My Hometown and Its Fate


     I was in my hometown, New York City, over the weekend. Everybody, it seemed, was outside swarming in the streets and the parks in perfect strolling weather. The magnolias and dogwoods were bursting. Anything highlighted in gold leaf was all burnished up. The city's sparkling physical condition was due of course to the spectacular flow-rate of money pouring through Wall Street the past twenty years -- notwithstanding the big burp of 2008. 
     New York has not been in better shape in my lifetime -- even the former bad districts like the Bowery were buffed up -- but it was hard not to brood on its destiny. You could read the blocks of buildings like a chronological chart. They reflected the very sudden dynamism of this nation, the in-pouring of the continent's stupendous wealth in a very short span of decades turning Manhattan island into an urban colossus that, by 1920, stunned even the city-dwelling intellectuals of Europe.
     The city exploded vertically in a very few decades when Thomas Edison's combined engineering-and-business genius made it possible to deliver electricity to every block. We'd spent the period just after the Civil War putting up limestone palaces and brick heaps as grand as the ones in Paris and London (and about the same size), and then from about 1890-on we tore them all down when the elevator made it possible to rent hundreds of apartments or office suites on the same real-estate "footprint" where there used to be only dozens of rentable units.
     You could read the history of our energy resources in the buildings, too. Until about the 1920s, the buildings were heated with coal. The bulk and inconvenience of coal was mitigated by hordes of low-paid immigrants who could wrangle the stuff into basements and shovel it into furnaces in rotating work-shifts. This made it possible in, say 1908, to run a building with over a hundred apartments in it. My mother and father grew up in 20-story buildings like this.
     After World War One, when battleship engines had been successfully converted from coal to oil, the furnaces of big buildings in the city followed that trend. Oil was much easier than coal to deal with, to deliver, store, and use. You just ran a hose from a truck to a tank in the basement.  You didn't need a triple shift of Ukrainians to keep the boilers going. You didn't need a hundred ashcans in the alley to store cinders. This removed one of the practical limits on how big buildings could be. So by the 1920s, you got a blossoming of skyscrapers including the most awesome in the world -- the Chrysler building, the Empire State Building, objects of the sheerest amazement to people who had been born by candlelight in one-horse towns.
     We would have built more things like these two extravaganzas except for the crisis of capital we call the depression -- suddenly there was no money! -- and then the Second World War happened. When that was over, New York City resumed growing upward. Only now a new fashion-code was in force: Modernism, which dictated that ornament was out, sheer, sleek surfaces were in, and the tops of the buildings had to be flat. This ushered in the era of glass boxes. After a while, it was hard to tell one from another and there wasn't much really special about any of them. Even the most canonical glass box, the Seagram building (1958) was celebrated as much for its vacant plaza fronting Park Avenue than for the brownish glass building itself. Streets like Sixth Avenue became vertigo-inducing gulches of identical glass boxes, derided everywhere except the architecture schools.
    One of the dark secrets of the Modernist movement was that doing away with ornament and making flat roofs ideologically mandatory allowed corporate America to build huge buildings much more cheaply, and the huge gain in rentable floor space was an additional boon. Before long, the glass box tower could be identified with all the worst despotic features of corporate life -- presenting a blank Darth Vadarish face to the street, concealing schemes to con the public, or pollute the air and water, or pimp for the military-industrial complex.
      Another thing happened after the Second World War. We were able to swap out oil furnaces in our mega-structures for natural gas.  Gas was even more convenient than oil. You didn't need a truck to show up twice a month to refill the tank. Instead, a city-wide network of gas pipes distributed it continually all over town and all you had to do was open the valve. Heating a giant building now took no thought, let alone work.
     Skyscraper building seemed to reach an end-point with the construction of the ill-fated Twin Towers of the World Trade Center (1970), followed by more than a decade of oil embargoes, economic disruption, supernaturally high interest rates, and political uncertainty. This was also the era when New York City hit the skids economically. Crime went off the charts. Squeegee men ran a shakedown racket on the bridge ramps. Graffiti erupted everywhere like scrofula. The town was broke and President Gerald Ford famously told the city council to "drop dead" (at least according to The New York Post). It seemed hopeless.
      But by the mid 1980s, the Alaskan oil fields and North Sea took the leverage away from OPEC and the price of oil started sinking until it reached a low point of $11-a-barrel at the turn of the 21st century and, if nothing else, the suburban sprawl economy popped with its treasure trove of securitizable real estate. America might have off-loaded its greasy old industrial economy, but Wall Street was just ramping up a new trade in all kinds of "derivative" securities that created "money" out of thin air, seemingly from nothing but bundles of promises to pay back loans -- producing windfalls of bonuses for the magicians who designed these operations -- and the new riches were eventually expressed in what I believe will be seen as the city's climactic final boom in vertical real estate.
      In recent years, cranes could be seen all over Manhattan hoisting up shiny new condo towers and office buildings. Suddenly we have a problem. Apart from the sheer fiasco of real estate finance that has spread through the economy like gangrene, there is the whole issue of what happens to an urban organism crammed with so many gigantic towers. What we see in New York today in the masonry-and-glass canyons seems normal, inevitable, permanent. Personally I think it is an extreme freak of history with a tragic fate.
      There is a popular argument these days -- voiced memorably by New Yorker Magazine writer David Owen -- that Manhattan is the "greenest" living arrangement conceivable because you can stuff so many people onto towers on tiny pieces of land. This is an illusion, though it has come to be the prevailing notion in elite circles. The skyscraper is already a thing of the past.  We just don't know it yet (the same way we don't know that Happy Motoring is near its end). Even if the shale-gas boom keeps heating prices affordable a while longer, we face a set of problems that will make the giant skyscraper city obsolete quickly. The hardware of the US electric grid is decrepit. We are short of capital. Capital is going to grow even more scarce. 
     The recession-depression-whatever-you-want-to-call-it that we're now in is going to be a long, gruesome slog, perhaps an abiding condition ushering in a new dark age. Without an ever-increasing supply of energy resources, the operations of compounding capital growth cease. This much is already self-evident, despite the dazzling accounting tricks of the big banks, the Federal Reserve, and the government agencies that abet them.
     Probably the biggest reason that the age of the skyscraper city is over is the likelihood that we will not be able to renovate these buildings -- especially the newest ones with the glitziest systems made of the highest-tech materials, even the ones that style themselves "green." We're not going to have the capital to renovate these buildings and we are certain to not have the modular fabricated materials to get the job done. These are buildings that have only one generation of life in them. They will not be adaptively re-used, and when they fail we will not know what to do about them. Of course, they may not all fail at the same time, but at least incrementally they will all eventually lose their utility and their value. They will no longer be assets, they'll be liabilities.
      The city looks great at this moment of history because of the tsunami of money that washed over it for a couple of decades. But this is the turning point. From here forward fewer things will get fixed every month. After a while it will show. We'll get back to conditions like the 1970s rather quickly, but the process won't stop there. A few centuries from now, the memory of today's normality will seem like the most exotic wonder that the human race ever produced. But most of it will be gone.
________________
A sequel to my 2008 novel of post-oil America, World Made By Hand, will be published in September 2010 by The Atlantic Monthly Press. The title is The Witch of Hebron.

299 Comments

First!

Our prospects are becoming bleaker with every day that is wasted on trying to save a system that is fundamentally flawed. The best-case scenario was a return to prosperity after an inevitable Depression, but a full collapse is becoming more likely every day.

http://www.goldsubject.com/economic-depression-or-collapse-the-odds-are-shifting/

The elevator is out of service this month... please spend the next hour taking a couple thousand stairs...

I agree with the theory that the limits of the natural gas we're finding in shale and coal bed methane won't support infrastructure as we know it today, but there are lot's of way to heat your home that don't involve being tied to the natural gas pipeline. From wood and pellet stoves (that are carbon neutral and can be very low emission if EPA certified)to geothermal or groundsource heat pumps, there are ways to keep your home warm when foreign countries have had enough and stop delivering LNG (liquid natural gas). The tools are there, you just have to get motivated and learn about them.
http://www.cammather.com/

I often wonder what will happen to Manhattan. I keep reading about the 'locavores' there, the small elite who, in their efforts to seem green, buy the produce of a few Joel Salatin fans gardening outside the suburbs. Jim, as you so often point out, enterprises like feeding the high-rise millions there can only be supported by cheap oil. I've recently read about some San Franciscans trying to make a corporate entity out of networking high-tech rooftop urban farming. This is pure denial. If I were still in the city where I worked up until five years ago, I'd be making a point of figuring out how to stock my cupboards with non-perishables like dry beans and lentils and grains. I'd be going out and getting fruits and vegetables in season and putting them up for the winter. People in big cities used to do these things. But now they restaurant-hop and live without much in the way of kitchen equipment. That is acquired helplessness and it's going to present a big, big problem.

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

Ah Jim, you have returned to writing about things you know, and how wonderful it is when you use this knowledge to draw pictures of the larger society that produces this stuff. Things are indeed getting dire when people start choosing weapons. See a couple choices at http://www.thenothingstore.com

Europeans can't believe it, everyone else has wires underneath the ground...

And they were sure and certain, forever wrong, but always confident. They had no hesitation, they confessed no ignorance or error, and they knew no doubts.
Thomas Wolfe
You Can't Go Home Again

It was a curious thing that at all of the islands some reality was insisted on as unreal, while improbabilities were clothed as hard facts . . .
Joshua Sclocum
Sailing Alone Around the World

JHK, now living outside NYC, has a vision of what's coming there but most insiders don't.

It's hard for all of us to step outside of the old story and imagine a new one that makes so much sense. We're blinded by the past. But something new is coming and its shape depends on steps we make now, on our own and in new conversations, explorations, and actions. Once you start imagining new possibilities, you notice them popping up everywhere.

http://radicalrelocalization.com/
"They'll never see us coming."

I love NYC. I hate to see it and our other monumental but beautiful mistakes fall apart.

It will look great in ruins and become a legend for future ages.

Funny how London, however, might just hang in there. Except for the City and a few monsters like the BT tower, it's not a vertical city. And it has all those railway stations.

I lived in San Francisco for 14 years. It was a wonderfully livable city. Every day was a vacation.

I moved to Long Island several years ago (uggh) and have lately been taking the LIRR to Manhattan to try and find a job. I am constantly wondering why so many people live in New York. It is an oppressive place even on a good weather day. It is a wonderful place for a millionaire, a terrible place for a working stiff.

I remember the old days, the Midnight Cowboy, Death Wish, Kojak, Fort Apache the Bronx, Escape from NY days. Gulianni can take all the credit for the drop in the crime rate, but it really was the influx of Wall Street money that turned Times Square into Disney Land.

New York can drop dead for all I care. It is a sociological experiment that can only end badly. The schools are still horrible and the roads are impassable.
Aimlow Joe
www.aimlow.com

Hi Jim
Nice Planet of the Apes forecast, however just like the Ukrainian coal diggers kept it going back when, NYC has many neighborhoods and ethnic communities that will survive. I am sure some industrious immigrants or green neo-hippies would relish not paying exorbitant rent and try squatting could. Not only that but many empty lots should start being used for veg gardens and there are ideas on using buildings as "vertical farms". NYC has always been more vital and interesting when a certain "edge" was present. Not only is it in "sparkling physical condition" but it's also a little too corporate and controlled under Bloomberg, but as you say, that will change.
Deacon John

I was in NYC a couple weeks ago. I had not visited there since before 9/11. I expected the city to seem more "down and out," for the people to seem dispirited, and for a security atmosphere of repression reminiscent of the London pictured in CHILDREN OF MEN. However, what I found was the cleanest, nicest version of New York I've ever seen. I don't know if it was the arrival of Spring, but people everywhere were so kind and polite. While the MSM was giving the violence of the Teabaggers way too much attention, the average subway car in NYC was filled with people of all races and ethnicities, co-existing in an atmosphere of relative calm. One of the guards carrying a semi-automatic rifle in Grand Central even waved at my kid! The scene was totally not what I expected, and for some reason, it gave me great hope. I just hope that atmosphere of calm and kindess is not the result of a surplus of fossil fuel energy and an influx of money from Wall St. (We avoided that megacenter of all that is evil, btw.)

"There is a popular argument these days -- voiced memorably by New Yorker Magazine writer David Owen -- that Manhattan is the "greenest" living arrangement conceivable because you can stuff so many people onto towers on tiny pieces of land."

Yeah, except the people living in NYC and other large cities have to import all of their water, food, clothing, and EVERYTHING else; what is green about having to IMPORT everything necessary for basic existence?

Meanwhile, what do big cities like NYC export in return? Massive amounts of sewage, wastewater, trash, plastic, toxic finances, far-left politics, and gutter mass-media.

If anything, cities like NYC are massive parasites in that they take in huge amounts of resources and raw materials yet only export the waste products after consuming them. How can a city like NY be considered 'green' when it imports 100% of its food, water, and energy from hundreds of even thousands of miles away?

"There is a popular argument these days -- voiced memorably by New Yorker Magazine writer David Owen -- that Manhattan is the "greenest" living arrangement conceivable because you can stuff so many people onto towers on tiny pieces of land."

Yeah, except the people living in NYC and other large cities have to import all of their water, food, clothing, and EVERYTHING else; what is green about having to IMPORT everything necessary for basic existence?

Meanwhile, what do big cities like NYC export in return? Massive amounts of sewage, wastewater, trash, plastic, toxic finances, far-left politics, and gutter mass-media.

If anything, cities like NYC are massive parasites in that they take in huge amounts of resources and raw materials yet only export the waste products after consuming them. How can a city like NY be considered 'green' when it imports 100% of its food, water, and energy from hundreds of even thousands of miles away?

Spot on.
The biggest issue with NY real estate right now is that all the deep-pocket guys got burned in attempts to reap profits from flipping city-owned properties like Stuyvesant Town and the Mitchell-Lama housing units that were auctioned off over the last few years. The folks who got burned in these deals were high rollers and they don't have the spare cash to absorb the losses the way they did in previous decades.

The other problem--developers got hit with huge insurance premium increases post-9/11 and are still dealing with overhead for extra security mandated by the city. There's no easy way to lay off the costs when New Jersey and Stamford are beckoning, and up to now the finance cash cow could lift all boats. That ain't happening any more.

Woah, New York it too big to fail, or succeed.

Kind of getting a ho-hum-feeling after reading the article. The "flip-side" of exo-burbs and freeway-access-only Sprawlvilles is - the "ice towers" of NYC.

Middling through this muck, some insight is discovered. The Clusterfuck resulting from high-density urban-based hoards will be distinctly different from the pains of "distance" presented to the populations discovered in solo-bicycle rides upstate.

OK, JHK, got it - size matters......

This one sounds like a final statement, Jim -- a summing up.

I appreciate your contribution of what these iconic towers of concrete and glass may represent to the human psyche. In certain ways, a 19 year old has boundless optimism and knows that he because he can imagine all things he can also do all things. The adolescent can think this way because stern reality has not yet corrected his cheeky inexperience. Does this sound like the United States of America in the 20th century? It should, because that's what is playing out.

Out 19 year old is now 49. He's quieter now, and looking out, hung-over, across the city from the roof of his 49 storey apartment building. (50 storeys if you count floor 13), he's wondering, after a couple of divorces and string of unfortunate personal experiences, where in the hell he's going to go from here. This could sound familiar, but it doesn't because the United States of American has quite made it there yet. The Hew Hess Hey is still down on the Mezzanine, partying like it's 1969!

Hung-over, the wild
peculiar boy from Queens
does not know his name.

It's time to turn away from the rail for the last time, walk across the roof to the stairs, and walk down those 50 flights. At street level it doesn't matter if our boy turns left or right, or simply walks straight ahead. A journey of a lifetime begins with at least 10,000 steps afterall. Eventually,walking, he'll make his way. And once he finally arrives, he'll lay himself down in a green field (hopefully), and take a sip of some cool-waters (nitrate-laden no doubt), and sleep. When he wakes, he'll raise himself up, look up into the sky and feel his feet upon the earth for the first time. Grounded once again!

There is a new round of comprehensive city planning going on in Austin, Texas, and New York City, "green Manhattan" in particular, is what many people here hope to emulate, especially for the burgeoning "vibrant" downtown (which was plenty vibrant up until the 1970s, when outlying malls came in with a vengance). The "vibrant" downtown will be supported by condos, restaurants, shopping, and dog-walking.

NYC is often cited as the greenest way to go and supposedly going Manhattanish will halt the suburban sprawl eating up first the Hill Country and now the eastern agricultural lands (never mind that home builders and developers are like sharks -- swim-or-die / build-or-die). It doesn't seem that those who are pushing for a Manhattan style of building/living in other places understand the forces that were at play for the past hundred or so years that created NYC or understand that Manhattan has its own suburbs with many people commuting in to work. And they don't seem to understand any of the underlying forces in play now.

NYC is so 'green' that it has to outsource its garbage to several surrounding states, even as far south as Virginia and Kentucky.

“One of the first major cities to exhaust its locally available landfills was New York. When the Fresh Kills landfill, the local destination for New York’s garbage, was permanently closed in March 2001, the city found itself hauling garbage to landfill sites in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and even Virginia—with some of the sites being 300 miles away. [NOTE: the state of Kentucky also receives a lot of NYC's garbage every week]

Given the 12,000 tons of garbage produced each day in New York and assuming a load of 20 tons of garbage for each of the tractor-trailers used for the long-distance hauling, some 600 rigs are needed to move garbage from New York City daily. These tractor-trailers form a convoy nearly nine miles long—impeding traffic, polluting the air, and raising carbon emissions.

Fiscally strapped local communities in other states are willing to take New York’s garbage—if they are paid enough. Some see it as an economic bonanza. State governments, however, are saddled with increased road maintenance costs, traffic congestion, increased air pollution, potential water pollution from landfill leakage, and complaints from nearby communities.

In 2001 Virginia’s Governor Jim Gilmore wrote to Mayor Rudy Giuliani to complain about the use of Virginia for New York City’s trash. “I understand the problem New York faces,” he noted, “but the home state of Washington, Jefferson and Madison has no intention of becoming New York’s dumping ground.”

- http://www.earthpolicy.org/index.php?/book_bytes/2009/pb3ch06_ss4

Meanwhile, in Canada:

"Garbage travails are not limited to New York City. Toronto, Canada’s largest city, closed its last remaining landfill on December 31, 2002, and now ships all its 750-thousand-ton-per-year garbage to Wayne County, Michigan."

JHK, take some chamomile tea (echinacea?) & relax, Jesus isn't coming back & neither is your Long-Emergency slide into a new Dark Age going to happen, whose timing is hedged ever so fuzzily as Next Year, Maybe Six Months etc. Why don't we just settle on 'Always Around the Corner' and save some ink?

We're swimming in oil, there's plenty of gas, cars & industry are much cleaner, and when fusion heats up a bit we'll be able to power whole cities on a few Cheese Doodles.

Western Society goes forward, overcoming obstacles by developing new technology. JHK's Mad Max dystopia is pleasantly entertaining tho', ain't it?

I've read that apartments are being built now without kitchens. What's the point, as you say people don't use them anyway.

I'm an apartment dweller in a big city. My wife and I haven't eaten out in years. It's amazing how much money you can save by not eating in restaurants. You don't save much time by eating out either.

I've watched people shop in some local grocery stores. I'm convinced that the produce and meat sections are there mostly for show. People do a fly by with their shopping carts so they can say they've been there but they don't buy much. It's off to the frozen and prepared food depts.

One thing we have a lot of in this city is immigration from the less developed world. If you shop in grocery stores that have a lot of customers originally from the Caribbean/China/India/Africa you notice that these people actually cook at home. They buy a lot of meat and produce. These grocery stores know their clientele so they take pains to get good quality, fresh stuff unlike stores where mostly white people shop because us white folks don't buy the stuff because we seem to be way, way too busy (or something) to actually cook.

Thing is, cooking is really simple and it doesn't take much time and you learn a practical skill. Next on our agenda, learn how to can.

This is my favorite post in a long time. No mention of sheeple, cheetos or NASCAR. Instead, we are treated to a look at how art, in this case architecture, reflects the cultural values of a time. I loved the point about the buildings being slick and reflective...where you cannot see what is going on inside; very death star like. A perfect analogy for the impersonal and monolithic corporate america. At street level, standing beside the awesome power of vertical makes one feel small which is intentional design. The ornamental buildings of old represent beauty for beauty's sake which was shared with all who passed. Now, inside these glass towers, and behind steel doors and inside vaults, rest some of the worlds masterpiece paintings hoarded like gold, reduced to nothing but a commodity to be seen by no one but the elite few.

On a positive note, i met Tripp Ticket, the permaculture guy who comments here sometimes. I showed him around my place - my garden and my plans for developing a sustainable homestead. Meeting him was the best that being a CFN reader has to offer; finding like minded people with an eye toward possible collapse but approaching it with an open heart and mind. I like this blog best when we discuss how we can rise to our better selves in the face of uncertainty and corruption.

NYC's major export is social control over mass society in the form of finance and mass media (ideological culture). At some level we have central place theory at work there. Ask Kunstler, he can explain central place theory to you.

As further evidence of the centrality of NYC to America, one need look no further than the vast money expenditures to so far NOT rebuild the World Trade Centers. The ability of NYC's elite to extract further concessions from the broader society in the case of the WTC rebuild is mere proof of NYC's power. It makes the "Bridge to Nowhere" look like a mere trifle.

Haven't seen Tripp's posts for a while. How's he doing?

Tripp, you out there?

Here in fly-over country, my city/town can't even afford to mow the easements. No wonder folks hate the fancy pants NYC financials - they made off with the loot and are burnishing their gold in the pretty spring air while the rest of us philistines wrangle over who gets the $5 for stolen air conditioner tubing.
Still, I would rather be here than there. I worked on the orchard and garden again this weekend - an oasis of joy and hope. The old apples are blooming a pink and pale welcome to the baby trees first green leaves. It is more beautiful than gold, to an Okie who has gone hungry before. I wish I could devote more time and energy to those things, and less to this bitter world of greed.

Looking from the outside it is indeed much easier to see what is happening. From the inside, you are blinded by all the lights and noise. The very idea that NYC is actually "green" in any way is the highest delusion. As noted above, EVERYTHING is imported, and only waste is exported.
The skyscrapers are not going to be very useful when there is no gas to heat them, no electricity to power the elevators, air circulation systems, to pump water into the building.
The question is: What happens to them say 100 years from now? Will they be de-constructed? Or will they just be abandoned and neglected until they just fall down, taking out neighboring structure.
NYC is the poster child of the doomed paradigm of this civilization. It truly has nowhere to go but down.

Dee Jones

Ah, nice commentary Jim, been a while since oil was the topic du jour. I'm a native of New York City. There's plenty of room for dislocation for sure, but in terms of relative green-ness, the primary advantage in New York, as well as other old cities, is simply that it is walkable. I do not own a car and never have. I am thin. I often cook, but at this moment, it happens that it is often cheaper to eat out than the cost of getting raw fresh ingredients to cook at home. That may very well change, and if and when it does I'll be ready.

You know, when I first began studying up on peak oil around 2002, my first impulse was to buy a plot of land become self sufficient and off the grid. I traveled around over time, and one day , as I looked out of a parcel in a remote rural area at a high elevation, it hit me: Such places 1) don't usually have a depth of resources available - meaning, they don't have 24 911 service or police, emergency rooms, etc. 2) It's all okeydoke to have my own acreage and work it.

However, thats not the whole story with off the grid living. You have also to be prepared, in general let alone in a worst-case scenario, to DEFEND your property (see #1 above) if some clown decides the property next door would be a dandy spot to build his large scale meth operation on, or paramilitary training center - and just that scenario is happening in rural New York. I can easily see becoming as crazed as the crazy I want to get away from!

"From here forward fewer things will get fixed every month. After a while it will show."

Exactly..... Buildings, roads, sewers, electricity - as soon as the printed stimulus money peters out...oh uh.

Agri, didn't you know that Torontonians are the world's biggest hypocrites?

We enact "feel good" measures ie grocery stores have to charge shoppers 5 cents per plastic bag so as to reduce plastic bags in landfills. This way we can feel all holy and green. But do anything substantive? No chance.

Never mind that plastic bags comprise a miniscule percentage of what goes in landfills. Reduce wastage? Heaven forfend.

So now instead of using grocery store plastic bags to bag up household garbage people are using products like Glad Kitchen Catchers.

I used to work for a large real estate developer. We used to gobble up massive tracts of land/ farmland to build housing subdivisions, office buildings etc. Huge environmental destruction. So what do we do? Someone in our office decided that we had to recycle pop cans. Looked really good. A salve for the conscience I suppose.

Would JHK care to comment on the projections that China will add 10 cities the size of NYC by 2010 and how will those investments play out?

Sorry, but Edison is not responsible for the electrification of the USA. Had the US gone with Edison's direct current system, we would all have choked and burned to death decades ago. The entire world relies on some form of the Westinghouse alternating current system invented by Tesla for its electrical generation/distribution. Some credit where it's due please.

I lie awake some nights wondering when the inevitable home invasion is going to happen at my house. I expect desperate people looking for money or food. Should I arm myself, or just accept fate and go down with the ship? You can only shoot so many people before you run out of ammo or get shot yourself. Citizens of Ashtabula Ohio have been warned by a local judge to arm themselves due to the impending police layoffs. They are planning to lay off half of the force. http://www.wkyc.com/news/local/news_article.aspx?storyid=133951&catid=45

What do unemployed cops do when they cannot find jobs? Do they turn to what they understand best, crime?

Flight to Exurbs in Twin Cities Stops Cold

Here's a positive trend:

http://tinyurl.com/y74nx93

Hey Jim, NYC is your hometown?? Disowning Saratoga are we?

Anyway, good comments by Agriburbia. At present I know of some upstate organic growers, dairymen, and orchardists that ship food to the city, but at some point this arrangement won't make sense anymore.

Back to work on my mushroom logs.

I wish NYC was smaller, but do not see any meaningful reduction in the population --quite the contrary-- if the economy truly collapses. Why? Because old cities are walkable, high density of buildings offer shelter even if only temporary, parks can convert to some form of farming if necessary, public transportation (however rickety or unreliable).

It's not unthinkable that an influx of people fleeing from various burbs and burgs coming to NYC thinking it would be more preferable to being stranded without any of the above, especially in a state that is already depressed and hollowed out. Agribusiness absorbed millions of small independent farms over the decades, very few people are in a position to be self supporting in the sense bloggers love to extol--subsistence farming, barter, swapping, hunting. Over the long term, yes, but in the short? Um, NO.

The Daily News printed the headline, "Ford To City: Drop Dead." The Post is best known for the emblematic, "Headless Body In Topless Bar."

An Englishwoman I know who lives in New York loves the city and calls it the city of opportunity and possibility, a place where anything can happen. That's why New York will survive, because it's a center, of art, culture, fashion, and intellectual vigor.

What would New York be without all that?

Newark!

(I'm from New Jersey.)

Detroit (already downsizing) is the future.

I love New York City. It has some clear advantages over other American cities.

If peak-oil will arrive, NYC has a proper public transport system in place. You can also ride your bicycle and walk as the neighbourhoods are so densily populated, you will be able to find anything you need in a one-mile circle.

Furthermore, New Yorkers are not as dumb as the average American. They tend to be informed, open to new experiences and therefore the Green Revolution will certainly take hold in NYC. You can grow an awful lot of foods on rooftops and against south-facing brick walls. It will not be sufficient but it will be a good start.

Here in Chicago, we are confronting similar problems with our glittering downtown neighborhoods, which are stuffed with 60-100 story residential buildings. Neighborhoods just outside of downtown, like the South Loop, near north, Lincoln Park, and Lakeview are over-encumbered with extremely high buildings (over 20 stories) and so is Edgewater, which is now limiting the height of new construction- though they waited till two new condo towers of extraordinary ugliness were put up in the past few years.

I predict that there will be a lot of future demand for housing in the now-untrendy outer neighborhoods as natural gas starts to peak, and mid-city neighborhoods are already in high demand.

Some wards are limiting the height of new construction to the New Urbanist ideal of the 4-7 story mixed use building with small retail on the ground floor and rentals or condos above.

Chicago and New York have many pleasant neighborhoods with buildings of appropriate height and density (4 to 7 stories, 50 to 100 units), physical space, and places for large community gardens, as well as many SF houses and 2-6 family flats with ample space for gardening. These 'hoods are now very unfashionable but they will be where the city goes when it becomes impossible to run these 30-60 story behemoths.

Notice that some of the comments in the link you provide show the characteristic denial of reality that one often encounters when mentioning the Long Emergency (and its symptoms) to the yeasties.

Vlad says:
“Hey race traitor, how's it going? How's life up in the all White North? Nothing like living your truth, huh? You make me sick.”
========================================
Notice how your anger, and it's attendant emotions of isolation and despair, arise spontaneously and without provocation. Hatred is a habit of mind, caused by our self cherishing, which only provokes more hatred. Is this not mental suffering in it's most naked and unpleasant form?

When you read the Dharma and begin to internalize it, rather than reading it with intellectual detachment as another body of knowledge to entertain your mind, you will be able to take advantage of the solutions offered there for dealing with this common and virulent form of suffering.

May you be free of suffering and it's causes.

You beat me to it!

Yes, Detroit is what the city of the future may well look like. Smaller footprint (even the city government speaks of this publicly) and urban farming. A lot of blocks of housing are seeing derelict buildings turned into empty lots, one step closer to growing food.

When people talk about New York, they are often talking about just Manhattan - which is in many ways a city in itself. Manhattan has gotten much better in terms of crime because many of the poor and middle class have been priced out. Thus Manhattan has become like San Francisco, the poor live on the outskirts - not completely but to a large degree. This is the French model and we will see more of it as our society divides more neatly into just the rich and the poor. The six digit folks are the new middle class in a sense, but they will never be the force that the old middle class was. Not only are they far fewer in numbers, but culturally and politically they will always be taking their cues from those above them; those whom they aspire to be.

If I might be so bold, but PARTS of NYC are what I see as the middle ground (it's not all skyscrapers, after all). Four and five story buildings are "stair-friendly" and provide a good density of housing. If the big cities and suburbs both move towards that middle ground, the end result is more open land nearby. Assuming, of course, that population growth is kept in check.

Indeed!

Where I live (Southern California) someone making $120,000 a year still has a hard time buying a house (easier than in 2007, mind you.)

Playing to the crowd? Why didn't you mention what you called me? You're a pious fraud.

@ Mr. Purple - The comments section of media sites seem to attract idiots who are proud to remove all doubt as to just how idiotic they are. Particularly if the article concerns anything that might be perceived to be a threat to the American Happy Motoring way of life. Even just pointing out the dangers of things like climate change, habitat loss, peak oil, overpopulation, etc., or the self-defeating illogic of remaining addicted to oil and shipping our national wealth to the middle east for the privilege, brings out the trolls in droves - frothing at the mouth about socialist traitors, greenie nutballs, and the dangers of the Bilderberger conspiracy.

I don't spend much time on the comments, unless I need a laugh. But, it tends to be a bitter laugh, so I don't spend much time there.

"It's not unthinkable that an influx of people fleeing from various burbs and burgs coming to NYC thinking it would be more preferable to being stranded without any of the above..."

Maybe the future of NYC and other big cities is Calcutta ie millions living in absolute filth and degradation in shantytowns, tent cities and garbage dumps among the concrete stumps and skeletal remains of skyscrapers.

Detroit, Cleveland, St. Louis, Rochester, and other small to mid sized cities will come flying back.

Detroit and Cleveland will be the first to recover, because they are the most battered, as evidenced by absurdly low prices for really beautiful, intact dwellings in fair-to-decent neighborhoods. Cleveland is even cheaper than Detroit. I was exploring the city via the MLS online listings, and was flabbergasted to see spectacular old 1920s vintage apartments for insanely low prices, even relative to St. Louis and Kansas City, which are still rather overpriced. I looked at two drop-dead beautiful old apartments in a prize vintage bldg on Shaker Blvd in Cleveland, looked like a pretty neighborhood. They were a 2100 sq foot beauty for $49K and a 1200 sq footer for $19K. They were both in perfect condition, with herringbone parquet floors, high ceilings, gracious rooms with incredible millwork and vintage details. Fireplaces, too, though they might only be decorative. Keep in mind that these are high-maintenance places, but much less so than comparable houses. And they were furnished very elegantly, evidence that the people who lived in them were well-off when they bought them. Detroit has a massive inventory of really beautiful, large older homes for less than $150K, that would sell for $700K in St. Louis or over $1M in Chicago, in the current market. Even the $10 dollar specials, which are fire-gutted ruins, are good brick shells- it would cost $100K just to build those shells.

These cities, too, will have to contract in area and will probably reorganize themselves around retail-transit cores. Go where the medium and high density multifamily buildings are.

The only problem is, is that these places have NO public transportation and as they are configured at the moment,you must have a car. Also, they tend to have elevated crime rates and a dearth of jobs, and we all need to make a living, which is why they are so cheap. That's why people are not returning to them now.

Upstate NY, Kunstler Country, is another great place, if you can stand the cold. The scenery is gorgeous and houses are absurdly cheap. Good farm country, with plentiful fresh water, and maybe small scale hydro power.

But if you have the cash to buy a place and to live lean for a couple of years, you can secure a place in a really nice old Midwestern or inland Eastern city with access to plentiful fresh water and an abundance of land to grow stuff on. These cities are also well above sea level, with fertile hinterlands.

And the economy will keep going forever, the stock market will keep going up, house prices will increase forever, and just because tomorrow is Thanksgiving is no reason Mr. Farmer won't feed you. I mean, he's swimming in cheap feed, eh?

I'm in the oil industry. We're changing what we provide to deal with the coming era of expensive, low EROEI oil because the oil exploration companies are asking for that. *They* know what's coming, even if you believe tomorrow never comes.

Other oil companies are getting out of the exploration business altogether and diversifying - into what, I don't know.

Quiz,
Regarding the discussion last week on our troops in places like Germany;

Economically and socially, I doubt that it is to our advantage to bring home, during an intense recession, thousands of troops trained, as you say, in "kicking down doors", and offer them nothing more than a hand shake and a job application at Wal Mart.

Economic solutions are seldom as simple as they seem. The social costs attendent with such apparent economic savings as discharging 1,000's of troops may well prove to be illusory, as we have to deal with their anger and response to being displaced. Consider the prison culture we created in the last 20 years which now houses a large population of non-violent offenders at a cost greater than sending them to charter schools or college (even Harvard) before (or after) they were offenders. This is why such economic savings are often a chimera, fueled more by ideology than reality.

In contrast, giving them a new task with broad social advantage, seems to provide nothing but a long and short term advantage to all but those whoose ego is dependent on carrying a gun, and those we can keep in the foxholes where they both belong and want to be.

Good blog today. Much better than the silly Republican bashing we have seen the past few weeks.

Kunstler hit upon something I've been contemplating for some time. Driving around my small New England town, I see nothing but decay. The large mills that used to churn out carpets, cloth and shoes are empty with torn plastic flapping in the wind where glass used to be. Roads have huge holes and are crumbling at their edges. Paint peels from rotting clap boards on houses and junk fills the yards. Young men ("men" only because they are over 18) wear pants where the crotch is bridged between the knees look like they have no purpose and walk around indifferent.

This is in an area that has supposedly survived the panic relatively well and the capitol crunch is just starting.

Why didn't you mention what you called me? You're a pious fraud.
=====================================
Most recently I only recall teasing you a bit about your desire to colonize Mars, only a little humor was intended. Whatever you may think I may have called you in the past you can be assured it was actually intended for your beliefs which, despite what you might sometimes think, are not you.

Heating? Hook the skyscrapers up to giant compost piles, that'll do the trick. Divert the sewage for this purpose. It may get a little ripe up there though, but all to the good. Only the most ideologically pure ecologues will be able to take the smell of Mother Nature in her most primal olfactory form.

The towers may become fortresses for gangs during the latter part of the decline. What they will do for light and heat is the question. Therefore, it probably wont last too long, but they wont be able to resist because trying it just for the status value. They'll leave as more and more of their customeers/victims leave.

"Thus Manhattan has become like San Francisco, the poor live on the outskirts - not completely but to a large degree..."

"This is the French model and we will see more of it as our society divides more neatly into just the rich and the poor..."

Good post. I agree. I see it here also. Downtown, midtown and uptown are ridiculously expensive as compared to the average wage in this city so housing prices are like a cleaver chopping the population into income segments.

It's too bad, people that contribute the least, that cause the most harm ie financial industry bullshit artists, banksters... are the ones most able to afford to live here. Everyone else, people that do actual valuable work, has trouble.

I remember a mind-bending statistic I learned in one of my environmental planning classes in the last part of the 1970's.

If the speed limit in NYC was lowered to 20 MPH the residents of that fair city would STARVE TO DEATH because it would not be possible to get the food in and the garbage out fast enough.

What a horrible thing to consider.

Jim, I read CFN as much for the vocabulary and a well turned phrase as I do for the direction of its content. Today's essay had me scrambling to dictionary.com for the following:

scrof·u·la (skrŏf'yə-lə)
n. A form of tuberculosis affecting the lymph nodes, especially of the neck, that is most common in children and is usually spread by unpasteurized milk from infected cows. Also called struma.

Generally your use of an obscure word is brilliantly apt but I fail to see how " Graffiti erupted everywhere" is anything "like scrofula."

Perhaps you were thinking scruff(y) which the slang dictionary defines as sloppy; unkempt.

I think the key is to reverse the trend of offshoring business to China. This is one place where right wing, free market types are dead, dead, dead, wrong, the market isn't right, it didn't adjust, it gave results you cannot live with.

Squaring this with the Chinese is going to be ugly, they will not take kindly to the US taking action (ie tariff or non tariff barriers) while simultaneously being expected to fund the US deficit to avoid financial armageddon.

If you have industries coming back, the newly released soldier has got something to come back to. I agree, the most dangerous creature in the world is an unemployed, unmarried young man.

Great post today. Peer between the glass monoliths in NYC and you can see the wonderful cypress wood water towers on roofs, now visually incongruous vestiges of a time when we paid more homage to the basic forces of nature. Once we stop injecting oil into every activity good old gravity will again dictate the optimum levels.

my shudders are pulled,
candles are lit,
book well marked for tonight
an evening at home,
alas

James, a fantastic piece of writing!!! You know how to draw in a reader!!! WOW!

The NY skyscraper is a dying corpse. You are right. Look at China. Brand new skyscrapers are empty. What we will have are old, post-modern monoliths empty, and rotting from the outside-in.

They will not be kept up. A new tenement industry might just occur, as squatters begin to occupy these empty eyesores. The city administrators will have to declare them as brownfields.

There will be a time when people in the burbs who don't want to move to small town enclaves that have a self-contained environment, will move to center city dwellings for what it offers and what they could shed in their lives, such as cars, auto insurance, etc.

All the big empty skyscrapers will probably not be able to accommodate the new migrants from the burbs, therefore, some will lose out to the ones that are the best maintained, and most convenient. Survival of the fittest will win out.

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

http://shortshortstoryproject.blogspot.com

While I am thrilled that I get to read the writing of JHK every Monday for free, there are two general problems with his prognostication:

First of all, if capital dries up to such an extent that we can't even keep a skyscraper going, then the situation outside NYC will be so bad that NYC will start to look like Calcutta, as one commenter mentioned, because the surrounding area will be completely chaotic and full of bands of thieves and worse. Historically, one of the reasons cities have been the center of a society has been the need for protection from the thugs outside. Maybe NYC would wind up building walls to keep them out.

Second, and pulling away from apocalypse mode, even big skyscrapers are more efficient -- by how much I don't know, but it must be quite a bit -- then your single family home. It's simply much easier to heat and cool, even with all the windows, which could be covered if need be. To follow David Owen a bit here -- and I think JMK and he are much more on the same page than JMK implies -- large buildings, like large animals, are simply better at retaining heat, having less surface area per unit of volume.

Does NYC pull in massive amounts of resources and push out massive amounts of garbage? Yes, and whatever it does is much less per person than other arrangements, even Saratoga. That doesn't solve the problem though, as the nice commenter notes about our garbage, which means that in a capital or energy constrained world, recycling will have to move from nice-nice to absolutely essential, as will urban gardens and farm belts within easy distance of the city, as in Paris.

That's a possibility, sure. Calcutta certainly is poor and filthy, especially to American eyes, but that is not the same as a living hell. No, Calcutta's primary problems stemmed from political violence leading to the partition. Since then it is still overpopulated and poor, but that is not the same as being The Road come to life. No, that particular ring of hell may be reserved just for us.

I wonder what kind of accounting David Owen did to conclude that an ultra dense community like Manhattan is the greenest of living arrangements.

What kind of infrastructure is necessary to supply such a community? Discounting the energy needs of skyscrapers themselves, is it even possible to grow such an arrangement without the vast, pre-existing network of motorized transport that surrounds Manhattan? While the denizens of Manhattan may have short commutes, what about the "commute" of their supplies?

To look at it a little differently, how large a hinterland of agriculture would Manhattan require were they to produce all of their food needs locally?

Ancient Rome may have reached a population of 1 million+, and it required the largest network of slave labour and vassal states the world has ever seen, extending throughout Europe and beyond. What is "green" about that?

I suspect the "green-ness" David Owen is talking about is a very private luxury of Manhattan condo-dwellers, with all the bad stuff offloaded outside the walls of the city.

No one knows how things are going to play out though. The old cities and towns in the NE are prime candidates, I agree, except: who would have thought drought would become a problem in watery NYS? Followed by flash flooding?

Water is an even bigger problem down the road than oil, as evidenced by the fact that states have already been trading water supplies to support massive growth, especially in the southwest. Southern Colorado is poised for a battle royale to keep it's water from being commandeered by frontline cities. The great lakes water supplying Las Vegas and so on.

My point is, there's no clear cut, easy answer. The US is dotted with ghost towns from previous boom-busts and places like Detroit looks more likely to be one of those than experience a resurgence.

Natural assumption thoroughly car obsessed culture to make, lower the speed limit means THE END. We could return to shipping and trains, as JHK persistently - and almost uniquely- keeps pointing out.

Sorry, but as fossil fuels become more dear, cities like New York will thrive for the same reasons that they flourished to begin with. NYC possesses one of the finest natural harbors in the world. It's located on a navigable river that can used to transport goods and materials far inland. NYC was the center of one the greatest rail networks ever built. Most of those rail right-of-ways still exist, along with a lot of usable trackage. If anything, it'll be back to the future for New York City. The wealthy will live in the city center, the working poor will inhabit the outer boroughs and first ring suburbs in Jersey. The truly wretched will end up in the X-burbs. That's the future of America.

Peak Oil will reverse globalization. It's already happening in the American steel industry. Cheap labor overseas only rules when matched with cheap transportation.

Take a look at this fascinating recent book:

"Why Your World is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller: Oil and the End of Globalization," by Jeff Rubin.

Yeah, hauling 50 pound bags of stove pellets up 20 sets of stairs is going to work. And every apartment will have its own wood stove. The trees in Central Park would last the city probably a day or two.

Maybe the lower five or six storeys of the 50-100 storey buildings will be inhabitable.

sr, good question, and I just happened to have speculated about how much space would be needed if you wanted to feed 8 million people of NYC, which I go into here. Basically, you would need about 6 times the 300 square miles of NYC, a drop in the bucket of the continent, if you figure you have biointensive (permaculturish) farming, which by the way would necessitate like 20% of the population being farmers (gardeners).

Also, the NYC subway uses about 1.8 billion kilowatt hours anually, while the entire country uses 4,000 billion kilowatt hours of electricity, so if you quadrupled NYC's electricity for a super fancy transit system, that would, again, be peanuts energy-wise compared to the rest of the country. And the subway doesn't need oil.

sr, I forgot, the infrastructure that would be used for a rational system to provide NYC would use rail, rail, and more rail, the sort of thing JHK has been advocating for a while. Big, dense cities are not only perfect for a rail-based system, they are necessary in order to make a rail-centered transportation system work.

Hi Mr. Kunstler,
You should have told me you were in NYC, I could have bought you a $9 beer.

But seriously, your critique of the city is absolutely correct, and I am noticing the downward slide more and more. This will be an excellent place to leave.

I'm going to forward the "fewer things will get fixed" to my landlord and maybe it will help get my toilet to work.

Tommy
http://freedomguerrilla.com

peak oil is reverse ' civilization',
and urbanization.

if detroit / pontiac are the future its a very bleak future indeed.
never been there but having heard from those whove lived in the area, its ' the armpit of america'.

what did he call you..and when?

"I think the key is to reverse the trend of offshoring business to China. This is one place where right wing, free market types are dead, dead, dead, wrong"

Tell it to Barack "I'm a free trader" Obama.

See 'YOU ARE HERE' by Tom Kostigen.a whole chapter on fresh kills ny and a chapter on mumbai...where are plastic trash goes. toxic waste dumping on the 3rd world.
very very good small book.

'I looked at two drop-dead beautiful old apartments in a prize vintage bldg on Shaker Blvd in Cleveland, looked like a pretty neighborhood. They were a 2100 sq foot ..'

didnt someone here a few days ago say homes were BEING GIVEN AWAY in a city in ohio?

"..like San Francisco, the poor live on the outskirts - not completely but to a large degree..."

Regrettably, this is false.

SF has a large skid-row area within walking distance of downtown jobs that is largely occupied by those who by temperament, accident or retirement do not work at all.

This situation was created and has been maintained by the lefties that have ruled this city for years.

Meanwhile the middle-class office worker types who ought to be living near their jobs have had to "escape" to the suburbs from which they must commute into town.

The remedy offered for the inevitable traffic mess is to sell bonds to finance multi-billion dollar transit "solutions".

We wouldn't need a solution if workers could live near their jobs and the unemployable lived on outskirts.

what did he call you..and when
==============================
I think he's referring to when I asked Asoka, who was responding to Vlad's usual ad naseum racist rants, "Why give the crud any cred?".

I don't call people "crud", that in fact, is one easy way to see through the doomer mentality, which so often has to see large swaths of the population as "cheese doodle eating morons" etc. That kind of statement is always based on emotional distortions. The "crud" is Vlad's twisted hate filled posts on this blog. Which should only be ignored or responded to with ironic mirth, they deserve nothing more serious then that.

They are his mental distortions, the concrete statements they hide behind, deserve no more serious consideration than someone who would come here and talk about such conspiracies as the government bombing the twin towers or aliens on the moon. That would be why JHK banned him under his former handle.

I would agree that "free trade", which was never free and never fair, deserves less respect and adherence than it's gotten in recent years.

I see no reason why, if we did something like a high speed rail buildout, that we couldn't "favor" U.S. companies which are capable of providing the services and products needed. That combined with using the military as the labor, would make such a buildout both economically and socially feasible and desirable.

Other countries have been protecting their industries for decades,we have protected agriculture similarly, "free trade" needs an adjustment, and the Chinese are in no position to do anything about it. Bring the boys home, and rebuild the U.S. What's the alternative?

Why is Obama not doing this, no guts is my guess, and fear of RW and free market reaction.

$49K for an apartment like the one I viewed on Shaker Blvd constitutes "giving away". A fine old unit like this in a Chicago 20s vintage bldg would be $400K rock bottom and most likely more, for this unit was much finer than the bulk of the vintages I see for sale on Lake Shore Drive. It would cost nearly that much in St. Louis because fine apartments are so rare there. Most mid-sized cities have a mere handful of old buildings of that quality.

But you need to pay the maintenance and taxes on the place. The maintenance for a building like that usually includes heat, common area maintenance, a janitor or two,and often a 24-hour doorman, or at least a daytime concierge. Figure $900 a month maintenance AT LEAST for a 2100 sq ft apartment with 10' ceilings in an 80-year old building. The taxes will be at least $4000 a year. So you will need to pay about $1300 a month to live here if you receive the place as an outright gift. But it's still an incredible deal.

And lower-bracket properties, like your ordinary frame cottage in a lower-middle/working class neighborhood are just about being given away. However, these properties are likely completely trashed, because Detroit and Cleveland have so many vacant properties and such undermanned law enforcement that squatters, strippers, and vandals move quickly on any place that's vacant more than 72 hours.

Thing is, if you buy one of these vacant houses in Detroit or Cleveland for $10 or $100,with the idea that you're going to sit on the place until you are ready to leave your present life and move there, you will be looking at big expenses just to own the house unoccupied, like $7000 a year or so for liability insurance. I checked.

"That combined with using the military as the labor, would make such a buildout both economically and socially feasible and desirable."



That's the best damned idea I've seen for using the military EVER. How refreshing that our misled boys should actually help improve their OWN country instead of killing, maiming & torturing, and then bringing home the inevitable suicidal thoughts when forced to re-humanize.

Qshtik said:

A form of tuberculosis affecting the lymph nodes...Generally your use of an obscure word is brilliantly apt but I fail to see how " Graffiti erupted everywhere" is anything "like scrofula."

Come on, Qshtik, you are smarter than that... being a graduate of St. Josephs.

Any time you get the lymph system involved there is big time, usually rapid, metastasis, which means it spreads quickly all over the place, rather like graffiti did in NYC. That's why they call them lymph nodes.

There are a few posters here who need to research the difference between "then" and "than."

True, Nikola Tesla gets too little credit. I, too, wanted to remind folks of Tesla's remarkable achievements, but then I remembered that Edison's direct current system made considerable inroads in New York. His DC system was until the very recent past so widespread in that city that it has had to be run in parallel with the AC grid for decades.

The last elevator motors and other legacies of Edison's dumb idea, which he aggressively pursued in the teeth of objections from Tesla, were decommissioned quite recently. I wouldn't be surprised if there are still some relics around.

Probably no more serious offended here THAN me. So here is a reference to correct usage;

"Look here, Jimmy. You misspelled culpable. And you’re confusing then and than. T-h-e-n is an adverb used to divide and measure time. 'Detective McNulty makes a mess, and then he has to clean it up.' Not to be confused with t-h-a-n, which is most commonly used after a comparative adjective or adverb, as in: 'Rhonda is smarter than Jimmy.'"
(Judge Daniel Phelan to Detective Jimmy McNulty in the episode “The Wire," The Wire, 2002)

•"then for than is an error much commoner than highbrows seem to think: it is not merely the illiterate who fall into it. The reason is not that, several centuries ago, than and then were spellings and pronunciations frequently interchanged, but that, where than bears no stress and is spoken very rapidly and lightly, it tends to approximate to then."
(Eric Patridge, The Wordsworth Book of Usage and Abusage, rev. 1995)

"...using the military as the labor" Great idea!

I'm a big JHK fan but until now I lurked without commenting. It is not true that NYC exports nothing except its garbage. It also provides the lion's share of revenues to state government, which in turn transfers them to rapidly depopulating Upstate cities such as Saratoga where Jim lives, and Utica, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo.

As Wall Street fails, so fails Upstate.

I think Tripp is on his way to Georgia. I hope he has time to stop in all these beautiful, up and coming, cities you people are yapping about today. Why not stop by Philly this weekend? Maybe you'll be in the wrong place at the right time when the wolfpacks fire off. Then it's off to Broad Street. Nothing quite like explaining to your kids the black guy with his pecker hanging out, walking around in his robe in the afternnon sun, with last night's puke all over himself. If you like this crap, the city is definetly for you. Personally I'd rather watch grown men fight over stocked trout right across the creek from my cabin.

Cash, if you're interested in canning, may I recommend the All-American brand of pressure cooker? Built like a battleship and will last a lifetime. I think a good choice would be one that does NOT have the heating element built into the base. I hope I don't need to explain why.

Hey listen Bobby, you're on my turf. This is my shtick. I'm the grammar police 'round these parts. You wouldn't believe how much breath I've saved since my last then vs than beef.

Welles wrote:

"We're swimming in oil, there's plenty of gas, cars & industry are much cleaner, and when fusion heats up a bit we'll be able to power whole cities on a few Cheese Doodles."

Yeah, swimming. Kuwait, Yemen, Venezuela, Russia, Iran are past peak and the Saudis lie to us, pumping 7 million gallons daily into Al-Ghawar to keep the system from collapsing.

Go do some non-JHK reading about Peak Oil from the likes of Matthew Simmons. You'll come away sobered and humbled by what we face: not insurmountable, but solutions will be hard. Your cornucopian dreams are going to die hard, Mr. Welles--only Exxon-Mobil and OPEC deny oil depletion. The other majors, the IEA, and the US Army and DOE (since the Bush admin's Hirsch Report) quietly admit it but defer on the date of reckoning.

And fusion? Come on--that two is always a "20 years from now" pipe dream.

"There are a few posters here who need to research the difference between "then" and "than.""

"Too" and "two" also: Mea Culpa Grammatica. Welles just got me into a snit :)

"Too" and "two" also: Mea Culpa Grammatica. Welles just got me into a snit :)
=======================

defer and differ two ;-)

Without an ever-increasing supply of energy resources, the operations of compounding capital growth cease.

For me, this is the most important concept and the one that requires the most inspection. Is energy the source of the world's capital growth? It seems so to me, but this is a concept that I dwell on and test in my mind over and over. Last week, to make a point, I took my seniors to the parking lot and had them try to push my little mazda protege up the parking lot hill. It took two shifts of 3 to 4 of them at a time, but they did it. Nevertheless, they got my point about how much energy oil provides when I explained that one tank of gasoline would take me from St. Louis to Chicago.

The massive gains in productivity for the past 150 years seem to be from the concentrated energy found in fossil fuels. When there is no longer an ever increasing supply, gains in productivity will grind to a halt and contraction will begin.

The more clearly the relationship between energy and capital gain can be shown, the more likely others will understand the mess that lies ahead.

I'm going to tentatively recant on the assertion that we're 'swimming in oil'. But let's give the 'wholesale collapse' rubbish a rest?

A reduction in living standards (NOT a long emergency let's please stop the hyperbole) means people will reduce oil consumption, isn't Germany getting tremendous power from wind for example?

I'm hearing the Silent Spring types bemoan the 'End of Growth' since the 1970s, it ain't happenin. Whale oil was long ago replaced by petroleum, petroleum's being slowly phased out by french fry oil (come on just a little levity), wind, belches, farts and sundry other carbon and non-carbon goodies.

Wait til the floor, the road and other surfaces produce energy when walked on. Sweden heats a large train station using budy heat generated by the thousands of passengers congregated in its confines. Peace to you smokeyjoe.

Good points. Awhile back I posted a U-tube link to an interview with Simmons, often sited as the unchallengeable source for everything PO, in which he sounded quite equivocal regarding the timing of PO and it's related assertions, frequently using such qualifications as “IMO” and “it appears likely” and even less certain qualifiers. I have no doubt he's been stung by some of his predictions expiring without coming true. It seems that even the references for Doomerism are not as religiously certain of the near future as posters here often are, and certainly not as unequivocal as JHK himself.

This is not a challenge to the certainty of 'running out of oil' based on extrapolations of trend analysis, that is a certainty, if you believe that trends continue indefinitely. Just as certain however, is that predictions of when are nothing better than conjecture, and that says nothing about major changes, (both favorable and unfavorable) which can always occur no matter how unlikely they might seem to some. We should never forget about black swans, and that all rare swans are not black.

Leave it to JHK to publish the best assessment of the rise (and potential fall) of the mega-city.

I was born in Manhattan, in 1940, and remember the city as it was in its heyday. I remember reading an article about the growth of the modern skyscraper that attributed the growth to the invention of the telephone: no longer was it necessary to have many messengers going to and fro, delivering business communications. I thought that this was interesting, but the coal-to-oil-to-natural-gas scenario that JHK outlines seems much more probable.

Agriburbia and others who inveighed against the idea of New York as "green" probably never read the original New Yorker article Jim alluded to. If they had, they would know that what was referred to specifically as "green" was the per capita energy usage of Big Apple dwellers as opposed to those living on suburban farmettes or in other forms of detached housing where household energy use was higher along with the reliance on cars which the average New York downtowner avoids.. The author also mentioned how counter-intuitive the facts were juxtaposed with the "ugliness" of a big city..

On another note, those who spoke of New York as importing everything and exporting waste are mistaken if they think New York materially differs from any given American city of 50000 in that respect. It's just more obvious to the eye when enlarged in scale.

Not only the buildings of New York will 'melt into air'. We live in a faster and faster preaching society, where fossil fuel driven growth has been the unchallenged god. Society as a whole will tremble when global energy demands exceed supply. Will New York be the first mega-city to fall? We do not know yet.

Incredible timing, JHK - see today's article in the Seattle Times re: a Seattle skyscraper that's about to be abandoned: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2011585964_apartments12m.html

It's "Darth VADER", not "Darth Vadar"... apparently I'm the only Star Wars geek here! lol

Otherwise, a spot-on critique, Jim--as a former NYC-er myself, I understand everything you're saying and in my last visit to the city a year ago I had many similar observations.

My next move will be to Amish country. Those folks can teach us a lot about simple living and intensive agriculture.

Those who wonder what cities might be like post-crash would be wise to consider their demographics.

Detroit and Cleveland are NEVER coming back. They will go the way of Johannesburg.

If you live in a city with low crime because of a dearth of criminal demographic, upon "crash," nothing much will change. If your city is seeing a rise in percent population of criminal demographics, then things will get worse. Cities with large numbers of asians will tend to be like cities in Asia. Cities with large numbers of Europeans will be mostly like those in Europe. With Central Americans and Africans, likewise.

People talk about Calcutta or Mumbai slums, but these are actually VERY low in crime. Their rates pale in comparison to Detroit or Johannesburg or Baltimore. Really, there is a pretty simple metric in the USA that will give you a highly correlated predictive factor as to what your crime rate will be in any given city.

I've chatted a couple of times with Jeff Rubin at seminars. Interesting fellow.

Those who are able to grow their own food, perhaps exist for now off the grid...what will you do in the cruel Northeast winters a-coming? When upstate New Yawk is one big snow ball? Even with society -- such as it is -- is still existing? We've been separated from Nature by religion, separated from our abilities to survive on our own by corporate food manufacturers, lulled into a sense of "if only we start now, we can find a way out"...we threw the baby out with the bathwater decades ago. Get real. The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 pretty much clinched the fate of humanity.

Let's keep things in perspective - New York is more than just skyscrapers. Manhattan accounts to at most one quarter of the population of the city. Even if all the skyscrapers become abandoned above the 6th floor, the city can still function normally. Of course all the modernist mass housing and mass offices will be demolished when the last absentee pension fund gives up on earning a profit on it, but that will create a space for the city's renewal.

We already have an example of a skyscraper city dying - Johannesburg in South Africa. The downtown core has been abandoned to squatters and the skyscrapers are no longer functional. A good documentary on the subject was Stayin' Alive in Joburg: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiGmfPMxDng

New York City has shown that it could make the transition from an industrial economy to a sprawl-building FIRE economy to a global technology economy. It can make any other transition that is required of it. Other cities, like Detroit and Buffalo, did drop dead.

Thanks for your comments, Jon. And, I did read your article.

My question is: Who is going to ask the folks in Jersey and Newark to move, so their houses can be razed to make way for farmland to feed Manhattan?

Maybe they could just become the farmers.

But first, they could entertain themselves with the task of reclaiming the burned out suburbs as land suitable for high intensity agriculture. Easy!

Manhattan is green only because it's the color money.

Ahhh... The Tenderloin. As Dave Chapelle said: "There ain't nothin' tender about that motherfucka. I've never seen crack smoked in public so casually before."

Nonetheless, the 'Loin is a small area. Most of SF is inaccessible to the middle class. So all you have there are the ultra rich and 'Loin-dwelling poor.

SF has no middle class, and it doesn't want it.

It's a beautiful city though.

Seems that NYC has some other things to think about according to the current exhibit at MoMA...

http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/03/02/moma-exhibit-offers-real-solutions-to-nyc-rising-tides/

Although it's been cleaned up since I lived there 20 years ago, I can't imagine it will be particularly pleasant as swampland.

Something that I think should be pointed out is the massive energy input required to make a place like NYC or SF "green." We're talking huge bridges, skyscrapers, highway systems, public transit systems, etc., that had to be built to support the city over a period of years. The amount of energy invested is huge. It's kind of like the Hoover Dam -- it was built a long time ago, but it's so massive that its concrete is still not fully dry to this day. Same with NYC -- sure New Yorkers don't have to drive 30 miles to get somewhere like someone from Montana would, but that doesn't make them greener -- they still haven't repaid their energy debt. Last I knew billions of watts (or whatever) of energy hadn't been used to build a subway system and Empire State building in Montana.


It seems to me that another significant fact regarding shrinking energy resources, is that cheap oil has made possible the large population that the world now endures. It seems to me that there will be a lessening of the ability to grow food, transport it, etc., with the consequence of population die off. Depending upon where you live in the world. I haven't stated this very well, but I'd be interested in other people's opinions.

" ... city exploded vertically in a very few decades when Thomas Edison's combined engineering-and-business genius ... "

Jim,

You need to do a little reading about Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse. Manhattan would not be possible with Edison's DC electric technology.

"Last I knew billions of watts (or whatever) of energy hadn't been used to build a subway system and Empire State building in Montana."

I would say that, given the tens of millions of people who've used the NYC subway system and one way or the other derived the benefit of living in a city that delivers itself into your backyard, that NYC's fantastic infrastructure has more than offset those "billions of watts" spent in its construction. Consider how much more energy each one of these people would have used had they all been dispersed to a 3/2 ranch on a half-acre lot somewhere and had to own three cars so that members of the family could jump on the interstate to get a gallon of milk?

And how many TRILLIONS of watts of energy has it required to build any one of the 600' high or higher mega-dams to deliver water to desert cities with populations of 4 million or less- usually way less?

Or, most of all, how much did it take to build our 5.7 million mile highway system, half of it in parts of the country where the traffic is so light you can drive an hour and encounter no other vehicle? Consider that highways cost about $100M a running mile to build, and that a city rail system costs perhaps $5M a running mile- and that the highway displaces an entire neighborhood for every mile of pavement, while the subway system takes up almost no space. Then consider the number of people who use just one rail line in NYC in the space of an hour, and how much more pavement we'd require if they had been dispersed over the sprawl burbs and small towns.

High density cities utilize infrastructure much more efficiently and with much greater economy than small towns in rural areas, or suburbs. While it is difficult to imagine that we will be able to run the systems that make NYC's super high density livable in the future, it will still be easier to manage than Chicago's 5400 square miles of sprawling suburbs, or any small city in the arid west for whom we spent billions on the fantastic Colorado River plumbing system.

Hi Cash,

Well, Tripp is working on his new fixer-upper house. He doesnt have power yet or water. I believe they are staying somewhere else at night. They've met some neighbors who have been curious about them. As you may recall, the neighborhood is a bit sketchy, so they have some challenges ahead. However, i think Tripp will work it out. He is a fine ambassador of permaculture, slow food, and community gardening. He has is own blog now -don't know if it is appropriate for me to share..I am sure he will be on here when he can with a link.

The cruel Northeast winters a-coming? Upstate NY one big snowball? That would be the winters of my youth, when we had a real ice fishing season and long and frequent periods of subzero temps. Now, my gear mostly stays in the attic. Not as much ice and too short a season. If it goes below zero its a big deal. The growing season, on the other hand, is getting longer. So, maybe growing one's own food is still a good idea.

Some books have argued that a world population of about 1 billion is all that can be supported without carbon energy. That was the world population before cheap energy enabled growth, so the reverse of the energy curve will take us back to that number. So from a current population of about 6.5 billion, we'd drop about 85% by starvation, collapsing health care, shorter lifespans, water shortages, etc. There's a long bumpy ride ahead -- fasten your seatbelt pilgrim.

So you bring up the Cadillac Desert argument, eh? Well, I think that's a straw man (not that I disagree with it). So let me simply replace Montana with a wet state like Maine. Hopefully, now, my point works.

There's no disregarding past energy investment when calculating present carbon footprint. Just as there is no denying that a certain class of a certain race of people benefitted tremendously from black slave labor.

Just because you don't see it doesn't mean it wasn't there.

Wow, there are a lot of delusional people posting here, on this supposed “doomer” blog. You all need to study some history and learn the fate of cities in a Dark Age. Rome went from a population of one million to less than one hundred thousand by the 6th century; during the Bronze Age Collapse, Eastern Mediterranean cities burned down and didn’t recover for centuries; the Mayans abandoned their urban centers and melted back into the jungle. This is what we’re facing now, in the twilight of the Industrial Age: not recession, not depression, but a Dark Age. As in previous collapses, the cities will empty out, and those of you who stay hoping for a renaissance may find yourself trapped when they turn into Port au Prince-style charnel houses. To quote Gandalf: “run, you fools!”


A correction.

It wasn't Edison who devised how to deliver electricity to every block.

Nicola Tesla, the Engineer, and George Westinghouse, the businessman, were the ones who delivered to us the alternating current power distribution system.

Thanks for a great blog. Every Monday I look forward to see what you have to say.

About skyscrapers and elevators. Guess what goes up must come down.

An English Doctor named Dalyrymple agrees with you. He has been amazed at the eating habits of the English lower class. As a prison physicaian, he saw them gain alot of weight when they come in. He questioned them and found out that many of them have no concept of sitting down and eating a real meal - eating at home is something done alone, fast, and usually standing up. Meanwhile nearby Asian Communities eat sumptuously. That was his first book. The one I read is called "Our Culture or What's Left of It" - a great book of essays about the decline of British Culture in terms of manners, architecture, customs, morality etc. Right up your alley.

Another good one I'm reading right now is "The Abolition of Britain" by Peter Hitchens - Christopher's brother. I don't know about Canada, but Chritopher is really big here. People on this site would appreciate some of what he has to say, like how a small scale rural environment was made over for the automobiles in grand American fashion. Beyond that, only you and I would love it. He mourns the loss of everying that made England England and the fall of the Commonwealth as well. And in the 200 plus pages he never mentions the Asian invasion. A true Tory - he's your guy not mine. Pakistani Englishmen - balderdash. Empires destoy the nation and ethne that give them birth. The Queen stopped being the Queen of the English and became the Queen of England - a subtle but huge step into the abyss. The de facto takeover will be made implicit someday when Prince William's daughter is married to a Pakistani Prince.

There's a great book and series called "The World Without Us" that goes into just these questions. Get the DVD - it shows how long it will take for Nature to take back a house, town, suburb or big city. The authors actually go to the medium sized city near Chernobyl and show how Nature is taking it back. The whole area is one of the few places in Europe that actually has large wild animals now - boars, deer, and bears. Alas, the towers will take a long time to fall - unlike the bridges. But the windows will break and become a roosting area for countless birds in the meantime. All and all, it a profoundly hopeful meditation on the powers of recuperation.

And then there is the hauntingly beautiful post catastrophe classic novel "The Earth Abides" by George Martin.

Good post Dale. You're right: the American Military should serve the interests of America. Not only should they be helping with public works, but should be protecting our Southern Border with Mexico - after all, soldiering is their specialty. I'd like to see the actual jobs go to civilian Americans not soldiers and not Mexican illegals.

You have a good mind Dale, you just have to learn to use it.

Exactly so. We are so objective in our outlook now that we refuse to see the subjective differences in the various cultures and races. You have refuted one of the biggest lies out there: that different groups commit the same amount of crime at the same level of income. It just isn't so. Indian Muslims are far more violent than Hindus - even though they are genetically very similar. But the Muslims may not that bad among themselves, just to other groups. So is it crime or ethnic warfare? Or jihad?

Blacks trump everyone even Hispanics when it comes to crime proper. And all the evidence points to it being genetic not cultural. They do it everywhere but that's not to say culture doesn't matter. Higher income Blacks are better but still far more violent than Whites at a similar income.

Thus anyone who buys those beautiful cheap old houses in Detroit is out of their minds until the ethnic character of Detroit alters radically. There is some signs that it is btw. There is large trend that isn't spoken much about - that of Blacks moving back to the South. Poor Tripp is for a real education. I warned him, but he wouldn't listen.

Vlad and Dale, about your idea to "put soldiers to work"...

Soldiers are a drain on our economy. They produce nothing and do no useful work.

Now soldiers do even less because Bush privatized so many things soldiers formerly did do, at inflated prices to benefit private contractors ... things like training of local forces, armed site security (think about that one!), cash transport, intelligence services, workplace and building security (why can't soldiers do that!), war zone security needs (and you think they can defend the Mexico border? again, think about that one!), weapons procurement, personnel and budget vetting, armed support (!), air support (!), logistical support (!), maritime security (!), cyber security, weapons destruction, prisons, surveillance, psychological warfare, propaganda tactics, covert operations, close protection and investigations.

In other words, our military is incapable of doing shit by itself. Now you think you can bring them home and have them do something constructive? Dream on.

They have GI benefits. Or they can get education tax credits like any other citizen.

Strip them of their weapons and their uniform and let them learn something useful, like a building trade (tuition paid for at government expense) to become productive members of society... because while they are in uniform they are just a big drag on our economy.

US soldiers are useless to us over there. They are actually counterproductive by being more useful to the Taliban, as our soldiers continue to murder civilians and help Taliban recruitment.

The Beast called Chicago rules by demographic tyranny the conservative, rural state called Illinois. Blago where are you? Only a mad genius with few scruples and less morals can deliver Illinois from its death sentence. The fate of Red States dominated by Blue Cities is wretched indeed, like a monster baby sucking on its mother's breast until she dies.

Indeed, privitization of our military has resulted in some horrible shit. Not to mention our privitization of prisons. Which leads me to another thing that you of all people on this blog should be pointing out, Asoka: Let's legalize marijuana and, thereby, disrupt the corporate/police state and free up resources and cell-space for the murderers and child molesters. This country is broke and we can't build prisons forever; therefore let's make the best use of the space for the truly dangerous.

Vlad should also be excited about legalizing marijuana: For doing so would severely weaken the drug cartels that benefit from the black market made possible by illegal weed. Weaken the cartels and you have fewer illegal immigrants. It's that simple.

And Vlad: You're right about Chicago. The big problem is much of the population is found in the 'burbs, but all the Chi-burbs are li'l dinky things with like 50,000 people and, thus, no voting power. Illinois folk outside Chicago hate that town for that reason. Chicago is a bloc.


One of the things I like about Jim's
commentary is his PRAGMATISM which I
wish the altfuels zealots would manifest.

For example, he actually had the temerity
to suggest that WHATEVER technology we might
have to green-ize skyscrapers, the thing
which we are SEVERELY UNLIKELY to have is
MONEY.

That's why, in my discussion of SOLAR with
Asoka (and his "agent", Mindfool), I discussed
issues like the monstrous size of solar arrays
relative to the paucity of homes supplied with
power. We are very, very likely not to have
either the RAW RESOURCES or the MONEY to
engage in altfuels which require large
structures whose components REQUIRE the
easy energy of the existing fossil fuel
structure.

We don't HAVE fifteen years to leisurely
arrive, after enormous subsidies (which
the culture cannot afford) and the construction
of huge structures, at a point where a maximum
of 20% of the culture is serviced by these
types of energies. And the fact that both
existing and worn-out components will require
resources MINED and FINISHED via the existing
fossil fuel structure is, to my mind, the
coup-de-grace for anything but marginal
contributions of altfuels.

This pretty much leaves NUCLEAR, like it or
not, as the fast track to a WORKABLE stopgap
solution. Nuclear first, altfuels LATER.
Our priorities must be in the right order.


Eleuthero


Viable points, Laura. I think Obama
is getting his ear bent by guys like
Warren Buffett to overhaul the national
rail system. The "buzz" is that the
rail system will become a new, high
priority national issue as well it
should.

I just hope that we're not so capital
poor that many long-needed public works
projects will never come to fruition.
Money, regrettably, IS AN OBJECT rather
than being no object.

The USA, regrettably, in not writing off
unviable bank assets, is slowly chasing
bad money with good money which goes into
a financial black hole.

Mr. Obama has many good intentions. However,
in not speaking about the UNSPEAKABLE (i.e.,
bank "discretion" in valuing assets), is a
part of the problem, not a part of the
solution. I knew his Presidency was
compromised as soon as Summers and Geithner
joined his team.


Eleuthero

Our Culture, What's Left of It, The Abolition of Britain, The World Without Us.

You read the same books I do! Should I be worried?

The spirit of James Howard Kuntsler through history:

"Oh, no! We're running out of coal! Civilization as we know it is coming to an end!"

"Oh, no! There's horse manure everywhere! Cities can't possibly be made to work!"

"Oh, no! Indoor plumbing can never handle the sanitation needs of a big city! We're all doomed!"

Funny how the doom-sayers are always proved wrong, especially in America. Now Kuntsler, in his podcast, says he's hoping for the demise of horse-racing in Saratoga - so that real estate values will come down enough for him to be able to afford to buy a house! The worse things get for us, the better they get for Mr. Kuntsler and his cottage industry of doom-prophecy.

Here's a little tip for all you survivalists out there with your canned meats and bottled water: The end ain't near. America is still a super-abundant country. We have some problems, but we are going to solve them. Life's not perfect now, but it never was. The challenges we overcame in the past were much greater than the challenges we face today. It may be fun to prophesize doom, but if you're fortifying yourself in a fallout shelter, waiting for the day when you'll be able to tell the world "I told you so," you may have a long, frustrating wait ahead of you. At least Kuntsler is smart enough to make money off his negativity. Is this a great country, or what?

Is this a great country, or what?

Yes, and just think: there's a whole big world out there to discover, too.

1) Has JHK ever seen other cities worldwide ? like Seoul, Tokyo, Bangkok, Sao Paolo, Shanghai, etc. ? So does he think that all of those city dwellers, with all of their skyscrapers, and many new one they are building, are all so stupid, that they don't see the "impending collapse", that they don't see that energy is "finishing", and they are doomed ? So does that mean JHK and other greens here, know the truth and future and all of those city dwellers and engineers, economists, etc. are all dumb and not knowledgable ? Very humble ...

2) The crisis of today is a crisis of labor - work, and excess capacity, not energy. There is not enough labor, not enough new jobs or kinds of jobs possible in the future since technology automates and optimizes away labor. In fact JHK gave a perfect example of how technology killed more work than created new work by showing how going from coal to gas automated the labor process completely. Now what are all those thousands of office workers in those big buildings, WORLDWIDE, now remember not only NYC but also cities like those listed above, going to actually do 8 hours a day in those buildings ? how are they going to "generate profit" ? how are they going to justify the price of renting those office spaces with what they actually do ? What information manipulations are they performing that are worth so much ?

3) The crisis of NYC and other cities worldwide is excess real estate capacity, more real estate than can be occupied. Now consider this: London or Mexico City are flat cities, absolutely NO highrises at all, NOT EVEN BULDINGS WITH 4 LEVELS OF MORE (or very few at least), and they host a similar population as NYC. So what gives ? And if compared to Sao Paolo or Seoul, the difference is even more staggering, since these two cities have thousands of buildings with 10 or more stories. It means that London or Mexico city don't have so much extra real estate as compared to NYC, Seoul or Sao Paolo or Shanghai. And how much extra real estate do these cities have ? maybe to host combined, another 10 million people easily. More real estate available worldwide than can be occupied. Again, EXCESS CAPACITY.

4) Solution ? tear down thousands of buildings, demolish them worldwide, and build them all up again in a continuous cycle. Skyscrapers should last 5 years then, down they go again and build a new one.

Look at Dubai, they have office space if you need it, and then figure out what the office workers will "produce"....

In fact the way to use the present highway and road infrastructure in the USA is through a simple BUS SYSTEM. Is the word BUS a dirty word ? A bus that uses the chevy volt system, say diesel electric could easily kill any energy problems instantly. In Europe people have been paying 10 to 15 dollars a gallon for decades and they kept on buying bigger and more costly cars for decades. By the way, Europe now has for the most part a much higher standard of living than most of the USA. They don't have to worry about going bankrupt because their hospital stay was too long, etc..

Another odd thing about Europe, is that for decades, economists told us they were "stagnant", "not growing", they had too many "unions", protection for workers, etc. A low growth economy, etc. Then how come every time a visit many places there they seem so much richer and better off ? How come they have so many luxury cars ? how do they pull it off ? strange world, ... and less layoffs, public health system, etc. Maybe the US military protects the place ...

Anyways BUSES, SIMPLE BUSES could greatly increase energy efficiency, each BUS could get rid of 20 cars from the road in the USA, imagine how much money that would save. And the BUSES could be made luxury, silent, well designed, with internet scheduling and calling all through the suburbs, there are untold hundreds of ways of optimizing SIMPLE BUS networks in the USA. Where are all the Silicon Valley Start ups when you need them ? Why don't they figure out a technology that makes BUS usage in suburbia efficient ?

No, BUSES is a dirty word in the USA...

JHK wrote: "A few centuries from now, the memory of today's normality will seem like the most exotic wonder that the human race ever produced. But most of it will be gone."

I wonder if these words, among the torrent of words that have been produced and recorded in the past few decades, will ever be seen a few centuries from now.

I would also say that there is no "normal economy", there is no normal period. There are just instantaneous combinations of forces interacting constantly and creating ever changing new configurations and combinations, none of which are normal or better or worse, except to a given person according to where he finds himself in that quirky combination of millions of decisions and will powers and energy configurations called the economy.

Having said that, the fact that there is no way labor can be invented by the millions of jobs worldwide, it must be simply subsidized, millions of people worldwide must be paid 3,000 dollars a month just to keep that small part of the economic machine that actually does do concrete work (manufacturing and agriculture) working. There is this moralistic - ideological refrain from giving free salaries because it gowes against meritocracy, or doesn't allow the economy to grow, etc. But those who think like this don't see the enormous amount of money that is given as free salaries anyways thanks to technology creating free wealth. This money is given in the form of paying fake jobs and bonuses at wall street and similar, in the from of hundreds of billions to the defense industry, in the 100 trillion dollars worldwide that play that giant poker game called the stock market, etc.

So just be honest about it and say: the era of working is essentially over, technology has automated - optimized work and you shall now get 3,000 dollars a month for living.

Also the scare of population explosion and resource scarcity is another myth: population is not growing so fast anymore, probably will never hit 15 billion and even if it does, the technology we have can host them easily in towers - skyscrapers, high class luxury ones at that, etc.

I stayed two weeks in NYC back in '76. Elevatored up to the top of the mighty World Trade Centre, so high it made the rest of Manhattan seem miniature! Never could I have imagined that the blowback from America's presence in the Gulf to secure oil and Afghan involvement against the Russians would destroy these Emblems of confident growing Capitalism.Now at the beginning of the end of Cheap Oil,probably be $100 plus soon again, these Towers would be coming near to the end of their useful life, perhaps when oil hits $300? there's a critical price threshhold over which the economy will collapse to a simpler level. Down in Greenwich Village I used to look up at the Towers at night marveling at the lit up city in the sky, all those thousands of offices working late.Another memory sitting outside of a bar in Mid Town Manhattan the one-way avenue clogged with rush hour traffic and hearing the horns of a Fire Truck down town pushing its way up town nearer and nearer to where I sat,appearing red and pushing on northwards.Manhattan will certainly be a lot less dramatic once the cheap fuel is gone!I visited again in '79 ,married then,seems crazy now,but we hitched out of NYC to Montreal-Buffaloe-Pensylvania-Washington DC(Time when there was a 50mph speed limit and traffic cops were "Smoky Bears")(We had a tent and stove and camped in the bushes at the sides of the freeway)-Nashville-Memphis-New Orleans, and eventually San Francisco to Los Angeles. Cheap fuel certainly helped there.Another symbol of the freedom then that film we've all seen "Easy Rider". For us it was like that:we'd cook up our sausages in the morning,pack the tent stick out our thumbs on to the next city.Those days American's were recovering from Vietnam and Tricky Dicky.We all know that America's domestic production of oil had been in decline since '71. a lot of exciting experiences will be unatainable post cheap fuel, but America will become larger, an immense continent again travel will be slower and much more physical and thoughtful.

Laudations to you, cheesemoose, for your realism. I used to be a Holy Roller Doomsayer & still get my kicks reading the always hyperbolic, seemingly always off prognostications, JHK himself being a serious sinner thereof.

There's some kind of tick in the human psyche that revels in the apocalyptic, it's so much more thrilling than our humdrum, quotidian existence. But upon analysis it's just Spielbergesque entertainment, fund for 105 minutes but rather hackneyed after 5 or 6 viewings.

The Doomsday troglodytes on this forum are certain that a thunderous collapse will overwhelm our society with the speed of the 9/11 attack, i.e. we'll be plunged into a new Dark Age in the space of four hours one sunny day.

After the event, all hell will break loose, there'll be NO electricity, NO food available, MOBS attacking everywhere, MARTIAL law, 97% of the population will DIE, there'll be NO FUEL available, and worst of all, NO CHEESE DOODLES, which will cause massive rioting by (oops!) THE OBESERS and (oops!) OUT-OF-SHAPERS and PEOPLE WITHOUT ENTERTAINMENT!

Haiti suffered something akin to this vision de facto, it's being rebuilt, even though it's a failed nation socially, politically, economically etc.

If we suffered any sort of massive tribulation, our much richer, cohesive society would band together & pull through. Just as we did after 9/11.

BTW didn't Brazil just discover about 50 billion barrels of proven petroleum reserves? Not that we won't eventually SERIOUSLY REDUCE the amount of oil available. And didn't the US' proven reserves of natural gas about DOUBLE in a few years? Not that we won't eventually SERIOUSLY DEPLETE the amount of natural gas we have to burn. But still, HAHAHAHAHAHA.

I will be by the woodstove, hopefully reading by candlelight or doing something labor intensive which used to be pushed-off due to the rat race. After that maybe a nice glass of something we fermented, and then a nice warm bed. Up at dawn to check the traps, yeah the ones that pinch little animal's (lunch)toes. A nice muskrat roast for lunch with potatoes and a fresh glass of spring water. Perhaps some grouse salad for dinner. And it can all be cooked on top of the woodstove.Sounds like the good old days will be back.

Another myth is the idea that research, technology and innovation will create "new jobs". Now aside from the fact that the industries that are high tech like Microsoft, Google, Nokia, IBM etc don't really need so many workers, and in fact have laid off workers often, these companies make loads of money because they become almost monopolies, they use some intellectual creation and make money over and over again with that one creation that pays itself back millions of times. This is exactly how they get rich. And in the process eliminate thousands of jobs in other sectors using the technology.

Technology kills jobs: the Z80 CPU in the 70s was completely designed and produced in 11 man years (11 men working a year). Imagine that kind of productivity if all tech workers could do the same. But that was a one time quirk in a given period of time, that will never repeat again. And high tech in the end is really based on a few thousand really smart, capable and productive engineers and scientists.

So an industry that really needs only 10,000 top notch technicians is not going to create "millions of new jobs".

Maybe "health care" can create millions of jobs by inventing thousands of new sicknesses and selling thousands of "new drugs", that will then create another set of new sicknesses, etc. If we are all sick health care can create millions of jobs that pay 6 figure incomes. Health Care = Insane ...

Zev,if the speed limit of 20mph in NY ever became reality,the food convoys would never reach the burgers in NY city.
The starving masses on the outskirts would take care of that!

Howard, a nice example of your point about maintenance of these modernist abortions is underway in Atlanta. A small tornado a couple of years ago ravaged the Westin Peachtree Plaza glass 70-story cylinder building (a building so ugly they copied it in Detroit). A large number of windows were blown out. It has taken years to find a source of glass windows to fix it. It stands there with many windows boarded up, like a middle aged frumpy hausfrau with liver spots.

-drl

Howard, a nice example of your point about maintenance of these modernist abortions is underway in Atlanta. A small tornado a couple of years ago ravaged the Westin Peachtree Plaza glass 70-story cylinder building (a building so ugly they copied it in Detroit). A large number of windows were blown out. It has taken years to find a source of glass windows to fix it. It stands there with many windows boarded up, like a middle aged frumpy hausfrau with liver spots.

-drl

Vlad, baby, you amuse me.

I have lived in major cities in states where rural interests dominate and the cities that pay for it all are bullied by hick legislators.

Let me tell you that at some point Chicago and its near suburbs, which are really small cities, are going to get very sick of subsidizing the rest of the state. Other city areas like Champaign-Urbana will also tire of it. Once the crop subsidies cease, and we no longer agree to pay taxes to build highways through areas with a population density of 10 people per miles at the expense of our transit and police and fire depts, not to mention our sewer and water infrastructure, the out-staters will perhaps get back to doing real farming instead of taking subsidies for not growing anything on their spreads.

Thanks to the hicks in the MO and ILL state legislatures, Chicago and St. Louis have been robbed to build evermore highways and to subsidize farmers to NOT GROW FOOD on their acres. I worked with a man at one brokerage firm, an outrageously sleazy and dishonest broker who owned a farm in Wisconsin that he inherited and never worked an acre of and was paid $150K a year to leave idle by way of supporting produce prices, yet this fat loser could not refrain from borrowing money from his clients to gamble in the commodities markets with.

The state of IL would be much poorer without Chicago and its metro area. This city provided markets for farmers and manufactured a lot of the equipment that made our farmers so incredibly productive. I see that you do not appreciate the function of a city. Unfortunately, neither do most of our leaders.

In addition to being an economic powerhouse, this city is a great place to live. By and large it is safe- most of the crime takes place in a few pockets inhabited by the parasites who are drawn to our incredibly life-giving cities because the efficiencies of the urban set up make it possible to carry a population of bums and losers who'd starve anywhere else. The urban set up also enables people to function in a variety of occupations that benefit the whole society and that form a network of productivity that makes every occupation more profitable and productive.

A rise in the price of fuel will only benefit Chicago, though it will not be kind to the overcrowded downtown neighborhoods with their massive high rise hives of 500 apartments or more. But those are rich folk and they will take care of themselves, I'm sure. The poor have long since been dispersed from the old high rise housing projects, only a few of which remain. These people have gone to outer neighborhoods and suburbs where they can grow their own food, and a number of them are doing just that.

I will take our museums, our universities, our lively, dense neighborhoods with their retail and cultural amenities and parks and populations of interesting, informed people over the kind of society you seem to yearn for, anytime. It will get difficult here and many neighborhoods will fail. It would certainly behoove the denizens here to get water filtration systems so we can take water right out of Lake Michigan and treat it ourselves, and plant as many gardens here as we can. Most of our neighborhoods are mid-to-low density, and the high density neighborhoods are more built up with courtyard buildings and three flats than with high rise buildings. WE'll cope, and we'll get over the loss of a few things. Believe me, we will get over the loss of the cars very quickly and when people here get it through their heads that they will have to cut the fat to keep our systems going minimally, they'll do it. This is a population of tough, hard-headed people, believe me.

Chicago has suffered greatly from overly cheap fuel, losing its manufacturing first to outlying areas and its taxes to highway and sprawl building in the outlands. As the fuel supplies dwindle and economy and efficiency become important, our network of manufacturers and their suppliers and jobbers and related industries will re-knit itself, and Chicago will go back to being the manufacturing powerhouse it was before WW2 and destruction of our cities to build auto suburbs.

The price of oil presently, or in the future will be insignificant compared to the cost to humanity further down the road.
The oil deposits under ground are acting like a shock absorber,which with the compressibility and lubricating properties have,and currently preventing major earth quake disasters.
Filling the enormous cavities with sea water will not help,since water is not compressible.
So,prepare yourselves down the road for more frequent and violent earth quakes with catastrophic results.

Very well argued. Goon argument. ;)
Yes our fearful imaginings cloud our vision and that is why it is important to have friends, preferable short and realistic ones(like Sancho), who can laugh and see through our fears and by their 'animal' common sense help us balance our own views. So, having said that, Gerald Celente does predict some sort of major 2010 Economic collapse and hard times directly ahead...

And, lastly, having said that(!), imagine the case of someone who lived up to the day before this great Economic collapse, he would be buried knowing that he was always right about the NASCAR economy AND that the Collapse-NIKs had been always wrong... and he would be beyond the reach of persuasion.

Thanks MR K. :)

Ad


....and I will continue to believe that, like each of us, you are not beyond redemption, that one day the dust will be cleared from your eyes, you will see your afflictions for the enemies they are, and free yourself from the suffering of racism.

LL,

Of course you make good points, size matters, scale matters. And you need not be myopic in an approach to understanding the diversity of the US population.

You, simply restate the oldest of feuds. The "hicks" against the "city slickers."

Having crossed the US by auto a dozen or more times, and mostly using secondary roads and avoiding Interstates whenever possible, I have a pretty good understanding of the challenges of defining "acceptable consumption levels" for rural populations.

When is a commute unacceptable consumption? How can a government so riddled with corruption ever respond in kind across a population that refuse to grow up or even accept the facts as they may be?

"The American way of life is not negotiable."

All American. Thanks, I'll remember that.

Bervol, The city where I live also has "social" housing too close to downtown. It's a blight with drunks, drug dealers, gangsters, junkies, hookers etc. I totally agree with you, prime land should be occupied by people that work, not people that don't work.

Maybe what Vlad meant when he said that the "poor live on the outskirts" was the working poor. A lot of people are/were poor for a time (me included) working crappy jobs. In this city there are a lot of recent immigrants that work low paying jobs until they build up a track record and get better work.

Christoper Hitchens is huge here also. Thanks for the tips on the Dalyrymple and Hitchens books.

From what I've read Pakistanis in the UK have self segregated into insular communities. So are they Englishmen? If you ask them individually they would probably say no (I wonder if anyone has actually taken a poll).

I don't want to go on yet another rant about multiculturalism because everybody is sick of it (I can hear the groans). So I'm going to self censor.

Well I as a rule always reserve the right to be wrong, so I'm going to say that the Kollapseniks were (are) correct in that our fart-based economy has deflated to levels that do justify the term "collapse", but one which has been drawn-out & which arrived sans the prophesied thunderclaps & gnashing of teeth that the bunker rats so long for. It's more a reversion to the mean, a natural resettling to levels which mirror sustainable rates of activity (I also despise the word "growth").

Sure, fucking 22% unemployment, NO hiring, NO credit [or should i say DEBT?], 40-100% fall in housing prices, etc is drastic. But it's not Black-Plague drastic. People aren't dying, they just move in with relatives & friends, or into tents in the woods and shantytowns under Florida bridges.

Celente's been "spot-on" before huh? Not so sure...reminds me of the post-some-great-event Nostradamus films that say 'ah hah! see he predicted it'.

For my part I hope Celente's right about Tax Revolts, far as I'm concerned it's time to corner our subprime congressional public 'servants' & make them SUBMIT.

How 'bout we jam capitol with 100,000 cars honking horns 24/7 for a week, think they might get the message we aren't too tickled with their fiscal insanity?

Worked in Iceland, gov't there fell after a couple weeks of protests outside the parliament building.
Peace to you bigview.

So are they Englishmen? If you ask them individually they would probably say no
===================================
Typical of first generation immigrants, from any culture, I think. Think about your own immigrant relatives (assuming you live in the U.S.). I have,.... in the context of working with a family of Bhutanese refugees who seemed to me to be a little too unwilling to assimilate.

In the first generation, if you asked them, it would be; "I am Bhutanese". In the second; "I am Bhutanese-American". In the third; "I am American of Bhutanese heritage" In the fourth....."Mommy, where did our family come from?".

The only difference is, it's more difficult for them now days, as they are usually not in an isolated farm community somewhere speaking the native tongue and ignoring the wider culture. More often these days, they are forced to enter mainstream culture to get jobs and survive.

It isn't easy by any means, I've seen some of them go into a sort of PTSD that takes quite awhile to recover from. I tell them they will be legends in their families generations from now, I hope that is some consolation for what they are going through.

Laura, I live in a big city roughly the size of Chicago and I hear the same complaints here about subsidizing rural areas and rural roads. But the one question that shuts down the discussion right away is where is food grown and how do you get it to market and processing plants?

Rural people are not ignorant, toothless hicks city people seem to think they are. I know because I'm from a small town in the middle of farm country. High school students in my home town consistently scored at or near the top of provincial rankings in standardized tests to the point where a national newspaper ran a big article on the phenom because you'd think it would be big city kids scoring near the top seeing as their parents are allegedly so informed, educated, cosmopolitan etc etc. and the big cities are so rich in terms of intellectual stimulation. Yeah well.

Personally, I've found that city people are not the intellectual titans they think they are. To me they are much more one dimensional in terms of their skills and knowledge compared to small towners and rural folk who have to be much better multitaskers and have a much more varied skill set.

An anecdote on supposedly cultured city folk: I used to listen to a program called 'Luncheon Date" (mostly late 19th and early 20th composers) on my radio in my office when I was eating lunch. Once my boss barged in and heard them doing an Yves Montand song (Montand had just died). I'm telling you I couldn't live it down. If it wasn't Rush or their like it was just too, too weird. Then, shortly after, an accounting contractor made things much worse by saying something to me in the office about Stephane Grappelli. More weird stuff. This was in the heart of downtown Toronto in a large corporate office.

Plus city people are not remotely the cosmopolitan sophisticates they think they are. What I've found is that they are blissfully uninformed about other, foreign countries and cultures notwithstanding the fact that they work with and rub shoulders with people from all over the world.

Why is this? I think it comes with the anonymity of big city life. Toronto is the world capital of eye avoidance. Nobody knows anybody compared to small towns and rural areas where everybody knows everybody. An example: When a family of Chinese immigrants moved into my hometown 40 odd years ago and opened a restaurant it created a sensation. Far from being shunned as foreigners they couldn't get a minute's peace, the restaurant was mobbed with customers, the kids were seen as exotic wonders. Would this happen in a big city? After a while they became ingrained in town life. The family just sold out, the parents are old, the kids married and in different occupations.

City people seem to think country people sit on their porch all day drinkin shine, chewin tabacky and pickin the banjo but I'm telling you, city workers do not know the meaning of work. I worked on a dairy farm and then in a dairy in my teens/early 20s. I busted my ass, I got home dead tired, starved, stinking and parched and most people I knew were more or less the same. My grandfather worked in a scrapyard, my father in the same dairy.

I've ground my teeth to stubs listening to city slickers deride rural/small towners (ie me). City people have this unbearable arrogance, they think they're the only ones doing anything, they're the ones carrying everyone else. Ain't so. All the exquisite refinement, all the manners and conversation, all the museums and opera houses won't count for beans if farmers don't bring in their crops because three weeks without food and everyone is dead.

To me, one farmer in coveralls shovelling shit in his fields is worth ten thousand bullshit artists in corporate meeting rooms in a big city.

Eleuthero said:

That's why, in my discussion of SOLAR with Asoka (and his "agent", Mindfool), I discussed issues like the monstrous size of solar arrays relative to the paucity of homes supplied with power. We are very, very likely not to have either the RAW RESOURCES or the MONEY to engage in altfuels which require large structures

There you go again, creating straw men to knock down: "Monstrous size" "large structures" etc. as if that is the only or even the preferred method of solar.

Try this on for size (pun intended): Many people live in houses. Most of the houses have a roof. There is your solution: distributed solar. Just install solar shingles on roof tops and a large percentage of the population will have their own house supplied by solar energy. All we need now is a company to manufacture the solar shingles. According to CFN "manufacturing is dead" in the USA, so this could be a problem. But, not really.

Hark, what comes on yonder horizon? Why, it is a "techno-triumph" ... but, according to CFN these are not supposed to happen, right?

Read it and weep, doomsters:
http://www.thestockmasters.com/DOW-CHEMICAL-Powerhouse-Solar-Panels-04132010.html

I know its not easy. I saw my parents, grandparents and other relatives go through it. Takes years. For the kids of immigrant parents, particularly those coming from backward countries, it's like pushing boulders up a steep hill. From the old folks there's a lot of resistance to learning new ways. Peasant cultures are inherently highly conservative, stubborn and highly resistant to progress and learning.

When I went to kindergarten I could hardly speak a word of English. My kindergarten teacher collared my parents and gave 'em shit (they still talk about it). The teacher told them to make sure I learn English, to forget about Italy because they would never go back and forget about me speaking/learning Italian because I would never use it and people in these parts speak English.

She said her mother made her learn to read and write Hungarian and it was a total waste because she'd never used it. She said the sooner they themselves learn English the better it would be for them and for me.

What she said was just what my parents and every immigrant needed/needs to hear. Get with the program and do it fast.

Jim K,
i read the news today. Walmarts expanding in India. 'Indias a big part of their planned growth'.

'She said her mother made her learn to read and write Hungarian'..this is in toronto?
her mom coulda taught her urdu or farsi or hindi or arabic, if her mom had insight.

"Get with the program and do it fast."
=======================

Immigrants can arrive in America from anywhere in the world and their first generation American born children will speak without a foreign accent by age 10 or so. Yet most 10th generation African Americans (whose ancestors arrived 200+ years ago) will speak with an unmistakable "black accent." Why is this? I have my own theory that it is for many a conscious decision not to "cave in to the man." I believe this refusal - if, in fact, it is deliberate - to abandon ebonics works to the economic detriment of blacks. I had quite a debate with Abbeysbooks on this issue a few months ago. What are your thoughts on this Cash? And your's Asoka?

Yesterday an article appeared in the Business section of the NY Times titled "Unmasking the Commenters" (In a Rude Realm, News Sites Rethink Anonymity).

I'm curious how CFNers feel about this issue. Would they feel constrained about speaking their minds if the world actually knew who they were? Further, if JHK published an invitation, I wonder how many would show up at a cookout in the park where everyone would wear their handle taped to their chest. Would the thought of it be unbearable for an Asoka, Vlad or Eightm? Is he really black?, does he look like Adolph?, what does a Luddite on steroids look like?

I'm in. Where's the cookout? I want to meet Trippticket...SOLAR GUY

I'm 50-50 on this issue of ebonics. I think partly it's to not cave in. Let's put ourselves in their shoes. After 400 odd years of extremely shitty treatment at the hands of white people I can understand their mistrust/loathing of us. I think I would feel the same.

I think also it's because of segregation and it's also because of their ancestral African languages. If you live in black ghettos you sound like the people you live with. I don't know about you but my accent and speech is like that of Brian Williams/Walter Cronkite/Peter Jennings to pick three well known news anchormen. That's because the people I live with speak like that.

Does ebonics work to the detriment of blacks? You bet. I've heard guys like Jesse Jackson whose accent sounds black and who uses a lot of black-isms say that black kids have to learn generally accepted English. Bill Cosby says the same thing.

I've also read not that long ago that white southern accents were not wanted in corporate America ie they didn't want people sounding like Jed Clampett.

I've also read that black people that have typically black sounding first names have their resumes passed over regardless of qulaifications. Someone named Mary has an advantage over someone named Keisha.

So there it is. Not always pretty but that's people for you.

Inventor of the electricity that we use today was Nikola Tesla despite Edison's efforts.

Another good analisys about what makes it possible to crawll on this world.
Just to warn you about one historical fact. It was despite Edison that electirity came about what it is today. Edison was feverishly fighting implementation of this type of electricity that the world is using today. Edison started and was selling Direct Current power system in New York, And as you should know we are using Alternate Current today. You can thank Edison that only US is using 110V system that is quite wastefull but less deadly comparing to the rest of the world's 220V system.
To protect his DC power system he publicly electrocuted animals on the NY city streets and even he instaled the first electric chair in teh world in Sing Sing prison just to fight competitor's new and more powerfull AC power use.

Edison PR campaign succided marvelously since half of the US believes Edison invented this electricity that we use today, while rest of the world knows the truth about invention of the AC electricity.

Nikola Tesla is the genius that made possible this world that we live in.
Nikola Tesla's inventions: AC motors and generators, car starters, tesla coil, radio, radar, MRI, microwave, neon lights, longest arteficial lightning ever achieved, wireles transmission of electricity and much much more. And he died in 1943.
He constructed the first Niagara hydroelectric power plant in contract with Westinghouse. All while Edison was fighting implementation of AC power in the US untill he gave up and took over the construction of the power system by infringing of Tesla's patent rights.

Tesla mottors is the name from Nikola Tesla
Google Nikola Tesla and you will not believe what you can read about it.

Not Toronto. It was small town Ontario.

But Toronto in those days was a white protestant town ie an uptight place of homes and churches. It was not the place it is today. It had a sizeable minority of Italian immigrants who were regarded in those days as really exotic, you know, eating fresh bread (which was licentious to the point of illegality to finger wagging presbyterians), drinking espresso and getting all excited over the World Cup. Not many non whites at all.

Handle taped to my chest but without my real name? Maybe.

But I like my anonymity. I picked up from the people around me as a little kid the white anglo saxon protestant public reserve to the point of catatonia but my neurology I inherited from those excitable Latins. Those two sides of me are always at war. So you get my foul-mouthed rants and my extended beef with Laura Louzader about city people vs hicks. The anglo side of me would die of embarrassment if you knew my real name.

Sorry Laura, I really like your posts but that one hit where it hurts.

You know, its interesting looking in from the Outside.
I recently had to return to the USA for some business. It was quite interesting seeing the reaction to my fellow passengers from Central America to thier first sight as we approached LA, then began to fly over LA, and fly over LA, and fly over LA.....
They were in awe. It seemed that we flew over LA for far longer than we flew over the the country of origin for our flight. Suddenly, thier big capital city did not seem so big and mighty anymore. We flew over more MALLS than they had CITIES in thier entire country. The endless streams of cars on the freeways that spanned the horizon, and disappeared off to infinity was what caught my eye: where were they coming from? Where were they going too? What were they doing?
The lights turned night into day.
The sheer extravagance of the energy use was awe inspiring.
Then of course the whole infrastructure of air travel that we descended to was simply amazing. We taxied on the runways for what like seemed forever. The LAX airport was bigger than the city we flew out of. Something that has never been seen before, and will probably never be seen again.
And we take it all so for granted. And it all depends on something we draw out of the ground, and we don't even get that much locally any more, but are almost wholly dependent on the willingness of other countries to continue to supply us. I guess that at some point, if they won't take our fiat currency, we can always threaten to bring them Democracy, like we did to Iraq.
I will try to post more on this if I have the time.
But i implore all of you, you really must see the Beast from the Outside to really understand it. Otherwise, you are blinded by the bright lights and deafened by the loud noises of the Big City, and you too will think that living in NYC is "Green".
And this is an Illusion. And illusion can be fatal.
De J

No worries mate. You are safe in your Orthodoxy - you don't feel you have to justify your viewpoint since it's obviously true - everyone believes it! Fifty million Frenchmen can' be wrong. Men like you and Cash think you can have the scent of the flower without the flower; have Western Culture without the physical substratum that underlies it and created it - which is none other than the White Race.

Forgive my single mindedness. I write with great agony of spirit. I respect you guys for your general rationality and fairness. You are both consistent and rational - except for your basic premise which is crazy. You are both old fashioned liberals in the mold of John Stuart Mill - who would be considered a conservative nowadays. But I doubt if he would go along with your basic premise of Whites being just one more ethnic group of Western Culture. I could be wrong about that but I doubt it. That premise is not obvious or rational but the result of decades of ruthless conditioning and incremental legislation. Didn't you imply the any White who wants a Nation of their own is a "bigot"? Does the same hold true for any Asian or Black African? Of course not. You have been conditioned against the White Race to the extent of denying it rights you would freely grant to other Races. Such is the power of long term media conditioning, liberal education, and incremental affirmative action legislation - all of which change social mores over time. Once changed, the people themselves will enforce and supervise their own dispossesion.

I don't dislike "you" either, Dale. I just hate your personality, the thing that makes you unique and different from everyone and everything. The real "You", the Suchness, the Plenum/Void, which you share with flowers, slugs, and cockroaches - I revere.

East Asian kids who don't speak a word of English routinely learn it quickly and are outperforming White Kids by the fourth or fifth grade. It all has to do with the state of the Inner Man - we're not born blank slates you know. And of course, this shows Blacks and Hispanics for what they are - second and third raters.

Indeed, Asians are real good - and hence a profound threat to us. Do you really think our countries would have had the few good decades of prosperity if we hadn't stopped the Asian Tide back in the early 1900's? They were already begining to displace Americans and the Sikhs had begun to riot in Vancover I believe. And of course, their immigration was supported by the faceless men of Big Business. But our Cultures were stronger then, and we pushed Big Business back and expelled the Asians and limited future immigration. This time we were too weak and Big Business has triumphed completely. There may yet be a blow black, but the time for civility is over. Their intent is deadly and they are too strong now to be stopped inside the System - which they control.

Without stating it too unambiguously, let me repeat an assertion I made once earlier. Genetic natural selection occurs at the, surprise, genetic level. Thus, the proper framework for expression of this result involves the understanding, for example, that if "white" genes are in some sense superior the optimum thing for them to do is to proliferate in the soup of "diversity," at the genetic level. What this means is that miscegenation, while perhaps unappealing to the "pure-bred" white is in fact the appropriate mechanism by which these "superior?" genes propagate their dominance in the total gene-pool.

of course i am just foolish, and I understand that in the realm of multi-variate function spaces this particular projection may cause difficulty for those who perceive the time constants of change from a short term horizon.


What you see in LA is excess capacity, is technology applied to the production process that has generated free wealth, and as a consequence huge systems of sprawl and consumption. Not waste, just a show of power of what can be done, and so much more will be done in the future. Sprawl will dominate the entire world as is currently happening, look at any city, even in third world, and they imitate the skyscraper myth and mall myth and sprawl myth.

To underscore once again the truth no one wants to hear:

1) Has JHK ever seen other cities worldwide ? like Seoul, Tokyo, Bangkok, Sao Paolo, Shanghai, etc. ? So does he think that all of those city dwellers, with all of their skyscrapers, and the many new ones they are building, are all so stupid, that they don't see the "impending collapse", that they don't see that energy is "finishing", and they are doomed ? So does that mean JHK and other greens here, know the truth and future and all of those city dwellers and engineers, economists, etc. are all dumb and not knowledgable ? Very humble ...

2) The crisis of today is a crisis of labor - work, and excess capacity, not energy. There is not enough labor, not enough new jobs or kinds of jobs possible in the future since technology automates and optimizes away labor. In fact JHK gave a perfect example of how technology killed more work than created new work by showing how going from coal to gas automated the labor process completely. Now what are all those thousands of office workers in those big buildings, WORLDWIDE, now remember not only NYC but also cities like those listed above, going to actually do 8 hours a day in those buildings ? how are they going to "generate profit" ? how are they going to justify the price of renting those office spaces with what they actually do ? What information manipulations are they performing that are worth so much ?

3) The crisis of NYC and other cities worldwide is excess real estate capacity, more real estate than can be occupied. Now consider this: London or Mexico City are flat cities, absolutely NO highrises at all, NOT EVEN BULDINGS WITH 4 LEVELS OF MORE (or very few at least), and they host a similar population as NYC. So what gives ? And if compared to Sao Paolo or Seoul, the difference is even more staggering, since these two cities have thousands of buildings with 10 or more stories. It means that London or Mexico city don't have as much extra real state as compared to NYC, Seoul or Sao Paolo or Shanghai. And how much extra real estate do these cities have ? maybe to host combined, another 10 million people easily. More real estate available worldwide than can be occupied. Again, EXCESS CAPACITY.

4) Solution ? tear down thousands of buildings, demolish them worldwide, and build them all up again in a continuous cycle. Skyscrapers should last 5 years then, down they go again and build a new one.

Look at Dubai, they have office space if you need it, and then figure out what the office workers will "produce"....


5) In fact the way to use the present highway and road infrastructure in the USA is through a simple BUS SYSTEM. Is the word BUS a dirty word ? A bus that uses the chevy volt system, say diesel electric could easily kill any energy problems instantly.

Anyways BUSES, SIMPLE BUSES could greatly increase energy efficiency, each BUS could get rid of 20 cars from the road in the USA, imagine how much money that would save. And the BUSES could be made luxury, silent, well designed, with internet scheduling and calling all through the suburbs, there are untold hundreds of ways of optimizing SIMPLE BUS networks in the USA. Where are all the Silicon Valley Start ups when you need them ? Why don't they figure out a technology that makes BUS usage in suburbia efficient ?

No, BUSES is a dirty word in the USA...

6) I would also say that there is no "normal economy", there is no normal , end of story. There are just instantaneous combinations of forces interacting constantly and creating ever changing new configurations and combinations, none of which are normal or better or worse, except to a given person according to where he finds himself in that quirky combination of millions of decisions and will powers and energy configurations called the economy.

7) Having said that, the fact that there is no way millions of jobs needed worldwide can be invented, and since the "automatic market" certainly can't create them out of thin air, they must simply be subsidized, millions of people worldwide must be paid 3,000 dollars a month just to keep that small part of the economic machine that actually does do concrete work (manufacturing and agriculture) working. There is this moralistic - ideological refrain from giving free salaries because it goes against an imagined meritocracy, or doesn't allow the economy to grow, etc. But those who think like this don't see the enormous amount of money that is given as free salaries anyways thanks to technology creating free wealth. This money is given in the form of paying fake jobs and bonuses at wall street and similar, in the from of hundreds of billions to the defense industry, in the 100 trillion dollars worldwide that play that giant poker game called the stock market, in the super bloated health care system in the USA that has way too many parasites and way to many people getting six figure salaries they don't deserve, etc.

So just be honest about it and say: the era of working is essentially over, technology has automated - optimized work and you shall now get 3,000 dollars a month for living.

Also the scare of population explosion and resource scarcity is another myth: population is not growing so fast anymore, probably will never hit 15 billion and even if it does, the technology we have can host them easily in towers - skyscrapers, high class luxury ones at that, etc.


8) Another myth is the idea that research, technology and innovation will create "new jobs". Now aside from the fact that the industries that are high tech like Microsoft, Google, Nokia, IBM etc don't really need so many workers, and in fact have laid off workers often, these companies make loads of money because they become almost monopolies, they use some intellectual creation and make money over and over again with that one creation that pays itself back millions of times. This is exactly how they get rich. And in the process eliminate thousands of jobs in other sectors using the technology.

Technology kills jobs: the Z80 CPU in the 70s was completely designed and produced in 11 man years (11 men working a year). Imagine that kind of productivity if all tech workers could do the same. But that was a one time quirk in a given period of time, that will never repeat again. And high tech in the end is really based on a few thousand really smart, capable and productive engineers and scientists.

So an industry that really needs only 10,000 top notch technicians is not going to create "millions of new jobs".

Maybe "health care" can create millions of jobs by inventing thousands of new sicknesses and selling thousands of "new drugs", that will then create another set of new sicknesses, etc. If we are all sick health care can create millions of jobs that pay 6 figure incomes. Health Care = Insane ...

Nice analysis. Time for you to study Foucault. Also Anti-Oedipus by Deleuze and Guattari. You are almost there but need to hit bedrock.

Doom and gloom, peak oil myth, energy and resource scarcity are myths and ghosts that cover up the real issues at hand: housing and work.

There is no reason on earth why housing should cost so much any place on earth, why people should all be forced to "buy houses", why they have this need "to protect their investment", etc. It is all a deception: what is needed is cheap rents for high quality homes, the resources are all there, the builders worldwide would build millions of homes in a month if they could get payed.

There is a precise will power, a precise intention to create a false scarcity in housing thereby robbing billions of dollars from normal workers who have normal pays. This is real class warfare that has been going on for decades, home ownership is a deception, myth and is retarded. But people have all been brainwashed: they should all demand cheap rents, the resources are there to build millions if not billions of homes, don't buy into the deception of peak oil, we are all going to be poor, energy is finishing, etc. It only serves to compress the wealth of millions of normal working families worldwide.

While the rich and property owners laugh and get richer and richer...

Companies and economists have always been praising flexibility, the right to hire and fire and change geographical locations of companies from anywhere to anywhere, etc. Innovation, always change, you have to be willing to move where "the jobs are", etc. Then why are people so retarded and brainwashed by these same ideologies that they "must buy a home", etc ? Why don't the same entities demand cheap rents for the flexibility of the market ? why don't they themselves furnish the low rent HIGH QUALITY housing for their workers so they can get on with the new jobs and change where and when appropriate ? Why do they all always forget this small detail ?

Because it is a deception, because the same entities that want freedom to hire and fire and constantly change all the rules on the table, want you to buy a home, get stuck with it, and then undergo a great loss when you have to change to the new job, in the new "hot market".

Lies and deceptions that have been brainwashing people for decades.

"To underscore once again the truth no one wants to hear:"
===================

You got that right! If I hear it one more time I'm gonna scream. You have copied and pasted 4 prior posts from yesterday into one gigantic new post today. PLEASE, I BEG YOU TO STOP!

Do you hear the wailing of an emergency vehicle getting closer? That's the men in white coats on their way to your rental unit (I assume you rent, not own) to take you away. I'd suggest you throw together a small bag of clothing items and toiletries to tide you over at the institution. You still have a little time because they're stopping off first to pick up Abbey who has praised you for a "nice analysis." When they get you two to the loony bin you will join up with Ned Ludd who has been there awhile and the 3 of you can pass the days "studying" (not merely reading) Foucault.

Seriously Eightm, your understanding of human nature, markets and the law of supply and demand is not merely wanting but non-existent.

Let's take your latest (6:28 AM today screed).

"Why don't the same entities demand cheap rents for the flexibility of the market ?"

I have no idea what this sentence means. Will you or someone else please explain.

"Then why are people so retarded and brainwashed by these same ideologies that they "must buy a home", etc ?"

I don't know ... you tell me. Who says they must buy rather than rent? I've done both in my lifetime and never felt I was being brainwashed one way or the other. What the f are you talking about?

"why don't they themselves furnish the low rent HIGH QUALITY housing for their workers so they can get on with the new jobs and change where and when appropriate ?"

For the same reason they (the entities) don't supply them with food and shoes. They are not in the business of growing food, making shoes or building housing. There are OTHER entities in those lines of business who can do those things more efficiently and economically. If the "entity" you speak of moves its business from place A to place B and there is no housing to be had at place B then the entity will have to do something about accomodations or they are just fucking stupid for having moved there.

"the same entities ... want you to buy a home, get stuck with it, and then undergo a great loss when you have to change to the new job"

Why on earth would a company want their employees to suffer a loss? How does that help their business? Sounds to me like it would be highly disruptive to their business.

More on $3000 per month salaries for no work at a later date ........

Vlad, I too see China as a huge threat but I see certain groups within our own society as a far bigger threat.

Like you, I see big business as a corrosive, destructive force that is gutting the North American economy and I see the ideology of multiculturalism also as a force that is ripping apart the social fabric and seeking to supplant our Western culture and heritage with less successful ways of life.

The way I see it, people are immigrating to N. America from the third world not the other way around. They do it for a good reason: our ways are better. To me, it is the height of idiocy to tell immigrants to recreate their old ways on our turf.

But I'm not convinced that Asians are all that swift as compared to white people. If they were so bright why is China and most of east Asia such a shithole? A billion people with Nigerian standards of living is not a work of genius.

I think there's nothing theoretical or scientific that forbids white people being superior. After all if we can talk about black people's superior athleticism (ie 80% of NBA and NFL players are black) and maybe superiority in terms of artistic achievement (ie music) why can't we talk about white people's superior intellectual achievements ie science, philosophy etc. Horror at what white people have done to blacks is why. Regardless of whether or not blacks are inferior they are people. You have to admit that the shit whites inflicted on blacks is beyond the pale.

The problem is to scientifically prove that whites are intellectually superior. I honestly don't think it can be done. Why did brown skinned Middle Eastern/Indian/Egyptian people and Chinese people achieve so much and so much earlier in history than white skinned European people? They had walled cities, irrigated fields, temple complexes, literature, science, accounting, mathematics thousands of years before white skinned Europeans. Is it because whites are/were intellectually inferior or was it because the phyical environment/climate fostered the growth of agriculture thousands of years earlier in Egypt/Mesopotamia/India/China than in Europe?

So how can we conclude that blacks are inferior? How would any other race deal with the physical environment found in sub saharan Africa? Would whites have come up with better results in such a place? After 300 years of extreme mistreatment as slaves and then another 100 years of oppression would anyone be surprised that black people in N. America are really screwed up? People point at black people's lack of academic success, their rate of single motherhood, rate of incarceration but after what black people have been put through is it any surprise? I think that black society has to go through a period of repair and I don't think it will happen overnight. Maybe a few generations.

I don't want to sound holier than holy about this and I hate liberal excuse making but I think we have to be practical. Let's say you're right and that blacks on average aren't as adept as whites in certain areas. What are you going to do as a consequence? Are you going to look a black man in the eye and tell him that regardless of his own abilities and qualifications that he cannot do this or that because ON AVERAGE blacks aren't as intelligent as whites? I would say that is a huge injustice.

In short, you're right about what I think, I just don't see culture as a matter of race. A short time ago people here would not have seen me as really white, maybe off-white, but not white. But there's no bigger defender of our anglo saxon (and western) inheritance than me. It's a matter of assimilation, people here brought me into the tent, accepted me, gave me responsibilities, understanding that it's better to have me in the tent pissing out and I think they were right.

Sorry about the long post.

Nobody's buying your crap, eightm.

We're already full up on crazy here.

How did Wall Street get the money that it is so generously re-distributing?

IMO through an brilliant generations long spiel of fraud, lies, deception and theft.

A sampler of destructive, nonsensical concepts from Wall Street: investing for the "long term", shareholders as "owners" of companies, dividends vs capital gains, "growth" stocks vs "value" stocks, de-regulation, lower taxes, free trade, building "equity" in your home, a home as an "investment".

Pure, 100%, unadulterated, bullshit that enriched the low down psychopaths on Wall Street but gutted and impoverished the US.

It would be interesting to hear from him. Sounds like an adventure. I wonder in the end if it works out.

'But I'm not convinced that Asians are all that swift as compared to white people. If they were so bright why is China and most of east Asia such a s****'

HUH? if they are so dumb why are Japan/ singapore/hongkong so nice???
remember asians get a kick out of non asians 'lumping them all together'.
Japans been protecting its culture and borders for a long time. whats doing it in is abortion.
that being said korea has an even smaller birthrate.
and having read Jim Rogers bestseller i get the impression korea id be a s***hole if it werent for US $. like israel.
actually if it werent for US korea would be north korea!

whats asokas facebook page? asoka are you on facebook?
maybe asoka doesnt exist.

'What you see in LA'

I DONT KNOW WHAT YOU SEE HERE BUT I DO KNOW WHAT I SEE HERE...thebusiest street in the world supposedly [ wilshire and westwood, at the ;gate of ucla]..lots of cars, lots of mexicans.
thats what i see here. and 13% unemployment in cali. likely to get much worse.

and now the mainstream medias talking full on economic collapse. at leats charles payne/ the charles payne show.

asia said:

i get the impression korea id be a s***hole if it werent for US $. like israel.
actually if it werent for US korea would be north korea!

You mean like Vietnam becoming North Vietnam?

When they become communist, then they can become our trading partner... like communist-controlled China is.

Why do you want my facebook page, asia? You like to fraternize with commie liberals like me?

Congress is starting up the debate on financial reform and the Republicans are going to say "NO!"

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, says the Democratic party plans to make derivatives reform specifically, and Wall Street reform in general, a "defining issue."

"This is a defining issue that tells people which side you're on," he said. "Derivatives and other exotic financial instruments are part of the story of what got us into this mess. It's absolutely essential that we have transparency and accountability when it comes to the derivatives market. This is a defining issue."

So beware of people on CFN who will tell you both parties are the same, that both parties are bought and paid for by Wall Street.

One of the parties is fighting for hard rules control derivatives and to prevent a repeat of the collapse of 2008. One of the parties is proposing solutions that Wall Street doesn't want.

The other party is talking about "bailouts" (to trigger emotional response) and offers no solution, other than a promise to "let them fail" and is saying "No!" to reigning in Wall Street.

Sounds like a difference between Democrats and Republicans.

Which side are you on?

CORRECTION:
The Republicans are for reigning on Wall Street.

The Democrats are for reining in Wall Street.

Big difference.

My wife hates it when people think she's Japanese.
Her father was wounded by them in WW2. I know Asians hate being lumped together.

I was arguing a point that Vlad made about Asian intellectual prowess. What I'm saying is I don't think Asians are brighter than white people. Both races have had spectacular successes but huge failures too. I was singling out one huge failure.

As far as Hong Kong and Singapore go, both were ruled by Britain. Could you attribute some of their success to what they learned from Brit overlords?

And what about Japan? Could you attribute some of their success to the fact that the US ruled them in the post war period? Would India be a democracy without a period of British rule?

You see the similar things in history: Greeks learning from Phoenicians, early Romans learning from their Etruscan overlords, then learning from learned and cultured Greeks, then going out and civilizing Europe etc.

Might make for an interesting sociological study.

It's interesting how the Tea Partiers play both sides: On one hand, they bitch about the bailouts, but on the other they freak out about the idea of taking banks into receiversip (e.g., nationalizing them).

Someone needs to tell them: If you don't like bailouts, the other option is nationalizing the banks; and if you don't like nationalizing banks because of the evil "gubment," the other option is to bail them out.

Of course, the bastards stoking the Tea Party fire know of this paradox, but their only goal is political points.

It's good to know though that the unions are planning a protest on Wall Street soon -- finally, we get to see some left-wing reaction to Wall Street excess. The Tea Partiers cannot be allowed to co-opt rage against Manhattan.

critical tinkerer: Yes, if Edison had won out we'd have DC power in the US. My understanding is that would have meant a non-centralized power supplies because DC won't travel many miles over wires. Power would have been generated where it was needed rather than where it was cheap to generate. Many small electricity producers rather than the few mighty power plants and transmission grid that we currently have. This worked well in the age of cheap energy, but now we might want to have a system of many small solar and wind generators (neighborhood power supplies) and/or other clean energy sources. The Edison DC system would have adapted easily and well to what appears to be our energy future. Small is beautiful.

Crit, I think you made a wise decision in choosing CRITICAL TINKERER as your handle rather than Critical Lexicographer.

analisys
crawll
electirity
instaled
teh
powerfull
succided
arteficial
wireles
untill
mottors

Electric buses won't be a panacea for our energy shortages. The electricity has to come from somewhere, and the current mix in the US is about half coal and another twenty percent natural gas (approximate figures). If plug-in hybrid or purely battery-powered buses are adopted on a large scale, the extra load on the electric grid will necessitate additional natural gas and coal capacity. Anyone who believes that battery-powered vehicles will be plugged into a windmill is extremely naive about the current state of the electric grid.

Unfortunately, this naivety is pervasive in the United States (and probably in most of the world, although I can't say for sure), and it facilitates legions of bullshit artists who have environmentally destructive products to greenwash and hawk to a gullible public. The Prius is the classic recent example of this sort of greenwashing gone viral. If we Americans refused to wallow in the idiocy of the hologram constructed by car advertisers to coopt the environmental movement, a lot more of us would be on the bus, and the world would be a better place for it.

Another problem with these plug-in vehicles is that before long they'll start crashing electrical grids. Most likely, this will first happen in California, where the grid is already near the breaking point on a daily basis in the summer. I don't think it's wise to assume that Cal ISO and the utilities will be able to either convince individuals not to charge their cars by day or add enough generation or transmission capacity to meet the increased load. Californians are early adopters of new car models, and it's not hard at all to imagine millions of naive, environmentally showy Californians saddling the grid with their Volts and plug-in Priuses, inadvertently causing a massive regional blackout on a hundred-plus degree day.

Plug-in buses will only add to this problem. I agree, however, that buses are the best use for our road system in the places where most of our population lives. It's safer, however, to not run them on battery power unless very thorough safeguards are taken against overloading the grid.

AMR said:

Plug-in buses will only add to this problem. I agree, however, that buses are the best use for our road system in the places where most of our population lives. It's safer, however, to not run them on battery power unless very thorough safeguards are taken against overloading the grid.

There seems to be an assumption that solar powered buses need to be tied into an electric power grid. The great thing about solar is that the sun shines indiscriminately in lots of places, so solar can be distributed.

In other words, you don't need a large grid for things like running a solar powered bus. That has been the lesson in Australia where Adelaide has a solar powered bus and the batteries are charged through the rooftop PV panels at the bus station without drawing any energy from a municipal or national grid.

The project’s first key solar photovoltaic (PV) system has been installed at the Adelaide Central Bus Station. The 50 kilowatt solar PV system was installed in March 2008 by BP Solar and generates enough solar energy to power Adelaide City Council’s "Tindo" bus, the world’s first electric solar powered bus.

There is a precise intentionality in the USA and Worldwide not to ever mention BUSES. When you mention BUSES on this blog or other blogs/forums people always say, "oh you mean that crap I rode in Detroit", or "that horrible experience I had in that monkey of Austin Texas (less mass transit than in Bangladesh)", etc. They can't even imagine that BUSES can be made luxury, high quality, silent inside and out, with private compartments, with scheduling through internet, with a Rolls Royce type suspension system, etc. They can't imagine how much can be achieved by simple BUSES.

There is an intentionality to not mention BUSES but instead talk about subways, high speed rail, railroads, etc. because rail transit is full of conflict and politics, costs alot of money and will never be done. But since BUSES can be deployed tomorrow morning all through the USA suburbs, the solution would be too easy, we couldn't believe that the peak oil boogeyman can disappear so easily.

Also, skyscrapers are hugely energy efficient, you wouldn't believe how much can be achieved with skyscrapers, in Asia they use the same mega building for residence, offices and Malls, you don't even need BUSES you just need elevators. Wow, talk about saving on gasoline!!!

But you have these greens that criticize skyscrapers, don't mention BUSES, but all want to grow their own food in their backyards. It is not going to happen, you wouldn't believe how much excess manufacturing capacity is available worldwide, there are 100 million farmers in the world, let alone using chemical intensive - high tech farming that needs very few farmers to operate.

JHK is living in his own novel, is confusing his imagination with reality, it is like lets make believe energy is finishing, how are we going to deal ? He doesn't get it that societies can adapt rapidly, can change how they operate very quickly if they want to, they can build a few thousand high quality - luxury skyscrapers, and you don't even need transportation anymore.


How much does it cost to rent a home in LA or NYC, where all the jobs are ? alot, so people buy instead of renting. Why were so many people buying into a housing market that was always going up ? they were all brainwashed that they were going to get rich by just waiting that their house triples in value, etc. All this housing deception has brought on foreclosures, the subprime mess, the economic crisis, etc.

Why did the US government want everyone to become homeowners instead of renting ? for ideological reasons, to make banks get rich with the loans, etc.

Why doesn't anyone ever mention the fact that rents should be aligned to the average going pay rate ? Is that so hard to imagine ? No there is a precise intentionality to brainwash everyone that they are going to get rich by buying homes, by being a property owner, etc. Why doesn't Obama say, "let the home prices go down as much as possible, so rents become aligned with average salaries" ? Because there is an intentionality to create an artificial scaricty in homes, to squeeze money out of people for housing.

Since most jobs in the future will be minimum wage, 800 dollars a month, an average home should rent for 100 to 200 dollars a month. Of course those working in health care will make 6 or 7 figure salaries because they can squeeze out as much money as possible when people need health care and are in pain.

"US military warns oil output may dip causing massive shortages by 2015"

Check out the article with this this headline at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/apr/11/peak-oil-production-supply

SNAFU

OBAMA HAS CUT TAXES

Neutral economists insist that, under the Obama administration, the overwhelming likelihood is that your tax burden has gone down, not up. Even conservative economic analysts acknowledge that there really is no basis for middle- and working-class Americans to believe that they're suddenly paying more.

"The only tax I think that has been put in place so far is an increase in the federal cigarette tax. I can't think of another Obama tax that has gone in place so far," said Chris Edwards, Director of Tax Policy Studies at the conservative Cato Institute.

Detroit, as JHK has noted in the past, like many other rustbelt cities, occupy important sites. Detroit and Cleveland have great potential to come back with a vengeance, but not the kind that you're thinking of. Detroit now seems to have some leadership that can acknowledge some facts on the ground, only time will tell now.

I agree with you, home ownership has been a financial disaster for a huge number of people. But no matter how many times we see the same real estate debacles play out over time people still think that home ownership is the way to go. I've seen severe, prolonged, financially ruinous downturns in the early 1980s in Alberta, in the early 1990s in S. California and in S. Ontario and now the one unfolding in the US.

Doesn't matter. People never learn. Right now in many places in Canada we're riding the wave of another huge bubble seemingly totally oblivious to what just happened in the US. "It's different here" some say. Yes, it's different but it will end the same. As soon as home prices exceed people's ability to pay for them home prices will come down. It always happens. But never smoothly. It's always a horrendous crash.

You cannot have a rational discussion on real estate based on logic, facts and figures. People have for so long drank the koolaid given them by the real estate development industry and the brokerage industry it's practically part of their DNA. I worked for a long time in the real estate development industry and I've seen it in action. Home prices always go up and homes are always a good investment. End of discussion. You cannot convince people otherwise.

The USA Census is mandated by the USA Constitution.

Mailing in the census form costs 44 cents.

Not mailing it in costs $57 for a census worker to make a visit and collect the constitutionally mandated census information.

Mailing in your census form saves government $1.5 Billion dollars.

Support the Constitution: mail in your census form.

This unpaid constitutional announcement is approved by Asoka.


Asoka,

Nice job evading the PRIMARY ISSUE presented
in my posts which is: How do you mine, finish,
build, and replace solar energy components
WITHOUT USING THE EXISTING FOSSIL FUEL
INFRASTRUCTURE??

Indeed, I would maintain that since the square
area of solar panels combined uses up a MUCH
larger area per unit of outputted power than
any other kind of altfuel, you're actually
going to DEPLETE fossil fuels that much more
rapidly to produce your solar "utopia".

Also, the last two decades have certainly
seen the successful contribution of WIND
POWER that's an order of magnitude higher
than the contribution of solar. That's
because wind power is easier to implement,
has less costly components, and a lower
failure rate.

Asoka, you cannot dance forever around the
issue of solar being at the mercy of the
fossil fuel structure to mine and finish
the plastics and complex metallic substances
in PV panels whose output-to-area ratio is
pretty unimpressive compared to most altfuels.

Meantime, the clock is ticking and oil's price
just inches up relentlessly higher. We need
to use some of that oil to build nuclear plants
and, alas, that does not seem a high priority
with Obama.

Our priorities must consider which form of power
can deliver a multi-decade stopgap while we
fine tune other kinds of altfuels. Yet the
way we're going, by the time oil is $200/bbl
(which I expect between 10 and 13 years as per
IEA estimates) we'll still be a decade or two
away from being able to use altfuels for, say,
half of our total power output.

That's just not acceptable.


Eleuthero


A good friend of mine is an architect... one who designs tall buildings. Recently he has been spending a fair amount of time in China doing what he does best.. designing tall buildings. In fact, it is really amazing to see the massive and now becomming common place retail/office complexes of one, two, three even four million sq ft that he designs and which are being built in the large cities.

Even more amazing to me is the fact that the planning of these complexes, i.e. the financial viability, doesn't anticipate break-even many of these building for years to come. The buildings' investors are simply stockpiling "space". Presumably they anticipate the era of loose Chinese credit will be over sometime in the near future and that building materials will be substantially more expensive in the future if, in fact, they are available at all. Just Google Earth your way around Shanghai, Beijing or Shenzhen to get a fix on the immense numbers of these types of buildings.

All this begs the question raised by Jim and his hometown, NYC. What exactly will happen in these Cities, or those like them around the world, as materials and energy inevitibly become more scarce? NYC obviously will have a problem, but probably small in comparison. The interesting social implications might be foder for another Kunstler novel, "World Destroyed by Hand".

Awww, you beat me to it!

I'll excerpt the best part, though:

Lionel Badal, a post-graduate student at Kings College, London, who has been researching peak oil theories, said the review by the American military moves the debate on.

"It's surprising to see that the US Army, unlike the US Department of Energy, publicly warns of major oil shortages in the near-term. Now it could be interesting to know on which study the information is based on," he said.

"The Energy Information Administration (of the department of energy) has been saying for years that Peak Oil was "decades away". In light of the report from the US Joint Forces Command, is the EIA still confident of its previous highly optimistic conclusions?"

The Joint Operating Environment report paints a bleak picture of what can happen on occasions when there is serious economic upheaval. "One should not forget that the Great Depression spawned a number of totalitarian regimes that sought economic prosperity for their nations by ruthless conquest," it points out.

I've never commented here, but have been reading for years.

I'm not a great writer, but here's my contribution:

http://oilzenith.com

Thank God for this community.

Welcome and thanks for the link. Thank God for people like you.

I particularly enjoyed the interview with William J. Catton (author of Overshoot)

Eleuthero, you are the one who is dancing with straw men. Now you are dancing with idea that "solar being at the mercy of the fossil fuel structure" as if that is some kind of killer argument.

The oil industry doesn't seem to be as concerned as you. They see plentiful oil far into the future and are putting their billions where their mouth is.

Apache Corp. is buying Mariner Energy Inc. for $2.7 billion. That is Apache's second deal this week aimed at expanding its presence in the Gulf of Mexico along with other "independent" petroleum producers, like Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Chesapeake Energy Corp., Devon Energy Corp., EOG Resources Inc. and XTO Energy Inc.

These guys are going great guns into deepwater oil drilling – a business that's becoming increasingly attractive as oil prices rise above $85 a barrel. Recent seismic tests also make it easier and cheaper to exploit rich petroleum deposits in the Gulf.

So you are saying oil is running out and that will affect solar development, but the industry is saying it's the right time to enter the deep water of the Gulf of Mexico.

And there is no doubt the industry is booming: $25.4 billion worth of petroleum exploration and production deals worldwide were announced in March. That's five times more than the previous two months combined.

So I don't think fossil fuels are a limiting factor in the development of solar energy, especially since, unlike complete dependence on fossil fuels, solar only requires fossil fuels for the start up, and it's still available and will be for about 47 or 48 years.

Once the initial energy investment is made with fossil (the up-front costs to produce and ship panels, shingles, etc.) the in situ solar continues to produce without fossil inputs.

Me thinks you may be dancing with another red herring.

Though asoka can sound pollyannish, please re-read a paragraph of my earlier post, which points to a solution for carbon dioxide in the AIR and alternative for carbon based fuel sources:

I remind/inform that with boundless solar energy, conversion is totally feasible. For example: ScienceDaily (Apr. 17, 2009) — Scientists at Singapore's Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) have succeeded in unlocking the potential of carbon dioxide – a common greenhouse gas – by converting it into a more useful product. The scientists made carbon dioxide react by using N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs), a novel organocatalyst. In contrast to heavy metal catalysts that contain toxic and unstable components, NHCs are stable, even in the presence of oxygen. Hence, the reaction with NHCs and carbon dioxide can take place under mild conditions in dry air.

We are running cars on E-85 Ethanol now, methanol is also usable in fuel cells. To get this implemented on any sort of scale will take much time. but is feasible. The conversion of one carbon fuel to another is fairly easy.

A use for the sahara?

Asoka sez:

"They see plentiful oil far into the future and are putting their billions where their mouth is."

and also sez:

"Once the initial energy investment is made with fossil (the up-front costs to produce and ship panels, shingles, etc.) the in situ solar continues to produce without fossil inputs."
========================

soph·ism   /ˈsɒfɪzəm/ Show Spelled[sof-iz-uhm] Show IPA
–noun
1.a specious argument for displaying ingenuity in reasoning or for deceiving someone.
2.any false argument; fallacy.

Finding and pumping oil is becoming more and more difficult. The only way Oil Producer A can maintain their hoped for or predicted "growth" curve is to acquire assets from Company B. They are unable to achieve such growth on their own. Secondarily, Company A sees that the cost of acquiring these assets in the future can only become higher as supply shrinks (i.e. get while the gettin's good). A legitimate but distant third reason for these oil acquisitions is the benefits of "economies of scale." Story short: when A buys B there is no net increase in oil reserves.

Solar panels are no different than any other asset ... they will fail or wear out and will have to be replaced thus requiring ongoing fossil input.

Solar panels are no different than any other asset ... they will fail or wear out and will have to be replaced thus requiring ongoing fossil input.
There you go again... assuming because fossil fuel is a limited commodity, we have an intractable problem.

Fossil fuel is not the only source of energy. Fuel oil can be produced by cultivating algae, thereby converting solar energy into biodiesel sufficient to replace solar panels. The EROEI is much more efficient for solar than fossil fuels so your "things wear out" argument is really weak.

You have also spoken in favor of nuclear in past posts, so I should knock that down as well.

For nuclear power, it is not clear that new construction can keep up with the retirement of existing reactors. With 30 reactors under construction and a ten year construction timescale, that comes to about 3 GW/year of new nuclear power without accounting for retirement of old reactors.

So, the pace of nuclear energy is slow compared to solar which is growing at 50% annually.

Comparing EROEI(actual) shows us that less effort is needed to eliminate fossil fuel use in electricity generation using wind and solar power compared to nuclear power. This probably partly explains why both wind and solar are doing so much better than nuclear power in getting the job done.

If you look at Life Cycle Inventory data comparing solar (using the current status of production technology for crystalline silicon modules covering all processes from silicon feedstock production to cell and module manufacturing) and compare that to the EROEI of nuclear, well, solar wins hands down. Oh, and nuclear reactors "wear out" too.

There you go again... assuming that I am against solar when what I am against is sophistry.

I favor work continuing on all these alt fuels. Over time breakthroughs will be made, winners will rise to the top and losers will fall by the wayside.

Qshtik said: "what I am against is sophistry."

What do you have against sophistry?

Just a short while ago you were saying I am a simpleton.

Make up your mind... unless, of course, you are large and contain multitudes. LOL!

The Chinese are paranoid and are creating excess real estate, just like the Spain, they are afraid of resource scarcity.

This is part of a large family of ideologies and assumptions that rotate around resource scarcity. Peak oil, population explosion, energy is finishing, land is finishing, food is finishing, etc. are all false beliefs: there has never been so much of the above available and there will be increasingly so as time goes by. But these resource scarcities ideologies feed on the idea that you all have to "compete" for resources, "there is not enough around for everyone", competition and fighting over resources because there are too little, and this ideology does a great favor to private businesses and corporations that can squeeze out money from poor people through the myth of resource scarcity. So then privatize health care, then housing, then water and eventually food, etc. Cut it off from everyone and make everyone pay for a very scarce resource like health care, housing, water etc.

Never has there been a greater lie: there are no resource scarcities, JHK concentrates himself on oil, but oil is only a small part of the equation of modern civilization, 80 % of that equation is technology, and technology can overcome all and any resource scarcities. Like I said above, we haven't even begun tapping the potential of simple BUSES, let alone skyscrapers where even BUSES and transportation in general is not even needed ! substitute cars with elevators.

Oil is just carbon chemistry, there are many ways to create a substitute through genetic engineered bacteria, or ethanol as in Brazil, natural gas can be used, methane, biomasses, etc.


Population probably won't ever reach 10 billion:

check out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_growth#Population_growth_rate

So the excuse that there are too many people is BS. The real problem is that a group of people want to cut off the resources that should go to everyone, they want competition, fighting for resources, war, etc. They want racism, etc.

Since what we have is constant increase of wealth, free wealth through technology, societies don't know how to deal with it psychologically, it goes against the real resource scarcities that mankind has had since up until about a hundred years ago when technology took over and solved all these problems.

There are even more extreme theories of our infinite resource society, like the technological singularity (computers becoming so smart that they themselves design ever smarter computers until they become no longer understandable by humans), or that medical advances will cross the point where the average lifetime exceeds more than one year every year, so no one will die anymore even if they wanted to because medicine has achieved immortality (but this would eventually increase the population ,hmmm....).

What I think is operating is that the worldwide economy generates so much wealth that societies don't know how to deal with it, and that wealth generates even more in an endless cycle up to the point of an infinite resource society. I mean the economy goes in crisis mode if we decide to just consume 2 or 3 percent less of our normal consumption...

And maybe the Chinese and arabs in Dubai are building all those skyscrapers because they realize just how hugely energy efficient they are. An investment for the future.

The US builds McMansions, they build skyscrpapers...

"Just a short while ago you were saying I am a simpleton."
=======================

Wrong! I said what you had offered up were simplistic bromides.

"Wrong! I said what you had offered up were simplistic bromides."

Aren't you here engaging in sophistry?

Obama won the battle for health care reform. Now the battle is for financial reform.

MESSAGE FROM OBAMA

We know that without enforceable, commonsense rules to check abuse and protect families, markets are not truly free. Wall Street reform will foster a strong and vibrant financial sector so that businesses can get loans; families can afford mortgages; entrepreneurs can find the capital to start a new company, sell a new product, or offer a new service.

Consumer financial protections are currently spread across seven different government agencies. Wall Street reform will create one single Consumer Financial Protection Agency -- tasked with preventing predatory practices and making sure you get the clear information, not fine print, needed to avoid ballooning mortgage payments or credit card rate hikes.

Reform will provide crucial new oversight, give shareholders a say on salaries and bonuses, and create new tools to break up failing financial firms so that taxpayers aren't forced into another unfair bailout. And reform will keep our economy secure by ensuring that no single firm can bring down the whole financial system.

With so much at stake, it is not surprising that allies of the big banks and Wall Street lenders have already launched a multi-million-dollar ad campaign to fight these changes. Arm-twisting lobbyists are already storming Capitol Hill, seeking to undermine the strong bipartisan foundation of reform with loopholes and exemptions for the most egregious abusers of consumers.

I won't accept anything short of the full protection that our citizens deserve and our economy needs. It's a fight worth having, and it is a fight we can win -- if we stand up and speak out together.

Some on CFN say there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to Wall Street.

But under Bush and the Republicans the SEC was toothless.

Under Obama and the Democrats the SEC has charged Goldman Sachs with fraud.

REPUBLICANS: Bush ignored Goldman Sachs criminal activity. Bush's supporters were making out like bandits. For example, former Brocade CEO Gregory Reyes, who was convicted last week of securities fraud, was a top Republican National Committee donor.

DEMOCRATS: Goldman Sachs is charged with criminal fraud for failing to disclose conflicts of interest in mortgage investments it sold, essentially pushing a mortgage investment that was secretly devised to fail. Securities fraud is a major focus of President Barack Obama's.

Eight years of Bush resulted in economic depression.

One year of Obama is bringing us out of economic depression with consistent job gains, housing starts up 7.5%, stock market over 11,000, etc.
http://www.truthout.org/rachel-maddow-the-bikini-chart-job-gains58265
Sure sounds like a difference to me.

Another thing that doesn't make sense is when kunstler says the suburbs are the greatest misallocation of resources in history. Now, I find this absurd: all of the suburbs in the USA can continue to be exactly as they are, you just need to add sidewalks and tear down a few homes or identify and area within each subdivision that can become a small retail - office center and some parks. It is easy as pie, there are hundreds of architects and creative people in the USA that could imagine and slightly modify the suburbs and eliminate all those things that are wrong with them according to JHK. It seems to me that it is either all or nothing, the dark ages and the world made by hand, or McMansion suburbs with no sidewalks, no buses etc. There is no in between, but this is absurd, there are hundreds of ways to slightly modify the suburbs and make them user friendly.

AHA! Useless high-rise office towers, you say?
Remove and repurpose those giant sheets of glass and let the winds howl through. Now, whatever can we do with winds that are stronger at higher elevations? Hmmm?

I would agree with Eleuthero's contention that energy INPUT into any system/fuel is the big consideration as to what will happen (and, more importantly, what won't).

Nuclear, especially. VERY energy intensive, almost to the point of being "untenable". (Just think about the mining and processing of uranium, please.) However, there's a lot of $$$$$$$ to be made, so how do you imagine the political and industrial arguments might go, eh? Taxpayer's pennies to pay for their own poisoning? What a way to go! Interesting times ahead.

"...No one worshiped at the altar in the Temple of Crude;
The only currencies left: ammunition and food..."

NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS? HA!

OBAMA'S RECORD
Obama focus on eliminating and prosecuting fraud:
Tax cuts for those earning UNDER $250,000; Robert Khuzami named Director of the Division of Enforcement; Goldman Sachs indicted for fraud.

BUSH'S RECORD
Tax cuts for those earning OVER $250,000. Bush himself was investigated for SEC fraud:
The SEC's division of enforcement launched a probe of Bush's sale of his Harken stock the day after the Wall Street Journal on April 4, 1991, reported that he had been eight months late in filing the required insider-trading form with the regulators. This investigation was separate from the earlier division of corporation finance probe that resulted in Harken's recasting its 1989 balance sheet.

SEC enforcement investigators focused on whether Bush dumped his stock on June 22, 1990, because he knew that the company's second-quarter report, announced on Aug. 20, would show a $23.2 million loss and depress the stock.

Then, when Bush became President, he appointed Christopher Cox to weaken the SEC. The Madoff failures didn't arise out of nowhere. Under Cox, a former California GOP congressman, the SEC pursued a policy of de-emphasizing enforcement, part of the broader anti-regulatory philosophy of the Bush years -- helping to make Madoff possible.

"[Cox] in many ways worked to dismantle the SEC," Ed Nordlinger, a former longtime enforcement director in the commission's New York office. "He slowed everything down. I don't think he believed in heavy regulation."

NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS? HA!

Another interesting thing to see, as fuel becomes scarcer, will be what kinds of innovative (;-) public transportation becomes available to shuttle gas-less people to and from their homes, stores, and work.

I'm sure that lots of public/private services using small vans and buses, or perhaps even school buses (as Dmitri Orlov suggested), once kids have to walk and ride bikes to school.

"To me, one farmer in coveralls shovelling shit in his fields is worth ten thousand bullshit artists in corporate meeting rooms in a big city."

A fuckin' Men, fella.

The Fire Next Time By PAUL KRUGMAN On Tuesday, Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, called for the abolition of municipal fire departments. Firefighters, he declared, “won’t solve the problems that led to recent fires. They will make them worse.” The existence of fire departments, he went on, “not only allows for taxpayer-funded bailouts of burning buildings; it institutionalizes them.” He concluded, “The way to solve this problem is to let the people who make the mistakes that lead to fires pay for them. We won’t solve this problem until the biggest buildings are allowed to burn.” O.K., I fibbed a bit. Mr. McConnell said almost everything I attributed to him, but he was talking about financial reform, not fire reform. In particular, he was objecting not to the existence of fire departments, but to legislation that would give the government the power to seize and restructure failing financial institutions. But it amounts to the same thing. Now, Mr. McConnell surely isn’t sincere; while pretending to oppose bank bailouts, he’s actually doing the bankers’ bidding. But before I get to that, let’s talk about why he’s wrong on substance.

Thank you SEC: Goldman Sachs charged with fraud. It's just a civil case, but it could be just the beginning, as fraud in evident everywhere on Wall Street.

If the heads do indeed start to roll, look for the fake economic index known as the DOW to go down. "Da playaz on Da Street" know that fraud is all that is keeping the numbers up. Why else would the index rise when unemployment and foreclosures are up and oil is on the rise -- not to mention that inflation is allegedly a non-factor?

Answer: Fraud.

Get out of the market while you still can.

If Obama and his crew keep this up, I'll no longer be a hater. I'll be a True Believer like Asoka and his fellow cultists.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyOw6bWy8X8

Cowswithguns said: "Why else would the index rise when unemployment and foreclosures are up..."

Ummm, unemployment is coming down. People are going back to work. Housing starts are up. Manufacturing jobs are up. The economy is no longer losing jobs... we are in positive job gain territory.

Obama stopped the loss of 700,000 jobs per month the Bush's Viking economy brought us. It will take another year to shake off the effects of the Bush disaster, but at least Obama is taking us in the right direction... and he is going after Wall Street and Banking fraud. You must approve of that?

I know a lot of you are getting damp underwear at the sound of the tumbrels carting Goldman Sachs to the town square but before you get too excited a few words from Henry Blodget:

"This will sound surprising given how much Goldman's stock and the equity market have been hammered by the allegations, but here's our initial take:

The SEC's case against Goldman Sachs seems very weak.

The SEC's case against Fabrice Tourre seems slightly stronger, but it's hardly a slam dunk."

Also, Jim Cramer seems to believe in time it will all blow over and the market may begin to recoup today's losses as early as Monday.

If you want to support America and make it stronger, and support the greatest Black president this country has ever had, then put your money into safe investments such as treasury bills and government bonds even though there’s a greater potential to earn more elsewhere. America! Love it! And support it financially! Give back to it!

If you are concerned about the national debt (and believe the zeros matter), you can write a check payable to the Bureau of the Public Debt, and in the memo section, notate that it's a Gift to reduce the Debt Held by the Public.

Mail your check to:

Attn Dept G
Bureau of the Public Debt
P. O. Box 2188
Parkersburg, WV 26106-2188

Or you can make a payment online at:

https://www.pay.gov/paygov/forms/formInstance.html?agencyFormId=23779454

Better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness. I love my President and my country.

If you are one of those people who believes an outrageous amount of sovereign debt can only lead to hyperinflation (like in Weimar Germany... oooo scary!), then consider purchasing Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS).

TIPS are marketable securities whose principal is adjusted by changes in the Consumer Price Index. With inflation (a rise in the index), the principal increases. With a deflation (a drop in the index), the principal decreases.

The relationship between TIPS and the Consumer Price Index affects both the sum you are paid when your TIPS matures and the amount of interest that a TIPS pays you every six months. TIPS pay interest at a fixed rate. Because the rate is applied to the adjusted principal, however, interest payments can vary in amount from one period to the next. If inflation occurs, the interest payment increases. In the event of deflation, the interest payment decreases.

So, if you are convinced the Feds money printing presses can only lead to inflation, TIPS are for you.

At the maturity of a TIPS, you receive the adjusted principal or the original principal, whichever is greater. This provision protects you against deflation.

Treasury provides TIPS Inflation Index Ratios to allow you to easily calculate the change to principal resulting from changes in the Consumer Price Index.

I'm in California, where jobs certainly aren't coming back fast. And even if jobs are coming back in the US as a whole, there's no denying that the stock market made dramatic gains over the past months in spite of major bad news in the real economy. That reeks of fraud.

And, yes, I thank god every day that Dubya is out of office. And, yes, I am happy about the SEC charges against Golden Sacks.

But I'll never stop wanting this administration to do even more. There are a lot of fish to fry yet.

I just hope we as a society are understanding of the ramifications that will come if our president does what is truly right.

It won't be pretty -- for awhile at least.

Some heads must roll.

I just hope we as a society are understanding of the ramifications that will come if our president does what is truly right. It won't be pretty -- for awhile at least. Some heads must roll.

A lot of heads need to roll. And though it won't be pretty, we are going to need to practice downsizing as a nation: driving less, living in smaller houses, eating less junk food, sharing more in our communities, never buy things you don’t want or don’t need, understanding the true cost of the purchase of clothes, cars, gas, makeup, office supplies, lunch, lattes, and so on. In other words, knowing where every penny you spend goes.

We will need to make a shift in attitude from one
of laxity and leeway to one of accuracy, precision, and impeccability. Those who manage to make the shift now, voluntarily, will have an easier time in the future.

It's early, but what the h...

237 Comments total as of 2010-04-17 00:42 (Pacific)
More than 1 comment by:

23         asoka
20         Cash
12         eightm
12         Qshtik
11         asia
11         Vlad Krandz
9           dale
7           cowswithguns
6           bridges
6           Mr. Purple
5           Laura Louzader
5           welles
4           Martin Hayes
3           Agriburbia
3           Eleuthero
3           Jon Rynn
3           Puzzler
3           Smokyjoe
3           Tim S
2           bervol
2           budizwiser
2           D R Lunsford
2           DeeJones
2           Fissile
2           Funzel
2           mean dovey cooledge
2           MINDfool
2           scarlet runner
2           Solar Guy
2           sr
2           TerminusEst
2           The Mook

In fact environmentalists are anti-progress and racists for the most part. They are always talking about how limited resources are because they don't want them to be shared. They never talk about BUSES, about skyscrapers, etc. They want the dark ages. I calculated that one tenth the area of the USA could easily host a TRILLION people in a skyscraper arrangment of buildings where you have residence, offices and retail at very little cost in energy terms because you just use elevators and need no cars or roads for the most part.

The whole concept of resource scarcity is imposed from the living arangment that is chosen and from the behaviors that are imposed from the outset like commuting to offices in LA from the distant suburb, etc. You just need to change some variables and all of a sudden we all gain those rsources back. Think how idiotic garages are in homes, a room for the car: think how much housing resources could be gained by converting them to rooms, or converting half of the front lawn and backyard to home extensions and rooms. As of today, all of the USA homes could host 10 billion people.

There are no resource limitations only precise intentionalities to brainwash people that there are by imposing contorted living arrangments and behaviors that create the limitations. In the computer field they have been saying for decades that there are not enough math and physics and engineering majors, brainwshing everyone of an imagined resource limitation: there have never been so many technicians available worldwide, but for some strange reason they are never enough. This is another example of an imagined resource scarcity myth imposed for political and ideological reason.

Too soon to tell what the Goldman Sach's "deal" is. But I am supposing they will be the "public" trading house for whipping much like Bernie Madoff seems to be the only "public" ponzi-based trader.

After watching Moyer's Journal last night, one might wonder where the TV shows stop and reality starts.

The important things: No jail time, give backs at a fraction of profits.

I have been observing the attack of Glenn Beck by
major networks and Mr.Obama.
Mr.Beck really has alot of common sense and certainly isn't a racist. The idea of spending our hard earned tax dollars with care really scares big government liberals like Mr.Obama.
They know their power is in jeopardy. They know people are on to their game of doing nothing but placing the country in the finanacial poor house. The waste of money is apalling(yes military waste included!!)
Government workers earn on average more than private sector workers....Is this America?
You are labled a racists and extremist if you want to minimize the size of government. Shrinking government is a real threat to their power. Regular Americans can only be fooled for so long...Obama said people should be thanking him for his tax cuts? The Emperor truly has no clothes.

Lets start with the Federal Government.
Make do with less, be forced to become frugal, and
more efficient with what you have.
Truly a lost American trait!

More simple solution.
Cut programs.
Stop spending.
Insane racist thinking?

"put your money into safe investments such as treasury bills"
===================

If you want to earn next-to-nothing or even lose money do as Asoka suggests. For example, as of yesterday the annual yield on a 3 month T-Bill was .16%. This means that if you invested $1000 and seemlessly rolled it over three times so that you stayed invested for one full year (assuming the rate remained at .16%) your investment would then be worth $1001.60. (Note: T-Bills, unlike Notes and Bonds are sold at a discount so that the actual yield is a tiny bit higher than the stated yield. In the above example I believe the actual yield is .1603%.) There is another advantage to investing in govt obligations ... you don't have to pay state tax on the gain. So, depending on your tax bracket maybe you save a dime or two on that huge $1.60 of interest income.

But worse than that is the high likelyhood that you will lose bigtime on the principal amount of your investment since it is a virtual certainty that in the future bond prices will fall as interest rates rise. The only way to avoid this loss is to hold the investment to maturity. Take this example: You buy a 10 year bond which, as of yesterday, was yielding 3.79% or $37.90 each year on a $1000 face value bond. Lets say 5 years later you need the money (to fix a car, tuition for your kid, or whatever) and have to sell your bond. In the meantime interest rates have doubled to 7.58% (entirely plausible) on a fresh new 10 year bond. But anyone purchasing your old 10 year bond with its fixed 3.79% rate is going to pay you way less than the face value (principal) amount.

I would not want to be in bonds when interest rates start rising in earnest. Let Asoka be a chump with his own money ... if he has any.

Public debt is also part of the Resource Scarcity Myth: this is all a make believe economic model, nothing behind all of the numbers make any sense and is true, it is all invented. With all the labor worldwide that is idle, all of that untapped potential and the USA is supposed to have 10 trillion dollars debt, and future debt of 50 trillion, JAPAN has 4 trillion dollars debt, etc ? What a bunch of BS, these debts don't count nothing, they are all just numbers on computer screens, can never be paid back by anyone in any sense, especially with all the unemployment and pay rates worldwide etc. but serve to brainwash the poor how much they have to sacrifice, how much "they are in debt". They will eventually be erased from the computer screens wth a mouse click.

The truth is the economic system with its technology and automation and optimizations can generate way too much wealth for everyone that they need to invent all this capitalist BS of investment, profit and debts to not share all the trillions of dollars of automatic money with everyone.

Well it was a science fiction scenario the trillion people in skyscrapers, but the idea behind it is that there are hundreds of possibilities and options that can be tried out and experimented while JHK has a very rigid either all or nothing view, etc. Just imagine how many variations can be applied in the USA suburbs (if you know the USA or have been there). The Chinese may very well dominate because they can build all that they need freely without all of the constraints of democracy and the fake - crappy constraints of capitalism with their insane and primitive, stone age profit motive. In fact they are building high speed rail, apartments etc. while everyone in the west is hoping the invisible hand of the market creates what millions of people need out of thin air.

"If you are concerned about the national debt ... you can write a check payable to the Bureau of the Public Debt"
=======================

Another stupid idea from Asoka. Look at it this way, the public debt is this enormous number ... sort of like the number of quarts of water in Lake Michigan. Bill Gates and his buddy Warren Buffet would like to help their country. They both write checks for their entire net worth and send them in to Dept G. Its like they dipped a cup of water from Lake Michigan and watched for the level to fall.

Asoka says "I love my President and my country" so let him send his money to Dept G.

"consider purchasing Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS)"
=====================

This might be good advice except for one thing ... the govt may revise the calculation of the CPI underlying the TIPS yield. They've revised the CPI calc before and may do it again. Their primary reason for doing so in the future will be to avoid a large increase in Social Security payments. Screwing TIPS holders would be an incidental benefit to the govt but small peanuts by comparison.

"they need to invent all this capitalist BS of investment, profit and debts to not share all the trillions of dollars of automatic money with everyone"
====================

Eightm, when I read any of your posts my eyes roll so far back in my head I'm afraid they're never gonna come back. You are the ultimate oblivious socialist. Karl Marx was Ronald Reagan by comparison.

I always wonder what it is for people like you when they are on their deathbed, ready to draw their last breath, and looking back at the world's failure to move even one centimeter in the direction they thought it would or could.

I dub thee the most off-the-wall commenter at CFN.

The need for private Health Care is a perfect example of the Resource Scarcity Myth. It is this myth in person BIG TIME. So much so that most of the developed world doesn't even know what the heck the USA is even talking about: paying if you get sick ?!?!?, are they crazy or what....

This insane idea that it costs oh so much money to get cured, it is so hard and terribly expensive, etc. The truth is it is an extemely contorted system of mega conflicts and fights and greed amongst so many stone age mentality actors: lawyers, insurance companies doctors making millions while worldwide the going pay is one tenth, etc.

You will find this Resource Scarcity Myth all over the place and in so many areas it is not even funny.

Asoka, I don't know if anyone replied to this post but your comment about Obama's focus on eliminating and prosecuting fraud neglects a couple of things that happened under Bush Jr's administration.

There were a number of high profile prosections during the Bush Jr era following the tech and telecom busts in 2000 mostly but solely for accounting fraud ie Worldcom, Enron, Adelphia, Anderson. There were a number of long jail sentences handed down ie Ebbers - 28 years, Rigas - 15 years, Rigas Jr - 20 years, Skilling - 24 years... these are just partial lists.

Also what came out of all this was Sarbanes Oxley legislation during Dubya's reign which I can tell you as a former accountant working for a US multinational was really onerous in its requirements.

Also note that the busts in 2000 were the result of stock bubbles that formed during the Clinton administration during the 1990s. The frauds that took down these companies were continued during the Bush era but took shape mostly during the Clinton era.

I agree. CPI calculations (in Canada also) are totally and completely full of shit.

There is scientific evidence of Black IQ deficit: I posted you a link that would have gotten you started on your study, but perhaps you don't believe in IQ tests. The army uses one too -under another name of course. They obviously believe. Ideally, they don't want anyone under 85, which leaves alot of Blacks out (half). But that has been relaxed now, such is their desperation. (If reading long articles on the web isn't your thing, read the "Bell Curve" - an excellent introduction)

Your question about why Whites lagged behind the Southern Caucasions is a good one. Climate might have been part of it and the Middle East was ideal for Civilization five thousand years ago. The climate was wetter then, and the soil not as played out as it is now. Plus the plains are always better for large civilizations than the topography of Europe. But two things: first Whites weren't cavemen, they had developed societies. And two, there may have been an ancient civilization in the Balkans that is just being discovered now. Another thing, when Whites did make contact with the Romans (who were partly of Northern European blood) they knew Rome was a good thing and wanted in. When East Asians were forced into our sphere, they took what we had and adapted it in their own ways. The same with South Asians. But Africans have shown a singular inability to do this, both in Africa and Haiti.
I know in popular thought, all immigrants are alike, and therefore interchangeable. Thus you say they will adapt. But it doesn't follow logically that this is the case - and the evidence is much against it. The Vietmanese suffered horribly in Vietnam, but like other East Asians they are on their feet in one generation with their kids excelling by the fourth grade; Zero to Fifty in two seconds. You can't use the intergenerational argument forever. Each birth is a new begining. None of the Blacks in America have ever been slaves. They've had every chance now for two generations and they've done very little. Beyond that, they don't want to assimilate - our culture is too alien to them and they prefer their own.

How much are you going to kick in numb nuts? You love your president and your country, huh? Even though he is a war criminal? Even though he is a pawn of Goldman Sachs?

That Obama is "Black" is the only thing you care about. And you love America so much you want to open it up to the third world vultures. Funny kind of love which seeks to radically alter the very essence of its object. Sounds more like hate to me.

Kiyosaki's "Rich Dad" made an excellent point years ago: the end of pension plans and the rise of IRA's and 401k's made it necessary for ordinary people to understand stocks and mutual funds - a plonged and arcane study and one that most people will never master - certainly not well enough to stake their futures on it. Eightm has a point - why should people have ever been expected to do what they wouldn't be able to? And the answer is because the rich didn't want to share anymore than they had to - the social contract has been broken. And here I'm speaking of the super rich. Ordinary businesses couldn't afford pensions anymore due to inflation. And now the focus has shifted to health care - which no business can afford anymore either - inflation again. Less and less services for more and more money.

But beyond this, you are correct. Eightm sees humans as social insects. He has obviously been profoundly influenced by the Insect Scientists from another dimension. They have been trying to break though for fifty or more years now. They are "softening us up" by using amueniseses like Eightm as their mouthpieces. You do well to resist, human.

Look, I want my title back, Ok? In any case, you have no right to make that pronouncement on your own. I demand a vote.

you are the one who coined the term....
was it ASOKA FAIL??? got any new qtip-isms?

'I know in popular thought, all immigrants are alike, and therefore interchangeable'

well according to msc cain...they are hardworkers, illegals but deserve a green card.
the fact theyll vote dem or not at all and are criminals doesnt seem to matter.
why yd pay more than the scantest attention to asokas BS is yr problem...vlad the cad.

I think IQ tests have limitations. My father is semi literate and wouldn't get far in an IQ test. I'm literate and would do well on one. But I think intelligence is a many faceted thing.

Trust me, if you were marooned in the wilderness far from civilization with rescue a long time away you would want my father with you. With him you would survive.

But you wouldn't want me with you. I'm no sissy but my skills are not remotely like my father's. He can grapple with the physical environment, he can see solutions to problems that I can't see. I've done IQ tests and I don't know if you can measure in an IQ test the kind of intelligence that people like my father have.

I have a different view of culture ie learned behaviour. I think societal behaviour can be really stubborn and persist over long periods. In the case of blacks I think there is the additional dimension of not trusting whites (for good reason) so I think you have the problem of self segregation.

I've seen self segregation in Italian immigrants. There's a custom in Italy of not trusting anyone born out of earshot of the village bell tower. This mode of thinking does not help the process of acculturation and adaptation. So you have long standing "Little Italys" in many cities in N. America. Immigrants can adapt if they want to and that's the key: if they want to.

I know what you mean, you can't use the intergenerational argument forever. But I think the dysfunctional aspects of black society will get fixed, just not right away. It needs generations to fix what was centuries in the making. I don't think that the effects of 300 years of slavery and another 100 years of oppression go away easily.

In the 1960s you had de facto segregation and a segregationist running for president. In another post I related that when I was a kid I heard in a local restaurant a black family (from the US I'm pretty sure) asking if they served black people. Time heals but I don't think enough time has passed.

Also, I don't know that you can compare what Vietnamese went through with what blacks went through.

Anyway Vlad maybe for this stuff we will just have to agree to disagree.

"trillions of dollars of automatic money"
======================

That ain't workin' that's the way you do it Money for nothin' and your chicks for free ... Dire Straits

"amueniseses"
=================

Dictionary.com does not recognize the above word. It suggested Eumenides - The Furies. Is that what you meant?

Another question: how do you define "white".

From your comment I take it that you would exclude southern europeans ie Greeks, Italian, Spanish.

In the 1980s someone I was talking to said that a place in British Columbia he was familiar with used to be all white people but now there's some Italians.

What's it you who I want to talk to? I've tried talking to you - you'd much rather denigrate than have a civil conversation. If you didn't like my take on Cortes, for example, you could have said so without trashing me. Note: I'm not comfortable with how Christianity has often evangelized. But in terms of European Civilization coming to the New World, what was the alternative? The Indians had to be conquered. Anyone who enjoys America and doesn't recognize this is a hypocrite. Most Pow Wows feature the American Flag and many Indians are proud of their service in the military. They are far more American now than the average White Liberal.

Cash and I disagree but he is civil to me and I to him. It's not the internet's fault you can't be civil or put forth extended arguments.

amanuensis
/manyooensiss/

• noun (pl. amanuenses /manyooenseez/) a literary assistant, in particular one who takes dictation.

No I consider all Europeans White - as opposed to North Africans, Semites, and Hindus who are our Caucasian Cousins. Southern Europe does have more of this blood though, due to the varous Jihads and also slavery in the late Roman Empire.

Based on the busts left from anitquity, the classical Romans may have been a bit more Northern European than the average Italian is now. But even then there were the Latin Tribes who weren't part of Rome for a good while.

But in any case, post Roman Italy has contributed an enomous amound to European Culture.
There is an overlap between your thought and mind: I'm a culturalist as well as a racist. And by their fruits you shall know them - Italy is White.

The Etruscans looked very different - if their art can be a guide; almost like they were from Asia. They used gold in fillings with great skill.

How to offend a Greek - tell him he looks Turkish. They have alot of Turkish blood just as Turkey has alot of European - western Turkey that is. Apparently as you go east the people get more and more non European looking. And their fruits would be Islamic: letting them in the EU would be a vast mistake.

You should come down and take a tour of Detroit to see the fruits of the African takeover - it might change your mind.

I knew I mispelled that somehow. A good dictionary should have it though. It's a Greek word meaning a medium whom the gods spoke through such as the Oracle at Delphi.

"It's not the internet's fault you can't be civil or put forth extended arguments."
=======================

Let me get this straight ... you're complaining because I am trying to find out the meaning of a particular word you used?

One further point: yes, IQ tests don't measure your father's kind of smarts - or creativity either. But what they do measure, G or general intelligence, is very important in our technical civilization. And since IQ is over 50% genetic, your dad probably had at least a decent one in addition to being handy and adaptable - which many hot house geniuses are not.

Vlad you say about yourself: "I'm a culturalist as well as a racist"

That's the key difference in opinion between you and me. I don't get hung up on race. I don't put a lot of stock in racial differences. I'm not saying this to be holier than thou. I'm not drinking small L liberal koolaid. I'm no liberal. I'm a hang em high law and order hard liner.

I think the differences in ways of life between people around the world are not racial in origin. IMO some of the differences are the result of historical accident and some are adaptations to the physical environments people found themselves in.

For humans to have evolved into different coloured varieties there has to have been some degree of inbreeding. But from what I've read there's been too much genetic interchange between people in different parts of the world for subspecies of homo sapiens to have evolved in radically different directions.

There's been too much horror inflicted and there's too much guilt on the part of white people and too much anger on the part of blacks and other non whites to have a discussion that doesn't end in grief and animosity.

Again, maybe this is an area where we have to agree to disagree.

My last calculation was considering puny skyscrapers with 20 floors, but if you consider the future maybe 200 floors ones (dubai has one with 100 floors), the holding capacity of all of the continental USA is population 1,000 TRILLION. Resource Scarcity my ass. And that is that number of people living in high quality skyscrapers, with luxury and offices, residential and retail a short elevators trip away.

Someone talked about Italy, they have public debt of 2 trillion dollars, I am wondering how on earth and who on earth is going to pay back that make believe money. You have these huge debts all over the world, what a circus full of clowns, what a total farse...

Cash, that's about the size of it: "a discussion that doesn't end in grief and animosity". I maintain that discussion of race in a public forum accomplishes little and is positively harmful.

Unfortunately, we also live in a time when the motives of the ruling elite (if they can be so described) for wanting to close down discussion on the subject is suspicious: they appear to have a program. We need to know what that program is, and what are its goals. My reading is that the program is malign.

Therefore, instead of being silent, I'm going to question the matter of "genetic interchange"; it's plain that the races evolved in isolation, sufficient, at any rate, for there to be obvious metabolic and physiological differences.

Try to remember that in the news right now, is the hapless James Watson, the DNA scientist caught in an imbroglio because he had the temerity to suggest that blacks are, er, not that smart.

He said: "There is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically. Our wanting to reserve equal powers of reason as some universal heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so."

Can't make it so by legislative fiat. Can't make it so by browbeating people into accepting it (though most people will unquestioningly conform).

Nevertheless, in proposition nations such as the United States and, to a lesser extent, Canada, where there is no long-established ethne, except for the First Nations people, of course, and where, really, everyone, of whatever race, has an equal claim, there is no good ground for airing this kind of dirty laundry. What good can possibly come of it?

"the holding capacity of all of the continental USA is population 1,000 TRILLION"
=======================

I'm not sure if I'm following your line of reasoning. Are you saying if we simply build enough really big skyscrapers we can hold 1000 trillion people in the USA? If the entire world currently has 7 billion people you can multiply that 143,000 times and put all those people in the USA? The idea is totally ridiculous, of course. The amount of shit that many people would generate would be up to the 50th floor within a week ... assuming everyone could be fed.

Since there is great risk of me losing my eyeballs in the back of my head I think I'm gonna have to stop reading your nonsense.

Puzzler's right: it's amanuensis. Being over-educated, not to say foppish and effete, I know the word, but I think only terribly highbrow people would use it. And autodidacts like Vlad. That's a compliment, Vlad. ;)

amanuensis
over-educated
foppish
effete
highbrow
autodidacts

All in one reply.
And only one use of "moron" this week.

I think we may have reached Peak Vocabulary.

My doomsday preparations didn't anticipate this.

Puzz, I don't think Martin would feel properly attired without a watch fob and white spats.

Vlad said:

That Obama is "Black" is the only thing you care about. And you love America so much you want to open it up to the third world vultures. Funny kind of love which seeks to radically alter the very essence of its object. Sounds more like hate to me.

Vlad I have explained before that I can oppose Obama on some issues, like foreign policy, and still love him for his domestic policies.

Yes, I do love that fact that Obama is Black and he is the President of the United States. I love that in this country millions of people, the majority of voters, elected Obama.

I also love that he has not shown favoritism to Blacks or made race a big issue in his presidency.
I love that he was a senior lecturer in constitutional law and was elected the first African-American editor of the Harvard Law Review, and he graduated magna cum laude.

We've been over the "immigration" issue, too. My argument is that the USA is a nation of immigrants. I am embracing the essence of America. You are calling the essence "vultures" ...

I love America exactly as it is and want the doors to stay open so America can continue to be enriched by contributions from all the cultures who arrive, and it matters not whether they arrive legally or illegally.

The white Pilgrims were "illegal immigrants," since they didn't have permission from the original inhabitants, yet white Europeans did contribute something, as did Chinese, Irish, Italians, Blacks, Hispanics, etc. even if the original immigrants were "illegal"... everyone has something to contribute.

Immigrants are what makes it America, the country I love. Your calling immigrants "vultures" indicates you have no appreciation for the multicultural essence of the USA.

Indeed, you are the one who is trying to "radically alter the very essence of its object"
by promoting separation of the races.

The reality is that the races will never be separated. Miscegenation happens because people of different races naturally fall in love with one another... because all the races are beautiful and all have valuable characteristics, and all have good things to offer to America.

Which side are you on: Judge Crabb or President Obama?

ASOKA STANDS WITH JUDGE CRABB, AGAINST OBAMA'S SUPPORT OF A "NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER"

Judge Crabb took pains in several passages of her 66-page decision to point out that "a conclusion that the establishment clause prohibits the government from endorsing a religious exercise is not a judgment on the value of prayer or the millions of Americans who believe in its power."


She rejected the Obama administration's argument that the NDP is a longstanding tradition: "No tradition existed in 1789 of Congress requiring an annual National Day of Prayer on a particular date. It was not until 1952 that Congress established a legislatively mandated National Day of Prayer; it was not until 1988 that Congress made the National Day of Prayer a fixed, annual event." She pointed out that prresidents Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Andrew Jackson did not believe presidents should issue prayer proclamations.


Major political divisions have been created by the NDP, such as complaints by a national Jewish group in 2008 that the event had been "hijacked by Christian conservatives," Judge Crabb noted.


In her ruling, Judge Crabb said that the NDP "serves no purpose but to encourage a religious exercise, making it difficult for a reasonable observer to see the statute as anything other than a religious endorsement." Judge Crabb also wrote: "It bears emphasizing that a conclusion that the establishment clause prohibits the government from endorsing a religious exercise is not a judgment on the value of prayer or the millions of Americans who believe in its power. No one can doubt the important role that prayer plays in the spiritual life of a believer. . . . However, recognizing the importance of prayer to many people does not mean that the government may enact a statute in support of it, any more than the government may encourage citizens to fast during the month of Ramadan, attend a synagogue, purify themselves in a sweat lodge or practice rune magic."

Why doesn't Obama abolish the enslavement of Blacks in the USA, ongoing today?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6H8d7IMkRFs

The Cotton Pickin' Truth: Still on the Plantation

Alrighty; why is it that an advocate of "endless magically-replicating resources" is posting here? I'm all for provoking controversy, but the arguments of 8m seem not to be following a complete chain of logic. Anybody got an idea as to why they might think that perspective would be welcomed here? Hope for a great conversion; or what? Once again (or, "as always"), I'm mystified.

Asoka, I know you're arguing with Vlad and maybe I shouldn't stick my big nose in but I have to ask you: what is your definition of immigrant?

I have to say I'm mystified, people say that Canada is also a nation of immigrants. But around 80% of us were born in Canada, myself included. I suspect the percentage is similar in the US.

80% of us do not have memories of growing up in and leaving a foreign homeland. To us this place, Canada or the US, is home, not some other place. So does the 20% that were foreign born define the whole country?

Another thing: multicultural ESSENCE? WTF?

What language are we communicating in? What literature do the vast majority of us read? What is the mother tongue of the vast majority of us? What system of government does your country and mine have. Where does it come from? What system of common law do we live under? I could go on and on but I know it won't make a difference. The answers to all these questions does not remotely point to a multicultural ESSENCE.

Many Canadian liberals I know have a visceral contempt for Canada. They pretend to love their country but in word and deed they do not. They do whatever they can to undermine it and betray it. To them a good Canadian is one that actively takes sides against his own country.

I suspect the only people that detest the US as much as Canadian liberals (and maybe Osama Bin Laden) are American liberals. This hate blinds them to the real nature and culture of the country they live in. They would rather choke to death slowly than admit what Canada and the US really are, North American Anglo Saxon civilizations. I don't get it.

Why is it that you have so much trouble with this? Is this coming from your experiences with segregation and racism?

I'm curious. I have never been able to have an honest face to face discussion with a liberal on this. All I get is rolled eyeballs and sneers. But to be honest they get it back from me with interest.

I agree with you that discussions on race can get shitty real fast and maybe we should cease and desist. Like you say nothing good will come of it.

Anglo Saxon Civilization in the New World is based on racial separatism. We didn't mix like the Spanish did so readily nor like the French did to a lesser degree. And we came out far ahead didn't we? Genetics doesn't just influence skin color and athletic ability, but clearly it has a large input into temperment and mentality - just as the different breeds of dogs clearly show.

Not to talk about it at all would be an abuse of the internet since the internet is the only place taboo subjects CAN be talked about. That being said, I'll give you a rest. I know I'm obsessed but you see I'm balancing out everyone who refuses to talk about it. Speaking about the forbidden has always been my thing - not just about race and not just on the internet.

That volley was meant for Asia - but perhaps you needed it more.

You answered your own question Martin. What good can come of it? To desperately try to defend our own Ethnic Interests against an Elite who clearly wants to make us third class citizens by using minority bully boys.

Example: Say refugees from a the decaying public school sytem petition for a charter school to be set up - one where entry is allowed by test only. It happens and Whites, East Asians, South Asians and Jews flock in. The Blacks notice and raise hell and of course say the magic word, "racism". Everyone goes limp and the Blacks are allowed in. Before you know it, it's just another third world hell hole.

This reticince to speak about the obvious was a big issue during desegragation. Whites often didn't want to offend Blacks - and thus could not give the real reason they didn't want their kids going to school with them. Gentility served us ill indeed - and its continuance will be the death of us.

Bravo for mentioning Dr Watson. Surely his views should make anyone who thinks racialism is crackpot nonsense think twice. Surely the co-discoverer of the genetic code deserved more of a hearing and better treatment than the humiliation he recieved. But you were right: he was naive. Contrast him with William Shockley, the inventor of the transistor. Shockley basically retired and cleared his deck before engaging the beast in battle. He knew how deeply laid the Enemies Plans were and how vicious the response would be.

Btw, many scientists know the truth, but are afraid to speak out. There is a Dr Hahn who was working on the genetics of higher intelligence: he had already isolated the specific sequences and found them mostly widely in East Asain and Europe - and not at all in Black Africa. Then the threats to his livelyhood began and he got out fast before he was ruined.

Do you really want to live an a Society so bereft of intellectual freedom? I prefer the inimitalbe Alexander Solzhenitsyn who counseled the West to, "Live not by Lies".

Did this Black Renaissance Man ever publish any papers in the Law Review? I heard that he didn't - which is very unusual and moreover, his whole school record has been sealed. Very unusual treatment indeed. As for his books, no one but you really believes he wrote them. No crime, but the custom is for busy people and non writers to include the "ghost writer's" name under their own. It was Bill Ayers probably.

Face it - he's just a tool of the Jewish Money Men like Goldman-Sachs and Soros.

Blacks are very angry with him for not sending those million dollar reparation checks they expected. They want him to rule like an African Chief or Marion Bradley type thug and suck the Whites dry.

thanks but can you give me it in # of lines
not # of posts?

'The white Pilgrims were "illegal immigrants," since they didn't have permission from the original inhabitants, yet white Europeans did contribute blablabla

'everyone has something to contribute. '
[Q if that aint an asoka fail nothin is]

WHAT ABOUT SIRHAN SIRHAN..what did he contribute?

Immigrants are what makes it America, the country I love. Your calling immigrants "vultures" ..'

Vultures..well said..working the system and bankrupting hospitals states and the nation.
i know the former head of ucla hospital. he said so in a politically correct way!

which?

and i agree with yr comment on bully boys or whatever?

did anyone read newsweek? AMERICAS BACK cover?

Thankfully, in the midst of all this insanity we still have groups of people who are willing to go where our collective leadership and the majority of our citizery dare to tread and imagine a world very different from the one we now inhabit where large masses of people become angry, indoctrinated morons waiting to be detonated like an atomic bomb by rantings of the Limbaughs', Hannitys' and O'Reillys' of this world. Another excellent post JHK.


Even though I *do* find the current
version of the Republican Party to
be the party of "I got mine", the
reason why the Democratic Party is
going to lose in November is largely
because Americans are sick of the
LIBERTINISM that the Democratic Party
implicitly stands for.

Liberals represent failed social models
such as the "Self Esteem Movement" in
schools. The representatives of the
Black and Hispanic communities, almost
entirely Democrat, refuse to deal HONESTLY
with the high crime, low educational
performance, and anti-intellectual/thuggish
values of their constituents.

I've worked in a community college for more
than two decades and the TOTAL number of
black/Hispanic students I've graduated from
courses during that time is astonishingly
low ... I'm talking about a couple of
handfuls out of nearly TEN THOUSAND
students. And community colleges are
nearly free!! They bend over backward
to do community outreach to get people
of color into school, they have Federal-
and State-funded programs, etc. etc. etc..

The idea promulgated by the likes of Asoka
that Whitey is keeping the Black (and other)
men down defies all publically available
statistics and common knowledge. Asoka
would have us believe that the White Flight
of 1965 to the suburbs was because whites
suddenly just got psycho beyond any and all
reasoning.

In fact, my own parents were part of that
"White Flight" and their flight was based
upon easily observable data that when blacks
moved en masse into their city neighborhoods,
the homes were APPALLINGLY FILTHY AND ILL KEPT.
The White Flight wasn't some schizoid break
devoid of all reason. It was based on very
prosaic reason and an APPROPRIATE REACTION.

Why do so many Asoka-style liberals come off
as Orwellian slogan-spouters who create "truth"
by just uttering pleasant-sounding cliches whose
"truth" is based upon its prettyness?? So,
Asoka ... "immigrants" made America great, eh??
WHICH immigrants??????? Sorry dude, they
actually are NOT all alike nor have they
made the same contributions to American
life.

Asoka-like liberals hate when FACT interrupts
their self-congratulatory reveries. And I'm
not just talking about his mythos about the
"repression" of Blacks in 2010. Such myths
exist about places and cultures like MEXICO,
too. The Mexicans are such a BANKRUPT CULTURE
that even their PRIMARY FORM OF MUSIC IS FROM
ANOTHER CULTURE!!!!

Mariachi music is of GERMAN ORIGIN ... a
historical FACT. The various tribes of
Mexico haven't made a significant contribution
to world culture in more than a millenium.
Some glorify the Mayans, the Incans, the
Aztecs, and so on but these cultures were
savage cultures that engaged in human
sacrifice. Mexico was, is, and will be,
a total cesspit and its "Long Emergency"
began millenia ago and will NEVER end.


Eleuthero

These comments reflect totalitarian, triumphalist Euro-centric, historical revisionism and must be refuted:

"The various tribes of
Mexico haven't made a significant contribution
to world culture in more than a millenium."

This depends on whose value system one applies to the evaluation. What defines "significant contribution"? How can you make a contribution to world culture when your tribal unity is demolished by a savage, murderous, tyrannic, alien euro-entity hell bent on extracting all your tribal wealth as a colonial tribute to an
aristocratic, feudal fiefdom known as "Spain"?

More ignorant blather:

"Some glorify the Mayans, the Incans, the
Aztecs, and so on but these cultures were
savage cultures that engaged in human
sacrifice."

As far as I know, the Azteca were the only tribe that engaged in ritualized sacrificial killing.
What is the difference between killing someone ritualistically or stabbing them with a razor- sharp rapier just because they pissed you off.
It was important to dehumanize the Indians to justify enslaving them and murdering them. The Spanish overlords regularly cut hands off for trifling "offences". Who were the real savages?
I won't go on, it is too difficult dislodging deeply implanted racist, cultural biases.

Also, the jungles of central America hide some of the most amazing cultural and archaeological accomplishments of mankind. These cultures were far from "savage" but they have to be revised historically to fit the popular misconception of Euro-superiority. These tribal societies were engaged in scientific and cultural accomplish-
ments that far exceeded the dark savagery of Europe at that time.

Central American civilizations equaled or surpassed the Euro-cultures of the time.
They were not as mercenary and avaricious.
Might does not necessarily make right.

Mexico was, is, and will be,
a total cesspit and its "Long Emergency"
began millenia ago and will NEVER end.

we are mexico..do you know of their govts plans for ' us '..the usa


So my comments are "ignorant blather" are
they?? What has Mexico done for world
science, technology, and culture for the
LAST FIVE HUNDRED YEARS??

Your comments are like people who write
these cultural "self-esteem" pamphlets
who tell blacks to be proud because of
Kareem Abdul Jabbar or for Mexicans to
be proud that their ancient (and I mean
ANCIENT) relatives discovered the idea
of zero.

I noticed how you deftly avoided FACTS in
my post like about Mariachi music. All of
you Rainbow Coalition types love to cite
the HANDFUL of props that exist for failed
or failing cultures while we are to ignore
literally the THOUSANDS of inventions from
the flush toilet to the integrated circuit
which emanated from European or Asian groups
and WHICH DOMINATE YOUR OWN HOUSE AND CAR.

So continue piffling and harumphing and
working yourself into whatever pissy state
which makes you feel pure. Your posts were
CONTENT FREE and make use only of the sort
of sophistry that something a Central
American did in 1300 A.D. has fuck all to
do with your daily life.

Look around your house, your neighborhood,
your car, and your workplace. Most of
those inventions, inventions which you
DELIGHT IN on a daily basis and which
give you almost all your non-interpersonal
creature comforts (including written books!!)
were almost ENTIRELY from the minds of TWO
main cultural groups.

You, like Asoka, engage in the flawed argument
form known as EXCEPTIONALISM. Exceptionalism
is an argument of the form that if I can find
ONE exception to a general point, I invalidate
the ENTIRE point. So if you can find one or
two minor Mexican inventions, ergo they're a
great culture!?

Dear God ... please place SYMBOLIC LOGIC back
into the college educations of your minions
so that they can engage in discourse without
using three or four techniques found invalid
AT THE TIME OF ARISTOTLE.


Eleuthero


Yeah, let's give "back" to a country
that has rewarded the most corrupt
stewards of money of all time, the
most inept managers of all time,
and done NOTHING to improve your
employment prospects.

Let's have a "carbon tax", a "vat tax",
a new Medicare tax, and why not a tax
for being old, too, since the elderly
are "useless eaters".

Good Lord ... is this Asoka guy some kind
of MOLE from a DNC rally? He's relentless
and, in his own way, rather humorous. On
the other hand he's more naive than Rebecca
of Sunnybrook Farm.


Eleuthero

Interesting article. Not all modernism but yes NYC modernism has turned its back on some easily sustainable features such as chimneys and operable windows. This creates an interesting future image in my mind of a 40 story high rise glass tower with broken out windows for ventilation and homemade chimenys projecting out of the building face for cooking and heating.

I dont know if you've been to NYC recently but the crime is apparent. The graffati from the 80's are all over the buildings and everywhere you look again. Something has to be done or we will revert back to the crime wave of the last decade

This information is some of the best I have found on this topic for me, I really appreciate this point of view and I've found it to be more reliable then some, I will be recommending it to others.

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