extremely few good investments for the majority in the last decade.

What has happened increasingly over the last 30 years is for the management and boards to decide that their income is more important than either stockholder pay back or growth in real productive output.

I believe that this attitude is indicative of the problems facing this country. Those at the top of the economic ladder believe that they are special and privileged and in many cases above the laws of man or they pay to have them changed. Most are morally bankrupted.

You will know we have reached a bottom when companies offer dividends to people to be owners. When the ponzi finance has collapsed and companies need capital for expansion, they will be forced to treat those with capital with respect and pay them a fair share on their investment. Managers and boards will only get paid reasonable compensation for real growth.

In other words, we are at the top of a kondratiev cycle. People won't want to have much of anything to do with stocks when we hit the bottom of the wave. Cash will be king then and we start all over.

Blonde Bunny Fucking doesn't make you a man, Pat, just a jack rabbit. You didn't answer any of the issues I brought up, after all-what could someone like you say? The Muslims view Scandanavian and Dutch men with contempt, gee I wonder why?

"I say "discussion" because it is not a debate. There is no single right or wrong answer."

In aviation we used to have a term "Wrong Altitude For Direction Of Flight" WAFDOF. Used to be up to 29000 feet it was "evens" westbound and "odds" eastbound {now its to the moon}. Some airhead relitivist {probably a group of them} decided the word wrong was offensive. Now the term is "inappropriate altitude for direction of flight" IAFDOF. Every instruction manual in existance had to be changed because someone couldn't live with the idea of "wrong". There was no discussion or debate about this among the users of the system. It just happened.

To 10th Jager
What an offensive post.

So you are up in the middle of the night typing your wretched bilial drek. Even your login name, a Nazi regiment, scheeze!

You are the one Jim was referring to: some Neanderthal, jerky-stick, Ho-Ho eating moron with a rotten, corrupted mind.

Your super-ego has long gone bye-bye.

QSHTIK, with all due respect, Apple stock is worthless, the price I would be willing to pay for that stock is zero. I don't care how many people say it's worth $214 per share.

What Apple management is doing is using shareholder money for free. That's not fair or just and rational shareholders should not be happy with this. Shareholders are supposed to be in it for the cash money. Stories about insanely great prducts is not cash money in your pocket. Customer love for Apple products is not cash money in your pocket. Stories about reinvesting in the company is not cash money in your pocket. Apple workers, management creditors all get cash money. Apple customers get tangible products. What do you get as an Apple shareholder? Nada, nothng, dick. All you get are stories.

There are two ways to capitalize a company. One is through borrowing money in which case the company pays interest for the use of the money or through equity in whch case the company is supposed to pay dividends for the use of the money. Dividend yield should be higher than the interest rate on the company debt because bond holders have the security of a legal agreement that specifies interest and principal repayment. Equity holders have no such security and because of the added risk they should be demanding a higher yield.

That has not been the case in modern times because equity holders are under the delusion that any dividend payment by the company is a left pocket, right pocket proposition ie a dividend payment will reduce the value of their shares. But why should it?

The idea of a company having value is meaningless. The only thing a shareholder owns is a stock certificate and the cash distributed to him by the company. That's it. If a company is not making enough money to give some back to shareholders then it's not making money in any way that's relevant to the shareholder.

A consistent stream of dividend payments should be the only basis for a share's value and an increase in dividends should be the basis for an increase in the stock price.

Economicminor has the right idea.

"Some airhead relitivist {probably a group of them} decided the word wrong was offensive."
---------------------------

Mezz, nice tidbit re aviation. I spent 3 years in the USAF but was unaware of these odd - even altitude levels for east - west. I'm sure they had north - south covered in some way too. At any rate their (the aviation world's) system sounds pretty common-sensical.

As to "wrong" vs "inappropriate" I would say there is a considerable difference between these two words but with no experience as an aviator (I was an Accounting and Finance Officer) I couldn't say if it was worth changing all those manuals to read IAFDOF rather than WAFDOF.

Tying all this back to stock DIVIDEND payouts .... I think it is WRONG to assume that without dividends "everything else is just smoke and hype."

"Stories about insanely great prducts is not cash money in your pocket. Customer love for Apple products is not cash money in your pocket. Stories about reinvesting in the company is not cash money in your pocket."

Hey Johnny (Cash)

Know what is cash money in your pocket? Cash fucking money in your pocket. You are a MORON. Now shut the fuck up.

"though I'm a registered Democrat." Kunstler

The big obstacle to anything resembling a solution to the "long emergency" is a creative national narrative that deals with the facts (A Mussolini business model that exists between multi-national corporations and a corrupt government being on the top of the list) and how to respond to changes as a collective group.

How can the guru of the narrative of the long emergency still retain any traces whatsoever of an allegiance to a failed political system by stating that he identifies with a conceptual and morally bankrupt political party?

How Jim?

Qshtik, Re your comment below.

"I think it is WRONG to assume that without dividends "everything else is just smoke and hype."

You're right in that in that it's not all smoke and hype. After all, a lot of people are making money off Apple products. Workers make a pretty good living, management probably make an even better living, suppliers get paid and stay in business. Customers get great products and presumably Apple pays it's share of taxes. I'm not picking on Apple. But why is the shareholder not sharing in the bounty? And if they aren't paying shareholders why do people want to own their shares? I just don't get it.

This is all about money. If you say that the share price is $214, that's just one investor paying another investor, that's not Apple paying one cent to the shareholder.

What does all this matter to the shareholder? Even if EPS is sky high the EPS is just a ratio even if it is an indicator of the health of the business. But this is not cash in the shareholder's bank account. Earnings are just an accounting opinion. A disribution of cash is a fact.

Wall Street has brainwashed people into thinking that they as shareholders own the company so a cash payment by the company to them is taking cash from your left pocket and putting it in your right pocket. But there is a world of difference between cash in your personal bank account and cash in the company's bank account.

Anyway, as you can tell I'm bugged about Wall Street and their bullshit but I don't want to be a boor and a bore over this. Have a Happy and Prosperous and hopefully cash rich New Year.

'Who decided profiling was such a bad idea?'

in 4 letters:
ACLU

Much as I dislike all demogogues Annie Coulter was on the radio yday talking what ' the last 30 guys who attacked commercial airlines looked like'

"A consistent stream of dividend payments should be the only basis for a share's value and an increase in dividends should be the basis for an increase in the stock price."
-----------------------------

A couple-three months ago there was a guy posting here (if memory serves he went by the handle eightm) who was persistently angry about the disparity between how much some people made vs others. Basically he felt the playing field should be vastly more level. He would say things like: Nurses should make $1000/mo. and doctors should make $2000/mo. He had similar things to say about housing ... rent should be $300/mo. He always used the word should.

You have the same problem Cash. You need to get a grip on what IS and forget about your ridiculous notions of what should be.

I've read this article three times now and it's definitely the most truth I've found on one web page all year. Thanks JK.

Cash sez:

"Anyway, as you can tell I'm bugged about Wall Street and their bullshit but I don't want to be a boor and a bore over this."

Squish-dik sez:

"You need to get a grip on what IS and forget about your ridiculous notions of what should be."

Not mommy sez:


Why does Squished try and not be a boor/bore as well and STFU?

Mommy, why don't you run along now over to Jennie Rico's house, have some cookies and milk and play nice. You two girls are so cute together.

'You two girls are so cute together.'

Guess we can add "dirty old man" to your growing list of wonderful attributes. Just shows to go you that even with a squished-dik some of the old phantom urges live on. ( Actually, I thought it was a "boy" thing with you? What gives?)

"I will sit on my porch at sunset like the Boers of Old, those good men betrayed by their English Friends and slaughtered by the Blacks whom they uplifted."
-------------------------

Is it possible you have inadvertently revealed a hidden truth about your roots? Some of us have been operating under the assumption that you're origins are east European but this sentence (above) plus the dog breed suggests Rhodesia/ South African. It would account for a lot. Any comment?

Oops ... your origins

Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.

-Eric Hoffer

OH YEAH!! Well fuck you and the horse ya rode in on asshole! ......................just kidding.

JHK said: "We're a nation of thugs and louts with flames tattooed on our necks, who call each other "motherfucker" and are skilled only in playing video games based on mass murder ... I believe we will see the outbreak of civil disturbance at many levels in 2010. One will be plain old crime against property and persons."

The assumption here is that, as things get worse, their will be a breakdown of social order.

Once again, reality is pointing in a different direction. Things got worse, in the eyes of the Clusterfuck Nation, from 2008 to 2009.

Yet the level of crime DECREASED. Riddle me that.

http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/2009prelimsem/index.html

"Preliminary figures indicate that, as a whole, law enforcement agencies throughout the Nation reported a decrease of 4.4 percent in the number of violent crimes brought to their attention for the first six months of 2009 when compared with figures reported for the same time in 2008. The violent crime category includes murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.

The number of property crimes in the United States from January to June of 2009 decreased 6.1 percent when compared with data from the same time period in 2008. Property crimes include burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft."

Once again, reality shows things are getting better, not worse.

So much talk about reality on CFN, yet so much willingness to ignore the actual data in favor of morbid, porn/violent fantasies about future barbarian hordes, a la Mad Max. (Mad Max was just a movie: it was entertainment, not a reliable predictor of the future).

"The assumption here is that, as things get worse, their will be a breakdown of social order."

Correction: The assumption here is that, as things get worse, there will be a breakdown of social order.

My apologies for the breakdown in proper usage of there/their.

My point remains. According to CFN things get worse year after year... and social disorder is inevitable.

Yet the latest crime statistics show just the opposite is the case... in the real world.

Greetings Jim,

I enjoyed your forecast, and agree with a fair number of your points, ranging from the weakness of the EU as a whole (Germany potentially excepted although their banks have the highest ratiso of loans to core capital in the world), the unsustainability of China's export orientation and therefore expansion in the face of Peak Credit, the gross overvaluation of the stock markets relative to profitability and the impending rise of the USD under a debt deflationary deleveraging and panicked state.

Where i don't agree is with your primary contention regarding Peak Oil, which seems to be something that you otherwise are noticing is not fitting your core hypothesis.

The current geofinancial crisis situation is dominated by Peak Profits which manifests as Peak Credit (although shifting from private debt to public debt in the stampede towards state capitalism.)

If there is to be a Peak Oil moment it will not be a geological peak, but due to geopolitical instability and geofinancial shortfalls. However, i think we are witnessing Peak Oil Demand, not Peak Oil Supply.

The effect of the Depression - again based on an overproduction of global of capital/undercompensation of global labor (standard Marxist analysis) - diminishes global aggregate demand, and thus demand for oil.

Further, as you partially note, the advent of shale gas is here. Much as I am not a fan of it, I have investigated carefully the economics of shale gas combined with Gas-To-Liquids via Fischer-Tropsch process. What i have learned means that end user petroleum products - gasoline, diesel, kerosene - result directly from shale gas (ie CNG cars are not necessary) and the breakeven product prices - taking into account CAPEX and operations - imply a crude oil barrel cost of $40-$45/barrel even with natural gas costs being $5-$10/tcf. And considering that there is enormous amounts of stranded natural gas in places like Canada, Oman, etc the natural gas prices that supply GTL processes are often going to be closer to $1/tcf.

In short, copious Shale gas + stranded gas + GTL will provide a general gravitational pull on oil prices towards equivalent of $45-50/Barrel.

It should also be noted that in the likely event of greatly intensified geopolitical storms in the Middle East, the US/Canada and Russia will be the least affected of all G8 nations. The US receives only ~12% of its total oil from the Arabian peninsula. The EU receives ~25%, Japan ~90%, China and India ~70%.

Sadly, the US financial and military industrial sectors benefit from destablization of much of world relative to its global competitors. One may conjecture whether the wars fought in AfPak, etc. are not being fought to directly profit from the resources, but rather to play the role of the spigot, and spread unrest throughout Central Asian states which undermines Russian control and resale of the hydrocarbons to EU, which weakens/divides further as a result, and intermediates the resale to China and India. Furthermore, the major achievement of the AfPak war has been to bring India fully into the US orbit so it can be leveraged in war against China.

Finally, like most Peakers as well as those on both sides of the Climate Change debate, you do not address the exponential collapse in the price of solar power. It has fallen ~3X every decade since 1958, and is fast approaching parity with retail grid electricity from natural gas turbines. This first parity moment should come sometime between now and 2012. The next solar parity moment comes when the price drops to parity with wholesale coal electricity. That moment will come sometime between 2012 and 2018 in 90% of the world. Of course, for the rural Global South, energy prices are already outrageously high sometimes amounting to 1/3 of their monthly income for wood, charcoal, and kerosene. For 50% of rural humanity solar is becoming a viable even sooner than for the rich countries.
By or before 2020, solar will be ~1/3 the cost of retail grid electricity.
By 2030, solar will be ~1/10 the price.

When the world economy begins to recover from the financial crises, it will be based around solar power since that will shortly be the most flexible and affordable source there is, especially for the vast majority of the world's poor nations' populations who live in the sunniest places.

I am in the process of setting up my own blog where i will be fleshing these points in greater detail along with several others while I simultaneously prepare my first book, which I hope to have ready by this Spring. I would be honored to have you review a draft of it when it is ready.

Best regards,
SpiralMan

Imagination is more important than knowledge.

-Albert Einstein

just sayin

Vlad, on the evening of 12/28 I asked the following question:

"Rob, are you the same person who used to post here under the name Urban Underclass?"

I got no response. Do you happen to know if Rob and UU are one and the same?

It's a telling sight that on "Meet the Press" this past Sunday, their opening display for "The Economy" is not a factory production line but rather an image of a US Treasury printing press rolling off new twenty dollar bills. I think some re-thinking about real productivity needs to happen with the producers of mainstream media.

Spiralman,

Thanks for your careful analysis. In the best of possible worlds, I would hold and do hold the same relatively optimistic viewpoint. What holds me back is my view that destructive pessimism, greed, and religious jihadism (on all sides) is leading to unplanned chaotic decay. Thus, I disagree with JHK that technology is incapable of at least helping resolve the technical issues within future energy dislocations. However, I am not convinced that our mass ethical/philosophical orientation is not leading toward a fundamental societal collapse of some form.

Another great post by JHK.

But I suspect that he may be wrong in his prognostications of imminent "collapse". According to the Chinese interpretation of Marxist Dialectical Materialism (Bianzheng Weiwu Zhuyi), things and social structures don't "collapse", rather they are transformed, as a result of quantitative (liang) or qualitative (zhi) changes, into something different, usually the opposite of the original condition. This suggests that the US's trajectory is towards military dictatorship.

The great Saint Ramakrishna called knowledge like this, "rice and bannana knowledge"-so why do you come to me with your shopping list? Do I look like that Black Produce Clerk you are so enamoured with?

He said, she said, "racist", profit/loss,-these are your measly categories-the catalogue of a measly life. And of course, always quantity never quality. Always the cynic who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

The Great Race Traitor Eleanor Roosevelt said that small minds talk about persons, middling minds talk about events/politics, and great minds talk about ideas. Where do you see yourself on this spectrum now that you have asked me this? I grant that you rise to the level of ideas in finance-although not in Economics as a whole. Or rather when you do, you talk nonsense. As for finance per se, I'm not qualified to judge.

Roosevelt, incredibly ugly both inside and out, was a smart person so I quote her without in anyway endorsing her as a person or thinker. And Asoka could have been a first class Pullman Porter instead of what he became.

Your vision was a weak riposte against my own. Petulant pettiness nothing more. But it served to highlight the beauty of my vision even more. Not only do you serve me, you serve me well. Your club of ignorance only sharpens my sword of truth as a deer sharpens his antlers on a dead tree.

MINDfool,
I don't dispute that we are heading into a massive upheaval, but the characteristics of it are likely to be different than those foreseen by the Peak Resource schools of thought.
Dr. Moreau is hitting close to the mark. The usual process during these once every 70-80 year capital overproduction/generational crises is to shift radically towards various forms and degrees of militarized state capitalism. We certainly have our evidence in the 1930's - UK, Germany, Italy, Russia, Japan, US and can see its broad outlines repeating again. But this happened also during the crisis era of 1857-1878 from Bismarck to Lincoln.
Engels identified this process in Socialism: Scientific and Utopian
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1880/soc-utop/ch03.htm

In fact, I have traced this crisis dynamic spiraling in intensity going back to at least 1420 with a shifting of nation serving as ground zero. Often, it is a new jack capitalist country or substate of an inadequately integrated proto-nation that acts as ground zero. Florentinian Banco Medici in 1494 and the rest of the mercantile Italian city states fit the latter category, Spanish monarchy bankruptcy in 1556 from overproduction of gold from Americas, Holland in 1637 with Tulipmania, Britain and France with the South Seas/Mississippi Bubbles in 1720 over the slave trade, the bankruptcy of the French Monarchy/Revolution/Napoleon starting 1789, the Commercial Crisis of 1857 centered in US and Germany, and 1929 Wall Street when the US was the workshop of the world, all were examples of new jacks too politically immature given the magnitude of the productive forces unleashed. This should give pause to those who are not focused on the impending massive crashes in the 'emerging markets,' eg, the China (and commodities) Bubble, where China is also the workshop of the world.

The solar revolution is going to occur whether anyone has good ethics or not. It is the inevitable byproduct of several nations' military security programs going on for many decades as well as the outgrowth of the semiconductor and optical telecommunications industries breakthroughs. Future generations will laugh uproariously (I know I already do) at how much digital electronic ink was spilled planetwide in nanoseconds in angst about Peak Oil and Gas as well as CO2 based global warming right when the silicon, optical electric revolutions were already ripping all established relations apart, and the inevitable spillover to solar power was reaching critical mass.

So while we are typing to each other on the creations of the silicon/optical electric revolution, it makes zero sense to be assuming that the silicon wafer factories' engineers and workers that made the chips in our PCs and cellphones would not continue on their own 50-year equivalent of Moore's Law exponential cost reductions for solar panels.

The real question and only relevant answer that progressives should be grappling with is the title of my upcoming book, "Equal Watts."

best regards
SpiralMan

OK, so if I interpret correctly you don't know if Rob/UU are one and the same. But what about your Rhodesia/South Africa roots? You never said.

BTW, just typing the name Rob reminds me that when you begin a post with words like "The great Saint Ramakrishna" I am immediately reminded of Denver Rob (of the fucked up Rob and Paulette twosome) and you know what I think about that pair of losers with all their Stupa and Krishna crap.

Vlad, you're living in a dream world and what a wonderful world it is ....... right up till the moment you realize it's only a dream.

I was just reading something written by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan, and realized he and I have the same hobby.

Taleb said: "My major hobby is teasing people who take themselves & the quality of their knowledge too seriously & those who don’t have the courage to sometimes say: I don’t know...."

Hey Wagelaborer,
Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner.

Let's see, "Gaia's Garden" by Toby Hemenway is a good book to start with.

Here is a video of an interview with permaculture co-originator, David Holmgren:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFjFG24BeX8

More theory than application. Worth watching in my opinion though.

These guys aren't exactly mainstream, but I think they'd take that as a compliment:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oW7LcNAYBWg&feature=related

Their property is a great case study in permaculture. The idea being that you nudge a system with as small a change as possible for the biggest improvement, and to move care of the system from human to Nature. These decisions are made based on deep observation of how natural systems work, but fortunately, there are resources that can speed that process in the beginning. The Hemenway book has a lot of information on "guilding," or establishing mutually beneficial plant communities, that fertilize and protect each other. You want those trees to take care of themselves. And you can do that!

That's what I'm working on this season. Finishing my fruit and nut tree plantings, and installing the shrub layer of my food forest. Lots of multi-purpose species - nitrogen fixers, beneficial habitat, food, fuel, fiber, marginally cold-adapted/warm-adapted for your zone - building for resilience (you never know what the climate will do, if anything).

On my 1/7 acre, I have at least 50 major plants growing, big enough to hang a metal ID tag on. In addition to the canopy and shrub plantings, I'm also adding a few choice mushroom species to mycorrhize with my trees and bushes, some edible ground covers, and several vines - grapes, hardy kiwis, Russian honeysuckles (Lonicera), and hops. Some of these plants are considered "superfoods" like goji, goumi, Aronia, Sea buckthorn, blueberries, and cranberries. Add in a few local green "weeds" and you've got a smoothie you could survive on. We've also got laying hens, meat rabbits, and honeybees.

It's hard to read some of the commentary on this blog since it's so angry, maladaptive, and hopeless. I don't see that world at all. Permaculture is the antidote to greed and cancerous growth. The garden is just a metaphor. But it can be a beautiful and productive one...

I'll try to keep an eye on this post. Let me know if you have more questions. And good luck!

Tripp

Finally someone has come up with a worthwhile New Year's resolution.... Arianna Huffington, believe it or not!

Resolve to close your account at Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Zions, Chase, Citi... etc...

And move your money to a credit union or local bank.

http://www.suburbanempire.com/front

The suburban critical, empire chronicle... hastily prepared essays by a grumpy former waiter in Vermont.

Happy New Year:


The predictions are something to think about,and discuss. BUT,here in my town we will discuss predictions from the various mediums and what their psychics say. A recent poll in our county over 75% are positive, everything will turn around. JIM, there is going to be no revolt,people are doing the same old,and any mention of facts from science, climate change,industrial decline is met with,a blank stare or a raging right wing or left wing spew of their various quick one liners. I look forward to see your play in Rochester,NY. Our one newspaper town tell us everything is fine,just a few minor hccups.

Qshtik:

"You have the same problem Cash. You need to get a grip on what IS and forget about your ridiculous notions of what should be."

That's the thing. What got us into this mess is "what IS". What I'm trying to point out is we're going to repeat this disaster if we don't change the way we understand things.

NotMommy called me a moron. Well, he/she gave me an idea. I retired wealthy very young. I haven't worked in years. What I've tried to point out in my moronic posts is how to not lose money. So I'm going to write a book : The Wealthy Moron. It's going to show how to make money. But to know how you'll have to buy the book and make me richer yet.

Happy New Year.

Vlad, here's something to consider while you're lost in your vision: the hungry, dispossessed and plain envious will come to your corner of paradise, outnumbering you, better armed, more desperate, perhaps more vicious than you are. So, better make sure you have the resources to build a castle and recruit hundreds of peasants to provide for and defend it... Humanity has been there, done that, perished doing it. Have you learned anything from history? Cooperation trumps competition as a survival strategy. Also, a person to save your (or your children's) life one day may be of a race different from your own, and a person to try and kill you may be of your own race. You'd be wiser to see people as good vs. bad rather than white vs. others. I feel sorry for you, you're a very unhappy boy.

Cash,

First off ... don't worry about Mommy calling you a moron. We're ALL morons in his eyes.

And don't worry about me calling your notions ridiculous ... the only way to make a point around here is to insult. Reasoned discussion just don't cut it.

Anyway, I await your book with bated breath ;)

Tripp, very interesting. Would it be possible to see somewhere on the web the design of your p/c garden (layout, plant selection, etc)?

Qshtik, equities not paying dividents at a rate higher than interest-bearing investments only have value as speculative instruments. Apple stock is only a good investment if you believe you will be able to sell it at a higher price than you paid for it, vs a divident-paying stock may be a good investment even if it has no appreciation. Although historically it has been the case (give or take a few specific periods), it may not be so when you must sell it, so there's an added level of risk from investment into non-divident paying stocks.

Thanks for the info, Trip. I actually have that book. I have tried this thing before, but I'm just not good at it.

I like the water purification system they have set up on page 94-95. I tried to get the plumber to set my discharge pipes up to drain outside, but he said it was against code, or something.

I've tried growing native trees. For instance, I've planted pawpaws a few times, but they never survived. I tried growing hazelnut bushes from the Arbor Society. They lasted the first summer and the winter, then died in the spring. What's up with that?

I had no luck with blueberries until I put a chickenwire fence around it to stop the rabbits. That worked until the goats got to them.

I haven't stopped trying. Like I said, my stick orchard is now a real orchard. I just don't get a lot of fruit from it.

I do get eggs. Just have to find them.

It's not just me. I work with a farmer's daughter, but she married a coal miner, then a cop. She brought apples to work and I asked if she grew them. She said, "If I were to depend on what I could grow, I'd starve".

So apparently you need more than family connections to do this farming thing.

Hey. I was in Montana a few years ago, walking through a bar and some guy grabbed me onto the dancefloor and said "Dance with me".

I tried to match his steps for a couple of minutes and then he growled "Quit trying to lead", so I left.

Was that you? I can picture you thinking that the caveman approach was appealing.

"If I were to depend on what I could grow, I'd starve".
---------------------------

Thanks Wage for this quote from your farmer's daughter friend. I hope Vlad and other dreamers will take note.

"... so there's an added level of risk from investment into non-divident paying stocks."
-----------------------

All stocks carry the risk that their share price will fall whether they pay dividends or not. And then there is the risk that a dividend payer will reduce or eliminate its dividend. Take, for example, General Electric with its reputation for both paying and raising dividends over a long period of time. In late 2000 GE sold for $60/shr. In early 2009 it hit $6 (a 90% decline). Currently it's $15. A year ago its qtrly div was 31 cents per shr; today it is 10 cents.

Now look at Apple. In late 2000 it was $10/shr; today it is $212/shr. It has never paid divs.

(All amts rounded).

There simply are no guarantees.

P.S. It's dividend not divident.

OK, I didn't mean to imply that a dividend-paying stock is inherently less risky. Stock valuation is a very murky and complex business, but given the same risk rating I'd choose a dividend-paying stock. BTW, what's the economic theory on stock price behavior during periods of high inflation? During the inflationary period of the 1970's the stocks were flat at best, resulting in net loss.
Re: "Apple. In late 2000 it was $10/shr; today it is $212/shr." I hope you were lucky to buy it in late 2000 :)

My mom worked for an oil company for 40 years and ended up with a lot of stock.

The stock price went down last year, but the dividends went up.

Which is more important?
(Actually, I meant that as a rhetorical question, cause it seems clear to me that the dividends are more important, but looking back at the stock wisdom spewed here, there may be dispute.)

And don't even mention GE to me.. I bought GE stock a few years ago after reading about GE's interest in wind turbines... what a waste... they could've had the wind turbine market to themselves had they had the foresight... i'll never invest in any company with the word "general" in its name :) (I know, Gen. Mills has done OK for the last few years, but it's history hasn't been written yet, like the rest of the agro-industrial complex it's fortunes are tied to the price of fossil fuels...)

>there may be dispute
well, like virtually everything else in life, investment success if a luck-of-the-draw, so i'm NOT disputing anything said here, just adding my humble thoughts...

First time reader and poster here... y'all cracking me up! Isn't it obvious his predictions are mostly correct but the timeframe is mostly incorrect? Financial wizardry, creative accounting, and gov't "embellishment" of the data (ok, lying) cannot fix this global mess - they can only buy time (pun intended).
Or another way of putting it - Does anybody actually believe that central gov'ts leveraging their debt will fix a financial leverage problem?
The only reason it even buys time is because the masses want their gov't to fix their problems - fixing your own problems takes hard work and sacrifice. Pass the remote and the chips....
Jim, turning around a ship the size of the USS Easy Living takes far longer than 1 year.

JIM
New China factoids [ at least according to radio]

China now has a 230 MPH bullet train

WALMART has its first store there...ONLY WALMART ANYWHERE THAT DOESNT IMPORT

and chinese were killing miners off for insurance $..or something like that..the head of the anti corruption dept was killin them off.

if the GE sub divisions makin the turbines in china maybe its a $ maker.
I was listening to Tom sewell on radio today lambasting ' green jobs'..hes a smart guy,,,he knows what hes talking about.

if you give me 1% of the books gross ill give you a MUCH BETTER TITLE...

do you know how the 'idiots guides' got started?

"Cash,

First off ... don't worry about Mommy calling you a moron. We're ALL morons in his eyes."

Ah, not really. Squidished-dik? Definitely. Straight to the top of the list.

affirmative action? I SAY 2 DEMOCRAT LEFT PREZES

and any woman who brought in the UN cant be all bad? eh?
amazing how wiki etc re writes history..in this case the history of subversion!
at wiki theres a pic of her with miss chan kai shek...no reference to how taiwan id be kicked out of un!


wiki:
'Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (pronounced /ˈɛlɪnɔr ˈroʊzəvɛlt/; October 11, 1884 – November 7, 1962) was the First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945. She supported the New Deal policies of her husband, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and assumed a role as an advocate for civil rights. After her husband's death in 1945, Roosevelt continued to be an internationally prominent author, speaker, politician, and activist for the New Deal coalition.

In the 1940s, Roosevelt was one of the co-founders of Freedom House and supported the formation of the United Nations.

VK claims the ruthless jews in the CC survived...not the 'anne franks'...

I'd like to kill several birds with one post:

1. Urban Underclass is not Rob from Dublin. Rather, UU is Rory from Wexford, Ireland. I want to thank Vlad/Jaego for all his efforts in resolving this question for me. If UU happens to be reading ... let me know. I have something I want to convey regarding tattoos.

2. I have never owned Apple or any other "tech" stock because I have no "feel" for tech. As evidence, I have a cheap cell phone that my kids insisted I get but I actually don't know how to work it and don't have the patience to read the instructions. It sits quietly on my desk and almost never rings. When it does it is invariably a wrong number. Every few days I charge it up anyway. I don't know how to work my wife's digital camera either and frankly couldn't care less. I'm kind of a new-age Luddite. My only connection with tech stocks is by way of owning an ETF (a double levered exchange traded fund) whose basis is the NASDAQ 100 which contains some techs (symbol QLD) or by going short via QID.

3. Investment success if (sic) not all a luck-of-the-draw. I never made 6 figures yet as a retiree (4 yrs) I have a nice home, 2 cars, 3 kids, all college educated and I owe nothing. I have a somewhat more-than-modest IRA brokerage account. There was some luck involved but not much.

4. One should not buy GE because they read GE is interested in wind turbines. GE is so huge and diversified that wind turbines could never be more than a miniscule portion of the total ... in short, not a "pure play."

5. If Wage's Mom worked 40 years for an oil Co. and let stock pile up over all those years the amt of divs coming in today probably exceeds the cost basis. She could have done worse, believe me.

6. I was born in 1940. My parents had a "Victory Garden" during WW2 ... not sure for how many years. As the emergency faded so did the garden. I suspect they were happy that they could just buy our necessities at the A and Poo Feed Store (sic). We didn't own a car till around 1950. My Mom brought the groceries home from the A&P in a cab every Friday like clockwork. Unless things get a lot worse than I think they will I don't see Victory-type Gardens making a big comeback. But I could be wrong.

7. Wage, Vlad's mind is not on dancing or women. Any such references are an attempt to establish at least some one-of-the-boys-type street cred. He is a serious one-track fascist and nothing any of us has to say will knock him off that track. Anyone reading this blog for the past 6 months must surely know this. If Vlad is not too pissed at me for scoffing at his Montana wet-dreams he will respond to the above comment, confirming its accuracy and thanking me for saying it.

8. Don't know what happened to Abbeysbooks ... either croaked or on some kind of sabatical/ hiatus. If the latter and she's reading I want to let her know I'm 394 pages into David Foster Wallace's 1079 page Infinite Jest and I'm in awe of his genius. Also read his 10 essays comprising Consider the Lobster. Wallace's suicide (9/12/08) is a gigantic loss to the world of literature.

9. Nudge provided "Ronny Jico's" blog address so I took a look. He strikes me as even more vile now than before if such a thing is possible. God only knows what Not Mommy wanted that address for!?

10. Happy New Year

"Ah, not really. Squidished-dik? Definitely. Straight to the top of the list."
------------------------------

This makes me as proud as Maureen Dowd would be if she learned she topped Dick Cheney's shit-list.

"Squidished-dik? Definitely. Straight to the top of the list."
-------------------------

Thank you. I will wear my #1 ranking like A Badge of Honor.

The next rape of the people who have to go to work every day to feed the kids, and keep a roof over their heads, will be the Federal bailout of the billionaire commercial real estate investors. The folks who own the malls and office buildings, and exchange them with their fellow billionaires on a regular basis, so as to pay less tax than most Americans, will be bailed out by you and your children. In normal times, they would have made enormous profits from rents. But, since their friends on Wall Street and in Congress got way too greedy and wrecked the economy, you and I will be forced to absorb their gargantuan losses. You wouldn't want them to give up those private jets, would you?
Don't expect a big public announcement of this one. Watch for some vanilla Internet release right before a National Holiday, or after some big disaster. And watch what they name the bailout. Thr Billionaire Building Owner Bailout? The Bad Banker Bailout Redux Act?
After all, you don't want MARTIAL LAW, do you Jim?

Wage I love you more and more with every post. Your post of earlier in the week just pushed me over the edge-I lost any shred of objectivity or self control that I had left. You are so wacky that you slay me. Please write more about farm animal rape. I felt so enriched by this, like a field covered with manure. This kind of shit just makes me stronger. And even if our romance fails, we could still go into the children's literature business: a whole line of Feminist Farirytales about evil male farm animals and heroic hens and ewes. Every liberal child from Vermont to California would have to have them along with "Heather Has Two Mommies (Not), and "King and King".

And I find your ineptitude as a gardner endearing; and your willingness to admit it, charming. You are obviously in need of a strong caveman's hand.

No, it wasn't me. If it was, you would have never gotten away. I would have slung you over my shoulder or better yet, dragged you by your long hair. Seriously though, I've done a bit of dancing and have encountered the same problem. Or even worse: one woman asked me to dance, and then spent the whole dance going backwards as if subconsciously tring to get away from me. And no, she didn't know my political views and I didn't do anything to offend. She was just that conflicted. Someone's got to lead-let it be the man. There is room in life for a bit of role flexibility, but couple dancing isn't one of them-at least not in a traditional setting like a bar in Montana.

Was Holmgren influenced by Mashoba Funokoku? And how do their methods relate?

Masanobu Fukuoka was a revolutionary philosopher disguised as a farmer who wrote "The One Straw Revolution," a foundational document for the permaculture movement. David Holmgren was deeply influenced by his work.

Permaculture was to some degree an expansion of Fukuoka's philosophy. More detailed and defined. Tens of thousands of people have studied it and applied it to their lives, achieving results from increased self-sufficiency to full-on mental paradigm shifts. I fall into the latter category.

And I have a feeling that result will increase as energy descent and permanent economic contraction take hold.

Qshtik said:

"Thanks Wage for this quote from your farmer's daughter friend. I hope Vlad and other dreamers will take note."

As has been pointed out in this very comment section, Jim's readership tends to be transitory. I believe there is a very good reason for this. I think Jim is one of the people we turn to when we first figure out that something is rotten in Denmark. After a while, one tends to drift in one of two directions. Either we piss and moan and stockpile weapons and ammo and gold and silver, or we get busy reinventing our economy along more realistic lines.

A lot of the prior tend to muck about late into the comments section here week after week. A lot of the latter get run off by a lot of the prior. And they don't usually mind since they have more productive and hopeful things to do anyway.

So please forgive us for trying to bring a little light to a dying world. Believe me, I don't usually spend this much time on this page. I much prefer to spend it getting on with the business at hand. But when folks ask me point-blank about permaculture I can't help but stick around.

And yes, one can, and lots do, grow a significant portion of their own food on a small piece of property. But more importantly, a tight-knit, resilient local economy can be crafted fairly quickly within this paradigm.

I feel bad that Wage's thumb is no greener than it is....

Tripp,

Thanks for sticking around and thanks for the good work you are doing in educating about permaculture. I agree that permaculture offers a positive, productive, and hopeful alternative to continually saying "we are fucked".

I do have a question you may be able to answer.

In a living-off-the-grid situation (half-acre with no well and no plumbing, and no access to running water), where you have to pack in five gallon containers of water from a river a mile away, will permaculture work?

How water intensive is permaculture? Can you successfully raise crops with a limited access to water?

One thing that we seem to forget is that only 70 years ago industrial farming didn't exist, and "organic" was the only option. Of course we didn't call it that, but that's a secondary matter.

Another item that tends to get glossed over is that western culture has been nose-down in the study of the natural world for the last few hundred years. We're not going to just lose that encyclopedic knowledge when we stop driving cars.

Soil cultivation was originally promoted in order to break soil into smaller fragments so that the little mouths on plant roots could more easily ingest them. How else would plants obtain nutrients? Needless to say, the most pedestrian mind in the west (no names) today knows full well that plant roots don't have mouths. Yet we cultivate...

Another little-known tidbit, humans actually grew 4-5" shorter, showed more skeletal stress, and lived briefer lives when we made the transition from foraging to agriculture 10,000 years ago. In some countries, despite substantial fossil energy subsidies in agriculture, they still haven't regained that loss (eg Turkey). Is this the common perception of hunting and gathering societies?

And this is just the tip of the iceburg. There are so many things we take as self-evident that just have no place in the 21st century. And definitely not in a contractionary paradigm. Every tenet that our society is based upon is being turned on its head as we begin to descend from the energy mountain.

Most of it long overdue and very welcome. I personally can't imagine a more interesting time to be alive, however rocky the short term might prove to be.

Tripp

Anyone who so comes to take my stores will be more desperate than I? More vicious than I? Better armed than I? Sure about any of that?

Oh and I do intend to cooperate: where I'm going patriots are thick on the ground. And yes, they are all White. From our White, Western Perspective, White is good and Dark is bad. I know that that's limited, but it's real and workable. You're assuming that the Blacks and Browns aren't thinking tribally too-which is very foolish on your part. That kind of thinking my friend, will be fatal once the Long Emergency really kicks in. I feel sorry for you proactively.

To my knowledge permaculture is the most conservative water use practice we have. It's actually one of the most important land-use aspects of the practice.

A friend of mine in the Bay Area of California likes to say, "Permaculture teaches running water how to walk." We can take runoff water that ordinarily takes 15 seconds to traverse a property and keep it on-site for upwards of two years. The best place to store water is in the soil. Elegant low tech solutions should become the norm.

As far as how many 5 gallon buckets one would have to carry a mile in order to live, whew!, what a predicament! I know that most permacultural literature suggests that you need 35" of precipitation in order to be completely free from a well. In eastern Washington we only get about 16", so that is a concern for me.

But I can also say, from my hands-on experience with permaculture, that the stewardship ethic of such a precious and life-giving resource will push you to conserve and reuse it to its maximum potential. Water capture and graywater recycling are heavily promoted in permaculture.

One of the biggest hurdles we face in my mind is the idea that stormwater is a "problem" that has to be rushed away as quickly and efficiently as possible. I worked in regulatory science for years, and it's a major part of our review. Our entire built environment is based on stormwater being a nuisance.

BUT, we also have this marvelous network of hard surfaces that can be retrofitted to steer water into gardens and aquaculture systems, saving immense amounts of groundwater. Remove the cars and the energy-sucking lawns and there's no reason why we can't turn our cities into resilient food forests.

Other than lack of imagination.

Of course, there are major settlements in places like Phoenix, and probably the entire greater southwest, that just won't support their numbers. I hope they figure that out in a timely fashion.

Good question!

Tripp

A follow-up question to this might be, if not permaculture, what system would you use? The crops, in one form or another, HAVE to be grown if we are to live. In the scheme of things, food is really all that matters. And I hope we can see that big monocultural ag practices and centralized distribution networks aren't going to persist indefinitely.

I humbly tender that permaculture is the most efficient use of available resources out there. Whatever the specifics of your domestic horror might be!

Tripp

Nothing: You say on your $0 bill page that, "People are self-interested little mammals. We wouldn't survive long in this hostile universe if we weren't."

Yet because life is so short, is it not rather imperative to love your neighbor as yourself?

Thanks for this little chat. As good a way to start a new year as any in my book. With plans of action.

I'll stop by with some pics next summer of my developing food forest in full swing, if you guys are still lurking about these halls. Yikes! I just tallied it up today, and I have $800 worth of new plant materials going in this spring! All are perennial, and all but three have human food value.

I used to hoard silver, but it makes a lousy stew...

Tripp

Thank you for answering Grendel. I have started Fukuoka's book and now Grendel knows what to read next.

Stockpiling stores, weapons, and metal does not contradict growing your own food. It just will enable you to keep what you grow. People who fail to take civil unrest into account are kidding themsleves. People who intend to farm in the cities next to Black or Brown neighborhoods are crazy.

I knew about the destructive effects of agriculture. But there were more of them and we could not defeat them in battle even though we towered above them in stature. Civilization so called, will only realize its potential when it replicates the individual freedom that hunter gatherers had. What they lacked was security: if the hunt failed, they starved. And of course, their numbers had to remain small. If we can just get back there but with some of the advantages of modern learning and technology, that would be optimum. But no one has this vision except a few Whites like you and me. We must protect ouselves if we are to survive and prosper. The Yellow Race cares nothing for individual freedom. And the Blacks and the Browns are just destroyers or servants of the two higher races. It's best if they are kept out all entirely.

The Turks have alot of Mongoloid Blood in them-their stature is naturally somewhat shorter than our's. But an increase in protein has given the modern Chinese and Japanese five or so inches to what they were before.

Oh yeah....FIRST!

I have a tribe called Nature. Anyone who wants to leave the trappings of the growth culture behind and join me in my reacquaintance with our proper place on this watery sphere is welcome. Regardless of outward appearance.

I agree with some of what you're saying obviously, but I humbly refer back to what Nature and human history always teach us so eloquently:

In ecosystems of steady or declining resources, biodiversity and symbiotic cooperation always increase. I think Earth 2010 qualifies.

(Look at Asoka's declining crime rate statistics.)

Peace to you all.
Tripp out.

Thanks, Tripp. I appreciate your reasonable and sane comments.

In response to your advice I'm thinking of two options: putting in a well, or, hooking up with an ecovillage (cohousing community) that already has a municipal connection to a water system. It sounds like the benefits of having a ready supply of water for permaculture would be much better than having to haul water from the nearest river.

Happy New Year to you!

And thanks again for sharing your experience and your permaculture wisdom.

Hi Thrill. I agree with you. I have long felt that JHK's one weakness is to try & put a time frame on things. As far as that goes it's no big deal as he is pretty correct in what he sees. Regards.

"As far as that goes it's no big deal as he is pretty correct in what he sees."
--------------------------

Sorry Cap, I can't agree with your statement. Just as LOCATION is everything in Real Estate WHEN is everything in predictions.

To All My Liberal Friends:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2010, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere .

Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wish.


To My Conservative Friends:
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Vlad/Grendel,
I'm thrilled that you are "both" reading Fukuoka.

And I'd be doubly thrilled if you read David Holmgren's book "Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability". Not the fastest read in the world, but a monumental work of wisdom and scientific insight nonetheless.

Following on your somewhat polarizing and devisive comments about racial superiority, I might also suggest Novella Carpenter's book, "Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer." Easy and engrossing memoir of her experiences farming in the ghetto in Oakland, CA.

That's fucking hilarious!

Mr. Kunstler predicts our terrible future.

Americans will have less money.
They will have to save rather than borrow and spend.
They will have to stay home more and work together.
Rely on each other rather than a bank account.
Look for value in consumption rather than flash.
Stay in their local communities because jobs are
unavailable in distant locations.
Support and strengthen local communities and families.
Stay out of the casinos and expensive restaurants.
Learn simpler pleasures.
Grow a garden. Learn canning. Eat vegetables.
Take care of their own health because they cannot
afford health care.
Buy quality nutritious food because they cannot
afford expensive junk food.
Walk or ride a bicycle rather than crank up a gas
guzzler.
Car pool, build mass transit systems.
Do more of their own physical work.
Lose weight.
Plan for their futures.
Get serious about education.
Use less energy.
Reform their political system to actually solve
problems rather than talk and put it off
until later.
Rely on themselves rather than depend on a
government unable to fix everything.
Quit building McMansions.
Husband resources rather than squandering them.
Expect less. Take less. Give more.
Go to the park rather than the mall.
Spend time with children.
Learn how to sew.
Fix their own cars and houses.
Get some tools,learn how to use them and take
care of them.
Make friends with the neighbors, share tasks and
resources. Look out for each other.
Get involved with the schools, go to PTA meetings.
Appreciate what they have.

This is our TERRIBLE FUTURE.


not mommy said: "See a pattern here? The higher up the food chain the more likely the entity is to act irresponsibly. Why? No accountability. You are too far removed from the "little people"."

So, do you put your money where your mouth is? Do you have your money in local, community-owned banks or local credit unions? Or do you have your money higher up the food chain in the big, "too-big-to-fail" big four banks?

MOVE YOUR MONEY
http://moveyourmoney.info/find-a-bank

In the United States, the "big four" banks hold 39 percent of all U.S. customer deposits (as of 2009), and consist of:

* Bank of America
* Citigroup
* JPMorgan Chase
* Wells Fargo

one woman asked me to dance, and then spent the whole dance going backwards as if subconsciously tring to get away from me .... and I didn't do anything to offend"
-----------------------

Did ya ever think maybe ... bad breath?

"To All My Liberal Friends:"
------------------------

One of the most politically correct statements ever conceived.


Top Ten Good News Stories from the Muslim World in 2009 that You Never Heard About

10. Saudi Arabia opened its first coeducational college campus, the King Abdullah Science and Technology University. In a country where the sexes have been so separated in public that some have spoken of 'gender Apartheid,' this move, which came from King Abdullah, provoked raging controversy. When a prominent cleric criticized having male and female students on the same campus and the teaching of modern scientific theories like Darwinism, the king summarily fired his ass. It may seem a small thing, but many big social processes start small. Most Americans forget that Princeton U. did not become coed until 1969.

9. Qatar is on track to average 7.5 percent per annum growth for the next few years. The natural gas giant is a cauldron of development activity. It permits Aljazeera satellite news to remain the most open and controversial media outlet in the Arab world. It is expanding the 'Education City' complex, in which many American universities maintain campuses, and which serves as a key educational hub for the Gulf and its region. (This robust expansion contrasts with the difficult times higher education is facing in Dubai).

8. A Pew Forum on Religion and Life poll finds that American Muslims are unusual in the degree to which they are integrated into mainstream American society and demonstrate moderate attitudes, condemning religious extremism and violence. They differ siegnificantly from the profile of Muslims in the UK and Germany, e.g, in these regards. (Muslims in the US are generally from higher class origins and are better educated and wealthier than is typically the case with European Muslims).

7. The information revolution is making strides in the Arab world. A University of Maryland Poll finds that "the use of the internet continued to grow, with 36% stating that they use the internet at least several times a week and only 38% stating that they never use the internet (compared with 52% in 2008).

6. Albania has averaged 10 percent a year growth for each of the last four years, and was the fastest-growing economy in Europe in 2009. It held elections in 2009, and although they were imperfect, an EU report described them [pdf] "as meeting most OSCE commitments," despite flaws. The European Union seems to be giving the country a nod in its application to join the EU. Albania has an especially aggressive government policy toward implementing alternative energy and wants to be the first green country in Europe. It depends heavily on thermal and hydroelectric plants (perhaps too heavily). Brussels concluded this year, "The government took measures towards the development of the sector by issuing licences for the construction of seven wind farms with a total installed capacity of about 1360 MW and one 140 MW biomass thermal power station." Albania, a country of 3.2 million, is 70-80% of Muslim heritage, but a majority of the country is non-religious. That is, these European Muslims are more secular than German, Spanish, Italian, Greek and Polish Christians.

5. The small Gulf oil monarchy of Kuwait took steps toward greater democracy and rule of law. Women were given the vote in 2005, and in the May parliamentary elections, 4 women were for the first time elected to the 50-seat parliament, and fundamentalists only gained 16 seats, down from 24 previously. As Greg Gause points out, in December parliament was allowed to go forward with a vote of no-confidence in the prime minister, which he survived. What is significant is that he is from the ruling Al-Sabah family and it had previously not been considered dignified to subject a high official from the family to such a vote.

4. Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country in the world at about 230 mn., had successful parliamentary elections in 2009, further consolidating the country's decade-old democracy. Secular parties did better this year, and support for Muslim fundamentalism dropped, both in the voting both and in opinion polls. President Barack Obama's enormous popularity in the country is credited by some observers for a sharp decline in approval of Muslim militancy. Indonesia has become the world's 19th largest economy, and it, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are the three Muslim-majority states in the G20.

3. Turkey, which averaged 5.8 percent a year economic growth between 2002 and 2008, was slowed but not devastated by the world's financial crisis. In these 6 years it has moved from being the world's 26th largest economy to being the 17th largest. It is on track to be the second fastest-growing economy in 2010, after South Korea, according to OECD projections. The democratically elected Justice and Development Party government continued to govern with considerable popularity. Despite severe tensions between Ankara and the Kurdish minority in the southeast, the ruling party took the bold step of pushing for more Kurdish rights.

2. Stability returned to Lebanon. Successful parliamentary elections, untainted by Syrian interference, were held in June, and a national unity government was formed in November after a lengthy negotiating process. The Lebanese army intervened forcefully and in a timely fashion to nip potential sectarian flare-ups in the bud. The 13,000 UN troops patrolling the south helped back the Lebanese army, and despite tensions with Israel on the part both of Palestinian militants and the Shiite Hizbullah militia, there was no significant clash on thbe southern border. Prime Minister Saad Hariri recently visited Damascus, building on earlier diplomacy by Maronite Catholic president Michel Suleiman, a former general, and reducing regional tensions. Lebanon is probably now about 70% Muslim if the children are counted. The year 2009 saw the return of musical and cultural festivals and the country of 4 million attracted 2 million tourists, the best year ever. Lebanon's banking and real estate sectors were slowed but by no means devastated by the global financial crisis, since they had adopted conservative investment policies as a result of bad experiences during the years of instability in the last quarter of the twentieth century. The country was on track to grow 6 percent in 2009, down from 8.5 percent in 2008. The brutal Israeli assault on Lebanon's economic infrastructure of summer, 2006, set the country back three decades, and it will take time fully to recover. But despite fragility and a few clashes and small bombings, it is fair to say that at the moment, your biggest problem in Beirut is that you can't get a timely reservation at the better restaurants.

1. A considerable proportion of the Iranian public resorted to concerted street and cultural protests against the stealing of the June presidential election by incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Crowds demanded popular sovereignty and democracy and condemned dictatorship. Among the largest demonstrations were held just last Sunday. It is the greatest political awakening in Iran for 30 years. (Well, OK, you heard about this one, but not as much last weekend as it deserved; the corporate media go on vacation from news at awkward times.)

SOURCE: http://www.juancole.com

"Do you have your money in local, community-owned banks or local credit unions?"
--------------------------

My money started out many years ago in a small local bank 7/10th miles from my home with adequate parking and competent help. After larger fish swallowing smaller fish too many times to remember my account still resides at the very same location with adequate parking and competent help but it is a Bank of America.

I clicked on the link of your post and entered my zip code in the box. One bank came up. It's in the middle of New Brunswick, NJ, has no parking lot and there's a drug dealer on every corner.

Ya got any other suggestions?

Excellent comment. Thank -you.

Tripp i would like to read more about your garden. Do you have a blog or website? i started my garden last year with pretty good results - i have laying hens too. Since i read your comments Ive been reading about Fuluokas approach and may try some aspects of it. I dont know about the japanese beetles...they cant be allowed to live. I pull them off by hand and drown them in soapy water.

Happy New Year to all.

Q said: "Ya got any other suggestions?"

Yes, I do. You say you need a parking lot and you are afraid of areas with drug dealers.

1) You may have to enter the 21st century and drop the parking lot. Try online banking. Payments can be made online (saving stamps and envelopes). Deposits, such as social security, can also be made electronically.

2) If you like stamps and envelopes, the USPS offers excellent service. Using USPS means you avoid any contact with drug dealers.

3) Telephones are available for personal consultation to receive individualized competence service.

4) I don't know exactly where you are in New Jersey, but you can use another option to locate community banks and credit unions near you:

Go to the Independent Community Bankers of America site and do a zip-code search. Or, if you’re interested in credit unions, go to Credit Unions National Association and do a zip-code search.

Then go to BankRate.com and see how it rates the banks or credit unions you’re interested in.

Or, you could just stay with Bank of America... but you lose your bitching rights about government bank bailouts, or outrageous financial practices of big banks, since you are supporting them by contributing your money to their operations.

If you want to break the hold the BIG BANKS and Wall Street have over our financial system, move your money. Look for a credit union in New Jersey.

Credit unions will give you money in the way of dividends, because you and other members “own” the bank”.

Does Bank of America give you dividends? Why keep your money there?

"I dont know about the japanese beetles...they cant be allowed to live. I pull them off by hand and drown them in soapy water."
----------------------------

There's a lot of people in certain religions who'll have a problem with this ... like my wife's cousin Paulette in Denver. She'd be horrified. I shit you not. That beetle might be somebody's Granny reincarnated don't ya know.

Q said: "There's a lot of people in certain religions who'll have a problem with this ... like my wife's cousin Paulette in Denver. She'd be horrified. I shit you not."

There are a lot of people who have problems with killing infants. They'd be horrified by infanticide. I shit you not.

Others feel an infant is not a person until they are 30 days old and defend infanticide.

http://www.equip.org/articles/peter-singer-s-bold-defense-of-infanticide

So, don't make fun of sensitivity to beetle murder. It seems you have the same problem when it comes to killing infants.

Sustainable.
Interesting word.

Growth.
Growth is good?

More people, more streets, more buildings, more,
more, more.

Animals get in the way, they die.

People get in the way they get moved.

We want it, you got it, let's fight.

At one time wolves and weather were the enemy.

Now the enemy is us, ourselves. Competition for
resources.

Your baby WILL HAVE TO fight my baby.

How about Replacement Laws. Worldwide. Each person can replace themselves. One man, one woman, two babies. Some people will have none.
Population will shrink. THATS SUSTAINABLE.

What's the alternative? 9 billion in 50 years.
Better teach your baby how to shoot.

Your grandchildren will thank you.

Best thing for the US is to declare neutrality like
Switzerland.

We gain 20% maybe by disbanding the military.

The big army cannot stop terrorist attacks. Can't
even catch Bin Laden. Waste of time.

Nobody attacks Switzerland.

Japan got zip for military. Nobody attacks them.

We still have the subs. Enough to vaporize anybody.

The Sleazeballs are using American boys and girls
to take over the entire Middle East. They
make war profits, oil profits, opium profits
while your children die. (And a lot of
Muslim Children)

They Wave the Flag every day on the TV. Claiming
we are there for "Democracy"

"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel"
quote Samuel Johnson

Have you seen the bases and embassies they are
building?

They do not plan to leave.

They assassinate anybody who resists. Create civil wars. Bring the population to it's knees.
Set up Puppet governments. Make sure the Opium
fields are flowering. Yes. That Corrupt. Yes.
Lying to you. Every day. You can't believe it
because you aren't like that. They are.

Turn off the TV. Check out the websites. Think.

Your Real Enemy is not in Baghdad or Kabul.

Your Real Enemies are in Washington and New York.

Your children will pay the price.

This ain't Monday Night Football.

Who jacked the price of houses to the moon by lending cheap to anybody? While making obscene profits? Who will now pick up these same assets
for pennies after foreclosure?

Who went after the Taliban when they shut down Opium production?

Who told you Saddam had Nukes?

Who gets Bailout Billions while you can't find a
job?

Who is telling you Iran is building a nuke when
the UN International Atomic Energy Agency says
they are not.(go to their website)e

Who jacked the price of gas to 5 dollars a gallon
by speculating in the markets for profit?

Connect the dots.

Stop by the 9/ll websites. Who toppled the buildings?

You ain't in Kansas anymore Dorothy.



"Yes, I do. You say you need a parking lot and you are afraid of areas with drug dealers."
-----------------------------

Soak, I guess I have to pretend that you're not pretending to play dumb ............. again.

First, my question: "Ya got any other suggestions?" is not intended literally. It's rhetorical and flippant. I have no intention of getting aboard any bandwagon to cure the ills of the world, whether real or imagined. And unless you're really dense, after reading my posts for the past six months, you know this is my position.

Be that as it may, I clicked on your link for the hell of it to see what bank(s) might come up and got the one I told you about. But the truth is I'm way ahead of you on all this bank stuff. In Sept '08 when the shit hit the fan I took a much closer look at my banking arrangements than I might otherwise.

Despite the fact that I do virtually all my banking on-line: bill-pay, direct deposit of SS checks, pension checks, state and federal tax refunds, etc. there are still occasions I need to go to the bank in person. Short story ... I have doped out about every angle I could think of comparing B of A with other potential banks and there is no incentive to switch. I pay zero monthly bank fees, no ATM charges, I have a large and long-established home equity line of credit should I ever need it (which is unlikely), my checking balance earns interest (as miniscule and shitty as it is) ... you get the picture.

If you think your exhortation for everybody to yank their money from the big four banksters is going to bring them down you are as delusional as Vlad is about sitting on his porch in Montana with his rifles and dog Himmler listening to the crackpot Horst Wessel Lied.

But, lets really play pretend (like when Jerry the Clown said we should all sell our stock on Oct 23rd and bring down Wall St) and say you cause B of A's bankruptcy. Well, that should just about put an end to the FDIC which is already broke and who knows where that might lead.

Let's wrap this up ... what ever I do I do for the sake of 'ol # one and his family. I leave the hard work of curing the world's ills to dreamers like you.

Redou said: "The big army cannot stop terrorist attacks. Can't even catch Bin Laden. Waste of time. Nobody attacks Switzerland. Japan got zip for military. Nobody attacks them."

Costa Rica eliminated its military in 1949 and invested in education, transportation, health, etc. Nobody attacks them.

Yes, of course we should eliminate our useless and counterproductive military because the military is producing more terrorists than they are killing.

Terrorists will continue to increase all over the world due to our military occupying Muslim countries.

And spending all those billions and billions of dollars on military might did not stop an attack on the USA during the Bush/Cheney administration.

You are right. It is a waste of money.

OK Redou, enough with the bullet-speak already. It gets annoying after awhile.

I wish all you paranoid grand-conspiracy folks ("Stop by the 9/ll websites. Who toppled the buildings?") would find an empty church basement somewhere to talk things out, like in AA, and leave us sane folks alone.

You are changing the meaning of the word tribe. Ok, I'll go with it to begin with. Nature is diverse and divisive. Things are what they are because they're not something else. The different things compete for resources. Yes there is cooperation too, but that's mostly intraspecies not inter. Face is, Nature is more like Capitalism than it is Socialism, Kropotkin be damned.

So let's go closer in and start application. What do we see? That two species cannot occupy the same niche in the same ecosystem. Look at the horrors that Oriental Species are causing in North America! And their human counterparts will do the same if allowed. The New World Order seeks to break the World into economic regions-Australia has been declared "Asian". And they seek to make it so. The Whites are being swamped by alien immigration. If they do not stop it, they are doomed.

An old Animal Analogy: before people understood environmentalism, they consciously did some real bad things. One bird watcher and Shakespeare enthusiast wanted to have all the birds in Shakespeare in America. His actions are still reverberating. The Wrens he released in Central Park were all over New York City within a year. To the edge of Long Island within five. In Ohio within ten. And to the West Coast in twenty five.

A doddering English Lord found the Grey Squrirel of America charming, so he got some for his estate. The aggresive Grays have totally overmatched the shy native Red Squirel. It may well be heading for exctinction. Likewise, look at the South Asians swarming into Britain. The English are slated to be lower class drudges and ultimately to be miscegenated out of existence-unless they throw off the evil cult of Multiculturalism. And you dare talk about "being divisive"? Nature is divisive. Everyone knows that excpet Whites. Only Whites, the most cerebral race, would be so silly as to let themselves be dispossesed as we are doing. Yes, this sentimentality and excessive cerebrality is a genetic weakness-so in that sense we are clearly inferior to other races, particularly the East Asians who are both down to earth and highly intelligent.

As for Blacks, what can one say? The less said the better really. They are an alien sub species to us-even more different genetically than the East Asians. They are probably more different to us than the Chimps are to the Bonobos. Would a Bonobo Community have much chance of thriving if put next to a Chimp one? No, it would not. Sir get a grip. Have some compassion on yourself on your loved ones and stop the nonsense about Blacks being able to fit into either this current Culture or anyone that might emerge after the Fall. Their crime rates are out of this world and they destroy every place they go. Their record in public school is atrocious. Yet Liberals in Education accept blame and call each other racist rather than face the fact about Blacks and Browns. American Education is a slow motion disaster. Watch and learn if you can't learn any other way.

Why do you want to know? Could be it that you have compassion for the White Minority being oppressed by the Black Majority-particularly the Boer Farmers who are routinely assaulted and killed. Or is just more of your desire for gossip, Eleanor Roosevelt's lowest type of knowledge? You really are just a monkey trying to get as many bananas as you can. And Rice! (money)

Well Vlad reads, Grendel glowers. But he knows everything Vlad does but not vice versa. So I listen to him with great respect. John Gardner's "Grendel", the Beowulf Legend from the Monster's point of view.

So that's the big book? Great. I like to know the Source Text when I get into something new-even if I have to work up to it. Thanks again.

Sorry, but the Oakland example just doesn't wash. Sure you can go near or even in some Black Neighborhoods NOW, at least during the daytime. But things will be different when TSHTF. As for the crops, yeah they might leave them alone right now since McDonald's is still open. But after the Mickey D's closes and the Supremarkets have been pillaged? C'mon guy get real. Our urban Blacks typically don't know where food comes from. But rural Blacks do and so do Haitians and the Brown People from Central America. All those people might steal crops even before our Blacks do because they know about food. And of course, Whites might steal too. Alot of people will steal, even otherwise decent people, if they get hungry enough. Catastrophe brings out the best and worst in people. It shows what's hidden inside. I know what inside ghetto Blacks and Mexicans and I aint sticking around to suffer from it. I suggest you alter your plans if you are in harm's way.

"Why do you want to know?"
--------------------

It's just more of my desire for gossip, ER's lowest type of knowledge.

Sooo ... is your connection with the Boer's of the flesh or merely in spirit?

OK Redou, enough with the bullet-speak already. It gets annoying after awhile.

I wish all you paranoid grand-conspiracy folks ("Stop by the 9/ll websites. Who toppled the buildings?") would find an empty church basement somewhere to talk things out, like in AA, and leave us sane folks alone.

1) "Bullet-Speak" I like that.

2) I'm switching to Number-Speak. Hope you like it better.

3) I've met a number of lucid folks at AA meetings. At least they know they have a problem and are trying to
change. Unlike those Drunk on power and Profit.

4) Why is your Official conspiracy theory any better than my (and Thousands of others who have taken the time
to look into it) unofficial conspiracy theory?

5) Remember Vietnam. Every night on TV. Body bags. Explosions. Flag draped caskets. Footage from the Front.
Right from the Jungle. Now it's Audie Murphy movies every night. Support our troops. Footage from the
front is Sanitized. The absence of something is as telling as the presence.

6) Nobody has much problem believing Bush - Iraq - Oil. Afghan heroin is worth five times Iraqui oil every year.
Don't take my word. Check DEA and other websites. Kilo on the street versus gallon at the pump. They did
the same thing in Southeast Asia in the 60's and early 70's. What else has Afghanistan got that men in suits
want? No paper trail. Financing for lots of adventures. Laundered thru Mainstream banks at 30% with NO
Taxes. The Afghan farmer feeding his kids gets a pittance.

7) Conspiracy? No. Multiple players constantly changing seats at the table. Acting in self - interest.
The Middle Class gets the bill. Poor darker skinned people die. Been going on for centuries. Only the
electronics are new.

Redou, I'm not familiar with your name, are you new around here? About a month ago Kunstler couldn't take it* anymore and banished some guy.

*bullshit conspiracy lunacy

You wouldn't be the same guy back under a new name would you?

As I read items 4 thru 7 I'm inclined to say "Yeah, and your point?" You got a beef with the state of the world, go fix it. Join up with Asoka. He's persistant as hell - I'll give him that. Maybe start a vegetable patch like Tripp or pull your money outta the big banks like Asoka (who actually doesn't have any money) will make you feel better. Or how 'bout target practice with Vlad?

Q said: "find an empty church basement somewhere to talk things out, like in AA"

You asked for my suggestions and I gave you several alternatives. Did you do the investigation so you can move your money out of Bank of America?

Did you find a credit union in New Jersey?

Maybe you don't know just how bad Bank of America is about abusing its customers. (I used to be a BoA customer and I moved my money.

Check out this site:

http://stopbankabuse.com/

Or maybe you don't care about abuse since you worked in the defense industry which abuses taxpayers and you enjoyed Dubai, where workers have their passports taken and suffer abuse.

If you want to walk your talk,

Move Your Money
http://moveyourmoney.info/

"You got a beef with the state of the world, go fix it."

Not the state of the world. State of the American
State. Price our kids will pay for loss of a free press. Orwellian nightmare perpetrated by the
self serving "Elite". Been stable for 200 years
due to large middle class. Middle Class bleeding
off both ends. Gov't promising security. Those
who trade freedom for security will end up with
neither. Ashamed my country acting like Brits
former empire. Look up Opium War when Brits made
China take Opium. US been doing economic imperialism for a long time but now using Military
to force it on poor people. Over a million dead
Iraqis. Maybe doesn't bother you.

I don't know how to fix it.

New Jersey has 225 credit unions with one million members and $9.6 Billion in assets. I'm sure you can find one near you.

http://www.creditunionsonline.com/credit-unions-new-jersey.html

Members of credit unions are owners and receive dividends. Bank of America doesn't pay dividends to clients with credit union accounts.

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) estimates that New Jersey credit unions provided $71,812,460 in direct financial benefits to the state’s 1,133,646 members during the twelve months ending December 2008. These benefits are equivalent to $63 per member or $120 per member household.

Do you get $120 in dividend payments from Bank of America for having your money there?

Move your money
http://moveyourmoney.info

Correction: Bank of America doesn't pay dividends to clients with Bank of America accounts.

Jimbo, it's old-- very old-- this anti-tattoo nonsense. It means nothing in the larger picture, yet you throw it into every essay as if it were some proven axiom that tattoos inevitably lead to societal failure. What bunk.

To those who mouth such pithy judgements of tattoos as "why would any self-respecting person deface their body like that?" Are you similarly outraged when you hear a boy baby has been the victim of genital mutilation in the first days of his life? Do you lose all respect for the parents, probably not tattooed, who are your friends, coworkers, and family members when you learn they have committed this crime against the body of their own children? At least an adult getting a tattoo is deciding of his or her own free will to participate.

My 2010 prediction: Jimbo's doom-saying will be shown, for the nth year in a row, to be utterly off-base except when pointing out the obvious. As a prognosticator he is worthless. As a social commentator, even more so.


Vlad and whomever: have you read "Man of the Future" by Loren Eiseley? Thoughts?

http://ranprieur.com/readings/futureman.html

Hi Qshtik: It depends on what you're trying to do with the information. If you are trying to make money in the stock market, knowing when things are gonna change would be important. For myself, most of the things I do are long term and not dependent on knowing the exact timing of an event. This is just me, however, and it may not work for the next person. I guess it just depends on how you plan to use the information. Regards to you.

I like artistic tattoos and cute little butterfly tattoos.

I don't like neo-nazi and hate tattoos.

And, I am outraged when people circumcise their newborns. It is a sign of ignorance and brutality.

Asoka posted an article about killing newborns, which he thinks is wrong. But mutilating them?

Not a word about that.

Vlad Krantz.

Scary bugger that one !! Thanks for living in America.

Yes...see SOLARI.COM to connect the dots from govt to running the printing presses to the narco terrorists in our midst!

also JHK:
' other story elements in the oil drama have remained on track to make our lives more difficult'

ANOTHER CHINA FACT THIS WEEK,,,IN 2009 IT FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY BOUGHT MORE NEW CARS THEN USA.

'The US will continue BAU until the interest bill on debt outweighs the govs ability to service it. This could take 10 years, maybe only 5.'

Whats BAU? tell us more..

the Beef Industry sued Ophrah for her ' i lost me appetite for beef' comment but how about this!

Ammonia-Treated Pink Slime Now in Most U.S. Ground Beef
By Jennifer Poole, Daily Kos
Posted on January 1, 2010, Printed on January 2, 2010
http://www.alternet.org/story/144904/

You're not going to believe what you've been eating the last few years (thanks, Bush! thanks meat industry lobbyists!) when you eat a McDonald's burger (or the hamburger patties in kids' school lunches) or buy conventional ground meat at your supermarket:

According to today's New York Times, The "majority of hamburger" now sold in the U.S. now contains fatty slaughterhouse trimmings "the industry once relegated to pet food and cooking oil," "typically including most of the material from the outer surfaces of the carcass" that contains "larger microbiological populations."

This "nasty pink slime," as one FDA microbiologist called it, is now wrung in a centrifuge to remove the fat, and then treated with AMMONIA to "retard spoilage," and turned into "a mashlike substance frozen into blocks or chips".

Thus saving THREE CENTS a pound off production costs. And making the company, Beef Products Inc., a fortune. $440 million/year in revenue. Ain't that something?

jennifer poole's diary :: ::

And to emphasize: this pink slime isn't just in fast food burgers or free lunches for poor kids:

With the U.S.D.A.’s stamp of approval, the company’s processed beef has become a mainstay in America’s hamburgers. McDonald’s, Burger King and other fast-food giants use it as a component in ground beef, as do grocery chains. The federal school lunch program used an estimated 5.5 million pounds of the processed beef last year alone.

Bush's U.S.D.A. also allowed these "innovators" to get away with listing the ammonia as "a processing agent" instead of by name. And they also OKd the processing method -- and later exempted the hamburger from routine testing of meat sold to the general public -- strictly based on the company's claims of safety, which were not backed by any independent testing.

Because the ammonia taste was so bad ("It was frozen, but you could still smell ammonia," said Dr. Charles Tant, a Georgia agriculture department official. "I’ve never seen anything like it.") the company started using a less alkaline ammonia treatment, and now we know -- thanks to testing done for the school lunch program -- that the nasty stuff isn't even reliably killing the pathogens.

But government and industry records obtained by The New York Times show that in testing for the school lunch program, E. coli and salmonella pathogens have been found dozens of times in Beef Products meat, challenging claims by the company and the U.S.D.A. about the effectiveness of the treatment. Since 2005, E. coli has been found 3 times and salmonella 48 times, including back-to-back incidents in August in which two 27,000-pound batches were found to be contaminated. The meat was caught before reaching lunch-rooms trays.

In July, school lunch officials temporarily banned their hamburger makers from using meat from a Beef Products facility in Kansas because of salmonella — the third suspension in three years, records show. Yet the facility remained approved by the U.S.D.A. for other customers.

Presented by The Times with the school lunch test results, top [U.S.D.A.] department officials said they were not aware of what their colleagues in the lunch program had been finding for years.

The New York Times article today has a rather innocuous headline, "Safety of beef processing method is questioned."

I'd say this quote from the U.S.D.A. department microbiologist, Gerald Zirnstein, who called the processed beef "pink slime" in a 2002 e-mail message to colleagues, represents the situation better: "I do not consider the stuff to be ground beef, and I consider allowing it in ground beef to be a form of fraudulent labeling."

I've been thinking about an action item on this issue, and I've got three ideas: a. write Michelle Obama through this web form: http://www.whitehouse.gov/... or snail mail: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500; 2. print out the NY Times article and give it to the manager of your local supermarket, and ask them if they sell any kind of ground beef that doesn't contain this "pink slime" or if their butchers will grind meat fresh for you; 3. just stop buying the damned stuff altogether.


© 2010 Daily Kos All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/144904/

Let's see, where do I begin?

1. Go back and read my post of 10:21 last night. Either you missed it, you're ignoring it or just continuing to play dumb.

2. The "empty church basement" quote you used from one of my posts was directed to Redou and had to do with lunatic conspiracy theories, not B of A. Why you chose to lead off your reply with that quote is beyond me.

3. You asked "Did you find a credit union in New Jersey?" My sister-in-law has been on the board of a credit union for 13 years. Last fall I reviewed possible advantages of making a switch (even though it's 44 miles from my home). I was particularly interested in their CD rates since I had a B of A CD maturing. Short story - no advantage. And BTW I discovered that my sister-in-law's grasp of even basic finance was laughably naive. I would hyperbolize it as: She is the empty-headed type woman who is shocked to receive a notice that she's bounced a check since there are still unused checks in her checkbook. (Note: I am only exaggerating slightly.) Her financial situation is an utter disaster. She never learned rule #1 which would solve the problems of 99.9% of the population if they had simply adopted it at an early age: SPEND LESS THAN YOU EARN Another thing, her position on the board is unpaid. She does it for two reasons: (1) a self-esteem booster (she is never amongst a crowd of people where she cannot find a reason to drop the fact that she is on the Board of Directors of a Credit Union). (2) although not "paid" for whatever it is she does on the board, the whole board goes off at least once a year on a lavish, all-expenses-paid (including spouses) vacation (the Greek Isles, an Alaskan cruise, etc.)

4. Asoka sez: "I used to be a BoA customer and I moved my money." Q responds: Since you are a person with no family, no job, no mortgage and who has pauperized himself to the point where he doesn't pay any taxes I suspect your banking needs are about equivalent to those little savings accounts that do-gooder parents start off for their children with an initial deposit of $10.

5. I looked at your anti-BoA link ... what a hoot! Here is an excerpt: We need volunteers in ALL major cities to donate one/two hours a week or one/two hours a month in front of your favorite Bank of America branch to help draw attention to our boycott and hopefully make this a viral movement. As of Feb 01 2009 we currently have around 40 persons around the country looking to picket their local branch this Spring. Eleven months later and I've never passed a BoA with any picketing protestors. But this seems like something right up your alley Asoka. You don't work so you've got plenty of time on your hands to drive BoA into bankruptcy for the good of the country.

6. About those other "bank abuses" like outrageous fees, absurdly high credit card interest rates, etc ..... ya know what I do? ... I reconcile my checkbook to the penny every month and have, without fucking fail, since I was 17 years old. Thus I always know my balance and have never, ever bounced a check. Thus, no overdraft charges. I pay my credit cards 100% every month so I don't particularly care if they've jacked up the rate to 31% or whatever. I've fucked up a couple of times and cut the on-line credit card payment a little too close so I wound up with a $29 late fee. I called them up, raised a bitch, and they waived it. This is another tidbit I've tried to instill in my kids ... don't take these abuses lying down. Call up and complain and almost invariably they'll waive a fee.

Case closed on the vile banksters ... you're gonna hafta shut them down without my assistance.

"Are you similarly outraged when you hear a boy baby has been the victim of genital mutilation in the first days of his life?"

Yes, I am. Check out this site:
http://www.nocirc.org

I'm also outraged by female mutilation in America and think it is indefensible that parents poke holes in their girl children ears.

I'm also against parents tattooing their kids.
http://www.kveo.com/news/woman-arrested-tattooing-children

"Not the state of the world. State of the American
State. Price our kids will pay for loss of a free press."
---------------------------

WOW, that didn't take long. You're already back to using bullet-speak. I'm partial to complete sentences (one of the reasons the hash served up by Asia drives me nuts) and there's not one till the very end where you say "I don't know how to fix it." One thing I learned in the business world was never to tell my boss about some problem without having a suggested solution or two to correct it. We can talk more when you've got a plan. If it's a good plan I'll assign you and Asoka to go execute it.

Q said: "One thing I learned in the business world was never to tell my boss about some problem without having a suggested solution or two to correct it. We can talk more when you've got a plan. If it's a good plan I'll assign you and Asoka to go execute it."

Here's a plan: learn to write with correct sentence construction.

Avoid passive verbs. Use active verbs.

Offset introductory clauses with a comma.

Omit unnecessary words.

I'm assigning you the task of reading Strunk and White's Elements of Style.

You ask, "Was Franklin Roosevelt really much more than an affable presence on the radio in a dark time that had to take its course and was only resolved by a global convulsion that left the USA standing in a smoldering field of prostrate losers?"

Are you kidding? YES. FDR really was much more than an "affable presence." Reconstitution of a Hamiltonian credit system lies among the valuable lessons to be learned from FDR's experience. His transformation of Hoover's Resolution Finance Corporation (the TARP of the time) into a virtual National Bank is most valuable study at this presently defining moment when the credibility of financial capitalism is being destroyed (I would submit this is being done purposely for the sake of destroying the profound social benefits and protections made available through the organizational power offered and effected by sovereign nation states).

In fact, I believe anything raising the American citizenry's awareness of their political roots (Alexander Hamilton v. Adam Smith) will serve to subdue violence you (and I) fear. In this light here is one thing to bear in mind: there are only slightly over 500 representatives in Congress who need be on the same page. With that, anything's possible. Per the likes who today lack manners and capacity to "speak a discernible variant of regular English," these too still share a common culture of values with all, for everyone needs to eat and an act of kindness can bridge any language barrier. (The so called "thugs and louts," though, do need watching. These are potential Brown Shirts of a nasty political variety.)

Sovereign debt, although problematic and threatening waves of sovereign defaults, in no way, shape or form is "the new sub-prime." The power of taxation, along with the power to effect the economy's productive growth, separates sovereign nations from sub-prime borrowers. By a mile!

Per "making money work" in 2010, what about ETFs tracking major indexes whose value increases when prices fall? I'd stay away from sector plays. Stick with ETFs on the broad measures.

Quite agree with the hyper-inflationary blowout possibility. In this case stockpile necessities if you can. It can't hurt.

The issue with hydro-carbon based energy is in fact a blessing in disguise. This presents a cause for a massive build out of nuclear energy production as well as the hydrogen economy (cheaply produced via cheap nuclear power). Bottom line premise here (whether or not you agree with "peak oil") is the continued use of hydro-carbon based energy to fuel transportation is just plain stupid, all things considered, whereas build out of the hydrogen-based economy supported by nuclear energy offers promise to solve most, if not all, pressing social, economic and financial problems we presently are facing.

I so disagree that, "The sad truth of the matter is that we face the need to fundamentally restructure the way we live and what we do in North America, and probably along the lines of much more modest expectations, and with very different practical arrangements in everything from the very nature of work to household configurations, transportation, farming, capital formation, and the shape-and-scale of our settlements." The MINUTE we drop our expectations, then all there is to being American is lost.

My suggestion is go outside on a clear night, look up into the sky and see all the energy around us. Energy, obviously, is key to maintaining expectations. So, look around. Energy is abundant!!!

"Walkable communities" are nice, but they're not necessary when your fundamental premise is the fact that, energy is incredibly abundant, but waiting creative intellect to harness it.

Per the possibility of "oil prices ... [going] down again in response to crippled economies," maybe not (and this in spite of crippled economies). Were the current trend of unabated credit creation to continue, then the very fact economies are crippled likely will mean fewer places for excess credit to go. Thus, capital might make its way into crude. (This would be a function of the growing risk of a hyper-inflationary blowout.) Quite agree with "the potential for oil scarcities." This stands to be a function of some form of trade war precipitated by the current trend of unabated credit creation facilitating conditions wherein capital relentlessly seeks return.

The idea of food shortages is just plain frightening. I do not doubt the possibility with so much of production having succumbed to "just in time" operational mentality. Food production is rather an area where we ought be operating strictly on a basis of seeking profound surplus.

The problem of the dollar is so easily solved. A global treaty arrangement facilitating sovereign credit systems (geared toward providing long-term financing to capital-intensive, productivity-enhancing infrastructure investments) and fixed exchange rates (following a bankruptcy reorganization of the current imperial monetarist system) is the certain direction we need go.

Sooooo agree with the need to "seriously investigate [and] prosecute financial crimes." Nothing hoping to restore credibility of finance providers (including the U.S. Treasury) will stick without this. The greatest dilemma facing capitalism is the loss of credibility suffered as a consequence of wildcat finance gone haywire.

Tiny Tim? "God help us, every one?" Did Geithner say that? (LOL)

Thanks for the interesting rebuttal of my ideas. Like all modern liberals, you are a waste of space. Why don't give your chemicals back to the ecosystem?

Can you tell us what it's about? I read some of his essays-he's a great writer. I loved the one where he thought this Peasant girl in France was almost a full blood Neanderthal.

Thank you for acknowldging your veniality and failure as a human being. In retun: no I'm not a Boer.

Got the best of that deal!

"I'm assigning you the task of reading Strunk and White's Elements of Style."
=======================

The correct title is The Elements of Style. I read it 25-30 years ago. The problem is in remembering and applying its advice. Plus, I never was very good at grammar, the parts of speech, parsing sentences, etc. I'm more like a musician who can't read music ... I write by ear.

Over the years I've come to the view that the advice in the "little book" applies mainly to business writing (particularly the brevity thing) but not necessarily to literature. David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest (1079 pgs in the paperback) probably violates every rule in Elements yet it is an obvious work of genius. Steven King has his own rules one of which is to never use an adverb ending in ly. That seems nuts to me but then who has sold more books, Q or King?

Soooo ... which pisses you off more: my writing style or the fact that I would presume to hand you an assignment?


Q said: "Soooo ... which pisses you off more: my writing style or the fact that I would presume to hand you an assignment?"

Neither. I'm just playing and enjoying.

Happy New Year!

To Itchy Monkey and others interested in the dicussion of tattoos and Circumcision ....

The Jews, or whoever (whomever?) it was that began the practice of circumcision, did not do so for the purpose of torturing infants. I am fairly certain they had some other legitimate reasons. I googled "benefits of circumcision" and found this link among many others:

http://www.circinfo.net/benefits_outweigh_the_risks.html

There was a guy who used to post here under the handle UrbanUnderclass. He seemed to get really steamed up whenever Kunstler put down tattoos. I added my two cents essentially on Kunstler's side. Now I have stumbled upon a more difinitive coverage of the topic in David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. It runs from page 205 thru 211. I recommend it and the entire book.

You mean the Hebrews, or the Israelites, not the Jews. "Jews" is a post-exilic name dating from the time of Ezra.

Circumcision probably did not begin as a ritual involving infants, but as a prenuptual apotropaic rite (an apotropaion is a measure taken to ward off evil).

According to the historian Herodotus, circumcision was practised by all the peoples of Palestine, save the Philistines.

As a female, and a visual creature; I am rather grateful for the barbarian practice of circumcision. Tattoos are repulsive. But who gives an F what I think. Happy New Year!

"You mean the Hebrews, or the Israelites, not the Jews. "Jews" is a post-exilic name dating from the time of Ezra."
========================

OK Marty, I defer to your pedantry.

What I'm saying - and I don't know this for a fact although it makes perfect sense - is that they probably noticed that the head of the dick with the fiveskin* still on was a problem disease-wise so they cut it off (the skin, not the head of the dick) and lo and behold problem solved. Then, as with everything else in life, they turned it into a ritual (called bris, brith or brit - take your pick) where some guy called a Mohel (rhymes with oil) could make a pretty good living at it and have the stature in the community roughly equal to a CPA. Then the Christians practically turned it into a national holiday - The Feast of the Circumcision (kind of a yucky name when you think about it).

*the dick appeared longer with the fiveskin still on and shorter after it was cut off so then they re-named it the fourskin ... makes sense right?

oakley says: "I am rather grateful..."

Are you also OK with removal of the female clitoris?

An area of "normal" skin the size of a quarter (U.S. 25-cent piece) contains more than 12 feet (3.66m) of nerves and over 50 nerve endings.

At least 15 U.S. quarters can fit upon the area of tissue represented by an average adult foreskin.

Infant circumcision likely deprives the adult male of about 240 feet (73.2m) of nerves and over 1,000 nerve endings. Since Dr. Taylor's research suggests that the foreskin is more densely nerve-laden than "normal" skin, a circumcised man likely loses many times more than 1,000 nerve endings.

Being grateful that males lose permanently the possibility of full sexual pleasure is kind of sick.

WARNING: GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATIONS
http://www.noharmm.org/snip.htm

While this may be more anecdotal than empirical, looks to me like most circumcised men have managed to soldier on despite missing 1000 nerve endings. I do not think this is analogous with clitorectomies btw; the intention being quite different; female circumcision is largely about control.

If an aversion to the sheathed makes me sick, well, so be it, Asoka.

@ohkay: "I'd add that we're increasingly terrified of losing our ever-crappier jobs, we're confused, and we're poorly informed by the "liberal" media. The middle class is being "had."

We're a nation of spectators, watching our government and corporations create their own Potemkin reality."

Amen, and well said. 2010 sounds like a perfect time to end the political voyeurism and start earning back the Republic.

From the above link and this one:

http://discovermagazine.com/2009/the-brain-2/28-what-happened-to-hominids-who-were-smarter-than-us

it would imply that cranial capacity is no gaurantee of survival. Intelligence {if this is implied or can be inferred} without common sense, as exhibited in some sectors of human society, is a poor measure of aptitude when it comes to shouldering your way through the crowd occupied with watching the lightening and waiting on the storm to pass. You have to learn to dance in the rain.

oakley, incredibly, said: "I do not think this is analogous with clitorectomies btw; the intention being quite different; female circumcision is largely about control."

The intention is what matters to you? What about the reality of the results?

We are talking about victims of female clitorectomies and male circumcisions. No informed consent is given in most cases for either procedures.

Does it not matter that in both cases the victims are denied full sexual pleasure for their entire adult lives?

Clitorectomies and circumcisions are permanent operations and both mutilate human genitalia. Yet you think one is OK and the other is not.

You are simply confirming that your attitude is perverted, sick, and inhumane.

You equate killing Japanese Beetles with killing infants. You are sick. As usual, you disease stems from your inability to discriminate in hierarchical fashion. An infant is a higher form of life than a Japanese Beetle. If you were consistent with your absolutization, you would not be able eat vegetarian since vegtables are alive or could give birth to future life. Indeed, Jain Monks have something of this vision, and consider starving themselves to death the highest act possible.

Jaego said: "You equate killing Japanese Beetles with killing infants. You are sick."

Yes, I am sick. I recognize that I am sick. My feeling is that recognizing one's sickness is the first step toward recovering health.

And I have tried to be consistent with my absolutization. For four months I became a strict fruitarian. By eating only fruits I was not killing any vegetables or animals.

I failed, due to my sickness, to continue the fruitarian regimen.

What is your point?

Sure you're right Quiz Dic. I've seen one of these demonstrations or something like it: the Blacks want things to go back to the way they were-loans for houses that they can't afford which they then renege upon. In some case, they probably had no intention of paying. Ditto for the Mexicans-including Illegals. Indeed the Federal Goverment made the banks lend to unqualified minorities. This is obviously not the whole story of the Crash, but it may well be the straw the broke the camel's back.

Did you study anything about Muslim Economics during your recent trip to Dubai? Traditionally, they are forbidden to charge interest on loans. Is there anything left to this practice that you could see, even as a pretence? One is reminded that Christians considered usury a sin, usury being considered excessive interest. Some interest was allowed on some types of loans, but the interest rate was fixed. The Jews of course were exempt and started becoming the money masters even way back in the late Middle Ages in some places. Exceptions are ruinous in the long run.

Asoka is also an apologist for Obama, who thinks, and voted for a bill that states, a fetus that survives an abortion should be left to die because that was the intention of the mother (to use the term loosely). So, you know, incredulity is a common reaction around here.

My point: stop killing babies or giving support to those who do-abortionists. One charming story about the non-equality of things comes from Srimad Bhagavatam. The little boy Krishna was eating dirt. His mother Yasoda told him to stop it. Krishna tried to defend his actions saying that everything was one. Yasoda told him that the form of things mattered-even if everything is in some sense ultimately One.

Aristotle had the same idea at least about the Physical Universe (he thought there was more a la Plato) Unlike Democritus and the Atomists, he didn't necessarily believe there was an ultimate particle; in any case he said it was unknowable. What "mattered" was how the particle or particles were arranged-the Form. And this of course connected him with his master Plato but also with modern science-much more so than Plato himself can be connected in fact. We know that it's the way the atoms are connected, the shape, the form that determines what the substance becomes-the molecule. You can have hydorogen and oxygen but if you don't put them together in the right proportion you don't have water.

So renounce your frutarianism-it's fanatical. There was an alleged Black Breatharian back in the 70's who was caught in a Kentucky Fried Chicken! Eat good vegetarian food if you like, knowing that all embodied life is a compromise: we can't live without causing death if only the bacteria our immune system has to kill. This is why the Krisnas offer up even their vegatarian food to Krisna-to take the sin out.

And if you perist in such fanaticism, you will grow weak and be unable to protest and serve your community. Karma Yoga takes strength. Purity of motive trumphs purity of body even in the case of a balanced healthy vegetarian diet.

Thoreau loved simplicity and simplified his diet down to just cabbage or something like that. People think that this regime brought on his latent TB which was the big killer back then. People tried to warn him saying where are you going to get your strength from. He would point to a work horse and reply "Where does he get his strength from"? But they were right: people aren't horses and cannot use grass like a horse can. Nor are we designed to thrive as well as they do on a very simple diet of one or two items.

I don't fully understand the supposed strictures against loaning with interest in the Muslim world (and the Jews have, or had at one time, similar strictures) but my impression is that there are so many loopholes as to make it merely perfunctory. Surely Abu Dahbi expects to receive something more than a return of principle on their recent $10B bailout of Dubai World even if it isn't in the form of cash.

BTW, thanks for saying I was right about something (whatever it was I'm not sure), that's a first.

Q said to Jaego: "BTW, thanks for saying I was right about something (whatever it was I'm not sure), that's a first."

I make such outrageous statements that I am able to unite oakley, jaego and Q into agreeing.

You are welcome, Q.

Yes, now I remember. I read it long ago and was facscinated and I still am. But I never these findings validated anywhere else, and I thought it might just have been a false alarm. In any case, by the time I got to college, any real interpretation of Physical Anthopology was verboten. Boas and the Jews totally took over the field with their "Cultural Anthropology". All Cultures are equal exept the Western which is inferior. One of the last great exponents, Carlton Coon was humiliated by the American Society of Anthropologists-of which he was the president. They censored his new book as "racist". He then asked how many had actually read it. Only a couple of hands went up. He resigned on the spot. While he was gallivanting around the world doing research and having adventures (a real life Indiana Jones), Boas was politicking and the Great Foundantions were funding the "New Anthropology".

Anyway I'm gratified to find out that Boskone Man was real. God knows what it means though. Truly we Whites would have destroyed them if we came across them. Probably the ancestors of the Bushmen, who used to be much larger, finished them off. The Bushmen are now classified as a separate race from the Blacks however. And they were displaced themselves by the invading Bantus. And Whites are now being displaced by everyone. Just read a great quote over on the Vault (www.vault-blogspot.com) "Modern Westerners are Eloi who watch Porn". That about says it all.

The best thing for us would be to try to get back to that ancient European Type called Cro Magnon. They were large, well formed men who had a larger cranial capacity than we do now. After that, let God let Nature evolve us as He will.

How do you reconcile Evolution with Christianity and the Garden of Eden? Some think that God let the Primates evolve and then ensouled the most perfect forms among them. In any case, the Liberals certainly don't have any answers that make sense. They would deny any superiority to Homo Sapiens from Homo Habilis who had a capacity of about 500cc. And since we are all genus Homo, we could have mated with these ape men. Everyone is the same to these fools-thus the horror of miscegenation. The whole of the twentieth century was dominated by the revolt of the under men or Morlocks (Eloi and Morlocks were the two races in H.G Well future fantasy "The Time Machine")

Well, it seems we're having a pissing contest. This isn't what I wanted.

I should have worded my comment differently so as to not look like I was point scoring. My intention was to show that circumcision has its origins in a muddle of superstition. Modern-day efforts to give it a gloss of scientific respectability are rationalizations after the fact. Even if it could be shown that the peoples of the Near East made a serendipitous medical discovery, it was not, by their own account, the reason for its practice.

Trying to reconcile Abraham's covenant with his god wherein the foreskins of his sons would confer title deeds to parcels of land with modern medical prophylaxis is an instance of squaring the circle.

The result is what we have today: an alliance between ancient tribal conceits and bad medical practice, which is what routine circumcision – "in case" a boy-child might get a problem with his willy – is. Read James LeFanu's The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine to find out why general prophylaxis, in this case involving blunt trauma to a newborn, is exploitative medicine.

Jim, don't know if you scan the comments down this far, but I wanted to let you know that I reread your 2010 predictions post tonight and believe you did a fine job. It probably won't pan out exactly as you say, but how the Hell does anyone really know?

The basics are there, you covered them. I polled a few friends and friends of friends this holiday season, and they know, Jim, they have figured it out, at least the "we're all screwed and Obama is a liar" part. My sampling was small, but it covered everyone from Ph.D.s to high school-trade school types. Americans are not as dumb as commonly believed.

Anyway, sorry for the delay, but I read your post the first time so early in the AM on Monday that I was zombied out almost as bad a Dale, your old cornucopian commentor that would always disparages predictions and then ends by making some of his own, LOL.

Also, ignore 10th Jager/Johnny Rico, it's obvious he's having women problems and it is clearly affecting both his brains. Not mommy/OEO, OTOH, speaks wisdom and should be listened to. It's amazing he provides his services to CFN for free.

Hey PHUCME...,

Re your handle ... back in 1993 I tried to get a vanity plate for my car that read PHUKEWE but they nixed it.

"looks to me like most circumcised men have managed to soldier on despite missing 1000 nerve endings."
=========================

Oak, I didn't want this subject of circumcision to peter out (pun intended) without telling you that I got a big laugh out of your soldier on image.

A related piece of trivia:

When I was a kid my Mom used to make "cream dried beef on toast" for breakfast once in awile. It was fairly common on diner menus in the South Jersey/Philly area but it has virtually disappeared. When my H.S. chum, Rick, entered the navy right out of school he informed me that that dish was served aboard ship and went by the name "foreskins on toast."

Q said: "My sister-in-law has been on the board of a credit union for 13 years. ... I discovered that my sister-in-law's grasp of even basic finance was laughably naive."

Did your sister-in-law manage to get her credit union into such financial straits that it required a multi-billion dollar bailout, like BofA needed?

Do those on the Board of the credit union transfer wealth to themselves from earnings, like BofA does?

Does your sister accept million dollar bonuses from the credit union, like BofA officials do?

Sounds to me like your sister-in-law runs a tight ship and has more financial saavy than BofA.

Finishing your post with a quote from a Dickens character is very appropriate. These are neo-Dickensian Hard Times.

"Did your sister-in-law manage to get her credit union into such financial straits that it required a multi-billion dollar bailout, like BofA needed?"

No, but on a personal level my s-i-l is perpetually a hair's-breadth from bankruptcy
==================================

"Do those on the Board of the credit union transfer wealth to themselves from earnings, like BofA does?"

Yes, all expense paid lavish vacations as described earlier. Whether they do other stuff like take loans from the CU at below market rates I would have no way of knowing.
================================

"Does your sister accept million dollar bonuses from the credit union, like BofA officials do?"

She should be so lucky.


Well partly I agreed with you against Asoka-which isn't saying much since Asoka is pretty much wrong about everything all the time. Even when he's right, it's usually for the wrong reasons and always part of some larger superstructure of wrongness. In particular, you think his bank protest in nonsense for the simple reason that people have been irresponsible. And that I agree with-it's the consumer end of the crash. The other side of the equation, goverment and banks are more wrong however and in many different ways. For one thing, an ancient psychological principle: the People will copy what the Great do. If the Great live beyond their means, so will the ordinary people-especially when they are actually enabled and even encouraged to do it. The welfare mentality ties into this. Privledges and special aid quickly become rights to people. And minorities expect to be helped in all ways-up to having Goverment buy them homes. And there is such a thing as predatory lending. Money is a drug, like cocaine and many people can't handle it. Giving credit cards to college kids away from home for the first time is criminal.

The Jews had legal limitations on loans to each other, not to Gentiles. Like the gypsies, they epitomize in group/out group morality. I wonder if the Muslims have a similar set up. In general they do in terms of Law, but they have never been known as bankers for Non-Muslims.

The Church recommended another type of system in which money was never allowed to make money by itself but only in relation to real goods and services. For example, when the New World was opening up, a merchant might get a loan from the banking houses of Venice or Genoa, but return on the loan was dependant on how the trip went. If the ships were sunk or come back half empty-the banks might get nothing. In other words, they were partners. Thus money was kept close to the actual world-kept productive in other words.

Our modern system of loaning money into existence or fiat currency, deficit spending, and fractional reserve banking are the exact opposites of all this-and exactly what people like Aquinas, and some of the modern Popes were trying to avoid. What this sytem may lack in flexibility it makes up for in reality. Certainly if we had this or something like it, half the World's economy wouldn't be fake, or the hallucinated economy as Mr Kunstler puts it. It's a game of musical chairs with only chairs for half the kids circling around. There's going to be alot of kids sitting on the ground pretty soon.

Jaego said: "Asoka is pretty much wrong about everything all the time. Even when he's right, it's usually for the wrong reasons and always part of some larger superstructure of wrongness."

Everyone should take note of this and either skip Asoka's posts altogether, or read them with a grain of salt.

Asoka is stupid and wrong all the time.

And Asoka admits openly that he knows nothing.

This is Asoka speaking.

So everyone who need to eat shares the same values? Pure sophistry. Empires comprised to divese peoples are unstable and break up. These diverse peoples have different values and the Society cannot gratify conflicting value systems. Whites value independence and fiscal responsibility-at least they used to. But Blacks and Browns are into being taken care of. There is a very deep conflict here. If things were to continue, with Whites being pushed out of careers by ourtsourcing and insourcing Asains and Mexicans, Whites would be reduced to serfs serving the Welfare Class and fighting in the Empries's wars.

So from my White perspective, the sooner the break up happens, the better.

Very good, the paradox of the Cretan Liar. By admitting your are wrong all the time, you are claiming you are right all the time. This also satisfies your masochism, which is also, as Robert Anton Wislon said, a way to win by losing. To understand and use the paradox of the Cretan Liar you IQ is well above normal-even in White Terms. If you are doing this unconsciously, then you are even more messed up than I thought-and you better become conscous of it. This kind of thing does sabotage relationships by the way.

I don't think and never thought, that you were dumb. But rather I think and I've always thought that you are very confused because your neurosis prevents clear thinking.

Are you prepared then to renounce all efforts at fruitarianism, raw foodism, and breathariainism? To stop torturing your body for misguided spiritual reasons? To accept that eating is inevitably a form of violence howerver subtle? To realize that life in this world is thus profoundly and inextricably flawed and will be until the Kingdom Age or in Hindu Terms, the next Satya Yuga-which may be very near. To therefore, accept your sinful humanity or the paradox of a spirit living in an animal body? And therefore realize the only way to eat in peace is to offer up the food to God who will accept the sin of it? And once realizing this, are you willing and prepared to do it? If not, are you willing to examine your motives so as to ascertain why the hell not?

Thank you for this opportunity to preach-I preach to myself simultaneously. Jai Ram.

Qshtik, you mention that your mother used to make "creamed dried beef on toast".

Interesting, my mother served the same thing, and I still make it often for myself. I have a few packages of dried beef always just so I can have it.. I like it, and it's a sentimental thing. "Sh-- on a shingle," I believe military guys called it. My mother also had about 150 things to do with hamburger to make a pound stretch to several meals, and the variations on chicken and eggs were endless. Shepard's pies from hamburger, onion-burgers (mix hamburger with onion soup mix) and sloppy joes and a few dozen other casseroles and such made with hamburger or tuna, were staples in our household.

The best cuisines in the world were developed by women who had to do a lot with very little. French provincial cooking, for example, is very thrifty. and you never saw people do so much with eggs. It also emphasizes methods of cooking that use little fuel.

We call chipped beef on toast a ghetto recipe. My moms best GR was creamed tuna with egg over toast. I loved it. Im sure we'll get a chance to experience this cuisine once again soon. Im surprised foreskins aren't served up as an aphrodisiac like tiger bones or rhino horns. If the libs thought they could get stem cells off of them they'd be stripping little boys like green saplings.

"Modern Westerners are Eloi who watch Porn".

You will have to help me with this?

As to the other; you would need to review some of Lloyd Pye's stuff to get the theory, but I think there were two "creations" spoken of in Genesis. The original being eons older than the latter. Basically: this is a garden planet and God can "set out" new flora nad fauna at his discretion. Pye's treatment of the cheetah, and it's complete lack of forerunners, comes to mind. Just boom, and there it is.

Evolution is confused with adaptation, extinction and dare we say, gene manipulation. If fallen angels can do these things it's a cinch their Creator can.

The other possibility concerning the Boskone is they were simply stranded here, and did their best to survive, apparently unsuccessfully. Or, their genes were spread out until they are now unrecognizable. Either way, intelligence alone, or the ability to "live in the mind" without your feet on the ground would seem to be of limited value.

www.lloydpye.com
www.starchildproject.com

Jaego asks: "Are you prepared then to renounce all efforts at fruitarianism, raw foodism, and breathariainism? To stop torturing your body for misguided spiritual reasons? To accept that eating is inevitably a form of violence howerver subtle? To realize that life in this world is thus profoundly and inextricably flawed and will be until the Kingdom Age or in Hindu Terms, the next Satya Yuga-which may be very near."

No, I am not ready to renounce non-violence or to accept "eating is inevitably a form of violence" ... those are your opinions, perhaps derived from your weakness.

We are much nearer Satya-Yuga than you think.

The Black race is in the lead in both of these areas, as the non-violent civil rights movement successfully demonstrated.

Leading the way in the arena of eating are Black leaders like Dick Gregory.

During the "Dick Gregory's Zero Nutrition Fasting Experiment" he lived on a gallon of water and prayer for 70 days at Dillard University's Flint-Goodridge Hospital.

Upon its completion, he demonstrated his good health by walking and jogging the 100 miles between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The fast indicated that the body can prolong the time it can go without food.

http://www.answers.com/topic/dick-gregory

Blacks are a superior race, ethically and physically, but have been dealt a blow by the depraved White penchant for slavery and murder, and the endless white separatist discrimination and segregation, which has forced Blacks into poverty and crime.

But we will triumph. We will show Whites that love, and integration, and peace, and harmony between the races, are possible in the new Satya-Yuga.

Hey Oakley,
I almost missed this post; glad I caught it. No, I don't have my blog ready for prime time yet, but I'm working on it. Please do read Fukuoka!

In the meantime I've attached a few shots of my garden last season at Flickr, David Matthews style. I converted my entire front lawn to vegetables. The neighbors actually love it, although I think they thought I was a bit nuts at first! Now they know for sure!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/45300880@N05/sets/72157623134141548/

In true indigenous milpa style, you may see a few small fruit trees popping up among the vegetables. Indigenous agroforestry systems are probably the most misunderstood (and both productive and ecologically sound) food system in human history....I learned about them as "slash and burn" in school. What a slap in the face. I can only hope to learn some of what they knew.

Tripp

This is an article on the genius of indigenous American food systems, by Toby Hemenway, author of "Gaia's Garden," which I can't recommend highly enough for anyone interested in creating gardens that will work if/when our economy breaks down.

http://patternliteracy.com/beyondwilderness.html

One more way our European bias has given us a false superiority complex. We don't even know what ecologically-sound gardens look like...

(Any of the articles on his website are VERY worth reading. Particularly "Is Sustainable Agriculture an Oxymoron?" Mind bending.)

Tripp

Here Jaego or whomever now. From Nietzsche on race. the master.

http://www.protevi.com/john/Foucault/index.html

N uses "race" in both a descriptive and prescriptive (honorific) sense. In the former sense, "race" is roughly equivalent to nation, people, etc. In the latter sense, "racehood" is earned over time, by
means of centuries or even millennia of sustained acculturation. The "races" that he praises are praised because they are self-fashioned and self-regulated. The model here is the "Greeks" of the tragic age, who comprise any number of ethnicities from the greater Mediterranean-Adriatic-Ionian region. In short, a "race" in the prescriptive sense is made, not born. As a consequence, the only meaningful sense of "racial purity" pertains not to "blood," but exclusively to the institutions of acculturation that are responsible for the self-fashioning of the race. To "breed" a race is to impose upon a loose aggregate of peoples, tribes, nations, etc. a single principle of order and organization. This is why N hates the anti-Semites, who believe that racehood can be earned and maintained merely by attending to one's mating partners (i.e., blood descent).
At the bottom of all this is some kind of quasi-physicalist ontology of forces. The role of the great

diogen,
I just found your post asking me about my permaculture garden, layout, plant selection, etc.

I don't have anything like that for my specific garden, but there are plenty of resources on permaculture design out there. Search permaculture on YouTube, read any of a number of good Pc books, including those I've mentioned in previous posts, read some of Toby Hemenway's stuff at www.patternliteracy.com. One good book on specifics is, "Earth User's Guide to Permaculture," by Rosemary Morrow.

I'll try to get my blog published this gardening season so those interested can drop by and check on the progress of my food forest.

Thanks for the interest!

hey Vlad see my post on race at the end.

Hey Tripp,

A friend recommended this book, but it's a bit pricey, so I wondered if you are familiar with it and would recommend it.

Edible Forest Gardens: Ecological Vision, Theory For Temperate Climate Permaculture by Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier

If Whites are that depraved, it is in your best interest to get away from us. The kind of attitude you are showing here is common Black street level bravado. And it is motivated by hatred and it leads to violence. No spiritual superiority here at all. And your desperate attempt to avoid eating like a normal person is pride pure and simple. The Bhagavad Gita would call it austerities in the mode of ignorance.

Omigod, I am appalled at Oakley so blithely dismissing the pain and suffering of infant boys, cause she likes the way it looks.

Sure, in our culture, we are accustomed to the cut look, and prefer the look of a butchered flaccid penis to an intact one.

So? When they're erect, it's pretty much the same, and who needs a flaccid one anyway?

Men in this culture prefer the look of female feet stuffed into 1/2 toes and 4 inch heels. Do you wear those Oakley?

As a female, I must say that I would never subject millions of infant boys to pain and suffering because they're so much cuter cut.

Just so you know that not all women are jerks.

Plus, Oakley, not to pick on you, but if you have hens, why drown your Japanese Beetles in soapy water?

I shake them down into clear water and then give them to my chickens.

That there is free chicken food.

You'd really have to read H.G Well's "Time Machine" or see the movie (old version is best) to appreciate the reference. The world has degenerated into two races-the Aristocratic Eloi and the Worker, Morlocks. Both have become caricatures of humanity. The Eloi are beautiful, do nothing weaklings. The Morlock strong, vicious monsters. Both races are utterly stupid, but the Eloi even more so.

I'll have to check those links out. The cheetah thing is true though. They have a bizarre lack of genetic variation in their species, like someone just crossed a greyhound with a leopard and then put them down.

Offhand this sounds a little like what Pastor Robert Miles believed-in an ancient war between the Good Angels and the Evil Angels fought both on the Earth and beyond. He said his view was compatible with although more complex than regular Identity. And he asked his people not to talk about it in front of Identity Folks to avoid needless misunderstanding.

Don't worry about my brown thumb, Trip.

I've decided it's all a matter of perspective.

It's like stocks. Dividends? Not necessary. Just owning it is enough.

I have an orchard and a garden. So I don't get dividends. Big deal. It's appreciating in value.

And I have had good luck with asparagus and Jerusalem artichokes.

I've read Wells' Time Machine. Being one of the "latter posters" is indicative of contemplation rather than instigation, as alleged. I thought the Morlocs were simply farming the Eloi, so it would follow that "porn", as used, was training for breeding purposes.

I'm not aware of R. Miles. Further consideration:

http://saturniancosmology.org/intro.php

Your assumption that I am a "Modern liberal" is about as accurate as the rest of your ramblings. Rarely have I read such a collection of sad twisted attitudes as those spawned by you.
A tip for you, enable spell check before submitting.

Hey Asoka,
I haven't read that one yet but it's on my list. I know the authors are established and respected in the permaculture community though.

Permaculture books do tend to be a bit pricey, but they are equally nutrient dense. And as of now, still appeal to a rather limited audience.

That will probably change soon.

Messi,
I guess you can add me to the "latter commenters" lineup this week. I'd say that it's because a subject very near and dear to my heart is being discussed, but I doubt that's any different than what keeps anyone else here after hours.

I've just seen a lot of bilious rantings on this blog as the discussion wears on. And hey, I've even caught some pretty messed up verbage from you personally.

No offense taken nor indeed intended.

Wage,
I meant no offense. You're way ahead of most. Just sounds to me like it needs to click together somehow. Do you sheet mulch? Do you use nurse, scaffold, and chaperone plants? Ever tried any of the products from Fungi Perfecti?

I use a lot of dynamic nutrient accululators in my garden - comfrey, alfalfa, borage, buckwheat, chives, fennel, garlic, lemon balm, lupine, mustards, etc, - all with multiple purposes of course, as is permaculture's way. I also try to mimic natural ecosystem succession by planting N-fixers, nurses, and scaffolds early on too. The Eleagnus genus is hard to beat for nitrogen fixing, tart, tasty fruit, and companioning for larger trees.

Vlad would like Eleagnus. Some folks consider some of them invasive. Very fascist way to view Nature in my opinion. He'd dig that.

Tripp out.

Here's the thing, Trip. The first year I moved here I had an incredibly abundant garden. Then every year since it's been worse.

Clearly I'm doing something wrong. But I don't know what.

I did check my soil and the nitrogen was low. How can that be? I have chicken, goat and horse manure that I apply liberally.

I do sheet mulch, but that's about it. I tried turning over weeds last spring as sort of a green manure that I didn't actually plant thing. To increase the nitrogen.

I have an animal problem. All the aforementioned, plus rabbits and deer. This year I plan to garden in a chainlink enclosure that we put up last year. I've dumped newspaper, cardboard, leaves and manure on it.

We'll see.

Thanks for your encouragement and advice. I do try every year, but some things get by me.

Hands down, the dumbest thing I've read in a good while.

Oil off the coast of NY? No, aint gonna happen. More likely to discover oil on the moon.

I helped put together a list of possible solutions various people have suggested to the current socio-economic crisis here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jobless_recovery

The paragraph there at the moment: "Dealing with a jobless recovery presents global society with some difficult choices about values and identity. A straightforward way to keep the current scarcity-based economic system going in the face of the "threat" of abundance (and limited demand) resulting in a related jobless recovery is to use things like endless low-level war, perpetual schooling, expanded prisons, increased competition, and excessive bureaucracy to provide any amount of make-work jobs to soak up the abundance from high-technology (as well as to take any amount of people off the streets in various ways). That seems to be the main path that the USA and other countries have been going down so far, perhaps unintentionally. Alternatively, there are a range of other options to chose from, whether moving towards a gift economy, a resource-based economy, a basic income economy, or strong local communitarian economies, and to some extent, the USA and other countries have also been pursuing these options as well, but in a less coherent way. Ultimately, the approaches taken to move beyond a jobless recovery (either by creating jobs or by learning to live happily without them) involves political choices that will reflect national and global values, priorities, identities, and aspirations."


http://www.pretty-tiffany.com/product/tiffany-ten-row-chain-heart-bracelet-sterling-silver.htmltiffany sterling silver
http://www.happytiffany.com/Tiffany/Tiffany-Necklaces.htmlTiffany Necklaces
http://www.hottiffanyshop.com/Tiffany/Tiffany-Bracelets.htmlsilver tiffany bracelet


http://www.happytiffany.com/Tiffany/Tiffany-Necklaces.htmlTiffany Necklace
http://www.hottiffanyshop.com/tiffany/tiffany-ring.htmltiffany silver
http://www.pretty-tiffany.com/Tiffany/tiffany-ring.htmlTiffany Rings

http://www.happytiffany.com/Tiffany/index.htmltiffany silver
http://www.pretty-tiffany.com/Tiffany/Tiffany-Necklaces.htmltiffany silver necklaces
http://www.hottiffanyshop.com/Tiffany/Tiffany-Necklaces.htmltiffany silver necklaces
http://www.pretty-tiffany.com/Tiffany/Tiffany-Earrings.htmlTiffany Earrings
http://www.pretty-tiffany.com/Tiffany/Tiffany-Earrings.htmltiffany earring
http://www.pretty-tiffany.com/Tiffany/Tiffany-Earrings.htmltiffany silver rings
http://www.pretty-tiffany.com/Tiffany/Tiffany-Earrings.htmldangle tiffany earrings
http://www.pretty-tiffany.com/Tiffany/Tiffany-Earrings.htmlfashion tiffany earrings
http://www.pretty-tiffany.com/Tiffany/tiffany-ring.htmltiffany ring
http://www.pretty-tiffany.com/Tiffany/tiffany-ring.htmlTiffany Rings
http://www.pretty-tiffany.com/Tiffany/tiffany-ring.htmlcheap tiffany engagement rings
http://www.pretty-tiffany.com/Tiffany/tiffany-ring.htmldiscount tiffany engagement rings
http://www.pandorajewelrycom.com/pandora-bracelets-c-2.htmlDiscount Pandora Bracelets
http://www.pandorajewelrycom.com/pandora-bracelets-c-2.htmlcheap Pandora Bracelets
http://www.pandorajewelrycom.com/pandora-bracelets-c-2.htmllatest Pandora jewelry
http://www.pandorajewelrycom.com/pandora-bracelets-c-2.htmlpandora Bracelets
http://www.louisvuittonluxury.com/anya-hindarmarch-handbags-c-

9.htmlAnyaHindMarchHandbags
http://www.louisvuittonluxury.com/anya-hindarmarch-handbags-c-

9.htmlAnyaHindMarchbags
http://www.louisvuittonluxury.com/anya-hindarmarch-handbags-c-

9.htmlauthenticAnyaHindmarchhandbag
http://www.hottiffanyshop.com/Tiffany/Tiffany-Charms.htmlTiffany & Co. Charms
http://www.hottiffanyshop.com/Tiffany/Tiffany-Charms.htmlSilver Charms for Sale
http://www.hottiffanyshop.com/Tiffany/Tiffany-Necklaces.htmlTiffany Necklace
http://www.hottiffanyshop.com/Tiffany/Tiffany-Necklaces.htmlTiffany Necklaces
http://www.hottiffanyshop.com/Tiffany/Tiffany-Necklaces.htmlWholesale tiffany Necklaces
http://www.happytiffany.com/Tiffany/Tiffany-Bracelets.htmltiffany silver bracelet
http://www.happytiffany.com/Tiffany/Tiffany-Bracelets.htmlWholesale tiffany

Bracelets
http://www.happytiffany.com/Tiffany/Tiffany-Bracelets.htmlTiffany & Co. Bracelets
http://www.happytiffany.com/Tiffany/Tiffany-Earrings.htmlTiffany Earrings
http://www.happytiffany.com/Tiffany/Tiffany-Earrings.htmldangle tiffany earrings
http://www.happytiffany.com/Tiffany/Tiffany-Earrings.htmlfashion tiffany earrings
http://www.happytiffany.com/Tiffany/Tiffany-Earrings.htmltiffany earring
http://www.happytiffany.com/Tiffany/Tiffany-Earrings.htmlTiffany & Co Earrings
http://www.happytiffany.com/Tiffany/Tiffany-Earrings.htmlWholesale tiffany

Earrings

http://www.happytiffany.com/Tiffany/Tiffany-Necklaces.htmlTiffany & Co Necklaces
http://www.hottiffanyshop.com/Tiffany/Tiffany-Necklaces.htmlTiffany & Co. Necklaces
http://www.pretty-tiffany.com/Tiffany/Tiffany_Sets.htmlTiffany Sets

http://www.happytiffany.com/tiffany sterling silver
http://www.pretty-tiffany.com/product/tiffany-ten-row-chain-heart-bracelet-sterling-silver.htmltiffany sterling silver
http://www.hottiffanyshop.com/Tiffany/Tiffany-Bracelets.htmlTiffany Accessories
http://www.pretty-tiffany.com/Tiffany/mens-tiffany.htmltiffany bracelet
http://www.pretty-tiffany.com/Tiffany/mens-necklaces.htmlmens tiffany necklaces
http://www.pretty-tiffany.com/Tiffany/mens-necklaces.htmltiffany pendants
http://www.pretty-tiffany.com/Tiffany/mens-rings.htmlmens tiffany ring
http://www.pretty-tiffany.com/Tiffany/mens-rings.htmlMens Tiffany Rings
http://www.pretty-tiffany.com/Tiffany/tiffany-pendant.htmltiffany pendents
http://www.pretty-tiffany.com/Tiffany/tiffany-pendant.htmltiffany pendant
http://www.pretty-tiffany.com/Tiffany/tiffany-pendant.htmlTiffany Pendants
http://www.pretty-tiffany.com/Tiffany/tiffany-pendant.htmlTiffany Charms
http://www.pandorajewelrycom.com/pandora-earring-c-5.htmlcheap Pandora earrings
http://www.pandorajewelrycom.com/pandora-earring-c-5.htmlPandora earrings
http://www.pandorajewelrycom.com/pandora-earring-c-5.htmlDiscount Pandora earrings


http://www.pandorajewelrycom.com/pandora-necklaces-c-1.htmlDiscount Pandora Necklaces
http://www.pandorajewelrycom.com/pandora-necklaces-c-1.htmlcheap Pandora Necklaces
http://www.pandorajewelrycom.com/pandora-necklaces-c-1.htmlPandora necklaces
http://www.pandorajewelrycom.com/pandora-necklaces-c-1.htmlPandora Match Necklaces
http://www.pandorajewelrycom.com/pandora-necklaces-c-1.htmlPandora Pendants

As long as the Federal Reserve sells bonds and exists in general we will be in perpetual debt. END THE FED.

http://www.lookoutbailbonds.com
http://www.federatedbailbonds.com


For a complete list of books by James Howard Kunstler and purchase links, click here.

   

     

     

 
You are currently viewing an archived version of this website because you have arrived through an older link. To view the current version of this site, please click the home link.