Where Have We Been; Where Are We Going?


     Driving down the broad avenues of Cleveland, Ohio, was like flipping through the pages of a picture book about the rise and fall of our industrial empire. Where demolitions had not removed things -- a lot was gone -- stood the residue of a society so different from ours that you felt momentarily transported to another planet where a different race of beings had gone about their business. 
     Among the qualities most visible in the recent ruins of that lost society is the secure confidence expressed in its buildings. Even the most modest factory or business establishment built before the 20th century included decorations and motifs devised for no other reason but to be beautiful -- towers, swags, medallions, cartouches -- as if to state we are joined proudly in a great enterprise to make good things happen in this world. This was true not just of Cleveland, of course, but the whole nation, for a while anyway. 
     Equally arresting are the changes visible in the collective demeanor from the mid-20th century, especially after the Second World War, when the adolescent panache of a rising economy had morphed into the grinding force of a place devoted to the production of anything. The memory of the Great Depression lingered like a metabolic disorder, and the spirit of the place was no longer caught up in the muscular exuberance of self-discovery but the sheer determination to stay powerful and alive. This phase didn't last long.
     By the 1970s, signs of a new illness were clear. Production was moving someplace else, incomes and household security with it. An existential pall settled over the city as ominous symptoms of waning vitality showed up in the organs of production. Steel-making and car-making staggered. Even the Cuyahoga river caught on fire, as if fate was a practical joke. Major retail was moving elsewhere -- to the suburban outlands -- where so many of the people who worked in the downtown towers had already fled. The population that remained in the city center was made of recently uprooted agricultural quasi-serfs who had only just come up to the city a generation before to make better livings in the factories that were all of a sudden shutting down. It seemed like a kind of swindle and they were understandably angry about it.
      These days, reading what remains of the city by the lake -- like so many other cities on the lakes and big rivers of the USA heartland -- you see a place outfitted for different obsolete pasts with almost no sense of a plausible future. Most of the efforts directed at "economic development" in our industrial cities have been aimed at recapturing those pasts, and it is not surprising that they uniformly fail, because we are not going back there. We could conceivably take ourselves toward futures to be proud of, but they are not likely to be the kind of futures we are so busy projecting in our techno-grandiose fantasies about machine "singularities."
     Being an actualist, I'm in favor of getting real about things, and the reality we've entered is one of comprehensive contraction, especially for our cities. One of the reasons places like Cleveland (and Detroit, and Milwaukee, and St Louis, and Kansas City....) continue to fail in their redevelopment efforts is because they are already too big. They became overgrown organisms a while ago, unsuited to the realities of the future -- especially the energy resource realities of the future -- and they have tried everything except consciously contracting into smaller, finer, denser, differently-scaled organisms. In fact, the trend up until the so-called housing bubble of recent years was to just keep on expanding ever outward beyond the suburban frontier, which left our cities in a condition like imploded death-stars -- cold and inert at the center, with debris speeding uselessly outward to an unreachable infinity.
      This future we're entering, which I call the long emergency, compels us to imagine our society differently. Our cities and towns exist where they do because they occupy important sites. Cleveland is where a significant river empties into the world's greatest inland sea (which has the additional amazing benefit of being fresh water). Some human settlement will continue to be there, very probably a place of consequence, but it will not be run under the same circumstances that produced, for instance, the civic center of Daniel Burnham with its giant Beaux Arts courthouses, banks, and municipal towers.
      This disintegrating nation is woefully distracted by Web 2.0, iPads, Avatar movies, Facebook, and the idiot celebrity spectacles of TV, not to mention the disasters of job loss, foreclosure, medical extortion, bankruptcy, corporate loot-ocracy, and the squandered moments of politics. We know we have to go somewhere.  We know that something like history is leaving us behind. We have no idea how to get to a new place. And we're spending most of our mental energy gaping into the rear-view mirror, which is the last place to look for your destination.
     The confusion is apt to get a lot worse before it gets better. I'm not saying this to be ornery but because I believe it is true, and it will benefit us to know the odds we're up against. The confusion is going to generate a lot of ideas that are inconsistent with reality -- especially involving the seductive nostrums of technocracy. Our redemption will be found closer to the ground in the things we do by hand. But we don't know that yet, and we're going to try everything except looking there before we find out.

310 Comments

First!


It makes you wonder if perhaps the US is on the way towards collapse. It's not just the cities and the roads and the infrastructure. Look at America's role in space. I predicted a pretty bleak outlook for space exploration last year, *before* Obama cancelled the moon plans.

http://www.watchinghistory.com/2009/11/future-of-space-exploration.html

It's a creeping contraction that's sneaking up on us. It's like when my former employer's client Kmart Canada, which seemed to be selling lots of stuff, suddenly was gone. There are good jobs available: my niece, fresh B.A. in hand, finally landed a good job – in a bankruptcy firm. And a rural friend had a young couple stay for a few weeks at her B&B last summer – their enterprise is liquidating big box stores. They had come up from the States to empty out the defunct PetSmart location in Kingston. Stores are quietly papering over their windows in Kingston. It goes like that. Not an apocalypse, just a sad, gradual loss.

But there is light. We met a 19-year-old woofer at a party recently, and had one stay over during our local music festival last summer. Their enthusiasm for market gardening is encouraging. Yesterday I carefully placed three seeds in each of a few dozen tiny plastic containers, to sit in the window until planting time, which may be bizarrely early this year. It just feels right to take good care of the things we can control – food and friends.

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

No crappy nothingstore post yet?

Yes, the broad outlines of the future, a world made more by hand, are becoming daily easier to see. It'll challenge us individually as well as collectively, to move past our fascination with the problem - to imagining a possible future that could be better on the ground where we are.

However, we're going to meet that future anyway, might as well have fun on the trip. There's a world of difference between running away and going out to meet it.

http://radicalrelocalization.com/actions.php

Jim, the Long Emergency is playing out just as you predicted, but with an ever-increasing feedback loop. The trick is to protect ourselves and our families until it all unwinds.

More at The Nothing Store

The really big elephant in the room is the NATIONAL DEBT.

JHK said: "Even the Cuyahoga river caught on fire, as if fate was a practical joke."

You just toss that in, as if it is a sign of how bad things are. But you don't follow up. How did Americans react? What is the river like now?

This is actually a story that supports the idea that we are NOT fucked. The most polluted portions of the Cuyahoga river now generally meet established aquatic life water quality standards. River reaches that were once devoid of fishes now support 44 species. The most recent survey in 2008 revealed the two most common species in the river were Hogsuckers and Spotfin Shiners, both moderately sensitive to water quality.

Thanks for mentioning the Cuyahoga River because it's recovery is a message of hope.

Progress is possible and the American people are not just stupid yeast people who are unconscious, as evidenced by the response to a river catching on fire.

Sorry for the broken link from the The Nothing Store

If still broken, try this: http://www.thenothingstore.com

For all our friends and critics.

Is the title to this week's offering an allusion to one of the scariest damned stories that Joyce Carol Oates ever wrote? Either way, it feels like the quiet after the rain and hail have passed on, and now dropping out of the rain-free base is something dark, chaotic, and sounding like a freight train.

In the quiet after the rain and hail have passed doesn't the sun brightly illuminate a renewed nature?

I'm having a genial debate with a bunch of trashumanists (a la Dr. Raymond Kurzweil's Singularity U) on an educator's list to which I subscribe. Glad to see the "Singularity" come up in this post.

JHK hits it right on the head again--we dream of technotopian salvation when, instead, we might learn to plant a few seeds and fix our own broken windows.

Fat chance of that in the USA. Related topic: anyone see how Michael Paul Smith's wonderfully nostalgic scale-model dioramas of "Elgin Park," a fictional PA mill town, have attracted a huge following online? Ah, the learning for a simpler time with abundant energy and a Buick in every driveway. Have a look:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/14/automobiles/collectibles/14SCALE.html?hpw

If nothing else, for many US readers it's a lovely trip down Nostalgia Blvd. Smith's a talented photographer but the attraction to his site is uncanny.

The newest fad in our enclosed (and dying) shopping malls is the fake storefront: intentional design to give the impression something is there which really is not. It's the perfect metaphor for our economy and our society.

Jim is so right about the architecture prior to the Depression. I walked through the Kansas City railroad station recently while transferring between Amtrak trains. What a grand entrance to a great city, now a series of empty corridors and a handful of small businesses hanging all.

We still long for the optimism of Brad Paisley's "Welcome to the Future," but now the old lyrics from Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction" can be heard in the distance.

PS to what Kickaha said: That Oates story is way scarier than any Peak Oil nightmare, but it's a MUST read. Scariest story I've ever read, period.

One of america's many mass delusions is, of course, subsumed under Jim's rubric of "techno-triumphalism." One of its tenets is that
we will remain focused on gadgets, widgets, ipods, iThiscrap and iThatcrap and other bullshit until we are starving, literally starving. Much worse though, we will continue to have faith in the pathetic idea that THEY (the scientists and technicians) will soon come up with a miracle to save us and our current lifestyle (i.e. the million watt solar panel, useable hydrogen power cells, clean and safe nuclear energy, hybrid cars that actually save energy and work, etc, ad nauseum).

In every economic (and, eventually, social) collapse in the past 1000 years, the masses kept doing their usual thing until they could no longer do that thing and survive. Then they "woke up," freaked out, sometimes killed a few (hundred) neighbors in their rage, changed their thing to some new, more adaptive, thing, and then promptly went back to "sleep."

What makes us relatively unique is that we, currently, at least for now, have a communications system that allows us, on a mass scale, to know what each other is doing and thinking. This both allows for the perpetuation and spread of the delusion of technotriumphalism but also will allow for the spread of dissappointment and then violent diffuse rage, as the system collapses.

Ultimately all of the gadgets, computers, and other symbols and symptoms of technotriumphalism will be dicarded in favor of more useful tools such as shovels, hoes, trowels, and other farm implements...things that can be used to grow food. The shift from here to there, however, will not be pretty and many will die, both of inability to make the shift (i.e. starvation) and of other's rage.

lock and load

Wardoc

As a nation, the USA will not look forward, but will do the dumbest things possible--i.e. fight resource wars to "sustain the unsustainable."

With small communities, however, I see potential for forward-thinking action. Transition Towns are a good example of this. Add to this community gardens, CSAs, cooperatives, local, sustainable, seasonal economies, and you soon have lots of hopeful signs.

"America should do this or America should do that" talk is becoming increasingly irrelevant to the man in the trenches.

Going forward, the people who are on track doing the right thing are those who are working on the local level.

I had a seemingly innocent conversation with a co-worker last week. He asked me if I read books or anything in my free time, so I told him that I read this blog and the Archdruid Report every week, along with a few others. When he asked what they were about I told him about Peak Oil, resource depeletion, and the coming reorganization of things, which in my mind is already well underway.

You'd have thought I called his mother a whore! He came absolutely unglued (his face even flushed) and proceeded to roundly denigrate the very idea with the usual rejoinders: "they've already got electric cars," "look how far we've come already," and the old standby,"technology will come to the rescue, it always does."

He really made me realize (yet again) the depth of denial we'll be up against before we can move on as a country. I think we've got quite away to go yet before we're ready to even take baby steps.

"bleak outlook for space exploration"

Agree with your conclusion; however based upon alternative reasoning. F=MA Until mankind develops an alternative to flinging small particles at high velocity, in opposition to the desired direction of motion, to generate thrust Space exploration will continue to be limited and incredibly expensive.

SNAFU

One thing almost never mentioned here is how military spending and this whole Imperial insanity has wrecked this country as we continue to decline because of Imperial overstretch.

The elites of this country have turned the US into a 21 century Sparta, though one totally indebted to other countries and the world, without which the Empire falls apart.

Both Iraq and Afghanistan were huge mistakes and anyone with any brains could have forseen that George Bush would wreck the country. Corporate errand-boy Bush, and the Dark Lord Cheney took the country past the point of no return, and our present corporate errand-boy, Obama, is helping the elites with the final total looting of this country.

We have an out of control military budget all because we refuse to face "why they hate us" and instead create a fantasy world to live in that tells us we are hated and attacked for no reason.

This country is bleeding to death financially and morally, and the military-industrial complex is the major reason why. That there arent 50 million people in the freakin streets demanding an end to these damn wars is what is really telling about how blind and selfish the American people are.

Take half of what weve spent on the military over the past 10 years and use that wealth intelligently and this country would be a sustainable, functioning democracy today, if...IF, The People stand up and refuse to allow our psychopathic elites to continue their illegitimate rule and refuse to allow them to lead us toward total ruin.

This country is slowly decaying day by day and no one seems to care and continue to party on like it is 1999 as the song goes. At least in other countries (Thailand, Greece, Iceland Hong Kong) people are least trying to stand up for what they believe in whether the cause be right or wrong. But here in the good old USA everyone just goes along and keeps hoping the status quo will return.

Charles Duhugg writes in the morning’s NY Times that “Saving U.S. Water and Sewer Systems Would Be Costly.” Indeed it would be, if anyone thought it worth the effort. The three essentials for life are food, water & shelter. Not phone, Internet and TV. But only people who have cashed periodic Reality Checks would agree.

In the meantime, the world’s newest billionaire is a Mexican. That hardly puts Bill Gates on a bread line, but the handwriting is on the wall for where the wealth is going.

In other foreign signs of the shape of things to come, leading offshore-oil producer China National Offshore Oil Corp. agreed to pay $3.1 billion to form a joint venture with a major Argentine energy firm, helping to expand China's access to natural resources in South America. The Monroe Doctrine is truly dead and gone, which is good thing, since we hardly want to go to war with our bankers (while they are still lending).

And Reuters tells us that China is the world's biggest internet market and is selling more cars and pouring more concrete and building more roads, at least for now.

Locally, the fiscal crunch in NYS is hitting hospitals hard with increased gross receipt taxes and lower Medicaid reimbursements. One rural hospital spokesperson said, "Our population isn't growing, but it's aging." Talk about a zero sum game, whether it is prisons, schools or hospitals. Growth is an antiquated economic model. Period.

We don’t know where the money went, but as Michael Lewis told Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes, "I'm afraid that our culture will come to the conclusion, 'cause it's always the easy conclusion, that everybody was just a bunch of criminals. I think the story is much more interesting than that. I think it's a story of mass delusion," in the segment “Wall Street: Inside the Collapse.”

During the month of February the US government spent approximately $2,000 more than it received in tax revenues per family. (I’d take mine in cash, if I could.) New math or old math, this just doesn’t add up. How long before the revolts turn lethal?

Charles Duhugg writes in the morning’s NY Times that “Saving U.S. Water and Sewer Systems Would Be Costly.” Indeed it would be, if anyone thought it worth the effort. The three essentials for life are food, water & shelter. Not phone, Internet and TV. But only people who have cashed periodic Reality Checks would agree.

In the meantime, the world’s newest billionaire is a Mexican. That hardly puts Bill Gates on a bread line, but the handwriting is on the wall for where the wealth is going.

In other foreign signs of the shape of things to come, leading offshore-oil producer China National Offshore Oil Corp. agreed to pay $3.1 billion to form a joint venture with a major Argentine energy firm, helping to expand China's access to natural resources in South America. The Monroe Doctrine is truly dead and gone, which is good thing, since we hardly want to go to war with our bankers (while they are still lending).

And Reuters tells us that China is the world's biggest internet market and is selling more cars and pouring more concrete and building more roads, at least for now.

Locally, the fiscal crunch in NYS is hitting hospitals hard with increased gross receipt taxes and lower Medicaid reimbursements. One rural hospital spokesperson said, "Our population isn't growing, but it's aging." Talk about a zero sum game, whether it is prisons, schools or hospitals. Growth is an antiquated economic model. Period.

We don’t know where the money went, but as Michael Lewis told Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes, "I'm afraid that our culture will come to the conclusion, 'cause it's always the easy conclusion, that everybody was just a bunch of criminals. I think the story is much more interesting than that. I think it's a story of mass delusion," in the segment “Wall Street: Inside the Collapse.”

During the month of February the US government spent approximately $2,000 more than it received in tax revenues per family. (I’d take mine in cash, if I could.) New math or old math, this just doesn’t add up. How long before the revolts turn lethal?

Jim mentioning Daniel Burnham gets me to thinking about the maxim: where the architects go, society will follow. His readers will be familiar with Duany, Plater-Zybeck and other New Urbanism architects who pursue a vision of coherent post-suburban communities involving integrated residential and retail. But are there any architects out there these days, like Burnham, with a vision of grand civic buildings that will bring a community together in a sense of common purpose and aesthetic pleasure?

I'm thinking Jim may not be altogether correct in saying that our redemption is not to be found in the rear-view mirror. Simply retrofitting American sprawl along New (read "old") Urbanism principles will make a huge dent in unemployment for a long time. But we need to start paying people with money rather than credit. The days of transferring massive resources away from the working economy and government into the FIRE sector, and of squeezing labor, have to end.

For a free download of Kunstlerian-style invective -- Words that Draw Blood -- go to www.lost-vocabulary.com.

Good post Jim,

I am still in the camp of deniers. I can't escape. Not that I disagree with you - I usually do agree. But rather the people around me all are lost. Some are scary and I just can't leave my camp...

We moved as far back into the national forest as private landowners can. A nice dead end gravel road with a mix of country red-neck good-old-boys and learned college academic old hippy types.

The learned academics, even Geology Department geeks, say " 'They' know where all the oil is - they're just waiting to use up the other guys first..."

The good-old-boys say it's all Obama's fault. Everything wrong with this country is caused by liberals. One fellow has told me "I'm ready to kill someone." and "Gas should be 70-80 cents a gallon."

How are we to steer anyone to a more realistic future when everyone is blaming someone else and can't see the forest for the trees?

I say it's time for the Peak Oil aware to gather together. Stop trying to change the world. A world not ready from change. Pool our resources and "set up a perimeter."

If you want money in your pocket
And a top hat on your head
Hot meal on your table
And a blanket on your bed
Well today's gray skies
Tomorrow is tears
You'll have to wait till yesterday's here.

--Tom Waits

Nothing's going to change until the power of the banksters in their Dark Tower is broken, and that won't happen without having a good old-fashioned armed rebellion. It'll mean a lot of bloodshed, since the banks control DC, and DC controls the military, and they won't blink an eye before using our military against us. But there's no other way to break the stranglehold the banks and the corporatocracy have on the USA. Jefferson said that the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants from time to time. That time is upon us.

Otherwise the Two Towers of Wall Street and Washington will continue to bleed America white: tax us to death, funnel our wealth to the banks and corporations, send our poor to fight and die in their resource wars... Americans are of necessity adjusting to the new paradigm, but the ruling elite are not and will not of their own volition.


Meanwhile, here in Bristol-by-God TN, NASCAR race fever. I can't remember seeing so many closed-down convenience stores, not to mention the odd out-of- business NASCAR "collectible" stores. The race is still sold out after heavy advertising, but the other spending around "race weekend" is expected to be way down.

I finished the maple syrup boil this weekend. I showed coworkers photos of the little shed behind my place where I work by candlelight just for the exercize of working off the grid. People laughed at how quaint and hillbilly it is. At my friend's boil-down gathering we had harmonicas, guitars, and a banjo--all acoustic. I've made a new list to inch myself off the failing grid. If it needs gasoline, has batteries, or plugs into the wall, it's on the endangered list. True, I'll miss my unleaded more than I do the excitment of my long-gone teenage hormones, but it's time to wipe away the tears and get on with life. By hand.


Maybe so, but for the trillions spent on the bank bailouts, we could have build a base on Mars, *and* switched to alternative energy instead of fossil fuels.

Jim,
I have been a long-time follower, but this is my first time to comment. I am sure most of the shrinking cities you mention this week will continue to lose population. Many of these folks are making their way South where they already had family prior to WWII. Nashville and Chattanooga TN, Huntsville AL, Charlotte NC and a few other southern cities are currently attracting some of the brightest folk who are relocating. This trend will probably continue as long as there is technology work available.
Where I foresee the long term trend would be a redistribution of population at the "crossroads" of existing rail and navigable waterways. This change would leave places like Dallas, Atlanta and Birmingham "High and Dry."

On another subject... Is there any way to limit comments to one or two per week for each person? It would be nice if some these folks would share personal e-mails to keep their personal confrontations and self promotion off your website (Better yet, exchange addresses and meet over coffee.) Seriously, some type of post limit might keep those with too much free time from ruining things for others.

The USA is indeed contracting and winding down. I saw hard evidence of this in Los Angeles before I left (a decision I have not regretted in the least).

My friends in Europe do not fully appreciate just how dramatic the big wind-down is in the USA in general and LA in particular.

http://www.goldsubject.com/

You say "...for the trillions spent on the bank bailouts, we could have build a base on Mars, *and* switched to alternative energy instead of fossil fuels."

Talk about "techno-grandiose fantasies" and "spending most of our mental energy gaping into the rear-view mirror."

I'm working on a time machine. I'll travel ahead 100 years, then come back and tell you what I found.

Here in New Jersey we just suffered an enormous Nor-Easter which closed roads all over, flooded
the Raritan, Rockaway and all local rivers, and even
closed the trains which had been chugging along even thru our blizzards. My whole town like many others had the power go out. Luckily my post-peak oil survival preparations of a batch of Led flashlights, a small battery with inverter for some power, and an independently operated gas stove
allowed some comfort. And not to forget, my solar-powered little Peace Sign strand of LED lights glowed in the midst of the great storm! Once again Nature shows the vulnerability of our over-centralized systems and the havoc which will be wrought by Climate Change. I have been telling everyone this is a sign of Climate Change- huge vortices of energy making storms fiercer than ever. Many nod in agreement, others
are in denial.


Look at many of the Mars project plans. Their budgets, even if you allow for the typical expansion, are far below a trillion dollars.

As for alternative energy, this cannot replace our current energy use from fossil fuels, we also need to conserve and reduce overconsumption and waste, of course.

My point is just that the money being pissed away could have accomplished a hell of a lot.


LOL, buy gold coins to put in your wallet? I just don't see that being that useful. Now, if you can make some moonshine and got a tater patch, you are all set here.

"We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into the future." -- Marshall McLuhan


She said: What is history?
And he said: History is an angel being blown backwards into the future
He said: History is a pile of debris
And the angel wants to go back and fix things
To repair the things that have been broken
But there is a storm blowing from Paradise
And the storm keeps blowing the angel backwards into the future
And this storm, this storm is called Progress....

-- Laurie Anderson

Here in Miami it is the same thing--the inner core of the city (surrounding downtown) is gutted. You can see the remnants of a thriving '50s negro community, now a dilapidated ghetto. The African Americans of today blame the I-95 project which dissected this community for its erosion, but I think it is more than that--the wealthy professional negroes moved out when they could and shipping/warehouse/light manufacturing businesses moved out to outward for better traffic flows and super cheap land.

The downtown is reasonably active, but a little dumpy. There are many beautiful old buildings, some in great condition, but most just ok. The real economic activity is at the new corporate boxes, which in contrast to most downtowns, are not the bland boxes found most other places. The city has a great example of a thriving walkable outdoor mall (Lincoln Road) in South Beach, but for many years is still in the talking phase of closing a street in downtown to recreate the same thing there. Nevertheless, a huge amount of condo towers built in and right around downtown are filling up, mostly due to the fact that people don't like sitting in their cars for 1-2 hours to get to a suburban home. A funny aside: over the last 5 years, in the early mornings/late afternoons, the city's elevated metromover was largely filled with construction workers. There were far more of them than the business people the metromover was intended to serve.

The plus in all this is that the county's best example of urban renewal and BIG spending (South Beach) occurred largely without government help. It was the gay, photography, and modeling communities, attracted by super cheap accommodations that brought the hip big spending crowds that made renovations profitable. Today the the urban life of the city is saved largely by the wealthy central and south American business people who have second homes here and shop like crazy.

Wow, this is an unbelievably beautiful sentence, however melancholy: "In fact, the trend up until the so-called housing bubble of recent years was to just keep on expanding ever outward beyond the suburban frontier, which left our cities in a condition like imploded death-stars -- cold and inert at the center, with debris speeding uselessly outward to an unreachable infinity."

But this nails it: "This disintegrating nation is woefully distracted by Web 2.0, iPads, Avatar movies, Facebook, and the idiot celebrity spectacles of TV, not to mention the disasters of job loss, foreclosure, medical extortion, bankruptcy, corporate loot-ocracy, and the squandered moments of politics." Particualary the medical extortion part. Man, we need a General Strike!

I'm personally devoted to the Tranistion Town Initiative, happy about small town living, and am keeping one eye on the big picture (including some fast connecting on FB,) while using every spare moment to improve my assymetrical cooking skills, if that makes sense, and then to learn canning, jarring, all food preservatin I can, letter press printing by hand, beer making, knitting and all kinds of sewing along with the acquisition of myriad other tools, physical, mental and spiritual.

I actually find it an oddly exciting time. I've long felt out of place in this era, and really pined to strip away so much of the BS that governs our lives and the degraded aesthetics that spill out into waking life like the residue of an omnipresent nightmare.

This is not to say I am a pastoral romantic. At least not entirely! I've never been a stranger to hard and constant work. But my understanding is that our society and time has the least leisure time than most, either in the past or concurrent to ours. I am content with simple pleasures bookended by realistic effort.

Meantime, I am going to plunge more into the Ecotechnic Future, the book I mentioned a few weeks ago. His ideas about a the descent, from industrial downscale to a salvage society are intriguing.

Where to (Re)start?

Technology will save us seems to be an inviting defense of how the unsustainable will be sustained into the future. I was a beliver. Four decades after man walked on the moon, we have a soon to be abandoned Skylab and a retired Space Shuttle fleet to launch our dreams from? Looking back, the last six decades have witnessed no substantial technological breakthroughs. What has been witnessed is incremental technology advancement. Each increment leads in the same direction: more work, more efficiency, richer rich, and more poor. Resource depletion appears to be the brick wall of current direction and advancement.

We are in the process of reset. This process will have many false starts, but at some juncture, abandoned technology of the past will meet the resource contraints of the present and again, progess will begin anew.

The challenge begins now. Should "advancement" be measured by GDP or another more resource friendly manner?

I really love Jim's appreciation in today's blog of what is technically termed "Industrial Classic" architecture.

He notes "motifs devised for no other reason but to be beautiful -- towers, swags, medallions, cartouches -- as if to state we are joined proudly in a great enterprise to make good things happen in this world."

If you really want to see beautiful decoration of old factory buildings, go to Great Britain. Jim's point is SOOOOOOOOO valid!!! The triple arches, the limestone cornices, the corbelling, were the very antithesis of the purely utilitarian, in an age when utilitarianism dominated the thinking of the day.

Kind of like the great pyramids, these nineteenth century architects were attempting to make a statement -- that production of goods people want and need is a noble venture which is good and deserves to be decorated beautifully.

For a great contrast, just look at the hubris incorporated into the architecture of corporate headquarters like Goldman Sachs and AIG. Sheer overwhelming monstrosity, dwarfing the observer.

The simple red bricks making up the nineteenth century factories, by contrast, gave the observer the feeling that despite being big and impressive, the small units of construction had a simple human dimension to which he could relate -- a bricklayer building with brick, mortar and trowel. In fact, the same construction as many residential homes.

It gave a sense of comfort and familiarity, in addition to beauty.

Reading this plus Krugman's and Karl Denninger's latest goes together nicely. Our deal with the devil has been allowing China to sell us everything at prices that undercut the working American Middle Class. Well, it's been nothing but a downward slide since China got MFN trading status.

I posit that unless we take action to wrestle control of our government back from the Globalists and the paid off Chinese Apologists we will continue to slide downwards. it won't end until America is a shell of it's former self. We are almost there imho. When America has lost everything only then will we start to rebuild, because China and Globalization will have taken everything. Peak Oil is the only thing that will save us. Pray that it comes sooner so that the fuel that powers Globalization wlll run out. I hope Jeff Rubin and Kunstler are right! The sooner we take the fuel of endless outsourcing away, the better for Americans.

http://indyamerican.blogspot.com/

And did anyone else find it interesting that Warren Buffet just bought the lion's share in a rail company and tipped hit hat in the direction of Peak Oil?

Finally we might be getting somewhere.

One of your best screeds. Sheer poetry. Reminds me of an accident I had years ago, driving my truck over a cliff. Rolling, rolling,rolling bathed in the sweet womb of impending disaster. Ah, but I was lucky. This country. Probably not.

The most laughable thing about the interview regarding our investment banks on "60 minutes" last night was the guys "solution". According to him, these bankers should realize when they have stolen enough and snap themselves out of it! Self regulation that's the ticket, what a hoot.

I notice that Obama's new plan is to create two million jobs with more EXPORTS! Just what does he think the US is going to export, and to whom? He is still stuck on the idea of the "global economy". Is this guy living on another planet or what?

No, but there is a crappy carh8tr post. ;>)

I planted apple and pear trees in my parents' old orchard this weekend - as excited as I have been about renewing the old orchard, I was not prepared for the sheer pleasure of seeing the healthy little trees (all good storage fruits, regionally adapted strains and disease resistant) in tidy rows with the aging giants, prettily mulched and straight and true. That orchard expresses perfectly the renewing of things older than Cleveland, things that are viable, living, not nostalgic, wishful. My parents may not worry about the future like I do, but they know that a producing orchard is a thing of joy. I think that a good aspect of Peak Oil is looking to reclaim a more humane and joyful existence. It seems like we should not need the end of the world (as we know it) to realistically aspire to a better life, but...
Anyway, for all of you out there, I hope you have a moment-in-the-orchard experience this week.

Jim from WG sez:
"At my friend's boil-down gathering we had harmonicas, guitars, and a banjo--all acoustic."

Ha! Hope that was in a separate space from the vat; stringed instruments and large amounts of steam leads to stringed instrument "parts". ;o)

"I've made a new list to inch myself off the failing grid. If it needs gasoline, has batteries, or plugs into the wall, it's on the endangered list. True, I'll miss my unleaded more than I do the excitement of my long-gone teenage hormones, but it's time to wipe away the tears and get on with life. By hand."

Amen. I think I'll even miss those self-indulgent tears. We'll have to conserve our sympathies for desolate kin, as they attempt to rouse themselves from infotainment and enter a world of productivity and the inexorable dominance of Nature's realities.

Damn, there you go reminding me of the demise of the chainsaw! Ah well, I'm going to have to get off the dime and find me some decent one and two-man crosscuts (and a large pile of files, natch).

Beautiful, Jim. Thanks.

For option A: look at Mexico. That is a post-peak nation rapidly approaching export land model singularity.

When they do, expect total collapse. The nation is in an undeclared state of civil war now.

We have to hope that our people are better at self-organizing peacefully than they.

Our society is trending toward feudalism; this is a point of fact.

It isn't only the NASCARites who cling to delusions. The silly NE liberals have a mountain of their own. I mean, gdit, JHK, you voted for Obama, didn't you? You *should* have seen it coming; it was pretty obvious to a lot of those you called racists.

What is the difference between those who bought Hope and Change and the technotriumphalists? Each was a pipe dream.

As soon as a dyed in the wool liberal can confront something like Bell Curve without an emotional reaction, we will have some hope. Until then it's the blind castigating the blind for lack of perspicacity.

I hold out no similar hope for the biblethumper set; they are just stupid. But those who profess and demonstrate actual intelligence owe an obligation to cast off their own delusions in the face of reality. Isn't that the recurring theme here?

This blog post reminds of something I saw attributed to Wintson Churchill:

Americans eventually do the right thing - only after they've tried everything else.

And that's exactly what's happening. My city, Toledo, has a budget deficit of somewhere around $50,0000,000.00.

Right now I'm watching our mayor and city council and unions - especially the police and firefighters unions - fighting over proposed cuts and a fee (read tax) increase.

Nobody is willing to admit that times have changed and we can't live like we used to - leaner and smaller is the way. Instead - we're getting meaner: from Friday to today two shop owners in separate incidents shot would-be thieves killing one of them. A week or so ago a female home-owner shot through one of her windows at an attempted entry by a would-be a burglar. Several weeks ago a prison guard, coming home from work, encountered three intruders in his house. He shot at them wounding one and killing another. I'm sure many saw the scene right out of the wild west in local bar here last summer.

Further, a local gun shop is swamped with locals trying to get gun permits and concealed-carry permits while selling handguns as if they were going out style. The great fear driving this: there'll be such significant layoffs of police and firefighters by the end of April that it'll be every citizen for himself.

Yes, we Toledoans are being forced to face the fact that there is only one way we can go. It's a tragedy because we don't really have to go through the hell, that's just starting, to get there.

It seems fairly obvious that we need a paradigm shift in values. There are no solutions to our sense of predicament largely because there are no reasonable goals. All reasonable social/societal goals have been subsumed by a fixation to make more money. This fixation is the Moloch of our times: it consumes most of the creative energy and crowds out all other goals. Thus it creates a paradox. There has been more money available for building projects, but nothing of social value (i.e. beauty) got built. I don't have a clue as to how this can be put right again. We have transformed ourselves into a greedy, simpleminded people fixated on geegaws and gimcracks and marginalized those who have the audacity to imagine that we could be different.

Dear Ozone,
True enough, all that steam wrecked havoc on the tuning. But that much moisture would have fried solid state electronics. I get sweaty and blistered from the hand saws, too. This won't be easy, but give me deep and durable over shallow and fragile any day.

I've bought a couple of dozen books over the last couple of years but haven't finished one of them - that's because they all eventually bore me. However, I keep coming back to THE book again and again. I'm reminded of the following quote when thinking about the future we are creating:

"Urantia society can never hope to settle down as in past ages. The social ship has steamed out of the sheltered bays of established tradition and has begun its cruise upon the high seas of evolutionary destiny; and the soul of man, as never before in the world’s history, needs carefully to scrutinize its charts of morality and painstakingly to observe the compass of religious guidance. The paramount mission of religion as a social influence is to stabilize the ideals of mankind during these dangerous times of transition from one phase of civilization to another, from one level of culture to another.

Religion has no new duties to perform, but it is urgently called upon to function as a wise guide and experienced counselor in all of these new and rapidly changing human situations. Society is becoming more mechanical, more compact, more complex, and more critically interdependent. Religion must function to prevent these new and intimate interassociations from becoming mutually retrogressive or even destructive. Religion must act as the cosmic salt which prevents the ferments of progression from destroying the cultural savor of civilization. These new social relations and economic upheavals can result in lasting brotherhood only by the ministry of religion.

A godless humanitarianism is, humanly speaking, a noble gesture, but true religion is the only power which can lastingly increase the responsiveness of one social group to the needs and sufferings of other groups. In the past, institutional religion could remain passive while the upper strata of society turned a deaf ear to the sufferings and oppression of the helpless lower strata, but in modern times these lower social orders are no longer so abjectly ignorant nor so politically helpless.

Religion must not become organically involved in the secular work of social reconstruction and economic reorganization. But it must actively keep pace with all these advances in civilization by making clear-cut and vigorous restatements of its moral mandates and spiritual precepts, its progressive philosophy of human living and transcendent survival. The spirit of religion is eternal, but the form of its expression must be restated every time the dictionary of human language is revised."

Considering the reception the above quote is likely to provoke, not only on this site but the world over, we may be truly fucked. Religion, especially organized religion, is ill-equipped to handle changing society. The age to come is shaped by our collective embrace of the message of the real religion OF Jesus rather than the religion about Jesus. While our eventual success at reaching a grand new age is assured, how we get there is up to us.

Just about 25 miles south of Toledo is Bowling Green which is rapidly becoming "Barren Green" with business after business closing leaving nothing behind but one empty building after another. The ironic thing is that there is more traffic than ever but nowhere for anyone to go - while it is a college town (my alma mater, BGSU), all the town has to offer are bars and pizza joints. There is no longer even a bookstore in that sorry excuse for a town. The biggest businesses are Kroger, Meijer and Wal-Mart and the rest are rent-to-own, fast cash shops and car parts stores. Where all the constant traffic is coming and going is beyond me. I am fortunate to have a good-paying job in Toledo because there certainly isn't anything in Bowling Green.

JHK-
" The confusion is apt to get a lot worse before it gets better. I'm not saying this to be ornery but because I believe it is true, and it will benefit us to know the odds we're up against. The confusion is going to generate a lot of ideas that are inconsistent with reality -- especially involving the seductive nostrums of technocracy. Our redemption will be found closer to the ground in the things we do by hand. But we don't know that yet, and we're going to try everything except looking there before we find out."

This is what infuriates me! The infrastructure for water power is EVERYWHERE in NE towns and cities along the many rivers and streams. This could easily be put to good use, but nobody seems to be even thinking about it. THIS is where useful technology resides; old-school and non-polluting (closer to the ground).

Perhaps the awakened will simply have to push aside the zombies; build and install their own water wheels. (I do see this as a co-operative effort, BTW. Although one in which numbers will be needed to throw aside "ownership" squabbles over useful properties. Radical? We ain't seen "radical" yet, but we most certainly will. Remember the hunger and thirst things?) Those with limited imagination (or none at all) will not survive. I think it's gonna get a big bunch more "ornery" than JHK's mild verbal abuse of the deluded. Unfortunate; it didn't have to be this way.

Okay, I've used up my 2 posts... and said very little [good thing, that] ! lol

Hey K, the US is no Empire. The Romans had one, the Brits had one, the Russians had one. You don't have one, never did, never will. Why do "they" hate you? At the risk of over generalizing, IMO "they" are semiliterate half wits indoctrinated by religious nut cases. I wouldn't presume there's anything rational at work here.

And don't worry, your intimidating military industrial complex is a thing of the past. The industrial half of the complex offshored itself to China, so is now under Chinese control. Without money from the industrial half, the military half cannot sustain itself. It's running on fumes. Remember all those photos of rusting, abandoned Soviet ships and planes? That's the future of the US military.

JHK's essay and 58 comments thus far and no one's mentioned the obvious ... the slack left by dead and departing manufacturing in Cleveland will be taken up by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ;-)

Where have we been ... ?

If you want to know where I have been, here it is:

http://www.flickr.com/dmathew1

The living Earth is beautiful, more beautiful than anything humankind has ever or will ever create, more beautiful than even humans can imagine, and unlike humankind it is still going to be around 100,000 years from now.

Where are we going ... ?

I don't know where you are going but can assure you that I'm going to devote every day to the pursuit of beauty and beauty alone. Civilization can die in whatever manner it wishes and humankind can keep on going nowhere fast.

The more I see of humankind the more I understand why this most miserable of animals wishes to drive itself extinct in the fastest manner possible. Humans never could make peace with the Universe, Nature or each other.

Extinction will bring an end to human misery so it is a merciful end to a species which has attained the status of Enemy of All Life.

"River reaches that were once devoid of fishes now support 44 species."
========================

But if you eat them you'll be dead before you push back from the dinner table.

"I work by candlelight just for the exercize of working off the grid."
========================

But which cost more, the candles or the juice from the grid?

"a thriving '50s negro community"

"the wealthy professional negroes"
==========================

Whats with all this "negro?" What are you ... lemme guess ... 93 years old?

"Each increment leads in the same direction: more work, more efficiency, richer rich, and more poor."
=====================

Here we go ... another Ned Ludd.

If the money wasted on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had been spent building windmills and solar farms, we would have enough renewable energy capacity to meet the entire electrical demand of the United States, even allowing for the fact that solar panels only work during the day and that the wind doesn't blow all of the time.

If you don't like what the government is doing, there is a non violent way to put a stop to it. Quit paying Federal Income Tax. Find out how to do this legally by reducing your taxable income. Visit http://w4resistance.org

"Toledo, has a budget deficit of somewhere around $50,0000,000.00."
====================

WOW, a deficit so big there are four zeros between the commas!

The next to the last sentence reads "Our redemption will be found closer to the ground in the things we do by hand."

Almost three years ago we closed a successful, 24 year old architectural design firm to raise food. It was the best move of our lives.

Please check out what we are doing, and are teaching others to do: Aquaponics.

We are the first aquaponics facility i

www.friendlyaquaponics.com.

"Quit paying Federal Income Tax."
==================

Zero is another practitioner of the Asoka Plan. Live as a pauper so you can starve the War Machine and the other half of the government which presumably does good works.

...sorry!

{snip} We are the first aquaponics facility in the world to be obtain both organic and food safety certification.

Check out our website: www.friendlyaquaponics.com

You have an incredibly distorted, liberal values. So what were these people supposed to do, let themselves be robbed and/or killed? The whole run out the door and call the police thing is over - dead. It's bullshit and it always was bullshit. Guess what? The job of the police has never been to protect you, but rather to keep a general order and to prosecute criminals - which by definition means AFTER they comitt a crime. Check my facts out: people have repeatedly sued the police and lost. This is a tacit admission on the part of the Police and the Courts that they cannot protect you and therefore cannot be held accountable for it.

You are on your own or better yet, be part of a "we" are on our own. And remember, it's only going to get worse as social serivces get cut. That's a big part of the Long Emergency, remember? Small towns have always had volunteer fire fighters - soon we'll be going back to "posses" or volunteer, emergency police as well. Somewhere deep inside you know this: great truth is often veiled in humor. Your joke about Westerns is the exact truth. And people who defend themselves against thugs are the new popular heroes. Google "Epic Beard Man" on You Tube for a recent example.

JHK,

you always rail about driving

yet you always seem to be doing it
apologizing every mile, but still

wle.

[gaping into the rear-view mirror, which is the last place to look for your destination.]

I don't know any adult who looks to the future. Ever. This is something we learn as children, that the future is full of hard lessons and loses and ends in death.

This is not a new malady, rather it is as old as human evolution. We fear the future.

It need not be this way. There are a few cultures that take an entirely different approach. But us Westerners for certain are trapped by fear of the future and there is no escape for us.

Sorry Jim. Nice try. It's going to go down and nobody is going to see it coming despite your best efforts to the contrary because they are too afraid to look.

cougar

They have no legal right to the Income Tax anyway. It's against the Constitution. Since they creat money out of nothing (fiat, makes them feel like God) why do they even need our "money"? As a mechanism of social control. Otherwise, the middle class might acutally get ahead and be in a position to challenge them.

Helen, there's a tax credit to corporations that are exporting jobs. That's probably what he is talking about.
Phil

Don't go looking for any new or radical thinking from the Obama administration anytime soon, JHK. Just look at their policies in the Middle East if you want a good idea of where America is heading. Conventional wisdom tells us that Israel is only making matters worse by building new settlements in the West Bank. If Israel wants peace then it has to give up land to the Palestinians. That's the line that the Obama crowd is peddling to Bibi Netanyahu and his ministers and that's the position most of the sober-headed pundits are peddling to the America public in the electronic media. Unconventional thinkers will point out that Israel's policy of building settlements on the West Bank, contrary to conventional wisdom, has done a far better job of keeping the peace by physically and politically dividing the Arabs into pro and anti-American camps, and history will prove them correct. But that's not what the sober-headed types want to hear so Joe Biden twists Bibi's arm in the hope that "concessions" from Tel Aviv will mollify the Arabs and their supporters. Note to Joe Biden: a strong,united Arab world is a far greater danger to America's long-term security than today's weak, bickering Arab nations could ever hope to be. We need more "unconventional" thinking along the lines of Dmitry Orlov in Washington and less "conventional" thinking along the lines of the Obama administration.

We have bases in dozens of Countries and business interests in dozens more. It's an Empire of a kind, Cash. But you're right in that it's not National so much as the nacsent New World Order. The troops of the New World Order aren't the Blue Beanies of the UN but rather the U.S Marines. So it's not just Washington, but rather the Washington - London - Tel Aviv axis of Evil. Add in NATO and you have Orwell's Oceania - quite a potent force all in all; quite capable of destoying the World on its way down to exctinction.

Granted they have big divisions amongst themselves already. The French and the Germans seem to be leaning towards their own version of the New World Order via the United Nations - one minus Israel. This vision includes the hideous transformation of Europe into Eurarabia - something that would have amazed even Orwell.

The other World Players are Eurasia or in other words Russia and her allies; and East Asia, being China and maybe others in the future. There are some rumblings that Japan, Korea, and even India are gradually going in China's direction but they still have very strong ties to us. In any case, China is formidable all on her own.

best essay in awhile, Kunstlermeister. easily understood even by those of us not elite.

Pandalous--"a site for people who think", is its labile/label, asks, "Why do some people resent elites?" Maybe because elites assume they are the only ones thinking.

Everybody thinks, and everybody is thinking hard right now.

Maybe because elites assume they are the x-purts, and we the ones not in white coats should listen and obey, as we learned in school.

But some of us are stubborn, oh so stubborn. So we don't take the slippery slide. We keep trudging thru the mud. We have our babies at home. We pull a tooth with pliers. We grow wheat and harvest it with a sickle. "Dirty dangerous dumb" the three things this path entails. Or maybe not so dumb. Maybe just seem dumb to the elite experts. who are themselves so sadly deluded.

"we're spending most of our mental energy gaping into the rear-view mirror, which is the last place to look for your destination."

Perhaps. Then again, perhaps not. After all, a human allowed to live its life to a natural terminus will leave the world much as it enters it: bald, toothless and drooling, with precious little understanding of the world around it. When humanity first began, it lived in small bands who sought shelter in caves. The way things are going it's not too difficult to imagine us winding up there again in the future. Hell, some humans are already back there, if they ever left that mode of existance in the first place.

"Where you come from is gone, where you thought you were going to weren't never there, and where you are ain't no good unless you can get away from it."

While driving on an Interstate Highway, elevated well above ground level,I glanced over to have a look at the Junior High and High School complex where my children had gone. How can anyone excuse four vast parking lots filled with cars - there may even have been more parking space at the rear. What's wrong with parents? We pay our local taxes and I've certainly sat behind plenty of school buses to know those routes are still operational. Is this mindless spending and instilling a feeling of privilege in our kids (this is a fairly rural region)reversible? My kids (1970s) did not expect to own a car until after graduation, although they did work for pay in our business.NOW we shower our kids with expensive techno toys. No one is learning basic societal values.Any solution will have to start with the early years in school.

Thank you for speaking in Cleveland yesterday. It was fun watching the reaction of people in the audience. Many there come to every author presentation and, I presume, had no idea you would layout a future of contraction and social disruption due to peak oil et al. Nicely done!

"My kids (1970s) did not expect to own a car until after graduation"
===================

You make a valid point about HS kids and cars. I was born in 1940. Our family didn't own a car till 1951. I was 22, finished HS and college, and in the Air Force six months before I got my first car. One of my sons, age 32, junked a beat-to-shit Plymouth Horizon years ago and gets around Philly by foot, bicycle and trolley. He's never expressed regrets and, plus, it keeps him trim.

I spent 8 hours in Kansas City between trains, DFT. Why? Because the train from LA gets in at 7:26am and the train to St. Louis leaves at 7:30am, and the LA train stops to refuel BEFORE they enter the station.

The next train leaves at 4pm. Gosh, why don't more people take Amtrak?

Anyway, the station is absolutely beautiful. Built in 1914, according to the placards. As Jim says, there was beauty just for the sake of beauty. Due to cheaper labor back then, I'm sure.

We walked looking for a bookstore, because my husband wanted to keep me amused while he was online.

We went to the mall. No bookstore. Apparently a Walden's had just closed. We walked downtown, admiring the old buildings and the attempts at revitalizing the downtown area. There was a little arts section, with very expensive art and import stores and a green building store with a very nice guy earnestly interested in environmentally correct tile and flooring, etc. There was no funky old bookstore downtown either.

Now I have seen as much of Kansas City as I ever will want to, and the train schedule is still the same.

I used to think that your OCD was wasted and that you should have been an editor.

But now I see that auditing was just right for you.

India is not going in China's direction. To Russia's, maybe..

"...auditing was just right for you."
=====================

It's true. My entire working career was spent in bean-counting, financial analysis and audit functions. Where do you suppose I learned to pick nits like I do? Huh?

I'm originally from the Detroit area. Since the riots I never really liked going downtown, but I did here and there. Back in the 80's when I went into the Army, when 1/4 of my platoon was from Michigan, to escape the down turn, I never wanted to go back. I did after twelve years. Selling my house, because I saw the writing on the wall I left again in 07, never to return. Know how corrupt Kwame Kilpatrick was the whole time. The new mayor is dusting off old ideas and I have HOPE for Detroit.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/09/detroit-looks-at-downsizing-to-save-city/

"Community effort","share"?Don't make me laugh.You mean to tell me a person who lived below his means and saved all his life suddenly is going to share his meager rations with the barbaric,drinking and smoking slob and his breeding sweat hog next door,who's only accomplishment in life have been to produce a handful of uncivilized crotch fruits and annoy his neighbor with their barking dog?

Some of the Elites are smarter than others. Here is a truly worthwhile venture - the great seed vault on Svalbard, a remote Island near the Arctic Circle. Means the "cold edge" in Norse. It now houses half a million species, focusing on food crops. Compare this worthwhile venture with the profitless works of darkness so popular with American Leaders and Do Gooders - like figthing the war on drugs or importing over a million aliens a year to America as the economy shrinks.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35803522/ns/technology_and_science-science/

Yup, the Long Emergency has definitely started. The empire has started visibly crumbling, and the social security ponzi scheme is one of many fraudulent schemes now showing itself for what it is, hence this article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_social_security_ious

As I've said before the American sheeple won't start rebelling in mass until the gubmint checks don't show up in the mail anymore! What's the solution? To borrow more from the Chinese to make sure the old people don't starve or end up homeless!

This outfit's on it's way real fast!

"crotch fruits"
===========

That's a good one. Never heard that expression before.

Another great piece JHK! Down here in the antipodes we hear NOTHING about what is REALLY going on in the US - plenty about Iraq and Afghanistan though. Some of us don't like being treated like mushrooms so thanks for turning the lights on for us once a week.

I posted that article last week on a listserv I follow and got some good response from Detroit residents. Personally I think there will be a lot of that sort of thing over the next decade, and I applaud the "Motor" City for raising the bar on relocalization.

Thanks for coming to Cleveland and giving your talk to our audience. Your right about some of the blight of factories that still palls our city but it is surprisingly a lot more livable downtown than it was even five years ago. (They actually closed off one street for-gasp!-pedestrians!) A big land issue we have now is that our civic engineers want to close down Burke-Lake Front Airport, home to student pilots and not much else, and build a port or livable space. As you can surmise from it's name, it is on a HUGE tract of ultra-prime real estate. The city acutally loses money on the airport and for some inexplically reason, which he refuses to even hint at, our mayor, to paraphrase, simply says "Hell no!" when comes to talking about a future without that damn waste of runways. I hope reason can win out the day, but this isn't like Avatar where we can just say, "Send in the bulldozers." (I know your not a movie critic, but you were right about that one. I didn't shed one tear at the end of Avatar. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful landscape and wild life to admire...the story...forgotten about in a mind numbing battle at the end that goes on needlessly too long for charactes I didn't care much about. I felt much worse when they blew up the tree. At least the 3-D was good, so not a bad evening.)

Eleuthero (follow up from last week),
The fact that you're a teacher and a Californian doesn't make you a god. I know it's hard, what with the Californian thing and all. Believe me, I've met a lot of you folks; I understand the pain you must feel when dealing with mortals.

But the next time you don't understand something, maybe it'd just be best to read on, and not open up your piehole. My comment had a much larger context than you apparently understood.

If you have a problem with multi-culturalism and white kids mimicking "inferior cultures," that's your own problem, and theirs, and not at all what I was talking about.

Whats with all this "negro?" What are you ... lemme guess ... 93 years old?
I'd guess 83 because 93 year olds would probably be referring to the "coloreds"... which means people of color and is still better than Limbaugh's "halfrican-americans"

Good riddance to the manned space program. A huge waste of funds, and a national delusion that if we can just get back to the moon, we'll prove that we're a great nation again.

Obama canceling the moon program is a very hopeful sign that he at least gets it that some serious turkeys have to go. Now if we can reduce the "defense" department by half, we'll have something to really be proud of.


He came absolutely unglued

Woefully distracted by Facebook
It just feels right to take good care of
the things we can control –
food and friends

But the really big elephant
in the room
is the NATIONAL DEBT

and THEY will soon
come up with a miracle to save us
and our current lifestyle
(the scientists and technicians)

The three essentials for life
are food, water & shelter
Not phone, Internet and TV

where the architects go,
society will follow

solar-powered little Peace Sign
strand of LED lights
glowed in the midst of the great storm!
Once again Nature shows
the vulnerability
of our over-centralized systems

make some moonshine
and got a tater patch

learn canning, jarring,
all food preservatin

We are in the process of reset

Peak Oil is the only thing
that will save us

Peak Oil
is looking to reclaim
a more humane
and joyful existence

Americans eventually do the right thing
only after they've tried everything else
leaner and smaller is the way
Instead - we're getting meaner

The spirit of religion is eternal,
but the form of its expression
must be restated
every time the dictionary
of human language is revised

Where all the constant traffic
is coming and going is beyond me

The infrastructure for water power is EVERYWHERE

"they" are semiliterate half wits
indoctrinated by religious nut cases
I wouldn't presume there's anything
rational at work here

The living Earth is beautiful,
more beautiful than anything
humankind has ever or will ever create

If the money wasted on the wars
in Iraq and Afghanistan
had been spent building windmills
and solar farms,
we would have enough renewable energy

The job of the police
has never been to protect you,
but rather to keep a general order
they create money out of nothing...


JHK,Lynn,Goat1080,wardoc,
Jimini,Onthego,Prelapsarian Press,
orbit7er,LaughingAsRomeWasBurningDown,
LindsayKate,SeaYoung,indyamerican,
okie,Mike Drabik, bg-girl,ozone,Cash,
david mathews,zerotsm,Vlad Krandz


PUSH ON. DO GOOD. KEEP SMILING.

Thanks Jim. Very well done, well crafted essay/

"Down here in the antipodes"
=======================

I had to look up the word antipodes but it still doesn't clear up for me exactly where you're writing from. New Zealand?

Another place to experience this past is Endicott New York, where IBM was born and then died. The well kept IBM Country Club, with it's solid concrete club house, the golf course, the swimming pool, the beautifully kept grounds on the north side of the Susquehanna River, and then the 'plant,' the solid square cement and block buildings on North Street, where the 360 model main frames were conceived and built, where men returning from WWII were sent to school and then employed by the new computer company. The Endicott Laboratory where the mainframes were designed. And there was the Endicott Johnson Shoe Company buildings on North Street, where immigrants sought work, to the 'which way EJ?' question asked by those entering the US for the first time from Ellis Island. To the Endicott NY housing, provided by Endicott Johnson and IBM for new employees. An era never again to be seen in the United States. Closed down, diminished, the rug pulled out, as our Congress enabled outsourcing, enabled 'deskilling' so as to empower China, Japan, India to take our jobs, and to leave Americans high and dry. I hope that Congress, Chris Dodd, Bill Clinton, and others, have enjoyed their role in the destruction of America's labor, America's manufacturing, America's strong families, America's educational system, as they drank the wine of deregulation, corporate quest for tax breaks, and Wall Street's desire for delusional profits. Look at the IBM jobs web site to see how many great jobs are available---in China, Brazil, in India. American labor RIP. We have Congress to thank for this.

did you have to ask?
see 2? down

folks in greece are 'standing up for' their jobs..according to various reports, 1 in 4 works for govt or [ more believeably] 1 in 6.

photo pls!!!!!
fake storefront! wow!

Hurricanes? haitian invasion ? muggy weather. red neck cops.
ill take so cal over so fla.

one of the few invests he ever lost $ in was airlines.

which was giving 'inductions' before it had a building!
i guess that goes along with fake storefronts!

i was at a crappy meeting today in soviet monica,when i told the crowd i didnt have a car they were shocked!
liberals dont know much about public transportation.
the conversation was about earthquakes and how this fine british woman kept lots of MnMs in her car...in case of an earthquake shed have food on the road for a day or so!

JK:
The memory of the Great Depression lingered like a 'metabolic disorder'...more like a strong warning.
theres a great piece in ydays LA Times about Lake LasVegas...where Mike Jackson had a house...they just cant sell them 700k houses lately!

esoecially on KCRW and KPFK!!!!
ruth seymore has stolen KCRW...crw had meant
College Radio Workshop...now its Crap Ruth Wants us to hear!


Bobby, fair enough, I'm all for the US reducing defense/offense spending. It that means the space program has to go, I can get over it. :)

Driving home today, the news was reporting the nation is going to be connected with broadband. I feel as if I am living a surreal life when the institutions around me, even ones that I respect like NPR, seem so oblivious to what I perceive going on around me. I begin to question my own sanity. For the past couple of years, I've been trying to add a new skill or two--gardening, canning, composting. (Just this week, my wife after seeing a clip while at the gym of Glenn Beck becoming a survivalist, compared me to him to get my goat) I feel like I am becoming some kind of weird armageddon survivalist all the while driving my car to my middle class job teaching and contributing to my 401K as if it will be there when I am frail and in need. While still contributing to my 401K, I'm also moving liquid funds around to buy gold and keep in the basement (wonder if Mr. Beck is doing that too?) So here I am living my split life and seeing signs of the contraction all around me.

This past week, the Kansas City schools announced school closings because they simply could not afford them. The governor of Missouri announced his budget cuts because the state is out of money, just like Illinois, New York, California, Hawaii and so many more. When questioning my sanity, I ask myself if maybe this is just a temporary contraction as all the smart people are saying and that soon we will be able to connect the entire country with broad band and have health insurance for all while still paying private insurance companies for it, blah, blah, blah. And then I come to my senses and realize the smart people aren't really that smart. A barrel of oil is dancing around $80 even when true unemployment is hovering around 16-17%, and I know that we are in for a long contraction.

Because of our resiliency, I tend to think that world will basically follow one step forward and two steps back for awhile. I don't know how bad it will get, but it could get very bad, like some of the things talked about by Mr. Kunstler (and even myself at times, but it tends to scare the students). But I know these things to be true to--goodness will continue to live on in some people and places. Lives will become more authentic and genuine. Beauty will continue and will be appreciated far more than is today. I look forward to many of these things and eagerly wish to shed the cancerous life so well described by Mr. Kunstler.

I hope that in the coming weeks, many of you will do more than just comment on Mr. Kunstler's weekly blog. He has created a community of the concerned, and I eagerly await to read each week's installment. But, I also look forward to reading the comments from so many of you. I want to hear to what signs do you see in your own living world of the Long Emergency. I want to read your reflections, fears, and hopes for the future because I respect what many of you have to say. So, I hope that rather than commenting on the weekly blog, you will use this gathering to share observations of your own world and your insights. I hope this can be done with civility and consideration for others because we are going to need civility in the years ahead. Being a teacher of history, I have no illusions about the ability of those with power and bad intentions to impose their will upon others. I like to think that pockets of civility will withstand the chaos and anarchy that might spread across the world, but I don't claim to know that it will. Let us practice it here, in Mr. Kunstler's own little corner of the cyber anarchy and see what we can learn from one another.

Best wishes to all.

Seven years ago, driving down Lake Avenue, here in Rochester, I got rear ended. My car totalled I started the search for new wheels. Two weeks passed by while I took the city buses to work. Another few weeks turned to months. I kept checking my happy meter to see if it had plummeted, I mean, an all American male and no wheels. To my surprise, my happy meter kept going up and up. The walk to the bus stop is nearly a mile. I found myself looking forward to the hike, both to and from work. I found myself becoming acquainted with neighbours out shoveling, raking, mowing, at the local stores within walking distance. Those months turned to years, and, now seven years later, I feel liberated in that, the idea of owning a car with all it's unhealthy effects seems foreign if not grotesque. Back in November of 2009 I bought a wonderful old cruiser bike on Craigs List. Despite the season, I began to ride, and ride, and, well, just ignore the fact that there was snow all around me. Having bean a skier I simply pulled out my old wear, double up on gloves, a few layer here, a few layers there, and voila! I rode all winter. How I'd love to live in a car-free city! People think I'm crazy but, I've come to value the nooks and crannies of old architecture. I've come to enjoy visiting with people of all backgrounds when I do bus. I find, it's a great trip. I've written a few articles, one of which was featured in the local Democrat and Chronicle here a couple years back. I try to encourage others into a car-free lifestyle. I was once very active with my neighbourhood association, but, it occurred to me than no matter how many cute canvas signs we string to light posts or what new colours we painted the street signs, we'd still be living in a car slum.
Rochester was never made for the car saturation it's encumbered with. Cycling home at night I often have to pass one spot where there's always twenty cars (occupied by one - the frustrated looking driver) at a standstill. The fumes are so overpowering- actually- toxically so, that I start waving the them from my face, all the while feeling rude to do so. I'm not trying to make these drivers feel bad but, the stench is overpowering to the point of causing me to cough. Of course, I need to reroute from that stretch. I just think we've way overdone it- do ya think? With more vehicles than people in the U.S.A.? I lived in Ottawa, Canada, too, another car slum with sprawling suburbs that can't get it together to create a metro. Well, the long and short of my diatribe is, if you're thinking of going car-free be encouraged, it's cheaper (600 bucks less in my case), healthier- socially and personally, and, well, my belief is, one car-free person does more for the vibrance of a city than ten year's of neighbourhood planning- the city is restored organically, so to speak.


At 57 I'm wearing size 38 pants, got the stamina of a 30 year old. Go for it!

Response to Jwagner. Great post, I am a fellow teacher. I am trying to lose the pesimistic energy that is so easy to grab onto. What we need is a community, and CFN provides that. I have been reading this blog for a good 5 years. Lots has happened in the world, and lots on this Monday am blog. I look forward to it, reminded that I am not alone. Facing students every day, and my own children, it is difficult knowing what is coming, and still doing my job. I do wake up in the morning with energy. I want our civilization to be as beautiful as the world is. I take the productive comments on this site to heart, and discount the negative. Negative is easy.

I grew up in Cleveland, during the 60's-70's. My grandfather owned a barrel business downtown. It was always so much fun to go downtown with my grandmother, mother, and sister, and visit my grandfather at his warehouse/office. It was also a building adorned with aesthetics. Then, we would have lunch and browse about downtown. Downtown was booming back in the day.

At the same time, we were shown reel to reel movies in Elementary School which showed the lake so unbelievably polluted. A man would scoop his drinking cup into fresh water and then freeze frame to the next scene the cup would be spilling over with foam and chemicals.

My father drove us around the flats....they were dirty, industrial, devoid of people, and foreboding. My father had a sailboat on Lake Erie, and we were not allowed to go in the water because of the pollution. We would see fish floating up. I used to think that is how fish died.

I am guessing Cleveland was already in decline then.

And that wonderful neighbor also overbought his house with no money down on an Option ARM mortgage and/or pulled out any equity to finance their consumptive lifestyle. Now they're getting foreclosed on, boo hoo.

JHK was in Cleveland to give a talk in the Writers and Readers series at the Cleveland public library.

I went to it and he s a good speaker. I'd encourage everyone to go see him speak if you get the chance.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/thelongemergency/

Fourth street is pretty empty these days....at least Flannery's still has fresh Guiness.

Fake shop fronts (with photo)-- there's an idea for a new business.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/tyne/8548069.stm

Interesting reading the comments on JHK's recent screed. Things change when necessary, or when it's profitable to make a change. Right now, as I believe JHK knows, we are in a befuddled transition stage. It's quite possible that things will return to consumer "normality" for a few months or years, or they may not. No one knows, least of all the economists.

But as the peak oil people know, the end of cheap oil will be characterized by many ups and downs in oil (hence heating and transportation fuel) costs. A shortage or price spike leads to reduced consumption, hence lower prices and the "end" of the shortage. Eventually it will all crash, but we don't know when that will be.

We are in a similar, but more played out in time, situation with things like retail business and office space. It was vastly overbuilt in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, because of overoptimism, and the consequent easy availability of credit. The downturn, the closed storefronts in the malls, etc. is a normal part of a cycle, it's just that the cycle has been so long-term that we don't see it for what it is.

But I am encouraged by what seems to be a developing shift in the mood of the young. Where 10 or so years ago many wanted to get a college education and then an MBA, and a job behind a desk in a big corporation, perhaps to rise up to be a big-time money manager, now a lot of youths are realizing that having a solid skill working with your hands, or if behind a desk working on valuable stuff (i.e. power grid or water resource management, instead of money-shuffling), is the key to success in the future.

Perhaps we have a future, and it isn't so dim as many here think. All we have to do is get rid of the multi-nationals, and their idiotic can't-see-the-trees-for-the-woods executives and middle managers!

"Look at many of the Mars project plans....
My point is just that the money being pissed away could have accomplished a hell of a lot."

Could have, would have, should have. The giant surplus we got from the Texas Tea is gone. We pissed it all away on weapons and consumer trash. If anybody is going out into Space, it's going to be somebody else, not us.

Maybe one of the others will but I kinda doubt it. The Chinese seem game but I think they're just trying to upstage us. When they see the gwei lo go down for the count, I suspect their motivation to explore Space will follow.

Somebody better though; the existence of the human race will never be secure until we've moved copies of our genome and database off this planet. Sooner or later another dinosaur-killer is going to roll in from Space. If we haven't gotten all our eggs out of this basket by then, Homo sapiens will go where T rex has gone before...

MOVIE RECOMMENDATION

Manufactured Landscapes (2007) directed by Jennifer Baichwal.

Clips from the 86 minute documentary can be viewed in this YouTube, but it's worth watching the whole 86 min. movie.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67j7JlEZzpQ

Tim S said:

A shortage or price spike leads to reduced consumption, hence lower prices and the "end" of the shortage. Eventually it will all crash, but we don't know when that will be.

"Eventually it will all crash..."

Said nonchalantly, as if it is common knowledge, said with such stark confidence, as if anyone knows the future.

This is one of the CFN dogmas, along the lines of "we are so fucked" ... a massive denial on CFN of human potential for change and adaptation.

No one seems to notice that the Cuyahoga river catching on fire led to reclamation efforts and today it will not catch on fire. The river did not continue to get worse after it caught fire.

In other words, environmental degradation is not a matter of fate or destiny. Humans have the capacity for intelligent response, for working with nature, and adapting to live a more sustainable. The Cuyahoga River is evidence.

Remember those guys with the big plywood/cardboard signs saying "The End Is Near"? Now they have blogs. Do you sometimes feel like you're the only one who notices things? I do, until I read this blog entry I thought I was the only one who saw the evidence of decay in the buildings around me. No one else seems to notice, or if they do, they don't talk about it. I like the David Mathews cheery way of saying we are a doomed species. I wonder if he ever read "unless the days be shortened all flesh would destroy themselves"?

The end is near.

Correction:
Humans have the capacity for intelligent response, for working with nature, and adapting to live more sustainably.

Good post and it seems to be the day my favourite blogers start to really pull together what is happening in the USA, and to a lesser extent the whole West.

Joe Bageant over at www.joebageant.com has an absolutely brilliant post “Poking the frog at Gunther's Garage” that summarizes what is happening in the USA in terms ordinary folk can understand better than anything I’ve ever read.

Actually, I see that as not necessarily a good thing. The USA got through the Great Depression and other emergencies generally because by the time the common mob had worked out who was mostly doing it to them, it was all over.

If the USA does have a double dip recession drifting into depression, then when the serfs finally become hungry and desperate enough to look up from their favourite TV shows it will be immediately obvious who both had a big hand in causing their misery and also got away with vast amounts of loot. The latter of course will be what finally makes the masses snap.

The reaction could be very bad indeed.

As for the Human Singularity thing, well I’m seeing that as getting very interesting. As someone who wastes a lot of time keeping up with science and technology what I’ve noticed is that we seem to have reached a point where lots of things are becoming easier and cheaper to do, and also escaping the control of the great corporations.

As just one example, a couple of very, very promising potential cancer treatments have emerged (one here in Australia) quickly, easily and more or less together. Further, they are not the kind of thing likely to be easily captured by Big Pharma so that it can ration the treatments out to us a $10,000 a course of shots rather than the manufacturing plus generous markup price of $11.95.

And there have been similar advances in a number of fields, including alternative energy. No, I’m not talking warp drive, but rather things getting both easier and cheaper to make and at the same time better (i.e. much more output per solar cell area).

So, if you cut out the science fiction fantasy and redefine the Human Singularity / Event Horizon as just that point in the future when “we” (humans at least in some places) can do lots of shit we cannot even imagine now, then I’d say we are starting to feel the downslope and are still right on schedule for the widely predicted date of around 2050.

In fact, looks to me like it could develop into a race between The Long Emergency and the Human Singularity / Event Horizon with each one “winning” in different areas.

Not, of course, that it is likely to be a uniform process in all countries. At least as things are going now and given their vast and growing output of increasingly good scientists and engineers China just might go streaming over first, perhaps with their trade partners Australia and the South American countries desperately hanging on to their coat tails for the free ride.

Then again, forty years is a long time: Anything could happen.

It has now become evident to a critical mass that the Republican and Democratic parties, along with all three branches of our government, have been bought off by a well-organized Economic Elite who are tactically destroying our way of life. The harsh truth is that 99% of the US population no longer has political representation. The US economy, government and tax system is now blatantly rigged against us.Current statistical societal indicators clearly demonstrate that a strategic attack has been launched and an analysis of current governmental policies prove that conditions for 99% of Americans will continue to deteriorate. The Economic Elite have engineered a financial coup and have brought war to our doorstep. . . and make no mistake, they have launched a war to eliminate the US middle tODAY'S ALTERNET ARTICLE LINK.

America has become a factory of monsters. What is so chilling is when you talk about leaving or making changes in lifestyles FOR THE SAKE OF THE PLANET and they look at you and say "The planet. You're an American boy". Once that patriotic bone has been tweaked you're then forced into a hibernation for the sake of keeping the peace. Contraction can only accelerate becasue there is no "real" money flowing. Work has ceased. And people are beginning to steal. Soon they will be.... All of those people who said "Why didn;t the jews get out of Germany while this madman was coming to or after taking power ? Why did you not leave?" are the ones planting their big fat asses so firmly to terra firma as long as it's Americana it could probably casue a mild earthquake.

Most if not all of the people that post to this and other similar Blogs have similar notions of what and where this country and its government have gone wrong. And along with this shared perspective of the loss of democracy and increasingly shrinking middle class there seems to be some fatalistic acceptance that the world, (for most of us) is in for a change for the worse.

What I don't see is any (even from JHK) is any real method of countering the business-as-usual self interest way-of-life that drives the current unsustainable growth and activities of most people.

I guess what I am asking, what is the moral imperative of citizens in light of current affairs?

Should I hide out on 40 acres with my own water-well and use bio-mass for heat and light? Is letter-writing to elected officials a worthwhile cause? Or am I compelled to use bullets for attention-getting results?

Or perhaps, is attending tea-drinking affairs and driving a Prius is enough? Inquiring want to know- am I good man, or an accomplice to crimes against future humanity?


I think your sort of testimony is a good indication of how much easier it is to adapt then many people believe. We could all make major changes and the biggest change is always between the ears.

Oh god,you have got to be kidding: That idiot thought she could live off of a couple packs of m&m's for a few days after a big quake? There REALLY must be something in the air in So Cal.

As for the space program, I have been opposed since the '80s at the least: We have too many problems down here on planet earth that need solving before we start building space stations, moon bases & all that. The space shuttle has been a huge boon doggle, the cost to send anything up is enormous.

I have always argued with my space program-advocating friends that I would have no problem with a space program ONCE we have solved all our terrestrial problems. Aw, gee, you mean they might not get to go up on the shuttle? Get real, unless you are a billionaire now, you will never, ever get to go up on the shuttle.

Sure, there have been some benefits, weather satellites for one, but even that is overshadowed by the military use of satellites, namely to control drones to kill people on the other side of the world.

So as far as I am concerned, the space program has been a huge waste of resources that could have been put to better use.
Same goes for the so-called "defense" budget. For the trillions wasted on Iraq & Arfgansitan, this country could have restarted our manufacturing base.
As for blaming Bill Clinton for all this (someone above), the outsourcing and destruction of US manufacturing stared under Raygun. (History, forget, repeat)

But you known, fcuk it all, I've left the US for good. And if that Limpbag ever comes here, well, at least I'll try to tar & feather him....
Or throw rotten plantians at him at the very least.

"Is letter-writing to elected officials a worthwhile cause? Or am I compelled to use bullets for attention-getting results?"
=======================

Budi, the answer to the above questions and others in your post is:

Do NOT concern yourself about everybody in America or on the planet ... worry about your family and yourself. Do what you need to do day by day. When everyone takes care of themselves the world will evolve in the right direction. Joining a "cause" is a waste of your precious energy. Causes are for "joiners" ... people who derive a certain pleasure being part of a group. The success or failure of reaching the group's goals is a distant second.

I've told this parable before about how to straighten out a mess:

A new cop, first day on the job, is directing traffic at a busy intersection in NYC. There's a colossal jam up, horns blowing, drivers screaming and giving the finger. The cop is beside himself in a fruitless effort to clear the jam. He has an epiphany. He points angrily at one driver and demands that he pull to the curb. He walks smartly toward the car leaving the intersection and the jam behind. The driver rolls down his window and looks questioningly at the cop. "What'd I do?" The cop leans down, and says softly "you didn't do anything ... just sit here a few minutes and talk to me while that traffic jam straightens itself out."

Budizwiser,

Here's the thinking man's site which addresses all your issues (and more).

http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/

James, that was a beautifully written piece! You are back from the horrors of a failed government entangled in its own legislative barbed wire rules and laws boxed in by filibusters, and foolhardy Supreme Court decisions making "person" = "Inc".

You have returned to observations described in eloquent terms, filled with sad passionate speech. So far that has not been made illegal.

Cleveland, a once beautiful place with its downtown built to say "We are here!!!" A city built by masons and skilled craftsman, on the proud shores of Lake Erie where master ships-men sailed across delivering raw materials and leaving with finished goods. An ocean of a lake.

You have returned, James, to a place where waiting is a virtue.

Today all we can do is wait for change, either by default or through the sheer determination of angry progressive leaders disgusted by the fraud perpetrated upon 90% of the American people by the sanctioned financial investment banking crime syndicate to either destroy the economy of Greece by using credit default swaps, or to allow Lehman to Repo with worthless collateral, or to allow Shadow Banking, or to allow investment banks to decide for themselves what their off-balance sheet toxic debt is worth.

As the lowly individuals that we are when compared to those who, at the top, control much of what goes on in Washington, all we can do is wait for change. Until the cowards running HuffPo, or many of these venues for venting opinion to their like-minded readers decide that Americans MUST march on Washington, in mass, by the tens of millions, and muster the courage to organize the people to join in force saying, "Enough is enough. Change the failed and bankrupted system NOW RIght NOW!"

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

http://shortshortstoryproject.blogspot.com

You're right, that's how it is now, with US troops based all over the world. But how long can this go on? The US and UK are as bankrupt as can be. The US and UK nuclear arsenals are about as militarily useful as a warehouse full of fireworks.

With half the American population actively taking sides against their own country no matter what, how much power can the US exert? Can you imagine if 9/11 had happened to Beijing instead of NYC? IMO the Middle East right now would be a grease stain in the sand and we would not be talking about Muslim extremism.

And Israel is nothing more than a pain in the ass. They have nukes supposedly. To what end? What are they going to do, a first strike on Iran? That'll be the day.

But like you I think that Europeans have lost the will to live. I think that, as a result, NATO is a waste of time. It exists on paper but the European contribution is pointless.

You're right, power in the world is reconfiguring. China and maybe India are rising powers, with Islam destroying Europe, the US destroying itself and the Russians drinking themselves to death.

Good thing you got out when you did Bob. Unfortunately, like many people my age living in the Detroit area, I didn't have the foresight to leave Detroit back in the mid-80's when I graduated high school. Of course, the auto industry was booming back then and anybody with a high school diploma could get a job at one of the many tool and die shops that were overflowing with work from the Big Three. I knew friends who had gotten jobs in tool and mold shops while they were still in high school and by the time they graduated were driving brand-new Z-28's. If only we had realized back then that the entire auto industry was about to fall off a cliff. But everybody from my high school shop teacher to the folks over at the employment center was telling me that Detroit was coming back and if we had the right "skills" we'd have plenty of opportunities.

Sansvoiture,it looks like the PTB got you exactly where they want you,poorer,without affordable health care and happy.
Now go buy your Chinese made 80 dollar shoes,your 20 dollar bike tires and 12 dollar inner tubes.
How about a nice Chinese rain coat,gloves and helmet?
I hope you cut back on your eating,so we have enough food to feed the 25 million or so breeding illegal aliens and newly imported slave labor from Haiti. Life get's tedious,"don't"it.

Great post. Same story north of the border. My home town had metal refineries, manufacturing, flour mills, dairies and a lot of farms all around. Good paying jobs. Now there's sweet F.A. left except for the farms and one flour mill.

On the night of my high school graduation in the 1970s I kept hearing Simon and Garfunkel sing "nothing but the dead and dying back in my little town". And really that's how it is now, abandoned factories, old houses, old people and a graveyard. My whole generation left and dispersed all over the country. And it was such a good place to live. Dad had a decent job and supported all of us and Mom stayed home. Really sad.

"...Americans MUST march on Washington, in mass, by the tens of millions..."

I don't think you appreciate the real function of "Homeland" Security. {they know you're coming}

www.hypertiger.blogspot.com

"You're right, power in the world is reconfiguring. China and maybe India are rising powers, with Islam destroying Europe, the US destroying itself and the Russians drinking themselves to death."

All the agricultural, scarcity-based, sky-god worshipping societies on the planet are running out of space to make their models work. In geologic terms, this should unravel fairly quickly for them.

"But like you I think that Europeans have lost the will to live."

Except for the ones, and their descendents, who are willing to change everything about the way they inhabit the landscape, there may be a lot who just CAN'T do it. Too many decades of growth and expansion rot the human brain like Halloween candy. My mom actually said that if things go down like I think, and we move back to local organic economies, that she might rather just cash in her chips.

And so I go to show her the spectacular beauty of the alternative...

This morning I spread splits of thyme, oregano, sage, winter savory, garlic chives, Johnson's geranium, and bee balm from my garden to a friend's new garden, and prepared a couple of veggie beds for her. Last week I planted blueberries, goji, goumi, lingonberries, red currant, aronia, grapes, hardy kiwis, and seaberries for her.

Talk about a lot of new vitamins and minerals in her family's diet!

Next.

I've been reading Clusterfuck Nation for probably five years and while I do believe in peak oil and I do believe that as oil becomes more expensive, we'll see resource wars, an abandonment of the suburbs (probably to squatters and exurban sharecroppers/farmers or something with occasional harrassment by government paramilitaries).

But I must admit this is taking quite a long while. It just keeps going. A man could inadvertently miss out on his whole life waiting for this disaster to unfold and if he's off by five or ten or twenty years, why there goes the best of life into a toilet never to be seen again.

I think it's wise to prepare for the worst within reason, but there's also something to be said for getting on with the business of living. I mean living debt free of course and with enough flexibility that you can accept what comes, when it comes, and if it comes. But there are a lot of people sleeping in the parks who started getting ready for the Apocalypse in the 1970s, or 1980s, or 1990s. It always seems like it's a bit closer now and maybe it is, but there's a lot of joy to be had and work to be done.

Apocalypse or no, we'll all be dead soon enough.

Let's not forget that this was a stolen season for humans, with dire consequences that must now be faced. Not because the kids these days don't understand hard work, or because the Muslims are outbreeding the Christians. No, those are proximal symptoms, not ultimate causes. But because we first world humans expanded into every available calorie of energy on planet Earth, for as long as expansion was possible.

Now the energetic realities of natural law will whip us soundly, and for no other reason than following our nature. That's all. We are a biological population like any other, and as such, we utilize free energy to increase our population until ecosystem constraints force us to do otherwise. Death by starvation is one of the options. Chaos and cannibalism another.

If you want to live it's time to get creative.

And one last thing, let's not belittle Web 2.0. The Internet could be an important key to reducing energy consumption. While Kunstler advocates rail (which I think is great), there's less need for rail with improved communications technology.

I took my office paperless in 2003 and I have a small office, but I probably save $1,500 in consumables - paper, toner, etc. and then there's the enormous space. I send most things to clients by e-mail and receive them the same way. I pressure clients to scan and e-mail documents to me and I've even walked a few through choosing a high speed document scanner with an autofeeder.

There are a lot of opportunities shipping, to send information instead of physical things and people across large spaces, to wring efficiencies out of the system.

By switching to a paperless office, I work from home several days each week (usually when I don't have appointments) and although work is only 9 miles roundtrip, it does save gas (I can't bike to work because of the suburban cesspool I live in -- where I live biking to work is more dangerous than intravenous drug use).

So please don't be down on Web 2.0. We can use it as a tool to reduce energy consumption and to increase efficiency. It would be nice if computers were a bit more energy efficient, but they are coming along. Solid state hard drives and LED backlights along with smaller dies are improving energy consumption a lot, but it hasn't filtered into the broader production yet.

And by creative I mean more self-reliant, not creating new ways to rip people off, or hiding in a bunker waiting for the turnip bandits.

And while I agree with Francesco's comment above, I also think "creative" has a lot more to do with actually doing nothing than we might think. Our economic activity is what's bringing down the house. Maybe smoking a J in the park and napping under a tree is more responsible than a lot of more culturally-appropriate options might seem.

what everyone is afraid to talk about is immigration, overpopulation, and balkinization. one post mentioned that half the country was against any proposed reform. well fifty years of worshipping diversity and multiculturalism is as much to blame as the corporate crimminality for americas predicament.

"It would be nice if computers were a bit more energy efficient, but they are coming along."

And every innovation requires new R&D, mining, manufacturing, distribution, networking, commuting, roll-out, tech support....

The fuel savings of a Toyota Prius don't cover the manufacturing costs to the environment.

The so-called "weightless economy" is still an economy of planetary pillaging. Not that it can't help you save some space in your filing cabinet, if that's the goal. But I don't think Nature is buying the incomplete accounting practices that make this stuff feel so good.

You're right about rotting the brain. Like mine for instance. My father grew up a semi literate peasant, has never read a book in his life but has manual skills I can only dream about. He can build something out of nothing, can fix damn near anything and make edible things grow. If you dropped him naked into a forest in the middle of nowhere he'd survive, have a farm up and running in no time, find himself a squaw and be feeding a family of four. If you dropped me naked into a forest I'd be dead in two days at the outside. My father can't read an IQ test let alone pass one but, believe me, measuring IQ does not measure intelligence.

Well said. Prepare, but keep on living.

And now for something fun:

This Too Shall Pass - Rube Goldberg Machine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qybUFnY7Y8w&feature=player_embedded

'Further, they are not the kind of thing likely to be easily captured by Big Pharma so that it can ration the treatments out to us a $10,000 a course of shots rather than the manufacturing plus generous markup price of $11.95'

Pal, have you heard of ............. CODEX????

'newly imported slave labor '
I read in the LA Times there may be 25,000 slaves or indentured ' servants' in the US...often Muslim immigrants ' keep them.
and yes 'children' 'adopted' from haiti were mentioned in the article as another ready source of slaves.
bill clinton went to one of the biggest slave owning states in africa in the 90s and apologized for slavery.

Very well put. People look around expecting to see somehing arise out of all the talk of recovery. There won't be much happening with the way the American wage base has been beaten down. I really started to see it under Reagan. And it hasn't let up. There is a provision in the Job's Stimulus to give a tax credit to companies shipping work off-shore. That's just great ! Our tax dollars at work creating more jobs for China.

Wow - I want to be a neighbor of trippticket - what part of the country supports this kind of gardening this time of year?

Those are familiar questions. I'm sure many of us have also asked the same. When I bring up my "peak oil" concerns to family and friends I'm often met with the now familiar range of responses: "Don't worry, technology will solve these problems", to "We'll just switch to solar and wind." and the ever present "But Canada has more oil reserves than Saudi Arabia".

For my part I feel limited in terms of participating in a broader effort to effect change. I support government energy policy that I believe is on the right track, but most politicians and the electorate are in a different universe, separated from this important issue by self-serving attitudes and the inertia of the culture of consumption.

Asoka states we suffer from a massive denial of the human potential for change and adaptation. Some people are undoubtably adaptable. I just think too many of us are stupid and lazy and illiterate. After all, the US elected GWB not once, but twice! And the second time was after the US invaded a sovereign country under massive false pretenses. 2/3 of Americans believed that Saddam Hussein was linked to Al Qaeda despite a total lack of evidence. This is in a nation that spends billions to watch cars go around in circles.

Asoka points to the Cuyahoga river success story as a support for our ability to fix things. Another success story is the international agreement to cease production and use of hydrofluorocarbons or CFCs which destroy the ozone layer. The agreement was significant due to the widespread use of these chemicals all over the world in many applications. These two examples are success stories largely in part because they were problems begging for a fix: stop dumping petrochemicals into the river, and use hydroflurans (which don't kill ozone) instead of CFCs. In contrast, peak oil reality is not so much a problem, but a predicament in that we will not be able to continue as before. There is no solution, only change. I don't put much hope in exergy or other exotic technological breakthroughs. As many authors state, our energy systems are built on a oil platform. For me the type of change and how well we transition to a future with less oil is the question.

Interest in local economies, mass transit and transition towns is going to do nothing but increase. The best outcome, in my view, would be to have a critical mass of people embrace these changes while the writing of the industrial society is still on the wall and the wall hasn't yet completely crumbled.

To this end, I'm grateful to posters sharing their experiences, especially permaculutre Trip. I'm looking forward to spring and trying some heirloom seed varieties. I'm going to encourage my neighbors to garden and experiment. In anticipation for the long emergency I'm doing this for my kids. Some of my financial equity will be used to buy a farm, not too far from my urban centre. I haven't had a lot of experience in being "handy" but my back is strong and I'm young enough that I can afford a longer time line to learn.

And one last thing, let's not belittle Web 2.0. The Internet could be an important key to reducing energy consumption.

REALITY CHECK

About half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation: their priority is not Web 2.0

2 billion people — a quarter of humanity — live without electricity.

Of the world population, only 2 billion (25%) are internet users. Of those, only 80% access Web 2.0.

We, mostly first-worlders, who use Web 2.0 are a privileged elite living in a bubble, the bubble CFNers say is about to be burst when TSHTF, which will be soon, any day now. Prepare to say goodbye to the internet. Prepare to say goodbye to electricity.

Besides, Web 2.0 has its negative aspects: 80 percent of IT pros surveyed said that Web 2.0-based malware will be their biggest headache in 2010.

Great post Francesco! I'm kinda new to CFN, just started reading in Dec '09 when an economic blog I follow (Paul Kedrosky) posted a link to JHK's bleak predictions for the new year.... became fascinated with his wordsmithing for what my guts are tellin' me and have been checking in most every week since.
Your comments echo my thoughts even further - JHK might be right but his timing is waaaay off. Things are going to get ugly one year, but it could be 5 - 10 years or more. Hell, it could be 50 years! But there is no mistaking what happens to great civilisations (economies) when they vote themselves too much of the public largess. If anyone wants to read an amazing study of this, see Reinhart & Rogoff. Basically, they have identified 3 main traits:
1 Private debt surges are a prelude to banking crisis, gov'ts actually contribute to this.
2 Banking crisis precede or accompany sovereign debt crisis, they even help predict them!
3 Public borrowing accelerates markedly ahead of a sovereign debt crisis, gov'ts often had "hidden debts" that far exceeded what they admitted to having.
Sound familiar??? I am certain this "recession" is a prelude to something worse, but we should all live life to its fullest while we prepare for the possibility of something fugly coming our way. I'm voting against "government too big to fund" in every election and doing every small thing possible to minimize my impact on the environment. Yes, and stocking up on nonperishables :)


I liked the phrase "the seductive
nostrums of technocracy". Beautiful
writing. As a teacher of computer
science I see how disorganized people
believe that the Web/Facebook/Twitter
can herd cats. I see it every day.

Contrary to the technological utopians,
I believe that the shrill voices of the
rabble is largely what we hear on the
Web. The implicit idea they carry is
that merely having a website that espouses
a point of view leads to "change".

The only substantive "change" I see the
Web making is in campus finance where the
DNC and RNC do mass mailings to free your
wallets of dollars to support more and
more sociopathic, kleptomaniacal, and
megalomaniacal people for various offices.

Technology, as currently used, is the
greatest SEPARATOR of people in human
history.


Eleuthero

I dunno Asoka, you really missed the boat on that one.... I think you even got the wrong ocean. The internet will play a pivotal role in whatever New World Order emerges, and it won't be anytime soon. Third World economies will be using it to get their news of the devastation in developed countries.....

Cash, it's like a climbing a stair case - you have to go up the first few steps before you can go up the next set and so on to the top. A People have to first have survival skills before they can develop the fine arts and scholarship. There is no contradiciton - just what one is good at and the opportunities that are available. For all you know, your Dad might be a potential genius at book learning as well. In fact, G, general intelligence, also known as IQ - has been found to be helpful at ordinary jobs like driving a truck or being a waitor. The US army used to give people an IQ test, called something different of course. They didn't want anyone under 85. It's been lowered now because they're getting desperate for warm bodies.

There is a rival theory to the Central IQ theory called the theory of Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardner and others. It says that G is just one of many intelligences and not automatically the most important. Well what can I say? It is the intelligence than produces high Culture and certainly Western Culture. But yeah, from the point of view of an Aboriginee and what he has to do, it's not the main thing or even the most important. And by this theory, Africans with their musicality, rhythm, intuition, emotionalism, etc are the equals of Whites or their superiors depending on how you score the test. But a caveat: if you say this to a Black, he will be offended. Even they know that G is what got us to where we are. They don't want to go back to the jungle even if Whites do.

An example from John Adams I believe. He said his son would study military strategy, so that his son would be free to study engineering so that his son would be free to study literature, philosophy, and the fine arts. See the progression up the stairway of being? Hierarchy is the basis of all Great Culture. And even Traditional Third World Societies are hierarchical in their own way based on heredity, charisma, fighting ability or spiritual attainment.


I've got to agree with you, Mr. Heyer,
that the article on joebageant.com was
an incredibly concise definition of
the insanity of the age.

I've loved the part where Gunther the
Mechanic says that the new investing
philosophy was guesstimating what some
fool's guess of the average guesses of
some fools about yet more fools average
guesses was the new basis of "investing".

You might as well throw craps in Vegas.
Indeed, I aver that craps in Vegas actually
resembles REAL investing more than the
stock market of 2010. At least you know
the odds on that craps table to a tenth
of a percent. With the stock market
you're trying to bet on 3rd derivative
forecasts from fools ... as Joe's
mechanic asserts.

I say ... KAFKA would have a hundred times
more material for goofy surrealistic short
stories were he alive today.


Eleuthero

Things are going to get ugly one year, but it could be 5 - 10 years or more. Hell, it could be 50 years!

"The majority of petroleum scientists in this area of research have consistently said that it [peak oil] will arrive some time past 2020, perhaps even as far away as 2050. Although 2050 sounds like some far off date, those 40 years may be just barely enough to reduce our petroleum dependence enough to avoid catastrophe."

http://gas2.org/2010/03/10/kuwaiti-scientists-say-peak-oil-will-arrive-in-2014/2/

My estimate, based on the science, is that we have 47 years.

Won't be peak oil, Asoka. Sovereign debt will take us all down first. Although I think peak oil will be a large determining factor in the shape of new economies emerging...

Mars might be the only place for the White Race to go to escape our tormentors. Like the Martian Chronicles but us instead of the Blacks. Did I ever tell how a girl gave me a hard time at Science Fiction convention because she hated Bradbury for using the word Nigger? Couldn't forgive him - seemed to want the book banned. Real moron who didn't understand colloquialism. A shame: she was pretty hot and had actually approached me. But an ugly mind, an ugly mind...

What do you think of the possibility of terraforming Mars? We'd all have to become Neggers (from the German) meaning men of the Earth. Or the Martian equivalent. Remember that story in the Chronicles where the Father tells the Kids to look in the water to see the Martians? That's what disgusted me so me so much -The Martian Chronicles is not only strange but at times very prfound and beautiful. Funny too - when the only man meets the only woman!

thrill said: "Won't be peak oil, Asoka. Sovereign debt will take us all down first."

It's not that serious, thrill. We have many serious problems. Sovereign debt is not one of them.

Debt can be forgiven, because it is not real like oil is. Debt is a promise, an abstraction, a figment of the imagination and debt forgiveness has a long history.

Debt forgiveness is mentioned in the Book of Leviticus. Debt forgiveness was also found in Ancient Athens, in the 6th century BCE.

Becoming free of debt is easily possible. Sovereign nations continue functioning regardless of the size of their debt.

Having bizillions or trillions dollars of debt is not a serious problem. They are just zeros, and can be erased.

I have never lost a minute's sleep over "sovereign debt" Abstract sovereign debt numbers are innocuous. They are just zeros and zeros are nothing to lose sleep over.

When you have cancer of the tongue and a limited time to live... and we all have a limited time to live... are you going to be thinking about "sovereign debt" on your death bed. I don't think so, because debt is not a real problem.

Ultimately you cannot take gold or debt with you when you die. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?


JHK hits it right on the head again--we dream of technotopian salvation when, instead, we might learn to plant a few seeds and fix our own broken windows.

On the other hand planting seeds and fixing windows is all they did during a thousand years of Dark Ages. We could be on the moons of Neptune by now if those guys hadn't dragged their feet.

I appreciate the warning about peak oil, which is why I love to read this blog, but I'm not swept off my feet by the suggested alternative. It sounds a bit too Jonestown compound cultish for my taste.

There is enough energy out there -- there is even enough exergy out there -- to eventually make our 20th century lives of fossil fuel abundance look like a Third World existence in hindsight. We do not have to return to the Middle Ages (but with trains and phones) just because we run out of oil and coal...

Agree with your conclusion; however based upon alternative reasoning. F=MA Until mankind develops an alternative to flinging small particles at high velocity, in opposition to the desired direction of motion, to generate thrust Space exploration will continue to be limited and incredibly expensive.

It's mostly the first step of getting out of Earth's gravity well that's the most expensive. It's what prohibited shooting solar panels into orbit in the past for anything but providing the satellites themselves with power. The energy required to do that would have exceeded the energy the panels could have beamed back to Earth in their lifetime.

Space elevators could, of course, radically change that. If they were up the planet would be swimming in clean energy a couple of decades later. A few decades more and most factories would be in geosynchronous orbit, where they could simulate any gravity they need and have a giant heat source and heat sink to draw from. And shortly after that more people would live in GEO than on the surface, which is an inefficient existence anyway, considering how many millions of cubic meters of bedrock and magma and solid core are wasted for every few square meters of real estate on the outer crust.

But even without the space elevator it would eventually become economical to harvest solar energy in space and to beam it down. All that needs to exist is a maintenance infrastructure to keep those things going. The amount of power out there is literally astronomical and there's no weather, no nights, no strong gravity, and more surface area than a billion Earths combined...

I strongly support you becoming an early Pioneer in the creation of a white homeland complete with white culture on Mars.

"Death by starvation is one of the options. Chaos and cannibalism another.

If you want to live it's time to get creative."
===================================
I'm not sure how much "creativity" would be rewarded under the two options you mention above. Your otherwise positive proposals are dependent on civilization surviving. Certainly, if cannabalism is rampant, you will find gardening a little dicey.

Unlike many here I believe civilization will survive under anything but the most extreme outcomes. The overwelming majority of people recognize that collective action is far more likely to be successful then individual solutions. Any decline in worldwide resources or other negative outcomes will exemplify the old statement "if we don't hang together we will surely hang separately."

dale said: "The overwelming majority of people recognize that collective action is far more likely to be successful then individual solutions."

Agreed. Collective action reclaimed the Cayahoga River, "big government" collective action. Thank God for big government and its regulatory actions.

Individuals can inspire collective action. The Hudson river was reclaimed by Pete Seeger, who motivated groups living all along the river to act.

When it comes to solving many of our problems, individual action alone is insufficient.

When it comes to big projects like rural electrification, big government is necessary.

"Thank God for big government and its regulatory actions."

How can you thank God for actions that are ungodly? The people wanted Saul to be king because they wanted to be like the other nations around them. God told the prophet to anoint Saul, because they had rejected Him. They were warned, just like we have been warned about what would, and now IS, happening. Read Duet. 28; it's like the Sunday paper.

Individuals motivate their neighbors to collective action because it is made plain that collective action is a benefit to all. The kleptocracy in Washington only cares about convincing a majority of consumers {I can no longer call them citizens} that all their goodies will continue to arrive, within arm's reach. Who pays, in blood, sweat and tears {converted to fraud "money"} doesn't matter to them, it's just a few extra "zeros, and they can be erased".

Asoka, You're advocating just shrugging off this debt. If someone borrowed money from you and didn't pay you back and you found out they had no intention of paying it back, wouldn't you be pissed?

Sovereign debt is money borrowed from somebody. Borrowing money from somebody, with no intention of paying it back, is theft, nothing more.

If someone powerful screwed you that way wouldn't you be even more pissed? What if people as powerful as Americans did that to someone? If the lenders wanted revenge would you be in the least surprised? Do you want to be a victim of that revenge?

The system of laws we live under is breaking down because of such casual disregard. You see it on the streets, you see it in corporate boardrooms and you see it on Wall Street. You can be as much a victim of this breakdown as anyone.

"Those negroes stole our girlfriends". I wish people your age would get over the politically correct "fad". It is the horseshit that prevents many positive things from happening in this country. The possibility of hurting one person 's feelings is not a reason to prevent progress. Stereotyping is a skill that is vital for survival, literally, especially in today's violent world.

It is today, as it was thirty years ago, the prospect of getting laid being the number one thing on a teen boys mind. Try getting that on a loaded schoolbus. Oh, and they do enjoy weed, booze, and other refreshments on the way home contrary to what your school administrators tell you.

Cash said: "If someone borrowed money from you and didn't pay you back and you found out they had no intention of paying it back, wouldn't you be pissed?"

No.

This has actually happened to me. My reaction to someone not paying me back is within my control.

Deciding to shrug it off and erase it from my mind and not lose sleep over it was easy to do, because debt is not real. Writing off debt was an easy mental operation and I consciously chose to do it.

On the other hand, you can choose to lose sleep, rant and rail, raise your blood pressure, get pissed, take revenge, become violent, curse the one who owes the debt, and feel like a schmuck for being "ripped off" ... you are free to continue these behaviors for as many years as you wish.

I thought it better for my mental health to just shrug it off. They were only zeros after all.

While I don't subscribe to the "causes" and "solutions" proposed by many denizens of the Chicago school of catastrophe economics, I likewise think imagining debt as some sort of illusory number is bewilderingly obtuse.

Having a financial and political system which is both corrupt and unresponsive, has it's eventual repercussions. In our case (U.S.) you can count on hyper-inflation and lower standards of living at some point in the near future, such circumstances are not usually a boon to the economic fortunes of a country.

This is not to say that I advise you to immediately go out and buy gold or short the long bond. As always one can go broke many times over in the course of being shown right. Analysts are only proven accurate in rear view mirrors, and those who were right the last time, have a disturbing tendency to be completely off mark on the next turn.

Indicators at such junctures as we are at now can be highly deceptive, I wouldn't even try to forecast the next twelve months economically, truthfully economic trends could go strongly either way in that time frame, or simply languish. In sailing parlance they would call our current situation being “in irons”.

ASOKA: "Thank God for big government and its regulatory actions."

MESSIANICDRUID: How can you thank God for actions that are ungodly?

The context here is the Cayahoga River and big government intervention in its cleanup.

Please explain how passing clean water legislation is "ungodly", considering that the way God created us (if you believe in God as a creator) clean water is necessary for God's creation to live.

You know Howard, you would be more compelling if you would stop hawking your own agenda like all the other snake oil we're offered. You always overlook the key point of all this failure - we live in an age of fundamental intellectual vices - greed, dishonesty, venality, stupidity, and deliberate ignorance. The problem is not in our buildings and industries, but in ourselves. There is no "long emergency" coming in the sense you promote - the emergency is already here, and it amounts to a complete and nearly deliberate ruination of the intellectual and moral virtues that sustained us before. There is no aspect of intellectual or moral life that is not overrun with a pernicious and destructive narcissism, and this is quite independent of that other looming monster, corporate sociopathy, the one that erased most of the outward symbols. It has nothing to do with production or consumption or technology or food or energy - it has to do with a society that is morally and intellectually rotten to the core. There is no solution to it, whatever scale you want to consider. The only hope is that the boomers will die off and take their nihilistic worldview with them.

-drl

"Sovereign debt is money borrowed from somebody. Borrowing money from somebody, with no intention of paying it back, is theft, nothing more.

If someone powerful screwed you that way wouldn't you be even more pissed? What if people as powerful as Americans did that to someone? If the lenders wanted revenge would you be in the least surprised? Do you want to be a victim of that revenge? "

Why do you think the Chinese are diversifying so much? I think that they fully expect Unka Scam to announce some day soon that the US is going to renege on its debt. After all, Unka Scam thinks he is invincible, he has nukes, eh?
But you know what, if that happens, China might just cut off the WalMart supply ships. Whatcha gonna do then? Shit, even the cans the Bud comes in are made in China now. How's the NAZCAR hoards gonna get their beer that keeps them all so complacent?

The US has screwed it self soo bad.

Vlad, in my father's case it was a case of necessity determining what skills he learned. But there's a larger cultural context. Italians of his era put no stock in education whether they were in the old country or the new world. To them it was a waste of time and detracted from learning a trade.

Reading and writing and all that was all girl stuff and not anything for self respecting boys. Boys were meant to be physically energetic, mischievous and were not supposed to sit still in a classroom and behave themselves. Work done with the head at a desk was not for Italians. As a consequence Italian immigrants progressed very slowly academically and professionally in the new world and it wasn't prejudice that held them back.

Contrast the experience of Jews. Jews faced real discrimination in N. America. What was their response? Won't hire us in your high falutin law firm? Fuck you we'll start our own. Won't hire us in your high hat accounting firm? Fuck you we'll start our own. Won't hire us in your hospital? Fuck you we'll start our own. Won't let Jews up the ladder? Fuck you they'll make their own. They made movies, built Hollywood. At the top of any profession who do you see? Many highly accomplished Jews. Italians did not move up the professional/business ladder for a long time. Peasant culture combined with their own insularity proved to be a very stubborn thing.

My own parents couldn't stand to look at me because I did not fit the Italian mold. I refused to learn a manual trade. I refused to speak Italian. I was not going to be a goombah bricklayer or carpenter. I got a university degree. I'm a big disappointment. Professional ambition was not encouraged, believe me, in the Italian immigrant community. The world outside tight Italian circles was highly suspect, something to be feared, not something to be part of. A good Italian returned at night after work to the neighbourhood and family with a sigh of relief, tired, dirty and calloused. I wanted no part of that. So much for Italian culture.

three years after Argentina declared a record debt default of more than $100 billion, the largest in history, the apocalypse has not arrived.

Why should debt default result in apocalypse? 100 billion is only a 1 with 11 zeros after it. A default of 100 TRILLION would just be three more zeros.

I'll let Ella Fitzgerald say it for me, though I've tried to say it many ways on CFN:

I got plenty of nothing
And nothing's plenty for me
I got no car - got no mule
I got no misery

Folks with plenty of plenty
They've got a lock on the door
Afraid somebody's gonna rob 'em
While there out (a) making more - what for

I got no lock on the door - that's no way to be
They can steal the rug from the floor - that's ok with me
'cause the things that I prize - like the stars in the skies - are all free

-----------------------------

APPRECIATE WHAT IS FREE OR CURSE ABSTRACT SOVEREIGN DEBT; THE CHOICE IS YOURS

"I thought it better for my mental health to just shrug it off. They were only zeros after all."

The question is are you going to do it again, did you learn anything?

"Please explain how passing clean water legislation is "ungodly", considering that the way God created us (if you believe in God as a creator) clean water is necessary for God's creation to live."

Please try to refrain from comparing instances where group effort expended for group benefit is comparable to top down coersion that benefits the few {often the very few}. I'm not saying ALL acts of big government are ungodly, as you very well know. I'm saying big government is not needed for people to cooperate in working together to help themselves.

Giving unlimited power to strangers with ulterior motives is stupid. If you are doing anything based on fear {coersion} or greed {filthy lucre}, it is probably for the wrong reason.

Good Rant, Thanks.

I'm surprised there's no comment of Derf's drab cartoons so I'll add one. He's a Cleveland cartoonist and that reflects in his grim drawings.
www.derfcity.com

Honestly Asoka, your naivete is truly astonishing at times.
Hundreds of thousands of people suffered horribly (including death) from the default and resulting economic actions of the Argentine government. Just because it hasn't crossed your radar doesn't mean it didn't happen. The truth about this is available on line if you choose to look for it. Don't be so easily misled by triumphant propaganda. Larry Rohter is hardly an unbiased reporter. As was reported in Brazil “Larry’s capacity for serving as an uncritical conduit for local partisan-political noise machines was amazing — and disturbing” In this “economic recovery” the proceeds have gone almost entirely to the top of Argentine society and the off-shore interests who bought their de-nationalized businesses for pennies on the dollar. Meanwhile, as is often the case in these debt default actions, the middle and working class was crushed. Was it the “end of the world?”, well....not for you since you weren't living in Argentina.
As for your English corrections. I was making a distinction between the “near” and “distant” future, I don't know if that is incorrect English or not, where is Qshtik when you need him? Whatever....the intention should be clear.
I'll let you have the last response since any further discussion of this issue would only be a waste of my time.

"What nation has never recovered?"

1. The Minoan
2. The Aztec
3. The Sumerian
4. The Babylonian
5. The Phoenecian
6. The Mayan
7. The Toltec
8. The Maurya
9. The Inca

not to mention others of myth whose debris litter the globe.

btw: these were not just nations, they were civilizations.

I rephrase my question:

"What 21st century nation, with transnational economic safety nets in place, has never recovered?"

"Those negroes stole our girlfriends".
========================

Mook, I'm not sure I understand your post and I'm not sure you understood mine. For example, from where did you get the quote above? It wasn't in my post and I don't recall seeing it in anyone else's.

dale said: "Honestly Asoka, your naivete is truly astonishing at times."

dale, thank you for your kindness.

I say beginner's mind; others say willful ignorance.

In any event, you are correct that any further discussion would be a waste of time. You take these matters seriously. I do not.

P.S. I was living in South America during the time period of the debt default. I speak Spanish fluently. I visited Argentina and saw the middle class wiped out. I saw people selling their furniture to survive, then selling apples on the street.

And they did survive. And it was not the Apocalypse. The rhetoric on this board is just over the top and full of fear-mongering.

"What 21st century nation, with transnational economic safety nets in place, has never recovered?"

Spiderwebs cannot capture the moon.

"America doesn't actually produce anything anymore, we merely play games with our money, take our pills and ship stuff around. The reason we are in such bad shape economically is we have built our economic house upon a quicksand of debt. Debt is not money. {read that again, and again} Until we realize this, there is truly no hope for us."
http://www.stevequayle.com/News.alert/10_Money/08_Mac_Attack/100317.odds.and.ends.html

Asoka, your argument is rather childish - "they're just zeroes" WTF?? If you strongly felt that "gov't too big to fund" was no big deal you would come up with a better defense than that. Money (more appropriately, credit) is at the heart of our current situation. Even your beloved peak oil theory is grounded in the fact that oil is becoming more and more costly to extract.
The anger on Main Street (and this blog) is the result of all that bad debt being transferred from the private sector to the public sector. The only "recovery" is on Wall Street. History will show that we missed a golden opportunity to let all that debt die exactly where it should have - in the hands of the greedy bastards that created it.
I'm not a "buy guns and grow food" type (yet), and I am certain that we will "recover" from whatever further crisis comes our way, but to dismiss the sovereign debt problems as "just zeroes" is silly. Even the Greek Finance Minister doesn't use that one.....

That 'ol Bible says uncomplimentary things about usury, the collecting of interest. In Exodus & Nehemiah, there are some words about not charging the poor any interest at all.

The Muslims have an interesting methodology of pooling money and letting it out without interest for good works. I have something in mind, further down the page...

Funny thing about the JHK story today; Cleveland. Lead in City (latest in JHK rogue's gallery of US places in reduced circumstances) was top billed in the RR "Big Four", AKA Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis. Epitome of America's ring of steel when "rust belt" had never been heard. Obviously not to be replicated with the sooty steel mills, steam power, etc. Nonetheless, there was/is great virtue in being able to make steel & manufacture things & ship victuals & goods without OPEC oil.

Grover Cleveland must be mentioned, though not associated with the City: 22nd & 24th President. First in office in the 1880s, the period of greatest US rr expansion. Second term 1893-1897 saw US Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and first RR ops to reach 100mph. The Columbian Exposition, Celebrating Christopher Columbus & US achievements to that date) is a study in itself, Walt Disney's creations pale in comparison. As in "Columbia, The Gem Of The Ocean"...

Back to the Arab money lenders. Al-RIBA or the collecting of interest is considered a detriment to society, as well as a moral no-no. The Judeo-Christian Bible advises against it, not withstanding the parable of the talents. The "Talent" teaching is useful in our time, as is the Parable of the "Good Soil", for reason of showing expectation of productivity from individual worth & wherewithal.

This brings us to look at what America represents in the modern era. Gaming, building of great resort cities based on gambling is exactly the opposite sort of infrastructure America needed, or shall ever need. People like Steve Winn, a man contacted in the 1990's with regards to a renewable powered electric railway at Tahoe, shall not like the way history shall depict their choice of investment. Global enterprises of gaming, fostered by American entrepreneurs...

Some segment of the population, by dint of timing & circumstance as much as anything to do with IQ or planning, is now possessing significant wealth. It must occur to people with means, in the aggregate: there is a time to accumulate, and a time to expend, simply as an act of patriotism, forget about "Charity" for the moment. Patriotism does in fact translate to charity, when patriotism expresses itself in sacrificial giving of blood & treasure for the good of the Nation. The Nation is the people, as in "We"..

Rather than my words, let interested readers see two authors on the subject of preserving the Nation: Jamers H. Kunstler wrote "THE LONG EMERGENCY", and suggests remedial steps to turn America back from a "borrowing to a lending nation". Christopher Swan is architect of "Suntrain Transportation Corporation", and has authored "ELECTRIC WATER", a compendium of off-the-shelf methodologies for local energy generation and mobility, in step with corrective steps JHK notes in his prescient book.

The front line of America's coming challenge is not in some backwoods hideout. Or escape resorts or villas in Baja. Rather, hoarded wealth avails nothing, as shown in the "Talents" Parable. JHK mentions railroad rebuild as a key element in America's solution set; that is my lifelong interest from the end of WWI because of family background and transport employment. It has been a long pull from near destruction of the US railways to gradual realization of strategic necessity and turn-around. Much heavy lifting ahead.

It's a study in national frivolous dissipation; America's rail network went on the skids, greasing the rubber tire economy of the last half of the 20th Century. American rail executives and shareholders lost sight of Strategic Patriotism. Too easy to just label someone "Unpatriotic" Rather, it became too much simply a matter of money, not enough of what what was requisite for America. Maybe the other 6/7th of the iceberg was more visible or more interesting to investors. Ignorance is an excuse?

After WWII, railroad men & the Pentagon KNEW the importance of rail mode. Amnesia set in quickly... The railroad business took to counting capital as being more important than maintaining service to all the dots. Excuse: Cheap oil. Now we ask, where was it written that America could live on imported ANYTHING"?

As events unfold, oil settles in the 90's, we are in the zone of reckoning. Expect Federal Executive Emergency Orders for Motor Fuel Rationing and, the calling in of all bullion & non-collectible coins as it becomes apparent the crushing foreign exchange outflow cannot be maintained. If the Feds need to call in gold to maintain requisite oil imports, does any sane person think they shall not do it??

Wealth of Nations determines the price of oil. China & India and the EU, we all compete for oil from now on, with many economies that manufacture and consume more than the USA. Hence, they can afford to chase oil priced out of our reach... This is not instantaneous, but we are at the point of near perfect timing, the moment when we must convert stored wealth into the next stage of American infrastructure. If we delay, the wealth will be useless, as it was in the days of Roman or Grecian collapse. There was no place to hide then, nor will today's wealthy parents & grandparents see their offspring prosper simply on the strength of hidden assets, in this era.

Look up "stoichiometry", a helpful term to know in "Perfect Storm" conversations...

"The rhetoric on this board is just over the top and full of fear-mongering."
====================================
I would have to agree that is true at times, I'm not sure I saw anything on this topic which was all that crazy however.

Perhaps "beginner's mind" is not the best of methods to use when it comes to international finance.

The difference between a default of Argentina and a default on the scale of the U.S. could be the difference between your survival and death, depending on your economic circumstances, of course.

To keep it simple, the "Bailout" transfered 100's of billions of dollars in highly leveraged and suspect debt onto the national balance sheet. I don't know if it was "necessary" to do that or not, that is another question.

There are only two ways to eventually address this debt; monetize it = eventual inflation, which is notoriously hard to control, or pay it back which will be an enormous burden on the taxpayers. That's the way it works, and there are no "win-win outcomes under these circumstances.

That is why so many people are rightfully angered over the lack of legal action against these criminals, because that is exactly what they are. Unfortunately, we have government in which both of the parties are completely corrupted by big finance and corporate influence buying, and won't do a damn thing about it.

"Asoka, your argument is rather childish - "they're just zeroes" WTF??"
====================

Thrill, (plus Dale, Messi and Cash), you have all been driven crazy today by Asoka.

A short story:

My Uncle Walt (rest his soul), one of my Mom's younger brothers, was an alcoholic. I recall my Mom being driven to distraction by some of Uncle Walt's non-sensical barroom logic. Like "how can you say we're all gonna die some day when there are billions of people alive on the planet and they've never died?" An almost imperceptible smile told me perhaps he wasn't serious but just enjoyed being contrary.

It's the same with Asoka. There is no possible rational discussion with someone who says debt is meaningless and big numbers are nothing more than smaller numbers with a bunch of extra zeros. I detect Asoka's subtle smile and ask that you remember Safire's rule #4.

messiandruid, I'm not going to let you get away with quoting "America doesn't manufacture anything anymore" as if it is a truism. It just is not true.

The assembly line at a General Motors plant in Lansing, Mich. is adding a third shift of 900 to 1,000 workers in April 2010. They are manufacturing there.

WASHINGTON — Improbable as it seems, the brightest spot so far in the nation's spotty economic recovery is a sector long considered all but dead — good-old-fashioned manufacturing.

Factories are churning. Exports are up. Even though jobs are the bleakest aspect of the overall economy these days, factory payrolls have turned positive.

"We could have a renaissance here," said Ron Bloom, President Obama's manufacturing czar.

"Indeed," Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke declared late last month, "manufacturing has been leading the recovery so far."

The basis for that optimism is emerging companies such as Nanosolar in San Jose, Calif., which is riding a wave of demand for "green energy" equipment, as well as established firms such as Intel and Boeing that are investing billions in U.S. production facilities.

Even old-line manufacturers such as Caterpillar and General Motors are calling back workers.

dale said: "That is why so many people are rightfully angered over the lack of legal action against these criminals..."

dale, I do not dispute that the banksters are criminals. I do ask myself is anger is the appropriate reaction. There is another way to punish the big banks: http://moveyourmoney.info/

If you are serious about solving problems, anger clouds your thinking and darkens the mind and invokes emotions which are not the best prelude to rational problem-solving.

Qshtik, we are both enjoying life, are we not?

You with your grammar police schtick and me with the subtle smile of leela that originates playfully in my soul.

It is hilarious that you continue to remind people about Rule #4. You are being very consistent. Thanks for playing!

Without comment from the Atlantic:
[except that it comes from our trillions spent on doodads.]

China's 16,000-Mile, 17-Nation Railroad Faces Bumpy Ride

Mar 17 2010, 4:34 PM ET
China may have to move some metaphorical mountains to build its proposed 16,000-mile, high-speed train network from Beijing to London, with lines running to Southeast Asia, India and Europe. For a start, that means proving the railroad is economically viable for the 17 nations it will run through, and managing some treacherous diplomatic terrain.

A senior consultant on the rail project said that China wants participating countries not to pay in cash, but rather with natural resources. That tactic could represent "a sort of neo-imperialism desired by the countries to be colonized," argues Yonah Freemark of Transport Politic:

Will they regret the selling off of their natural resources in exchange for better transportation offerings? Is this reasonable foreign investment on the part of China, or is it an attempt to take control of the economies of poor countries?

Even if China proves that its resource-exchange plan is mutually beneficial, it will still have to convince European countries that the rail line is economically worthwhile, especially as maritime transport is already so cheap.

China will also need to do some political maneuvering. For one, the railroad-for-resources plan might face outside resistance from places like India, which is wary of its neighbor's growing economic heft, and from Russia, "which sees resource-rich Central Asia as its sphere of influence," The Economist reports. Questions of whether China will be able to sign all the countries up "only multiply when it is borne in mind that Tehran is one of the mooted stops."

The deal gets more complicated when considering allegations from manufacturers in Europe, who say that in complying with Chinese regulations, they were forced to turn over technology that is now being used by the Chinese to undersell them both internationally and at home. The Financial Times reports: "The official state policy on using foreign rail technology is known as 'introduce, digest, absorb then innovate.'"

Once China convinces the 17 countries that a high-speed line is both economically and politically acceptable, all that's left is the small matter of laying 16,000 miles of track across international borders, with many countries using incompatible gauges of track. Considering the obstacles, this rail network may be derailed before it even breaks ground.

Somebody better though; the existence of the human race will never be secure until we've moved copies of our genome and database off this planet. Sooner or later another dinosaur-killer is going to roll in from Space. If we haven't gotten all our eggs out of this basket by then, Homo sapiens will go where T rex has gone before...

Well, the rock that wipes us out would have to be a little bigger than the one that drove the dinosaurs to extinction. Our technology makes us a hard species to kill. Billions could die from an apocalyptic event, but if even millions survived they'd get back on their feet fairly quickly.

But that is precisely why I don't like those "world made by hand" movements, because if anything can kill us off completely it would be a two-pronged stab of an outside crisis combined with an anti-technology attitude paralyzing us, making us seek our salvation in the "good old days," and preventing us from adapting.

I don't get the sense that CFN is anti-technology. (we are using the internet and posting to a blog)

Just that CFN has an overgrown skepticism (to the point of outright irrational denial) that technology will "save us". (based on what? no one can predict the future)

If you think back to 1800, and think of the changes we have seen in the last 200 years, I would be very hesitant to declare a technology miracle a non-possibility, as many CFNers do.

It's true - they are stealing our girlfriends. Or it the Truth no defence as the European Judge said during one of the Holocaust Trials? Great system: Ernst Zundel's lawyer got cross examined and was charged with a hate crime during the trial. Right out of the playbook of the Red Queen.

I didn't say it, but I could have - is that good enough?

Ah you mourn the road not taken and perhaps your relationship with your father as well. Mark Twain said some place that when he was twenty, he was amazed at how ignorant his father was, but a fourty he thought him quite sharp - concluding that the old man had made an amazing leap forward!

What do you think of the French Canadian Culture? They were reviled for their pacifism during the Great War, but time has proven them right in that.

Pure research always pays - we gained much from going to the moon in terms of technology. This is something the D's of the world don't get. I had a debate with an African Professor about this once - he thought impractical research was selfish. I tried to no avial to explain how much we gain when we let geniuses play in their own fields.

2004: Jim K writes that 'the crash' will be such there wont be enough power to power the nuclear power plants. Then he starts a popular web site!

what i read in the Times is that suicide and starvation are WAY UP in argentina..do cry for it.

beginner's mind?
here we get a dose of the opposite:
end times mind!

Italian immigrant community:
the saying i heard is NEVER MAKE YOUR CHILD BETTER THAN YOU...indeed if this is so progress is hard.

"I'm not sure how much "creativity" would be rewarded under the two options you mention above. Your otherwise positive proposals are dependent on civilization surviving. Certainly, if cannabalism is rampant, you will find gardening a little dicey."

I was being a bit morbid for my generally positive attitude, wasn't I?

Here's the thing, Dale. When biological populations reach the maximum expansion allowed per available energy resources, be it oil, wood, or fungi to graze on for leafcutter ants, there is always an overshoot and collapse of the population. You know this stuff. We max out during the best of times, and when things don't go quite so smoothly, the population starves and shrinks. Peak oil is just one of many converging catastrophes in our time.

Nature doesn't give a shit if we erase a bunch of zeroes from our debt, or all start driving a Toyota Pruis. This is like arguing if the strange new ginger girl in home room will get invited to prom first or last. The only thing that matters is whether or not humans can open up that large brain of theirs, and get pretty f'ing serious about navigating novel energetics conditions. And I mean a whole freakin' bunch of humans created basically from oil.

I guess we're all here to try to figure out how to not get downsized where it really matters, but I admit I sometimes leave this comment section shaking my head, wondering if industrial humans have a snowball's chance in hell. Chalk this one up to the stress of packing and moving cross-country...

Asoka, I'm digging the Ella Fitzgerald tune! Even if I'm more of a Billie Holliday fan myself;) Ella's words (my daughter was named after her after all) fit right into my posts on excessive, concentrated, portable wealth being the driving force for crime. When wealth is in the form of fertility or biodiversity it's mighty hard to steal.

I mean, unless you're the sort of boor that would drop napalm on people's orchards from a plane, or run over 1000 year-old olive trees with a tank.

"[Vlad] I strongly support you becoming an early Pioneer in the creation of a white homeland complete with white culture on Mars."

Second!

"I'm not going to let you get away with quoting "America doesn't manufacture anything anymore" as if it is a truism. It just is not true."

Okay, you caught me fair and square. Exaggeration is a form of lieing. I repent in {figurative} sackcloth and ashes.

Now, comment on the main point of the post. I know you don't want to be caught "straining out gnats and swallowing camels".


"Wow - I want to be a neighbor of trippticket - what part of the country supports this kind of gardening this time of year?"

This is in eastern Washington state! Plant away, my friend.

messianicdruid said: "Now, comment on the main point of the post."

The main part of the post? You mean the link you gave to Doomer Doug where he waxes nostalgic about the America that used to be, the America where one could work hard and had a shot?

That racist, murderous, terrorist America that existed for white property owners who enslaved and terrorized Blacks, murdered Blacks and Indians, and denied legal rights to Women? That America?

What is your point?

"The fact that you're a teacher and a Californian doesn't make you a god. I know it's hard, what with the Californian thing and all. Believe me, I've met a lot of you folks; I understand the pain you must feel when dealing with mortals."

Where did I *ever* indicate that being either
a teacher or a Californian "made me a god"?
In fact, I *dislike* California because it's
full of phony liberals who "love" everyone
yet their friends, clubs, and affiliations
are as lilly white as anyone.

"But the next time you don't understand something, maybe it'd just be best to read on, and not open up your piehole. My comment had a much larger context than you apparently understood."

Since I made several posts per blog, maybe you
could enlighten the group by telling them which
of your zillion posts you're talking about.
Otherwise, you just come off LIKE A DITZ.

"If you have a problem with multi-culturalism and white kids mimicking "inferior cultures," that's your own problem, and theirs, and not at all what I was talking about."

No it isn't "my problem". If you'd wake the
fuck up and read books like "Generation Me"
or "The Dumbest Generation" you'd see that
the stuff I refer to impacts our entire
country.

My wish for guys like you is that your
neighborhood get invaded by the same
cultures that caused the well-known
"White Flight of 1965". Were we ALL
racists? Or did we just observe what
happened to the neighborhood when it
got invaded.

Egalitarians like you are constantly
preening yourselves to look good before
other phony egalitarians ... like a
pecking order of do-gooders. It doesn't
make you actually do work in ghettos or
live in them or even socialize in them.
You just bellow your "superiority" from
your sterile white suburb.


Eleuthero

Most of our mental energy gaping into the rear-view mirror, the last place to look for your destination.

How true this is but sadly gaping into the rear-view mirror now is going to be fatal.

"What is your point?"

Are you listening, or waiting to type?

"The reason we are in such bad shape economically is we have built our economic house upon a quicksand of debt. Debt is not money."

"The borrower is the servant of the lender."

We have been buying stuff with debt "money". If we are not producing things that others will trade their stuff for we will {eventually} be unable to trade. When they refuse to trade for our debt "money" we won't get any stuff except what we make ourselves.

Putting on an extra in shift, in one plant, assembling foreign made car parts to sell to people collecting food stamps and unemployment is not my idea of a recovery.

Dale you've got to overcome this supercilliousness with which you are plagued. Otherwise you are bound to take birth as an Asura. Sura meaning Truth and "a" meaning not - jealous beings obsessed with power somewhere between our concepts of a god and a demon.

MD said: "assembling foreign made car parts to sell to people collecting food stamps and unemployment is not my idea of a recovery."

People working in manufacturing plants are not receiving food stamps or unemployment.

Not all products produced in the USA are assembled from foreign made materials.

http://www.madeinusaforever.com/

Criteria for inclusion in directory:

1) Made in USA. Not imported, and also no "Assembled in USA of Foreign Components". Please do not submit foreign products, as there is no exception to this rule.

"Mars might be the only place for the White Race to go to escape our tormentors. Like the Martian Chronicles but us instead of the Blacks."

I'm sure you're kidding but I've met people who seriously thought Space could be the place where the ideology of their heart's desire could flourish. Libertarians were especially prone to this. It's all nonsense....

High technology is highly centralizing. It requires huge infrastructure to produce and in turn that requires a huge social structure to service. All of which makes big government inevitable and human failings being what they are, big government always morphs into Big Brother. And this is just talking about what's implied in the tech, Space itself is a whole other deal. It's an infinitely more hostile environment than anywhere else humans ever tried to go. Antarctica is warm and comfy compared to Space; the depths of the Marianas Trench are wheelchair accessible next to it. Only a large, hi-tech civilization at the top of it's game has a chance of undertaking space exploration; for anyone else, it's a no-go.

"What do you think of the possibility of terraforming Mars?"

I think it's a made a good sub-plot for a sci-fi novel but in the real world, we're going to have all we can do terraforming Terra. Not to put down science fiction because you're right about the "The Martian Chronicles"; it's a true classic.

MD said: "We have been buying stuff with debt "money". If we are not producing things..."

First, we are producing things.

Second, we have had public debt since the debts incurred during the American Revolutionary War. Over the following 45 years, the debt grew, briefly contracted to zero on January 8, 1835 under President Andrew Jackson but then quickly grew into the millions again.

Debt is our history in the United States, from the beginning. Debt comes and debt goes.

Debt is not a problem, except in your mind ... very strange for a {supposed Christian} to be obsessed by debt.

Matthew 5:42

Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

Proverbs 3:27-28

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, "Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it," when you have it with you.

Exodus 22:25

If you lend money to My people, to the poor among you, you are not to act as a creditor to him; you shall not charge him interest.

Leviticus 25:35-37

Now in case a countryman of yours becomes poor and his means with regard to you falter, then you are to sustain him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. Do not take usurious interest from him, but revere your God, that your countryman may live with you. You shall not give him your silver at interest, nor your food for gain.

Ool, I know what you're saying but I don't think the hi-tech path is an option anymore. Forty years ago sure, we could have chosen to take the path of expansion outwards. We had a giant energy surplus; it was just a question of choosing where to invest it. But that was then....

Now, it looks like our choices are narrowing to low-tech or no tech. People who invest in denial about the systemic crisis we're headed into, are choosing to face the future without usable tools.

People seem to love to complain about debt. But the debt to GDP ratio is actually much lower now than it was post-WWII. The United States, compared to the rest of the world, is actually in good shape debtwise.
http://www.visualeconomics.com/gdp-vs-national-debt-by-country/
The reasons people love to complain about debt vary:
Liberals tend to hate the fact that we’re buying guns.

Conservatives hate the fact that we’re buying butter (welfare, unemployment benefits, etc.)

Libertarians tend to hate the fact that we’re buying so much period, as a whole, instead of letting individuals make their own spending decisions.

Socialists would be upset that anyone other than the government gets to make any of their own spending decisions.

Glenn Beck is just incredibly upset all the time about everything.

Worrying about debt is not worth it, is not an effective solution. How's worrying about the debt or scaring people about the debt going to help?
http://www.visualeconomics.com/gdp-vs-national-debt-by-country/

"How's worrying about the debt or scaring people about the debt going to help?"

"The borrower is the servant of the lender."

Warning them about becoming a slave to a "money" lender, when the "money" lender is only loaning them digits on a computer screen in exchange for real products that they spend their life producing will help the wary to remain free. If you are happy being a slave to liars, don't worry about it. They can pretend to be helping you because it costs them nothing.

"The tender mercies of the wicked are cruel."

Vlad,
Hey, you are the one who is interested in colonizing Mars, under those circumstances a white homeland seems perfectly reasonable to me. Besides, I think I can speak for virtually the entire AA population when I say; "it's all yours, baby"

If you wish for people to stop treating you with "haughty disdain" - the def. I found for "supercilious", - then perhaps you should examine your attitudes.

To paraphrase B. Goldwater - 'superciliousness' in the face of racism, is no vice.

One reason our culture would be much less interesting without our AA brothers is exemplified so well by Lonnie in this u-tube piece, don't miss it.

http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com/2010/03/miami-it-could-be-worse-by-gimleteye.html?source=patrick.net

Re French Canadian culture. I've never faulted them for wanting to sit out the Great War. They said it was just another European war so why is Canada embroiled in it and I agree with that. What was in it for us? Throwing away a generation of your best and brightest for the benefit of France and Britain was idiotic.

Quebec really should be a separate country but I think they've never had the balls to man the ramparts. Why? Because for a long time life in Canada was too good and taking apart a country as old as ours is hard. Things can get nasty and bloody. Quebecers ran this country for about 40 years, Quebec enjoys de-facto special status, their social programs have been subsidized by the rest of us since time immemorial. Why risk it all for a few guys that want to ride around in presidential limos?

But they disdain English Canada, for almost twenty years they've elected separatists to our federal parliament. They want sovereignty-association, they want outright independence, they want special rights, they want respect, they want this, they want that, who the fuck knows what they want. And really, who cares. After about 50 years the whole debate is tiresome.


I've never heard that saying. Really interesting. But you're right, with that kind of attitude progress is really slow.

I think you're right. But I've heard too many lefties spout that stuff way too much. It's a destructive attitude that spreads from brain to brain like a virus. I think that what people say matters.

In the mid 1990s Canadian governments were in dire financial straights similar to the problem many US governments are now facing. There was not enough money to fund operations especially for our heath systems. As a result care suffered. People died for lack of timely and sufficient treatment.

This is what almost happened to my grandmother after she had surgery. Extensive cutbacks to health spending left many hospitals short of money. She was released way too early after colon cancer surgery and as a result had to go back. My father found her next day in the emergency ward delirious, up to her neck in her own shit because she hadn't been looked after. Why? Lack of doctors and nurses. Why? Lack of money. She damn near died.

You listening Asoka? Money isn't just zeroes. Lack of it means suffering and death.

Peak Oil, Peak BS, or Peak PR?

"Scientists in Texas say they have found a way to convert coal into gasoline at a cost of less than $30 (U.S.) a barrel - with zero release of pollutants."

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/texas-university-has-eureka-moment-for-coal-to-gas/article1502823/

Wonder what the other power requirements are?

Just read the comments on that article. One ton of coal yields approx 20 gallons of gasoline.
Niiiiiice. We're gonna have a nice flat topography soon.

"Money isn't just zeroes. Lack of it means suffering and death."

http://www.scribd.com/doc/28513873/Armstrong-From-the-Hole-3910-1-from-the-Hole

Understanding "money" isn't safe either.

Cash said: "You listening Asoka? Money isn't just zeroes. Lack of it means suffering and death."

So, according to you, if I have money I will not suffer and I will not die?

You done drunk the Kool-Aid, Mr. Cash. Set up the golden calf and worship it.

Regarding suffering, you might want to check out Buddha's First Noble Truth, and the Fourth Noble Truth.

Death is inevitable, with or without money. You listening, Cash?

"Death is inevitable, with or without money."
=========================

Not according to my Uncle Walt.

TO ALL DEBT DOOMERS:

The Congressional Budget Office says Obama's health insurance reform will cut the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the second ten year period.

I assume all of you so concerned about debt are on board with Obama's plan to reduce debt by over 1 Trillion dollars.

If not, you are... what's that word? Starts with an H. Rhymes with Pip o crits.

"health insurance reform will cut the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the second ten year period."
=====================

Please Soak ... your killin me. Take all the financial wizards in the world and not one of them can tell you how the DJIA will close tomorrow and you are willing to believe a deficit projection that goes out 20 years in time? Oh my God are you naive or what?!?!

"Take all the financial wizards in the world..."

No, just take the impartial experts in the Congressional Budget Office who have been doing this stuff since 1987.

You are right, though. It is just a best beancounter estimate and will probably reduce the deficit by much more than 1.2 Trillion, since, as you pointed out that is the deficit reduction in the second ten years. On top of that add the first ten year deficit reduction.

On top of that the employment that will be created by small business not having the health insurance monkey on its back and revenues are increased. There are so many benefits the deficit will be reduced by much more than 1.2 Trillion.

Your comparison to DJIA is specious. Different animals.

Please forgive me for my child-like simplistic attempts at contributing meaningful banter to this oh-so succinct and remarkable extravagant bonanza of literary eloquence personified.

But I have another silly - and of course childish idea about what may or may not transpire to bring about the biggest flock of black swans to descend upon a social landscape.

In light of the constant - yet seemingly intractable ability of our financial industries to remain firmly deluded about the nature of what "securities" and wealth "are" - and our Federal governments tacit understanding to support these delusions - is it not possible for some seeming obscure groups of "do-gooders" - of the ilk of a Woodward and Bernstein to garner sufficient, and undeniable information to be submitted to some Federal Judge who for whatever reason is "out of the loop" that would go about the start of an unstoppable series of "downstream" investigations and prosecutions that would eventually call for the people - in even the highest offices of the land to exercise the prudent and exact rule of
law?

In other words, is there absolutely no chance of some sort of a "citizens arrest" snowballing into some serious reform throughout the industry?"

Can the "fix" be so total, so tight, that no one goes down for any of these crimes? Ever?


It is from Animal House. I'm just saying, they are only words unless they are intended to hurt someone.

One ton of coal fits easily on a normal size skid. It is not as big as it sounds. But I do agree with you otherwise. There are billions of pounds of coal byproduct piled up all over the country. If you've ever been through Shamokin or a similar coal mining town it is not a pretty mountain.

"In other words, is there absolutely no chance of some sort of a "citizens arrest" ..."

Who are you going to arrest? Why don't you do it, assuming you are a legal citizen?

I would suggest starting with Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld and Powell (it's a target rich environment) since they started a war of choice based on lies that cost us $3 Trillion dollars and today Iraq is worse off than when Sadaam was in power and the occupation continues. On top of that they stole money through bank bailouts and left the country broke for Obama. Arrest the war criminals.

Surely you must be one of those who believe trillions of dollars of debt is a problem.

Maybe I should repeat what I said earlier: my grandmother was delirious and up to her neck in her own shit on a gurney in an emergency ward. Why? Because there weren't enough doctors or nurses to look after her. ie lack of medical attention. In a moment of lucidity she told my father she'd rather be dead than suffer like this.

Why did this happen? Not enough money to hire more doctors and nurses. When my dad raised hell my grandmother was given a pain medication and she was cleaned up. Plus she was given intravenous liquid to replenish her bodily fluids. But not until my dad raised hell. If he wasn't there I'll bet she would have died on that gurney.

I have no idea what you're smoking Soak but could but it must be potent stuff. You should come back and visit Earth once in a while.

Cash said: "Why did this happen? Not enough money to hire more doctors and nurses."

Throwing money at a problem solves it, as your anecdote proves.

Money is useful. One should not be used by it, that's all. It is just a means of exchange.

Cash, I went back and reread what you wrote. Evidently I am wrong. Money had nothing to do with it. Wasn't money that saved the day. It was your father's love:

"When my dad raised hell my grandmother was given a pain medication and she was cleaned up."

So it was love that solved the problem, not money.

Hmmm... there might be a lesson there somewhere.


A theme of Jim's that definitely
resonates with me is "techno-
triumphalism".

It even affects our thinking about
energy. Some mysterious "innovation"
will save us from dwindling supplies.
Really? Oil is now EIGHT times the
cost per barrel than under the Clinton
Administration. I'm sure that has set
the conspiracy theorists atwitter with
ideas about how "they" are suppressing
our supplies. Trust me, our culture is
now TOO STUPID to truly pull off a
diabolical conspiracy where THOUSANDS
of people keep a secret.

In the computer domain, I hear young
Gen-Y kids claim that the Web is going
to save us through cyber social cooperation.
The Web is like Dish TV with a HUNDRED
MILLION CHANNELS. There are so many
voices that an average person just wants
to silence them and watch HBO or go
bowling.

And all this techno-triumphalism is coming
at a time when many cities are closing HALF
of their schools and Universities have to
remediate poorly-educated high school grads.

Jim tries to sound hopeful from time to time.
He's a better man than I. I don't see anything
to prevent a slow grind into social and economic
apocalypse. Indeed, look at GREEN ENERGY.
Brazil and Russia are now BACKING OUT OF IT
back to COAL because, starkly put, the green
energies either don't scale well to six billion
people ... or even to a TENTH of that.


Eleuthero


Oh, please, Senor Asoka. When a
government study postpones a "gain"
to some time that's more than a
decade off, you can be sure that
you're dealing with a bunch of lying
grifters.

Funny that the trillion bucks plus
isn't happening any time soon?! Why
not?? Shouldn't any bennies accrue
evenly over time?

Are you from the school of thought
that avers that since the government
says something, it must be true?


Eleuthero

Where Have We Been:

1961 RONALD REAGAN opposes Medicare as "socialized medicine"

Where Are We Going:

2009 REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE says "First, we need to protect Medicare and not cut it..."
(Protecting Our Seniors: GOP Principles for Health Care By Michael S. Steele, Monday, August 24, 2009)

We have come a long way.

I have faith that one day Republicans will be fighting to preserve the Obama health care reform of 2010, just as they now defend Social Security and Medicare!

MORE GREEN SPROUTS, MORE USA MANUFACTURING

Nissan closes loan with the U.S. Department of Energy.

The $1.4 billion loan will fund the modification of Nissan's Smyrna, Tenn., manufacturing plant to produce the Nissan LEAF and batteries to power it.

Groundbreaking for the new battery plant will take place in May.

More jobs in the USA.

Oh right Dale, like I'm the first person to ever call you on your attitude. As for this blog: you are supercilious to most people most of the time. It oozes out almost every post - like pus. You have a big spirtual problem Dale and your practice is obviously not even touching it. How could it, when you aren't even aware of it - or at least can't do anything about it? Or choose not to! If you can't even be polite to me, then I forbid you do to tonglen for me. It's just crap if you aren't making more of an effort in your life.

As for my racism: the Mahayana and Vajrayana Cosmology talk about endless Worlds high, middle, and low. Even the Earth System has far more levels than we are aware of both above us and below us or parallel to us. There is no equality whatsoever. There are vast differences between beings and races of beings. So who are you kidding? I say the same thing to you that Eleuthero said to Tripp: quit playing to the crowd and get real.

I admit that equality is useful abstraction in both law and mathematics. But to try to apply it willy nilly to acutal beings is to promote the agony of the procrustean bed. How cruel to expect Blacks students to do what White Students do! How cruel to put White Students in the same classroom as Blacks! Is the real goal education or something else? Something else. Something evil.

Vlad said: "How cruel to put White Students in the same classroom as Blacks!"

Is it cruel? So many white girls falling in love with Blacks doesn't sound cruel to me. Nothing evil about miscegenation ... spring is in the air and love is a bloomin'.

Even though we are now in power I have reassured you many times that there is no intention to practice reverse-Jim Crow against you as the white minority.

We will provide you with affirmative action and equal opportunities for employment. Our common humanity requires it. Our humanity is intact.

Nope, my grandmother was not attended to because there were inadeqate resources because of a lack of money.

When my father raised hell my grandmother was attended to but all that meant was that someone else was not looked after on time.

At the time (mid 1990s)women in Ontario with breast cancer were forced by hospitals to sign waivers, ackowledging that their treatment would not be timely or adequate. Why? Lack of money.

Last year my wife had a length of colon and small intestine removed because of a dangerous growth. The difference in the quality of treatment between what my wife got and what my grandmother got in the mid 1990s was like night and day. My wife got fast, high quality, high tech treatment. Why? Availability of money.

I ran across this today and couldn't help but think of Jim Kunstler.

Photos of Six Flags New Orleans, still abandoned after hurricane Katrina

I agree with your Uncle Walt. If you have money you won't die, get sick or even suffer. But if you have money and you do happen to die ie a lightning strike, I think that you CAN take it with you. I don't believe people that say you can't.

Kuwaiti oil company scientists predict PO in 2014.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35838273/

Well you've proven one thing, if you are deluded enough you can distort anything, including the dharma.

"So many white girls falling in love with Blacks doesn't sound cruel to me. Nothing evil about miscegenation ... spring is in the air and love is a bloomin'."
===================

Vlad,

The above lines in particular and Asoka's entire comment in general is intended to make you rip your hair out by the roots. DO NOT REPLY TO ASOKA. Remember Safire's rule #4.

Asoka,

I'm a recently retired beancounter. I spent a large part of my career working on forecasts for large businesses. Believe me, there is nothing more FULL OF SHIT than a financial projection.

It does not matter one whit whether it's the Congressional Budget Office or whether it's impartial or not. We had knowledgeable professionals busting their asses on these things (me included) and from experience I can tell you that no projection that goes out more than 2 years is worth a damn.

A five year projection is crystal ball territory. For long lived projects like real estate development projects we still took a stab at them but actual results bore no resemblance to what we forecast years before. Our assumptions, no matter how reasonable they seemed at the time and no matter how well thought out, were just wrong. There were too many things that could not be predicted accurately ie local economic conditions, customer preferences, interest rate environment, availability of financing etc.

For example, an office building that was budgeted to cost 80 million ended up costing tens of millions more. Why? A months long construction trades strike that disrupted work and raised labour costs.

For a multi trillion dollar organization like the US govt that's subject to so many widely ranging and fluctuating variables that affect the inflow and outflow of cash the task of accurately forecasting so far out is impossible. It cannot be done. No one should place any reliance whatsoever on those numbers.

IMO, anybody from the CBO or any politician that presents those numbers as reliable is telling a huge whopping lie.

Qshtik, you were a beancounter. Did you do projections? What was your experience?

Qshtik, you are in fine form today. LOL!

Cash, so numbers are not 100% accurate. Life consists of unpredictable variables. What else is new?

But the CBO can make reasonable projections (and they do emphasize they are estimates) based on observed trends For example all indication is that private health insurance premiums will continue to increase, rather than decrease. For example, preventive care decreases emergency room visits and emergency room care is more expensive.

This is not rocket science and you saying estimates are lies says more about you than the CBO.

Did you hear Obama speak today? Amazing orator!

He ad-libbed considerably from his prepared remarks, filling them in with folksier language and additional dire warnings about the consequences of not passing the tax cuts, deficit reduction, and insurance reform he is pushing.

Obama definitely does not need a teleprompter!

Asoka, what the fuck are you talking about? I didn't say that the estimates were lies. I said they were unreliable.

I said that anyone (like a politician, someone from the CBO)that presents the estimates as reliable is lying. Why do I say this? Because they know better.

It is not rocket science. Rocket science is reliable. The laws that govern motion have been tested and retested in labs and in the field for centuries. Variables affecting motion can be quantified reliably. Not so with economics. The predictive ability of economic models is crap.

You CANNOT predict economic outcomes especially over a long period of time. You CANNOT quantify economic variables even remotely reliably, you can barely even quantify reliably what happened in the past month or the past year in an economy. Statistics on past economic activity are revised over and over.

Wise words.

Cash incredibly said: "It is not rocket science. Rocket science is reliable."

I hate to burst your bubble, Cash. Perhaps you should review the history of rocket science. I said "It's not rocket science" because the CBO estimates are more reliable than rocket science.

Appendix F - Personal observations on the reliability of the Shuttle by R. P. Feynman It appears that there are enormous differences of opinion as to the probability of a failure with loss of vehicle and of human life. The estimates range from roughly 1 in 100 to 1 in 100,000. ... Official management ... claims to believe the probability of failure is a thousand times less. One reason for this may be an attempt to assure the government of NASA perfection and success in order to ensure the supply of funds.

The engineers working at NASA have much less certainty about rocket science than the CBO has about macroeconomic analysis.

The CBO estimates are more reliable than rocket science.

P.S. In case you doubt what I am saying about rocket science: my source is physicist Richard Phillips Feynman, who was a member of the panel that investigated the Space Shuttle Disaster. He knew rocket science.

eerie....but wasnt 6flags bankrupt or close to it long before H katrina?

Cash, do you know what Safire's rule #4 says... in order to qualify them as "wise words"?

I respond with facts, based on experts, based on impartial analysis by the CBO.

You qualify the CBO estimates as "lies" and Qsktik's words as wise?

...anybody from the CBO or any politician that presents those numbers as reliable is telling a huge whopping lie.

Still says more about you than the CBO.

"Qshtik, you were a beancounter. Did you do projections? What was your experience?"
=======================

I've been outside doing yard work and just popped in for a break so I'll keep this short. Cash, you are 100% correct about forecasting. Despite the honesty and numerical skills of the forecaster "there is nothing more FULL OF SHIT than a financial projection." And, the farther out in time, the more useless the forecast. I could write a dissertation but why bother. I will refer you instead to The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Part 2 is titled We Just Can't Predict and Chapter Ten is titled The Scandal Of Prediction. Now ... back to my yard.

Cash,

Just in case you think the Space Shuttle Challenger was an exception and now rocket science is reliable, here are some recent failures:

Aug 22, 2008 ... NASA says it destroyed an unmanned suborbital rocket shortly after a failed launch early this morning from an island off the Virginia coast.

Feb 24, 2009 ... NASA satellite crashes minutes after launch. Investigators will probe why fairing failed to separate from rocket

NASA rocket science has had so many failures that articles have been written on "The Top Ten Failed NASA Missions" http://bit.ly/cob2m9

CBO economic analysis (based on solid macroeconomic evidence and known variables) is much more reliable than rocket science.

You and Qshtik are cynical former beancounters who are envious of the reliability of the CBO's impartial abilities.

The CBO has been doing exceptionally good work since 1987. They are not predicting markets. They are focused on a specific piece of legislation and the tax implications (health reform cuts taxes) and the deficit implications (health reform reduces the deficit).

You cannot argue that the CBO numbers are unreliable because they have too good a track record. In any event, it is clear that health reform is not deficit neutral, nor does it increase the deficit.

It is very clear that health reform will REDUCE the deficit and cut taxes. That should make you happy, but you'd rather bitch and moan and make claims not supported by CBO analysis.

Qshtik delendus est

Where we have been: secret prisons and torture.

Where we are going: respecting rights and providing criminal trials.

Military Commissions are weak.If we've said it once we've said it a thousand times: since 2001, criminal courts under Presidents Bush and Obama have successfully tried and convicted over 300 terrorists while military commissions have only convicted three.

When interrogating failed underwear-bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the plain old non-torture, rights-respecting civilian route gave the FBI access to techniques not available in the military system.

And after having 3 separate aspects of Bush's military commission system already ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in years past, legal challenges to the commissions will delay any conviction for years longer than what can be achieved by criminal trials.

If you're serious about getting tough on terrorists, you have no choice but to support criminal trials.

Asoka,

1) it would help if you read my posts. You read into them what you expect to hear, not what I'm actually saying.

2) I have experience in forecasting so I know firsthand the limitations.

3) Rockets put Americans and Russians and Chinese in space, on the moon, put satellites on other planets. And the space shuttle had many successful missions.

4) I'm not bitching and moaning. I am not an American, I have no skin in this game other than to comment on a topic on which I have knowledge ie forecasting. I hope your health reform works because I also have firsthand knowledge that socialized medicine can work. If you do it right. If you fund it properly.

5) Once again, I did not call the CBO estimates lies. I said they were unreliable. Once again, it would help if you read what I actually said. Or don't, I really don't care.

Here is Qshtik's take on it, another beancounter:

I've been outside doing yard work and just popped in for a break so I'll keep this short. Cash, you are 100% correct about forecasting. Despite the honesty and numerical skills of the forecaster "there is nothing more FULL OF SHIT than a financial projection." And, the farther out in time, the more useless the forecast. I could write a dissertation but why bother. I will refer you instead to The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Part 2 is titled We Just Can't Predict and Chapter Ten is titled The Scandal Of Prediction. Now ... back to my yard.

I've never read Taleb but I've heard of him.

Asoka, what you want to believe is up to you. We'll just agree to disagree.


Cash,

It is amazing that ex-bean counters are so skeptical about the CBO estimates. It isn't so difficult to calculate out 10 to 20 years.

Basically, you figure out how much money it costs to improve the subsidies, to fill the Medicare drug donut hole, and to scale back the benefits tax. Then you increase the Medicare tax and maybe take a little more money out of the pockets of industry groups. It's more or less as simple as taking from column A and then pulling an equal amount, plus an extra billion or two, into column B. If you were bean counters I.'m sure both you guys have done this.

It's also curious that when the CBO scored Bush's tax cuts at a $1.2 TRILLION increase in the deficit, the bean counters were silent. Now that we have a Black president, CBO estimates that the deficit will be LOWERED brings howls of derision: Qstik says financial projections are "FULL OF SHIT".

In any event the USA is not going to get government-run health care if the legislation passes Sunday... and that is the problem. Private insurance is getting a bonanza from Obama and the single payer public option was never even on the table.

The private health insurer for-profit system has already proven itself inefficient (higher medical loss ratios) compared to government-run programs like the VA. If people were really concerned about reducing deficits, the most efficient system would have been a government-run "Medicare for All" type system already in place for seniors and veterans.

"Now that we have a Black president, CBO estimates that the deficit will be LOWERED brings howls of derision"
=======================

I would howl with derision regardless of the president's skin color and which party is in power. The number of variables is virtually infinite and the weighting of the variables will change every year, month, week and day. And then there are "the black swans" -- high impact, highly improbable, impossible to forsee events. (Your 47 years till peak oil is equally ridiculous.) If the CBO projection turned out to be correct it would be the equivalent of being struck by lightning 3 times in one day and then winning the power ball lottery.

We are at peak oil, the top of the curve, the halfway point. The ride down the other side will only take 47 years.
Qshtik, don't forget to counter-balance complexity with simplicity.

Good introductory article on permaculture has just been filed at Culture Change.

http://www.culturechange.org/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=614&Itemid=1

I teach high school science in a smallish Ontario resort town, somewhat culturally isolated from the Megalopolis to the south.

My vocation has taken on an aspect aside from exploration of the natural world that has become central, that being an attempt to shake young minds out of the hypnosis brought about by the distraction of popular culture and embodied in an obsessive preoccupation with texting devices.

It's not their fault, and I remind them that no other generation has been subject to such a barrage of advertising and other forms of coercion designed to create feelings of inadequacy.

Generally, my student's eyes glaze over when I try to engage them in that conversation, which involves the need to be aware of and plan for the long emergency ahead, and imagine that their quality of life will improve dramatically as they build community based on mutual need and interest, one that is enriched by a sharing of skills and common purpose.

The genie is out of the bottle; it is difficult for most young people to imagine the world any different than one of disposable convenience, driving everywhere and imagining that it will just keep going on forever.

It's hard to create a sense of urgency when the newest subdivision could have been designed in the 50's, no thought even of orientation to the sun, for goodness sake!

I generalize, of course; there are many young people who are receptive and interested in "alternative" futures based on relocalization and energy descent, they ask me about my plans to build a strawbale house all the time and many offer to help.

I wouldn't be in my profession if I didn't have hope for influencing young people in small ways, they just have so much to overcome in their journey.

Asoka, I'm going to reiterate what I said in the earlier post because I think you missed it: I do not have an ideological axe to grind on the topic of US medicare. I am not pro Bush or pro Obama or pro right or pro left. I'm not even American.

Just out of curiosity do you have any experience in doing fiancial forecasts in the business world or government or the academic world?

I don't mean to sound condescending but you make it all sound so simple. Just figure out this and figure out that. Maybe you have an Einstein IQ level, I don't know. Your faith in forecasting is touching.

Beancounting is simple. Accounts payable is simple. A donkey could do it, right? Just try processing 8,000 to 10,000 invoices per month.

Try doing a bank reconciliation for a medium sized business. Simple right? Grunt work, brute force, no problem. But everything is simple until you do it. Forecasting included.

How many bank recs have you sweated over Qshtik? Last post on forecasting.

Cash out.

Bryden, I have a question about literacy and numeracy in today's high school grads. In the past I've read about college and university professors and lecturers bitching that first year university students need remedial writing instruction in order to conquer their university courses.

I don't know whether to put any stock in this. Everything I read in the press I take with a grain of salt so I'm wondering what you say on the issue given that you're on the front lines.

I know what you mean about texting and communication devices. My niece and nephew seem to walk around with gadgets attached to every bodily orifice and appendage. Personally I would go batty.

It's up to parents though. It just seems to me to be a sterile way to live your life and interact with others. Too much is too much. At some point I would think there would be a backlash.

When we were growing up we'd hang out at nearby abandoned quarries where we could drink, smoke cigarettes and weed and nobody would bother us. In winter, like Mike Myers, it was tunes, babes and livin' in the basement. I had a buddy who lived in a beachfront house, whose parents were away a fair bit. We were there a lot and it was teenage paradise. So much for the good old days.

"Can the "fix" be so total, so tight, that no one goes down for any of these crimes? Ever?" Bud...


Yep! Why do you think we are having this nice, long, distracting "debate" about so-called health care reform, instead of Justice Department investigations of Wall St malfeasance?

The FIX is in Big Time, Buddy. Now, just keep holding onto your ankles, Unka Scam will get to you soon.....

Hopefully he will still have a little lube left....

DJ

Although the NY Times echoes the frustration of most Americans, repeatedly calling for (as of now revolution) if real financial reform isn't enacted - I continue to wonder - in there no single devious son-of-a-bitch crafty enough to start a legal brush fire that simply can't be, won't be stamped out by some asinine congressional committee.

Meanwhile, a back page story about the mountain of coupons coming due by 2012....
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/16/business/16debt.html

Bryden, I saw the comment about building a subdivision with no respect to the consequences of daylight. Imagine this, my "joe six-pack" buddy, is so dense that he refuses to acknowledge the concept of "angle of incidence" with respect to energy concentration relative to a surface.

He is convinced that solar flares have a greater energy impact on the Earth than the angle of the sunlight (or energy) as it meets the earth. And for most people, it might as well be the sixteenth century.

If we can't teach our children to understand that the "markets" true cost goes far beyond the immediate consumption of the goods or services enjoyed, we are all - indeed doomed.

Although the NY Times echoes the frustration of most Americans, repeatedly calling for (as of now revolution) if real financial reform isn't enacted - I continue to wonder - in there no single devious son-of-a-bitch crafty enough to start a legal brush fire that simply can't be, won't be stamped out by some asinine congressional committee.

Meanwhile, a back page story about the mountain of coupons coming due by 2012....
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/16/business/16debt.html

Bryden, I saw the comment about building a subdivision with no respect to the consequences of daylight. Imagine this, my "joe six-pack" buddy, is so dense that he refuses to acknowledge the concept of "angle of incidence" with respect to energy concentration relative to a surface.

He is convinced that solar flares have a greater energy impact on the Earth than the angle of the sunlight (or energy) as it meets the earth. And for most people, it might as well be the sixteenth century.

If we can't teach our children to understand that the "markets" true cost goes far beyond the immediate consumption of the goods or services enjoyed, we are all - indeed doomed.

Qshtik said:

The number of variables is virtually infinite and the weighting of the variables will change every year, month, week and day.

If you really believe this, then you are basically saying we cannot know with certainty what the costs will be.

And if you really believe we cannot know with certainty what the costs will be, and if you are intellectually honest, then you have to admit we don't know that the CBO estimate of deficit reduction is too low and might really be a much higher deficit reduction than forecasted.

It works both ways when you claim ignorance due to variables.

"if you are intellectually honest, then you have to admit we don't know that the CBO estimate of deficit reduction is too low and might really be a much higher deficit reduction than forecasted."

Correct. My initial beef is with the notion that humans can make long term forecasts with any reliability whatsoever. I don't believe, however, that the odds are 50-50 that their projection of deficit reduction will prove too low. Governments, corporations and individuals have terrible records when it comes to forecasting costs or the time a project will take to complete. Taleb goes into this point at some length in The Black Swan. And the amounts by which projects fail to come in on time and on budget are often enormous ... not 20% or 50% off but hundreds or thousands of percent off. Some are so bad they are abandoned mid-stream. Nearly all sizable projects are modified over time making the original projections meaningless. Modifications to the health plan will be in the works before the ink is dry on the plan they (are likely to) pass on March 21. Taleb did mention one notable exception ... the Empire State Building was completed early and under budget.

Qshtik, that may have been true in earlier days due to the way contracts were written. Nowadays the contracts are written such that there are incentives for finishing on time and under budget and it happens frequently. Here is a recent example:

Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) officials are still celebrating the fact that the project—the largest and most expensive in MoDOT history—came in under budget as well as early. Projected at $535 million, the cost is expected to be $524 million.

The reopening came Dec. 7, three and a half weeks earlier than the Dec. 31 deadline in the contract. Gateway Constructors, the general contractor, will receive $5 million in bonuses — $2 million each for meeting the deadlines for completion of the east and west sections and $1 million for ensuring “regional mobility during the project.”

President Obama has achieved what no president has ever achieved: to get an up or down vote on enacting a national insurance program, which was first requested of Congress by Harry Truman in November 1945, as Truman put it: "to assure the right to adequate medical care and protection from the economic fears of sickness."

Thank you, President Obama!

Yes We Can!

It sounds like you're doing a good job if you have been able to engage some of your students to the point where they want to help construct a strawbale house. You might be aware of an organic farm and educational project near Erin. They've built a strawbale and put in some renewable energy systems. It might make a good field trip.

www.everdale.org

Thanks for providing that link.

"But the debt to GDP ratio is actually much lower now than it was post-WWII."

"All G7 countries, except Canada and Germany, will have debt-to-GDP ratios close to or exceeding 100 percent by 2014, Lipsky said in a speech today at the China Development Forum in Beijing. Already this year, the average ratio in advanced economies is expected to reach the levels seen in 1950, after World War II, he said. The government debt ratio in some emerging market nations had also reached a “worrisome level.”

"President Barack Obama on Feb. 12 signed a bill into law that raised the federal debt limit by $1.9 trillion to $14.3 trillion and placed new curbs on spending in an attempt to prevent this year’s record deficit from becoming worse."

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aa4A6nIg1YNA

Asoka, Where does Mr. Lipsky fit into your list of DEBT DOOMERS? If "Worrying about debt is not worth it, is not an effective solution", can you offer solutions that would be more effective than simply ignoring it?

Ah, Asoka, Asoka, you know, you remind me of the fat kid in Bad Santa:
No matter how many times he walks in on "santa" with Mrs. Claus's 'sisters' panties in his mouth, he STILL believes in 'Santa'. Santa is good! Santa can Do No Wrong! Blah blah...

The rest of us know that Santa is a fraud, and a drunkin' thief. No illusions left, they have all been stripped from us.
We are more like Bad Sants's dwarf, midget, whatever sidekick. We know its all a scam, Santa drinks and passes out and pisses in his big red pants.

So, go ahead, beleive in what ever you want.
WE can still see that this is all a scam, a dupe, a fraud.
If it wasn't, don't you think that there would have been Congressional hearings, JD investigations, Wall St banksters frog-marched in front of the TV cameras?
In stead we get this circus, this distraction of so-called health care reform that has dragged out over a year, and will drag out longer.
The banksters pocket their billions, no one gets marched to jail in front of all the cameras. No one pays ANY kind of penalty.
The entire fraud has been shifted from the private sector to the public, and the public is just supposed to bend over and take it.
And you know what is surprising? They DO! The entire US public just bends over and grabs ankle and don't even wimper about it. What a nation of loosers. I just guess they deserve it.

Anyway, so what, I done with all that anyway.
Come on down to CR, we can tar & feather Lush Dumpbag if he ever makes it here...

I dub thee Asoka the Simple or Simple Soak. What kind of Afro products do you use? Malcolm X used to dunk his head in gasoline to dye it red. Just an idea. Don't ever change in any case. Like Charlie Brown, you always go for the football that isn't there, falling on your Black Ass. Obama is Lucy of course. Whites, even Liberals, are wising up to this con-man. But Blacks still see him as their Hero - a race of Charlie Browns.

While the Nation is focused on the Health Care Bill, the Sodomites and their Liberal Enablers plan another huge power grap - a stab to the heart of Traditional America. They have intoduced a bill that would forbid discrimination against Gays when it comes to adoption. Thus if it passes, all Traditional or real Christian Agencies will have to close their doors. As Rahm Emmanuele says, never waste a good crisis.

http://us.mc1133.mail.yahoo.com/mc/showMessage?sMid=80&fid=Inbox&sort=date&order=down&startMid=75&filterBy=&.rand=2108203882&midIndex=5&mid=1_14228438_AA2niGIAAKS0S6HWPwdMo2vwUME

I've seen this over and over. There's always something you can't factor in that blows original estimates clear to Mars.

For instance, who can possibly know the effect of new medical technologies on health care costs (ie up or down) or the effect of some new disease lurking and waiting to spring ie SARS. Or some old disease like malaria that says hello again in the US because of global warming?

Nobody can possibly quantify such things. It is impossible.

Talk about Black Swans: a real estate developer I used to work for had large residential developments near L.A. and Toronto. At the peak the company built and sold 2500 houses per year. This was the major source of cash flow for the company.

So who would have figured that BOTH the southern Ontario economy AND the southern California economy would go into the shitter at about the same time but for completely different reasons. House sales and house prices dropped like a stone. In 1991 people figured it would take a few years for southern Ontario to recover. But it took until 1996 for house prices to reach BOTTOM, never mind recover. Company went bust. It took until 2003 for house prices to recover in NOMINAL terms.

When the housing developments were being planned in the 1980s and land was being bought, NOBODY, foresaw anything that eventually played out. Planners plan by guess and by gosh and few plans survive first contact with reality.

Well said, DeeJones. I get so tired of Asoka's cheerleading I try to skip his posts.

Thanks for the Bad Santa images -- one of my all-time favorite movies.

"Come on down to CR, we can tar & feather Lush Dumpbag if he ever makes it here..."

I don't like coasts or beaches, or big cities, so I was looking into the Monteverde area. It's near a tropical rainforest, couple of hours north of San Jose.

Have you been there? What do you know about real estate values in the interior, away from cities and beaches?

I heard a Quaker group arrived in Monteverde in the 1950's and set up a cheese making business and their cheese is now famous. Sounds like a peaceful, pastoral place to live.

"I get so tired of Asoka's cheerleading I try to skip his posts."

Thanks, Puzzler. I wish more people would follow your example.

"As far as big projects go, other factors must enter the picture: inflation and corruption."
=====================

Vlad, corporations and the government are not quite the total idiots you make them out to be. They, of course, DO attempt to account for inflation but you'd be amazed how difficult this is ... even if you're only looking forward one year. If it's 10 or 20 years fuhgeddabowdit. I can speak with some authority in this area since forecasting labor, material and overhead inflation was among my key functions for 26 years working for a large defense contractor.

As to "corruption" ... no, we did not apply any factor to account for possible higher costs due to corruption.

You are correct that the main reason jobs are usually completed late and over budget is that the contractors had to bid low to win the job. One might wonder how a company can make money if their costs are always greater than the contract read. Well, contract terms and conditions allow for wiggle room (e.g. "cost plus fixed fee" contracts). Even the Govt has to be realistic about these things. If they have 3 competent bidders for a project they can be fairly certain all 3 have understated the likely cost and time to complete. The government's job is to figure which one comes closest to reality ... which company demonstrates the best understanding of the technical challenges.


"I can speak with some authority in this area since forecasting labor, material and overhead inflation was among my key functions for 26 years working for a large defense contractor."

You are now admitting you committed fraud for 26 years since you have stated reliable forecasts are impossible, yet you took taxpayer money for 26 years.

My initial beef is with the notion that humans can make long term forecasts with any reliability whatsoever.
Have you no shame?

I keep thinking all this modulated gas,Ideas,personal attacks and infighting is not going to get us anywhere with this corrupt ruling scum,that continues to rape and loot this nation.
As a starter,how about having the Marines and Army storm Fort Knox and find out if there is anything left but tungsten and rats?
After that,they, hopefully with the right leadership will get the blackwater goons, get after the criminals on wall street,the banksters,the billionaires,supreme court and congress to reestablish the Rebublic as it was intended by our constitution.

High time to make use of the concentration camps,that were built here.
Watch the criminals suddenly refer to our laws, that they have for so long ignored and abused.
Believe me,there is no other way,the creeps know it,and don't believe that this will never happen.

If you consider the idea that personal debt in this country is many many times what it was in the 1940's, also none of the states were broke in 1947, and how many are now?

You actually had to have a job and money to get a mortgage back in the 1950's. People simply couldn't run up the kind of debt in 1950 that they have the last twenty years, it wasn't possible.

I think what we've done in that regard is extraordinarily stupid.

During Obama's campaign many asked: What does change mean?" They said Obama gives good speeches but has no experience as an executive. They said the USA would be attacked within his first year.

They were wrong all all counts. Now we know what change looks like: two pieces of historic legislation were passed Sunday:

The bill rewrites a four-decades-old student loan program, eliminating its reliance on private lenders and uses the savings to direct $36 billion in new spending to Pell Grants for students in financial need.

In the biggest piece of education legislation since No Child Left Behind nine years ago, the bill would also provide more than $4 billion to historically black colleges and community colleges.

The bill was paired with the expedited health care bill, a marriage of convenience that helped the prospects of each measure. That combined measure passed 220-211.

"We are pairing this historic health reform with another opportunity that cannot be missed – the chance to make the single largest investment in college affordability ever at no cost to the taxpayers," said Rep. George Miller, D-Calif.

"the chance to make the single largest investment in college affordability ever at no cost to the taxpayers"

And why "no cost to taxpayers"... because the private sector is less efficient. Bank CEO salaries are exorbitant compared to government employees. Because the government is more efficient at direct distribution of student loans.

And the savings means no extra costs to taxpayers, with more money going to students, without all the private sector banking intermediaries and their administrative costs that add nothing to education but consumed taxpayer dollars.

No More! Change has come to America! Obama was victorious! Again!

(Jim DeMint had his Waterloo tonight.)

WE NEED MORE IMMIGRANTS! FROM ALL NATIONS!

IMMIGRANTS ARE THE DRIVING ENGINE OF CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING IN THE USA

Went to a big Washington dinner last week. You know the kind: Large hall; black ties; long dresses. But this was no ordinary dinner. There were 40 guests of honor. So here’s my Sunday news quiz: I’ll give you the names of most of the honorees, and you tell me what dinner I was at. Ready?

Linda Zhou, Alice Wei Zhao, Lori Ying, Angela Yu-Yun Yeung, Lynnelle Lin Ye, Kevin Young Xu, Benjamin Chang Sun, Jane Yoonhae Suh, Katheryn Cheng Shi, Sunanda Sharma, Sarine Gayaneh Shahmirian, Arjun Ranganath Puranik, Raman Venkat Nelakant, Akhil Mathew, Paul Masih Das, David Chienyun Liu, Elisa Bisi Lin, Yifan Li, Lanair Amaad Lett, Ruoyi Jiang, Otana Agape Jakpor, Peter Danming Hu, Yale Wang Fan, Yuval Yaacov Calev, Levent Alpoge, John Vincenzo Capodilupo and Namrata Anand.

No, sorry, it was not a dinner of the China-India Friendship League. Give up?

O.K. All these kids are American high school students. They were the majority of the 40 finalists in the 2010 Intel Science Talent Search, which, through a national contest, identifies and honors the top math and science high school students in America, based on their solutions to scientific problems. The awards dinner was Tuesday, and, as you can see from the above list, most finalists hailed from immigrant families, largely from Asia. --Thomas Friedman, NYT, "America's Real Dream Team"

Because of Obama's leadership:

Every American will be covered under the toughest patient protections in history.

Arbitrary premium hikes, insurance cancellations, and discrimination against pre-existing conditions will now be gone forever.

And we'll finally start reducing the cost of care -- creating millions of jobs, preventing families and businesses from plunging into bankruptcy, and removing over a trillion dollars of debt from the backs of our children.

THAT IS CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN!


I dearly hope that Asoka is right and
we're getting bills that represent
"change we can believe in.

However, before his private conference
with Mr. Obama, Dennis Kucinich was a
"NO" vote for the health care package.
He said that there are subsidies in it
for insurers but no binding obligation
for insurers to lower premiums.

What changed Mr. Kucinich's mind??

My theory about the health care package
is that the Democratic Party is actually
WISING UP in just ONE sense ... they are
following a tactic to pass SOMETHING and
then improve it later which is actually
not very unusual in Washington.

Republicans might try to claim that it's
"dirty politics" but the idea of tossing
any old shit out there to get a fundamental
sea change going and then turning the shit
into a silk purse later is the realpolitik
of the Beltway.

We should all be listening for basic discussions
of: 1) Are you covered between jobs?, 2) Can
you pick YOUR doctor?, and 3) Will the
"preexisting conditions" exclusions, which
destroy families en masse, be eliminated.
No matter how much we wiggle and dance,
that's the "trifecta" of basic issues that
Obama CLAIMED he would address sooner or
later.

Personally, I think he HAS to play dirty politics
because you've got a lot of lying bastard
Republicans playing tricks like claiming that
"tort reform" will fix health care when a myriad
of studies prove it's far less than ONE percent
of health care costs.

If they're going to throw blatant untruths out
there then I shall enjoy the "street theater"
of watching the Democrats throw a few shards
of untruth out there themselves ... IF and ONLY
IF it really serves the people. Myself, I am
skeptical but always hoping.


Eleuthero

We should all be listening for basic discussions of: 1) Are you covered between jobs?, 2) Can you pick YOUR doctor?, and 3) Will the "preexisting conditions" exclusions, which destroy families en masse, be eliminated.

Since the reform does continues the current private system, why would you not continue with YOUR doctor.

If it was changed to a government-run system, then you might get a government doctor.

The good thing about the law passing is that now, from their personal experience, people will see that the scare tactics about reform were lies. They will remember they were lied to by Republicans... in November.

Asoka, Monteverde is indeed very beautiful. As for real estate prices, away from Escazu & the Pacifice beaches, prices are much better, in fact going down.

Funzel:As a starter,how about having the Marines and Army storm Fort Knox and find out if there is anything left but tungsten and rats?

Ft. Knox has been empty since the 80's. Even the rats have left. And probably the tungsten has been stripped out too. Ask the Saudis if they know where the gold went.

DJ

DeeJones
I am sure the Saudis know where most of the Gold went.On the way over there it somehow got lost around 32.04 N and 34.46 E

:-)
308 Comments total as of 2010-04-06 11:31 (Pacific)
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54 asoka
21 Qshtik
19 Cash
16 asia
14 Vlad Krandz
12 dale
12 messianicdruid
11 trippticket
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6 Eleuthero
5 DeeJones
4 budizwiser
4 Chris Lawrence
4 Funzel
4 The Mook
4 thrill
3 cogdis
3 LaughingAsRomeWasBurningDown
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2 Susanne Friend
2 wagelaborer

What a giant-assed blog! It's encouraging because I was beginning to wonder about the awareness of real-time issues out there. Did not read all the comments, of course. Even speed reading would take the better part of a morning. Agree with most; but the American character remains strong, but a little complacent and a lot misinformed. Look at the corporate media as the hand maiden in the duping and hypnotization of the average American citizen.

Everyone knows women love getting gifts. If your thinking about buying her some sexy lingerie give heed to a few simple guidelines. In the end you can save yourself a lot of money and irritation by doing some homework first.

Let me give you some simple rules to follow. These rules will help you be sure you are getting her something that she will want to wear for you. Of course you always benefit from this if she feels sexy and more self confident. Taking a little time and doing a little up front research to figure out what makes her comfortable will pay off the first time you see her wearing your gift.

Why make it hard on yourself? Go to the local lingerie store,plus size club wear, wait around for a sales person to offer assistance? Wonder if everyone in the lingerie section is staring at you like you have two heads or something? You can avoid all of this frustration and embarassment by shopping online.

There are,bikini sale, the last time I checked, about 3 million online shops that specialize in sexy lingerie. Some sell a wide variety of lingerie, different styles, different colors,teddy lingerie, and different materials. Some specialize by size. Some sell strictly for petite women, some specialize in sexy plus size lingerie. You can visit an online purveyor of lingerie and spend as much time as you like browsing around until you find that just right item, all without the pressures and embarrassments of shopping in a store. Shopping for anything online today is easy, safe and confidential.

Like anything you try to do with little or no knowledge, a little homework will always help. Make sure as an example that you don't get it wrong with the sizes when you buy her this special gift. Women can be pretty insecure and giving her a piece of lingerie that doesn't fit will only make her feel too fat or too skinny. And we both know that isn't your intention. Never guess at this.

One of the best ways to get the sizes right is really quite simple. You don't want to come right out and ask her so how else can you find out? Easy,robe femme, look through the lingerie she already has. You might want to take care to do this on the sly. If she catches you she might think one of two things that you don't want her thinking. One; she might think you have developed a fetish for ladies undergarments. And unless you do have this fetish it won't look too good for you. Two; if she doesn't wonder about you in that way, she might get tipped off to what your doing which would certainly ruin the surprise element of your gift.

Lingerie is typically sized in a couple of different ways. If the lingerie is sized for the woman's bust it will show typical bra sizes like 36C or 38 or 40D. If the lingerie is sized like a woman's dress size it will probably have a size like 6,8,robes cocktail,10,12 and so on. Of course some of the generic sizes used for lingerie are Extra small, Small, Medium,mode robe, Large etc.

A very important but simple thing to do when trying to decide on sizes is to look at the different size charts of some of the lingerie manufacturers. Don't know any? Check the labels of your ladie's lingerie. Most of the companies that make lingerie, although they may only sell wholesale to retailers,miraclesuit shapewear, still have a size chart on their websites. Looking these different size charts over will show you how much they differ from company to company. In the long run you will get a good idea of what sizes you need based on the height, weight and bust size of your special lady. And remember what I told you, its important to get the size right.

When you decide on an online retailer, check for size charts first thing. If the retailer sells for several different lingerie companies they should have a size chart for each of the lingerie companies they represent. The size charts at the retailer site should be specific to the lingerie company with weight, bust and height measurements also show.

Now that you've figured out the range of measurements and understand the sizing,wedding garter, lets move on to colors and styles. When it comes to what style of lingerie women like, there are as many differences in what they like as there are available styles. Some women like more conservative but equally sensual gowns and robes. Some women prefer something a bit more revealing like a teddie, a baby doll or a cami. Some of course prefer the lingerie that shows a wilder side to her where she wants to be revealing, or wants to show off what she considers to be her finer assets. Low cut,sexy bunny costume, sheers, see through,womens teddies underwear, peek-a -boos,womens plus size lingerie, tight fitting etc. You should have gotten an idea of what she likes when you were poking around in her underwear drawer. Remember one thing. You are buying this for her,dress fishnet, not you. So buy her something you know SHE will like,thigh high stockings, not what you like.

Color is equally important. Buying her a lime green night knowing she doesn't like lime green would be wrong. No matter how good you thought it looked on the model. Women are more creative with colors than men but even though they all still tend to like certain colors and combinations of color. See what colors she wears the most now and don't stray too far from that if you can help it. A good rule of thumb if your not really sure is: redheads look great in green and yellow, brunnettes look sexy in red and white and blondes always good good in black and blue.

Now that you have some ideas about the styles, sizes, colors of the lingerie you want to buy you have to do the hardest part of the process. Browse through the websites looking at beautiful women in lingerie until you find that perfect item for your special lady.

Most of the online lingerie shops offer free gift wrapping services so take advantage of that and add a little glimmer of surprise to her gift. Women love to get gifts and unwrapping them just adds to the excitement for them.

Everyone knows women love getting gifts. If your thinking about buying her some sexy lingerie give heed to a few simple guidelines. In the end you can save yourself a lot of money and irritation by doing some homework first.

,Ray Ban Aviator Genre Femmes
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